One More Chapter
A twenty two year-old's view on life, death,
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
"Sometimes we don't do things we want to do so that others won't know we want to do them."
- Ivy Walker, The Village (2004)
A lot of people ask me what my favorite movie is. They seem to expect that since I am a movie guru that I must have a favorite, and that I also have some amazing explanation as to why it's my favorite. Well, I'm here to tell you that I just don't have a favorite movie. I simply love far too many to pick just one.
I think that a more easily answered question would be a favorite within genres, then I may be able to give you the top three. As you can tell, I'm not the best at making decisions (you should have seen me trying to deal with college choices. I think I started to go bald). But even though I might not be able to give you my favorite movies, there are two that I can say honestly changed my life.
The Impossible (2012)
The Impossible is a movie that everyone must watch before they die. I don't think that it is physically possible to watch this and not cry. Now you might say well, Amanda, you're sister, Audrey, watched it without crying...and I would say to you that Audrey doesn't count. She is a robot that my family adopted when they thought that I was going to die and then I made a miraculous recovery and now we're stuck with her. (yes, that is the plot of A.I. starring Haley Joel Osment).
This movie is the true story of a family that survived the Tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004 starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
The first time I saw this movie I cried like a baby from thirty minutes into it until about two hours after I had gotten home. It was the most emotional film I have ever sat through. But don't worry, it's mainly crying out of happiness...towards the end. All the other times that I have built up the courage to watch it I have been able to contain the tears until about an hour into the film.
There is this one scene where Ewan McGregor finally gets to talk to his father-in-law on a fellow survivor's cell phone. It is the most honest and real acting I think that I have ever seen and therefore absolutely impossible to get though the whole scene without reaching for a nearby tissue.
After seeing this movie all I wanted to do was run into the arms of everyone in my family and never let go. It also made me never want to approach the ocean again in my life - though that soon faded and I've attended many beach days since seeing it.
I'm not sure I can even fully explain the emotional journey that this film brings you on. It doesn't matter who you are, please see this movie asap.
The fact that it wasn't nominated for Best Motion Picture at the Oscars is a complete outrage. Though Naomi Watts was nominated for Best Actress for her breathtaking performance.
The Village (2004)
The Village was the first M. Night Shyamalan film that I ever saw. And while this film isn't exactly what I would call life-changing, it was for me.
This was the first "scary" movie that I ever saw (for the record it is not a scary movie, but in 2004 I was only nine so I almost peed myself).
After seeing this movie I became intrigued. I watched all the "behind the scenes" and absolutely fell in love with Shyamalan and everything about him.
I wanted to be there with him. I wanted to see what he was actually like when he told the actors and actress what to do, how he made all the important decisions, how he did everything. I was a tad obsessed. I wanted so badly to meet him. I needed to meet him.
Shyamalan had this habit of including his old home videos as part of the bonus features on his DVDs. These movies were stunningly similar to the home videos I was making and it was then that I realized: he was doing what I wanted to do in life.
At the time, though, I didn't think that I actually could do this for a living. I must have thought that you had to be born into the world of Hollywood or something. I though, I could never actually have a career in that. And while, yes, I will be very difficult to get a well-paying job in this industry, it doesn't matter.
So thanks Shyamalan, your movie changed my life. Literally. If it were for you I would be studying culinary and not nearly as happy.
What are the things that have changed your life? Is it a movie? A song? A moment in your life? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading,
Song of the Day
Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons
1. Chris Traeger (Parks and Recreation)
We all need a Chris Traeger in our lives. He is positive, uplifting and a great energy to be around. And it's completely genuine. Plus, he is LITERALLY the healthiest person in the entire world.
Chris: “I’m engrossed in this book. It’s the true story of a woman born with no arms and no legs who attempted to swim the English Channel.” April: “That’s impossible.” Chris: “Oh, she drowned immediately. It’s kind of a sad story.”
Danny Castellano (The Mindy Project)
We all need that one friend, you know the kind. The one that is a bit of a smartass but good-looking and with whom you constantly bicker, but occasionally wonder what it would be like to have a relationship with.
Mindy: Back off, grandpa.Danny: That's not an insult, ok? Grandfathers are the backbone of this country.
Andy Dwyre (Parks and Recreation)
Andy is that one friend who isn't quite all there. He is sweet and innocent and everything seems to surprise and delight him. He's like a child in an adult body, and it makes for a very loyal and loving friend, and good entertainment.
