Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three things brought Tears to my Eyes today!

I took a "sick" day today. Well, actually, I was not sick, and it was my day off, but I decided to treat it as a sick day. In other words, I stayed in all day, did not put on any make-up, did not really comb my hair other than to sweep it off my face into a tiny ponytail and I did get dressed, but just went from my pajamas to my Lululemon gear, thinking it might encourage me to do a work out (it didn't). I then proceeded to take a late morning nap, get up, eat lunch, read for a while, then took an afternoon nap and then got up, had a snack and turned on Oprah at 4. I have not had a day like this in ages. It was overdue. Oprah was in Australia, and apparently she forgot it was summer there as she was sporting this red taffeta dress that was all billowy and covered every inch of her ever-increasing girth. Don't get me wrong - I love Oprah - so I won't criticize her any further - I just thought the dress choice was odd. The show made me cry twice - once when she was interviewing Steve Irwin's family and his cuter than cute little boy welled up when he started telling the world that his dad was the best dad in the world and that made his mom cry and then I started blubbering and the camera panned all the teary eyes in the audience. Then some local couple who were dealing with cancer told their sad story and by the end of the segment Oprah gave them a quarter million dollars so they could spend some quality time together over the next year while he was fighting the disease and before he died although they left that last part unsaid. More tears. So, considering I had not watched the show in over a year, it reminded me that she still had the touch and she will be missed after this - her last season. I was cheered up considerably when Jon Bon Jovi showed up and sang a couple of songs and flashed his pearly whites at us - the guy has the most perfect teeth I have ever seen. My daughter commented that he was also THE best looking old rocker from back in my day, citing how bad some of the others have fared - like Mick Jagger and Steve Tyler. I had to agree although I do believe he is slightly younger than those two. Still, the hair, the bod, the skin, all still good for his age. So, in an effort to remain on the couch, after Oprah I watched Dr. Oz and sat and nodded and agreed as he told the world about the dangers of sugar. Toward the end of the show, he started to lose me when he stopped talking health and started talking about coupon cutting to save money at the drug store - so I changed the channel and tuned into the new Marilyn Dennis show. I had been looking forward to her new show - this was a chance to check it out - I was excited.....and quickly disappointed. Some dude talking about house plants? Hello - the 70's called and they want their Boston Fern back! Then, some woman talking about various versions of the Kindle that are now available. Marilyn, nodding and interjecting the odd comment - her bubbly persona from Cityline days no where to be seen. And what the hell happened to her face? She obviously took some time in between gigs to get some "work" done and I have to say - I don't think it went very well. Sorry, Mar, but you got robbed. Who did that to you? I want a name. Just in case I ever think about going under the knife - I won't go to him. The only thing that made the show tolerable was that I was eating some nice freshly made sushi while I was watching it - the occasional blast of tear-inducing wasabi keeping me awake and distracted from the tedium and boredom on the screen. As an old fan of her on Cityline, I will likely give the show another chance one day, but it has to get better than it was today or I won't give it a third chance. With 2 hours of TV under my belt along with some spicy tuna rolls, I decided it was time to move from the sofa to the computer, a total of about 6 steps, and here I sit, writing this blog, not really sure what I wanted to yap about, but lo and behold, I have just filled the screen with the fascinating events of my day and it's not over yet! I have a good 3-4 hours left to fill before bedtime - who knows what exciting things I may do with the rest of my "sick" day. I can tell you one thing, by tomorrow, I will be re-charged and ready to face the world again. I'll shower, put on some make-up, fix my hair, get dressed and actually go outside. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Won't be Defeated!!!

