A place for anything and everything that comes to mind.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Find Some JOY

Sometimes life is rough.  A lot of negativity has entered our collective consciousness since President Trump has taken office.  I confess that I've had a lot of long weeks and tired nights, worrying about his Executive Orders and appointments. 

But, then.  But.  Then.  Something enters into your life to remind you how wonderful it still is. 

I think it was when Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were both sitting at the piano, dueting on City of Stars.  I mean, I was enjoying myself up to that point.  I love Emma Stone.  I love Ryan Gosling.    Seeing them act together again had been wonderful up to this point.  But it was this moment when I thought, "I am so glad to be alive in a world that has created La La Land."  Oh, you might think me to be a bit dramatic to make such a statement, but it brought me so much JOY.  The end of the film was hard for me to take: in fact, I had to run to the restroom after the film to ugly cry in a stall.  I understood the end, though, and why it had to happen, and because it was so real, because it represented what life throws at you and how important love is, and how vital it is to have someone believe in you and support you, is why I cried all the harder. 

I can't wait to see it again.  I can't wait to have it shine on my eyes and ears again.  In the face of fierce negativity and what sometimes seems like utter hopelessness, find something that brings you joy, and DO NOT be ashamed to revel in it.  Do not let others tell you that you shouldn't be happy in these uncertain times, because that, my dear ones, is pure rubbish.  My joy (besides my awesome husband and kids) is currently La La Land.  I hope you have one, too.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

It is hard to put into words what the Obama Presidency has meant to me.

It has restored my faith in politicians.  In Barack Obama and Joe Biden, I see two men who I believe did the best they could for this country.  I truly believe they did the best they could to let their morals and hearts guide them.  There job wasn't perfect.  How could it be?  They could never, ever do everything to please everyone.  But, I believe they were just, true to their beliefs, and let their hearts guide them.

I have witnessed a First Family lead this country with humility, grace, and courage.  I have watched them lead without scandal.  I have been proud to say I'm a citizen of this country under their lead.

I have seen a President be always strong and firm, yet not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve.  In the wake of school shootings, a church massacre, and the too frequent deaths of young black men taken down in the streets, among so many other events that cause "normal" people to break down (including myself), he persevered, longing to bring hope to the hopeless and disenfranchised.

I have seen memes of a beautiful, respectful, enticing bromance.  I mean, c'mon!  In this day and age, a little levity never hurt anybody, and President Obama and Vice President Biden played along when appropriate.  They also used social media for good, to spread positivity, in order to lift others up, never bringing people down.

I have seen a First Lady outdance late night talk show hosts, outclass every person in the room, and fight oh-so-diligently for the health and well being of our youth.  I cannot put into words how much I admire her...and want to be her when I grow up.

I have been able to watch these people on the grand stage of world politics endure pressure, glowing praise, criticism, and unabashed hatred.  Throughout it all, they kept their cool, stayed calm, and always stayed focused on the good of our country.

It is so hard to say goodbye to the Obama and Biden families.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared about the next four years.  I do not want President Elect Trump to fail, though.  That would mean wanting failure for our country.  I want him to rise up to his position.  I want him to rise up to the class and dignity that his predecessor has put before him.  I want him to be able to see there is strife, anger, fear, and renewed disillusionment in our country...and I want him to prove people wrong and govern us with fairness, equality, and justice.  

Tomorrow will be a hard, heavy, sad day for many.  But, HOPE is what the Obamas taught me the most.  And I will continue to hope and pray for our country, everyday, without fail.  Will you do the same??

Monday, January 16, 2017

Miss Me?

Probably not.  No one out there probably even remembers this exists, but...

I miss writing.  I want to write some more.  I hope to soon.

I have to warn you, though.  The first couple of renewed energy posts might be hard-going.  You'll see why...

Hope you don't mind I'm back, because even if you don't notice, it's okay.  I need this.  

Friday, January 15, 2016

Here We Go Again

Two legends.  Within one week.  Both 69.  Both died from cancer.

This week has sucked.

Alan Rickman was outstanding.  He was beyond words.  He was a powerful yet understated actor.  He was one of those that I always thought must have had an amazing sense of humor and be kind beyond measure.  I mean he had to be to make up for all of those awesome baddies he played.

Media outlets have been remembering him for playing all the villains--which he did very well.  The first time I ever saw him was in 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (which, thanks to Christian Slater I saw THREE times in the theatre).  I was completely enamored of his portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham.  He was so disgustingly wicked!  I went for Christian Slater, but I was mesmerized by Alan Rickman.

He kept showing up in my movie world, and each time I was so happy he was present.  I didn't see Die Hard until I was much older: nailed the villain again.  I've always been obsessed with his carefully maintained beard in that, too.  So 80s.  So villainous.

Oh, he's Snape?  Well.  That's perfect.  A "villain" with a conflicted heart of gold.  Even before the end of the Harry Potter series was published, I knew there was more to Snape, and when he was cast, I knew it was perfection.

If this didn't make you feel all the feelings, you are not human.

