Creative Explosion: A Movie, A Book, and Two Singers

Color Explosion

You just never know when or how that creative urge will arrive. I mention this only to explain my lack of posts lately. Right in the middle of a Mahjong game last week, I had a vision. Which explains why I couldn’t win to save my soul. Have been lost in color, ideas, creating. When that happens, I have no concept of space and time. I think it’s Tuesday and I’ve come up for air. For a moment. To share some GREAT creations of others.

Movie

If you haven’t seen it, please check out “Heartbreaker. This romantic French comedy made me laugh out loud a number of times and smile throughout. The film was made in 2010 and is set in Monaco. Directed by Pascal Chaumeil, it stars Vanessa Paradis, Romain Duris, and Julie Ferrier and they are brilliant! Even if you are Grumpy Grumbleson, you will be in a great mood after watching this. Just sayin’.

Book

My youngest daughter recommended a book to me. Donald Miller had me at his author’s note: “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It’s as if they are showing you the way”. The title, “Blue Like Jazz” is a beauty, but it’s the subtitle that indicates you are in for a thought-provoking ride … “Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality”. His writing is anything but traditional; I find myself wondering how he got in my head while reading this. I think he and author Anne Lamott would get on famously. Two of my favorite passages so far are:

“My mother had given me her Texaco card for my date, so on the way home I stopped in for some Cheetos and donuts. I sat in the Texaco parking lot and thought about poor Romeo, begging for love, running off with his woman, and then accidentally dying. Some dates go terrible, it’s a fact.”

“At the time I was attending this large church in the suburbs. It was like going to church at The Gap.”

And this from his blog, ” My flight out of Nashville was cancelled and I found myself, suitcase in hand, standing outside the Nashville airport dismayed because all I wanted to do was go home. But there was a part of me that wondered if something good could happen, if I couldn’t “create a reason” for being stuck in Nashville. I made some calls and the night turned out to be great, one of the best I had that season.”

More, please.

Singers

Christopher Jak does it for me. Favorites: “Hold On Tight”, “Squeeze”, and “Begin to Cry”. Awesome.

I like David Gray. This singer/songwriter is most excellent at what he does. His latest album is Foundling, which should be available on iTunes. Previous to this release, my favorite DG songs are “You’re the One I Love” and “Babylon”.

That’s enough for now …my muse is calling me ….

Later.

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Bargaining Power: Let’s Make A Deal

 

 

I’m all about bargains, especially these days. There are still items I will spring for but I don’t spring like I used to.

Here are my latest “finds”:

The Dollar, $.99, $1.09, Whatever You Want To Call Them Stores – I LOVE these places for several reasons. Gift bags, you can get any size and/or shape for $1. And they don’t look cheap. I hate it when I have a large gift and the bag costs more than the present. NOT ANY LONGER! See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya, Hallmark! I also find microfiber hair towels, all sorts of dental items (not toothpaste, though), hairspray, glass votives, and fake pewter trays. Plus, they have a bunch of stuff that I remember from my childhood. Kitchy stuff. Probably IS from my childhood. How old does something have to be to be considered an antique?

Target – the buyers for Target are Very Smart People. One reason? The designer lines that pop up. From erin fetherston (enormous heart handbag) to John Derian ( home goods) to Temple St. Clair (jewelry), well, let’s just say I couldn’t touch any of these lines, all of which I love, without Target. Would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention my fave, Boots. Am not a big fan of make up, but there are some things that must be covered up enhanced. Have been loyal to YSL Touche éclat for years. Great undereye concealer, $45 for 2.5 ounces. No Mas! I now use Boots No. 7 Radiant Glow concealer, $12.99 for 2.5 ounces. Looks just the same to me. The other product that is major wonderful is Boots Mediterranean Olive, Almond, & Sage Wonderbalm, $8.99. My lips LOVE me.

