kmduvalois's Xanga

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beauty Top 5 & SOS 1/40

It's that time again. Season of Sanctification OR the 40-days-before-Easter-that-Kat-tries-to-be-perfect-at-everything. Note the word "tries" because obviously that is not going to happen. But then that is the point of the Atonement which is, of course, the point of Easter (no, not the chocolate or the hidden eggs or the scary big bunny garbage...) so it's all good. I don't really want to show my Track Progress but I am tracking myself. The point it is really that I have an agenda and am, again, trying to establish my routines so that I can function optimally in all areas of my life.

I'll share that soon. Maybe. 

Yeah. I'm dreaming but it's a good dream. Eventually I will make progress. Probably after all my kids are gone, but for now life is actually easier with just three kids. Not a lot easier, just easier. Where was I?

Because it's Tuesday (and I am behind on posts but will catch up...) My topic for today is Beauty and I want to share my favorite beauty tips that I am using/applying right now.

So here it is: 

1. Adding self-tanner to my facial moisturizer.

I read about adding self-tanner to my nighttime moisturizer to slowly start adding color to your face for  the spring/summer seasons. I thought this was brilliant. Since I'm not so good at moisturizing at night I have been doing it both morning and night (when I remember to do it at night). 
This picture shows the self-tanner (top), Mary Kay Day Solution (which provides spf 25) & my day moisturizer.

2. Adding self-tanner to my body lotion. 

Basically the same idea as the facial lotion only now I won't be ghost-ish when it's time to break out the swimsuit again... haha!

3. Eye cream

Mary Kay Firming Eye cream is amazing. Works on the wrinkles and dark circles. 
Love this stuff... And the right way to apply is with the ring finger.

4. It's gotta be the hair! 

I have been playing with Velcro rollers, my blow dryer, my curling iron, etc. etc. I am also kind of excited about how long my hair is getting (although I am in desperate need of a cut and color right now)!

5. Minimalist makeup.

I would love to be able to get away with wearing just lipstick like my mom did when I was growing up but apparently I am too much of a diva/Glam girl to do it. So I have come up with a lipstick/blush/mascara look that I'm good with. I have a lot of makeup "toys" to play with so every day is fun. This look is lipstick, a dark burgundy which I have also used on my cheeks & two coats of waterproof mascara. I like the waterproof because the wax to make it waterproof dries and curls your lashes at the same time.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Be Good

That was the last thing my father-in-law said to me. 

The thing about people being sick and getting the opportunity to say goodbye is that, well, it's heartbreaking and kind of intense. I thought it might be easier since losing my brothers & niece unexpectedly was kind of, well, wretched.
It sucks, by the way. Either way, it sucks.

So I remember what he said to me the last time I saw him and he gave me a hug. He told me to Be Good.

I don't know what he meant exactly so today I have come up the ways I try to "be good" and let my FIL know (whereever he is) that I heard him.

1. The Golden Rule

I have talked about my Golden Rule-ish-ness before. This is about judging others mostly, but it's also about tolerance and how you treat people. Unfortunately, I think I treat people in a way they don't like and it's because that's how I want to be treated. It's a conundrum but I stick with it because I keep trying to do it right.

2. Forgive others & Yourself

Forgiveness is vital to human happiness, in my opinion, of course. I don't understand holding grudges. I just don't. Some of the most important people you need to forgive are your parents. There are some unforgivable acts (most of which are sexual in nature, perpetrated against children) but for the most part your parents really Really did/do their best with what they were given. This includes their own quirks, idiosyncrasies, flaws, brain damage & etc. they get from their parents... and so on, and so on and so on... because you will pass those on to your children & do you want them to forgive you for being an idiot? Then you should forgive your parents.

Forgiving yourself can be tricky because I know I hold myself to a different standard. It's my standard. My expectations of myself. I disappoint myself often (hello? did this post go up on 2/17 as planned? No...) but especially when you suffer from a chronic ailment (physical, mental, marital...) it's important to cut yourself a little slack.

3. Kindness RAOK or maybe not R

Random Acts Of Kindness, maybe not Random. Purposeful Acts Of Kindness. Both. Sometimes it's awesome to be out and about and see an opportunity to do something for someone, that's Random. Maybe, if you're like me, you have limited (physical, mental, emotional) resources so your Acts Of Kindness must be planned, budgeted & opportunities created. Those are Purposeful.
Either way it's about thinking about others before yourself, or in spite of yourself.
This leads to happiness.
True Story.

4. Do It Anyway

Do it anyway. What is it? All the things you don't want to do. Do those things.

5. Keep your arrows pointed out

yes, imma bein grate artiste some'day.

Think of others comfort before your own and you will find your own happiness. It's weird, but it's true. The more you focus on your own crud the less happy you are. Believe me there is someone, many someone's that are worse off than you and things can Always get worse. I know. It can.

Now YOU go and Be Good & tell me about it...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Surprisingly Yummy & Sweet V-Day... Top 5

I have very low expectations for Valentine's Day. Our wedding anniversary is just 2 weeks exactly before it so I figure they get lumped together as far as romantic dinner/flowers/gifts goes. But Superman surprised me. The whole evening did, actually...

I am trying to stay on my Metabolism Miracle plan (not a diet, it's a way of life or WOE/Way Of Eating) and struggling. For our Valentine Dinner my sweet Superman took me to a local place, 49ers and we had the specials. it wasn't a "deal" really, but not expensive and it was yummy. Which surprised me.

Superman likes to ask the server what they recommend. I have done that but it's hard for me because I am kind of picky... okay, I'm quite picky and there are a lot of things I cannot eat, like fish for instance.

Anyway, Superman picked Prime Rib which I had last time and it was just "okay," in my opinion. This time I wanted something different. They had two chicken dishes and the server recommended the Marsala and I went with it.
I was very pleasantly surprised. 

So... Why my Valentine's Day was pretty good:

1. I went with the server recommendation for the Chicken Marsala and actually liked it. I don't like wine sauce but the chicken wasn't bad, not too "wine-y" if you know what I mean.

2. I was able to stay on my eating plan. I got the veggies on the side instead of a traditional carb, like potatoes. The green beans were saute'd with mushrooms and bacon. Mmmmm... bacon. The other mixed veggies were perfect and nothing I couldn't have; Broccoli & cauliflower mix, & cooked to perfection.

3. We skipped dessert but I have a new yummy treat I can make with Almond milk, chocolate protein powder, extra cocoa powder & a bit of Splenda. And ice. Yum. Very yum. It's a Faux Wendy's Frosty and Yes, it works.

4. Superman brought me tulips. I am not a huge flower person because they die (depressing) but I love getting them. We discussed no gifts but he came home with a bunch of tulips anyway. I love tulips. He's Dutch so it works. Made me feel very Very loved.

5. I talked with my mother-in-law. Her wedding anniversary is on the 13th and my heart was hurting because it's been 2+ years since we lost my father-in-law and it still hurts. It will. 

We do not talk much, no reason really, we just don't. I don't talk to very many people on the phone at all so it's not personal. We had a nice chat and I shared with her a dream I had about my father-in-law the week before. I dreamed that he was alive and we just pretended that he passed away so they could have some privacy... like they're celebrities? I don't know what that was about but it was during my "vivid dreams" symptom-time so I woke up sad. I just wanted her to know they are both on my mind, and I care. I think she got that.
The In-Laws 1957

Hope you all had as wonderful a Valentine's Day as I did... if not, might I recommend lowering your expectations? It's awesome when you expect Nothing then get some things! Haha!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why is Love All You Need?

Yes, it's Valentine's Day. A Hallmark Card moment to hit or miss... AKA Single Awareness Day (SAD, really?) to which we owe some Priest back in the middle ages for intervening in behalf of true love and sappy soldiers. Thanks Mr.V. 

I have never been a huge fan of V-day. Until I got married I only had one time in my life when I actually had a Valentine and that was/is an ...awkward memory now. [insert hysterical laughter]

But Love? I am a huge fan of Love and have delved into the mystery of that nonsense several times, once was permanent and pretty much it for me. But why? What's the deal with this emotional crap anyway? 

Well, I'm glad you asked friend, glad you asked...

1. Love is the ultimate motivator.
People rob, steal, kill, jump through fiery hoops, swim through shark-infested waters, etc. etc. for Love. What  the ...? Why bother? Well, apparently without love we would die, for one. Babies without physical love die. Also, it feels good. 

So they say...which leads to another nice thing about love...

2. Love enhances physical intimacy.
That's a nice way to say it, right? Basically we like how love makes us feel both emotionally AND physically. Which is a good thing to perpetuate the species. 

3. We feel validated as a human.
I am not exactly sure why this is true, but I know it is true. (Hey, I'm a LIT major not a PSYCH major!) Also, the emotion of love is universal. In some cases the lack of love (maternal/paternal) can cause such deep emotional scarring that some poor souls never recover (Hello Mr. Serial Killer), also rejection from someone we believe we love, or that we believe loves us can be so traumatically scarring the accepting real love is difficult. 

