Month: April 2016

GSL 2016 Decision- Rewarding or Fun?

gslSo I need help from all of you. I am trying to make a decision.

This June 4th is the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim. If I swim it I will be my 5th time completing the 1 mile race. Here’s my struggle.

It’s EVIL but very REWARDING!

When I say evil here’s what I mean. You step into the water and your skin burns. Your pores sting and you feel your hands and toes getting chapped and swollen. Your nose gets raw and then your throat starts to burn and your tongue gets numb.

Then there is the race. They always seem to have to start the race in a weird spot. Twice we have been climbing over rocks to get to the starting point.  Then there is nothing to sight while you swim so it is hard to keep up morale. You feel like you are on a swimming treadmill and aren’t making any progress. You don’t have your own kayaker like at deer creek to motivate you (although normally I’m so far behind that I have one by default!).

The water saps energy from me so it is exhausting and brutal.

But then and here’s the rub…


gsl1I get that medal and hear my friends cheering me on and it is all worth it. It’s great because it was so hard. It’s an accomplishment because I really pushed myself.

But aren’t things like this supposed to be recreation, supposed to be fun? I’m super out of shape so I guess I’m nervous on that front but I’m sure I can do it. It will just be insanely hard. A side of me thinks why put myself through all that?  Especially when I can do Bear Lake and have a much more pleasant experience with time to train in July.

What do you think? Should I do it and make it a 5-peat or take a break for a year?  What would you do if you were me?

Friday 5: Best Songs from the 80s

Hey guys! Quick post today. I hope you are all doing well and getting ready for a fun weekend. I don’t have a ton planned but I haven’t been feeling super well so I may just rest up and work on content for next week.

Speaking of content it’s Friday so that means it’s time to participate in the Friday 5. This is a weekly series of youtubers/bloggers who get a topic and have to pick 5 songs that within that topic.  This week was wild card so we could pick whatever we want. I decided to have a little fun and dive into my favorite songs from the 1980s.

To me when I think 80s music I think of big arena type sound- you could call them epic songs! I think all 5 of my picks capture that spirit. Let me know what your favorite songs from the 80s are and what you think of my picks.

Also if you have a blog or channel you should participate in the Friday 5. It’s really fun! Take a look at the tumblr page to see upcoming topics and then join in!

Have a great Friday guys!

Trolls, Twitter Wars and Diversity of Opinion

Hey guys!  Hope you are all doing well. Sorry it’s been a few days since my last post. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with things going on in my life and my sleep, or lack of it has been stressful.

You guys might recall that I have never been that into superhero movies. However, with The Avengers in 2012, Marvel began to win me over with their style of family friendly films. With each release I have become  more open to comic book movie films until now for the most part I enjoy them.

I have never been a big Batman fan but I made a big effort to get ready for Batman v Superman. I watched all the Batman and Superman movies (14) and was pretty excited to see them on the big screen. And what did I think of the movie? I didn’t really like it. I’ve seen it twice and liked it less the second time.

Anyway, the only reason I mention this is because I kind of wish the movie didn’t exist at this point. Critics didn’t like the movie either and certain fans have seen it their duty to lambast them and claim an anti-DC agenda.  It’s nonsense. Certain people I think are doing it to get attention to their twitter but others just can’t handle anyone not agreeing with them.

I have been mostly saved from this nonsense except for one person who trolled me pretty hard. I engaged with them  first on a forum we were in thinking it would be fun but they resulted to insulting me very quickly. Over a stupid movie for goodness sake. The interesting thing about this particular person is they haven’t actually posted a review of Batman v Superman on their channel. And they called me a sheep…

Despite having written 3 lengthy blog posts on what I would do differently and the detailed strengths and weaknesses of the film I am accused of copying and pasting my thoughts and going along with some anti-DC agenda.  It’s complete nonsense. I don’t have time for people like that so they are BLOCKED!

Meanwhile other people I respect are getting it a million times worse than me and their integrity as critics and human beings are called into question. I just don’t understand why people would do such a thing over a difference of a opinion on a movie? Sure can critics be too hyperbolic? Of course, but most of these same people who are upset used the same hyperbole for Jupiter Ascending– a film I actually had fun with and enjoyed.Where was my going along with the crowd on that one?

One woman in particular who has been at the heart of critic feud lambasted others for an anti-DC agenda. Last year she claimed those that liked Inside Out were deluded by Pixar fandom and that Tomorrowland was one of the worst movies of 2015.  That’s fine if she feels that way about Tomorrowland but then in her Gods of Egypt and Pixels reviews she claims critics are being unfair for not liking the films? Why is she allowed to dislike some films but others aren’t?  And why does it bother her so much to be in the minority view? I loved last year’s Good Dinosaur and not many shared that opinion.  It was tolerated but I LOVED it. It can be frustrating when it is treated like the worst Pixar movie ever made but I am confident with my feelings. I don’t need to always be in the majority of every opinion I have. That’s ok. I don’t think someone has an anti-Pixar bias if they didn’t like it or is a sheep. Give me a break.

Anyway, I just wanted to state my peace. If people don’t like mine or any other critics opinions on films or you think we are biased than newsflash- don’t follow us! Find someone who speaks to you and follow them. I have no problem with that at all. But to belittle someone because they don’t like something that you like is childish and frustrating.

So, that’s  my thought on that. The great thing about creating my own content is I can delete and monitor such nonsense. Thank goodness for that.

Jungle Book Review (2016)

My review of the latest Jungle Book movie from Disney. I thought you guys might like to read it.

