Vacation Pictures!

So, last week, I had a mini-vacation!  Not that you could tell, because I had posts scheduled while I was gone. But I went up to Oregon for my cousin’s wedding, and I really wanted to talk about my trip and share some of the pictures I took while I was up there.

I was reading like a maniac prior to leaving, because it’s a long car ride up to where she is- she lives not too far from the California-Oregon border, and I knew I’d need something to do in the car, so I wanted to make room for the books I was planning on reading.  Plus the three crochet projects I brought up with me so I could alternate between reading and yarn.  And randomly looking out the window.  But there was no sleeping in the car, because once I’m awake, I’m awake, and there’s no going back to sleep.  Plus, I got caught up on a few podcasts that I was behind on during the trip up there and back.

The wedding was really nice, and I’m really glad I got to go.  It was pretty casual, and it rained a little, but at least the rain held off until after the wedding…which was outdoors, and even then, it rained a little and then everything was fine.  I didn’t get any pictures of the actual wedding or the reception, mostly because I don’t have a smart phone, and felt awkward busting out the digital camera.  I wish I got a picture of the cake, which was really cool- it was a Wonder Woman/Batman cake!  The centerpieces were pretty cool too- flowers inside of cassettes, which I assume were glued together (I didn’t think of getting a picture until the next day, but there’s nothing I can do about that.  Same thing with the place settings, which were records!

Now it’s picture time!  Of which there are a few.

There are a couple pictures from the venue I wanted to share, which was super pretty.  It’s on this one estate, and I’m glad I got a few pictures.  Like the one below.

Eagle Creek 1

I’m pretty sure that the creek in the background is Eagle Creek.

This next picture is a few feet away, and a different part of the creek.

Eagle Creek 2

There was even some chairs, if you wanted to sit by the creek.  I have a few more pictures, but they’re all pretty similar, and these two are my favorites.

We didn’t do much while we were up there, but I did get see the family I have up there, which was nice, because I don’t see them often.

The next few pictures are from a winery/vineyard we went to.  There are a ton of them in Oregon (at least, in the part we were in, I can’t say it’s the same for the rest of the state), and the one we went to was DanCin.

DanCin Wines 1

The wine was really good!  And yes, I did take a picture of the wine I had.  I’m not the biggest fan of red wine- I’d rather drink white, which is why I got the above wines, but the reds were pretty good.  And totally local to the area, of course.

DanCin Menu

The menu looked pretty cool, like cork!  Which is oddly appropriate for a winery/vineyard.

DanCin Fish Pond

We also sat in front of this really pretty fish pond.  I didn’t get the best picture of the pond, but you can catch a glimpse of it behind the plants.  I have a few more pictures of the pond/garden, but this one was the best one, in my opinion.

And I did get a few pictures of the actual vineyard, but the one below is my favorite.  Basically because it’s part of the vineyard up close, and not a far-off picure with random cars in the background.

DanCin Vineyard

And on the way up, we stopped to take a picture of Mt. Shasta.  It’s the snow capped mountain you see in the distance.

Mt Shasta

Those are all the pictures I have- everything else was pretty similar to what I shared, or didn’t turn out as well as I hoped.  We did drive through this historic town called Jacksonville.  I didn’t get any pictures, as I thought they’d turn out blurry since we were driving.  They have this historic cemetery, and it was pretty but also a little overrun, which somehow seemed to fit.  In a way, it reminded me of Old Town San Diego, but a lot quieter.

It really is pretty, and there are lots of trees and mountains.  Also farm land, rivers and creeks.  It’s quite different than what I’m used to in San Diego, but it was really cool to see, because it is so different.

Happy Friday, and have a great weekend!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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T.V. Talk: I Really Need To Talk About Grey’s Anatomy (With Spoilers)

I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, and while watching it, I had so many random thoughts while watching it that I needed to get it all out!

Blog Graphic- TV Talk

There are going to be spoilers for all 11 seasons.  You have been warned.  

First, my thoughts on Season 11.

Which is the season that just happened, for anyone who is curious.

Did Addison go to Derek’s funeral?  I don’t think we’ll ever know, and in the long run, I don’t think it’s that important, but I am curious.  I know they’re divorced, and it seemed like they didn’t talk much after that…well, maybe but I’m not sure.  But she is his ex-wife…

Overall, I liked the structure of season 11, and the focus on Meredith and her past, especially in relation to her history with her mom.  I am wondering how far ahead Shonda Rhimes knew that Derek was going to die, because there were some really interesting parallels between Meredith and her mom, and this time around, it did seem like it was hinted at throughout the season.

Re-watching this season, it’s actually surprising that it took so long for Maggie to come in- considering the fact that the affair Richard and Ellis is a very well-known fact at this point, and looking back, it fits in with everything else this season, and it does seem like the best point for it to come up.  I don’t, unfortunately, remember what I thought about Meredith having a half-sister, except that I wasn’t sure.  I didn’t really pay attention to what I thought about it at the time.

