Leap Day

Standard

It’s funny. In addition to the whole four years we’ve had waiting for today, we’ve had two entire months of expectation. Leap Day. A free day. An extra day. The problem is that the amount of pressure of something like that is palpable. I must do something special today or it will have been wasted. Those of us in school or at work today don’t have that craziness going on in their heads. Many of us don’t have it at all.

This morning, I overslept, felt sick and went back to sleep, stayed in bed much longer than I wanted to, spent about half an hour driving around trying to find the perfect place to spend my extra day; my extra special day before I ended up in a usual haunt.

Do I want a free lunch? I could have one, but I don’t really want that place. And I don’t really want a salad. That was the free thing. I also don’t want a cheeseburger. Do I want somewhere I’ve never been before? Then my husband gets mad because he likes to try out new places together. There’s a Korean BBQ place that we both are looking forward to. Should I go to an old favorite? Fast food? Absolutely not. Starbucks? I love Starbucks, but, I don’t know, it didn’t feel right.

Continue reading

Daryl Dixon in The Next World (The Walking Dead Meta, 6.10)

Standard

(SPOILERS)

The Next World is one of the best showcases how much Daryl has both changed and not changed in six years. The way he looks at Denise and Eugene while they’re explaining what they need from him is priceless. He wants it written down for a reason. He doesn’t have the patience for the explanation. He also doesn’t  cut them off. He lets them talk, no matter how long it takes for them. He says okay to Denise and thanks to Eugene.

Continue reading

Let’s All Go to the Movies (*sung*)

Standard

(Note: Links fixed.)

The first movie that I can remember was Disney’s Snow White. I believe it was a double feature with a live-action movie of Blackbeard’s Ghost. It is also possible that I’m thinking of Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights for that second movie. They kind of blend together.

The last movie I saw with my family as a child was Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. 1977 was a big year for my family. Elvis died – my mom was a huge fan so this was news. Big news. We also moved to the suburbs. It seemed like we were all getting bigger and busier and we didn’t go out as a family except to eat after that.

So the first Star Wars movie was the beginning for fans, but the end of childhood for me in a way.

The first movie I went to alone, I think, was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I wanted to see the Harry Potter movies, but my husband wasn’t a fan. My son lost interest after about the third one, but it’s hard to say. Going by myself was a very self-conscious feeling. It gives off loser vibes which now I understand is the farthest thing from the truth. It’s kind of independent going by yourself, isn’t it?

My husband and son are making plans for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which comes out Easter weekend, the busiest weekend in the church. He wants us to see it as a family, and support the DC movie franchise. I think it’s too expensive, but we have until Monday to decide. That’s when the tickets go on sale.

The most recent movie I saw was two days ago with my husband. Deadpool. Yes, it’s a comic book character. No, it is not for children. It is way not for children. Even I blushed for a couple of scenes. I described it on Instagram as all the gratuitous, all the excellent. I’d say that was accurate.

Today, I am returning to the movie theatre. Alone. By myself. I am going to have popcorn for lunch. Because I am an adult, and we can do things like that. Triple 9 comes out today. Yes, I’m seeing it in the theatre to lend support to Norman Reedus, who is a current photography inspiration for me, and all around great guy I imagine. But the cast is excellent, like really great, and the story is something that, while I wouldn’t normally see on the big screen, I’d watch it over and over again on the little one.

I have a coupon to see a free movie on my birthday. I’m planning to see the next Harry Potter movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I will also see that one alone while the family is at work and school.

Enjoy your day. After the two or four errands I need to get done, I will be sitting quietly in the movie theatre enjoying mine.

Top of the Mountain

Standard

Sunday’s Gospel was Jesus on the mountain, well one of them. It’s the Transfiguration as witnessed by Peter, James, and John. They see it, and they’re not sure what they see. My priest called it a mountain top moment, in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. The Transfiguration is pivotal and bridges, through Jesus, the earthly life and the eternal life. Pope Saint John Paul II included the Transfiguration when he added the Luminous mysteries to the Rosary. At a recent day of reflection, Father P talked about those “born again moments” and that reminded me of Father J and his homily on Sunday about mountain top moments. We all have them in various parts of our lives and they all mean something different to each of us in those times.

In my mind during that homily, I was reminded  of a literal mountain top moment that I experienced. I was in college and had the opportunity to travel to the UK with my college roommate. She made all the plans and I followed her. I followed her to the point that I’ll follow you became a running catch phrase for the trip and the rest of our friendship including when I see her today nearly thirty years later. At some point she gave me the the itinerary with a few changes along the way, but I barely knew where we were going before we got there.

That level of trust and spontaneity sounds completely foreign to me, but at that time it was easier to just tag along. It was the trip of a lifetime and whatever happened, wherever we went would be amazing. I had no expectations and that let my mind stay open, probably for the first time in my life.

It was a wonderful trip: New Year’s in London, feeling the magic of Stonehenge, finding out that the buses don’t run on Sundays in Stow on the Wold, snow in the Highlands, but the most filled with wonder moment took place unexpectedly near the top of the Snowdon Mountain in North Wales.

Continue reading

50-3 – My Earliest Memory

Standard

Several of my early childhood memories come from photos; things I think I remember but can’t possibly. Or I remember the distorted memory combination  of vagueness, photograph, and someone else’s recollection.

One thing that I distinctly remember happening was when we were living in a Queens apartment. It was a somewhat dark apartment with table lamps and heavy drapes. We lived on the second floor and there was a big picture window across the living room. I think I was wearing a yellow dress and my hair wasn’t a bob – it was too messy to make a proper bob, but it was neck length and all over the place with those baby curls that nearly everyone has in toddlerhood.

We had no screens on the windows and they opened with those crank handles. There was a bird sitting on the windowsill, chirping, and I wanted him to come in to play or to visit or whatever toddlers think they want when nature is so close and yet so far.

I cranked open the window and in he flew.

This was great for about a second and a half until the bird realized that he was inside and I also realized that he was inside. He didn’t bounce off walls or shriek. He left that to me. I ran around our living room and then into our kitchen – it was a combination kitchen/dining area and stood on the table, yelling at. my mother to get rid of it.

It swooped and hovered and never once tried to leave.

My mother with all the grace of a cackling scarecrow chased it around the apartment with a broom until he flew right back out of the window.

My mother cranked the window shut and that was the end of my bird watching days.

She may have given me a glare as reprimand.

This might be one of the reasons that my family never had any pets.

Outdoors in the Winter? YES!

Standard

Unless we ski, snowshoe, or take winter hikes, we tend to hibernate through the season. We rush from our house to our car to work and back again bundled up, heat on high. We layer up and avoid the outside as best we can. However our feelings about the cold and snow, the outdoors are actually very healthy for us, even those of us who are not particularly outdoorsy.

With our windows closed keeping us sealed in and cooped up, we’re more susceptible to colds and lingering infections and just feeling yicky and not ourselves. One way to combat that stale air and the winter doldrums is to get outside every day. We don’t often think of that as a solution, but the fresh air is a real pick me up.

I know. It goes against every fiber of my being too. The cold. The snow. The wind. But fifteen minutes every day has a way of rejuvenating our systems.

For kids, it gets their energy focused in the snow instead of on your living room sofa.

Bring out the shovels and the Nerf guns.

By the time winter recess comes along, at least in the northeast, we’re about ready for a mid-winter thaw. The air is a little warmer – forties instead of twenties, the sun is bright.

Take a walk.

Have a snowball fight.

Run and jump.

Make snow angels.

And then when you come inside, have a steaming cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

It takes just a little time, a little effort, and no money. Not to mention that it will help to keep the family healthy and ready to go back to school at the end of recess.