Dumpling: The Early Years

In 2000 Abigail Breslin starred in a quirky movie directed by husband and wife Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Little Miss Sunshine won two Oscars, one for best supporting actor by Alan Arkin (the wildly inappropriate grandpa) and for the original screenplay by Michael Arndt. Arndt has actually worked as a writer on quite a few other successful movies, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and  Toy Story 3. So if you need someone to blame for making you cry everytime you see any of the Toy Story movies now, blame Arndt (super intrigued by the teaser trailer for Toy Story 4, by the way. And yes, I did link two different teasers. Both need to be watched).

Arndt’s Little Miss Sunshine is the story of a dysfunctional family. Each character has their own quirk that can make them loveable and infuriating at the same time. The movie starts off introducing us to the family. They sit down for a family dinner after Sheryl Hoover picks her brother up from the hospital. He is going to stay with them for a while since he had just attempted suicide. After meeting the family, a phone call comes in letting the Hoover family know that Olive Hoover, the seven year old daughter, is eligible for the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in California.

The problems: the pageant is that weekend, Sheryl can’t drive stick, Frank can’t be left alone, and Grandpa wants to go because he had been coaching Olive for the pageant. So the whole family has to accompany Olive to the pageant. With half the family excited and the other half accepting that they’re going to be miserable all weekend, they start off on their 700 mile road trip to California. Between family drama and engine problems, the audience is left wondering if they will make it in time (or at all). The movie really is the story of each family member and their personal journey. They each grow over the spontaneous weekend trip.

To start, there is the father, Richard Hoover (played by Greg Kinnear). Richard fell on the infuriating side of the spectrum more than the loveable for me. His drive to become a successful motivational speaker and writer comes across as self-centered. He believes in his mediocre success so much that he is willing to risk the family’s financial stability and the fact that he does not get the book deal just puts him in a worse light. He had his moments (if I’m being honest, I’m having a hard time thinking of specific ones right now… they were few and far between. If I’m missing something big, please comment below!), and he obviously loved his family, but I can’t get over the fact that he manipulated his daughter into passing up ice cream by he convincing his seven year old that she would get fat if she ate it. What kind of person does that? The scene turned out sweet when the rest of the family ate Olive’s ice cream and over acted their enjoyment to convince the girl to eat it despite her father’s advice, but how this family could stand to live with the man is beyond me (I supposed there wouldn’t have been a dysfunctional family without him though. So there is that).

Richard’s father didn’t hesitate calling his son out on his mediocre success. Grandpa Hoover was a great comedy relief in the movie (albeit, dark comedy, but I enjoyed it). It was hard to argue with his belief system on drug use: you’d be an idiot to use it while you are young with a whole life ahead of you, and you’d be that same idiot if you didn’t use it in your old age when death is knocking at your door. This, along with sleeping with many women, led him to be kicked out of a retirement home and living in the basement of his son’s house. I wonder if Grandpa didn’t intentionally get himself kicked out because he wanted to live with his family. He couldn’t have been happier coaching Olive in her beauty pageant, and giving anyone who would listen to him pieces of wisdom. As much as it made sense that he died of a heroin overdose during the road trip, I was bummed to no longer hear Grandpa spew all his life lessons.

The glue that held the whole family together was Sheryl Hoover (played by Toni Collette). Sheryl epitomized a midwestern mom with her take out chicken meals, mediating family conflicts, and providing all of them the tender love and care she believed moms should give. She reminded me of Natalie Portman in Where the Heart Is (a mom who doesn’t know what she is doing half the time, but she’s going to keep moving forward anyway and excel at motherhood!) She supported every whim her family decided on from a son that took a vow of silence, to a brother who needed to stay under suicide watch. At the same time, you just wanted to pull the woman in for a hug and give her a much needed drink. She was the glue that held the family together, but you could see in the opening scene that the glue was dry and cracking.