Clothes and Shoes – am personally beyond picky about these items; they don’t have to be expensive but the lines, design, materials, and details MUST be present. When shopping for myself, I have a picture in my head of what I’m looking for and I do not stop until I find it. When I am successful, I try on item, write down style number, head home, and get on the computer. I will find the same item at a price I prefer. Win-win. The adventure, for me, is shopping for others. Which I do. Today my friend needed my help. Challenge on! Armed with her size, I pulled together a wardrobe that can take her from the beach to the White House, any season. One hour – 14 pieces of clothing. And the tab is what two pieces would normally cost. Love when that happens.

Other Bargain Stops – Saw “The Social Network” and “Winter’s Bone” for $2. Redbox rocks. You can get paid for participating in online surveys – not shyster kind, but from Opinion Outpost. The surveys aren’t long and I’ve gotten paid at least $200 over the past 9 months. Don’t quite your day job, but the process is interesting and cash is cash.

Those are my “tips” today. On to General BS. If you are not a total fan yet, please reserve next Tuesday evening for the show, “Raising Hope“. Hysterical is an understatement. If you don’t like it, don’t tell me.

Getting too general … and boring myself to pieces. Get specific! Okay, if you are a fairy godperson out there, here is what I would welcome (aside from world peace, cure for cancer, and other important issues):

  • Some levity, no, make that a ton of levity
  • A long run of very good luck and health
  • Love and laughter, company and chatter
  • Knowledge that the unspoken prayers in my heart are heard

* I want the same for you.

*Please do not use kooky formula aka “Under the Tuscan Sun”.

Do we have a bargain?

Later.

Because I need to read your posts.

Really.

Swimming in the Shallow End

 

What a coincidence! I find myself starting out anew (again!) and “Eat, Pray, Love” is in movie theaters. Maybe I should go to Rome, India, and Bali to find myself. Oh, wait. I’m not independently wealthy. Oh, wait. I have responsibilities that require my attention. Oh, wait. I am too old to run away (hint: celebrated sixth birthday awhile back). Oh, wait. I have love, family, friends, and a life I’m not walking away from, no matter how twisty it is. The only commonalities I share with Elizabeth Gilbert are divorce and a yoga practice. 

 

When I read her book years ago, I admit, I enjoyed it as a fantasy mapping the personal journey of a privileged woman “find” herself in exotic locales. Period. The hype, the hysteria, the overblown promotion of the movie is ridiculous. It’s just a book, just a movie, just entertainment, just about as “deep” as a pie pan. There’s a place for entertainment and no, all movies can’t be “The Hurt Locker“, but EPL is NOT the new lifestyle bible for women who find themselves up a creek without a paddle. This is not an Oprah moment, ladies.  I don’t want to have to bring this up again.  Now, on to other nonsense I’m thinking about: 

  • I hit hobbies hard and then lose all interest ( a few of the million projects shown below).

Kanzashi silk flowers

 

needlepoint

 

knitting

 

  • It’s absolutely nuts to have a rigid life plan. I believe this because no matter how hard you try to stick to wherever it is you think you are going, there will be all sorts of hijinks on the journey requiring you to jump, stoop, turn left when you want to go right and vice versa. Needless to say, my life plan is … flexible.
  • Job suggestions so far: move to a tourist town in the middle of Texas and start a cleaning service for all the B&B’s (fail); become a demo lady at Sam’s or Costco, cooking tidbits in a weird pan and handing them out to the starving shoppers (I don’t think so); apply for staff position at French château making beds and washing dishes(change of scenery, wear REAL French maid costume every day, polish up my foreign cuss words – this one might have legs, cin); reactivate my real estate license (kill me first, please). These are all good jobs that I wouldn’t be good at but never say never, right?

 

  • Suggestions for the interim time: buy a lobster at the grocery store and take it for a walk, hop on one leg all day, send excited replies to all the male enhancement spam that is sent specifically to me even though I’m not male and have no equipment to enhance; drive around and wag my finger at nose pickers, go to the courthouse and marry my dog; the possibilities are endless …
  • Do anonymous good deeds all day long. Key word: anonymous. This is fun. But I can only be good for a limited amount of time. Like 30 minutes.
  • Explore new hobbies … learn to cook Elvis Presley’s favorite foods, collect pantyhose, raise sea horses for fun and profit, wear a fake nose and see if anyone notices, count how many balloons I can blow up before passing out.