Sabotage! I look around the office everyday since mid-December and it's everywhere. Sabotage! None of us need it, but it seems we all want it. Every desk, the board room table, the kitchen table, no surface is vacant. They are all covered with it. White death. It's everywhere. I wish they would stop bringing it in. I am strong, but not impervious to it. I walk by this one desk several times a day - it holds one of my favourite things. Anything with coconut in it - particularly tempting. Christmas has come and gone and now they all want it out of their houses, so they bring it to work - let everyone else get fat they think - stop it! Why not just toss it in the trash? At least that way it won't end up on the thighs of all the women at work. It belongs in the trash anyway - for the amount of nutritional value in any of it. As I have said before - how can you call something a treat that in the end only makes you feel bad about yourself? SUGAR IS NOT A TREAT!!!!! Ask the millions of obese people around the world if they feel they have been "treated" by sugar? Sure - treated to diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, self-loathing, depresssion - you name it. Treat? I think not. I have looked my enemy in the eye and have decided it will not defeat me. It injured me a bit - added 5 lbs to my ass this holiday season, but that's it. It's over you mother-f cker. You are out of my life - you will not put me back in a one piece this summer - don't even think about it! This is one war you won't win. I have the bigger weapon. Three words - No, thank you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Never Judge a Movie by the Trailers

If you have read the reviews for Blue Valentine, you will learn that the story examines the breakdown of a marriage. Nothing new here, but the raw performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give it an edge that is creating some Oscar buzz and getting the movie-going public to fork out their hard-earned cash to sit through their depressing story. I happen to love this type of film that puts a microscope inside a relationship and lets us play voyeur into the lives of some ill-fated couple. The clever devices used to tell the story are of less interest to me than the director's (Derek Cianfrance here) ability to make the story and the characters believable. I struggled a bit with this one. Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams) appear from the first scenes in the obvious end stage of their marriage. The director takes us back eventually to the early days of their romance when they first met so we can see how they came together in the first place. What we miss out on here is the middle part of the marriage - the critical part where things start to fall apart and the stage where it may have been possible to still save what was left and rebuild. That is the part I would have added as a director. We all are familiar with the beginning and end of a relationship, not much to learn there. What would be of some benefit to the audience would be the portrayal of the pivotal time in between. That time that is often hard to pinpoint. The time that is crucial for rescue. The part that anyone who has been through a divorce can look back on and recognize in hindsight that is where they should have started counseling or gotten help or at the very least admitted to each other that they were in trouble. I found myself trying to figure it out in the movie. From my perspective, Cindy was unable to accept love from Dean because she grew up with a poor self-image in a home where her own parent's dysfunctional marriage was her only role model. Her father mistreated her mother, psychological abuse from what little we learned in this movie and Cindy did not seem to expect much more for herself. She pushed Gosling away despite his best efforts to romance her but that is not to say he was without his own flaws. His lack of ambition and growing attachment to beer for breakfast, did little to woo her, even though he was an attentive and much loved father to her daughter. He married her knowing she was pregnant with another man's baby. At the time, his heroic gesture was welcomed, but as the years passed, his commitment was apparently not enough to feed her soul. Dean was content to be nothing more than a faithful husband and devoted father - Cindy wanted more. But we never get to see where the tables turned. How far into the relationship did they get before she realized his gallant gesture would not be enough to sustain them? At the time he was Mr. Right. She changed and grew and before long, her white knight looked more like Larry the Loser. They never really got to know each other in the beginning. He was a true romantic, writing her a song, blabbing to his co-worker about his belief in "love at first sight". She was more pragmatic, more of a realist, even though in her vulnerable position she allowed herself to be charmed by his heartfelt gestures. Being a bit of a romantic myself (OK - more than a bit), I couldn't help but relate to Dean. However, he did seem to deteriorate fairly quickly. He was helpless to penetrate her cold and angry demeanor and their complete lack of communication skills was so frustrating to me as an audience member, I wanted to freeze frame and play mediator between them. I expected far more from this film and the trailers for it are very misleading. It is more of a tragedy than a love story and the only scene where I actually felt a bit of bittersweet emotion was the one from the trailer where he plays his ukulele and sings a little song for her while she self-consciously does a little tap dance for him in front of a shop window with an appropriately placed heart wreath. Sweet. As for the acting, no question, both Gosling and Williams were giving it their best shot, and nominations may result, but I don't think either of them will be going home with the golden statue this year. Not yet. Worth a look, but if you have a choice, go see The King's Speech or Black Swan or The Fighter, all three a better bet.