Ready

I began the first steps of a new program for my daily self today. It was actually really, really cool. I have a gift membership to MasterClass yet hadn’t used a single class until today, despite my first being given access in early March.

But I was inspired by a girl in a movie I saw recently, when she showed that she started each day with a TedTalk. I want to do that, I thought. And so, I added that idea into my recent dilemma of how to accomplish all these things I want to accomplish but have barely even touched?

So, I now have a daily task of doing at least one of those specific things. If it turns into multiple ones in a day, great. If it is just the one, also great. The point is that I am doing them. And today was perfect as a start. I watched the first half of the MasterClass, and took the challenge and inspiration given from it to started doing some practical work in response to it. At the end of the day now, I feel not only delighted in myself but also excited, relieved, and surprisingly fulfilled by my accomplishments of the day. And even a bit inspired, especially so to do it all again in a new way tomorrow.

Tomorrow, after a solid sleep and mental processing and, hopefully, healing, here I come. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Total weep fest

I tend to think, as probably do most people, rather unconsciously that, when I am in a not-good mood, a movie of the very happy persuasion is the way to go – laughter and fun, right? However, when I actually pause to think about it, I think the weep fests are the best option.

Oftentimes, what benefits us most when we are struggling is catharsis, a release of all of the emotion and struggle that we have been carrying. A good weep fest film practically yanks the tears out of us, forcing out more emotion than we imagined we even had available to release at the present moment… over and over again. And, by the happy ending of the film, while we are exhausted and our eyes just might be burning more than a bit, life just kind of makes sense again, and we feel so much better…., we finally can breathe fully again. Which is rather ironic, given the constant crying and nose-blowing throughout the film. 😉

But that is what weep fest films can do for us… and just about every time. So, it is extra worth giving them a watch when we are down in life. Laughter may be the best medicine, but catharsis and an inspiring story and happy ending are the perfect way to move forward from struggles and pains, taking that first step back to the laughter.

Post-a-day 2020

Good night; goodnight

Watching the film “Pretty Woman” tonight with my mom and uncle – one of my favorite films – I found myself saying, either aloud or merely within my thoughts, “This is one of my favorite lines,” an absurd* number of times.

I knew what was coming up next, and my brain grew extremely excited – I was even giddy – at the prospect of the upcoming line or exchange in the film… it just has so many good lines in it, my list of favorites comprises half the film!

Anyway, it was a lovely night together with my mom and uncle, despite his annoying what felt like pestering about managing yet another file transfer for him, simply because he refuses to move himself into the digital age…, so we have to handle things for him… (He wants to give files and photos to my grandparents, his parents, for them to put on their iPad… they are 89 and 90 years old and have and successfully use an iPad…, yet their child, my uncle, will not get himself an e-mail account or computer or an answering machine/voicemail, or use a cell phone of any kind…. and it isn’t about money…. If you don’t want to do that, I get it – I didn’t have internet at home on purpose…, but live life in agreement with that determination… don’t constantly burden other people for the use of their digital tools, because you won’t get your own… if you don’t want it, don’t make other people do it all on your behalf… it would be different if we were wanting to give him digital photos or something of the sort…., but he’s the one wanting to do these transfers and such all the time… do it yourself, man…. stop bringing us into it.

Anyway, that’s my stress express for tonight… haha

We had an interesting yet entertaining time doing a Monday crossword puzzle on my laptop before watching the film tonight… they both were intrigued and surprised at the opportunity, and it was a cool little mental activity for us all… usually, a puzzle is too small for three people to huddle around it and complete it together, and my mom always complains about my handwriting or the darkness of my letters…, but, on the computer, it was practically full-screen, and each clue was lit up while we were on it, and it simultaneously lit up the relevant squares on the board at the same time, so it was even easier than a regular paper puzzle is visually…, and the three of us got to do it together, all at once…

It was cool.

Annoying at times, but cool overall. 🙂

So, yeah… it was a good night together. 🙂

*I notice that I use the word absurd rather often when describing things within my life… I wonder if I am being overly dramatic, or if my life, in fact, is rather full of absurdities… at the very least, we know it is not normal, as made clear my cousin those several years ago during the acrobats conversation over dinner. 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Uncle bonding time

My uncle, when he showed up so late last night, expressed interest in watching my partially watched film, if I were okay with his doing so.

I allowed it, and chucked inwardly at the request.

It was “Pride and Prejudice”, and he wanted me to to give him the low-down on what had happened so far, and even asked me to share about the parts that I preferred in the book that he movie had changed… specifically, some of my favorite lines from the book.