All kidding aside, there is volunteer work to be done. There are responsibilities to take care of. And, I can always kick up the fine art of procrastination a couple of notches despite the fact I’ve already got a black belt in that category. One thing I won’t be doing is going to see a certain movie based on a certain book …. 

Later.

Questionable Tuesday

It is Tuesday, isn’t it? If so, this is what I’m thinking:

  • Need to get some steel-toed boots to protect me from myself. Last summer, I smashed my right foot into a chair resulting in fractured toe resulting in $1500 trip to doctor. I was put in an ugly, heavy blue Frankenstein boot/shoe. The nurse said the “uni” shoe was meant for either foot. She was wrong. It was for the left foot. She would not back down, medical care being what it is today. So I clomped around for a month, wearing a left boot on my right foot. Two left feet. Not a good look unless you are getting paid for it (see Best in Show). Yesterday, smash redux. Boot back on. Two left feet, again. Argghhhhhhhhhhhhh.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary gang has deemed the following words as “unsuitable” for inclusion: tanorexia, flashpacking, cankles, prehab, Burquini, clickjacking, faboosh, glamping, and Twetiquette. Rah!
  • Have never observed a press push like that for the movie, Eat, Pray, Love. Never ever. I read the book years ago and initially loved it. Am still delighted for Elizabeth Gilbert – she found her mojo and her man. It would be delightful if every woman/man could do so. This explosion of pubic relations surrounding the movie is quite unnecessary. Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem could throw spit balls at each other for two hours on-screen and the movie would be a hit. Overkill, defined.
  • Today on MSN.com there is a story about cars. It’s titled, “Looking Good at Any Price“. It’s hard to believe that in these days – and especially these times – there is an audience out there who are driven to find “cars that impress”. Shouldn’t the simple fact that your car gets you where you need to go be impressive? Furthermore, who cares?
  • Another winner today: “Why Your Muffin Top May Kill You“. Some of the “research” linked the flab hanging over the top of your jeans to “dementia, heart disease, asthma, and breast cancer”. They failed to mention breathing, sleeping, eating, and driving. Really!

Later.

If I Were A Lion, I Would Roar

I know it’s Tuesday but it feels like Dumbday.  And I’m feeling bitchy.  You have been warned.

  • In the We-Are-So-Screwed Department, apparently the Feds have asked director James Cameron to brainstorm with the Powers That Be on how to stop the BP DISASTER in the Gulf of Mexico.  Excuse me, I don’t give a rat’s ass if he is an underwater technology guy – HE MADE A MOVIE ABOUT A SINKING SHIP.  Really, is this the best we can do?  We have an environmental disaster beyond measure and the Feds call Hollywood? And point fingers?  Can some smart people please take charge here. Jeez……..
  • The last report I read, BP stock continues to sink.  The company has lost somewhere in the are of 65 billion or so.  Hmmmm …. a company that can lose 65 billion or so and still be in business? Wow.  And NOT have a backup plan for rig disasters? Double Wow. Have always loved a quote of John Wayne’s, “If you don’t like something, don’t bitch. Get off your butt and do something about it.” Well, John, I would if I could, but I don’t think getting in a canoe and paddling out there with a net is going to make a difference.  Hence, the bitchfest.
  • Someone snuck in my room while I was sleeping and removed part of my brain.  There is no other reason why I would purposefully turn on the television shows I have.  Last night, for instance.  Accidently turned on “The Bachelorette” – and it was horrible.  Not reviewing the show, but what happened on air.  There are a bunch of “men” trying to win Ali’s heart.  One of them is a nice weather weenie.   The other, a dental appliance salesman. A scary, psychotic, cruel, nutbag sort of guy.  He taunted the weather weenie so much, it was painful to watch.  The weather weenie told on him and dental devil did not receive a rose.  Two things made me angry: the other “guys” didn’t tell Satan to shut the hell up at any point and, he’s really so scary I fear for any man or woman who ever gets near him.  This show continues to choose disturbed contestants.  And it is disturbing ……
  • As if that wasn’t enough, next on was “The Real Housewives of New Jersey“. Don’t want to get whacked so must be careful here.  Suffice it to say there were major rumblings on the show, along with ex-cons on parole.  One of the parolees wanted to do bad things to other people, but parole would end in six days if he kept his hands to himself.  While the show was very real, it has nothing to do with any sort of housewives I’ve ever known. The only ex-con would be the guy in high school who was caught literally shaking down the washing machines for quarters at the washateria.  These people on tv are very scary.

