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a room without windows

July 20, 2016

my mother says that i am the strongest woman she knows. she is not the sort of woman who is biased where her children are concerned. she could tell you, with absolutely no effort or remorse, of every flaw and failure in her sons and daughter. she would have no trouble doing this. none. she will tell you that i will lie to your face, that i am frivolous with money, that i am crude and irresponsible and selfish and lazy... she can rattle off with great ease every shortcoming, every negative attribute i possess. that one compliment, though... that's like hope amid all the ugliness in pandora's box.

i bruise easily. it's almost pathetic how quickly and marvelously those bruises will form. and i know there are times where i've thought that perhaps some of those bruises were caused by brokenness. maybe they were.

i keep thinking of what my friend minn told me once, long ago, that a broken bone tends to heal so that it is stronger than it had been before.

another door has closed for me. another person has deemed me insufficient in some capacity. and so i am here again... in a room that seems to have no windows. a box, like the one my third grade teacher put me in so she wouldn't have to see me. 

too often i feel as though the world doesn't want me in it. i'm tired of fighting. i'm tired of having to prove myself. to convince someone that i'm worthy. i'm tired of trying to find and claim a place. and i know that i will get up again tomorrow and make as concerted effort as i can to fulfill the obligations that are expected of me. sometimes i'm just tired of being strong. i really just want to lean for a while. 

because the film challenge isn't a lofty enough goal

July 12, 2016

no.

i have never finished my own damned film challenge. but that IS happening this year. it is.

today i learned that some dude made himself watch julie and julia every day for a year AND blog about it. i am not going to be doing that. one) because while i can appreciate that film, there is NO WAY IN HELL i'd want to see it more than five times. two) i'm doing my own damned film challenge AND erin's book challenge AND battling a heinous bout of depression and... blah blah blah. three) i have an exemplary tendency to obsess, but even i have my limits.

however, outside of the film challenge, the thought of testing myself to see how many times i could watch AND blog about one film intrigues me. and so i put these questions to you:

one) IF i could watch ONLY one movie for one year which of the following do you think i would pick: 

about time. apollo thirteen. the avengers. the count of monte cristo. dedication. dogma. the family stone. a few good men. five hundred days of summer. for love of the game. the great raid. good will hunting. the help. the hundred foot journey. jay and silent bob strike back. life as a house. life or something like it. lone survivor. the lord of the rings trilogy (the director's cut). marley and me. memoirs of a geisha. miracle. mr. magorium's wonder emporium. ocean's eleven. pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl. playing by heart. saving private ryan. seabiscuit. the secret life of walter mitty. serenity. sleepless in seattle. spy game. star trek. star wars: episodes four through six. steel magnolias. a time to kill. tombstone. trainwreck. when harry met sally. you've got mail.

two) how many times in that year do you think i would be capable of watching it?

i know. everbody does this, so why don't i? it's not meant to be trite or cliche, but i know full well that it is. i may not even do it. there's a part of me that cries out this has been done before, you silly girl. but the thing is, i haven't done it. i know there are films i've seen more than twenty times. easily, and a number of them. but i can't confirm the count.


i've seen star trek twenty times in theaters, a test to see if i could beat my record of watching pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl eighteen times. i did it. amazingly enough i can still watch those films, and happily. i never tire of them. but that's the thing... i never tire of film. i could watch star trek twenty times in a week, easily. assuming i had absolutely nothing else to do, of course. that said, i'm sure i could see any of the above films as many times.

so... which should i watch, and how often?

the fall film challenge: picky recommends-the third installment

July 10, 2016

eighteen. about a character who goes from rags to riches.
the count of monte cristo. seabiscuit. burnt. trading places. cinderella man. the shawshank redemption. the hundred foot journey. ocean's eleven. the blind side. pretty woman. a knight's tale. office space. invincible. the pursuit of happyness. mr. deeds. cinderella. annie.

nineteen. about a man. vs. society.
divergent. v for vendetta. the hunger games. schindler's list. the giver. serenity. the help. a time to kill. the last samurai. sleepers. lone survivor. philadelphia. glory road. the painted veil. creation. the shawshank redemption. murder in the first. pump up the volume. donnie brasco. pay it forward. charlotte gray. the great raid. a few good men. the last of the mohicans. boondock saints. gangster squad. the dark knight. dead poets society.

twenty. originally released in the thirties.
gone with the wind. snow white and the seven dwarves. it happened one night. the wizard of oz. 

twenty-one. about undesirable individuals or elements.
fear and loathing in las vegas. the silence of the lambs. the help. a walk among the tombstones. the dark knight. sleepers. the count of monte cristo. se7en. jay and silent bob strike back. a time to kill. the client. the usual suspects. dogma. philadelphia. glory road. tombstone. fried green tomatoes. terms of endearment. gangster squad. sliding doors. a love song for bobby long. pump up the volume. major league. dedication. trainwreck.

twenty-two. about a voyage and return.
captain phillips. star wars: episodes four through six. hell or high water. star trek. finding nemo. pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl. cast away. wind. back to the future. chasing mavericks. charlie st. cloud.

