Gratitude Saturday January 19

This was a bleh week from me.  I am beginning to think that resolutions don’t work because on January 1 everybody is like- “Hey- new year new me” and January 2 everyone is like OMG it’s three months till it’s nice again…. I’m dragging a little- but trying to pull a few gratitude’s out of a hat.

  1. My neighbor fell ill- grateful that people were and are checking in on her
  2. My friend was in a car accident- grateful that it was minor with minimal aches and pains
  3. My daughter had to go to an interview right after school- grateful that she got her tights on with no incident
  4. After her 5th interview (with I think 5 to go) my kid is able to predict what the interviewer is going to ask
  5. Starbucks for being the universal interview spot
  6. Movies
  7. vase of fresh flowers
  8. people who take their time to give a thoughtful attitude
  9. fleecy socks
  10. super rich nightcream
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Movies: Wrap Up

I had fun this week, writing and thinking about movies.  I got to relive some wonderful memories and remind myself about how movies affect us all.  Here’s some my thoughts from the past week:

  1. I found it odd that I had almost no movies from the past 20 years.  Why is that? I know I’ve seen some quality movies- “Spotlight”, “Argo” “Green Book” to name a few, but none of them make my best of or favorite lists. I wonder if directors today are too worried about being new and groundbreaking instead of focusing on making a good movie . We all know that there are only four basic stories (man v man, himself, nature and technology) and I wonder if the story has just gotten lost.
  2. I really admire movies with strong female characters- I don’t think I ever realized how much I was searching for a role model
  3. Technology might make a movie more fun, but it doesn’t necessarily make it better
  4. I worry that we’re going for quantity over quality now- how many movies need to open on any given weekend?
  5. Ever since I got into an argument with my daughter about looking at films through the lens of when they were made and the lens of today, I can’t help but bring historical context into a film.  I wonder how the films of today will be viewed ten, twenty, fifty years from now. What will they say about our culture?
  6. Movies have the ability to unite us.  As bloggers told me the films that meant something to them I found myself nodding in agreement so many times.  It sort of amazes me that no matter who you are, background, religion, geography, the same movies impact us. It makes me feel a little less alone or different.
  7. Some of the greatest songs belong to movies- (I mean- Shallow this year…come on…)
  8. I still want to be Nora Charles
  9. If I ever get another dog I’m naming it Asta
  10. Movies are a huge part of my life.  I never wanted to be an actor or a director or work in the film industry, but I have so enjoyed watching movies all these years.  They have been my friend, my lover, my enemy….they are part of me.

The Ones That Impacted me

A few weeks ago one of my blogger friends (I think it was Deb- but I’m not sure) wrote about movies that had an impact on her life.  So it got me thinking: which movies actually mattered? Which movies do I remember clearly, so clearly in some cases I remember who I saw them with, when I saw them and where.

  1. Saturday Night Fever- first R rated movie I ever snuck into
  2. Porky’s- Introduced me to the raunchy teen comedy
  3. Citizen Kane- I saw this for a film class my senior year of high school.  It was the first time I saw the beauty of film- how it’s magic when everything just works.  This is the film that started my love of all things movie. It just misses my top 10 list…
  4. That Darn Cat- this was the first movie I saw that had a smart, sassy, and clever female protagonist. I was mesmerized that girls could be that way.  I have such a soft spot for this movie that my Daughter’s name is somehow in this film
  5. Frankenstein- there is just so much about this movie that resonated with me- this also just misses being a fave and a best for me
  6. The Shining- the scariest movie I ever saw- I have not seen a Stephen King adaptation since this- I had nightmares…I’m probably going to have nightmares thinking about it…
  7. Grease- I remember seeing this film about 10 times in the theater…
  8. Star Wars- this changed movies for me- the innovation- I never appreciated the genre until I saw this
  9. The Breakfast Club- I saw this when I was in college and I cursed the fact that it didn’t come out when I was in High School.  It so succinctly showed me that I was not alone in being the weird girl- that not everyone was popular- and that the popular kids had crap going on in their lives as well
  10. The Way we Were- well- this showed me that not everything ends happy….especially love

What movies have impacted you?

 

My Favorites

Today I present my go to movies….the movies I could watch again and again and again. (For the recorde “If Beale Street Could Talk will not ever be on this list.  I saw that yesterday and it was so slow I think I’m still watching it…)

Some of these movies I’ve talked about before.  Others are crossovers from yesterday. Some might be odd choices, but there you have it. These are movies I’ve seen so many times I know when something has been edited out…

  1. The Cutting Edge- Uptight lead female character.  Yup- has me written all over it.
  2. The Sure Thing- Hyper organized main character who carries her Filofax around. It’s like looking in a mirror
  3. Arsenic and Old Lace- This is an old comedy starring Cary Grant. I think its hilarious in its just slightly absurd fashion. Love.
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark- here’s my anecdote: when this movie first came out I had no interest in seeing it.  One night I was out with friends and we were going to see Superman, but when we got to the theater Superman was sold out.  There were tickets left to see Raiders though. So we saw it.  I never looked back. Love this movie.  Could see it a million times. Have seen it a million times.
  5. Bridget Jones’s Baby- I know this might seem like an odd choice until you consider how I  would like to be in a love triangle with Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey
  6. It’s A Wonderful Life- It’s not Christmas without this one…
  7. Some Like it Hot- I could just watch the last scene over and over again
  8. Young Frankenstein- I laugh just thinking about this movie.  I’m laughing now…
  9. Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein-  this is the one with all the monsters
  10. Dial M for Murder- Hitchcock.  Yeah. This one is clever and fun, even though it is about a murder and all

Ok- what are your faves? What are your desert island movies?