Cooking Partner asks, “Why do you watch that trash?”.  And I do not have a good answer.  I don’t have an answer.  Because part of my brain is missing.  Think I’ll go look for it … ending this bitchathon.  You’re welcome.

Later.

Watching World Walk By: Movies & Books

Am grounded at home this holiday weekend.  Could be all sorts of other places, but … no worries, have to be here so here I am.   Catching up on older movies.  Reading pages that have been calling my name.  General milling about.

The films I’ve seen so far – it’s only Saturday – include In America, August Rush, and Taking Woodstock.

In America (2002)  is actually not new to me, but is one of my favorite movies.  Jim Sheridan directed and co-wrote the screenplay. An Irish family moves to NYC; it is a journey of loss and life.  It is semi-autobiographical.  The performances are perfect, the story is so beautiful and agonizing.  Just take a hammer and repeatedly hit the emotional quadrant of my heart. Special, special, special.  Did I say how special this film is?

August Rush (2007) presents a coincidence.  Ran into this while flipping channels.  It is a modern-day fairy tale, sort of, but it got me in the first few seconds and kept me right up to “The End”.  An orphaned musical prodigy, Oliver Twist  twist.  Of course, the music is fine; personal favorites:  “Raise It Up” and “Dueling Guitars“.  Then I found the director. Kirsten Sheridan.  She would be the daughter of Jim Sheridan (see above) and she co-wrote In America with her dad. No wonder I feel in love with this movie.  That family has some great film genes.  And this movie had me praying for the people inside the television from start to finish.  That is a good movie, in my humble opinion.

Taking Woodstock (2009) is a movie I so wanted to like. So didn’t.  Directed by Ang Lee, this groovy movie is based on memoir by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte. Have to agree with New York Post critic Stephen Holden; he said TW was a “….thumb-sucking bore”.  Fail.

In other film news, apparently someone who has access to publishing on the MSN.com page is wondering if Sex and the City 2 will become one of the top ten best sequel films.  Again, in my uneducated opinion, the first Sex in the City film was the epitome of horrid, lamer than a herd of dead horses. Double dumb beyond belief.  Yet said person is wondering if this slop will overtake sequels to The Godfather, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. to mention a few. REALLY? We are so screwed.  On the other hand, maybe not.  The real Amityville Horror house is for sale. I propose a fundraiser to buy that haunted shack, put anyone who had anything to do with SACT1,2 (director and cast, for sure) inside, and lock the door FOREVER! If you have the same feelings, please join me in this mission.

I am woman, I multitask.  So, while watching movies, of course I read.

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard (2009)  Beautifully written, so much so I have writer envy.  This book, about a Labor Day Weekend in the past, is all about forgiveness, love, and the human spirit.  Have found so many lines of this book quote-worthy.  But you’ll have to read it to find them for yourself.

Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty (2006) is so unsentimental and well-written.  The wisdom on these pages, regarding relationships, takes my breath away.  Am not finished.  When I do, it’s on to Lit by Mary Karr. While watching Amadeus (1984) again.

So much to do, so little time.

Later.