2.17.2015

The Post About Which Oscar Nominees to See and Skip

The Oscars are this Sunday. That may not even be on your radar, but I adore films and fancy dresses and awkward small talk on a red carpet so I’m counting down the hours.

Dozens of films have been nominated for writing, acting, directing, hairdos and the stuff like that there. I watched them all for you. And they’re not all worthy of your time.

Here's a list of the films nominated for the major awards. I've listed them in order you should see them and where you can catch them.

Wild. (2 nominations) As good as the book, which was perfection. 
March 17: iTunes, Amazon

Selma. (2 nominations) Wow. Everyone should see it. All of us.
In Theaters

Birdman. (9 nominations) Delightful. Quirky, yet superb acting from a fantastic ensemble.
Google Play, iTunes, Amazon

American Sniper. (6 nominations) Not as good as the book, but still great. Bradley Cooper's accent is distracting at time, but then he's so pretty.
In Theaters

Whiplash. (5 nominations) Really just two actors and some jazz music. But intense and so very good. 
February 24: Amazon, iTunes

The Imitation Game. (8 nominations) Benedict Cumberbatch is beloved for a reason. Thriller and learning history all in one. 
In Theaters

Gone Girl. (1 nomination) The book is magic…dark magic. The movie captures that darkness perfectly. If you don’t like weirdness, it’s not for you.
Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Redbox, Netflix DVD

The Theory of Everything. (5 nominations) It's a beautiful true story of romance and science. If you can pretend they didn't eventually divorce, then it's worth it. 
iTunesAmazonGoogle Play, Redbox, Netflix DVD

Still Alice. (1 nomination) It will break your heart in all the ways you think.
In Theaters

Foxcatcher. (5 nominations) Steve Carell is worth the hype. It's based on a true story that's fascinating. However, it's weak in several areas which is why it didn't get a nod for Best Picture.
March 3: iTunes, Amazon

Nightcrawler. (1 nomination) It's a ruthless thriller set in the world of LA crime reporting. It's a lot to digest, but good.
iTunes, Amazon

Boyhood. (6 nominations) Hmm...I wanted it to have a plot beyond just normal day-to-day life. It does not.
iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Redbox, Netflix DVD

The Grand Budapest Hotel. (9 nominations) Director and Screenwriter Wes Anderson gathers the same old crew for another weird and whimsical film. Good, but shouldn’t have been lauded this way.
HBO GO, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Redbox, Netflix DVD

Into The Woods. (3 nominations) You MUST love singing. And not happy endings.
March 24: iTunes, Amazon

The Judge. (1 nomination) I wanted this film to be good, but it really wasn’t. I think Robert Duvall received a nomination simply because he’s over 80. It's the Betty White effect. 
Amazon, iTunes, Google Play

Inherent Vice. (2 nominations) Nope. Even Reese Witherspoon cannot redeem it.
AmazoniTunes

Two Days, One Night. (1 nomination) It's in French. I CAN'T EVEN YOU GUYS. But it's not bad if you can pay attention to read the screen. This is not my strong suit.
In Theaters (but probably not where you live)

Bonus
How To Watch the Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts Online
Where to Watch the Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

This is just an overview. For a detailed look at all things Oscar, consider buying my first ebook The Popcast’s Guide to the Oscars. 

One review: "Truly brilliant work on the Oscars guide. My friend was reading excerpts out loud yesterday and we were both cracking up."







What were some of the best films you saw in the last year?

2.13.2015

The Post About The Oscars Giveaway

Knox McCoy and I have been cohosting a podcast called The Popcast for 77 episodes.

Our mission statement is simple: Educating the world on things that entertain, but do not matter.

For example, this week we tackled these hard hitting subjects:
  • Book and movie sequels
  • Brian Williams
  • The Grammys
  • Channing Tatum
  • Madonna
  • The BAFTAs
  • Jennifer Lawrence
It's one of the most fun things I do each week. We don't teach people how to start a business, or write a book, or wax poetically about the Middle East - we just chat about pop culture in the most entertaining way possible.

And believe it or not, people listen. People, other than my mom.

When we launched, we were featured in New & Noteworthy. Last month, we were featured in What's Hot.



Do you know how long I've waited to refer to myself as "what's hot?"

A LONG TIME INTERNET.

To celebrate that milestone, Knox and I wrote our first e-book. The Podcast's Guide to the Oscars

Gorgeous cover design by Molly Gentry

Nine chapters to fully prepare you for Hollywood's biggest night. Whether you watch or not.
  1. When To Watch, When To Not Watch
  2. But What About If I Haven't Seen Some of These Movies?
  3. So Who Is Going To Win?
  4. But Who Do We Want To Win?
  5. The Oscar Cake Pop Eating Game / The Oscar Drinking Game
  6. Let's Get Weird
  7. Blondtage Bingo
  8. Oscar Snubs
  9. Who Are We Irrationally Rooting For?
Reader Review: "Truly brilliant work on the Oscars guide. My friend was reading excerpts out loud yesterday and we were both cracking up."

