Five Things Friday: Five movie deaths that made me shed a tear

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Hi there! It’s been ages since I’ve posted a Five Things Friday post – sorry about that. I’ve been crazy busy trying to finish my book challenge, reading enough books for it, posting them before the deadline (which is the end of February and I still have 15 books left!). I decided to kick start the 2014 leg of the five things series by posting five movie deaths that made me shed a tear (or at least gave me some shiny eyes). I’ve never been one to tear up in movies, but there have definitely been a few where I’ve felt incredibly sad when someone died. Enjoy!

Boromir in the Fellowship of the Ring

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Through the entire journey from Rivendell, the snow on the Mountains, Moria to the Orc attack, Boromir struggles to fight the lure of the Ring of Power. Eventually the urge becomes too strong and he tries to take the Ring from Frodo. The Orc attack happens then, splitting the party up, but Boromir redeems his honour by dying for the Hobbits.

Boromir’s death scene is one of the most powerful of the movie and perhaps even the entire trilogy. It is about him reclaiming his honour and also about him declaring Aragorn his king.

Satine in Moulin Rouge

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It is a Baz Luhrman film where everything feels real. Satine is lying on the floor dying in a beautiful Valentino dress just after declaring her love for Christian. The cast of Spectacular Spectacular are celebrating the success of their show. Satine just falls to the floor and Christian notices.

Floodgates.

Jack Dawson in Titanic

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Jack Dawson nearly didn’t make it onto the list. This wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio’s best role, but he did a good job. What really got me wasn’t Jack floating down in the icy ocean; it was Rose’s subsequent actions and will for survival. Letting him go and choosing to live is the most powerful choice she made in the movie, including her decision to leave her wealthy lifestyle behind to be with him. Her courage made me very sad.

Dobby the House elf in Harry Potter the Deathly Hallows

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Although much in the movies doesn’t do justice to the books, Dobby’s death was pretty decently done. The entire character was a success from his inclusion in the Chamber of Secrets (although WHY they didn’t include him in the subsequent movies – Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix and the Half-Blood Prince is beyond me because it signifies Dobby’s  importance in Harry’s life – his brave death and Harry’s reaction was really well done.

And the one movie where I actually started crying: If Only (2004)

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The entire movie you see how Ian Wyndham (Paul Nicholls) finds it easy to forget about his girlfriend Samantha’s (Jennifer Love-Hewitt) existence. Then she dies and Ian gets to turn time back and relive her last day. He knows what will happen, you do, and yet you can’t help but hope she will live. And then she does. Ian dies in her place and she gets to carry on. In that moment you realize that he really loved her incredibly much even though he forgot to show it. 

I cried so badly. It is the saddest moment where ion jumps over Samantha to protect her as the car crashes. Her realizing what his strange behavior really meant and that he was reliving the day and choosing to save her.

What movies had great death scenes that made you sad?

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Thoughts 1.4

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Happy end of January! I am so happy the month is ending. It feels like this month took ages. Some last thoughts to round the month off with:

This has been coming along for a while: Children are not supposed to take care of their parents. Is thinking like this about people who dedicated their lives to raising you selfish? Probably, just a bit. I don’t really care if it is selfish. I think a healthy dose of selfishness is necessary for happiness. It is not only applicable to me and my parents. Everywhere I look there is some young adult running errands for their parents. I love them a lot and love to help them. Sometimes they ask too much. I am no robot able to do everything they want. I have a life I have to live too. Comments?

Another question: How is it the people who’ve known you the longest have absolutely no idea who you are or how to handle you, and then there are people who know you five minutes and understand you perfectly?

If we believe that everything is set to end in a certain way, do we still have free will?

Enjoying the following songs right now:

Katy Perry: It takes Two

Staind: Everything Changes

Staind: Tangled up in You

How long will I love You (the song is originally by the Waterboys but I am particularly fond of Ellie Golding’s version)

Eminem: “Beautiful”

I’m considering actively starting to write a book again. I have a couple of unfinished novels floating around on my harddrive, but I am not feeling them anymore. One thing is for certain, I will need to improve my attention span before anything like that commences.

