Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Every once in a while, we all need to find our escape from the reality around us.  For me, I find it in a lot of places.

One of my escapes is when my cat sleeps on me and then starts purring while she’s just looking at me.  It makes my mind empty out and just feel loved and very happy!

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At lunch or on the bus, I use reading and music to take myself away from the troubles of work and escape for the little amounts of time.

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My current book that I’m reading embodies my escape as well! My morning and lunchtime escape…and Dr Seuss is my bedtime escape 🙂 Music (aka my MP3 player) also is always good for any form of escape during workouts or bus rides.  It can always help me escape from worries and stress!

or..taking a bike ride to the riverside and sitting down to enjoy the cool breeze and look into the distance.

Escape on a bike ride along the river

Escape on a bike ride along the river

One of the best ways to escape is just taking a hike or sitting underneath or next to a waterfall 🙂

Sitting right next to waterfalls

Sitting right next to waterfalls

Or even just dipping my feet in some nice cool water..

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I can list so many other ways that all these pictures would also imply: road trips, weekend getaways, friends, baking etc.

There is one way I’d love to show but I can’t without someone else taking a picture of and my best escape is actually being in the arms of my boyfriend.  He drains all the craziness away from me and makes me forget all my worries.  Sappy and nauseating, yes, I know..but its the truth!

What would be your way of showing escape?

This is my response to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge theme ESCAPE!

Horton Hears a Who! (2008)

After almost a week break from movie reviews, I’m ready to bring it on again.  I have a few more to write but at least now I’m a bit more charged up. Here we go! 🙂

Based on the children’s Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who!, this animation is one of the first Dr. Seuss to be made in animation again.  I watched it on Saturday since I knew from a few posts floating around saying that it was Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  I had to celebrate it in my own way and seeing that I had already reviewed The Lorax before, this seemed to be a good choice.

horton hears a who posterDirector: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino

Cast: Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher

In the jungle of Nool, Horton the elephant (Jim Carrey) is minding his own business with his own day when he heard a little yelp coming from a speck floating around.  He imagines a man and his family in need on the speck so in case they will be in danger he runs after the speck to save it and ends up catching it on a clover.  When he says this story to the uptight and snobbish Kangaroo (Carol Burnett), she doesn’t hear anything and doesn’t believe him and warns him to not spread the nonsense to others.  He disregards her and then realizes that he needs to yell to allow these little people to hear him and he yells HELLO.  This one Hello travels down to the world on the speck called Whoville.  No one is aware of their tiny existence in the world until his one HELLO reaches the Mayor (Steve Carell).  The Mayor who is a slight goofball but notices that Whoville is incurring weird changes and when Horton confirms him of their tiny presence, Mayor goes to ask the scientist Dr. Mary Lou Larue (Isla Fisher) who predicts disaster if they were actually a small city.  It is then the Mayor asks Horton to help him move the speck and its clover to a safer location to help regain stability in Whoville.  As the Mayor tries to protect his city while convincing the Council about the dangers, Horton is also with his own problems as Kangaroo does everything to remove the speck from him because she believes all this is nonsense.

horton and kangaroo

This animation is wonderfully adapted.  Its funny and awesome entertainment.  To start off, we have really good vocal talents, which is possibly one of the most important contributing aspects to a great animation.  We have Jim Carrey in the lead role as Horton.  I’m a huge fan of Jim Carrey and his voices along with his humor.  It probably all began when I first saw him in either Mask or Ace Ventura.  But then, we’re not to discuss that, but point being, in this one, he’s crazy fun and enthusiastic.  In his opposite lead, we have the Mayor voiced by Steve Carell.  I haven’t seen a lot from him but this man is quite comedic as well.  In this role, he’s just a super good goofball. He has funny reactions and exclamations.

horton speck

I love the way they spiced up the dialogue but kept the book dialogue with a narrator in the back to help coordinate between the two worlds.  Its really funny most of the time and whenever I watch this, it puts a gigantic grin on my face and I start laughing out loud in a lot of parts.  It never hits the too serious area which is awesome because this is aimed towards children.  The colors are also fantastic because they are bright and sharp.  It helps keep the movie in the uplifting mood even if there is some dangers lurking about.

mayor whoville

This is absolutely great family fun! Its great for all ages and guarantees lots of smiles and laughter.  It has amazing actors doing the voices aside from just Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.  Everyone does a fantastic job in their roles.  Its heartwarming, endearing, fun, comedic, enjoyable. I think this trailer captures it perfectly and its also the song I love renditioned a la Horton Hears a Who! Style 🙂

