Friday, March 25, 2016

Trainwreck (Nik's Pik: Movie Review)

I have to say this is one of those films that gets better each time I watch it. Trainwreck written by and starring stand-up comedian Amy Schumer is this week's After Hours Nik's Pik

"If you don't try, you don't fail." ~ Amy, Trainwreck

Amy (played by Schumer) is a successful journalist for a men's magazine. She appears to be living the ideal life as a smart, independent, attractive woman. However, underneath all the confidence is a woman who is closed off to real love and emotions stemming from unresolved issues over her adulterous and alcoholic father whom Amy idolizes. Believing her father's mantra that "monogamy isn't realistic," Amy leads a promiscuous life filled with alcohol and drugs and lots and lots of men. Her sister, Kim (played by Brie Larson) worries that Amy is a trainwreck waiting to happen. 

All this is about to change for Amy when she is assigned to write an article on sports medicine doctor, Aaron Conners, played by the very funny Bill Hader, and she gets more than she bargained for. She wasn't supposed to fall in love. So begins Amy's transformation from her cold and selfish exterior to a woman capable of real intimacy. Aaron teaches her to open her heart and let down her walls. Eventually we learn we can heal from our past.

"I know what I am. I know who I am. I'm broken." ~ Amy, Trainwreck

The script hits viewers with one joke after another and you are sure to catch more lines each time you watch it. Pay attention to Schumer's facial expressions as well which alone are enough to give you some hearty laughs. And, while Schumer and Hader have wonderful on-screen chemistry, little will prepare audiences for the unexpected bromance between LeBron James (who plays himself) and Aaron. There are several cameos from various celebrities and athletes to watch for too, but I won't spoil those for you. 

Watch Official Trailer

If you're easily offended or embarrassed, this film may not be for you. Otherwise, I found this comedy to be among the funniest in recent years and highly recommend it. Trainwreck is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language, and some drug use. 

Read more of Nik's Piks: After Hours movie reviews. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Family Movie Review)

"Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent, I love it. I love bringing people together." ~ Lex Luthor, Batman v Superman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I had the privilege of attending an advanced screening for the new Warner Bros./DC Comics film from director Zach Synder, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in theaters this Friday, March 25.   

Henry Cavill returns as Superman as does Amy Adams as Lois Lane after their portrayal of these characters in the 2013 film Man of Steel. Therefore, all eyes were on Ben Affleck as he debuted as Batman. In addition, this star-studded cast also includes Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor along with Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunt, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller. 

I am far from a knowledgeable comic follower, but going into this movie even I was confused as to why two supposed good guys would come to fight each other. As superheros go, these two are as different as they get, but what happens to lead them to this war against each other? Can this just be a situation of simple rivalry or is there more to it?  Of course, there's more to it! But you'll have to see for yourself. 

As the two superheros are distracted with each other, a new villain arises which threatens all of mankind. Will Batman and Superman be able to work together to fight this new evil and help save the world? 

"Devils don't come from the hell beneath us, they come from the sky." ~ Batman v Superman 

The movie is intense and dark and fans of the franchise will love it. Others, maybe not so much. Some complained it was too long and too slow at the beginning. I do not necessarily agree with either of those criticisms. One concern several moviegoers picked up on, and one I noticed immediately from the trailer, is how a scene at the beginning is eerily similar to footage of September 11 making me wonder what the filmmakers were thinking including such an image.  

Overall, Batman v Superman is non-stop action and special effects which includes intense scenes of physical and gun violence, explosives, loss of life and mass destruction - all culminating in a climatic scene that left the audience dead silent. 

Cavill would make Christopher Reeve proud and Affleck, while by far not my favorite Batman, grew on me by the end of the film - a little! Eisenberg stole the show as Luthor and Gadot was breathtakingly badass as Wonder Woman. And, no surprise, the film laid the groundwork for several sequels. 

Watch Official Trailer

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which runs over two and a half hours, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout and some sensuality. We all know that studios try hard to hit that PG-13 rating so as to include as many moviegoers as possible. However, I will remind parents that this rating is just a small (and ever decreasing) step down from an R rating. Therefore, I strongly caution parents when deciding whether or not to bring their children under the age of 13.  

