To the jerks saying Robin Williams was selfish

I was once a jerk like you. I thought that anyone who would take their own life and leave behind grieving family members was the most selfish person in the world. I thought suicide was the most selfish thing a person could do.

I was wrong.

I know through devastating personal experience what it’s like to have your depressed brain lie to you and tell you that you are worth nothing. That no one loves you. And that everyone would be better off without you. In that moment you don’t feel selfish. You believe that best thing in the world would be to remove a burden, yourself, from the people you love.  In that moment you contemplate ending your life it feels very selfless.

Depression lies to you. Depression is a brain disease that distorts a person’s world view. Depression is debilitating and it’s the ultimate act of betrayal to have your own brain make you believe that the world is better off without you. I know, because I’ve been in the “pit of despair” where I have contemplated taking my own life because I believed it’s what I deserved. I believe my family members would be happier with me gone. The pain. The unimaginable pain you feel that makes death seem like an option better than taking another breath. It’s a hell I can’t adequately describe. It’s why I work so hard to stay out of that dark place and surround myself firmly in light.

I have nothing but compassion for Robin Williams. He must have been in a torturous state of mind to believe that this world was better off without his light, his passion, his humor, his grace, his art. Who among us wasn’t touched by one of his performances? Who didn’t he make laugh? Please, if you have a soul, have compassion for this man and what he must have been going through to feel so desperate that taking his own life was the only answer he could think of to get out of his horrific pain.

To those of you who can’t understand, please look past your own feelings and accusations of selfishness and try to imagine the hell someone with depression might be living with that death is the better option than life. Look past your own life’s paradigm to see the people around you who are hurting and have some semblance of compassion for where they might be at. Reach out in love and remind those whose brains are lying to them that they do matter, they are loved, and that life is the better option.

And if you’re depressed and contemplating suicide, please reach out to someone. We need you here.

Suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255

 

robin

Bangarang, Peter. Until we meet again.

 

Let it Go

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the song “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen because it encourages rebellion and “anti-obedience.” The woman in the movie who sings it, Elsa, has the power to make it snow and turn things to ice. Instead of teaching her to control this, her parents lock her in a room and allow her no contact with her beloved sister. They tell her to conceal her feelings and to not feel them at all. The song is about her breaking free of that. I feel that some things are supposed to be rebelled against, unless locking children in rooms forever and not allowing them contact with the outside world is now considered a normal parenting decision. Not all rules are good just because they are rules and some rules need to be broken. Elsa learned to control her powers through love instead of suppressing her emotions. Concealing and not feeling your feelings only lends to emotional stuntedness. Obedience for obedience sake is not a virtue.

I think that one of the reasons why this song is so popular and so many covers of this song have been done (This, this, and this being my favorites) is because the theme resonates with so many people. Whether it’s letting go of the past, insecurities, abuse, or the expectations our culture places on all of us, there is something in this song that speaks to all of us who have had to let something go. I think all of us have things that hold us back that can make us less than who we could be. Sometimes the best thing to do with that baggage is to let it go and not let it control us anymore. This is what the song means. Sometimes rebellion and not being obedient are crucial to our emotional well-being and growing into the person we were meant to be.

I leave you with this because I’m a huge Idina Menzel fan. She is the one true Elphaba and the voice of Elsa in Frozen.

3 years ago today

“Facing your own mortality is the quickest way possible to find out what you’re made of. It strips away all the bull — and exposes every part of you, your strength, your weaknesses, your sense of self, your soul. It also leads you to confront life’s hardest questions.”

RIP Patrick.  To help find a cure for pancreatic cancer, the disease that took Patrick and my Mom, consider donating to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at pancan.org

30 Day Challenge: Day 24 – Your favorite movie and what it is about

High Society is my all-time favorite movie.  This was the last Hollywood movie Grace Kelly ever made before she went off and married Prince Ranier of Monaco.  This was the first time uber mega stars of the time Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra sang a duet.  I just love this movie.  It makes my heart happy every time I see it.  I even have the musical soundtrack on my iPod and one song from it can instantly change my mood from dark to light.

So what’s this movie about?  It’s about millionaires in Newport, Rhode Island.  It’s about true love.  It’s about falling from pedestals.  It’s about Grace Kelly as Tracy Samantha Lord on the eve of her wedding to her second husband, George.  The only problem is her ex-husband, played by Crosby, is still in love with her.  He comes back to town for the Newport Jazz festival, but it soon becomes clear he’s come back to win his true love’s heart before it’s too late.  Tracy becomes upset when the local tabloid blackmails her into having two reporters, played by Sinatra and Celeste Holm, cover her wedding.  After a drunken bachelorette party, Tracy falls off her high horse and realizes she’s not as perfect as she expects herself and everyone else to be.

