Author Archives: solacewinter

Banana Nut Waffles – Eating Healthy on a Budget

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(There are two servings on that plate, for the record)

I had been asking for recipes, so Ingrid and I discussed a recipe site and went with the Food Babe. Now, the Food Babe is good about healthy recipes, but she’s on the more “extreme” level of health than I would push on basically anyone on a budget. So, we re-did the recipe a bit for a budget, and found that on a budget, while this wasn’t a bad meal for you, it really felt like it lost the “health” values of it. However, it was definitely tasty, and there are worse ways to have thick, fluffy waffles.

Syrup and Butter numbers are not included in the cost, as those are add ons, to me, for people to use or not use. As you can see from the picture, I totally did. And below is The Food Babe’s actual recipe, and then what we came up with after we tweaked it. For the record, walnuts WOULD be cheaper than the Honey Roasted Peanuts we used, but peanuts are what I had on hand, and it added an extra sweet flavor to it.

The Food Babe’s Banana Nut Waffles

Lily White Flour – $1.87 a bag, total cost for recipe: $0.10, total cost per serving: $0.02

Banana – $0.33 a pound, total cost for recipe: $0.17, total cost per serving: $0.03

Honey Roasted Peanuts – $2.99 a jar, total cost for recipe: $0.19, total cost per serving: $0.04

Eggs – $0.79 a dozen, total cost for recipe: $0.26, total cost per serving: $0.052

Cinnamon – $1 a bottle, total cost for recipe: $0.02, total cost per serving: $0.004

Vanilla Extract – $1 a bottle, total cost for recipe $0.02, total cost per serving: $0.004

Total cost of Recipe: $0.76

Total cost per serving: $0.15

The numbers, per serving:

Calories: 221

Protein: 8g

Fat: 6g

Sugar: 9g

Fiber: 2g

Cost of Eating Healthy Week 2

Total cost to feed just myself, one meal a day, this week was $16.44. I saved nearly $5 from the first week, so that’s not too bad. If anyone has a healthy recipe they find and would like me to try, send it my way! I might give it a try. Remember, recipes that cost too much, though, will be rejected. I’m trying to keep meals under $5 a meal.

 

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016: $1.19

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Time for today’s meal! This is featuring chicken thighs and asparagus. I love asparagus (as do my cats, apparently) so you might see it a lot while it’s in season. I also admit, though, it’s not the cheapest vegetable you can buy.

Chicken thighs: $0.87 a pound, total cost: $0.44

Blueberry Pomegranate Dressing: $2.29 a bottle, total cost: $0.13

Cinnamon: $1 a bottle, total cost: $0.02

Asparagus: $2.99 a bundle, total cost: $0.60

Total cost of meal: $1.19

Calories: 453

Protein: 23g

Fat: 37g

Sugar: 6g

Fiber: 3g

Friday, June 3rd, 2016: $3.66

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Another day, another meal! Shrimp pasta today, with squash instead of noodles.

Shrimp: $7.99 a pound, total cost: $2

Pumpkin Chipotle Pasta Sauce: $2.49 a jar, total cost $0.50

Mushrooms: $1.99 a container, total cost $0.50

Banana Peppers: $2.99 a jar, total cost: $0.16

Squash: $1.49 for 3, total cost: $0.50

Total Cost of meal: $3.66

Calories: 238

Protein: 24g

Fiber: 4g

Fat: 6g

Sugar: 10g

 

Saturday, June 4, 2016: $1.09

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Meal for the day was a high fat meal, but that’s what happens when you pair avocado and sausages, and some eggs.

Now, let me talk about milk for a moment. I don’t use regular milk, I use Fairlife. YES, it is more expensive, but it is healthier. I will in no way tell anyone on a budget, yes, switch to Fairlife. If you have a family to feed, Fairlife just isn’t an option at anywhere between $2.97 and $3.99 a half gallon. But for me, it’s a healthier option. I barely use milk, and Fairlife has more protein, less sugar, and no lactose. So, again, the numbers are going to be slightly off here because I use Fairlife, and you might not.

Avocado: $4.48 a bag, total cost $0.25

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Sausage: $1.99 a pound, total cost: $0.22

Goldhen Eggs: $0.89 a dozen, total cost: $0.15

Mrs. Dash Southwest Seasoning: $3.49 a bottle, total cost $0.11

Sweet Mini Peppers: $2.49 a bag, total cost: $0.25

Fairelife Skim/Fat Free Milk: $2.97 a bottle (on sale at WalMart), total cost: $0.11

Total cost of meal: $1.09

Calories: 464

Protein: 30g

Fat: 33g

Sugar: 5g

Fiber: 4g

 

Sunday, June 4th, 2016: $2.57
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Today was a “ground meat and stuff” kind of day. As in, I threw a bunch of stuff in with ground beef. It’s not always ground beef, but today it was.

