Blogging, Giveaway Junkie, Movies are Magical

If This Were My Last Blog Post

Firelands by Piper Bayard***In celebration of my friend Piper Bayard‘s new book, FIRELANDS, she’s holding a pretty epic contest for both bloggers and readers (seriously – the prizes will blow your chipmunk stripes off). Check out the details here (deadline: July 19, 2013). Bloggers can enter by publishing apocalypse-themed posts. So, ah, hopefully it goes without saying, but: This is my submission.***

I recently watched a movie starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, called Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. In the opening scene, a polished, upbeat radio DJ announces:

Once again, if you are just tuning in… The final mission to save mankind has failed. The 10 mile-wide asteroid known commonly as Matilda is set to collide with Earth in exactly 3 week’s time.

The black screen fades to a close-up of Carell (“Dodge”) and his wife in their car, staring straight ahead.

And we’ll be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of our countdown to the end of days, along with all of your classic rock favorites.

Cue: The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”

Best.

Opening.

Ever.

I want my last blog post to be like this movie. Dark. Funny. Romantic. Complete with a dog named Sorry.

Sorry's got regrets. Oh yes, he does.
Sorry’s got regrets. Oh yes, he does.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is disturbingly realistic in so many ways. No cell phones. Traffic jams. Looting. $8.50 for a bottle of window cleaner.

Total lawlessness.

It begs the question: How would the world spend its last days? Would there be time for reflection? Regret? Time for anything but? Would there be time for new connections? They say live every day like it’s your last, but when it’s everyone’s last? What then?

What would I say to you, dear Chipmunks, if it was all about to go up in flames?

Jules-apocalypse

Yeah, okay, so what? My last blog post and I’m petty ’til the end. Sue me. Go ‘head. Try to find a lawyer right before armageddon. It’s honesty that gets you through those pearly gates, Chipmunks. Remember that.

Bloggers: What would your last post look like? Bloggers/All: What would you do the day before the apocalypse?

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FIRELANDS

Available from Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle

Also in e-book at Barnes & Noble and Kobo,

and at iTunes for iPad and mobile devices.

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Blogging, Movies are Magical

Get A Clue!

Thoughtsy and Go Jules Go
Thoughtsy and Go Jules Go

One of my adorable and hilarious bloggy friends, Thoughtsy of Thoughts Appear, propositioned me recently.

No, she didn’t offer to share her prized Pop-Tarts (but she did give me animated ‘stache glasses and flavored vodka when we met last summer at the BlogHer ’12 conference).

I mean come on.
I mean come on. Amazeballs.

She offered me a guest post spot on her blog, for one of her regular fun features: Movies Teach Us!

After Thoughtsy took a slushie in the face as an act of solidarity, I could hardly refuse.

Can you guess what movie I picked?

I know his 'stache was legendary, Josh, but for the love of God (ha ha, get it?), put down the Nietzsche and focus on your chin pubes.
I know his ‘stache was legendary, Josh, but for the love of God, put down the Nietzsche (ha ha, get it? “Love of God”? Nietzsche?) and focus on your own chin pubes.

Click here to read it!

See ya over there!

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Movies are Magical

In With the In Crowd…Or Maybe I Just Had A “Cinemacoma”

Chipmunks, can we start by having a little moment of truth?

I am not cool.

But this weekend I did something cool.

I am still not cool.

And I’m cool with that.

On Saturday night, Babs (that’s my mom. See? Not cool) and I drove to Brooklyn for a screening of the short comedy film, Cinemacoma. Cinemacoma was written by Vanessa Marlowe, and produced by Maria Soccor, two amazing women I met during the My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours (MPACTY) pilot episode shoot. They both have impressive resumes, and quite frankly, I’m glad I didn’t know this when we first met.

Babs and I left insanely early since we had no idea where we were going, and wound up with 2 hours to kill. The neighborhood seemed pretty dicey. I’d gone online and found a hipster-y pizza place nearby, so was fairly certain our lives weren’t in danger. Babs was still skittish about the mean streets of Brooklyn, but I convinced her to walk “just one more” block while I diligently explained the meaning of hipster:

“You know like those girls in purple jeans with the wool caps that dangle jauntily from the backs of their heads? And guys with scarves, lots of scarves. And facial hair. Like if yuppies and hippies had a baby. It’s like… they’re like what Hot Topic is to punk, you know? They’re trying so hard to look like they’re not trying at all. Like what the hell is badass about shopping at the mall and paying $30 for tights with holes in them? …I don’t think I’m explaining this very well. But trust me. You’ll like this restaurant.”

We ignored panhandlers and souvenir shops, and opened a nondescript door labeled Barboncino Pizza. A thick, red velvet curtain slapped us in the face. It was heavy. Babs tripped. We shoved the curtain aside, and there lay a sprawling, posh, exposed-brick, hip-ass pizza place. We had stumbled down the rabbit hole, seen Oz, arrived at the pearly gates, or something.

Barboncino Pizza, photo courtesy of http://newyork.metromix.com.
Barboncino Pizza, photo courtesy of http://newyork.metromix.com.

The rest gets a little hazy, because I swear I really did see God: I had my first sazerac (rye whiskey and bitters, neat, with a lemon peel twist, thankyouverymuch). I’m pretty sure the last 30 years were just training for this drink.

I almost forgot I had a blog. ...No. No, that would never happen.
I almost forgot I had a blog. …No. No, that would never happen.

When 8 o’clock rolled around, Babs and I stumbled walked a few blocks to LaunchPad, a multi-purpose space that functions as a childcare facility by day, art gallery/film screening venue by night. We chitchatted with Maria and Vanessa briefly and took our seats.

Launchpad during art showing. Click for photo credit.
Launchpad during an art showing. Click for photo credit.

In Cinemacoma, Vanessa plays a women who’s watched too many movies, and can only speak to her husband in film quotes. It was a fantastic showcase of her impressions. During the Q&A session after the screening, Vanessa explained that she’d originally written Cinemacoma as a spec script for Saturday Night Live.

Needless to say, keep an eye out for these two.

No. Seriously. Start by watching Vampire Diaries – Maria just scored a 4-episode role! Yes. She is going to rub elbows with THIS:

ian-somerhalder-gq-feature-01

Do you ever feel like you’re cheating and hanging out with the cool crowd? …And, um, how do you define “hipster”?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored; all opinions expressed are totes my own.

Disclaimer of the above disclaimer: I really wish I was getting paid to mention these joints. Do any companies sell pre-made sazeracs?

Movies are Magical, Uncategorized

Oh My God. I Didn’t Read the Book.

I have a confession to make. I don’t read a lot (blogs excluded).

But I used to.

In fact, one of my earliest guilty pleasures was indulging in the Baby-Sitter’s Club “junior” series spin-off, the Little Sister series. By 9-years-old, I knew I was way too mature for these beginner chapter books about 7-year-old

An early guilty pleasure.

Karen Brewer, but I devoured every single one I could get my hands on. My best friends, “The Twins,” and I would sometimes sit on the floor of their small bedroom and each read an entire book. For years, I read a new book every single day. Friends’ parents would always ask, “What are you reading now?” when I came over.

When I was 13, they made the Baby-Sitter’s Club into a movie. I called up my oldest childhood friend, and slightly shame-faced but excited, we met at the mall to see it. By then we were way too old for that stuff, even though the baby-sitters in the movie were our age. We loved it.

By 13, I was definitely aware that you were ‘supposed’ to read the books first, and felt superior every time I fell into that category. Books were for smart people and movies were for…less smart people. Right?

As I got older, and books appropriate for my age became more and more dull to me, I rarely read anything. I worked at a book store in my late teens, and when people asked for recommendations, I pointed them to Oprah’s book club list and fed them lines from other customers. I hadn’t read any of the books on the counter, and I was constantly ashamed. Reading was suddenly a chore, something I’d need to do to prove I was smart, or worthy of intellectual conversation.

Then, of course, HE happened. I’m talking Harry Potter. Then David Sedaris. Bill Bryson. Twilight. Percy Jackson. It became easier and easier to allow myself to read what I wanted to read, just as I had done when I was 9-years-old. If it was popular, unpopular, meant for teenagers, I didn’t care. I naturally gravitated towards fantasy and humorous memoirs, and I gave myself permission to give up on a book whenever I wanted to if it wasn’t gripping. Oh, the freedom! I read more, but only when I wanted to, just as I do today.

Two weeks ago, I saw The Hunger Games and I loved it. I’ve never read any of the books. And guess what? I was GLAD I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was exactly what a movie-going experience should be; I was emotionally invested within the first 5 minutes, even though I had only just met Katniss and her younger sister.

I carry it with me everywhere.

I think both mediums, books and film, can produce magic. There are plenty of movies that inspired me to go back and read the book (and vice versa), and I’ve enjoyed them both for completely different reasons (The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll is a perfect example).

But I’ll be honest. I still carry a little of that old ‘The Book Is Best’ prejudice. Right now I’m reading The Help, and am enthralled. I won’t let myself see the movie until I finish.

I’m dying to know, where do you fall on the book vs. the movie argument?

Photo credit (Little Sister book): http://childrenofthenineties.blogspot.com