a day in the life.

{Now, I know these kinds of things are usually videos, and while I’d love to do vlogs at some point like my amazing friend Rachel, I’m not quite there yet.  We’ll see.  Until I get there, I guess I’ll start out with writing.  Because duh.  Disclaimer: Yep, sometimes my life is this busy, but sometimes it isn’t and, like on Monday, it involves me sitting around reading school books most of the day.  My life is crazy and it will no doubt get crazier, but I’m really enjoying it.}

6:30am – Alarm goes off, snooze button is utilized.

6:45am – Drag myself out of bed.  Dress in a thin sweater and skinny jeans, which feels good for the mildly chilly morning but ends up being a TERRIBLE DECISION IN THE AFTERNOON BECAUSE WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THE GEORGIA HEAT WHAT THE CRAP.  Pack lunch, laptop, school books, coffee, and misc other items for the day.

7:10am – Leave the house with James (my brother), stop at a friend’s house to take care of their pets, mourn the loss of James’s phone (and thus our usual twenty one pilots karaoke hour), soliloquize on the effects of traffic on the mood.

8:20am – Drop James off at his homeschool co-op entirely too late, cursing the traffic the entire time (but not really).  Drive to Starbucks.

8:30am – Make The Phelps Face when I see that there aren’t any tables available.  Find a table outside even though my laptop is dead.  Text friend happy birthday, peruse the Instagram feed, begrudgingly put phone down and start reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for school.  Contemplate just watching The Best Movie Version (or The Other Best Movie Version) instead of reading the book… but decide to read the book anyway because my conscience wouldn’t let me.

9:15am – Friend comes to spend time with me and we talk about our lives and how much has happened since we last talked.  (It sounded like a lot when I spilled it all out on her, but it didn’t feel like much when I was going through it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

11:02am – Friend leaves (T_T), and I sit inside, power up computer, make The Phelps Face AGAIN when my STUPID LAPTOP won’t connect to the STUPID INTERNET.  Read Huck Finn while rebooting laptop.  Stupid internet still won’t work, so I pack up my things and head to another Starbucks while eating my sandwich lunch.

11:30am – Arrive at second Starbucks.  Watch some Dan&Phil while I get my laptop working again.  Mutter about millennials and their dang wifi-needing-devices never working.

11:45am – Merciful saints, finally start working on school (all the while telling myself that my conversation with my friend was totally worth it and that the wifi situation was completely out of control).  Listen to the Easy A soundtrack while writing a review of The Problem with Forever – it’s for school, I promise!!!  [EDIT: Even though I only spent two or three hours tops on that review… I got a perfect score on it.  Cheating the system works, guys.  *sunglasses emoji*  Read the stunning, A+ review here.]

1:45pm – Text awesome friends while packing up laptop and books, casually adding my two cents on pretentious hipsters who wear glasses simply because they’re required for hipster.  *adjusts men’s converse glasses*  Order salted caramel mocha frappucino that ends up being outrageously expensive but that I buy anyway because it has caramel and mocha drizzles and WHO CAN TURN THAT DOWN, RIGHT?!  Leave Starbucks with my laptop bag and my frap, feeling like a basic white girl.

2:00pm – Pick up The Bro and rant about annoying wifi.  His phone finally turns on, so we listen to twenty one pilots as I drive him to his piano lesson.

2:15pm – Park at the house where he takes piano lessons, push my seat back as far as it’ll go, and work on review, reading it aloud because apparently that’s what you’re supposed to do???  When that’s finished, I watch an episode of Friends with the commentary (“The One with All the Thanksgivings,” if anybody’s a fan).  Read review again, deciding it’s as good as it’s going to get.

3:30pm – Drive over to the library, where I pick up some school books (Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and Washington Square by Henry James) and a movie (The Outsiders!).  More twenty one pilots as we drive home.

4:00pm – FINALLY HOME AGAIN.  Submit review, work on other school and then browse Tumblr and Pinterest for too long.  Work on some fanfiction (which you guys may or may not see sometime soon).

6:00pm – Parents go out on a date.  Make dinner for the kiddos – chicken nuggets for the littles and James, salad with grilled chicken for me.  (Being gluten-free will never not be lame.)  Read fanfiction Eva wrote while kids watch a movie, then clean the kitchen.

8:00pm – Put kids to bed.  Fast-forward through a Friends episode, playing all the hilarious Chandler moments to show James how much he’s like Chandler.  Ice cream break.  Watch a Monk episode with James (“Mr. Monk and the Hypnotist”), then finish Definitely, Maybe with Mom (so cute!).