I also had a Diet Pepsi. It’s a cheat day. Remember, diet soda isn’t inherently better for you than regular soda/pop. You just as much have to drink two glasses of water, since the sweeteners act as a dehydrator. Which is why I don’t recommend diet. But today I had to kill the craving, and now I’m drinking water to counteract it.

90% lean ground beef: $4.29 a pound, total cost: $1.61

Fit & Active Brown Rice: $1.39 a box, total cost $0.17

Hot Chili Peppers: $3.99 a bottle, total cost: $0.22

Avocados: $4.48 for 5, total cost: $0.25

Mushrooms: $1.99 a bunch, total cost: $0.25

A1 Steak Sauce: $2.49 a bottle, total cost: $0.07

Total cost of meal: $2.57

Calories: 532

Protein: 40g

Fat: 23g

Fiber: 5g

Sugar: 3g

 

Monday, June 6, 2016: $1.47
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Sorry this one is late! Today’s meal plan, not the healthiest meal, but not unhealthy and not expensive.

Chicken Drumsticks: $0.87 a pound, total cost: $0.65

Knorr Side: $1 a bag, total cost: $0.50

Asia Fusia Seasoning: $2.29 a bottle, total cost: $0.25

McCormick Barbecue Seasoning: $3.49 a bottle, total cost: $0.07

Total meal cost: $1.47

Calories: 668

Protein: 30g

Fat: 36g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 13g

Tuesday, May 7, 2016: $4.55

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Today’s meal, a pork steak with eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, and shrimp. On the plate, you are going to see 3 servings, which I will calculate the numbers for, but it was actually too hard for me to finish three servings and I ended up only eating two.

Pork Steak: $3.59 for 3 pounds (Aldi discount), total cost: $1.20

Shrimp: $7.99 a pound, total cost: $2

Eggplant: $1.48 a pound, total cost: $0.37

Peppers: $2.49 a bag, total cost: $0.14

Mushrooms: $1.99 a container, total cost: $0.25

McCormick Roasted Garlic Seasoning: $3.49 a bottle, total cost: $0.59

Total cost of meal: $4.55

Calories: 891 (651 with the amount I actually ate)

Protein: 76g

Fat: 56g

Sugar: 7g

Fiber: 4g

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2016: $1.91

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Today’s meal! A frittata! Been a while since I baked one of those.

Brown Sugar Sausages: $3.99 a pound, total cost: $1.33

Goldhen Eggs: $0.89 a dozen, total cost: $0.30

Kale: $3 a bag, total cost: $0.10

Peppers: $2.49 a bag, total cost: $0.14

Mrs. Dash Table Blend Seasoning: $3.49 a bottle, total cost: $0.04

Total cost of meal: $1.91

Calories: 433

Protein: 33g

Fat: 25g

Sugar: 9g

Fiber: 2g

 

Cost of Living Healthy

I’ve been arguing that eating healthy is cheaper than people think it is, it also involves less than what people think. I’m going to break down the basics of the cost of my meals every week, and the calories, protein, fat, sugar, and fiber in them, since these are the most vital every day needs.

From Thursday, May 26th, 2016, to today, Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 I have come up with a total of $21.57 to feed myself one meal per day. Granted, other meals might have cost less as they weren’t as involved, but this is just for one meal a day. Cost and calories are broken down per day:

Thursday May 26, 2016: $5.15

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Today, the lunch was salmon and rice. Because we’ve been talking about cost of food and eating healthy, I’m going to start breaking down cost and numbers so you guys can kind of get an idea.

For the record, this was not one of my cheaper meals.

Salmon: $4 for two servings.
Knorr: $1 a container, .50 cents for one serving.
Mushrooms: $1 a container, .25 cents for one serving.
Kale: $1 a bunch, .10 cents for one serving.
Banana Peppers: $3.99 a jar, .20 cents a serving
Weber Grill Zesty Lemon Seasoning: $3.99 a jar, .10 cents a serving.

