Don’t make me wait too long

wait2I try to have patience. I really do.  But DAMNIT!  These waits between TV and movies series are way. too. long.

Example.  So you read a series of books.  Let say Twilight.  Or Hunger Games.  The first movie comes out, and everyone is in a frenzy to see it.  Then you wait.  A year if you are lucky.  Usually a year and a half.  Gah.  By then, your frenzy has cooled.  You barely remember what all the fuss was above.  In fact, by the last movie, the attendance number drop way off.

I first noticed this phenomenon with the TV show Nip/Tuck.  Fantastic series.  At first.  The first few seasons were unbelievably good.  So good you couldn’t WAIT to see the next!  Then they started making you wait longer and longer in between seasons.  Until the inevitable happened.  1).  You stopped caring.  2).  The shows just weren’t that good anymore.  3).  You stopped watching.

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Now I see it with the cable shows, like Game of Thrones.  Geez.  I know Winter is Coming, but Hell will freeze over before this show starts again!  Outlander is starting to piss me off too.  Crikey I read the whole dang series of books after the first season, which was no easy feat, considering it was 8 books of almost 1,000 pages each, and I’m StILL waiting for the 2nd season to start!  I did that with Game of Thrones too.  If I can make the herculean effort, why can’t they?

Oh, and now the popular thing to do with a popular show is to air HALF a season, and then the other HALF like 6 months later.  Really?  Get us hooked and breathless, and then make us wait AGAIN!  I think Walking Dead does that.  I think pretty soon I may get tired of zombies.  And that will be a shame.  I love zombies!

Whatever happened to having a full complement of shows that aired most of the year and then took a summer hiatus?

Wait, I know!  They spend as much money to produce them as a full action movie, so they can’t AFFORD as many episodes!  While I admire the beautiful scenery and venues that they use, wouldn’t it be more affordable to shoot back to back seasons?  Or movies?  Like Survivor does!  They stay at the same location now to shoot two seasons.  Makes sense, financially.  Also, can’t they do something with all the standing around that is prominent in filming?  Can’t they get their lighting/sound etc done faster?  In this day and age of high tech, I find it ridiculous.  But, I know nothing.  Just like Jon Snow.

Speaking of which, how much longer do I have to wait until I find out if he is dead?  April?  Crikey.  Pretty soon, I just won’t care anymore.wait1

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Outlandish

I am hooked on Outlander.  On Jamie Fraser in particular.  Ok, on Sam Heughan (the Scottish actor who portrays Jamie)  if I’m being honest.

I will say that I am SO glad that I started watching the show before I started reading the books.  I LIKE the books just fine, but I think if I didn’t have the Jamie/Claire visual in my mind, I would not like them much.  I tried reading Outlander once before, but found it tiresome.  But since I can picture the characters so clearly in my mind, and they are the perfect actors for the roles, I read the books as though they were a movie, and can see them speaking etc. in my mind’s eye.  I even can read the Scottish words with their accents, lol.

Outlander starts back up, on Starz, this coming Saturday, April 4th.  I can’t wait.  Game of Thrones used to be favorite series, but Outlander has drawn me in.  I love them both, not sure which one I love best, but as far as male leads go, Outlander wins hands down.  Perhaps because there are SO MANY character in Game of Thrones, lol.  Game of Thrones starts back up April 12, so it will be a good spring!

I remember I watched Game of Thrones last season on my 17″ laptop in the nursing home with HBO GO.  All the nurses/aides would come in to watch with me, lol.  I was very popular on Sunday nights!  But I am glad I get to watch this year on my big screen TV at home in my own bed.

I have read all of the Game of Thrones books (5 BIG ones), and am on Book 7 out of 8 for Outlander (also BIG books).  I read Game of Thrones much quicker than Outlander, not sure why.  Maybe because I am reading with an accent, lol.

Who else can’t wait??????

 

Still me?

alice

I saw Still Alice last night.  It was a very powerful, realistic story of a woman with early onset of Alzheimer’s, at age 50.  And not just any woman.  A woman who was extremely intelligent, and was a professor at Columbia.  Her whole persona was painted by her linguist skills, of which she was very proud.  Now, it would be taken away from her.

Obviously you can’t track the insidious path that Alzheimer’s takes in only two hours.  However, I thought the film did a great job of showing just enough snippets of how her life changed as the disease progressed.  Ironically, the disease progresses faster the more intelligent its victim.

Alice tries to plan for her future, but seems to be thwarted at every turn due to her increasing loss of memory.  Her family, while supportive, each has their own lives to live.  While I initially thought her husband was very supportive, upon further reflection I have decided he was very selfish.  He did still love her, but he was very ambitious, as she had been, and he continued on his career path at the expense of spending time with his wife, going so far as to move away from her for a new job.

The children were an eclectic mix.  There was a very self-centered over-achiever older daughter, a busy doctor son, and a starving actress youngest daughter living across the country.

The ending will surprise you, in several ways.  One in the way in which the actual movie ends, and secondly in what happens to Alice.  I do not want to spoil it for any future movie watchers, so we will leave it at that.

I was initially conflicted about seeing this movie.  My own mother died from Alzheimer’s at the age of 75.  Her sister currently has it.  Looking back, I can see her decline over about 10 years.  To me, she seemed to change the most after knee replacement surgery.  When she woke up from anesthesia, she was VERY disoriented and confused.  She really had no idea what was going on for several months.  She did get better, but she was never the same.  I firmly blame the anesthesia, for uncovering or bringing on her Alzheimer’s.  Many scientific/medical journals have debated this question for years.  Anesthesia has been linked to cognitive problems, and also postoperative delirium, that can last from days to years.

I can say this, because I am living proof.  My mother had multiple medical problems and had many surgeries in her life.  I am her clone, and unfortunately have followed her same path in many ways.  I too have had many surgeries in my life.  Recently, the past two years, I have had 9 surgical procedures in regards to my hip.  Which each one, I felt my brain getting fuzzier and fuzzier.  I grasp at words sometimes.  I forget names.  I just don’t feel like I am as “smart” as I used to be.

Could it be coincidence?  Sure.  I am getting older, every year.  But I do think it has affected me to some degree.  I am so sure of it that I refused to have general anesthesia, and opted for a local for my last hip aspiration.  Did it hurt?  Yes.  Am I glad it hurt?  Yes.  At least I knew my brain was still functioning.

Do I worry about Alzheimer’s?  Yes.  Every day.  The stats are staggering.  I have a lot of factors against me.  I wish they would SOMETHING to help with this disease.  The Baby Boomers are a huge segment of population that tends to gets things done.  Elderly care has become a main issue because of their demands.  Many are of the Alzheimer’s age now.  I pray that the sheer number will spur more research and development of better drugs, or find a cure.

I still have guilt about my mom.  I should have been there for her more.  I tried.  I really did.  I worked full time, and there were many times I had to jump in my car and drive to her senior living apartment because she didn’t answer the phone.  Most times it was because she didn’t hang up right.  Then I found her on the floor.  Twice.  That was enough.  Her doctor recommended a nursing home, as she required 24/7 monitoring.  I knew she would hate it.  I remember checking her in, and in a moment of clarity, she looked right at me with her cloudy blue eyes and said, is this what my life has come to?  I cried all the way home, and for many days after that.  She did acclimate, and at least had more social interaction there than alone in her apartment, but I still felt guilt every time I went to visit her.  As the disease progressed, she didn’t know there was anything wrong with her, and I actually felt grateful for that.  I would like to think she died peacefully.  She did remember my name every time I saw her, and was always happy to see me.  She thought my dad, who had died more than 20 years previously, was there in the room with her, as a Scottie dog sitting in the corner.  I always said hi to him too.  I may have petted him on the way out.  It gave me comfort to think that my dad was watching over her.

Anyway, Still Alice is a GREAT movie, Julianna Moore gave an absolutely wonderful performance, and I am glad I saw it, despite my earlier conflict about it.  5 stars all the way.

Do you have any experience with Alzheimer’s?  Have you seen the movie?  I would love to hear your comments.

