About Me

My photo
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
I completed the 2016 Summer Program in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. I received a BS Degree in Radio/TV from ASU and a MA Degree in Technical and Expository Writing from UALR. As a Cancer Survivor and a Widow, I hope I can help others through my Blog http://leslieinlittlerock.blogspot.com/ Twitter @leslieinlr and Instagram @leslieinlittlerock accounts.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Top 5 Entertainment Fashion Styles

As the mother of two daughters, ages 20 & 16, we've spent many hours over the years looking at fashion magazines, commercials, awards shows, music videos, movies and television programs to find fabulous outfits or just to comment on various styles. I think the following Celebrities/Movie/TV characters currently have the Top 5 Entertainment Fashion Styles today:


5.  Taylor Swift


I took this picture of Taylor Swift while sitting on the 5th row on the floor
at her concert in Verizon Arena on October 4, 2011. We've been lucky enough to see Taylor perform in concert during two different performances and each time she sounded great and looked amazing!




4. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Effie, the escort for District 12, is known for her outlandish outfits which are also color coordinated to her hair! Shown here with actor Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark.





3.  Actress Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a former White House Communications Director turned Crisis Management Company owner in the ABC Drama, Scandal

As you can see from these pictures, Olivia's wardrobe is also a starring character on Scandal. (And we loved Kerry Washington when she played Gus's ex-wife Mira in one episode of Psych in 2008!)





2.  Quinn and Santana's dresses on the "I Do" episode of Glee that aired on Valentine's Day 2013

Wow.  I just love these two dresses that Quinn and Santana wore to Will and Emma's "Non-Wedding". Each dress complements the characters as well as actresses Dianna Agron and Naya Rivera. This episode also features an unforgettable performance of "We've Got Tonite" performed by five couples.




1.  Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hanna in Pretty Little Liars


Actresses Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario, and Ashley Benson shine as four high school friends who try to solve the mysterious murder of their best friend. And they always look stylish!





Special Holiday Shout Out to Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake
for their December 21, 2013 appearance on Saturday Night Live!




Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 2013 Notes...

I just now realized, at 11:11 pm on Saturday, November 30, 2013, that I have not posted a blog entry for this month. Since I have posted at least one article per month on my blog this year, I didn't want November to feel left out! So here are some random thoughts...

  • I saw "Catching Fire" last night with my 20 year old daughter and I really liked it!  When I saw the first "Hunger Games" movie in 2012 with both my daughters (then 15 & 19) I had to walk out of the theater before the movie ended because it was too violent.  I actually watched this entire movie, didn't fall asleep, and thought the acting and production value was excellent.
  •  I want to thank all the writers on Widow's Voice http://widowsvoice-sslf.blogspot.com. I start out everyday by reading the daily entries from others who have been through what I'm going through now.
  • I am very excited to have been selected as a candidate for the 2014 Woman of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Arkansas Division. As a 12 year cancer survivor, I'm looking forward to raising funds for such an important organization that helps so many people that have both survived or going through treatment now for blood cancers.
  • I am thankful to have spent Thanksgiving this year with my daughter Lauren and her boyfriend Sean at his parent's home in Texas. Since Lauren and Sean are both college students studying International Relations, we also shared this American holiday with 3 exchange students - one from France and two from Germany.  We all had a great time!


I recently posted the following entry on my Facebook that list
10 Things About Me:

I’m really not sure what this number thing is, but I was recently given the number “9” by two different friends, both named Lynn!  I was also given the number “11” by Kahne because she didn’t want me to feel left out. So I thought I would compromise and reveal 10 things you may (or may not know about me)…

10.  I can still remember the first time David Letterman appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It was during the summer of 1978 and I thought he was so funny! I watched all of his TV appearances for the next several years and was a big fan of Dave during my college days.  I went to Los Angeles in April 1984 for a National College Broadcasting Convention with other ASU Radio-TV majors. We found out that Dave was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson while we were in LA. We had “stand-by” tickets to the taping and stood in line for hours (but were in the wrong line)!  By the time we found out where to go, all the seats were gone. My friends Liz and Jeff can tell you that I was crying outside the NBC Studios in Burbank! Although I am no longer a fan of Dave, I have since been to two different tapings of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Sara & I attended a taping of Conan last summer while we were visiting Darin & Kari. But in the spirit of David Letterman, I am starting my “Top 10” List with Number 10.

9.  When I was in Junior High, I had Scarlett Fever and was afraid I was going to go blind like Mary on Little House on the Prairie.

8. My favorite Disney Princess is Belle because she has brown hair and loves to read books.

7. My dog Oreo can find a 3 year old junior Snickers candy bar in an Easter basket, Christmas stocking or Halloween bag in the back of a closet in 10 seconds. And my cat Lilly talks to me and calls me “mama”.

6. I love reading books written by Erma Bombeck.

5. My favorite TV shows range from the musical performances of “Glee”; reality competition shows “Dancing With The Stars” & “American Idol”; intense “Law & Order: SVU”; comedies “The Middle”, “The Michael J. Fox Show”,  “Sean Saves The World”, “Super Fun Night”, “Psych” & Modern Family”; dramas “Switched at Birth” & “Pretty Little Liars” and my new addiction, the creepy “American Horror Story: Coven”!

4. I like how I can connect with both old and new friends using Social Media. I have 515 Facebook Friends; 646 Twitter Followers @leslieinlr and have received tweets from Glee actresses Amber Riley (new Dancing With The Stars winner!) & Naya Rivera (Santana); Dule Hill (Gus from Psych); Kristen Chenoweth; Mary Murphy (a judge on So You Think You Can Dance); and Glee Writer/Producer Michael Hitchcock. I also have 4,956 page views on my blog leslieinlittlerock.blogspot.com and it has been read by people in 10 different countries, including Moldova, Germany and France.

3.  I love St. Maarten.

2.  One summer during high school I worked at the McDonald’s on Geyer Springs Road. Do you want fries with that?  I also worked at Mazzio’s Pizza, Cinema 150 Movie Theater and selling pantyhose at the Dillard’s in Park Plaza Mall.

1.  Although I never planned to be both a Cancer Survivor and a widow at age 50, I hope I can help others by sharing my story.




Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy Anniversary




Our Wedding Picture
October 18, 1986



A Letter To My Husband...

Hello!  Quite a bit has happened since you've been gone, so I thought I would just update you on what would have been our 27th Wedding Anniversary - October 18, 2013.

Both girls seem to be doing well.  Lauren is 20 now and she spent her spring semester at the University of Austria in Graz in the study abroad program through her University. According to her pictures she posted on Facebook, it looks like she had a great time! She also maintained a high GPA while taking many of her courses in German overseas. She just started her junior year and is also working a part-time job tutoring international students in English.

Sara is now 16, had her braces removed recently and is already planning where she wants to go to college!  She said it has to be a University where she can major in Journalism and minor in Political Science and has to have a Chi Omega chapter. She went on the church youth choir trip to Chicago this summer, worked as a Junior Counselor at Brookhill and also attended a 9-day Young Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.

Since we all loved watching NBC News together, I wanted to let you know Ann Curry was replace by Savannah Guthrie on The Today Show in June 2012. Sara and I still watch Bryan Williams with the exception of when he was recovering from knee replacement surgery. This morning Kathie Lee announced that today is also her and Frank's 27th Wedding Anniversary!

Ziva left NCIS and Sara still tapes it every Tuesday night and watches it. Hawaii 5-0 has moved to Friday nights now this season and Sara and I watch it together. Sara and I saw the movie Argo with Ben Affleck about the Iran Hostage crisis. The first thing I said was that it was going to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It did. The second thing I said was that you would have loved it.

In November you were inducted into the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Kansas City. The girls and I attended with my parents and Sean along with your parents and sister. Jonathan, Jawanda and Rachel Mast also came to the dinner. Here is a picture from the banquet with your plaque.




Oreo really misses you and Lilly is still my "Guard Kitty". I just wanted to tell you we all love and miss you.

Leslie




Our last picture together
Taken at Ashley Graham's wedding
April 2012










Friday, September 20, 2013

Movie Review - Prisoners (2013)






Release Date:  Friday, September 20, 2013

Running Time:  153 minutes

Genre:  Crime/Drama/Thriller

Director:  Denis Villeneuve 

Writer:  Aaron Guzikowski 

Rating:  Rated R for disturbing violent content including torture and language throughout the movie.

