Hunger Games – Food for Thought

***SPOILER ALERT***

If you have not read the books or seen the movies proceed with caution!

Now that the Hunger Games are finally through and all the movies are out on DVD I thought I would share my biggest issue with the series.  I am a big fan of young adult literature and this was no exception.  It was the kind of book you can’t put down.  I actually felt that way with all 3 of the books in the series which doesn’t often happen.  I even got my husband to read these, and he reads nothing!

I was happy with the movies.  Unlike some other film adaptations I thought the movies were cast really well.  Some where not what I imagined but I thought that no actor disappointed me in their role.  I did go in with some prejudice though.  After reading the books I was Team Peeta all the way.  So no matter how cute Liam Hemsworth is, he was not winning me over.  My absolute favorite character of the whole series was Finnick Odair.  I was so happy when he made his arrival in the second movie.

So here is my food for thought.  My two major issues with the Hunger Games story as a whole.  #1  Why oh why did you kill Finnick?  This is not a George R Martin story where all of your favorite characters die so why did Finnick have to?  I was so frustrated that he was basically the only character that was on the right side that really died…well other than Rue.  But their deaths felt different to me.  Rue was in the games.  There was no way that more than one person was going to win the games.  And there was no way Katniss was not going to win since she was obviously in other books.  So I was anticipating this death from the get go.  Tragic and sad as it might have been it didn’t hit me that hard.  Actually I thought seeing her sibling and mom crying in the second movie was more emotional for me than her death.  So again I ask why do you have the only character who does the right thing and is selfless the whole time die?  And please do not give me his wedding to precious Annie and then kill him.  Really?  Really???  So my advice re-write and kill Gale.  He is a loser face that is always whining and KILLED PRIM!!!  Yea he can go.  We don’t need him.  BRING BACK FINNICK!

#2 and this is my absolute biggest issue with the entire series, why did Katniss vote yes to continuing the Hunger Games with Capital children?  This was in the last pages and last few moments of the movie and it bothered me equally as much both times.  The entire movie Katniss has to battle.  They speak of how unfair it is that the district must have their children killed off.  They call the Capital tyrants and say they would never choose the same way of living if the roles were reversed.  Then please tell me after surviving 2 Hunger Games, basically fighting in a war, and losing her sister,who died among children of the Capital, would Katniss choose to kill as well?  This felt like a slap in the face.  As though her struggle for good the whole series was now null and void.  In my brain I want to think that this was a tactic.  I want to think that she knew by appeasing Coin that she would have the opportunity to kill her.  But sadly I think that is not so.  Why Katniss?  I thought you were better than that.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you think Finnick died for a reason?  Do you think it was cool to let Gale live on after murdering Katniss’s sister?  Do you think Katniss was justified in her vote to continue the Hunger Games?  No matter what this was a great series and lets face it after that mess called The Twilight Saga we needed this 🙂

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Mermaid Chronicles: Rehearsal Gear

To begin my mermaid chronicles I am going to share some of the rehearsal gear I’ve made.  Its been quiet a few years since I have danced for real.  I did show choir and theater and danced along with the kids but as for performing on stage that has been a good 10 year.  Yikes typing that now makes me feel even more nervous!  That being said my body has changed quiet a bit in the last 10 years and therefore I will not attempt to embarrass myself by trying on old leotards.  So yoga pants and t-shirts it is!  I have plenty of yoga pants from my show choir days but my current t-shirt stash pretty much only consist of shirts from my work.  Since I am a little silly and love a good funny shirt I wanted to make some of those instead of being boring in black and white every rehearsal.

When I was in my crazy Mary Poppins phase a few years ago I was doing everything imaginable to show my love for Mary.  My husband bought me the books for my birthday, I watched the movie and Saving Mr Banks over and over again and I made a Mary Poppins shirt.  Around this same time I found something on Pinterest about making screen print shirts using freezer paper.  I figured that can’t be too hard so I tried it out.