Iron Thrones and Dragons or Kilts and Stone Circles

gotoutlanderGame of Thrones.  Outlander.  Two shows that have taken their audiences by storm.  Very different styles but equally compelling.

Both are about family, love, relationships.  And war.  Always war.  So much of our history is about war.

Game of Thrones has more of surrealistic feel, what with the dragons and all.  Outlander is based on a lot of Scottish history. Being of Great Britain descent myself, I find the history (and the accents!) very interesting.

I have read both set of books.  Very big books.  Lots of reading, have kept me entertained off and on for the past year or so.  I am actually not quite done with the Outlander series since I was wait listed for over 2 months on book 5.  (None of the other books in the series were wait listed, just this one.  Did everybody just read book 5???).  Anyway, I highly recommend both series of books, but I will say that Outlander is more repetitive than Game of Thrones.  I will also say that I am glad I saw a few episodes of each first before I started reading, so I could picture the characters.  I honestly don’t think I would have made it through Outlander without picturing Sam Heughan in my mind, lol.

Both have been on hiatus, for far too long in my opinion!  Both are starting up soon, and I can’t wait.

If I had to pick which show I like best, it would be a toss up right now.  I like Game of Thrones for all the character development and new and exciting places they go to.  Never a dull moment, as they jump around from Kings Landing to The Wall to Dorne this season.  I like Outlander because of the love story between Jamie and Claire, which transcends time.  And of course my favorite actor, Sam Heughan, who is one hot Ginger!

Which show do YOU like best?  Why?  I would love to hear your comments!

 

More than meets the eye

bradleyBy now most of us have seen this picture, or the trailer, of Bradley Cooper portraying Chris Kyle as a sniper.  Got to have a good eye to be a sniper.

Per his book, Chris Kyle was our country’s most prolific sniper, with 160 confirmed kills.  He was the deadliest sniper in American history. He had at least 160 confirmed kills by the Pentagon’s count, but by his own count—and the accounts of his Navy SEAL teammates—the number was closer to twice that. In his four tours of duty in Iraq, Kyle earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with Valor. He survived six IED attacks, three gunshot wounds, two helicopter crashes, and more surgeries than he could remember. He was known among his SEAL brethren as The Legend and to his enemies as al-Shaitan, “the devil.”

A “confirmed kill” means that the spotter who often accompanies the sniper can see the kill, and/or troops on the ground see the actual body.  That is why a sniper most likely has a lot more kills than the confirmed ones.

Chris Kyle died a tragic death, after his military career.  He was shot to death by a man he was trying to help.  Very sad, after all he had been through.

Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle in the movie American Sniper.  The picture is up for an Academy Award, and so is Bradley Cooper, deservedly so.

This role is a far cry from his comedic days of The Hangover movies.  He gained 30 pounds and beefed up to match Chris Kyle body type.  He learned all he could about snipers.  He worked closely with Clint Eastwood and Chris Kyle’s wife, Taya.

I have seen most, if not all, of Bradley Cooper’s movies.  There is more to him than meets the eye.  Yes, he is handsome.  Yes, he was “Sexiest Man Alive”.  Yes, he has great hair.  Yes, he is funny.  But did you know he has a B.A. in English from Georgetown, and an MFA in acting from the Actors Studio Drama School at The New School.  He was on the Georgetown rowing team.  He speaks fluent French.  He has starred on Broadway, several times.  He hasn’t drank alcohol since 2009.  He was married once for 4 months.  He has worn his father’s wedding ring since he took it off his finger on his deathbed and pledged to wear it forever.  He then moved in with his mom.  He has dated beautiful actresses.  He has a plethora of awards and nominations.

You know what?  He’s a pretty well-rounded guy!  Besides being pretty, lol.  He is tall, handsome, funny, smart….yes, he will do.  He will do just fine!

 

Unbroken

unbroken1Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, who started life out as a young troublemaker, and ended up as a war hero.

The book, which I just finished, and the movie, which I can’t wait to see, is a story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption according to the author, Laura Hillenbrand.  It is non-fiction.  A true story.  One that will make you laugh, cry and renew your American pride and spirit.