Today, as I was leaving my grandparents’ house, he asked if I was planning to watch another movie tonight.

I told him that I likely would end up doing that.

What film?

Not sure yet.

Do you know around when you’ll want to watch it? Can I watch it with you?

Of course you can – just let me know when you’re heading back.

Okay. I want to make it back in time to watch it with you.

Just call.

And so, when he arrived after nine, I stuck with my selection, despite the late arrival time – I was in the mood.

What film was it, you ask?

“Twilight: New Moon” 😀

I told him right off the bat that tonight he had the privilege of watching a cheesy high schooler movie, filled with awkward acting and likely bad directing.

I’m not sure he fully believed me.

At the end, of course, he understood completely, and even shared in a few of the most popular jokes about the films.

I told him that the main benefit, behind silly entertainment, of his having watched the film was that he was now in the know on a piece of very popular pop culture. 😛

He chuckled about it, and then we moved on to talking about Duolingo and Sachertorte…, as is our typical kind of tangential conversation.

P.S. I still love the absurd scene where Taylor Lautner swoops off his shirt like it is nothing… thanks for doing that for the world, man. We all appreciate it, even over a decade later. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Dancing and Dejection

I watched the 2011 version of “Footloose” tonight.  I had seen it before, but I wanted to watch it again.  Part of it was simply because I like the fun of the film, but I think a part of it was because I have been missing dancing so much in recent months.  I had just determined to go out dancing, when the whole beginnings of the shutdowns were happening – I had even told people that I was excited about going dancing that weekend… I was quite bummed when it didn’t get to happen.  Sure, I was excited that it meant I got to hang around the guy I liked longer, since the dancing wasn’t happening anymore…, but I was still bummed about the dancing’s being canceled… Besides, dancing is still part of my life, and it likely will be so for many, many years to come…, and the guy isn’t exactly on the road to be part of it, almost at all… so, anyway…

haha

It’s so funny to me how things can change rather easily, when circumstances change – we kind of just accept what changes and roll with it, as needed.  But, when we want to have change, it always seems so difficult to make the change happen ourselves… even if it is changing something about ourselves, and it is something we truly want, it often seems to be difficult to make happen… but, throw in some crazy event, like a natural disaster, and we willingly and easily adjust to a totally different way of doing the daily… I’ve seen it so many times with hurricanes in my life so far, yet so few times with self-inflicted changed… because it always seems to be an inflicted change, not something truly wanted, even if we do want it.

Anyway…, I’m kind of rambling here, so I’ll let it go for the night, I think.

No, one last thing:

In college, my third year, I attended regularly events hosted by this one particular fraternity.  I was not part of any Greek Life groups, but I went to things hosted by this particular fraternity because of what the activities were – they were things that actually interested me, like pick-up sports games and other silly stuff.  I had been invited by people in the fraternity, so I had not barged in nor forced my way in to the activities.  I had begun to build relationships with various members of the fraternity… I even considered, long and hard, how I rather likely would have joined the fraternity, had I only been male and not female.  That was how much I enjoyed the activities and the company and the environment as a whole.

One day, though, I was told by a member, in private, that I kind of needed to stay away some – it was inappropriate that I was participating in so much.  Now, these were open activities – open to all students.  But, they were only so on paper.  They were actually for recruiting purposes.  The fraternity doesn’t recruit females, so they didn’t want girls hanging around who weren’t the little sisters of the fraternity. ***As a note here, the only little sisters they had were from a particular sorority, and almost none of them were even interested in these activities, let alone athletically inclined… only the occasional little sister showed up, and never for long, and she never played any of the sports.

I was heartbroken and embarrassed.  I had been so cautious and careful, always verifying that I was allowed and invited by a fraternity member to each event and activity I attended.  And yet I still was told that I shouldn’t have been there, and that it was inappropriate that I had attended so much.  What else could I have done?  I did everything I could to follow rules and all of Greek Life, yet it did me no good.

Suddenly, I had no interest in being part of the fraternity, even in the imaginary life where I am a male instead of a female.

I don’t remember what exactly happened after that conversation – that oh-so-miserable conversation – but I think it was actually the same day that the next conversation happened…

You see, I think there was some event happening that evening, and I was supposed to attend it – several guys were expecting me and had personally invited or reminded me of it.  I think I was a puffy-eyed crumple near one of the quadrangles on campus, when a couple guys from the fraternity came across me.  They tried to figure out what was wrong with me, and encouraged me to come along with them to the event (to which they were at that time headed).  I explained – with struggle – the conversation I had had, the one in which I was told, essentially, to stay away from the fraternity for a while.