Throw in beautiful music written by Cole Porter and great one-liners and this is a musical classic.  This is a musical adaptation of the movie Philadelphia Story and some may say it is its less superior predecessor, but I disagree.  This movie sparkles and shines.  My favorite scene from the whole movie is when Tracy remembers her honeymoon with Dexter on their boat, The True Love, and they sing the duet, “True Love.”

Some people might not like old movies (and this one is 56 years old) but I think this is rather fast paced for it’s time.  It’s an enjoyable story line, witty, gorgeous, and the songs will have you singing out loud for days.  And Kelly wore her real engagement ring from Prince Ranier in the movie.

Quite a sparkler, amiright?

Okay, the truth is I’m a huge movie buff and while High Society will always and forever in the history of everdom be my favorite movie, these are my top 10ish.

Top 10
1. High Society
2. The Princess Bride
3. Steel Magnolias
4.  I am Sam
5. Easy A
6. The Wedding Singer
7. Tommy Boy
8.  Corrina Corrina
9.  Finding Nemo
10. Dirty Dancing
11.  Better off Dead
12. Music and Lyrics
13. O Brother, Where art Thou?

Just a taste of the movie for you…

10 WORST Movies I ever saw

I first published this post on September 5, 2009 and it remains one of my favorites. So let’s revisit this post just for funsies, shall we?

To be clear, this blog post is only my opinion. This is only based on the movies I’ve seen and wished I hadn’t. I’m not a professional movie critic. This is just of short list of movies that made me wish I was rather having a root canal than watching them. These movies either bored me to tears, enraged me, or left me wondering how anyone with common sense would green-light spending money on this crap.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This movie should be called “Shitty Shitty Bang Bang.” First of all, this movie is waaaaaaaay too long for it’s own good. It is officially 144 minutes. Holy Hannah. That is 2 hours and 24 minutes. Just when you think you’re going to be released from your prison of cinematic awfulness, you’re only half way through the movie! And c’mon…the names in the movie? Caractacus Potts, Truly Scrumptious. Please just shoot me in the face now. The songs are horrible, “Toot Sweets,” and the acting sucks. I don’t care if the script was written by the children’s author genius Roald Dahl, I’d rather be eaten alive by ants than sit through this movie again. The poor kids, Jemima and Jeremy, have to put up with an eccentric inventor father. He invents a flying car that the evil dictator of Vulgaria steals and the movie turns from some fun-loving movie about a flying car into “let’s save all the children of Vulgaria.” Please, let’s save me from ever seeing this crap again.

Spirited Away. My sister will argue that this is one of the best movies of all time. And I will readily admit that I hate anime. But this obnoxious cartoon by Hayao Miyazaki (who is lauded as a genius…I don’t get it) follows a sullen 10 year old girl named Chihiro. Her family is about to move into a new suburb when they take the wrong turn and her parents are turned into pigs and Chihiro is thrust into a world of witches, monsters, and a bathhouse for weird creatures (aka Japanese Gods). My sister would say that this is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and I would say that watching this was the biggest waste of my time ever. The bathhouse scene where Chihiro cleans up after a mud monster was truly disgusting. Chihiro is forced into servitude by the bathhouse’s owner Yubaba who makes her change her name to Sen. Her spirit guide Haku convinces Sen this is the only way to save her parents. And he is really a dragon. Sen’s only true friend at the bathhouse, Lin, constantly insults her telling her how stupid and slow she is. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but I don’t like it. This plot is so complicated and convoluted that my tolerance level for suckage was up after Chihiro was convinced by a boy who was really a dragon who was really a servant that he could help her save her parents by selling herself into servitude. Huh? All you anime dorks can have this movie.

Leap of Faith. I took a leap of faith when I thought this movie was going to be good. Instead it’s another Steve Martin comedy from the early 90s about a traveling preacher who is, dun dun dun, a FRAUD! Who didn’t see that one coming? And of course he falls in love along the way with a “good woman” who is a small town waitress with a teenage son. This “good woman” makes this shady preacher want to change his shady ways. This could have been a Lifetime movie rather a major motion picture. No wonder its one of Steve Martin’s most forgotten movies. I don’t think he even lets his agents put it on his resume.

