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Posts tagged ‘movies’

Movie Quote Monday – Christmas Vacation


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.

A Year in the 80’s – 1981 No. 1’s

A Quick Look Back

Population: 229,465,714
Life expectancy: 74.1 years
New Home: $68,900
New Car: $7,500
Median Income: $13,773
Stamp: $ .18
Regular Gas: $1.13
Bread: $ .54
Gal of Milk: $1.69

 And here are the Number One’s for 1981!


Best Picture: Chariots of Fire
Best Director: Warren Beatty, Reds
Best Actor: Henry Fonda, On Golden Pond
Best Actress: Katharine Hepburn, On Golden Pond

Highest Grossing Films
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark ($212,222,025)
2.  On Golden Pond ($119,285,432)
3.  Superman II ($108,185,706)
4.  Arthur ($95,461,682)
5.  Stripes ($85,297,000)

Remember These Movies?
The Cannonball Run
Continental Divide
Endless Love
The Fan
The Four Seasons
The Howling
Absence of Malice
Sharky’s Machine
Pennies from Heaven


Grammy Awards:
Album of the Year: Christopher Cross for Christopher Cross
Record of the Year: Christopher Cross for Sailing
Best New Artist: Christopher Cross
*The only Artist (so far) to sweep all categories in the same year

Pop Female Vocal: Bette Midler for The Rose
Pop Male Vocal: Kenny Loggins for This Is It
Pop Duo/Group: Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb for Guilty

Rock Female Vocal: Pat Benatar for Crimes of Passion
Rock Male Vocal: Billy Joel for Glass Houses
Rock Duo/Group: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band for Against the Wind

Country Female Vocal: Anne Murray for Could I Have This Dance?
Country Male Vocal: George Jones for He Stopped Loving Her Today
Country Duo/Group: Emmylou Harris & Roy Orbison for That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again

Billboard Top Singles
1.  Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
2.  Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
3.  Lady – Kenny Rogers
4.  (Just Like) Starting Over – John Lennon
5.  Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield

Remember These Songs?
Morning Train (Nine to Five) by Sheena Easton
Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton
Elvira by The Oak Ridge Boys
Passion by Rod Stewart
Somebody’s Knockin by Terri Gibbs
America by Neil Diamond
Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Don’t Stand So Close to Me by The Police
Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen


Emmy Awards
Outstanding Drama: Hill Street Blues (NBC)
Best Actor, Drama: Daniel J. Travanti as Captain Frank Furillo, Hill Street Blues (NBC)
Best Actress, Drama: Barbara Babcock as Grace Gardner, Hill Street Blues (NBC)

Outstanding Comedy: Taxi, (ABC)
Best Actor, Comedy: Judd Hirsch as Alex Reiger, Taxi (ABC)
Best Actress, Comedy: Isabel Sanford as Louise Jefferson, The Jeffersons (CBS)

Top Shows
1981 – 1982    (Households with TV: 81,500,000)

1. Dallas (CBS) 23,146,000
2. 60 Minutes (CBS) 22,575,500
3. The Jeffersons (CBS) 19,071,000
4. Three’s Company (ABC) 18,989,500
5. Alice (CBS) 18,500,500
6. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS) 18,419,000
7. Too Close for Comfort (ABC) 18,419,000
8. ABC Monday Night Movie (ABC) 18,337,500
9. M*A*S*H (CBS) 18,174,500
10. One Day at a Time (CBS) 17,930,000

Remember These Shows?
Lewis & Clark (81 – 82)
The Two of Us (81 – 82)
Father Murphy (81- 83)
Bret Maverick (81 – 82)
Flamingo Road (81 – 82)
Harper Valley P.T.A. (81 – 82)
Strike Force (81 – 82)
McClain’s Law (81 – 82)
Private Benjamin (81 – 83)
Walt Disney (81 – 83)
Greatest American Hero (81 – 83)
Fall Guy (81 – 86)
Gimme a Break (81- 87)
Simon and Simon (81 – 95)

What else do you remember from 1981?

Music Outfitters
The Cost of Living
1980’s Flashback
In the 80’s
Classic TV Hits


A Year in the 80’s – 1980 No. 1’s

A Quick Look Back

Population: 227,224,681
Life expectancy:  73.7 years
New Home: $64,600
New Car: $7,200
Median Income: $ 12,513
Stamp: $ .15
Regular Gas: $ 1.25
Bread: $ .48
Gal of Milk: $ 1.60

And here are the Number One’s for 1980!


Best Picture: Ordinary People
Best Director: Robert Redford for Ordinary People
Best Actor: Robert De Niro for Raging Bull
Best Actress: Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner’s Daughter

Highest Grossing Films
1.  The Empire Strikes Back ($209,398,025)
2.  9 to 5 ($103,290,500)
3.  Stir Crazy ($101,300,000)
4.  Airplane! ($83,453,539)
5.  Any Which Way You Can ($70,687,344)

Remember These Movies?
Little Darlings
My Bodyguard
Private Benjamin
The Blues Brothers
The Jazz Singer
American Gigolo
The Fog
Altered States
Stardust Memories


Grammy Awards:
Album of the Year: Billy Joel for 52nd Street
Record of the Year: The Doobie Brothers for What a Fool Believes
Best New Artist: Rickie Lee Jones

Pop Female Vocal: Dionne Warwick for I’ll Never Love This Way Again
Pop Male Vocal: Billy Joel for 52nd Street
Pop Duo/Group: The Doobie Brothers for Minute by Minute

Rock Female Vocal: Donna Summer for Hot Stuff
Rock Male Vocal: Bob Dylan for Gotta Serve Somebody
Rock Duo/Group: The Eagles for Heartache Tonight

Country Female Vocal: Emmylou Harris for Blue Kentucky Girl
Country Male Vocal: Kenny Rogers for The Gambler
Country Duo/Group: The Charlie Daniels Band for The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Billboard Top Singles
1.  Call Me – Blondie
2.  Another Brick in the Wall, Part II – Pink Floyd
3.  Magic – Olivia Newton-John
4.  Rock with You – Michael Jackson
5. Do That to Me One More Time – Captain & Tennille

Remember These Songs?
Funkytown by Lipps Inc.
Steal Away by Robbie Dupree
Biggest Part of Me by Ambrosia
Ladies’ Night by Kool & the Gang
Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders
On the Radio by Donna Summer
Fame by Irene Cara
Take the Long Way Home by Supertramp
Sara by Fleetwood Mac
Rapper’s Delight by Sugarhill Gang


Emmy Awards
Outstanding Drama: Lou Grant (CBS)
Best Actor, Drama: Edward Asner as Lou Grant, Lou Grant (CBS)
Best Actress, Drama: Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie Ewing, Dallas (CBS)

Outstanding Comedy: Taxi (ABC)
Best Actor, Comedy: Richard Mulligan as Burt Campbell, Soap (ABC)
Best Actress, Comedy: Cathryn Damon as Mary Campbell, Soap, (ABC)

Top Shows
1980 – 1981    (Households with TV: 79,900,000)

1. Dallas (CBS) 27,565,500
2. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS) 21,812,700
3. 60 Minutes (CBS) 21,573,000
4. M*A*S*H (CBS) 20,534,300
5. The Love Boat (ABC) 19,415,700
6. The Jeffersons (CBS) 18,776,500
7. Alice (CBS) 18,297,100
8. House Calls (CBS) 17,897,600
9. Three’s Company (ABC) 17,897,600
10. Little House on the Prairie (NBC) 17,657,900

Remember These Shows?
That’s Incredible (80 – 84)
Too Close For Comfort (80 – 86)
Magnum P.I. (80 – 88)
Bosom Buddies (80- 82)
Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters (80 – 82)
Facts of Life (79 – 88)
Trapper John, M.D. (79 – 86)
Real People (79 – 84)
Benson (79 – 86)

What else do you remember from 1980?


Music Outfitters
The Cost of Living
1980’s Flashback
In the 80’s
Classic TV Hits


Is Cyber Friendship Real?

When I was writing about her  for the MQM post, I kept going down all these rabbit trails of questions and thoughts. So, I finally tore it all apart and just posted the simple version. But I didn’t want to scrap the rest, so I’m posting it here.

Her  filled me with questions and observations. But what resonated most for me is a question Samantha asked, “How do you share your life with somebody?

In a non-science-fiction world, Theodore and Samantha’s relationship resembles a long-distance couple who have no hope of ever meeting in person. But is that really sharing your life with another person? Or is it just sharing the abbreviated notes and emotions of two lives lived separately?

What does real intimacy look like?

Theodore and Samantha’s relationship is entirely emotional, with no physical intimacy. Samantha was very real to me, but I found myself picturing Scarlett Johansson when Samantha spoke. I craved to see the expressions on her face, even though I could imagine them all well enough from the emotions I heard in her voice. Director Spike Jonze created an intimate connection between Theodore and the audience through the use of facial close-ups and torso shots, but we had none of that with Samantha. Close your eyes and think of someone you love. What do you see? In the end, I felt a loss over never seeing Samantha’s face or being able to look in her eyes.

Can you maintain a relationship with someone who will never be physically present? Is that a real relationship at all? For me, this is not about a physically functioning body, but about being there. Being present, showing up. Being able to look in each others eyes, whether you’re laughing or arguing. Not being able to check out with the click of an off button.

In the relationship of Theodore’s friend Amy and her husband, we witness physical intimacy without a great deal of emotional support. Almost from the moment you meet them, you get the sense of this separateness. They live together and have the benefit of a physical intimacy that Theodore and Samantha can never have. They get to look in one another’s eyes when they laugh or fight or cry. And yet they don’t click with each other’s personal passions, either finding fault or simply not “getting it”.

But is being present, being physically accessible, in the same city, house, room, more important than being fully present emotionally, listening to one another, communicating well with one another? Is being there in a physical sense enough to maintain a relationship if the emotional component is lacking?

Is intimacy about communication or cohabitation? Does sharing your life with someone mean being fully present emotionally or physically? 

When Theodore’s ex-wife finds out that he’s dating an OS, she exclaims: “You always wanted to have a wife without the challenges of actually dealing with anything real.” And as much as Theodore considers Samantha real, as much as he loves her, this statement throws him into a tailspin. He wonders to his friend if he’s even capable of a “real relationship”, to which she asks, ‘is your relationship with Samantha not real?’

What constitutes a real relationship?

Before he starts seeing Samantha, Theodore meets a girl who basically says she wants to date him. But he can’t or won’t commit to even the prospect of future dates. I can understand how having that physical person in front of him, and thinking about adding a person to his life, might be daunting for Theodore. This is someone who’s going to make demands on your time, someone you’re going to have to accommodate. You’ll have to incorporate their friends and family and routines into your life. It’s a whole big deal. It’s serious business to bring a person into your life.

But there’s an additional piece to that for people who are less social. When Theodore is first setting up his new OS, the computer asks him if he’s social or antisocial, and Theodore doesn’t quite know how to answer that. I’m like that. I’m social in that I need people, and I genuinely enjoy people. I’m antisocial in the sense that I don’t want all the trouble that comes with incorporating more people into my life in a physical way. That idea fills me with anxiety. So there’s an attractive aspect to a non-entity relationship. Cyber relationships, long distance relationships, voice relationships…those are appealing in their way.

But is there something wrong with preferring to add non-present relationships, as opposed to inviting new people into your physical life? Is Theodore – am I – emotionally stunted in some way? That’s what Theodore was asking himself, and doubting about his relationship with Samantha, when his wife reacted the way she did. She was saying that something was wrong with Theodore since all he could handle was non-physically-present relationships. It made him wonder, “what’s wrong with me that I can’t handle a relationship in real life? Am I not giving all of myself?”

Like Theodore, what her  made me wonder is if those non-present relationships are real relationships at all. I have many great cyber relationships, whether from blogging, Facebook or Twitter. My job requires me to speak by phone with dozens of people every week, and many of those people feel like friends, even though our relationship only consists of these phone conversations. Are these relationships less valid because they don’t happen face to face, or in some cases even in real time? The truth is that those relationships are easier to maintain because of their limitations. They don’t have any of the extra “physically showing up” requirements of an in-person relationship. In a cyber friendship, you can take days to answer someone; it’s not even rude. After all, the other person knows you’re just busy leading your real life.

It takes less effort to maintain cyber relationships, but does that equate to less intimacy? 

I guess what I’m really asking is am I truly friends with all the people I think I’m friends with? Are you and I real friends? Even though we may never meet in person, I may never hear your voice or even see what some of you look like? Is this real life too?

To answer my own questions, I say yes and yes. Yes, these friendships are real, and yes they lack the intimacy of an in-person relationship.

But that’s okay too, right?