Adventures of the charmingly odd

What’s the Buzz #4: “But One Thousand Years Ain’t Enough to Tear Down Your Walls”

These posts used to be called “Coffee & GChat”, a weekly(ish) post on how I’m spending my time. That has now turned into “What’s the Buzz” posts! You can read the last one here. Mostly I ramble about the things I’m obsessed with lately.

Such as yesterday, I put my steam rollers in my hair for the first time in ages! (It’s hard to muster up the energy to look presentable when you’re on crutches. Paired with my every growing Besame Cosmetics make up collection, I was able to pull off a very vintage vibe last night.

Life

One goal I have right now is to really clean out all the JUNK I have. I’ve always been a collector, saving souvenirs from every experience that meant something to me. Or collecting things that go along with movies & books I love. As a result- I have so much stuff and I want to get rid of 90% of it. I live in such organized chaos and beloved clutter but I want to be more simplistic. I’ve sold some things on eBay, Etsy, and Poshmark but the app only service, Mercari, is by far the BEST. There are no fees, like eBay has, and there’s a lot of users which means I’ve already been able to sell a bunch of stuff. I might also just post some things on a page here on my blog in case any of you are interested. Or join Mercari- I 100% recommend it for selling things AND to find unique things you’ve been looking for. Use code “DMCDYQ” to get $2 towards your first purchase!

Roller Derby

0be6110c7fcaadb01ac8b60b08520b9fIt’s now been 3 1/2 weeks since I broke my leg at derby practice. Boy, let me tell you how much I am loathing these crutches. I hate not being able to walk AND carry things at the same time. I hate how much effort it is to do anything, especially shower or work. I’m also not sleeping well because I move around a lot in my sleep, which leads to me moving my foot, which causes a sharp pain up my leg and well, repeat that process a million times a night and see how exhausted you are the next day. There does seem to be more pain on the inside of my ankle (I broke my leg on the outside of my ankle) which leads me to believe I might have severely sprained something….which is not good. Ugh. I have an MRI on Thursday to see exactly what’s going on. I miss skating so much but my mind is having a constantly struggle of “Is roller derby worth all this pain, inconvenience, and losing money due to me not being able to work as much?” If I got 100% healthy again only to get hurt again skating, I would lose my mind. I have no idea what I’m going to do anymore. I did buy these hilarious stickers for my crutches though….

Reading

Honestly, I haven’t been reading much other than rereading “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes a LOT in the past couple of weeks. It’s one of those books that I’ve just kept in my bag and whenever I have free time I read a chapter or two. Something about this book really captivated me, providing comfort in how stressed out my personal life has been lately. Things with Steve are perfect, I assure you, but there are other things going on that is causing me so much anxiety and I’m having a hard time handling it. But this book makes me so happy <3. If you’ve read “Me Before You” and have any recommendations for books like it, please let me know! The closest books I can compare it to is “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger or all other books by Jojo Moyes.

Watching

The_white_queenI’m still not allowed to put any weight on my broken leg and I’m supposed to keep it elevated as much as possible, which means I’m watching a ton of television shows. So far I’ve caught up on season 2 of “Outlander”, all of “The Girlfriend Experience”, and all of “The White Queen” (thanks Starz on demand!). “The White Queen” was amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s based off of a series of books by Philippa Gregory called The Cousins’ War (The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter) and was done extraordinarily well. The acting, production quality, and writing are all superb. The leading actress, Rebecca Ferguson, is memorizing. She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries for playing Queen Elizabeth on this show and her performance is a force to be reckon with.  If you’re a Game of Thrones fan but prefer to have more of a historical fiction feel than fantasy-you’ll absolutely love it. It’s along the same vein as Pillars of the Earth, another favorite of mine. What’s even BETTER is that Starz recently announced that they are in production for the sequel to “The White Queen”, titled “The White Princess” according to Entertainment Weekly. YAYAYAYAY!!!

Listening To

My brother is notorious for his fantastic taste in music. So when he recommends a band or brings home a new CD, everyone in my family gives it a shot. 99% of the time he’s correct. The newest band I love that he’s told me about is Yukon Blonde, a group of Canadian guys. Their song “1,000 Years” is currently on repeat for me.

Super catchy! Check out more about them on their website here.

 House Keeping

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I was interview by Melissa over on Talking Comics on how much Peggy Carter means to me! Here is the beginning of the interview:

MM: So, I’m interested in particular in fans who develop a special sort of personal connection to a fictional character. I’m not talking ‘favorites’, but a character who influences your life or experiences in some significant way. Do you have a connection like that?

ZG: Peggy Carter immediately captured me, before the first Captain America movie came out. So much so that I cosplayed as her at the movie premiere at San Diego Comic Con 2011.

MM: Why Peggy Carter?

