Have you ever felt PERSECUTED?

Let me start by saying…. this post is long overdue.

Six weeks ago today, I was invited to attend the Los Angeles Premiere of the faith-based film entitled PERSECUTED. I was not familiar with the movie, therefore I did a little research before accepting the invitation. After seeing the trailer (above) and reading the synopsis, I was instantly intrigued. Not only because I LOVE a good political thriller, but also because this movie appeared to cross the invisible lines drawn in Hollywood about faith-based content being taboo. So, onward I marched…

And man oh man, am I glad I did. 

Without giving away too much of the story– which I tend to do when I’m enthusiastic about a film I’ve seen– I’ll make a few key points, and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth your personal time to see it. Fair enough?

The first thing I’d like for you to know is, while I am a follower of Jesus and this is a Christian faith-based film, I would recommend it to anyone who lives in the United States, regardless of their religious affiliation. Just as I often recommend American History X to people who display racism and close-minded hatred for others. Why? Because the religious theme is not the only one present. As I watched it, I was struck by the deeper message of how easy it would be for us to be manipulated and stripped of our religious freedom at the hands of the governmental officials we’ve elected and trusted to protect them. In other words, despite the fictional nature of PERSECUTED, it hits closer to home than I’d like to believe possible. In fact, like some of my favorite tv shows–CSI, Law&Order, and Scandal, to name a few– it has a storyline seemingly plucked straight from the headlines. “Imagine House of Cards for the religious set”, says  Politco Magazine …and I couldn’t agree more!

Second, the plot is reasonably plausible. Do I think it WOULD happen? No. Do I think it COULD happen? Sure. Anything is possible, especially when the people of a nation are kept remain largely in the dark about our state of affairs. Regardless, this is not a low-budget, work of cinematic crap. It’s a well-structured, entertaining feature with a cast of respected and recognizable actors who deliver solid, believable performances. James Remar, who stars as John Luther, the nationally acclaimed evangelist standing in the way of religious reform in America proposed by Senator Donald Harrison (Bruce Davison), has a commanding presence that brought forth thoughts of Harrison Ford’s performance in The Fugitive to my mind on more than one occasion.  And the addition of real-life FOX News personality, Gretchen Carlson, as the TV anchor interviewing Remar in flash sequences throughout the film is a brilliant casting choice to further emphasize the parallel between fact and fiction. Oh..and my favorite performance of PERSECUTED was that of comedian Brad Stine, who plays Pastor Ryan Morris, the all-to-eager-to-please, right hand to John Luther’s evangelical empire, TRUTH. At first, you think he’s a nice guy, and then…BAM…he morphs into a back-stabbing, smarmy bad guy more interested in the preservation of his own fame and fortune than in doing what is morally or ethically right. What a range! I wasn’t familiar with Stine as an actor before this film, but I’ll definitely be following his career now.

Lastly, this is a film your entire family can see together, and learn from. Sure, it’s got some violence and even bloodshed, but nothing traumatizing enough to keep me from wanting my daughters to see it. Certainly nothing that scratches the surface of what we see on the news today. And honestly, the video games kids play these days are more upsetting in their content than this movie even remotely tries to be. Plus, the action sequences, car chases, and edge-of-your-seat moments will certainly keep everyone tuned in, paying attention and eating lots of popcorn. It’s a win-win, in my humble opinion.

My final advice: Open your mind, buy the DVD when it releases on October 14, or rent it on Pay Per View. If you hate it, my apologies. If you don’t, share this post and spread the word. Either way, come back here and leave a comment so we can discuss it, like grown-ups hashing out politics and religion. Deal?

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AYDA&CO is IN THE KNOW

Okay y’all, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since my last post. But I’m a firm believer in making sure I have something worthy to write about before tapping away on the keys. I mean, ain’t nobody got time for me to waste, right? As a matter of fact…in general…I’d be willing to bet y’all could use some tips about products that will actually SAVE you time. Uh-huh.

You’re nodding, aren’t you? Well you have hit the jackpot with this post then! Thanks to my dear friend Kit over at Blue Eyed Entertainment, and the geniuses behind AYDA&CO, I am about to share some fantastic news:

THE FANNY PACK IS BACK, SPORTING A MAKEOVER YOU WON’T BELIEVE! 

