The Best Movies Of 2019!

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Howdy!

For our last post of the week, I will be discussing my favorite movies of 2019!

Since I didn’t do my “Movies I Want To See” series last year, I wasn’t really keeping up with the newer movies but I was okay with it. What I did instead was I basically made a vow to make time in my day (or night) to watch something in my DVR folder or on Netflix. This was probably the smartest thing I did, because I ended up checking out a lot of films in the meantime. I even tried to make this post a little easier because I used Pinterest to keep track of everything I watched throughout the year.

The Hours (2002)

I think this was the most important film I watched at the beginning of the year. It was a story about three women in their different time periods, but it circled around their lives at the time they are reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. So, you have Nicole Kidman starring as Virginia Woolf. The time is 1923, and she is in the process of writing the book but you learn that she has had series of breakdowns and attempted suicide in the past. The next character is Laura, played by Julianne Moore and the year is 1965. She is a mother, who is very unhappy. And finally, there’s Meryl Steep, who is Clarissa and we are back in the present which is 2001. She is a bisexual woman, who tries to keep an eye on her former partner Richard and meets his mother after his death by suicide.

It was a heartbreaking movie that I both loved and hated, because at the time I watched it, I was very depressed and since I have had contemplated suicide in the past, it hit me deeply. After I finished it, I literally got out my notebook and wrote in it about how I was feeling and mostly I was full of anger on my situation in life. I cried and cried, but I let myself cry it out and I’m glad I did that because once I was done, I suddenly felt better about everything. I was no longer sad about my life. If anything, it helped me move on. I don’t know if I kept that entry or not, I think I got rid of it around October.

Descendants 3 (2019)

I was really surprised that not only did I watched this movie, but I loved it! A part of me was conflicted at first because I was watching it to honor Cameron Boyce and the other part I was curious to see what the song was during the promos! After the first song and dance routine was over, I instantly got comfortable on my bed and watched the whole thing in one sitting!

If you have not checked out the films, it is about the descendants of our beloved Disney characters, but there’s a catch as the good characters live in Auradon. They have their magical powers and basically live in a place of luxury, whereas the villains all live on a island that takes away their magical powers and isolates them away. At the time of this film, the original descendants of Maleficent, The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Jabar, and Cruella Di Vill go back to the island and chose four kids to come to be educated and live with their mentors on Auradon.

I am a sucker when it comes to musicals. Disney musicals use to really get me when I was younger, but I kind of thought I was too old to enjoy them again. It was shocking how quick that thought flew away after I heard “Queen Of Mean” sung by Sleeping Beauty’s daughter Prince Aubrey (Sarah Jeffrey). I’m not going to even hide the fact that after I heard for the first time, I rewind the whole song over so I could learn the lyrics on my closed captions! I learned it within a day or so; the same thing happened with “Night Falls” too!

Chaplin (1992)

This one was probably the best I had seen in a long time! I am familiar with the story of actor Charlie Chaplin, but I was not expecting to enjoy seeing Robert Downey Jr. playing him. I was so worried that I would be picturing Tony Stark the whole time, but thankfully I didn’t. He completely took over the man and his iconic role as the “Tramp” to the point where you thought you were seeing the real Mr. Chaplin on your television screen!

The film is all about Charlie Chaplin’s life, starting while he is exiled in Switzerland after being accused of being a communist. He is met with his biographer to discuss what he wants to put in his book. So, we are taken through some things from his young life with his older half brother Sidney and their mother, who had psychotic breakdowns to what led him to create his own production studio and finally the point he meets his wife and love of his life: Oona O’Neil.

It was such a good film! I wasn’t able to watch it in one sitting like I wanted, but it never really left me, I was haunted by the previous scenes so I kept telling myself to go back and once it was over, I was really bummed but wanted to recommend it to anyone who would listen honestly!

For Sama (2019)

I don’t know what drew me to watch this documentary but I did, and I’m happy that happened because it was hauntingly beautiful!

