Friday, July 29, 2016

Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

Movie: Star Trek Beyond
Genre: SciFi
Starring:  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban
Rating: PG13
My Rating: two thumbs up

Ah! Finally! A summer movie that was I actually looking forward to. So we went this week on $5 dollar Tuesday to the 3D IMAX showing... of course. Guys. I'm getting to the point where only IMAX movies are good. The "normal" theaters...ah that screen feels so tiny now! Anyway. Spoiled. Yes.

So, we haven't been to very many movie this summer so it was awesome to be there. And since it was Star Trek, pretty much we knew it was going to be good.

Here was the story this time: our fearless heroes have arrived to a big beautiful space city called... something York... now... Yorktown...and when they get there, a distress signal comes in an this alien girl needs help with her ship and crew. So Kirk and company goes off to investigate.

Well, they get  attacked BIG time and ended up all stranded on this planet with this bad guy who starts randomly killing them. He wants this artifact that is a powerful weapon and he plans to destroy... Yorktown.

He must be stopped!

Our fearless heroes!

It's great! There's an awesome new character, Jayla, who I loved. And they use music as a weapon, which is awesome. And there's some rad motorcycle riding bits, and Scotty shines, and Chekhov shines (sob sob... I couldn't stop thinking about what happened to this actor) and there's some confusing stuff with Spock (how can two Spock's exist at once? I think it was explained in a previous movie but I forgot. I would love an explanation!)

Scotty with Jayla

Bottom Line:  All great, as expected. I love the music twist... which I won't explain but you'll just need to go watch. And I love all the actors. So perfect for their parts.

Here's a trailer that uses the funky music (Beastie Boys I think) :

And then there's the opening theme music that never fails to give me chills:

Sigh. I love this stuff.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Concert Review: David Archuleta

I'm a little behind on this one since life was crazy for awhile after we saw this concert. But let's just say, it was really fun!

We went REALLY early and waited in line in the hot sun to ensure that we had a good seat. (We have reserved tickets, but only for a section... it's first come first serve for the best seats in your section.)

And then, just as they were about to let everyone in... I was nabbed out of line because I was wearing the 30th anniversary shirt for the venue and they let me in early because of it! (I knew it would be a possibility, but wasn't sure that was a perk anymore!) So I got our seats and then just a few minutes later, the rest of the group (most of them ) came in and we got settled.

Then we waited like another hour and a half while eating pizza and people watching.

Finally the show started only it was a warm up act and now I've forgotten who it was, but she was good.

And then "intermission" and then FINALLY David came! (After four hours of waiting for him!!) Going to concerts is a test in patience and stamina let me just say!

Here's a compilation of some video and pictures that I took and uploaded:

That gives you some idea, yes? He was as sweet and humble as expected. He stopped often to tell stories and uplifting thoughts. It felt a little like a fireside (LDS peeps will know what I mean by that) and I actually expected that a bit. But he was fun and energetic and just... really awesome.

So glad we got to go!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle

Movie: Eddie the Eagle
Genre: real life drama
Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Tom Costello
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: two thumbs up

I know this movie is old news, but we just finally did the redbox thing and watched it! And it was all full of all the feel-goodness that everyone said it was.

Mostly I can't believe someone did this in real life, you know?

Anyway, if you don't know, it's about Eddie, who from the time he was little, dreamed of going to the Olympics, even though he really wasn't at all athletic. When he was cut from the ski team, he decided to form his one man ski jumping team. And so he went to learn... and ended up in the Olympics after only a year of jumping.

While there, everyone sort of made fun of him, so to make people take him serious, he decided to jump from the highest jump, even though he'd never done it before.

This guy was/is seriously crazy!

The real Eddie

It felt a lot like the movie Cool Runnings, which I absolutely love, and turns out, it happened during the same time period as that one. What an interesting time for the Olympics, yes?

Anyway. What an awesome inspirational movie about chasing and living your dreams no matter what things come in your way. It's perfect.

And the music really made it too. Loved it!

AND... there's Hugh Jackman. You know? Which is just the icing on the cake.

Here's the trailer:

And a taste of the music:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What Would You Do?

Here's  story that happened to us the other day that I wanted to tell because I'm really curious how you all would have handled this situation.

So we were exhausted after driving our second day of the five day driving trip. We had just checked into a hotel there in Illinois, in a small city in the middle of nowhere, way off from the freeway.

Just as we were parking the car and now empty trailer (having just unloaded all the stuff for my daughter and her husband) and were gathering our things to go collapse in our room, we were approached by a young family.. husband, wife and three little kids.

"Excuse me" they said. "We have a question."

Instantly we felt weird and wanted to run away.

"We just fixed our transmission in our van and have no money. We don't want money from you, but wondered if you could buy us a room. For the kids. We have no place to say the night."

Our response... "um."

"It's for the kids. We don't want any money. Just, if you could please help us with a room."

P.S. We just bought the last room at this particular hotel... and not a budget one either. A fairly nice Hilton run one actually.


"Please, we are from Sacramento and we are just passing through. Please help us."

We pretty much just stared at them. Because, what can you even say? Finally, my husband said. "Let us talk about it."

So they retreated a ways and waited while we said things to each other like... "we can't buy them a room here... it's full, it's expensive. We have no cash. If we bought them a room, we'd have to go WITH them somewhere. Everything is probably full. We got the last room! I'm not going to search for a room NOW. IT's late! I'm tired! Do you think they are for real? Just passing through HERE? Who passes through HERE? Can we tell them we have no money? Cause we don't. But here we are at a nice hotel! Um. What should we do? Do we have ANY cash at all?  We can't buy them something on our card, we'd be liable. No way!"

Finally, I dug through my purse and found a ten dollar bill, truly the last of my cash. They wandered back over to us. We gave it to them and said, sorry, that's all we could do. We suggested finding some other help to go toward a room. And that perhaps there was a $50 room still available. Somewhere.

They thanked us and god blessed us and went on their way.

We felt both ripped off, charitable, relived, used and mad all at the same time.

Sheesh. I felt like there was NOTHING we could do in this situation to feel okay about the outcome!  And I mean, perhaps they were for real, you know? And in that case... .

What would you have done?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

Book: Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
Genre: YA Contemporary

Ah this book. It's going to be a very mixed review!

We'd seen it everywhere it seemed and finally one day we gave in and bought it. The curiosity of this title was too much. And once I started reading it  I was instantly laughing. The feelings and passion of being in a boy band fandom were nailed completely. I wanted to get a highlighter out and mark some things.

Like this:

It's understandable fangirls get a bad rap all the time. They say we're weird, historical, obsessed, certifiable. But those people don't understand. Just because I love something a lot doesn't mean I'm crazy. And I did love (insert favorite boy band here) a lot. 

Or this:

Being a fan girl was just fun.... I know it doesn't sound like much but those few seconds of dizzy excitement were worth it just for how alive they made you feel....tingly and jittery and crazed... in the best way. A natural high, truly.... It was butterflies of the best kind. 

And this:

They didn't understand that a new gif of (insert favorite boy here) grinning at you could be the difference between a crap day and a beautiful one. They didn't get the friendship that formed, the community of people who shared in your same joy. Maybe it was obsession, but it was also happiness, an escape from the suckiness of everyday life. And when you find something that makes you happy and giddy and excited every day, us fangirls know a truth that everyone else seemed to have forgotten, you hold on to that joy tenaciously, for as long as you can. Because it's rare to get exited about anything these days. Ask your parents.(Or insert all your critical people here.)

That last one is my favorite. Truly. Pretty much exactly what I feel about the subject.

But back to the review....

Okay, so once that initial explanation was over and the story actually got going, everything pretty much went south. These crazy fangirls end up kidnapping one of the boys from their favorite band. And they are nasty to him... and he's nasty to them. Omo! The things they say to each other! And one of the girls who loves him most pretty much assaults him. Like it's just ick. And then they leave for a bit because they get his key card and go ransack the boys' room. Which is also disgusting.  And when they come back, this boy is DEAD! And so now they can't figure out how THAT happened. And so they drag him back to his room and let his buddies deal with it! And then they (the boys) all get in trouble. And they are al awful too. Like... stupid, dirty, obnoxious sort of awful.

And by that time I was like... can I finish this book already! Ugh. It was terrible, in both content and language. Like f-words and other curse words constantly. And lots of sex talk and abuse talk and I don't know. Just ugh. And not one redeeming character. The boys were all disgusting, which I think I said already, (expect one who seemed a fraction better than the others) and the girls were all equal disgusting (including the narrator who only seemed to have a glimmer of niceness.)

And so I wanted it to end, but still I couldn't look away.

And now I yearn for a similar book only with not quite the awful characters and perhaps not quite the awful content. Know what I mean? I'd love a similar book with some swoon and romance. Some cool guys and cool fangirls. Some funny and silly stuff. I want THAT boy band book!!!


Bottom Line: In the end, I rated it as high as I did because of the awesome quotes about being part of a fandom and because it hooked me and made me turn pages even though I was moaning all throughout.

Other Reviews:

the novel imagines just what would happen if "crazy fangirls" were to meet their idols and find out they were not as magical as they appeared. From The Electrical Book Cafe and More

I find all of the characters grossly offensive and problematic on pretty much every level. If the author was aiming for satire, she missed. From The Englishist

A really charming book that had me at times smiling, rooting for these girls and sometimes really hating the boy band at times or what fandom really means and the lengths that people/fans go to. From Books of Love

People will always make fun of girls who love boy bands. It’s an unfortunate fact. This is the book that will make anyone smart fear and respect teenage girls, what they love, and what they will do to you if you push them to their breaking point. From The YA Kitten

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Currently: Surviving Summer

Listening: Mostly all the kpop stuff still, but during the long drive I rediscovered my love for certain music pre-kpop. Like Enrique, and Muse and yes, even Josh. We plan to see Josh in just a couple of weeks, so I really do need to remember my love for him! Also, tomorrow we are seeing VanLadyLove who just happens to be playing here in the park. I'm so excited. Do you even know these guys? I love this song:

Watching: I'm in the middle of a kdrama called Kill Me, Heal Me and it's wow, intense! About a guy with multiple personalities and how one of them is going to take over his main true personality if all does not go well. And yet, we LIKE that one too!

Got a movie from Redbox last night for the first time in forever... Eddie the Eagle. It was just as awesome as you all said it would be! We've plans to go see Star Trek this week too. YES!!

I have not caught up on any "normal" American TV shows for months. Maybe I will some day. Maybe I won't.
The "bad" boy personality in Kill Me, Heal Me
Doesn't he wear his eyeliner well? :)

Reading: I finished a couple of books during the drive and have started another really easy fluffy one of which I can't even remember the name. Something about being Italian. Yeah. Maybe I'll try a "real" book again someday.

Writing: Oh man. I want to pick up the writing thing again so bad! I thought a lot about my characters while on the big long drive. But I'm still frustrated with the fact that I need a group and people who want to write with me and I'm not being successful with that and so...I'm stuck. Sigh.

Blogging: Well, I'm still at it! So there's that! This week I passed the reins of Bloggiesta along to two very enthusiastic Bloggiesta supports... MC from Blame it on the Books and Emily from Emily Reads Everything. YAY! So happy that they are willing to take it on and I can't wait to see what they do with it!

YouTubing: Our kpop channel has been growing a lot this past month. We have realized that kpop fans really like watching other kpop fans watch and react to kpop videos. It's the strangest thing and not exactly what we had in mind for our channel, but we're going with the trend. Since we are new to the fandom, there's a lot and I mean A LOT of videos for us to discover and react to, so we are doing that and finding subscribers and people who think it's funny to watch us, for whatever reason. But still incorporating some of the other ideas we had into the channel too. It's being a fun and frustrating and exciting endeavor. I need to find a  YouTube class so I can understand how this strange form of social media actually works.