Cost of one meal: $5.15

Calories: 563

Protein: 47g

Fiber: 5g

Fat: 17g

Sugar: 3g

Friday May 27, 2016: $2.64

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Today’s Meal:

Cab Round Steak: $3.91 a pound (on sale) $0.97 a serving, Cost: $1.46

Zucchini: $1.29 for 3 whole zucchini, 1 used, cost: $0.43

Mushrooms: $1.99 a container, quarter container used, cost: $0.50

Grill Mates Mesquite Seasoning: $0.99 a container, 1 serving used, cost: $0.25

Total meal cost: $2.64 for one meal.

Calories: 357

Protein: 39g

Fat: 17g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 3g

Saturday, May 28, 2016: $2.12

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Today’s meal consisted of three chicken drumsticks and brown rice. I love brown rice, for the record, so you might see a lot of meals about it.

Now, something to know about chicken drumsticks. They are TYPICALLY 4 ounces, but that includes the bone. In this case you separate the eatable portion from the bone weight, which usually leaves you with 2.5 ounces. 3 legs then becomes 7.5 ounces, a little less than two servings. Again, this isn’t an exact, but it’s basically what we’ve found to be true.

Meijer Chicken Drumsticks, $0.87 per pound, total cost: $0.65

Fusia Tai Chili Dipping Sauce, $1.99 a bottle, total cost $0.26

Bourbon Brown Sugar Barbeque Sauce, $4.99 a bottle, total cost $0.16

McCormick Brown Sugar Marinade, $0.99 a packet, total cost $0.20

Kale, $1 a bunch, total cost, $0.10

Fit & Active Brown Rice, $1.39 a box, total cost, $0.25

Mushrooms: $1.99 a container, total cost, $0.50

Total cost of meal: $2.12

Calories: 623

Protein: 43g

Fat: 20g

Sugar: 17g

Fiber: 5g

Sunday May 29, 2016 $2.85

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Today’s meal deals (and to be fair, a lot of it ended up on my plate and eaten with a fork afterward):

Cab Round Steak: $3.91 a pound, total cost: $1.46

Fit & Active Brown Rice: $1.39 a box, total cost, $0.25

Simply Nature Organic Blueberry and Pomegranate with Chia Dressing: $2.29 a bottle, total cost $0.07

Kale: $1 a bunch, total cost, $0.10

Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning (for rice): $3.49 a bottle, total cost, $0.12

Mushrooms: $1.99 a bunch, total cost: $0.25

Flat Out Whole Grain Sandwich Bread: $2.98 a package, total cost: $0.60

Today’s meal cost me: $2.85

Calories: 653

Protein: 54g

Fat: 21g

Fiber: 10g

Sugar: 10g

Monday May 30, 2016 $4.55

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Today’s meal! A shrimp, avocado, and eggplant flat bread sandwich. Soooo tasty, sooo good for you, not my cheapest meal. We’re working on the cost thing!

Shrimp: $7.99 a pound, total cost: $2.00

Avocado: $4.48 a bag, total cost: $0.56

Eggplant: $1.48 a pound, total cost: $0.93

Flat Out Roasted Garlic Flat Bread: $2.98 a package, total cost: $0.60

Kraft Zesty Lime Vinaigerette: $1.99 a bottle, total cost: $0.06

Jalapenos: $3.99 a jar, total cost: $0.28

Fiesta Lime Mrs. Dash: $3.49 a bottle, $0.04 a serving

Weber Roasted Garlic serving: $3.99 a bottle, $0.08 a serving

Total cost of meal: $4.55

Calories: 403

Protein: 26g

Fat: 17g

Fiber: 9g

Sugar: 7g

Tuesday May 31, 2016: $1.77

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Today’s meal! Ribs and potatoes, because why not? And yes, ribs and potatoes do not have to be bad for you! In fact, it’s kind of good for you. I definitely needed the potassium.

Ribs: $1.49 a pound, total cost, $0.75

Potatoes: $3.99 for 5 pounds, total cost, $0.20

Mini Peppers: $2.49 a bag, total cost $0.17

McCormick Seasoning: $0.99 a bag, total cost, $0.10

Cinnamon: $1.00 a bottle, total cost, $0.05

Mushrooms: $1.99 a bunch, $0.50

Total cost of meal: $1.77

Calories: 483

Protein: 34g

Fat: 21g

Fiber: 4g

Sugar: 7g

Wednesday, June 1, 2016: $2.49

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Today’s meal, and this is a week of meals for the record:

Steak: $3.36 a pound (20% off), total cost: $1.26

Brussel Sprouts: $2.49 a bag, $0.83

Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper: $3.49 a bottle, total cost: $0.10