I kind of wonder if it was always something Rhimes considered- both the introduction of Maggie, and the death of Derek, and she was waiting for the right time to write those things in.  Like, on NCIS, the death of Mike Franks was always in the back of someone’s mind (whoever it is makes those decisions), and they were waiting for the right time to work it in.  That’s the feel I got with both things while marathoning it.

I was also nervous about Yang (played by Sandra Oh) not being on the show anymore, but I was surprised by how much I didn’t miss her being gone.  She’s a great character, and I miss her, but I thought the show didn’t suffer for it.

Random Thoughts On Other Seasons

The free clinic.  It was important for a while, but then it wasn’t really mentioned or a place where they went anymore.  I’m curious if it got dropped in favor of other story lines, or if went away the way the E.R. almost went away when Pegasus tried to take over the hospital, or if it’s still there but not a story line anymore.

I kind of miss how much they interacted with the nurses and other hospital staff.  It’s probably something that’s been dropped with because of the different story lines, but still.  I miss it.

It also seems like there are a lot more characters now then there were when the show started, and sometimes, it feels like the number of things going on and characters to focus on seem a little overwhelming.  But it is the sort of show that can go on for a long time, because you can always bring in new characters as old ones leave.

It’s amazing how different the few remaining original cast members look- especially Meredith.

After the plane crash, during the first couple of episodes of season 9…it was hard to watch.  But it really struck me how much they needed to have what happened in the woods as the second episode. It had a lot more impact and was truly heart-breaking knowing what happened after those events happened.  Especially when you’re doing a re-watch.

Considering how many of the hospital staff get together, I’m surprised that it took so long for them to have an official policy on workplace relationships.  In real life, a hospital like Seattle Grace probably would have had something like that in place already. Obviously, I’m not watching it because it’s just like real life, but really, so many seasons in, and it takes an intern lodging a complaint for them to do something?  Granted, it’s why we have Derek and Meredith (love them!) and Mark and Lexie (miss them!) but it still popped into my head.  And they do spend so much time together that it makes sense.

It really is easy to forget about characters once they’re off the show.  Like the couple of interns from Mercy West, who died in the shooting, or Dr Brooks and Leah Murphy, even though they left more recently.

Whatever happened to Meredith’s dad?  With Lexie gone, there really is no point to having him mentioned again, and he and Meredith never really had a relationship in the first place.  I can’t remember if it was mentioned- the last thing I remember was the liver transplant, and after that, nothing.

I feel like there used to be more funny moments, and now, it doesn’t seem like there are as many now.  Which is fine, but I kind of miss the funny moments.

I think Grey’s is going to be on for a while, but I am curious about how they’re going to end the series…when it does, of course. I don’t want it go anywhere, but I am sort of wondering what might be in store for us in general, especially with the death of Derek.

Interns!  There was the first group seasons ago, that had Lexie and George, and the one that had Ben, Wilson and Edwards. And there’s the new group introduced at the end of season 11, so I’m curious if any of them will stick around and if they’ll have more of a role.  I still think there’s a lot going on, even without an intern story line, and I kind of didn’t notice until the end of season 11 that groups of interns were few and far between.  Maybe they’re there, and just never appeared on the show or something.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Book Talk: Insurgent, The Movie (And Soundtrack)…With Spoilers

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about bookish but non-book review things, and this time, I’m talking about Insurgent! Be warned, there are going to be major movie/book spoilers ahead.  You have been warned!

Book Talk

I really liked Insurgent, but not as much as I liked Divergent.  It’s great movie and a great adaptation, but for some reason, I’m just not as enthused about it as I was Divergent.  I saw it a couple of days ago, and while I really liked it, something about it seemed off, and I can’t pinpoint why.

I didn’t mind the changes they made for the movie.  It’s very streamlined and condensed, but I thought they did a great job with that.  It’s been a while since I’ve read the books, but I didn’t realize how much was cut until I started re-reading the book when I got home from the movies.  Like, most of the time at Amity and Candor were cut, as was the time back at Dauntless. And even some of those events were at Candor instead of Dauntless. I didn’t mind it, because the movie had a lot going on and something had to go.  It does make me curious about how some of the events in Allegiant are going to be handled with such a condensed movie.  But since there’s this trend where book trilogies become four movies (which I assume is going to happen with Allegiant), maybe there will be a little more they can put into the movies.

Because so many of the faction/faction-less scenes were cut from the movie, things were changed, and they actually made a lot of sense.  And were actually interesting.  Like, the scanner technology that knew what faction you were and if you were Divergent and how Divergent you were.  And all of the scenes in Erudite to get the information is easily solved by the simulation box that can only be opened by a Divergent.  Which does also explains why they’re looking at the percentages, because they need someone who’s Divergent enough to open the box.

