Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brian Setzer and Ice Skating

It is Christmas time...really? It hasn't felt like. Even with the temperature dropping here in Phoenix, decorations all over the place, and every store playing seasonal music, it just doesn't feel like Christmas. It may be because we don't have a tree up or that we didn't put our lights on the outside of the house, but would that really make such a difference?

The holidays this year have been busier than they have ever been. It is great for the Food Bank where I work, but it has put a damper on my social life and time with friends. This past weekend, I finally got to do something fun for me.

On Friday night, Ryan and I saw Brian Setzer Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center. It was a blast! I wish I could play the guitar like Brian Setzer. Loved him in the Stray Cats and now I love him as a big band/rockabilly icon. What could be cooler than hearing "The Nutcracker Suite" rearranged to be played by a 20 piece big band and an electric guitar. Too cool!

On Saturday night, it was time to celebrate Hollie's birthday. After baking all day, I was looking forward to ice skating. I hadn't gone in so long. I was afraid I would be walking to the car at the end of the night with wet jeans stuck to my rearend. But, I didn't fall...not once. It was nice to feel the cool air on my face and the chill through my clothes. Christmas was starting to sneak its way in. We finished the night with dessert wine at a cute wine bar by the house.

On the way home, "Honey, maybe we can put the Christmas tree up tomorrow?"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Atonement -- I'm still floating

Why am I floating? Why I am having a renewed passion for movies? Atonement. I went and saw the film yesterday afternoon with some friends. I had been looking forward to seeing it for months because it is based on one of my favorite books, it stars the brilliant James McAvoy, and Joe Wright made me a fan with Pride and Prejudice.

I was not disappointed.

I have to say this is the best film I have seen in a very long time. It was gorgeous. Every moment of the telling of this story was a treasure. And, it was the small gestures with poetic and strong meaning that he framed in such poignant ways that often it took my breath away. This is a story of a love that was never truly realized because of the misactions of another. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy were brilliant; making me feel their pain, ecstasy and anger.

Joe! He is a cinematic genius. The sweeping landscapes of the war captured as though tableau, but with reality pulling and biting at you. And, the editing was moving. Each frame flowed from one to the other seamlessly and with the beauty of a perfectly performed ballet. The music and sounds on the movie lent to character intensity and emotion. Everything was just so right on and perfect.

I was gushing all night about the movie to my husband, believing again that films can be wonderful. They don't have to be shoot 'em up extravaganzas or sweeping epics of massive budget proportion. Film can once again encapsulate human emotion and bring a dose of it to the audience so that the characters become a part of you.

I cannot wait to see the next Joe Wright film. What kind of joy and yearning will he bring to cinema fans next time?

p.s. Mr. are truly brilliant. You have brought new hope to this movie fan that actors can be passionate about their craft. And, in this time of tabloids, gossip and self-indulgence, you have shown that it is possible for an actor to be a class act off-screen. When you are finished with your break from acting, know that there will be people waiting to see where you go next.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm THAT Woman

Yesterday, while wandering the aisles of Walgreens searching for allergy medicine, I was talking to my best friend, Rachel, on my cell phone. When I got to the allergy section of the store, I was talking with animation and laughing at something witty she had said. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that I was getting the "how rude" look from a lady nearby. Omigosh! I give that look to people who talk loudly on their cell phones! Eek! I became THAT lady.

For a fleeting moment, I remembered my conversation with my husband about how much I hate those little ear pieces for cell phones and how it seems to give people the right to just wander around and talk to themselves without concern for courtesy in public places. argh! And, then here I was wandering around with my phone suctioned to my ear, laughing loudly.

Then, I truly became THAT woman and said, "I don't care. I'm talking to Rachel and we would be loud if she was here with me. What's the difference?" eek! In one minute I made an excuse for myself and countless others who have thrown proper public decorum to the wind. Wasn't talking to a friend whom you love and cherish much more important than being proper?

I am still conflicted about my actions last night. I have strong feelings about rude cell phone users who talk while eating in the booth next to me, who talk so loudly that I can hear them four grocery store aisles down, or those who are so engrossed in their conversation they don't even notice the other human beings in their vicinity. I certainly didn't do that, but I was rude enough that I even talked to Rachel while I ordered a hot chocolate at Starbucks. I hate that! And, then I did it. Blah!

So, I think I will just leave my blog entry at the point where I say I am a hypocrite when it comes to cell phone usage and will have to think long and hard about becoming a model cell user, setting the example for others or will I just become one of THEM.

BTW, it was wonderful talking to Rachel. She always brightens my day. Sis, next time a strange guy stands a bit too close to you, before parting, just smile widely and say, "Was it as good for you as it was for me? Don't be a stranger; call me." That should shock them to pieces.

And, just for Rachel, Bernard Fanning is giving the scoop on his Los Angeles sabbatical. It looks like his band Powderfinger is making a new record in Hollywood and he is blogging about his adventures. Can't wait to see him in concert again.

On the music front...current obsessions: Maximo Park, Travis, Rilo Kiley and Bloc Party. We saw Travis and Maximo Park perform at The Marquee in Tempe. What a show!!!

On the book front...Plowing through the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series. Love her use of history and she draws fantastic characters. She also bestowed some wonderful wisdom to me on writing books that has been super helpful in the my latest endeavour.