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Fatal Attraction or Bad Decisions – A Retro of a 30-Year-Old Classic

In September of 1987, fresh from college graduation and new to the city of Los Angeles, I decided to take refuge in a movie the...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saving the World, One Hunk at a Time

In the midst of the holiday season, I have noticed that some cable television outlets have taken to showing disaster movies. I don’t know whether to be alarmed or amused but of course, it started the old gears turning in my head. Why is it that when an impending cataclysm is looming on the horizon Hollywood feels the need to turn to a beefcake-o-rama to save the day? Look, I am not getting on a feminist rant or anything but think about it. Besides Deep Impact, has any crisis thriller been helmed by a woman? Have we ever gone to Meryl Streep or Julia Roberts to rescue us from impending destruction? I know for a fact that Meryl could save us by just reading a story from Dr. Seuss. She is a national treasure after all.

So, I decided to do the research on this matter. Can everything be solved with some muscles and a hunky grin? Can we really affect world peace with “Blue Steel” from Derek Zoolander?  See, I ask the hard questions. 60 Minutes really needs to make me a correspondent! I have the time to delve into these topics that are troubling Americans. Well, it’s just me and truth be told I have nothing better to do.  It’s not like I need to do shopping for the holidays or laundry or… you get the picture.  Let’s begin, shall we?

1.      The Day After Tomorrow – Since the subject matter of this film was rather serious, (advanced climate change), we needed more than 1 impossibly good looking guy to lead us to safety. We can’t expect Jake Gyllenhaal to bat his big, blue eyes and make tsunamis recede now, can we? No! That is why Dennis Quaid is along for the ride. He’s rugged, he’s trustworthy, he’s 80 but he’s got killer abs so we are in good hands! More than likely, Harrison Ford was unavailable due to some scheduling conflict. While he was off making an Oscar caliber movie, Dennis raised his hand and said, “Why the hell not? It’s a big budget flick. I’ll get paid a ridiculous amount of money. The script is totally based in pseudo-science. I’m game! Where do I sign?” Don’t get me wrong, the special effects are pretty exciting but that doesn’t make up for the thin storyline.  Just to drive my point home, Jay O. Sanders, a wonderful character actor with credits like JFK plays second banana to Quaid. Since he is not photogenic, he gets to plummet to his death. Quaid and Gyllenhaal survive. Surprise!
2.      I Am Legend – An incredibly fit and cut Will Smith is a survivor of an epidemic that has turned ordinary citizens into vampires. Don’t you just love it when 2 beloved genres mate? If you want a treat, check out the 1971 version of this film, “Omega Man” starring the late Charlton Heston. This actor played Moses for crying out loud. There is a guy with serious credibility. He was also prone to overacting but who cares? Back to Will Smith, Smith plays Robert Neville. Neville is a brilliant scientist struggling to find a cure for the contagion. The movie is based on a wonderful novel by the sci-fi genius, Richard Matheson. Smith turns in a moving performance as he searches for other survivors. Your heart will break at his loneliness but turn that frown upside down! We get plenty of shots of a shirtless, glistening Smith doing pull ups and running on a treadmill. What more can you ask for? If Will Smith can’t save the world, who can?
3.      San Andreas – A massive earthquake hits California. Fear not, people. Guess who just happens to be a rescue helicopter pilot? Dwayne Johnson, formerly “The Rock” of WWE fame, that’s who! Of course, he is going through a pending divorce and is trying to get along with his daughter. As hackneyed plots go, he has to join forces with his soon-to-be ex-wife to save his teenage daughter. Along the way, we get to enjoy his bulging biceps and impeccable white teeth as he pilots a speed boat and performs other acts of courage. He is our modern-day equivalent of Hercules. He took out all those bad guys for Vince McMahon, he can certainly deal with a 9.6 magnitude earthquake, no problem!
4.      War of the Worlds – In this Spielberg version of the H.G. Wells classic book, Tom “Fricking” Cruise is the hero. Yes, TC of the toothy, boyish grin and the floppy Hugh Grantesque mane. First off, we have to believe that he is a working-class stevedore from Hoboken. Really? However, once we get past this, we find that he is a divorced father of two kids. An estranged teenage son who detests him and Dakota Fanning who loves him completely. The story begins on a typical weekend where he has his kids. Of course, that is the way it starts. All of a sudden, boom! Out of the blue (literally) aliens land and havoc ensues. Tom has to protect his children and outrun/outwit creatures from another planet while trying to get to his ex-wife. Even covered in alien mess, Tom manages to stay looking like, well, Tom Cruise. This is the hero of “Top Gun”, he had “All the Right Moves” and he took on a menacing Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.” He’s got this world! Aliens beware. The grin is going to get you! If that doesn’t work, there is always Scientology (no disrespect intended to my Scientologist friends, just a little humor).
5.      Armageddon – A blondish Bruce Willis is a roughneck who is one of the best at drilling oil. He and his rag tag crew of misfits are approached by NASA to save the planet by planting explosives on an asteroid that is going to decimate the Earth. Never mind that this is Hollywood fantasy at its best! Just go with it. Much like “The Day After Tomorrow,” we need 2 hunks to save the day in this film as well. If the sight of a tanned beachy looking Bruce doesn’t set your heart aflutter than perhaps, a buff and camera ready Ben Affleck will do! This film was box office gold and it gave Aerosmith the chance to win an Academy Award for Best Song with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Yes, Steven Tyler has an Oscar. Let that sink in.