What about comedy?  Galaxy Quest?  CHECK.  Dogma?  CHECK.  (Man, I just wanted him to be able to taste that tequila!)

Sweeney Todd?  I get to see Alan Rickman AND Johnny Depp...SINGING???  OKAY!!!!  I'm okay with that!  Completely okay.

How about some voiceover work in another Tim Burton film, Alice in Wonderland, or giving the best performance in the big-screen adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?  A lot of people love Morgan Freeman's voice, but I always loved Rickman's more.  It was velvety yet rugged.  Sophisticated.  Learned. Oooohhh, I loved it.

But my FAVORITE Alan Rickman was Love Actually.  The couple he and Emma Thompson portray, though definitely not the happiest of the lot, was the most real.  Confused, middle-aged, wanting something more, yet still needing his family, understated...the two of them presented a real-life situation that happens way too often.  I admire and respect their performances the most in that film, and though it's hard to watch each time, when Emma Thompson's voice cracks when she tells him, "'ve also made a fool out of me, and you've made the life I lead foolish, too," and then the look of realization on his face...It's perfect and real and kind of lovely that they could capture that on film to let others know they aren't alone when a comfortable marriage falls apart.

So, we say goodbye to another,'s the deal.  I have a pop culture mindset.  I'm not really sure how it happened, but I grew up completely engrossed in music, TV shows, and movies.  I was that teenager who had crushes on all the 80s hunks--like Michael J. Fox, John Stamos, Kirk Cameron, River Phoenix, Ricky Schroder, Brian Bloom (anyone remember that one?), Michael Schoeffling--and my heroines were bright-eyed ingenues--Molly Ringwald, Alyssa Milano, Justine Bateman, Drew Barrymore (rebel that she was at the time).  I talk in movie quotes and song lyrics.  Rarely does a day go by that I don't quote from one or both.  The highlight of my year is always twofold: watching the Golden Globes and then comparing them to the Oscars.  I am movie.  I am music.  I love the people involved in them.  And many think I am silly and weak-minded to have feelings for actors, actresses, and musicians when they pass.  Well, it's just who I am, because they help make up WHO I am.  If you don't like that, I guess you don't like me.

Let's put this week to rest with a Bowie/Rickman celebration.  Listen to all the Bowie.  Watch all the Rickman.  It'll make you smile!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Surprise! It's Bowie!

Last night the world lost a great one, an EPIC one, an icon.  David Bowie passed away after an 18 month battle with cancer two days after his 69th birthday, and two days after his 28th album, Blackstar, was released.  I hadn't even had time to listen to Blackstar yet when I woke up to find this news.  Before I hit the shower my face was already wet with tears.  I don't want to dwell on his passing, but just for a moment I want to celebrate his chameleon-esque form and talents.

You see, for me David Bowie is intricately interwoven into some of my favorite movies and TV shows, more than songs.  He is part of my pop culture fabric.  He is in so many bits and pieces of the quilt of my youth and being--some music, some TV, some fashion, some music videos--that he actually embodied the ever moving and evolving state of being that he longed to portray to everyone.  For me, Bowie always was changing, and it was a matter of fact for me.

For me, he was a Christmas song first.  The one that's still my favorite.  Then he started to come alive to me through MTV, with Mick Jagger and China dolls.

He accosted my ears with pure power and energy, and with things I'd never heard before, with Under Pressure, Space Oddity, Suffragette City, Changes, Fame...the list keeps going and going and going. 

The best moments, though, were when I was just sitting, innocently watching something, and all of a sudden, Bowie was there.  I squealed with delight when he popped up where I least expected him.  Like I squealed.  Out loud.  For real.  Twin Peaks & Bowie?  Oh my God.  Really??  This is happening?

A walk off...with BOWIE AS THE JUDGE???  Of course he'll be of service: HE'S DAVID BOWIE.

 The Prestige...Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, and, oh my gosh...Bowie!  With a mustache!  It's him!

His music BECAME homage--tribute--revered.  Part of Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge.  When Ewan McGregor sang Heroes, it was just...just...everything.  Heath Ledger dancing to Golden Years in Knight's Tale...still makes me shiver.  What about Bowies in Space via Flight of the Conchords?  Or Bowie in Ricky Gervais' Extras??  Every single one I didn't expect.  He was everywhere.  Fluidly moving between all art forms.  And what about his art?  Music/performance/fashion/his very own self.  He touched everything; experimented with anything.  Hell, he even made Bowie Bonds, so people could participate in his art and wealth.  Perhaps best of all for me, he made us a list of books to read.  For this librarian, that's the ultimate form of love. 

But after all of this, let us never, EVER forget Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine. I saw that one my freshman year in college, fall of 1998.  I was all by myself.  I had to call my grandfather for a ride from my dorm room to the theater.  No one I knew wanted to see it.  I was having a really rough time adjusting to life in college, without all of my best friends around me; I was borderline depressed.  My granddad said he'd come in with me to see it, so I wouldn't be alone, and I told him I didn't think it would be his thing.  It was about loneliness, being an outcast, trying to find where you fit in the world...everything I was going through.  It wasn't officially Bowie, but it was.  It was everything.

