Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Please excuse the poor quality of the photographs. This is what you get with 'mood lighting' and an iphone. However it captures what it needs- and that is a festively decorated space.

Here are the lights on the windows. The keen eye will notice the wall hanging on the left, and the Santa on the dresser. The tree on the windowsill is one I've had since I was about 8.

And here is a new addition for 2009- a sequin Christmas tree. I thought that if I wasn't going to have a real tree I might as well have the fakest most fakey fake and fabulous tree ever. And its' sheer glitz eliminates any need for decorations! (This isn't the actual placement of the tree in the apartment- but for picture taking purposes it was the best backdrop.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A purpose to Precious

A friend of mine said, in response to my previous post, that a movie like 'Precious' is meant to bridge the gap when you can't empathize with situations or characters such as those portrayed in the movie "Precious".

Though that is not your life, you are given some insight and knowledge for how those people might feel and react in such scenarios- and can then appreciate their point of view.

So it's okay if I don't empathize- that's the job of the movie.

I appreciate that. (And coincidentally it's the same friend who doesn't go to see movies with a hard luck tale... funny that!).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dissecting my impression of the movie "Precious"

I have a friend who won't go and see movies that are anything but entertainment. If it has a tension, or profiles a historical situation that is not uplifting and/or fun she won't go. Examples would be "Shindler's List", or "Hotel Rwanda". I respect her opinion even if I don't share it. She goes to the movies to escape and these types of stories obviously do not meet that end.

I went to go and see the movie "Precious" last night. This movie fell into the category of "I should see" vs "I want to see". The 'should see' movies are those that are brilliantly written, well acted and usually telling a troubling hard luck story. Precious was no different.

The difference with this movie is that it was so incredibly hard to watch I actually sat there wondering how my life was better from having experienced it. Yes the storytelling was complex and compelling. Yes the acting was superb. And yes the direction was risky and creative.

Yet it was such a horrible God-awful story of human suffering and pain on an individual level that I wonder why I would recommend it to anyone. I suppose there was the triumph at the end- meant to be uplifting and empowering. But did I feel hope at the end? Not really. What purpose did telling such a story serve?

Perhaps the reason it didn't personally resonate with me and why I didn't feel connected to the triumph is because I couldn't empathize with that type of suffering. I couldn't put myself in the heroine's shoes. It was just so far removed from my sphere of existence that I couldn't fathom or appreciate the journey.

I'm still thinking about it though. So perhaps my exploration is not finished. And my appreciation of the movie is still to come.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shades of Grey

What is the difference between love and infatuation? (For the record, I'm in neither, but I got to thinking about it while watching the news tonight profiling the hundreds of girls screaming their 'love' for Jacob/Edward).

The difference is time. And perception. And behaviour.

The dictionary says that infatuation is:

--> A foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction.
--> An object of extravagant, short-lived passion.

So it's short-lived. Foolish. Yet they also say : See Synonyms at love.

I think we all start at the stage of infatuation which then evolves into love, or goes away. They aren't different things. They are different stages of the same emotion, with love being further along the continuum. The same colour but different shades. Perhaps you reach it after you truly know the person, and know who you are with that person- and accept and still adore both.

And it's manifest in your behaviour.

The person who stalks a celebrity and fancies themselves in love with them really believes it. Is that any different than 'real love'? It's real to them right? But if you really love that someone you unselfishly consider their needs and wants as well as your own. Ideally those needs & wants align with you both win. The unselfish-ness demonstrates true love. While selfish, extravagant behaviour accompanies infatuation.


Heavy thoughts stemming from some screaming 'twi-hards'.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon

It's that time again- the return of the Twilight saga to theatres. At this time last year I was watching (and re-watching) the movie "Twilight" over Thanksgiving long weekend. Loving it and hating myself for loving it.

We are now on book 2: 'New Moon'. And the sheer chaos surrounding this movie is amazing. I was talking with a girl tonight about this phenomenon and its' source. She and I have both read, and enjoyed, all of the books. We are both WELL out of our teen years *ahem* so it's not as though it resonates... but we still got sucked in.

People compare the books to Harry Potter. And while I will say the anticipation and popularity is similar, the quality and mass appeal are not. Twilight definitely has a more razor sharp focused target- even considering the twi-moms or whatever you call them. The quality of the writing is no where near the same- with J.K. Rowling being a much more talented and skilled author. But Twilight does have a simple style that, while not clever, or terribly intelligent, is still entertaining.

What follows has been discussed a billion times and are not new thoughts. But let's review the appeal as it pertains to the young girl shall we??

1. Angst: It's main character, Bella, is so brutally sad and pathetic (esp in book 2) that if you are not a pre-teen girl you want to beat her head into a brick wall. But for the younger set- they completely relate to and 'get' the angst and anguish of this lost soul. Remember at that age: EVERYTHING WAS LIFE AND DEATH.

2. Safety: Being a young girl is scary. You have all of these hormones and emotions and you don't know what to do with them. You like boys- and you want them to like you. You want to be cool and grown-up but you're not. It's a fine balance for a couple of years. Vampire dude in the books is the PERFECT PRE-TEEN MAN. He's desperately in love with Bella- but unable to have a physical relationship with her. So she can have everything she wants- sweet words and utterly devoted love- with none of the pressure for stuff she's not ready for.

