How many boxes do you see?

Hey everyone!

I am back and have something for all my smart subscribers! I found this on Facebook and had to present it here on my blog. Average thinkers say they see only 25 squares. I see 44 squares (I found the last 4 today). Originally, I found 40. How many do you see? I’ll give you a hint. It’s all on how you focus on the squares. It can be tricky on the eyes, but that’s the fun part. I’ll give you another clue which helped me. Focus on all 4 corners and make equal squares from each corner to get extra squares until they get bigger. Another clue (yes, I’m giving out secrets, but who cares!) is to make perfect squares from the center as an equal “cross”. Believe me, you’ll see lots of squares pop up.

Other than that, things are fine. We were going to Toronto, but we’ll do that another time. My mother hasn’t been feeling well lately so it was not a good time for a long drive up there, unfortunately. I was really looking forward to going to another country. So, my vacation plans are up in the air as to what I’ll be doing. I know half of it will be spent down at our old beach house by the ocean. The other half will be filled with fun activities too. I’m thinking caves…….the kind where you sit on a boat and go through caves. But that is weeks from now. How have you been?

I have two awards to give out to certain bloggers. I just have to go their links and profiles to copy down their names. I’ll be posting them via a video. I’m behind in giving them out as some bloggers were nice enough to nominate me a few months ago and it has taken me this long to finally do this. So, I will have time hopefully to do that very soon.

When art comes to life

Or so it appears. If you have an imagination and art inspires you to a world that might not have been or a world you would have liked it to be, you can’t help but be moved by it. Upong seeing a work of art painted by one of the greatest artists of history, how can you not be inspired?

This past week I watched “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. This movie was inspired by a painting done by Dutch artist Jan Vermeer (1632 – 1675). Vermeer’s artwork has been known to be extremely realistic with his ability to use light in his paintings. If you are an art enthuist such as myself, you will love this movie and I highly recommend it. I can’t believe I missed this movie as I always love movies about art and historic artists.

Here is the movie trailer.

A little known secret not many people know (well, they do now) is that growing up one of my first “aunts” was from Holland. Her name is Vera. Vera would show me Dutch cartoons and Dutch artwork. I’ve grown to like the blue and white dinner plates and cups, ceramic tiles that is typical in their homes. I have a special love towards Dutch culture. It doesn’t hurt either I dated a very sweet Dutch guy several years ago. We could have gotten married, but I wasn’t ready for it. Holland is a country I would love to visit one day. I follow a blogger who blogs from Holland! She knows who she is!

I know what its like to be inspired. I once saw a picture of a painting of a boy playing a flute and I was inspired to compose a little song that I thought he might have played. You can find it here below. Just click on the link and find “The French Flute Player” and you’ll hear the song. I’m not sure if the painting is French, but nevertheless, I was inspired.

http://eng.musicshake.com/#!/user/cAnDyGiRL004

I’ve also written about another young Dutch artist on one of my blogs. I think he’s so talented! Here is the video part. I don’t have time to find the link to the entire blog page about him, but it’s here somewhere in my years worth of blogs.

Caught in an ocean storm on a boat!

Hello friends!

After a crazy 3 storm and feeling like I was in one of those “Deadliest Catch” episodes, I am dry and safe. Not sure if I told you guys I was going on a 6 hour LightHouse Tour on a charter boat this past Sunday. Well, there I was with my mom, Adventure Boy and my mom’s two friends. My mom initially thought the cruise was 3 hours long, but come to find out it was 6 hours long which changed plans a bit. We quickly ran over to the world’s hottest store by the bay to get some hoagies. I never felt so hot in a store before, it was hotter than any store I’ve ever been in Brazil and Brazil can get hot! So, we waited in the sauna-esque store and crawled out with our hoagies with tongues hanging out our mouths. Ok. Maybe not, but it felt like it. We were one of the last to board the boat since everyone else had boarded and we took off for an adventure. I love adventures if you haven’t already noticed and I’m sure (and hope) I’ll have many more.

