I Wonder…Why Life Can't Be More Simple

Don’t you? And I have been wondering it more often lately. When I was a kid, life was the personification of simplicity: Sleep, school, play, eat occasionally, then sleep again. Though childhood is supposed to be simple so that may not be a fair comparison.

I sometimes try to look back to see when things became complicated and there doesn’t really seem to be a specific time that I can point to, in terms of the past. When I was first on my own things I don’t think were all that complicated I had only to work my job, pay my rent, eat, sleep, write, stay alive, basically. But then as we go on in life we start to pick up things. Obligations, debt, relationships and suddenly we are knee deep in all these things that eat up time and seem to add to the confusion and non-simplicity.

While these may be a common part of living life, I often wonder if they are necessary. We dont’ have to run up our credit cards and take on debt, but then things happen, emergencies, shoe sales at Nordstrom’s, dreams we want to fulfill that require schooling or training. We want a home of our own and so we sign onto mortgages, rental agreements, and ditto for cars, and of course family too. Accidents, illnesses, deaths, all these things add up to our sometimes having to take on the burden of others because, well hell it’s the right thing to do.

Then there are relationships – which are very funny animals when you think about them. I mean if you can for just a few minutes blow out the back of your head a few feet and really examine them, it is amazing what you can find. Some relationships are so very good for us, they nurture, they share, there is a wonderful balance of give and take and rarely any issues about who should have done what, rarely quarrels or disagreements, etc. – they just flow like the perfect natural rhythym of a lazy river on a summer day. Beautiful.

Then some are a bit iffy, those in my estimation tend to be family because with family you have this built in obligation/emotional connection – you are supposed to love your parents and your siblings and your children and so on but sometimes they make that very difficult and quite honestly you can’t really get rid of them. They are stuck to you with emotional and historical velcro, so you are forced to solve these relationships and juggle them on a regular basis. Unless you just want to change your name and work for the circus, they must be dealt with.

And then we start to get into the really potentially icky relationships – the co-dependent ones where they are not good for either person involved but are compulsive as though you are forced to play out a role decided upon by a exterior force and often over which you feel no control. These are tough and honestly, I’ve never found a good way to deal with them – generally I manage to tear myself away and try to just never go back. It doesn’t always work but it does most of the time. (For me.) This can be more complicated if they are co-workers or bosses or peers in some way as you are in constant contact with them. Boy, talkr about complicating things – they can really wreak havoc with your life. But they can be overcome, I think – sometimes too if you see your own co-dependency you can stand up to it and then it all kind of melts for lack of a better term. The compulsion just disappears and it’s like a release.

Then of course you start getting into the realm of stalkers and harrassers. These too can add to stress and are difficult to free yourself from. They start out innocently enough, of course you don’t know that that kind of potential is there until it’s screaming you in the face. What to do? Honestly, I’ve never really figured this one out. It can be terribly introverting because I have a tendency to ask myself why I made this happen to me. Why I hadn’t made better choices, hadn’t seen it coming. Which is unfair because I don’t have the power to see the future, nor does anyone else. And though these relationships often come in on a romantic line, they can also come in on a friend line. Have you ever had a friend who became utterly obsessed with you or a co-worker? Believe me, it’s plenty scary and it doesn’t matter if the person is really into liking you or hating you – it still feels like someone is trying to get inside your soul or something.

Jeez louise, what was my point here? I guess my point is this that for me of all the complications that can arise in my life and make my life not simple – relationships are the it for me. It’s because I like people. I like to know people, I like to get other people’s ideas about things, see and learn different viewpoints and leave myself open to that. For me, it is natural and is how I prefer to live my life. The only trick is, how do you keep it sane? How do you factor in those great relationships and factor out the icky ones? I’m not sure I know but I do think that if I could figure that out then my life would be so much more simple.

How about you guys? Same problem? Different?

