Things We Lost in the Fire By: Bastille

I know I haven’t posted a song of the day for awhile, but this song has been stuck in my head for the past few days so here you go. I have recently fallen completely in love with Bastille’s music and their latest album, Wild World. They were even better in concert than I expected. I also enjoy how they record different renditions of their songs, and this version of “Things We Lost in the Fire” is live and with a choir; this song is from the band’s first album, Bad Blood.

Fun with Painting and Drawing

Hi all. These are some of the paintings and drawings I’ve done over the years. Hope you enjoy. 🙂 I hope to do a photo post soon too.

Apples

My first oil painting

Daisy Still life

Still life of daisies, my Nana’s favorite flower.

Still life

Thanksgiving still life

Gma Ruth's flowers

I painted this in honor of my great grandmother

cardinal

Cardinal

Cleo with an Attitude

This is my cat, Cleo.

Cleo with tude

Here’s a close-up of the kitty with an attitude

Jaguar

Leopard. I’ve always been fascinated with the big cats

Sunset

Sunset

Palm Tree

Palm tree and the ocean

Wheel of Time

A map from The Wheel of Time

Geralt

Geralt of Rivia, The White Wolf from Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. (My favorite video game right now)

Impossible from Cinderella

If there’s one thing I learned so far in life, it’s that nothing is impossible when you believe it’s possible. This has earned “Impossible” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella the honor of being the song of the day. I have posted the Whitney Houston and Brandy version because that’s the version I grew up listening to and the one I will always love.

Beauty and the Beast

Image result for beauty and the beast movie

Hi all. I know it’s been awhile, but I figured that I’d make my blogging return with a post about the new live-action Beauty and the Beast. I have been looking forward to this movie for months, and finally got to see it Friday. I was not disappointed. The original animated movie was one of my favorite movies as a child, and I couldn’t wait to see the magic brought to life. Belle is also one of my favorite Disney princesses. I have always been an avid reader, and Belle read books, used her imagination, and stood up for herself even as the townspeople shunned her for it. This has always resonated with me.

This is my review for the movie, which I will try to keep as spoiler free as possible. (Though if you have seen the animated version, then I’m not sure much could be spoiled for you). Well first of all, I’ve noticed there have been a good amount of negative reviews for this movie. I don’t really understand why. I loved it, so this review will be overwhelmingly positive. I figured I’d warn you now.

Image result for beauty and the beast movie

The cast was wonderful. Emma Watson is a talented, strong actress who did a great job bringing Belle to life. I also enjoyed the practicality of Belle’s wardrobe, outlook, and inventions. Dan Stevens was able to bring so much character and expression as well as dry wit to the Beast, which was successful in adding even more dimension to the character. I know some people have been distracted by the CGI used in the creation of the Beast, but it did not detract from the movie for me. Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw brought all of the servants to life and were a pleasure to watch on screen whether it was as a household item or as a person at the end of the movie.  It was interesting for me to see Luke Evans portray a villain, not having seen him in a role like that before, but he did a good job portraying the narcissism and darkness of Gaston as the movie progressed. Josh Gad added dimension to Le Fou, who is a bumbling buffoon in the animated version, and turned him into someone with a conscience.  Kevin Kline was also enjoyable to watch as Maurice.

The scenery, castle, and representations of the servants were beautiful, like Lumiere in candlestick and Cogsworth in clock form. The songs were also well-done. For me, a few did not hold up to the original movie versions or to those in the Broadway play, but they were still sung well and with genuine emotion. There were also added songs, like a song for the Beast that was one of my favorites in the movie. It reminded me of “If I Can’t Love Her” from the Broadway musical, and both are worth listening to even if you don’t go to see the movie. Alan Menken can always be trusted to create beautiful (and catchy) music. The songs are still stuck in my head two days later, and I will admit that I cried multiple times during this movie. I started tearing up a bit during “Belle” because of the nostalgia it evoked.

Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Barely even friends then somebody bends, unexpectedly. Just a little change, small to say the least. Both a little scared, neither one prepared. Beauty and the Beast.:

I enjoyed the parallels to the original animated movie, and the fact that the live-action version fixed some of the timeline as well as adding background to the characters. The prince is older when he rejects the enchantress, and his arrogance is somewhat explained as well.  The terms of the enchantment are shown plainly; the village does not remember the existence of the castle or the people who live there. Belle’s mother and her story is also explained in the movie. I enjoyed many of the added details and facets of the characters. This movie is similar to the animated version, which makes sense to me because it never claimed to be a new movie; it’s a live-action rendition of the animated version, and it does a good job of representing the original in a real-world past setting. Thank you, Emma Watson and Dan Stevens for bringing some of my favorite Disney characters to full and nuanced life. I would see this movie again, and I am sure I probably will if my Mom wants to see it. Hint, hint. 😉

Thank you to whoever made that great representation comparing the beginning of the ballroom scene between the two versions.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

As some of you know, I fell down a flight of stairs the Saturday before the Super Bowl and really hurt my back. It’s been tough…missing school, dealing with the almost constant pain, and being tired all of the time because of the medicine I have to take. I haven’t been able to do the things that I would normally do, have had a hard time focusing on work for pain and medicine related reasons, and would just like it to get better already. The way I am getting through this is by having a positive outlook. I didn’t break any bones or get a concussion. I’m still walking, talking, and alive. My life is still going strong; it’s just been derailed for awhile and it will take me a bit to get myself fully back on track. It will get better, and this will be nothing more than a distant memory. For all those with an injury or those who are feeling a little negative, here’s my song of the week. (Yes, this has actually helped brighten my day for the past two weeks).

Important Caveat: If you can’t fathom liking a song from Monty Python, then this song of the week is not for you.;)

Quick Musings on Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Quick Thoughts on the best video game I have played in a long time. I haven’t finished it yet, so no spoilers please.  I am on the “Final Preparations” main quest, and have both expansions still to play. 🙂 :

  1. Geralt of Rivia is one of the best main characters that I have ever played. He is delightfully sassy and sarcastic, and is just a bamf. I can’t even explain how much I love Geralt. I am pretty sure I have a crush on him, just like every other female he meets in the game except Ciri. (Ciri is Geralt’s adopted daughter, so this is a very good thing in my book).
  2. The scenery and the different continents are gorgeous. Each is well-developed and beautiful in its own way. From the wilderness of Velen to the city of Novigrad to the mountains and seas of Skellige, each is wonderfully rendered and I just want to give kudos to CD Projekt Red for creating such a realistic and varied open world.
  3. Ciri is amazing. Enough said.
  4. There are so many quests that this game can truly go on for hours upon hours, but it doesn’t feel like it. Quests, witcher contracts, scavenger hunts, gwent (the card game that I love to hate), and even question marks on the maps with many varied new areas to discover.
  5. I enjoy most of the other characters in the game, including Triss, Vernon Roche, Dandelion, and Zoltan (I even think Emhyr is interesting in his own way), but Yennefer of Vengerberg is among my favorites. I did choose her for the romance option, and so may be a little biased. Yennefer is gorgeous, powerful, and just as snarky as Geralt. The way they tease each other is one of my favorite parts of their relationship. I also like that Yennefer is basically Ciri’s mom while Geralt is Ciri’s dad.
  6. Finally, I am looking forward to many more hours playing this game and can’t wait to play “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine”. Maybe, I’ll give another update when I finish it, though I’m sure one play through is not going to be enough.