The truth is that most of us are more loved than we are aware. There are some that you may not know that love you and care for your well-being and you don't even know about it; the tree-hugging, animal-rescuing, Do-Gooding types. I like those people because generally you can count on them when the chips are down. Really, they love you. Maybe not in the I-want-to-hug-you-and-kiss-you-and-perpetuate-the-species-with-you; aka Romantic kind of way but it's love and it does count for something. Yes it does, stop arguing!

4. Love means we aren't alone and we aren't lonely.
Except, of course, that's not completely true. Actually the worst kind of relationship to be in is one where you feel lonely but you are not alone. Now is when we talk about self-love, no not that kind, but believing in yourself and believing in your own values regardless of what others do. 

I think people believe this Love-Lie and that worries me. Being alone is not the worst thing in the world. Being lonely just might be, however. Going with the Beatles theme I'm going to mention "Eleanor Rigby" here... All the lonely people, where do they all come from... All the lonely people, where do they all belong? The song mentions people who are alone but that doesn't mean they are lonely. It's assumed. However, there are millions around us that do feel lonely either because they are alone or because they are lonely. They are not the same. 

5. Love is not the same in every language.

English is my native language and we have a very poor vocabulary for the feeling of Love. It is difficult to put emotions into words but I found a few fun ones...

Retrouvailles (French) — Literally translated as "rediscovery," retrouvailles is the happiness of reuniting with someone after a long separation.

Onsra (Boro language of India) — There are several ways to love in Boro, and onsra, or the bittersweet "to love for the last time."

Kokoro kara (Japanese) — "from the heart" but that translation doesn't do justice because in Japan your "kokoro" is your inner being. It is akin to loving with your "whole soul."

I hope that on this day that celebrates romantic love that everyone feels loved in some way. I am 
a bit bothered  by a "holiday" that celebrates "coupleness" when really, "Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you... in time - It's easy. All you need is love, all you need is love..."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Top 5 "Buffy" Lessons

So I haven't finished the Eloisa James yet (argh!) and it's not because I don't want to, it's because I really have been pre-occupied... ergo.

Yep, she's back. 

I'd say 'sorry' except I'm not...

5 things I've learned from Buffy so far. 

1. Teens can be dramatic... or it really could be the end of the world

Vampires, monsters, demons… aka Parents, teachers, peers. Really, do you not see that?

2. Falling in love with the wrong guy can kill you... literally (or him)

When choosing your “first” it might be a good idea to be sure his soul is already intact and not in danger of being removed. Just saying.

3. Grownups sometimes can't see things the way their kids do. i.e.; burning your "witch" daughter is never a good idea

I do wonder if the writers tried to make the parents stupid, or, if we really are that stupid.

Although even Buffy gets *tricked* now and again.

4. There are lots of ways to be taken by surprise

5. Teen issues are real, life-altering & hard. Give them a break.

Recommending it… again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thrift Shop

Some of you are aware of my Thrift Shop fetish; meaning I love it. I’m not exactly sure when it started, but I know I was aware of the value of Thrift Shopping a long time ago but didn't really “get it” until I lost 40lbs and needed a new wardrobe on, like, NO budget.

Recently I heard this song (that apparently came out last summer but either I didn’t hear it then or I didn't get what they were talking about) Thrift Shop and it has been absolutely cracking me up because, Hella yo, I can totally get all up in that...

And here are my reasons why. 

1. I only look expensive.

One of my BFFs used to say this all the time and I didn't really get it. Then one day I was shopping and found some Lucky brand jeans for $6.99 and my first thought was, HOLY CRAP! That was a fun day. 
Then it kept happening...

2. The Geiger

XX years ago I went on Study Abroad to London and part of our experience was three weeks of trekking in Europe, including Austria. I was kind of a dummy back in the day and had no clue about name brands and whatnot (jury’s out on whether that was a bad thing). So while my counterparts were shopping up a storm at Harrods and Portobello Road (my only reference being Bedknobs and Broomsticks, mind you) I was wandering clueless in Benetton and Laura Ashley. Then we went to Salzburg and everyone was buying a Geiger. I went to the Geiger store along with all the other tourists students and fell in love. I found the most beautiful pink Geiger sweater you will ever set your eyes on. I actually didn’t care that it was a “name brand” (it is?) I just loved it… but not being a card-carrying daddy’s girl like my friends, I had to say no to the Geiger. Either that or I would still be stuck in Paris—and since my 3-day stint in that lovely “city of light” was neither romantic nor even enjoyable (don’t get me started!) I did not even consider the prospect of being stranded in Paris for overspending my budget. NoThankYou!

Fast forward xx years and I am in Thrift-Shopping-Weekly mode (because I kept dropping sizes, doggoneit!) and EUREKA! I know they didn’t know what they had! I just know it because I found a lovely Geiger, in a beautiful shade of blue, with my name on it; aka $3.99. Yes. I’m not kidding. ::sigh:: college trauma healed.

3. People really give away this stuff?

Which leads me to my next “Are you serious?” thought that people really give away some amazing stuff! My BFF found me a Gucci jacket. Gucci, people. Most everything I get is in nearly mint condition and if it isn’t, well I don’t get it. Just because it’s a name doesn’t mean it’s a deal if there’s a mustard/ketchup/chocolate -orHeavenForbid- Blood stain on it; that is not a deal. And I am not completely about brand name but occasionally it’s nice to “look expensive” when you know you spent more on your shoes and the dry cleaning then you did on your whole ensemble!

And the last two tips? When to just say no…

4. Say no to the shoes.

I have bought shoes at the Thrift store, but most of the time I end up getting rid of them so I’ve stopped. We once found an adorable pair of Roxy wedges with the tags still on and that was acceptable but generally speaking I have found that shoes are not something you can get clean enough. Just saying…

5. & No to the lingerie.

Do I really need to explain this? Underwear, bras, nighties, swimsuits. Ew. The only exceptions are when a thrift store will get a donation of brand new items (i.e.; panties & socks still in the packaging) but even then I am cautious. There are just some things no amount of bleach can remove the “ick factor” from.

And finally… The song… I’ve tried to clean it up a bit but it’s still a little crude.

You’ve been warned.

(My favorite parts have been highlighted… enjoy!)

by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Hey, Macklemore! Can we go thrift shopping? 

I'm gonna pop some tags 

Only got twenty dollars in my pocket 

I'm hunting, looking for a come-up 

This is freaking awesome 

Nah, Walk up to the club like, "What up, I got a big d__k!" 

I'm so pumped about some stuff from the thrift shop 

Ice on the fringe, it's so damn frosty 

That people like, "Damn! That's a cold ass honkey." 

Rollin' in, hella deep, headin' to the mezzanine, 

Dressed in all pink, 'cept my gator shoes, those are green 

Draped in a leopard mink, girls standin' next to me 

Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly's sheets 


But shoot, it was ninety-nine cents! (Bag it) 

Coppin' it, washin' it, 'bout to go and get some compliments 

Passin' up on those moccasins someone else's been walkin' in 

But me and grungy freaking it man 

I am stuntin' and flossin' and 

Savin' my money and I'm hella happy that's a bargain, B 

I'ma take your grandpa's style, I'ma take your grandpa's style, 

No for real - ask your grandpa - can I have his hand-me-downs? (Thank you) 

Velour jumpsuit and some house slippers 

Dookie brown leather jacket that I found diggin' 

They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard 

I bought a skeet blanket, then I bought a kneeboard 

Hello, hello, my ace man, my Mello 

John Wayne ain't got nothing on my fringe game, hell no 

I could take some Pro Wings, make them cool, sell those 

The sneaker heads would be like "Aw, he got the Velcros" 

What you know about rockin' a wolf on your noggin? 

What you knowin' about wearin' a fur fox skin? 

I'm digging, I'm digging, I'm searching right through that luggage 

One man's trash, that's another man's come-up 

Thank your granddad for donating that plaid button-up shirt 

'Cause right now I'm up in her skirt 

I'm at the Goodwill, you can find me in the (Uptons) 

I'm not, I'm not sick of searchin' in that section (Uptons) 

Your grammy, your aunty, your momma, your mammy 

I'll take those flannel zebra jammies, second-hand, I rock that . 

The built-in onesie with the socks on that . 

I hit the party and they stop in that . 

They be like, "Oh, that Gucci - that's hella tight." 

I'm like, "Yo - that's fifty dollars for a T-shirt." 

Limited edition, let's do some simple addition 

Fifty dollars for a T-shirt - that's just some ignorant B 

I call that getting swindled and pimped 

I call that getting tricked by a business 

That shirt's hella dough 

And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don't 

Peep game, come take a look through my telescope 

Trying to get girls from a brand? Man you hella won't 

Man you hella won't 

(Goodwill... poppin' tags... yeah!) 

I wear your granddad's clothes 

I look incredible 

I'm in this big ass coat 

From that thrift shop down the road 

Is that your grandma's coat?