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The Blessings and Traps of Motherhood – by cA Hughes

Hi, I am christine of All the Elbows and Annie asked me to do a guest post for her and I thought this would be an interesting topic:

I am not a fan of Britney Spears. The few times I’ve heard her “music” I felt like committing suicide on my ears. And generally speaking, I am not a fan of celebrity, its gossip and so on. But I can’t help knowing some of it. Cruising the internets is a guarantee to come across a headline or twenty. Also there are those who are into it that I talk to, who will share their knowledge of the famous with me. The place in my brain where something meaningful should probably be, like the square root of a large number, the birthday of someone important or the secret to life, is the news of Kevin Federline being awarded custody of the sons he fathered with “pop tart” Britney Spears. (My understanding of quantum physics should be where pop tart is, damn its!)

What I noticed right away when I saw the headline is that even though Spears has had the required and pandemic makeover and looks “good” again, several stories covering this court decision had an old or utterly unflattering image of her accompanying the article. I was struck by this tactic and it got me thinking about Mothers, Motherhood, Womanhood and how women, though moving forward outwardly and economically and sexually, are still held to the archaic standard of what women should be as Mothers in the eyes of our society.

The fact that a Mother loses or relinquishes custody of her kids is, apparently, unforgivable, a mystery . As a Mother, a Woman is expected to provide, or oversee, the primary care of children in the home, and anything other than that is perplexing, disdainful, bringing harsh judgement and outrage. Even I question such a Mother- How could she? What kind of woman doesn’t want her kids?

Fathers do it all the time. Fathers can still be good Men and good Fathers even if they only have limited custody of their children, weekend visits and holidays.

Look at the following image:

Britney Spears looks, well, not her best. A little sloppy for a Woman trying to get custody of her sons. Now I’m sure this is not how she looked on the day the case was settled, she has been made-over, I wouldn’t know for sure, but I think that such trickery does damage to our ideas of Women as Mothers and reinforces the idea that Mothers as secondary or peripheral caregivers are ugly, sloppy, unworthy.

See how Kevin Federline, who was given primary custody, is shown as dapper, in a suit…

I am a mother. I love my children very much and I enjoy being their mom, but there is no other job/position/calling under such strict scrutiny while also being gravely undervalued as a most important role in our society. For those who chose and are able to remain home with children, it is a blessing to a family, the children and eventually our society. Yet, for these same Women, there is the idea of being uninteresting as individuals, people. It seems that on some deep level, they are regarded as Mothers instead of individuals- like these two concepts are mutually exclusive. Because Mothers are supposed to be completely fulfilled as people by mothering rather than mothering being part of what fulfills them. Suddenly, they are defined solely by their care of the children/family rather than their wit, humor, intelligence outside of how these are applied to their Mothering.

Fathers also play an integral role in the raising of well-adjusted children, but somehow are given more slack in how involved they are in the time, emotion and energy spent in the process.

My question is why? Why are Mothers held to this rigid standard? Why are they judged much more harshly for being the visiting parent when custody situations like this occur? Are stay-at-home Dads held to this same standard? (I think they get it worse. It’s almost automatic to assume that the Man is “lazy” because only a lazy man’d want to stay at home and do nothing all day like us Women…) What do you think?

(thanks, christine – I loved this and think my readers will too.)

Accident Waiting to Happen?

 

Have you ever known someone who is an accident waiting to happen? My dad  used to say that about my younger sister – albeit affectionately and really joking. But seriously, what about the person, friend, family member, boss, co-worker or neighbor who is always surrounded by controversey, trouble, woes, betrayals and sadness? What’s their story?

I used to think that most people I encountered like this were just drama queens. You know, they craved attention and did much to generate all the noise and sputter themselves? Of course, I’d just dismiss them as a bother. And sometimes it’s true – some people really are drama queens.

Then there are the others. People who are good and kind – who care about others and perhaps even dedicate themselves to helping others – yet, they can’t catch a break. What about them? What karma, pay-back or ugly twist of fate is at play there?

Is it just the luck of the draw? Fate? Reincarnational going around and coming around? Or is it something more sinister and palpable?