Given they never mentioned that Tris is immune to the different serums, they really needed to explain it and set it up for Allegiant.  Actually, I didn’t mind that they didn’t explain it, since the percentage thing kind of implied that Tris is really special, while also setting it up to be explained in Allegiant.

It is a very different movie than Divergent, which I expected since it has to wrap up things from Divergent while setting up Allegiant.

I feel like I really need to talk about the soundtrack really quick!  I loved the Divergent soundtrack a lot (it’s been out for a year, and it’s still played on repeat quite frequently) but I didn’t really fall in love with it the way I did with Divergent’s soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, all of the songs fit the movie and book so well.  They definitely go together very well, but it just didn’t grab me the way I thought it would.  I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have a lot of listening to music time right now (which is a completely different story, and entirely possible) and made myself listen to it in the middle of the night because that’s the only time I could get myself to listen to it or other reasons I’m too lazy to think of right now.  Given I’ve been in a low-energy funk lately, it could be that.

It is half the length of the Divergent soundtrack, and while the songs go well together, there was something about it that seemed like they weren’t as carefully chosen as it’s predecessor.  And I felt like the soundtrack wasn’t as integral to the movie as Divergent’s soundtrack was.  But maybe the Insurgent score is super-awesome- I’ll definitely have to give it a listen if I can manage to carve out some music time.  And after actually buying it, of course.

Overall, I really liked Insurgent, and it really was a good adaptation of the book.  The soundtrack went well with the movie too, but I do wish you had some of the songs scattered throughout the movie the way you did with Divergent.

Hope everyone has a happy Monday!

Nail Polish Talk: February Seems To Be An Interesting Nail Polish Month

I thought I’d talk about nail polish today!  I am a huge fan of nail polish, and as I started to jot down some notes about this month’s nail polish fun, I realized I had way more to talk about than I could possibly fit in my next currently obsessed with post.

Let’s start with the colors I wore this month!

Nail Polish Project- February 2015 Collage

I wore Julep’s Marjorie, Nicole by Opi’s Please Red-Cycle with Julep’s Hartleigh as a top coat, followed by Keiko and Dawn, both by Julep.

I remember nothing about Marjorie.  Nothing.  The only thing I have on it is that I’d maybe wear again. Clearly, it didn’t stand out that much, but at least my notes started to get more detailed after that.

Beauty- February 2015

For Valentine’s week, I wore Please Red-Cycle, which I ended up getting at Target this month, because the closest thing to a good Valentine’s color is something I want to wear closer to Christmas.  I don’t have many reds or pinks, and the ones I do have aren’t good Valentine reds or pinks, so I cracked and got something new.

I also wore Hartleigh on top, which was a freebie included in my Julep box for February.  I totally wasn’t expecting it, since they (very infrequently) will throw in something fun.  I don’t know that I would have picked it out on my own, and it really is perfect for Valentine’s day.  I don’t know that I picked the right shade of red for it, and I think a lighter color would have made it stand out more, but overall, it looked fine.  It was really hard to remove, as in the color was easy to take off, but the glitter stayed on, so I had to soak my nails in nail polish remover.  Even then the hearts had to be peeled off.

I got Keiko in February’s Julep box, and I’m not sure how I feel about it!  I took a chance on it, and I was intrigued by the description of a charred olive shimmer.  I think it’s better suited as an accent nail, and with 2 coats, it was more of a brown-black with no shimmer whatsoever.  It grew on me by the end of the week, but if I do it as a main color, I think it needs something glittery and holographic, like Adele by Julep on top to give it something special.

This week, I’m wearing Dawn by Julep, and I really like it!  It’s a pretty yellow that’s really good for spring and summer.  It is thin and a little streaky with one coat, so I definitely needed two coats to even it out.

Maven- Feb 2015

As for the Maven box, I was really glad I have the option to customize my box this month, since I ended up swapping out all of my colors! Don’t get me wrong, I like the It Girl box, and most of the time, I love the colors right away or they end up growing up.  At the very least, I’m much more willing to try out the colors in that particular group the other ones.  Well, except for lately.  Carla’s not my color out (and I’m way too pale for it to look good on it), Becky isn’t my thing (and is too close to a couple of other colors I’ve had for at least a year and never worn), and I decided against Colton because it’s too similar to other colors I have and like.

I already talked about Keiko, and I also got Hazel and Brandis.  Hazel looks so pretty, and I really need a violet like that!  And I don’t have turquoise, so I’m excited about wearing Brandis.

I’m both nervous and excited about March’s box, because I opted for the mystery box.  Once again, I’m not into the colors (Janet is too light for me, Ming isn’t appealing at all, plus I have a sort of brighter shade of that color somewhere but the idea of jelly nail polish is intriguing and Nedra is similar to several shades of indigo and gray-blue I have).  I thought about the St. Patrick’s day box they had,  but as I have some great shades of green and gold and even white, I opted not to get it.