McCormick Hamburger Seasoning: $3.49 a bottle, total cost: $0.15

Meijer Blue Cheese Dressing: $1.89 a bottle, total cost $0.15 (used more than will actually stick to steak)

Total cost of meal: $2.49

Calories: 423

Protein: 39g

Fat: 21g

Fiber: 5g

Sugar: 3g

Typecasting an Actor – Shaolin – School Blog

Shaolin

2011

Starring Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse

(Meyers, 2011)

While Jackie Chan most certainly has been type-cast in his career as a personality actor, after all most of the films with wide releases in America that star the Chinese actor have him running around doing crazy stunts and making jokes, he’s definitely a character actor. This is embraced more in his films that are from China such as Shaolin, Shinjuku Incident, and Dragon Blade. He never leaves action behind, but his character might be a comedian or working in a historical fiction drama where he takes his role very seriously.

In Shaolin Jackie Chan is a monk that works with Andy Lau’s character in bringing him back into the monastery. Andy Lau is another character actor, but unlike Chan he does not have the recognition in America. He picks a wide range of diverse roles, but again they most range on action roles. He’s played everything from the villain, to the love interest, to the comic side-kick, though in this movie he takes on a serious role of redemption.

This leads to the youngest actor in this group, Nicholas Tse. A famous singer, he moved into acting because of his mother’s background, and only because it gave him more exposure. Like the others, he tends to star in more action oriented roles. Unlike the others, though, he tended to play the more dramatic, or emotional, roles in his films. However, when Nicholas Tse plays the antagonist he tends to show a serious lack in emotion. In Shaolin Nicholas Tse portrays a lack of emotion, even in his fight scene with two monks.

(ColonelWEKurtz, 2011)

One might assume from Nicholas Tse’s portrayals as antagonists that perhaps he is, actually, a personality actor, as in he might seriously just lack personality. In this scene from The Promise, he most certainly seems to follow in that direction.

(Bgblindninja, 2012)

Nicholas Tse, however, tries to go against type cast. Back in 2001, when he was 21, he starred alongside cartoon characters in the movie Old Master Q 2001 (or Master Q 2001 depending on Chinese or American naming). In it, he and his girlfriend end up with amnesia because of three old cartoon characters who then do their best to make sure the two fall in love all over again. There is not much drama or even action (at least in fighting for Nicholas Tse to break out his movie studied martial arts).

(ihatezion, 2013)

With 45 acting credits to his name so far at the age of 33, granted some have been quick cameos like as the waiter in The Medallion, he has played a large range of roles. He plays the hero, the antagonist, the love interest, the comedian, the musician, and once he even played a comic character that came to life and completely acted on the whim of his creators.
References:

Bgblindninja. (2012, January 13). Nicholas Tse vs Hiroyuki Sanada – The Promise. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_U0SD0pnpk

ColonelWEKurtz. (2011, May 21). Shaolin (2011) Nicholas Tse vs Yu Xing and Wu Jing. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDrYFQa63as

Ihatezion. (2013, December 18). Master Q 2001 Trailer. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wShy5snEQQ

Meyers, R. (2011, September 7). More Me in Print, on Line, in Ear. Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://ricmeyers.com/2011/09/07/more-me-in-print-on-line-in-ear/

Nicholas Tse. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0874866/?ref_=tt_cl_t5

San Siu Lam Zi. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1533749/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The Sounds of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – School Blog

In the very opening of Beauty and the Beast there is a piano playing, an eerie song though the scene is light and full of animals in what almost appears to be a happy forest (Beauty and the beast, 1991). The piano, the hardest sound, is accompanied quietly by a few wind instruments that lend to the eerie feel (Beauty and the beast, 1991). This music tells that despite appearances, this is not a happy tale of narration (Beauty and the beast, 1991). In those few sounds before the narration starts it completely emphasizes the very story of the narration when the prince turns the witch away for her appearance (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

(Animation Revelation, 2012)

Minutes later Belle’s introduction starts in song (Beauty and the beast, 1991). At first it is only the music and her own voice blessing the animated scene, making it seem stiff, as if the song is all that is happening (Beauty and the beast, 1991). She ends the first verse with, “Waking up to say…” and in that time the sound effects truly begin (Beauty and the beast, 1991). A window is propped open, a rug shaken out, and a man popping up from a chimney (Beauty and the beast, 1991). The sounds of the town singing, “Bonjour!” now accompany her along her journey to the library, where the bell rings as she enters (Beauty and the beast, 1991). The song is livelier for the sound effects, where otherwise it truly would feel lifeless as she simply sang across the scenery (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