ZG: The two obvious reasons are: she is from the WWII era, which is a specialty of mine and she looks like me. This is an example of where representation matters. I’ve always been bigger than a size 4, with broad shoulders and strong jaw, much like Peggy. I had never seen an actress with the same body type as me before.

The other reasons would be that she is an outsider in her field because she’s a woman, and what woman hasn’t felt like she’s being underestimated as a result of her gender? Also, she had a heart of gold, which I strive for.  She loved Steve Roger before his transformation, before he became Captain America.

Check out the rest of the interview here!

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What’s Buzzing With Belle

The scoop on what has been on my mind this week!

Reading

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This past week I read an article online on how Emilia Clarke showed off her new bee tattoo inspired by her performance in a new movie. I have a weird love affair with jewelry featuring bees and I was deeply curious about what would inspire an actress to get a tattoo on her finger that is not hard to hide.

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Clarke getting her tattoo via her Instagram page

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The movie in question was “Me Before You”, based off of the book by Jojo Moyes. Upon watching the trailer I immediately knew I had to read the book as soon as possible. This is where a Kindle does come in handy and I devoured the book this week. I even bought the sequel even though my budget is SUPER tight until Wednesday. Proving once again that book addicts will spend money on reading material before buying food to survive.

I don’t want to give away too much detail of the book in case any of you don’t want to know spoilers. But below is the trailer in case you do want to know. (Personally I’ve watched the trailer dozens of times already.)

Where is the box of tissues?? June 5th cannot come soon enough.

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“New Girl” television show featuring Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, and Hannah Simone. For years I was against this show. Around 2008 to 20011 I was obsessed with Zooey Deschanel. She starred in SyFy’s “Tin Man” miniseries and from there I watched every single indie movie she had ever done. I saw her band “She & Him” twice at Terminal 5, front row both times. But the one time I got to meet her, she was really bitchy and that left a bad taste in my mouth ever since. And suddenly Deschanel was famous and everyone was watching “New Girl” and I was all “I had a girl crush on you before you were famous” resentful.

But then a few weeks ago I checked out the first episode on Netflix and it’s been downhill ever since. I’ve fallen back into girl crush with Deschanel and I adore all the other characters. The writing is witty and sincere, and I’m honestly sad that I’m almost done catching up. A binge worthwhile!

Wish List

As mentioned above, I have a weakness for jewelry featuring bees. Today I saw an Olivia Burton watch on Modcloth and immediately searched if it came in silver. I need a watch for my day job (I’m constantly having to record the time at work and I’m not allowed on my cell phone) and the watch I’ve been using died the other day =/ At some point I’m going to have to splurge on this watch because it’s just TOO my style not to.

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And then Some Housekeeping

Today I also set aside some time to respond to a bunch of letters sent from you guys to my P.O Box! I love hearing from you all, so please don’t hesitate to drop a note saying hello! My address is:

Zoë Gulliksen
P.O. Box 8432
44 Stelton Road #100
Piscataway, NJ 08854

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Side Notes

My life has been so crazy that two months have gone by since I last blogged! So here is a dump of 10 things that have been going on that have kept me from blogging:

1.) I busted up my tire!

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Look at this. Look at this majestically destroyed tire. Last Thursday I was driving on route 287 going home after my shrink appointment and suddenly my little Mini started SHAKING. I immediatley pulled over to the shoulder on an overpass and called my dad. I told him what happened and that I didn’t think I had a flat tire because my low air pressure light didn’t come on. Plus I didn’t hear it blow or anything.

He told me to check anyway so I hopped over the stick shift and low and behold, I basically ripped my tire from the wheel. Thank god my wheel or my car (or me) were damaged. Just the stupid tire. Thankfully my dad is a goddamn hero and came to my rescue!

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He drove to where I was and put on my spare tire. He then dropped me off at work and went to three different tire shops before finally finding the best deal on TireRack.com. My dad went above and beyond and had my tires put on for me while I was working Saturday! My darling little Mini Copper now has kick ass wheels and make it even easier to drive around Jersey like I just stole some Italian gold.

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2.) Life Inspiration: Dita Von Teese

I have natrually brunette hair that I have always loved. But one of the best impulsive decisions I’ve made this year is dye my hair black. I must admit that one of my inspirations to do so was style icon Dita Von Teese. I love how vintage, classy, and sexy she is.

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For the holidays I’m determined to perfect her tight curls and old Hollywood glamour.

3.) Roller Derby

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Next month I start boot camp for the Central Jersey Vixens! This year I overcome one of my biggest fears and

4.) What I Want for Christmas

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My parents are awesome and still ask for what I want for Christmas! This year my list is short and only includes the Kate Spade Wellesley Planner in Rose Gold, Mini Cooper merch, and Dita Von Teese’s new book “Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour“.

