Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Back


I absolutely love Fall, it’s my favorite time of year, and last week Fall officially returned for another Fall-tastic year filled with warm colors, and exciting fall fun.

Can I just take a moment to embrace the inner “Yay” moment I’m currently having
[pause while I do my happy dance…and done]

The Return of Fall of course brings with it the return of some of my favorite things, like some of my favorite T.V shows





And of course Fall T.V wouldn't be as fun if it didn't add a new shows (or two ) to obsess about.

But T.V and beautifully colored leaves aren't the only reason why I love Fall. I think every girl out there will agree, Fall wouldn't be fall without the shoes.


Yes the shoes... They cement my love affair with Fall and seriously take me to my happy place. I heart Shoes...But there's more to love about Fall especially when the weather cools and there is a sudden chill in the air; a chill that allows me to cuddle up on the couch with my husband in my fuzzy socks and this...


I may not be a huge fan of coffee, but Soy Hot Chocolate with a hint of nutmeg...Yummerrific. Yes indeed, Fall is back and I'm excited and oh so ready to fall back in love with Fall!

 Happy Fall everyone! Enjoy

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chronicle # 2...To take a pill, to not take a pill...that, is the question

Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Ativan, and Lexapro. This may sound like an extremely long list of fabricated names, but in actuality they couldn’t be any farther from it. This list of hard to pronounce names are some of the most commonly prescribed SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) medications, used to treat or reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anxiety disorder is one of the leading symptoms of PTSD, and because of this most Physicians will encourage their patients to try one of the above meds as an attempt to treat their anxiety or lessen  some of the more debilitating effects of anxiety.

So how exactly do SSRI’s work?
SSRI’s work by increasing the amount of serotonin (neurotransmitters) found in the brain. The use of these medications is supposed to calm the anxiety, and mildly influence mood, outlook, and behavior, thus reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So what are the draw backs?
Well, as with any medication side effects are to be expected. Because medication affects each person differently, grouping the side effects together generally isn’t realistic if you want a true understanding of what to possibly expect while on SSRI’s. Because this site is all about sharing knowledge and experiences along this journey I’ll share some of the side effects that I’ve noticed in my husband and while trying these meds.  If they sound similar in your case, maybe doing a little more research could benefit you or your loved one in finding the right fit for you. Just understanding the reality behind SSRI myths and facts can help you know what you expect, understand the risks, and help you make an informed decision about your treatment.

So what are the side effect facts?
Fact # 1… Taking an SSRI can change the chemistry inside your brain. This causes subtle changes in the way you feel, act, and behave. Knowing this important piece of information is absolutely vital in understanding how your chosen SSRI is affecting your loved one because although this change can cause more emotional stability, and outgoing nature, it doesn’t always create this calming effect. In some cases the person taking these medications can feel more tired, jittery, dizzy, and experience frequent headaches and nausea. I know for my husband, all the above were true.

Fact # 2… SSRI’s can also cause sexual problems including reduction of sex drive or inability to have an orgasm (although these symptoms are reversible), and can also further cause frequent muscle pain, decreased appetite, insomnia, diarrhea or constipation, exhaustion, and in some cases further cause anxiety.

So, what has my experience been?
My husband has been on every SSRI out there including other medications not considered to be SSRI’s however often carrying the same effects of SSRI meds like Wellbutrin and Effexor. All the meds my husband has tried have all had pretty similar side effects and none have seemed to work so far. In our case (which greatly varies from friends of ours) the meds my husband has tried have increased his anxiety and often caused more problems than they were worth. We’re still trying to figure out what works for him, but in the meantime have discovered a helpful tool to chart his meds and the symptoms he experiences. He’s keeping a daily medication journal, and it is one of the best tools to help give his Physician an overall full scope of how each medication works for him, and which dosage is right. If you have had the same problem we have run into, keeping a journal could really help to not only show you the difference between the meds, but also show your doctor exactly how the meds are working (or not working) for you. Try it, it just may be beneficial.

So what are my tips?
When taking meds the question on our minds has always been Should I or Shouldn’t I. For us, this answer is never easy, which is where gathering information comes into play. Knowing the meds helps to know what you are getting yourself into. Besides, knowledge of your meds is always a key factor in making an informed decision of what’s right for you. Not to mention, if it’s your loved one taking the meds, understanding those meds and how they affect or change the chemicals in the brain help you to understand any behavioral changes that your loved one may experience. If your loved one was always the active type, and this was something that interested you, and now the meds are making them sluggish and constantly fatigued, understanding this side effect could help you understand what steps to take on your end to help your loved one, and in some cases prevent an argument or worse.  

So here are my tips:
  1.       Ask your Physician lots of questions about the suggested meds.
  2.       Create a Daily Med journal to chart frequency of symptoms, changes in mood or behavior, and overall success (or lack thereof) of the suggested meds.
  3.      Do your homework. Researching the meds will only further build your knowledge and understanding, and help you along this journey.
  4.      Ask your Physician about slow dosages. Jumping head first into a high dosage of meds isn’t always the best idea. Trying a lower dosages of meds can help your body become acclimated to the chemical change, thus increasing your changes of a positive experience while on the meds
  5.    Talk, talk, talk. Keeping the channels of communication open with your loved one is important. You need to know how the meds are working, or not working for them. Either way, talking about the meds he/she has been prescribed can make all the difference in this sometimes difficult process.

What is your take on the Pill Fight?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Sitting on the floor of my living room in front of the television; partly suffering from shock, partly bewildered in disbelief, this is where I was during 9/11.  It was a day that I will always remember; it forever changed my life as well as the lives of so many fellow Americans. It was a day that shook American, as well as countless other countries, and left most of society not only fearful of the days to come, but ambivalent of the future of our country. I can still remember so vividly the clutch of panic knotting my stomach, the tears swelling my eyes so completely I could barely see clearly. I can still recall the images of the Twin Towers falling, and the screeching sound of screams that almost seemed to seep through the thin cracks of my window. Little did I know at the time, the screams were coming from me. And it didn’t end there, how can we look back on that day and not remember the years of chaos that followed; the brave efforts and sacrifices of so many of our soldiers (including my husband), many of which returned home carrying the burden of the aftermath or war, or the even heavier sacrifice- not returning home at all. But you want to know what else I remember? The contentment in experiencing several of my fellow Americans coming together, binding ourselves to each other in a united effort to heal, and move forward after such a huge tragedy and blow to our boastful confidence in our own security. I remember the hope that was born from those moments, and the feel of community. During that time, and for the first time in a very long time, we were all united no matter what your political, racial, spiritual, or demographic standing. This is what I remember, and this is what I choose to keep dear to my heart.
So for today, I remember 9/11. The sacrifices of our Military and their families, the bond that formed and re-shaped our country, and the many efforts of our fellow American that helped heal our nation, at a time when everything seemed so unclear. I can’t promise I won’t cry, but this time they won’t be tears of fear, they’ll be tears of hope.

Always remember 9/11.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Movie Review: Welcome to the Riley's

My review:
A good friend of mine who also joined the same Indie group that I'm apart of, and fellow Indie fanatic, suggested I watch this film convinced I would absolutely love it to pieces and rave about it on my blog. She was so right. It’s great when your friends know you well enough to give you scoop on all the goodies in life. Jane C, you complete me…true story. It’s also great to know that there are still writer and film makers out there who are brave enough to tell true-to-life stories in such a marvelously unconventional way. Gritty enough to retain your interest, yet sentimental enough to capture your heart and leave you with a sense of connection to the characters. This type of riveting film making was never capture more beautifully then Welcome to the Riley’s.

I love it when I can watch a film and feel as though I recognize the characters. Without hovering any further into a gush induced spasm, I’ll just say this. I loved it, and I hope you will too.

Alright ramblers, let’s get rambling.

The story:
 Welcome to the Rileys was written by Ken Hixon, directed by Jake Scott, and stars James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, and Melissa Leo. The film debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Doug and Lois Riley (Gandolfini and Leo) have endured their fair share of grief. They recently suffered a tragic loss, the death of their daughter Emily. As if their daughter’s death was not emotionally heart-wrenching enough, they both are now beginning to drift further and further away from one another as well. Lois buries herself in guilt over Emily’s death ultimately barricading herself in her home and shielding herself from almost everyone she knows. Meanwhile Doug emotionally detaches himself so completely in an effort to cope with the tragedy, he finds himself entering into an affair with a local waitress Vivian. Still emotionally raw from Emily’s loss, Doug is faced with the painful reality of death again, when Vivian dies suddenly. Feeling emotionally broken and alone, Doug leaves his home on a business trip to New Orleans, where he wanders into a local strip club and meets Mallory (Stewart), a 16 year old stripper.