10:45pm – Fall into bed, rationalizing that I can take a shower tomorrow morning because it’s too late to do it now and I’m exhausted.  Walk into Mom’s room to talk about plans for the next day when I suddenly remember that I was supposed to take care of the aforementioned friend’s pets again.  Scramble for keys and a car, drive over there, take care of the pets while listening to Waitress because dark, quiet houses freak me out, drive back home (yawning the entire time).

11:30pm – Collapse into bed again.  Nightly devotions and prayer journaling.

12am – Sleep.  Finally.

the liebster tag.

I rarely do tags – not because people don’t tag me (they do), and not because it doesn’t fit with my blog’s theme (because lol what theme).  It’s simply because I forget.  So if you tag me, please let me know.  I love getting tagged!  The other day, I got tagged by Phoebe over at The Storybook Journal (link to tag here) and I actually remembered!  YAY!

Rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the eleven questions.
3. Tag eleven bloggers, and let them know you’ve done so.
4. Ask your tagged bloggers eleven questions.

Phoebe’s Questions:
1. Do you usually cry over the deaths or misfortunes of fictional characters in books and movies? Or are you “not a crier”?
BHAHAHAHA.  Wow.  Well, I’m gonna be completely honest with you – I’m a weirdo.  While real-life events don’t often make me cry (something I’m working on), fictional events have the ability to make. me. weep.  I well up in tears pretty often, especially if it’s a touching scene, and I can all-out sob sometimes.  For instance, the first book that made me cry was Little Men, and I can’t remember exactly what happens in the scene, but it had something to do with Dan taking the fall for something Nat did.  Boy, did that make me cry.  Another book that made me cry was Fault in Our Stars.  Although I don’t recommend it to “just anybody” and even though I totally knew what happened in the end… I still sobbed.  Like, gut-wrenching, shoulder-heaving sobs.  It was intense.  I don’t think I’ve cried this much over a book since – OH WAIT YES I HAVE.  The end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Yep.  I cried over the last hundred pages, closed the book, hugged it to my chest, and continued to cry.  *wipes away a tear*  M’kay, moving on.

2. Is there a popular TV show or a movie that you just CAN’T bring yourself to like, in spite of everyone’s good opinions of it?
Oh gosh.  The last time I bashed something that everybody liked didn’t go very well.  After thinking for a while, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say… Downton Abbey.  NOW BEFORE YOU THROW ANYTHING AT ME, JUST LISTEN.  I watched the first two and a half seasons and I absolutely loved it.  Then I got to The Sybil Episode – yes, I knew what happened, and that’s what kept me from watching the end of it.  I knew Something Was Going Down, and I wasn’t emotionally prepared for it that day.  I put it off and started watching something that would make me happier, not more sad than I already was.  And then… I just never watched the end.  I still love the show, deep down somewhere, but, for now, I have too much drama (and school – oh gosh, the amount of school I have is n u t s) in my life to bring myself to go back to it.  I’m graduating sometime early next year, so maybe then?  I know my younger sister fell in love with it too, and binged the entire show in like a month.  (I was on that track before I stopped watching, lol.)  So… no hard feelings.  We’re good, right?  I still love me some Allen Leech, and McGonagall the Dowager Countess of Grantham is everything I aspire to be when I’m her age.

3. Do you have a garden? If so, what sort of things do you grow in it? Is it a vegetable or flower garden?
Nope.  I have a tendency to kill plants because I forget to water them.  However.  My family’s building a house and moving sometime in the next year, and I think I’m going to try to put forth more effort in that area when we move.  After all, my future exposed-brick studio apartment is going to house a lot of plants, and I’m gonna need to get used to watering them on a daily basis.  :)

4. With the approach of oncoming Winter, do you find yourself excited for the change of season, or is your mindset closer to: ” *sigh* Oh boy. Here it comes. Winter. AGAIN.”?
I’M SO EXCITEDDDDD.  I love fall and winter in and of themselves, basically because what’s not to love about the changing colors of the leaves and snuggling in blankets and too-big hoodies and pumpkin spice lattes (I swear I’ll become a real Basic White Girl and try one this year) and boots and scarves and socks and reading books in the morning while sipping hot coffee?!  Besides all of that, a lot of fun things are happening in the fall/winter, including weddings and trips with friends and holidays and my birthday and – HELLO – possibly graduating sooner rather than later and moving into a completely new house where my sister and I get literally the entire basement (SO EXCITED, Y’ALL).  So, yes.  I’m usually pretty excited about fall/winter, but especially so this year.  :)

5. What is the last book you read? How would you rate it out of five stars?
I actually stopped answering these questions so I could go finish The Outsiders, a book my darling friend Eva recommended, so I could see what I’d rate it.  And GOSH DANG IT, IT WAS SO GOOD.  See my Goodreads review for further fangirling (because I don’t have enough space here), but I’ll definitely be re-reading it and recommending it to a few people.  5/5 stars!

