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What I Learned This Week – 3/23/14

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**SPOILERS AHEAD**

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 – 7/21/13

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This week I found two new obsessions.

IN THE SAME WEEK!

Which makes it very difficult to fully obsess about either. And finish my novel. But I am trying my hardest 😉

First is Divergent, a dystopian Young Adult book series by Veronica Roth. And, I must say, if I had seen the word “dystopian” first in relation to this book, I probably wouldn’t have read it, because that is not my thing. But instead, these actors are the first thing I saw in relation to the book:

Photo: Entertainment Weekly

Photo: Entertainment Weekly

I am a loyal, long-time Entertainment Weekly subscriber. It is like my weekly bible of new happenings in the entertainment world. And sure, they miss quite a bit. But they also introduce me to things like Divergent and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis that I would probably never find on my own. (And EW has WAY less ads than other magazines, including People.)

So, I read the article about the movie adaption of the book in EW, because I usually read every story, whether I am actually interested in it or not. One part of the article described a scene they were shooting on a Ferris wheel, and it gave me the rush of romantic excitement that is the reason I read Young Adult books. I crave that first spark of a new relationship in books, movies, TV. (i.e. The first time Edward actually talks to Bella in Science class in Twilight.) I figured if the magazine article could give me that rush, maybe the book would be worth reading as well. Plus, I really don’t like Shailene Woodley, who stars in the movie adaption. I don’t know why, I just haven’t liked her since she was the first Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C.

I also wanted to read the book because Theo James, the guy who plays the male lead Four in the Divergent movie, is seriously hot. I figured if I could picture him in my head while I read it, I would totally enjoy the book.

Shailene Woodley and Theo James Photo: Entertainment Weekly

Shailene Woodley and Theo James
Photo: Entertainment Weekly

And I did enjoy the book.  So much, that I had to run out and buy book two, titled Insurgent.   (I read both books in about 48hrs time.)  This led my friend to inquire if the 3rd book was to be titled Detergent.  Actually, it will be Allegiant, coming out 10/22/2013.

Many people on the Internet seem to compare Divergent to The Hunger Games.  I did not read Hunger Games.  But I do see similarities to Twilight & The Host.  The Host was a terrible book I hated, but the underground setting and the “world has gone to crap” vibe of Divergent reminds me of it.  Except stuff ACTUALLY HAPPENS in Divergent, unlike in The Host.  I feel like there could have been more description (of everything) in the books, but there was enough to keep me interested.  And Roth spent way too much time telling me about how the light made shadows under the hollows of people’s eyes.  (The editor really should have removed a few of those).  I do not relate to Tris as well as I did to Bella.

I really read the books to hear about how cute Four is.  And I had my doubts about that name, but it is much better than his real first name.  His real last name, on the other hand, was my grandmother’s maiden name, so that makes it kind of cool to read.  While there is no love triangle, Tris and Four do have other issues come between them predictably in book two.  I found book two less enjoyable, because they were already together and there wasn’t that fun, flirty stuff going on.  But, well, that is just the course of any relationship.  Roth does do a good job at setting up the end of each book to make me crave the next one.

…”I’d ask you to hang out with us, but you’re not supposed to see me this way.”
I am tempted to ask him why he wants me to hang out with him, but I suspect the answer has something to do with the bottle in his hand.
“What way?” I ask. “Drunk?”
“Yeah…well, no.” His voice softens. “Real, I guess.”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t.”
“Nice of you.” He puts his lips next to my ear and says, “You look good, Tris.”

–Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Copyright 2011, Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins Publishers

I can’t give an in-depth review, because I have only read each book through once.  I plan to start over again soon, though.  I have their world in my head, and I am not ready to let it go yet.  I was shocked that by the end of the two books, I actually could remember what most of the five factions actually were.  So, stay tuned, I might blog about this again someday.

Now, on to…

SCOOBY-DOO!

(You really didn’t see that one coming, did you?)

I watched Scooby-Doo multiple times a day when I was growing up.  I had a Scooby-Doo poster on my wall in my room (until Kirk Cameron and NKOTB came along).  I still have many Scooby-related items around my house.

Recently, my son has discovered that Scooby-Doo was an actual cartoon he could watch, and we have all become a little hooked around here.  First, watching the DVD I bought of the orignal Scooby Doo, Where Are You? episodes.  My husband and I try to predict who the ghost will be and when they will say all the popular catchphrases.  If it was a drinking game, we would be drunk all the time.

Photo: Cartoon Network

Photo: Cartoon Network

But searching on Netflix yesterday (dang, was that just yesterday?), I found a newer version called Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, from 2010.  I started watching it and was in for a shock:

THEY HAVE VELMA & SHAGGY AS AN ITEM!

I KNOW! (Monica voice)

Growing up, I would have had a crush on Shaggy if I had believed it possible to have a crush on a cartoon character, which I don’t (I know someone who would strongly disagree).  I always wanted to grow up and be beautiful like Daphne, but realized quickly I was more a Velma.

Photo: Cartoon Network

Photo: Cartoon Network

So far, Scooby keeps getting in the way of Velma and Shaggy’s relationship, but DANG!  (Remember what I said earlier about loving to watch the beginnings of relationships blossom?  Imagine that with characters I have known for 35 years!)  I began to obsessively watch episodes, mostly to see how their relationship might play out.  I am shipping for Velma and Shaggy.

I know, I’m weird.  But it just fills me up with a wonderful glow that Castle and Beckett never will, because I believe he could do better than her.

Actually, Velma has some control issues.  Maybe Shaggy could do better as well.  But there is just all that room in the back of the Mystery Machine.  It would be so convenient for them to make out back there, for Shaggy to get up her orange sweater.

Wait…did I just invent Scooby porn?

Don’t blame me.  Blame the creators of this knew version for putting such things into my innocent, Scooby-loving head.

In this version, they all live in a Crystal Cove, and you see them in high school and their parents are a part of their lives.  In the original, while I didn’t mind it, they were kind of just a group of transients.  Who, now that i think about it, if they slept in the Mystery Machine all the time, probably didn’t shower often and smelled bad.

This new version has new voices for the characters.  Shaggy doesn’t quite sound right, but he is voiced by Matthew Lillard, who I don’t really like, but he did play Shaggy very convincingly in the movies, so I am alright with it.  Scooby’s voice is gravelier than it used to be.  But hey, he is a 44 year old dog.  That makes him 308 in dog years.  We gotta cut the pooch some slack.  I do get distracted that Velma is voiced by Mindy Cohn, so that if I don’t look at the screen, I only hear Natalie from the Facts of Life.  But I do like that Casey Kasem from the original series does the voice of Shaggy’s dad.  I love that Patrick Warburton is the voice of the Sheriff who is always annoyed with them for getting in the way and solving mysteries.

The characters’ appearances are updated too, but in a way that is still true to the original.  The tone of the series is a little scarier than the original.  But my son doesn’t seem too bothered by it.

So, ya.  My love for Scooby has been reignited.

This photo doesn’t go with anything, but it is totally bitchin’.

Photo: tumblr.com

Photo: tumblr.com

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