Maybe it is time for females to step up to the plate. I think society is ready for a film where women save the world. How about this for a potential plot? A retired model as played by Angelina Jolie is recruited by Meryl Streep and Dame Judi Dench to stop an uprising on a distant planet that could have devastating impact on Earth’s future plans to colonize the universe. Angelina enlists the help of Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Wilde and Charlize Theron to help her end the rebellion. Think of the fabulous form fitting Seven of Nine spacesuits, great hair and awesome make up! This smells like a blockbuster! Does anyone have JJ Abrams number?
Do you think it is time for females to save the world? I would love to hear your opinions on the subject! Please feel free to post your comments or contact me at susan.womanontheledge@aol.com or hit me up on Twitter @SusanontheLedge. Susan Leighton Woman on the Ledge  on My Trending Stories Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It’s the Holidays! Pass the Tylenol

Recently, I happened to take a look at the calendar and realized, “Holy crap! It’s almost Thanksgiving.” Of course, I really shouldn’t be surprised by this fact because this holiday happens every year. It isn’t like I haven’t seen the ad frenzy on the television and the internet.  I guess I was trying my best to ignore it for a little while longer.  Much like the Borg, “Resistance is futile,” I must acknowledge that it is ‘tis the season and I need to embrace it.

No, that doesn’t mean the tree is going up in the living room and that my husband is going to have a near death experience putting up lights on our house. I am not going to jump into the mosh pit o’ craziness of shopping at the mall. More than likely, I will do my gift purchasing from the comfort of my couch and laptop (Shout out to Cyber Monday). I am really not in football shape to tackle people at Old Navy this year for that cheesy tee shirt.

The way I get in the mood for mistletoes and holly is really quite simple. I watch movies. I like to think of it as my pre-game inspiration. Athletes watch tape, I watch holiday classics. Spoiler alert! Some of the titles on my list are in no way shape or form classics but I enjoy the hell out of them. With that being said, let’s begin!

I present to you my list of movies to prepare you for the holidays because you are just too lazy to decorate.

1.     Christmas Vacation – This is a tradition in my household. Nothing puts you in the mood for a family gathering than seeing Cousin Eddie emptying the septic tank from his RV in front of the Griswold house.  Let’s face it. Everyone has that relative who shows up and does something totally unacceptable at every get together. The best moment in this flick is when Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) has a meltdown in front of his relatives because he isn’t getting his annual bonus. Instead, he has received a subscription to the Jelly of the Month club! Haven’t we all been there? We expect something fabulous only to find that we have received, yet again, another ugly sweater that is ten sizes too big and makes us look like an urchin in a Dickens novel. Once again, Cousin Eddie brings the laughs by telling Clark, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.” Yep. Just like my aunt’s infamous raisin spice cake.