Dough is immediately shaken at the sight of Mallory who strikingly resembles his deceased daughter. He immediately begins to feel the need to protect Mallory, and accompanies her home to ensure her safety. Once at her dilapidated downtown apartment his protective instincts are further heightened, and he offers Mallory $100 dollars a day if she will supply him room and board until he can get on his feet. Reluctant, but in need of money, Mallory takes him up on his offer and allows him temporary domesticity.

Back at home Lois begins to realize just how out of control her agoraphobia has become- She is determined to get her life back on track, and salvage her marriage even if that means leaving the comfort of her four walls, and entering into the world after nearly 10 years of social hibernation. When Lois is able to finally locate Doug, and realizes he has been taken in by an under aged stripper look-a-like of their deceased daughter, she begins to regret her decision of facing her fears and trying to save her marriage. After Doug explains his motives of only wanting to help Mallory straighten herself up, and give her the opportunities he regrets never giving to his daughter, Lois has a change of heart and decides to stay in New Orleans alongside her husband, and quickly receives Mallory with open arms. As the story unfolds the viewers are taken on an unconventional, yet heart-warming path of finding happiness after sorrow, and family where you would least expect it.

It was sad, it was raw, it was radiant, but most of all…it was brilliant. Hope you get the chance to see it, and enjoy.

Movie Review: Country Strong

I saw this film in early 2011and loved it to bits and pieces so I knew I needed to blog about it. First of all, I love Gwyneth Paltrow and always have, so it wasn’t that hard to convince me to check this film out. To no surprise I’m so happy I did. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me wish I had even a morsel  of vocal abilities just so I could spend my days singing the lyrics to several of the amazing songs featured in the film, but most of all it just simply reminded me of why I so heart the amazingly talented Greta-fied wonder that is Gwyneth. This biotch just all kinds of rocks ever thing she touches and to that I say “ All hail GP”.  Get em’ girl!

So to cut to the chase…here is the skinny

Country Strong was written and directed by Shana Feste, and stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, and Leighton Meester.

  Kelly Canter (Paltrow), a young and troubled country singer has had her fair share of sorrow and chaos in her recent history. She has suffered a miscarriage, and is struggling to salvage her music career and marriage, all while recovering in a rehabilitation facility from a turbulent drug and alcohol addiction. Beau (Hedlund), who works in the rehabilitation center, has been there by her side trying to assist in keeping her sober and on the straight a narrow. He is also having an affair with Kelly despite knowing she is married to James (McGraw), who has managed to obtain an early rehab check-out in a last effort scramble to help Kelly attempt to make a much needed musical come-back.  Even with a great deal of understandable hesitation, Kelly agrees to leave rehab early and pursue an ambitious three-city tour with one minor condition- she wants Beau to be her opening act. What she doesn’t know is that James has already made plans of his own to book a rising singer Chiles Stanton (Meester) as Kelly’s opening act.

As it turns out, Beau is also fairly acquainted with Chiles, and appears to be quite disgruntled at the thought of touring with her even for a small amount of time. Chiles, who aspires to be country’s next big thing has one all the makings of a rising star- talent, looks, charisma, there is only one problem, she can’t seem to beat her stage fright when faced with appearing in-front of crowds. As must as Beau would love to watch Chiles choke on stage, he can’t help but feel compelled to jump on stage and help her through her set. This act of kindness sparks the first of many intimate encounters between Beau and Chiles that begin to lead to a simmering romance, which throws Beau into a sticky tug-of-war in trying to look out for Kelly, and trying to sort through his feelings for Chiles. Meanwhile Kelly’s premature rehab release proves too much more then she was ready to handle. Her first show bombs after receiving a disturbing package before her set, which spirals her back into heavy drinking and pill popping. Just as it appears that things couldn’t get any worse for all involved and the story unfolds, the viewers come to realize that “worse” doesn’t begin to scratch the surface.

