A to Z Challenge 2014

A to Z 2014 : ZIP-A-DEE-AY

(An A to Z 2014 Challenge Entry)

Sooooooo, I’m totally jacking this (or is it “jaking”?) from the Ladyfolk and Dyanne. At least partially. Desperate times call for desperate actions! That second, memorable line from the song totally gets the shaft, I’m sure, when it comes to headlining awesome blog entries like this! Nothing more but a passing “honorable mention” I would wager. Well not anymore! It’s your turn to shine Zip-A-Dee-Ay! Show them what you’ve got!

Okay, starting to get a bit weird…

It’s the final day (hour!) of the A to Z Challenge 2014! I just wanted to congratulate everyone who made it to the end and/or participated. It can get extremely grueling, especially after that first week and a half. So, if not being able to complete the challenge, don’t be so hard on yourself. There is always next year. That goes for all of us, if we didn’t learn our lesson the first, second, or fifth time around.

I also wanted to thank those of you who encouraged me to continue on, and who took the time to visit when having the ability to do so. Your comments, likes, and shares are much appreciated! I know I am still behind on many blogs, but I’m hoping to catch up now that the A to Z is over.

The idea of participating in the Blog Every Day in May Challenge 2014 was contemplated, but at the moment I think I’m passing. The original host I participated with last year doesn’t seem to be doing to this year. There are, however, multiple others that are hosting their own. We will see. Currently, it’s in discussion with the Ladyfolk.

I had originally planned another fiction piece, or a poem (as the ones from last year’s challenge were well received), but I didn’t have the time, and those definitely aren’t areas I wish to feel rushed in. So, a play on (or hijack of — or is that “hijak”?) the title some loved ones used for their final post it is! I’m sure they won’t mind.

I’m gentle…

And cuddly…

Did you complete and/or participate the A to Z Challenge 2014? If so, do you think you will participate again? If not, why? Any preparations and/or ideas for how to prepare for the event next year? Are you participating in (one of) the Blog Every Day in May 2014 Challenge? If so, which?

Congrats to those who participated in the A to Z this year, and again, a huge Thanks to those who followed along!

A to Z 2014 : YOU AND I

(An A to Z 2014 Challenge Entry)

Finally a post that won’t take me the entire day it’s due on, cutting it close to the Midnight mark. This is a post I’ve had semi-drafted up since about Day 3 of the challenge. I was blog hopping back then, exploring random, new blogs I’d never read before, and one individual was posting music videos. One of those videos featured the song her and her boyfriend/fiance/husband/I don’t freaking remember considered their song. I can’t recall what it was, but I offered up what I thought the Ladyfolk would consider our song. It was between two, but I myself consider this one to be said song:

“You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson.

I’ve been trying to avoid playing the song, or even humming it, for weeks now. The Ladyfolk says she didn’t know what her final topics for the challenge would be. When she said that she finally thought she figured out her “Y” post, I just knew intuitively there was the high probability it would be the same as mine. So, she is passed out on the couch and I just placed up my “X” post hours ago, but I think I can get the drop on her.

Oh My Nuts. She woke up, because while I was writing my post I was also attempting to blog hop. I wanted to catch up some and was reading a blog post about Jeff Buckley and the music ended up being a bit too loud. So I went to tuck her in with intentions of finishing up before going to bed. But it was a trap. Her cuddles and back scratches put me to sleep!

Damn you, Jessica and Jeff Buckley (but not really)! I shall have my revenge (yes, really)! Because I just saw the email notification that the Ladyfolk did indeed pick “You and I” as her challenge topic today. I want to peek at what she posted, specifically the subject matter beyond the song, but I’m way back on “P” for her blog… yeah… so none ya’ll can complain. GAH! Stupid cuddles...

Ah, well. You win some, you lose some. At least I still got posted before Noon!

Do you and your significant other have a song you consider yours? If so, which? Are you an Ingrid Michaelson fan?