I’m intrigued by the mystery box, where I’ll be getting colors from previous Maven boxes.  It’s a total surprise, so it’ll be fun to see what I get.  But at the same time, I’m nervous about taking a chance, because it’s possible I’ll get colors I’m not into or don’t like or colors I have or are too similar to ones I have.  But I’m intrigued enough to take a chance, and I’ll definitely talk about it next month!

That is the one thing I’ve noticed lately, with swapping out colors and skipping boxes- I don’t know if it’s because I have enough nail polish that it was bound to happen eventually, or if it’s something else.  Like maybe I need to try new colors.

Anyway, that’s all the nail polish talk for today!  Hope today is awesome for everyone!

Currently Obsessed With: Learning New Crochet Things

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things and everything I’m up to.

Currently Obsessed With

 

One of my goals for this year was to do some new things with crochet, an d I really wanted to talk about it, especially since I’m back to crocheting up a storm.

I don’t have a lot of specific goals, but I do have some!

I really want to learn how to do the magic circle, and have a bunch of different tutorials bookmarked.  I really hope at least one of the makes sense!  By the way, I love that I’m crocheting at a time when finding tutorials is super-easy- and finding one that makes sense is also super-easy and super-awesome.  I even have an awesome pattern that I think would be great- this really cute easter bunny beanie!

Speaking of easter bunny beanies, I’ve been on a search for patterns for stuff I can wear for different holidays. Like a Leprechan beanie for St. Patrick’s Day (which I’m currently working on), and a turkey one for Thanksgiving, and the Easter bunny one, of course.  Plus Santa and Elf hats for Christmas, of course, though I’m sure there are tons of cute Christmas ones out there.  I haven’t really looked for anything Valentines Day or Halloween or Memorial Day/4th of July, but I figure for this year, I can crochet myself something red (I’ve started on a scarf) and maybe a red/pink/white hat made of super bulky yarn, and maybe a heart to go on the hat.

I really want to try new things with crochet, because my tendency is to stick with making the same few things.  Don’t get me wrong, I like making hats and scarves, but I also want to make other stuff too.  Like amigurumi and some more fingerless gloves and maybe I’ll even finish that blanket that I started almost a year ago and never really picked back up.

I also want to learn how to do some new stitches, because I’ve seen a bunch of them on pinterest, and they look so cool!  It’s always fun to try making something that’s a variation on a stitch I already know.  If anyone knows of any books focusing on crochet stitches or blogs/websites that have some tutorials on crochet stitches, I’m definitely open to suggestions!

There are so many awesome things that I can make, and this year seems like the perfect time to try some new things and not put it off because it looks hard and scary.  It’s definitely time to make some new things!

One thing I have been thinking about is starting a gift stash.  In the past, I’ve made things for gift exchanges at work, and it might be nice to have a few already made, instead of furiously trying to crochet something in a short amount of time.  It would definitely be a great way to use some of the yarn stash I’ve been wanting to use (which is mostly so I can buy some shiny, soft new yarn).  Since I have a lot of acrylic, worsted weight yarn, I’ve been thinking of making stuff to donate, so any places that take donations of handmade things would be appreciated!  It’s something I could probably figure out myself, but I don’t even know where to start with something like that.

Speaking of using yarn I already have…I also want to use the yarn I have as much as possible.  I love yarn and it’s fun to buy and look at it and touch, but it’s sort of starting to take over where I have it stored, plus I have yarn stashed in other (random) places, so I kind of need to not buy any more until I’ve actually used some of what I have.

It’s part of why I want to do amigurumi, since I have a ton of Red Heart yarn that would be perfect for it.  And also why I want to start a gift stash.  I definitely have a lot of project ideas, so I’ll definitely be working on the ones that go with yarn I already have.  I even have ideas for the random bits of yarn leftover from other projects!  It’s just enough that I’m not getting rid of it, but not quite enough to do anything with (literally), so I’m going to have to get creative with some of it, but I think I can manage to do something with it.

I’m definitely excited about trying out some new crochet things this year, especially after writing this post!

Book Talk: Mockingjay, Part 1, With Spoilers!

Book Talk is an occasional feature where I talk about book-ish non-review topics.

Book Talk

Today is all about Mockingjay, which I saw yesterday!  I’m not super-picky when it comes to movie adaptations, but The Hunger Games movies have been really, really good!

First, the non-spoilery part!  I really liked the movie, and thought it was pretty true to the book.  There are changes, of course, but I thought they worked really well.

Now, it’s time to get spoiler-y, so read at your own risk!

So, after seeing Mockingjay, I decided to re-read the book, since it’s been a while since I’ve read it.  (Admittedly, I only read part of it, because I kind of stopped a few pages after where they decided to split the movie into the 2 parts).

I think the biggest change was how we didn’t see most of survivors from District 12 in the movie- just her mom, Prim and Gale. Which was fine, because there’s enough going on.  All of the stuff with her prep team wasn’t in the movie, and a lot of their story (plus a lot of the story that features District 12 people) were incorporated into Effie’s story, which I liked.  They had to make cuts and changes, and they did make sense to me.  Having Effie…I just love Effie, and while she’s still her, she a more muted Effie. I do wonder if we’ll see her prep team at all, but I doubt it, since the movies really focused on her relationship with Cinna.