Happy about: My 32GB memory card. I worked with a 2GB for a bit, but honestly, who is able to do survive with 2GB?

Things I hate:

BAD INTERNET

Sites labelled: Top ten funny moments then you have to go to a NEW page every time to catch another moment. What the fuck is wrong with you? PUT IT ALL ON ONE PAGE!

Just found out that one of my subjects this year is some bull-crappy-earth-kissy-thing without tests and lots of discussions. DO I LOOK LIKE A HIPSTER?

Really over being so negative. Actively working on becoming more positive, but that makes me look like I’m thinking too hard about something. Cannot win this fight.

What’s happening in your life?

Movie review: Crazy, Stupid Love (2011)

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Directed by: Glen Ficarra and John Requa

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell), a middle aged man with a fondness for ugly jeans, gets the shock of his life when he hears that his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) is leaving him and that she slept with a co-worker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Devastated, he moves out to his own apartment. Soon he is going to a bar every night, where he complains loudly to his sad life.

That is where he meets Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Good looking, womanizing and charming, Jacob decides to take Cal under his wing and save him from eternal loneliness. Soon, Cal becomes well dressed, well-spoken and charming as well. His wife is shocked with his sudden change, and she has already started to doubt her decision to leave him. Cal and Emily see each other at a parent-teacher conference and things go great until he realises that his son’s teacher is Kate (Marisa Tomei), the first woman he seduced in the bar. Kate does not take rejection well and starts yelling at him in front of everyone, embarrassing them all.

Jacob is exceptional in the art of seducing woman, but he isn’t able to seduce Hannah (Emma Stone). His advances make no impression on her, and she rebuffs him even though her friend tells her she is crazy for doing it. Emma, a recent law school graduate, is dating Richard (Josh Groban), who is very pompous. When she passes the bar exam, she thinks he wants to propose but he just offers her a partnership in the firm, telling her that he isn’t on the marriage level. It makes her realize what a douchebag he is and she breaks up with him in spectacular fashion. She heads over to the bar she met Jacob, kisses him, and he takes her to his place. Not for lack of trying, they don’t sleep together, but spend the night talking and laughing. They start dating, and Cal and Jacob’s relationship drifts apart.

Meanwhile, Cal’s son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is in love with an older teenager – the girl who babysits him Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). Nothing she does will make him understand that she isn’t interested. Robbie has absolutely no chance because Jessica has a crush on Cal – to which he is completely oblivious to – but it is very strong. She takes matters into her own hands by taking naked pictures of herself with the intent to send it to Cal, but her parents catches her and all hell breaks loose. Her father is justifiably enraged and unfortunately thinks that Cal is a pedophile, and he heads over to the Weaver house to sort him out.

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Cal realizes that the demise of his marriage is not only Emily’s fault, but that he also had a part in it. He makes a mini golf set in his garden and gets his children to help him out fix his marriage. All is going well until their eldest daughter – Hannah – shows up with her new boyfriend Jacob. Cal tells her that Jacob is scum, and she does what all daughters do – and ignores her father. To make matters worse, David Lindhagen and Jessica’s dad shows up and a massive fight breaks loose.

The exasperated cops eventually sort everything out and reprimand all of them, but Cal’s life is once again in pieces. Will he and Emily ever reconcile? Can Jacob convince Cal that Hannah made him change?

Rating: 8/10

Miracles can happen – as proven in SCL. It is romantic, it is a comedy, so it is worthy of being called a romantic-comedy. Most movies only manage one of the two – and most often it ends up as a mushy romantic movie with lame attempts at jokes.

Steve Carell as Cal Weaver:

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I was pleasantly surprised at Steve Carell’s performance. I am usually not a fan – I don’t watch the stuff he acts in (stupid comedy) but as Cal Weaver he managed to convince me that he has some credibility as an actor. Cal begins as this sad, generic home dad who has forgotten why he loves his wife and who he is. Through the help of Jacob, he lives to his true potential – attractive enough to get girls and kind enough to keep them.

