A Letter to My Future Husband

I am waiting for you. I don’t know where you are or if we’ve met yet. One day, you’re going to walk into my life and I will understand why no other guy ever worked out. And all the heartbreak and loneliness will have been worth it.

I don’t know what you will look like on the outside but I carry a photograph of your soul in my heart. You are both gentle and sensitive while also being strong and tough. You are honest and honorable, passionate and patient. Above all you are fierce in loving and protecting those you care for.

 I should warn you that it will be difficult to get me to completely open up to you. It may take some time to break through the walls I’ve built around my heart. I’ve been burned by people that I trusted too many times. You will have a lot to prove. I’m asking you now to be patient with me.

I’m not expecting you to be perfect. I don’t need a knight in shining armor to sweep me off my feet and save the day. You won’t “complete” me. I am a complete and happy individual on my own. I need you to come alongside me and say, “We’re in this together. Through good or bad, we are an unbreakable team.” We will each be our own person but together we will be greater than the sum of our parts.

Together we will build something beautiful and amazing. We will be one of the great love stories of our generation. The kind of romance they write songs about. I know it won’t be easy or perfect but we’ll be in it together and we’ll create our own little world. We will raise our family completely immersed in love and support. I am content knowing that we will find each other when the time is right.

Aquaman – A DC Film Worth Seeing

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a big fan of DC movies. I’m more of a Marvel girl myself. Wonder Woman is the only one I absolutely love – I am obsessed with that particular cinematic masterpiece. The rest of DC’s attempts to mimic the success of the MCU have ranged from “meh, that was alright” to “ugh, that was horrendous” in my personal opinion. That being said, I just watched Aquaman and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I won’t say it’s as good as Wonder Woman but it is the first one to come close.

Aquaman gets two big things right that DC typically struggles with. First, this movie fully embraces the weirdness and impracticality of its source material. Is the concept believable? Hell no! but that’s the point. Superhero flicks aren’t supposed to be “realistic” and “gritty” – they’re supposed to be outlandish and fun and an escape from reality. Aquaman is escapist cinema at its finest, especially the underwater adventures. It’s also bright and colorful as opposed to drab and gray. The special effects are outstanding, of course; the world of Atlantis and the underwater creatures are breathtaking.

The second thing they got right with this movie is the casting. It felt as though each actor actually was their character. Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus are two of my favorites. It’s very clear that they both have been acting for a long time and each turned in a stellar performance. Temuera Morrison is not as famous as the other actors but his Tom Curry is outstanding. And the love story between Atlanna and Tom is epic. Amber Heard is of course both beautiful and badass as the leading lady Princess Mera. Which brings me to our leading man – Arthur Curry aka Aquaman, played of course by none other than Jason Momoa himself. Momoa perfectly inhabits his role and brings just the right amount of humor and attitude, not to mention badassery, to the character. Add his looks and charisma to the mix, and this man can do no wrong.

I’m not saying this movie was perfect – some of the characters felt a just bit one-dimensional and the plot drags a little in some spots – but it is far and away better than most of DC’s other movies and well worth a trip to the theater. Even if only to see a shirtless Jason Momoa kicking ass. What? I am a red-blooded woman after all. Happy viewing, y’all.

A Letter to My Ex

I don’t know what happened that caused you to go from “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” to blocking me on social media and changing your phone number. Although I’m never going to beg you or anyone to be in my life, I am still filled with unanswerable questions. Part of me wants to say that I don’t care but that’s not entirely true. I’m hurt and confused and I’d give almost anything to know what went wrong. Just for my own closure and peace of mind.

Were you just playing me from the beginning? Did you ever mean those things you said?  Or did you find someone willing to put out and decide you were no longer willing to wait for me? Were you angered by something I said or did? Did you just get tired of the long-distance relationship thing? Did your overbearing mother come between us?

Whatever you reason or reasons for ending us may have been, the way you did it is so wrong. You should have been man enough to tell me the truth straight up instead of just ghosting me. I deserve better than that – I was nothing but good to you. At the end of the day though, I guess that tells me more about your character than all the time we spent together. Walking away from all of this, there are three things that I know for sure. 1. I will be fine. It won’t be hard for me to get over someone who turned out to not be worth my time. 2. You’re the one losing out. I am amazing and worth pursuing and we could have been something really special. 3. Karma’s a bitch. Don’t come crying to me when you get what you deserve.

I could have loved you. We could have been an epic romance. Have a nice life.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman

mr. peabody and sherman

Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Beloved 60’s cartoon characters, reinvented for a new generation. Their 2014 animated film is a total riot. I don’t know if it stays true to the spirit of the original, but both my parents loved it. And they grew up watching the original, so I’d say that’s a pretty good endorsement.