My 10 Best

As I love movies, and I have dubbed this movie week, I’m going to present you with the movies that I think are the best of all time. When I say best, I mean films  which are exceptional in script, acting, costumes, sets, editing, music and effects. Every single aspect of film making is exemplary. And more importantly, when these pieces are put together it is a true work of art. This is MY personal list: I’m sure there are people who will hate some of the films that I’ve chosen, or don’t think they are good examples are superior film making, but that really doesn’t matter. Different films are going to appeal to different people.

  1. Casablanca- The script-The acting- the chemistry between actors-the soundtrack. Magic.
  2. Schindler’s List- The choice to do it in black and white except for that one scene- that alone makes it one of the most powerful movies ever.
  3. Shawshank Redemption- I never thought a prison movie could teach me that much about life and human nature. Outstanding and I think highly underrated.
  4. Rear Window.  Hitchcock fans might disagree with me, but I think this movie says it all. I think it’s his best work.
  5. Gone With the Wind- Epic- Vivian Leigh is a force to be reckoned with
  6. The Wizard of Oz- Come on- just beautiful
  7. Some Like it Hot- Still one of the most clever movies I’ve ever seen. And the timing of the actors and the expressions.  Gold.
  8. The Godfather- As close to perfect as a movie is going to get
  9. The Philadelphia Story- I have a think about Hepburn and Grant….
  10. Raiders of the Lost Ark- I thought this movie was brilliant and entertaining.

Now a funny thing happened as I wrote this list: I realized that some of these are actually some of my favorites as well.  There goes that theory…

So what are some of the movies that you think are superior examples of filmmaking?

Favorite v. Best

I recently had a debate with a friend (for the record- this was a harmonious conversation- no one was called any names and no one was labelled) What was the debate about? Why are people’s favorite movies different from the movies they consider best.

My friend’s hypothesis was this: If something is your favorite, why wouldn’t it be the best?

I (shockingly) said that just because I enjoy watching something doesn’t mean it’s a great movie.

So what makes a “great” movie.  I always think it’s when every aspect of the movie just works. The acting, screenplay, sets, soundtrack, editing and cinematography all work together to make a movie that is well rounded and sound. The director has assembled all the pieces of the puzzle and it is complete (also why I understand why the Best Director winner is often the Best Picture winner) When I think about a great movie, “The Godfather” comes to mind.  I consider this movie as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen. I think it is a great movie.  Yet, I don’t think I’ve watched it more than twice.  I don’t think I’ll watch it again.

Why?

Because though I appreciate it as art, it doesn’t actually make me feel good when I watch it. It’s heavy.  I don’t need to add more heaviness to my life. If I’m rewatching a movie at home on a weekend I want to be uplifted.  I want light and easy.

But it’s more than just light, easy and uplifting that separates favorite from best. I think “Shawshank Redemption” and “Schindlers List” are first rate, solid movies. They end with a positive spin.  Yet, I’ve  seen each of them only once.  I think they are two of the best movies ever made, yet I have absolutely no inkling to rewatch.  Why? I guess I want the  conflict to be light and easy.  I don’t want to see struggles of WWII.  I don’t want to see life in prison. I don’t want to go through the angst again. Great movies tend to be heavy on conflict. I am not a fan of conflict.

So what are favorite movies? Simply, these are the movies that I will watch if I see they are on TV.  The conflict isn’t too daunting, the endings are happy, or at least uplifting, and they make me smile. Movies like “The American President”, “Dave”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. I have seen these movies too many times to count:  I could karaoke to these films because I know the script so well.  Yet I know there are flaws- I know they are not even close to being perfect.  But there’s still something about them that makes me love them.

So: Take stock.  Are your favorite movies also the ones you consider the best?