Ryan Gosling as Jacob Palmer:

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Deliciously good. He is already a good actor, but he was such a good choice for Jacob. He is sarcastic, funny, charming and intelligent in here. He shows that falling in love can change a man and make him become a real man. There is some real chemistry between him and Emma Stone, and that certainly contributed towards the success of the film.

Julianne Moore as Emily Weaver:

Emily weaver

As the lady who is going through a midlife crisis, who went and watched a Twilight movie on her own and who managed to get through a teenage pregnancy, Emily is a funny and yet inspiring lady. I’ve always enjoyed watching Julianne Moore in movies – she is very graceful and seems to live scandal free. She and Cal shows that even the greatest love goes through a bad crisis and with the right attitude can survive.

Emma Stone as Hannah Weaver:

Hannah Weaver

Her relation to the Weavers was excellently concealed until the right time and was brilliant to have been done so. I think she is amazingly funny and talented, equipped with hilarious facial expressions and attitude. Her break-up with Richard – done by the surprisingly hilarious Josh Groban – was very funny and he deserved what he got. Her initial dismissal of Jacob was awesome – it cut him down to size, established her dignity and set a standard where she could date him with confidence later.

Overall, it is a great movie that will also be enjoyable to people who don’t enjoy rom-coms. For one, there are no silly romantic gestures that will never happen in real life. Secondly, it is ridiculously funny. Thirdly, the cast is solid and able to act.

The only things I didn’t like were Analeigh Tipton as Jessica Riley. I seriously am disliking her right now –that ridiculous mouth and bad acting abilities tells me the new Michelle Trachtenberg has arrived, and Marisa Tomei, who I’ve never understood what the hype is about.

The ridiculous debate about the pronunciation of David Lindhagen was hilarious, Jacob’s fantastic reaction to meeting him even when he himself was fighting with Cal, how David was a relatively innocent person in the events (even though he slept with another man’s wife) and how he was involved in the fight in Emily’s poor garden.

Finally, it is one of my favorite movies in the genre. As I am writing this I can’t really recall a movie I like more in the dodgy rom-com area.

Go give it a try!

Book Review: The Great Gatsby (Francis Scott Fitzgerald)

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Book: 78/100

I read this book on the recommendation of Zoë, who was really impressed with it. I am so glad I gave it a try. Not only did it pull me out of my reading slump, it was an easy, enjoyable read in superb English.

The Narrartor of the book, Nick Carraway, tells the story about the tragic life of mysterious billionaire Jay Gatsby. Gatsby, his neighbor, throws lavish parties where everyone in town is welcome. He sends a special invitation to Nick to attend and Nick is immediately impressed by the mysterious man. Nick realizes that Jay is obsessed with having a reunion with his one true love Daisy Buchanan. Daisy, a society queen, is Nick’s cousin and is married to Tom Buchanan, a rich, obnoxious man. Five years previous to the book’s events, Jay and Daisy had a romantic relationship before he went to war. When Jay was unable to return as early as promised, she married Tom out of desperation and loneliness.

Five years later Daisy is unhappy in her marriage. Tom constantly cheats on her and his current mistress Myrtle Wilson is a married woman whose husband is oblivious to her extracurricular activities. Gatsby moves into a mansion close to hers, but never makes contact with her until he learns that Nick Carraway can arrange a meeting between the two. Their love is reignited, and it is sweet, but there are too many things happening around them to control the drama that develops because of it. What will happen to their relationship once Tom finds out? What will Myrtle’s husband do when he finds out that his wife is cheating?

Rating: 9/10

This book was a feast to read. It manages to be a quick, enjoyable read that stems from a time period of English literature I don’t often enjoy. It is a tragic book and has a sad ending. I found the fact that no one would attend Gatsby’s funeral particularly sad as he had opened his house to partygoers and no one would even return that kindness in death. In the end, Daisy was a disappointment. Eventually she was just as bad as Tom, selfish and despicable and hiding the truth. Seeing the events unfold through Nick Carraway’s eyes distances the reader makes everything much more dramatic – he is there and witnesses everything first hand. He was an innocent bystander in it all, his greatest crime introducing Daisy and Gatsby again. In the end he also lost everyone – the girl he fell for, his friend and his cousin.