I loved this film. Loved, loved, LOVED this film! It has so much depth to it, and without over articulating my feelings on it- It’s just friggin’ awesome! Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.  

Movie Review: The Ledge

I heard slight whispers about this film after it’s premier at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The buzz was pretty much tunneling around Patrick Wilson and his creeptasticly well acted transformation into a fundamentalist Christian aficionado. I was on the fence about watching this film because the reviews were so mixed, but I figured I’d watch it anyway and form my own opinion.


In my opinion, it wasn’t that bad. It could have been better; the plot could have used a little more meat and/or fine tuning, but overall not bad. So here’s the skinny on this film.

The Ledge was directed and written by Matthew Chapman , and stars Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy hottie), Terrence Howard, Liv Tyler, and of course Patrick Wilson. By the by, I’d personally find any reason under the son to watch ANYTHING with Charlie Hunnam and Terrence Howard. Both are all kinds of yum, and simply put, very unique and interesting actors.

And again, on to the film.

Detective Hollis Lucetti (Howard) sits across from a Physician’s table who has just dropped a bombshell on the young detective; He has been sterile his entire life with absolutely no chance of having children of his own. Meanwhile, Gavin Nicholas (Hunnam), a young hotel manager steps onto the rooftop of Hotel, takes a deep breath, and places himself on the ledge of the building as a small crowd of people form beneath him.  The film then flashes back to a shaken Hollis who looks as though the news of his sterilization literally knocked the wind out of him. I suppose the news would have sparked that reaction, as Hollis opens his wallet and reveals pictures of his two children he thought he fathered with his wife. Oops!

Before Hollis can even digest this information he received word that he must immediately get over to the hotel to respond to an apparent suicide threat. Obviously not up for this task, but understanding that it is after all his job, Hollis takes off and heads out to talk Gavin off the ledge. Once there, he begins to assess  Gavin’s mental state in an effort to calm his mood, and convince him to communicate what drove him to the ledge of the hotel. Gavin begins to recount the story of the day he met his next door neighbors Shana (Tyler) and her husband Joe (Wilson), a married couple who recently moved into an apartment directly across from him. Gavin begins to detail how became involved with Shana after an intense altercation with Joe, a Christian fundamentalist who expressed his disgust for the lifestyle “choice” of Gavin’s gay roommate Chris (Christopher Gorham).

As the conversation continues Hollis begins to realize there is a much more sinister cause behind Gavin’s decision to step out onto that ledge, and as the story unfolds the viewers soon realize Hollis’s instincts are exactly right.

It wasn’t a loved it, loved it, but I did like this film and feel it was worth the time I took to track it down. 

Movie Review: The Other Woman

I know I’ve raved to no end about how indubitably smitten I am with Natalie Portman as an actress. I think she is brilliant, fearless, insanely talented, and has the distinct ability to deliver a powerful performance in whichever role she takes on. This was again proven in this powerful Indie pick, The Other Woman. I heard about this film back in early 2010, but because of difficulties I had in finding this film, I put watching it on the back burner for quite some time. And then I heard that it was adapted from the book Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman, so because I couldn't watch the film I decided to read directly from it's orgins instead. Well...This just made me feel as though I desperately needed to watch the film. In fact I can say without hesitation that I probably harassed 15 people (or more) on a weekly basis everywhere from convenient stores with fully stoked Redbox machines out front, to on-line movie rental shops in hopes of finally catching a break and crossing my fingers that someone would have it. So, here I am more then a year later, finally victorious in my pursuit of hunting down this film, and all I can say is...It was so friggin worth it! Kudos to my girl Natalie for knocking another one out the park, and delivering an emotionally charged, power-house performance that proves she is legend worthy.

Her portrayal of the lead character was definitely a raw depiction of the human condition; flawed, cumbersome, fraudulently beguiling, but yet so true to it's core it almost knocks you into dead silence. Even as the character radiates the most appalling behavior you could imagine, Natalie still has the ability to bring such humanity to the character that you can't help but feel remorse for her. It was just great. Oh so flippin' great.