6. Do you collect anything? How many/much do you own?
I used to collect stamps (lol), which I’d put in these three massive 3-ring binders, way back when.  I’d listen to Les Mis (the 10th anniversary cast, aka basically the only one worth listening to) and The Little Mermaid (the OBC) on my boom box with headphones while I worked.  (Gosh, that must’ve been ’06 or ’07… why am i so o l d)  I also collect books, too.  Obviously.  :P  I’m working on collecting beautiful hardcover books, but I only have enough money to splurge every now and then.  My big HEY LOOK I’M A SENIOR!!!! gift to myself was a hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which I thought was amazing), and I just bought a hardcover copy of The Problem with Forever for a school thing (long story, but yes, it’s for school. #cheatingthesystem).

7. If you could invite one (and ONLY ONE) fictional character to dinner, who would it be?
Well, right now I just want to invite Johnny from The Outsiders over, if only to feed him Pepsi and banana milkshakes and fries and candy bars as I hug him tightly and tell him that he’s too precious for this world.  While sobbing.  …  Oh gosh, moving on.

8. What book is nearest to you at this very moment?
*smirky emoji*  Nearest to me, as in proximity, or nearest… to my heart???  I’ll take both.  Nearest, as in proximity, would be a collection of Herman Melville’s shorter works, which I had to get from the library in order to read/write a report on Benito Cereno.  I’ve never read it before (nor any of Melville’s other stuff {sue me}), but I liked it because the plot twist made the initial confusion totally worth it.  Nearest, as in to my heart, would be If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher.  A good friend gave it to me for my surprise book-themed 21st birthday party last year (which will probably be my favorite birthday for the rest of my life), and I didn’t get around to reading it ’til a few months ago.  It took me SO LONG to read it because every time I’d try reading it, I’d burst into tears because the writing was so beautiful and so. incredibly. relevant.  Seriously, read it.  It’ll change your life.

9. Since Halloween is coming up soon, do you usually participate in the celebrations? If so, what did you dress up as last year?
We used to, but we haven’t done it in about ten to twelve years.  We usually hide out in the basement with a good movie while the neighborhood trick-or-treats.  Last year, we were camping with some friends, and I was crying because it was so cold and because I’d just read Harry Potter for the first time and knew what happened to James and Lily that night…  Yeah.  This year, we’ll probably watch Harry Potter in the basement, for obvious reasons.  (That is, unless I can convince my parents to let my younger siblings dress up for the first time!)

10. How would you describe your fashion style?
Incredibly tasteful, but too broke to prove it.  My style board on Pinterest is a dream of what I want my future wardrobe to look like when I have more money to spend on clothes, but I’m working on it now, too.

11. Have you ever met a famous person? Who was it?
Do the Taylors from BlimeyCow count?  :P

I don’t keep up with too many bloggers, so I’ll be the rule-breaker and tag everybody reading this.  Reply to the questions below in the comments!

1.  What’s your Pinterest account link?  (I love following new people!)
2.  What are your thoughts on classic novels versus contemporary novels?
3.  Quick!  Name the three most recent movies you’ve watched and what you’ve thought of each of them.
4.  What grade are you in school (or how many years have you been done, you lucky duck) and what do you think of it?
5.  Speaking of school, what are your four best pieces of advice for everyone going in the grade below you?
6.  Who are some of your favorite bloggers?  (I also love finding new blogs to stalk!)
7.  Have you ever been to a concert?  If so, who did you see?  If not, do you ever want to go to one?
8.  Does your family have any interesting back-to-school/fall traditions?
9.  Who are five of your literary heroines?
10. What’s a random thing you have in your room that you maybe can’t remember how it got there but know it’d be weird if it left?  (Awkward way of phrasing that, but you know what I mean.)
11. Shameless selfish blog thing: What’s something you’d like to see more of on my blog?

v o t e. | video

frens.

this election is gonna be weird.  duh.  even if you’re not american, it’s gonna be weird.

we’re faced with two very different options, and i’m not liking either of them.  i’ve always hated the game ‘would you rather,’ and now the entire nation has to play it… including me.

i don’t know who i’m voting for, but i know i’m going to vote for someone.  let my fren john tell you why (and why you should too).

review | rear window {1954}

Rear Window.png“We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms.  What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change.” – Stella

My good friend Eva over at Coffee, Classics, and Craziness is having an Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon in honor of the birthday of man himself!  (Happy birthday, Mr. Hitchcock!)  I’m a little late, but I wanted to review Rear Window, my favorite Hitchcock film, for the occasion.