In case you're interested in what I'm talking about, here's one of our more popular reaction videos for a song called Eternity by one of our most favorite groups: VIXX. This is only part 1... it continues in part 2 here.


  • We have a very exciting development for our family coming soon, which I will officially announce once it's... you know... official. But wow, the ways life can change from one minute to the next, you know?
  • I'm sick of the heat of summer, as I think everyone else pretty much is too.
  • Guys, I've really really got to figure out the eat healthy and exercise thing. HELP!! (As I plop another peanut butter m and m in my mouth. Sigh.)
  • It's possible I'll disappear for month to go help my daughter with her baby. But then again, it's possible you might see even more of me around here as maybe I'll document here on my blog about the whole adventure. 
  • And... that's about all I can think of for now! Annyeong!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Snapshot: My Summer Vacation

Since we've been on a bit of an adventure the past few weeks I decided I should share some pictures for Saturday Snapshot. If you follow my Instagram you've already seen these pictures. If not then here you go.

First, we went on a family vacation (minus one son and his wife who couldn't get away) to Portland and the Oregon Coast:
Taking a little walk in the woods near Hood River Oregon

Multnomah Falls

A pretty famous book store!

Selfie at the top of an overlook

Sunset on the beach in Netarts

Hiking the coast

Driving the coast

At Devil's Churn, one of my favorite spots

Spending time with a cute baby granddaughter

Finally seeing Crater Lake

Selfie in front of our Airbnb beach house

Then four days after we got back, we drove a trailer full of stuff across the country, helping my daughter and her family move to start their new lives. It was five days straight of driving through seven different states.






Denver Colorado

Mountains of Colorado

Colorado River

Utah desert

Fun times!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Kdrama Review: My Amazing Boyfriend

Drama: My Amazing Boyfriend
Genre: Romantic comedy/fantasy
Starring: Kim Tae Hwan, Wu Qian
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

So, technically this is not a K drama but a C drama as it's in Chinese. But we won't get technical here I suppose. But really, listening to the Chinese language instead of the Korean was a quite the change and adjustment for me. I didn't realize that the flow and beauty of the Korean language had wormed its way into my ears so well.

Actually, I should have known. But still. Chinese sounded so harsh and strange after Korean. I gotta say. But once I got over THAT bit, then I was able to fall into this drama.

And what a strange drama it was. It's a play on/spoof/nod to the recently popular drama My Love from the Star. So we have this dude who is, while not so much an alien, but a strange immortal creature which the girl MC likes to call Monster. He has mutated blood which allows him to live forever, to heal, and to have super power.

So he has lived for 500 years when our story starts... but 100 years ago, a bad dude got a hold of him and drained him of his blood, which put him in a dormant state. And so for the last 100 years, he's been asleep and lost many of his memories. One night someone is transporting him and they get in a bad wreck with a girl (our MC) who is distraught over yet another break up. Her blood spills all over the road and reaches his body and wakes him up. And the, when he sees that she is dead basically, he goes against his rules, and saves her.

And thus, our story is born. He ends up living with her. They nag at each other and get on each other's nerves, but pose as girl friend and boy friend just to make things easier. And then, of course, fall in love for real. Meanwhile, he is trying to figure out who did this to him and take revenge on his enemies.

It gets pretty complicated in plot. And yet, it's a very simple and silly drama. I quickly became invested in these characters... and yet.. they drove me crazy. When I realized the MC dude was actually Korean I was like.. is that why his talking seems so weird? He was dubbed the whole time!!! UGH!!!

The acting is pretty terrible over all, and the special effects are so B movie. It's frustrating because I know they can do better. Which, in the end, made me wonder if the B movie feel of this one was the actual effect they were going for. Know what I mean?

Anyway. I watched to the end.. in this case 28 episodes. And after all that, I was quite disappointed by the ending. There was a fun twist that came out of near where and left me scratching my head, but the love story element did not feel resolved at all and that's what I was in this for! Dang it!

And now I read there is going to be a second season of this one... oh my. What should I do now???

This one got rave reviews from the Kdrama watching crowd, which is why I decided to see what it was all about. And then I was left wondering why everyone loved it so much.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed it, but it was pretty terrible in most aspects. So how's that for a mixed review? Definitely watch My Love From the Star first.

Here's the trailer:

And some other fun scenes:


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Finding Audrey by Sopie Kinsella

Book: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Well, this book was pretty much just what I needed. So easy to read and get into and love straight from the start. The subject matter, about a girl with serious social anxiety and depression, wasn't that fun, but the way it was handled was pretty good.

So this girl, Audrey of course, had something traumatic happen to her in the short time before the book opens. We never even learn what this event is because it doesn't matter.... what matters is how Audrey is handling her issue and is she getting better.

Thanks to the help of her brother's video playing friend, she does start to come out a bit. Meaning, finally getting out of the house and talking to people other than her family. She is so happy and thinks she is all cured!

But really, she has just started the process. In jumping the gun, she has a bit of set back. But with her loving family and this nice sweet boy behind her, she pulls through yet again.

I loved what this book has to say about recovering from mental health issues... that it's like a jagged graph... up and and down, then up some more than down some more. That that really, for all us, mental health issues or not (and don't we all have mental health issues?) this is what life it like, and all we can do is keep trying and keep plugging along.

It's a very happy upbeat book really. And I loved that.

Plus, it was a breeze to read. Like zero brain power or focusing abilities needed!

P.S. And is it just me or are all books mentioning Korean culture somehow these days?? Yep... this one too! The video game that the brother is addicted too? KOREAN!! :) Yeah... even authors these days have caught the wave. I'm telling you. It's a thing and not just me!

Bottom Line: Good one!

Other Reviews:

I adored the crazy, wonderful, fleshed out characters in this book. It was a small cast so you could easily connect to the characters and get to know each of them. From Alternate Readaity

I’ve never read Sophie Kinsella before but if all her books are this charming and funny, I will have to give more of them a shot From Good Books and Good Wine

This is a delightful and heartwarming story, portraying a difficult coming-of-age theme with humor and compassion
From Rhapsody in Books

in some ways this book was younger and and a bit more cute than I prefer, but I enjoyed it. From YA Romantics

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sing Along Saturday... Late: Patriotic Songs and Moving Songs

I've missed two Sing Along Saturdays! And we can't have that! Because I enjoy pondering my music love way too much!

The day we left on vacation the prompt was patriotic songs given the 4th of July weekend. I thought about what I'd post if I'd had the ability, as we were driving. This is what I came up with:

Then this past weekend's prompt was moving songs, as in songs that move you emotionally. Well. This would be ALL music that I listen too since this is the very appeal music has for me. So how to answer this prompt? Sigh. How about songs that give me chills.... every single time:


Yep. Emotionally moved. Without a doubt.

What would you put on your list?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Book: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Wow, but I struggled with this one. I wonder how long it took me to read... over a month I think. And I was so looking forward to this conclusion of a series I loved. Ah. Sad.

So in this final one, Gansey accomplishes his goal. Blue's dreaded thing happens. Rowan dreams up some things and some bad stuff happens. Adam seems to be the one in charge of the magic. And a couple gets formed that was so completely unexpected for me! Um. Yeah. I have no words for this. Well, actually, I do have words, but I'm not sure you'll like them.

My most favorite part of this book was the introduction of a new character, an addition to the Raven Boy clan... HENRY! AND HE'S... wait for it... KOREAN! So, yeah. I loved that. Many references to Korean words and food and kpop. Loved it! And Henry was awesome too. Just...I loved him after only a few pages. He's great. I probably have a picture of him in my head that looks something like this:

Maybe because this boy's name is Henry too?
It works for me....

But guys. The magic stuff in this one... shall we say... bored me? Went over my head? Was too much for me? Didn't make sense? Made me crazy?