Read more of my Family Movie Reviews

Monday, March 21, 2016

Palm Beach International Film Festival Preview

I am very excited for the 21st Palm Beach International Film Festival April 6-14, 2016. While it may be small peanuts compared to Sundance, Cannes or Toronto, this is a chance for South Floridians to take in a bit of indie movie magic.

There are 172 independent films being screened in a variety of genres including American and Canadian independents, documentaries, horror, and short films. The event will take place at four venues throughout Palm Beach County (The Palm Beaches Theatre, Muvico Parisian, Cinemark Palace, and G-Star Studios). In addition to nine days of films and celebrity guests, there will be seminars where attendees can learn more about the art and business of filmmaking from knowledgeable panels, a student showcase of films, and an array of other parties, meet and greets, and VIP events concluding with the annual "It's a Wrap!" party and awards presentation on April 14. 

Sixteen world and eight North American premieres are slated for the event including Money, which opens the festival with a Hollywood-style red carpet screening followed by the kick-off party (location TBD) the night of April 6, Foster Shock, a documentary about the privatization of child welfare in Florida, Like a Butterfly, a short film starring Ed Asner, and more!

If you live in the area and plan to attend, you will want to put some thought into your schedule. Deciding which films to see can be overwhelming. Here are the films that have caught my attention and may help you narrow down your short list. 

1. When Elephants Were Young - (Documentary) This 2016 documentary narrated by William Shatner is an extension of the short film Return to the Forest which won Best Conservation Film at the New York Wildlife Film Festival in 2013.  It is one of this year's nominees for Best Documentary and will have its International/USA premiere at the festival. 

2. The Phoenix Incident - (Horror/Sci-fi Thriller/Documentary) This 2015 American film is based on the real life story of the largest mass UFO sighting in US history known as the Phoenix Lights. That night in 1997 four men disappeared in Estrella Mountain National Park and remains the longest unresolved missing persons case in Arizona History. 

3. The House at the End of Time  (Horror) - This 2014 Spanish film with English subtitles is sure to have audiences sitting at the edge of their seats. Falsely imprisoned for a crime she doesn't commit, Dulce returns to her home thirty years later to try and solve the mystery behind her horrible ordeal.

4. A Light Beneath Their Feet (Drama, American Independents) - This 2015 film deals with a mother struggling with bipolar disorder who must rely on her young daughter, Beth, to care for her. In order to do so, Beth will have to give up on her dreams. 

5. The Shickles (Comedy, American Independents) This 2016 film is an edgy comedy about an eccentric Jewish couple married 70 years. When they die holding hands on their 90th birthday, their grandchildren find themselves struggling to navigate the bitter sweet nature of love and relationships. 

6. The Wedding Invitation (Comedy, World Premiere) - This 2016 film is both a sweet and raunchy female comedy that follows three best friends each searching for Mr. Right. Fueled by friendship, heartbreak, and insecurity, this film is an underdog tale about three ordinary women who are willing to risk it all for love. 

7. A Beautiful Now (Drama, American Independents) A beautiful dancer who is teetering on the brink of a breakdown asks her friends to help her regain her focus and evaluate her life. (2014)

8. The Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man (Dark Comedy/Drama, American Independents) - Unsatisfied with his marriage and career, a man visits his past to figure out where his life went wrong. (2015)

9. Psychoanalysis (Dark Comedy/Drama, World Cinema Narratives) - This 2015 Australian film is about the country's top suicide prevention psychologist who loses five clients to suicide in one week and becomes obsessed with proving they were murdered by a rival doctor who wants the top spot for himself. 

10. Father Joseph (Documentary) - Also in the Documentary Feature competition is this 2014 documentary about an extraordinary man, Father Joseph, who, against incredible strife, has played an instrumental role in rebuilding Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Following the April 8th screening, join Father Joseph for a very special event "A Night in Haiti". 

For my local readers:
Visit for a complete schedule of film and event times and venues as well as to purchase tickets. Tickets can be purchased for multiple screenings or individual showings and events on the website or by calling 561.362.0003.