Rachel's Reviews

(My Youtube review)

I know some of you have been wondering when I would finally post my Jungle Book review here on the blog. I posted my youtube review on Thursday night, so make sure you are subscribed to both the blog and channel because sometimes I don’t have time to update both at same time (I’m only one person friends 🙂 ).

I also wanted to wait to see the Jungle Book a second time on IMAX today before posting this review. I find on these big films it is often helpful to see the movie twice just to make sure my first read was accurate. I can confidently say I had the same experience in both screenings, so I’m pretty assured about my feelings.

It’s a good movie. I liked it a lot. Is it perfect? No but what movie is? Let’s talk about the pros and cons.

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Expectations and Hype

I’ve been thinking today about the dangers of expectations. What got me on this track is an excellent article over on about hype . The author MJ talks about her experience with Zootopia and how she was super pumped for it- had even bought the art book in advance. And then despite loving the film felt a little underwhelmed by it.  I think any movie fan shares in this experience.

Before Force Awakens I wrote a post called The Value of Hype and I stand by that piece.  What my main point is that people discount hype as a negative thing but I think being part of the excitement is part of the fun of being a movie fan. It makes me feel like I’m a kid again and part of something bigger than myself.

Maybe part of it is I live kind of a boring life if I’m honest.  I mean what do I really have to get excited about? My swims in the summer are probably the most exciting thing but it’s not like I have some super thrilling job or personal life.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like my life but as far as something new, fresh,  to look forward too movies is kind of all I’ve got.

But on the same breath I have definitely been part of hype and been super excited and then let down big time.  Anyone remember my feelings on How I Met Your Mother finale?  Or the show that broke my heart and pounded it into a million pieces… (yes even now still a little bitter about it).

Other things I am probably over-eager like MJ was for Zootopia and leave liking it but not loving it like I’d hoped.  A recent good example is Only Yesterday.  This is a good movie but being Studio Ghibli and knowing it was  held up for 25 years to be released I was a little disappointed that I didn’t love it.  It was not a masterpiece.  It was merely good.

I know a lot of people felt that way about Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar, but me watching them later than everyone else I thought they were pretty great.  People super hyped for them were a little let down.

Brave is a movie I went into very hyped.  The ads were great and I thought it could finally be the epic heroine adventure I’d been waiting for.  But then when it was  just an ok movie I was so let down. It was only after watching it a couple times that I grew to appreciate it for what it is and ignore what I wanted it to be.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for going into something knowing nothing and having a great experience. Recently I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane and what a fun surprise that was!  I haven’t reviewed it because I wanted everyone to have the same experience I did. It’s such an entertaining little movie.

Song of the Sea is another one that I knew next to nothing about and it blew me away. One of my favorite movies I’ve ever seen.

Boyhood is another one I knew almost nothing about and it left me speechless.

So I guess I see a bunch of different sides to this issue. I see the value of hype and being part of a movement- something bigger than just you.  That to me is fun. But I’ve also been let down by that experience and I have discounted something that’s good just because it isn’t a masterpiece.

I don’t know what the answer is.  I think it is almost impossible with my social media life to not be sucked into the hype so I guess I just embrace it and have fun with it.  I think I am a seasoned enough moviegoer to be objective even for ‘hyped’ movies. Plus, these movies I will usually see several times before reviewing just to make sure I am not too caught up in the moment.  I even saw Batman v Superman twice to make sure I was being fair.

What do you think about this issue?  How do you deal with expectations and hype? Do you find yourself feeling let down by things often?

Spoilers and Spoilerphobia

I’ve been working really hard lately and battling headaches and other issues.  Yesterday I posted a video where I let out a little rant about something that has been driving me crazy- spoilers or SPOILERPHOBIA!!!

I get not wanting to be spoiled on big epic moments but we have come to a point where talking about media or books is almost impossible.  Somebody always ends up yelling ‘spoiler alert’.  It finally got so annoying I had to rant a bit about it!

The spoiler culture we currently have drive me crazy.  What about you?  What do you think about the video?

I would love your feedback.  Thanks


Friday 5: Songs About Spring

Hey guys!  I hope you are having a Happy Spring!  Things are going well for me.  I’ve been keeping myself busy with blogging, movies, writing and work.  Next week I’m eagerly anticipating watching Jungle Book! Make sure you are subscribed to my channel and blog to find out my thoughts on it.

Today is Friday and that means it’s the next entry in the Friday 5 series.  This is a music series where we get a topic each week and have to pick 5 songs that fit said topic.  This week the topic is ‘Songs that Remind You of Spring’.  It’s not a time of the year that is very musical compared to Winter or Summer but I like all 5 of my picks.  They are each songs I feel are joyful and bright which is what I think of with Spring.

My 5 songs are:

Best Day of My Life-American Authors- I thought of this song because graduations and other big events happen in the Spring.  It seemed like a good fit to sing about the best day of my life!

Great Day to Be Alive- Travis Tritt- I hadn’t done a country song in a while and this one is the definition of chill.

Colors of the Wind- Pocahontas. If you’ve read my Disney blog you know I’m not the biggest Pocahontas fan but I do like the music (except Mine, Mine, Mine which is one of the worst Disney songs).  Judy Kuhn as Pocahontas’ voice is one of the best in all of Disney.  My Pocahontas Review.

Daydream Believer- The Monkees- Cheer up and sing a song with The Monkees!  This is such a fun song.

Pocketful of Sunshine- Natasha Bedingfield- It’s a song about a pocketful of sunshine. What’s more spring than that?

So those are my picks.  What would be your picks?