Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Harry Potter Day! Let's Talk About Vampires!

Today is Harry Potter Day. Everyone is celebrating, including me. I've just started re-reading the series for the umpteenth time and I couldn't be happier visiting all my old friends. That being said, since I am writing on Harry Potter Day, you probably think I'm going to talk about Harry Potter. Well, you would be wrong.

I want to go back in time to October 5, 2005 when a little book, you've probably never heard of was published. It's called Twilight, and who am I kidding, I know you've heard of it because for better or worse it completely changed how we look at a specific genre. Don't worry, I'm not here to talk about Twilight either.

I'll admit, I was a die hard Twi-hard back in the day. I didn't over-analyze everything about the books. I just got caught up in reading the story, regardless of its flaws. As Twilight grew, very smart people who did over-analyze the book started reporting on the huge problems with the morals of the plot and characters. I had no choice but to rearrange my opinions of the books. Today, I am no longer a Twi-hard and while I understand ethically why they are terrible books for children to read, I still enjoy them. They are still sitting on my shelf, and every once in a while, I pick them up again.

Like I said, this isn't about Twilight, this is about what happened because of Twilight. After Twilight there came a giant increase in books about paranormal romance. I know the genre existed pre-Twilight, but I'm almost certain it was only post-Twilight that it had it's own section in Barnes and Noble.

This is not a dinky sized section either.

So once the Twilight phenomena happened I would say readers of the genre were split down the middle. Half the people were like "Twilight has no substance, therefore this genre has no substance and is not worth my time." The other half were like "OMG! SEXY VAMPIRE BOOKS! MUST READ ALL THE THINGS!" I fell into the first group. I was wary of delving into books of the same genre and being disappointed at reading "another Twilight" where the leading lady has no spine or free will and stalking your girlfriend is considered adorable.

Christmas break 2011(Maybe 2010?): I went to my friend Kelsy's house and was borrowing some books to take back to college with me. She handed me several including one called Vampire Academy. I looked at it, then looked at Kelsy with an arched eyebrow. "I don't know. After Twilight, I'm just not so sure." "Trust me," was all she said. So I took it. Kelsy is very wise.

I read a few other books before I got around to reading Vampire Academy. After the first book, I immediately ran to the library for the rest of them. I read all 2688 pages in a week. It's safe to say that not much homework was accomplished during this time.

I fell in love with this series and its author, Richelle Mead. I started to tell all my reading friends about it and encouraging everyone I knew to read it. As far as I know, no one has listened. This is surprising to me. I'll be honest, I haven't been so in love with a series since Harry Potter. (Okay, maybe The Hunger Games, but since then, nothing!) Richelle Mead is a fantastic writer and she knows how to draw you in and leave you begging for more...usually with an UNBEARABLE cliffhangers. Nothing has ever been, nor will ever be like Harry Potter, but there are incredible books out there that are, dare I say it, just as wonderful as Harry Potter! BLASPHEMY, I know...

Vampire Academy has a devoted following, but it is small. It is one of my deepest wishes for this fandom to grow and thrive and become a household name, just like Harry Potter. I love it that much. I know there isn't an entire new world created to blow our minds, but there is a lot to love. We've got a kick-ass heroine, a hunky love interest, plenty of drama and intrigue, an ongoing battle between good and evil, the universal struggle of right versus wrong, and everything in between.

While there are many things about Richelle's books that I love, the best thing has to be her characters. Whether they are vampire, Alchemist, or dhampir they are all so wonderfully human. By that I mean, they have strengths and flaws that make them real. Every single character has a unique personality. They are not carbon copies of other fictional characters. They fit into no stereotypical mold. I love each of them individually and unconditionally for who they are. 

One thing I have learned about Richelle Mead is that she gets better with every book she writes. In my humble opinion she is like J.K. Rowling in that way. (Except Casual Vacancy, which I absolutely hated.) The first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I thought it was good, but not exceptional. I fell in love with the series on the next book. When I read Vampire Academy, it was a similar experience. I liked it, but it wasn't till Shadow Kiss that I fell in love. J.K. Rowling gave us a few bonus books for Harry Potter fans. Richelle Mead gave us an entire new spin-off series! For the win!

The Bloodlines series lives in the same world with many of the same characters, but told from a different viewpoint. Rose and Sydney are very different narrators and you get to experience the world of Vampire Academy through new eyes in this series. It's wonderful! Silver Shadows just came out two days ago and it went above and beyond all my expectations! There is one more book in the Bloodlines series called The Ruby Circle which comes out in February 2015.

Richelle Mead loves this world and these characters and it shows in her writing, as well as the fact that she can't seem to stop writing about them! This is great news for fans. There is nothing confirmed on this, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was another spin-off series following Bloodlines. Richelle has never denied that it could happen when the subject was brought up. That would be so AWESOME!