Read movie reviews on Lavender Inspiration

Friday, March 18, 2016

Z for Zachariah (Nik's Piks: Movie Review)

I decided to watch the 2015 film Z for Zachariah after seeing the trailer and, well, who am I kidding, because it co-stars Chris Pine. Based on the novel by Robert C. O'Brien, Z for Zachariah is an interesting story of a post-nuclear world with strong spiritual and religious components. It is a subtle film where as much is said with the characters' body language as by their words. For this reason, I will admit, not everyone will enjoy this film. 

Believed to be alone on the earth after a radiation disaster, Ann (played by Margot Robbie) struggles to survive on her family's farm which she believes is blessed because it remains untouched while the rest of the world and its people are decimated. One day she stumbles upon another survivor, John (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the two slowly develop a very caring relationship toward each other while working together to rebuild their lives. 

However, their peaceful existence is threatened by the arrival of Caleb (Pine) and the situation quickly develops into an unusual and tumultuous love triangle. Trust is not given easily as the three characters learn about each other and are haunted by their pasts and the things they did to survive. 

There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding the meaning of the title which, quite frankly, isn't explained. However, according to my research, it is explained in the novel and is worth addressing. It does not spoil the film in any way. In fact, it might add an element of interest. 

Ann's father was the town's preacher. She grew up with a collection of children's books that were both biblical and alphabetical in nature. For example, A is for Adam.  It is to be inferred that if Adam was the first man on earth, than Zachariah is the last. Upon meeting John, Ann believes he is the last man alive. However, after more research into the Book of Zechariah, I also discovered that there is a much deeper biblical meaning. The Book of Zechariah is said to be itself apocalyptic in nature. Some would say that Zechariah's teachings themselves (that failure to listen to God will bring punishment to the people for their sins) are an important element of this film's title and hidden meaning. 

Watch Official Trailer

The overall pace of the film is slow, yet the tone is mysterious throughout which will hook most viewers. The ending may be questionable to some and offers an insight into the minds of each character. I enjoyed the story and the performances, but feel the film could have had more tension and suspense. 

Z for Zachariah is rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Martian (Nik's Piks: Movie Review)

When The Martian was first released in theaters last October, I'll admit I didn't have a desire to run out and see it.  Based on the novel by Andy Weir, The Martian has received numerous industry nominations and awards which definitely piqued my curiosity and was the main reason I decided to sit down and watch it. 

"This is space. It does not cooperate." ~ The Martian

Reminiscent of Apollo 13 and Castaway, The Martian is about a NASA botanist, Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who is left behind on Mars after he is presumed dead by the rest of the crew. His struggle to survive alone on a hostile planet is both inspiring and riveting.  When NASA discovers he is still alive, they are forced to deal with a PR nightmare.  Tough decisions are made and plans are devised to bring him supplies until a rescue mission is possible. 

Damon was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Watney, and took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. However, The Martian is obviously NOT a musical and is a far cry from a comedy despite the often light mood of the film. Don't misunderstand me. It was certainly not the heavy dramatic film I was anticipating either. 

Regardless of the film's identity crisis - is it a drama or a comedy? - it kept my attention from the opening scene and the entire cast delivered stellar performances. However, I didn't feel that any of the characters were fully developed so I did not experience a deep connection to any of them, not even Watney, and the plot was quite predictable. Despite all that, I would still recommend this film and not just to fans of science fiction. It is simply a feel good underdog story.

Watch Official Trailer

The Martian also stars Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Pena, and Kate Mara. The film is rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity. 

Read more of Nik's Piks: After Hours movie reviews. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Girl in the Spider's Web (Book Review)

"...the mark of a man is his contradictions." ~ The Girl in the Spider's Web

I enjoyed the first three novels in the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson so much that I featured them in my Nik's Piks favorites for thriller and crime series. 

Therefore, I was excited when the publishers announced that the series would continue on despite the death of Larsson. In August of 2015, the fourth book in the saga, The Girl in the Spider's Web written by David Lagercrantz, was released and fans of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist were delighted that the story of these two unlikely allies would continue. 

Countless other characters and plot lines return as well. Therefore I do not recommend reading this novel without having read the three prior books.  

In fact, if I may be completely honest, I would not recommend you read this book under any circumstances. This novel was a complete waste of my time (it took me several months and three separate attempts to complete it), but I pushed on hoping that it would get better. It did not. 

The premise is decent enough. Frans Balder is a scientist working on Artificial Intelligence. However, his work has put him in great danger and when he returns to Sweden to care for his eight-year-old son, August, who suffers from infantile autism, his work and his life become the target of a criminal organization.  August witnesses a terrible crime and Salander makes it her mission to protect the boy from harm. Meanwhile, Blomkvist believes he has found a story that will put his name back on the forefront of journalism. 

Sounds interesting, right? 

"To be alive means not being completely consistent. It means venturing out in many directions all at the same time." ~ The Girl in the Spider's Web

Unfortunately, this author's WRITING was venturing out in too many directions all at the same time!  Despite a promising story line, the execution was awful. Lagercrantz's skill was not up to par with Larsson and both the tone of the story and the characters seemed different. These are not Larsson's Salander and Blomkvist. They were unrecognizable from the characters I loved in the previous novels and I did not feel the connection with them as I previously had. 

The story was choppy and never caught my full attention. Many scenes are told over again from different perspectives of multiple characters and, while this started off as a promising style, eventually proved to be tedious and often confusing. 

Fans of this series will be highly disappointed. Unfortunately, I can not recommend this novel to anyone.  

Read more of my Book Reviews

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Zootopia (Family Movie Review)

WOW! I can't remember the last time I enjoyed an animated film as much as Zootopia. I see an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film in its future.

Going into the film I knew nothing about the story line; sometimes it is better that way. My only knowledge of the film was that it was about a society of personified animals (nothing unusual for animation there) and two unlikely friends. But, without giving too much of the plot away, I will say this film is much more than cute animals solving a crime. 

The film's two main characters, a bunny named Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), will speak to audiences on a very deep level. Judy and Nick are my new favorite Hollywood on-screen couple. That's right. I don't care if they are animated. Their chemistry, thanks to an awesome script, is undeniable. 

On the surface, and what most young viewers will take away from the film, is the theme of not letting anyone crush your dreams. Do not allow society to put limitations on what you can and can not do. Judy had dreams of being a police officer her entire life despite the fact that she was told numerous times bunnies can't be cops! I particularly loved the fact that the main protagonist was female and that her dream was to go into what is still today a male-dominated field. She is a great role model for young girls everywhere. Even after graduating from the police academy top of her class, she still had to fight to prove herself to the department. 

However, on a much deeper level, one that is sure to go over the heads of young viewers, is the very real life problem that has plagued humanity for as long as time - the theme of how stereotypes and prejudices lead to fears and how that fear is used to keep certain people down. In the city of Zootopia, the two opposing groups are predators and prey, and several characters have to face their own prejudgments of others if peace is to be regained. What they learn in the process is that some of these misconceptions are so deeply rooted they didn't even know they existed. In the end, we are reminded that change must begin inside each of us. 

Serious stuff, definitely. However, thanks to a very clever script, Zootopia also delivers many laughs for the entire family. One such scene takes place at the DMV which is run entirely by sloths. Children will delight in the comically slow antics of the sloths, while any adult who has ever lived through a trip to the DMV will find humor on an entirely different level.

Watch Official Trailer

Overall, I loved everything about this film and strongly recommend it for families AND animation fans of any age. Zootopia is rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action. However, there are a couple of scenes that might frighten very young children, therefore, I would save this film for those 5 and up at least. 

Read more of my Family Movie Reviews

Deadpool (Guest Blogger Movie Review)

Thanks to +Nicholas Neagle for writing this movie review for Lavender Inspiration. I'll admit, I only see super hero films with my son and since this one was rated R, I wouldn't be seeing it anytime soon. Here's what Nick had to say about Deadpool.


Ten years in the making, Deadpool had a lot of pressure to live up to the hype. With that said, it does not fail to disappoint its adult fans who have been waiting years to see their favorite “Merc with a Mouth” dash and slash on the big screen. Since the beginning, Ryan Reynolds has wanted to play this part, and we see why as soon as the movie begins. He is a perfect fit, a real life ball of sarcasm with a potty mouth. Of course, we would not want it any other way.

To begin, the movie certainly earns its R rating with ease. The violence and language are enough on their own to be paused on for younger fans, so parents be warned. There are many examples of strong language beyond that of the f-bomb, mostly very sexual and suggestive matter. It all goes along with the comic and the Deadpool character, but certainly something to remember before some viewers watch.

The film begins as an origin story which, if you are a comic fan, know all too well in the theaters. The story is a good one, an intense one, and an emotional ride you should prepare yourself for if you have gone through cancer yourself or with a loved one. This doesn’t last long though. It quickly cuts back to plenty of humor and lots of action. I can assure you of one thing, the action is great and well done.

There is no holding back from either side - there is a lot of sweat and blood. Once the story gets moving, the movie becomes much faster paced, and the characters give you lots to love, or hate, about them in a rush. Deadpool’s nemesis and his troops become the focus of moving the story along, even if cheesy at times.

The movie very quickly introduces two key figures in Deadpool’s life, his girlfriend Vanessa, amazingly portrayed by Morena Baccarin, and his close friend Weasel, hilariously played by the comedian T.J. Miller. The love story gives it a little more than most comics can, and that was a bonus for me, as I am sure for many other viewers. Reynolds continues to pull the movie’s audience in with his wise cracking, but he is not alone.

Watch Official Trailer

Two X-Men - Colossus, motion-captured performance by Stefan Kapicic, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played brilliantly by Brianna Hildebrand - try to keep the a balance between mutants and the humans from getting too violent, but instead end up fighting with Deadpool. They are fighting a very stereotypical villain, Francis, played by a relatively new actor, Ed Skrein. 

Overall, the story might not be the best of Marvel’s movies, but it certainly is entertaining and full of fun. The final scenes are very climactic and important for all the characters. No spoiling, of course, but the end holds a lot of action and some surprises. The movie did not disappoint me. Sure it is not a complex story, nor does it comment on any serious social topics, but it is a lot of fun and a great escape.

~ This review was written by +Nicholas Neagle for 

Click here for more After Hours movie reviews.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

And the Hat Trick for Worst Soccer Mom Goes to.....

Today marked opening day of the spring soccer season and, in keeping with tradition, here is my start of the season blog post. Unfortunately, also in keeping with tradition, I have proved once again that I am the world's worst soccer mom. 

Practices so far have been intense to say the least. My son's new coach is from Italy where the words recreation and soccer do not go together. Instead of 60-minute practices, we often go well over an hour and as long as two. Plus, instead of ceasing practices now that the games have started, he has scheduled two 90-minute training sessions a week in addition to two games - unheard of in the rec league. 

But my son loves it so we will make it work as long as I may continue to bitch about it.  

You may recall my son was the starting goalie in past seasons - a position that proved too much for this mom to handle. I begged him to play any other position this season and I was relieved that he was also keen on the idea. Unfortunately, his new coach got wind of the fact that he had experience playing goalie and asked him to play in goal for at least one quarter. Strike two against this coach, but I vow to just sit there and smile and hold my breath for one quarter.  

Back to today's opening game - and, what an opening day game it was. My son scored a hat trick (that means 3 goals for you non-sports fans!) and was an offensive machine (cue proud momma music). However, I am saddened to say that my role of soccer mom failure continues. I missed his first goal because I was too busy scoping out Tiger Woods on another field who was watching his son and trying to decide who the two blondes were with him. We believe one was the ex-Mrs. Woods and one was the girlfriend - but who can tell the difference. They came from the same mold. 

Then there was his second goal. Did that go in? I think the sun was in my eye.

And the third goal.....crap! Did I seriously just miss another one of his goals?? I am not even sure what  I was doing to miss that one.  Oh wait, yes I do. I was Googling the cast of a movie I had just watched for an upcoming review of mine. 

Okay, fine. So I am not going to win soccer mom of the year. BUT, at least I wasn't the one who shouted out "Goalie down, SCORE SCORE!" when the opponent's goalie was hurt. I may have thought it, but I didn't say it!!! Relax....the kid was fine! 

When all was said and done, my son's team won 5-3 in an impressive first game and that is all that matters. Oh, excuse me. I meant to say all that matters is that they had fun (wink, wink). 

Similar Posts: 

Don't Fix it, Deal With it!

A Close Call for Epic Mom Failure

Soccer Mom Failure!

Another Youth Sports Rant

Friday, March 4, 2016

Horrible Bosses 2 (Nik's Piks: Movie Review)

If you're looking for a comedy that doesn't make you think too much, one that is a little slapstick, a touch of black comedy and contains lots of bathroom and sexual humor - Horrible Bosses 2 is for you. Although met with mixed reviews, this sequel is worth a watch. No problem if you haven't seen the first one, most of the prior references are explained. Remember, this film isn't sophisticated and you won't be watching because of the complicated plot. You will, however, enjoy some laughs and many worthwhile performances.  

Tired of working for horrible bosses, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) go into business for themselves and invent the 'shower buddy.'  In their search for a distribution company, they are approached by manufacturing tycoons, Burt Hanson (Christopher Waltz) and his son, Rex (Chris Pine).  However, our ambitious trio soon learns that they have been screwed by yet another horrible boss and they find themselves in debt for half a million dollars. 

Lost for a way out of this financial mess, Nick, Kurt, and Dale swear revenge. Deciding murder is out of the question (LOL) they opt for kidnapping. What could possibly go wrong? Apparently a lot!! When the tables are turned on them during their scheme, they land themselves in much deeper water than they could have imagined. The end result is one of the most unusual, and hysterical, police chases in movie history. 

Keep in mind that what this film lacks in sophistication it makes up for with some awesome performances.

Kevin Spacey's brief return as Dave Harken, Nick's former boss, may have made the entire film worthwhile. Jamie Fox also returns for another hilarious performance as Dean "Motherfucker" Jones. Jennifer Aniston returns as Julia, Dale's sex addict former boss, and is the premise behind many obvious, yet laugh out loud, jokes. Jonathan Banks' portrayal of Detective Hatcher is also worth mentioning. And, while I have seen Pine in a few other roles, he shocked me the most proving himself a versatile actor who is more than capable of being funny.

Watch Official Trailer

Overall, Horrible Bosses 2 will provide many laughs. While Sudeikis and Day are more obvious in their comedic delivery, Bateman once again delivers a dry and witty performance.   There are many moments when the actors are talking over each other which can cause viewers to easily miss some very funny lines - so pay attention! Unless you absolutely hate goofy comedies, I recommend this film. 

Horrible Bosses 2 is rated R for strong, crude sexual content and strong language throughout.

Read more Nik's Piks After Hours movie reviews. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why You Should Let Your Children See You Dance

Throughout their childhood, it is imperative that you let your children see the free spirit inside of you, even if it embarrasses them.

The older you get the more you experience certain things that take you back to another place or time. A smell that reminds you of your aunt's musty basement and all the afternoons you spent playing down there. A vine tomato that brings you back to your grandparents' garden on a hot summer's day. A song that takes you back to high school, riding in your friend's car, windows down, music turned way up, young and carefree.

I have been known to torture my sons with old music often. For those that follow me on Twitter, you may remember the "Bohemian Rhapsody" moment in my car not too long ago. There I was dancing and singing along with Queen while my sons begged me to let them change the station, lowering themselves in their seats to avoid being seen. 

Yesterday morning I had David Bowie's "Starman" in my head. I was quietly singing to myself when my youngest woke up and came into the kitchen. "Mom, what ARE you singing? Whatever it is, please stop," he begged. 

Stop singing??  Me?? Never going to happen.  Seriously, when will they learn?

So with my oldest still asleep in his bed, I pulled the song up on my phone and on the highest volume possible I played - in it's entirety I may add - this favorite Bowie song of mine.

My oldest came downstairs grumbling; my youngest sat at the kitchen counter trying to eat while covering his ears.


Well, I sang along with Bowie and danced like no one was watching.  And, when it was finally over (much to the relief of my sons) I stopped and stared at the two of them and thought how amazing was that moment. Without them knowing, I had given them a memory of me they will have forever. Sure it may lie dormant in their brains for a while, but one day, probably when they are adults themselves, and maybe after I am long gone from this world, that song will pop on the radio and they will recall that morning and will once again see me dancing and hear me singing, and, just perhaps, they will smile.  

Only then will they realize the true lesson I was giving them - be yourself no matter what anyone says or thinks. Sing when you want; dance even when you are being watched. And NEVER let anyone crush your spirit.