See It. Read It.

27 Jan

Thanks to the bitter temps, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my Netflix queue and reading so today I’m sharing some of my favorite (and least favorite) movies, shows and books from the last month.

MOVIES!

Law Abiding Citizen. I’d been told by quite a few people that this movie was worth watching with lots of twists and turns… well, there were definitely twists and turns but it was one disturbing movie. Don’t even let it fool you that Gerard Butler is in this movie. He only flashes his abs once and he doesn’t have his sexy accent. Not to mention he’s the one that makes this movie tough to tolerate or as Knight says, “if I was cat, this movie would have taken 6 of my 9 lives.” Seriously, it was that intense. And creepy. And just don’t watch it, unless you want to be paranoid for a few days after it.

Knight and Day. I haven’t really liked Tom Cruise since Jerry Maguire (or maybe Top Gun), but I really liked this movie. Perfect blend of action and adventure + comedy and even a bit of romance (but not the throw up in your mouth kind). Some gorgeous scenery, good acting and overall, I really enjoyed this movie. Definitely worth checking out. Bonus: It’s only 1 hr 45 minutes. (I’m not a fan of movies that drag on and one these days.)

The Kids Are All Right. (Hooray, one movie I’ve seen that involves the Oscars!)I love Mark Ruffalo and Annette Benning. This movie deals with the dynamics behind a lesbian couple, their children and what happens when the children want to find out who their biological dad is. Very well written, definitely interesting and the acting was fantastic. There are some moments of hilarity, tenderness, suspense and of course love. Highly recommend this movie!

Going the Distance. I just loved this music. Yes, I’m a huge fan of romantic comedies, but this one… well maybe it’s cause I’m in an LDR, or maybe it’s because Justin Long rocks, but either way, I loved it. I kind of want to own it. Two thumbs up for sure on this one!

Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious. My brother recommend Daniel Tosh to Knight and me and all I can say is hilarious. Why I haven’t been watching his show (Tosh.O) sooner, I have no idea. I can’t wait for his next stand up comedy show to air on Comedy Central in March. His delivery his awesome, he’s got some great jokes, and in some odd way he’s a little bit cute.

 BOOKS!

Cover of

Cover of Very Valentine: A Novel

Very Valentine, by Adriana Trigiani. There is just so much to say about this book; this is the first in a trilogy about an Italian family, the trials and tribulations of all the siblings, but of Valentine in particular. In her mid-thirties she’s struggling with her career, her family, her love life and finding her place in the world. I loved this book in part because I’ve been where Valentine is in the book, and also very much because there is so much authenticity to the Italian family dynamic. There were times I wanted to jump in the book and just be everyone’s best friends, to eat at their table, to be a part of the book. I’m super stoked to read the next book in the series, Brava Valentine.

The Life You’ve Imagined, by Kristina Riggle. I picked this up at the library solely based on the back of the book, wasn’t sure if I’d like it but wound up devouring it. Part chick lit part social message, it was a quick read, with a fairly unpredictable plot line and loveable characters. Definitely good for a quick read and something different!

One Day, by David Nicholls. This was a long book but I really liked it. I laughed. I cried. I hoped. I found out it’s going to be a movie this year which I’m kind of not pleased with (well, mostly because I don’t like who they cast) but I am curious to see how they portray the characters. Read this book. You won’t be sorry. It’s very beautiful, a great love story, and I didn’t want it to end.

Anything I need to watch or read in February?

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Hurdles, Fences and Walls

26 Jan

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

There are some relationships that I’ve been it where it has been barrier after barrier, issue after issue: where all signs pointed to STOP! DO NOT PASS GO! Sometimes I gave in early, knowing there would be no point. Other times I forged on thinking something would change only to wind up heartbroken and maybe a little bitter. I learned my lesson.

Even though history repeats itself, there is bound to be something that will break the mold.

