Worth The Hype: A ’90s Kid’s Reaction To Steven King’s ‘IT’ Remake

I’m a ’90s kid. Steven King’s It miniseries in the ’90s was part of my childhood, and one of the first flicks I ever saw. When I heard they were remaking this horror classic I was pretty stoked.

After this trailer, I can’t wait for September:

The entirety of the IT story will be split into two movies, which take place in a Derry, Maine. Part one begins in 1958, with the mysterious disappearances and murders of children in Derry. A group of kids, known as “The Losers Club” find themselves going up against the evil entity known as Pennywise the clown, who’s been stealing and murdering children for hundreds of years. The second would take place in 1985, and bring these characters back together as adults. When the disappearances in Derry begin again, the “Losers Club” must stop Pennywise once and for all. Not much else has been released on the storyline yet, however, Bill Skarsgård, who plays Pennywise the Clown, promises the movies will feature a fresh new take on Steven King’s beloved horror .

The "Losers Club"
The “Losers Club”

Playing alongside Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise will be Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special),Sophia Lillis (37), Finn Wolfhard (Netflix’s Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic), as well as Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs and Jack Dylan Grazer.

Related: Check out this “Lost In Space” reboot coming to Netflix in 2018!

According to director Dan Lin, IT will have an “R” rating. Here’s what Lin had to say about his cast and the movie:

The kids are amazing. You very much get a “Stand by Me” vibe as far as their camaraderie and the way they joke with each other and that they really care for each other. They do have a scary clown that’s taken over the town of Derry, so it’s going to be rated R.

Check out the poster below! New Line currently has this set to release September 8, 2017.

We all float down here.
We all float down here.
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Excuse My French: Ten Idioms And Their Strange Origins

Idioms. Loosely defined, an idiom is a “word, phrase or saying that is used, but not interpreted logically or literally.”

I’m a native English speaker and I still get all tangled up in these. (I’m still stuck on “Bob’s your uncle.” I’ll never understand that one!)

Here are a few everyday idioms, their meaning, and origin.

To Turn A Blind Eye

Definition: To purposefully ignore undesirable information

Example: “I can’t believe you can turn a blind eye to the corruption in the world.”

This expression is rumored to have arisen after the English Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, in which naval hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, is said to have purposely raised his spyglass to his blind eye, thus making sure that he would not see any sign from his commanding officer, giving him option to withdraw from the battle.

On The Ball

Definition: Someone who is sharp, in control, and alert.

Example: “I like the new commissioner, he’s really on the ball!”

This is believed to have originated with sports, however there are a few theories to where it first began. One theory is that “on the ball” refers to runners getting ready for a race, up on the balls of their feet on the starting line. It may also be derived from the earlier expression “keep your eye on the ball” (used in many sports.)

This could possibly have originated from a saying during the early days of baseball. When the pitcher couldn’t get a good pitch, it was said that he had “nothing on the ball.” Therefore the opposite would be “on the ball,” meaning he or she has control of a situation.

Hit The Sack/Hit The Hay

Definition: To go to bed

Example: “I’m so tired after that party, it’s time for me to hit the hay / hit the sack.”

This most likely originated due to the fact that in the late 19th century, mattresses often were made out of old sacks, which were generally stuffed full of hay or straw.

Cut From The Same Cloth

Definition: Similar, of the same nature

Example: “Your father and husband sure are cut from the same cloth!”

This expression is supposedly derived from tailoring. If you’re making a suit, you would want the jacket and pants to be cut from the same piece of material, thus ensuring a perfect match in color, weave, etc. There are many differences that can occur in material from batch to batch, so the only way to ensure a perfect match in fabric is to have the whole outfit cut from the same cloth.

Down To The Wire

Definition: Undecided until the last minute

Example: “That election was really down to the wire!”

This phrase supposedly came from races, such as horse races and foot races, where the winner was determined by whomever crossed the finish line first. A string, tape or paper banner was stretched across the finish line to help the judges see clearly who crossed first in a close race. That banner over the finish line was called the “wire,” and the winner is the one who broke the “wire” first.

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Definition: Taking on more than you can handle

Example: “I bit off more than I could chew by picking a fight with that guy!”