So why review Rear Window?  It stars my favorite actor, one of my favorite actresses, and includes two of my favorite elements of story – fiction and suspense.  Thus, it lands a place on my Favorite Movies of All Time list.  I saw it for the first time a few years ago and knew I wanted to review it when Eva made her announcement.  I’ve been crazy busy, so I’ve had to watch it in multiple sittings, but watching it again reminded me of how absolutely brilliant it is.

The Story

RW“Professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his high society fashion-consultant girlfriend Lisa Freemont and his visiting nurse Stella to investigate.” (from IMDb)

The film opens with shades rising on Jeff’s titular rear window, accompanied by the opening music, literally the only sound used in the film that isn’t diegetic – that is, not in-world.  A quick pan of the camera on the courtyard outside introduces us to all we need to know about the backdrop of the story before Hitchcock drops us in.  From there, he spends thirty minutes establishing the characters, something he can do because the film itself is two hours long.  Although the beginning (especially the first thirty minutes of world/storybuilding) is a bit long, it’s crucial to the story.  And, as always with Hitchcock, everything introduced in that initial thirty minutes is essential to the plot.

(Here, I usually put a trailer for whatever movie I’m reviewing.  Since older movies have stupidly long trailers that give up literally the entire plot – even more so than trailers do nowadays – here’s a fan-made “modern” trailer.  The music doesn’t work because there’s no soundtrack in the film {see my above comment about diegetic sound), but I love how this trailer was edited.)

The Cast and Characters

RW2L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) is a very interesting protagonist because the audience is drawn into what he’s doing without fully agreeing with it.  He’s stuck in his apartment all day due to a broken leg, so he’s obviously bored after five weeks of it.  When he starts spying on his neighbors, both Lisa and Stella question his motives until he convinces them that something suspicious is going on.  He can’t convince his detective friend, though, who thinks he’s insane.  Jeff is gruff, yet sweet underneath.  A little snoopy, but genuinely cares for his neighbors.  When a sad single lady in the apartment across from his puts out wine for herself and an imaginary suitor, he toasts her back, wordlessly conveying his compassion for her in a way that makes us completely fall in love with him.  Jeff’s also a very good freelance photographer, which adds to the tension between him and Lisa.  He thinks she, with all her society-seducing ways, won’t be able to handle his life on the road.  “You’re not meant for that kind of life,” he tells her.  She, on the other hand, completely disagrees.  She asks him if he doesn’t think people can change, adding, “I’m in love with you.  I don’t care what you do for a living, I’d just like to be part of it somehow.”  The strain between these characters adds to the overall stress in the plot.

And Jimmy Stewart… what can I say?  He’s perfect.  Once, when I was in eighth grade, I did a research paper on him.  I’ve been in love with him ever since.  He’ll always be one of my favorite actors of all time (and I don’t say that lightly).

RW3“You’ve got this whole town in the palm of your hand,” Jeff tells Lisa Fremont, assuring her that she can get any man she chooses.  “Not quite, it seems,” she quietly replies before leaving him alone.  She’s a society girl down to her last hairpin, with everything and everyone at her fingertips… except the only man she really wants.  She also defies the stereotype of “pretty girl,” climbing walls and digging in the dirt and literally risking her life to get down to the bottom of the mystery – and to prove to Jeff that she can handle anything, most of all his life as a photographer.

Jeff describes Lisa as “perfect, as always.”  This can also describe Grace Kelly, who is a flawless goddess.  I’ve seen her in a dozen movies, and loved every single one.  She embodies this timelessly classic persona that very few actresses have, the few including Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn, and Scarlett Johansson.

RW4As far as the more minor characters go, Thelma Ritter as Stella, Jeff’s insurance nurse, adds the matronly “Do you really know what you’re getting into and what the consequences are???” advice, Wendell Corey as Detective Lieutenant Thomas Doyle is hilariously sarcastic, Raymond Burr as Lars Thorwald is just… *shivers* SO GOOD, and the actors who play the other neighbors – Miss Lonelyhearts, the pianist, the dancer, the couple on the fire escape who own the dog, the old lady sculptor, the newlywed couple, Miss Torso – all play their parts exceptionally well, conveying through their actions what they can’t do through words (because they basically don’t have any lines).