Andy Dwyer: [Leslie is sick] Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the thing up here and it says you could have network connectivity problems.
Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project)
This is the friend that just gets you and is always ready to do exactly what you want: stay home, watch Rom Coms and eat shitty food. She is funny, sassy and is confident in herself. So basically you just wish with all your might that, if you hang out around her long enough, she will begin to rub off on you.
"Guys over the holiday I had five hams and a goose. Like, I am a wolf in a children's story."
Who wouldn't want a friend that can get you into New York's hottest clubs?
New York’s hottest club is: Taste
Description: Nightlife designer Tranny Griffith is back with an all-new club that answers the question, “Huh?!?” Don’t look for a bouncer — there isn’t one. Instead, the door’s guarded by 10 jacked homeless guys in old-fashioned bathing suits.
This place has everything: Ice sculptures, winos, Germfs – German smurfs – a Teddy Ruxpin wearing mascara, an old lady wearing Kid ‘N Play hair, and none other than DJ Baby Bok Choy.
DJ Baby Bok Choy? He’s a giant 300-pound Chinese baby who wears tinted aviator glasses, and he spins records with his little ravioli hands.
Sorry today's blog is a bit of a cop-out, tomorrow's will be back to my more traditional blogs!
Thanks for Reading,
Song of the Day
Little Lies by Dave Barnes
Guess what? I have flaws. What are they? Oh I donno, I sing in the shower? Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I'll hit somebody with my car. So sue me-- no, don't sue me. That is opposite the point I'm trying to make.
-Michael Scott from The Office (U.S.)
Hey all you people, hey all you people, hey all you people won't you listen to me??!!
It's time that I let you in on the secret yet wonderful world of GoodReads. It's a magical place if you are a lover of books and for so many reasons. I will try to explain it's magic in one blog post, but you really should check it out for yourself if you want to really understand what I'm talking about.
What is GoodReads?
Basically, it is a website where readers can keep track of the books they want to read, have read and are currently reading.
But that's not all. There is so much more to this fantastic site. and here is why:
In the beginning of each year (or anytime during the year technically) you can set up a goal of how many books you want to read by the end of the year. Which is great because, as you may have realized by now, I am a big fan of goals.
Last year I wanted to read 100 books in one year. This was a rational choice to me because if you think about it that's roughly more than three and a half days to finish one book. I could do that! I thought to myself.
I could have done it if I hadn't taken so much onto my plate my senior year of highschool.
I eventually fell behind on my reading and never caught back up.
In the end I read 34 books last year. Pitiful, just pitiful.
Which is why I made a New Years resolution to read more this year. (We'll see if I can stick to it this time)
My goal this year is 60 books, so I that I won't let myself down so drastically if the same thing happens again. If I surpass my goal of 60 books and read 100, then all the better!
So far I am 1 book AHEAD of schedule.
That's the other great thing about this little sidebar app on the home page; it keeps track of your progress, it will tell you how many books behind or ahead of your schedule you are and the % of your goal you have reached.
Who doesn't love free books? That's right, nobody. Except maybe blind people.
And GoodReads has hundreds, even thousands of them, being given away everyday.
Just click the "Exploration" drop down box and you will find the giveaway page.
There are always local or less known authors who are giving away a few copies of their novel as a way to promote them. You get more chances of being selected for future giveaways if you review the books you get end up winning. You just click that you agree to the terms and you are entered to win!
So far I have won two books. It's amazing. You click a button, forgot you did so, then - a few days to a few weeks later - you get an email saying a free book is on it's way in the mail.
Then you forget again, and a few weeks later there is a surprise box for you in the mail with a free book in it!
And most of them are signed by the authors!
It's like Facebook stalking, only you get to see every book that your friends are reading, how they liked them, and how fast they read them.
You can also see which ones your friends add to their "want to read" list.
It's great for recommendations as to what you should read!
You can also check on other people's ratings for books you are thinking about buying/reading.
The best part is that if you just click on their profile you can see the ratings that they gave to other books and the types of books they tend to read on a regular basis. This, to me, is very important in telling if someone's perspective will suit yours as well.
For instance, if they gave five stars to every book in the House of Night series, then their judgement is not trustworthy and they would probably have given one star to To Kill A Mockingbird which is the literary equivalent to saying you hate chocolate.