As with any book these days, you almost undoubtedly, have to talk about it in comparison with its movie. Vampire Academy is no different. When I first heard that there was going to be a movie, I was overjoyed. When I saw the first trailer, I was underjoyed. You know what they say:

Or in this case, the movie's poor advertising campaign. The movie itself wasn't that bad. Yes there were things I would have done differently, but overall I actually liked it. The problem was that it didn't appeal to a new audience. This is a problem if we ever want to see a Frostbite movie. There is talk that it could happen, but Vampire Academy didn't do too hot so it's up to the fans to rally for the next installment. Who knows what will happen? I hope they continue the series and the films get better and better. I mean, look at the first Twilight movie versus the last. Huge difference!

A similar problem is happening with the graphic novels. The third novel came out at the end of last year, but depending on sales, we may not get to see the rest of the series in graphic novel form. That would be a shame because they are absolutely STUNNING! I love them and I hope they continue to make them because I want a full set!


Every reader has a special book(s) that they love dearly and want the whole world to love with them. These are mine. While I adore Harry Potter and love coming back to that world and those characters, I feel exactly the same way about Vampire Academy. If you love to read and enjoy a great book with complex characters, lots of witty quips, daring action, a plot full of twists and turns, and a love that never dies then I highly recommend checking out the world of Vampire Academy. I promise you, you won't regret it.

P.S. This is me meeting Richelle Mead and getting all my books signed! It was a pretty amazing night! :)

P.P.S. I'm sorry this post is so long, but I'm really passionate about these books and I just want you all to give them a shot, because I think you might love them too!

Have you read VA? What did you think? Are you going to check them out now that you know about them? What is your book(s) that you want the whole world to know about? Leave answers in the comments!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Living the Dream???

I want to apologize for being so inactive on this blog recently. I'm not going to lie to you and say that I've been too busy, because I haven't. That's actually the problem. I have been in California now for over three months and it still doesn't feel like I live here. I sleep here, I eat here, I work here, but I don't LIVE here. Probably because I am not really living.

I knew moving to a new place and not knowing a soul would be difficult. I don't think I was prepared for just how difficult it has been. It's a lot different when you move away for school. In that case you are forced into a social environment which makes it easier to make friends. It becomes much more difficult when the only place you interact with people is at your job.

I have been trying to create a life here in California. I have gone church shopping. I have joined Meetup groups. I have done what I can. Somehow it's not enough. I love going to work because it means I'm not stuck in my bedroom watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer or goofing around on the internet. The only time I get out of the house is when my room becomes so unbearable, I decide to see a movie by myself. And I think one of the most depressing sentences has to be "party of one" when going out to dinner.

I am dying to get out of my house and explore California, but I don't want to do it by myself. I am out of ideas on how to meet people and make friends. I keep praying that God will help me make a life here, but as each day passes my hope grows dimmer and dimmer.

It's even difficult for me to do things I love, like reading and art. It's like I literally don't have enough energy in me to do more than stare at a computer screen all day. Wow. Maybe I should be on medication.

I am a social being with social needs and I could use any suggestions you have to give me. I know in my heart that things will get better, I just wish they would get better sooner, rather than later. I have good days, and I have bad days. I guess today is a bad day and I just want to say that the blogging is probably going to be sparse until I can turn things around and get my spirits up.

Suggestions, advice, prayers, and good vibes are all welcome. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Books VS. Movies

I have a system. I didn't always have this system, but after many disappointments I came up with it. Whenever I see a trailer or hear word that a movie is coming out that's based on a book, I don't read it. I HAVE TO watch the movie first because if I don't, I will most likely hate it. If I've already read the book there is nothing I can do, but I won't re-read anywhere close to the release of the film.

That's what I used to do. I used to re-read the entire Harry Potter series before the movie came out so it was fresh in my mind. The problem with that is with all the details fresh we have expectations that are unattainable for a film. You don't have this problem when you reverse the process. If you watch the movie first you can decide then and there whether it's a story you're interested in reading, and you can appreciate the movie for what it is instead of having pre-conceived ideas. 99% of the time the book is better than the movie (The 1% includes The Road) so you have to work harder to like the movie. After watching a movie and then reading the book you get to see all the little details the movies can't incorporate. You can see the changes the movie made, but you don't hate them for it, usually.

It's so hard to keep the two art forms separate, and enjoy each for it's own. This makes it easier for me. Sometimes it's annoying to read the book and think, "She looked nothing like that in the movie!" *cough cough The Seeker in The Host cough cough* But you get over it. I wish it didn't always seem like it was book VS. movie. Why can't we love both equally and separately? I think they are both special and wonderful in their own unique ways.

At first I was kind of annoyed that nearly all the movies out these days are adapted from something (books, true stories, musicals) instead of coming up with something original. Now, I'm learning to accept and love the adaptions with the few originals thrown in.

I don't know if this system will work for you or not, but give it a shot and you might be surprised. :)

These are some of the book to movie details that annoy me the most:
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Let's completely change the Hogwarts grounds from what the books say they are and what the first two movies have already established! Meanwhile let's screw with the whole plot and mangle it as well! Great plan!
2. The Host - The Seeker is supposed to be dressed in all black with black hair, not white with blonde hair. This seems like an easy fix. Plus they left out the BEST LINE after freaking setting up for it earlier in the movie!
3. All Harry Potter films - Would it really have been so hard to give Daniel Radcliffe green contacts? Is that so much to ask!?
4. Twilight series - Kristen Stewart's god awful acting and Robert Pattinson's downright unattractiveness.
5. My Sister's Keeper - Let's completely change the ending! We'll have a different person die and we'll take out a major character!
6. Angels and Demons - Once again, let's completely change the ending and we'll have the guy live instead of die. Who cares!?

