Groovy Movies: Joker Edition

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Groovy Movies: Joker Edition

Hello, hello! My dad and I have been looking forward to seeing Joker and spent an afternoon together bearing witness to the amazing spectacle created by Joaquin Phoenix. The buzz on this flick has been strong, especially with talk already of Phoenix bagging Best Actor at the Academy Awards and an eight minute standing ovation at a Venice film festival. Within mere seconds, I understood that the hype was real, because Phoenix’s performance was one of the best I’ve seen in years. Take a look at the trailer and, without giving spoilers away, let’s discuss

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Arthur Fleck, AKA the Joker – a villain that everyone loves to hate and was famously portrayed by the late Heath Ledger was gifted with a two hour film showing just how exactly he came to be. From the lack of care from his delusional mother, severe abuse at the hands of her boyfriend, and a penchant for uncontrollable fits of laughter, no one can say that the Joker had it easy.

And, now, as a middle aged man with a love for vaudeville trying to make his way in the hardened Gotham City as a hired clown and stand up comic, things seem far from hopeful for Arthur Fleck. Mentally unstable, down on his luck, and making the claim that he never felt like he “existed”, Joker explores the transition from man to villain. Showcasing every beating, disappointment, and uncovered truths from the lies he’s been fed his whole life, Fleck begins a dangerous downward spiral into a life of crime amidst a city devoured by darkness and political unrest.

What follows? Pure and total anarchy, just as the newly formed Joker likes it.

This movie was absolutely haunting to me. Joaquin Phoenix, who lost fifty pounds to play this role, was an emaciated skeleton of a man, which made his screeching high pitched laugh even more unsettling. Blatantly placing his violent behaviors on his mental illnesses was also a disturbing one and it begs the question of if this movie is a “safe” one to be viewed by the general public. Is it a popcorn flick that tells a backstory of one of the most well known villains in history? Or, could it be viewed as a manifesto for the bullied and scared to make a stand – especially in the current political state we are in as we speak.

Regardless of your views on the issue, there is no denying that it was a well made film with a stellar performance by Phoenix. The imagery of streets filled with garbage, rain pelting down, and a man in painted face and a suit is one that I will not be forgetting any time soon.

Joker took its sweet time building up and by the final action packed scenes, the tension was ready to be cut with a knife. This resulted in a simply delicious viewing experience of seeing all of the dominoes that were so carefully placed throughout the film begin to topple to form the big picture. My dad and I left the theater feeling nothing short of shook up. And, honestly, there were some scenes that were genuinely hard to watch. But, I think that was the whole point of Joker and every tense, gut wrenching moment was a testament to that.

Not for the faint of heart but a damn good flick, I’m giving Joker a prestigious ten out of ten stars. Love it or hate it, Joker is going to be talked about, analyzed, and either applauded or frowned upon for years to come. Joaquin Phoenix gave an iconic performance and I’m already ready to watch it again.

What were your thoughts on Joker? Who is your favorite comic book villain? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: IMDB

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I Said Yes!

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I Said Yes!

Hello, hello everyone! Some very exciting news in my life is that my best friend of over ten years, Lea, is newly engaged!! Her boyfriend proposed to her in August and they are already beginning the wedding planning process. I am so beyond happy for the beautiful couple and am so honored to have been asked to be a bridesmaid on their big day. Lea came over when I was babysitting my niece to officially pop the question and I said “I DO”!

idolea

I have never been a bridesmaid before and I can’t think of a more perfect initiation into the club than my taking part in my best friend’s wedding. Lea is going to be the most gorgeous bride and I want her day to be nothing short of magical. I can’t wait to help her plan, make new friends, and just enjoy the whole process of making her feel like the queen of the world – even though she already is!

I am so thankful for the friendship and the bond that Lea and I share. In over a decade, we have never had as much as a disagreement with each other and have so many amazing memories to reminisce on. From birthday celebrations and road trips to simply girl talking on the couch, any time we spend is my favorite time.

Thank you so much to my best friend for inviting me to take part in her big day. Let the celebrations commence! ❤

Have you ever been in a wedding before? What was your favorite part? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Black & Red Matte Nails

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New Black & Red Matte Nails

Hello hello! During the car accident, two of my nails broke. I was in such a state of shock that I didn’t realize how much pain I was actually in and just thought about how I’d like to get my nails fixed up. But, unfortunately, I ended up in the hospital instead of the nail salon. Luckily for me, I always keep super glue on me for occasions such as this when a nail breaks or lifts and was able to fix the damage in the hospital bed. It looked janky as hell, though, so I was so happy to be able to get my claws right after a week of recovery! Check it out:

matte

As I made my rounds of visiting people once I was well enough after the accident, I noticed that my neighbor’s son’s girlfriend had matte nails and I was obsessed. So, I decided to get some for myself this time around. Since spooky season is upon us, I went for a black and red combination for ultimate slasher vibes on my talons.