This idiom dates back to the 1800s, when people chewed tobacco regularly. Sometimes the greedier people would bite off too large of a chunk, which made for the warning, “not to bite off more than you could chew.”

Bite The Bullet

Definition: Deciding to do something hard and get it over with

Example: “I really just need to bite the bullet on this project.”

This idiom is believed to have been derived historically, from the practice of having a patient chew a bullet as a way to cope with the extreme pain of a surgical procedure without anesthesia, however, this is disputed. This may have been done simply as a last resort with battlefield medics, and in the old west where there were few resources. This phrase was first recorded by Rudyard Kipling in his book The Light That Failed.

Riding Shotgun

Definition: Sitting in the front seat

Example: “I’m riding shotgun on the way to the mall!”

When stagecoaches were used as the main means of transport, the seat next to the driver was reserved for an individual holding a firearm, traditionally a shotgun. This front-seat position was strategic for the guard to be able to see and ward off any bandits or animals that would attempt to loot or endanger the passengers riding in the carriage.

Dressed To The Nines

Definition: Dressed very elaborately

Example: “Lets get dressed to the nines and go out tonight.”

This idiom may have originated in one of these two places. One possible origin is that the saying was inspired after the exquisitely crafted uniforms of the 99th infantry regiment of the British army, formed in 1824.

It also may have come from tailoring. When a tailor makes a high quality suit, it uses more fabric. It takes nine yards to make a perfect suit, because a good suit has the fabric cut all the same direction. This causes a great amount of waste, but if you want to show that you’re fancy, you pay for such waste.

Raining Cats And Dogs

Definition: Raining very large, heavy raindrops

Example: “Look outside at those raindrops! It’s raining cats and dogs!”

This strange phrase was first recorded in 1651 in the poet Henry Vaughan’s collection Olor Iscanus. Its origins are left up to speculation, with the ideas ranges from medieval superstition to Norse mythology. The most probable source of the phrase, however, is that dead animals and other debris were sometimes washed up in the streets after heavy rainfall, which could make it appear that it had “rained cats and dogs.”

If you liked this post, be sure to check out part one, Dont Want To Be An American Idiom.

Millennial Mind Bomb: Why I loved Netflix’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’

I was the optimal age when Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events first hit shelves. The Bad Beginning was released 18 years ago and it is still well loved by us ‘90s kids today.  (Well, I guess we are supposedly adults now. ’90s adults?)

Last year, I heard that Netflix was re-creating these classic books into an original series and I was ecstatic.  I have been very impressed with the shows and movies Netflix has rolled out thus far, however, I was devastated to hear that they were casting Neil Patrick Harris, the comedian, as the Count Olaf, the darkest and most sinister villain of my childhood.

What_does_the_eye_symbol_in_Netflix_s_A_Series_of_Unfortunate_Events_mean_

Upon watching the series, however, I was pleasantly surprised. Harris does a fantastic job playing this evil fiend. Harris plays Olaf as an ominous adversary, but the dark humor and self-awareness he brings to the character is enough to keep the show light.

 

Lemony Snicket, played by Patrick Warburton, narrates the show. He does an incredible job and really brings the Gothic feel of the books to the series. The orphans, Melinda Wessman as Violet, Louis Hynes as Klaus, and Presley Smith as Sunny (voiced by Tara Strong) do a great job of carrying the story. There are a few famous faces that bring life to the show as well, such as Joan Cusack as Justice Strauss, and Catherine O’Hara as Dr. Orwell. This show also features Daniel Handler, also known as the author, Lemony Snicket himself, in three episodes, as the fish head salesmen.

daniel handler lemony snicket cameo with mr poe a series of unfortunate events netflix

 

 

The premiere season of this Netflix original show covers the first four of the Snicket’s books, The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, and The Miserable Mill.

The show follows the Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and Sunny. After their parents die in a mysterious fire, they are bounced from guardian to guardian, while being chased by the evil Count Olaf, who is in pursuit of the Baudelaire’s fortune. 

series_unfortunate_hero

Running parallel to the orphan’s story is the mystery of a secret agency, the Volunteer Fire Department. The VFD mystery is intriguing and a lot more is revealed about it in the show than in the book series, which I really enjoyed.