Some of my favorite book to movie adaptions are: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Fault in Our Stars, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II, and Eat, Pray, Love

What are some of your most annoying book to movie details!? What are some of your favorites? Leave them in the comments!

The Fault in Our Stars

Last Saturday I went and saw The Fault in Our Stars which I have been eagerly anticipating since the movie was announced. It did not disappoint. I would say it was right up there with Catching Fire for best book to movie adaption. Such an amazing cast and script. I was blown away! Naturally I went through several tissues and was red and puffy when I left the theatre.

If you've read the book: see it. I promise you, it's worth it. If you haven't read the book: see it, then read the book. Be aware that it is hard to watch. It's sad, funny, and beautiful all at the same time. Prepare yourself to feel all the feels. Seriously though, read the book. John Green's books have the most interesting writing style. The are intelligent and witty and hysterical and heart-breaking and honest. The best way I can think to describe The Fault in Our Stars is that it is heart-breakingly wonderful.

Have you seen TFIOS yet? What did you think!? Leave a comment!

Get Involved

Hey Readers! I would love some input from you! I don't want this blog to just be me spewing out words, I want it to be interactive. I want a dialogue. I would love some suggestions! How can I help to get you guys more involved? What would you like to see more of on this blog? What would you like to see less of? Leave any suggestions in the comments below! Thanks for reading!


Oscar Winners

Guess what I just realized! I never posted how I did on my predictions for the Oscars! Well, I killed it! I got pretty much everything right! The only ones I missed were: Mr. Hublot for animated short, Helium for live short, and Her for original screenplay. Not bad considering! The awards were awesome! Ellen totally bought pizza for the celebs and took the most epic selfie ever. JLaw tripped...again. Benedict Cumberbatch was there and he totally photobombed U2! He also got a bit teary when Lupita won! Adorable! Plus John Travolta will never live down the shame of Adele Dazeem. Here are a few of the best moments!

You can get your name Travoltified HERE!

Until next year!

World Oceans Day

Technically World Oceans Day was June 8th, so I'm a couple days late in posting about this, but I hardly think that matters. To me, every day is World Oceans Day. I love the ocean. I always have, and I always will. There is so much wonder, beauty, and mystery hidden beneath the shimmering blue waves. Naturally I want to do my part in protecting the oceans because that is where my shark homeboys live. While sharks are clearly the coolest and best part of the oceans, there are still a lot of other living things that need taking care of there.

I recently watched Bambi as part of my "Watch every Disney movie in order" challenge. In it, Bambi and his mother have a very close call in the meadow when man comes and starts shooting without consequence. Later man comes back and succeeds in burning down the entire freaking forest! Good job, guys! Well guess what? That's not a stretch. We are killing our earth. Plain and simple. Land has it's problems, but so do the oceans. Plus the oceans are like 75% of our planet, so if we ruin them, we're totally screwed.

It seems like common sense, but let me spell it out just in case it's not. Mind you, the slaughter of sharks is just ONE of MANY problems we are causing in our oceans.

Hi! I'm a shark! I'm the ocean's top predator! I'm very important! I keep this ecosystem in check. Lately me and my friends have been having a hard time taking care of our ecosystem because there just aren't that many of us left. I promise I'll keep working on it! Hopefully we can get this place back up to snuff soon!

Hi! We're fish! We used to be scared of sharks and swim in fear all the time. Now we don't see sharks that much and our family is growing! There are so many of us! It's great!

Hi! We're phytoplankton! We hang out in plants at the surface of the ocean. We are dying because there are so many fish! We can't keep up! The fish are picking us clean and we are struggling to do our job!

Hi! I'm the air you breathe! Did you know that up to 85% of me comes from the oceans! Not only are humans polluting me with all their nasty fuels, but I'm struggling to get the oxygen I get from the oceans! There just aren't enough phytoplankton left to feed me!

Like I said, the slaughter of sharks is just one problem. I'm pretty sure man ruins everything it touches. I mean look at what we are doing!

The mass slaughter of dolphins. For more on this watch the documentary The Cove, if you've got a strong stomach. It's more graphic than Sharkwater.


Dying Coral Reefs

Shark Finning

Oil spills



If you don't see anything wrong with these photos, you should probably check into a mental institution because THIS IS NOT OKAY. We're pretty darn lucky to have this Earth that provides us with life. There aren't any other planets that can do that! We've only got this one planet, so we better start taking better care of it! This isn't a movie where we can all move into a giant spaceship to live when we screw it up, we can't relocate to Mars, we can't hit a reset button. We have one shot, and we're blowing it! For information on how we can reverse this screw up visit We can make a difference. Let's get started!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


I hate the news. I never watch it. I am the type of person who tries to always project positivity, which becomes difficulty when weighed down by all the negativity from the media. I always say, if it's important enough I will hear about it on Facebook. Well, this week, I did.

If you've been on Facebook this week, you've undoubtedly heard about the shootings near USC Santa Barbara. The news of that shooting was followed by two major Twitter threads. First was #NOTALLMEN, closely followed by #YESALLWOMEN.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about here's a quick rundown. A 22 year old boy went on a shooting rampage on Friday night killing six and leaving 13 injured. Before his violent spree he left a 137 page manifesto for his parents as well as a video posted on YouTube. In these manifestos the killer states that he was paying back humanity for injustices against him. These injustices are that women didn't return his affections. Yes, you read that correctly. No, calling him a boy instead of a man was not a mistake or typo. Below is the video posted as well as a link that will lead you to the manifesto.

While I avoid the news at all costs, this story warranted a response. Here's the truth. I share some things in common with this murderer. I am a 24 year old woman who has never been kissed, never had a boyfriend, never been on a date, and is still a virgin. Don't worry. I'm not going to go on a killing spree. You see, the key difference between us is that I don't consider myself a victim.

I'm not going to lie, it sucks. It really sucks! I have a huge capacity to love and all I've ever wanted is to find someone to love and who loved me in return. It doesn't seem like a whole lot to ask. I've dealt with the loneliness my whole life and it took me a while to get to the state of acceptance I'm in today. Yeah, it's not fun being alone, but any guy I like is not obligated to return my affections. I am not entitled to be loved romantically. The universe doesn't owe me that.

I know a perfectly wonderful middle-aged woman who never married. She is kind and loving and I'm sure she wanted to find a husband and have children, but it just wasn't in the cards for her. She accepted that. She dealt with that. She is living a happy life without having a man by her side.

I call this killer a boy because in this video he acts like a spoiled brat. It is a woman's person's prerogative to choose who they give their affection to and who they don't. No one is entitled to love. You have to EARN IT. My guess is that these "bitches" didn't return his affection because there were clear signs he was a PSYCHOPATH. I wouldn't want to date a dude this creepy, no matter how lonely I was. I also don't consider murder "gentlemanly" behavior. Just sayin'.

This guy thinks he's a victim, but he's not. There are real victims out there. There are the six people he murdered, the thirteen he injured, the families and friends of all the victims, and his parents, who have to live with the guilt of their son's actions.

I agree with both the #NOTALLMEN and #YESALLWOMEN campaigns. Both have good points. Not all men are monsters, but statistically speaking, women have a lot to be afraid of. Go wander around this site for a while and tell me we have nothing to fear. What is more shocking to me than the fact the people actually rape in the first place, is how victims are treated when they report rape. Read a few of the testimonials from Project Unbreakable and you'll see what I mean. These are REAL victims.

I may be lonely, but I'd rather be sad and alone than the one in every four women in the US who've been sexually assaulted. I am very lucky. Many people out there are not. Whatever group you fit into, victim or not, how you handle it says a lot about you as a person. Many victims go on to fight another day and help other victims. Whoever you are. Whatever your story. Don't act like a victim. Be strong. Be courageous. Be the change you want to see in the world. Live to fight another day. Know you are loved and you are a warrior. You are unbreakable.

Friday, April 25, 2014

We Love to Laugh!

One of the advantages to living in this technological era, is that we have YouTube. One of the best things about YouTube is the absolute plethora of hilarious videos to watch. We all have rough days, and sometimes all it takes to cheer us up is that one video. I have run across a lot of funny videos recently and I decided to share them with you, as well as a few of my long time favorites because...


Scaring people - always funny.

Ellen scaring celebrities - even better.

Funny dogs
Though less funny than cats...For some reason finding a good funny dog compilation proved quite difficult.
Remind me later and I will make one. The internet deserves a good funny dog compilation video.

And of course - screaming goats are always funny

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Luck's Got Nothing To Do With It

Wow. I have no idea where to start. Obviously I'm not doing very well on my New Year's Resolution to blog at least once a week, but let me tell you there are a lot of reasons I haven't blogged for a month. The reason this post is titled the way it is, is because all of this started on March 17th 2014, aka St. Patrick's day. As most of you know I have been trying to obtain a job at Disneyland as a stage technician since last summer. On St. Patty's day, I got a call from the Disney casting center to offer me that job.

Since the moment I got that call, my life has been on fast forward. I put in my two weeks notice, I began scouring Craiglist for a room to rent, and in the middle of all that, I got my gall bladder out. Needless to say, it has been insane! I got my gall bladder out on Monday the 31st (which incidentally meant I couldn't lift anything over ten pounds for four to six weeks), my parents and I left for California on the following Sunday, we looked at places for the next three days, then we (meaning mostly they, since I am not supposed to lift anything) moved me in on Thursday and Friday, right before my parents left on Saturday. After the stress and craziness of the past weeks all I can think is:

So a big thank you goes out to my parents for taking time off work, loading up all my crap, driving all my crap, paying for hotel rooms and meals, accompanying me to appointments, covering my deposit, helping me buy new shoes for work, moving me in for two days, assembling furniture, and a million other things they did to help me out. So thank you and I'm glad the madness of moving is over!