While I have sympathy with Nick, I have the most sympathy for Jay Gatsby. Here is a guy, courageous enough to go to war, and comes back to find out that the girl he loved went and married a man essentially for his bank balance. Then he builds a mansion close to her, but never reaches out and still pines after her. In the end he certainly gets the worst end of the deal.

All in all, this is a classic I will read again and will recommend it to people. It isn’t unreadable, and there is now a movie to accompany it. I will hopefully soon see the movie and will also then be able to say if it brings justice to the novel.

Have you read Gatsby? What did you think about it and the movie adaption?

Motivational Monday – Quotes to help you make it through the day

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Despite nearly being crushed by a stupid taxi incapable of using hazards/indicators to make a U-turn, I am determined to be positive today. Some quotes:

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And lastly: A meme my one friend made for my birthday. Natasha Stander Airways will be explained at a different time.

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24 Things you might not know about me

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I am turning 24 on the 25th (next year I will turn 25 on the 25th so that is going to be AWESOME). Twenty-four is not such an impressive age to be. It is between somewhere and nowhere and feels somewhat insignificant when you realize that you will be at your quarter life crisis in a year’s time (NOTE: I fully plan to have a quarter life crisis. Will get a tattoo and dye my hair some silly color. Or something) I compiled these twenty four facts for me and for you – one day when I’m old I will look at these and remember the kid I used to be.

  1. I am right handed
  2. I have naturally dark brown hair, although it is slightly purple right now.
  3. I have brown eyes
  4. I am South-African
  5. My home language is Afrikaans, which means I speak one of the rarest spoken languages on Earth.
  6. My second language is English, and it is the language which SA operates in (we have eleven official languages, so it is important to share one common tongue)
  7. I am currently studying Microbiology at the University of South-Africa
  8. I work as a laboratory technician at a research company.
  9. I am an introvert, but if I am around people I’m comfortable with I can get out of hand.
  10. I confuse the words “Purple” and “Orange” in my head. I fully know which color is which; it just doesn’t come out that way.
  11. I sometimes can’t remember if I dreamt something or if it really happened.
  12. I can’t swim.
  13. Reading is currently my only one true love. (That you do know, as it is what this blog is mostly about)
  14. I wanted to be a fashion designer growing up.
  15. I like all kinds of music, especially rock. I like very very little Pop music.
  16. Speaking of which, the only boy band worth mentioning EVER is Westlife.
  17. My favorite color varies on my mood, but it is mostly strong colors like black or red or white.
  18. My favorite old movies are Dirty Dancing and Grease.
  19. If I can only visit one other country ever I wish to visit France to see the Eiffel Tower.
  20. If I can visit a lot of countries I would especially want to go to Germany, Ireland, Italy, and France, China and Brazil and somewhere where I can experience the Aurora lights.
  21. Favorite food and drinks: Chips, Coffee, Coke, Wine and Ice cold Savannah light.
  22. Favorite authors: Nora Roberts, Tolkien, Marian Keyes, Rowling.
  23. My best friend is Zoë, who lives in Nelspruit, SA. It is about five hours from where I live in Johannesburg.
  24. Hobbies: Reading, writing, blogging, watching series, going to movies, and visiting new places.

I hope that gives you some idea about me. Please tell me some interesting things about you too! J

 

Book Review: The Fiery Heart (Richelle Mead)

fiery heart

Book: 77/100

I’ve been so excited to read this book. I should really start sticking to my rule of only reading a series when all the books have been released, because this waiting for books is really not for me. I found this book as enjoyable as all the other books in the Bloodlines series.