Before I let you go, I’d like to recommend this movie (if you haven’t realized yet) 🙂 And also as every Dr. Seuss story, we always have a little lesson to be learned so I’d have to share it here to end this off:

horton quote

Christmas Marathon: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

how the grinch stole christmasA few weeks ago, I posted about the 2000 version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  You can click HERE if you want to read my take on it. I definitely was NOT  huge fan of it.  However, this one I am a big fan of and whether its on DVD or when it airs on TV around Christmas time, I always sit down to watch it.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (1966)

This was originally a TV movie.  Till today, I think it still airs every year regardless of all the new ones that have showed up and come and go.  I haven’t checked the TV schedule this year for holiday showings.  I’m not even sure they are out but it should be there.  I’m going to take a guess that mostly everyone knows what this is.  However, just in case, I’ll do a short description.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas is about the Grinch that stole Christmas.  No, no…sorry about that, my smart ass self broke loose.  Its about the Grinch that lives up in the mountains surrounding a small town called Who-ville.  The Whos are enthusiastic about Christmas and celebrate it thoroughly with presents, a big feast, decorations, and singing.  The Grinch somehow hates Christmas and comes up with a scheme to stop it from coming, even if it means stealing everything away.  He doesn’t get that of course.  The message behind this movie is summed up by one of their quotes “Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!”

And that is exactly what makes this movie a Christmas classic: The meaning of Christmas.  Well, and also Boris Karloff does an awesome job doing the voice of the narrator and the Grinch.  I realized this time that I really do enjoy the character of Cindy Lou Who even in the animation.  She is a “sweet little tot”.  I always have the urge to imitate her during the whole Christmas tree conversation with the Grinch.  Not to mention they animate her like an angel in her sleeping gown so even more adorable.  Plus, it has nice fun music, which is always a plus in my book for any Christmas movie.

And I can’t resist to put on a little video:

This is simply a beautiful animation.

Any of you still sit down to watch this? Seems like my Christmas movies are randomly getting older, but no worries, the next one is more recent.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Christmas month starts in about 10 days.  I still haven’t had time to figure out what to do exactly yet and I already have two Christmas movie reviews up.  This is the second movie on the flight back that I saw, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I love Dr. Seuss and for many people reading my past blogs, you would’ve probably already figured that one out.  I’ve watched almost all the movies on Dr. Seuss in the recent years.  This year’s The Lorax was simply fantastic.  You can go and check out my review if you’d like.  I loved Horton Hears a Who!.  In 2000, How The Grinch Stole Christmas was released in human version.  I’m sure it was long awaited.

For those who don’t know, this is based on the Dr. Seuss children’s book about The Grinch that lived on top of the hill of Whoville and hated the noise and the presents that Christmas brought.  He lived with his dog and one day, he comes up with the idea that he will steal Christmas so that it would never have to hear all the joyful noise and music and fuss.  He swoops in and strips the houses of all its decorations and gifts and lights, even all the food.  The story is that he learns that Christmas isn’t about all these materialistic things but rather the spirit can’t die because it means more than that.  The animated version that plays on TV every year is very similar and has Boris Karloff that does the narration, pretty much a reading of the storybook and its quite memorable. It doesn’t escape my Christmas movie marathon every year.  Its tradition to watch it.  I’ll talk more about it when we get into Christmas month in December.

So here we have the revamped version with humans.  Jim Carrey plays the Grinch.  Cindy Lou Who is played by Taylor Momsen and a whole bunch of other actors that I can’t recognize.  It doesn’t matter and I don’t even want to look it up because this movie was pretty bad.  The only factor I thought was worth reclaiming a bit was Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou.  I actually enjoyed her throughout the whole movie.  Well, maybe using “actually” is not a correct term.  Taylor Momsen is a young actress I do enjoy, even when I was watching Gossip Girl and her role as Jenny Humphrey.  As for Jim Carrey,  he did this role way over exaggerated and the dialogue sometimes was too much, the actions were too much, the additional parts was too much.  They tried to give the movie an extra storyline telling us the reason as to why the Grinch lives on the hilltop and hates the Whos and Christmas, and even went to the extent to give it a bit of romantic spark.  I’m not sure if that was extremely necessary but I guess when you do a full length movie, they had to, or else the source material wouldn’t have been enough to hold up without feeling like it was dragging.  Still, I probably wouldn’t watch this movie ever again.  I spent most of the movie rolling my eyes and thinking when it would end, hoping that maybe it’ll get better.  It didn’t happen.