Description:  When Keller Dover's six-year-old daughter and her friend go missing on Thanksgiving Day, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

 

Cast

 

Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover


Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki



    
 

Terrence Howard as Franklin Birch


 

 
Viola Davis as Nancy Birch

 
Maria Bello as Grace Dover

 

 
Melissa Leo as Holly Jones

 

Paula Dano as Alex Jones

 

 

  Leslie's Notes

  • This movie is very suspenseful and contains many plot twists while I tried to figure out what happened to the two missing girls and who was responsible for their disappearance.
  • Prisoners reminds me of the movies The Lovely Bones, Gone Baby Gone, The Call, Taken and Abduction.
  • The casting and acting in Prisoners is amazing and includes one Academy Award Winner (Melissa Leo for The Fighter-2010 and four other Academy Award nominated actors (Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables-2012, Jake Gyllenhaal for Brokeback Mountain-2005, Viola Davis for The Help-2011 and Doubt-2008 and Terrence Howard for Hustle & Flow-2005.)
  • Set in a small town in Pennsylvania at Thanksgiving, the movie features great cinematography of many outdoor locations scenes filmed in pouring down rain and snow.
     
  • The subject content is intense and there are also several violent scenes in the movie, but the script is very well written and the production is excellent.

 

 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Movie Review - Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)




 

Release Date August 16, 2013

Running Time:  132 minutes

Genre:  Biography/Drama

Director:  Lee Daniels

Writers:  Danny Strong, Wil Haygood (article)

Rating:  Rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking.

Brief Description:  As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

 

Cast


Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines






Oprah Winfrey as Gloria Gaines






David Oyelowo as Louis Gaines





Elijah Kelley as Charlie Gaines






 

Actors cast as United States Presidents




Robin Williams as President Dwight D. Eisenhower



James Marsden as President John F. Kennedy


Liev Schreiber as President Lyndon B. Johnson



John Cusack as President Richard Nixon


Alan Rickman as President Ronald Reagan




Leslie's Notes




My 16-year-old daughter, Sara, and I saw the new movie "Lee Daniels' The Butler" the day it was released. Sara loves history and I was intrigued after viewing a few previews for the film this summer. We both really liked the movie, especially the actors cast as the U.S. Presidents. James Marsden’s portrayal of President John F. Kennedy is amazing!




Lee Daniels' The Butler has been Number 1 at the
Box Office for the past three weeks!

 Browse the most recent weekly U.S. box office summary, and find links to the top box office performers, top rentals, and much more -- including lists of the best (and worst) movies in all categories, voted on by our users.
Rank Title Weekend Gross Weeks
1 Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) $20.2M $79.5M 3
2 One Direction: This Is Us (2013) $18.5M $18.5M 1
3 We're the Millers (2013) $16.3M $113M 4
4 Planes (2013) $10.9M $74M 4
5 Instructions Not Included (2013) $10.4M $10.4M 1

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Movie Review - The Way Way Back (2013)







MOVIE INFORMATION

 

 

Cast



Liam James as Duncan




Toni Collette as Pam



Steve Carell as Trent 



Sam Rockwell as Owen




Allison Janney as Betty




AnnaSophia Robb as Susanna







Release Date July 26, 2013

Running Time:  103 minutes

Genre:  Comedy/ Drama

Directors & Writers:  Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Rating:  Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief drug material.

Brief Description:  Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.


Leslie's Trivia Notes

  • Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who both Wrote and Directed this movie, won an Academy Award, along with Alexander Payne, for Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants.  They also play employees at the Water Wizz water park in this film.
     
  • Liam James, who plays the teenage boy, Duncan, in this movie was also Young Shawn from 2006-2010 in one of our favorite TV shows - Psych.
     
  •  I compare this movie to Little Miss Sunshine (2006) as a drama with some comedy scenes.  I just realized that Toni Collette and Steve Carell are also in that movie too.
     
  • Who is Sam Rockwell and why haven't I seen any of his movies?  I remember when he played Chuck Barris in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in 2002 but I didn't see the movie.  He is amazing in The Way Way Back!

 I think that The Way Way Back and Mud are two of the best movies I've seen this year!



Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sharing My Story!