Something. All of it. I don't know. I enjoyed the scenes with Blue and or the boys, but every time one of those aunt characters, or the men in their lives appeared, I was like.... skim skim skim. That's sad, yes? I don't know.

And the kissing? Not what I wanted at all. Lacking. And... just... Adam. My favorite. Seriously? That's all I'll say about that....


In the end, I made it through. It's done.

Bottom Line: Despite my issues, you pretty much have to read this one if you are at all invested in this series.

Other Reviews:

The best part of the books has always been the friendship, a friendship as deep as love, between the main characters. This part got even better. From Charlotte's Library

It wasn't the strongest book in the series (for me) but I still really enjoyed The Raven King. I think the series is one of the best in YA. From Read This Instead

The ending of the novel was just as heart-wrenching as I expected and I really liked the way that everything was worked out. From So Many Books So Little Time

...but I will send a shout out to Henry Cheng, who was just brilliant. I really want to read more about him. From A World of Reviews

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Kdrama Review: Healer

Drama: Healer
Genre: Action/Adventure
Starring: Ji Chang Wook, Park Min Young
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Ah! This one was perfect! So glad to have finally watched it! (Lol! Finally. Like I've been waiting my whole life instead a month or so!)

It's about a guy, he's a bit of a recluse, who works nights doing dirty illegal jobs for lots of money. He goes by the name, Healer and he dreams of a happier life when he can retire to a deserted island.

Then, everything changes when he is hired to grab a DNA sample off a girl so someone (he has no idea who, what or why) can figure out who she is.
In his Healer outfit

Well, it doesn't take long until he becomes attached to this girl both through his job, and his heart. He disguises himself as the cutest bumbling reporter EVER (um, he gives Clark Kent a run for his money in a big big way!) so he can work with this girl and keep an eye on her.

Then... things get crazy. Turns out there is much MUCH more to this girl's story than he'd ever imagined and the more he learns, the more freaked out he gets. Because, well, I can't really tell you, but it's good... it's crazy good this stuff he starts to learn.

It's a mystery from the past where something terrible happened that messed everyone up, and the crazy bad guys in the present that are perpetuating this terrible thing. Toss that with the best most swoony romance you can imagine and you've got this show.

He is the lovey-est, dovey-est character I've watched so far.

Yep. It's pretty much the best. Both these main actors are awesome and their chemistry is over the top. And the plot and story is extremely intense. I love it!

Here's a trailer, with English subs and everything!

And of course the cheesy, awesome, perfect theme song set to all the swoony parts. Beware the kissing spoilers!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Movie Review: Me Before You

Movie: Me Before You
Genre: Drama
Starring:  Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin
Rating: Two thumbs up

Wow, but I've heard a lot about this movie. Go see it! Don't go see it! It's awesome! It's crap! Yeah, it's one of those that one needs to go and decide for themselves!

We read the book for book club just recently. I liked it fine. It was good. It was sad. It made a person think. I figured the movie would be very similar.

And yes it was. It was good. It was sad... and makes a person think. Mostly about how you are living your life and do you take things for granted? Are you thankful for every day that you have? Do you love the people around you with all your heart?

The movie followed the book through the story of Lou who gets a job taking care of Will, who is a quadriplegic. Will is bitter. He's in pain. He's sad. He wants to kill himself. Lou cheers him up, he starts smiling, they end up falling love. But.. he still wants to kill himself.

Everyone hates this aspect of the movie and book. It's terrible and tragic and sad. But it I love that it ends with the message that we should all go and live our lives BOLDLY!  This.. .THIS is the message of the book and movie... not that disabled people have no lives and can't go live boldly. It's a message for all of us to rethink our moaning and groaning and get busy living.

And I really like this message.

And I really want to know... what do you think it means to live life boldly? And how will we know if we are doing it?


These two did a fabulous job with the acting. I loved them in these roles. Also, I loved the music. Yep. It was awesome.

Here's the trailer if you've somehow missed it:


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