It is amazing.  A page burner.  I ate up every word, and was never full.  I always wanted more.  I fell asleep to this book every night for the past week, as it is almost 500 pages long, and not a word skipper, as some easier reads are.

He was an Olympic athlete, a long distance runner.  If it hadn’t been for the war, he probably would have broken the 4 minute mile.

unbroken2Just one more thing the war took from him.  But his training probably kept him alive.  That and luck.

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While in his POW camps, he was brutually beaten, in both body and mind, by a sadistic man, who I think caused him more pain after the war than during it.

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I could go on and on about the book, and Louis Zamperini, but the biggest thing I got out of this book was a new appreciation for all that our soldiers have gone through for us.  World War II was a brutal war.  About half way through the book, I started thinking of my father, and almost replaced Louis with my dad in my mind.

My dad was not a POW, but he was on a ship, the U.S.S. Boston.  He never spoke to us kids about his war experience, and now I know why.  Even though he was not a POW, being in WW II was no picnic.  He did talk a bit about his experience during Typhoon Cobra to my older cousins.  It sounded very frightening, and he said he was lucky enough to have the top bunk (6 high) so he didn’t get vomited on.  There is a book about the U.S.S. Boston called Baked Beans that I might get that details many of the ship’s experiences.  I do know my dad talked about being anchored in Tokyo Harbor after the atomic bombs for the signing of the Japanese surrender.  In fact my grandma always said his lung cancer was caused by the radiation he was most likely exposed to.  A marine commander and his men from the ship were on the ground hours after the bombs were dropped.

So I did feel there was an affinity between the two men, who were in the same war, in the same area of the world, at the same time.  They were both in typhoons, and both witnessed the end of the war.

Louis Zamperini had many demons to deal with after the war.  I’m sure my dad did too, in his own way . I wish I could talk to my dad now, after understanding a bit more about the atrocities of war.

Tonight I’ll have to star gaze, and find his.

 

 

To see, or not to read. That is the question

read1Another two movies are coming out in the next few week based on books, This is Where I Leave You and The Maze Runner.  These are just a couple of many lately that are trying to become the next Twilight, or Hunger Games, and cash in on a popular book or series of books.

Harry Potter, The Hobbit…..there have been many good ones.  Then, there have been many that have died a disinterested death.  Think Beautiful Creatures, Mortal Instruments and Vampire Academy.

Ender’s Game was a great book, and I thought the movie was good.  Not too many other people did.  The Host, I still am upset about The Host.  It should have done better than it did.  I LOVED that book.  The Giver was an old book, and Jeff Bridges tried for many years to bring it to life, and finally did.  I liked it ok, again, not good reviews.

A few other fared a bit better.  Divergent was popular, so the next few are in the works, and I am glad.  The Fault in Our Stars was great, but a one off.  If I Stay did ok.

Here are some others coming up very soon that I am looking forward to.  Gone Girl, Left Behind, Mocking Jay, 50 Shades of Grey.  I’m betting that Mocking Jay (the next Hunger Games movie) and 50 Shades do very well.  I was initially not too happy with the casting for 50 Shades, but after watching the trailer, I have changed my mind.  If you are not a 50 Shades fan, I urge you to watch the trailer, you may change your mind!

Other books/series/trilogies that I love that are in the works for possible movies are Legend, The Hunt Trilogy, The Born Trilogy, The Lunar Chronicles, The Survival Trilogy, The Water Keepers, The Lorien Legacies, The Selection series, Blood of Eden, Collapse series, Shatter me series, Under the Never Sky series, The Partial Sequence series, Before I Fall, Panic, The Delirium series, The Fallen series, The Matched series, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  Most of these books fall into the YA (Young Adult) category, and are utopian/dystopian/futuristic type books, which are very popular and appeal to a large section of both readers and movie goers.

So.  I guess I am wondering if it is better to:

1.  Read the book before the movie

2.  Just see the movie

3.  See the movie and then read the book

Reading the book before the movie tends to lead to expectations that are sometimes not fulfilled.  Some people get very upset if the movie maker takes any kind of liberty with the book at all.  Other people get lost if they haven’t read the book first because the movie leaves out plot details.  Difficult.  Very difficult.  A no win situation it seems, except for a very few lucky ones that appeal to both the book readers and movie goers.