It also follows the path of two adventurous parents, played by Will Arnett and Cobie Smulders, who are first seen in a prison in Peru. The whole series, the nameless “parents” are trying to get home to their children. You are led to believe that these are the Baudelaire parents, that somehow things are going to turn around and the Baudelaire’s will live happily ever after as a family.

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Alas, the twist at the end is that the parents make it home to their children, however, they are not the Baudelaire orphans, they are none other than the Quagmire triplets, who become the Baudelaire’s only friends later on in the series.

The first season comes to a close with the Quagmires’ house engulfing in flames, and the two surviving Quagmire triplets arriving at the Austere Academy along with the Baudelaire orphans.

This show satisfied my love for these books and brought back all the great childhood memories of reading them. I was very pleased with the series and can’t wait for season two.

 

Did you read these books? How did you feel about the Netflix series? 

Knowledge is Power: Five Ways Reading Can Improve Your Life

Books are fun. There are so many different types of literature available, written by authors of all ages and genders, with all sorts of tastes and diverse writing styles.
There are books written yesterday, and books written 1,000 years ago, such as
The Odyssey by Homer, which are still relevant today. So many books, so little time.

I know that I get busy, and with work, family, and other hobbies, and sometimes I don’t find time in my schedule to sit down and get lost in a novel.

Here are just a few reasons why we all should get in the habit of enjoying a good book more often:

  • Reading Builds Vocabulary and Improves Writing Skills

If you read a lot, you may be able to recognize and therefore utilize good writing skills, word choices, and ideas that you find in other author’s works. A good book will also introduce new words, and seeing them in context can help with comprehension, and as well as spelling, sentence structure, and grammar. The larger your vocabulary, the more articulately and expressively you will be able to convey your thoughts on paper. Furthermore, different styles of books will expose you to diverse writing styles, which will give you creative ideas to draw from in the future for your own writing. 

  • Reading Helps With Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Relaxing with a book for only 10 minutes can completely relieve tension in the body. When you escape into a book, your mind and body have the ability to relax while it exists in another place and time. This can be the ultimate way to unwind and forget about the anxiety around you, as reading lowers stress levels more quickly than other tension reducers, like cooking, listening to music or working out. 

  • Reading is a Brain Workout, and May Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia 

When you read, your memory increases, as you are training your brain to retain the ideas and words you are seeing on the page. A new research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that reading may slow or even completely prevent the development of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, since your brain is constantly engaged. Reading forms new pathways in the brain, which strengthens existing memories as well as creates new ones. A good book also improves your analytical and critical thinking skills, which are involved as you analyze the story, put the plot together, understanding the characters, and so on. 

  • Reading Improves Concentration

Picking up a book requires your complete focus and attention in one place. In our world of social media, text messages and 5-minute attention spans, it’s easy to lose focus, which greatly decreases productivity. Reading can improve concentration and help you stay focused for longer. 

  • Reading Provides Knowledge and Builds Imagination

You can learn anything from books! Skills for life, interesting facts about individuals, or would you just like to take a trip to a new world? There are millions of books, to learn about anything and expand your imagination. A big imagination can help cultivate problem solving skills, and open the door for new opportunities and ideas. And as we know, knowledge is power!

What about you? What are some books that you are reading? Do you have any reading goals at this time?

Book Slump? Say No More!

I have seen quite a few posts lately about people being in “book slumps” and not having any good books to read at the time. So I thought I’d help out by making a list of 10 of my all-time favorite books to give my slumped friends some ideas.

 

Cleopatra: A Life

Author: Stacy Schiff

“The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.” This is a well-researched, easy to read, in depth biography about Cleopatra. I ate this book up. It was amazing, and very sad that more people don’t know her true story. She was an amazing woman.

 

The Illustrated Man

Author: Ray Bradbury

A young man meets an “The Illustrated Man”, whose enchanted tattoos are filled with the power to tell stories and see the future. Despite the Illustrated Man’s warnings, he looks at the tattoos, which tells him eighteen stories. This book is chocked full of 18 intriguing science fiction stories, by one of the most well-known science fiction authors of our time.