twenty-three. about wizards or witchcraft.
the lord of the rings trilogy. the wizard of oz. the harry potter series. practical magic. mr. magorium's wonder emporium. the sorcerer's apprentice. labyrinth. mary poppins.

twenty-four. originally released in the sixties.
becket. the sound of music. anne of the thousand days. the taming of the shrew. who's afraid of virginia woolf? romeo and juliet. camelot. my fair lady. cleopatra. mary poppins.

twenty-five. about a yearning or obsession.
the lord of the rings trilogy. sleeping with the enemy. the count of monte cristo. vertigo. incendies. the the terminator. closer. terminator two: judgment day. memoirs of a geisha. the silence of the lambs. the dark knight. sleepers. burnt. pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl. fight club. unbreakable. creation. serenity. batman begins. seabiscuit. giant. saint ralph. chasing mavericks. rudy. gone with the wind. the notebook. five hundred days of summer. fever pitch. boondock saints.

the fall film challenge: picky recommends-the second installment

July 9, 2016

nine. about an invention or an ingenuous individual.
apollo thirteen. creation. real genius. moneyball. a beautiful mind. the theory of everything. julie and julia. back to the future. willy wonka and the chocolate factory. the imitation game. iron man.

ten. set in a jail or prison.
incendies. sleepers. a time to kill. the count of monte cristo. the silence of the lambs. murder in the first. the shawshank redemption. dead man walking. the rock. 

eleven. about a dog.
marley and me. iron will. turner and hooch. eight below. the fox and the hound.

twelve. about loss.
beaches. steel magnolias. incendies. you're not you. about time. lone survivor. saving private ryan. the vow. dead poets society. life as a house. philadelphia. we bought a zoo. creation. marley and me. a river runs through it. we are marshall. the count of monte cristo. if i stay. people like us. what dreams may come. the family stone. love happens. the painted veil. a walk to remember. fried green tomatoes. the last samurai. one day. terms of endearment. woman in gold. charlotte gray. mr. magorium's wonder emporium. the notebook. a few good men. a good year. no reservations. five hundred days of summer. mystic river. step mom. eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. ghost. regarding henry. extremely loud and incredibly close. he's just not that into you. premonition. the bourne identity. passengers. fifty first dates. p.s. i love you. catch and release. delores claiborne. big fish.

thirteen. about man vs. man.
lone survivor. sleepers. the lord of the rings trilogy. star wars: episodes four through six. the count of monte cristo. a time to kill. cinderella man. schindler's list. murder in the first. the shawshank redemption. a few good men. silence of the lambs. the great raid. seven. the help. philadelphia. the lincoln lawyer. saving private ryan. the last samurai. the usual suspects. full metal jacket. three:ten to yuma. donnie brasco. spy game. dead poets society. serenity. the client. tombstone. gangster squad. the pelican brief. heat. top gun. charlotte gray. the way way back. becket. turner and hooch. divergent. star trek. boondock saints. pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl. bad words. the princess bride. lethal weapon. real genius. die hard. young guns. ferris bueller's day off. labyrinth. anne of a thousand days.

fourteen. about man vs. nature.
iron will. cast away. eight below. 

fifteen. one that has a monster or monstrous individual.
interview with the vampire: the vampire chronicles. the terminator. the lord of the rings trilogy. terminator two: judgement day. the avengers. thor: the dark world. i am number four. thor: the dark knight. the harry potter series. star wars: episodes four through six. incendies. se7en. gangster squad. the silence of the lambs. the lincoln lawyer. a walk among the tombstones. the help. sleepers. the little mermaid. a time to kill. beauty and the beast. schindler's list. sleeping beauty. the three musketeers. star trek. snow white and the seven dwarves.

sixteen. shot or set in pennsylvania.
the avengers. philadelphia. marley and me. the silence of the lambs. dogma. twelve monkeys. the fault in our stars. the sixth sense. my girl. school ties. i am number four. unbreakable. 

seventeen. about a character's quest of some kind.
incendies. the secret life of walter mitty. lone survivor. saving private ryan. the lord of the rings trilogy. star wars: episodes four through six. the great raid. serenity. labyrinth. star trek. apollo thirteen. the never-ending story. master and commander: the far side of the world. pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl. the hunt for red october. twelve monkeys. the count of monte cristo. patton. the matrix. space cowboys. the harry potter series. salmon fishing in the yemen. dogma. x-men: days of future past. clash of the titans. thor: the dark world. a knight's tale. the terminator. life or something like it. terminator two: judgment day. captain america: the first avenger. smokey and the bandit. jay and silent bob strike back. tombstone. charlotte gray. the painted veil.  the hundred foot journey. woman in gold. chocolat. three: ten to yuma. field of dreams. ocean's twelve. chasing mavericks. sleepless in seattle. bad words. stand by me. the fault in our stars. stand by me. thor. little miss sunshine. boondock saints. 