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Although I’m not the model in the picture above, my fabulous new belt bag looks just like the one she’s wearing. I’ve had it about two weeks, and I adore it! I’ve been wearing it all over my little ‘hood, receiving compliments every step of the way.

Remember how convenient fanny packs were back in the day, but you hated wearing one because…well…they just weren’t stylish or cute? Gone are those days, folks! The belt bags from AYDA&CO are not only stylish, they are down right sexy. There, I said it. Handmade of genuine leather so soft, the feel of it rivals a newborn baby’s tushy. And talk about functional! In addition to a roomy compartment for essentials such as keys, a cellphone, lip balm, etc…there are also credit cards slots so you don’t have to dig through your purse for a wallet. Oh, and did I mention my mini-iPad fits in mine? Because it does. How’s that for convenient, when you’re a jewelry stylist (ME) who books shows and sells on the go, or a scatter-brained mom (ME) who runs the family schedule via iCal? How about if you’re a producer (ME) running a crowd funding campaign, who must have easy access to the Internet on the fly? The answer is a belt bag from AYDA&CO, so you can keep everything you need right there on your hip. Look…as a busy mom, I am often spread so thin I’m invisible and anything that helps maximize my reach is welcome in my life. It’s a beautiful thing, people. Embrace it.

Get yours today, and be footloose and fancy handsfree…like me!

Now THIS is me!

Now THIS is me!

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Hurling Jello

If only my jello looked like this!

If only my jello looked like this!

 

You knew it was bound to happen, right? After all, it wouldn’t be fair to leave you hanging with just a list of the 5 Best Things About Being in the Hospital.  And, given the fact…

I’m. Still. Here.

…with nothing to do but read, write, play Criminal Case on FB, watch really bad television, and give The Man the stink eye when he shows up to have ‘lunch with me’ and brings a sandwich and FRENCH FRIES for himself, knowing I can’t have even one!  Whaaaatever. Karma is a bitch, and she’s my BFF. So there.

Anyway, I’ve decided to comprise a list of The Worst Things About Being in the Hospital. Notice there’s not a number attached, as I really can’t say how long this list will be. I’ve been here 6 days now. Could take a lil’ bit. So, pour a glass of wine or grab a fruity cocktail, maybe some chips & guacamole…or one of the other 8,472,931 edible things I can’t have…sit back, relax and enjoy!

In no particularly order, I present to you my idea of the worst parts about the forced hiatus from my life. Ta-da!!!

Food and Beverage Commercials- Believe me, I understand the power of advertising, but have you ever noticed how many commercials on television are food/beverage related? Probably not, because unless you are in the hospital on a liquid diet, you can choose (or not) to have anything that happens to flash on that screen. At first, I thought I was just sensitive to it, because I’m starving. Uh…no. I counted them. During one commercial break, there were 5 spots: one for chocolate, one for burgers, one for chips, one for Jello (isn’t that ironic?) and one for Applebee’s. I let the last one slide, because my friend Maribeth is the star 🙂 The last time my nurse came in to check on me and ask if I needed anything, I told her she could call the networks and politely instruct them to temporarily suspend the run of any and all food/beverage/restaurant commercials until I get sprung from this joint. She giggled.

I was dead serious.

Vampires- I know, I know…phlebotomists. Yes…I respect the need for them in the hospital. After all they are specialists at what they do. However, it doesn’t make me loathe their 4am, needle-wielding,  wake-up calls any less. Perhaps if all of them looked like Robert Pattinson, or the guys from True Blood, I would be less grumpy about the visits. Okay, that’s a lie. Anyone that wakes me up just to stick me, drain me, and leave me is never received with open arms regardless of the time of day. Oh, and overall…their bedside manner SUCKS.

Noises- There are more than half a dozen separate sounds I can hear at the moment: my IV pump, the air conditioner (very noisy), the nurses relaying chart information, the lady next door yelling “Somebody help me, I gotta get up!” (I think she may be in the wrong unit, if catch my drift), the hospital PA system announcing a “Code Pink” (it’s a drill, I asked),  an alarm on one of the elderly patients’ beds that plays the tune of “Old MacDonald” incessantly and various other beeps, bells and dings. It’s maddening….even with my DOOR SHUT. I will admit to the temptation of actually recording it. After all, The Man does post-production sound effects for film, and this stuff would be GOLDEN to have in his sound library. Then I remembered about the french fries.

