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Happy Birthday Mama

Sunday, August 24, 2014 @ 08:08 PM
Author: Lincee

Mama

Dear Mama,

You are the most beautiful, caring, best-dressed woman I know. I love you to bits and reeeeeaaaally hope I get your ant-aging genes.

Your daughter,
Lincee Leigh

‘Begin Again’

Thursday, August 21, 2014 @ 12:08 PM
Author: Lincee

Begin Again

I recently received a text from my friend Blake asking if I had seen the movie Begin Again. He told me that if I had not seen the movie, I needed to stop whatever I was doing, get in my car, drive to the theater, buy a ticket and prepare to be transformed.

Blake: I don’t want to build it up too much, but you’ll thank me.

I immediately checked out the trailer.

They had me at Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine.

Another text from Blake revealed that he had purchased the soundtrack the minute he left the theater. This was extremely valuable information since Blake is a walking deejay.

You see, Blake and I are like pen pals, but way cooler. We send mix tapes (read: burned CDs) back and forth from Dallas to Houston. In manilla envelopes. With stamps and everything. We’ve been doing this for years. You can learn a lot from a person by their thematic representation of a playlist, and I would trust Blake with my iTunes account any day of the week.

To sum up, Keira Knightly, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine star in a musical drama from the writer and director of Once. If that’s not enough, Blake endorsed both the movie and the soundtrack.

I was sitting alone in the theater in less than 48 hours.

As you probably gathered from the trailer, Gretta (Knightly) and Dave (Levine) are writing partners who move to New York City – the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Dave gets a record deal and Gretta is discarded. She has resorted to singing in tiny bars in the East Village. Fortunately, washed up ex-record producer Dan (Ruffalo) discovers her around bourbon number three and offers to record her songs, her way, with New York City as their live studio. Gretta transitions from skeptical, to hesitant, into full-blown trust throughout the movie. And so does Dan.

The idea of recording a live album at various landmarks in New York City is exactly as cool and crazy as it sounds. Knightly, Ruffalo and Levine pour their emotions into each scene and I was swept up into the moment right along with them. The film has countless themes, but I believe the story is about how we must deal with choices we made in the past. We must build on the circumstances that have been handed to us, good or bad, and create something beautiful, new and exciting. And I love that Begin Again uses music to get us there.

How many of you can think of a song that immediately sparks a memory? I have dozens of them. This movie takes us through an array of human emotions and gives us a sneak peek into the healing that can come from a simple melody or a powerful guitar riff. It uses music to celebrate, mourn, escape and restore. To quote Blake, “It’s a story of recovery, freedom and forgiveness and about the life-changing ability of music.”

Clearly we both give Begin Again two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Music gives us the ability to write our own soundtrack to life. May yours be full of calming classical moments, dashes of down home gospel, flashes of hard hitting rock-n-roll, bits of soulful blues and of course, New Kids on the Block greatest hits.

Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 9.37.03 AM

I know what you’re thinking. You settled in last night to fry some brain cells because it had been a long day. And instead of Bachelor in Paradise, you were served a rather large helping of Michelle Money in Paradise with a generous side order of Chris’s knee hurts.

Remember my golden rule for watching this show dear reader. Look for the silver linings!

Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 9.39.28 AM

Lincee’s Episode 3 Bachelor in Paradise Playlist — Only the Strong Survive

And I Love Her — Harry Connick, Jr.
In a nutshell, Marcus and Lacy have a real relationship that is based on a firm foundation of attraction for each other, embarrassment for their fellow tree dwellers and a love of waterproof/chlorineproof/oceanproof necklaces. That’s the main reason he gave Lacy his rose.

Lacy – The Time of My Life — Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Lacy feels like she’s known Marcus her entire life. Everyone knows when you are that close to someone, the natural next step is to try and recreate the Dirty Dancing lift.

Not quite. Marcus needs to work on the move. Here’s a link to a training video.

I love finding an excuse to put that clip in recaps.

Okay, okay. Here’s the real thing. Watch and learn people. Watch and learn.

You Can’t Hurry Love — The Supremes
In one of the more entertaining montages of the evening, one camera follows Graham walking along the beach with Michelle Money, admitting AshLee’s tentacles are beginning to choke him. Then another camera features AshLee announcing her colors will be blush and bashful.