the fall film challenge: picky recommends-the first installment

July 8, 2016

one. about adolescence.
dead poets society. dangerous minds. stand by me. pump up the volume. life as a house. the way way back. the fault in our stars. she's all that. the breakfast club. saint ralph. ferris bueller's day off. ten things i hate about you. the karate kid. sixteen candles. the duff. chasing mavericks. some kind of wonderful. fast times at ridgemont high. back to the future. can't buy me love. dazed and confused.

two. about a character's rebirth or rite of passage.
good will hunting. shawshank redemption. burnt. stand by me. cinderella man. seabiscuit. a beautiful mind. playing by heart. life as a house. the way way back. the count of monte cristo. people like us. the last samurai. salmon fishing in the yemen. the judge. you're not you. mr. magorium's wonder emporium. trainwreck. a good year. the painted veil. life or something like it. no reservations. love happens. one day. the devil wears prada. pieces of april. the mirror has two faces. parenthood. invincible. we bought a zoo. the blind side. rudy. chocolat. crazy stupid love. this is where i leave you. about a boy. catch and release. the taming of the shrew. big eyes.


three. about a comic book character.
the avengers. x-men: days of future past. the dark knight. x-men: first class. men in black three. superman returns. batman. thor: the dark world. captain america: the first avenger. x2: x-men united. ironman. x-men. men in black. thor. captain america: winter soldier. v for vendetta. batman begins. men in black two. the punisher.

four. shot or set in washington, d.c.
a few good men. the silence of the lambs. the emperor's club. the pelican brief. the bourne legacy. thank you for smoking. argo. x-men: days of future past. breach. x-men: first class. captain america: winter soldier. x2: x-men united. in the line of fire. x-men. the american president. the rock. born yesterday. st. elmo's fire. clear and present danger. patriot games. chances are.

five. set in an academic environment.
dead poets society. with honors. stand and deliver. dangerous minds. pump up the volume. lean on me. the program. good will hunting. saint ralph. a beautiful mind. real genius. the mirror has two faces. she's all that. about a boy. ten things i hate about you. the blind side. parenthood. the mighty. school ties. the breakfast club. rudy. ferris bueller's day off. sixteen candles. can't buy me love. some kind of wonderful. back to the future. the karate kid. the duff. mean girls. chasing mavericks. fast times at ridgemont high. dazed and confused.

six. about failure.
incendies. se7en. full metal jacket. with honors. dangerous minds. a river runs through it. murder in the first. proof. closer. who's afraid of virginia woolf? burnt. sleepers. gross anatomy. on the waterfront. the emperor's club. a streetcar named desire. elizabethtown. the way we were. everybody's fine. mystic river. american beauty. the life of david gale. black swan. 

seven. about a man vs. god or gods.
ben hur. thor: the dark world. dogma. thor. clash of the titans. o brother where art thou. bruce almighty. oh god! percy jackson and the olympians: the lightning thief. meet joe black. troy. the grapes of wrath. 


eight. about a man vs. himself.
good will hunting. seabiscuit. a beautiful mind. tombstone. burnt. walk the line. for love of the game. people like us. the last samurai. trainwreckdonnie brasco. the secret life of walter mitty. the judge. salmon fishing in the yemen. mr. magorium's wonder emporium. with honors. a good year. one day. love happens. the program.

praise and gratitude

July 7, 2016

let's start with the boy i knew in high school freshman year. one of the girls in my art class, which was right before lunch, had noticed that if i ate in the cafeteria, i was always by myself, and if i wasn't in the cafeteria, i was hiding in the band hall. so she invited me to sit at her table. she was a senior, a very popular girl, and of course all the others girls at the table were seniors and very popular, too. and of course, of course, the table next to theirs was where some of the most popular senior boys sat. sometimes i liked sitting with them. i loved their conversations. i loved that they included me. sometimes i hated it because it felt more like pity than friendship.

one of those boys owns a business in which he makes signs and trophies for the community. i'd gone by his shop the other day because i was in need businesses to feature, and i knew that he knew lots of people.

the shrink i'm seeing had recommended a while back that i have an object at my desk, something of sentimental value, something i could hold on to when i was troubled to help center me. for some reason, i thought to ask this man if he could make me something.

the next day, i went by his shop again because i was in need of a business sooner than i'd anticipated. and he had just boxed up the thing he'd made for me, was just about to send me an email.

it's a trophy. on the plaque at the base, there's my name, orhs alum, aggie lover... and writer of the year.

it was perfect. it made me so happy to have it. makes me so happy to have it.

tonight i hosted the bible study group. the closer it got to seven, the more i thought they're not coming--they all live west of conroe, and i am south of it. takes too long to get to my house... and it's my house. it's been ages since i've had friends over. but they came. i'd worried for nothing and am a little ashamed that i had thought so little of myself, of them. they showed up, and we had some pretty good discussion. i'm grateful for that. i'm grateful for their friendship. i wish i didn't have to doubt it so much. but i very much loved having them in my house. mostly, i loved knowing that some of the struggles i have are the same as theirs.