Tag Archives: movies

It’s About Time!

So I”m thinking that you’re thinking at this point I have abandoned the blog. I’m quite sure that you remember it’s the time of year I have to either “put up” or “shut up” and I’m thinking that you’re thinking I finally decided to save my 24 bucks for something more important. More rewarding. Something that requires a little less work. Like going to a movie. These days I’m pretty sure you can still munch on a large popcorn while watching a newly released flick at your local cinema for somewhere in the vicinity of 24 bucks. Although you’ll probably have to bring your own beverage. Anyway, if that’s what you’re thinking I’m afraid I have to tell you that, like it or not, you’re wrong. I haven’t abandoned the blog. I just haven’t been writing it. There’s a difference.

What I have decided to abandon however, is time. Not time in and of itself. I mean that would be entirely different. And, at least in my mind, not something I look forward to. No. What I’ve decided to abandon is the concept of time. And you should know this is not a spur of the moment thing. I have actually spent quite a bit of time over the past few months thinking about time. Which is not surprising because, quite frankly, trying to understand this rather elusive construct takes, well as you can imagine, a great deal of time. Now I know what’s going through that mind of yours. You’re wondering why a shallow person such as myself would spend so much time thinking about time. Well the truth of it is, time has a rather significant impact on all of our lives, mine included. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that, given my current state of affairs, what with being recently retired and all, that I would spend at least some of this free time (is anything really free these days?) thinking about this most perplexing of ideas.

Let’s face it, this whole time thing can be very confusing. Think about it. You’ve got 10 minutes to do something. How long is that? Well it really depends on what you are doing, doesn’t it. You might be slugging your way through an exam, trying to finish the, as always, unreasonable number of questions that have been posed to you. At some point you look up and realize you have half an exam to complete and only 10 minutes left to impart all of your wisdom. It’s happened to me and I can tell you that 10 minutes goes by pretty darn fast. But here’s the thing. Now you’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on your way to a really important meeting. You have 10 minutes to get there (which isn’t much time) and all you can think of is this is the longest 10 minutes you have ever spent in your car. This particular 10 minutes seems like an eternity. See what I mean? It’s confusing.

Or how about when you go on vacation. You know there are only a few weeks before you leave but somehow they seem to move at a snail’s pace. One day takes longer than the next. You know that plane ride to paradise is just around the corner but the corner doesn’t seem to be getting any closer. And then it finally happens. You get to your destination. The one you were looking forward to for so, so long. The one that you scrimped and saved every penny for over the past year. The one that in the blink of an eye, is over. I mean it seemed like just yesterday you got on that plane to leave and now, here you find yourself already on the way home. Where did the time go? How is it that those same three weeks that took so long to get through before you left, seem to fly by when you’re having fun? I ask you. How can the same unit of measure seem to be so entirely different depending on what it is you are doing?

As if all of this is not mixed up enough, we (as in humans) decide to walk right in and mix things up even more. Which is why twice in every year we change our time. First we lose an hour of sleep, then we gain an hour. That’s of course if you are in fact, asleep. If you’re like me, you’re usually totally awake during this artificial manipulation of time and you find yourself wondering if you really do need more than 24 hours a day to get things done. I can answer that for you. Probably not.

Now you can see how, through all of this thinking, I have come to the rather obvious conclusion that time, in and of itself, is simply a frivolous human construct that places artificial constraints around what we do and when we do it. So no, I haven’t abandoned the blog. And I am quite confident that I will be back, if for no other reason than to get my monies worth for yet another year. I’m afraid however, I just can’t tell you when that might be.

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I Could Have Been a Writer

typewriterNo, I’m not dead. Perhaps that’s not what all of you were thinking. I only mention it because in my neck of the woods if you’re not where you’re supposed to be at precisely the time you said you would be, there is only one plausible explanation. Somehow, and I am never sure of the precise details, you have landed in a ditch somewhere, left to face your rather tragic and untimely death alone. Without your cell phone which of course, you can see but is just slightly out of your reach. Because when you are late, even a couple of minutes, that is the only logical conclusion that anyone in my house could come to. I mean what is the likelihood that you ran into a childhood friend you hadn’t seen since high school and stopped to chit chat for a few extra minutes. Let’s face it, a lot can happen in 40 years. Or when walking past one of those fancy dress shops downtown you saw a cute little frock in the window you simply couldn’t resist and decided to step inside and give it try. Or maybe the bus, wending its way through the largest city in the country during rush hour, got stuck in traffic. Nope. In my house, when you are late the only real possibility is that you are dead.