Independence Day. What isn’t wrong with this movie? A lot of people claim that this is a great movie. And yes, it was a blockbuster for Memorial Day weekend of 1996. It was so over-hyped that it’s like the Paris Hilton of movies. I don’t know what annoys me more about the plot of this movie…the fact that Jeff Goldblum’s character is able to take down the aliens by infecting them with a computer virus from his laptop! Or, that Vivica A. Fox’s character is a stripper with a heart of gold cliche. Both are annoying. And the bad acting is as bad as the plot. Will Smith was the only good thing about this moving and that’s more because his charm and charisma come careening through the screen, just like it does in all his movies. There are a lot better things to do on the 4th of July than watch this trite pile of dog crap.

Shanghai Surprise. The surprise in this movie isn’t really a surprise – Madonna can’t act her way out of a paper bag. In my defense the only reason I ever saw this movie is because it was given to me as a gift from a friend when I was a young teenager. This movie is a teaming of Sean Penn and Madonna. Maybe horrible movies like this are the reason why their marriage broke up. It’s kind of insane to think about the acting genius who is Sean Penn and then see a movie this horribly bad. Madonna’s acting is so bad that when my sister and I saw the movie we thought she was lying when her character was telling the truth. And Madonna plays a nun in this movie. There’s nothing wrong with going against type in a movie, but c’mon! She’s also a nun who ends up in bed with Sean Penn’s character. This movie is about smuggling opium. Sean Penn’s character wants it for his monetary benefit and Madonna wants it for the healing effects it has on her flock. They then meet up with every crime lord/criminal/smuggler in Shanghai and somehow end up on top. It was dumb, badly acted, and boring. ‘Nuff said.

Back to the Future, Part II. This movie had so much promise. “Back to the Future” was such a fantastic movie that I think the public’s (and especially my) expectations for the sequel were just too high. And let’s face it, any time you try to portray the future, it’s just gonna look silly the older the movie gets. We’re 6 years away from 2015, when this movie is set, and we’re no where close to flying cars and hoverboards. Although I do like the nostalgic 80’s cafe. Another thing is, you expect that the majority of this movie is going to take place in the future with Marty trying not to run into his future self. Instead it devolves into some complicated plot where old-geezer Bif from 2015 steals the time machine (because he knew how it worked?) and just happens to go back to 1955 on the exact day of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and gives younger Bif an almanac telling him the scores of every major sports event until the end of the century. Bif then uses the almanac to bet on games and makes himself into a millionaire. Marty goes back to 1985 after he thinks he’s resolved the conflict in 2015 and finds a new reality. Hill Valley is now kind of like Pottersville in “It’s a Wonderful Life” after Harry Bailey wishes he had never been born. It doesn’t end there, when Marty realizes what Bif has done and that he is his new step-father, Marty goes back to 1955 and basically ruins the original movie. Somehow in all of that Doc is struck by lightning, which sends him back to the Old West. Are you as confused and as bored as I am? I’ve seen this film exactly once, and that’s all I needed.

You’ve got Mail. This is the most formulaic romantic comedy I’ve ever seen. Let’s rip off an old movie, “Shop Around the Corner”, and throw in Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks and it’s sure to be a hit, right? Well, it was a hit but not because it was a good movie. All this movie does is put a twist on an old concept. This twist happens with the advent of email. Back then it was new and exciting. What are the chances the person you hate in real life is the one you love in cyberspace? Yawn, I’m so bored I don’t even care. I can tell you the whole plot in one sentence: Boy meets girl, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fall in love online, boy and girl fight offline, boy and girl find out “the secret,” boy and girl are disgusted for 2.4 seconds, and then boy and girl fall in love offline. Cue the sweeping music and credits. Don’t forget that the female lead has to have a wacky best friend. I firmly believe Meg Ryan had a bad face lift before the production of this movie. Movie producers only made this movie to try to wring out every ounce of perky out of Meg Ryan that they could before the public came to their senses. Isn’t Tom Hanks’ character so adorable when he calls Meg Ryan’s “a pill”? No. Anyway you slice it, this movie made me never want to use my email again.