2.      Die Hard – Okay. Quit screaming! I hear you. “Die hard is NOT a holiday movie!” It takes place on Christmas eve and the reason why I am citing it is because I think it is the perfect film to see before embarking on that underappreciated sport of festive shopping. This is my ultimate warrior warm up tape. I just replay the scene where Bruce Willis drops Alan Rickman from the building over and over again. It is inspirational! Then I am ready to take on an army of bargain queens at Target in the wee small hours of the morning. You are not getting that last pair of tube socks, Hans Gruber!!!!!!

3.      Elf – First of all, Jon Favreau has turned in to quite the director. He has come a long way from Swingers. This movie is delightful and always brings a smile to my face.  How can you not fall in love with Will Ferrell’s Buddy? He is so innocent and trusting.  Of course, I do admire what he has done for pasta. Nothing like spaghetti, sprinkles, maple syrup, mini-marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, M&M’s, and Frosted Chocolate Fudge Pop Tarts to start your day off with a rush. If I ate that every day for breakfast you would probably see me on a TLC television show. That is some carbo loading.  Then again, Buddy is going to need all the motivation he can get to save the Christmas spirit.  He certainly helps with mine.

4.      Four Christmases – The holidays are all about spending time with the family. For some people, it is lovely and for others it is a nightmare. Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn have a great way of skipping those familial outings by telling their relatives they are doing charitable work in exotic locales. Except this time, when their flight gets cancelled and they are captured on the evening news. Busted! This leads to the couple reluctantly agreeing to attend all of their family functions. From fancy Cheez Whiz Hors d'oeuvres to getting put in a headlock by your cage fighting MMA wannabe brother, this film reminded me of some holiday parties I have attended in the past. It has also given me some ideas about how to skip future reunions and other upcoming get togethers.  So, in a way, it is a gift.

5.      Gremlins – What kid hasn’t wanted a pet for the holidays? That is the premise of this movie. Billy’s dad gives him a Mogwai as a gift. This is the lovable fur ball that is Gizmo. All you children of the 80’s will remember how everyone wanted a Gremlin. As we all know, there are three rules to owning a pet Mogwai. Keep it out of the sun or bright light, do not let it get wet, and never feed it after midnight. Of course, rules are made to be broken, right? Pretty soon, Billy has his hands full defending his town against gremlins led by the evil Stripe. The moral of this story; maybe a stuffed animal is the way to go. At least you won’t be stuck cleaning up a mess.

There you have it. I hope you enjoyed my suggestions on how to get in to the holiday swing of things. If you watch any of these films, you are ready to combat the pending snowstorms, traffic, crazed shoppers and that barista who always messes up your pumpkin spice latte.

Have you ever found inspiration in an unlikely source? I would love to hear your opinions on the subject!  Please feel free to post your comments or contact me at susan.womanontheledge@aol.com or hit me up on Twitter @SusanontheLedge.
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

10 Love Hacks that I Learned from Watching the Investigation Discovery Channel

Navigating the world of modern romance can be quite confusing and frightening. There is a plethora of advice out there from dating gurus, Oprah, Tinder, and your mother. What if I told you that everything you needed to know about love was a remote control click away?  Hard to believe, right? If you have several hours to kill and a bottle of your favorite beverage (I highly recommend Moscato or Scotch on the rocks) then start binge watching Dateline on ID, Who the Bleep Did I Marry? or Stalked - Someone’s Watching. Hell, the entire Investigation Discovery Channel is like a bible for avoiding Mr. or Mrs. Wrong.

If you don’t have the time to spend because you have a job or some other silly pursuit, don’t worry! I have done all the leg work so you don’t have to! So, sit back, grab a pen and a notebook, an iPad, a laptop or your phone and take notes.  You will thank me later.

.   1. Your new man or woman convinces you to drop your friends, forget about your parents and stay close to home because he or she doesn’t want to share you with anyone. Hmm. This is a HUGE red flag. Yes, it sounds all romantic and he is just like Noah in the Notebook or she is just like Alex in Fatal Attraction. Run, don’t walk to the nearest exit or be prepared to get creepy texts with crying, angry Emojis saying, “If I cnt hv u, no 1 cn.” This text would make me mental because who has time to go all Da Vinci code on it? Drop this loser!