PBS was airing this on “Frontline” one night and I just felt complied to check it out. It made my heart ache for everyone in Syria. It made me think of a friend I had that lived/lives there, and the reason why I said “lived” is because it’s been around four years since I have heard from her. She use to tweet about her father dying and she was having to move with her family, and it just didn’t seem real until I watched this and I began to think of her again and wonder where she was or did she make it out alive?

This film was recorded in a range of two or three years. The title “For Sama” is in dedication to the filmmaker’s daughter Sama, who was born at the height of the civil war in Syria. Sama’s mother is Waad Al-Kaeb, she married a doctor that treated people who were hurt prior and during the bombings in Aleppo. The whole film is in Arabic but English subtitles are provided at the bottom of the screen. You could hear and feel every emotion like pride for their home, worry that they wouldn’t make it, horror to seeing everyday people, children included with various injuries from the aftermath of the bombings and the love in the tone of her voice. It does get pretty graphic but it was real. When you hear about bombings on the news on TV, I feel like for most people (myself included) can switch off their minds to how a bomb that dropped to the ground, on top of homes, that the innocent escaped in time. You will see children die and be born within five minutes of each other.

Detroit (2017)

It was so surprising that it took me two years to finally watch this film. I remember the day I was going through the new movie trailers on YouTube and then coming across this one. I am a lover of real life situations being played out on film. I would rather spend the rest of my days watching them because then I would never forget about our history as human beings. Not everyone has the best intentions for others, much less themselves and I think it is the perfect way to describe the situation of this movie.

Detroit is a story of a time where there was a lot of violence towards the African-Americans and the police department of the 1960’s; there is injustice among the community and everything has hit a breaking point. You are introduced to a group of people who are staying at a hotel and somebody starts shooting at the police as a joke, and since tensions are already high and everybody feels threatened, things get very out of control and the consequences were awful. They could have been better, hell, even prevented as nobody should have been killed in a way these people were and then you realize that even though the times have changed, history has a way of repeating itself over and over again.

I am finally done with this post, but if you’d like to see what else I watched in 2019, you should go check out my Pinterest board. I hope you have enjoyed this post and have a great weekend!

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | Z : Zoom

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I know I’m late on getting this post up, but I have been feeling really lazy in the past few days.

I have always been called “speed demon” because I have my power wheelchair’s speed on high. It’s crazy how much my mom thought the volume was down low while I was in school! Speaking of that, my middle and high schools were attached and had multiple ramps in the hallways. The first time I ever visited, I was probably going into fourth grade and my face lit up. I couldn’t help but race up and down those halls with Blondie and our cousins. Now as an adult, I feel like I have definitely calmed down, and to just seal the deal, the occasional popping a wheelie doesn’t even do it for me anymore. For my parents, this is a blessing and this could be a good sign for other families out there who are dealing with little speed demons at home too, but I feel like I should say that if I was in my power wheelchair for 8 hours straight and there were ramps all around, I would totally go for it in a heartbeat!

Since creating my Instagram account a few months ago, I have been speaking to other people with Arthrogryposis, and it has been really nice to discuss our stories and everything, I also love when parents will follow me too. I get a chance to watch the younger generations grow up and learn how to deal with it in an entirely different era.

There is one little girl that takes me back to starting school for the first time, making what I thought would be long-lasting friendships, and receiving my first wheelchair. The girl’s mother told me once that thanks to her brothers encouragement, she tracked mud all over their house. I could tell she wasn’t thrilled about the incident. There is a big difference between the mini daredevil and I. When I was in elementary school, we left my power chair there and only took it home during summer vacations because our house wasn’t handicapped accessible. So, I never really got to do things like this when I was younger, but this was also at a time where I could scoot everywhere so I didn’t need it too much.

When we did go places that required something more substantial, we used a toddler stroller. It was lightweight so it wasn’t that big of a hassle to put together and take me on trips. I want to say that we used them from the age of seven to probably 11 years old. After I had my surgeries, my body decided that it not only wanted to grow but everywhere! Honestly, for the last five years of being in the stroller, I never wore the seatbelt. I couldn’t. It never wanted to fit around my belly.  Thankfully, by the time I started going to middle school, I was riding the bus to the school and home, so we could keep my wheelchair with me at all times but more importantly, this also meant we could finally get rid of our trustee stroller of the early 2000’s.