This is way easier than you think.  I followed this link to see how the process is done but I wanted to sum it up for you guys just to show how easy it is.

  1. Find a picture or text you would like on the shirt.  I Googled Disney silhouettes and found all kinds of cool images. *hint* the less detail in the picture the better
  2. Take a piece of freezer paper and place it shiny side down on top of the printed picture.  This works best if you tape the picture down and the freezer paper down onto a hard surface.
  3. Use an Exact-o knife and trace the image until all that is left is a stencil of the image.
  4. Line up your image wherever you would like it on your shirt and iron the stencil shiny side down.  The stencil is now stuck to your shirt so that you can color in.
  5. Use fabric paint to color your stencil in.  I did my Mary Poppins shirt with one simple color but I have done others that I have used multiple colors.  Make sure to put a thick layer of paint on.
  6. Once your stencil is painted pull off the freezer paper.  Sometimes its a little tricky to get this off but I find it helps if you use tweezers to help get it off.
  7. let the paint dry overnight and then place shirt in the dryer to set it.

That’s all it takes.  It will stay on just like a screen print.  I’ve had this shirt for almost 2 years and it still looks exactly the same.  For Mermaid I decided to do a few different shirts.  As a Disney lover I wanted to do something silly that I love that was outside of the box.  I love A Goofy Movie and even more so I love POWERLINE.  So I made a Powerline tour t-shirt.  I also saw a really cute mermaid shell shirt on the Disney Store website and I figured I could do that, so I made one of those too.  I made a couple more but I’ll save those for later.

But crafty and non-crafty friends alike you should totally try this.  If its just decorating a onesie, making shirts for a trip or trying your own monogram this trick will save you big bucks.

A New Project

I LOOOOOOOOVE THEATER!  Next to my husband and my family it is the thing I am most passionate about.  For a long time I have been trying to pursue my dream of being on stage.  I danced for many years but a recital is not the same as being a part of a show. I want to feel the heat of the stage lights and the sound of the applause from the audience.  I want to work my butt off with a company of people to perfect a dance or get the most amazing harmonies.  I don’t want to be THE star, but I would like to be a star in my own right.

When I was in 8th grade the theater bug bit me hard.  I went to see 1776 at the Baton Rouge Little Theatre for extra credit in my middle school history class.  I was amazed by all of it, but one performer got me.  He was the delegate from South Carolina and the song he sang was called Molasses to Rum to Slaves.  A normal person would never remember this sort of thing.  I remember it though as the moment that something changed in me.  A moment when a song wasn’t just something you hum along to in the car.  A moment when I felt like I was on fire with excitement over the possibility of what a character could make you feel just sitting in an audience.

After years of season tickets to community theatre and many trips to see touring shows with my Nanie, I finally decided I might be good enough to try out for something.  I was 19 years old and in college.  My first ever audition was for Beauty and the Beast.  I was completely and totally intimidated.  300+ people auditioned for that show.  It was insane but a great learning experience.

Years went by and I kept trying and things got better.  I tried out for The Pajama Game, Crazy For You, Hairspray, Mary Poppins and Les Miserables.  All of those shows I got a call-back for.  For Hairspray I even got a call-back for the lead.  However none of these auditions proved to be fruitful and I was not cast in anything.  In the meantime I helped choreograph and stage manage shows at my work.  All the while feeling a little like a fraud.  I knew what needed to be done but I had never actually done it before.

For whatever reason I decided to give it one more go for the summer musical at my favorite community theatre.  I had to because the show was The Little Mermaid.  I have proclaimed my love for Ariel many times.  I often say she is my best friend.  Because of my loyalty to the mermaid herself I felt like I could try one more time.  I just wanted an ensemble part.  I could play a maid or a fish or something.