Like with Knight.  First, we have the distance. You’d think that would be a huge barrier, especially to begin a relationship in a long-distance state. Some said it couldn’t be done. But it can. You just have to want it, and we both do. 

I knew the night that I met Knight that not only did we live six hours from one another but that he was divorced and an amazing father to two adorable little girls. I talked to him anyway. The spark was undeniable.  I wasn’t worried about the divorce, the kids, and his “story.” I was more worried about if I’d see him again. 

I remember he said to me as we sat by the fire “I have two girls.” My response? “I know. I have a dog.” Not that I think a dog and children are the same at all, don’t get me wrong, but my point was that we all have something… children, pets, a house that we can’t sell, baggage from previous relationships. It’s there.  And those things shouldn’t stop us from falling in love with someone that we can’t stand to be away from.

I knew the story behind the divorce; his story is not mine to tell but trust me when I say that he did the best he could in a not so awesome situation, came out stronger and better for it on the other side.  

I also knew that I’d meet the girls and would fall crazy in love with them, would fall even more in love with Knight watching him as a father, and that all my worries about the girls liking me would melt away. I’ve spent several weekends with Knight and the girls and it just feels right. They may not ever be my kids, but it feels like this entire situation from meeting Knight when I did, to him having gorgeous daughters, to falling in love with a tall, dark and handsome man… it all just feels right.  (Well for those things and about 10,000 other reasons. Like how much Knight loves dogs and has totally captured Jack’s heart. How well he gets along with my brother and my family. How awesome his family is. He always leaves one of his shirts for me every time he leaves which always smells like him. He watched Glee with me. He has seen, by his own accord, “You’ve Got Mail,” and actually liked it. He’s patient if I ask questions about sports. He loves the St. Louis Cardinals. He knows I love jewelry from Tiffany’s and actually bought some for me. He doesn’t laugh at me for liking Twilight… yet. He knows his way around a grill and makes a mean steak. He loves Mexican food just as much as I do. He gives me butterflies every time he calls, texts or shows up at my door.)

So while the distance and other things may seem like barriers to some, they have in fact brought Knight and me closer. Maybe because we are both willing to jump over walls and tall buildings to be with the each other, or maybe because some things don’t matter nearly as much as one would think when you’re in love.  Or maybe it’s because we’re up front, honest and have crazy, awesome, serious conversations from the beginning of our relationship to this day that have left me grinning from ear to ear, knowing that we are both on the same page in terms of life and what we want out of it in all aspects. All of this and so much more have me incredibly excited for what the future will hold for me and Knight.

Wonder me This

25 Jan

A random list of things I’m wondering today…

* Why does Denny Crane (William Shatner’s character in Boston Legal) wear a wedding ring throughout all five seaons, despite being single in almost every single episode?

* Is it really necessary for the lady on the treadmill next to me to sing really loudly while she is running?

* Could someone please explain why my office feels like an icebox. It’s really frigid and I can’t stand it.

* I’d also like to know why my colleagues who are sick insist on coming into work. Stay home until you are better. Please.

* Is there a reason that I crave Mexican three out of five days a week?

* When will I learn that staying up late reading, while fun, is not going to payoff the next morning?

* How will I possibly see all the movies that have been nominated for the Oscars? So much to do, so little time.

* Will it be possible for me to learn to sleep in again on the weekends? 8 am wake-ups are not my favorite.

* Could we please have a week of sun in StL? This ugly grey sky is really not doing it for me.

* Why don’t we have money trees?

What would you like answers to today?

Nora Confessions (XIII)

20 Jan

It’s been awhile since I’ve done the confessions series, so here we go…

* I can’t ever remember how to spell embarrassed: is it one “r” or two? (I know it’s two now but somehow I must commit that to memory.)

* Lately I’ll stay up late reading… and then I sleep in late. I’ve been reading such amazing books that I just can’t put them down, and next thing I know it’s midnight. And then next thing I know my alarm is going off at 6am.

* I cry every single week Parenthood is on. Every. Single. Week.