From the video below, you’ll see it starts off nice and normal. Unfortunately, my camera had gotten so wet and was being rebellious, I wasn’t able to capture the lightning storm all around us and the choppy waters. You can see dark skies in the horizon towards the end.

I had forgotten how much I love being out in the water. The sun was blazing hot, only to be outdone by the cool breeze we all felt on the boat. I would love to have a boat of my own to go out in the ocean. So, basically we take off and I’m loving how the sun feels and what I see before me. The ocean is one beast you do not mess with. The depth and width she holds is massive. We even passed some dolphins swimming around in the distance.

We saw some nice Lighthouses as you can see on the video and I missed capturing one far off in the distance. At one point before the 3 storms all came together, the waters were so choppy everyone on the boat was walking around like a drunk-it was comical. The spray of the ocean was coming up and splashing everyone, but I was loving it. Even though I had carefully curled my hair and made it look nice, it was a mess due to the high winds and being splashed, but it was it worth it! So, Jean and myself sat up front of the boat and admired the light show off in the distance. Then we started getting more and more splashed by the water in front of the boat and the thunder rolled in. There was one other woman out with us and she was sitting against the boat facing the tip of the boat. She was laughing and saying, “I’m already soaked, I might as well stay out here!” Amen sister! A girl after my own heart. The three of us held on tight to whatever was convenient to hold on to and the lightning was coming closer. The sky was dark and the clouds menacing looking. At one point the boat looked like it was about to tip over. I think I was out there for a good 15 minutes before a lightening came a bit too close for my comfort and I was holding on to something steel. I walked back and forth (due to the boat moving side to side) inside where everyone else was. Upon entering, people were soaking wet and just sitting…a conversation here and there. One lady took a look at me and said, “You are CRAZY for being out there!” to which I replied, “Yeh, but I love the rain and I’ve been on many boat trips.” She still said I was crazy to which I still replied, “I was having fun!”. It’s tough to argue with boring, critical and non-adventureous people. I feel sorry for them. I moved and sat next to my mom who told me, “Doesn’t this remind you of when were going down the Amazon river?” Of course, I do. I love my mom. She’s cool and she knows and can tell you many Amazon adventure stories.

Eventually the storm passed and it got dark. The lightning storm headed out to land and we got to see nature at its best with a light show off in the distance. It was a peaceful ride and surreal.

One of the members of this society who was on the boat said this boat ride was the worst he had ever been on and he’d been on many! Due to the storm, we only got to se 3 lighthouses instead of 8. It’s ok, I won’t forget this ride.

Chunhyang movie review

I couldn’t find an English subtitled movie trailer for this movie, so I put up a French one instead. The movie itself has various subtitle languages to choose from, English being one of them.

Wow. First of all, I loved this movie and would definetely watch it again! The entire movie is in Korean, but it’s worth watching. I thought the storyline of this movie was amazing. This movie was so romantic and full of passion and love. I’m a hopeless romantic and this just got me to the core. I even almost cried at one scene, it was so beautiful, yet tragic. No worries, the ending is great and you’ll stand up and cheer!

The beginning of the movie starts off with a man on stage singing what appears a folklore to an audience. Get used to his singing because he’ll be narrating/singing the entire 2 hours of the movie. As he narrates/sings, the movie begins for you to see and watch the story he is telling. Thus, begins the wonderful story of Chunhyang.

This movie is about loyalty, respect and true love even at a very young age. I believe the two characters get married at the age of 15.

Another surprise is how now I fully understand the deep sentiment the flowers have to the Korean and Japanese culture. The movie has such beautiful poetry and writing, I was highly impressed. If you are a poet, you’ll love this movie. I sure did. Korean poetry is unlike any other poetry I’ve read from other cultures; the way they weave nature, feelings and human nature is unreal. The way the movie is narrated, it’s as if it is a long poem being read outloud. There is dialogue to support the poem.