Sydney has finally stopped feeling guilty for loving Moroi vampire Adrian – even if it is something the Alchemists, of which she is a part of, would never accept and that the consequences of them finding out would be dire. When her younger and very competitive sister, Zoe, arrives as a back-up Alchemist, she knows she needs to be very careful how she goes about things.  She constantly sneaks away to be with Adrian, finding ways to break the hold the Alchemist tattoo hold on its members and her witch/coven activities – another thing the Alchemists wouldn’t appreciate – by claiming she is doing extracurricular activities for her teacher Ms. Terwillinger, who started Sydney with the whole witching business. Zoe becomes increasingly irritated by her sister’s disappearance, but has no reason to suspect more than the dire need of good education Sydney claims to have.

Adrian is still struggling with his Spirit induced depression and madness, and eventually agrees to go on anti depressants after a drunken rampage. With the right medicine, Adrian becomes a stable person, although he is not able to access any of his powers. He secretly fears that he will not be able to heal someone he loves if they are ever fatally wounded, but keeps on taking the medicine so he can be the least of things Sydney worries about.

Jill Dragomir is still finding a way to deal with the fact that she is the illegitimate child of a royal Moroi bloodline. Sent away into hiding for her own safety by the Queen of their race, who is also her sister, Jill finally adjusts to a human schedule after months of drama. Her attraction to her bodyguard, Eddie Castile, still remains, but she tries to ignore it because he makes it clear he doesn’t deserve her.  Strangely enough, the girl who found out she is actually Royal is the most sane of everyone hidden away in Palm Springs.

As things heat up in Sydney’s world, will she be able to hide her relationship from her sister and the Alchemists? What will happen if they find out? And will Adrian be able to keep insanity at bay?

Rating: 7/10

The Fiery Heart was everything I hoped it would be. I knew that some things was certain to happen, so I wasn’t overly surprised, but I found the way it ended to be very sneaky – no one will be missing the next book.

I applauded that Sydney didn’t take another whole book to deny her feelings – that would have been exhausting. I‘ve found her enjoyable from the start – the passionate scholar who is able to do and be things no one will ever think of. Writing witchcraft into the books was risky, but it turned out to be a tool that leads Sydney towards her own empowerment, and isn’t overbearing to the original storyline.

Adrian is such a fascinating male lead. I find this series really cool because he is such a messed up guy. He isn’t this ridiculously brave and strong traditional lead – he is a guy who finds his power through so many other things, and is still learning a lot about himself. Richelle Mead really describes his crazy very well, and how he is in need of real help. His struggle with alcohol brings some real life issues into the mix too. His love for Sydney is so strong and tangible. She is the perfect girl for him – and that is so amazing because no one would ever be able to realistically expect the logical Sydney to fall for artistic, crazy Adrian.

Lastly, I think I need to mention that I thought switching the story between Adrian and Sydney’s POV worked out fine. It was obviously risky, and I’ve found it annoying in other books.

It is clearly recommended that you read the previous books in the series before this one, but the book is very much recommended if you are a YA reader.

Movie Review: PS, I Love You (2007)

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During a road trip to Ireland Holly (Hilary Swank) meets Gerry (Gerard Butler) and they fell in love. He follows her to Manhattan, and they get married and set up house.

Years later they still live there. They are still deeply in love, but they have their issues like any other couple. Holly isn’t able to settle into a job and is constantly stressing about the fact that she isn’t ready to have kids. When Gerry suddenly dies of a brain tumor, Holly is devastated and struggles to cope with the loss of her soul mate. She becomes a recluse and her friends are deeply worried about her. On her 30th birthday, her friends and family show up at her house, gets her dressed up and takes her out. She also gets a cake delivered, with a note from Gerry stuck to it. In the note he tells her about his master plan to get her to move on – before his death he wrote a series of letters for her, and if she does the tasks he set her, she will continue to receive letters from him. He ends every letter with “P.S. I Love You”

Lifted by the idea, Holly starts to get her life back together. She and her best friends travel to Ireland, where she reconnects with his parents. There she meets William (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). They sleep together, and she is horrified when she learns that he was a close friend of Gerry’s. William is very kind about it all and ends up telling her stories about their shared childhood.

Holly returns home and locks herself away again. Slowly, she starts to recover and realises that she has a flair for designing shoes. With new focus, she really does get better, and her mother finally reveals that she is the one who helped Gerry distribute the letters.