(An A to Z 2014 Challenge Entry)

I wonder how many people picked X-Men, X-Files, X-Ray, and/or X Marks The Spot. These were what came to me last year, as well as with the current challenge once “X” rolled around. Huh, I picked Xbox last year. Why the hell didn’t that even some to mind this time around? Anyhow, I thought, much akin to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, I would share the trailer for an upcoming movie. One I’m actually excited for, despite my shunning the franchise after the third installment and those that followed thereafter.

Except X-Men: First Class. I have yet to see it, but I’ve heard many good things, and I need to watch it before the next installment. And before that, I have to somehow get the Ladyfolk caught up on the first trilogy. My God, the thoughts of having to watch the third movie again — a movie that almost had me walking out of the theater — makes me a little sick to my stomach. I can take one for the team, though… I think…

Yes. For the return of director Bryan Singer (the original director of the first two X-Men movies), I can. I will stomach it, and who knows, maybe after a second viewing I will come to like it a tad bit better…

*Blank stare*

Yeah, no.

The fact that they are bringing back all the characters/actors from the original franchise and X-Men: First Class, makes this one hell of an ambitious project. I’m assuming, given the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the bigwigs realize they best step it up instead of pumping out shlock and given directing gigs to hacks. No offense to Brett Ratner (director of X-Men: The Last Stand), I really did enjoy the first Rush Hour. And maaaaaybe the first sequel a little bit. What can I say? I’m a Jackie Chan fan! But I seriously couldn’t stand that third film. I realize it likely wasn’t all his doing, there are many parts of the machine, but his name is what stands out.

I’d like to think Singer is back to put everything back on track, blending together what’s been vomited up, with the artistic hands of someone who is passionate about their work, and love of the material. Then again, I think I’ve heard his adaptations are pretty far off from the source material (from which there are many, given the reboots and revamps superheroes receive in the world of comic books), so fuck it. Whatever. Judge for yourself. I think this trailer look amazing, as I mentioned back in XVI | TRAILER TUESDAY | XVI.

Are you a fan of the X-Men? Did you/do you read the comics? What are your thoughts on the movie adaptations? What about the spin-offs, or whatever the hell they were (mainly focusing on Wolverine)? Are you excited to see X-Men: Days of Future Past?



I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d fully recommit to this blog hop after my catch up post, especially during the A to Z Challenge. I’ve already witnessed a handful of people folding under the pressure of daily blogging (even with that Sunday break), and keeping up with other bloggers participating. They were fine soldiers. Each and every one of them. Their time, dedication, and ultimate sacrifice shall not go unnoticed.

Please, a moment of silence…

…And we’re back.

I’m definitely trying not to be oppressed by my snail pace at visiting, but I undoubtedly — in general — need to improve my time management. The final stretch of the challenge is upon us and (SPOILER ALERT!) for that I am Thankful. There is no way in hell I’m going to quit now! I figure once the A to Z wraps up I can take some time and catch up with posts I missed, because there is that real possibility I may not be blogging much thereafter.

Unless that Blog Every Day in May Challenge is taking place again. Then maybe, but that’s neither here nor there. That’s still a whole three days away.