There are a lot of negative people in this world who look at successful people and think they got lucky. Well I'm here to tell you, that I worked really hard to get this job and it took me almost a year for it to pull through. Ambition and dedication to improvement are what got me where I am. God has truly blessed me, but I am the one who did the work. Don't let nay sayers get you down. I sure didn't!

I start my new gig tomorrow with a week and a half of training. I am so excited to start this new adventure in my life and I hope you all will join me for the ride!

Loves and Hugs!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar Predictions

It's here! It's here! I'm so excited! Tonight is the 86th Annual Academy Awards! Here is my list of predictions. Fortunately, I was able to see the vast majority of nominated films. There are still a couple I want to see, but didn't get to in time for the Oscars, so I'll have to watch them later. So pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy the Oscars with me!

Bold means I have seen the film and highlighted means my prediction for the Oscar.

Best Picture

This is a tough one. It's a close race between 12 Years and Hustle, but I'm choosing to vote with what SHOULD win! Hustle might be chosen just because it's fresher in their mind's, but really 12 Years deserves it.

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role

This is another toss up between Ejiofor and McConaughey, and both are equally deserving, but I think McConaughey has it.

Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

No question here after snagging both the SAG and Golden Globe, Cate is going to three-peat. Congratulations Cate on your win tonight!

Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August Osage County)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Jared Leto wins tonight, but in my opinion it could just have easily gone to Michael Fassbender. Two very different roles, but equally well portrayed.

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Of all the decisions, this is the one I am most torn. You all know how much I love JLaw and I would be stoked if she won; however, Lupita's performance was out of this world and she really deserves this one. 

Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)

Best Animated Feature


The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises

Best Cinematography

Gravity is going to sweep for technical awards.

The Grandmaster
Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Costume Design

OMG AMAZING! Martin is an incredible designer and she will win hands down.

American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave

Best Director

Alfonso takes it, even though I personally identified with the choices of McQueen.

David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Best Documentary Feature

Didn't make it to the others (YET!) but I think it would be hard to compete with Stardom.

The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom

Best Documentary Short

Still need to find these to watch!

Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best Film Editing

Gravity takes another technical award.

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave

Best Foreign Language Film

La Italia!

The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Missing Picture

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

If Adruitha and Robin don't win this, there is no justice in this world. Although there is already no justice because Lone Survivor wasn't nominated.

Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

Best Original Score

All the scores in this category are beautiful, but Gravity wins again!

The Book Thief
Saving Mr. Banks

Best Original Song

Uuh! Get it Idina!

Alone Yet Not Alone (Alone Yet Not Alone)
Happy (Despicable Me 2)
Let it Go (Frozen)
The Moon Song (Her)
Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Best Production Design

Martin wins by a landslide. Gatsby was one of the most beautiful production designs I have since in years. Absolutely astonishing.

American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave

Best Animated Short Film

Disney takes this one for innovation.

Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom

Best Live Action Short Film

Martin Freeman - Duh.

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Best Sound Editing

Since the whole movie is basically sounds instead of dialogue, Gravity wins by sheer quantity of work as well as quality.

All is Lost
Captain Phillips
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Best Sound Mixing

Gravity again, but I was really impressed by Lone Survivor. Glad they got a nod in both sound categories.

Captain Phillips
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Best Visual Effects

Are you sick of me saying Gravity yet?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Best Adapted Screenplay

Such a hard one to watch, but such an incredible and moving experience in that theater seat.

Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay

I personally liked Buyers Club over American Hustle, but the Academy doesn't agree with me on this.

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club

Friday, February 14, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch: Will You Be My Valentine?

It's official everyone. After watching all three seasons of Sherlock I am now a part of the "Fans formerly known as Cumberbitches." It's amazing how this happened. One moment I'm an outsider looking at Benedict Cumberbatch and thinking the only thing weirder than his name is his face. The next, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to him, he's the background on my phone and my computer, I daydream about him at work, and I spend my evenings scouring every social media network for photos and info on him. It's like my life is changed now because he is a part of it. As Boromir so aptly puts it:

This post is hilarious and pretty much nails what happens when you discover Benedict Cumberbatch. Read it! It's wonderful! 

One thing I love about this fandom is that my fellow CumberPeople accepted me wholeheartedly. They aren't the type of people to say "We loved him first! You're such a faker!" Nope. They say, "Welcome to our group! We are happy to have another person to realize how beautiful and wonderful this man is!"

So in honor of our favorite heartthrob, I have created this list that highlights all of the reasons we love him. I am not the first to create this list, nor will I be the last. But I assure you my list will be better than the Buzzfeed list where half of the items are about his clothes. Boring. And my list will be shorter than @falloutkaty on Twitter who has at least 932,743 reasons to love him.

Now for those of you who are thinking "Are you kidding me!? He is so NOT attractive in any way!" I've been there. I get it, but maybe this list will maybe start to make you question whether or not that is true. Maybe it will be those eyes that hook you. Maybe it will be The Voice. Maybe it will be his humor. Whatever it is, I hope you will join us soon. As for my lovely CumberPeople, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty and wonder of Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch.

