Wednesday, February 9, 2011

oscar predictions cont'd

9. The Kids Are All Right: you know why i dug this movie? because it was raw. to me it was not a movie that pushed political views; living "green" and gay marriage can be topics that people discuss or debate - but the movie wasn't about pushing the boundaries of what is considered "typical" - because "typical" is relative more than ever. it was a movie that shows how the difficulties of marriage and family life are (most of the time) equal to they joys it brings. Julianne Moore's monologue at the end was perfect.

"..marriage is hard... Just two people slogging through the sh*t, year after year, getting older, changing. It's a f*cking marathon, okay? So, sometimes, you know, you're together for so long, that you just... You stop seeing the other person. You just see weird projections of your own junk. Instead of talking to each other, you go off the rails and act grubby and make stupid choices..."

i believe everyone can relate to the fact that relationships (between spouses, parents/kids, siblings, best friends) can sometimes feel like a marathon. and this is coming from someone who is morally against running. the kids certainly are...all right. fourpointfive stars.

PS. this movie was a magical land where Mark Ruffalo's character was figuratively* the fonz.

*i'm trying to cut back on using the word "LITERALLY" because i literally say it all the time. dammit.

oscar reviews; or: i'm so cultured...see??

i'm almost finished checking off my movie list for the films nominated for best picture. i love...LOVE...this time of year. it wasn't really until i graduated from college that i got into movies or awards season in general, but there is a direct correlation between my interest increasing and beginning my relationship with netflix. so here are my thoughts on this year, in no particular order:

1. Black Swan: I watched this film on the very front row of the theater after sitting at happy hour drinking margaritas, so while my neck and eyeballs were strained, i didn't notice it as much because everything was slightly funny. I thought the movie itself was great - which is hard for me to say, because when i describe a movie as "great" i want it to mean that i was inspired, my heart was warmed, and i felt a connection to the cast in some way. this is not the case for Black Swan - most of the characters pissed me off, ballerinas are kooky, and i left the theater thoroughly disturbed. BUT in a make-you-think sort of way that was very fantastical and raw and captivating. four stars.

2. The Fighter: overall, the movie wasn't a new idea to me. it was an "against all odds", "fight for your dreams", "i found love in the midst of said dreams which multiplied the sexual chemistry between us", inspirational sports movie. but wow...Christian Bale blew me away. he and Melissa Leo were unbelievable and Amy Adams' little bah-ston tough cookie accent was 50% endearing and 50% you-are-annoying - which is what the director was aiming at for her character, i think - so mad props, people! oh, and Marky Mark...thanks for being hot 'n sexy. four stars.

3. Inception: uh...awesome. i was completely captivated by this movie in every single way possible: cast, dialogue, action, plot, the whole bit. Leonardo Dicaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt frickin' tore it up. crazy creative.... five stars.

4. The King's Speech: slap me in the face and call me the joker if this wasn't one of the most heart warming stories i've ever seen on the silver screen. i absolutely loved it. Colin Firth, what a performance. Helena Bonham Carter, magical. I typically don't get into period pieces on royal monarchies, but everything about this movie made me happy. maybe it was the acting ensemble, maybe it was the incredible husband/wife partnership, maybe it was the unique "against all odds" scenario, or maybe it's because half the time i tell stories, my friends probably feel like they're having to sit through The King's Speech - i don't know, but i related, i relished, and i revered this m-m-movie. five extra twinkly stars.

5. The Social Network: well of course i'm biased, but this movie will serve as the definitive benchmark of the 2000's. few people on this planet are unable to tell you A) what the internet is B) what facebook is, or C) that life as we know it is forever changed by the developments of the former points. it was an excellent portrayal of young, naive, developing intellectuals who are tired of being treated like kids and don't just want to be "the next (fill in the blank pioneer person)", but to be the person that people aspire to be the next of. five stars because i felt like i was part of this story.

6. Toy Story 3: the fact that the third installment of a series is this critically acclaimed is accomplishment alone. with the exception of epic trilogies (Star Wars, LOTR, Godfather, etc), sequels usually suck. the cast changes, the plot is super far fetched, and people have lost interest. but not TS3 - any children's movie that is equally captivating to a child and an adult at any life stage is a succes. the pixar geniuses strike again. four stars.

7. True Grit: i'm going to be honest. i liked it, i did, but the horse was what took this movie from good to great for me. yeah yeah, TYPICAL LAURA, i know. but the more i think about that damn horse and what he meant to that girl - AHH, i get chills. for me, everything goes back to that horse - he was with her through the whole journey, he was there when she felt abandoned, he was there to make her feel like she was in control of something, he died for her and saved her. that horse had frickin' True Grit, just like the rest of the cast (which was extremely enjoyable to watch, might i add). four stars plus one horseshoe.