 

5.) Deal Casino

My brother is involved with the Asbury Park music scene and lets me know which local bands I should pay attention to. My absolute favorite of the year is Deal Casino, whom I’ve seen live three times! I have all of their EPs on my phone and they’re my latest favorite band. Below is my favorite song of theirs, “Red”. Listen and then run to iTunes to download all of their music!

6.) Mastering Make Up

Let it be known that age at the ripe age of 25, I finally learned how to do full face makeup without looking dried out/like am amateur drag queen/theatre kid.

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My everyday products are: Kat Von D’s tattoo eye liner, Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, Lock ‘N Load Makeup Setting Mist, Immortal Mascara / Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer / Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Concealer, Colored Clay Bronzer Blush, Lipsurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss, Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel /BareMinerals’s Complexion Rescue Gel Cream Marc Jacob’s Honey Perfume. (Uh, holy crap I can’t believe that I use ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS EVERY DAY.)

7.) Writing

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One of the main reasons why I haven’t been blogging is because all of my creative energy is going into the novel I’m writing. It’s going very well but super slow and ugh-I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it.

8.) Working at an Animal Hospital is Crazy

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It’s no secret that I work full time at an animal hospital by my house. I know on Twitter that I mention how hard it is (the death of pets and seeing wounded animals on a daily basis is fucking miserable). But I also get to play with puppies and kittens and am never ever bored. Last week I even met a monkey named Zoey. It was weird for everyone involved.

9.) Star Wars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I cannot wait to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17th at 10:15pm!! My brother and I have always wanted to get Star Wars tattoos together and we plan on getting them in the next couple of weeks! JonErik is getting his next week but I have to wait a bit to get mine because all my money has gone to Christmas shopping. *cries* Unless Santa comes early and drops $150 into my bank account. *hint hint bag man in a red suit*

10.) My P.O. Box!

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Attn Letter Writers! My PO Box is open! Send me letters, art, musings, postcards, novel chapters, anything! Everything that is sent to me will be responded to with a surprise!

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7 Things of Late

Hey guys!

Things have been full of busy life things lately, and I since I’m feeling under the weather & couch bound, I thought I’d give you guys an update!

1.) My new year’s resolution this year was to simple take care of myself. The last couple of years I hadn’t been doing that and I was not where I wanted to be mentally or physically. So I bit the bullet and went out on a quest to find doctors that I liked. Thankfully a friend referred me to an amazing psychiatrist (which is incredibly hard to find), who diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder (no surprise there). She put me on the correct cocktail of medications that actually lets me function like a normal person, such as sleep without nightmares & not have daily panic attacks. Most importantly, the nausea I had been feeling for over a year was due to stress and once I was not having attacks everyday, I stopped feeling sick all the time. Between that and the ability to not stress over every single detail in my life made an incredible difference. I’m able to focus on eating healthy and not just to curb my nauseousness.

Plus I’ve always had bad headaches, but they’ve increased in the past year so I saw a chiropractor, which did not help. However I did see an ENT who asked for a CAT scan of my sinuses and low and behold!- I have a severely deviated septum, a bone spur, and turbinate dysfunction. Meaning my nose is all crocked and the glands surrounding them are so swollen that they are putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on my face thus, sinus these migraines so bad I can’t see out of my right eye. I’m having surgery this Wednesday to correct all that nonsense which means weeks of recovery but years of no more migraines ahead of me.

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Things on my CRPS nerve disorder front are not going nearly as well. I’ve tried a few new pain management doctors since moving back to Jersey and none of them offer treatment I’ve agreed with. They want invasive procedures such as spinal cord stimulators and monthly epidurals to curb my nerve pain, which are not happening in my lifetime. They also refuse to refill my narcotics prescription, which I understand from a legal & medical conservative point of view. But now I’m currently on nothing for my nerve pain and sometimes it’s quite unbearable. But I have to get my nose surgery done before I can actually get anywhere for my nerves so blah blah blah. My health isn’t perfect but I’m much better than where I was five months ago!

2.) I love driving! Never in a million years did I ever think I would love driving! I’ve had my license for 2 months and 2 days now and I absolutely love it. I love my yellow mini cooper, Chuck, with my entire heart. When I told my mom this last month she replied with, “Good, then that car will take care of you.” I love that car and I love driving and I love how badass driving a manual transmission makes me feel. Sure, driving a stick shift is still frustrating at times, but I have to remind myself I have ONLY been driving for two months! And a stick nonetheless! Nobody masters a skill overnight. But I do love shifting gears and the sound of a revved up engine. And when random guys at gas stations and supermarkets remark on how badass I am for driving a manual coop, it does wonders for my confidence. I always thought I was too clumsy to learn how to drive (and had multiple people in my life tell me this for the last ten years) so being able to prove myself and them wrong feels amazing. Plus my car is way too cute for me to handle. <3

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3.) I turned 25 on April 25th, 2015! (gotta love numbers). I have had notoriously bad birthdays in my life, it kinda of felt like a curse. But Steve made sure I had the most wonderful of days. We drove into Manhattan to go to my favorite spots including breakfast at Zabar’s and a walk through Riverside Park.