1. The EYES have it.

Seriously! What color are they!? If gorgeous were a color, it would be the color of Ben's eyes.


You could cut yourselves on those things. I would SHER like to try! And not just the cheekbones either. His jawline and the sharp angles everywhere! Stunning! One of my favorite "how did Sherlock survive?" theories read something like this: He was saved by his cheekbones. His cheekbones hit the ground and it was actually the pavement that was bleeding.

3. What I like to call "The VOICE."

A very accurate description: He has the voice of “a jaguar hiding in a cello"
That beautifully accurate descriptor was coined by The Times’ Caitlin Moran and a never-more perfect description has ever been declared for his voice, nor likely will ever be. It resonates, it purrs, it’s as deep as the Grand Canyon and smooth. And, for anyone with an accent-fetish, his accent is undeniably British. 

OMG. That last scene just gets me all hot and bothered every time!

4. Oh yeah. P.S. The Voice can sing!

How unfair is that! This man has every weapon in his arsenal to use against the female species.

5. That cute and quirky smile!

Now some may not agree with me here, and that's okay. But I think his smile is so adorable! I love how one side turns up and the other turns down. Plus his whole face scrunches up and it's kind of dorky, but I just think it's so cute!

6. If you can manage to drag your gaze away from his beautiful face, take a look at his body. Because, that's pretty damn good-looking too!

7. He takes his job seriously.

In preparing for the role of Sherlock, he read the stories and novels in their entirety. It may seem like "Duh, of course he did," but not all actors would do such in depth research. Especially when they are in the middle of other lessons for the role and filming movies on the side.

For The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, it was Ben's idea to do motion capturing. He wanted the dragon to be his own creation. And he made it so.

8. But he doesn't take himself too seriously.

When shown the otter meme in an interview, Ben thought it was totally hilarious.

Skip to 5:53 for his reaction.

9. He's funny.

Here are a couple questions and responses on Reddit that I found particularly enjoyable.

What do you think of your fans calling themselves 'Cumbercookies'? That way when we all come together, we'll be the 'Cumberbatch' :D
[–]_BenedictCumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch[S] 2780 points  ago
It's great! You could call yourself the Cumbergirls, and then when you come together you'd be a flock. Or you could call yourself the Cumbertadpoles and that way you'd be the Cumberspawn...Wait!...Ew! Don't do that.

Do you, Matt smith, and Tom Hiddleton have cheek bone polishing parties?
[–]_BenedictCumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch[S] 4438 points  agox2
We like nothing better than buffing our Zygoma. And imagining a horny time traveling long overcoat purple scarf wearing super sleuth nordic legend fuck fantasy. Get to work on that, internet.

QUICK. whats in your pocket right now
[–]_BenedictCumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch[S] 3010 points  ago
My hand.
[–]polymercury 2176 points  ago
How are you typing?
[–]_BenedictCumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch[S] 3303 points  ago
With my left foot.

And ladies and gentlemen: The finale.

My wife would sincerely like to know if you are wearing anything under your robe..... please respond, this is important for our mental wellbeing.
[–]_BenedictCumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch[S] 2733 points  ago
You should be asking who's naked under it with me.

To which one user responded with this gif:

10. He can take a joke.

Skip to 10:06 to see his reaction to the prank.

11. He looks good in anything.

Did I get a little carried away there? Sorry about that. Oh, I'm not!

12. He loves to read.

Total turn on, am I right?

13. He is humble.

With his mop of curly red hair and oddly angular face, Benedict Cumberbatch hardly has the looks of a typical Hollwood sex symbol.
Yet a series of high-profile roles both on television and in the movies has earned him a growing legion of female admirers…much to his own amazement.
“It’s interesting and it’s something I’m processing,” says newly single Benedict, sounding rather like Sherlock Holmes, the role he made his own in the BBC’s updated version of the Conan Doyle stories.
“It’s new to me and I’m sure I’ll get used to it and find a way of dealing with it, but at the moment, it is quite odd.
“Do I like being thought of as attractive? I don’t know anyone on Earth who doesn't, but I do find it funny. I look in a mirror and I see all the faults I've lived with for 35 years and yet people go kind of nuts for certain things about me. It’s not me being humble. I just think it’s weird.”
Judging from his career, Benedict has a happy knack of being able to adapt to most things. He picked up a best actor award for his take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the National Theatre and will be returning in a new series of ­Sherlock opposite Martin Freeman as Dr Watson.
And he is blazing a trail in Hollywood with a starring role in the upcoming Star Trek 2 after appearing in Tinker Sailor, Soldier Spy and War Horse.
In Star Trek 2 he plays the tyrannical Khan alongside Tom Hardy, Malcolm McDowell and Alice Eve, daughter of actor Trevor, as well as Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty.
The film is sure to be a box office hit and cement Benedict’s place on the Hollywood A-list. Yet Benedict, who split recently from girlfriend Anna Jones following the break-up of a 10-year relationship with Olivia Poulet, does not believe it will help his pulling skills.
He says: “I’m not confident in social situations, just going up to someone in a bar and saying ‘hi’ is going to be even more difficult because they won’t know the real me. They will just know me as a fictional person I play on the screen.”
Benedict’s knack of portraying a certain vulnerability in his characters stems from genuine insecurity. He has said the most hurtful thing he ever read about himself was in a blog describing “the talentless wooden acting of arse-named, horse-faced twot Benedict Cumberbatch”.
And he says the part of his body he dislikes the most is “the size and shape of my head,” adding, “I’ve been likened to Sid the sloth from Ice Age”.
14. He is sentimental.
The actor, who plays John Harrison in the sci-fi sequel, heard his co-stars talking highly of his performance and welled up.
"When I heard them saying nice things on the red carpet... that was the thing that really struck [me] to my core, and it got to a point - it was like a tipping point, I'd say - where I was signing something [and] I heard Zachary [Quinto] saying something very complimentary about me and I started to cry," he told Access Hollywood.
"I was looking down and signing and this fan said, 'Are you okay?' I said, 'Yeah, it's really windy out here, my eyes are stinging'."

