birthday messages (to past and present)

Someone should start a blog about birthday messages (to past and present) . . .

Wouldn’t it be cool to see a blog that pays tribute to whoever’s birthday it is on the day of the post? Maybe the blogger would limit it to people who are alive or to friends, or maybe it would even include birthday wishes (or some kind of message) to people who are already dead. For example, if it were Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, maybe the blog post would be about how everyone views him today as an important figure in the Civil War and history of slavery. It could also mention things he’s remembered for (like the Gettysburg Address) – kinda a letter to Abe with an update on what his life means.

Well, I’ll give a full-length example of a post for such a blog because today is not Lincoln’s birthday, but it is tthe birthday of one of my best friends . . .

The Birthday Boy.

__________________________________________________________________________

Lucas,

Happy birthday! If you didn’t know, today is your birthday! I hope it’s a great one. It’s the big 2-0 on the 2-0! Make sure to wear something bright and do a birthday dance.

It stinks that we can’t all see you in person on your birthday, but at least I can still give you your present! Well, it’s really the invitation to a present.

You are cordially invited to attend the Montana Skies concert at The Brown Street Club on Saturday, January 14, 2012. I have made reservations for six at 6:30 = concert time. You may bring five of your closest friends for an evening of food, fun, and fentertainment (I had to keep the alliteration going.). Do I sound like a sweepstakes spokesperson yet? So we’ll go downtown, take you to eat wherever you’d like, head to the concert (where we might grab another bite to eat, or dessert!), enjoy the music, and then of course wander around downtown.

I can hardly wait. I’ve almost given away this secret like 15 times, but I made it! I didn’t tell you. Anyways, I hope this is something I tell you often: thank you for being my friend. I’m honored to know you, and I hope this will be another great year. God will continue to do awesome things in your life as you follow Him!

Your friend,
Celeste
__________________________________________________________________________
 
Questions/Answers about Aforementioned Birthday Gift

1. Who is Montana Skies, you may be asking? This is Montana Skies.

They mix guitar and cello and play everything from classical to rock. I’ll let you read and hear more about them from their website, www.montanaskiesmusic.com. There’s a free 13-track download there, too. What am I saying! You always know more about music than I do, so you’ve probably heard of them.
 
2. What is The Brown Street Club?
The Brown Street Club is a restaurant/music venue in downtown Greenville. They’re known for weekly live jazz performances. I’ve never been yet, so I hope it’s as cool as it sounds.
3. Whom can you invite?
Anyone, really. (I sure hope I’ll be on “the list.”) Of course, if you wish to invite more or less than five others, then we can adjust reservations. Reservations are the “tickets” to the concert, and they’re easy to change online.
 
4. Will pineapple be involved?
True partiers cut pineapple, not cake.

The best fruit known to mankind.

5. What time does the concert start?
6:30 PM, which is the time of our reservation. We might want to be there a little earlier just to ensure we get good seats and all.
 
6. Should you bring anything?
 TBA.
 
7. Did I really create a question number seven just so that I could have seven items in this list?
Yes. Yes, I did.
 
P.S. Another good number is 42. This post is now complete.
 
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movies to watch for (and my predictions for best movies of 2012)

Someone should start a blog about movies to watch for . . .

Every time I’m ready to head to the movies, I have not the slightest clue about which ones are out, much less which ones are worth seeing. I probably can’t name a single movie out in theaters right now.

Someone should start a blog that keeps updated posts on movies to look out for in the near future. The blog could also include some movie reviews (after the fact), but it would focus mostly on upcoming movies.

Hm. So what kind of factors would the blogger have to consider in calling these movies worthy of “look out for this one” status? Probably, at minimum, these things:

  • Actors/actresses in the movie and their roles – Is this Harrison Ford in another Indiana Jones type film, or is he branching out and playing a softie minivan-driving dad?
  • Director, screenwriter, and the other big shots – If James Cameron is directing, it’s probably a winner.
  • Plot originality – No offense to the genre of romantic comedies, but if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

Anyways, in celebration of the almost new year, I’d like to give my predictions for movies to watch for based on these factors.

Predictions for Best Movies of 2012

1. The Hobbit

Peter Jackson directing. Most of the original cast returning. Based on the novel by Tolkien. Follows in the footsteps of the trilogy for The Lord of the Rings, one of the highest-grossing film series of all time. Need I say more? Look for it in December.

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

2. The Great Gatsby

Sure to be another great book-to-movie, this adaptation of Fitzgerald’s novel stars three big names: Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The film is directed by Baz Luhrmann, whose previous work includes Romeo + Juliet (which also starred DiCaprio) and Moulin Rouge, which was nominated for Best Picture back in 2001. I’m personally stoked to see this film, since DiCaprio is my favorite actor by far for his history of films like Titanic, Revolutionary Road, Inception, and Catch me if You Can, to name a few. I also look forward to seeing Mulligan’s development as an actress. For her work in Never Let Me Go, she was described as an actress who “feels” instead of acts. I can’t wait to see the two together. This one also comes out in December.

Cast of The Great Gatsby

3. Men in Black III

Though worldwide earnings were “down” to $442 million for the second movie, I believe it’s safe to say that people like the Men in Black movies. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in their classic partnership. Can you believe it’s been over 10 years since they first hit the big screen together? Smith has developed so much as an actor since then, breaking his “funny man” stereotype with roles in The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, Ali, and I am Legend. Though he’ll likely be cracking jokes on screen for this one, I think his recent successes will bring a loyal fan base to theaters in May.

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in Men in Black

4. The Wedding

Although I haven’t heard much talk about this movie, it’s one of those “ensemble” or “all-star cast” types, with the big names being Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, and Robin Williams, plus more. I won’t claim the plot is very original (it’s one of those “let’s pretend we’re married for this-and-this reason”), but similar films like The Family Stone, which Keaton also starred in, have done well. It’s sure to appeal to families that want a good laugh. Look for it in October.

5. Les Miserables

This must be the year for novel-to-movies, because yet another classic, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, is lighting up the screen. The film will attract not only the literature lovers and those just curious enough to see a movie about a book they read in high school, but also those wanting to see how the producers have adapted this from its popular stage form to film. (Besides, Susan Boyle popularized the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical version in 2009. When things like that seep into pop culture, people don’t forget it.) Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway are the three main characters. Expect to see it in theaters in December. (Are you, like me, starting to wonder why all the good movies come out in December? It’s gotta be some kind of marketing scheme to steal our money intended for Christmas gifts.)

6. Safe House

This is a suspense/thriller, and the main plot is that a CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) must move a criminal (Denzel Washington) to a new safe place before violent forces kill them both. I believe the movie has a few things going for it: Denzel, the genre, and, of course, the whole CIA ingredient. It’s out in February.

7. The Vow

Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams and based on true events, this is the story of how a couple’s life is torn apart when a car accident takes away the wife’s memory, and she can no longer remember her husband. He has to try to win her heart all over again. The film hits theaters in February, the perfect time to catch the romantics looking for a good Valentine’s Day date. Both of the stars previously acted in Nicholas Sparks book-to-films, so they’re sure to know how to pull the heartstrings.

The Vow

*** If you’re mathematical, unlike me, then you might have noticed that 3 out of 7 of my top picks are book-to-movies. I can’t tell you what percentage that is, but I would like to recommend reading this recent post, What Should Come First . . . by fellow blogger BookBlob, if you need help deciding whether to read the books or watch the movies first.