Well that’s not the case this time. I’m not dead but I am, once again, late in getting this posted mostly because this is a busy time of year. Actually, truth be told, it’s not all that busy for me but it most likely is for you. Me, well I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in my chair. It’s not like I have nothing doing. As a matter of fact, while sitting in my chair I have come to a conclusion that surprises even me. You see, I’ve been watching Christmas movies and from what I can tell, the people responsible for writing these things are clearly and indisputably more shallow than I.

In case you haven’t been spending your time glued to the tube let me bring you up to speed on this year’s offerings. There are three basic themes from which a veritable cacophony of films are produced. As you might imagine, most prevalent are the Santa movies. These most often involve an evil creature, like an errant elf or reindeer who, in an effort to right some past wrong (unfair wages, poor quality hay or some other travesty of that sort), take it upon themselves to sabotage Christmas. And we all know that the best way to do that is to make it almost (I say “almost” because you and I both know how this is going to turn out) impossible for the “big guy” to get those gifts out to the kids. Inevitably things come down to the wire but with the help of the Missus, or one of the Claus kids, the sleigh takes off in time for Santa to get those toys out to all the boys and girls around the world. If only that were the case.

Then there are the single Mom/Dad flicks. Widowed or divorced (it doesn’t really matter how it happened as in either case there will at least be a cameo appearance from the Ex) the one constant in these films is a rather precocious child whose sole purpose in life is to find their now “single for more than a few years” parent a new partner. The child will most likely be aided by a mysterious older fellow who we can be pretty certain has some sort of special, angelic powers manifested through the wink of an eye. Usually there’s a visit “back home” where a chance meeting with an old high school flame, probably now the town vet or owner of the local diner, rekindles a romance that never should have ended in the first place, but did. It’s all a bit of a roller coaster, but in the end said child accompanies Mom and Dad down the aisle of new found happiness.

Finally, and this is in no particular order, there are the recently dumped who, rather than spend Christmas alone in the city they know, decide the best thing to do is trade homes with someone in any other part of the world, the only criteria being a climate completely different from the one where they currently reside. Serendipitously, within moments of posting their interest online, they find a compatriot in a like situation and before you know it, each is in the other’s home. Now I get why the one going from the cold to warm climate has shorts and T’s at the ready, but I am always baffled as to why the beach dweller has sheepskin coats and boots conveniently tucked away in the closet for moments like this. But nevermind the details. Suffice to say that each will find a new, permanent love in their heretofore temporary abode.

Now I’m not saying these are bad movies. I’m just saying their intensity pales beside flicks like “Eat, Pray, Love” where, after a four month sojourn at an Ashram in India to find her inner truth, or something like that, the heroine confidently declares to her besotted ex-husband who can’t seem to shake old feelings: “So love me. So miss me. It won’t last forever. Nothing does.” I know I could never have written anything that profound. But that other stuff. Well sometimes while watching those movies I think (but only to myself) maybe, just maybe, I really could have been a writer.

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We’re still here

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIf I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a million times over the last week. We’re still here. Honestly, who really thought that we wouldn’t be? I have nothing against the Mayans but it seems to me that it would be rather difficult to predict the end of the world, to the day, from 750 years out. I mean I’m sitting here looking at about 7 feet of snow and temps verging on the “impossible to step outside and live” and no one told me that was going to happen. But given my penchant for all things shallow I suppose it’s not surprising that I don’t really place much stock in ancient predictions, spiritual prophecies or anything that smacks of the mysterious because it’s a bit of a crapshoot how that stuff is going to play out. Let’s face it, what it comes down to is if it happens then it’s some kind of inexplicable miracle which we may or may not be around to witness and if it doesn’t it’s not a big deal because nobody actually expected it to anyway. So I’m ambivalent at best, and skeptical enough to refrain from placing an order to Costco for two year’s worth of dried delicacies on which to feast while waiting out the apocalypse in a bunker in my basement where I normally only go to do my laundry.

Now you know I am a woman of my convictions but as of late I’m starting to think there may be a fly in this ointment, a bump in the road, the proverbial achilles in my heel, all of which have caused me to doubt my heretofore tightly held convictions about the world and the mysteries within. What, you ask, has led me to this rather gut-wrenching change of heart? Well let me tell you.

You may remember my mentioning that I have a rather uncanny resemblance to Ms. Streisand, although truth be told I’m taking the word of others on this one as I don’t really see it myself. Nonetheless, I do feel somewhat obligated to pay my respects by attending her latest creative endeavors even when the reviews suggest I would be better off waiting a week or two for the release of the DVD. And so it was that I found myself sitting in a rather sparsely populated movie theatre watching Babs and her on-screen son travel across the country in something smaller than two closely related people should ever cohabitate, and that’s when it happened.