Is it someone back there in the shadows pulling the strings like an evil puppet master? Some apparent, well-meaning friend or family member doing things ‘for their own good’ or to ‘help them’?

I think you have to wonder about these things.

For example, I have thought about the Columbine killers (recent events brought it to mind). They were just kids. Certainly it’s possible that they were just born evil – I believe some people are, but were they? Or were they just eaten at day in and day out by a ‘friend’ or relative who claimed to have their best interest at heart. I’m not talking about the bullying excuse. We all get bullied. We all get teased. We all had miserable existences through high school and adolescense. And at least in those cases, we have the potential to fight back. We can employ others to help us, we may not, but we have the potential.

I’m talking about the kind of person in our lives that we can’t fight back against. The one who holds some sway over our lives and maybe even our existence. The ones who make you feel trapped and about whom you can do little or nothing, save moving to the opposite end of the world to escape their reach. Did these boys have such a person in their lives? Why were such young children on chemical re-arranging drugs? I remember my teen years and though, like most of us, I was pretty miserable, there wasn’t anything for which I needed to take mood controlling drugs. (And please, I’m not talking about mental disease here, I’m not discussing clinical depression or situations of that nature). You have to wonder – why were these children drugged and why are so many children drugged today?

Is it really an emotional issue or are they being oppressed by the very people who claim to love and protect them? You have to wonder if these kids or any other person so distraught actually got away from their oppressors if they wouldn’t return to their normal selves. Don’t you?

I’ve had some people in my life who have driven me nuts. Some were just annoying but others weren’t so easy to shrug off or get rid of either. Some were a fixed part of my life and I turned into a different person around them. I became a whimpering, whiney, frightened victim in their presence. One friend in particular made my life miserable for years. I just couldn’t figure out what I’d done to offend her so much. Why I displeased her so much. And found myself in a constant state of trying to make up whatever damage I had done. Have you ever tried to make up for something you didn’t know you did? Ever tried to make right a wrong you never committed? It’s hell and I don’t recommend it.

During the time I was friends with this person, I had three car accidents, stopped writing, was in a perpetual state of tears and was convinced I was just bad to the bone.

I don’t’ remember what the final straw was, only that there was one. That one day I realized that this person  had her own agenda and I had nothing to do with whatever demons she was battling. I was simply an actor in her play. After that, it was easy to walk away. It was easy to let go of the baggage that wasn’t mine. It was easy to be me again. But it was years in the making. Years that were wasted on needless suffering and confusion.

So, if you’re feeling like me – and can’t figure out what’s so bad about you, maybe you too have a friend like her. Or a boss, or teacher or co-worker. My advice: walk away. As fast and as soon as  you can. You’ll find that you really are still there.

WC

An Answer For Everything…

 

When I was a kid, my mom used to say I always had an answer for everything, which was code for ‘you’re such a smart aleck’ but I enjoyed nonetheless.

Well, this isn’t really a post about that though.

Debi of Ms Crankypants has posed three questions for me to answer -an off-shoot of the whole Alabaster Crippens meme – and I decided to answer them here.

So here goes:

1) What event from your childhood or teen years still has a lasting effect on you to this day?

This is a tough one because it is quite personal. But what the heck… When I was about 12, I was very excited because I had managed to save a good deal of money for Christmas gifts. I really wanted to buy something special for my mother. So, I really budgeted the money for the other gifts on my list so I’d have enough left over to buy her a real gold cross on a chain. She had mentioned many times how she had wanted one and I was thrilled that I was going to be able to give her one. I bought the cross, tiny though it was and on a very delicate chain, it was still 14k gold and I couldn’t wait for Christmas day to arrive.

After weeks of agonizing waiting Christmas day arrived and I gave her the gift. Beside myself with anticipation. When she opened it, she cried and I was elated that she was so touched. But then she said, ‘It’s so small. Is that all you think of me, to give me something so small?’ (or words to that effect). I was crushed of course and disappointed. And I think I tried to explain to her but honestly, it’s a bit of a blur what was said after that point.

