I thought random acts of kindness were good things.

They are;  you don’t always see the reward. A discrepancy the other day made me falter. It was literal, it was reciprocal, and it was sad;

When you give, you don’t expect to get; you just become disappointed.

A little thing like going out of your way to hold the door at a gas station for a stranger (where she fails to simply hold it open for you) can change the way you look at the world, but it doesn’t have to. Our world is not the world and so we are adept at change.

I love you guys.Love each other, too.

-Jules-

blah blah blah

How’s this?

First, I’m sorry I haven’t written anything on this blog in over a month. I took over the company blog and the two seemed to interfere (ever so slightly) with each other. But, I should be back on track, now. The thing is, I’ve been busy, with work, and the holidays (from Halloween to New Years is just an absolute whirlwind of activity, as any mom/dad/or responsible adult supervisor will tell you). Kyra’s first year of school has been wonderful, but it has been difficult, too. Working around her schedule, trying to be there for her field trips and extra-curricular activities, plus working outside of home and trying to keep up with the house and the meals and the laundry has been fairly overwhelming.

I’m not here to make excuses. I’m just here to write. Our topic today; the holidays and the pressures applied on all parents. It’s hard. Between the bills and the parties and the presents; we definitely don’t have it easy. I love Thanksgiving, and the meals are always wonderful and the family is sort of comfortably exhausting. I love Christmas. There’s nothing like seeing my daughter’s face light up at the evidence under the tree and on his cookie plate, that Santa Claus has paid her another visit. This year, however, we’re going to be struggling a little. It puts a lot of stress on her father and on me; on our relationship in general.

It’s something all of us go through. Yeah, we may be having money trouble and times will get hard for a bit of rocky road, but it’s nothing we’ve never handled before, and nothing we can’t handle again. Times may be tough, but they could be tougher. My daughter could have been on a playground in Syria this morning, for example. And then, watching ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ with her tomorrow night wouldn’t even cross my mind right now. She can walk. She can talk. Shoot; she’s even learning how to play chess.

Okay, so maybe I can’t watch a hockey game, and maybe the rent’s going to be a couple of days late this month. But maybe, just maybe, that little Christmas tree atop all her presents, next to the stocking bigger than she is, will bring the Christmas smile to her lips that sets us free and makes us forget about the whole past couple of months. Maybe Santa saves us grown-ups, too.

Hug your kid. Hold him/her tight and remember what it’s really all about. And then, smile that big Christmas smile…like you were still a little kid, too.

What’s In a Name?

Of course, there is the famous Shakespeare quote. To quote someone else, however, has always indicated that you are not clever enough to think for yourself. So, I steer away from it when I can.

In my research, I found a lot of pure bologna, some half-hatched notions, and a pinch of intelligence. It may not be a recipe for the very best blog, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try, anyway.

My name was rather unique and even a bit old-fashioned when I was young; believe it, or not. Now (thanks to Ms. Roberts, I presume) it has moved up significantly on the ‘popular names for girls’ list. I’ve always been a rather odd individual, too…I’m not gonna lie. However, one case hardly counts as any bit more than circumstantial proof one way or the other. There does seem to be a slight correlation between names and personalities, but I can’t in good conscience consider them much more than coincidental.

My cultural learnings to make benefit the glorious nation of Web information, thereby, are this:

Until scientific (OBJECTIVE) research can effectively prove otherwise, a name is nothing more than what people call you. Just keep watching out for those sticks and stones.

The Top 5 Most Underrated Movies of All Time

(Some of you might be sensing a theme, here…)

I will tell you why I chose each one. They are all based on my opinion alone, and what I like to see in a movie; which consists of a great storyline, an unpredictable ending, and a cast who can pull off both of those with witty dialogue. I don’t do explosions and I can’t stand cheap nudity. So NO: ‘Eyes Wide Shut will not be on this list, although it is widely acknowledged as an underrated movie.