Mr. Peabody is a dog. He is also a genius, business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist, and Sherman’s adoptive father. If a boy can adopt a dog, why can’t a dog adopt a boy? Mr. Peabody does everything he can to make sure that Sherman has a proper upbringing, even inventing a WABAC machine to travel through time. Together, they visit all sorts of interesting places in the past and meet all sorts of fascinating people. They also create a rift in the space-time continuum, with dire consequences if they can’t get it repaired.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s adventure begins on Sherman’s first day of school. His already advanced education and slightly know-it-all attitude don’t win any friends. In fact, he makes an enemy: Penny Peterson, a bratty girl who viciously picks on him. She even puts Sherman in a headlock and he retaliates by biting her on the arm. This results in child services being called in – in the form of Ms. Grunion. Imposing and arrogant, she believes a dog has no business adopting a boy and is determined to see that the court takes Sherman away from Mr. Peabody. This is the beginning of a series of misadventures including, but not limited to, Mr. Peabody throwing a dinner party for Mr. and Mrs. Peterson; Sherman and Penny traveling through time – without Mr. Peabody; Sherman crashing Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine; Mr. Peabody fighting – and dying – in the Trojan War; and the creation of a tear in the space-time continuum. Mr. Peabody and Sherman tumble in and out of scrapes so fast, it made my head spin. It’s a wild, chaotic, hilarious ride – one well worth tagging along for.

mr. peabody and sherman

Christmas Gratitude

As I sit here listening to Christmas music, kept company only by my own thoughts, I can’t help but think of all the things I have to be grateful for this holiday season. My life has truly been blessed in more ways than I can count. No one’s life is perfect of course, but for those of us whose lives are good or even great, let’s each pause for a moment to reflect on our good fortune. And let us also be mindful of those not so fortunate as ourselves. This is a difficult time of year for many, and a smile or a kind word can go a long way for those with heavy hearts. Even for someone such as myself, who is more than content with her life, this is a bittersweet holiday – after all, this is only my third Christmas since the loss of my Mama.

Despite the losses and difficulties I may have gone through, I still have so very much to be thankful for and at the top of my list is my amazing family. They have been there for me through everything and have never let me down. Even when I have been less than lovable, they have continued to love me unconditionally. I know without a doubt that we will continue to be each other’s best friends, staunchest supporters, and biggest critics. Because at the end of the day, we are family, and that’s what family does. We fight and we make up, we always have each other’s backs, and we would do anything for one another. I am fortunate enough to be able to go home for Christmas this year and I can hardly wait.

As Christmas approaches, let’s all try to remember the people we love and are so grateful for. This is the true meaning of the season and the world could do with more Christmas gratitude and cheer – let’s share ours with those we meet. Merry Christmas, y’all!

christmas gratitude

Attention From Guys

Growing up, I was very much a tomboy. Unequivocally and unashamedly. I had zero interest in “girlie” things. Makeup, hair products, and cute outfits weren’t for me. (See my post Finding My Sense of Style for more on this.) I was also a late bloomer, physically, and have always looked several years younger than my actual age. Is it any surprise that I got no attention from guys as a teen? Or even into my early twenties actually. Didn’t really bother me though as I had little interest in them either. Part of being such a late bloomer, I guess – I didn’t “discover” boys until much later than my peers. Right after I started taking an interest in my physical appearance.

But it wasn’t until the past 12-18 months or so that guys started noticing me. And the past 6 months have been downright crazy. There are several factors that play into this, I’m sure, but the one that I believe is the biggest influence is my new-found confidence. I’m no longer the shy, reserved girl I once was. Or at least not as shy and reserved, I should say. I now know my own strengths and capabilities and that knowledge has translated into a surge of self-confidence. Finally believing that I am not ugly has also done wonders for my self-esteem.

I have to say, being considered desirable feels pretty darn good. Having said that though, there were still some walls up that didn’t allow anyone to get too close. I think part of that was due to the nature of my last relationship, which was never healthy even when I thought things were good. Part of that was also because of the shy, sheltered kid I used to be. And it feels amazing to have found someone who was willing to push past my barriers and make the effort to know the real me. Because as much as I love being attractive to many guys, being desired and pursued by one is an unbelievable experience. And the best part of all? He showed up when I least expected it. I guess there really is Someone looking out for me.

guys

Myself, the Hat Lady

hat lady

Everything old is new again. A cliché, but still true. One trend that I am very happy to see new again is the wearing of hats. I have two accessories that I’m completely crazy for: hats and rings. I simply adore hats. All shapes, all styles, all occasions. My personal hat collection is still relatively new. I’ve started with the basics – a fedora, a wide-brim, a trilby, a few baseball and cadet caps, etc. in primarily neutral colors. I expect my collection will continue to grow over the years and will eventually include a greater variety of styles and colors. I guess you could call me the hat lady.

I’ve always loved hats. One thing that held me back for a long time was lack of confidence. Unsure if I could pull hats off or what types would work for my face shape or hairstyle, it took me a while to actually take the plunge and buy my first hat. And even once I had a few, it took me a while to feel comfortable wearing them – I was very self-conscious for a while. My first hat was a brown felt fedora. Which is actually an excellent choice for a first hat. But I just got lucky there – starting out, I knew next to nothing about different hat styles. I’ve picked up a little bit of knowledge here and there but I still feel incredibly ignorant on the topic. Another great choice for a first hat is the trilby, which is similar to a fedora but with a smaller brim that’s turned up in the back and turned down in the front. Trilby hats look good on just about anyone.

My personal pet peeve when it comes to shopping for hats, especially online, is the inconsistency and downright inaccuracy of the descriptions. I’m not gonna lie, most of my hats have come from Amazon – you can’t beat their prices or selection. But I’ve seen hats that had both “porkpie” and “floppy sun hat” in their names. And there are even hats listed as fedoras when they are in fact straw mushroom hats. We seem to have lost our knowledge of hat styles and etiquette when hats fell out of everyday use. This is both good and bad, I think. The knowledge isn’t really lost – it’s still there, we just have to look harder for it. But also, since we’re no longer locked into the “do’s and don’ts” of proper hat-wearing, we can kinda make up our own rules as we go. Thank God for Pinterest.

In short, I love both wearing and learning about hats. And while I have many interests, this one is particularly special to me. It’s important, I feel, to have things that are special to us, whether it be certain activities or topics of study or actual things. These things are what makes each one of us different and what helps us find our own sense of identity. For me, being a hat lady is a very important part of my identity.

G. A. Henty – Classic Adventure Stories

G. A. Henty has been one of my favorite authors since I was about 10 years old. A master of historical fiction, Henty’s works have endured for nearly 150 years. And with good reason – despite a few flaws, his books are some of the finest examples of juvenile adventure stories in modern history. Most of his books follow a simple, classic formula: a fictional adolescent protagonist living in a troubled historical period. Quite a few involve British imperial wars which G. A. Henty witnessed firsthand as a war correspondent. Others draw upon the annals of history – the American Revolution, Sir Francis Drake, Wallace and Bruce, the fall of Jerusalem, ancient Egypt, the Crusades etc.

G. A. Henty

Henty’s books are outstanding for a number of reasons. He is unsurpassed in historical accuracy, especially concerning the events he lived through himself. And he meticulously researched those events and eras before his time to ensure the greatest accuracy possible. His heroes are always just that: heroes. Not perfect, of course, but still inherently good. Brave, kind, loyal, chivalrous, with a healthy dose of good sense, each character is someone you can root for. And let’s not forget the stories themselves. Exciting and engaging, they captivate from the first page to the last.

No one is perfect however, and the same holds true for books. There are a few flaws in Mr. Henty’s writing. One of which is his overly detailed descriptions of battles, sometimes several pages long. And usually the hero is not mentioned at all. It’s this regiment did that and that regiment did this and the cavalry charged over here and on and on. I find it tedious, but it is quite easy to skip over those passages. And then too, his imperial zeal is a bit overpowering at times. For these 2 reasons, I tend to prefer the books that deal with ancient times – before the British empire and the many imperial wars that appear in quite a few of his books. The third problem I have with G. A. Henty’s stories is his racial prejudices. I do not blame him as his attitude was quite prevalent in his day. And it’s not pervasive – sometimes I get the impression that he wasn’t entirely sold on the idea himself.

Overall, I approve of G. A. Henty and his books. They are well-written, engaging stories with an old-fashioned moral code. I thoroughly enjoy reading each one at least once – and there are several I read over and over.

The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie, is an updated take on the classic tale. Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novel series, this 2016 film adaptation is both true to the original and a fresh look at the legend of Tarzan. I went into this with perhaps less bias than most. Although I am an avid fan of the book series, I have never seen any of the many film versions of the Tarzan tale – not even the animated Disney version. So in my mind, I only had Burroughs’ novels as a point of comparison. In my opinion, this version took the mythical, legendary elements of the original epic and married them to a modern adventure-romance story for a movie that, like all great couples, is more than the sum of its parts.