2.      You have only been together for three months but your new significant other encourages you to increase your life insurance policy. Really? You might think that they are looking out for you and have your best interests at heart.  Heaven must be missing an angel, right? WRONG. If they start encouraging you to take up a daring new hobby like zip lining, bungee jumping or sky diving shortly after you have raised your policy benefit, just ghost them. Who needs that kind of pressure? You don’t. Oh, and call your agent ASAP to change that beneficiary.

3.      Your co-workers think it’s scary that your better half starts showing up unannounced on your lunch breaks or randomly throughout the week. You tell them that he or she is a spur of the moment type and you love the impetuousness. This already sounds like a stalker. Don’t they have a life, friends, a job? Yikes! The next thing you know, you will wake up in the middle of the night with this person sitting in a chair staring at you because they “love to watch you sleep.”

4.      It is your weekly night out with friends. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has called and texted you repeatedly. “Come home, I miss you.” “Hey, it’s 9 pm. I thought you would be home by now.” “Where are you?” “ANSWER ME.” “I can’t believe you would leave me alone like this.” While your pals think what an asshole, you find it endearing. They are just showing you how much they need you. No, that is the wrong answer. This guy or gal is a control freak who has to have you in their sight at all times. You know how I would respond? I would immediately change my Facebook status to “It’s complicated” and then unfriend them. Now, you are officially on the market and ready to find your next true love.

5.      Their last girlfriend or boyfriend left them unexpectedly and broke their heart. They still don’t know where their former loves went. They tell you that he or she probably ran away to Bermuda and that they even went looking for them but had no luck. How heartbreaking, right? Not so fast! This is definitely a sign. If people suddenly go missing, maybe it is time to re-evaluate this relationship. You don’t need a surprise extended vacation. Let’s face it. Those duckface photos of you from your Instagram account will not look pretty on a “Have You Seen Me?” flyer.

6.      Your new squeeze drives a van.  It doesn’t matter if it is paneled and doesn’t have windows. It’s for their job! Or that is what they tell you but hey, at least they own a car.  Seriously, who in their right mind owns an unmarked van without windows or a business name on the side? I will tell you. Serial killers. I have a van but it has windows and it is not questionable if it is parked on the neighborhood street.  

7.      This one is for the ladies. Your new man loves his mother. She is very important to him. He still lives with her. Of course, he has his own room! It is in the basement but that is so he can work on his hobbies and not disturb her. Even though he is in his 30’s, there isn’t anything wrong with living at home.  He is devoted to his family. While I will agree loyalty to family is touching, he never invites you over to his place. He always says it’s a mess. Did you happen to know that his job is managing his family’s roadside motel and that he refers to his mother as his best friend?  Enough said.  

8.      Sometimes your love will go on spur of the moment business trips over the weekend. When they return, they refuse to talk shop with you. You might think it is all about that work-life balance! Maybe it’s time you bought a police scanner. Just saying……

9.      When you have used your companion’s computer, you have noticed that they do quite a bit of research on national park hiking trails.  When you ask them about it, they tell you they are planning a romantic getaway. Hiking and romance? Who in their right mind would equate the two? You hate walking around your neighborhood. What makes them think that you would appreciate a jaunt into a forest on a trail in the middle of nowhere?  Oh. Now you get it…. I could see the lightbulb coming on.

10.   Your guy or gal has a deep bond with their dog, Sam. They communicate with one another. Sam speaks to them. This is great. You always were a dog lover and it will be like having your own Cesar Millan. Not so fast. I have two words for you. David Berkowitz. If you don’t know who that is, get to Googling ASAP!

See, this list is proof! You can learn from binge watching television. Oh, and good luck with the love game!
Have you learned anything from watching a television show? I would love to hear your opinions on the subject!  
Please feel free to post your comments or contact me at susan.womanontheledge@aol.com or hit me up on Twitter @SusanontheLedge.
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Saturday, November 5, 2016

It’s the End of the World and I Feel Fine

I guess I should start off my blog by thanking Michael Stipe and company, otherwise known as REM for giving me the title of this week’s missive.  Of course, while I am tongue in cheek, the rest of the world probably is not. For almost two years now, I have listened to social media screaming that if Donald Trump is elected President all it takes is ONE WRONG MOVE! I guess these pundits think that Trump will just sit near the proverbial red button and one day if he is rejected by an 18-year-old model or if someone tries to touch his hair, he will snap! The button will be pressed and bye bye world as we know it.  

I have also heard that if Hillary Clinton is elected President we will all be forced to wear grey pantsuits like Chairman Mao or that America will become a socialist state.

This is just crazy talk as well because while I do question Hillary’s taste in clothing, I know that she cannot single handedly turn our democratic society into a dictatorship regime. One thing that is standing in the way of this master plan is Congress. You know those people we elected that tell us they do things but in actuality they fall asleep while important votes are being cast, send dick picks to minors, play games on their phones or look at porn all day instead of looking out for our interests? Yeah, those idiots. Since they can’t agree on anything because they are too busy trying to one up each other, democracy will live another day.

I don’t know if everyone has caught this Armageddon fever but it seems as if our television networks are definitely capitalizing on this theme. Recently, I got sucked in to watching the History Channel series, Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End. I will admit, I am interested in science and natural disasters. Tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, you name it, I have probably read about them and watched numerous programs on the Discovery Channel concerning those subjects.  This latest series is about possible otherworldly cataclysmic events.

As if we haven’t got enough to worry about (see 2016 election results) it seems as if the universe is now plotting to end life as we know it!  Yes, we are all aware of global warming (thank you, Al Gore) which is Mother Earth’s way of saying that she is tired of our abuse and she is kicking us out. Now, we have to contend with outside influences as well.

A couple of months ago, the scientific world informed us that asteroid 2016 QA2 missed the Earth by less than a quarter of the distance to the moon. Holy crap! I guess we got lucky on that one.  However, asteroids are the least of our potential problems as I am quickly learning from the Doomsday program.  This past summer, many areas all over the world experienced record high temperatures. Unfortunately, where I reside in the lovely American Southeast, we were not immune to this phenomenon.

Summer was basically unbearable this year. Every day I felt like I woke up in a humid jungle. Ninety-degree heat and 100% humidity. In that type of weather, I feel as if I could run a marathon and do the P90X workout all in one day!  Are you fucking kidding me? With weather like that, all I want to do is stay indoors in the air conditioning and pray that I can walk into the kitchen without sweating like a pig. Not to mention that type of weather is wonderful for people with naturally wavy hair. For most of the summer, I looked like a bat shit crazy extra from The Great Gatsby with my bob plastered against my head in waves.  What a good look! Not to mention, trying to figure out what clothing to wear because booty shorts are not my choice of attire. I am not trolling for twenty somethings in the mall nor am I going to stand on the corner wearing really bad red lipstick with my eyebrows penciled in with a Sharpie marker. You get the picture.

According to the History Channel, one of the ways the world can end is if the Earth breaks out of its orbit and goes hurtling toward the sun. This was one of my favorite jokes over the summer. Now, not so much. Apparently, this can really happen! One of the ways our orbit can get disturbed is if a rogue star decides that it needs a vacation and starts travelling around the universe. Even though that star could be millions of miles away from the Earth, our planet could still react to its gravitational pull and this would be the beginning of the end. Earth would start heading toward that bright yellow orb in the sky and everyday would feel like Dante’s Inferno. Count me out. I hope we never experience this misfortune. I had enough of the blinding heat of this past summer.

Another cosmic “holy crap” scenario is the gamma ray burst. Think of this as the universe’s way of saying, “Surprise!” This is a phenomenon that comes out of nowhere and there is no preparation that will save you. So, sorry, people that have built indestructible underground bunkers for when the Illuminati take over the world. Your fortresses are not going to work.  The gamma ray burst is caused by two stars colliding. If the resulting radiation should penetrate our atmosphere, we are FUBARed. We all know what that means. I seriously doubt that a President Clinton or a President Trump will be able to save us from the results of that event.

I guess the message I am trying to get across is that a presidential election is not going to cause our demise. While the things I described could happen, the odds of them happening at this moment in time are negligible. After all, we survived the last time a comet plunged into the Gulf of Mexico in pre-historic times. We overcame Jimmy Carter’s presidency. The world continued to spin on its axis. Evolution continued. We will find a way to survive. 

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