3. Triumph of the Underdog : We're all insecure (okay not all of us- but lots of us) and nothing is worse than feeling like you're not good enough for a guy you love. Bella is described as plain. Awkward. Simple. Not the cheerleader. Not super attractive. Clumsy- not athletic. Shy- not funny. If she can get the hottest guy in school- then maybe there's hope for all of us.

Not this weekend, but maybe when the frenzy dies a bit- I will go see the movie. I will think of it as an intellectual study of the behaviour of our younger generation- an anthropological expedition if you will... and I will remember and re-live what it was like for me at that age- to be so desperately in love with love. And I suspect I will hate myself for loving it just as much this time around!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My New Challenge

Six (6!!) years ago I did a half-marathon in Calgary. That was back when I was a "runner". I used to run with my friend Leigh or Scott 4-5 times a week. I used to run an 8 min mile. I used to run 45-60 minutes each time I went out and I used to cap my outdoor running temperature at -18C.

You will have noticed a lot of "used to"'s in that paragraph.

Upon moving to Toronto I kind of gave up the running as I was spoiled with all of the paths in Calgary and the lack of such areas to run in Toronto. I also worked a hell of a lot more- and just didn't have time.

So I stopped running and started drinking and gained 15lbs. It was a win-win situation.

Needless to say I've missed it. I've missed the stress relief and all of the zillion health benefits that come with running.

And now? Well I'm in NY. Where it's busier, and I'm working more than ever. BUT. But - I live a block away from Central Park. And I belong to one of the nicest gyms I've ever belonged to.

And I have a friend who is a runner (a real runner) who asked a bunch of us if we wanted to do a marathon with her in Miami in January. So I said yes. Not for the full marathon- but I did sign up for the half.

I'm 'running' again. I've slipped to a 10min mile so it's more like jogging. And I'm getting winded at 30 minutes in. And I miss my old running partners Leigh and Scott. But I'm doing it and am so happy!!!

Will keep you posted on the progress. For now I'm hoping to just finish the half in an un-embarrassing time but hopefully as my 'training' progresses I'll actually set a time goal for myself.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

There are a lot of people in NY

Remember I tried to go to the Yankee parade?? Well once again I seriously did not appreciate the sheer volume of people that are in NYC. And I couldn't even get close to Broadway.

Friday, November 06, 2009

How America Sees the World

Try not to be offended if you're one of the rest of the 5.7 billion people in the world. But it is funny.

One thing to note on this map is that Africa is not even on it. I'm quite sure that is on purpose.

It's Friday

And quite possibly a really really great Friday (though I am trying to manage my expectations).

First of all I was at work by 8am. For those that know me- that's a big deal. That's early, which = productive.

Why so early?? Well because I'm taking a couple of hours during the day to go to the Yankee parade up Broadway. You might have heard they won the World Series (!!) and today there is a ticker tape parade to celebrate. If that isn't NYC then I don't know what is. Look how excited O is by it!

Next on the agenda, my friend Kristina is coming into town for an impromptu visit.

And to finish off the day (and likely into tomorrow) is a birthday/disco party. Exclusive event with fab people, and I'm going to have Farrah Fawcett hair.

I keep saying pictures to come but let's be honest...without a camera that's hard for me to do. But we'll see... maybe it's going to be the type of day where pictures are best not taken... : )

(For the record I want to say that I tried to write a post sans parenthesis... but it didn't happen. I did edit a couple out but it was just not possible to have a post without sidebar comments from me to me).

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Quick Hits


Go Yankees- Game 5 tonight- back in New York. Yankees lead the series 3-2. They could win tonight. (I know- I actually sound like I know what I'm talking about). Woo.

For reasons we don't need to get into I'm hoping they score all of their runs in the bottom of the 7th.

The Measure of a Man:

I was talking with a friend today and describing someone to him as a potential 'catch'. He's balding... but still very cute (tall & lean, just my 'type'). He's divorced... (fine) with 4 kids (hmmm...). He's divorced because he cheated on his wife (not great). He doesn't have a high school education because he dropped out in grade 11 (bad). He just had another baby with someone he had a casual fling with (worse). Oh and he's got a reputation for being a 'swinger' (????). Winner right??

I'm describing Jude Law. Yet because he's gorgeous and rich rich rich he's a 'catch'. What is wrong with our society that this kind of person is heralded as amazing...when someone with truly stellar qualities goes unnoticed and unrewarded?


I've updated my link list to the right and you'll see a couple of other really great reads.
--> "Farokh's Story" is my friend's very courageous, and raw, story about his co-existence with Cancer. I would say 'fight'- but that's something he's not 100% comfortable with- you can read to find out why.
--> "Bake with Blondie" is my friend's baking site where you can download recipes of all kinds of deliciousness.
--> "Bride & Mom" is a friend's very funny site chronicling her adventures on the road to getting married.

In case you're reading this on facebook- you can see my blog here: