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Posts tagged ‘Life’

There, I wrote something. Are you happy now?

I was talking to my friend Mark about not blogging for so long, and he told me “Just f*cking do it!” So are you happy now, Mark?

But he was right, and actually, this makes me happy. Just being here, typing this now, I feel excited and full of ideas and desire to write and write and write.

So why wasn’t I writing all along?

It’s been months, practically a year, since I wrote on a regular basis. I sometimes missed it, but not much. Same with the photography – I think I posted one picture this year. Almost the same with the podcast – a little spurt and then I was done.

In an interview I did last year, Asia Nelson said she was multi-passionate. I’d never heard that before, but that’s definitely me. I am not particularly great at any one thing, but I am a little good at a few different things.

Which is fine, and even great. But also not great. My passions flow through me in a cyclical pattern, burning bright then burning out then eventually coming back around with that fire again. I put a lot of creative and emotional (and physical) energy into one thing until I am burned out and have nothing left.

But that is just my personality too – I give all of myself over to a project, and at some point you have nothing left in the tank.

I didn’t feel that burning desire to come back to blogging; it was more like a little ember. But just being here is like kindling. We’ll see what develops. :)

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What is your passion?

Is it self-sustainable, or does that flame burn out from time to time?

 

Things I Love For No Good Reason

Although joy is as good a reason as any. 

So I guess what I really mean is things I don’t know why  they bring me such joy.

  • Wind chimes. Not all wind chimes, just certain wind chimes. But if I find a wind chime with just the right sound, it makes me so happy.
  • Cactus plants. I really just like them. A lot. I always want to buy any cactus plant I see. Except the ones with fake flowers glued to them. Or really, I want to buy them too, and take them home and tear off that fake flower.
  • Plants in general. Green plants. Any kind of ivy especially makes me happy.
  • Notebooks. Pads of paper. Any kind of paper bound together.
  • Blue Ink Pens.
  • Desk organizers. Pencil cups and phone stands and in-boxes and all those kinds of things.
  • Books. Although I know why books make me happy.
  • Blankets. I loooove blankets.
  • Scarves. And gloves. That I never remember to wear.

These are things that if I see them I want them. I just have an instant desire to have them and keep them.

And even though I don’t buy them, just seeing them makes me happy.

 

What makes you happy? (Whether or not you know why.)

 

Movie Quote Monday – Saturday Night Fever

I found Saturday Night Fever in the $5 discount bin and thought, “Why not?”

The movie centers around 19-year-old Tony, who’s stagnating in his Brooklyn neighborhood after graduating high school. He’s in a dead-end job and lives at home with parents who are beyond unsupportive. His mother only seems to care about his priest brother, and his father ridicules his successes and goes out of his way to make him feel like nothing. Tony’s surrounded by friends who idolize him, but just like him they’re going nowhere.

His respite comes in the form of dancing on Saturday nights at a disco, 2001 Odyssey, where he’s a local dance hero. That’s where he first sees Stephanie and is captivated by her dancing. He pursues her, but at 21, and seemingly moving up in the world, Stephanie sees herself as ages apart from Tony:

Stephanie:  You work in a paint store, right? You pro’bly live wit’ your family, you hang out wit’ your buddies, and on Saturday night you go and you blow it all off at the 2001. Right?
Tony:  That’s right.
Stephanie:  You’re a cliché. You’re nowhere. On your way to no place.

Stephanie is almost desperate to move to Manhattan, where everything is “beautiful, just beautiful.” I can’t decide if it’s admirable or just heartbreaking the way she’s constantly correcting her own speech, trying to scrub the Brooklyn out of it every time they have a conversation. Her brutal honesty with Tony can be hard to tolerate, and I found myself wondering why he continues to pursue such a caustic woman. Except what he sees in her, whether he knows it or not, is the next level up – something beyond where he is now. And she’s only telling him what he already thinks himself:

 

Tony:  The thing is, the high I get at 2001 is just  dancin’, it’s not, it’s not bein’ the best or nothing like that. The whole thing is that I would like to get that high someplace else in my life, you know.
Stephanie:  Like where?
Tony:  I don’t know where, I don’t know. Someplace. You see, dancin’, it can’t last forever, it’s a short-lived kind of thing. But I’m gettin’ older, you know, an’… You know, I feel like, I feel like, you know… So what? I’m gettin’ older; does that mean like I can’t feel that way about nothing left in my life, you know? Is that it?

