Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Movie Review: Passengers

I have read several reviews of this movie, just terrible reviews, of how awful this movie was. I didn't care. I tend not to always agree with movie critics, and I for one, have been looking forward to seeing this movie since the first time I saw the trailer, months ago. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are by far, two of my favorite actors, so it was a no-brainer that I had to see this movie. They could spend the 2 hours in a barrel and I'd probably love it, and this movie, well, this movie proved that.
 
Passengers 2016 film poster.jpg
 
For starters, let me tell you there will be some spoilers in this review, but I feel like I am glad I read a few spoilers before seeing it. You are tricked into thinking, from the previews, that this movie is Sci-Fi. It isn't. It's a human story told on a spaceship, and to me, there's a huge difference. If you are going, thinking this is a Sci-Fi spectacle, you will be disappointed. There are elements of Sci-Fi, but as much as Gravity was a human story told in the caverns of space, this is a romantic story told on a spaceship. Just be warned before seeing it.
 
Just to set this movie up, this is the story, set in a far distant future, of average mechanic Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) who is awoken from a 120 year slumber, 90 years too early. He is traveling on a ship transporting 5,000 passengers and 200+  crew to a new planet called Homestead II. The ship is transporting these people to inhabit a new planet and we find out, later, that people are paying massive amounts of money to take this journey. A journey that ensures you will never see your family or friends on Earth (Or Homestead I? It doesn't really say). You will go to sleep and wake up, 120 in the future, to start over on a new planet. Due to a mechanical failure, Jim's hiber-chamber is opened 90 years too early. After he realizes he is the only one who has awoken on this ship, he quickly determines he will forever be alone, and doomed to a lifetime aboard this ship, as by the time they reach the new planet, he will have died. He spends a whole year, plus some months, in solitude, with only the android bartender Arthur to keep him company. Day after day, night after night, he is surrounded with the cushiest surroundings one can find - an endless supply of good food and fine spirits, exercise, video games and movies, and even regular walks out in space. He quickly figures out just how lonely of an existence this is and decides to take his own life. While walking amongst the vast hiber-chambers filled with sleeping people, contemplating suicide, he comes across the chamber of Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) and is quickly taken by her beauty. After scouring the ship's files, he finds all of the information he can on her, including her interviews about why she wants to travel. He grapples with this for some time - finding solace in seeing someone else's face and hearing someone else's voice, he soon falls deeply in love with her. He speaks nightly with Arthur about the consequences of waking her up, talking about how much he loves her but knowing waking her up is a death sentence. Being a mechanic, he's tried desperately to find a way into the ship's main deck or to find a way to go back into hiber sleep, but to no avail. He does, however, figure out how to wake someone up.  One day, he decides to take the chance, waking her up but telling her it was an accident. Of course, they fall in love and develop a pretty lovely existence on this ship together. On the night of her birthday, Jim decides to ask her to marry him. While he is in the bathroom, Arthur lets it slip that the reason she is awake is because Jim woke her up, not a mechanical failure (This android is 100% innocent, he misconstrues a conversation and gives up this information on accident). She is infuriated. Now, not only are the doomed to die, they are doomed to spend the rest of their lives on a ship where she knows of his selfish choice and hates him, and with him spending every day with the guilt of knowing what he did to her. That's as far as I will go, the rest of the movie is a thrill ride and I certainly don't want to spoil it!
 
What I love about this movie is that it's a completely unique story. We've seen people marooned on a desert island, destined to spend the rest of their lives lonely and in solitude. We've even seen a movie about a man marooned in space and the lengths he went to, to get back to earth. What we haven't explored is the idea that you can be marooned, alone, in a ship, with thousands of people around you, whom you will never meet or talk to. What would you do? How desperate would you become for companionship? Holding the fate of someone else's life in your hands - what would you do after being alone for a long period of time?
 
I've heard this movie described as creepy (which is kind of is), an example of Stockholm's Syndrome, in which the captee falls in love with the captor, a sick demented example of a stalker. But I didn't find it to be any of those things. This isn't a serial killer, set out to get his prey. Jim is an average guy who finds himself in a very serious, very extraordinary situation. And then we watch Aurora, and her very real emotional response to this situation. There is real love, real hate, real emotions and real survival questions that come up and I loved every minute of it.
 
The CGI in this movie is nothing to turn your nose up at, either. There are some incredibly breathtaking scenes, and by breathtaking, they literally take your breath away with beauty but also with suspense. There is one scene, in particular, in which Aurora is swimming in the ship's pool, and a technical difficulty causes the ship's gravity to suspend. Aurora is caught in a bubble of water, floating around the room, unable to get to a surface for air. It's an incredible scene and one of the many suspenseful moments of the film.
 
I am not sure that the reason I don't feel like this film is not more creepy isn't because of Pratt. He's so charming, and his love for her is so real and true, and his guilt for what he did is so intense, that you can't help but still love him through all of this. They are both charming together - and not in an annoying way. Just truly engaging. Is there an actor on this planet who doesn't have amazing chemistry with JLaw? The woman is likeable, to the core.
 
I highly suggest this film, but take it as pure entertainment value and revel in the scenery and the beautiful relationship between these two highly attractive actors!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Sharing YOUR Jennarocity

I used to love to blog. Do people still blog? I feel so out of touch with social media these days. You get out of the game for a few months and the updates just pass you right by.
 
It's been a busy year, yes? Those who follow me on Facebook have seen the evolution my life has taken in the last year. I'm ending the year with the busiest month I've ever had in real estate, plus I opened a location for my business. I have to admit, I never thought saying yes to one thing could change my life in such an astounding way. Which reminds me - what have you said yes to today? Don't be afraid to say yes. I say yes way more often than I probably have time for, but you know what, it brings a lot of opportunities into my life. So, while people tell me to start saying no, I'll start saying, I can't right now, but what about next week? Lol.
 
The other funny thing is that who knew this blog title could have been the basis for the name of my business. When I changed my blog title from "Family of 5" (BORING!) to Sharing My Jennarocity, it completely encapsulated what I was meaning to get across in my blog. I wanted to share me, my family and my thoughts to the world. When I said, "JENNAROCITY!" I felt like I needed to say it with jazz hands and attitude. When I changed my blog title, and started sharing my posts on Facebook, people started calling me "Jennarocity." It was a perfect take on my name.
 
When I decided to use Jennarocity as my business name, it meant something else - generosity. I really felt strongly that we treated our clients and customers with generosity. It fit perfectly. When I order business cards, or tell people over the phone what my business is called, it never fells, I always get a "Great take on your name!' I think Jennarocity is just exactly what makes me, me. I use it as a verb, as a noun, as an adjective. What a great word, yes? And it will go great with my new next idea, the Jennarocity Foundation.....I mean, I have a few extra minutes in my day available, I can add one more log onto the fire, right? But I digress. That's to come later.
 
I'd like to think that one of my biggest strengths is how I make those around me feel about themselves and about the world around them. I like to think that when I leave the presence of another human being, whether it be my best friend or a total stranger, that I leave them feeling better about themselves, or their circumstances, or their day, than when we started. And that is what "Jennarocity" means to me - the ability to leave those feeling better than when you started.
 
So I ask you....How have your shared YOUR Jennarocity today? Wow. I'm seeing apparel ideas in my head....
 
 

Friday, July 22, 2016

bObSweep Pet Hair Robotic Sweeper and Mop

Bob is here! Or DJ Bob, as Avery likes to call him. She watches too much Park and Rec. Here is DJ Rhooma, basically Tom puts an iPod on top of the vacuum and it plays music while it cleans (which is awesome).


Bob has been here less than 24 hours and has already given us so much joy! It's funny I just said that, but when you have dogs that shed constantly, a big house and lots of hard floors, to have a robot do a job like vacuuming for you, it's simply heavenly.

Here is Bob in real life.


I had so many people ask me about a review so here it is......

I have never seen or used another robot vacuum so my review is based completely on this one. I bought Bob on Groupon for $179.99. It was more than the regular one that was $159.99 because we opted for the Pet Hair 4-1 sweeper and mop combo. Bob arrived with an adorable adoption card with his name, birthday, weight and height, which I thought was weird because you oddly do start to talk about him like he's another family member. (This is when my dad would jokingly add, it's because he's going to rise up and gain self awareness and take over us all!)


Bob comes with a charging station, an extra rotating brush, two sweeper arms, two mop cloths and a remote control. He came charged enough to use him last night and we had a laugh watching him roam around the house! We purposely didn't sweep for a few days before his arrival because we wanted to see him in action.

Bob has several modes: Auto, Spot and Wall Cleaning. In Auto, it would rotate between other modes. Spot cleaning will do just that, spot clean, and it basically goes in a spiral, going in circles in a room until it gets stopped by an obstacles. Wall cleaning, which I love the best because our dog hair seems to always travel to the wall, is what we have used most often. Basically, it just travels along whatever wall it finds. You can set it on quick clean, which is 15 minutes, longer clean at 30 minutes or it can just go until it runs down on battery and then it will dock on the charging station. You can set it to the day and time you want it to vacuum or you can set it to run until it needs charging, then as soon as it fully charges, it will go out again, so basically, continuous vacuuming. We figured this out because last night, around 1 am, Bob charged completely and started vacuuming, scaring us nearly to death. We realized we had it set on this setting and it made us laugh out loud, after we figured out it wasn't trying to kill us in our sleep. On the remote, you actually have controls so you can switch between modes or control using arrows, kind of like a remote control car. Fully charged, it did my entire house, and that's saying a lot because my house is around 4,000 square feet and I now only have one room with carpet, so it can go for a very long time and clean a very large area. Usually, I don't vacuum every day, so when I do, I fill an entire vacuum chamber up more than once, so I was worried about how much hair it could gather, but then I realized that if it gets done every day or even twice a day, it won't need to hold so much hair. That said, with all of the dogs and their size and how much they shed, we seem to fill it up with one sweep around the house each day. And yuck.

Onto the cleaning - once you figure out how to make him work best for your house, he cleans very well. At first, when you watch him, he will clean the same around over and over again but then you realize he's trying to learn his boundaries so you just kind of let him do his thing. We just followed him around last night, but then this morning, while we were eating breakfast, he was just back vacuuming while we were eating and for some reason, it made the meal so much more flavorful. Lol! It got every corner and even under chairs and beds, so it did a better job that I would have. I haven't used the mop feature yet, but I am going to say it's going to work more like a Swiffer, in that it will vacuum and dust the floor, not really mop it. You can wet the pad, and I'm sure it will get up more dirt that way, but I'm still going to have to steam clean my floors for really grit and dirt cleaning. I'm OK with that, if I only have to do that sporadically and Bob does the more frequent jobs, he's making my life easier.

Bob will bump into things occasionally - most of the time he sees an obstacle and stops, but sometimes, he just straight runs into it. He does come with bumper pads in case you have valuable furniture that doesn't need knicking, but it's not like he weighs a ton or is going at high speeds, so even when he bumps, it's not that hard. But I did like that he comes with pads in case you wanted to protect your pieces.

Bob did go on our carpet and rugs and I'm not sure he's really meant for that, but he did vacuum. It's not the strength a regular vacuum would use, so I think Bob is more of a sweeper of hard floors than a vacuum of carpet. If you have a lot of carpet in your house, this product might not be for you, there might be another robotic vacuum that works better.

Watching him find the docking station is my kids' highest joy, as when it's time, he shuts himself into charging mode and tries to find his home. It's all based on waves similar to that of your remote and TV so it has to make a connection before he'll find it, so he'll just search until he sees them, then load himself right up and start charging.

So- I recommend this product for people who have hard woods and who keep their house relatively tidy. If your house is full of small toys or stuff everywhere, he won't be able to do much good. Now, you can set him to vacuum as often as you'd like, so if you know he'll vacuum every other day, you just need to have all obstacles out of his way to do so. Cords, dog beds, toys, clothes - all of that needs to be gone for him to do a good job. We have him set every morning at 10 am, which will help us each day make sure the kids rooms are clean and stuff is off the floor. He also can't get in between certain tight spaces, so there will still be vacuuming you have to do, say, if your furniture is closer together in spots.

All in all - this is so worth the money I spent. Aside from a housekeeper, this product is going to save me several hours of work a month and the anxiety of seeing puffs of hair all over my floor. I highly recommend!!

Here is a couple videos of Bob in action and switching between his modes. Enjoy!




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jordan's New Room

Jordan's room has always had some hint of black. I love the furniture I found for Jordan and it's black, and I'm not painting those suckers anytime soon, so black it is! Well, it made it really easy when I went to redo the girls room, because I had all of the items I needed already, including black paint. On a whim, I decided to redo the alcove area into a small media space and paint the wall black. We got a heck of a deal at Target this weekend for a flat screen (Thank you, Target Red Card, 5% off and Cartwheel app, 10 % off on top of sale prices!), so it worked perfectly. Then, I decided, hey, why don't we throw the couch I was going to get rid of in his room and make him a small studio apartment, because what 14 year old DOESN'T need that, right?

It turned out so cool. In my humble opinion, of course.






The only thing this room cost me is the TV - for less than $120. I'll take it!!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Redoing the Girls Room...Again

Every girl's room I've ever done has had an element of pink. Pink, pink, pink. I tried to make it different by painting Avery's room lime green, but still, we ended up with pink accents. I'm tired of pink and so are the girls. So this time, I did something with the girls room I wanted to do - black, white and gold, a little touch of Parisian flair.

The idea has always been to have two twin beds in one room for when cousins spend the night, so I finally got two white beds and a color scheme and then it was time!

First things first - I had some furniture to paint.

These night stands were leftover from a sale I did. I had them in my guest room but they look PERFECT as black with gold handles, don't you think?


This was also from a sale (recognize it, Nancy?). I didn't even paint the handles and it looks amazing.





I got a wild hair to paint that back wall black. Or at least, half of it. Since I already had a chair rail and bead board, it went together very nicely! I have so much white trim in my house, dark colors don't seem to really darken a room. Otherwise, I don't think I would have ever painted a wall black!


I can take a picture of a room, but light is a different story - I wish you could see these chandeliers better! My mom bought these for me when I was putting together Avery's nursery and I hadn't been able to showcase them well since. I've always wanted to use them over the beds instead of lamps, and it looks amazing!!!

So - just a little cost points here -

The curtains came from DD's Discounts - $9.99 for both
The letters came from Five Below - surprising, yes? They were $3 each.
The black paint was just Rustoleum Gloss Black - $8.50 for a quart and it did two rooms (I'll show Jordan's tomorrow!) and half of the dresser.
I already had the night stands - spray paint was Gloss Black and it was $3.87 and it did both. I already had the gold paint.
The beds were free from various places.
The most expensive thing in this room was the bedding. The comforters were $40 from Target, sheet sets were $19 from Target and the pillows were $10 for 2 at DD's Discounts.
The chairs at the end were $20 each from Walmart, and the pillowcases were $4 from Target.

All in all - this room redo cost around $200. Not too terrible!


This mirror has now officially been 4 different colors. I think I bought it at Walmart ten years ago for $10, so I have way gotten my money out of it.


These little chairs are plush and really cute. I love that they have a little sitting area!


I redid that dresser and it makes a perfect TV spot. I found that heart at Target and the Paris picture at DDs, and the rest of it, I printed off the computer, and used frames I already had. I think it turned out beautifully!



I love this picture of Sophia with the horses. She had just turned 5 the week of our wedding, and was so into animals (still is.) She ran off while we were getting in our carriage to leave and before any of us knew it, she was petting horses across the street. Scared a few of us half to death - but we got a great picture out of it!


The other favorite picture of she and I was this shot at the wedding. She was so teeny.


This is my favorite room is my house, currently. I'm so fickle!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Amer-I-Can!

So, here are a few pictures from past July 4ths...





And for the first time - I didn't have a picture of our family in red white and blue. I just didn't think to buy shirts this year. Boo. But I do have this picture....


...so this year, that will just have to do!!

We had a good day with family. Ate a lot of good stuff, watched the kids swim, hung out, and ate again.







Don't be fooled. Pops blows bubbles even when the kids aren't there.




She tried to put her own sunscreen on. Little cutie.


Wha what!!



Ah, to be a preteen girl and be a teeny meeny.




And popsicles. Of course. It was quiet for a whole ten glorious minutes.








Everyone else got out and we sat and watched these two girls jump and jump and jump over and over. They are getting pretty brave, these two. Next year, we will have a 6th to add to the mix!!


Happy 4th, everyone!