After some thought, debate and getting opinions from some respected bloggers, I finally made the decision to move Familial Ramblings from being hosted on WordPress.com to self-hosting. The good news is that everything has seemingly moved over properly and whatever may have disappeared during the move I was able to replace or replicate. It’s not completely perfect and if there is anything that you would like to see added, please feel free to leave me a comment with your suggestions! Moving to self-hosting gives me a bit more freedom when it comes to adding more features to Familial Ramblings and it also allows me the option of one day getting a custom made theme. Exciting, right? As most of you know there always seems to be some bad that goes along with the good.
The bad news about the move is that those of you who have a subscription to my blog will have to re-subscribe because the built-in subscription function of WordPress.com is not carried over to WordPress.org unfortunately. But fear not! It’s not a difficult task in the slightest and still only takes a matter of thirty-seconds to a minute to do. So, I hope that you all decide to re-subscribe and of course leave comments because I love hearing what you all have to say!
I think that about convers everything that I needed to say. Oh! One last thing, I do plan to move the domain name to a new register which may cause Familial Ramblings to go down for a day or two, but this won’t be done until March 9th and I will make sure to make a post reminding everything that this is happening in advance. So, now that that’s all done, I’m ready to start working on a new post and I hope to have it up within the next couple of days, so keep an eye out!
Posted on February 27, 2012
*Warning: This post contains spoilers.
I saw the movie Chronicle when it was first released a few weeks ago and I have to say, I haven’t wanted to go see a movie a second time in theaters since…well, it’s been a long time. I must admit that when I first saw the trailer for the movie I was excited about its release, but when they continuously showed the same trailer over and over again, it made me very nervous. Was there really that little to the movie that they needed to repeatedly show the same thing? Despite my fresh reserves about the movie, my husband and I saw it opening day and it was better than I first thought it would be. The story was amazing; their technique for filming was fantastic and gave a twist to the shaky-cam filming. I suppose I should actually tell you what the movie’s about and how exactly it relates to family and relationships.
The movie focuses on three high school boys: Andrew, Matt and Steve. Primarily the movie focuses on Andrew who, coincidently, will also be the primary focus of this blog post. He has just gotten a new video camera upon deciding to tape everything from that point on but doesn’t give any particular reason as to why that is. Yes, this movie is another shaky-cam styled movie, but like I said, they use a bit of a different technique because instead of focusing on one camera, the audience jumps back and forth between Andrew’s camera and others. The audience quickly learns that Andrew’s family is not stable–his mother is severely ill and slowly dying while his father is a disabled, abusive drunk who often takes his anger and frustration out on his son. Andrew appears to have a strong bond with his mother who looks to adore and love him very much; it’s obvious that she only wants the best for him. If she knows about the abuse going on is unknown, but my best guess is that it is kept from her as much as possible due to not wanting to put more stress on her considering her condition.
If you think about it, Andrew’s situation really is not all that different from some other families. The details of the situation may be different than what is shown in the movie, but abuse does take place in families around the world. There are many different forms such as spousal abuse, child abuse, there’s also both mental and physical abuse. From my view it seems as if Andrew throughout the movie suffers from both physical, mental and probably some emotional abuse as well. This isn’t all due to his father, but he is the biggest part of it. Many may wonder what causes people to abuse others and really it depends on the situation. We don’t learn a lot about Andrew and his father’s relationship before his mother gets sick and before his father gets laid off from work due to his disability, so it’s hard to say if this has been ongoing for many years or if it’s only been going on since his mother got sick and his father got laid off. If I had to make a guess, however, I would guess that it may have been a long term situation just from the way Andrew acts around his father and when he’s out in public.