But enough of the mush, let's get to the story shall we.

The Other Woman was directed by Don Roos who also wrote the screenplay, and stars Natalie Portman, Lisa Kudrow, Scott Cohen, Charlie Tahan, and Lauren Ambrose.

20 something year old Emilia (Portman) a Harvard Law graduate has just taken a job  as an associate in a prominent New York law firm where she meets Jack (Cohen), a handsome and very well established, however, very married firm partner. Emilia from the very start develops a crush on Jack, and after a few close encounters they soon begin to have an office affair. Not very long after the affair begins Emilia finds out that she is pregnant which needless to say destroys Jack's marriage to his wife Carolyne (Kudrow), but in turn allowed him the chance to marry Emilia. Life for the pair however does not go on without it's challenges. Jack has a son from his previous marriage named William; a bright and somewhat socially abrupt child that tends to rattle Emilia's cage a bit. Emilia seems to be optimistic about her newly married life and is thrilled about having a baby, until the unexpected sudden death of the new born just days after birth. As the story unfolds, the viewers are taken on Emilia's emotional journey as she struggles to come to terms with the untimely death of her baby, as well as her efforts to open herself up to her life as a stepmother to William and wife.

It was a heart-wrenching and intimate portrait of an extremely damaged woman's struggle to put her self back together, and how she built relationships in the most unexpected place, under the most tragic circumstances. This is for sure a LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT. I hope you all get the chance to watch it and enjoy.

Movie Review: Going The Distance

Have you ever seen a film that made you catch a non-stop case of the warm a fuzzies? 

Have you ever seen a film that left you completely covered from head to toe in a sticky film of Ahhhh?

This is totally that film for me. Not only am I head over heels about the two leading characters, I absolutely love the story line. This film was so freshly written and directed, you can't help but become smitten with it...genuinely smitten I say.

I know I have a pretty well documented track record for gushing all over the place when I really loved a film, but this one really deserves the gushy accolades. If you want to see a film that makes you fall in love with falling in love, and remind you of why you love movies this is the film for you. 

Going the Distance was written by Geoff LaTulippe, directed by Nanette Burstein, and stars Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. 31 year old grad student Erin (Barrymore) who lives in San Francisco, is spending 6 weeks of her summer interning at a newspaper in New York City. During a night out at a bar with her friend she meets Garrett (Long), who works for a local New York record label. The two flirt and drink, and after kicking back more than a few they decide to go back to Garrett's house for a casual fling. What they both agreed would be no more then a fling, turns out to be the makings of a pretty hot and heavy relationship which both Erin and Garrett have a hard time reconciling as the end of Erin's internship approaches, and they are forced to deal with the prospect of parting ways. 

As the story unfolds Erin and Garrett struggle to square away their relationship and try to find ways to cope with the difficulties that come with long distance relationships. 

Not only does this film capture some of the most comical um...intimate scenes I think I have ever seen, this film is also absolutely adorable. But oh no, not just adorable it's lovable, witty, insanely funny, and just a blast to watch. I really heart this one, and I hope you will all take the time out to watch it

Movie Review: Night Catches Us

I don't think I could describe this film without falling into a sea of undiluted gush-stew. I'll try to do my best but just in case...

Pardon me while I gush the frick out

 I have many reasons for my enthusiasm toward this film; not just because of my undying love of Kerry Washington, but also because of the rave reviews that continued to circle around the blogosphere praising the pure genius of this film. Indeed I was not disappointed. I loved this film so much I actually watched it twice in one day; once on my on, and later that night after forcing everyone in my house to stop what they were doing and relish in yumminess that is this film. Was that enough gush for you? Because trust me, there will be more.

Night Catches Us was written and directed by Tanya Hamilton. The leading characters are played by Kerry Washington (I so heart her) and Anthony Mackie. The film takes you back to 1976 Philadelphia in the middle of a racially tense and extremely divided neighborhood after the murder a a local Black Panther leader by the Philadelphia Police. Marcus (Mackie) returns to Philadelphia after the untimely death of his father; he has been gone for several years after the shocking murder of a well known Black Panther leader, and has come home to realize his childhood neighborhood is just as racially charged as it was the day he left. Not everyone is pleased by his homecoming including a few fellow Panthers turned local gangsters who blame him for snitching to the police and ultimately lead to the capture and murder of their leader. 