Dwayne played the eldest of the Hoover children. He was the academic side of goth with his obsession with Nietzsche (try spelling his name without looking!) and vow of silence. I cried (I’m a crier in movies) when he discovered he could not be a pilot. As much as he unfairly judged his family, he still fit right in with his dreams. Richard dreamed of being a motivational tycoon; Sheryl dreamed of having her put together family; Olive dreamed of being a beauty queen; Grandpa dreamed of a blissful heroin and women filled end; Frank wished for his old life back. Dwayne dreamed of being a pilot and when Olive discovered he was color blind to fill the long car ride, he lost it. Paul Dano did a great job of showing Dwayne’s grief as beyond word. Who wasn’t a teenager that just felt like crawling into a ball and disappearing (whether the dramatics were warranted or not). Then Olive’s love was able to pull him out of his spiral. There were tears!

One relationship I really enjoyed watching was  Dwayne and Steve Carell’s character,  Frank. Typically I see Steve Carell as Michael Scott, manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton Branch (I am one of those guilty of rewatching that series over and over again. Boyfriend and I are actually working on rewatching it right now). Or Brick Tamland in Anchorman. I think the fact that Steve Carell was in the movie was one of the reasons Boyfriend picked it out. He’s always down to watch Michael Scott.

I  didn’t even know that he was in this movie before watching it, but he was an unforgettable character. Apart from being the first to realize that Olive had not made it back in the van after making a gas station stop (So relatable! My family still laughs at the time we forgot my brother at McDonald’s), Frank provides an objective voice throughout this family’s road trip. He can relate to Dwyane, and can take the dark jokes and comments made about his attempted suicide. I cringe along with him when he ran into the graduate student who dumped him while  buying Grandpa’s porn magazines (the graduate student looked like a tool. Frank was better off without him). Just as we could all relate to a teenager’s world crashing down on them, we relate to Frank’s break-up and career set back; we could put ourselves in his shoes and understand how he was feeling (though I hope most of us were not driven to a suicide attempt like Frank was). The movie also did a great job during the dinner scene where Olive asked about Frank’s bandages. Her innocent curiosity and Franks honest answers were close to perfection.

Which brings me to the star of the movie, Abigail Breslin. I haven’t seen a movie where I didn’t absolutely love this girl. Before Little Miss Sunshine, I had recently watched Perfect Sisters (GREAT movie. Highly recommend it. Used to be on Netflix, not sure if it’s still there, though). I have also seen Signs and Zombieland multiple times (and in case you haven’t heard, they are filming a Zombieland 2!!) She is a talented actress and she played the pudgy awkward Olive Hoover wonderfully. Olive really was the sunshine in the Hoover family. Her optimism was contagious and she had everyone wrapped around her little finger (not in a manipulative sort of way, but in a way that she didn’t really know about). She would be the only one the whole family would drop what they were doing and take a 700 mile road trip for. The family had to push the van to get it started every time they stopped. They hid Grandpa’s body in the back of their car. All to get Olive to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant.

At this pageant we finally get to see the dance Olive and Grandpa had been working tirelessly on and I was not disappointed (I’m not sure what I was expecting, but her actual dance was not on my radar).  Boyfriend’s exact words were “Little girls shouldn’t be dancing to such nasty music, but I kind of enjoyed the dance.” I think he summed up her dance nicely. She was a girl who beat to the sound of her own drum and she had the family to back her up. Nothing was going to stop Olive when she put her mind to it. It’s an admirable quality and fun to watch in the seven-year-old.

This movie led me through an array of emotions. There was laughing (Olive staying watch while the family shoved Grandpa’s body out the hospital window), frustration and anger (Anytime Richard opened his mouth), and crying (Dwayne).

Boyfriend had only seen parts of the movie when he was younger and he didn’t like it. He remembered the movie not being funny and he didn’t understand the plot. All the problems he had with the movie, though, must have been because he was a kid. This time around he loved it. He liked how every character had their own flaw and at the end they all came together as a family. A family that makes a fool of themselves together is the family that will stay together!