I highly recommend this movie, it is worth seeing. This is a very intelligently written, beautifully photographed and edited movie. Truly impressive and so far my favorite foreign film from my list thus far!

I give it 5 coffee beans out of 5 coffee beans.

The Sea is Watching review

Hello again!

“The Sea is Watching” is a great movie and I highly recomend it. The trailer is “ok”, but does not give the best parts away or much of it. I’m glad I didn’t see the trailer first because I wouldn’t have been interested. Instead, I just went by the description on the back of the DVD. This wonderfully scripted movie blended Japanese culture and showed the power of determination and patience. There was a part in the middle of the movie that made my jaw drop. I was quite suprised at the sudden twist of the storyline. The twist was so well written that my jaw dropped the same time the shocked look on the characters happened. That, my friends, is awesome writing. Sometimes love stories are so predictable, it’s nice to be surprised now and then. Keeps you awake. The storyline was good, although at one point I almost fell asleep. The story was not keeping my attention. That only lasted 5 minutes before it picked up again. Perhaps I was just tired. When I watch Japanese movies, I always learn new things. For instance, I always wondered how the rice paper windows were able to withstand storms and heavy rains-sliding wooden doors, of course! I watch every detail. I also watch how the characters speak to each other and what things make the characters mad. What I love about international romance movies is how passion and love are all felt the same, but shown in different ways. So, I recommend this story about a handful of ladies who do their “service” (if you know what I mean) and the drama that encircles their everyday life.

I give it 4 coffee beans out of 5 coffee beans.

2 Days in Paris

Hello friends,

So, I’m a day late regarding this blog movie review. Oops. It was hot and I pretty much just cooled off at home and went to sleep. Hot days plus busy work days equals sleep. However, I’m very much awake now and ready to give my honest opinion of what I thought of this movie.

First of all, Adam Goldberg. He’s amazing with a capital “A” for acting! Adam has a very natural way of saying his lines and I enjoyed his character. Julie was a natural and appeared quite comfortable in her character. The trailer is “ok”, but doesn’t really give the best parts of the movie. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to children-it’s pretty raunchy and has an edge about it. There were some laugh out loud moments and I liked that. I didn’t see much of Paris, but I did get to see “everyday” things and culture. The relationship between “Jack” (Adam G.) and “Marion” (Julie D.) was interesting. Their relationship was normal in regards to their characters traveling across Europe, but once “Marion” got to her homeland, she seemed to really let loose. I love cross culture relationships because I’ve been in numerous ones. Ok. Not that many, but enough to laugh and say, “Ahh, I’ve been there with that one!”. Some of my ex-boyfriends have been from Egypt, Russia, Britain, Holland and Sweden. Anyways, to see Jack feel so uncomfortable during dinner while everyone else speaks French, even made me feel bad for him. This movie also pushed typical stereotypes of Americans and the French. Basically, this movie is about Jack’s and Marion’s relationship at that “turning point” in every relationship where the both of them wonder if its worth continuing with their relationship. There is nothing truly romantic about this movie; this is as “everyday and real” as it can get for these two characters.

I would give it 3 coffee beans out of 5 coffee beans.

Indie movies rock!

Hello my peeps!

So, I’m back to watching and reviewing my Indie movie picks for this summer. I know I did a similar review last year. I have chosen 5 for this week. Here they are:

Monday: 2 Days in Paris starring Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg. Not sure if it’s an Indie, but am a fan of Julie! I like the country of France too, so it’s nice to see some of it in a movie. (American)

Tuesday: The Sea is Watching directed by Kei Kuma. Love Japanese culture and movies. Looks good. (Japanese)

Wednesday: Waiting List directed by Juan Carlos Tabio. The storyline seems cute and touching. Looks good. (Spanish)

Thursday: Chunhyang by Im Kwon Taek. Looks interesting. Never heard of it. Looks colorful too. (Korean)

Friday: Illegal by Olivier Masset-Depasse based on a true story. Big fan of Belgium movies! (Belgium)

The picture of my lovely candle I took a while ago. I just like it. Very calming if I say so myself. Alrighty. So, I’m heading off to have a good movie night. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow! 🙂

Peace and love.