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Great Mom

Sometimes I bake my own bread. 
Usually I make dinner.
Occasionally I actually get ALL the laundry done.
My toilets are clean--well the ones I'm cleaning are, don't ask about the boys bathroom. I've given up hope.

Today I let my child stay home so we could watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead. (Note: this is not why he is home, but rather why I did not take him late.)
Yeah. I'm a great mom.

I love my kids. Scratch that, I adore my kids.
I miss my girls like crazy. I miss having all my kids home, but I don't.
I think I am handling the 'going off my meds' thing because I only have three kids left at home.
Also, Superman has been, well, Super! He is most definitely my companion and help-meet right now. 
All my kids can make their own meals if need be.
They can clean a toilet (not that they do) and they can all do a load of laundry. 

I believe that being a mom is a thankless job. If you're in it for the appreciation and kudos then find another career. You're not going to find that here. Oh, and it's not about the money either.

It is however, my greatest achievement to have functional, semi-well-adjusted, productive kids who know how to take care of themselves.

I also think the worst kind of tragedy that can ever happen to a person is to lose a child. I have not had to experience this, but I do know many who have. I cannot imagine losing a child to illness, accident or worse; violence. I do not understand mothers that would not step in front of a train to protect their children. I do not understand mothers that disown or cut off their children, but then again, I do. 

This is a weird job, Motherhood. More than a job or a career or even a life choice, it's a way of life. It's a way of choice-making that involves so much more than yourself. 

Pretty much guaranteed I will never win any Mother-of-the-Year awards, but I do love my kids and I think they know that. 

It might not be right, but it's good enough for me.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

LOW CARB No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Yeah. I'm going there.
Here is the original recipe found at the Back Roads Living blog...


1 chocolate graham cracker or cookie pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. peanut butter
½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed
whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and grated chocolate; optional garnishes

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in peanut butter and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, with a sprinkling of grated chocolate. Keep refrigerated.


1. First you need a low/no-carb pie crust:.
Almond flour pie crust
1.5 c. Almond flour/almond meal
3 T. melted butter
3 T. Truvia or Splenda (depending on preference)

Melt the butter in a microwave safe dish, if you can, use the pie plate. Add other ingredients and pat into place. Bake at 350' for 10 min. Check after 8 min and take it out as soon as it begins to brown. Set aside and let cool.

2. Beat 8 oz. cream cheese (you can use regular or low-fat, I don't do low-fat, just low carb), 1 c. natural peanut butter, 1/2-3/4 c. Splenda (or sugar substitute--I add more because Natural PB is NOT sweet!), & 1 t. vanilla.

3. The equivalent of Cool Whip (NOT low carb) to real whipped cream is as follows:
Size of Tub............Yield
8 ounce.................3 cups
12 ounce............... 4 1/2 cups
16 ounce............... 6 1/2 cups for REGULAR
16 ounce............... 6 3/4 cups for LITE

I also found a recipe for "Wilton Stablized Whipped Cream" which acts like Cool whip, but alas, not low carb. Since what I have is Whipped Cream in a can I am using that.

Check back for update and pics of my version...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Feeling It.

My emotions are back. I'm going full swing and on High sensitivity! BUT I think it's a good thing. Today I'm going to talk about 5 authors who have written excruciatingly well while being depressed... although I have to say that I don't particularly feel depressed. I am mostly just emotional and glad to be back in touch with my emotions.

So without further ado, and in no particular order...

1. Ernest Hemingway
Classic self-medicating depressed writer. He had a lot of traumatic experiences throughout his life that were clearly fodder for his fiction. I think E.H. was a prolific and magnificent writer. From what I read I found that Hemingway suffered from an actual physical ailment that contributed to his failing mental health and eventual suicide. "Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder, the inability to metabolize iron and culminates in mental and physical deterioration." Apparently he, his father, his siblings and even granddaughter had an excuse.
2. William Faulkner.
Other than the fact that this guy writes like a freak I think he's amazing! I love the way his stories unfold and that he tried unconventional ways to tell a story. One of my dreams in life is to visit Oxford, Mississippi and tour his home... Rumor has it he has scribblings on the walls from his writing days... SQUEE!

3. Virginia Woolf.
No self-respecting female author does not love this woman. Odd but interesting, sexually abused and orphaned by the age of 22, she experienced several breakdowns & eventually suicide. She was brilliant and her work was biographical and intellectual. I will say that my love of Virginia Woolf is about her writing skills, how I feel sucked into the story and as if what she's talking about is actually happening to me. That is marvelous (regardless of ties to feminism or Lesbianism)!

4. Charles Dickens.
While not a huge fan of Dickens myself, I cannot deny his impact and influence as an author. It is said that "A Christmas Carol" is one of the most influential works ever written. Also, I do not disagree with his social criticism and believe there is no greater compliment to a writer than to have your works influence society as a whole and inspire socio-economic changes throughout the world. 

5. Franz Kafka.
The first time I read The Metamorphosis I was completely blown away. In my study of existential writings, Kafka IS the name that comes up. His point of view and way of telling a story so you think is unparalleled. References to Kafka range from comedic, (Bridget Jones promotes a book called 'Kafka's Motorbike') to austere; creating the term "Kafkaesque" denoting anything "incomprehensibly complex, bizarre or illogical." Brilliant!

***I would like to note that I do not believe that to be incredibly gifted as a writer, you need to be mentally ill or practice substance abuse. What I do believe, for me in particular, is that numbing my emotions (as I have for many years via medication) dampens my creativity.***

(FYI in doing my research I found this Wikipedia entry listing many famous people who suffer from or have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder. I am among good company, in my opinion.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Depression Detox

I have been focusing a lot on detoxing myself. The Juice fasting is about removing toxins from my body and creating better health. I know I don't get enough fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet since I am a lover of Fast Food and simple carbs. Cookies, cakes and fatty foods are my favorite. 

For a variety of reasons I have decided to go off my MEGA-doses of anti-depressant and the result is a bit of craziness that is trying but I feel will benefit me in the long run. The amount of medication I have been on for over 14 years denies me true access to my feelings. I have tried to "cope" with my feelings for so long I don't know that I really know what they are anymore. 

I do realize that this is not the best idea but I also feel the benefits outweigh the risks at this point. And so far the most annoying things are the physical side-effects of withdrawal; including (and not limited to) dizzy spells, diarrhea and nightmares.

I have dealt with the sleeping nonsense thanks to some wonderful friends who have helped me find some supplementation that is helping (the nightmares are horrendous... you have no idea!) and some reassurance that it won't last.

I don't want to talk about the diarrhea. Let's just say that I have learned and experienced the term "shart," for myself. Enough said.

Today I am watching "Happy" and wow. The science of Happiness, what a novel idea. We have measured depression and devastation and trauma and the impact that has on our psyche, but what about what brings joy, peace and happiness? Awesome. 

I am going to cry through this entire movie, but it's okay, Crying is not always bad. And when I'm done I will feel better. 

I already have and do things in my life that make me happy. I want to do more and I want to feel more. I want to experience my life and appreciate what I have.

I got this. I will check back, but today, it's good.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Buffy (Again) is Like Star Trek?

I'm back and talking about Buffy, again.

The thing is, and why I am choosing to talk about Buffy on my Gratitude day is, because of what I get out of Buffy that amazes me! And in so doing I will be comparing it to Star Trek. You see, Star Trek is considered science fiction but if you are paying attention you will notice that it's not totally about cool gadgets and space travel. 

I discovered this loveliness when I started really watching Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 90's. I believe the original series and TNG are the best because Roddenberry was very involved and if you know anything about Gene Roddenberry you know that his purpose was to tell more than just a sci-fi story, but to talk about social and cultural issues. Yep. That's what it's really about.

And so is Buffy.

True that the title is Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and there are Vampires, Demons, Werewolves, Witches and other of Satan's Spawns trying to take over the world but amidst all that craziness is a story about a bunch of teens and all that they experience as well; Love, bullying, college, girlfriends/boyfriends, fitting in, sexuality, destiny, friendship, loyalty, etc. etc. etc. 

I love this! I love that it's not about specifically what  you might think it's about. Yes, Buffy is about the Occult and saving the world from Ultimate Evil, but more importantly, and like Star Trek, it's about working together for a common cause, working together to reclaim and retain humanity.

If you are not watching Buffy or Star Trek because you think it's about something else you might want to give it another look.

Just saying.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oscar Frenzy

February is Oscar month. That means I frantically try to see all the nominated movies so I can be informed and over-stimulated with media and get all caught up with celebrity-ism and Red Carpet-hype. 
Not really. I just like stories. I like to know who and what "the experts" think is the best. I have my opinions and those don't always agree with "The Academy" and that's expected.

This year, in my preparations, I created a spreadsheet. 
Yes. I went there. It's crazy. 
So, for your information I am allowing you access to my Grand design.

Kat's Take
Best Picture, Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), Director (Michael Haneke), Screenplay (Michael Haneke), Foreign Language
An older couple taking care of each other.
NOT SEEN. Sounds good but not interested
Anna Karenina
Cinematography (Seamus McGarvey), Production Design, Costume Design, Music: Score (Dario Marianelli),
Leo Tolstoy’s depressing story of love, hate, adultery and Russia.
Keira Knightley
NOT SEEN. Eh. Tolstoy. [yawn]
Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin), Adaptation (Chris Terrio), Editing (William Goldenberg), Music: Score (Alexandre Desplat), Sound Mixing, Sound Editing,
1980 joint CIA/Canadian Secret operation to get 6 Americans out of Iran.
Ben Affleck stars and directs.
NOT SEEN. I'm undecided. The whole Iran thing upsets me. War, violence.
The Avengers
Visual Effects,
Super heroes unite to fight alien and demigod forces.
Robert Downey Jr.
SEEN. Loved it. RDJ? Yes.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Picture, Best Actress (Quvenzhane’ Wallis), Director (Benh Zeitlin), Adaptation (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin),
A 6-year-old girl (Quvenzhane’ Wallis, youngest to be nominated) in the bayou’s of Louisiana.
Ice caps melting, prehistoric animals emerge and long lost mama to find.  Started as a stage play.
NOT SEEN. I think I need to see this.
Animation (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman),
Girl story about Princess Merida and her rebellion and how she fixes her mess-up.
SEEN. Cute.
Chasing Ice
Music: Original Song (J. Ralph),
Documentary/biography of changing glaciers.
National Geographic
NOT SEEN. Not interested.
Django Unchained
Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino), Cinematography (Robert Richardson), Sound Editing,
A freed slave goes back to the Mississippi plantation to get his wife back. Killing and chaos ensue.
Jamie Foxx is Django, Leo DiCaprio was snubbed.
NOT SEEN. Want to see, but don't want to see. Jamie Foxx is an Acting GOD!
Best Actor (Denzel Washington), Screenplay (John Gatins),
An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.
Drugged & drunken pilot first causes a problem then miraculously saves it, but people die.
NOT SEEN. Don't like the premise.
Animation (Tim Burton),
Frankenstein, doggie edition. A Tim Burton picture.
uh. Tim Burton.
NOT SEEN. Not interested.
Makeup & Hair,
Biopic/romance of Alfred Hitchcock & wife Alma Reville during filming of Psycho.
Anthony Hopkins & Helen Mirren.
NOT SEEN. Might watch for Hopkins/Mirren.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Production Design, Makeup & Hair, Visual Effects,
Prequel to LOTR. Weird creatures on an Epic Journey.
Stretching a short book into three movies. Oy.
NOT SEEN. MUST SEE. Might wait until after Oscars.
The Impossible
Best Actress (Naomi Watts),
Survival story of a British family on vacation in Thailand when the tsunami strikes.
Guaranteed tearjerker. Filmed in Spain and Thailand.
NOT SEEN. Not interested.
Les Miserables
Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman), Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hair, Music: Original Song, Sound Mixing,
Victor Hugo’s depressing tale of French revolution era crap. All singing.
Russell Crowe cannot sing.
SEEN. Loved.
Life of Pi
Best Picture, Director (Ang Lee), Adaptation (David Magee), Cinematography (Claudio Miranda), Editing (Tim Squyres), Production Design, Production Design, Music: Score (Mychael Danna), Music: Original Song (Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree), Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects
Yann Martel’s story of a man who survives a shipwreck but ends up with a Bengal tiger as his mate.
Filmed in India and Taiwan.
NOT SEEN. Want to see.
Best Picture, Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis), Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), Supporting Actress (Sally Field), Director (Steven Spielberg), Adaptation (Tony Kushner), Cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), Editing (Michael Kahn), Costume Design, Music: Score (John Williams), Sound Mixing,
A telling of the story of President Lincoln at the time of the Civil War & Emancipation Proclamation.
1. Abe does not die at the end of this movie. 2. Great historical information.
The Master
Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Supporting Actress (Amy Adams),
A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future—until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.
Religion gone crazy. Post WWII PTSD.
NOT SEEN. Undecided.
Mirror Mirror
Costume Design,
Retelling of Snow White.
Julia Roberts as the Queen.
NOT SEEN. It's on Netflix.
Moonrise Kingdom
Screenplay (Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola),
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them. Set in the 1960s, two 12-year-olds decide to run away together.
Bruce Willis is one of the dads.
NOT SEEN. Want to see.
Animation (Sam Fell, Chris Butler),
A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
The boy can speak to the dead. Cool.
NOT SEEN. Undecided.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!
Animation (Peter Lord),
The story of Pirates by the same folks that brought us Chicken Run.
aka Pirates! Band of Misfits
NOT SEEN. Will probably wait.
Visual Effects,
Alien part 56. Kind of how Alien started, before Sigourney Weaver.
Looks exciting, heard it was lame.
NOT SEEN. Not interested.
The Sessions
Supporting Actress (Helen Hunt),
A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest. Based on a true story.
Helen Hunt’s character is married yet she agrees to this arrangement.
NOT SEEN. Probably won't see.
Silver Linings Playbook
Best Picture, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawerence), Supporting Actor (Robert DeNiro), Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), Director (David O. Russell), Adaptation (David O. Russell), Editing (Jay Deakins, Crispin Struthers),
The story of Pat Solitano who tries to put his life back together after a stint in a mental hospital. He was diagnosed with “bipolar disorder” after beating up his wife’s lover. He refused medication and plans to survive by looking for the “silver linings” in life.
Love the premise of this movie!
Cinematography (Roger Deakins), Music: Score(Thomas Newman), Music: Original Song (Adele, Paul Epworth), Sound Mixing, Sound Editing,
James Bond # 598 hahaha
Daniel Craig.
NOT SEEN. Want to see. Might wait.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Costume Design, Visual Effects,
“Bella” as Snow White & “Thor” as the Huntsman to an evil and twisted Charlize Theron as the Queen and her brother, who is sicker than she is!
Chris Hemsworth is worth watching…
SEEN. Eh. Chris Hemsworth is worth watching…
Music: Original Song (Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane),
A boy’s childhood wish to have his Teddy Bear be alive comes true, only now they are grown up.
Mark Wahlberg, & Seth MacFarlane as the voice of Ted.
NOT SEEN. Want to see.
Wreck-It Ralph
Animation (Rich Moore),
A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.
John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman add their voices to this Family comedy.
NOT SEEN. Want to see.
Zero Dark Thirty
Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Screenplay (Mark Boal), Editing (William Goldenbert, Dylan Tichenor), Sound Editing,
The hunt for Osama bin Laden & his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6. Controversial “true story.”
NOT SEEN. Want to see.

5 Broken Cameras
Palestinian farmers chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army.
Intense. Palestine/Israel conflict.
Adam and Dog
Short Animated
Adam and a dog in the Garden of Eden.
Animated, Adam and Eve in a different way.
Short, Live Action
A coming of age fable of a Somali boy as he struggles to survive in his war-torn land.
18 min., Adventure, drama
Buzkashi Boys
Short, Live Action
Contemporary Afghanistan and the National sport of Buzkashi
28 min., Sports
Short, Live Action
At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his nine-year-old niece, Sophia, for a few hours.
19 min., NYC, drama
Dood van een Schadow (Death of a Shadow)
Short, Live Action
Soldier Nathan died during WWI. A strange collector imprisoned his shadow and gave him a new chance: a second life.
20 min., fantasy, drama, 
Fresh Guacamole
Short Animated
Transforming familiar objects into fresh guacamole.
Animated. Cooking?
The Gatekeepers
Interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.
Israel secret service.
NOT SEEN. Available on Netflix.
Head Over Heels
Short Animated
After many years of marriage, Walter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceiling.
Animated. Family, comedy, romance
Short, Live Action
A concert pianist has his life thrown in turmoil the day the love of his life, Maria, mysteriously disappears.
21 min., drama
How to Survive a Plague
The story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
History, news.
A personal and vibrant coming of age story about a young artist’s determination never to surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings.
Biography, news.
The Invisible War
An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military.
Rape in the military.
Kings Point
Five seniors living in a retirement resort in Florida—men and women who came decades ago with their spouses by their sides and now find themselves grappling with love, loss and universal desire for human connection.
Growing old, comedy
Mondays at Racine
Every third Monday of the month, two bold, brassy sisters open the doors of their Long Island hair salon to women diagnosed with cancer…
Family, cancer, kindness.
Open Heart
Eight Rwandan children leave their families behind to embark on a life-or-death journey seeking high-risk heart surgery in Sudan.
Children, health, heart surgery.
Short Animated
An urban office worker finds that paper airplanes are instrumental in meeting a girl in ways he never expected.
Animated, comedy, romance.
New York City’s canners-the men and women who survive by redeeming bottles and cans they collect from curbs.
Recycling, can collection
Searching for Sugar Man
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock ‘n’ roller, Rodriguez.
South Africa, musician, search
The Simpsons, The Longest Daycare
Short Animated
Maggie Simpson spends the day in the Ayn Rand School for Tots.
Animated. Comedy.