11 days ago I received an email from a lady named Eva who found me on twitter and loves my blog! She works for CancerTreatment.net, an online resource offering information and support to people suffering or recovering from cancer

She asked me if I would be willing to tell readers about my journey in a "Share Your Story" article on their website that currently attracts 18,000 visitors per month.

I said sure and started writing a series of article about my diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in November 2000, completing both Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment, declared in remission on May 17, 2001 and then life after cancer treatment.

Both articles are now on their website:

Surviving Lymphoma and Life's Challenges: Leslie's Story (Part 1) 

http://www.lymphomainfo.net/share/surviving-lymphoma/surviving-lymphoma-and-life-s-challenges-leslie-s-story

 
Surviving Lymphoma and Life's Challenges: Leslie's Story (Part 2) 






I hope sharing my story will inspire others.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Movie Review - White House Down (2013)




Movie Information

 

Cast



Channing Tatum as John Cale

    Jamie Foxx as President Sawyer


    Joey King as Emily Cale


    Release Date:  June 28, 2013

    Running Time:  131 minutes

    Genre:  Action / Drama / Thriller

    Director:  Roland Emmerich
     
    Writer:  James Vanderbilt

    RatingRated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image.

    Brief Description:  While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.


    Leslie's Notes



    Did I mention that Channing Tatum is in this movie? I also think that Jamie Foxx runs around somewhere in the background of the film. Child Actress Joey King, who turns 14 years old on July 30, is amazing in this role as Channing Tatum's history obsessed (and technology advanced) daughter Emily.

    "White House Down" reminds me of the first "Die Hard" movie released in 1988 starring Bruce Willis as a New York policeman who confronts German terrorists during a Christmas party in a downtown Los Angeles office building!






    In Memory
    of
    Cory Monteith

    Sunday, June 30, 2013

    Movie Review - Now You See Me (2013)





    Movie Information



    Starring:

    • Mark Ruffalo (he survived a brain tumor) as Dylan Rhodes
    • Jesse Eisenberg (watch him in "Adventureland" 2009) as J. Daniel Atlas 
    • Woody Harrelson (Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!) as Merritt McKinney
    • Isla Fisher (played Shaggy's girl friend Mary Jane in the 2002 "Scooby-Doo" movie) as Henley Reeves
    • Dave Franco (James Franco's hot brother) as Jack Wilder
    • Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley
    • Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler

    Release Date:  May 31, 2013

    Running Time:  115 minutes

    Genre:  Crime, Thriller

    Director:  Louis Leterrier
     
    Writers:  Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt (Screenplay) and Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt, Mike Wazowski & James P. Sullivan (Story)


    Rating:  Rated PG-13 for for language, some action and sexual content. 

    Brief Description:  An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.



    Leslie's Notes



    I didn't understand anything going on in this movie, but I really liked it!



    Sara and I met Darren Criss (for the 3rd time!) at the Meet & Greet before his concert at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas on June 3!







    AARP The Magazine's New Faces of 50+ Real People Search.


    http://aarp.promo.eprize.com/facesof50/gallery?entry_id=1778



     








    Saturday, May 25, 2013

    Movie Review - Mud (2012)







    Starring:

    • Matthew McConaughey as Mud
    • Reese Witherspoon as Juniper
    • Tye Sheridan as Ellis
    • Jacob Lofland as Neckbone
    • Ray McKinnon as Senior
    • Sam Shepard as Tom Blackenship

    Running Time:  130 minutes

    Genre:  Drama

    Writer and Director:  Jeff Nichols

    Rating:  Rated PG-13 for for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking. 

    Brief Description:  Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.




    I saw Mud last weekend and it is an amazing movie! It is very well written, has an excellent cast and showcases some beautiful landscapes and river scenes since it was filmed in Arkansas.

    It was written and directed by Jeff Nichols, a graduate of Little Rock Central High School, where my oldest daughter graduated from two years ago and my youngest daughter currently attends high school.

    Mr. Nichols also wrote and directed the films "Take Shelter" (2011) and "Shotgun Stories" (2007) both of which received high praise from critics.  We saw Mr. Nichols speak at an event in Little Rock last fall and his passion for writing and directing films was evident in his speech.  He also conducted several open casting calls in Arkansas where he discovered Jacob Lofland and selected him as one of the two young leads in the movie!




    Jacob Lofland, Jeff Nichols, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey and Tye Sheridan

    at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2012