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We also stopped at Tatyana Boutique, which has 40s & 50s inspired bombshell clothing for women of ALL SIZES. I walked in, told the gorgeous salesgirl (dressed as a pin up Little Mermaid) what I was looking for: a dress that covered my upper arms but showed off my ample cleavage and gave off a bombshell look. The girl’s eyes lit up and told me to wait in a dressing room. She brought me the most GORGEOUS dress and I looked like such a bombshell in it. It’s quite revealing so for my own sanity I won’t post a picture of the whole thing. But Steve certainly loved it <3

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He took me out to dinner to this stunning restaurant called 90 Acres. Even though we had dinner reservations, I asked to sit at the bar. My reasoning is that as soon as we walked into the place, I realized “Sabrina” with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart was playing behind the bar, a movie I love. Plus, the bartenders were super nerdy and awesome and we all had great conversation. By the time we were supposed to go to our table we just asked to stay where we were, and everything was perfect.

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4.) The day after my birthday we went to Six Flags Great Adventure to activate our season passes (kindly given to us by Steve’s best friend Dave for Christmas) and we rode all the best roller coasters. Steve hadn’t gone in a long time and I was able to tell him which ones were the best (Kingda Ka and El Toro) and though he questioned how I could have good taste in high thrill rides, afterwards he admitted I knew my shit. After all, I’ve gone skydiving before: I’m actually an adrenaline junkie, which not many would guess.

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5.) That Monday my sister Maya and I saw “The Age of Adaline” starring Blake Lively. (even though I want to hate her for breaking up ScarJo’s marriage to Ryan Reynolds, my Gossip Girl heart will always adore Ms. Lively.) The movie was amazing!!!! A complete fairy tale with elements of magic, romance, tragicness, and overall wonderfulness. Maya and I cried buckets and I can’t wait to buy it when it comes out.

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6.) I updated my Big Dipper tattoo! I didn’t like how the yellow originally healed; it was more of a brown than yellow. As much coworker Sarah described, it looked like a coffee stain hahaha. So I went back to Amanda to EvolvInk and told her I wanted some more color, and boy did she add some! Amanda is a wonderful artist and a great person to talk to while she tortures you slightly. I’m defiantly going back to her for all my future tattoos.

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7.) For my birthday Steve gave me a new lens for my DSLR, a 35 mm that’s supposed to be the best for taking astrophotography. He also gave me an astronomy laser pointer, which I really really wanted! *heart eyes*

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The past few nights the skies have been clear so here are the results of our efforts!

DSC_0946The Big Dipper

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DSC_0940-1If you click on the image to make it bigger, you can see we captured a satellite moving across the sky

So that’s basically what’s going on in my life recently. All this plus working at the animal hospital, which I love tremendously however emotionally draining at times. Life is good my friends. Life is so good.

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A Movie I Loved, A Movie I Hated, & Movies I Was Just Meh About

Below are four movies I’ve watched recently and have strong opinions about. Then again, when do I not have a strong opinion about a movie? I’m a pain in the ass, I know I know. But humor me, shall you?

Loved:
“God Help the Girl”

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This 2014 movie has been in the works for years. Since 2009 I have been waiting for this movie to finally finish production and a few months ago it was finally released, but only on Vimeo. I bought the download code and the soundtrack on vinyl immediately, knowing 100% that I was going to love this movie.

In short, it’s about a girl named Eve who escapes from her mental hospital and starts a pop band with a boy named James and a girl named Cassie. Quirky, emotional, magical goodness follows. I have listened this shit out of this soundtrack. It’s catchy and moving and different than anything else coming out these days. Watch the trailer below and try hard to not become enchanted! Even better, visit the site and buy the movie for yourself!: http://www.godhelpthegirl.com/

 

Hated:
The Last 5 Years

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I wanted to love this movie. I wanted to love this movie so fucking bad. All last fall I listened to the original Broadway soundtrack, but it was not good enough. I wanted to hear Anna Kendrick sing all the songs because he voice is heavenly! But I had a gut feeling that this wouldn’t be as good as I hoped. I ignored that gut feeling to the highest degree and bought the movie on iTunes the day it came out.

Boy was I disappointed. The songs are boring, minus two: “A Summer in Ohio” and “I can Do Better Than That.” Both are sung by Kendrick and both have been on repeat for weeks at a time. But the story about the rise and decline of a writer and an actress’s relationship is plan old tired. I hated the guy, named Jamie, from the get go. He was too full of himself and Kendrick’s character Cathy was just so in awe that somebody as charming as gorgeous as him would love her, that she let him get away with everything. No wonder she got her heart broken.