In the end, Holly and her mother returns to Ireland and she meets William again, with the suggestion that love may be possible for them.

Rating: 6/10

The plot is ridiculous, the idea of love after death overused and the characters embarrass the watcher more than they charm. Somehow, with everything going against it, it works out. I’m not Irish so I don’t need to act offended that Gerard Butler gives an offensive attempt at it. (I can however tell you that Ryan Reynolds speaking Afrikaans in Safe House is pretty damn hilarious)

Losing Gerard Butler would reduce many a woman to emotional wrecks, so I am totally on board on the sadness. Hilary Swank’s portrayal of the grieving widow worked out well enough, although I didn’t really get how she and Gerry ended up together, even though they had the cutest holiday romance.

The support cast was quite solid. It has Kathy Bates as Holly’s mom, Lisa Kudrow as one of her best friends and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as William. I thought Nellie McKay’s, who starred as Holly’s scatter-brained sister Ciara, acting was atrocious. She didn’t come through as scatter-brained; she came through as a coke head. Harry Connick Jnr., who played the friendzoned Daniel was rather funny with his incredibly socially awkward behavior.

This is pretty old, so if you haven’t seen it yet, and you’re an emotional soul, or in the mood for a good cry, you should watch it.

Favorite quote of all the things said in here: Gerry in a letter to Holly’s friends: “You’re going to heaven for being my baby’s friend”

Book Review: Sanctuary (Nora Roberts)

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Book: 76/100

The Hathaway family was torn apart when Annabel Hathaway left her family suddenly and supposedly fled from the private island Sanctuary. Her husband Sam isolated himself from his children, his daughters and son grew apart.

To escape her family drama, Jo Ellen Hathaway left the island to become a famous photographer. She shares a striking resemblance to her mother, and is tired of everyone, especially her father, seeing Annabel when they look at her. When she starts to receive disturbing photos of either her or her mother, she has an emotional breakdown and is hospitalised. She returns to Sanctuary to recover without telling her family why she chose to come back, and they are all very surprised. Her sister Alexa is certain Jo returned to rub her nose in her failure to become a famous actress, and her brother just wishes that everyone can leave him in peace.

Peace is not to be had on Sanctuary. Nathan Delaney arrives, a childhood friend. He has disturbing information which he decides to keep secret a little while longer when he starts to fall in love with Jo. When the photographs starts showing up again, Jo finally confesses to Nathan and her family.

What is Nathan keeping from her family? And who is hunting Jo Ellen?

Rating: 6.5/10

This is a pretty good book, and I enjoy it every time I read it. There are some parts where it is easy to be distracted and lose focus. It is in no means as fascinating as many of the author’s other books. I enjoyed the childhood link between Jo and Nate – at least their love story is more plausible than the I-fell-in-love-with-you-in-a-month line which is used so frequently. There are plenty of subplots happening – different characters and their respective stories – and I found it entertaining and not too much. The villain isn’t overly surprising but really not too generic and I enjoyed how they found out exactly who he is.

Not a bad book to read.

Thoughts 1.3

24

This week I turn 24. I feel much older than twenty four, so I am working hard to remind myself that I am still young and free. This weekend I will definitely remind myself of that.

Seeing my bestie again this weekend. So happy!

I finally started watching Pretty Little Liars Season 4. It is so much more entertaining than season three. Also watching Two Broke Girls again. Mindless but fun comedy.

Books: reading Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes again. It is so good. It is my 83rd book for my book challenge. Slowly but surely closing in.

Can’t wait to start studying again. I just want to pass and get a degree and be rich (LOL).

Thinking of squeezing in the Wolf of Wallstreet. Everyone is raving about it and I need to know how it is. Also, American Hustle seems good to watch. It has been too long since I’ve been to the movies. Furthermore, I am ecstatic that the distributor of the Vampire Academy movie in SA has a release date. I am definitely there!

Also, going to check out cars this weekend. I am SO nervous about it, but I want that freedom at the same time.

All the dieting is not going good. I am excellent through the week and then on weekends I suck. So, let’s start again.

What’s happening in your life?