No. 5 is, however, a Kubrick movie. It’s’ called ‘Paths Of Glory’ and features Kirk Douglas in his first collaboration with the famous, dead director. ‘Paths Of Glory’ is the tale of a few soldiers wrongly tried for treason by their commanding officers. All are expected to perpetrate the ruse, to make an example of these soldiers and boost morale, but Douglas refuses, causing discord. It’s beautifully filmed and well-told.

No. 4 is called Waking Life. It’s a Richard Linklater film. If you know him at all, it’s probably from ‘Dazed and Confused’ or (less likely, but still possible) ‘A Scanner, Darkly’. Scanner would have made this list if it was less known. The fact is, hardly anyone I have ever met has seen ‘Waking Life’, until I convince them to watch it with me. It’s a story of random outbursts seen from the point of view of a young man who appears to be dreaming. The whole movie is full of interesting concepts, shared with the audience through a lucid dream…the result, of course, is rather open-ended. I still have debates about the ending of that film.

No. 3 is ‘The Virgin Suicides’, directed by one of my favorites; Sophia Coppola. Sophia’s cast endears us from the beginning, throughout the plight of pubescent teenage girls locked away by their fervently religious and stalwart, strict mother. From James Woods (the passive father, wanting to help, but not knowing how), to the boys who watch them from across the street, to Kirsten Dunst as the insatiable Lux, the girls enchant from the very first line.

No. 2 is a Guy Pierce winner. ‘Memento’; one of Christopher Nolan’s first flicks (I guess I didn’t keep to form, here, ‘The Following’ is probably less known) stunned me with its backward motion and it’s unbelievable beginning (which actually was the ending; literally filmed backwards, that one). It’s a little hard to follow, but completely worth it if you aren’t a victim of insufferable ADD.

NUMBER 1!!! It’s called ‘Big Nothing’. This was suggested to me by Netflix, so I figured I’d give it a shot. That movie had me at the edge of my seat, going, “What the F??? No way that just happened. Oh damn…”. The whole movie was this great storyline full of twists that I, as a writer, couldn’t predict. I got a little bit of the end right, about thirty seconds before it happened, and that was it. That movie is still one of the very best I have ever seen. I never thought David Schwimmer could pull off anything close to his character in that flick. It was hilarious, sickening, and thrilling, all at once.

Give the Indies a chance, folks, otherwise, you never know what you’re missing.

Aside

Sweet Revenge

I’ve wondered, often, at the acts of grandparents.

If you are a Mum or a Dad; you completely understand. If you are a kid or a Grandperson…you already know. I remember, when I was younger, how badass it was to go hang out at grandma’ s house. I also know that my daughter LOVES to see her folks’ folks. Yes; part of it is the presents, part of it is the candy, but mostly; it’s just the payback…

That’s right; Mums and Dads. They’re in on it together. Everything you ever did to your own parents is reflected in your children and they (as grandparents) have every right to reward now, what they fought, yesteryear. Say what you will…I hate it, too. But life, it seems, like any ridiculous drunken frat boy will tell you, requires our own particular brand of hazing. We pay our dues, love their faults, and then (finally!) get to make fun of them with their kids.

I am rubbing my palms together like the evil villain in a terribly made and low-budgeted science fiction movie (or, a kindergartner trying to melt a crayon with pure friction). Aha!!! Revenge!!! I can hardly wait, and she’s only four.

That Time of Year

is upon us.

I can’t help but to think that the best way to live is to love. To believe in love like a little kid believes in Santa Claus is all that we have left; right? Unless you buy the whole bible-thumper lifestyle; hook, line, and sinker. To live for love is to be true to whatever makes us different. Period. Just off, and awkward, and weird. I like being all of the above. It’s what makes us…. I love these movies because they’re so real. The only way to see the beauty in life is to open up the jar and let the world in. You have to see people to know them, and you have to know them to appreciate them. 

To see, you have to open your eyes. To believe, you have to open your heart. To know, you have to leap, and to appreciate, you have to first understand. It’s a vicious, wondrous cycle. It’s hard to explain how to be a human being, but at least I tried. It’s more than I can say for anyone who ever mouth-spanked their waitress over pickles on a burger.

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