Frankly, they were appalled.  I don’t remember their words exactly, but I remember how they worked to convince me that the person who had spoken privately to me had been out of line – I had, in fact, done everything appropriately.  I had always been invited, they reminded me – I was wanted at the activities I attended.  And one guy’s opinion was not the opinion of everyone else.  I loved them for their words…, but I think I didn’t entirely trust the fraternity again after that… I just remember feeling so shaky, inside and out.  My world had been shaken.  I had followed the rules, and I had still been hit with an earthquake, and slightly shattered from it.  These two guys were super sweet to me, but the hurt was never erased.  I think that’s because I believed it, what the first guy had said to me.  Yes, there were some guys who wanted me, but I fully believed that several were of the same belief of the one guy… and they didn’t want me around.  And why didn’t they want me around?  I was neither a guy nor a member of their unofficially linked sorority.  Because I didn’t have the labels, I wasn’t good enough for them.

I think I established for myself that I was done with Greek Life after that.  I had never liked it much in the first place, but now I had reason to dislike it… and I did.  The whole point of Greek Life was to bring people together (originally as drinking societies, but we won’t get into that right now)… and they had pointedly excluded me… me, a person who fit in beautifully to their events and activities, to their conversations and general atmosphere as a group…  I had secretly hoped that I could become a little sister with them…, but they inevitably picked some girls who couldn’t have cared less about what the fraternity actually did, yet belonged to the right sorority and were besties with the current little sisters.

Anyway, that sucked… and I think I haven’t ever talked about that with anyone, aside from the two guys who tried to convince me that the one guy was being an a**hole, and that they really did want me around.  I think it’s always been easier for me to believe that people want me not around than that they want me around.  So, this event didn’t exactly help me get over that.

Ugh…. big sigh just now…

Okay, that’s all I care to say about all of that… I think I’m okay with leaving it all there and being done with it for now.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

 

Books and movies

Today, I finished reading the book (well, listening to the audiobook, anyway) Crazy Rich Asians.

I had read the book, because I had enjoyed the film, and discovered that it was based on a book, and that there was actually a whole little series of books, and that it was written by a man…, and my interest was piqued… especially by that last fact.

I had just recently been to Singapore a couple times, so the film easily held a little warm spot in my heart, especially since they go to eat at one of my favorite places in the world to eat (the hawker stand when they first arrive to Singapore).

At long last, I got hold of the audiobook, and dove in, and, though it was different from the film, I enjoyed it.

I mean, I knew it would be different from the film – books always are different from their film counterparts.

Except, perhaps, The Princess Bride… that one is purty darn near exactly the same…, though it does have slight differences still…

Anyway, two things came from this, but I’ll wait…

Whenever I finish a book, I let goodreads.com know, and it adds to my list of books read.

It also sends me an e-mail: You finished [fill in the blank book]. What’s next?

And then it gives a brief bit about the book, including the first few reviews on it, and then info on the author and how to follow him on the website, and, finally, other books that people who read this same book also liked/read.

On this e-mail, I saw part of a review that interested me, and so I clicked and was led to the full review, which I read.

The writer of the review and I had very different impressions from the book – I very much enjoyed it, and she was somewhat annoyed by most of it.

I easily disregarded the review, knowing full well that I often disagree with most reviews I see of books.

(Also, I almost never accept film recommendations, because people seem to have such terrible taste in films and in film quality…)

I have certain people I trust with book recommendations, and I rather distrust most others in the world for a book (or film) recommendation.

But this got me thinking more on the book…

There are probably loads of people who dislike and have terrible and ugly things to say about just about any book, right?

As JRR Tolkien wrote in the beginning of the 1976(?) edition of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, there will be always those who dislike things he likes, and also who dislike the way he told these stories.

(He said a lot more, but that is the most relevant part in this conversation.)

As I thought about the film’s being so different from the book, I found myself wanting to talk to the author, Kevin Kwan, and to ask him how he felt about that all, and what his thoughts were on it…

Is it not basically a group of individuals declaring that your story was good, but just not good enough?, I thought at him in our mental interview within my own mind.

Then, it had me wonder, What is it like with reading the various reviews of your books by readers? All those nasty comments and thoughts…Do you just ignore them entirely and never read them, because that isn’t why you wrote them, anyway? You wrote them for those who would enjoy them?

And this idea had me think about whether it mightn’t be a good idea to go ahead and gather together people who love me, and have them tell me how they dislike or do not like something that I have done or created… practice the rejection, so to speak.

Not to experience the suffering, but to learn to separate their unkind words from my own satisfaction and pleasure from the work I have produced… to aid me in learning to love my creations period, with no dependency on what others’ opinions are, good or bad.