Plus, all of the costumes are just fabulous.  Edith Head is a legend, and everything she designed for this movie (especially Lisa’s green suit and sleeveless shirt which I need NOW) is stunning.

Objectionable Content

RW5This entire movie circulates around a very dark subject, a murder that Jeff doesn’t witness but is heavily implied.  Because of that, it’s very intense – one of the most intense movies I’ve ever seen, actually.  (Definitely the most stressful out of the four-ish Hitchcock movies I’ve seen.)  When we first watched it, my then-12-year-old sister literally vaulted over our couch as she was running out of the room during the most stressful part.  There isn’t any language, but there’s a slightly sensual kissing scene (and it’s implied that Lisa spends the night at Jeff’s apartment).  All in all, though, it’s a very light PG-13.

Bottom Line

RW1This is an amazing movie, period.  It was nominated for four Oscars, and is #40 on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies list.  Plus, it’s just a classic.  If you haven’t seen it, grab a pillow and some popcorn (and then a vacuum for when the popcorn flies in the air as you vault over the couch like my sister did), and watch it.

LIE: you have a terrible existence if you don’t {xyz}.

Friends

A few months ago, a good friend introduced me to the show Friends.  Well, I need to back up.  Back when it was on TV, my parents used to watch it after they put us to bed and I would sneak out of my bed and watch it from the balcony.  They probably knew I was there, but I never got caught.  *sunglasses emoji*  I officially started watching it from Season One, Episode One back in May… and I’m hooked.

I recently had an almost-meltdown when I found out that my library didn’t have the season I was supposed to start next (seriously, what library buys the first six seasons of a TV show but skips over the fourth season?!), which resulted in taking total advantage of the Netflix free trial my mom got while we were at WITAlive and blowing through the episodes as quickly as I can.  (Don’t worry, I haven’t totally thrown away all of my free time – I’m using them as incentives to get my school done and it. is. working.)

As I fell in love with the show and the characters, I wondered why I hadn’t seen it before. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody under, say, eighteen, and I’m glad I didn’t watch it until now because I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much.  (I’m three steps behind all of the characters because I’m just about to graduate college and figure out what to do with my life, while they’re a few years out of college and still don’t have it all together.  It gives me so much hope.)  Still, I was so happy that I was finally able to understand references to one of America’s greatest sitcoms (“WE WERE ON A BREAK!”) and enjoy all of the jokes that the generation before me enjoyed.

I typically like to savor shows and books (which is probably why I still haven’t finished Boy Meets World), but for a while with Friends, I kind of felt like I had to catch up.  It felt like the entire world had seen this show… except me.  I love watching episodes in between intense study sessions and as rewards for submitting papers and reading classic novels that I struggled to get through (classics aren’t my cup of tea, tbh, but I’m trying to develop a taste for them) and even just to destress after a rough day.  However, I think part of my (mild) bingeing of the show had something to with the fact that I felt so behind.  I wasn’t pressured by my friend to watch it after she said, “You haven’t watched it yet?!” – instead, I pressured myself.

I do this a lot, especially with books, shows, music, movies.  Just the other day, I incredulously said to a friend, “Wait, you haven’t. read. Harry. Potter?!” even though I hadn’t read them for myself a year ago.  Oops.

Especially with more popular things, I think people pressure others into doing stuff – almost guilt-tripping them into thinking they’re missing out on something because they haven’t experienced it yet.  “Wait, you haven’t played Pokemon Go?!”  “You stopped watching Downton Abbey?!”  “You didn’t like Fault in Our Stars?!”  “Wait, you’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte?!”  “You haven’t seen all of Sherlock – or read the books?!  AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A FAN?!”  I’ve had all of these things said to me.  And, yes, I’m guilty of all of them.  I haven’t played Pokemon Go, I stopped watching DA in the middle of the third season (for no reason in particular except the fact that it’s a soap opera and I have enough drama in my own life), I don’t love TFIOS, I’ve never had a PSL, I haven’t seen the last season of Sherlock or read all of the stories.

Does that make me a terrible person, though?

Nope.

Listen, just because somebody hasn’t seen or done a popular thing, it doesn’t make them a lesser person.  Not doing something doesn’t invalidate someone’s existence.

We can’t do it all.  So why do we pressure ourselves and others?

Just like I thought I was “behind” because I hadn’t seen Friends or still haven’t seen all of Gilmore Girls (and will probably binge on that with my sisters over the next few months in preparation for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life) or haven’t been to ComicCon or DragonCon or GeekyCon, other people feel the same way.  We’re pressured by society to experience everything that’s popular, especially music and movies and TV shows and books, but we’re also pressured to get off our rear ends and do something because all of our friends’ Instagram feeds are full of pictures of mountains and iconic places in foreign countries.