At the time, I thought she was being mean. Or maybe that she just didn’t love me very much or less than my brothers and sister. And I vowed I would never buy her anything that would ever enter the area of ‘special’ again because I couldn’t bear that kind of reaction from her again.

But in retrospect, I don’t think she was being mean. I think that she had many insecurities and self doubts. And that for some reason that necklace reinforced those insecurities and doubts. That in her mind, it validated her fear that she didn’t matter. And to me, that is even sadder that my mother wouldn’t know how much I was trying to please her and make her happy.

It has always affected my relationship with her and I’ve always felt tenuous with her and worry whenever I have to buy her a gift or send her a card. I try to pretend that it doesn’t matter but it does. She has a birthday coming up and I spent days trying to find something to send her that I thought she would like. I settled on something but I have little hope she’ll like it. I know she’ll say she does but…

Anyway, that’s the answer to that one.

2) What is the purpose of imagination and where does it come from?

I believe the purpose of imagination is to bring about the future. Without imagination, we would not have any of our modern technology, music, art, literature – artists are the dreamers of our society and they through their art dream and bring into reality products of their imaginations.

3) What book would YOU want to have written, and why?

Without question I would have wanted to write Atlas Shrugged. There are several reasons why. I strongly identified with Dagny Taggert, a true individual who did not care what others thought of her and was guided by her own conscience and values, despite incredible influences to act otherwise. She would not compromise her beliefs or ideals. Also, I believe it is one of the most important books ever written because it makes the case that we are each responsible and accountable for our actions or inactions and that no one is owed a living, wherewithall, possessions, or status that is not earned. To me, a definitive text of the 20th century and modern society. And probably most importantly, because it was an elegant and flawlessly written story that continued until it was truly over. Rather than ending on a specified page count.

Well Debi, there you have it. That was interesting… 😉
WC

What Would the World Be Like Without You?

 

As I’ve said probably too many times – I love the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Because I love the premise – What would the world be like without you? To me, that is a fascinating concept.

I mean, think about it – how many lives do you touch during the course of your life? How many times have you intervened without giving it a second thought – and possibly saved someone’s life? Stopped someone from doing another harm. Made someone laugh and change their mind about taking some dark course. Encouraged someone so much that they went on to succeed at something they might not have ever tried?

Like the lady I saw looking at peanut butter at the grocery store. I didn’t know her, I’d never seen her before in my life. Yet, I was compelled to say ‘make sure that isn’t one of those brands they found with semonila  (sp) in it.’ Now why did I say that? Was there some perception on my part that the food would hurt  her? Did I instinctively know she shouldn’t eat the dang peanut butter? As it turned out, she didn’t buy it and thanked me for saying that.

Or the kid I chased down the street to give a sandwich to because I knew he was living on the street and was hungry. Maybe he didn’t try to steal money from an old lady later that day because he didn’t need to. I don’t know and I’m not trying to make myself out as some sort of hero – not at all. I’m just an average person who tries to live as a decent human being, despite my rants and the things that aggravate me. I try to help people. To encourage people. It’s so much easier to give love than to withhold it. To help than to harm.

I don’t know what the world would be like if I weren’t in it. I don’t know if anyone would notice that something was missing. Maybe so. Maybe not. But I wish I could be like George Bailey and get a 24 hour period where I could see my life without me in it. I suspect it would make me much more grateful than I am, for all the many things in my life that I take for granted. And perhaps there’d be a few surprises that would make me feel differently about me.

I guess my point is that we all (too often) feel small and powerless in the world. And maybe even feel as though our efforts don’t matter in the greater scheme of things. But I think they do. I think that the aggregate of our small acts of kindness, love, help and awareness are part of the greater scheme of things. And without them, the world is a smaller place. We are all special and important in some way, to those we know, those we encounter and even those we don’t know.