Today I’m Thankful for:
  1. Getting back into the groove of things and participating in the A to Z Challenge this year.
  2. That I didn’t buckle under the pressure!
  3. As mentioned above, I’m very Thankful that it’s nearing the end.
  4. The conquering of my TToT catch up post. It didn’t take me anywhere near as long as I thought it would, which is good, because I started the lists the day the post was due. Thinking back to November wasn’t an easy task. Thankfully, I had mentioned a handful of events throughout the A to Z, so that made it a bit easier.
  5. Finally writing some fiction again in UNCLAIMED.
  6. Very Thankful that the weather has begun to feel a lot more Spring-like. I was getting worried we would be getting some snowfall in May again. Screw that action.
  7. Thunderstorms! Finally! I’ve been waiting for this weather much too long. Lately, threats of thunderstorms have turned out to be nothing but rain. What’s rain without some thunder and lightning?! Seriously.
  8. I believe I forgot to mention it in my huge Thankful post, but I’m grateful for the Peter Pan play that the Ladyfolk and I attended a few weeks ago. They had some odd sound equipment issues, but overall it wasn’t too distracting. The performances were great and there was one fairy in particular who was so tiny and adorable in her outfit that she may have stolen the show.
  9. Lazy weekend. I know I have highlighted this many times, but I’m truly Thankful for each and every one. Sometimes the weekends get so jammed with social outings and errands, it’s nice to have ones devoid of all the hustle and bustle.
  10. Today is my grandmothers birthday. She is turning 84. I’m Thankful she is still with me today to be able to enjoy her company. Usually Mondays are our hang out days, but she will be busy with my aunt tomorrow. The Ladyfolk and I went out and grabbed a gift and a card to drop off as soon as I finish this post. We got six cartons of Twinkies and three cartons of Hostess Cupcakes. The Twinkies have ten units per box, while the cupcakes eight. Weird… that just so happens to equal 84! Coincidence? I think not…
Feel free to leave your Thankful List in the comments below, if you aren’t participating directly with the blog hop!

A to Z 2014 : WINANS

(An A to Z 2014 Challenge Entry)

Jamin Winans is one of my favorite independent filmmakers. He has a handful of shorts under his belt, but so far only two full-length features. And I’ve only see one. This isn’t to say I haven’t tried to find his first film online. The movie I have seen, via Netflix, is Ink. Winans wrote the script and musical score to Ink, as well as directed and edited the film. I’m kind of surprised he didn’t act in it. Ink was produced by Double Edge Films, which is an independent production company created by Jamin and his wife. His wife was also heavily involved in making this movie become a reality.

I love when an artist is so involved in their work, as mentioned in Video Games. Here is one of the trailers:

I fell in love with this movie upon my first viewing. That may seem awkward, or rather logical, but sometimes it can take a few exposures to a movie, TV show, or even a song, to develop an appreciation for it. I instantly felt the desire to try to get various friends and family members to watch the movie. I get that way at times…

Originally, I would always warn people about the movies budget, which is fairly evident — even somewhat from the trailer. I learned Jamin had somewhere between 200-250k to produce this movie, which isn’t a lot. For some reason he couldn’t get backing beyond that. What he created on that budget, however, I find amazing. In some ways, I think it helps the movie focus more on the story than special effects. For what Ink may lack in production theatrics, it more than makes up for in heart. It’s a very character driven piece, and those are my favorite kind.

From time to time I listen to the soundtrack, which has helped kick-start my creative motivation. In fact, I just mentioned I have various “work in progress” (WiP) playlists on my Spotify. The one song appearing on each playlist is “The City Surf”:

In all honesty, I love the entire soundtrack, but that is my favorite song from it. I almost freaked out when I heard it being used in The Grey, another movie I recommend — especially if you are a Liam Neeson fan!

Currently, Jamin’s third film, titled The Frame, is in post-production. I’m highly looking forward to finally be able to experience another of his creations. It can’t come soon enough!

A random fun fact: During my first viewing of Ink, there was a scene that was so reminiscent of a short I saw on Youtube (one I really liked) just weeks before that I became upset that the director had blatantly ripped it off. There were too many similarities to be a coincidence for me to believe it was unintentional. I ranted about this for some time, but I couldn’t recall the title of the video to compare. Eventually, I found the video and come to find out it was a short by none other than Jamin Winans. I thought it was hilarious, and understood why he would use something so similar in such a pivotal scene in Ink. And then all was right with the world once again…

Here is that short, Spin:

If ever having the time to, I highly recommend checking out Ink. If you do, or if you’ve seen it before, what are your thoughts on the movie (sans spoilers, of course!)? Do you have a favorite independent director? If so, who and what movies did they direct? Any favorite motion picture soundtrack? If you watched Spin, what did you think?