There are a few things I haven’t told you about myself in my previous posts not because I didn’t want you to know them or because they are too personal, but simply because they never really came up. The first is that on my desk at work I have an M & M’s machine that I religiously fill with, what else, M & M’s. And while there are now more kinds of this classic munch than you can count on one hand, I’ve remained loyal to the company roots by selecting the chocolate covered peanut variety as my candy of choice. The second is that every once in awhile you might find me taking a chance or two with a 20 at the slots. Neither of these in and of themselves is notable unless of course you happen to see them being played out on the big screen by someone who is said to look a lot like you.

And that’s exactly what happened at the movie. Without giving too much away I think it is safe to tell you that the opening scene has Babs lying in bed crunching on none other than peanut M & M’s and that they play a rather significant part in the plotline of this film which eventually finds the Mom/Son duo spending the night in Las Vegas. Before you know it Babs is feeding a 20 (maybe two) into her favourite one armed bandit. Now if Babs and I had shared only one strikingly similar characteristic I probably would have given it a chuckle and thought nothing more of it. But at the moment Babs left the check-in line at the hotel and sat down at the “frogger” machine I knew something bigger was going on, that there was more than coincidence here and perhaps even the work of a force that I can never hope to understand. It is clear to me now that all of the years I have spent listening and responding to “do you know who you look like” have been leading to this very moment, and that our similarities (Babs and mine that is) transcend a mere physical resemblance to something so much more significant and meaningful.

I know, you’re thinking “what is she talking about? It’s just a movie. Babs doesn’t really eat M & M’s in bed!”  Well she might or she might not but the chances are probably a lot higher than that whole Mayan thing. And I’m guessing that one or two of you out there thought, for even just a moment, that there was an ever so small chance that today we might not still be here.

Barbra, can you hear me? I think we may have some kind of mystical connection.

Here’s wishing all my shallow and “not so much” friends a very Merry Christmas.

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Another day, another blog post? As patterns go this has not been mine but you will recall that in my inaugural post I mentioned that I would write when I had something to say and after what happened last night, I have something to say. As a matter of fact, if I don’t get this out I think I’m going to plotz! (if you don’t know, look it up).

I’m sure you remember that yesterday I wrote about my experience as a Barbra Streisand look-alike and the effect it has had on my life. Hopefully you will have also recognized how, at the end of the post I craftily embedded some discreet references to Ms. Streisand’s musical prowess, particularly as it applied to her work in “Funny Girl”, a movie which I must now reluctantly admit I had never actually seen. Until last night, that is.

I’m not sure how many of you are night owls like me, but if you are you will know that Saturday night/Sunday morning is not the best time to be trying to find something inspiring to watch on TV. As I flipped through the stations trying to avoid yet another Zack Braff movie (I like him, it’s just that three in one night is a bit much) there she was in all of her glory. Fannie Brice, a young Jewish woman making her way from the streets of New York to become the star of the Ziegfeld Follies, played spectacularly by none other than Barbra Streisand. She sang, she danced, and she was funny. Boy, was she funny! And I thought I was going to die the first time Omar Sharif showed up at our her dressing room door.

When I woke up this morning I got to thinking how ironic it was that on the very day I wrote a blog, not only about Barbra, but with specific reference to the songs from “Funny Girl”, the movie showed up on TV. Now I know there are lots of Streisand reruns. I myself have shed tears during “The Prince of Tides” and “The Way We Were” more times than I care to count. But this was not your run of the mill “Fockers” rerun. This was Funny Girl! From 1968! What are the odds?

As any good shallow person would do I have concluded that there is a direct correlation between my blog post and last night’s TV schedule. It may have been the Barbra Streisand tag I added to the post, I can’t say for sure. Just consider that on its busiest day this blog had 52 hits so you never know who could be dropping by. Some might label this conclusion delusional, whereas I would prefer to consider the impact I have had on mass media, and what is reality if not one’s own perception of the truth. This blog is making a difference in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Not to mention the boost this recent event has given to my self-esteem. And if you are still searching for a reason to be shallow, the ability to so easily build up your self-esteem could be reason enough.

Again, sorry for bothering you with two postings in a row but now that you have read what I had to say I am sure you can understand why I needed to write again. I’ll do my best to hold off for a few days but I can’t make any promises. You never know when something important like this is going to happen again.

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