 The Picture of Dorian Grey

Author: Oscar Wilde

Everyone already knows the story of Dorian Grey. He meets a man who shows him the pleasures the world has to offer, Dorian then expresses how he wishes he could sell his soul and never age. A full length portrait painted of himself he keeps locked away, as it ages and records every sin. I love this book because of Oscar Wilde’s writing style. Its beautiful and descriptive, I could read it over and over.


 The Three Musketeers

Author: Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers tell the story of the adventures of d’Artagnan and his three friends: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, serving in the King’s Musketeers. This novel features great humor, adventure and comradery, as well as  one of literature’s most evil and memorable female villains: Milady. A classic adventure story. Everyone should read this.

 

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Author: Baroness Orczy

This has a similar feel to the Three Musketeers, set in the early stages of the French Revolution. This is about a small band of men who rescue aristocrats before they can be beheaded by the French. Its definingly a takes awhile to get going, but the book has an ending that for sure makes it worth it, as well as a really endearing love story.

 

The Sword of Destiny

Author: Andrej Sapowski

A short story collection that recounts the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter. Originally written in Polish, this is part of a large series of books that inspired the Witcher video game series developed by CD Projec Red. All the books in this series are excellent fantasy books, but this short story collection is my favorite. 


 1984

Author: George Orwell

The novel is set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation. The superstate is under the control of the privileged elite of the Inner Party. This is a terrifying and good classic book. Everyone should pick this up, with situations like this becoming more possible as technology advances. 

 

The Amethyst Heart

Author: Penelope J Stokes

For a hundred and forty years, Noble House has been a place of shelter, hope, and healing in Cambridge, Mississippi. This is a story that spans three generations of the family who built and lived in the house, and their faith and courage during the Civil War. A heartwarming story of family and faith. 

Science Fiction Authors That Were(n’t) Ahead of Their Time

I love science fiction. Its why I play video games. Exploring new worlds, killing aliens, space travel, life on Mars, all the things that may or may not ever be possible to humankind right at my fingertips.

I ran the idea for my blog post of the day: “Sci-Fi Writers That Were Ahead of Their Time” past my husband this morning, and he told me that these authors weren’t AHEAD of their time, that they were ON time, and we wouldn’t have science fiction as it is today without them.

So here is my top four list of science fiction authors that were ON time, and we have sci-fi as we know it because of them:

Jules Verne: This popular author is most well-known for his stories “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” If you haven’t read these books, you have undoubtedly seen one of the numerous movie adaptations. The thing that I think is the most amazing about Jules Verne is that he lived in the late 1800’s, before any of the technology for the ideas in his books would have ever been imagined. He was just curious about what was under the sea, and inside of the earth.

HG Wells: Author of “The Invisible Man,” “War of the Worlds,” and “The First Men in the Moon,” his titles are slightly spooky and I’m sure pretty alarming at the time, before people had ever heard of anything like this! Giant aliens attacking the earth? An invisible man?

George Orwell: I’m not exactly sure if Orwell should be on this list, as I would probably say that his books are more political commentary than actual Science-Fiction. However, his book “1984” is an amazing and terrifying classic. Perhaps not the first of its kind, but I believe it had an influence on Science-Fiction, as well as popular and political culture. Some movies that carry a similar tone to his book are: “12 Monkeys,” “Blade Runner,” and “Total Recall,” not to mention Ray Bradbury wrote his classic story, “Fahrenheit 451,” only four years after Orwell’s “1984” was published, so Bradbury may well have been influenced by Orwell’s writing also.

Ray Bradbury: “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles” are amazing full length books, descriptive and imaginative. The “Martian Chronicles,” written in a journal-like format, is an interesting story about a family’s life on Mars. My all-time favorite book by Bradbury is “The Illustrated Man.” This is a short story collection, based on a man’s enchanted tattoos. The unique idea is intriguing, and every sci-fi story within is captivating. Many people don’t like short story collections because they’re not detailed enough to get pulled into, but each story in this collection is unique and captivating from beginning to end.

Thinking about these creative men being the first to have the science fiction idea is astounding to me. Thank you for your work gentlemen, and creating my favorite genre as it is today.

What do you think? Who are some other great authors that made science fiction what it is today?