All of my friends who work at Elysian Nails knew about the car accident and were so kind and attentive to me. My girl, Mary, who has now become my usual nail tech did such a wonderful job, as per ushe. She takes her time, which I love, and was able to repair all of the damage and sharpen my claws to perfection – just how I like it.

It was so nice to be able to take an evening to myself to relax after everything that had happened. I had a blast girl talking with my favorite nail techs and the lovely ladies who were sitting beside me and I left the salon feeling like a million bucks. Thanks to the team at Elysian Nails and to Mary for helping me feel like myself again! ❤

What color of polish do you have on right now? How do you do Halloween nails? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Turn Of The Key Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Turn Of The Key Edition

Hello! In today’s edition of Lil Red’s Book Club, we are going to be discussing another one of Ruth Ware’s novels called The Turn Of The Key. If Ruth Ware’s name sounds familiar to you, that’s because it probably is! I have spent this past summer reading all of her novels and she has been featured in many a Lil Red’s Book Club posts these past few months.

While recovering from the car accident, I was able to dedicate my time to reading The Turn Of The Key in a matter of days and I enjoyed it very much. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

key

The Turn Of The Key revolves around Rowan, the new live in nanny for an extremely wealthy husband and wife architect duo and their four daughters. They live in a remote location in the hills of Scotland in an old house with an eerie combination of extremely modern technology and the original layout of the home from decades ago. The technology is so advanced, in fact, that everything can be controlled by an app called “Happy”. The shower settings, lights, curtains, doorbell, coffee machine, and oh yeah – the video monitoring in the bedrooms.

Rowan gets thrown right into her new position, as Sandra and Bill, the parents travel a lot for work and is almost immediately left alone with the girls Maddie, Ellie, Petra, and Rhiannon. The seemingly “perfect” position with the plush pay and fancy accommodations is anything but, though. Especially considering all four of the previous nannies were driven out by forces that can only be described as supernatural.

These powers that be get to work as soon as Rowan starts her new gig. From creaking in the attic to a freezing cold bedroom and the Happy app working on its own, all of the frustrations of caring for the difficult children and a lack of sleep begin to catch up with her and everyone is a suspect. The maid, handyman, children, – heck, even the parents could have a role in what’s going on because Rowan firmly doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Is what’s going on a prank, the old house just being an old house, or something far more sinister? And is everyone in the home really who they say they are? Read The Turn Of The Key to find out if Rowan can uncover the mystery before someone gets seriously hurt.

The Turn Of The Key has easily become one of my favorite Ruth Ware novels. Wrote in the form of a series of letters, this page turner keeps you guessing until the very last sentence of what really happened in the house during Rowan’s stint as the nanny. So many bombshells were dropped and twists and turns happened that I simply didn’t see coming and, normally, I’m really good at that!

I can’t give too much away in the synopsis of the book without spoiling the surprises but, if you’re in need of a good story to crack into, then definitely give The Turn Of The Key a try. Especially since I’m rating it with an: eight out of ten stars. For a unique story line, interesting characters, and being absolutely un-put-down-able. Bravo!

What book are you reading right now? Have you read any of Ruth Ware’s other novels? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Back To Normal

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Back To Normal

Hello! I’ll tell you guys what, getting back to work after the car accident was really hard. And I’ll also tell you guys what, getting back to work after the car accident after an additional week off from family vacation was even harder! My life went from having a blast with my family in North Carolina for a whole week to barely moving for a week in a matter of twelve hours, because the accident happened the day after I returned home.

Returning to work was definitely just as difficult as I imagined it to be. I was still experiencing aches and pains and my stamina was so low that not even my normal venti iced coffee from Starbucks could help me. But, like all things, it just took time. And, I figured if I could resume my job after a month and a half off from a surgery gone wrong, surely I could manage after two weeks!

However, I am pleased to say that things are finally on the upswing and I’d like to think that things are officially Back To Normal… as normal as Lil Red can get, anyways. 😉 Now, I can fully enjoy my favorite fall season and Halloween without a dull throb in my chest as well as revel in my time with my clients. And, for that, I am thankful.

