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What I Learned This Week – 3/23/14

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This week I got to see the movie Divergent.  I have been waiting to see this movie for eight months!  From the very first time I had ever heard of it in Entertainment Weekly.  You can read more on the birth of my obsession here.  My primary motivation for reading all the books and anticipating the movie release is because of Theo James’s good looks.

Theo James as Four Photo: Summit Entertainment

Theo James as Four
Photo: Summit Entertainment

My asbestos friend pointed out that Theo James, who plays Four,  looks a lot like the boy I had a crush on all through school.  Except that Theo is British.  And Theo is probably a good 5 inches taller and 9 years younger than the boy I liked in school.  And Theo has amazing model/actor good looks.

Now that I have given you a little background, I will share with you that…

This week I learned that the only actor I liked in Divergent was Theo James.

Oh wait, that’s not true.  I liked Mekhi Phifer as well.

It was a good movie.  A very faithful adaption to the book about a teenage girl, Tris, choosing her future in a dystopian world.  Of course, some things had to be cut for time.  Many things I thought would be cut were still included, which was nice.  They cut out the scene where Peter stabs someone in the eye.  Removing that scene makes it seem uncalled for later when Tris shoots Peter very deliberately when she and her crew are sneaking back into Dauntless headquarters.

I just find that Shailene Woodley bothers me.  She has a squeaky voice.  I don’t enjoy watching her on screen.  (It took me seven years to decided that Kristen Stewart was a bad casting choice for Bella in Twilight.  But I knew right away about Shailene.)  The actor playing Al wasn’t fat enough.  Zoe Kravitz was alright as Christina, but she had a much smaller part in the movie compared to the book.  I don’t like Ashley Judd.  I don’t like Tony Goldwyn (He will always be the bad guy from Ghost to me!).  I don’t like Kate Winslet.  Maggie Q is not the look I pictured for Tori.  I pictured Tori as Caucasian with blond dreadlocks, and a little chubby.

None of these actors did a poor job.  It is just not the casting I would have chosen.  And that greatly distracted me while watching the movie, except for scenes that Four was in.  He keeps you glued to the screen.

Also this week, “U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman on Friday ruled that the state [Michigan]’s ban on gay marriage, approved by voters in a landslide in 2004, the ballot box is no defense to a law that tramples the rights of same-sex couples.”

This made me happy.  (I voted against that law in 2004.  The vocal man in front of me in line that day did vote for it.)

I thought that some other law would have to be passed in order for gay marriages to proceed in Michigan.

Nope.  Apparently, we just needed to REMOVE the law that was PREVENTING it from happening.  On Saturday, some county clerk’s offices around the state had special hours to perform the state’s first gay marriages.  My county was not one of them (Not a big shocker).  But, when I followed some links from a news story about the topic, I did find an officiant in my county that would perform such ceremonies.

I was SO PLEASED to see that it is the same woman who performed my wedding back in 2003!  I knew she was open-minded about getting married in jeans, but I am happy that she is open to all types of love as well.

I tell my son that I don't care if he grows up to be gay, but it would be a lot easier on him if he wasn't.

I tell my son that I don’t care if he grows up to be gay, but it would be a lot easier on him if he didn’t.


What I Learned This Week – 11/10/13

This week I learned that sterling silver might actually be SAFE for me to wear again!

To preface this great discovery, you would have to realize that I have a severe allergy to nickel. If you don’t know what that entails and are too lazy to click on the link, I will fill you in. Nickel has been used as a filler in jewelry, belt buckles, jeans snaps, glasses frames, and every other cheap metal product you can think of for years now. I developed an allergy to it around 1992. It involves a red, itchy rash that develops and if the contact was consistent enough, a weeping ooze.

Sounds fun, right? Why would ANYONE want to avoid that?

But, I try to.

Because of this, I have avoided sterling silver for years. And as I get confused between sterling silver, stainless steel, and surgical steel, I often find myself avoiding them all and only going with what actually states “NICKEL FREE”.

But an article I found on the Internet says that for many reasons, recently produced sterling silver should be considered safe for those with nickel allergies.

Sterling silver, by definition, is only 92.5% pure silver. (That makes sense. If it was 100%, they would just call it “silver”.) The other 7.5% is made up of a mixture of other metals that is constantly changing. (This used to regularly include nickel.) In reality, pure silver is not very desirable for jewelry, because it would be too soft.

What I found out is that since 2000, Europe has had a strict ban on nickel. (I would LOVE to shop there just for that one reason.) So, when making big batches of raw sterling silver, why would a supplier ever make something that he can’t sell in a whole huge market of the world?

Also, nickel is no longer one of the most cost-effective fillers to use.

So, to some up, nickel COULD still be in sterling silver products, but there is a good chance that it will not be.

And what did I do to celebrate this awesome discovery?

You guessed it, I shopped. Retail therapy.

Sooo cute!  I hope it will provide me with years of reaction-free joy.

Sooo cute! I hope it will provide me with years of reaction-free joy.

Ugh. My joy is short-lived.  Here is more info I found…

If jewelry is silver-plated, it might be covered with a metal known as rhodium. But, guess what?  Rhodium doesn’t like to stick to sterling silver. What makes a good “glue” metal between the two? Yup, nickel. So, while a piece may not cause a reaction initially, as the rhodium coating breaks down and the nickel leeches out, it could later.

There is also jewelry with such terms as alpaca silver, German silver, paktong, and new silver. It turns out there is a HUGE CHANCE that all of these will indeed contain nickel.

I just found an article about how many foods contain Nickel.

Just shoot me now.

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