Graham: One day she just set the precedent that she’s with me. That’s very humbling and awesome, but also not really.
AshLee: I don’t want to waste anyone else’s time since I only like Graham.

Graham: I’m stressed.
AshLee: I’m sure that we will make it.

Graham: She even talked about me meeting her dad!
AshLee: My dad would be so proud of me that I picked Graham.

Graham: Yeah. She’s way ahead of me.
AshLee: Do you like my doily shorts?

AshLee finds a date card on her pillow. She runs to tell Graham the good news.

AshLee: This is why I came here. I have a connection with him. This is perfect. I can totally imagine myself living with him.
Graham: I know AshLee has feelings for me. There are issues we need to go over.
Lincee: Make sure to add “keep a close eye on my bunny” to that ever-growing list.

Wiggle It — 2 in a Room
At dinner, AshLee reminds Graham (in case he forgot) that she only came to Paradise because of him and her heart was set on the fact that she wanted a connection with him and only him. Graham wisely says, “But we’d never met before,” to which she replies, “I follow you on Instagram.”

Yep. That’s the same thing.

Graham decides that it’s safer for AshLee to just let her freak flag fly.

Graham: Outside of your breakdown [Clare asking him out] it’s been smooth sailing!

Graham tells her that he just wants to have a great time without any pressure and no “forever” talk. AshLee admits that they’ve been taking it slow long enough and now it’s time for the next step.

Enter forego night date card. This should be fun.

Graham says that it’s inappropriate to stay the night together, but he’s happy to stay up late and dance in the street. That’s when this happened:

No matter how hard I yelled and screamed in protest at the television, the scene kept unfolding before my eyes. AshLee wiggled her way into Graham’s arms and squished her lips against his as she writhed. She and Elise are a strange breed of woman that should be studied.

Graham admits that AshLee is not playing around and that all she has to do is move six inches to the left and six inches to the right to garner any and everyone’s attention. It looks like he kisses her back. They still go their separate ways at the end of the night. And I’d be willing to bet that this all ends with a panic attack and breathing into a paper bag in the back of an ambulance next week. And Graham is going to feel awful that he led her on since he gave her his rose at the ceremony.

Zack – Macho Man
The more Zack hangs around in the background, waiting for gentlemanly moments, the more I like him. He’s the one who always helped Chris up stairs and on the beach when he couldn’t walk. And he did a great job consoling Clare who was mourning the 10-year-anniversary of her father’s death. He seems to genuinely like Clare, so he gives her his rose.

The Sign — Ace of Base
What is the deal with this cast’s fascination with turtles? While Clare is praising Zack for being gentle, compassionate, strong, loving and genuine, she spies a huge turtle at the edge of the water laying eggs. She sees this as a sign from her father. A sign of new life! They aren’t in Paradise to hand out friendship roses. They are here to make babies. Obviously.

Later she arranges for a double date with Michelle Money and Robert. No, no. That’s not a typo. I meant to write Robert. You see, two minutes into the show, Michelle Money announces she is sexually attracted to Marquel. Then Danielle shows up and her emotions switch to “super I don’t know.”

Hmmm. I think Elise and AshLee have a pill for that. Clearly they are confident in what they know. Perhaps you can trade a date night hair style for one?

Clare thinks the best way for Michelle to get over Marquel (he’s so yesterday) is to go after Robert. He totally has a swing rose and who cares if Sarah is interested in him? If Michelle is super honest with Sarah, she can’t get mad about the double date. Read the signs! Robert is Michelle Money’s type.

Heads Carolina, Tails California — Jo Dee Messina
Too bad Michelle Money is not Robert’s type. The person you give your rose to is the person who remembers you told them a story about how you brought five blue shirts and had to borrow a sweet corral one from Graham. And that person is Sarah.

The Sweetest Thing — Juice Newton
Each season, there’s always a nice girl who just doesn’t belong in the cesspool. They never can understand why the boys don’t like them. They are constantly questioning their confidence and are often found alone and crying. I’m glad Robert gave her his rose and I have no doubt that he just wants to be friends.

Almost Paradise — Mike Reno
Danielle is the psychiatric nurse from Juan Pablo’s season. When she arrives in Paradise with a date card, she asks who is already partnered up? Michelle Money creates a new rule out of thin air: you must go with your gut without knowing any information about anyone. Pick the one you’re attracted to!

