I’ve been watching and listening to my Newsies soundtracks lately, and its brought back a resurgence of a group of fans known as the Newsies Mailing List. I’ve been looking back on some of my posts from 1998-present, and it’s chockfull of memories of youth. While some of the posts I made are cringe-worthy and full of awkward adolescent babble, other posts… they were from a version of myself that was full of life. I loved Seize the Day. It was my middle school anthem song- my fight song, as you will. I would burst into the song and was ready to take down giants.
Looking back on my past… it makes me feel so OLD and TIRED. Where is that girl who burst into song? Where is that girl on a mission? My exuberance for things seems to have gotten lost, and I am grasping to get back some of that life. I have been so bored and sluggish in a lot ways. My life feels like Belle in the Disney animated Beauty and the Beast- you know, the scene where she is out in the fields in her desire for the adventure in that great wide somewhere, and she picks up a dandelion seed plant, and she sings, “I want so much more than they’ve got planned!”
Being an adult is hard. I’ve lost friendships, gained friendships, had broken relationships that crushed me like a bug, went through some real life experiences that have tried to flatten me. I feel like I’m drowning in financial insecurities, yet I am embracing the joy of creating art that I love while feeling the sorrow of not being able to live off of it. I am trapped in a world where money equals power, and it sucks. I don’t know if I can carpe diem. But I’m not going to just tuck my tail between my legs and call it a day. Maybe I need a new anthem song. Maybe not Seize the Day or the Belle Reprise, but maybe a mixture of both.
Yesterday was my 31st birthday, and every year, I aspire to become a better version of my current self. I am in dire need of an upgrade, as is my blog. So in honor of this new year of life, I have a list of thrity one-derful (that’s oh-nedder-full) things I want to accomplish by next April.
1. Grow my relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and worship
2. Run a 10K – this is already in the works, I’m running one April 12th
3. Complete another 365 picture challenge
4. Make and sell some bath bombs, cupcakes, and costumes
5. Write a ten minute play
6. Finish reading the complete works of Jane Austen
7. Get to the 1960’s in my Oscar Winning Movie Watching
8. Write a song on the Ukulele
9. Start a Vlog with my hubby Rob
10. Build a loft for our bed
11. Finish our Wedding Album
12. Find a job that I love
13. Run a 1/2 Marathon
14. Get back into Yoga once a week
15. Get all toxins out of my home and change to homeopathic cleaners
16. Volunteer with food banks or homeless ministries
17. Keep mentoring and focusing on youth and kids
18. Send more letters and gifts to friends and family to let them know I love them
19. Finish Baby Steps 1 & 2 of Dave Ramsey FPU.
20. Make it a ritual to Skype with my family every Sunday
21. Get a new stamp in my passport
22. Host a Wine and Cheese Party
23. Go swimming at Barton Springs
24. Get BBQ at Franklin’s
25. Go hiking at least once a month
26. Get back into Bouldering and Rock Climbing
27. Volunteer at a Horse Ranch and Ride
28. Reread and Own Madeleine L’engle’s Wrinkle in Time Series
29. Start and Finish Madeleine L’engle’s Meet The Austin Series
30. Get a massage for each season, spring, summer, winter, and fall
31. Begin to train for a marathon
I do not do scary movies, so my list has a lot of family friendly options. Be warned, there’s a lot of Joss Whedon and Tim Burton.
- Northanger Abbey
- Fun Size (don’t judge me!)
- Hocus Pocus
- Nightmare Before Christmas (also on my list for Christmas movies)
- The Bride
- Haunted Mansion
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- Corpse Bride
- Evil Dead
- Cabin in the Woods
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Young Frankenstein
- Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog
- Little Shop of Horrors
- Shaun of the Dead
- The Prestige
- My Boyfriend’s Back
- The Worst Witch
- The Adventures of Ichabod (& Mr. Toad)
- The House of Yes
- Army of Darkness
- The Witches
- Interview with a Vampire
- Addams Family Values
*Note: All films that are in italics I have watched so far this month
Today I watched the 1931 4th Academy Award winner, Cimarron, originally a novel by Edna Ferber, and was impressed with the improvements in sound, film, and acting. At first, the film seems to be about Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix) and his desires to pioneer the wild west of Oklahoma, as he publishes his new-fangled ideas on equality and justice in his paper, while his square wife Sabra (Irene Dunne) spends her time bitching about the dirty Indians and ostracizing the town whore, Dixie Lee (Estelle Taylor). However, it’s pleasantly surprising that with each time Yancey leaves, Sabra is forced to grow and adopt his ideals. It takes her years of being without her husband for her to mature, and when she finally is reunited with her hubby, it’s brief, and he dies in her arms.