Our lives are expected to look like everyone else’s.  In Friends, all of the characters have finished college (except maybe Phoebe), gotten a job, and found an apartment.  That’s what society expects of us twenty-somethings.  And that’s great and all of those things should be desired.  But I’m almost twenty-two and I’m still living at home while finishing my degree.  I know friends in their mid-twenties who are still living at home, too, and are getting higher degrees or don’t have “real” jobs.  And that’s okay.

Just because something is the norm or part of pop culture doesn’t mean it’s automatically a part of everyone’s lives.  And discovering that that thing isn’t a part of someone else’s life doesn’t make them any lesser of a person – and it doesn’t make you any more of a person because it’s part of yours.

My existence isn’t lesser because I’m not seeing the world like some of my friends are, just like some of my friends don’t have a less fulfilled life because they’re not getting a degree like I am.

Do. not. guilt-trip someone just because they’re not interested in what you or a lot of the world is interested in.  If they want to stay at home and lay on the floor and just listen to music, let them do it!  If they want to use the money they earn to travel, let them do it!

Obviously you should compromise with your friends sometimes and obviously you should get out of your comfort zone and do stuff (or sometimes just relax and forego doing stuff). But it’s never okay to make someone feel bad for what they are or aren’t interested in.

More than that, maybe this friend is on to something.  If they’ll let you, lie down on the floor with them.  Ask if you can go on their next road trip with them.  You may be surprised and find yourself interested in the stuff they like to do, too.

So what do you think?  Have you felt pressured to do something by your friends or society, or have you pressured someone else?  Did you end up liking it?  Did they?  Leave a comment and let’s talk!

{This blog post is sponsored in part by my college coursework, which was gracious enough to be easy and let me finish it by ten in the morning – something that hasn’t happened since I was in elementary school.  THANK YOU.}

my favorite stanley tucci roles.

If you know anything about me, you probably know that, just like literally every other fangirl on the planet, I have a thing for older actors.  Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Pine (and all the other Chrises), Zachary Levi, Benadryl Cucumberpatch… basically every guy who’s like ten years older than me.  Which totally isn’t weird at all.

(DISCLAIMER: I don’t want to have their babies or anything, I just admire the work the good Lord has done and move on.)

One of my favorite actors is Stanley Tucci.  I have no idea how long I’ve loved him but it’s been a while.  (Now that I think about it, he was in a few of my favorite childhood movies, namely Kit Kittredge, Beethoven, and Robots.  Well, that explains it – my love for him was cemented before I really knew who he was.)

I love his versatility as an actor, the roles he chooses, and just him.  I love the fact that he seems to make every movie better just by being in it, no matter how small his part is.  I love the fact that he can play every part with the same amount of skill, regardless of how sweet or twisted the character is.  And I love that he has other talents than just acting, such as cooking.  My sister actually gave me his cookbook for my birthday and I fangirled. A lot.  (I also have another friend who knows how much I love him – one of the things we initially bonded over was our mutual weirdly passionate love for Stanley – and sometimes sends me random Stanley gifs and pictures via text.  You know who you are and I. Love. You.)

I love every movie I’ve seen him in, but I’d like to highlight my absolute favorites.  In no order, as usual, because I sat here for twenty minutes trying to figure it out and I. just. can’t.  I love the man too much.

All of these movies come with the usual disclaimer, though.  They’re all PG-13 and have the kind of content that’s in a PG-13 movie.  If you’re interested in watching one of these but are hesitant about the content, don’t hesitate to ask me!  (Or look on each specific title’s Parents Guide on IMDb.  SO HELPFUL.)

The Terminal | Frank Dixon

“Okay, so let’s say this bag of potato chips is Krakozhia and this apple is the Liberty Rebels. Okay?  *smashes the bag with the apple, spraying chips all over Viktor*  No more Krakozhia!”

This one’s kind of different for Stanley.  Usually he plays very likeable characters.  This one, not so much.  The Terminal is about a foreign guy (Tom Hanks) whose country falls literally while he’s on the plane.  He’s stuck in JFK until they can get his passport figured out, and Stanley plays the guy who keeps him there.  Essentially, he’s the antagonist.  This is the only movie I’ve ever seen where he’s a bad guy (minus the Kit movie, which, come on, does that even count?), and he’s absolutely riveting.  You understand why he’s so against Tom’s character – he’s just doing his job, after all – but you still dislike him because of other things he does.  So. Good.