The two scenes that really got me were in District 8- in the hospital- and when Jennifer Lawrence was singing The Hanging Tree. And I really loved seeing some of the rebellions in the districts, particularly the District 5 rebellion.  Although…they had her sing The Hanging Tree, but not Rue’s Lullaby from the first movie?  I’m still annoyed that wasn’t in the movie.

I also liked actually seeing the propaganda spots and the mission to get Peeta, Johanna and Annie out of the capitol.  When I first heard that they were splitting this book into 2 movies, I wasn’t sure how it would work, but so far, I’m actually glad that they did. There’s not a lot of action in this one, because of where they ended it, and it’s really setting up the last 100+ pages (or, part 2).

I was also curious about where they were going to end the movie, which is Katniss watching looking in on Peeta in the hospital wing.  It did seem like a good place to end the movie, but there was part of me that was hoping they wouldn’t end the movie with Peeta choking Katniss, which did seem like a possibility for a few seconds.  I’m glad they didn’t end it there, and gave us a little bit more.

I’m really happy with the movie overall, though.  I didn’t recognize Julianne Moore as President Snow, and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t figure out who it was.  I don’t pay a lot of attention to casting news, and while I’m sure I heard that, it also didn’t stick.  I liked the cast they went with for the new characters, and I really liked Pollux!  I think he’s my favorite minor character in the movie, and Jennifer Lawrence was completely awesome as Katniss.

I’m definitely looking forward to the 2nd part of Mockingjay!

Currently Obsessed With: Fall T.V.

Currently Obsessed With is a monthly (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about what’s going on in my life and what I’m obsessed with!

So, in my last currently obsessed with post, I mentioned that I was going to do a much needed separate post on t.v., since I’ve been watching A TON of t.v. (And the article edition is coming soon, I just need to sort through everything!)

It’s going to be a long one, because I swear I’m watching ALL OF THE SHOWS, even though I’m nowhere near it.

What I’m Watching On Netflix:

I’ve been watching American Horror Story– just season 2, since I watched season 1 ages ago, and season 3 isn’t available yet.  Which I don’t mind, since each season has no relation to any of the other seasons.  I’m really excited about the next season, which starts up this week!

I’ve also been watching Hart Of Dixie, and I can’t believe I’ve only just started watching it! I’m not completely caught up, since I’ve only seen the handful of Season 3 episodes that are on Hulu Plus, so I’m just waiting to see if it’ll show up on Netflix.  I’m going to watch it regardless of whether I’m caught up, but it would be nice to see the entire season.

And I’ve also been watching Walking Dead, and I’m hoping to be caught up with that one before season 5 starts, but I’ll watch season 4 and 5 at the same time if I have to.

For some bizarre reason, I got super-excited that all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls is available on netflix. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, since I own all 7 seasons on DVD, but on the plus side, I can now watch it on my Nook and my laptop, so maybe I’ll be watching and posting those recaps more regularly.

And now, for Fall T.V., where things may or may not be spoiler-y, so read at your own risk.  

Sunday:

Once Upon A Time: I LOVE that Frozen has come to Storybrooke!  I love the scene where Emma is talking to Regina, and I really wish they played Do You Want To Build A Snowman in the backgroud, because I totally love that scene.  And Marshmallow!  And the scene between Belle and Rumplestiltskin, and the music from Beauty And The Beast!  I’m so excited for this!

Resurrection: I’m actually not sure if I want to keep watching it, so I’ll have to see.  This may be a show I end up dropping, considering I haven’t seen the premiere yet.

Revenge: I am so glad it’s back!  Things will certainly be interesting, with Emily and Victoria, especially.  I feel like I need to go back and watch the entire season for a refresher.

Monday: 

Sleepy Hollow: I could not stay awake during the premiere, which was just as well, because I remember being really confused about what was going on.  I literally watched season 1 just to figure out what the heck was going on.  I’m not sure how I feel about the new sheriff or anything that’s going on.  Is it bad that I feel like I need to watch the first couple episodes a few more times to make sense of everything?

Blacklist: James Spader is still awesome.  He’s a really good bad guy, and I’m curious about where this season will take us, especially with Keene’s husband being dead…right, he died last season?  Maybe I need to go back and watch the finale (because I definitely don’t have time to watch the entire season right now) for to remind myself of what happened.  Also: I need to finish last weeks episode.

Tuesday:

NCIS: It’s interesting that a guy connected to Ari, from season…2?  Ziva’s brother, from when she first came on?  I’ve only started watching a few seasons ago, and it’s only because of random episodes on USA, so I’m not sure what season that’s from.  What it with his fixation on Gibbs?

