Shit—Life—Happens

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“Shit happens” is a common phrase used to express the concept that unfortunate things in life are unavoidable. But rather than simply state, “life is full of unpredictable events,” it is more satisfying to utter this more vulgar phrase.

While I’m not clear on who coined the phrase, I do know it was first introduced to print by Connie Eble in 1983.

The 1994 movie Forrest Gump takes creative license in giving fictional character Forrest Gump all of the credit. In one scene, he runs into dog droppings while on a jog across country. When a man in the bumper sticker business points it out, Forrest replies, “It happens,” to which the man asks “What, shit?” and Forrest answers “Sometimes.” The very next shot shows a car slamming into another. And do you know what the bumper sticker says? “Shit Happens.”

Personally, I would never display such a vulgar phrase on my personal vehicle, but I would use it to summarize the theme of my birthday party weekend, which didn’t go according to plan.

For starters, when I walked into the gym on Thursday to go for a swim, staff informed me that the large pool was closed due to their being literal shit in the pool. Literally. Shit in the pool. Desperate for a workout, I lapped the kiddy pool about a hundred times. Needless to say, I did not get a good workout in before my party weekend.

Then on Friday, as my sister and I were packing for our 2-day mini-vacation, my dog has a seizure. After canceling our hotel reservations, we took the dog to the vet. She did not come home with us.

Not even an hour after I said goodbye to my dog, my nephew’s grandmother calls, saying he’s sick. Just in time for his birthday party.

Then the morning of, roughly an hour before Rylee’s big party, Walmart calls to inform us that they can’t make our cake because the image we requested infringes upon their “copyright policy.” Well, thanks for letting us know the day of, and heaven forbid he let one more cake slide. So we’re scrambling to get cupcakes before the party, because who the heck doesn’t offer cake at a party?

Let me remind you this little boy has had a hell of a year with his grandmother passing away and his many medical issues. All we wanted to do was throw him this awesome birthday party.

And did we accomplish it? Yes we did. Surprisingly enough.

For starters, we didn’t tell him the dog passed away. She’s “at the vets” until after school starts. We also distracted him with the decorations, which blew his mind, as well as a surprise visitor, a storm trooper from the emphasis 501st Legion. Needless to say he had a great time.

Oh, and by the way, the cupcakes were delicious.

Now that I’m thinking about it, the phrase “shit happens” doesn’t actually describe my weekend. I think the phrase “life happens” is more accurate. Don’t get me wrong, putting my dog down was total shit, but death and saying goodbye is just a part of life. Don’t I know it. Three months ago I said goodbye to my mom. And on Tuesday, my sister and I will say goodbye to our twenties and the remainder of our childhood.

Even though a lot of shit happened this week, my sister and I were still able to bring it together for Rylee. At least his birthday turned out to be a success. What else can you do when shit—life—happens?

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How Star Wars The Force Awakens Should Have Ended

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It’s Monday, and thus begins another painful, life-sucking, and emotionally crippling week of work, work, and more work, To alleviate the pain, if only for a little bit, here’s a video to kick-start your week! How Star Wars The Force Awakens Should Have Ended:

Now get up, get out there, and kick ass! And if all else fails, use the force!

Happy Monday! (If such a thing exists).

 

The Happy Holiday Atheist Elf

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for those who celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah. But what about atheist like me?  What joy do we get out of the holiday season?

Personally, I enjoy the decorations, the music, the food, and the shopping. I love buying gifts and opening gifts. More than that, I love wrapping gifts! Most of all, I enjoy hosting the holiday at my house.

When I was a child, and undecided about my philosophical views, I enjoyed the traditions of the season such as decorating the tree, shaking presents, and watching Christmas movies. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows after playing in the snow and decorating gingerbread men with my siblings. As an aunt, I’ve tried to replicate some of those experiences for my nephew by taking him to see the lights and showing him movies from my childhood.

ccc1One of my favorites is Will VInton’s A Claymation Christmas Celebration, a Christmas television special that originally broadcasted on CBS the year after I was born. The special featured stop motion clay animation and debuted alongside my other animated favorite, A Garfield Christmas. Watching these films with my mom and sister fills me with nostalgia and it’s nice to see my nephew appreciate them, too. Hopefully, when he’s an adult they’ll be a source of nostalgia for him as well.