It's a great place for local, and less well-known authors to publicize their work and get themselves 'out there' so to speak.
You can create an author page and post up your books and see what others say, set up giveaways, and do much more.
Basically is like a super high-tech and awesome bookshelf that contains every book you ever read and every book you want to read.
Check it out at www.goodreads.com
or check out my personal GoodReads page at: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/9309315-amanda-keohane
Thank you for reading,
Song of the Day
It Comes and Goes (In Waves) by Greg Laswell
"Remember when last year no one got flu shots because there was a rumor they’d turn you European?"
-Ben from Parks and Recreation
As many of you know, my father, Dan, is a published author. It's not his primary source of income though. He also works as a computer analyst (or something of that nature) full-time to bring home the bacon. But growing up with someone with such a love for novels and story telling can lead to a rather interesting childhood.
Perhaps it is all writers, or maybe it's just my dad (or even the men in my family in general since him and his brothers Paul and Micheal are very similar to each other) but we grew up with, what I think, is a very different atmosphere than most families.
For one, me and both my siblings were brought up to love books and reading from the second we popped out of my mother's stomach. It was a privilege to be allowed to finally join my brother for his nightly readings. For a long time we were read to separately since my brother was reading far more advanced books with my dad than I was being allowed to such as The Lord of The Rings trilogy and Artemis Fowl. He also started the Harry Potter books before I joined the group. I remember trying to find excuses to come in the room whenever the were reading, and after my excuse ran out I would just linger and listen to what they had been reading, every so often posing questions like "What is the mirror of Erised?" and "Who's Dumbledore?"
Soon a middle ground was found with the Series of Unfortunate Events novels by Lemony Snicket. So every night before bed all three children were gathered into my father's bed (even my younger sister, Audrey, since my parents loved her more than me...just kidding...kind of..) and listened to my dad read to us about the Beaudelaire children and their horrible tragic tale. Has anyone read those books? They're incredibly depressing, yet they're for children!
Soon my father caught my sister and I up on the Harry Potter series so that we could read those together as well, and we settled into a great book reading rhythm.
My father was also very supportive and encouraging of my siblings and me when we wanted to express ourselves as well.
We all tried to write stories like daddy's, only we had no idea what his were actually like since we were allowed to read them. My father writes horror novels. To this day I have only had the courage to read his collection of short stories. I plan to finish his other three very soon. So we each took off in our own directions.
My brother wrote mainly funny comics, or sci-fi/superman stories. My sister wrote them about happy puppies and sparkles. I wrote horror stories. Like really messed up. I remember, in fourth grade, I wrote a "short story", though it was more like a poem, about a girl who was adopted and found out her mother was a mermaid that was chopped up by a boat's propellers...WHAT?! I'm literally scared of my old-self. It's odd though because I was a very happy child, I never acted weird, I just wrote horrible morbid and sad stories. I'd like to assure you though that the book I am write now (and I use that term "writing" very loosely here since it is extremely slow going) is just as happy and sad as any average story. I must have been going through a Sylvia Plath phase or something.
In addition to these stories and comics we wrote we were also avid filmmakers.
Can you guess who directed these fabulous films?
Yup, it was me!
I was a horribly bossy director with a whiny voice, so most movies were never finished due to my siblings trying to strangle me in the end or my father taking the camera away because everyone was crying.
But they were gems, I don't have them on this computer but once I do you can bet that you will be seeing them.
My father was a huge advocate for us being creative, using our imagination and expressing ourselves.
He also loved to make cameos in our videos as headless zombies or the helpless victim of my younger sister's mad scientist experiments (try and picture a six foot something man with a heavy beard cowering in fear from a wicked tiny (yes, I am from Massachusetts, why do you ask?) two foot girl with a voice similar to the shrimp from Shark Tale. It was quite a sight to see.
Almost all of my friends that meet my dad fall absolutely in love. Is it his unruly beard choices and long shaggy hair? Is it the fact that he even stranger than I? or is it the fact that he is always trying to do something new and creative to his house? Who knows, I'm not them. But let me tell you, growing up with a writer is quite a trip, and I can't wait for my children to experience the same thing.
Thank you for reading,
Song of the Day
I Lived by OneRepublic
About This Blog:
I started this blog as a way to challenge myself to write more over the 2014 year, but it has blossomed into so much more than that. I use it to let people in on what's happening in my life, talk about things I find important and to spread the news about amazing people, places and art.