Get “Eye of the Tiger” Ready on Your iPod…I’m in Training!! #JustDoIt

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I am doing the Nike Women’s Half Marathon D.C. 2014 in memory of my aunt, as well as in honor of my boyfriend’s mother who is currently battling lymphoma. The event in D.C. is specifically for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with the proceeds going solely to that organization which is why I chose that event. Cancer sucks, and I want to do whatever I can to help those who are still impacted by this horrible disease. I have never been much of an athlete. Ask anyone in my family. Although, as a kid, I did play basketball for a bit, loved biking, and swimming. Over the years though, I have let my once active lifestyle fall by the wayside which is not okay by me. I have a personal goal of getting healthier and fit again. I also want to eradicate cancer once and for all. I will probably be one of those walk-runners.  It’s funny, because ever since I got back in town on Sunday, I’ve been seeing signs EVERYWHERE for Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And I mean everywhere. From the subways, to the ads on my computer. I don’t think it’s an accident either. Who knows what this journey will bring, but I’m glad I signed on for it. In honor of my radical life-change, here are some inspirational movies to help you meet your personal goals.

  1. Rocky (1976)
  2. Legally Blonde (2001)
  3. The Mighty Ducks (1992)
  4. The Sandlot (1993)
  5. The Hunger Games (2012)
  6. Without Limits (1998)
  7. Miracle (2004)
  8. The Next Karate Kid (1993)
  9. Girlfight (2000)
  10. Whip it (2009)

In Rememberance of Lisa, My Beloved Aunt.

auntielisafreestylecollageNine days ago, on November 10, 2013, I lost one of the most important and influential women in my life. My auntie Lisa lost her 15 month battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML,) which is a type of blood cancer. She was 52.  Only a month and a half earlier, we lost my grandfather suddenly as well. Needless to say, the past few months, coupled with the lengthy fight to save my aunt’s life, have been trying times for my family. During the time when my aunt was going through treatment, I started this blog–it will be a year old soon. In a way, this site has helped me cope with news from back home about my aunt’s illness; I also wanted to bring her joy through our common love of writing and movies. She would always be watching an old movie when I visited. We would watch Bette Davis be captivating in Now, Voyager, or quote The Godfather Trilogy verbatim.  My aunt was a strong force of nature who always made her presence known, spoke her mind, and fought for what she wanted out of life. She had an infectious laugh and the Boston accent to match. I have always thought of her as a kindred spirit. She taught me to love the ocean, animals, and angels. But most importantly, she taught me to love and accept myself for who I am. She helped me recognize a certain strength inside me that I didn’t know I had, and didn’t see in myself until recently. Last night, I decided to sign up to volunteer for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as Team in Training which helps people organize and train for events that raise awareness for blood cancers like AML. I am on a mission to do anything I can to help prolong the lives of those who are suffering, and eradicate cancer by raising awareness and continuing to fight in the name of my aunt.

In Loving Memory of Lisa A. Cushing (December 12, 1960-November 10, 2013)

                                                                                          Godonlytakesthebest

 

Faerie Tale Theatre: A Closer Look

Christopher Reeve and Bernadette Peters in the "Sleeping Beauty" episode as the Prince and Princess.
Christopher Reeve and Bernadette Peters in the “Sleeping Beauty” episode as the Prince and Sleeping Beauty.

During the filming of Popeye with Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall was inspired to start a children’s television series in the vain of the classic television show Shirley Temple’s Storybook where fairy tales were at the forefront. The production values and the guest-stars were top notch, and in 1982, Faerie Tale Theatre hit the airwaves. With witty dialogue and cultural references that are relevant even today, it’s amazing how popular this show still is. It’s not just a kid’s show either. Like Shelley Duvall said in her intros, it was meant for children of all ages. What’s more impressive, is the sheer amount of all-star guest appearances that graced the screen. Shelley Duvall and her show had a certain appeal that made actors WANT to be on her show. Past, present, and future Oscar-winning actors like Tatum O’Neal, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Alan Arkin, Anjelica Houston and Helen Mirren all appeared on the show. Numerous character actors, still working today, such as Conchata Ferrel, Christopher Lee, Harry Dean Stanton, Doris Roberts, and John Lithgow, just to name a few, had screen time. The list goes on and on. You can view lists of episodes with guest stars here. What I find fascinating, is these actors, who were and are well-respected, did a so-called “kids” show and gave full-out, amazing performances. It didn’t matter if the audience was all-children, or adults. Faerie Tale Theatre was a show where the quality of the episodes and the quantity of the guest stars were equally matched, and brilliant. Inspiration from illustrations done by famous artists like Norman Rockwell, Gustav Klimt, and Arthur Rackham helped make the back drops and sets unique to each individual fairy tale. In fact, I doubt that in this day and age, a show like this, of this caliber, would even make it onto the airwaves. The acting was superb and it shows. It probably harkens back to the theatrical training of many of the stars of the show. Christopher Reeve was Julliard trained, Bernadette Peters was a Broadway vet,  and Vanessa Redgrave comes from theatrical family for example.

Below is the beginning of Goldilocks and the Three Bears starring Oscar-winner, Tatum O’Neal, Emmy-winner, John Lithgow, and Grammy-winner, Carol King. It’s one of my favorite episodes, and it’s timeless in terms of production values and episode quality.  The full series is available on YouTube for free and worth watching.