His homecoming reunited him with Patricia (Washington), a fellow Panther and the widow of the slain Panther, who is now a lawyer and lives with her daughter Iris and her new boyfriend. The chemistry between Marcus and Patricia is more than obvious from the start, and the two soon give in to their undeniable attraction, and try to make sense of their feelings for each other despite the ever growing tension surrounding them. In the meantime Patricia's brother Jimmy (Amari Cheatom) who struggles to make ends meat doing odd jobs anywhere he can for very little pay, becomes more and more entranced by the Panthers after several harassing encounters with the Philadelphia Police. As the story unfolds and the tension between the community and the local Police continues to build, the truth about the murder begins to unravel in a surprising finish that will not leave you disappointed.


What do I have to say about this film?

I LOVED it, LOVED it, LOVED It. Exclamation point times 10. I really hope all of you take the time out to watch this incredible film. 

Movie Review: Blue Valentine

   Ok class, time for an activity...How many ways can we say AMAZING! How about in Spanish, Fantastico? What about French, etonnant? Let's try German, erstaunen! No matter how many ways you can say it, when it comes to this movie the end result is always the same, it was undoubtedly amazing. Before I even get to the review, can I just say this film was definitely a Loved it, Loved it LOVED IT. Exclamation point.

Blue Valentine was directed by Derek Cianfrance, written by Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, and Joey Curtis, and stars Ryan Gosling, and Michelle Williams. It was directed with such simplicity, directing your attention to the characters alone, without all the expensive special effects, and props. I love this style of film because you really get a sense of the plot, along with really connecting to the characters. It also highlights the raw talent of the actors, and their on screen chemistry. Again I say, I loved it.

Now on to the story.

Blue Valentine's storyline surrounds the life, and marriage of it's two main characters, Dean Pereira (Gosling), and Cindy Heller (Williams). The film toggles between the beginning of their courtship, and the unfortunate dissolution of their marriage years later. Dean; a young man searching for his idea of "The one", works for a moving company in New York, where after moving an elderly man into a nursing home he meets Cindy, who is in the nursing home visiting her grandmother. Dean feels like their chance encounter is nothing short of love at first sight, and begins to pursue Cindy despite her original hesitation. They end up falling in love, and after a surprise and questionable pregnancy, they quickly decide to get married.

As the story unfolds you begin to see the cracks in their already unstable marriage grow beyond repair, which leads to the inevitable decision to end their marriage. It was simply put, a film that takes you on an emotional journey, so rich with truth of the complexities and beauties of marriage, all while doing so in such a heartfelt manner. It was magnificent! I really don't want to spoil it, for those of you who plan to see it by giving you too much detail, so I will leave it at this. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you think, but most of all, if you are a movie lover like me, it will remind you of why you love films in the first place.

Go see it! You will enjoy it!

Movie Review: Black Swan

From my movie review vault:

Movie Tickets: $20 dollars
Popcorn and drinks: $16 dollars
Cost of my flu shot after sitting in an overly crowded theater filled with sick, sneezing, screaming children: $25 dollars
Watching the greatest performance of one of my favorite actresses career: Priceless!

I'm not necessarily a fan of standing in an impossibly long line, just to sit in a crowded theater, surrounded by coughs and sneezes just to see a film, but holy hot dogs was this one worth it. I know I've gushed several times over the past few months whenever I saw a film that I absolutely loved *Cough 127 hours Cough*, but this one really takes the cake. It was by far, hands down, a cinematic work of art. If ever I've had the opportunity to see a movie that changed the way I looked at film making, acting, and directing, this film would be it. It is most definitely a Loved It times three, with a capital L. Natalie Portman is breathtaking, transcending, captivating, and eerily haunting. While watching her performance, there were literally times where I forgot it was even her playing the lead role; she is so believable that she completely removes you from the theater all together and transports you right there, alongside her. It was just brilliant, and so worth the long line, and money! 

