dreaminghope: (Christmas)
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"


How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a typical secular Christmas story where in the end, someone (or everyone) learns the true meaning of Christmas: Christmas isn't about the gifts and the decorations and the food, but about being with loved ones and family. It is all about appreciating those we care about and spending time together.

Wait a minute! Shouldn't we be doing that all the time? Shouldn't we always make an effort to spend time with our families and show how much we care about our friends? What separates Christmas from what we should be doing everyday?

Gifts. Special food. Decorations. Seasonal parties.

It shouldn't be about the amount of money spent and who gives the most extragavent present. Homemade gifts, simple gifts, meals shared... these are valuable expressions of Christmas spirit. This doesn't have to be about commerce. It is the thought that counts. But at Christmas time, the thought that counts comes wrapped in festive paper or served on a snowman plate.

Sometimes we need an excuse to show each other we care, or a reminder to remember what's really important. And the important thing is the people and the home and the community.

But our reminder is still a celebration that comes with ribbons and tags; packages, boxes and bags. Oh, and rare roast beast.

Crying

Nov. 28th, 2005 09:40 pm
dreaminghope: (Zoey)
I came home from seeing Rent one evening late last week and I gave Russ a quick review of what I thought of the movie. I ended my micro-review with: "Bring tissues. I cried." Russ gave me a funny look and said: "Of course you cried. You are leaky that way."

Huh. I don't have that image of myself in my head. When I was a kid, and right through my teen years, I didn't cry in movies.

When I look back, it seems funny that I didn't cry in movies. My overactive imagination meant that even slightly scary stories made me react. When scary things would start happening, I would close my eyes and plug my ears, or stare at the floor and try to think about something else, or hold my candy or drink up close to my face to block the screen (that's the technique I used during the scary moments of Pinocchio; I saw a showing in a movie theatre when I was really little - it was the first movie I saw in the theatre - and I vividly remember having a red lollipop that I held up to block the screen). But I never cried in a movie. Not even during Bambi.

I remember the first movie I cried during. It was What Dreams May Come, in 1998. I saw it in the theatre twice, and both times I started crying about 15 minutes in and didn't stop until the closing credits. It was a sudden change from my previous stoic movie watching to almost sobbing in a theatre surrounded by strangers.

I wish I could claim that Russ' vivid memory of watching me sob through that one film (twice) was the cause of my reputation as one who cries in movies. I am vaguely embarrassed to admit that I cry in movies a lot more now. All the time, in fact. I cried during The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Big Fish and A Series of Unfortunate Events. My eyes welled up during Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire and Finding Nemo. And I started crying before the sad part really started in Rent, because I knew it was coming.

I wish it was just a movie theatre thing. If it was, I could claim that I just got caught up in the dark room full of other people feeling sad, who are maybe crying too. No such luck: I cried watching A Walk to Remember on TV yesterday afternoon, in my well-lit livingroom, while knitting at the same time. For that matter, I get teary during certain commercials. I can't watch the Ronald MacDonald House commercial, about the man whose wife and son are both in the hospital; it makes me cry.

I bet Bambie would make me cry now too.
dreaminghope: (Clueless - Get Fuzzy)
I was writing another post, but I have had to interrupt myself to comment on something. I was watching the start of Chicago on TV again. I saw it on an American station a couple of weeks ago. This time it was on CBC.

On the American station, they were so paranoid careful with the language that they edited "you've been screwing the milkman" to "you've been seeing the milkman". It isn't a swear word, but, you know, having all those half-naked women in lingerie dancing in sexualized ways isn't as suggestive as the word "screwing".

On CBC, on the other hand, they left the word "shit", so they probably left "screwing". I didn't get far enough through to find out; I turned it off in frustration. They cut to commercial 30 seconds into "Cell Block Tango". I wonder who made the plan to cut the movie in the middle of a song and how stupid they feel when they see the results.

I think I'll just rent Chicago next time I want to watch it.
dreaminghope: (Playing Zoey)
Better late then never - some notes on my fandom weekend:

Friday night: As previously mentioned, we went all the way out to Langley to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in IMAX. We got to the theatre at about 5 PM to buy tickets for the 7 PM show, and basically went straight into the line. As a result, we got good seats, and all five of us could sit together.

Saturday: Russ was so sweet to drive me to the store to buy the new Harry Potter book. I read it in between box packing.

