Another year has gone by.

It happens every year.  Christmas happens.  Everyone leaves and I’m left like a deer in headlights.  Which way do I go?  What do I do now?  I just spent the last five days joking and singing caroles and making food, and more food and more food.  Good food, no, “Great food”!  Foods I haven’t made since last Christmas.

I have this pang in my heart and tears in my eyes as I watch my daughter Meg, do the “Nini Wave” good-bye one last time as she turns towards the bus station and disappears into the building.  What happens to me now?  Do I just go back to – work?  Does this Christmas get filed like all the rest of the Christmases past as a “Christmas Memory”.  The answer is yes.

Our family is crazy to say the least.  We love movies; we live movies.  Movie quotes pop up in our conversations all the time.  This would be the time that I take the penny out of my pocket like Christopher Reeves in “Somewhere in Time” and go back to reality for at least one more year.

ARIEL

I have some sad news.  My dog Ariel died yesterday morning at 3:13AM.  I knew the end was coming so I was sleeping with her in the family room.  She heard Hercules, her brother, coughing and got up.  She walked around the family room twice then fell into my arms, looked into my eyes and quickly, peacefully went.  I am so happy for her.  She can run again.  She left behind one very broken heart – mine.

When I try to explain to people “the love”, I tell them, she never talked back to me… she never asked for money or special things or the keys to the car.  She gave smiles and kisses and had this beautiful lady-like way of crossing her paws.  She came running when I called.  She knew when I was sick and would stay close and she always laid under my feet, when I was at my desk writing …as I am now.

She ran like the wind and loved to play tug of war.  So in the future when I feel the wind blow past me, I will know she is close by.

My husband was not sure which one of us was more determined to not let go of the other.

Nectar of Life

Incredible!  I came out of the theater and said, “I want to be blue and fly those dragons”; the freedom.

I have not seen a movie this great in years.  I am sure there will be plenty of naysayers because face it, the movie involves animated blue people that sparkle in different lights and yes, they fly dragons.

This will be one of those movies that will be picked apart for years with people having different takes on so many different scene.

To begin the movie is long but you come out wanting more so to me the movie could have been longer and I would never have noticed.

The movie is set in the year 2154.  Big business is expoiting the planet “Pandora”, a beautiful Shangra La that deserves to remain untouched.  ”The company” wants the natural resource of the planet that is found under the “Tree” of the Na’vi, an alien civilization.  The tree is holy, the tree is life for the Na’vi and business wants its material wealth, although the trees spiritual wealth is its greater asset.

The company is portrayed as evil, out to get what it wants, whatever the cost including the lives of the Na’vi.  There is no concious only the “Goloms of the universe after their Precious”.

Scientists (Sigourney Weaver) have spent their lives trying to understand the planet and the Na’vi.  They have developed the ability to grow the bodies of Avatar in a mechanical womb and have the mind of a human bond with the Avatar’s body in an effort to become one of the Na’vi and learn their ways.  The scientists are being funded by big business and unknowingly become their pawns.

Jake Sully is the droid of big business, a disabled former marine who is promised the ability to walk again if he infiltrates the Na’vi as an Avatar via the “science project” and brings back information.  He doesn’t know the Na’vi or their world but as he tries to infiltrate them he understands the beauty of their “peace”, their world; on many levels he discovers the meaning of life.  He becomes a turn coat to “the company” who now want him dead.  The movie continues with the conflict of good and evil, love and hate on all levels with the ultimate winner being “Peace”.

The movie has incredible scenery with the floating mountains and their waterfalls, the gardens of the Na’vi and the flight of the dragons.  It is a movie not to be missed only if to heighten the sense of your own self awareness and your place in this world.

Keep it simple.  Yes that’s right; keep the resolutions simple and easy.  It’s the perfect solution to keeping the resolution.

Don’t say you are going to lose 20 pounds; make it five.  Don’t go to the gym and run five miles around the track, make it one mile of a pleasant walk to your Ipod; in other words, climb the mole hills not the mountains.

You could also make the resolution to say hello to people more often or to comment on how nice they look; ok, so they don’t look nice.  Be an “Eddie Haskell” and lie.  The next day they very well may look nicer because you made them notice how they look.  Make a resolution to make others feel good about themselves.

Clean out one drawer a month; get rid of all those clothes you didn’t wear in the last year (someone could really use them – except for those special things that you’ve had since high school); take a different route to work to experience the other side of the street and put away $20 a month in a safe place.