We continue to follow Andrew to a car waiting for him outside, which is where we meet Andrew’s cousin, Matt. We later find out that when they were younger, Matt and Andrew had a relatively close relationship, but as time went past they started to grow apart and it seems as if Matt only tolerating Andrew because they’re family. I find myself wondering if Matt knows about what happens when Andrew is at home and if he has ever done anything to try and stop it. It’s possible that Matt doesn’t know and I really wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t because often in situations where there is abuse, the victim hides the fact that it’s happening from everyone. There are many theories as to why this may be stretching from embarrassment to fear. In Andrew’s situations, I would guess that it’s both embarrassment and fear because as you’ll see as you watch the movie, he’s pretty socially awkward and being abused would, in his mind, only make things worse. The audience is driven to school while Matt sings a variety of songs on their way in–the singing was off key, might at add, but did open the door for some comic relief after seeing Andrew’s home life. We follow Andrew through his day at school where we see that he is almost constantly bullied by his peers; this poor guy just does not get a break. It quickly becomes apparent that Andrew is a loner and that the only thing close to a friend he has is his cousin and now his camera.
In attempts to get Andrew to be more social, Matt convinces him to go to a party, where he then leaves Andrew to fend for himself against the crowd. This probably is not the best situation for Andrew to be in because, let’s face it, he is obviously not well liked and it seems as if trouble follows him everywhere. Within a matter of what seems to be minutes, Andrew is threatened and has a drink spilled on him and his camera causing him to leave the party. He sits outside in the grass sobbing softly while cleaning away the mess when he is approached by a young man named Steve. Andrew quickly whips his tears away and when Steven asks if something is wrong, he quickly answers that he’s fine, which again makes me feel as if he wants to avoid embarrassment. As the movie goes on it started to appeared to me as if Steve was almost the complete opposite of Andrew: popular, good with women, comes from a good, loving family, etc. while Andrew is stuck in an abusive relationship with his father and many of his peers. Steve is able to convince Andrew to follow him to a hole that is found to lead into an unknown cavern of sorts, but never-the-less Steve, Matt and Andrew–after some resistance–enter into the dark hole where they find a glowing crystal or perhaps even a spacecraft of sorts (it’s never really explained). They approach and touch the glowing object, which seems to trigger something causing a bright light to engulf them and the screen. Continue reading →
Posted on February 21, 2012
Today I woke up with the intention to finish writing a blog post that I had started based off of the movie Chronicle; however, I was given some news today that made me very happy. Some of you may know that there are admin, webmaster and promotion forums out there that will host a contest called Site of The Month or another variation of that. I have entered my forums in these types of contests since owning my first forum and have often come close to winning, but never quite made it to the winner’s circle. I was at my wit’s end and about to give up, but I wanted to try one last time just to see what would happen.
I decided to enter Familial Ramblings into a couple of different contests (and by “a couple” I actually mean like four or five) because…I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve sat here for the last five minutes trying to figure out why I joined them and I’ve come up short. I think I just enjoy competition, which is why I can’t stop myself from entering though I keep saying I’m not going to enter. So, as I said, I went forward with entering Familial Ramblings in these contests. How they normally work–for those who may not know–is you submit your site/forum/blog and then members of the forum community vote on which forum they like the best.
As per usual, I was losing most of the contests and I could tell you why I think that is, but that would completely derail this post. I pouted and grumbled as the voting continued and prepared to lick the wounds of my hurt pride from losing another “Of the Month” contest. My chances of winning the contests continued to dwindle, but there was one site that I still had a chance on because the voting process is different than any other site. On a community called phpbbcommunities, instead of having members of the community voting, their staff votes for the winner. I’ve always liked this system because there’s less of a chance for favoritism or for people to get their friends to vote for them. It’s a nice change, in my opinion.
This was my second time entering this contest, but the first time I entered my forum because Familial Ramblings had only gotten started. It was really a last minute decision for me to enter Familial Ramblings because I still didn’t feel as if it was established enough, but a friend of mine convinced me to go for it. I watched as other people submitted their forums, blogs and websites becoming more and more nervous as the numbers went up. How could my relatively new blog win against these sites? The day came that they were no long taking submissions and the voting had begun.
This morning, I woke expecting to see that either no decision had been made, but when I signed onto phpbbcommunities I saw that there was a new post in the SOTM thread. I held my breath as I scrolled down to the bottom of the thread. I had to double take when I saw what was written: Continue reading →
Posted on February 19, 2012
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
Though I know that Valentine’s Day isn’t exactly a happy holiday for everyone and that not everyone even believes that it’s a holiday, I still wanted to dedicate a post to the day. I want to start off with talking about the history of Valentine’s Day; though, no one is one hundred percent sure as to how it actually came about, there are still multiple stories and legends as to how it may have come about.