“The first time we did cavalry charge I was so breathless with excitement I nearly fell off the horse. I actually saw stars in front of my eyes and thought I was going to faint. The second time I had a bit more control but was still giddy with excitement. And the third time I was an emotional wreck. I had to really try hard not to cry.”

15. He makes fun of his own name.

16. He is intelligent.

He attended elite private schools since the age of eight: Harrow School, Manchester University, and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He also reads...a lot, and we all know that the more you read, the more you know. He frequently plays intellectuals such as: Steven Hawking, Alan Turing, Sherlock Holmes, Vincent Van Gogh, and Julian Assange. This, of course, in not proof that he is intelligent; however, I don't think they would hire Larry the Cable Guy for any of those roles. Just sayin'.

Plus go and listen to/read any of his interviews and tell me he's not brainy. I fully admit to having to look up a few words that I was not acquainted with.

17. He is talented.

Don't need to go into much detail here. Obviously Sherlock is legendary, but make sure you check out his other work. A friend told me to go watch Amazing Grace and it was fantastic! Ben was incredible as usual.

18. He does impressions. And they're actually good!

In fact they're so good, he was actually hired to play the voice of Snape in an episode of the Simpsons.

19. He likes Harry Potter.

20. He's adventurous.

After skydiving in New Zealand he is quoted as saying, "It was the most exquisite sensation and when I landed on the ground I wanted to do it again. I felt incredibly horny as well, because it's such an extreme thing. You think, 'God, I've just had the most massive bite out of life and I'm really hungry for more!'"

Note to self: Be on the ground waiting after BC's next skydive to fulfill any of his needs.

21. He is spiritual.

Very little is known about his religious views, but he has said that he speaks of being drawn to the “transcendent” and calls himself a Buddhist (at least “philosophically.”)

22. He enjoys helping others.

In this interview he talks about teaching English to Tibetan monks:

"In my gap year I was teaching English to Tibetan Buddhist monks in a Nepali home near Darjeeling. They were amazingly warm, intelligent, humorous people. Hard to teach English to. I built a blackboard, which no other previous teachers seem to have done. With 12 monks in a room with an age-range of about 8 to 40, that’s quite important – and the reward-punishment thing of sweets or no sweets, or game or no game, worked quite well. But they taught me a lot more than I could possibly ever teach them."
“They taught me about the simplicity of human nature, but also the humanity of it, and the ridiculous sense of humour you need to live a full spiritual life. I also went on a retreat with a lama, several days of incantation to clear the mind and purify, along with a dozen other people. It was incredible, and I kind of floated out of there after two weeks. When you’ve been that still and contemplative, your sensory awareness is so heightened, sharper-focused, you’re taking in detail to the point where you have to pause a little bit, it was amazing."
Here are some of the charities he supports:
He is an ambassador of The Prince's Trust, a charity that aims to help disadvantaged young people of the UK as well as an ambassador of the Motor Neuron Disease Association. He is a supporter of Dramatic Need, a charity that promotes creative expression as a tool for conflict resolution, social development, gender empowerment and the assimilation of health messages in underprivileged communities. He helped launch the now annual London Night Hike for Maggie's Centers, a network of drop-in centers in Great Britain that provide support for people affected by cancer, their families, carers and friends. He is a patron of Teenage Cancer Trust and Myeloma UK among others. Cumberbatch is also known for donating his own drawings and sketches for charities and fundraisers.He is a supporter of Liberty, formerly known as National Council for Civil Liberties, a cross party, non-party membership organisation at the heart of the movement for fundamental rights and freedoms in the UK.