8. Winter's Bone: (crickets...crickets)...well, i'm not sure how to explain this: i had no clue what was going on until the credits were rolling. true story. it is one of the slowest movies i have ever seen, and i would say that 80% of the "action" in the film occurred in my own brain when i was analyzing bits and pieces of the plot. i was so-so about it during the movie, but driving home from it, i thoroughly enjoyed thinking it through and realizing the unseen details of the story. i will confess however, that i feel this spot on the ballot should have gone to The Town (to which i would give five stars). four stars.

the two remaining nominated films i hope to watch in the next week. i just received "The Kids Are Alright" in the mail today and i'm still mentally preparing myself for "127 Hours"...wish me luck.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Ice Age (or...Why Working From Home RULES)

As most of you are aware, Dallas has been hit with an avalanche. Not really an avalanche, but what basically happened was that the temperature went down below 25 degrees and there was a sleetish, rainy, snowy substance that fell from the sky causing a layer of ice to coat every surface of the city. Did you know that the last time they shut down DFW International Airport was on 9/11? That means that this ice wasn't messing around.

Truth be told, my ice wreck from last year was the best thing to happen to my department. When this year came around, it was all over the office..."Let's not risk it. Remember what happened to Laura last year..." And for that Fossil Eyewear, I say, YOU'RE WELCOME.

So here we are, day 2 of working from home. I must say that it has truly been divine. I've been able to get work done on my home computer, do a ton of reading and journaling, and I have not changed out of my jammies in...well, we're approaching 40 hours now. I feel like I'm getting a small glimpse into the life of both our outside sales reps and my dog. It's awesome.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't choose to be trapped in my apartment for long periods of time very often, especially since we're almost out of milk and toilet paper. I just know that this will be over soon so I'm soaking up every bit of exquisite alone time I can before the temperature climbs back up to bearable. I can't even explain how lovely it has been to not be on any schedule, have zero agenda, and just sit and do the quiet things that stir my affections for Jesus. The ice has made me think a lot about how I don't do that enough. I let busyness and my to do lists turn me into someone who doesn't "have time" for the Lord, and I'm terribly convicted. Who's kingdom am I living for? How much more could I be if I was as committed to him as I am to my selfish schedule?

"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." Gal 5:7-8

Thank you, Father, for sending this beautiful ice.


Monday, December 6, 2010

SLI - A Review

Last year, a friend and I (let’s call her Persethany) were feeling pretty down in the dumps. We were lost; 2 twenty-somethings in a new(ish) city, trying to figure out…literally… how to do life. We tried everything, but after countless trendy happy hours, a full head of hair extensions, and one SPCA-adopted kitten, we became desperate. What did we have to be so down about? We had jobs. We had a few friends. We had a nearby mall. Why were we feeling so hopeless? How do we fix this? So we did the only thing we knew to do: peruse the self-help section of half price books.

I won’t give you a full review of the book “Quarterlife Crisis”, but let me just say that we did not get through half of it and were worse off for that miserable half we did read. “Here’s Maggie. She is 26 and has a great job, great friends, and a loving family. But she wishes she could sit in her tub and read Sylvia Plath…All. Day. Long. She’s just like you, a total loser.”

Thanks for making be feel better, Quarterlife Crisis assholes. You’ve just given me a laundry list of folks who are better off than us, but still cry themselves to sleep and are basically biding their time before retirement and subsequent death. That $6.50 could have gone toward a gaudy necklace from forever 21 or 2 bottles of the finest Aldi Winking Owl, but no…we were swindled like a couple of tourists.

Imagine our joy when we began to meet more people in Dallas, namely 2 ladies not unlike ourselves who joined us for a Mexican getaway this past summer (we’ll call them Pam and Maudra). The four of us bonded almost immediately over wine spritzers and our own secrets, which has led to us spending a lot of time together. Pam began reading So Long, Insecurity (SLI) and after a chapter of it, decided it was probably a good idea to share it with us – and thus, our book club began.

I’m not going to sit here and say that I am cured of all insecurity or that I was even painfully insecure to begin with…but the combination of this year of maturation and hearing the simple and beautiful truths in this book have allowed me to really evaluate myself and think, hey…I’m not as crazy is I thought was (or actually was in 2009).

If you deal with even a small shred of insecurity; if there is something you don’t have that makes you think, “if I can just get that, I’ll be ok.” If you lose sleep over a fear of losing something; if you have made a fool of yourself simply because you either feel like everything is your fault or anything someone says to you feels like a threat…pick up this book. You can email me if you want to, but I’ll probably just tell you to call your best friend, pour a cocktail, and cry it out. And after doing that repeatedly doesn’t help, pick up the SLI. Sure, it’s a little wordy and she goes on a rant about Victoria’s Secret…but still, it’s a great read.

Bottom line: there is nothing on this earth that can give you true security. We are souls who were made to bring glory to a mighty God who loves us more deeply than our human minds can comprehend. To find security is to find it in the Lord and know that He is enough. It is so much easier said than done, but something that has truly affected me is just learning about Him. I once heard someone quote, “The heart can not love what it does not know.” To know the Lord well is to love him intensely. The pursuit of His character has put everything into perspective: I belong to the Lord and He is good. (Matt Chandler said it wonderfully here).

One of my favorite parts of this whole story – we all took the cover off the book when we were reading it because having Beth Moore’s face and “SO LONG, INSECURITY” plastered all over it made us feel a little…silly. We’ll say silly.