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: FitzSimmons is not the same with Fitz, and no Simmons.  It’s breaking my heart, it really is.

Wednesday: 

Nashville: I’ve been catching it on Hulu, because for some reason, I cannot handle these 10 pm shows (mostly, but we’ll get to that later).  Reina is totally with the wrong guy, and Juliette realizing that the baby is likely Avery’s, which will probably change her mind about having an abortion…actually had me staring angrily at the computer screen.  I’ll probably have more thoughts in a few more episodes.

Thursday:

Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith is a character I normally like, but she’s pretty damn annoying right now.  I know Christina being gone is hard for her, and she wasn’t going to like anyone who came in, but I really hate how she’s treating Pierce.

Scandal: This show is so addictive!  I’m glad Olivia’s back in D.C., and I’m wondering if we’ll see more of her father.  And Mellie!  I feel so much for her right now.  And…I just don’t know what else to say, but I think it’s going to be a slightly different season than the previous ones.

How To Get Away With Murder: I am not sure what to think!  It feels like there are so many story lines, and I’ve had to watch the episodes a couple times to figure out what was going on- because it feels like there are so many different things going on. I’m actually curious to see how it’ll all come together.  I do like Viola Davis’ character, and Wes is pretty awesome! Considering it’s on at 10, I’ve managed to stay mostly awake, but even that didn’t help me keep up with the different story lines.

Reign: I really like it, but…I don’t know.  I’m not super enthused about it yet, so I’ll probably give it a few more episodes to see if it catches my interest again.  This may be another show I end up dropping…if I do end up dropping something!

An Assortment Of Thoughts:

So, I’m definitely watching a lot of t.v. right now, and for the most part, I can’t seem to drop anything to save my life.  I actually want to go back and watch a few shows from the beginning, like Once Upon A Time and Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS, because I feel like I’m overdue for all three shows.  Especially NCIS, because I came to it so late.  At least you can jump in with it at any time, because I really can’t afford to get it on DVD for the older seasons.

I’m also looking forward to Downton Abbey coming back, but at least that’s a few months away!  Seriously, I feel like I’ve had to re-watch so many episodes.  Partly because I had trouble staying awake during most everything, but also because I’m feeling fuzzy on stuff because there are so many things to keep track of.  I think I need a week or two to get back into keep up with what feels like ALL OF THE SHOWS, instead of 1 or 2 shows like I’ve been doing all summer.

I hope everyone is enjoying all of the awesome t.v. that’s on (whatever it may be).

Book Talk: If I Stay, The Movie

Book Talk

Book Talk is a new feature where I talk about book-ish things that aren’t book reviews!

Today’s discussion is about If I Stay, which I saw yesterday in theaters yesterday.

Here’s the non-spoilery part of my review: I think fans of the book will like If I Stay.  For those who haven’t read If I Stay- you will like this movie if you like books/movies  that deal with similar topics…but if that’s not your thing, you may or may not like this movie, so maybe read some reviews of the movie before making up your mind.

Now, onto the part where I spoil the movie- so if you don’t want movie spoilers, stop here! (Or skip down to where I talk about the soundtrack- there’s a note there saying that spoilers are done).

So, I liked If I Stay a lot!  It’s weird, because I thought it was a great adaptation, but as a movie…not so much.  I mean, I still liked it, but it’s one of those books that seems hard to translate to the big screen.  With all of the flashbacks, and the amount of time you spend in Mia’s head…I wasn’t sure how well it would work in a movie, which is so very visual.

There was a lot of voice-over narration by Mia, which wasn’t annoying.  At least to me, but other people may be annoyed with it. And, as you’d expect, there are changes made to the movie.  Like, the name of Adam’s band is Willamette Stone, and not Shooting Star, like it is in the book.  And the distraction used to get Adam into the ICU is different- those are the only two major changes, but there are a few minor ones throughout the movie.  And of course, not all of Mia’s flashbacks made it into the movie.  Which I didn’t mind, because that would be a lot of flashbacks.  And I get why quite a few of them are so focused on Adam and her relationship with them, but I do wish that some of the flashbacks were more focused on her family.

Still, I get the idea of focusing on why she should stay, even when she has so many reasons to go.  And the flashbacks really stood out, because you really do see how much her life is going to change if she stays, and what she’s no longer going to have if she stays.

And the music!  The music was awesome, and I loved that we got to see Willamette Stone play!  And I loved that we saw Mia play the cello- which actually makes me curious those scenes.  Like, did they get shots of Chloe Grace Moretz holding the cello, and then have someone actually play the cello, and then do whatever it is they needed to do to make it look like Moretz was playing the cello?  Because I kind of feel like that’s what was done…although, if she really could play the cello like that, I’d be really impressed (but I also think we would have heard about that).  Still, whoever is playing the cello did a great job.

Overall, I felt like the movie stayed pretty true to the heart of the book, and one thing that really surprised me was the ending of the movie.  So, the movie ends with Mia waking up, and choosing to stay- just like it happened in the book.  I really was expecting there to be another scene after that, but I was also glad that the movie ended the way it did in the book, because anything else would have felt so inauthentic.

I will say that lead to one of my favorite moments, because the screen goes white as she’s deciding, and everyone was waiting to see what would happen, and then she woke up, and then the screen went to black, and everyone was just kind of sitting there…and when the credits started rolling, you could hear someone say “No!”  And then we all laughed…and the mood definitely shifted after that, because you could hear all kinds of sniffling going on in the movie, so it was good to have that moment.  Which isn’t all the surprising, really.  Oh! There were quite a few funny moments throughout the movie, which was actually really nice, because it balanced the overall seriousness really well.

Now that I’m done talking about the movie…I thought I’d talk about the soundtrack to the movie, because with a movie-centric movie, I can’t leave it out!  

The soundtrack is great, I wholeheartedly recommend the soundtrack.  Movie soundtracks aren’t something I’m typically drawn to, but I knew I had to check out this soundtrack in particular, because I knew the songs would be awesome, and I’m glad I wasn’t wrong.  You can’t go wrong with any of them, and the ones by Willamette Stone (Adam’s band) are particularly great. But I thought I’d share a few of the songs that really stood out to me as great choices.

1- Promises by Ben Howard.  This song gets me so emotional every time I listen to it, and it’s such a good choice for the soundtrack.

2- Halo by Ane Brun and Linnea Olsson.  It’s a great cover of Halo- and at first, I didn’t even realize that it was Halo, but I couldn’t figure out why it seemed so familiar.  I also love that it’s accoustic, because it fits Mia and her cello so well.

3- Heal by Tom Odell.  It’s such a beautiful song, and it’s perfect for both book and movie.

Hope everyone has a happy week!

Book Talk: The Giver Totally Surprised Me, But In A Good Way

Book Talk

Book Talk is a new feature here at Reading Books With Coffee, where I talk about bookish topics that aren’t book reviews!

Today…I am talking about The Giver as a movie!  Before I get started on what I thought of the movie, I thought I’d explain a little about my thoughts on movie adaptations of books.

I’m definitely in the minority, because I’m big on movie first, book second.  I hate going in with every last detail hanging over my head, and the last thing I want to do is go into expectations of how the movie should be.  I’m pretty relaxed about changes made, because it’s something I have no control over, so why spend the movie talking about how this is different and that thing is all wrong, and why on earth would they do THAT?!?!?!  (However, that’s my preference, and everybody should go into a movie adaptation however they want).

And now, there are going to be spoilers for both book and movie (but mostly the movie), so if you don’t want spoilers, this will be where you’ll want to stop reading.

When I first heard The Giver was being made into a movie, I was surprised, curious, happy and nervous.  I loved the book as a kid, and it held up pretty well when I re-read it as an adult a couple of years ago (see my review here).

There are definitely changes- the two biggest being the characters are several years older in the movie than they are in the book, and Fiona and Asher, who are BFF’s with Jonas, have different jobs.

Let’s start with the characters being a few years older- this really worked for me, because it made the story much more believable.  Being the one person who has ALL the memories is not an easy job, and it’s one that has to take its toll.  After re-reading the book this week- after seeing the movie, of course- it’s actually hard to believe that an 11-year-old would be able to handle the things that Jonas has to deal with.  And it’s no wonder that the previous Receiver-In-Training asked to be released. I felt like everything explored in the book was explored differently (in a good way) because the characters were older.  Like Jonas and Fiona- there are hints of romance there (which I did see in the book) but feelings of romantic love were better suited with 16-year-olds.  And I felt like everything Jonas learns about his community and his reaction towards what they did, and what things used to be like were there but much more subtle than they were in the book.

It’s not as jarring as it was in the book, and a lot of that has to do with Jonas being older.  Older, movie Jonas experiences things very differently than younger, book Jonas, and I found that the story works really well no matter how old the character is.

As for Fiona and Asher having different jobs- it works, given how everything unfolds, especially in Asher’s case.  Speaking of Asher and Fiona, I liked that Fiona had a bigger in the movie than she did in the book, and that you do see how her relationship with Jonas changes over the course of the book.  She did seem open to what he had to say, and that she was willing to help him, even if it meant she would get into massive trouble. We’re talking Release to Elsewhere trouble.  Asher, on the other hand…I just didn’t love movie Asher at all. It was like he had some issues with Jonas, and I couldn’t help but wonder what his deal was.  However, Jonas does change, because he knows of things like love and war.  I wonder if Asher didn’t like the changes he saw in Jonas, and was acting differently because he felt like he was losing Jonas.

I LOVED that part of the movie is in black-and-white, and that you get random splashes of color throughout the beginning part of the movie…and that it’s black-and-white until Jonas starts receiving memories from Giver.  Going from black-and-white to color really added to what was going on, and it highlights what this society is missing out on when they erased memories.  It adds to the feeling that this society is not as perfect as it seems.