According to the History.com, one legend says that in the third century in Rome, when Emperor Claudius II was in power, he declared that marriage would be outlawed because he felt as if single men made better soldiers than ones that were married. The History.com goes on to say that a saint named Valentine felt that this was an injustice and continued to perform marriages for lovers in secret; however, when Claudius discovered what Valentine was doing, he was put to death. Another legend that the History.com talks about is that Valentine may have been killed because he was trying to help Christens escape harsh Roman prisons. According to another legend discussed in the article, Valentine had been imprisoned and sent the first “valentine” greeting to himself after he had fallen in love with a girl who visited him while he was imprisoned–it’s said that he wrote her a letter and signed it “From your Valentine.”
The History.com goes on to talk about how it’s most people’s understanding that Valentine’s Day was placed in the middle of February in order to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s dead or burial; however, there are also claims that the Christian church may have placed the St. Valentine’s feast day where they did in attempt to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. The article goes on to explain that Lupercalia was a fertility festival which was dedicated to Faunus (the Roman god of agriculture) and Romulus and Remus (the Roman founders).
It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that Valentine’s Day became a day to celebrate love according to the History.com article. In France and England, February 14th was believed to be the start of birds’ matting seasons, which planted the seed for the idea that Valentine’s Day should be about romance. Written Valentines didn’t appear until after 1400 and the oldest known valentine was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, written when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after he was captured at the Battle of Agincourt. He sent this valentine to his wife. Continue reading →
Posted on February 14, 2012
*Warning: This post contains spoilers.
I went to see Underworld: Awakening a few weeks ago when it was first released into the theaters. I’ve always enjoyed the Underworld series for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they have a kick-ass leading female character. I had high hopes for the newest installment of the series and I was not disappointed. I found the movie to be engaging and it was able to keep me on the edge of my seat for the entire film. It was action-packed, full of surprises and something I didn’t expect, it included a family aspect to it. Let me start from the beginning:
The humans learned about the existence of vampires and Lycans and have decided to declare war on both sets of clans, which is referred to as “The Purge.” Selene and Michael are attempting to escape the madness of it all, but alas, they are found and chased down. An explosion leads us to wonder if the pair survived the blast or if they’ve only been severely injured. The audience is then whisked away to twelve years into the future, to a lab where a creature seems to be trying to escape. Through the eyes of what is later called “Subject 2,” the audience sees Selene is trapped in a sort of cryogenic encasement. Subject 2 frees Selene–also known as Subject 1 to Antigen (the company holding her)–before fleeing so it is not captured by the guards. Selene slowly begins to awaken to find herself in a lab and most of her clothes and equipment conveniently stored in a near-by glass cabinet.
As Selene is set to escape, she begins to have visions which she believes is a link between her and Michael. She is able to escape Antigen and continue to follow the visions until she runs into a fellow vampire, David. While being caught up as to what has happened since she had been captured, Selene has another vision which leads her to an unexpected surprise, a young girl. It is later discovered that this girl is Subject 2 or Eve, whom is also a hybrid and Selene and Michael’s daughter. It does not take long for Selene to realize who Eve really is, which is what I found interesting about the family aspect of the movie. Without ever meeting Eve, Selene was able to recognize that it was her daughter. The question I had was: would she have realized Eve was her daughter if she was not seeing visions of what Eve was seeing? My hypothesis is that she would have recognized her. Why? Because I think that mothers naturally have the ability to recognize their children regardless if they had seen them previously or not. I believe there is a natural connection between mother and child, even between father and child. My thought is that for the movie they decided to enhance this natural connection so that Selene and Eve could find one another more easily. I also found it interesting that Selene’s natural instincts were to protect Eve when they were attacked by an underground Lycan clan that continuously tries to attack them as the trio try to escape. Continue reading →
Posted on February 9, 2012