Tag Archives: love

A Review: The Great Gatsby

19 May

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What a night! After taking my sister to an interview and stuffing ourselves with copious amounts of delicious Italian delights I decided that we should go to the movies. There was only one movie I had in mind…The Great Gatsby. Now I hadn’t been to the movies in a long time. To be honest I was fed up with hollywood and its recycling of actors and unoriginal tasteless films. However there was something different about this film so I decided I’m out and about so let us see how this will pan out. (Rhyming unintentional :))

So we arrive at the theater for the 9:45pm showing and to  my delight the theater was pretty much empty. We sit there with the smell of popcorn and the fizzy sounds of soda as the previews spring to life on the screen. I sit there in anticipation and hope that my money will be well spent. The lights suddenly dim and the theater is dark. The screen is now glowing with golden designs and soft music fills my ears. For the next 150 minutes I am taken on a roller coaster ride of love, lust, obsession betrayal, finally tragedy.

 The Great Gatsby: A Break Down

Now this isn’t going to be too much of a story breakdown because I don’t want to give too much away but I will do my best to convey to you what I had experienced.

  1. Visual Styling/Wardrobe: The Great Gatsby was a visual masterpiece. Every frame was nothing but beautiful eye candy of every color and shade. Light scenes or dark it was so stunning in its styling I didn’t want to blink fearing I would miss something. The costumes from the normal everyday outfit to those worn to J. Gatsby’s extravagant weekend parties were absolutely stunning. The styling of the atmosphere from actual sets to those scenes aided by computer graphics were also completely beautiful. From start to finish you are drawn in and immersed into a world of excess and fantasy that actually helped you along in the story line. After all this was the time of excess, whether it was from drinking, money flaunting, or too much pleasure of the flesh.  5 STAR RATING *****
  2. Sound Track: For me the sound track for a film is super super important. I can not stress this enough. It sets the tone for every scene conveying and amplifying the emotion of the actors. For a lot of the film the music was actually modern hip hop music heavy on the rap stylings of Jay-Z. Now I like hip hop, but this for me is when the movie tanked. I had a hard time connecting to the film because the music was distracting and for me did not in any way fit the film. It felt as if what I was seeing on screen and what was playing along with it were battling  one another (all I could think of at those times was hot mess…yikes!).  As a side note I felt the film that did the modern music sound track well was actually Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst even though the story line was lacking. There was only one scene in the entire Gatsby film where I enjoyed this different soundtrack approach. The most famous of the sound track songs “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey actually saved this film for me musical wise. I absolutely adore this song and Lana’s unique voice. I enjoyed the fact that this song made its appearance several times in the film but in many different presentations. It was presented in an era appropriate way at a faster pace during a Gatsby party, then in its original form, and then in another scene it was no more than a whisper. I honestly couldn’t help singing this song when it played. But don’t worry I was pretty quiet as not to disturb the other movie goers. Please enjoy the song below. 3 STAR RATING ***
  3. The Acting Performances: Now me actually having acting experience I am always looking for that “It” performance. When I saw that this film starred Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio I was a bit skeptical. I have followed his career since he was young and I was never really impressed with his performances. I always thought though that he was often holding back (not hating on Leo at all by the way). I look for a complete loss of self and I feel that Leo exceeded my expectation as the Great J.Gatsby. He was strong yet vulnerable, mild-mannered then a flurry of emotions. He made me feel his pain. He truly was this movie and not just because he was the title character on paper. The rest of the troubled cast performed exceptionally well also. They were rich, wild, naive and I hated them and loved them all in one breath. 5 STAR RATING *****
  4. The Story Line: Let’s make this simple and sweet, shall we? J. Gatsby is a mysterious rich man living on the bay in Long Island NY in a huge mansion. Every weekend the people of New York city show up uninvited to the Gatsby estate for a roaring party that Gatsby hosts in order to get the attention of none other than a lost love named Daisy (Carry Mulligan) who lives across the bay with her super wealthy cheating husband. Gatsby and Daisy were in love before Gatsby was sent off to war and since Gatsby’s return home was delayed Daisy married her now husband. The narrator of this story is Nick Caraway (Toby Maguire). Who happens to be Daisy’s cousin and who also happens to live right next to Gatsby’s towering home. Nick sets up a meeting of the two long-lost lovers at Gatsby’s request and this is when the true story begins and then begins to unravel. Rendezvous of love that turns into lust and obsession. The hopes and dreams that get shattered lead to lives that will forever be changed. By the end you will realize whose love and loyalty ran the deepest and you will witness the true betrayal of the whole film. All in all this movie was excellent but it was definitely depressing . I would rank it along the lines of  Moulin Rouge and Atonement in its suffering. I will award this film only four stars for the story line because I will most likely never watch it again. One hundred and fifty minutes of such sadness is too much to do over again. But I’m glad I did it once. 4 STAR RATING ****