I was so disinterested every time Jamie sang that I literally skipped entire scenes because I couldn’t care less. There was no character development or real plot. What a disappointment, Kendrick deserves much better considering her incredible talent. Check out the trailer below to make your own decision (but for the love of god, don’t buy it.)

Meh:

Skeleton Twins

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This 2014 indie movie staring SNL veterans & friends Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader flew under the radar but the trailer was so charming so I put it on my Watch List. It’s about a pair of twins with matching massive personality flaws. Hader’s character is a suicidal, gay, failing actor in LA and his sister, Wiig’s character, is a severely depressed woman pretending to be the perfect housewife while sleeping with her hobby instructors.

A few weeks ago when it was iTunes cheap rental of the day, I jumped right on it. I watched it a couple of days ago and was underwhelmed by the whole thing. Hader & Wiig’s performances were solid; I loved watching them as serious, dark characters instead of them being type casted into comedies. However, the writing isn’t strong and the character development is weak. Plus all the good scenes are shown in the trailer, which you should watch for it’s charm but skip the movie entirely.

 

Broken Flowers

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This 2005 ‘dramedy’ starring Bill Murray was done between his role in “Lost in Translation” (one of top 3 favorite movies ever) and his role in “The Life Aquatic”.  So when Steve & I saw this on HBO Go the other day, we jumped right on it. This had to be good! It was about an aging bachelor convinced by his Ethiopian, wanna be Sherlock Holmes neighbor to track down Murray’s girlfriends from 20 years ago when he receives an anonymous letter in the mail claiming he’s a father.

In short…this was not very good. Weird as fuck, no real character development, and basically an overall mess. I’m glad I watched it because I want to watch Murray in everything he does (except ‘Groundhog Dog, which I despise much to Steve’s dismay). But honestly, don’y bother checking this one out, it’s a total bore. But you can check out the trailer below:

 

Have you ever seen any of these movies? What did you think about them? Shoot me a Tweet at @bookishbelle!

 

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Guest Hosting on The Missfits Talking About Pushing Daisies!

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Last night I guest co-hosted on the all geek girl podcast The Missfits! I’ve been on twice before talking about Studio Ghibli movies as well as The Lord of the Rings movies. When Stephanie, Mara, and Melissa asked if I wanted to return to talk about my FAVORITE SHOW OF AL TIME, Pushing Daisies, I couldn’t say no.

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Unfortunately Stephanie and Melissa were too busy to be on the show. However Mara is my bestest friend of all, so basically I just got to talk to her about random things for an hour, including my favorite show and it was fantastic. If you’re curious/bored/need this in your life, take a listen below!

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“The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring” At Lincoln Center!

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Last night I dragged Steve with me to see The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring in concert at the famed David E. Koch theatre at Lincoln Center! I just had to attend, seeing as how LOTR is my first true love. The tattoo on my ribs that says “Shire” in Quenya isn’t there for nothing, you know.

Thanks to StubHub I was able to score 4th row seats! Any seats really would have been amazing, but being so close to the orchestra and seeing everyone perform with such vigor was overwhelming. Especially during “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm”, it shook the entire theater and made the fight with the Balrog more intense than ever.

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I wore my scarf that has a map of Middle-earth on it, and my prized Lothlorien Leaf necklace/brooch I bought from Weta, made all the way over in New Zealand!

They even had a Weapons check in for people who came dressed up and brought swords and axes!

Steve was SUCH a trooper! He had never seen any of the LOTR movies before we met, and one rainy summer afternoon last year he agreed to watch Fellowship with me. However, I only had the extended editions on my iPad (because who the hell still watches the theatrical versions these days?). He sat through the whole thing like a champ then! When I got my hands on tickets for this one, he was perturbed I didn’t pick a movie he hadn’t already seen. But Fellowship is my favorite of the three, so he was just going to suck it up and put up with the fact that his girlfriend is a huge nerd.

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I cried through so much of it. I did warn Steve ahead of time though. He didn’t believe me, silly guy. I cried at the opening, when the Shire was shown for the first time, when Sam took the farthest step from home he had ever been, when Aragorn turns down Frodo’s offer of the Ring (“I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor.” Oh, an arrow into my heart every time), and basically the last twenty minutes I was just bawling. Especially during the credits when a little boy performed “In Dreams”, I was sobbing. And when Howard Shore came out at the end, I cried even harder because I was standing in awe of a man who had brought such important music to my life. Thankfully a girl behind me was also bawling her eyes out and tapped my shoulder to share her tissues. Steve couldn’t stop laughing at how emotional I was getting, but I think he was laughing out of how stupid adorable his nerdy girlfriend is. (right?)