My mood is up to me, and my art can be perfect just for me… everything else is insignificant.

If it brings others joy, yay: joy for them and for myself.

If it doesn’t bring others joy, yay: joy for myself.

That’s why I wrote/made/created it, anyway, was for myself, right?

In some way, anything I create must be for myself… it is something I was ready to express, and in this particular form at this particular time… it is for myself that I do it, whether I realize or acknowledge it or not.

Yet, those bad reviews really stick with us… as I recently was called to consider from a quote by Orson Welles:

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that’s printed about him.

So, I wonder, how can we move past that?

How can we be untouched by the bad reviews?

And, even, the good reviews, too, for, if they suddenly were to cease, would we be saddened?

How can we be self-sustaining in our joy and satisfaction with our own art, and untouched by the opinions of others?

The second idea was about how films are always different from the book, even when the book is spectacular already.

Why must the book always be changed?

Why?!

Ugh.

Post-a-day 2020

Rapunzel

It turns out that I have done and regularly do just about everything listed in the song “When will my life begin”, from the film Tangled.

Like… seriously…

I mentioned this to a friend this morning (her tonight*), and how I was considering doing a set of photos with the song lyrics as captions to them.

But she was determined that I make an actual video… especially since I live up on top of an old house, creating an extra layer of comparability to Rapunzel and the song.

After much deliberation and some concern on copyright concerns, I have almost determined to make a video that includes clips of me doing all of these different things, and with myself singing the song in the background… no copyright issues on a cover, and more interesting than just photos…

It could be quite fun, I dare say…

Though, I do not have chess, nor do I have darts (though I can play/do both reasonably well)…, so I am considering two different unique tasks to fill their places in the song… unsure yet what, though.

(How many times can one use “though” in a single sentence or idea??? Haha)

Lots up in the air right now, but the idea has definitely been planted well, so there’s a chance!

The hardest part will be to get back to making myself actually get up at 7am, and not just to use the bathroom and then go right back to bed (as I have been doing most days lately)… 😛

*If you don’t get it, ask around until you find someone who does. 😉

P.S. May the Fourth be with you 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Movie night(mare)s

My siblings thought it was an acceptable idea to have me watch the original ”Scream” film when it came out. I was five. My mom was furious. But I survived. I even have a sort of affinity for the film, despite the many nightmares it produced throughout my childhood. 😂

Then, “I know what you did last summer” was another they shared with me, only a year later… yikes. Again, though, I survived.

The sequel was freaky but fun for me, because it was possibly the first sequel to release during my lifetime for something that I knew.

At some point, before age nine, they showed me “Jaws”. “Jaws” is actually one of my favorite films – I even read the book recently! – despite the nightmares… and general fear of the ocean… that still exists today… 😂

Frankly, seeing “The Sixth Sense” at my mom’s strong recommendation when I was eight was significantly more traumatizing than any of the others, and I, to this day, have bad dreams and spooky nights because of it…, but that’s for different reasons. “Scream” isn’t very practical or realistic for everyday life.

“Deep Blue Sea” and “Lake Placid”, at age eight, were probably the films that put me over the edge in terms of being comfortable swimming alone in any body of water… I just couldn’t do it – even in the pool at my brothers’ dad’s house, I was somehow convinced that, after I had started to swim away from the wall, someone had opened up a secret panel behind me, and released a shark into the water…., and so I would rush to the other side and wrench myself out of the water as fast as possible, breathing hard… always to find no shark, of course… fortunately, of course…

One of my brothers – one not involved in having me watch the scary movies – had mentioned to me, after his having seen “The Ring” in theatres, that the film was terribly funny due to the fakeness of so much of it… he was the only one laughing during the film, but he was laughing hard at times, he said.

The thought of a scary film’s being funny was new to me, and I considered that I might want to see this film…, but not badly enough to seek it out – I had already written away scary films from my life by that point.

One night, however, years later, I was drawn by a film that came on television, not knowing what film it was. I had an odd feeling that it was “The Ring”, however, and I turned out to be correct in that judgment. Keeping my brother’s idea of humor in mind, I stuck with the film. Frankly, I also found the film quite stupid in many ways, as my brother had suggested and described years beforehand. I was still haunted in dreams by certain aspects of the film, but I recovered much more easily than with any other scary film I had ever seen, and I attributed it to the mentality of laughing at the graphics and illogic of certain visual scenarios within the film – thereby distancing myself from the story itself.