Sunday morning: Got up early to finish the Harry Potter book. I'm not going to say much about it because I know a lot of people haven't been able to read it yet, but I would recommend that you count on reading the last 60 or so pages all at once without interruptions.

Sunday afternoon: The Buffy sing-a-long at the movie theatre. It was so cool to see Hush and the musical with that many Buffy fans, on the big screen.

I did manage to cram a bunch of packing and sorting in too, but the weekend was definitely dominated by my favourite media and pop (geek?) culture preoccupations!
dreaminghope: (Sleeping Zoey)
I will always have a special place in my heart for the original movie, which I must have seen at least a dozen times. It's one of the only movies from my childhood that I love for itself, and not for the book on which it was based. I actually only vaguely remember the book, though I will be seeking out a copy to read now. But I do remember other Ronald Dahl books and the spirit of them.

That said, I loved this new version of the movie! Much more true to the feel of Dahl's books, for one thing, but also, just a colourful telling of a good story.

Though I love the original "oompah-loompah" songs, I enjoyed the new versions, especially the dances and costumes. I loved the colours. Oh, and I think this new version actually makes more sense. I always thought the crime of "constant gum chewing" didn't seem like reason enough to condemn Violet; this new movie makes her actual shortcoming much more obvious.

Favourite bits, hopefully without giving anything away: the opening of the factory doors; the boat ride; the elevator rides; the scenes right after the elevator leaves the factory.

I saw it in IMAX in Langley, but I don't think that's necessary to enjoying the film. It was really neat, though.

Oh, and after the movie we went to the Olive Garden, so now I'm really full (yummy breadsticks). Hopefully I'll still sleep; I'm exhausted.
dreaminghope: (Zoey)
When I was a little kid, I didn't watch Saturday morning cartoons. My mom didn't want us to watch them, so they weren't ever on in the house. When I was really little, I thought cartoons only played in hotels, because we only watched them when we stayed in one.

I don't feel like I missed anything by not watching cartoons, but I know that the lack of cartoons means I don't have them in common with my peers. So it delights me when I find other childhood pop culture pieces in common with people.

Some random bits of my childhood that some people have never heard of, but others remember with great fondness:

Bunnicula: Books, the whole series. I love the mental image I still have of the cat trying to pound the steak through the bunny's heart.

Where the Wild Things Are: I loved that book!

The Peanut Butter Solution: Movie. I love the reactions of people who have never seen this movie when they hear a plot summary. You see, there's this boy who loses his hair. And he gets this formula to help him grow it again, involving putting peanut butter on his head. And his hair won't stop growing, but it is magical hair. People make paintbrushes out of his hair which paint magical paintings with single strokes and you can walk into them. It is a real movie; other people have seen it!

Waterbabies: The original, classic book. One of my favourites; I used to dream that I was a waterbaby.

Snugglebums: Toys. I don't know if there was a TV show or anything about these, I just remember wanting the toys when I was little. For whatever reason, Mom didn't like them (I think she thought they were ugly), so I made myself a Snugglebum out of a washcloth and some emboidery floss. I don't remember if it was any good (I doubt it could've been; I was about 6), but I loved it.

Tonight's Special: TV show. I liked the mouse.

Other favourite books from childhood that I still love: Heidi (Mom read it to me the first time, in installments over a summer; I've read it more time then I can count myself), Wizard of Oz (the whole series), Beautiful Joe (the first and last chapters still make me cry), All Things Great and Small and all the James Herriot books, and so many more, I'm sure.

I know I'm forgetting so many. I love it when someone mentions some fond memory from their childhood and it reminds me how much I also loved that toy/TV show/movie, etc.
dreaminghope: (Cute but Deranged - Madagascar)
Saw Madagascar tonight with Russ: Not as good as Shrek or The Incredibles (tough competition, after all), but funny. Loved the lemurs, especially Mort (see new icon). Also, loved the penguins ("just smile and wave"). Oh, and there's dancing! ~I like to move it, move it...~

Saw The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with Mom yesterday: It definitely had its weaknesses (some of the acting was a little wooden and it was pretty choppy), but it would be an excellent rainy afternoon chick-flick. Lots of teary eyes, and there's Alexis Bledel (who tugs on the bottoms of her sleeves in this too - I wonder if it's a habit of the actress', or if it is just her way of playing "nervous").

And this completes my micro movie reviews!

Pretension

Feb. 15th, 2005 10:42 pm
dreaminghope: (Firelight)
As I was reading [livejournal.com profile] tareija's post on artsy pretension in relation to Fight Club, the following came to mind:

Sometimes my brain reminds me of one of those "artsy" movies... the ones with fancy shots through fans and doorways, long periods without dialogue, where characters just sit and look at each other, and no mood-setting music. Think Monster's Ball and most Canadian dramas.

They remind me of my brain because they always seem like they are supposed to be full of bigger meanings, deep insights into the world and the poor miserable people who populate it. But even as you are watching the film, supposedly watching the creation of these insights, you have to wonder if the whole thing is really just self-indulgent, overblown, over-thought, and, in the end, meaningless.

And both my brain and the artsy movies seem to have a scary superficial resemblance to most perfume commercials.

Stupidity

Aug. 29th, 2004 03:24 pm
dreaminghope: (Pensive Zoey)
ED and I went to see the documentary Stupidity last night. The basic premise is that, while all people are stupid, some are decidedly more so then others.

A few things stuck out for me. The first was the Arrogant Worms song, the chorus of which was:

History is made by stupid people.
Clever people wouldn't even try.
If you wanna place in the history books,
Then do something dumb before you die.


The second thing was a theory on stupidity and belief. It basically boils down to, since people know next to nothing about how and why the world really is, we make up theories for ourselves. People who cling so tightly to their chosen theory that they cannot see, much less learn, information that contradicts that theory, are stupid.

So:

Georgie W. isn't an idiot because he can't put a sentence together coherently (though there were some precious examples of that in the film), but because his born-again beliefs blind him to anything that doesn't suit them. Concepts of good and evil (his side = good, the others = evil) work very well, but complexity and gray-zones are not recognized.

Another thing that has stuck with me is the veneration with which we have come to treat stupidity. Like food and sex, our society treats stupidity with a complex mixture of disgust and worship. We laugh at stupidity, yet we pay highly to do so. Adam Sandler is getting rich by acting stupid.

To pull this in with something I've been reading about recently, there has been some talk amongst sociologists and other social commentators that there's a backlash against men in popular culture. One of the "proofs" they cite are the number of movies, commercials and TV shows that have stupid male characters.

There are two reasons I feel that this theory might be bunk. First, there seem to be just as many negative portrayals of women in popular culture as there are of men. Women may not be portrayed as stupid as often (though, with the number of cow-eyed women on the The Bachelor re-makes and imitations, I think that could be disputed too), but they are manipulative, shallow, scheming, naive, etc.

Second, if stupidity is rewarded in our society, is it "backlash" for men to be portrayed doing stupid things?

A final thing that has stuck with me since the movie: The goal of most forms of meditation is to empty the mind of all thoughts. Hmmm... deliberate stupidity? Is that necessarily a bad thing then?
dreaminghope: (Labyrinth)
I saw a movie on Monday called The Legend of the Weeping Camel. I got free preview passes from work, so Russ and I went. We won "Lonely Planet Guides" to Tibet and Mongolia while there, so that was cool.

It was one of those slow, sleepy movies where nothing seems to happen. An hour and a half of movie can be summed up by: A family depends on its camels. One of their camels rejects its calf and won't feed it. The family does a ritual, the camel cries and then feeds its baby.

The scenery was beautiful (shot in Mongolia), and there were some sweet and funny moments. And camels are strange looking creatures. But it didn't seem like much, while watching it.

But, strangely enough, I've been finding myself thinking about the movie once in a while ever since. It was sort of insidius, how it got in my head. I find myself smiling at a remembered scene, or day dreaming about the scenery. And thinking about camels...

I am going to bed now.
dreaminghope: (Zoey)
Subtitle:

If you can't play well, at least use both hands.

Went to see Lost in Translation with Mom. Slow, but it had its moments. The girl was cute, and she spent large sections of the movie sitting around in panties and a tank top.

Other highlights of my fourth day off:

- Had leftover tortellini for breakfast.

- Downloaded about 70 minutes worth of Mardi Gras music for my up-coming birthday party.

- Went shopping at Michael's, the craft store. Tons of new scrapbooking stuff available; I wouldn't even know what to do with some of it!

- Pizza with Mom and Elaine, and they let me bring the leftovers home!

- Our first official Silver Spiral drumming lesson. My hands are red and tingly now. It was lots of fun. I'm not really good, but I think I have potential.

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