23. He is interested in world news and politics.

Cumberbatch’s opinion on politics is a little easier to decipher. He tends to play “posh” roles that make him seem removed from the common Brit. And he didn’t endear himself to the working class any more by complaining about how people are always bashing the upper class:
[I'm] castigated as a moaning, rich, public-school bastard, complaining about only getting posh roles. . . . It’s just so predictable. . . so domestic, and so dumb. . . . It makes me think I want to go to America.3
But that doesn’t mean he’s conservative. He’s just as willing to bash David Cameron as other people seem willing to bash him. When talking about his country during World War I, he said,
Everyone was held in their place, but what was honourable about it was that there was a duty of care from the top down. That shouldn’t be tied in with any sort of fat-faced, flatulent Cameron effort at what Toryism – horribly – is now.4
He also demonstrated his liberal worldview by speaking at a rally of public sector workers protesting government spending cuts. He spoke to the crowd of several thousand in support of the Arts Council. In an interview after the event, he stated why he believes the government should subsidize certain services:
Because you have more money, doesn’t mean should be entitled to more health care and more art or culture. . . . I selfishly as a performer would like to perform to as diverse a crowd as possible.5
Considering the U.K. subsidizes a whole lot more than the U.S., maybe he should stick to his side of the Atlantic.
24. He gets star-struck.

Cumberbatch said he can understand fans being impressed with actors. He gets starstruck himself, he said, recalling Harrison Ford (whose gruff, whispery voice Cumberbatch impersonated) telling him he was a fan of "Sherlock" when both were guests on England's "The Graham Norton Show." Cumberbatch also said he was starstruck by the cast of "Homeland" -- "not Damian Lewis," he joked, because "he's old hat" -- and by Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, of "Breaking Bad.

25. He's human.

While Benedict has an overwhelming amount of admirable qualities, he does actually have a few flaws. He swears like a sailor, which isn't too bad. The only major turn off he has for me is that he smokes. :( As someone who's had to watch her father battle lung cancer, this is a big flaw for me. Not even Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect, people. But he sure gets close!

26. He is a gay ally.

In fact he actually officiated a wedding for his gay friends. AWESOME!!!

Skip to 1:51

27. He can dance.

And we'll throw this one in here, just for kicks! I almost peed the first time I saw this!

28. He is a family man.

Baby Benny!

Cumberbatch speaks highly of his parents and how hard they worked to put him through school. He speaks of them often and always with love and admiration. 

29. And one day he'd like to have a family of his own.

In fact, he's pretty vocal about it:

"Maybe it's because I was an only child, but I've always wanted kids."
"I was happy as an only child, but I've always wanted to be part of a bigger family."
"I've realised now that the reality of children is you have to be in the right place with the right person."
"I've been broody since I was 12, but I can't just get anyone pregnant. It has got to be the right person."
"It is a wonderful thing to get married young and become a father"
"I'm not confident in social situations; just going up to someone in a bar and saying 'Hi' is going to be even more difficult because they won't know the real me. They will just know me as a fictional person I play on the screen."

I know there are a lot of members of the CumberCollective who would volunteer to become Mrs. Cumberbatch. Including myself. Just look how good he is with kids! He's going to be a wonderful father someday.

30. He has really cool friends.

31. He's a bit of a rebel.

And we all love a little bit of a bad boy.

32. He does live theatre.

NT:50 Years on Stage Gala - National Theatre (2013)
Look Back in Anger - Royal Court/Duke of York's Theatre (2012)
Frankenstein - National Theatre (2011)
The Children's Monologues gala - The Old Vic (2010)
After the Dance - National Theatre (2010)
The City - Royal Court Theatre (2008)
The Arsonists - Royal Court Theatre (2007)
Rhinoceros - Royal Court Theatre (2007)
Period of Adjustment - Almeida Theatre (2006)
Hedda Gabler - Almeida Theatre and West End (2005)
The Lady from the Sea - Almeida Theatre (2004)
Romeo and Juliet/As You Like It/Oh What a Lovely War - Open Air Theatre - Regent's Park (2002)
A Midsummer's Night Dream/Love Labours Lost - Open Air Theatre - Regent's Park (2001)

In my opinion, live theatre is more difficult than film. Theatre lives inside me, so this is a huge plus in my book. This is obviously how we will meet and fall in love. I will be designing one of his shows and we'll go out for drinks and the rest, my friends, is history. ;)

33. He's a fantastic lover.

“I always seem to be cast as slightly wan, ethereal, troubled intellectuals or physically ambivalent bad lovers. But I’m here to tell you I’m quite the opposite in real life. In fact I’m a fucking fantastic lover.”

This fact is not confirmed, but I will do my best to collect some hard evidence.

34. He won't allow his fans to demean themselves.

“It's not even politeness. I won't allow you to be my bitches. I think it sets feminism back so many notches. You are... Cumberpeople.”

35. He truly loves his fans.

In a twitter Q&A session to promote The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Benedict was asked how much he loves his fans. His response? "More than I can say in a tweet."

Check out this link to see how some of his most devoted fans describe meeting the great Benedict Cumberbatch.

He immediately rushes up to thank his fans for traveling so far to see him. Such a wonderful guy!

Well there you have it. 35 reasons we adore Benedict Cumberbatch. Just so you know, this list took me about three weeks to create and that was with cutting out reasons because I ran out of time. I wanted to make sure facts were checked and that I found the best interviews, pictures, gifs, and quotes to do this list justice. I hope you all enjoyed it!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you all have someone special to share it with, even if it's just Benedict Cumberbatch in your dreams or on your TV. I know he'll be my Valentine today!