Sheets and Pillows- Now before you go thinking I’m some diva, requiring Eygptian cotton, 5000 thread count (do those even exist?) sheets, and goose down pillows like the ones at a 5-star hotel….don’t. Totally not me. I followed The Dead in college and am perfectly happy sleeping in a tent with an air mattress, covered with a COTTON SHEET and a pillow that just doesn’t run from its pillowcase. The pillows here are covered in plastic, and I understand why…but I don’t have to like them, do I? The only thing that irritates me more than having my bed linens wrinkly and in a bunch is feeling little ‘pills’ on them. It happens on…you guessed it…50/50 poly-cotton blend fabric. And wouldn’t you know it….the place designed to keep me bedridden and resting uses these sheets! For the love of all things holy….that’s why 100%, no-iron, cotton percale sheets exist. Get a clue, hospital admin people.

Bathing- I’ve been here 5 nights and 6 days now, and had 2 showers. All the days in between, I smelled like a dirty hippie. You know why? Because bathing myself with basically one arm is almost impossible. You see, I have this pesky IV in my left arm and they put it right in the bend of my elbow (big fat, juicy vein there) so I can’t bend my arm. Plus, to take a shower it has to be wrapped in plastic and made waterproof with tape that MacGyer would die to have in his tool pouch. Medical tape is the first cousin to Duct Tape, I believe. Seriously. And forget about washing my hair. Just couldn’t happen. So what do you think is at the top of my “To Do List” once I get out?

Peeing every 20 minutes- Since I was beyond dehydrated when I came in, I’ve had constant fluids running through me the entire time. And between The Liquid Diet (see next item on list) and the fluids, I haven’t peed this much since I was preggo with Sweet Pea. Up and down, up and down. Every 20 to 30 minutes. It’s exhausting, and painful, given the nature of my illness.  Again, I understand the benefits, but I thought I was supposed to rest here. Hello, catheter anyone?

The Liquid Diet- Remember how I talked about loving Jello in this post?  Well, you can forget all that BS. Because I’ve got a bit of strength back now, and I’m fairly certain the next tray that comes through my door sporting a fancy little plastic dish full of that translucent, colorful shit is going to be hurled at the wall. That goes for its equally nasty friend gelato too. Maybe I can say I was redecorating, and I thought the walls needed some modern “artwork” 🙂

Luigi, please go back to chasing Mario, will ya?

Luigi, stick with your partner Mario and go back to your day job, will ya?

***On a serious note though, the MOST EXCRUCIATING thing about being here is missing The Beans. The hospital will not allow the littles to come up and visit. Sugar Bean barely made the age requirement herself, and only came once, on Saturday for about 15 minutes. I think seeing me here spooked her and I didn’t press her to come back. If all goes well, I’ll be out this afternoon, have my babies in my arms and go back to life as usual in a few days. Okay, maybe not ‘as usual’, since that got me here in the first place. I’ll be making some adjustments so I can continue to entertain y’all with the adventures of my life from anywhere but here!

 

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Pajama Panic

Story of my life.

Story of my life.

Tomorrow is Pajama Day at The Girls’ school. It happens year after year, and inevitably, I experience the same freaking anxiety each and every time. Seriously. I need a mainline of Valium straight to my jugular in order to calm my neurotic ass down tonight.

While I should be excited that I don’t have to get them properly dressed in the morning, I am actually thinking…

“Fuck, fuck, double fuck! Who’s brilliant idea was THIS? He/she needs to be kicked out of the PTA.”

Why, you ask? Because my children wear the rattiest, most mismatched shit to sleep in you have ever laid eyes on. Comfy? Absolutely. Presentable to wear in public? Hell to the no! I have 3 girls, so pajamas are handed down and worn completely thread bare. Even MY pajamas are pathetic looking. Because nobody is actually supposed to see them. And I am horrified by the thought of my sweet angels being judged by their attire, and talked about in hushed tones by all the kiddos who probably have brand spanking new pj’s on tomorrow. Call me vain. Whatever. Kids are cruel. I know it, and so do you.

Nonetheless, I resisted the urge to run out today and purchase cool new pajamas for The Girls. That’s progress, right? Well don’t reward me yet, because I am seriously entertaining the possibility of letting them play hooky in favor of a Mommy/Daughters day complete with mani/pedis, or perhaps an educational outing to a museum or even a trip to the zoo.

Anything to avoid Pajama Day, for Pete’s sake. 

Ugh.

 

 

 

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