A place for random thoughts, ideas, and fun!
What really goes on in Amy's brain? I'll use this space to share more about myself and my interests, journal some of the more exciting goings-on in my life, and work through some of the writing ideas and dilemmas I'm wrestling with. Enjoy!|
Movie Review Mondays . . . if you watch a film after reading a review, please come back and let me know what you thought!
|Ok . . . regroup time. As I consider the new year that is about to begin, the realization hits . . . this year I hit 40.
I refuse to turn 40 being unhappy with myself. There are so many things that I've struggled with over the past 40 years . . . many I've overcome; some I've overcome only to backslide.
This year will be different. Before my 40th birthday I will get back to the fitness level I had acheived 2 years ago. Before my 40th birthday I will polish and submit my breastfeeding article for publication. Before my 40th birthday I will remarket myself as a postpartum doula. Before my 40th birthday I will gain the confidence I need to move forward in positive directions.
I have 198 days. Starting right now.
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|Have had an absolutely WONDERFUL weekend with our friends and GFG. My mom arrived on Wednesday late morning, while I was frantically polishing the silver. Why was I doing this? Because, as I was driving home from dropping Jakie off at school that morning, it suddenly occurred to me that I did not have enough regular dishes or silverware for all of the people who would be there for Thanksgiving! *facepalm* All the little details I remembered . . . and I TOTALLY flaked out on how I was gonna SERVE the stuff! ROFLMAO! So my mom jumped in and helped with the task. Enjoyed the day, and Bob and I were able to sneak out for a quick dinner at India Grille. Our friends Liz and David and their 3 children arrived around 9:30 PM that evening, to our great delight! The reunion was wonderful as always . . . it always amazes me how close the children are - there has never been any awkwardness. From the moment they first met, it was like they'd known each other forever.
Thanksgiving was wonderful. The first thing we made in the morning was applesauce, and each of the kids had a chance to help. Having Liz and my mom there to help, and just to keep me company, was such a joy! The meal was amazing . . . I used Alton Brown’s turkey brining recipe at Liz’s suggestion, and it was juicy and delicious! It was pretty incredible because no one complained about anything!!! LOL! Always a good thing, right? We had turkey and stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, carrot pudding, broccoli, salad, homemade applesauce, cranberry sauce, spiced apple rings and rolls. Most of the kids had ice cream for dessert, and then we had apple pie later (cuz I didn’t realize the frozen pie needed to be baked first, heh).
Friday my mom, Liz and I went out for lunch at Panera, and then did some shopping. Went to Target, and then the Farmer’s Market . . . where we ran into Bob, David and all the kiddos. The adults went out for dinner at Carabba’s and then to see Australia. Unfortunately, I’d decided to be a bad girl and eat a caprese panini with lots of cheese for lunch . . . so by dinnertime I was feeling quite uncomfortable. The film was amazing, breathtaking and heartbreaking.
And then . . . and THEN!!!! When we got home (around 11:15 PM) . . . Liz and I jumped on the computer and did a little research . . . and booked our tickets for Greece!!!! March 5th to 14th, 2009!
Our friends will leave later today *sniffles* but we’re all excited to visit with them again in December, when our family will drive out to their house to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas!
|Ok . . . started writing this on Sunday evening, I swear! It was also gonna be more detailed etc . . . but I figured it'd be nice to get it written this week.
We left around 8:45 on Saturday, and drove to my cousin's house. Sophie and Jakie were SO excited to spent the weekend with their cousins! Bob and I dropped them off, then headed into NYC! We found our hotel fairly easily, and were able to check in right away. We set out to wander, and found a place for falafel. After lunch, we wandered up to 5th Avenue, went to the NY Public Library, and then also did some shopping. Back to the hotel to rest and clean up before dinner. We had an AMAZING meal at http://www.kellari.us/. After dinner (and dessert!) we saw Equus! Dan Radcliffe was fantastic. Richard Griffiths was even better. But wait . . . it gets even better! After the show, we got a rickshaw ride back to the hotel! It was a perfect evening for it.
We decided to take my cousin’s suggestion and have brunch at http://www.popovercafe.com/ OMG yummy!! Popovers as big as melons . . . fabulous omelets . . . they don’t take reservations, but it was definitely worth the wait!
The kiddos had a fabulous time with their cousins & everyone can’t wait to do it again!
|In lieu of attending Yom Kippur services this morning (which, despite the strides I’ve made toward overcoming internal struggles to accomplish tasks that seem overwhelming, I cannot bring myself to do with Jacob in tow) I’ve decided to work on my own personal Vidui. Since Judaism is a very personal thing for me, I think this will work well.
I’m sorry for not being the friend, mother, partner and support that I’ve wanted to over the past year. I’m sorry for the times when I allowed my own personal struggles to prevent me from being the person I want to be. I’m sorry for shutting down in the face of overwhelming circumstances, rather than working to overcome them. I’m sorry for the excuses I provided, in order to remove myself from certain responsibilities. I’m sorry for the words I used which caused pain to others. I’m sorry for putting my wants ahead of the needs of others. I’m sorry for becoming frustrated by the needs of others. I’m sorry for allowing my world view to become so small that I lost focus of how I could support the larger world.
In the coming year, I hope to continue to work on becoming the friend, mother, partner and support that those in my life deserve. In the coming year, I hope to stay focused on the future, the positive, the things I CAN do, rather than those I can’t. In the coming year, I hope to stay present when confronted by difficult situations, and work to overcome them with the support of those around me. In the coming year, I hope to step up to my responsibilities, rather than avoiding them. In the coming year, I hope to think more carefully about the words I choose, and how they will affect those around me. In the coming year, I hope to put the needs of those around me before my own wants, without losing sight of my own needs. In the coming year, I hope to broaden my support of this struggling world.
|The holiday of Yom Kippur is one of the most somber in the Jewish calendar. It's the Day of Atonement, the day when we ask forgiveness for our sins, and ask to be written in the book of Life for a happy and healthy year. One of the prayers that's repeated throughout the holiday is called Vidui, or confession. It's chanted, repeated, and it's done in the plural . . . "we've cheated, we've lied, we've . . . etc etc" It's almost as if we're trying to atone for the sins of all the world, in that moment. There's a tenet in Judaism called Tikkun Olam, or Healing the World. If you've seen Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Norah gives a short but eloquent explanation of Tikkun Olam. I can't do it justice, but the bottom line is that we're each responsible for repairing the broken shards of the world; we're each responsible for the health and peace of this planet. So we do what we can . . . we support each other, we give to charities, we reach out in so many ways. And on Yom Kippur, we ask together for forgiveness . . . from each other, and if it holds meaning for us, from G-d.
Those who know me well know, for me, religion is not as much about a G-d as it is about finding meaning. This evening the Rabbi's d'var, or sermon, was an absolutely perfect example of that. She talked about Moses, at the different stages of his life. How vulnerable he was, as an infant, being left in the reeds; how vulnerable he was, a shepherd confronted with a burning bush; and how vulnerable he was, an old man, understanding that he was fated to die before stepping foot in the Promised Land. But the piece that really spoke to me was this . . . there's midrash (Jewish writings) that suggest that Moses, during his 40 years as a shepherd, walked by that burning bush every single day. The Hebrew word for the burning bush is somehow related to the word for anger, Rabbi explained. And we can look at it in this way - when Moses was too consumed by his anger, he was unable to see the burning bush. It wasn't until he was ready to confront it, to let it go, that he was able to see what was in front of him the whole time. So why did that speak to me? Because the burning bush is a metaphor. The anger, or whatever negative emotions overcome us to the point where we are unable to see the way forward . . . that's real. When we're able to let that go, move past it, then we can see our path forward. When we're blocked from healing . . . what we need is there, if only we're able to see it.
And of course I didn't explain that nearly as beautifully as Rabbi Linda did, this evening . . . nor even as eloquently as I wrote it in my head, on the drive home. But hopefully you'll see a spark of meaning in it, as I did.
L'Shana Tova. A Happy and Healthy Year to all.
|I posted an article a few weeks ago about residents of the island of Lesbos bringing a suit against the word lesbian being used by gay women. Happily, they lost the suit!
What happens when you’ve got no one to talk to; when everyone takes you for granted? You might start talking to inanimate objects, or you might decide to escape for a while . . . say, to Greece, perhaps?
Shirley Valentine takes a fairly mundane plotline – that of a lonely, underappreciated housewife – and weaves it into a story so full of humor and joie de vivre you’ll be ready to pack your bags, too.
Originally a one-woman stage production, the screenplay was wonderfully adapted for the large screen. Pauline Collins stars as Shirley Valentine, a role she played in the original stage production as well.
Shirley Valentine-Bradshaw wonders what happened to the feisty young girl she used to be. Now an empty-nester housewife in Liverpool, she’s stuck in a steak-on-Thursday rut. A series of closely spaced interactions that are out of her control act as a catalyst that allows Shirley to take back control of her own life.
The part of the film that takes place in Greece is, of course, magnificent. But much more than just the setting is how Shirley is transformed by the experience.
I first saw this film many years ago, and absolutely fell in love with it. A few years ago a local theater company produced the stage play, and I loved it so much I had to see it twice. It was fascinating to see the stage play, and compare that to the way the film was produced. I have even more admiration for the quirky film now, seeing how the writer and director were able to adapt it for the screen without losing the character of the stage production.
My husband finds it ironic that two of my favorite films (the other being American Dreamer, previously reviewed) deal with the same theme – bored housewife takes a trip abroad & has life changing experience. Even more ironic is that Tom Conti plays a somewhat similar role in both films.
See this film! It’s quirky cinema at its best.
|It's been a hell of a week for poor Bob . . . started with a 911 call early Monday morning. He woke up in excruciating pain in the middle of the night. Turns out he had a kidney stone. He's feeling much better from that . . .
and then this afternoon he nearly cut off his fingertip pruning the hedge.
I don't even know how many stitches it took to put it back together, but he was in agony the whole time - even with lidocaine.
I'm drained; I can't even imagine how he must be feeling right now. Thank goodness for good pain meds.