Once you got your first power wheelchair, were you described a “speed demon” growing up? Do you remember the first time you discovered rolling down into ramps and/or mud? 

snowflake

 

Blogmas | December Playlist

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Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone that celebrates Christmas is enjoying their time with family and friends.

I’ve decided that today will be my final ‘Blogmas’ post of the year. Since I will be including two playlist in the couple of weeks, I thought it would be smart to schedule this one a little earlier than normally.

Here are my Top 21 favorite songs I listened to this month! I’ve also included 6 holiday tracks at the bottom of the playlist too.

Expectations by Lauren Jauregui
Let It Go (Africanized Cover) by Alex Boye feat. Once Voice Children’s Choir
Everything I Need by Skylar Grey
Black Butterfly by Leaves’ Eyes
Way To Break My Heart by Ed Sheeran & Skrillex
Bet’amen Bel Sodfi by Carole Samaha
Love Me by Stanaj
Post Malone by Sam Feldt featuring RANI
Blndside by Icon For Hire
Gimme Brain by Travis Barker featuring Lil Wayne & Rick Ross
Boomition by Celestina
Teeth by 5 Seconds Of Summer
Outlaws & Outsiders by Corey Marks featuring Travis Tritt, Ivan Moody, & Mick Mars
If We Have Each Other by Alec Benjamin
Lose You To Love Me by Selena Gomez
Silhouette by Krigare

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy by Lindsey Stirling
O Holy Night by Upon Wings *review here
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra
Somewhere In My Memory by John Williams
Carols Of The Bells by Lindsey Stirling

If you would like to check out the rest of my December playlist, I have added the Spotify link right below because you know I listen to a lot of music 24/7. Enjoy the tunes!

What were you listening to this December? What is your ultimate holiday song(s)?

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | Y : Let’s Talk About You

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Since we are at the end of this challenge, I wanted to do something fun. I kept going back and forth on what I wanted to do. I originally had titled it, “It’s YOUR life” but I felt like I have been talking about this a lot, so I changed it to discuss you.

I’m also doing this in a totally different way than my previous posts too. Since I’ve already done a Q&A several weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to get to know you and your way of life, so I am opening this up to you now with ten questions.

1.) What is your disability? Do you have more than one?

2.) What are some ways you’ve learned to adapt with it?

3.) I came across this question last week, and thought it would be cool to include it here. Do you think you’re a warrior?

4.) How do you feel about the word “inspiration”? What is your response to when someone calls you that?

5.) Have you ever thought about how we can change people’s perspective on what a disabled person should be in every sense of the word?

6.) What is your dream for the future? Example: goals for 2020.

7.) Does having sex with your husband/girlfriend/partner made accept or hate your disability even more? *If too personal, just skip it!

8.) What do you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?

9.) Do you follow any other disabled influencers? Such as Alex Darcy of Wheelchair Rapunzel or Jessica Kellgren-Fozard on YouTube?

10.) If you kept up with my A-Z Disability Challenge the whole year, did you enjoy the content? Did I miss anything you think was important?

It is crazy to think that not only do we start a whole new year next week, but I will also complete this challenge too. After what happened at the beginning of the year, I really did not think I could finish it. I was perfectly fine with letting it go until after new years day. I don’t really know what inspired me to get up one day and look into my daily planner and count some how days and letters I had left to find out they matched, and then get back on it every Monday. I guess I was determined to do it.

snowflake

Blogmas |Rock Band Upon Wings Releases New Christmas Cover “O Holy Night”!

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Honestly, I wasn’t going to have a blog post for today, because all of my other ideas really take a lot of my time and even though there are essentially three days that I can write everything up, I just didn’t want to rush into anything, but then I saw a tweet that saved the day!