I still stay firmly away from scary films, though, and horror films are a solid no for me, with no question of even discussing them and their subject matter…

I’m almost certain that almost all of my nighttime and dark-alley fears have come from films…, so, perhaps life could have been a lot easier not having the scary films in it…, but perhaps it is just those fears that have me be so prepared for just about anything in life…?

Anyway, the point is that I very much dislike and avoid scary movies (now that I have say and am not a little kid), but I was exposed to several as a young child, yet I survived.

So, if you are watching a film, and discover in the middle that it might be a bit too gory or freaky for a child in the room, don’t worry too much… you’ll probably traumatize them much more with other things in life than with that movie… I don’t encourage the scary films – not at all – but I recommend not panicking too badly, if they end up seeing something you think might be a bit much for them… they’ll survive. 😂

Take it off

I found out yesterday that The Full Monty is not just a film, but also a stage play and a stage musical.

(!!!)

Did you see that???

The Full Monty

!!!!!!

And I kind of really want to see a production of it now….

No, I have never really been interested in any Chippendales activities (though I did have a blast* with both Magic Mike films, it wasn’t really for the reasons one might expect).

But, I think the fact that this film (and show, I guess – it wouldn’t be that different, right?) is about a group of goofy married (I think most of them are married, anyway) men who decide they can outdo and outshine (or at least end up comparable enough to earn some cash) traditional fit and sexy Chippendales performers… somehow…., and they go through this whole development and growth and transformation of outlook and spirit of life…., and it is just a lovely and totally silly and fun story, following these guys and feeling their emotions with them, and, especially, joining in their delighted terror and triumph as they actually pull themselves together and perform their show… just wow…

So, yeah, I want to be cheering on those guys in life.

I think it would be a really funny and silly and fun and empowering and inspiring show to see… because live is a whole ‘nother experience from a Hollywood film. 😀

No editing available on a live stage, so you can feel the extra layer of struggle within the actors, in addition to the struggle within the characters the actors play.

So good…, if it is done well, that is… and I hope it is done well… 🙂

*The first was amazing, because I went on a new friend date with a guy from my dormitory where I had just moved in Germany… we had agreed we both wanted to go see a film in the theatre to practice our German, and Magic Mike was almost finished showing in theatres in Germany, so I kind of wanted to see what the fuss had been all about back in the US while I suddenly had the chance again… so, I asked him if that film was okay, because it was playing in 45 minutes at the theatre in town… there was a hit of back-and-forth about ‘Why this movie’, and I believe I convinced him with the fact that it was likely to have less difficult dialogue to follow, combined with the fact that it was just plain crazy for us to go see that film in particular… to practice our German…, as two disinterested-in-dating opposite-gendered people… So, that was great – I understood maybe 5-15% of the actual words said, though I still got the gist of the story.

The second time, I was at a girlfriend’s apartment while her best friend was in town to visit… they discovered that I hadn’t seen the second film, and declared that I must see it now…, so we put it on, and they whooped and hollered, and I giggled along with them…, but, what I noticed most, and what delighted me most, was the dancing… I could hardly wait to see the dancing, and just the opening dance scene in the workshop blew my mind happy – the creativity of the dance, as well as all the other dances in that film, due to their creativity and smooth execution, were just mind-blowingly fabulous…. such a great film… and I kind of understood the plot of it, too, like the first film.

Plus, I have always had a crush on Channing Tatum, so it was lovely to see him working through struggles as a smart, extremely capable man in both films…, and it was even cooler that he was a man who had true rhythm and could dance… and then even cooler cooler that it was all based out of his own story of being smart in life… just awesome, man. ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Scary Movie Drama

Some days, after reading a book or watching a film, we find ourselves wondering why our lives aren’t so interesting as in the lives of these stories.

Why do our lives not have such rising action, climax, and denouement over and over again on such a grand scale as the lives of these main characters.

We are the main characters of our own stories…, so why don’t we get such clever treatment as those characters in the book and movie stories?

And then, after a slow creeping up from behind, we are engulfed by a possible and sudden catastrophe – a rising action, ready to turn to a terrible climax at a moment’s notice, to be given by some unknown-to-us force…, and we discover that we really would prefer not to have such drama and climax as those people have in the films and novels…, that we really are incredibly content with our formerly-seen-as-boring lives, and that we would prefer to continue them on the path they already seemed to have been taking for years and years, free from the happy drama, but also free from the sad and upsetting drama…

Or, perhaps, that is just something I have happen, and something that I do…

Thus my current potential to panic, as I pray, intend, and hope that my life will remain as I have known it to be: un-sad/scary-film-like in its action and climaxes…

Post-a-day 2019