The Legend of Tarzan

I really don’t know where to start – I love so many things about this movie. The visuals, for one, are absolutely stunning. The shots are gorgeous and the backgrounds are breathtaking. The cinematography of this movie is a work of art in and of itself. And the score! The music completely swept me off my feet. At times grand and sweeping, at times soft and tender, at times intense and dramatic, but always beautiful and compelling. And the incorporation of traditional music and singing was completely perfect. The opening music and vocals gives me chills every single time.

Then of course there is the story. The screenwriters seem to have drawn on elements from several of the original novels and on some actual events from Africa’s history, specifically the history of the Belgian Congo. The fantastical elements of the legend of Tarzan are grounded by the very real facts of African exploitation and enslavement. This creates a compelling narrative that is both thrilling and thought-provoking. I also love the way the story opens in England, nearly a decade after Tarzan and Jane have left Africa. Instead of with his feral upbringing, which is shown in flashbacks. Both the story and the characters are extremely well-crafted.

The Legend Of Tarzan

Speaking of characters, I now come to the casting. Spot on, in my book. Margot Robbie’s Jane Porter is everything we could ever want – beautiful, fierce, effervescent, strong, feminine, free-spirited. She is never the damsel in distress – she rescues Tarzan every bit as much as he rescues her. George Washington Williams, based on the American journalist who exposed much of the evil happening in the Belgian Congo, is of course brilliantly played by Samuel L. Jackson. Is he ever less than perfect in any of his roles? And of course I adore Chief Muviro (Yule Masiteng) and the rest of the Kuba tribe. And Wasimbu (Sidney Ralitsoele) is not only one of my favorite characters, he’s also perhaps the best-looking guy in the movie. Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) is one of our story’s 2 villains and eminently despicable. He is also based on a real person and it is saddening to think that humanity is capable of what he is and does. Which makes his ultimate defeat that much more satisfying. Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou) is a different breed of villain but his story arc is satisfying as well. And then of course we have our hero: Tarzan, John Clayton III, fifth Earl of Greystoke, son of John and Lady Alice Clayton. Alexander Skarsgård perfectly captures both sides of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original hero: the polished aristocrat and the beast caged within. He makes it so easy to believe that he was indeed raised by the mangani (a fictional species of ape created by Burroughs). And of course, he is very easy on the eyes.

The Legend of Tarzan

In short, I love the Tarzan books and I love The Legend of Tarzan. Although I’ve not seen them, I do have a working knowledge of some of the other film adaptations and I believe this version to be the first to remain true to the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original classic. The creators of this movie have brought to life a character and a legend that has had a special place in my heart for many years. I highly recommend The Legend of Tarzan to film-viewers everywhere.

People Think A Great Many Things

People think I am fearless. They are wrong. I am quite often scared to pieces. I have so many unreasonable fears. Fear of heights, fear of confrontation, fear of failure, to name a few. New things frighten me, challenges frighten me, my own thoughts frighten me. I have spent a lifetime learning to manage my fears. It’s like living with an incurable disease. It’s always there, but if I can mask the symptoms, I can learn to ignore it. Because of this, I will never be fearless, but each day that I get up and continue the struggle is another day that makes me brave.

People think I am hard and callous. They are wrong. I am soft and fragile and easily bruised. I am wounded by the words of others when no harm was intended. I have a compassion in me as high as the mountains, as wide as the sea. Some say I don’t care enough when the truth is that I care too much. The injustices and sadness in this world break my heart every single day. Still I continue, standing strong in spite of heartaches – both personal and on a grander scale. This makes me tough as nails.

People think I am incapable of love. They are wrong. I don’t love often, but when I do, my love is wild and fierce and never-ending. Those I love, I love for life. Those I love, I protect from harm. Those I love, I am fiercely loyal to. I will do everything in my power to take care of the ones I love. My love is deeper than the ocean, and truer than the sky. I know that I have an untapped well of love in me that will someday change the world. This makes me both a lover and a fighter.

People think a great many things and they always will. Some people will think well of me, others will wish me ill. Some will criticize, some will admire. Some will seek to help me advance and grow, others will attempt to hinder and thwart me on this path of life. At the end of it all, though, I will stand before my Creator and it will be just the two of us. And He will weigh my heart in the balances and He will judge whether I was true and good and made the best use of my talents or whether I fell short of the mark. And the fact of the matter is, I will have fallen short because no one is perfect. But He will judge my efforts and add grace to make up the difference. So at the end of the day, I answer only to myself and my God and what the rest of the world may think of me is of little consequence.people think