If you have been reading my blog for the last two years, you know how much I love the band Upon Wings. The lead singer, Anne and I have been talking to each other for the last two years now, and she knows how much I love the band’s music. She’s even written a couple of pieces on here in the past! Unfortunately, they haven’t been releasing anything new, but since last Christmas, they’ve sort of started a trend for the festive season. For this Christmas, they’ve decided to do “O Holy Night” and I am going to listen to it for the first time and review it for you.

I’d like to point out that “O Holy Night” is one of my favorites. I am quite picky when it comes to Christmas carols and hymns, so I was a bit hesitant when it came to listen to this. I think I became a fan of the song after I watched Home Alone as a kid, which I’ll let you on a secret. The scene where Kevin goes into the church and listens to the choir sing that exact song is the main reason why I wanted to join choir in school. However, I don’t remember actually performing the song ever…

The beginning of this is so charming and light, as it was mostly Anne’s voice with an acoustic guitar. Once you get towards the chorus, the sound does expand but it doesn’t necessarily stay that way all the way throughout the track. It includes a really nice guitar solo and since I have lost my love of solos in the rock world (yeah, I know!) it was a nice surprise for me. I do believe the main reason why I enjoyed it is because it was just simple. It wasn’t full of thrills and obnoxious.

For me, it was really nice to hear Anne’s beautiful voice again. Even though, I listen to their “You’re My Weapon” every other month, I do miss their music. However, I know they have other responsibilities outside the band so I will be patient like always, but if you are in need of a sweet little tune, this cover might be up your alley! Enjoy.

Have you listened to “O Holy Night” by Upon Wings yet? What were your thoughts about it? 

snowflake

Blogmas | Favorite Christmas Short Films

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Howdy!

I have talked about how I am going very non-traditional this Christmas, with my tree and how I choose to decorate it, but when it comes to the holiday as a whole I have my ultimate favorites that I look forward to doing like baking sugar cookies and putting lots of frosting and sprinkles on the tops of them with my sister and brother-in-law. Hopefully this year, Mr. Nolan can join us as we create a fairly large mess in the kitchen–I can’t wait to see my mom’s face for that!

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YouTube isn’t just about influencers/creators and live sports – although they are both nice to watch every day of the week, I actually like finding things from my childhood on there. I have watched a lot of movies that I hadn’t seen since I was seven or nine years old. Unfortunately, there are some channels that have been taken off because of violating copyright policies, but I wouldn’t let that make you sad because I’ve also found there is always another one in the depths of the site waiting for you to find it!

I’ve already shared on my Instagram stories who I am watching on YouTube, but I have yet to share with you what makes me feel so festive and ready for Christmas. Well, technically I wrote a blog post about it back in 2011 or 2012, but I thought it was time to redo it and give you individual links to each one so maybe you can check them out too with your family!

I am actually fairly picky when it comes to the oldie Christmas shorts, the only ever modern film that I love is Olaf’s Frozen Adventure that came out in 2017! The ones that I will be discussing today all came out in the early 1930’s! The story behind them is a bit of a blur, because I still have no clue who had them on TV but my gut always brings me back to Turner Movies Classic, considering the date they were all released! However, they also could have been recorded on a VHS for when my mom and her siblings were little, and my grandparents let us watch it. Both of these stories are very likely, it’s just the matter of figuring it out which one is right!

Here are the four Christmas short films I love:

Somewhere In DreamLand (1936)

I know this isn’t directed towards the holiday season, but the first time I watched it was for Christmas.

This follows a pair of siblings, brother and sister, and they are shown collecting chunks of wood laying on the street. As they drag a very heavy wagon of wood back home, they come across a selection of shops that specialize in every child’s dream: sweets. Unfortunately, they are very poor and cannot afford to have anything, but once they arrive home and climb into bed for the night, they dream about all of the candy and ice cream their little hearts desire and when they wake up the next day, they are welcomed by a beautiful surprise.

The setting for this cartoon is during the Great Depression, which makes a lot of sense for both the plot and the year the film came out as well. In 1936, we haven’t established our decision on joining our allies in World War II yet, but we are slowly making our way out of that time in history. You do get a sense of what families were going through during this time though, because the mother of the children, looks very worn down and when the kids ask for more food, she breaks down and sobs into her apron. I can’t imagine the pain everybody went through during this time, and then on top of that I remember that it happened again in 2008 – the dates might’ve changed but the pain stays the same.

