random stuff · The Monkees

I have no idea what this post is about.

Don’t expect a topic tonight. I spent an hour today cleaning my room, and swept out whatever ideas I had, along with the amazing amount of stuff there was on my floor. I say amazing, since I’m really the only person who’s ever in here, and I seldom go outside, so where the hell is all this bark dust coming from, and I no longer have a pet, so the cat hair really confuses me. The toast crumbs, scattered push pins and those little spongy things that go on the end of headphones–those I claim responsibility for. Oh, and the water bottle cap, that was mine, too.

Anyway. I’ve been watching a bit of telly online this week, since I don’t have a cable hookup in my little room. I’ve always watched stuff online, but channel surfing on the web is an odd experience. Long ago I discovered the joys of YouTube: lots of old shows are posted there, in full-length, as well as clips, and if you look, you can find almost anything. Last week I watched nearly every episode of The Monkees. Again. Back in the 80’s when they were running them on VH1, my sister, and nieces watched all of them, even set the VCR to record them! (I still have those tapes, somewhere…) And when the band toured, sans Mike Nesmith, to capitalize on this new success, we went to see them in concert, in Provo, Utah. It was a good show, too, although it would have been better with all four Monkees; without Mike, it was missing something.

So yes, I watched these shows again, and they made me smile, again. I once again realized that most of my brain is taken up with totally useless stuff: not only do I still know every word to the Monkees songs, recorded before I was born, but I still know the words to most of these tv shows, made & aired before I was born! Here’s a clip from one of my favorite episodes, ‘The Fairy Tale,’ featuring Peter Tork as the hero searching in the forest, and Mickey Dolenez, in this scene, as Goldilocks.

Charlie Brown · Christmas · Dance · friends · Holidays · home · Music · single

Call Me Grinchy

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and I’m already sick of the holiday season. There was a time I liked Christmas music, as well as the Christmas season. Many things have ruined that for me, primarily the over-commerciallization of what should be a happy time. The commercials began before Halloween, and I am not as fast with the mute button on the remote as I’d like to be, so I keep hearing the carols over and over. I now throughly detest ‘Carol of the Bells.’ If I am ever captured by terrorists, all they’d have to do is threaten to play that song over and over again, and I’d break.

Of course, being a single woman at the holidays is never any fun. Everything is aimed at families, or couples, or children. The only ads aimed at singles are those for couples, telling us that every kiss begins with k. (Duh.)

I am a woman in the middle of her life, no children, no job, poor-to-middling health, and at this point no pets. I don’t have a home of my own to decorate, family meals to host or prepare, parties to attend, or even many people to send cards to.

Wow. That sounds more pathetic than I intended it to, and much more pathetic than my life actually is. Sure, things aren’t all roses and lollipops these days, but frankly, I’m not all that fond of roses or lollipops! I like tulips and lemondrops!  I started this post to whine a bit about how annoyed I am about how commercial the holidays have become, and I lost my train of thought.

I’m going to go now, and watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ It’s still the only holiday television show that reflects the true meaning of the season. Plus, the music is awesome. And I love the way they all dance.

charlie_brown_christmas_2010_a_l

books · happy · Internet · Music

Movies That Move Me

As I travel around the world on the internet, reading various blogs every day as I do, I often think “hey! That is a great idea for a post! I should do that!” Then I forget about it, and go on with my life…
Not this time. After reading several terrific list-based posts yesterday, I decided that the time had come to follow through. Heaven knows I love to make lists, and can blather on about why something is amazing, or sucky, with the best of them!

These are few movies that, no matter how often I see them, touch some part of me, move me, or just make me think.
In no particular order:

Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol.
“Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie’s narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions.” (Summary from IMDb.com)
Yes, I fell in love with the novel by William Styron, first. But Sophie will forever be Meryl Streep for me. She is simply luminous in this film. Her beauty is so pure in such a complicated tragedy, that it is nearly impossible to take my eyes from her face. Each time I see the film, my heart breaks again. For Sophie, for Nathan, but mostly for Stingo, who we know will triumph, but will never be the same. The blend of poetry, music, tragedy friendship and love keep me coming back over and over.

The Color Purple (1985)

Another favorite book, Alice Walker’s ‘The Color Purple’ was translated stunningly by Steven Spielberg. The story remains as powerful and moving as it should be (often a failing in book-to-film ventures), and is also visually perfect. Simply seeing the beauty of this on the big screen shows how Spielberg understood the title line, shown in this clip:

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

This film–and book too–helped me see that all kinds of women are beautiful, powerful, and strong. Watching Celie learn to own her smile, to grin without hiding, makes me believe in myself. And when I am feeling down, I sing this song in my head, and feel better.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Yes, another book-to-film has made my list. Big surprise.
Based on a short novel by Stephen King, this movie has everything to get me crying. Even though I know what will happen, I still cheer at the end. My favorite scene (likely everyone’s) is this one:

Locking himself in the Warden’s office, Andy plays Mozart over the prison sound system, just because it is so beautiful. He earns himself a stretch in solitary, but it sure seems worth it.

“For the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.”

Doesn’t get much better than that.

The Fisher King (1991)

This movie breaks my heart, makes me laugh, cry, sing, and leaves me wanting more every single time. Probably my favorite of all Robin Williams’ work, his complex portrayal of a man so broken by grief that he vanishes into a fantasy land of medieval knights and chivalry is stunning, and at times comic. The blend of fantasy and reality in this movie just takes my breath away.

For example, Grand Central Station, is suddenly a ballroom:

Directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame, this movie should be seen by everyone, as far as I am concerned. You won’t be disappointed. Bring a hankie, though!

Next time, my rock-star boyfriends…