Varsity Blues. A badly acted movie that was supposed to be a huge career booster for “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van der Beek. Instead it probably killed it. Dawson lives in a small Texas town where football is King and the coach is a tyrant. He plays second string quarterback and is just fine with that. Because Dawson is really a Kurt Vonnegut-reading scholar at heart who has his heart set on Brown University. That all comes to an end when the star quarterback is injured and he must play in his stead. Dawson rebels against the football coach and his shady antics, which include injecting stuff into injured players so they can play, and not helping with recruiting for the token black kid. Add in a lovable obese player, an all-nighter at a strip club where the featured stripper is their English teacher (how exactly did the high school students get into the strip club?), a ambitious, social-climbing cheerleader in a whip-cream bikini, and a rousing speech by Dawson about being heroes (because playing high school football is so heroic) and you’ve got a dud of a high school football movie.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This movie was just too “conceptual” for me. There are many people who tell me this is their favorite movie, and like anime, I just don’t “get it.” I guess it’s cool to be able to erase your memories of a love gone wrong, but our memories and experiences, no matter how painful, make us who we are. Having bad relationships in the past is what makes me so grateful to have someone like the hubs today. Being badly treated is what made me so attracted to the hubs, because from past experience I knew what I didn’t like. That being said, after watching this movie, the hubs and I both thought it was a huge waste of our time. We kept watching it hoping that it would get better. For us, it didn’t. Kate Winslet is wonderful as usual, but Jim Carrey is just trying too hard. You’re a comedian, Jim…there’s nothing wrong with that. Please explain to me why this movie is so good?

The Island of Dr. Moreau. This movie was so bad that Marlon Brando had to wear a radio receiver to be fed his lines! One of the main actors in this movie, David Thewlis, refused to go the premier and has never seen the finished product because it was such a negative experience. I wish I could say the same! Set in the year 2010, Dr. Moreau (Brando) has successfully combined human and animal DNA to make a crossbreed animal. Well, as usual, something goes wrong and David Thewlis must try to stop it before it’s too late! Except by “too late” they mean the minute I bought my ticket to see this movie. Apparently it was “toned down” so it would appeal to a wider audience (wider meaning those who like crap), but I don’t remember anything tame about the whole animal/human orgy thing. I saw this with a group of friends in high school and we were all flabbergasted at the awfulness…and the fact we didn’t walk out. It was not Brando’s finest hour or even minute. This movie is so bad it’s almost funny. Even the actors act like it’s a big joke. And if they’re not going to take it seriously, than why should I?

Let’s Talk about the Oscars

Okay, I admit it…I’m a huge movie buff. I love movies. I love going to movies. I love watching movies at home with the lights turned low cuddling a blanket. I quote movies incessantly. Some movies are my best friends. I can always count on them to be there for me whenever I’m sad, happy, or lonely. I also love the Oscars. I don’t care about the dresses or how gloriously over-rated they are. I love the speeches. I love the anticipation. I love surprises.
When the Oscar nominations this year came out I was very surprised by 2 things. One of them that was Mo’nique wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie, “Precious.”


My mind kept reeling. How on earth did she win the Golden Globe for this role and not be nominated at all for an Oscar? This is kind of a disconnect for me. A lot of movie critics were speculating for months now that not only would she get an Oscar nomination, but the win. It seems kind of like a slap in the face. I haven’t seen the movie yet because I think it might be too hard for me to watch a mother physically, emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abusing her daughter. However, the scenes that I’ve seen of Mo’nique’s acting are amazing. It can’t be easy to play such a damaged, sick, sociopath.

EDIT: So as someone pointed out, Mo’nique was nominated for an Oscar. Thank goodness! And don’t I feel like a dope? When I heard the nominations read, I didn’t hear her name. So I’ll just have to say that I hope she wins. She deserves it. She has put in a lot of hard work for many decades in Hollywood and I think we are just starting to see the depth of her talent.

Another thing that surprised me was Sandra Bullock’s nomination for Best Actress for her role in “The Blind Side.” Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Sandra Bullock. I think she is a great comedic actress. I absolutely love her in “Miss Congeniality,” “28 Days,” and “A Time to Kill.” I get a smile on my face whenever I think about her. She seems like a genuinely nice, down-to-earth person and we would probably be friends in real life.
And don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie, “The Blind Side.” I love a good adoption story. I love a movie based-on-a-true story about a good-hearted family who went out of their way to help someone in need, subsequently making him a part of their family. However, I didn’t think Bullock’s performance or the movie was Oscar quality. That’s okay….a lot of great movies I love were never nominated for an Oscar. So I was shocked that she was nominated over other people for Best Actress.
Mo’nique’s being left out in the cold come Oscar nomination time after her triumph at the Golden Globes in not a unique story. Madonna won the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in “Evita.”
EDIT: Apparently only Madonna’s story is unique. Geez, do I feel like a dummy.
And then come Oscar time, Madonna was nowhere to be found. Only in this situation, I didn’t think Madonna’s acting was quality enough to earn her a Golden Globe or Oscar nomination, whereas in Mo’nique’s case, I think her acting did earn her both those things. What was the Academy thinking?!
EDIT: Apparently the Academy got it right. Mo’nique is amazing. I hope she wins!
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.