So enough of the warm and fuzzies, on to the review

Black Swan is a psychological thriller written by Mark Hayman, and Andres Heinz, directed by Darren Aronofsky, and stares Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Vincent Cassel. The premise revolves around a respected New York City Ballet Company lead by Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), who has decided to put together a newly updated production of Swan Lake. He cast Nina Sayers (Natalie Potman), a talented but rigid and meticulous young dancer as the Swan Queen, playing both the roles of the fragile and virtuous White Swan, along with the ferocious and much more sensual Black Swan. Nina is able to pull off the White Swan performance without a hitch, however, finding her way through the performance of the extremely sensual and seductive Black Swan, proves to push her out of her comfort zone, and test her limits both physically, and mentally. 

During the grueling process of trying to find a way to embody the infamous Black Swan Nina's mental stability begins to break down in ways befitting of the backdrop of a horror film. She begins to see her own doppelganger, whom she is convinced is her understudy Lily (Mila Kunis), who is torturing her in hopes of stealing her role as the Swan Queen. Her paranoia, sleep deprivation, and anxiety all come to a dramatic climax as Nina finds her self pushed to her limits, causing her to come face to face with her own dark side, and invoking the Black Swan in a way that is surprising to herself, and the audience.

I hate to sound like a broken record or a series of old re-runs, but as I said before, I absolutely LOVED IT! I've always thought Natalie Portman was an incredible actress, but this film shows to be the best performance of her career to date. Just as a side note, check out her arms! Talk about toned to the max, I immediately went home and did a few bicep exercises to tone the bat wings I call arms. I vouch for this film and encourage everyone to run to the theater and see it, I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did.

So...what have we learned from Today's blog?

Movie theaters are cesspools of bacteria, and outrageously expensive, seeing immaculately toned biceps can immediately make me feel bad about myself, and this years most talked about films have proven to be So worthy of the hype!

Chronicle # 1...Warrior Wife

Noun: (esp. in former times) A brave or experienced fighter.

When you think of the word warrior, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For most, the depiction of a soldier, or a heavily armed Conan the Barbarian look alike, dressed in leaves and war paint, and stalking his way through the woods with spears and body armor would be the normal assumption. Think Brad Pitt in Troy…yep, that pretty much sums it up. A little dramatic I know, but you get my meaning. More often than not the word warrior is basically used to describe someone with incredibly great strength, agility, focus, and in most cases skills that pretty much defy nature. A warrior is someone you would imagine as strong and physically and mentally able to overcome anything set before them. A real warrior not only posses physical strength, but is also mentally and emotionally sound when facing a battle, or tough decisions.

Do you get where I’m going with this?

Of course you do, because if you are anything like me, the term warrior is probably pretty fitting to your own characteristics when facing the day to day challenges of being partner to someone with PTSD.  Whether you are a Vet spouse, active duty military spouse, or parent or friend of either or the two, I bet my lunch money that if you really evaluated your day in day out challenges when battling PTSD, you will agree that the term Warrior is not just an appropriate title, it’s also necessary. Why? In my case, I feel the necessity to remind myself of what the word warrior means to me, and how it correlates with my current circumstances. Not only am I fighting the battles of my day to day life;10 hour days at work, trying to go back to school, raising our extremely energetic daughter, and trying my best to manage our finances and our household, I’m also responsible for keeping my brave husband sane enough to continue his treatment as well as continue his fight with PTSD. Sound like a lot? Well it is…A LOT. It’s a huge responsibility, which is why sometimes I have to stop and acknowledge just how many moving pieces I juggle on a daily basis. My reason for my acknowledgement is simple; I give myself credit for my efforts, to allow myself reassurance when things become unbearably discouraging.

Here’s what I mean by this.