So, what about it? What do you think the world would be like without you? I really want to know.

WC

Is Blogging Meant to be Therapy?

 

You know I haven’t been at this blogging stuff for very long – a few months – though it seems more like years. Or really it seems like something I’ve always done. Perhaps it is, in a way, as a writer I’ve always had these sort of running dialogues ripping through my mind and occasionally they ended up on paper or computer screen.

They are often seem endless. Non-stop, going at the speed of light thoughts that are questions, ponderings, annoyances, wonder, shock, stupor…you name it – it’s in there. Then suddenly…nothing. Yep, it all stops and I feel a kind of statis. As though my mind simply went on vacation and really I’ve said or thought every thing there is to say or think and well stick a fork in me cuz I’m done.

Still, even when I’m in that empty-headed state I still feel the urge to express thoughts, ideas, points of view. Is it arrogance on my part? That I believe that my thoughts are so important that I must commit them to paper and publish them on the Internet, or (so the dream goes) in books and magazines, newspapers? I mean, really, what is so special about me that I  have the irrepressible(sp) urge to force my views on others? Am I forcing or am I simply looking for a meeting of the minds across the great spatial divide of cyberspace? Am I looking for understanding, agreement or just a safe, warm place to rest my weary head? Could be all of the above or none of the above.

Are bloggers really just writers who have turned to technology to get their message out? Or are we all just a bunch of losers who need to air our problems, concerns, insecurities and little life tragedies just to feel okay about ourselves?

 I wonder, I really do wonder about this stuff. Particularly on days when I don’t feel especially funny or witty. See, in case you missed it that is my thing. Don’t know why but really I live to make people laugh. I would go through just about anything to put somebody in hysterics. Do you think that is a sterling quality or a character flaw? I don’t know. Do you?

During my short adventure as a blogger I have read and visited many blogs. Many more than I ever would have thought I could or would want to. Initially I think it was curiosity. Like, gee there are bagillions of blogs out there and there must be something to this stuff, you know? I mean jeez everybody seems to be doing it – maybe if I read enough of them, I’ll know why.

But despite my research and reading and following and discovering of the many blogs I’ve found and stumbled upon, I still am no closer to answering that curiosity than I was the day I started.

When it comes to blogging it seems there is something for everyone – knitters, political junkies, writers, poets, dancers, artists, musicians, geniuses and idiots alike. But in the greater scheme of things does it really contribute to the oneness of the allness of the human community? Or are we all just trying to vent enough to get through the day without committing murder and mayhem? Trying to get by the things in our lives that disappoint and baffle?

I know in my case sometimes the only thing I had to look forward to was blogging later in the day. Or at least responding to comments from readers. That little burst of joy I felt whenever I saw I had a comment on something I’d written. But why? Do I need that validation from readers? Is it important? Is it silly?

If I pulled the plug tomorrow on my blogs would it matter? I mean truly – would it change a thing other than for me? LOL – I’m just totally lost on this topic. Cuz I really don’t know.

And  honestly, I don’t have a big bang up ending for this entry – so I guess I’ll just leave you guys with the questions for now. Hopefully somebody has some insight or at least a couple of funny come-backs.

Later kids.

WC

What Do Movies Meme?

 

Using AFI’s list of 100 Top Movies, bold the ones you’ve seen, ital ones you’d like to see and add up to three that you think should be on the list.

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941) Brilliant mostly for its cinematic features, the story itself is over-rated in my opinion.
2. CASABLANCA (1942) A real classic – love it still.
3. THE GODFATHER (1972) To me, the epitome of gangster movies which meant for me I no longer had to see any more ganster movies which generally are boring as hell.


