Trick or Treating

Halloween, expensive halloween, trick or treat, costumesIn a few days, it will be Halloween and all the fun and madness that goes with it.  In our town, and most, the celebrations started weeks ago with Halloween nights and parties at the schools and events at the malls.  It has become a much bigger holiday than when I was a kid and it is no longer just for kids.  Grown-ups are throwing lots of Halloween parties as well and many times no kids are invited.  This is no longer a time where most kids had homemade costumes since now there is such a huge industry and sometimes it is easier or cheaper to buy your favorite character costume off the rack.  Though, people still applaud the effort and creativity of an innovative, homemade costume, most parents are too busy to devote the time.  After all, these things are worn once.  Correction, now with the extra parties, they may be worn twice.

It’s a fun time though, even if it does get expensive.  $30 per costume or more and then another $40 on candy in a neighborhood like ours and then all the baked goods and treats you need to buy or make for the schools.  If you decorate your house then add that in as well, not to mention all the elaborate Jack-o-lanterns you must carve.  The kids love it and get away with eating more sweets than you would ever allow.  For half of November I feel like I need to detox the kids (and myself) from all that sugar.  Then of course, Thanksgiving comes and we pig out on pies and a huge meal.  Oh well!

This year I heard the most elitist letter that has gone viral on the internet regarding Halloween.  A woman in a rich neighborhood complained that kids from other less affluent areas were coming to her area to trick or treat.  She didn’t want to give those kids treats and felt they should stay in their locality.  How rude and ridiculous.  I could understand if the outside children were vandalizing their homes or something.  However there was no such issue.  She simply didn’t want to share her candy with poorer children on a holiday that is all about giving candy to whoever comes to your door.  In my neighborhood we have the opposite dynamic.  Many kids from developments with huge homes come to our development since you can more easily walk from house to house and get more candy.  There are also many more kids in our area so those kids find it more fun to trick or treat away from their mansions.  Should we complain about not wanting to share our middle-class candy with the one-percenters?  I think not!  Just go out and have fun and just hope that your kids are safe.  Unfortunately, there are people more awful than this snooty lady that can try to ruin Halloween.  Send your kids in groups to well lighted areas and check for suspicious candy before they dig in.  Happy Halloween!!!

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Don’t be shy

Originally posted on 4 Shamar (Shaan + Amar):

With all these gadgets and toys it’s easy to hide in the back of a party and immerse yourself into the wallpaper.

Put it down and get involved. Look around and get up. Change your perspective and you might see that you could have a lot more fun living life. Dancing in the middle of the floor like you don’t care. Or just giggling with your friends in the corner.

Don’t be shy to live in the moment.

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‘The Flash’ TV Series is Mom and Kid Friendly

Flash, The Flash tv show, CW, superhero, kid friendlySo I waited until after the second episode to give my review/opinion on the new CW series, The Flash.  My opinion is that it is quite good!  For those of you that enjoy watching sci-fi and superheroes and even those that don’t, I think it’s worth checking out.  My kids (10 & 11 yr olds) have loved watching Arrow and Smallville (re-runs) so I thought they would enjoy this series too.  Well, they did and so did I.  It has a lighter feel than Arrow, with a less tormented hero, so I feel less guilty letting them watch.  However, it isn’t so cheesy and young that adults wouldn’t get into it.  Grant Gustin, the actor who plays Barry Allen is very likeable and does a good job portraying a young man who is struggling with new-found abilities and secrets.  The show delves into the origin of his powers right away and now we get to see what he does with them.

The show has interesting villains who can control weather, multiply themselves and who knows what’s next.  There is also a back story about the mysterious death of Barry’s mom and how his dad is wrongly incarcerated for her murder.  There is also some mystery about Dr. Wells of S.T.A.R. Labs that will unfold over time.  I think they’ve done a good job setting this series up with some cool individual episodes as well as some ongoing storylines to keep you hooked.  There are also enough quality actors to keep adult viewers interested.  In fact the actor who plays Barry’s dad, John Wesley Shipp, played the Flash in a 1990 show.  Tom Cavanagh (of Ed fame) plays the intriguing Dr. Wells and Jesse L. Martin (of Law & Order and Ali McBeal) does a great job as Detective Joe West who is Barry’s guardian.

I think this show has great potential and our family is into it already.  Maybe by next year my son’s will want a Flash costume for Halloween.  But for now, the boys have put the Smallville re-runs on hold in favor of The Flash

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“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” Review

movie, family entertainment, kids movie, comedy, alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad dayWe took my son to see this movie with two of his close friends as part of his 10th birthday celebrations.  This meant that our whole family had to endure it so we hoped it would be good.  I must say I was fully entertained and so were the older and younger kids.  It was barely an hour and a half so there wasn’t time to drag on the story.  Every minute was full of something amusing and it was pretty fast paced.  My only issue with the movie was that we had already seen many of the funny scenes in the preview.  The movie was short so maybe they should have done a shorter preview so as not to ruin the surprises.  Other than that, however, the movie was a great, family friendly comedy.

