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MOVIE REVIEW: The New “Cinderella” & Cate Blanchett as the Original Mean Girl

A quick GOOGLE search will tell you that a “Cinderella Complex” describes a woman who isn’t capable of changing her bad situation. She needs to be rescued by a man. I’m very familiar with this term because my mother warned my sister and I about it when we were young. We would read the Disney Princess stories and then discuss the elaborate weddings we’d have with our own beautiful, wealthy Princes.

“YOU have a Cinderella Complex,” Mom would say and even though we were little and didn’t know what it meant, it effectively killed the fantasy. Continue reading →

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CITY HIKES: “Arbor Hills” & Tarantula Valleys

The snow cleared in time for us to take a hike this week so we headed to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano. Arbor Hills has paved as well as unpaved & bike trails so we were able to avoid all the mud the snow left in its wake (there WAS enough left for a miniature snowball fight though). The Arbor Hills website (http://www.plano.gov/facilities/facility/details/Arbor-Hills-Nature-Preserve-20) claims that it offers about 200-acres of natural beauty. I missed most of it though because I brought along three little girls who started complaining minutes into our hike. What I saw in that time though was gorgeous. Continue reading →

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MOVIE REVIEW: “Chappie” & Why Humans Suck

One thing is abundantly clear from Director Neill Blomkamp’s movies.

Human Beings suck.

We’re heartless and self-serving and usually very dangerous. The humans who AREN’T hell-bent on world domination are most often blindly serving some terrible political machine. Blomkamp made his thoughts clear to audiences in the excellent District 9 and then the disappointing Elysium so it’s no surprise that his new hero is a robot. Continue reading →

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THE DALLAS FLEA: Spring Show this Saturday!

I know that NOTHING in North Texas feels like Spring right now but that’s going to change in a few days. In fact, it’s going to be a sultry 50-degrees by Saturday when The Dallas Flea: Spring Show gets cranking at Trinity Groves! It’s from 9am to 4pm and will feature vendors selling handmade, vintage and one-of-a-kind goodies. Here’s a link to the website so you can browse:

http://www.thedallasflea.com/ Continue reading →

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When the Titanic Goes Down, I’ll Be the Guy Who Hits the Propeller

Everyone thinks that deep down inside, they’re a Hero. We all assume that if our life was a distaster movie, we would be the one who acts heroically and helps everyone to safety.

I know the truth though. History has proven time and time again that when shit goes down, I lose it. In fact, if I was in a disaster movie, I wouldn’t be the Hero. I’d be the guy engulfed in flames. Continue reading →

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RECIPES: Mary’s Strata

When I was a little girl, my mother would make a breakfast casserole for us every Christmas. It was filled with eggs, crumbled sausage and that sharp cheddar cheese that comes in a block. It was incredibly tasty, but she had to make it the night before so the eggs could properly soak the bread. That’s what gave it such an awesome, custardy texture. It was always strange to watch Mom fry sausage and whisk eggs on Christmas Eve though and she did seem annoyed by the interruption. I clearly remember her working on that late-night-breakfast while drinking a glass of Cold Duck. Continue reading →

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MOVIE REVIEW: What We Do in the Shadows (“Real World” for Vampires)

The first thing you need to know about “What We Do in the Shadows” is that it’s really stupid. This mockumentary about vampires sharing a “flat” in modern times is little more than an extended comedy sketch repeating the same jokes. If you DON’T prepare yourself for this fact then you will be like my husband, who declared 5 minutes into the film, “This is barely watchable.”

It’s an entirely different story for those who prepare themselves for something light and goofy. If you’re like ME and love the deadpan Kiwi wit of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (who wrote and directed this) then you will adore “What We Do in the Shadows.” Continue reading →

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WINE ‘N FILM CRITICS: The Lazarus Effect “3 Paws Up”

I saw “The Lazarus Effect” last night with Rebekah Black, Sybil Summers, Richie Whitt & Guest Critic James Lane. Then we chatted about it after drinking copious amounts of cheap wine. Believe me, we NEEDED the wine for this one! Enjoy & please forgive the swear words. I dropped my recorder!

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Oral Fixation “Regrets” & Ronnie the Liar

There’s a great program here in North Texas called Oral Fixation. It’s a website where writers are challenged to tell a story about a given subject, then have a chance to tell their story onstage at the Wyle Theater. I learned about Oral Fixation from my friend Emily Trube, who was able to tell her “Go With the Flow” story just a few months ago. You can find her video and learn more about submitting here:

http://oralfixationshow.com/

I turned in my own story for their “Writing on the Wall” show and received my REGRETS email earlier this week (dammit!). I decided to go ahead and post it here because…well, because I like it. Telling stories about my Mom always makes me feel like she’s as close as the other room, and not deceased for almost 10 years. This was also a very important time for both of us, so I give you:

RONNIE THE LIAR *names have been changed to protect the liars Continue reading →

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CITY HIKES: Dogwood Canyon & Babe’s Scary Bunny

This weeks hike took me back to Cedar Hill because I was interested in the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center. I discovered it when I got lost leaving the Cedar Hill State Park and the FREE ADMISSION sign virtually screamed at me from the side of the road. Sorry but as much as I love exploring these trails, paying the entrance fees is getting expensive. Especially if I’m taking my kids, like I did this time.

Dogwood Canyon is also right next door to the Cedar Hill State Park which has been my favorite hike so far. I thought it might be the “Lite” version of CHSP and that it might offer a glimpse of the rumored Cedar Hill black panther we’ve heard about. That said, the Dogwood Canyon volunteers looked at me like I was crazy when I asked about the panther so…maybe not. Continue reading →