Fireworks on an island….

Hello friends!

So, did you have a good 4th of July? We went to Sea Isle City to have a wonderful picnic and later to watch the fireworks by the ocean. Earlier in the day, we had seen a big and long boat carrying all the fireworks out in the ocean with our binoculars. For those who are unfamiliar with Sea Isle City, it is an island off the coast of New Jersey. Sea Isle City has become quite the family beach place to go. We use to have a beach house inland for 10 years or so, but sadly had to sell it. Luckily, in the contract for the new owners (who we personally know and are friends of ours), we get one week at our old beach each summer. People watching was nice on the boardwalk and smelling the salt air. I captured some photos when I could. My hand was a little shaky because I was talking and trying to hold my hand with the camera low enough and not block the view of people behind me. After the fireworks, I looked out into the ocean and saw the moon round as could be and very orange looking. It was so spectacular. You couldn’t see it on the video below, but there were other fireworks going off on the other island of Avalon. As we left to go inland, we saw three more fireworks going off. It was indeed a fun and happy day for all of us!

The video below:

FourthofJuly2012 from JavaGirl on Vimeo.

Patriotic Pizza

Hello everyone!

And a special hug and big welcome to my latest subscribers! Well, in the spirit of 4th of July being tomorrow, I thought I’d make a patriotic pizza tonight! I had looked online at various recipes, but I liked this one the best because I added pepperoni on top of the sauce as to the sans pepperoni on other recipes I had found. It’s my first time attempting it and it came out alright. At least it tasted amazing! When the pizza finished cooking, it looked nice but my cheese sticks for the Flag stripes reminded me of the song “Dem bones”. They look like joints. I have to figure out how to make a smoother connection of the cheese sticks. I didn’t have a star cutter, so I manually cut those stars out of cheese with a little knife! I’m not the best cutter of cheese stars-it was challenging. I love challenges, so it was fun at the end. The stars I messed up on ended up happily in my mouth. Yum. Have I mentioned I love cheese? Oh yes I do. I’ve been waiting to do this pizza for at least 2 months! I still have to upload the cooked version of the pizza. Still working on it. Oh, the blue sauce. The recipe called for yellow tomatoes to make the lighter hue for the blue sauce, but I couldn’t find any at the store. I substituted the yellow tomoatoes with Afredo sauce and blue food dye.

What about the heat? Holy cow! I feel so bad for those without power. Any special plans for tomorrow? See you all on the next blog post! Stay safe and stay cool! We shall get through this and pretty soon we’ll all be shivering because of the snow outside in a few months.

xoxo

Photo Challenge: Black and white

Shoes. Why do these shoes remind me of Charlie Chaplin if he lived in modern days? My mom usually fills them with flowers, but today they were empty. Not exactly black and white, but pretty close. What a hot, hot day today. Days like these make me feel so exhausted and tired. Getting plans ready to head up to Canada in the next two months. We’ll probably stop by Boston too since we’ve never been there before. It seems like every year we go to a different country. I wouldn’t be surprised if we go to Brazil next year. I’m still tempted to run off to Belize for the weekend and find a cute little cottage in the jungle or a private villa in the Virgin Islands. Hope everyone is keeping cool. Heard one of the worst thunderstorms in my life at 5 AM this morning. I was expecting fallen trees and branches all over the place, but everything looked in order. I know when we have random tornadoes hit our area, it looks like a war zone. Remember last year the freak earthquake? I never knew walls could sway like they did that day; the weirdest sensation I have ever felt.