Blog to Vlog

HI All!

So, watch the video to get the whole story, but I’m trying something new. Actually, I”m going to be trying a lot of things “new.” I’m on another journey, peeps. This one, 100% about me. I’m trying my best to find out what my passions in life are. I’m in one of those dreaded ruts (sort of an early onset midlife crisis, but I don’t like to label things…) and I have to get out of it before I go crazy.

I started up a YouTube Channel of my own. Username: Jenfrancis83 and I’m using it as a sort of Video Diary. I’m going through something that I’m sure everyone goes through at one point or another. I’m questioning decisions I made early on in life and wondering what would have been had I kept with those childhood “What I want to be when I grow up” ideals, instead of joining the masses in the 9-5 workforce. I’m trying to fill the gaps in an otherwise happy existence and find ways to fulfill my heart, as well as my bank account. 😉

Feedback is, as always, welcome if it is positive and helpful. And this time I really want to hear from my readers (or rather, watchers, this time). Have you been where I am? What did you do? Where do your passions lie? How are you making your life a happy one? I want to know.




Slightly Obsessed

I’ve found a new obsession.

As many of you know, I got a kindle for Christmas from the hubs. I LOVE it. Books at the push of a button! And boy, have I been reading. First, I re-read (for the billionth time) my all time favorite classic novel: Pride and Prejudice. Yup – I’m that girl. In another lifetime, I belonged in Pemberly.

After sighing at the great love of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, I read The Help. For the first time in a VERY long time, I saw the movie version of the story before reading the book. And for the first time in my personal history, I was genuinely satisfied with both versions. The book was phenomenal. So well written, from multiple points of view. It takes quite the talented author to write multiple voices so clearly that I don’t have to double-check who’s point of view we are listening to. Each voice was clear in my head, and the movie completely did the book justice.

After that, I was contemplating re-reading some of my old favorites (like Memoirs of a Geisha, or The Red Tent) when I got wind of this whole “Hunger Games” craze. Truth be told, I rolled my eyes. Yet another twilight-esque love triangle. Bleh. (Sorry to all my Twilight Fans out there – I tried, I really did! But I just couldn’t get past the first chapter. Snore’s Ville USA.) I almost wrote this new series off completely when I saw the trailer for the movie.

I admit, upfront. I’m a bandwagon fan. I did what I always criticize other “Fans” for doing – judging the book by the cover, then changing my mind because the movie looked “good.” But I did. I was drawn in. But of course, I refused to see the first film without reading the book first. So, off I went to Barnes and Noble.

I will also take a moment to admit that I still love physical books. I love the feeling. But I went to the bookstore and The Hunger Games was only available in hard back at a whopping 18$!!! Not a price I was willing to pay for a book I wasn’t sure I was going to like. *LIGHTBULB!!!* Check out how much it is on Kindle. $5? Oh – done and done.

I told Anthony that I was going to give it a shot. I’ll tell him what I think when I get past the first chapter (with plenty of skepticism in my voice). 3 hours later, I’m still curled up in my chair, deaf to the world, and Anthony says, “So I guess we are going to go see the movie, huh?” Then chuckled, kissed my forehead and headed to bed without me. I read until 1 in the morning, forcing myself to put the book down. I tuned out several more times over the following week, devouring not just the first, but all three books in less than 7 days time. (For a Full time Mom with a Job, that is amazing speed, let me tell you!)

I. WAS. HOOKED. Such a fantastic story, with wonderful characters and an amazing heroine! Thank the Lord for a strong female character!!! We need more Hermione’s and Katniss’s in this world!!! (If you haven’t read the books, Katniss Everdeen is the main character of the story. If you don’t know who Hermione is, then we can’t be friends.)

But I wasn’t just in love with Katniss. Or the fact that she is an archer (which I’ve dabbled in a little, myself, and love). I loved the whole story – the fight for survival, the confusion of a teenager not only figuring out who she loves, but what love really means to her. I loved the characters. And I was on team Peeta from day one. 😉 (If you haven’t read the books, he is one of the boys caught in the love triangle, and a true hero).

I read, and then promptly re-read all three books, giving it such a strong/positive review that I coaxed my “I hate reading” husband to read them. He is pouring over book 3 as we speak. That is a big deal, my friends. So, we decided to go see the movie.

First off – Yay date night! Second, I was more than satisfied with the movie. Sure, there were parts that were left out that I wish hadn’t been, and there were a few pieces that I felt the audience might not have completely understood if they hadn’t read the books. But a) It was INTENSE. The music, the acting, the fast paced story – I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. B) the actors were next to perfection for these roles. Jennifer Lawrence played Katniss EXACTLY how I pictured her in my mind. Granted, Josh Hutcherson is a bit on the small side for the way I had envisioned Peeta, but the charisma and the genuine kindness was all there. Liam Hemsworth as Gale was perfect (and will be in movies 2 and 3), too. C) I literally jumped out of my chair in fear at the Mutts in the arena. No joke, Anthony had to pull me back down and hush me. I screamed. (I wasn’t the only one, either). So really, C is that, for a work of fiction, the whole thing played out 100% believable. I loved it.

To say that I’m slightly obsessed might be an understatement. I’ve been bugging my hubby every hour: “Where are you [in the book] now?” with expectations that he stops, discusses, and analyzes with me. I went to Hot Topic looking for the “You love Me, Real or Not Real,” “Real” bracelet. I’ve been watching YouTube videos of press interviews all afternoon. I even (dare I admit it?) looked up when Auditions for extras would be… To no avail, they aren’t listed (for someone outside the business) yet. But if I can, I may still go. Hahaha.

And I’m actually contemplating re-reading them. Again. Right now.

So really, this is a very long-winded way for me to tell you that The Hunger Games, followed by Catching Fire and The MockingJay are at the top of my “Recommended Reading” list for anyone who is interested. And once you’ve done that, go see the movie. It is highly entertaining, which is what a good movie should be.

Anyone else out there as obsessed as I am?