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Mr. Monk and the Actor | David Ruskin

“And then he said he was tired and asked me to leave.”
“So you left?”
“He has to get up at 6:00.”
“Mr. Monk, that’s your house!”
“Boy, he’s a good actor.”

My siblings and I were on a Monk kick for about two years, and when I saw that Stanley co-starred in an episode, I couldn’t wait to see it!  Turns out, it was absolutely fantastic.  Definitely one of my favorite episodes of the show.  In this episode, a director wants to make a movie about a case Adrian worked on, and Stanley plays the actor hired to play Adrian.  He’s a method actor, and he captures Monk perfectly.  It’s scary how similar they look!  Also, Stanley won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.”  (No surprise there – he was phenomenal.)

Julie and Julia | Paul Child

“Anyway, so there we were in China, just friends having dinner.  And… and it turned out to be Julia.  It turned out to be Julia all along.  Julia, you are the butter to my bread and the breath to my life.  I love you, darling girl.  Happy Valentine’s Day.”

This is one of my favorite movies, mainly because it involves three of my favorite things – writing, food, and romance.  It’s one of my go-to chick flicks, and it has some of my favorite actors in it, including Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Chris Messina, and, of course, Stanley Tucci.  In this one, Stanley plays Julia Child’s husband, ever the encourager as she learns to cook.  His character is just the most precious man, and it’s blatantly apparent that he loves his wife, which Stanley plays to perfection (and makes me love him even more).

Easy A  | Dill Penderghast

“I’d take a bullet for you, you know that. Right between the eyes. I would slit my throat rather than say something to someone that you didn’t want me to say.  That’s how I am.  That’s how I roll.  That’s how I do.”

OKAY.  This is definitely my favorite movie on this list.  As I said in my “movies i don’t like” post,  my favorite genre is probably rom-com, my favorite actor is Stanley Tucci, and my favorite actress is Emma Stone, which obviously means this is one of my favorite movies of all time because it combines all. three. things.  Plus it’s just good.  The cast is phenomenal, the story is so good, and the humor is fantastic.  Anyway, in this one, Stanley plays the main character’s dad who stands by her as she goes through all of this mess at school.  And he’s just so funny.  The above quote is from one of my favorite scenes, one which I personally find funny because I have adopted black siblings like Olive.  In addition to all that, Dill and Rosemary are just the kind of parents I aspire my husband and I to be.  #LiteralParentGoals. (Gosh, this movie’s so good.  I may have to review it sometime.)

Captain America: The First Avenger | Dr. Abraham Erskine

“Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”

Let’s be honest – who didn’t completely fall in love with Dr. Erskine the second he walked on the screen???  He was obviously typecast as The Death That Would Inspire The Hero, but Stanley brought so much more to the role than most other characters like that – and I’d argue that he’s the best.  He inspires Steve to be more than he thinks he’s capable of, and encourages him to accept the super-soldier serum.  And that speech.  GAH.  Plus, he calls Steve “Steven.”  HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HIM?!

The Hunger Games | Caesar Flickerman

“But you know what?  [Bleep] that! And [bleep] everybody that had anything to do with it!”
“All right, then. One woman’s opinion.”

My favorite part about Stanley-as-Caesar is just how likeable he is.  It’s apparent that Stanley read the books because that’s, like, the crux of the character in the book.  There are literally paragraphs describing how Caesar brings out the best in all of the tributes, even the incredibly shy ones who have close to nothing to say.  Stanley obviously did his research because that’s exactly how he plays him – a nuanced, larger-than-life TV host who is hungry for the adulation for the crowd and whose effervescence masks his true vulnerability.  Also, I’ve heard that Caesar is one of Stanley’s favorite roles.  Which is just amazing.

The Devil Wears Prada | Nigel Kippling

“You think this is just a magazine, hmm? This is not just a magazine. This is a shining beacon of hope for… oh, I don’t know… let’s say a young boy growing up in Rhode Island with six brothers pretending to go to soccer practice when he was really going to sewing class and reading Runway under the covers at night with a flashlight. You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work you only deign to work. And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart.”

This movie is about the oftentimes twisted inner workings of the fashion industry and how it changes an intern named Andy Sachs.  Stanley plays Nigel, the somewhat gay editor of Runway Magazine who works with the definition of rhymes-with-witch, Miranda Priestly.  I love Stanley’s role in this movie because he’s just adorable.  He has Andy’s best interests at heart, often giving her that final push when she needs it.  (See the quote above.)  He has so many great scenes – most of which were ad-libbed, if you watch the bloopers, which just attests to Stanley’s absolute genius.  One of my favorite scenes isn’t in the movie.  (Katelyn knows which one I’m talking about.  THE GIRLS, KATELYN.  THE GIRLS.)  Also, this is his second movie with Meryl Streep, and they’re both completely different people in this one, which totally displays their versatility as actors.  Gah, I can’t.)