The best part is when next year rolls around you will be $240.00 richer and you can tell everyone you kept your resolutions!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Inquiring Minds

Did you ever wake up in the morning with a song in your head?  You know, that little ditty that you start singing in the shower with your eyes half open?  That song that starts in the shower but you sing all through the day?

Did you ever wake up hearing your husband or wife singing, “Don’t worry, be happy”?

Oh yes, this is their “Mantra for the Day”.  It gives you, the listener, insight into what might be in store for them for the day.  I consider it a window of opportunity to see what they really are thinking without them even knowing.  It’s all subliminal.

According to Wikipedia, a mantra is a sound, syllable, or group of words that are considered capable of “creating transformation”.  Their use and type varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra.

That being said, don’t go into a meeting humming “I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner” unless of course your job is in marketing and you are trying to sell the weiners.  Nor would I go to my mother-in-laws home whistling “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”.  Not good.

Remember to pay attention because it could just change what you say and do during your day!

It has been tradition since the movie “Michael” for our family to go to the movies Christmas Day.  Every year starting just after Halloween, the e-mail suggestions from everyone in the family start pouring in.  We all get a vote and obviously the movie with the most votes wins as “The Christmas Movie”.

My prowess as a movie “picker” has been in question ever since I picked “Will Smith’s – In Pursuit of Happiness”. Unfortunately my vote has been considerably downgraded since that unfortunate recommendation.  Sorry Will but that movie put a real downer on Christmas dinner.

This year as the e-mails arrived, it appeared the pick was a toss up between Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. I was desperately rooting for Sherlock.  The trailers all looked great and how could animation possibly be superior to the acting abilities of -Robert Downey Jr.  Yes he has had “personal problems” but when I watch him on the big screen, he is magical.

I was in luck because I had a number of other family members who felt the same way!  So yes, Sherlock was the pick!

That is about as happy as it gets.  The after movie reviews were mixed.  Half really liked it and like myself, some fell asleep.  As in the movie “Amadeus”, this movie had too many notes.  I am sure all of the producers of Hollywood think us mad but yes, it was a bit long and had a few unneeded scenes.

What do we know.  We are a group of country bumpkins who simply “watch” the movies and fork over the money that makes the movie either a success or a failure.

I felt that a degree in Chemistry was desperately needed to follow the plots.  Since I don’t have one I had to depend on the big picture of “Oh, so that’s why they died….OK, that makes sense but what difference does it make if the flame turns pink or green”.  You get the picture.

I also hate to have a narrator.  I don’t like it when someone has to tell me what is happening in a movie.  It makes me feel dumb or worse it makes me realize you think the audience won’t “get it”.   Now why would I want to go to a movie that makes me feel dumb?

As for the “too many scenes”…what was that boat scene about?  Did it serve a purpose?  We are talking about Sherlock Holme’s ability to solve crimes not outsmart a neandrathal who is trying to knock a ship over.  This is where I started to fall asleep and as in “Amadeus” – the Emperor yawns.  It was the kiss of death.

As for the characters, I found Watson’s fiancee the most miscast.  Sorry, I am sure she is a fine actress but she didn’t fit the character.  Maybe it was her occasional arched eyebrow.   I kept expecting her to be “the bad guy”; trying to get to Holmes via Watson.  But that’s not how it ended so I don’t think that’s what was intended.

To summarize, I liked the second half better than the first half; some scenes were great and others – not so great; and I would have changed a few people in the cast.

The door was left open for a sequel and a new cast member, Professor Moriarty.  My vote would be for “Jason Isaacs”.  What a lovely villain and a great opponent and equal for Robert Downey Jr.

It happens every year.  Christmas happens.  Everyone leaves and I’m left like a deer in headlights.  Which way do I go?  What do I do now?  I just spent the last five days joking and singing caroles and making food, and more food and more food.  Good food, no, “Great food”!  Foods I haven’t made since last Christmas.

I have this pang in my heart and tears in my eyes as I watch my daughter Meg, do the “Nini Wave” good-bye one last time as she turns towards the bus station and disappears into the building.  What happens to me now?  Do I just go back to – work?  Does this Christmas get filed like all the rest of the Christmases past as a “Christmas Memory”.  The answer is yes.

Our family is crazy to say the least.  We love movies; we live movies.  Movie quotes pop up in our conversations all the time.  This would be the time that I take the penny out of my pocket like Christopher Reeves in “Somewhere in Time” and go back to reality.

This photo was taken in 2009 in Newport, County Mayo Ireland.