I guess my point is no matter what you believe (or don’t believe) the holidays are an awesome time for everyone to share.

So don’t be a Scrooge, not when you can be Buddy from ELF. At least settle for Clark Griswold; at least he’s trying. Haha!

Have a happy holiday season, everyone!

I’m Having a Hobbit Hangover And Final Thoughts on #BOFA (Warning Minor Spoilers!)

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Official movie poster

Last night was such a high. My sister and I pulled Rylee out of school early to see the early showing of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. (Only an irresponsible adult would keep a child up late to watch a movie–haha!) After the movie, we took pictures in front of the movie poster and threw a Hobbit-style after party complete with Hobbit-themed decorations, cake, and games. Music from all three movies played in the background, along with some of our favorites from The Lord of the Rings. And after the boy went to bed, we broke out the ale and cheese and discussed the movie in more depth.

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We partied like it was Mereth Nuin Giliath (The Feast of Starlight)

To be honest the party provided a more satisfactory conclusion to the films than the movie did. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie, but it didn’t provide for me the catharsis and closure I expected. This may have been due to the lack of set-up, considering the film picked up right where it left off, with Smaug coming to burn down Laketown. There was no flashback or backtrack like in the second film to ease viewers back into the story. It was hard for me to be emotionally invested in characters that had little-to-no dialogue at the start of the movie. (Don’t get me started on the relationship between Tauriel and Kili). And after the dragon fell, there was little time to catch a breather before going into the final battle. And that’s what the movie was: a long battle–the title didn’t lie. For the casual viewer this was probably a godsend, but for me, it was a disappointment. I wanted to see more of the characters’ internal battles; instead I got a two-hour long external one.

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Legolas, taking bat shit crazy to a whole new level

And some of the battle sequences were cringe-worthy. There are people riding down on carts, trolls with catapults, trolls with random attachments, and trolls with body disfigurement. Might as well have had a troll in a tutu performing battle ballet. But worse were the unbelievable stunts pulled off by Legolas. Usually, these are the highlights of the action scenes, but some of his moves were just bat shit crazy–he even rode on a bat, literally!

Probably my greatest disappointment was the lack of closure at the end of the film. This movie was supposed to conclude not only the three films, but the series in general. As a fan saying goodbye to what has become a huge part of my young adult life, I wanted an ending more satisfying than all the multiple endings of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King combined. But once the battle was over, the movie wrapped up quickly. More like a “see yah” than a “Last Goodbye.” (Sorry, had to make the pun).

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Turns out, he’s not as cold as all that.

Bad CGI and over the top fight sequences aside, the movie really was worth seeing. There were plenty of wonderful scenes to make up for it, and as always, the characters were compelling. Bard, Thorin, and Bilbo were awesome as always, but the characters who really won the screen were Thranduil and Alfred. Yes, you heard me, Alfred! He was such a gem, offering comic relief and stealing every scene he was in. But never mind him–Thranduil! If ever you thought he was a cold and callous king you were wrong; this film reveals his sad back story and why he’s become the brooding king we love to hate in film two. If any of the scenes brought tears to my eyes it was his final one. Heartbreaking. Won’t spoil that for you!

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Not as cringe-worthy as this punch line: This bat was bred for one purpose . . . TO PARTY! (For those who saw the trailer, you’ll get this)

My final thoughts: go see this film with an open-mind. Don’t expect perfection. Roll with it and roll your eyes some too. It’s fun, moving, and at times cringe-worthy, everything we’ve come to expect from the Peter Jackson adaptations. It’s not the perfect end, but it’s still a good one.

Hope your experience is as enjoyable–or better–as mine. And if you’ve already seen the movie, take a moment to leave a comment below letting me know what you thought of it. I’m curious to know what others thought of the film or films in general.

Thank you for stopping by! I wish you all a very fond farewell!