Little Miss Sunshine was one of those movies I had heard of, wanted to watch, but never got around to it. This bucket list was the final push I needed to sit down and actually watch this movie and I am glad that I did. What is not to love about a relatable family going on a road trip in a yellow VW van?

Boyfriend had nixed my first pick of a movie and decided on Little Miss Sunshine (no complaints from my end!), so I took my turn to pick with this next movie. This was one that I had seen before (or so I thought), but Boyfriend had not. There were so many iconic scenes and the twist ending won’t be a surprise because it is an older one (black and white old). So Boyfriend and I both know how this next movie will end, but we’ll sit down and enjoy the journey to the shocking ending anyway.

Dead Language 101

“Kill her if you can, loverboy!”

I had first seen the 2013 remake of The Evil Dead. I saw it once in the drive-ins (the way I honestly think it was intended to be watched) and I don’t remember much of it. It wasn’t the kind of movie that really stuck with you, with plot twists and unique intriguing characters. It was fast paced and entertaining. All I really remember is the gore and the brutal scene in the forest with the demonic branches.

The remake did a great job, because the same stuck with me after watching the original.

I was looking forward to watching Sam Raimi’s 1983 film. The Evil Dead started his successful career in film. He produced other popular horror movies like The Grudge and The Messengers (I don’t know if you consider The Messengers as popular, but I really enjoyed that one! Kristen Stewart is hated on so much, maybe she should have stuck with horror. She did a great job being terrified in that one). Once The Evil Dead received Stephen King’s stamp of approval, it became an instant classic. And I really see the influence it had on future thrillers.

But before I begin on that, I’ll summarize the movie for those like me who only remember that gore and  branches raping a girl. So Ash, Scott, Linda, Cheryl, and Shelly go on a vacation to a cabin in the woods. Now they must have  organized their search for a cabin from lowest to highest price because it was in the middle of the woods and very run down. They begin their weekend in good spirits. Then the cellar door flies open.

So (of course) the crew had to go investigate the cellar (cue eye roll and shouting at the screen). Inside the basement they find a book bound in skin and written in blood. Rhis seems like a the perfect discovery to spice up the weekend, so why not bring the book and the recording that goes with it up to enjoy in front of the fireplace.

The recording is of the man who found the book originally. He reads outloud and this wakes the demons.

One by one the teenagers (who we don’t believe for a second are actually teenagers) are possessed by demons. With gruesome makeup and buckets of cornstarch blood and puss, they disintegrate. Cheryl is the first to get possessed after she wanders into the woods by herself. Then comes the cringeworthy scene of possessed trees violating her (of course, she did leave the cabin ALONE. Something horrible was going to happen).

Once Cheryl is possessed, she is put in the cellar and the door is chained. There is enough space to open the door and mock the remainder of the crew though (a definition of dark humor).

Soon the only two left are Scott and Ash (there are some heart touching scenes of Ash struggling to chop up his girlfriend, Linda, as well as Scott easily chopping up Shelly. Gotta love the twitching limbs). Going against scary movie cliches, the virgin did not make it in this movie. Scott is inevitably possessed and Ash is forced to overcome the demons on his own.

I was really rooting for Ash (played by Bruce Campbell, by the way). He was covered in every bodily fluid imaginable, refusing to succumb to the ancient demons. The sun came up and Ash and I could see the finish line. He was going to make it. Under the veil of darkness, the demons roamed and killed, but sunlight meant safety. Right?

Nope.

The camera takes the point of view of the demons and they rush  on Ash. He screams and the screen goes black.

The movie was nonstop. Boyfriend fell asleep (I know. I know. It’s okay. I’m over it.) and I can’t imagine how he had managed to do that. I remember watching the original Carrie and waiting (very impatiently) for her to climb the stairs in her house. It took her five minutes. To climb stairs. (I know I’m probably exaggerating, but it felt like five minutes!)

Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed Carrie, but there were breaks in the action. This was not the case in The Evil Dead. Once the demons were released, they never tired. Cheryl was constantly talking from her crack in the cellar door. Once one demon was killed, the next one attacked. Linda even came back because Ash didn’t have the heart to dismember her (which then led me to turn to Boyfriend and tell him that he should just chop me up if we found ourselves in a similar position. I wouldn’t mind. He claimed that he could never do such a thing. I don’t believe him…)

The whole dilemma Ash faced when Linda was possessed reminded me of The Walking Dead. How many of the characters had to kill the bodies of their loved ones after they turned into a zombie. Isn’t that true of every zombie movie? (Excuse me as I now think through all the zombie movies I have seen. Admittedly, there are a lot)

The shaky camera also reminded me of the the whole series of movies that came out filmed on a hand held camera, starting with The Blair Witch Project. Were movies like Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield inspired by Raimi’s demonically moving camera?

Overall, Boyfriend and I enjoyed The Evil Dead (Boyfriend assures me he was just unusually tired and did not fall asleep because the movie wasn’t keeping his attention. Do with that information as you like). I am not normally one who likes excess gore (and I think calling the gore in The Evil Dead excessive is conservative). I have never seen a Saw movie. I watched the remake of Evil Dead  through my finger. Hollywood has gotten too good at creating realistic effects! I have been known to faint at the sight of real life blood, so it is not something I seek out in my entertainment. The original Evil Dead, though, was made in 1981, so the effects in that movie didn’t bother me. I enjoyed the easy to follow plot. I don’t think there are going to be any extensive essays written on the character development or the story, but if you need a movie to fill your dark and eerie night, this is the movie for you!

I have read that Raimi used the fly by the seat of your pants method when filming this movie. The crew and actors worked days at a time and didn’t have an understanding of what was going on in the plot, so the success of the movie is even more impressive! I’m sure if Raimi had tried to create a complex story using his method of filming, it would not have been as much of a success as The Evil Dead was. The movie was low budget, using $300,000 to produce. It made back $47 million dollars. I think Raimi can consider the movie a job well done.

What did you think of The Evil Dead? Have you seen any of the sequels? Maybe you could explain to me how Ash manages to get a chainsaw as a hand! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

The next post is about a movie I chose. My first choice was nixed because Boyfriend doesn’t like dancing movies (except for Step Up….cue another eye roll). So instead, we chose a movie about a quirky family who gets a great workout on their road trip!

Asexual Reproduction

The following are two experiences watching Jurassic Park as a child:

One is a cherished memory of watching the thriller with your brothers and dad. Your dad would set up the event by dragging a table into the living room and draping a blanket over it to create a movie watching cave. Whenever the scary parts would come on the screen he would throw the blanket over the front of the table, protecting you from the child hunting dinosaurs.

The other is a vague memory of being terrified. Children were screaming. Dinosaurs were roaring. Little raptors spewed poisonous venom in a man’s face and proceeded to eat him alive. The movie was followed by nightmares of dinosaurs taking over the world and you running from a T-rex, just like Lex and Tim in the movie.

Both experiences were present for our double date night watching Jurassic Park.

The movie came out in 1993, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on a novel by Michael Crichton. I didn’t know that BD Wong (the amazing Dr. Huang from Law and Order SVU) was in this movie. I was happy to see him in the breeding lab (and he looks EXACTLY the same! I want to know his anti-aging regimen). Sam Neill and Laura Dern are two of the stars and Samuel L. Jackson plays a small role in the movie (no snakes or planes in this movie unfortunately). This popular thriller won three oscars and has been rebooted in a new franchise of movies starring Chris Pratt (swoon!).

So Boyfriend and I arranged a double date with two of our friends to watch this movie. My friend was the one who enjoyed watching the movie with her dad. I was terrified by the movie and hadn’t seen it since the childhood nightmares. However, friend’s girlfriend was joining us on this movie date (a woman who refuses to watch scary movies), so I had no excuse. We pop popcorn, sit down, and get the movie started.