OVERALL RATING OF 4.25 STARS

I hope you enjoyed my first movie interview! Thank you all so much for supporting Salt Pepper Brilliant <33333333333333

***************I do not own any of the music, videos, stills, photography in this post.******************

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Happy Birthday Dad! Love you!

29 Apr

Today is my father’s 53rd Birthday! My parents have been married for 32 years now and the love and respect between the two of them is still as strong as ever. I hope that one day when I find the right person I am blessed enough to have a relationship as true and as long-lasting as my parents. This photo below was taken last year on my mother’s 54th birthday but they haven’t changed in appearance one bit. Again Happy Birthday Dad!—-Your Peanut ❤

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Happy Birthday to my Mom!!!

23 Aug

Happy Birthday to my Mom!!!

Today is my mom Debra’s 54th birthday…I know, she looks great for her age and she is a pretty remarkable woman. She was born and raised in the Bronx and is 100% Puerto Rican (Making me and my sisters 1/2 PR and 1/2 Greek) and is a little spit fire. Strong emphasis on the little she is only 4′ 11″ ( I’m 5′ 3″ thanks mom, haha). She came from a life of poverty and physical abuse thanks to a horrible stepfather and she was able to overcome it all. She was one of the few of her six siblings to attend and graduate college and become a business manager. She managed a very successful bakery in Brooklyn where I pretty much grew up. I have very fond memories of those years in the bakery. My mother is currently a first degree black belt in the Korean Martial Art of Tang Soo Do. She now is also an instructor at the martial arts school she earned her belts in. This year she even attended the World Tournament of the Tang Soo Do Association in North Carolina and walked away with a bronze medal in weapons. She is truly an inspiration to me and keeps me looking forward to all that I can accomplish in the coming years. I LOVE YOU MOM AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Short Book Review: The Lost Recipe for Happiness

13 Aug

The Lost Recipe for HappinessThe Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an excellent book. I love the author’s descriptive writing style and the way she developed the characters throughout the book. You lived and breathed along with Elena (Chef and lead character of this story) as she struggled with haunting images of her past and her troubles as the new executive chef at an up and coming restaurant in her present. Along the way Elena finds love, friends, balance and respect at work, but most importantly she finally comes to terms with her past. This was such a great read and I can thank my neighbor for introducing me to this book. In fact I loved it so much I bought my own copy.

View all my reviews

Always Cate

31 Jul

*********I WILL BE TAKING A BREAK FROM POSTING*******

On friday the most beautiful person in the whole world, my best friend Catelin passed away after a recurring battle with leukemia at the age of 22. I didn’t even know she was ill because we had fallen out of contact and I found out of her death yesterday. What goes through one’s mind when the person you loved so much is all of a sudden gone? On a day I laughed and joked she was suffering. On a day I felt like my life was heading nowhere she suffered. I’m alive and she isn’t. How I wish I could have known….I wish I was there for her. Instead I have to see her after she lost this most difficult of battles. My lovely Cate. All I can say is that I love you. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. MY BEAUTIFUL BABY MAKE ALL OF THOSE IN HEAVEN HAPPY JUST LIKE YOU MADE ME. YOU ALWAYS MADE ME FEEL LOVED.

*******To all of my followers please go tell the people you love how much you love them and how much they have made your life better. I needed to tell this to you all because we feel that our loved ones will be around forever when tomorrow can be the end. LOVE EACHOTHER EVERYDAY LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST. Today I bought a case of Mike’s Hard Lemonade it was Cate’s favorite. I will be passing them around to people I know and to the one’s I don’t if I get a chance. Feel free to enjoy one too. From Chrissy and Cate ❤ ********

A Grandmother’s Love Begins in the Kitchen

28 Mar

A Grandmother’s Love begins in the Kitchen

                 Growing up in a Greek and Puerto Rican home made for some exciting adventures in the kitchen. Both ethnicities centered themselves around good food with good friends and especially family. My yia yia (grandmother in Greek) Metaxia, was always an excellent cook. She would always summon me to the kitchen to test the doneness of a potato when she made her famous lemon chicken, or to help her roll out some kourabiedes (Almond butter cookies). My Puerto Rican grandma Elizabeth would always want me to hover over a pot of arroz con candules (rice and beans) or to be present when she was filling her famous pasteles with savory chunks of pork. Being a kid at the time I would often turn down these invitations into the inner sanctum to go out and play with friends. I wish I would have known then, what I know now. My grandmother’s where passing down their legacy and most importantly their love.

                   I lost my yia yia the summer of 2004 to an infection of the blood. It was sudden and took everyone in the family by surprise. It was a blow I wasn’t prepared for. I realized that I never got the chance to learn all of what she had wanted to teach me. Guilt began to overcome me and I didn’t know how to remedy it. On the days when I felt the pain of her loss the most I would remember her food. I remembered all the love and care she put into making every meal that would pass our lips. I was ecstatic when I found out that my mother had compiled my yia yia’s recipes for traditional Greek cooking in an old marble notebook. To my dismay the recipes were less than perfectly written. There were one word steps for preparation, and angry cross out marks and squiggles all over the pages. Well everyone has to start out somewhere. So I set out determined as ever to learn all that she wanted to teach me when she was still alive. Slowly but surely I worked my way through the notebook. From appetizers to grand entrees, they each had their turn taking center stage in my kitchen. Then one day it dawned on me. I should create a polished family cookbook. Not just any cookbook, but one equipped with photos of each recipe so that my family could see what the final product should look like. It would be the perfect family heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation.

                   The summer of 2009 brought more sadness to our family. My grandma Elizabeth passed away due to complications from her lifelong struggle with diabetes. Once again the light rushed out of the family kitchens. No more bubbling pots and intoxicating scents to fill our home. This time, however, there were no written Puerto Rican family recipes. I had to rely on my mother’s memory, and experimentation to recreate my grandmother’s exquisite flan and savory empanadas. I had again missed my opportunity to learn from the master. Now I was left with no grandmothers, and a book that was still heavily under construction. After my grandma Elizabeth’s passing I felt a new vigor for this cookbook. Even though work on it slowed down and on occasion ground to a halt I still worked on this precious project. I wanted to honor their love and their culinary expertise, but not just for my family now. I wanted to share their love for food and family with the world.

                   To this day I am working on the family cookbook. Testing both of my grandmother’s recipes and taking care to ensure not one flavor is out of place. When I taste each dish I want to be able to feel their touch, and to hear the warmth of their voices. I want their knowledge and their love to be felt in each succulent bite. As the flavors dissolve on my tongue I should be able to be transported to the most cherished of child hood memories. This is why the book has been such a huge part of my life. It is a piece of them. With a combined 148 years of life they have left me all of themselves within the lines of these recipes. It is an honor to be the guardian of such precious knowledge. I will make them proud no matter how long it takes me.

                  Food nourishes more than just our bodies. It nourishes our souls. A meal tastes all the better when you know it was created with love for you in mind. So to all who still have those wonderful grandmothers in their lives, please listen to them. Accept their invitations to cook. Accept their invitations to sew. All of these requests are worth your time. They want to teach you all that they know. Many of us feel that our grandparents will be around forever. Then that one day comes when they are gone, and you have missed it all. Don’t be blind to those precious and tender moments. But remember this; as long as you love them they never truly leave you. They will always live on in the memories, knowledge, and love they leave behind just for you.

 

This article is dedicated to my Grandma Elizabeth

And my Yia Yia Metaxia

You will always be remembered.

 

 

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My Yia Yia Metaxia

22 Feb

My Yia Yia Metaxia

This is a photo of my Yia Yia Metaxia. She would have been 87 years old today if she had not passed away the summer of 2004. She was a strong, funny, loving grandma who taught me all about Greek cooking when she was alive. She inspired me to start working on a cookbook a couple of years ago and I have been working on it ever since. Her name Metaxia means silk in Greek and it is also my middle name. People usually choose Mary or Michelle but are surprised when I tell them the true name and meaning. Then each and everytime I am dubbed Christina Silk, haha. To my Yia Yia I love you, I miss you, and no I have not given up :)—-CMY