The most difficult thing about this whole ordeal, though, was probably getting behind the wheel of a car again. I hadn’t drove for two weeks minus making a trip or two back to my family home, which is literally right up the street. So, diving completely back into it on my first day back at work was scary – especially because I was on the highway and it was rainy during my morning drive.

I would never say that I was a nervous driver before the accident. I have always been highly confident of my ability to drive and am usually quite relaxed in the Little Red Love Machine. And, while I still consider myself an excellent driver, I notice that I have become extra cautious post accident. I am even more aware of my surroundings than usual and I find that my red hot road rage has simmered down to a soft glow.

The car accident was easily one of the scariest things that I’ve experienced in my life and the last thing I want is for it to happen again. And, if that means tacking on some extra time to get to where I need to be without being in a rush, then so be it. A little more patience never hurts anyone and it could end up saving lives in the process. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

I am so happy to be back into the swing of things and I want to thank all of you again so much for your support during such a difficult time! ❤

How did you handle a scary situation in your life? How do you keep a level head while driving? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Few Vacation Pics

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A Few Vacation Pics

Hellooo! I didn’t take too many pictures during my recent family vacation to Asheville, North Carolina but, of course, I took a selfie or two and had my dad snap a few as well. My dad is a great photographer and usually does the majority of the picture taking when we’re on vacation. And, I was so busy enjoying my damn self that I guess I just forgot! Anyways, take a looksee:

vaca1vaca2vaca3

^^^ These pics were all taken at Altapass Orchard.

Now, you might find yourself wondering who that handsome man is in the last person and that is the one and only BILL CARSON. He is the owner and face behind the Altapass Orchard on the Blue Ridge Parkway and he is an absolute delight. The orchard in itself is gorgeous but the real fun happened shortly after we got there and a country trio began to play music in their gift shop.

In the gift shop was a stack of bumper stickers boasting the phrase “Honk if you survived a dance with Bill Carson” and I thought it was hilarious. I had no idea who he was at the time but I did know I wanted that bumper sticker for my car desperately. So, as luck would have it, Bill just so happened to be at the gift shop with his wife to enjoy the music and cut a rug on the dance floor.

And, dance we did. Bill and I shared a lovely hoedown to the country music and it was a complete blast. After our dance, my dad bought me the bumper sticker that I had my eyes on because I earned it, damnit. My family had a riveting chat with Bill afterwards about his life story as a NASA engineer and how his sister and himself came in possession of the Altapass Orchard.

Long story short, Bill’s sister purchased the land which developers were very interested in to build along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was a massive “no no” though and the Carson family refused their offers to buy it. They have since had the land recognized by the National Parks of North Carolina so that it can never be built on and have its vast beauty appreciated forever.

Bill Carson was a joy and I loved learning his story and the hard work that was put in to keeping the Altapass Orchard afloat during the past five years of insufficient crops thanks to climate change. The orchard serves not just as that but as a sort of clubhouse where local music is played and anyone can get up and dance. And, if they’re lucky, they can survive a dance with local celebrity Bill Carson too!

Are there any local celebrities in your neck of the woods? What is your favorite fall activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

And In Conclusion…

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And In Conclusion…

Hello everyone! So I definitely laid some scary news on you all yesterday and I’m sorry for it but, oh my god, it was crazy. One of the things that I pride myself on as a blogger is not sugar coating anything. From my ongoing issues with mental health to everything in between, I try to keep it 100% real with all of you because, if not, then what’s the point?

I am so grateful to have been able to walk out of a severe car crash with the injuries that I had, which seem minor in comparison to breaking a bone, a bleeding cut, or worse. My boyfriend and I are both doing much better now but I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that it didn’t suck on ice. One person’s poor decision when it came to driving effected SIX other cars, people, and families. And, not only that, but he also had another major wreck at his own fault two years prior.

It honestly makes you wonder how that person ended up with his license in the first place, when he only seemed to leave destruction in his path. People could have been killed and, after the wreck, he still seemed unfazed – which is scary. I can only hope that the people in my neck of the woods are spared from having him on the road again and all I can do is urge all of you to be careful when you get behind the wheel. Not just careful for yourself but for all of the others around you, as well.

I always say when I’m in the car with my clients and they ask me if I’m afraid to drive that I’m never worried about my ability to drive, but for everyone else around me. And that definitely rang true the day of the accident. I am completely confident in my boyfriend’s ability to drive but that also didn’t prevent someone from getting into our lane and hitting us head on. So, all I can say is – be aware of your surroundings, wear your seat belts, and always be thankful when you make it to your destination safely.

What is something that you’re afraid of? How did you deal with a car accident if you’ve ever been in one? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah