Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Okay, by now it should come as no surprise that I'm a fan of Bollywood movies. I mean, I'm a HUGE fan! Some of you may recall my post on favorite Bollywood music a few years ago (click here), as well of course as this here Model Spotlight series, in which more often than not I'm posting up some famous Indian beauty from the movie scene. And it's really a good thing I watch Bollywood, too, otherwise I would be missing out on so many hotties from the sub-continent. DAYUMMM! Case in point, today's entry.

Name:  Deepika Padukone
Age:  28
Profession:  Model/Actress
Hometown:  Bangalore, India
Accolades:  2005 "Model of the Year" - Kingfisher Fashion Awards; Filmfare award for "Best Female Debut" on the 2007 film, Om Shanti Om; and Filmfare award for "Best Actress" on the 2013 film, Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela.
Best Known:  As Veronica in the hit Indian romantic comedy-drama, Cocktail (2012).
Current:  Finalized filming on Piku, a comedy-drama starring alongside her childhood idol and legendary Bollywood actor, Amitabh Bachchan.

Born in Copenhagen in 1986, Deepika's parents returned home and settled in Bangalore just a year later to raise their daughter and, eventually, her little sister, Anisha, as well. Her mother was a travel agent, and her father the famous Indian pro badminton player, Prakash Padukone. And for a while there it looked as if Deepika would follow in her daddy's footsteps, becoming quite proficient at the sport of badminton, even to the point of competing on the national level. But in high school she realized her true dream was to become an actress, and so she dropped out of sports to focus on a career in modeling and movies.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I Don't Know, It's Just The Way I Am!

You know what I get the most tired of people asking me? "Why are you so quiet all the time?" Seriously, I wish some of you would stop asking me this nonsense. Barring that, I wish you would just understand. If my silence makes you uncomfortable, look to your own reasons for why this is so. Don't blame me for your discomfort.

I came across this pin on Pinterest earlier today, and it's basically the motto of my life. I wish more people would follow this advice:

How true is this? Everyone has a different story, a different reason for why they are the way they are. The reasons for why I'm usually more content to listen in a group rather than be the center of one is many fold. I had a harsh and disciplined childhood. I had some really shitty things happen to me at a young age. I was always the youngest kid in class. I had a physical disability very early on (extremely poor eyesight) which made me the butt of schoolyard ridicule and made me retreat within myself even more. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But the truth is: I was born an introvert. And society acts as if this is a bad thing. It's not! More people are introverts than are extraverts. Did you know that? Other countries do. America is one of the few that caters to the extravert, and it's damn annoying! In our society, the person with the biggest mouth is usually the one that everyone listens to. No matter the fact that such people are often brash, immature, judgemental, intolerant, and best of all -- usually wrong!

And just to clear things up: I am NOT shy! There is a world of difference between being shy and being an introvert. The two are not the same. I can speak before a large crowd when I need to, and I can look you directly in the eye when conversing individually. I can answer you perfectly well when asked a question, and I don't stutter or mumble my words. I'm not afraid of you ... I just sometimes wish you would cut out the small talk and only engage me when you have something interesting to say and worth my time hearing. Seriously, that's it in a nutshell.

Interesting enough, I was just reading this article on The Huffington Post the other day which covered pretty much exactly how I feel on the subject of introverts--i.e., people just like me. It lists the 10 ways that introverts interact differently with the world. To read the whole article and truly understand what makes me tick, click on this link for the full text. One passage in particular I want to highlight here:

"Shyness is about fear of social judgment," Cain said. "Introversion is more about how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extraverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched on and their most capable when they are in quieter, more low-key environments."

Yes, exactly! I really take this to heart. When I am surrounded by large amounts of stimulation--crowds of people all trying to talk over one another are the worst!--I can figuratively feel the lifeforce slowly draining from me. I start to feel sluggish and numb, and all I want to do is get the hell home and crawl into a good book or Netflix documentary! Or work on one of my fiction stories. These activities rejuvenate me, make me feel whole again. I didn't really know how to express this all until reading that article. I mean, wow!

So this is who I am. I'm old enough now to no longer care what anyone else thinks about my peculiar traits. I don't need to fight it anymore. I am what I am, and this is just the way I am!

And, yes, the title of this post is an Eminem reference to one of my favorite of his rap tracks off the original Marshall Mathers LP. Take a listen why don't you? Warning for offensive language, but of course.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 12 Nights of Christmas-Not Flims

Now then, this is the time of year I look forward to the most! No, not so much because of the holidays, although those are nice. No, the real cause for my excitement is the fact that I usually take the last two weeks off from work, thus commencing a long stretch of doing absolutely NOTHING! Call it a harken back to the days when I was just a school kid and we used to get 3-week recesses, I suppose. My brain is just hard-wired to taking half the month of December off after having done it for most of my life. You know how it is.

For the most part I tend to use this time off to relax. In addition to shunning the office job, I also take a break from my daily workouts and refrain from the pursuit of any task or situation that will cause me stress. So in other words, I basically watch a lot of tv, play a lot of video games, eat a lot of (bad) food I don't normally allow myself to eat during the rest of the year -- and devise movie marathons. 

Oh yeah!!!

This is probably what I associate most with this time of year, watching movies. And not just movies that are out in theaters at the end of the year, although I do make it a point to catch all the Oscar-bait films currently out. I'm talking about home theater viewing, you see? One year I had a Lord of the Rings marathon that took all day and into the wee hours of morning to slog through. But it was so much fun! Another staycation, I binged on Spaghetti Westerns. See what I mean? Oh what fun!

This year, however, I had a different idea for the season's movie marathon. This year I decided to screen, every night of Christmas, a single movie which was released in theaters on or near the holidays. More accurately, these would be movies that I personally saw during the holidays in past years. I stress this part because, as with some of the movies on the list I'm about to provide below, a few titles were released back in October or November of their associated years, but which I didn't get around to catching in theaters until--yup, you guessed it!--my annual end-of-year staycation. In addition to said criteria, these are also movies that were considered really big box office draws at the time. Some of them were even the holiday centerpieces of the year, if you will. The biggest grossing movies ever! And, then, some were only modest successes, but which played big in both my memory and in my heart. Regardless, they all had a hand in capturing the holiday season for me, resonating with me in a major way, and representing some of the best carefree movie "escape" experiences of the season. And for that, I am forever beholden to them.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Status Update

Have no fear, all is fine here. I didn't even realize it's been nearly 2 months since I last blogged. Wow. Somehow I'm proud of that achievement. It means I've been busy living life! :)

And yet, despite the absence, my blog's daily tracker has exploded with new visitors in that time. Seriously! I used to get around 150 to 250 visitors per day a few months ago (twice that back when I was posting Game of Thrones reviews), but ever since the summer this site has been receiving anywhere between 900 and 1,500 unique visits per day! I guess when you've been posting since 2008, eventually you have something for everyone on your site. The majority of the visits are through Google searches, though, and around 75% of those are for various pics I post here. Especially pics about famous people or models. Go figure.

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...