I worked really hard on my audition song.  I looked for something different and challenging.  I finally settled on These Palace Walls from Aladdin the Musical.  The time came and I walked in to an all new set of faces at the audition table.  I gave it my all with my song but was slightly discouraged when I didn’t receive any call-back music like I had at past auditions.  I prepared for my dance audition and that was even stranger.  Instead of a full 2 hours of crazy and packed rooms I was done in 15 minutes and left very unsure of anything.

A few days passed and I got an email that said I wasn’t getting called back for a lead but not to fret because ensemble was being cast from those who were not called back.  I thought as usual I would get an email saying thanks for trying but you weren’t cast.  Instead I received an email from the director saying we want to offer you a part as one of Ariel’s sisters, Atina.  I cried at my desk like a big idiot but it was amazing.   I finally made it!!!!

So starting in the next few weeks I am going to start a series of blogs called The Mermaid Chronicles.  I want to remember every detail so I am going to use this outlet to write down everything.  Stay tuned folks cause its almost time to go Under the Sea.

more mermaid

You Are Amazing!

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I know I have been away from my blog for a very long time but I wanted to come back now not only to share some exciting things happening to me in the very near future but to also tell you about the amazing organization I had the privilege of working with this weekend.

This year Louisiana hosted its first ever Miss Amazing Pageant.  Miss Amazing is not your normal run of the mill beauty pageant.  It is meant for girls and young women with disabilities.  This is a way for these genuinely amazing girls to feel empowered and embraced in a safe and loving environment.

I can tell you I have been to beauty pageants before and watched many an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras but this was very far from anything I have seen or experienced.  As you all know my cousin is special, and I have the biggest spot in my heart for her.  That being said the spot is also filled with her loving friends that have many different types of disabilities too.  Because of my knowledge and experience with her friends I felt like I was able to truly contribute to this organization in a very positive way.

The pageant was held at Theatre Baton Rouge over two days.  Friday the girls came in to compete in the talent competition.  This was optional for the ladies. Let me tell you they had no fear.  They sang, danced, cheered, did sign language! I can tell you it is not easy to stand on a big stage in the lights in front of an audience and perform, but every single one of them did AMAZING!

On the second day the girls were interviewed by the judges, this part I missed and I’m a little bummed about it but I heard it was great.  Then the main event was the evening wear.  Each girls came on stage and introduced herself to the audience.  Then they were walked on stage to show off their outfits with a right hand man.  There were some young men and some with disabilities that walked with the girls but they were all true gentlemen and the girls were so excited to have them there.

The best part for me was that every girls there was paired up with a buddy.  It just so happened they were a buddy short on Friday and I had the pleasure of pairing up with Aileena.  She was a beautiful 9 year old red head who LOVES Frozen and has down syndrome.  She was so so great.  I not only helped her but helped our fearless leader Amy do some stuff backstage.  Aileena was a trooper.  She followed me everywhere and helped me get everyone where they needed to be.  I will never ever forget her.  It was truly an honor.

Even though Aileena was my buddy I met so many special girls this weekend.  Callie and her mother were the most caring and sweet people.  Lydia, who may be the happiest person I’ve ever met, just so happens to be one of Randi’s friends.  Jasmine and Alaina had me cracking up backstage with their giggles about cute boys.  Lacey and her sister had a relationship any set of sisters should envy.  Mattie was my girl always keeping me on time.  Crystal had a heart of gold telling everyone how pretty they were.  Katie was so patient with the others.  Cameron and Autumn persevered and looked beautiful on stage.  Watching Skye sing Hannah Montana to her make up artist made my whole weekend.  And sweet sweet Emily who was so beautiful had the most genuine and amazing reactions when she won queen for her division.  I could cry just thinking about it.

This is going to be something that will remain special to me for a long time to come.  If you are interested in this organization please like the facebook page to keep updated on upcoming events.  https://www.facebook.com/LouisianaMissAmazingPageant/

And to Amy and Myeisha and your wonderful husbands thank you so much for doing this.  It was truly AMAZING!

Here are some pics from this weekend.  All of them are either mine personally or taken from SBJamesPhotography.com (check them out!)