I believe, truly believe, there will never be another like him.  At least in my lifetime I know there won't be.  Maybe my children will be lucky enough to have someone as epic, but, well...I doubt it.  

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Coloring is a Thing!

I love to wander around bookstores.  It's my favorite past time.  I really love to do this around the holidays: all the new, shiny books are out, people are hustling and bustling and talking about possible books to buy, and the shelves are always PACKED with loads of tomes for the customers to peruse and purchase. 

Here's my other favorite past time (that I don't get to do much of anymore): coloring.  I love to color.  I always have.  I used to take a coloring book with me wherever I went.  I'd take one with me when I went to visit my cousin in Missouri (this was as an adult, mind you).  I vividly remember one time, not long after her father's death, when we sat around her kitchen table coloring, talking, and pretending that we were kids again.  I took coloring books with me to Scotland when we'd visit, and I'd even take them to staff meetings.  Even though it might have looked like I wasn't paying attention, because I was coloring, it helped keep me focused.  I am "that person" who needs to be doing something at all times: when I would color, I could still hear what everyone was saying and process the info. 

I've heard whispers of these "adult" coloring books: relaxation coloring, mandala coloring, whatever coloring.  But, the real impact this is having on our culture didn't hit home until I was browsing through Barnes & Noble last week.  "Adult" coloring books EVERYWHERE.  I mean everywhere.  On each table display, there was an adult coloring book that went with it.  There was a magazine endcap with adult coloring magazines.  Now, today on my Facebook feed, I see there's a Doctor Who Coloring Book

I don't know.  It's just weird to me...that coloring is all of a sudden a fad.  It should never be a fad.  It should always be there, waiting for you.  All of a sudden, since it has "adult" in front of it, it's okay for me to do it?  Whatever.  It's been okay for me for years and years...for over 30 years when I come to think of it, but I'm so glad it's socially acceptable again??  I'll probably break down and buy one eventually, but I need someone to help fund the expensive super fine point markers you HAVE TO BUY to go with it.  Ain't no Crayola gonna work on those.   So, for now, I'll just stick to coloring my Superman and My Little Pony coloring books.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

This is the House Where...

I learned to roast a turkey.
I learned the true fear of a stormy forecast.
Jungle Speed, Pirates, and Guitar Hero ruled.
We had all the friends--Galen & Carla, Darren & Tina, my beloved 6 North (Dave & Amanda, Lisa, Joseph & Emily), and so many more.
We had all the family--even more so after little babies were born.
I opened the front curtains, saw my Mommy in the driveway, and knew about Clarkie without speaking.
Little babies came and made a Cape Cod a home.
A Nana and Gaga came everyday and gave so unselfishly of their time to help raise their babies right.
A Mimi and Ted B came as often as they could to see their first greats and revel in their laughter.
Visitors from Scotland came as often as possible and were always, ALWAYS welcomed with great love and appreciation and joy.  
A tired Mummy and Daddy would come through the doors every night see a baby (then two, then three) running into them yelling, "MAMA!!!" or "DADA!!!" and then energy was restored.
I stand at the door of a lime green room, which belonged to a sweet #1 baby.  Where I walked back and forth with her and sang Silent Night in the bedtimes of her first Christmas season.  This is the room that held the pink sign Sissy made for her when we were still in the hospital, and it was waiting for us when we came back.  This is the room that held ponies and hand-crafted art and books galore and will forever be Alba's.
I walk into a large room, fit for a Mummy and Daddy, but in the end better for a Bubby.  Big maroon walls and plenty of room for a futon to jump on, bins of toys to play with, and even a TV to watch cooking shows on.  This is where a little man got to explore his space, have a big boy toddler bed, put his heroes on the wall, and play all the Kobe games.  This is Kean's.  
I stand at the door of lavender room, the room of a most welcomed surprise #3.  We didn't know we needed her, but we're so, so blessed beyond words that we have her.  Where I walked in to hear two little voices yell, "SURPRISE!" after Daddy had painted the room all by himself.  The room where I would hum Mary Poppins' "Stay Awake" to the sweet girl who never wanted to nap.  The room where Big Sister and Big Brother would hold joyous dance parties around their newest best friend.  Even though it started as Kean's and as a guest bed before him, this is Skye's, no matter what happens next.
Under the guidance of nursing babies I was able to experience Smallville, Big Love, Gilmore Girls, Twin Peaks (again), Veronica Mars, New Girl, and countless Hallmark Christmas movies (thank you two December babies).
Kean would hug his tree, Alba would color her sidewalks with chalk, and Skye would chase her bubbles.
So many birthdays filled the walls to busting, everyone snug and tight to sing to a little Alba or Kean or Skye.

I said goodbye for the last time today.  I stood in the kitchen after a final cleaning and sweeping and walking through, and I saw the ghosts of little blonde-headed moppets running through, giggling, crying, laughing, singing, and dancing.  As bright and fresh as yesterday, I saw them before my eyes.  It's so hard to say goodbye to a place: you know it's just a place, but it is so much more.  So, so much more.

I learned to love like I never thought was possible.