When you have as much going on as I do, if you feel the way that I do, you can understand the feeling of sometimes doubting yourself, or feeling like there is no silver lining awaiting in the shadows. I have those moments where my worries, and fears of PTSD build questions that shake the very foundation of my emotional stability to the core. Questions like Will his anxiety attacks ever really stop? Or Will the group therapy sessions he’s going to even work? There are even moments where I think How long before we get back to feeling normal again? These questions begin to fester, and build, and eventually make my everyday battles seem hopeless. And it’s the hopelessness that causes the real damage. The hopelessness is what makes me feel like I can’t go on. Do I have the answer to these questions? No, but that doesn’t mean that obtaining an answer would change my circumstances for the better either. I can’t just rely on hoping for answers, so instead, in those darkest of moments is when I like to remind myself of who I am really. I am a warrior. I am strong enough to get through the rough patches, I am a fighter, and we will overcome PTSD. It’s in these moments that I remind myself of everything I do on a daily basis, because knowing what you are capable of accomplishing is not only encouraging for future endeavors, it gives you back what you need most to continue to support your spouse through this difficult time…Courage. And Courage my ladies and gents, is the defining line between losing yourself in this battle, or pushing through and refusing to allow PTSD to damage you, your loved one, or your family. Courage is the key to moving forward. It isn’t just defined by your ability to fight, it is also an intricate part in acceptance of your limitations, and ability to humble yourself and ask for help when needed. And besides, what good warrior have you ever met that didn’t have courage? That would be a nada captain.

It’s these simple moments that help me beat back my doubts, and keep my eye on what’s most important; supporting my husband, being the rock for my family, and staying positive even when things seem so bleak. Remember how I said a warrior’s strength isn’t just physical but mental as well? Makes sense now doesn’t it.

So…does the term warrior fit you?

Leave me a comment and tell me all about your warrior stories.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

To know me is to love me…or at least tolerate me for awhile

Hello my fellow blogger-etts and blogger-gents. My name is Ayana, and I welcome you to my blog. For those of you who followed my last blog: Chronicles of the non-housewife, I’m sure you by now are more than well versed in my spasmodic ramblings and light-hearted commentary. I’m sure you’ve read enough of my post to at this point know who I am, and what my blog is all about. For those of you who are new to my blog, I thank you for being brave enough to enter my intricate and sometimes wonderful world of crazy. In conjunction, I would like to give all of you a little background history of all things me. So, here goes…

im awesome Pictures, Images and Photos

Now that we’ve established that, I’ll tell you more fun true facts about me. I’m a wife of a Navy Vet with PTSD, stepmom to an 8 year old firecracker, aspiring writer, and lover of all things Independent Film, music and vintage (clothing to be exact). In case my super flashy tag didn’t give it away, I’m a bit of a smart ass. But being a smart ass never hurt anyone right? Well, other than that one guy in high school that jumped off a building after an all day encounter with another smart ass. Yikes! But other than that being a smart ass never hurt anyone. And the guy was ok; broken leg, but ok. Wow, did I just take a wrong turn and end up down morbid lane or what?

Anyway, this is me…

As you can probably tell, I’m not a bit camera shy. Shocker right!

Once upon a time 7 long years ago, I met a boy who made me smile, made me laugh, made me absolutely crazy, and then made me a wife and stepmom.

Aren’t they just a big ball of cute!

All in all, life was beautiful…and then the hubby returned home from Iraq after a 6 month tour with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Needless to say this disorder has really turned our lives upside down. It’s a daily struggle, but it’s one that we continue to say positive about, and work hard to understand. I truly love my hubby, and although things aren’t always easy (but really…what about life is ever really easy anyway?) it’s so incredibly worth it in the end. Both the Lady bug and the hubby are my real reason for re-vamping my blog. Well, that and someone decided to steal use my extremely fitting, witty, and totally creative blog name and use it as a site designed and dedicated to refurbishing home and garden furniture. WTF right? But I digress; that’s for another day, and another blog post.

The blog thief mix-up wasn’t all bad though, in fact it’s the complete opposite. Over the past 8 months or so, I’ve been on a hunt to find groups, forums, or sites where I could connect with other wives and family members of Vets with PTSD. Unfortunately I’ve still only been able to find very few sites with relevant information. Then one day I thought, Why not just make my own site? So, that’s exactly what I did, and thus The Warrior Wife Chronicles was born.  This blog is now going to dedicated to sharing facts, support, information, and resources to further knowledge and education of PTSD, as well as provide a forum to not just express lessons I’ve learned along the way, but also find out what others have experience while coping with this troubling disorder. Sound interesting to you? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me!

There’s a lot more to this blog than meets the eye, and I can’t wait to get started and hear from all of you. I hope you enjoy. 

Happy blogging everyone!