4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) a movie I was satisfied to see once.
5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) a movie that was almost as hard to watch as Reds.
6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) still afraid of those flying monkeys.
7. THE GRADUATE (1967)
8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) The speech with Brando and Malden in the cab is the best part.
9. SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993) Truly touched me.
10. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952) Who doesn’t love this one?
11. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) always gets to me.
12. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
13. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) I never really ‘got’ this movie. What was the big deal?
14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) Nothing funnier than Curtis and Lemon in drag.
15. STAR WARS (1977) Once was more than enough to see any of these movies.
16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) If  you haven’t seen this, you must the dialogue alone is worth watching it.
17. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)
18. PSYCHO (1960)


19. CHINATOWN (1974) The sequel The Two Jakes is decent too.
20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)
21. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
yawn!
22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) yawn!
23. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
24. RAGING BULL (1980)
25. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
27. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
28. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
29. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) Classic
30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
31. ANNIE HALL (1977)
32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)
33. HIGH NOON (1952)
34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) I dare you to watch this movie and not feel changed by it.
35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969) Very sad and tragic I thought.
37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
38. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) True Film Noir.


39. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
40. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) I was fascinated by the shine in Eva Marie Saint’s hair in this one. How did they do it?
41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961) Urban Romeo and Juliet which has never been improved upon.
42. REAR WINDOW (1954)
43. KING KONG (1933)
44. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)
45. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)  Blanche Dubois is one of the most unique characters ever written in my opinion.
46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) Ugh, hated this
47. TAXI DRIVER (1976)
48. JAWS (1975) One of the best scary movies ever.
49. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
50. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)
52. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
53. AMADEUS (1984)
54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
56. M*A*S*H (1970)
57. THE THIRD MAN (1949)
58. FANTASIA (1940)
59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
60. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
61. VERTIGO (1958)
62. TOOTSIE (1982)
63. STAGECOACH (1939)
64. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) The mashed potato scene is my favorite.
65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) Chianti and fava beans, yummy.
66. NETWORK (1976)
67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) This version was superior to the recent remake.
68. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
69. SHANE (1953)
70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
71. FORREST GUMP (1994)
72. BEN-HUR (1959)
73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)
75. DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) I only remember how I longed for this movie to be over.
76. CITY LIGHTS (1931)
77. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
78. ROCKY (1976) Despite all the terrible sequels the original was one of the best movies every made.
79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)
81. MODERN TIMES (1936)
82. GIANT (1956)
83.
PLATOON (1986)
84. FARGO (1996)
85. DUCK SOUP (1933)
86. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
87.
FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
88. EASY RIDER (1969)
89. PATTON (1970)
90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)
91. MY FAIR LADY (1964)
92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951)
93. THE APARTMENT (1960)
94. GOODFELLAS (1990)
95. PULP FICTION (1994) totally over-rated and stupid.
96. THE SEARCHERS (1956)
97. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
98. UNFORGIVEN (1992) Not bad, but did it really deserve all those oscars?
99. GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) It was a hoot to see Cagny dancing and singing after all those ganster movies.

I have seen 78 out of 100 – wow, even I’m surprised. The three I would add to the list are:

101. THE CAINE MUTINY
102. BODY HEAT 
103. WHITE CHRISTMAS

The three I’d remove from the list are:

1. Lawrence of Arabia
2. The Godfather Part II
3. Grapes of Wrath

What are your picks?
WC

Movies, All About

 

I love, love, love movies. And I love these dumb little tests. Feel free to throw up your own answers.

1. A movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
Rear Window – A Hitchcock Classic.

2. A movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.
Annie Hall – for some reason I had to see the movie about 5 times before I felt satisfied. Also Harold and Maude.

3. What actor(s) make you more inclined to see a movie.
Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Edward Norton, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Sara Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, Matt Damon

4. What actor(s) make you less likely to see a movie.
Russel Crowe, Brad Pitt, Mark Ruffolo, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Madonna, Jennifer Aniston,

5. A movie that you can and do quote from.
Casablanca, All About Eve, Rainman, the Maltese Falcon, Life of Brian, Young Frankenstein.