Sunday, September 19, 2010


hello, blog world? it's me, Laura.
didn't expect to see this little post, did ya? well friends (if you're still out there), i'm returning, if just for the night, to this little website. i know it's been a long time. forgive?

i'm not even going to give you a recap of what's been going on since march. i couldn't if i tried. so just let's have a fresh start. OR let's pretend that i'm a teacher and take summers off. here goes...

the pumpkin spice latte i drank the other day is serving as the turning point into fall for me. i must say that this summer is one for the record books in terms of fun-had, but i have a good feeling about fall. sure, it's still blazing hot outside. but am i going to start wearing my over-the-knee boots and printed scarves? you betcha. a little shin sweat never hurt anybody. it's fall! and that means holidays, Hanson, and my quarter b-day. event i will recap for you is Oktoberfest in Addison, since that is an autumn activity. if you don't know what Oktoberfest entails, #1 i feel sorry for you, and #2 you should probably look it up so you don't miss out next year. so anyways, a big group of us went to the festival with our beer steins, listened to a live polka band, ate bratwurst, and drank some Spaten. there were frequent "CHEERS!" and mug-clanking, spontaneous arm wrestling, chicken dancing, aggies throwing up their horns... let me tell you, it was crazy. no lie, my neck is actually sore from the throw-back motion i now apparently do with my head when i find something particularly hilarious. truth be told, this is an event that i will no doubt be attending annually for the rest of my natural life.
this is andy. and this is the face he made pretty much all evening...except that one time in the photo below:
as you can see, everyone in this photo is having the time of their life. even the person taking this photo is having an awesome time, obviously, since the people in this photo are barely recognizable in all their blurred glory.

and that's all i've got really. i'm sorry it's not much. but maybe, just maybe, i'll post again before January. or maybe i'll kill this blog altogether and just send these in emails straight to ivy. #selfdepreciating


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

un-privatizing for 2 seconds

since i have been a superslacker and haven't written a post since privatizin' myself, i don't feel so bad about lifting this secrecy for a little bit. also, to my surprise...a few of my friends have been asking about the blog and whatnot and i realized i didn't actually have everyone's email address. so here's your shot to be added to the list. it's kind of like when you're standing outside of a really hip club trying to get in and you get to cut in line because you're name is on the VIP list. except not really. but send me an email ( or leave a comment and i'll make sure you get to cut in line and leave the hoes on the curb.

a few things have happened since my last entry, but don't be scared because these events will be recounted in upcoming posts:

- i went to connecticut and boston; espn headquarters, john mayer concert, etc.
- i had major face surgery aka wisdom tooth removal.
- i survived both of these events, barely.
- i saw jay-z live HOLLA.
- i went to austin for the lonestar alum party and got to see dani and ava. fantastic.
- i looked up my phobias on the internet: agoraphobia, androphobia, autophobia, cleithrophobia, defecaloesiophobia, dentophobia, erotophobia, iatrophobia, lockiophobia, melissophobia, odontophobia, ouranophobia, selachophobia, social phobia, zelophobia.

i have tons of phobias, which scares me.
anyway, i'll get back with some legit material soon. until then, love/miss/namaste.

Monday, February 15, 2010

no more looking at my privates

it's time to lock it up, no more slutting around all over the internet. my melodrama is not for everyone. i mean, i love chihuahuas and follow snooki on twitter so i might want to keep my...unique musings under wraps. goodbye random blog stalkers and hello to the new readers!

and i was right. the magic snow that dallas had was my good luck charm: i had a very nice valentine's day weekend. i always hate being so bitter about valentine's day - it's not because i feel sorry for myself or i'm jealous of all the lovers out there - i just think it's sort of ridiculous. the kind of love i want to be celebrating is the nitty gritty, selfless, raw, unglamorous, everydays that you share with the people that God's placed in your life to get you from one day to the next. and not just for one day, you know? don't get me wrong. i think hearts are awesome and the color red is super, not to mention the random sweet treats people whip up...i found some chocolate covered strawberries in the fridge last night, no doubt left over from my roomie and her bf's valentine evening. hope it's ok that i stole one. but all in all, v-day just isn't my cup o' tea.

i was so excited to get to see the wonderful ivy + troy duo on saturday night. seriously, these people are love. they just are. good gracious i'm sappy today. it must be because i watched the last half of the Holiday last night and bawled my eyes out toward the end of it. i don't know what it is about that movie but it always plucks on my heart strings.

please see below: ivy and troy welcomed their first pet, Pepper Ruths a couple months ago and she's so sweet i could die. i finally got to meet her and i'm absolutely in love. i adore puppies. they smell so good, i don't know what it is i just want to squeeze them to a loving way.
and of course, in the spirit of the day of love, i've got to give a shout out to my funny little valentine, Boston. i have a freakish and borderline unhealthy relationship with my dog, i realize, but i'm an only child so quirks are to be expected.
to all my valentines near and far, i hope you know how much i love you and am grateful for you (on all days).