Dialogue and sound effects work hand in hand in a scene shortly after Belle’s songs introduction (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Gaston and Lefou are making fun of her father and she claims, “My father is not crazy! He’s a genius!(Beauty and the beast, 1991)” This is immediately followed by the sound of an explosion that causes her to turn around and see the smoke billowing from her house (Beauty and the beast, 1991). She immediately runs to the house, ignoring the two who were having a conversation with her (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

Another excellent mix of dialogue and sound effects is the scene where Belle’s father becomes lost in the woods (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Her father urges the horse on, but the horse clearly is telling the old man no, not that way, but he is obstinate and insists that they will be going the right way (Beauty and the beast, 1991). As they travel further into the woods and the horse slowly clops along, the sound of wolves growling in the distance scares off the horse, leaving Belle’s father to fed for himself, screaming for help and escaping into the castle gates (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

The scene that is the epitome of dialogue sings for Beauty and the Beast, however, is the scene where Belle and Beast find common ground (Beauty and the beast, 1991). They are both frustrated and lashing out, but they still take the time to save one another from the wolves (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Afterward she is tending to his wounds and he yells, “That hurts!” To which she responds, “Well if you’d hold still it wouldn’t hurt as much! (Beauty and the beast, 1991)”

The two end their argument with, “Well you shouldn’t have been in the West Wing! (Beauty and the beast, 1991)”

“Well you should learn to control your temper! (Beauty and the beast, 1991)”

(ThisGirlDiZ, 2009)

They stare at each other, realizing they both have voiced their frustrations, and felt remorse for what they did to one another (Beauty and the beast, 1991). Neither are terribly unkind, but both are selfish in their own ways and if they are going to share a life together, however that life may be, they need to find a common ground (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

While most of the sounds throughout the movie go for as realistic as possible, it’s hard to stay too realistic when talking about an animated film about a beast and enchanted dishware. For example, the horse very adamantly signifying it did not want to go down the road that Belle’s father had chosen, while sticking with a horse’s whinny, was not a sound the horse likely would have made (Beauty and the beast, 1991). There is also the roar of the beast, which is realistic in itself, but often overlaps with his speaking. Unless he has two complete different sets of vocal chords this is not going to happen (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

Since the genre of film falls into animation on AFI, what sounds would give away this is animation? The very sounds that excel at giving this animated film a realistic feel are the sounds that ping it as animation. In most movies the sounds of a tray being placed down would be apparent, but muted to be understated as dialogue continued, where in animation such as this movie it wants to prove it paid attention to every little detail. The pad of feet, the sounds of wheels on cobble, they all are more alive because it’s an animate film (Beauty and the beast, 1991).

References:

Animation Revelation. (2012, February 6). Animation Revelation’s Animation Blog. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://animationrevelation.com/readables/?p=186

Beauty and the beast [Motion picture]. (1991). Buena Vista Home Video.

ThisGirlDiZ. (2009, April 11). BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Learn to Control your Temper! Retrieved March 20, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt2rBRu3lkg

Mamma Mia – Lighting – School Blog

One of the things musicals embrace when they are telling their stories on film is that they are brightly lit and tend to be colorful, even when dark. Mamma Mia manages to embrace the scenery of a Greek island and an upbeat situation, all while going for darker storylines that are usually outdone by how over the top the whole thing can be.

The story is about a woman losing her daughter to marriage, a hotel that is going under, a daughter who does not know her own father, and friends and family all coming together for a supposedly joyous occasion.

In one of the first musical numbers sung by Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia she finds out that the three men she had a love affair with twenty years ago are all staying in a room upstairs.

This scene uses light colors and the “daylight” sense to make it as bright and bubbly as the song presumes. Again, she’s singing about men who broke her heart and left her, one of them leaving her with a child to raise on her own. Besides the catch tune, what will keep people from weighing too heavily on the underlying dark story here? Obviously the lighting. Imagine the scene set at night, her trying to sneak a peak by candlelight or moonlight, it wouldn’t hold the same feeling, the same contentment with an amusing situation.

In a later scene Amanda Seyfriend’s character has a moment she had been waiting for through the movie. One of the three men she believes to be her father tells her he’s her father, and he’s walking her down the aisle at her wedding the next day. At first she’s excited.

After all three men tell her they are walking her down the aisle and that they are her father, it starts to eat at her. She’s dancing and growing dizzy. The cover of night makes up this scene and the lighting is all done in disco dazzles and neon coloring to highlight the type of music that is playing and her quickened descent at being overwhelmed. Again, while the darker sound of the music helps play a role, this would be a different scene if played in the light of day and admitted in a less dizzying way. The dizzy lighting helps the audience connect with the way the character on screen is feeling.

Being that Mamma Mia is a musical, most musical numbers in the genre rely heavily on lighting. Sure, the perfect song has to sit into the movie, but every musical scene is like watching a music video. A music video could lose its audience easily with the wrong story being told. Theater is often brought to life in the musical movie genre, and while I would not say that technique is repeated in every movie, the lighting helps cast a somber feeling, a feeling of joy, a feeling of giddiness, as the beat plays out the emotions of the characters.

References:

Mamma mia poster. (2013, May 21). Retrieved March 12, 2015, from https://klling.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/mamma-mia-2008/mamma-mia-poster/

Marylouisestreep00. (2008, October 5). Mamma mia! From Mamma mia the movie (FULL video/song). Retrieved March 12, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN6ZMsnB_2E

WomanGB Random Channel. (2008, October 25). Voulez Vous – Mamma Mia! The Movie – FULL VIDEO. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HjS1s9QuZk

Into the Woods (2014) – Blog for School

Into the Woods (2014)

Written by: James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Staring: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, James Corden, Tracey Ullman

In a story starring fairy tale characters we recognize, the Disney film that was originally a Stephen Sondheim musical uses the base stories to begin this tale. These are the stories that would have not made an original cut for a Disney film, the ones with tragic happenings and darker backgrounds, like Rapunzel’s blinded prince and Cindrella’s disfigured step-sisters.

A witch demands help from a baker and his wife, promising them she will release the curse she has placed on their home and give them a child if they help her lift her own curse. This leads them into the woods after a cape of crimson, a cow as white as milk, hair the color of the silk of a corn, and a golden slipper. At the same time Jack is traveling through the woods to sell is cow, Cinderella is in the woods to visit her mother’s grave, and Little Red Riding Hood travels through the woods to go to Granny’s house. Somewhere already within the woods, Rapunzel is locked in a tower looking for love.

Halfway through this film you will have seen the happy ending of the fairy tale stories that are oddly familiar, but then the familiarity ends and begins the tale of what happens after happily ever after. It’s not such a happy place, in fact this is quite grim.

The story is a chronological tale, first focusing on the fairy tale portion, and then the after effects of happily ever after. In this sort of telling it is more effective to reach for chronological, as it gives the audience a connection with their individual stories that are intertwining.

The characters themselves grow from their openings. Cinderella is a girl who doesn’t want to make a choice that will decide her life:

Meanwhile, her prince and his brother sing of their agony, which one of them seems to only take on because it’s a challenge:

Later Cinderella learns what it was to not actually make her decision while the baker and his wife realize the true meaning of having a child. The witch that started this hunt in the first place might have the most tragic story of them all, her vanity winning over her love for the child she has stolen and raised. When it does she regrets much, but can not turn back time and right the wrongs she has brought on herself. By being entirely focused on one thing and only wanting what they want right now, every character in the movie learns there was more out there they should have paid attention to, that they were missing life by wanting something else.

The film relies heavily on humor and the music to tell the story. Without the music or without the humor, this would be a dark story that few would have an interest in. The reasons that send them into the woods, the events that take place, and the deaths they have to come to deal with all would tell of nothing but tragedy. While tragedies can be brilliantly written, the bittersweet conclusion of this film might not ring with that hollow feel. The hollow feel, actually, seems to be the goal of the entire movie.

References:

Into the Woods Live Q&A Event. (2014, November 18). Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://www.yahoo.com/movies/v/woods-live-q-event-200000218.html

On the Steps of the Palace – “Into the Woods” Original Movie clip (Anna Kenrick). (2015, January 9). Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s597R2Awbk

Oncer, J. (2015, January 8). Agony | Into the woods 2014 | Chris Pine & Billy Magnussen. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmixlJ79ZF0

Summoned by Rainy Kaye

Summoned by Rainy Kaye

4.5/5

A modern day genie tale almost sounds like it could be yawn-worthy to be honest. Despite my love for Rainy Kaye I was hesitant to read this novel. Yay, another romance novel that probably– wait, wait, wait. What the Hell is going on here?

That’s right. This novel is DIFFERENT. I saw none of it coming at any point, and I enjoyed that. The ending was a twist. The love story wasn’t the same tired story. And the voice worked. Many women have this habit of being over gushy when writing men. The majority of men are not that adorable and loving when thinking about women. A woman does not take over their every thought every moment of the day.

Dimitri, our genie in question, is not the most likeable character you’ll ever read about. Syd is not your most sympathetic heroine you’ll ever see. However the two make a dynamic that works on the rush they give one another and then the reader. These characters are real compared to many that will be seen or read about. Their feelings are organic as are their actions. And at the end of the story you will be left with a question but satisfied with an ending.

Now, with all of this praise, why did I remove half of a star? Silvia. Silvia is not the main antagonist, but she proves to be one. She falls flat as a character. The author spends a little too much time pushing on us how we should feel about Silvia and I didn’t completely feel that way… until one scene that caused me to have to put the book down for a day before I could read it again. This is a relationship that could have had a novel on its own to explain many things, but unfortunately for me it just didn’t go the way I thought it should, or could. We can’t all get what we want, though, and that is no fault of the author!

Reasons to Read:

  • One of the most original plots in contemporary fiction
  • Characters that keep you guessing
  • Sensual and Bloody
  • A borrowed tale has never fit so well in something new

Reasons Not to Read:

  • Might be a little too bloody for some
  • Fast paced parts sometimes can be a bit confusing
  • While some characters are expounded and worked with, some don’t have the payoff
  • All questions won’t be answered

Blurb

Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.

Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets.

Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.

Summoned is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Find out more at http://www.summonedtheseries.com

Author Bio

Rainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at RainyoftheDark.com and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. When not plotting world domination, she enjoys getting lost around the globe, studying music so she can sing along with symphonic metal bands, and becoming distracted by Twitter @rainyofthedark. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Summonedtour

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/78545529

The Winners, and Loser, of the Royal Rumble 2014 Prediction Contest

Thanks everyone for joining for one last prediction contest. I don’t know what I’m going to do next PPV. Sadly, the answer might be not watch. Interest is dwindling, people are bored, I’ve been bored. I know there are great ideas in the WWE, but they won’t let them shine through. And then they give us matches like … tonight. Really? Orton/Cena is all they can come up with? I’m a huge fan of Orton, and I’m tired of it! There are too many men on the roster doing nothing and too many of the same men doing the same thing. This is why the unification ended up being a bad thing.

But this isn’t about my opinions on the dwindling product. This is about winners, and losers.

The winners. There were three people who came out on top with a perfect score. To them go the first spoils.

To the big winner… @_Wheaties, he gets the package from @WrestleSubtitle, which is $75 WWE Shop Gift certificate and WWE 2k14.

To the runner up… @TheSilentSavior, he gets the package from @MarkBilly, a Mick Foley autographed Hardcore Diaries!

And the third place winner… @thagr8short1… he gets the set of Rumbler toys I’ve been accumulating for the kids of his that pick every month, and finally landed the correct predictions on the last go!

The loser, and therefore winner, of the Jabroni Jobber prize is… @sallen_87! You tried, but this month just didn’t want to give you a win! @Andrewthemark has some action figures to make you feel better!

Now there’s quite a few other things to give away, and for that I kind of pulled names out of the hat.

First, well I’ll publicly admit, I did this for him because he’s done so much for me. So from one person who has done quite a bit to me to another… The Brooklyn Brawler autograph goes to @VrySrsBsns!

The winner of the DDP Yoga shirt is the biggest DDP Yoga fan on my timeline, and someone who found us through him, @TennCrusher! Thanks for entering!

The Scott Stanford autograph (YAY!) goes to @shawndecker. Thanks to him the predictions became what they were. He came up with prizes, he came up with… a lot of what we did, and he wasn’t going home empty handed even if his predictions were… not so great. Thank you Shawn, you’ll always be an inspiration.

And last, but definitely not least, the Ascension autographs. Those go to @AyYoAlo! Congrats on your win!

Everyone, please contact me starting Tuesday (TUESDAY) and we will work out your winnings! Otherwise, thanks everyone!

The Last Solace Winter Prediction Contest – Going out at Royal Rumble 2014

RoyalRumble2014For those who have been here for a long time, I’m sad to see it go. For those who came in for this last one, welcome! This page will update during the Rumble with the scores, so if you want to check how you are doing, or your competition, just keep coming back. I will also announce every time I’ve updated the page during the Rumble.

Now first, for the prizes. I am giving away a lot of prizes, but not one person wins them all. Sorry, but that wouldn’t be fair! The winner of it all wins the @WrestleSubtitle package. After that, I’m going to pick and choose winners for the other things based on ability in other areas of predictions. So just because you don’t do the best overall doesn’t mean you aren’t winning a prize! But, if you do the worst, don’t worry, @Andrewthemark has you covered.

If you have been here awhile you know that I USED TO take tie-breaker by tie-breaker, and once the tie broke I would end it. Oooh, not this time. If there is a tie, the winner is who does the best in the tie breakers (IN THOSE WINNERS, not from everyone) overall. So you may have the entrant number wrong, but had better guesses with everything else. So keep track during the Rumble! I will also announce things as we go.

Good luck everyone!

  1. @SolaceWinter
  2. @TheSupremeForce
  3. @Right2PlayGod
  1. @BrothaCheese
  2. @WWEThatsNotPG
  3. @BizarroDoom
  4. @VrySrsBsns
  5. @aPsychoSoldier
  6. @RegalSays
  7. @ThisIsChev
  8. @RayLott2
  9. @karnuj
  10. @Kristoffrable
  11. @ZOMGItsIngrid
  12. @Melodelish4286
  13. @TomQWood
  14. @Glenntertain
  15. @evilkarebear
  16. @thagr8short1
  17. @jjmwwe89
  18. @AmplifiedToRock
  19. @sXe_Edd
  20. @NickRedMachine
  21. @shute915
  22. @NickGator
  23. @DXDONMEGA
  24. @IamLWilliams
  25. @CoreySantiago
  26. @rosamundmilne
  27. @Jmskipper
  28. @jmt5887
  29. @kakarotLUKE
  30. @sallen_87
  31. @AyYoAlo
  32. @ayumidah
  33. @James_Milne
  34. @Big_Thor_Dawg
  35. @micahhhh
  36. @ChoochieMac23
  37. @badwolfbay10
  38. @RealDealDiPirro
  39. @SkeltonQ
  40. @MzBiracialAngel
  41. @alindanielsmom
  42. @allnewtpir
  43. @ScoglioSpeaks
  44. @juicypatlucey
  45. @BrandonDNH
  46. @DarkFalz83
  47. @stvstheworld
  48. @gerMAIN_Event
  49. @VivaMattyVegas
  50. @JVLewis77
  51. @Jen7201
  52. @DanTheDazzler
  53. @HelloLangton
  54. @HaveTilFive
  55. @RandyDunn555
  56. @BradWardFGN
  57. @leeman7957
  58. @HurriOwl
  59. @RatedRPeep
  60. @DayVan_TeaMal
  61. @Jay_Lee101
  62. @BravestPAPaya
  63. @iammichaelfann
  64. @MrSoze
  65. @Age_Of_Victron
  66. @Andrewthemark
  67. @mtforbes
  68. @stateofthelinds
  69. @MattWard2387
  70. @JackForster92
  71. @AgitatedJim
  72. @DarkSithGWL
  73. @Manda598
  74. @BigTimeAallyhia
  75. @BHINDER1
  76. @ashleybbycakes
  77. @empress_nei
  78. @JodyNice1
  79. @shawndecker
  80. @ShayLMitchell
  81. @crabshamanrun
  82. @TheJonOMalley
  83. @heelJAY
  84. @kayetbh
  85. @_kidincredible
  86. @FnRenz
  87. @JakeGronie
  88. @Joeyh1984
  89. @embarrett1231
  90. @dizzle102688
  91. @mikellyoung
  92. @fyeahheath
  93. @TheJasonBilling
  94. @WillDangerzone
  95. @klborg319
  96. @FritoBandit
  97. @Ichibandrunk
  98. @FallsDownOften
  99. @ThePJRoberts1
  100. @gulag1930
  101. @heelmiranderp
  102. @StarmanWWE
  103. @bjs852
  104. @RoyallChris
  105. @snailsmelon
  106. @birdisthewyrd
  107. @sethmikey
  108. @swendog08
  109. @HollowkuboX
  110. @yeahimkristin
  111. @_Wheaties
  112. @baseball4life8
  113. @dwalker87
  114. @TomJamison
  115. @thekyledeck
  116. @MarkBilly
  117. @breakdown62
  118. @joshwestylufc
  119. @bwilli27
  120. @brysynner
  121. @KiannaFury
  122. @InvisibleStalkr
  123. @wolfpak999
  124. @cjcain7
  125. @TheNooreelYaquin
  126. @TennCrusher
  127. @secondhandsaint
  128. @TheSilentSavior
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