6. A movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
My Fair Lady, Singing in the Rain, Westside Story -not much into musicals

7. A movie that you have been known to sing along with.
My Fair Lady

8. A movie that you would recommend everyone see.
Walk the Line, It’s a Wonderful Life, All About Eve, Conspiracy Theory, The Day the Earth Stood Still

9. A movie that you own.
Following. Now there is  a strange flick.

10. An actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Cher

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
Sure. I don’t really remember, it was when I was a little kid.

12. Ever made out in a movie?
Of course.

13. A movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.
Taxi Driver

14. Ever walked out of a movie?
Yeah – The Shining – terrible!

15. A movie that made you cry in the theater.
Terms of Endearment and you mean, sob, don’t you?

16. Popcorn?
Extra butter and salt with large diet coke on the side.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?
Not much these days – most of the films seem more like rentals and go to dvd so quickly that it seems silly to pay the $10 or $12 bucks. A few times a year

18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
Premonition – with Sandra Bullock, which I really, really liked.

19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
Murder mystery.

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
Sinbad and the Seven Seas or something like that.

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
The Exorcist. I couldn’t turn the lights off for weeks. 2nd place goes to A Clockwork Orange, made me sick to my stomach.

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
Memento – tres strange, but oh so cool.

23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?
Exorcist – can’t seem to think of any other that has freaked me as much.

24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 2nd place goes to Groundhog Day. 3rd place goes to The Fabulous Baker Boys.

25. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of eternity, what would it be?
Definitely would be either a Hitchcock movie or a Frank Capra. Rear Window, Vertigo or It’s a Wonderful Life. Not sure.

Tell me about your likes and dislikes.
WC

Boomer Truths

 

I am one of the annointed ones. You may know my demographic as baby boomer. Yep, I’m a boomer. When you say it like that it sounds kind of like a skateboard champion or something, doesn’t it? Or something equally arrogant?

I have to tell you I am sick of us. I am sick of the boomers. I sick of the generation who thinks it rules the universe from now until eternity. The mantra of never getting old, never passing the torch is pretty irritating.

I remember when I was a kid I was barely in the demograhic, just managed to squeak in there. By the time I was a teen, I was pert near in the middle of the range, now I imagine I’m somewhere in the subgenre of silver or maybe bronze baby boomers since the ‘goldens’ are about to retire and single-handedly destroy social security by sucking it dry. (Funny, I thought Congress had done that 20 years ago. They must be boomers too. )

It’s like the generation that will not die. The generation of generations. The one time in human history that super humans were born. I mean think about it. Look what us boomers have actually contributed to society. The Anti-War Industry; Global Warming/Cooling industry; Catalytic Converters; Economy Cars; An entire economy for Japan and subsequently all Asian nations; Anti-Smoking laws; Anti-Honesty (political correctness); Illiteracy among high school graduates; Institutional Anarchy; Mind Control drugs (psychotropics which alter the chemistry in the brain, all in the name of controlling mental illnesses which by and large are invented); the U.N. (which is supposed to stand for United Nations but really stands for Unbelievable Ninkompoops); they helped us lose a war we actually won (Vietnam) and therefore sentenced millions of people to the killing fields(don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up); they killed class and sense; were able to turn a white trash president into the first black president; botox; plastic surgery; liposuction; cloning; stem cell research; abortion on demand and many other things. Feeling proud? I know I sure am.

To be fair there have been other contributions which were good – and I don’t think all baby boomers are bad – but the bad ones are so bad, so arrogant I want to scream and the good ones no one seems to listen to. But the thing that is so funny to me and maybe is a secret that I’m not supposed to tell is this: Their real thing and what really motivates them is that they don’t want to get old. They will do and say anything rather than get old. Their whole lives revolve around looking and acting young. Ponce de Leon has nothing on these folks – cuz they are never, never, never, never, ever going to get old.

They will build hearing aids into their Ipods, sew Depends into their designer capris, wear their hair extensions to their caskets; laser out their wrinkles; dye what hair they have left; liposuction their fat bellies and asses and drive Corvettes forever. Just so you don’t know how old they really are.