Back in December 2004, I had begged and begged my dad for weeks to take me to the THE LORD OF THE RINGS SYMPHONY with The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at the NJ PAC center in Newark (which is the ghetto). He was such a good dad, driving all the way there on a Friday night in traffic for his 14 year old daughter! My dad had fallen asleep during the performance then, so I told Steve the only thing he had to do was not fall asleep and fake enthusiasm. To his credit, I think he honestly had a good time.

In the lobby they were selling Doug Adam’s book “The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore’s Scores” (you can purchase yourself here) and gorgeous programs! I already own the book (it’s incredible, you should own it) so of course I bought the program SO FAST without even asking how much it was. ($25, which was totally worth it.)

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I haven’t watched the theatrical version in probably ten years, sticking with the extended editions (duh), but I do think the concert trimmed some of the movie itself down, but I can’t be sure. There were also subtitles during the show, which I understand due to the music being so loud, but not all the subtitles were %1000 percent accurate which slightly bugged me. But whatever, #NerdProblems.

I still had the most brilliant time! And it was worth every penny of the tickets. I mean, they were pretty expensive for a movie I’ve seen a hundred times hahaha. But the experience was 100% worth it! If any of you are lucky enough as well to see LOTR in Concert this weekend, let me know what you thought of it! Tickets might still be available at the website http://www.lotrlincolncenter.com/tickets.html or on StubHub.com.

If you want to gush about LOTR feel free to tweet me anytime, my handle is @Bookishbelle!

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Zoë’s 2015 Academy Awards Oscar Predictions! (Updated)

Here are the list of Academy Award Nominations I have opinions on (do note not all are here, these are only the ones for the ones I’ve seen and/or have an education guess on).  Follow along on Twitter, my handle is @Bookishbelle where I will be (drunk) live tweeting my reactions to the 2015 Academy Awards!!! (2/23/15 -> Now with updates on who actually won!)

Oscars

BEST PICTURE Nominations:
-“American Sniper”
-“Birdman”
-“Boyhood”
-“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-“The Imitation Game”
-“Selma”
-“The Theory of Everything”
-“Whiplash”

Who do I want to win: “Boyhood” or “Birdman”
Who I think will win: “Boyhood” because it has been an awards circuit favorite, and it’s a huge feat to film a movie over the course of 12 years, working with crew and actors over such a long period of time. However, “Birdman” is also a favorite I find it to be a cinematic masterpiece. If any other movie besides these two win, I will be SHOCKED.
Who actually won: “Birdman”. I was surprised but pleased nonetheless. “Birdman” deserved it but man oh man I wish Linklater could have won an Oscar.

BEST ACTOR
-Steve Carrell, “Foxcatcher”
-Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
-Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
-Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
-Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Who do I want to win: Eddie Redmayne
Who I think will win: Eddie Redmayne or Michael Keaton. Keaton was phenomenal in “Birdman”, however Redmayne’s performance as Stephan Hawkings was absolutely incredible. I would be surprised if Benedict Cumberbatch won, but I think he also gave an award winning performance.
Who actually won: Eddie Redmayne! A lot of people thought Keaton would win but I knew Redmayne had it hands down.

BEST ACTRESS
-Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
-Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
-Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
-Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
-Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Who do I want to win: Rosamund Pike
Who I think will win: Julianne Moore. I didn’t see “Still Alice” but I heard her perfomance is amazing and she deserves an Oscar for all the work she’s done in her career. Pike is a newbie so I doubt she will win. Also, the Academy might surprise and give it to Witherspoon as well.
Who actually won: Julianna Moore. Not surprised, she completely deserves it!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
-Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
-Edward Norton, “Birdman”
-Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
-Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
-J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Who do I want to win: All of them.
Who I think will win: J.K. Simmons. “Whiplash” is one of the only Best Picture nominations I did not see, because the trailer seemed to be so intense. Just Simmons’s performance in the trailer was so intense to turn me off of the movie, which is enough for me to think he deserves the Oscar. Plus he’s won a ton of awards this season for “Whiplash” so I think he’s a shoo in.
Who actually won: J.K. Simmons and no one was surprised!!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
-Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
-Laura Dern, “Wild”
-Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
-Emma Stone, “Birdman”
-Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

Who do I want to win: Patricia Arquette or Emma Stone
Who I think will win: Patricia Arquette. Her performance in “Boyhood” was incredible and she’s won nearly every single award this season for it. However, Emma Stone was brilliant in “Birdman” and I’m so glad she was nominated.
Who actually won: Patricia Arquette and she gave a kick ass speech!!

BEST DIRECTOR
-Alejando G. Inarritu, “Birdman”
-Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
-Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”
-Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-Morton Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

Who do I want to win: Richard Linklater or Alejando G. Inarritu
Who I think will win: Richard Linklater or Alejando G. Inarritu. I will forever be devoted to Linklater for bringing us his “Before” trilogy, which have impacted my life so much. Plus he’s been a favorite this award season for Best Director awards, however Inarritu’s “Birdman” was fucking incredible. I will be very happy with either and very angry if anybody else wins.
Who actually won: Alejando G. Inarritu, and it was 100% deserved.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
-Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, “Birdman”
-Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
-E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, “Foxcatcher”
-Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”

Who do I want to win: Iñárritu, Giacobone, Dinelaris, & Bo.
Who I think will win: Iñárritu, Giacobone, Dinelaris, & Bo or Linklater. “Birdman” is definitely a better written movie however the Academy might give this to Linlater.
Who actually won: Iñárritu, Giacobone, Dinelaris & Bo. Again, not surprised!

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
-Jason Hall, “American Sniper”
-Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”
-Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice”
-Anthony McCarten, “The Theory of Everything”
-Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”

Who do I want to win: “The Imitation Game”
Who I think will win: “Imitation Game” or “Whiplash”. I thoroughly enjoyed “The Theory of Everything” but it wasn’t as captivating storytelling wise as “The Imitation Game”. Also, “Whiplash” is such a unique and compelling story that it could also win. Basically I’ll be happy with anything but “American Sniper” winning.
Who actually won: “The Imitation Game”!!!!! And Graham Moore gave the best acceptance speech! #StayWeird

BEST ANIMATED FEATURED FILM
-“Big Hero 6”
-“The Boxtrolls”
-“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
-“Song of the Sea”
-“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”

Who do I want to win: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”
Who I think will win: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”. “The Lego Movie” was snubbed this year for WHATEVER STUPID REASON so I would be very pleased if HTTYD2 wins.
Who actually won: “Big Hero 6”, very surprised but so pleased with this!!

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
-Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
-Robert Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, “Ida”
-Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”
-Roger Deakins, “Unbroken”

Who do I want to win: Emmanuel Lubezki
Who I think will win: Emmanuel Lubezki. I will fucking flip out if “Birdman” does not win this category. The tracking shots alone, as I’ve previously mentioned, are simply pornographic.
Who actually won: Emmanuel Lubezki, THANK FUCKING GOD.

BEST FILM EDITING
Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, “American Sniper”
Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
William Goldenberg, “The Imitation Game”
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

Who do I want to win: Barney Pilling.
Who I think will win: I have no clue but I do want Pilling to win because “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, as all of Anderson’s films are, was incredibly enjoyable to watch.
Who actually won: Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

BEST SOUND EDITING
-Richard King, “Interstellar”
-Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro, “Unbroken”
-Brent Burge and Jason Canovas, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
-Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, “American Sniper”
-Martin Hernandez and Aaron Glascock, “Birdman”

Who do I want to win: Martin Hernandez and Aaron Glascock.
Who I think will win: Martin Hernandez and Aaron Glascock. Having just a single drum player for the whole soundtrack in “Birdman” was fucking INCREDIBLE. However, the music in “Interstellar” was also amazing.
Who actually won: Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, “American Sniper”. Ugh. Whatever.

BEST SOUND MIXING
-Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten, “Interstellar”
-Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, “Whiplash”
-Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano and Thomas Varga, “Birdman”
-John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin, “American Sniper”
-Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano and David Lee, “Unbroken”

Who do I want to win: Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano and Thomas Varga
Who I think will win: Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten or Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano and Thomas Varga. See above. ^
Who actually won: “Whiplash”.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
-Dennis Gassner (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), “Into the Woods”
-Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-Nathan Crowley (Production Design) and Gary Fettis (Set Decoration),”Interstellar”
-Maria Djurkovic (Production Design) and Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration), “The Imitation Game”
-Suzie Davies (Production Design) and Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration),”Mr. Turner”

Who do I want to win: Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock.
Who I think will win: Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock.
Who actually won: Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
-Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice”
-Colleen Atwood, “Into the Woods”
-Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive, “Maleficient”
-Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”

Who do I want to win: Milena Canonero
Who I think will win: Milena Canonero or Colleen Atwood or Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive.
Who actually won: Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
-Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”
-Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
-Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
-Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-Gary Yershon, “Mr Turner”

Who do I want to win: Hans Zimmer
Who I think will win: Hans Zimmer. I’m a huge fan of his, plus the music was the best part of “Interstellar”.
Who actually won: Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Well deserved.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Glory” by Common and John Legend, “Selma”
“Lost Stars” by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and NickSouthwood, “Begin Again”
“Everything Is Awesome” by Shawn Patterson, “The LEGO Movie”
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” by Glen Campbell, “Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me”
“Grateful,” “Beyond the lights”

Who do I want to win: “Everything Is Awesome” by Shawn Patterson, “The LEGO Movie”
Who I think will win: “Glory” hands down.
Who actually won: “Glory” by Common and John Legend, “Selma”.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
-“Foxcatcher”
-“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
-“Guardians of the Galaxy”

Who do I want to win: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Who I think will win: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Who actually won: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”!!!