I’m slooooowly working my way through Stanley’s entire filmography, and some of the movies at the top of my To Watch list are The Pelican Brief, Shall We Dance (because hE DANCES!), The Company You Keep (which my parents watched without me and sent the Netflix DVD back before I could see it and I have no bitterness towards them WHATSOEVER), Spotlight (which also stars Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams), Big Night (Stanley and Tony Shalhoub’s first shared screen), and, of course, Beauty and the Beast (!!!!!!!).

So what do you think of my list?  Have you seen any of these movies?  What are your thoughts about them?  Anything to say just about Stanley in general?  (Just letting you know, if you bash him at all, I’ll bash you right back because he is perfection.)

story snippet | the boy and the theatre girl.

(This story’s been tumbling around in my mind for years, and I think it’s the next thing I’m going to work on.  I’ve started a secret Pinterest board for it, which I’ll be making public sometime in the nearish future.  Anyway, I submitted this snippet and another for a course and got good grades on both of them, which made me super happy.  The first snippet can be found here.  Oh and the main character is a 13-year-old boy named Zach.  Enjoy!)

I flop backwards on my bed and stare at the ceiling.

Emilie’s gone.

I won’t see her ’til Thanksgiving. Maybe before then, if she finds a free weekend to come visit, but plane tickets are expensive and I don’t have enough money to pay for her to come.

I start thinking about school and how I’ll handle the next school year without her and that I’ll have to handle it all by myself and if I’ll be able to get good grades or if I’ll just barely pass all of my classes again like before and my chest starts heaving and my heart starts pounding and I have to close my eyes and think of the ocean for a few minutes before I can calm down.

Mrs. Parker knocks on my door after a while and asks if I want any dinner but I don’t say anything. I’ve lost my voice. Again.

“It’ll be on the table in twenty minutes if you want it,” she says. A few seconds later, she says, “I’m here if you want to talk or just need somebody to sit with.”

I wish I could tell her how much I appreciate it. I wish I could just open the door and hug her and cry and let her hug me back and talk about everything I’m stressing out about.

But I can’t.

My voice is gone again and I don’t know where to find it.

“I’ll come check on you again in a little while.”

I nod, even though I know she can’t see it. She walks away after a moment and I’m alone.

I trace the constellations on the ceiling with my gaze. They’ve been up there for almost a year now, and haven’t moved a fraction of an inch since. I wish my life were like that – predictable and settled, instead of erratic and unreliable.

Tears start to well up in my eyes as a lump forms in the back of my throat.

No.

I flip over, grab my notebook, and start writing before I let myself sink any further. I spill my thoughts across the page, somehow focusing through blurry vision. Sentences are scratched out, arrows drawn to switch things around, words are circled and starred. Even as I write, I’m struck by how much better this is than trying to write it out on the computer. “Your mind works too quickly for the computer to keep up,” Emilie once told me. I realize she was right.

As I start on my fourth page, I finally start to feel the words ebb away. The lump is gone, and only one tear smudged the page. I hit the middle of the sixth page and realize I’m done, so I flip back to the beginning and start copying the poem on fresh pages, revising it slightly, but trying to leave it clean and readable.

I’ll send it to her in my first letter, I decide. And then she can tape it on her dorm wall and it’ll remind her of me.

I finish copying out the poem and read over it twice. I’m satisfied with how it turned out, but it’s not the kind of poem to make me smile. Not like the last one I sent her. That one was borne out of good feelings. This one’s not.

I close my notebook, roll over to my back, and hug it to my chest as I stare at the constellations again. The moonlight streaming through the window dimly lights the room, but the stars on the ceiling are shining brightly. I’m glad Emilie put them there. I can’t see the real stars outside because of the city lights, but these are good enough.

A while later, my phone buzzes. I consider leaving it, but then I remember that it might be Emilie. I grab it and turn it on, and my heart jumps when I realize it is her. She’s sent me her new address, along with a heart and a “Write soon – I can’t wait to talk to you again. Miss you already!!!”

I take a shaky breath as tears burn my eyes. This time, though, they’re happy tears. I smile and close my eyes, letting them overflow. The thought that someone wants to hear from me – and even misses me – makes my heart and mind soar. I’ve never known love to be this huge.

I hug the notebook tighter and let myself cry.