Christmas Comes But Once A Year (1936)

This is incredible little tale about these very poor orphans that are celebrating Christmas. They each get out of bed and run out to their living area where they have a sad tree with some dirty socks hanging above the fire place. The children grab and play with their toys only to see them break in front of their eyes. As they cry, an older man drives by in his car whistling a festive tune and discovers the heartbreaking wailing from inside the house and he basically fixes up their toys, house and it’s a merry time with all of these smiling faces again!

It tugs at your heart because in the back of your mind that are children and their families that cannot afford food, water, shelter, even new toys for the holidays! It really puts things into perspective about your surroundings. I definitely feel very humble after watching this film and always want a big hug from my parents afterwards.

Side note: This has captions included at the bottom of the screen!

Santa’s Surprise (1947)

This is next one, I think is what drove me to enjoy learning and respecting other people from around the world.

The story goes like this, Santa Claus is making his way through all parts of the world, the US, Norway, Germany, China, etc and what he doesn’t know is that as he puts the presents underneath the tree, a child is sneaking onboard his sleigh and when Santa is done for the night, he heads off to the North Pole with these kids. As he snuggles into bed, the little ones make sure the coast is clear and head inside his house to basically return the favor of bringing them gifts every year.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948)

Everybody has their favorite movie on the story of Rudolph, but this is mine. Apparently, the saying “the older, the better” works perfectly here!

I feel like I should say, I really haven’t seen any other movie about the story of Rudolph, so I’m not sure on how much they really go on about his life before becoming part of Santa’s crew. Once this one starts though, you see this deer that just wants to fit in with the rest of the herd but because of his big red nose, he gets made fun of by his peers but as his mother calls for him for the night, she reminds to hung up his stocking.

After he drifts over to sleep, we venture into how Santa Claus prepares for his night ahead and finds out that it’s extremely foggy. As the clock crimes, he calls out to all of his flying reindeer to their places and they race out to deliever gifts to everyone, even the animals.  When he stops at Rudolph’s house, he discovers a very noticeable light coming from a room and finds it is Rudolph and his special nose. Santa invites him to guide his sleigh and they leave to finish the night off. By the next day, the news has spread across the village and because he helped protect Santa and his other reindeer, he was rewarded a hero and was finally accepted among his kind.

I think the main reason why I love this one the most is that the way the backgrounds remind me of Scooby-Doo, where it doesn’t matter how much running or in this case flying everybody does, the background rarely changes! It is a very adorable cartoon.

Have you ever seen any of these before? If you have, which one is your favorite? What are your favorite movies or shows that you enjoy watching at this time of the year?

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | X : X Marks The Spot

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This week’s installment will be kind of funny as I know a lot of disabled people deal with this on a daily basis. Luckily for me, I don’t, but it does happen every once in a while. I will be discussing mysterious bruises. Oddly enough, on the day I came up with the letter theme, I actually did have a bruise on my leg that just sort of appeared out of nowhere, so it works out great!

I always find myself with a black and blue spot in the most weirdest places, like my knees or shoulders. The only explanation I can give to you about the one on my knee is that it could have happened in the middle of the night and I accidently whacked my knees together while I was turning to either side. However, I can’t say anything about the shoulder though. Am I alone with wishing I could get them on places that make better sense; going back to what I said about my knees. I know I hit the bony side of my left foot a lot whenever I am in the process of putting on my blanket! I think at night, I forget how close I am to the walls, but still when I wake up, it’s not the place on my body that is hurting the most!

The plus side of this is that I am no longer banging my head on the wall. Yes, I have been known to do that too! I literally have to keep a fleece blanket next to my line of fire so that if I do get very close to it, I have that soft barrier in between and maybe I won’t end up with a damn goose egg on my forehead. Again, this has happened in the past too.

Where do you get most of your bruises on your body? Do they start to appear at night or as the day continues? 

snowflake