Support us by grabbing your own copy here

To celebrate this milestone of celebrating another milestone, I wanted to host a little giveaway.

Two winners will be chosen to select between one dozen Oscar cake pops shipped anywhere in the US ($40 value) or a $25 Amazon gift card.


P.S. I make cake pops.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

2.05.2015

The Post About How To Make Friends as an Adult


Leslie is having a baby next month. She's ridiculously cute.



It's annoying.

Let's be honest. We want those who are never fat who are getting fat to look fat. I can say that about Leslie, because we're friends.


Leslie and I didn't grow up together or meet at college where many great friendships find their origin. We met at church. We saw each other occasionally in the halls or near the doughnuts, and we liked each other immediately. But we were in our thirties. Could we become friends?


Jerry Seinfeld suggests no.




He's not wrong. Making friends as an adult is challenging. My friend Kara, who I've been best friends with since 1993, knows all my secrets. ALL OF THEM. She also knows the easy stuff like I love guacamole and guys with nice forearms and sitting at restaurant tables far from toddlers.
We have a shorthand that's delightful.


But even still, Kara and I don't connect on everything. She thinks Twitter is weird. Shopping is boring to her. Her career doesn't define her. She does not find The Bachelor riveting.


That's where Leslie comes in... Leslie boldly came up to me one Sunday and said "I'm going to need us to go to breakfast and become friends."


We did both.


Here are my tips for doing the same:


1. Find strangers. Take a class, join a club, volunteer, or join a gym. Also, look at the activities you're already doing and see who's around. Do you like any of those people? Maybe you spend all your time on social media - who's there that you like? My real-life friend Erin was a stranger I met on Twitter. We both loved books, music, Doctor Who and snark. One day, she suggested we meet for coffee. She brought me a cupcake and we've been friends ever since.


2. Find non-strangers. Who are your friends' other friends? Do any of them love the things you love? What about your friends' significant others? What about the people you went to school with who have grown up to be interesting adults. Facebook is a great screening tool. Look at the folks you haven't unfollowed and consider seeing them in person.


3. Speak up. When you're around someone you think might become a friend - talk to them. Ask questions, learn their story and share yours. It doesn't have to be a 3 hour meal, but snippets of conversation can lead to learning all about a person. Be vulnerable, not dramatic. Be transparent, not codependent.


4. Don't give up. I'm not suggesting stalking your prospects, but people can be shy or distracted or in a busy season. Don't be afraid to keep putting forth effort to get to know someone.


5. Don't look for a BFF. Sometimes we think we need the types of friends who will be in our wedding or be the godparent to our kids. Lower the bar. Look for a book friend or sports friend or parenting friend or neighbor friend or a Real Housewives of Atlanta friend or one of each. Simply fill in your gaps.


Quality friendships are ridiculously valuable and they require real effort. Until they don't. The effortless friendship is worth any awkward pursuit.


How do you make friends as an adult? 


2.03.2015

The Post About Instagram Commentary

Here are a few additional thoughts on some Instagram photos I recently posted. 


I'm a member of See Jane Write, a network of women writers. In the last year or so, SJW has hosted three events about writing a book and I've attended all three. I keep thinking I want to write a book. Then I remember how difficult it is to write 500 words here and the nap required immediately after I manage to do so.

In the workshop represented by the photo above, the author mentioned taking roundtrip train trips from Birmingham to New Orleans in order to get her pages done. However, I just read The Girl on the Train and I can't even ride the train at the zoo anymore.

Have you ever wanted to write a book? 


Isn't coffee the dreamiest? My parents drank Folgers instant when I was growing up and I thought it was possibly the worst drink ever. Then my college roommate Angie introduced me to coffee beans. Then my friend Jason introduced me to french press. Then my friend Patrick introduced me to an automatic frother. I want you to meet them too.

How do you drink your coffee?


Erin, Megan, Lauren and I drove to Atlanta on a school night to see Ben Howard at The Tabernacle. He's the hat trick - British, Singer, and Songwriter. This song, In Dreams, produces levels of serotonin comparable to macaroni and cheese. I know this, because it's on my serotonin playlist.



What artist or song would be on your serotonin playlist?



I tested positive for the flu last week. It floored me for five solid days. I simply moved from the bed to the couch and back again, dragging the duvet around like a lost, feverish child. How do moms and dads get well since kids don't care if you're dying and sleepy? My mother dropped supplies on my porch multiple times during my black plague. You guys...everyone needs a mom.

What is your go-to comfort when you're sick?
 
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