Gratitude Saturday January 12

Let’s see: freezing temperature, blown fuse in my kitchen, broken fridge (which led to blown fuse)

Gratitude?  Let’s see…

  1. I had already made breakfast before the fuse blew
  2. Handyman was in not long after and was able to replace circuit
  3. Neighbor was home so I got to put my stuff from freezer in her freezer
  4. Found good fridge on sale and was able to get next day delivery
  5. Delivery came during early side of the window (window 115 -415 and it came at 130)
  6. Great way to eat the food left in fridge
  7. Chai tea
  8. scarves, hats and gloves
  9. glue sticks
  10. attempting arts and crafts projects
  11. hair masques for dry hair

How I Learned to Let it Go…

Spoiler alert: I did not learn to let it go.  After a week of self reflection I have more questions than answers. I’m even beginning to question if letting things go is the right approach…

Here’s some random observations, in no particular order:

  1. The people I have had confrontations with, that I can’t get past, are all people I know via my Husband: a friend, a friend’s spouse, a relative.  I can’t help but think that as these are people I would never see if not for my Husband, I can’t get past issues because I do not think positively of these people in general because we do not share the same value system. So the question becomes, how do I avoid confrontation with the people in my life that fall into this category? I recently read something about the Grey method, (which is a sort of ignoring thesis) and I’m going to study up on it and see if I can apply it to these situations.
  2. I need to set better boundaries with my Husband and Daughter.  I can let things slide, but I have to learn to rationally and calmly define my expectations about what really matters to me, and make sure that the communication is clear with them.
  3. I have very few people in my life that I can be completely open with.  Thankful for them, because it’s great to just be able to totally be able to be myself with no holds barred.  It’s freeing.
  4. I am much better at letting things go with the people that mean the most to me.  I guess with my close friends their friendship is more important than something trivial.  I might be annoyed for a little bit, but I rationally get over it.  I know I’ve been annoyed by my closest friends, but I can’t actually think of something that they did wrong, so I obviously can get past things and forget.
  5. How do I get over things? I concentrate on what the bigger picture is.  How much is something going to matter over time? Will there be lasting consequences to the behavior? Will something set a bad precedent.  It all comes down to picking which battles are worth fighting.
  6. When someone is being irrational, walk away. You can’t reason with someone who does not want to listen.
  7. Try to limit time with people I know are going to try my patience.
  8. Stick to chit chat with people that I do not consider my inner circle. The aggravation is just not worth my time and energy.
  9. Avoid people in general.
  10. Cherish the people really close to me.

Let it Go???

I have trouble letting things go.  Except with my Husband and Daughter. When it comes to life in my apartment, I can really be a duck- I let things roll off my back. With my immediate family I am able to pick which battles I choose to fight.  I look at the big picture and I ascertain if a particular situation is worth pursuing.

And this has worked well.

Except when it doesn’t.

As the peacemaker I talk my daughter down when she’s crazy.  I calmly let my Husband rant at me when he’s on a roll. When they are fighting I mediate: I remind each of them that something is a one off (which it usually is) and get them to see the other point of view.  And this makes it a fairly harmonious home. Which is what I want: I want to limit the amount of stress I experience on a day to day basis, and having a family that gets along goes a long way towards this.

So what’s the problem?

Well, I let a lot of things slide.  In fact, I let most things slide.  So much so, that when I put my foot down about something, no one really pays attention. Or they get really angry. Passive aggressiveness.  Laziness.

My Daughter is a great kid and rarely gives me grief.  But she’s not great at helping around the house, And I let it slide because it’s such a small thing.  But…I have a cleaning woman a few times a month, and I don’t have her clean my daughters room. Yesterday, my daughter said to me “Can you have the cleaning person clean the toothbrush holder?” And I went crazy.  I mean- my daughter doesn’t even need to clean it: it can go in the dishwasher.

My Husband. Same idea. I let things slide, but then I find an issue to plant my flag on, and he gets annoyed.  He expects me to back down, because I always back down, because I’m always thinking big picture. I try not to worry about the small things.

The small things add up though.

So how do you balance out letting things go, but not getting taken advantage of?

People That Annoy Me: Part 3

This week I’ve been examining situations that I’ve been recently involved in, and how I’m handling them.  I am trying to be less angry, more tolerant, and let go of things.

Ha.

My Father in law was over last month.  We were having a conversation (OK- I was trying to talk about a subject that he brought up.  He was spouting things he’d heard on the news that did not make any sense in the context to which he was speaking)

He mentioned a story that had been on the news (quasi political) and I gave my opinion. He thought my opinion was ridiculous. I made clear, lucid points.  He tried to argue but failed.

Fine.

A week or so later, my Husband was on the phone with him.  FIL said to him “Wow.  Your wife has certainly become a _____________ .  How can you deal with her?”

Label. He labeled me.  (for the record, a label is when someone groups you into a category based on something you say.  Name calling is specifically being called a name)

Needless to say, I was pissed off.  First, I had totally forgotten about the incident, but FIL was still seething enough to talk to my husband about it. Second, did my Husband need to relate the story to me? I’m iffy on this: on one hand I like when my Husband is open with me, while on the other hand, his telling me only made me mad.

I’m still annoyed.

I know that being annoyed about this incident is not good.  I know I’m wasting precious emotional energy on something stupid.  Rationally I know these things.  But…

I’m having trouble getting past incidents when someone has really pushed my buttons. I need to come up with some sort of ritual to practice when I get into a situation where I’m irrationally perturbed, because it doesn’t  appear as if people are going to get easier to deal with.

Stay tuned…