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
-Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, “Interstellar”
-Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
-Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
-Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick, “Captain America: Winter Soldier”
-Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Who I want to win: My guys from Weta: Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett & Erik Winquist.
Who I think will win: “Interstellar” or “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”.
Who actually won: “Interstellar”.

 

Zoe

Coffee & Gchat: “Striking All the Right Keys”

An admirable quality I look for when reading other blogger’s work is the idea of “”transparency”. One of my favorite blogs to read, Authentically Emmie, has an ongoing theme where every week she writes a #TransparentTuesday post about things going on in her life that are not necessarily pleasant. Bloggers have a habit of only letting people see the amazing parts of their life, giving off a false sense of a perfect life. I try not to do the whole “look at me my life is perfect” bullshit, but just in case I’ll be extra transparent today since it’s a Tuesday.

Life lately has been fun albeit quiet due to having time off before I start my new job and my health being a pain in the ass. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but having CRPS sucks. I look 100% percent normal but most of the time it feels like my hands are broken. Plus my anxiety has been kicking in serious high mode due to my hands hurting so bad and having a job I had begun to despise. But tomorrow I’m seeing a new pain management doctor and on Friday I’m seeing a new psychiatrist so whoohoo! Plus today I went to a regular physician because I have a sinus infection. Health insurance, I’m using the fuck out of you!

Also, a major part of my life finally came to a close last week. In short this has been going on for over a year and now it’s finally ended. The reason I have a wrecked nervous system is because of them and now I have at least have some sort of closer over the ordeal. I’m hoarding what I was given tightly, saving for the life I want ,but I’m also allowing myself a few treats. Like buying a car and going on a small getaway with Steve, which you’ll undoubtedly hear about in the upcoming weeks.

I was really lucky, not many people get super fucked over and then get compensated for it.

Currently Watching

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So far I only have ‘Whiplash’ to see and then I’ll have seen all 10 Best Picture nominations! It’s been such a great year for movies, all of them unique and well told stories. Yesterday I took myself out on a date to see ‘Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ and I loved it. I have always been a movie nerd and I get such a lady boner over tracking shots. For those of you not well versed in movie terms, a tracking shot “is when a camera follows a person or an object physically moving with the subject- This can be done using tracks, handheld, ropes, Steady-cam etc.” You can see some great examples of tracking shots here. Anyway, ‘Birdman’ was FULL of tracking shots and I was salivating the whole time over how fucking brilliant the acting, writing, directing, soundtrack, and overall quality of the film was. The Oscars are going to be so good this year, I can’t wait to see who takes home awards.

Currently Reading

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I have been reading a lot lately. I finished up re-reading volumes 5 and 6 of ‘The Princess Diaries’ books by Meg Cabot. I also read Kelly Link’s collection of short stories “Get in Trouble” which is fucking AMAZING. I cannot recommend it enough. Her writing is complex and odd and like a fairy tale. Right now I’m reading “The Group” by Mary McCarthy, which is about young woman in the 1940s aka Zoë Porn.

 

Tv Streaming

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Since I have been off of work and feeling under the weather, I’ve had time to watch a new show on Netflix. I chose the period BBC drama “The Forsyte Saga” which I loved immensely. It’s all about family and true love and politics and money, all elements of a great drama. I was addicted the whole time. Last night I also watched “Populairé” a French romantic comedy from 2012 about a girl in the 50s whose boss trains her to become the fastest typist in the world. It’s colorful and silly and fun and oh, so many gorgeous typewriters. I was in heaven!

From the Internet

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I recently bought a subscription to Sky & Telescope magazine and I got my first issue in the mail over the weekend! The pages are glossy, full of great articles and a pull out of what to look for in the sky during the month of February. If you’re an amateur astronomy like I’m learning to be, you should definitely check their website and perhaps even the magazine as well!

 

As always, I hope things are well with all of you<3

Zoe

January 2015 Movies

Here are the all the movies coming out in the month of January. The ones in bold are the ones I’m interested in seeing!

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Friday January 2

-The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

Friday January 9

Inherent Vice
Selma
-Taken 3
-Predestination

Friday January 16

American Sniper 
-Blackhat
Paddington
Still Alice
-The Wedding Ringer
-Vice

Friday January 23

-The Boy Next Door
Mortdecai
-Strange Magic
-Black Sea
The Duke of Burgundy
-Mommy
-R100
-Red Army
-Son of a Gun
Song One

Friday January 30

-Black or White
The Loft
-Project Almanac
-Coming Home
-Wild Card

Most Excited for:

Paddington of course! For my 1st Christmas, my parents gave me a Paddington Bear and I carried that bear with me all over the country growing up. I may or may not still sleep with him when I don’t have company over. I loved all the books and the tv show from the 70s and I’m dying to see how I feel about this movie- I could either completely hate it or totally love it.

Have you seen any of this movies yet? Which ones are you most excited for?

Thanks to FirstShowing.com for the list of movies!

 

Zoe

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