I actually loved seeing Jonas react to the different memories he received, and what he experiences really changes his relationships with people- particularly his friends and family.  I loved the scene where he showed Fiona what sledding was like, and I love that we get those moments.

His parents were colder than I remembered, and I wished that we had that one scene in the book, where it’s dinner and his sister and parents are sharing their feelings, and Jonas knows that they aren’t experiencing true emotion.  That scene in particular stands out as one that highlights how isolated Jonas is becoming as the Receiver, and how isolating of a job it is. We sort of get that throughout the movie, particularly with the Giver living so far apart from the community.  And I think Jonas’ changing relationship with Asher shows that as well.  It did seem to be very subtle, and shows up in other ways, but part of me still wishes that we had more of that.

The only other thing I didn’t like was that Rosemary wasn’t a big part of the movie.  You get the basics of her story, but our real introduction to her came at a weird time, and I felt like her story really influenced the selection of future Receivers.  It’s a shame that you don’t really see how much has changed in the last 10 years as far as what it means to be a Receiver, and why certain rules were in place.  Especially since Taylor Swift seemed like an AWESOME Rosemary.

Actually, I thought the movie was cast really well!  Jeff Bridges really stood out as the Giver, and I can’t imagine anyone else in that role- and I can honestly say that about ALL of the actors cast.  Meryl Streep was awesome, and Odeya Rush, who plays Fiona, and Brenton Thwaites, who plays Jonas were also great choices. There was something so sweet about Odeya as Fiona, and I felt like Brenton brought a sense of joy and wonder to receiving the memories.

Oh, the memories!  One of my favorite scenes of the entire movie was when you saw the memories come back to this community.  You don’t get it in the book, where I had never thought about what happened to them when they had to deal with the memories.  But I LOVE that they included it in the movie.

And one other interesting thing is this scene between Giver and the Chief Elder, where Giver is telling the Chief Elder that he knows she feel’s Rosemary’s loss.  Which I thought hinted that there was something between Giver and Chief Elder.  It didn’t go any further than that, but it was interesting because it added something to their backstory.

Overall, I thought it was a great adaptation, especially given that I only had a couple of issues with the movie.  It has everything awesome about the book, and it felt like it was made with a lot of care to the original story.  It really is The Giver brought to life, and that was the one thing I kept thinking during the movie.

I’ve only seen one review of the movie, which I like (and agree with very much).

And, of course, the two official trailers, below.  Enjoy!

Trailer #1 (All in color):

Trailer #2 (With the black-and-white scenes):

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite T.V. Shows

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Favorite T.V. Shows

This week, we’re actually taking a break from the normal book-ish topics, and talking about other forms of entertainment! I opted for my favorite t.v. shows, because I really do like to just sit down and watch some t.v. sometimes.  Here are some past and current favorites.

  1. Gray’s Anatomy.  Gray’s Anatomy has had it’s share of good, bad and bizarre, but it’s so addicting!
  2. Scandal.  For the longest time, I meant to watch Scandal, and I finally got around to watching it recently.  Parts of it were pretty familiar, probably as a result of me being lazy after Gray’s Anatomy finished.  But I’m glad I got caught up with it.
  3. NCIS.  I actually came across it on the USA network, so I got into it quite a few seasons in.  But there is a reason why it’s one of the most popular shows- it has some great moments, and the characters are a lot of fun.
  4. Downton Abbey.  I’ve only seen the first couple of seasons, but I will definitely be catching up before the next season starts.
  5. Nashville.  It’s about country music, and I love country music a lot, so I can’t believe it took me a while to get into it.
  6. Gilmore Girls.  I am such a fan of Gilmore Girls (which reminds me that I need to finish up my project to blog my way through the entire series).  I came to Gilmore Girls through ABC Family, and watched only season 7 live, but I fell in love with the town and the characters.
  7. Lost.  I loved Lost when it was on, so I may have to rewatch it one of these days.  Probably after I finish the 50 million other things I need to watch.  It was such a strange show, but strange is something I’m a fan of.
  8. Once Upon A Time.  Considering Lost is one of my favorite shows, it’s no surprise that Once Upon A Time is one of my favorite shows right now, and I want the next season to start to see where they’re going with the season 3 cliffhanger.  I totally wasn’t expecting that particular fairy-tale tie-in!
  9. Revenge.  I started off watching the first season, but for some reason, I never kept up with it after that.  Well, until recently, when I started watching it on Netflix & Hulu, and wondered why I stopped watching.
  10. I really love the Food Network!  I love to cook and bake- but mostly baking- and I have had days where I’ve literally watched it pretty much all day.  And there’s something about the connection between food and memories that’s actually pretty awesome.
  11. For good measure, go listen to Welcome To Night Vale.  While not a t.v. show, it’s one of my favorite podcasts, and I can’t wait to listen to today’s episode, especially after the last couple of episodes.