Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 - New Year's Wishes

I've almost given up on resolutions. I never keep them, most of the time I forget them, and if I do remember them, I feel bad about them. So, I have a different list.
Here are some things I wish for with this New Year:

Actually I guess most of these can be summed up in one word: Create. I want to Create things.

* create a new me: a modern day Lady. First, I need to get further along with my understanding of what it is to be a modern day Lady, and then pursue it and make it happen. I will find my poise, tact, grace, confidence, compassion, love, and use those things to make myself into someone people love, respect, admire, and are comfortable with.

* create a better financial situation for myself; a smarter situation. I'm okay with paving my way and paying off debts, and working a job other than my dream one. That's fine with me, as long as I am making my way.

* Create. just that - create song, stories, and theatre. I miss writing and singing. I was never that good, but those things brought me pleasure. And theatre... oh theatre. I want to create Theatre. Work hard on shows and at the end of them be able to hold my head up and recognize that I did something worthwhile. Theatre is the only medium I really have that I can touch people with. I want to educate and entertain and inspire.

But the most impotant thing on this year's list has little to do with creating, so much as discovering: in the new year I would like to find a new friend. Not a significant other, or a mate, but (at least) a good friend that I can share things with. Someone who is willing to explore my interests with me, as I want to explore their interests with them - a person willing to discover things together. Someone to call when I have good or bad news, and sometimes no news at all. A person to meet and have coffee with and go on "adventures" together. Someone to go through the times with and be a friend to.

It's not an impressive list - maybe not even a good one, but as I begin 2011 - these are my ambitions. Create and discover.

Happy New Year, everyone, and I hope 2011 brings you everything that you hope it will!

review: All The King's Men ('49)

I will admit, I am buyist on this one. I remember watching the 2006 remake, and thought specifics really escape me, I remember being overall impressed with it.

This one ... well, it wasn't as impressive. I will say this: it is a great story with some great thoughts and could prompt a very interesting conversasion or debate. But that has a lot of to with the writer of the book, and less with the movie itself. I guess for its time it was pretty good. It was nominated for and won Academy Awards, and even time has given it's stamp of approval as it is honored in the National Film Registry.

Still. For me, it just moves too quickly. Things happen, but you don't feel anything. A guy is shot. A girl dies from a car accident. A boy becomes paralyzed. But none of it means anything. Okay, so Broderick Crawford won for Best Actor, but he doesn't have half the charisma as his 2006 counterpart: Sean Penn. I will say this: you are able to see the transition more in Crawford from bumbling hick to corrupt politition, but a lot of that has to do with what is shown in the movie. But Penn brings the houses down with his speeches and his transitions from honest to corrupt completely trump Crawford. Sean Penn steals it.

The girl playing Anne annoyed the HELL out of me. Part of that has to do with the character, I will admit that. She doesn't play her part well enough. Was it the goal of the director to have people dislike her? If it was, then I retract the previous statement and say "well done." But, if he wanted her to be sympathetic, they went about it all wrong. There was no reason for what she did, and there was no feeling there. There was one thing she was really good at: being shaken and tossing her head to avoid looking at someone. That was about it.

I don't remember that much more specifically about the 2006 movie except that it was gorgeously shot. The cinematography in this movie was just there. There were very few interesting shots, nothing memorable. But, even without knowing the specifics, I remember enough about the movie to know that it was better than this one.

What is good about this movie/original book (although I haven't read it)/2006 movie, is the question it asks: Does the end really justify the means? Do you excuse all if the end is good? Or, if the end is horrible, does it stain forever the journey there, even if it is well intentioned and beautiful? It is easy to see why the book won the Pulitzer prize. It makes me want to join a discussion group, it really does.