* So the Oscars are coming up and there are a handful of movies that I’m not sure I can watch… Social Network, Black Swan. This may be the first year I haven’t seen all the movies that will be nominated for best picture!

* I forgot to include a super embarrassing moment in yesterday’s post. Picture this: Me, on Space Mountain in Disney, wearing a jean skirt. When the bar that holds you in came up, it ripped my skirt all the way up to the button. I had to ride Space Mountain with my lacy underwear showing, freaking out because my parents would know/see it when I got off the ride (I was in college, my college boyfriend was with us). I had to wrap a shirt around my waist until I could find a suitable pair of shorts to buy at Disney for like $50 bucks. They said “CHEER!” on the butt which was so not me. I. was. mortified.

* I love my digital camera but I’m the worst about printing pictures, putting them in photo albums or sharing them with friends and family (or cleaning off my memory card. I have about 1200 pictures on it. I should probably get to that).

 * I part my hair on the left to hide my gray hairs.

What are some of your confessions this week?

Did I do That?

19 Jan

I don’t really remember how it happened but over the last few days I’ve been thinking about some of the more embarrassing things that have happened to me (like ha-ha- funny- things) over the last few years and since we can all use a laugh and since I think some of them are rather funny, at least now, here’s a short list of embarrassing Nora Moments:

* First day of my freshman year in high school. I’m wearing then-awesome Calvin Klein pinstripe jeans and a fabulous white shirt (really, it was awesome), and maybe white sneakers (well, that alone is embarrassing). I enter the stairwell to get to the fourth floor of my high school aaaannnd fall. Up the stairs. In front of the senior hang out area. No one even stopped to see if I was ok, just walked around me.  Also, that same day the a/c went out in school and I was so incredibly hot in my then-super-awesome outfit.

* Sophomore year in high school. For whatever reason we had dress up days before our Winter Holiday so I’m looking cute in a black skirt and fun top from the Gap. I go to the restroom , start walking down the totally window-ed hallway, aka where the other classrooms can see you, only to have a very kind girl that I didn’t know tell me that somehow my skirt was caught in my underwear. Why I didn’t feel the breeze, I’ll never know. I was mortified.

* Let’s cut to my sophomore year in college (at least I think that’s what it was). I had 10 minutes to get from Old Campus to New Campus, a walk which taken at a super fast clip would take the normal person about 15-20 minutes. Three days a week I had to do the run/walk across campus  most of the time in flip-flops since it was the Spring Semester. I’m going along my normal route, past the library with all the cobblestone bricks when next thing I know, I’m flying in the air. Stupid flip-flop caught on a brick that was raised up (I think? Still no idea) and there go my books and purse and flip-flops flying in all different directions. I land on my hands and knees miraculously and two very handsome young men rush over to help me collect my things and my books. I was too embarrassed to say anything but thank you, suck up my pride, ignore the blood on my hands and knees and get to class. Which, by the way, I was only 2 minutes late for.

I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting but these are the ones that will always stand out, perhaps because they happened in front of so many people and had the propensity to be much worse and more embarrassing then they could have been.

What’s one of your most embarrassing moments?

Weekend Knights

18 Jan

It’s no secret I’m in a long distance relationship.

Love Knows No Distance

It’s also no secret that long distance relationships are hard. Worth it? Yes. But really hard. (Thank goodness for unlimited texts, emails and video chat dates, not to mention supportive friends and family.)

I know Knight and I are fortunate in that we get to see each other more than most people; the 375 miles that separate us don’t seem so daunting as they first did. The six hour drive is marked by landmarks, the pit stops that I always frequent, funny road signs (like a town named Paw Paw) and 6 highways (I love ticking off the highways I’ve been on in my head as it means I’m almost there). And those weekends where we see each other? We make the most of it.