Jurassic Park is well liked. The plot is exciting and intriguing; the dinosaurs are cool. Even seeing the movie in 2018, I felt like they were not fake and cheesy looking (the sick triceratops definitely looked animatronic, but I quickly forgot about that when Ellie went elbow deep into dinosaur poop). My favorite piece of the movie, though, is the score. I remember playing it in middle school band. It’s catchy and (excuse my cheesiness) really does seem to embody the forward thinking mindset behind Hammond’s dream for the park.

Throughout this viewing, I enjoyed Malcolm’s monologues of wisdom. He was like the audience watching a scary movie, but instead of shouting, “Why are you investigating the strange noise in the basement!” (shout out to the Geico horror movie commercial), Malcolm was foreshadowing the disaster this park would become. Hammond should have thought about the repercussions of wielding the power of his genetic discover (or even just realized how much power he actually had). The all female dinosaurs did evolve to reproduce. Jeff Goldblum’s character was so skeezy and obnoxious, though, I get why nobody listened to him. I haven’t seen the new Jurassic World 2, yet, but Malcolm continues his anti-dinosaur sentiment. I’m sure I would enjoy his monologues in the new movie as well.

Nobody listened to Malcolm, so they were all really lucky that Hammond’s grandchildren were joining this tour gone wrong. Neither Tim nor Lex were just helpless children. At first they were forced to take care of themselves after the useless Gennaro left them in the car (he got what came to him!). They continued to stick together all the way through the kitchen scene (Tim sliding on the icy floor of the freezer while the raptor was RIGHT behind him had me freaking out!) and finally to the control room where Lex saves the day with her amazing computer skills while Tim plays a panicky cheerleader. I am a crier in movies (and life, if I’m being completely honest here), so when Tim was electrocuted by the fence and Lex was beyond distraught after Grant announced Tim wasn’t breathing, I was a mess. The movie wouldn’t have made it if they had killed one of the kids off, though. They’re too awesome! Tim’s line after falling from the tree won me over. I’m team Lex and Tim.

Overall, after seeing the movie as an adult, I completely understand why child me was terrified by the movie. I was tense, waiting for the t-rex or the raptors to jump out. Lex was screaming the entire time (also keeping me on edge) and I remembered that Wayne Knight’s character (the guy even more driven by money than Hammond’s lawyer) was killed by the poison spitting dinosaurs. Every time he was wandering around the park, I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for it to happen. The movie was great. The company was great. I enjoyed this viewing of Jurassic Park so much more than the last time.

And I am happy to report…. no nightmares!

What were your thoughts on Jurassic Park. Has anyone read the book? How do you think it compares? Anyone not on Team Lex and Tim? Do you also think Malcolm is a pretentious jerk? With science and technology advancing as fast as it is, I think we really should discuss whether dinosaurs should be brought back from extinction or not. Let me know what you think. I want to hear from you!

Next up is another thriller made about a decade earlier. I think this movie was an inspiration to Zombieland’s “double tap” rule. Like Rasputin, these undead just refuse to die!


Ten Minute Leonard

Your wife has been brutally murdered and you can only remember ten minutes at a time. The premise reminds me of 50 First Dates, but apart from the memory loss twist, Drew Barrymore’s movie is nothing like Memento.

Memento came out in 2000, starring Guy Pearce as the tragic widower, Leonard. I didn’t recognize the star of the movie, but I did recognize the director: Christopher Nolan. He directed other movies, like Inception (another movie that you watch to be confused), The Dark Knight (cue husky voice: “I am Batman”), and Man of Steel (I still prefer Dean Cain as Superman, but that could be that I crushed hard on him as a teenager. On a completely different note, has anyone seen him in the Criminal Minds episode. That was a good one! But I digress).

One interesting note about Memento, the movie is based on a short story by Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan. It’s called “Memento Mori” and is an eleven page tale of Earl. I liked the part where the narrator refers to Earl’s condition as “backwards amnesia”. Get it? Backwards! Like the movie!

I enjoyed the story. It’s the same basic premise as the movie, but like with all movies that are based on literature, it’s different. It switches between Earl writing a letter to his future self (who won’t remember anything that happened earlier) and present day Earl going through the motions to get his revenge. If you’re looking to read the story, I provided a link at the end of this post. 

I think I’ve rambled on enough. I am giving you an official spoiler warning. If you haven’t watched Memento pause, go watch it, and then come on back!

Now that the warning has been issued … Wow!

Before watching this movie, all I knew was that it was told out of order. Boyfriend picked this one as our first movie because he wanted to challenge me. I’ll explain. I tend to figure out the end of movies and it pisses Boyfriend off (his words). When watching new movies with him, I’m not allowed to make any predictions so there is no way for me to possibly spoil the ending. Boyfriend thought I wouldn’t be able to figure out Memento.

And I didn’t.

This was a tough one!

As far as I understand, there are three different stories being told throughout the movie: Leonard, Teddy, and Natalie.

I’ll begin with Leonard. The hero is looking for revenge. Two druggies broke into his house and raped and murdered his wife. Leonard had managed to kill one of the murderers, but the other got away after causing Leonard’s brain damage. The police don’t believe that there is a second killer, so Leonard takes it upon himself to revenge his wife’s death. He can only remember shorts period of time because of the brain damage, so he creates a system of notes, pictures, and tattoos to remind himself what clues he has found. We watch him decipher these notes while also seeing these black and white scenes of Leonard telling us the story of Sammy, another man with anterograde amnesia.

I liked the scene where he discovers the tattoos for the first time, but I wish they had given us his internal dialogue (the internal dialogue was a nice comic relief. My favorite being when he suddenly regains memory mid chase:

Leonard: Enter OK, so what am I doing?

Leonard: Oh, I’m chasing this guy.

Leonard: No, he’s chasing me.

He’s so calm and collected. I liked the deadpan humor).

ANNNYWAAY.

Next is Teddy. Teddy is an undercover cop who does believe there is a second killer. He befriends Leonard under the false name of Teddy (it’s unfortunate his real name does give him the initials JG) and does help him get his revenge. Then the cop gets sneaky and greedy. Since John G can apply to a lot of people, he hides the evidence of Leonard’s successful revenge, and uses him to get rid of other criminals with the same JG. Jimmy Grantz is the target during the movie.

A guy that is going to such lengths to get revenge for his wife would make he hesitate using him shamelessly like Teddy did.  But we all know how that turned out for the cop.

So Jimmy is where Natalie comes in. She gets pulled into this mess after Leonard kills her husband and shows up at her bar driving Jimmy’s car and dressed in Jimmy’s clothes (just a little suspicious!) Natalie also uses Leonard (poor Leonard) to get protection from Dodd who is now coming after Natalie because he thought she stole the money after Jimmy was killed (and it was actually Teddy who took the money). I’ll be honest here, this was the part of the movie that confused me the most. I might be getting something wrong here. Feel free to correct me in the comments.

I thought Natalie must have been involved in the wife’s murder. She was acting suspicious and then she got all vulgar after finding out she was in danger. I mean, I shouldn’t have been surprised that she could be so nasty. She was married to a criminal, so she wasn’t going to be a saint. I didn’t like Natalie much after that, so I was okay with her being the bad guy.

Boyfriend asked me to make a prediction before the movie was over and that was my prediction.

I was wrong.

Boyfriend was happy.

There was no way I would have guessed the ending. It was a good twist! Like I said before, we find out that Teddy had been using Leonard’s illness. And Leonard’s illness is exactly what gets Teddy killed. Leonard finds out the truth about Teddy after killing Jimmy. We find out that Leonard had killed the second druggie over a year ago and we also find out about the part Sammy plays in the plot. Sammy was faking his amnesia and it was actually Leonard’s wife who died of an insulin overdose given by Leonard because he couldn’t remember he had already given her the insulin. Leonard combined his story and Sammy’s story together to protect himself from the guilt.

He created a fake memory.