Sorry. I'll be generous and say 3 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas time has come and gone ...update

Another year, another Christmas - and time for another update!
Things are going well - again, not perfectly, but pretty well. I'm trudging through life. Still no theatre prospects, but I'm working a lot right now, so at least I am somewhat busy. For a couple weeks now I have been working at or a little over 40hrs per week - so, that is great. I like my job a lot right now. Good people make it wonderful! They seem to like me as well, and the Front End Manager seems to really trust and enjoy me, so I feel pretty confident in my work. Even the Store Director knows my name. My co-workers are really the best. Lots of laughter with my Front End co-workers, and there is a guy in grocery that can pretty much make me smile and break out in laughter under any circumstances. He's a lot of fun and seems really interesting, so I kind of wish we had more than 5-10 minute intervals to talk.
Family - we'll keep it quick before digging into Christmas. Everyone is pretty good. Dakota is doing more than well - he's entertaining and such an adorable little guy. Stephanie and Chris are engaged - you should see the rock she got! Gorgeous! Chris, sadly, is back in Iraq, but he is doing okay.
Friends - yeah right. I don't even know them anymore! Between work and having no theatre things going on, I have lost touch with pretty much everyone. Before Christmas I was able to have lunch with Matt D. I almost forgot how nice it was just to sit and talk and catch up with people. We hadn't been able to really catch up except for the "5minute sum up of my life" kind of thing, so this was refreshing. I was able to call Barry tonight, and talking with him is always comforting to me, although afterwards I miss him more than ever. I'm trying to bury myself in work so I don't notice how lonely I get. Doesn't always work, but I don't think there is much alternative.
Christmas: the season really began for me a week or so before. Mom called and wanted to know if I could come up for a couple days to help her around the house. I had the time, so I got to come home for a weekend of hanging out with the folks, christmas shopping, wrapping, and baking. It was a WONDERFUL weekend. It did me a lot of good, and I got a lot of work done. It also finally got me into the spirit of the season. Normally, at the first signs of winter, I get in Christmas gear, but this year, there was a delay on that, I don't really know why. So, that weekend helped a lot.
Leading up to Christmas was a little hectic at work. Not bad, but busy, busy. I worked Christmas Eve at the Service Counter, which meant I had to miss Christmas Eve services. I was bummed, but at the same time, I didn't mind being there one bit. We had a great group of people there, and the customers were all cheery. So it wasn't bad. The roads were mostly clear heading home, so I was able to make it in record time. Soon Nick, Amy, and the kids arrived and everyone settled in for the night. Sleeping arrangements were tight, so I was out with the kids in the living room. Didn't mind it so much, except that every move they made woke me up. And then there was Dakota waking Steph up for feedings, which woke me up. And there was Santa, which scared the heck out of me - luckily the kids were able to sleep through all of that.
Morning came before the morning actually dawned, and coffee was the only perk to that. We had our annual breakfast pizza, and opened stockings and some of the gifts:

Dakota snuggling with Dad.

Dakota in his Christmas sleeper

Nick and Matthew opening gifts in the morning

Savanna's reaction to the fashion drawing set she got from Santa. I LOVE this picture! She hardly stopped drawing the rest of the day!
Just about the time when we were wrapping up with opening the first round of gifts, Steph was able to get on a video chat with Chris. Pretty soon after they started that, all the women had to leave the room in search for a tissue, and in interest of giving them some private time, I took the kids and Allie outside to play. This lead to some interesting moments. Thank goodness Auntie J had her camera!

This is what Allie does as soon as she gets outside: shoves her face in the snow. Everytime! And then she looks at you like, "What?"

I somehow managed to get the kids to all sit down on the bench for a quick picture. Matthew was not thrilled, as he did not want to stray off the "trails" that Granpa made with his snowblower. Savanna and Daniel were thrilled enough until I told them to smile. It was then that Daniel mentioned that he couldn't smile because his mouth was covered. Like, Duh, Auntie. I then just told him to wave to the camera - which he did, and continued to do so with every picture we took outside.

See? There's the wave again!
Somehow, Matthew managed to get the idea to help Grandpa with the "trails" by kicking the snow on the edges of the "trails" I asked him what he was doing and he said "snowblowin'" I about died! And then he did this: He kicked the snow, some of it got on his boots and he just look at it like: "how did that happen?" I snapped the picture quickly. To me, he looks like a Peanuts character.
Soon, Matthew got cold and tired and I took him inside. With the other two, I figured it was safe to head to the house, because I had a project for them. You see, Mom and Dad didn't remove the fall lawn decorations before the first snow, and then the first snow became covered by the second, and so on, and so on. At some point, the wind knocked over one of the little scarecrow people and they got buried under the snow. I thought it would be kind of fun to dig it out. So the kids helped me out. I told them that I would get pictures and that we needed to make up a story to tell the adults when we got inside about how the Scarecrow person got caught and their rescue. Daniel jumped in with his ideas and then Savanna threw in some finishing touches and something about the "Crutacious age" While we were in the process of saving the Scarecrow person, Allie came over and played rescue:

We came inside and the rest of the day was dedicated to getting the meal ready. Then the rest of the family showed up. It was about this time that my photography abilities failed and my natural tendency to feel like I am in the way took over. I didn't get many pictures of the rest of the time. Mostly because I spent a lot of time with mom in the kitchen, getting everything ready. Or at least trying to help. So yeah - sorry about that everyone.
Best part of the evening: after dinner we put in Mom's Christmas gift: which was a copy of the original UNCUT version of 'Muppet's Family Christmas' It's a family favorite of ours for YEARS, and this year Santa was about to find a dvd copy to get to Mom. So, at some point after dinner and before the kids started going crazy, we found everyone in the living room, watching this movie together. For a little while it was quiet except for a couple of us softly singing along with the carol medley. It was beautiful.
All in all, it was a good Christmas.
I was able to get the next day off, and it was a well needed rest. Hated to leave home and head back to Bemidji though. I think Mom hated it too.

So: back now to the present. A little more work news: I am now going to be trained in on Books. Isn't too much of a big deal, but I am more than a little nervous about it. Only bad part: work begins at 5:00am. I mean, I can do it, no problem, but that is still going to suck a little.
Personally: I'm going to talk around this more than about it, but it's a kinda major thing going on right now, so I'm mentioning it. There is a thing with a person, and I think there might be more to it. Only problem is: I have a history with not having the best of luck with this kind of thing, and I am scared. I don't want to make a fool of myself, or turn this person away. But I also don't want to miss a possible oppurtunity. The family is being very helpful and supportive - even people who don't know the situation are being supportive and encouraging. I compared my state of being to that of Charlie Brown's when he's talking about going over to talk to the Little Red Haired Girl: "I'm standing up, now I am going to walk over there. I'm standing up! I'm... I'm ... I'm sitting down." People got that and are kind of cheering me on, which is great. I almost did something about it. I mean, I started to, but I kinda bailed at the first sign of trouble. Now, I've just about convinced myself to trust my past experiences, and my instincts. There is no way something could come of this. Well something has come of it, but I don't want to ask anymore. I know better, or at least, I do in the back of my mind. Right now, I am thinking that is just going to have to be it. I'm not going to make any kind of move here. I just can't because I don't trust it.
New Years: no plans. no resolutions. no idea what I am going to do. I am kinda upset by this, but there is no alternative right now. I may just end up ignoring the whole celebration - but I have the next day off, so it seems kind of a shame to just waste the evening. Who knows? I may spontaneously come up with something spectacular.
In case nothing comes before then: Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a rockin', romantic, or just plain fun New Year's Eve. May you all find a sweetheart to kiss to ring in the new decade!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

review: The Desperate Hours ('55)

Well. I was a little disappointed. I mean, I worship almost everything that Humphrey Bogart does. He was good, but the movie overall was a little ... meh.
It's about a family who becomes hostage to three escaped convicts. It boils down that easily. Again, the movie is okay, but it is a little too "50s idealistic" for me. Almost unreal. Like I said, good, but unimpressive.
I saw as I was researching this poster:It's for the play. LOOK AT THOSE NAMES!! Karl Malden and Paul Newman!! No wonder it was a hit! I think this probably would be better off as a play. The reality of the situation would help with actual presence. I would love to read the script. I'll have to get my hands on it somehow.
As for the movie. Mediocre rating: 3 out of 5 stars.