I popped in this movie to play in the background one night while I did other things. But almost immediately I couldn’t stop watching. It was just…compelling. I’m not saying I loved this movie. There were parts that I didn’t enjoy and parts that made me super uncomfortable. I just couldn’t take my eyes off it.

Saturday Night Fever came out in 1977, and writer Norman Wexler refused to pull any punches in his script. Watching this in 2015, the foul language is nothing too surprising. However, the cultural slurs were quite jarring, and nothing was left out: racial, ethnic, homophobic, misogynistic, you name it. Wexler wanted the script true to the scene, real and, to use his own word, gritty. Though I didn’t like hearing it, I have to say I agree with him. Because this is the story of a moment in time. A moment in time for a handful of characters, for a family, a community, for a culture, an era, and a social consciousness.

But what makes this story, and other snapshot films like it, so iconic, so compelling? Ultimately I think it’s that many of us have had these moments, these almost frozen moments when we’re asking ourselves what’s next. Where should I go from here? Times in our lives when we know things can’t stay the same; even if we stay right where we are, it won’t feel the same. The moment will have passed us by.

And maybe we live these moments over and over again, of change and choice and uncertainty. 

I guess really what movies like this are asking is, who am I? And more, who do I want to be?

And I think many of us, however old we get, are still – and will always be – asking ourselves that question.

 

Movie Quote Monday – Die Hard

Not everyone considers Die Hard a Christmas movie, but I do.

For one thing, it takes place at a Christmas party. There’s even a tree…that falls over after the roof explodes. But still, Christmas.

And the hero, John McClane writes “Now I have a machine gun, HO HO HO” on a dead guy’s shirt. So Santa! Christmas!

And throughout the film, there’s all kinds of talk about miracles…
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Hans Gruber: It’s Christmas, Theo. It’s the time of miracles, so be of good cheer.

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Ok, so those are the bad guys.

But hey, that’s okay too, because even the bad guys believe in the magic of Christmas!

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Do you think Die Hard is a Christmas movie?

Or are you a die hard Christmas purist – it’s only a Christmas movie if the movie is about Christmas?

Do you believe that Christmas is a time of miracles?

Are you a good guy or a bad guy?

 

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Random Thoughts – on homemade gifts

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I’m teaching myself to knit.

Because you’re never too old to give your mom a lumpy, lopsided, homemade scarf potholder for Christmas.

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Do you give homemade gifts?

Do you like to receive them?

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Movie Quote Monday – Christmas Vacation

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Clark: Ellen! I want to have Christmas here in our house. It means a lot to me. All my life I’ve wanted to have a big family Christmas.
Ellen: It’s just that I know how you build things up in your mind, Sparky. You set standards that no family event can ever live up to.
Clark: When have I ever done that?

One of the things I loved as a kid was big family Christmases. We had Christmas Eve with my Mom’s side at our house, and at my grandparent’s house, there was always a huge gathering of family from my Dad’s side the weekend before or after. At times I’ve really mourned the loss of those. But in each case, the nuclear family switched at some point, from grandma and grandpa with their kids and grandchildren, to the new families being made. The grandkids were grown and having kids of their own, with their own time constraints and needs. Their own traditions. 

For me, as a single person without kids, it’s a little different. I don’t really have a family tradition anymore, because it’s just me. And that can be a little sad sometimes – and in part it’s that loss of tradition that I’ve grieved for. But then I’m kind of a hermit, so mostly it’s all good. I get to go somewhere else, watch some presents get opened, eat, and then go home to my blessed quiet. But I do miss the excitement of seeing my extended family on those big family Christmases. And in my heart, that’s the image I cling to of what Christmas should be.

If you’ve ever seen Christmas Vacation, then you know that Clark’s hopes and dreams of what the holiday should be, well, they don’t pan out. His plans all go wrong, burn down, and pile up, one on top of the other, like the growing heap of ruined stuff he has to keep tossing out to the curb. Poor Clark.

But don’t worry about him, because if he’s anything, it’s hopeful. Maybe it does all fall down around his head, but in the end, so what? Maybe it’s not about what we want to get, but what we do get. Making the most out of that. No, making the best out of that.

Believing the best. Even when Christmas doesn’t deliver what we dreamed it would.

 If Clark taught me anything, that would be it.

Merry Christmas, Sparky.