I’m still on the fence about  it.  What do you think?

Oh, and yes, I HAVE read all of the afore-mentioned books.  Mostly in the past year or so.  Lots of time in hospitals/nursing homes. 😉

 

 

This is me

Hey folks, I am one of the authors in What a Woman is Worth #WAWIW and an excerpt from my story was the featured graphic yesterday! Woo Hoo!

Currently I am laid up in a rehab hospital with no hip for 8 weeks, so it’s been hard for me to keep up and promote the book etc. I hope you take the time to go the website and at least check it out.

Thanks so much!

http://tamaralunardo.com/free-what-a-woman-is-worth-graphic-featuring-janet-heath/#comments

Dear Author……..

Yesterday I got an email.  It started out with Dear Authors…….and I was one of them!

Even better, the email requested my bio.  Yes, that’s right.  MY BIO.  Things about me that people will read.  In a BOOK.

My hands trembled as I tried to compose myself enough to compose a bio.  You see, this is the first time I ever had to write a bio.  I didn’t know what to write.  I didn’t want to sound lame and be all like “Janet Heath is a wonderful woman and the best writer in the world and now you all know it too!”  But I didn’t want to sound pathetic either like “Janet Heath still can’t believe she is in this book because who would want to read anything she wrote?”  So I tried to write something about myself that would show my love of reading and writing.  Hopefully I succeeded.  My editor liked it, so I guess it wasn’t too lame.

My dream is coming true.  I am about to become a published author.  Pinch me now.

Top Ten Movies of 2012

I would say that I am quite the movie fan.  I am NOT a movie critic, just know what I like and don’t like.  I go at least once a week, sometimes more if they release a bunch of good ones over a holiday week.  I remember spending Christmas Day watching Avatar a few years back!

Sometimes it freaks me out when I go to my local theatre and realize I have seen every movie on the marquee (minus the obvious kiddie cartoon type).

I’ve seen a lot of good movies this year.  Slept through some.  Walked out on one.  Here are my Top Ten favs:

1.  The Hunger Games.  Read all the books, wasn’t sure how it would translate into a PG-13 movie without going into all the blood and guts realities.  After seeing the movie I was convinced that the books should not have been classified for “Young Adults”, and that they should have made an “R” rated movie.  But after I saw it the second time, I conceded to the brilliance of the movie.

2.  The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  Yeah, I know.  Weird choice.  But it moved me.  Had a great story line.  Made me cry.

 

3.  The Avengers.  Mainly because of my Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.  The dude rocks it, big time.  Plenty of eye candy in this movie.

4.  Bourne Legacy.  Jeremy Renner fan.  That is all it needed.

5.  Snow White & the Huntsman.  The Queen demanding “Bring me her heart!”  One of my fav scenes ever.

6.  Prometheus.  Again Charlize Theron was highlight of movie.  Programmed her own abortion, just in the nick of time.  Ridley Scott keeps the Alien suspense alive and kicking!

 

7.  Looper.  Slept through the whole middle the first time, so was very confused.  Saw the whole thing the second time and made more sense.  Great flick.

8.  Dark Knight Rises.  Still not a huge Christian Bale fan, his whisper/lisp bugs me.  Glad this trilogy is over.  Time for a fresh one.

9.  Dark Shadows.  Grew up watching Barnabas Collins.  Johnny Depp was superb.

10. Brave.  Fiery red-headed green-eyed girl.

There are a LOT of good new movies still due to come out this year, and I can’t wait.  However, I did go see Cloud Atlas yesterday, and walked out after about an hour.  I just didn’t get it.  But I’m really looking forward to:

Flight, Life of Pi, Skyfall, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, Red Dawn, Gravity, Jack Reacher, Jack the Giant Killer, Silver Lining, Hitchcock, Playing for Keeps, Hunter Killer, and of course the final Twilight, Break Dawn Part II.

I’m sure my Top Ten will change.  It might become my Top Twenty.  What is your favorite movie this year?  I would like to know!