Now, Teddy counts on Leonard forgetting and the problem going away, but Leonard leaves himself a note saying not to trust Teddy’s lies and tattooing Teddy’s license plate on himself to create another fake memory: the plate belonging to the killer. Natalie continues to lead Leonard down that path by giving him Teddy’s driver’s license with his real name: John Gammel. So Leonard used his mental illness, just as Teddy did, to lead himself to believe that Teddy was the second killer. Poetic Justice.

Overall, Boyfriend and I both enjoyed Memento. It was an exciting thriller that kept us guessing until the end!

What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments below! Were you just as lost? Did my post confuse you? Was Leonard really the hero of this movie?

Stay tuned for the next movie on our list. This movie scared me when I was a kid. Gave me nightmares! I haven’t rewatched it until now, so we’ll see if the nightmares start up again.

“Memento Mori” https://www.londonscreenwritersfestival.com/assets/Memento-Short-Story-by-Jonathan-Nolan.pdf


First Things First

After the great unveiling of the poster, I was eager to put it up and begin our movie adventure!

Boyfriend dug up a coin while I pinned the poster up behind our bedroom door (I didn’t think our roommate would appreaciate the poster being the center piece in the living room). And then we got to scratching. 

We scratched off any movies we had already seen together or movies we had both seen separately, but didn’t feel the need to watch again. That came out to 27 out of the 100 movies. I’ll just make a few honorable mentions:

The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Usual Suspects, The Truman Show, Back to the Future: All these movies had been watched when Boyfriend and I first started dating. We would alternate choosing the movies, picking any favorites that the other had not seen before. Out of the movies listed on the posters, I’m sad to say that most were Boyfriends’ picks. I did introduce him to Back to the Future, though! He liked it enough to want to watch the second one, however, that has not happened yet. You can come to your own conclusions there. Looking back at this list, I think there is one movie missing: The Princess Bride. Maybe this should have been the 101 Movie Bucketlist. The fact William Goldman’s classic is not there is “inconceivable!” 

Se7en, The Pianist: I really didn’t care to see these movies again. Though, both great movies, the graphic nature makes me cringe!

Mean Girls: I would have been all for watching this one again. I think Boyfriend just didn’t want to sit through me quoting the whole movie….

So, 27 down, 73 to go! (I double checked my math there. That would have been embarrasing). First up will be Boyfriend’s pick: Memento. Get your popcorn, and (from what I have heard about this movie) be ready to be confused!

Movies, movies, movies

Gift buying can be a double edged sword, especially when it comes to buying for a significant other. In my relationship the competition is always there: Who can buy the best and most meaningful gift? Who can delve into the short span of our lives together and find that perfect nugget that is both affordable and wonderful? Boyfriend and I do this for Christmas, our anniversary, and (yes!) our birthday. 

It was on our first date when we discovered that our birthdays fall on the same day. He even asked me to pull my ID out to prove it. He decided to stick around after seeing my embarrassing teenage driver’s license photo, so win for me there!

And so for this past birthday I searched for that oh so perfect gift. I wanted something unique and perfect for him. Luckily the internet provides an unlimited supply of lists titled: “Ten Perfect Gifts for Him” and “Twenty-one Most Awesome Gifts for Men Most Wished for on Amazon.” Shout out to Pinterest! 

And so I found the movie bucketlist: a list of 100 movies you just have to see from cult classics to horror to rom coms. Movies were a favorite pasttime of his. I had found that competition winning gift!

Hello world!

School? Check!

Career? Check!

So what do you do with my spare time after work? Not studying or writing papers (Thank God!). The time is yours to experience and explore.

I try to keep myself busy in the evening I might read a book, paint, or garden (A nice ideal. Not always done in reality). I might cook a five course meal (Ya right!). I might plop down on the couch and binge watch The Office for the fifth time (There is the reality). The options are endless. I hope to share and hear all about what you are doing with your after work hours.

So make yourself a cup of coffee. It may be after five, but the day is just getting started!

-Reina