It was funny and yet had a message.  It was about a boy, Alexander, who has a horrible day but no one in his family seems to sympathize.  Then he makes a wish on his birthday candle that they could understand how he feels.  Suddenly, on his birthday, the whole family seems to be having a very bad day and yet they deal with it as a family.  It’s a fun ride.  It is clean humor and Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner do a great job as the parents.  Steve Carell always has such an endearing way of being hilarious.  If you’re looking for a cute, funny movie then I recommend watching it.

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‘Gone Girl’ the Movie

gone girl, movie, film ben affleck, rosamund pikeIt’s doing well in the theaters and I had read the book, so I was eager to watch the Gone Girl movie.  My husband and I watched it on our date last night.  It was interesting to see his shocked reactions since he didn’t know anything about the story.  I won’t give any spoilers except to say that it isn’t a lovey dovey date night movie or one that makes you want to run out and get married.

Otherwise, I would say it did a good job of following the book and the same issues I had with the story in the book were the same things I disliked about the movie screenplay.  It was compelling to watch and really kept you interested though.  Both Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike did a brilliant job in their roles.  They brought the book’s main characters to life very well.  They were just as I had imagined them.  I enjoyed the movie but might not have had to see it in the theater if I wasn’t curious about how they adapted the book.  Theater or rental though, it will keep you interested!

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The Good Wife- Season 6 Premiere

the Good Wife, Season 6 premiere, review{spoiler alert}  For those of you who watch The Good Wife, you were probably eager to see some questions answered from the eventful finale last season.  You probably didn’t expect that the writers would throw more curve balls at you instead.  Well, I didn’t.  Not that I’m complaining, because the ensemble of this show keeps it fresh and interesting and acts it out so believably.

Last night, I was curious to find out if Alicia would agree to run for State’s Attorney and whether Diane would be accepted as a new equal partner in Florick/Agos.  Well, all that got sidetracked when Cary got arrested for drug trafficking.  He was treated pretty badly by the police and we got to see how inefficient and awful the police/prison system can be.  Cary wasn’t even able to call anyone for hours.  Once everyone realized where he was, they also realized that this was a police tactic to get at their drug dealing client, Lemond Bishop.  This created more panic because Alicia scrambled to tell the charming yet deadly Bishop that Cary will not turn on him and they have it ‘handled’.  Meanwhile Bishop’s guy in prison was cutting Cary with a knife as some sort of test of loyalty. “Guard, guard” he barely called out and then had to say he hurt himself accidentally.  Bishop apparently accepted Cary as loyal when an ‘independent businessman’ came to give Alicia $1.3 million dollars to use for bail.  Things still didn’t go smoothly since Alicia was removed as Cary’s counsel and the bail origin is in question.

Now, on Diane’s front, she agreed to represent Cary despite fearing that her current clients may not like the drug link.  David Lee and Canning are both suspicious that Diane is going to join Florick/Agos and are planning to use Cary’s arrest to spook all her clients.  They certainly don’t want to lose $38 million dollars of revenue.

Kalinda was back in the fold too as she rushed to help Cary.  Her former ‘girlfriend’ from the FBI is back too and things are getting interesting.  Somehow this all seems connected.

In Peter’s office, Eli has been plotting and planning already to get Alicia to run for State’s attorney.  Meanwhile, he’s also trying to keep Peter and his reputation in check by making sure an intern was wearing panties.  All very amusing, as is everything Eli does.  This time we also were entertained by his bold and amusing daughter who says she’d be great her dad’s line of work.

There were so many amusing and disturbing things in this premiere.  I’m sure Season 6 will not disappoint and obviously The Good Wife is still going strong.  What were your favorite scenes?

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Is “The Maze Runner” Appropriate for Kids

Maze Runner, movie, kidsThough I never read the books, I was curious to watch the movie based on The Maze Runner.  My kids were interested too since the trailers appealed to people who liked things like The Hunger Games or Divergent.  We all did, so we were sucked in to this one too.  It was entertaining and intense.  It is based on a dystopian society where a group of children are trapped on a glade which is surrounded by a maze.  There are dangerous things that lurk within that maze that ensures that no one will leave the glade.

I wasn’t sure from the trailer if this movie would be appropriate for my kids who are almost 10 and 12.  They are boys and have seen most of the superhero movies and enjoy science fiction and fantasy.  Still, I wasn’t sure if this one was too dark and violent.  Well, we gambled after reading a few opinions on the internet and went as a family.  As we were watching, I turned to my husband and said, “I don’t think we should have brought the boys”.  There were many intense scenes of fear and violence.  There were some creepy images of creatures and dead bodies and some foul language.  I think this movie is ideally for kids that are a couple of years older than me but that’s my opinion.  My boys said they weren’t scared but they did cover their eyes during one or two scenes.  I think my kids were desensitized because of watching The Hunger Games but they had read those books and didn’t watch that on the big screen.  This was a bit more terrifying on the big screen.

I guess everyone has to use their judgement and gauge their kids’ reactions and maturity.  As far as an adult view on the movie…it was good.  I enjoyed the story, concept and the acting.  Unfortunately, I had not read the books and was left with more questions than answers by the end of the movie.  I guess they are making sure we come back for the sequel!

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