Saturday, December 24

The Spirit of the Season

Yesterday I felt it. I was only one person driving amid chaotic traffic. People were cutting one another off. I waited at a stoplight for more than one turn. As I sat in the turn lane, I counted the number of people driving while talking on their cell phones. Normally this exercise would be annoying but, instead of grumbling I noticed myself smiling. They are probably talking to a loved one, making plans for the family get together...I explained to myself.
Mas and I had previously decided not to exchange gifts but, I felt compelled to find some token object. Why now? Is it my old procrastinating self that wished to be part of the hustle and bustle of the day? After some reflection I understood the impulse. There was a feeling of love and appreciation in my heart that I wanted to express. Suddenly, all the blessings of my life were recollected in my mind. Of course, there is my health and my family's health. But there is also our great community of friends with their lessons and encouragement. Then there is freedom, personal freedom and the ability to create the life I desire. Finally, and most prominently, is Mas: my best friend, partner in adventure, teacher, counselor, lover...What sort of gift could contain all the love for this person? I decided that the only appropriate expression would be this simple gesture of thanks.

Thursday, December 22

Sun enters Capricorn

So, here we go rebuilding again. We have moved into the astrological time of Capricorn. These are the days to exercise your ability to be conscientious, prudent, reliable, efficient, ambitious and patient. Now is also the time for us all to move towards authenticity. How? When we recognize our unique talents they are strengthened. The next step is sharing those talents. This investigator is encouraging you to reveal your undercover true self.

Saturday, December 17

How do you feel about being 27,000 in debt?

Because that is every US citizen's share of our nation's eight trillion dollar deficit. Naturally there is a push for budget cuts. The proposed cuts affect medicaid, food stamps, foster care and other social service programs. They would put a 50 billion dollar dent in our deficit. At the same time, but in a separate legislative effort, there is consideration of a proposal that would cut taxes for the rich to "stimulate the economy". These tax cuts would cost us an estimated 95 billion.
And, did you know, that previously approved tax cuts will go into effect in January? Of course, if you make less than $75,000, you won't notice a difference because there will not be any tax breaks for you. If you make between 100,000-200,000 you might notice the twenty something dollars difference. The real winners are those making more than a million dollars. They can expect 20,000 in tax cuts. All of this makes me nostalgic for the days of those "tax and spend liberals". Now, it seems, our government just spends, with little regard for the future.
I have recently complained about my household budget. Mas is a strong believer in being debt free whenever possible. He has explained that spending money you do not have is expensive and should always be avoided. I get it. It's annoying at times but I understand that prioritizing spending and staying within a budget is necessary. Now, I wonder, how can I make sure that my government representatives also get it.

Friday, December 16

Supersized Cinema--Still not that good.

I insisted that Mas and I see KING KONG after reading a number of glorious reviews. The director Peter Jackson has done it again! exclaimed one critic. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Naomi Watts and Jack Black were the basis for Mas' agreement that we should hit the 16plex as quickly as possible. One hour into the movie I wondered what sort of spell Jackson has put on the critics. I was impatient to see KING KONG and annoyed with the other (far more) cartoonish characters. Finally, the plot arrived at Skull Island and the action began. This IS an action movie. In fact, all of the films strengths lie in the action sequences. The rest of the time I felt stuck in the sentimental last thirty minutes of Return of the King. But, the action is amazing and the creatures on Skull Island were so grotesque that I had to hide my eyes in a couple of scenes. KING KONG, the beast, is extraordinary. I wished for more viewing time with the creature and understood how Ann Darrow (Watts) felt compelled to be with the beast. Ultimately though, their relationship falls flat. Jackson knows how to make female characters appear radiant, but seems satisfied with them looking beautiful. The lack of depth in the characters results in the diminished impact of the film. It's like Jackson wants to fulfill all his boy fantasies of heroic action but he just can't figure out how to do it in a mature way. The most annoying thing about the movie is the ending statement made by Jack Black's character--"Beauty killed the Beast." His statement, like the movie itself, completely misses the point.

Wednesday, December 7

Monday, December 5

The trouble with Sex & the City

Okay, I'll admit it. I have watched every single Sex and the City episode. Twice. Or more. But lately I am troubled by a feeling that what lies beneath the good dialogue, is something very shallow. It's true that many episodes made me laugh and sometimes even cry. The strong friendships are what hooked me. The sense that women united are powerful. I recognized something in the coffeshop scenes and clever narration that still brings a smile to my face. The problem is that there seems to be a correllation between the popularity of the program and it being acceptable for women to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes, handbags and other unimportant items. When did this become normal? I know that ultimately it is my fault for even caring about such b.s. but I do, and I am dismayed.

Saturday, December 3

Is weblogging like scrapbooking? please comment

As I set up my blog I wonder...Is blogging like scrapbooking? Because I've always thought that scrapbooking is kind of sad.