Me? Personally I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to look good or feel good, or have healthy habits – but I am getting older. So what? That is a mantle passed from generation to generation, it is a medal from life that is earned. The joy of getting older is that you find you don’t have nearly as much to prove as you once thought; you have experience; you gain wisdom and can determine really what is important. I find it very freeing and delightful. I wear my wrinkles proudly and the sun damage and the silver (ultra blonde) hairs and all the rest. Maybe if a lot of my fellow boomers would relax and accept who they really are, the world wouldn’t be such a bizarre place. Or maybe it would. Hard to say.

WC

Wrong on Climate Change?

(Here is a compelling article published in the Times Online, that challenges, conventional wisdom on the issue. WC)

February 11, 2007

An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change

Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, says the orthodoxy must be challenged

When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.

The small print explains “very likely” as meaning that the experts who made the judgment felt 90% sure about it. Older readers may recall a press conference at Harwell in 1958 when Sir John Cockcroft, Britain’s top nuclear physicist, said he was 90% certain that his lads had achieved controlled nuclear fusion. It turned out that he was wrong. More positively, a 10% uncertainty in any theory is a wide open breach for any latterday Galileo or Einstein to storm through with a better idea. That is how science really works.

Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis, which redefined the subject as the study of the effect of greenhouse gases. As a result, the rebellious spirits essential for innovative and trustworthy science are greeted with impediments to their research careers. And while the media usually find mavericks at least entertaining, in this case they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.

Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.

So one awkward question you can ask, when you’re forking out those extra taxes for climate change, is “Why is east Antarctica getting colder?” It makes no sense at all if carbon dioxide is driving global warming. While you’re at it, you might inquire whether Gordon Brown will give you a refund if it’s confirmed that global warming has stopped. The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.

That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.

Climate history and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis. The 20th-century episode, or Modern Warming, was just the latest in a long string of similar events produced by a hyperactive sun, of which the last was the Medieval Warming.

The Chinese population doubled then, while in Europe the Vikings and cathedral-builders prospered. Fascinating relics of earlier episodes come from the Swiss Alps, with the rediscovery in 2003 of a long-forgotten pass used intermittently whenever the world was warm.

What does the Intergovernmental Panel do with such emphatic evidence for an alternation of warm and cold periods, linked to solar activity and going on long before human industry was a possible factor? Less than nothing. The 2007 Summary for Policymakers boasts of cutting in half a very small contribution by the sun to climate change conceded in a 2001 report.

Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate. The sun’s brightness may change too little to account for the big swings in the climate. But more than 10 years have passed since Henrik Svensmark in Copenhagen first pointed out a much more powerful mechanism.

He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.

The only trouble with Svensmark’s idea — apart from its being politically incorrect — was that meteorologists denied that cosmic rays could be involved in cloud formation. After long delays in scraping together the funds for an experiment, Svensmark and his small team at the Danish National Space Center hit the jackpot in the summer of 2005.

In a box of air in the basement, they were able to show that electrons set free by cosmic rays coming through the ceiling stitched together droplets of sulphuric acid and water. These are the building blocks for cloud condensation. But journal after journal declined to publish their report; the discovery finally appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society late last year.

Thanks to having written The Manic Sun, a book about Svensmark’s initial discovery published in 1997, I have been privileged to be on the inside track for reporting his struggles and successes since then. The outcome is a second book, The Chilling Stars, co-authored by the two of us and published next week by Icon books. We are not exaggerating, we believe, when we subtitle it “A new theory of climate change”.

Where does all that leave the impact of greenhouse gases? Their effects are likely to be a good deal less than advertised, but nobody can really say until the implications of the new theory of climate change are more fully worked out.

The reappraisal starts with Antarctica, where those contradictory temperature trends are directly predicted by Svensmark’s scenario, because the snow there is whiter than the cloud-tops. Meanwhile humility in face of Nature’s marvels seems more appropriate than arrogant assertions that we can forecast and even control a climate ruled by the sun and the stars.