Other than Taylor Momsen, the other part I’d give to this movie as a positive was the soundtrack.  I owned the soundtrack even before I saw the movie and its a nice one.  There are some fun tunes and nice rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”.  Faith Hill’s version and the movie version of Where are you Christmas is definitely nice to listen to.  There are a few other tracks that I love.

With that said, the movie experience was pretty bad but feel free to go ahead and listen to the soundtrack.   It is a nice fun Christmas music sountrack.  Although, it is sad that I have to list one of Jim Carrey’s movies as bad as this because I really do like him as an actor ever since the beginning.

As usual, I’d love to hear what you think? Did you enjoy it? I want to hear what you liked if you did? Maybe I’ll see it in a different light, who knows, right?

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Splash of Colour (and more…)

I missed THREE challenges already.  I’m shaking my head at myself now.  This is the fourth week and I will be doing it.

I really want to do last week’s writing challenge, I just never got around to finishing it up.  I have to start budgeting in time to do these.  They require a bit more thinking than the normal post I do usually.  So this week, it will be a double feature with last week’s And Now For Something Completely Different and this week’s A Splash of Colour.

WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE: A SPLASH OF COLOUR

How do you choose one colour to splash? My brain is processing thoughts in different colours (especially after the two photo challenges the last two weeks).  So let me give you a few snippets of my palette of colours!

PURPLE

The shades of purple are the significance of my youth.  It reminds me of the times when my mom did my shopping when I was a little girl.  It was the days when I dressed in puffy little princess dresses and was young, innocent and naive.  The days when life hadn’t taken away so much of my energy and passion for living (something this blog and reading everyone else’s blog has helped bring back).  I broke out of that phase pretty much in purple and my palette after that was dark shades of blue and black all the time.

I don’t know what happened in between but life has brought me back to the love for purple.  Although it is a darker shade of purple, my room (as of 2007) is not a nice shade of lavender purple.  My clothes and accessories are preferred when in the shade of light purple, violet, dark purple.  This happened before I even acknowledged that maybe the things you loved when you were a child never really leave you.  Or is it simple a wave of nostalgia?

YELLOW ORANGE & RED

Man, that font was painful for me in test run.  So I just decided to spare you all painful eyes.  Yellow was for walking into my front yard before work and noticing that despite frost a few days, the yellow chrysanthemums are still alive and brightening up my almost hibernating garden.

In regards to the garden, other than the chrysanthemums, orange and red are around as the leaves are changing colors as fall comes in.  I just noticed that I had fall colours just in my front yard and around my neighborhood, the maple trees were looking really pretty that I wanted to double back on my way to the bus stop to get my camera and snap a shot (but I didn’t have time).  Fall colors are in my mind right now! Red for all the leaves, Orange for the leaves and pumpkins, and yellow for the beautiful strong chrysanthemum’s.

GREEN

GREEN EGGS AND HAM! Who has read that book and enjoyed it immensely? My boyfriend bought me Your Favorite Seuss: A Baker’s Dozen by the One and Only Dr. Seuss two years ago for Christmas.  Silly as it may be. Green is grass and moss and all these natural beauties, but thinking about Green Eggs and Ham makes me happy.  Its about trying new things pretty much and to not pass judgement until you’d tried it on your own.  Such a simple story with such a meaningful moral behind it.  Maybe its also to just encourage us to be adventurous. Actually, there is brunch chain around here called Ben and Florentine’s (not sure where it originated) but it even has Green Eggs and Ham on its menu.  I’ve never tried it, but I’m definitely curious.

“You do not like them.  So you say.  Try them! Try them! And you may.  Try them and you may, I say”- Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham

WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE: AND FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

This was incomplete last week so I didn’t end up posting it up but I made changes this time around.  The point was that I had wanted to add a thing or two to this blog.  I have been thinking about it for a while and wondering how to make a few changes so that I can have more content for all of you.  Another passion I don’t share with everyone is my love for reading.  I have recently linked my Goodreads account here and it was my first step in starting to do something different–Book Reviews.

What made last week so hard to finish was the fact that I had coincidentally finished The Phantom of the Opera.  That book is hard to review because there was a lot of aspects to reviewing classics.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to form it.  I will work on that though.  For this time though, I’d like to bring your attention to a review of the book mentioned above: Your Favorite Dr. Seuss: A Baker’s Dozen by the one and only Dr. Seuss.