Stay tuned for the next film: Grand Hotel
Erich Maria Remarque’s novel was forced on me by an English class when I was 14, and it was depressing as hell. The film which won Best Picture in the 3rd Academy Awards might be even more depressing. It follows Paul Baumer (played by Lew Ayres) through WWI as he changes from a school boy to a man who has seen the horrors of war- living in trenches, fighting, and trying not to be killed. It kinda makes me wanna sing, “War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing!”
This film is much easier to watch than its winning predecessors as the directing and acting are more realistic. And Lew Ayres’ boyish good looks are also easy on the eyes in the midst of explosions, like the one pictured above. Gross. The film quality and sound seems to have improved vastly as well.
Stay tuned for the next film: Cimarron
After watching Viva Las Vegas, I want Rusty’s wardrobe:
Around February, I had made a goal to the Oscar winners of the past, and predictably, life got hectic, and all my goals went down the porcelain pee-hole. But in an effort to pick up where I left off, I now present the second annual Academy Awards winner for Best Picture (1930):
THE BROADWAY MELODY 0f 1929
This film features a love triangle between the vaudville act known as the Mahoney Sisters, Hank (Bessie Love) and Queenie (Anita Page), and song and dance performer, Eddie Kerns (Charles King), who is engaged to Hank. Let the drama begin! When Hank isn’t being a bossy bitch, and Queenie isn’t being a whiney drunken mess, and Eddie isn’t constantly fawning over Queenie in a creepster way, it’s filled with lots of old tunes, one liners, and zingers are a-plenty.
Here’s one of my favorite numbers from the movie:
I was introduced to the world of Jane Austen by my sister. I read Pride and Prejudice, and like most of its readers, I fell in love with Mr. Darcy. All these years later, I’ve watched many of the movies, BBC televised mini-series, read some of the spin off books, and even made some regency era costumes.
<—- This is one of the gowns I made with cream colored satin and lace, and I also made the plum/maroon colored coat that Rob is wearing.
This year, I had made a resolution to do more for my love of Jane Austen, and I’m happy to report what I’ve been up since then. I started my pursuit of Austen activities in January with Alamo Drafthouse’s Afternoon Tea: Sense and Sensibility. After that, I joined the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), and I’ve started to read Mansfield Park, which is JASNA’s focus in 2014.
(Dirndl and Shoes from Modcloth; Hairstyle: Boho Crown Braid; Banquette from World Market )
In addition to all these things, I went to one of my regions first JASNA meetings, where we had a lecture on English Country Dancing, and were later joined by a group of dancers who taught us how to dance. It was a lot of fun, and it made me excited to do some more costuming and start to learn some English Country Dance, so I could have a Lizzy and Darcy moment myself.
I recently decided that I was going to start watching all of the Oscar winning movies. I’m not sure how long this will take me, but I’m hoping to at least get through the first ten years by the time the Oscars start this March. We’ll see how that goes.
1929, the first annual Academy Awards Outstanding Picture was won by Wings. This silent action film includes those old-timey captions and a continuous score as it follows Jack Powell (Charles “Buddy” Rogers), his rival turned best friend, David Armstrong (Richard Arlen), the woman they both love, Sylvia Lewis (Jobyna Ralston), and the cute, spunky, girl next door, Mary Preston (Clara Bow), who is hopelessly in love with Jack, and will do just about anything for him, like put her career on the line, and get fired, even when he’s being a drunken, bubble loving, a-hole.
Everything is over the top- the melodramatic looks, the slapstick, the nationalism, the rage, the fights, the horror, the romance! I’m looking forward to watching more silent films and the next few Oscar winners to come!