This past weekend it was just the two of us. (Cue Will Smith song singing in the background…) The first time since mid-November that we had each other all to ourselves. It’s weekends like this that we spend them learning new things about each other, like how Knight had an earring in college (you can still see the small piercing hole if you look closely at his ear), or how I was an editor for my school yearbook and was voted “always has a shoulder to lean on.” There is laughter about Knight going to a rave sometime in high school against his mother’s will considering it was totally not worth it. There are moments you open your heart and share things about your past that you never thought you’d never talk about again over glasses of wine and amazing dinners. While you’re at a bar, there is no one else there; just the two of you. Public Displays of Affection are not gross, they are encouraged; after all you have to soak up all the hugs and kisses you can. Meeting friends for super late night drinks is required, followed by pizza at 1am, just because you can. You gain insight into what life would be like if you were closer to each other, could see each other on a regular basis. And you kind of love it. (Who are we kidding, you totally love it.)

Grand plans are made. Future vacations discussed. Hours are spent on the couch watching streaming Netflix. Dinners are made listening to favorite music, dancing around the kitchen, smiling and laughing. The night before he leaves we each look at other and say “we could get used to this.”

These weekends hold the promise of what is yet to come, a promise that is exhilarating, hopeful and full of joy. A promise I can’t wait to fulfill.

Tidbit Thursday

13 Jan

 

* I haven’t had soda since December 25th; I’ve had no caffeine withdrawal headaches and overall I don’t miss it one single bit. Until I eat pizza. Or Mexican. But I’m staying strong, chugging water instead of carbonation and overall I know it’s better for me. Maybe not as fun, but better.

* Last night I watched “Going the Distance.” I totally loved it. Justin Long is hilarious, Drew Barrymore has an infectious laugh and Justin Long’s sidekicks in the movie are laugh-out-loud funny. I would recommend watching this when you’re not in a long distance relationship, however. That made it a bit tough. I laughed. I cried. I loved it. And I now want to slow dance with Knight in the ocean.

* It was -1F when I woke up today. That’s just insanity. I’m wearing gloves and hats and scarves and tights and I’m *still* cold. I really hope it’s a bit warmer in Florida in a few weeks. My body needs to thaw out.

* Tomorrow evening I get to pick Knight up from the airport. This will be the second time I get to do that (his work is super flexible about where he flies in/out of, so sometimes he can plan work trips so we get back-to-back weekends together) and each time, I think of Hugh Grant at the beginning of Love  Actually. It’s really true: everyone who is there waiting for some greets them with hugs, kisses, flowers, high-fives and smiles. There is no hate at airports. Just love. It’s fun to be a part of that experience; to greet someone who has been traveling all week long, eating meals out and sleeping in strange hotel rooms, to give them a hug and just be together for a moment.

* I’m making progress on my 30 Before 30 List; over the holiday I realized I’d already seen 17 Oscar movies, so I’m upping the challenge to 40 movies instead. That seems much more fun to me! I’m trucking right along in the Harry Potter series and am totally in love with the books, the writing, the plots, the twists and turns. I can’t wait to start book #4 which I will do after I plow through (hopefully?) the stack of library books I just borroed. I’ve started researching trips to Alaska (goal is to go in 2012) and Italy (goal is 2013, if not sooner with the family) and soon I hope to start knitting lessons with my Gram. I know I have plenty of time but now that I’m post grad-school it’s nice to have something to work on.

* I saw True Grit last weekend; I wasn’t thrilled with it. Good acting for sure but I feel like the plot/story left something to be desired. I think we’ll be seeing The Fighter this weekend and I must say I’m rather excited for a dose of Marky-Mark. Along those lines, Backstreet Boys & New Kids on the Block are touring together and coming to STL this summer. I kind of want to go. (I saw Backstreet Boys in high school. Screamed the lyrics so much that I lost my voice. Don’t judge. I’m sure you have best friends who did it too!)

 (And don’t forget to enter my “Greening Giveaway“! You have until Sunday to enter!)

Any tidbits you feel like sharing?