Book Review: Your Favorite Dr. Seuss: A Baker’s Dozen by the one and only Dr. Seuss

This book is a hardcover compilation of 12 favorites of Dr. Seuss.  I like the majority of Dr. Seuss but these ones are quite good. There is Green Eggs and Ham (mentioned above), How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Horton Hears a Who and my all-time favorite, The Lorax just for starters.  It also had Mulberry Street, If I Ran a Zoo, McElligot’s Pool,  The Cat in the Hat, Yertle the Turtle, Happy Birthday to you!, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! and The Sneetches. If none of these works as bedtime stories, here’s another one included: Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book.

If this book is for children, it has fantastic collection for bedtime stories.  I can tell you nostalgia affects me here because I may not have kids but I read the stories out loud to myself before bed sometimes.  Its quite soothing and enjoyable.  The world of adventure and make believe words and creativity is what envelopes you.  That is the magic of Dr. Seuss!

The value of Dr. Seuss to me is equivalent to the Hayao Miyazaki of children’s book.  Hayao Miyazaki’s movies always have a message behind what he write and its his inspiration and creativity.  It has positive traits to grab from any situation. Dr. Seuss does the same thing in his children’s books.  He gives us positive stories.

Other than the stories that are in this, it also has little write ups from people who knew Dr. Seuss and talked about the particular views and interpretations of each of the stories after each one.  Its an interesting read.

So how was that? Just an idea of a book review until I figure out how to make it better.  It should come in effect by next year! Challenging and fun to do something different!

So what do you think about my additional segment in my blog? The occasional book review sounds like a decent idea? I’m actually thinking of maybe tying it in with the other parts.  I still have a bit of time before the new year arrives.

Another thing! BIG THANK YOU to you all for reading this whole writing challenge.  I will strive really hard to do this on time from now on.  I’ll leave you with a few quotes a la Dr. Seuss! Enjoy!

UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”-The Lorax

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”-Happy Birthday to You!

So be sure where you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.  And never mix up your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”-Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Dr Seuss` The Lorax (2012)

After remaking How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Cat in the Hat(2003), and Horton Hears a Who! (2008), this year we finally have the remake of the Lorax.  Honestly, the Grinch and The Cat in the Hat remakes didn’t particularly amuse me all that much.  On the other hand, Horton hears a Who! was fantastic and absolutely fun to watch.  Now we have the Lorax.  The Lorax is my favorite book out of Dr. Seuss’ works.  Its always been like that.  I love all the other stories but this is the best in my opinion.  With that said, when I heard of the release of the movie (finally!), I was extremely happy.

Last month, I was flipping through the trailers of upcoming movies on YouTube and saw the one for The Lorax.  I was slightly disappointed.  Other than having a strong cast for the voices, I was wondering how the additional storyline would affect the outcome of the overall movie.  Although I had my doubts till the moment right before going to the theatres on Friday night, I have to admit that it was still one of my most anticipated movies of 2012 (mostly due to personal reasons).  After all, I had one thought in my  mind and that was: How bad could a movie made with the CGI similar to Horton Hears a Who! and the creators of Despicable Me actually be?  So I ventured off last night with my boyfriend to check it out.

I’d like to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  The movie was definitely one of my favorite animations.  I watched it in 3D (no IMAX as it wasn’t an option in the theatre I went to).  The added storyline was fantastic and gave it a fun twist.  It was a very simple story of how a boy does what it takes to please the girl of his dreams, even if it meant something that was seemingly impossible.  It was cute and at times, hilarious. I think that in a story where there was a deeper meaning to grasp, the additional story line couldn’t overshadow it by being too complex and something that could help loosen up the atmosphere of the movie a bit.  After all, Dr Seuss was targeted towards children therefore it had to be entertaining and easy to understand.

Also, they added in little dancing and singing parts which helped make the whole movie very fun to watch.  The music was very upbeat.  I don`t remember the last time I went to watch a musical and actually was moving my feet to the music.  I am absolutely crazy about musicals but an animation with music reminds me a bit of Disney.

According to me, I think that this movie was fantastic (although my boyfriend found it a bit lengthy at parts), but I think that its a great kids movie and stayed true to its actual message, while adding new elements.  I have to say this is very rare and hard to achieve when its an adapted feature.  I highly recommend The Lorax.  If you need a night out to just feel rejuvenated and be put into a great mood, this is a great choice!

Now, I have to leave you to go, read the Lorax  (lost track of how many times I`ve read it) and reflect on the word UNLESS.

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”– Dr. Seuss