Immediately Clare flings her head onto Zack’s shoulder. Lacy was already sitting in Marcus‘ lap, plus they were holding hands speaking their secret language, so she knew that was out. AshLee’s eyelashes were replaced by daggers and a mental dare, scary enough to make Danielle think twice. And Graham was across the room!

She chooses Marquel. They explore nearby Campeche, pick flowers, moonwalk off the beaten path, strip down in a courtyard, swim, ask questions and almost get struck by lightning. All in all, it was a solid date and Danielle feels confident she will get Marcus’ rose.

Red Headed Stranger — Willie Nelson
Marquel and Danielle arrive back at the treehouse and everyone is contractually obligated to have a party out on the beach so the new contestant’s dramatic entrance can actually be considered dramatic. I thought walking through the sand in wedges was dramatic enough, but what do I know? Will she fall? Is she going down?

It’s Jackie from Sean’s season. Everyone thinks she’s beautiful and then immediately hate her for the date card she holds in her hand. The same rules apply. She must pick based on first impressions alone. And she picks Marquel.

This Kiss — Faith Hill
Marquel and Jackie explore the ruins that Robert and Clare explored on episode one. It was the exact same date, minus the ants. Marquel feels a spark with Jackie that he can’t explain, so he breaks his rule of never kissing on the first date. He tells her about the rule, explaining that he doesn’t typically do this and if she wants she can participate or she can back away, it’s totally up to her and now he’s going to go in for the kill and is she ready? It was the longest prologue to a kiss.

Marquel gives his rose to Jackie and Danielle is sent home packing a mere 24-hours after arriving. To quote the medical professional, “It wasn’t Paradise. It was Marq-hell.”

This is what it has come to people.

One Way or Another — Blondie
Elise lives in a strange world full of dream boards that encourage her to visualize her future. The problem is that her dream board is very fluid and she can go from visualizing her life with Dylan one day, and visualizing her life with Chris the very next. This concerns exactly everyone living in the treehouse. She politely thanks them for their concern and then rushes off to get ready for her overnight date with Chris who is “ready to get down and dirty” because “Elise has a bangin’ body.”

When the forego card arrives, Elise tucks it in her bosom to keep safe. She wants to put it on her dream board because their names look soooooo good together. Chris wants to skip through the boring stuff because “he’s so horny.” Elise attempts to dip a toe in the non-bubbling hot tub as I wondered if her emerald green sequin bikini would discolor in the water. Also, isn’t it itchy?

Elise: I came here to find a boyfriend. And a husband.
Lincee: And now you have herpes! Victory!

Walk This Way — Aerosmith
Chris somehow torn some meniscus in his knee while in the ocean. He tells us every chance he gets that he’s in a lot of pain. As someone who tore their ACL in Cuba (salsa dancing of course), in a country where there isn’t any ice, plus a five hour plane ride back to Houston, I sort of get why he’s complaining.

Knee

To which I reply, “Suck it up.”

He sucks it up long enough to forego card with the bangin’ body and then he heads to the hospital. Elise proudly wheels him out in a wheelchair, teetering in her four-inch heels and Zack carries him to his bunk bed. Elise is a caretaker and can’t wait to fetch ice for him all day long. Then she’s going to fetch a 2×4 and a sledge hammer!

Elise: This such good training. We might be in the hospital together some day.

Chris is the last to hand out rose at the ceremony and no one is surprised when he calls Elise’s name. He tells her that he can’t give her the rose, because he’s leaving (due to an injury–you may not have been aware that he hurt his knee?) and he wants her to go with him.

She responds with the enthusiasm of a girl who just received an engagement ring instead of a girl who has been in a three-day relationship with a notorious franchise villain. Everyone pities her behind her back. Then Chris whips up some tears and gives his rose to the one person who deserves true love. Michelle Money.

Roar — Katy Perry
Michelle Money has the eye of the tiger. She’s a fighter. She’s dancing through the fire. She is a champion, and you’re going to hear her roar.

I think her rose deserves a slow motion celebration.

I hope you enjoy this week’s playlist!

Friends lift each other up

Monday, August 18, 2014 @ 11:08 AM
Author: Lincee

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