20 December 2008


I know I've been absent. The end of the semester left me world-weary and worn. I've been spending most of my free time working on Christmas presents for people that I care about. After the holiday, I will be back with as much vigor as ever. Wait for me until then! "I don't want what I cannot carry on me or inside." -Tree Union Small note: Tree Union is one of my favorite bands this month. Check them out here or here!

09 December 2008

Color Me... Orange?!

I am a firm believer in color therapy - the idea that you can heal (or influence) yourself with the colors you wear, the color candles you burn, the colors you have around your house... And colors, of course, are directly related to chakras, as each chakra belongs with a specific color family. In case you don't remember which chakra goes with which color, there's a very basic run-down here, which is a site I've linked to before. Knowing which chakra is out of balance - too much, too little - takes a lot of practice for most people. And knowing how to balance chakras takes even more work. But sometimes, you just know which chakra is dominating your body/spirit/mind... you can just feel it. Can't you? Ever woken up and knew exactly what color you wanted to wear? I know I have. Or, sometimes, I'll use color to influence my mood, like if I want to be energetic and creative, I'll purposely wear an orange or yellow shade. And actually, today I feel orange - hopeful, curious, creative... and a little bit antsy, which is why I'm trying to balance that extreme orange by wearing shades of blue for a more mellow, easy communication feeling. If anyone wants the low-down on colors and their complements, I'd be happy to do a separate post on it. Either way, there are plenty of good books out there on the relationships between colors, and about color healing, but this one is one of my favorites. So what color are you today? And what color would you like to be?

07 December 2008

Trust Me (And Not Those "Critics")

Before I continue, if you haven't watched Australia, at least watch the trailer: Or, watch the trailer in Hungarian: Now, take a step back, try to be objective, and read what the critics are saying: It just barely scraped into good territory on Rotten Tomatoes with 52 percent. It got a B+ by Yahoo users, and a C+ by Yahoo critics. It got a C- by Entertainment Weekly. It was called a "boring trip through the Outback" by RopeofSilicon.com Bogus, I say. Bogus! Trust me, these people must have been watching with their eyes blindfolded and their ears stuffed with cotton balls. Either that, or they were so concerned with living up to their title of "critic," that they were too afraid to praise this sweeping, dizzying adventure story. And out of all the reviews I read, the most frequent complaint was the movie's daunting 156 minutes. Which was one of the things - besides the sweeping landscape, dazzling cinematography, and hint of magic - I liked a lot about the film. It took it's time. There was no scrambling around at the end to tie everything together because the film's multiple subplots (the second largest critic complaint) all fell nicely into place. I don't really understand why critics like the LATimes are complaining about the fact that it seems like "two or three historical sagas squeezed into one big package." In my opinion, more movie-time means you're getting more for your money. And multiple story-lines kept the film interesting for everyone. Honestly, who really wants to sit through a long, sappy love story with nothing else going on? Not me. But Australia wasn't just a love story -- it was also a story about a different world (and it took the time to show you that world), a story about an imminent war, a story about discrimination and hatred, and a story about over-the-top characters. And maybe sometimes the movie itself went over-the-top, with massive explosions and unreal circumstances. But that was just part of the otherworldliness of it, of the film's in-your-face character, just like that of the Drover. And I don't think that's a negative thing. But Michael Jones of the Huffington Post puts it much better than I ever can in his persusasive review: "Let those without a heart beating in their breasts give Australia less than four stars. Those who boo kids at Easter Egg hunts, yell at referees at junior hockey games, sneer at sunrises, cut in line in front of little old ladies, give out healthy snacks at Halloween, talk during the Star Spangled Banner... they will laugh and slang at Australia. A pox on them. They prove that they are not really members of the human race." Beautiful. You should read the entire review if you want to get a real sense of Australia. Forget all of the bad grades and nonsensical complaints. I mean, can we really trust in the opinions of critics (like the New York Times) who say: "Mr. Jackman gives the movie oomph; Ms. Kidman gives it performance," thus implying that Hugh Jackman cannot act? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

04 December 2008

Hello? Hello! Hello?! Hello.

Some news: Roman Polanski and Viagra. I recently noticed that when I pick up the phone, I always say "hello?". And I guess that's a standard phone opener, very traditional. "Hello?" With that slight voice raise at the end, marking it as a question. Not a greeting, but rather a subtle query of "Who is this?". Although, in this cell phone age, I already know who is calling, because the name already showed up on my phone before I picked up. In fact, the name probably had something to do with whether or not I picked up at all! Then, why still the "hello?", why keep on with that age-old questioning tradition? Perhaps I'm masking other questions, like "What the hell do you want?" or "Are you going to cancel plans again?" or "Where have you been?". Or perhaps I just don't really put enough effort into answering the phone (considering everyone says I sound depressed every time I say "Hello?" "Hey, what's up?"). Or maybe I'm just stuck in a rut of tradition and routine. So next time I answer the phone, I will try to be sincere. If 1/3 of surveyed Brits can answer with casual phrases when they know who's calling, so can I! I will say "How are you?". I will say "How was your day?" I will say "Will you buy me a Dwarf Winter White Russian hamster???". I will say "Hello". Drop the lilt at the end. Drop the silent question. They never know what you're asking anyway, unless you say it directly. Just "Hello", as a greeting, as a salutation. Or, maybe even, "Hello X," where x represents the name of the caller. A personalized greeting, like the one you can put into your cell phone, in e-mails, on Christmas cards (Speaking of, I was reading about Christmas newsletters on the Always Home and Uncool blog - which is always a really great read - and I must admit, I've never thought about sending out holiday newsletters. I mean, usually I either go with cards or letters - with the usual phrases like "Happy Holidays" and "Hope you enjoy the gift" and lots of little stickers and drawings to take up space - but I never considered sending out an newsletter to tell people what's new in my life. Then again, I'd probably only reach about four words: "Hello! Nothing new! Goodbye!" Look, even my half-assed Christmas newsletter would get a real "Hello", with an exclamation point, no less!) That's it. I have no choice now. Next phone call, you'll hear it, "Hello!". Just wait for it. Maybe I'll expand to other languages : "Hola!" "Szia!" "Yo". But part of me mourns the loss of this satisfying phone-opener. That silent question, raising up at the end despite being dragged down by the weight of every little word you can't quite bring yourself to say. Like "Why won't you stop calling me?" or "Don't you know I don't want to talk to you?" or "Is it too obsessive if I ask what you're doing this weekend?" or "Do you have any idea how many times I picked up this phone and almost called you?" or "Can I live without you?". Think of all that hidden meaning, lost. All of that subtext. Maybe I'll solve this problem by doing like the Hungarians, and saving my "Hello" for the end of the conversation, when I really mean "Goodbye."

02 December 2008

Song of the Day

Switchfoot : On Fire Does that mean you're cold when he isn't near you, and when he doesn't speak? Does that mean you start to freeze up inside, with little icicles growing underneath your skin? You sparkle, but beneath the glamor, you're as empty as a bird's nest, from which all the children have already flown. I don't mean to get depressing, here, but there's two weeks to the end of the semester, lots of work to do, and a noticeable lack in my life right now. Give it a few weeks, maybe. I need another trip to Hungary to chase away these blues (settling in my bones) with soft kisses from a sweet, mellow breeze as I stand thigh-deep in the water of the Balaton, wondering if I should submerge myself, wondering if I can absolve myself, wondering if I will finally let go of battered dreams. I did submerge myself. I have (can) absolve myself. But I cannot give up on these dreams, not for anything. As an addendum to that, I can be happy alone. I can do more than just survive and function alone. I can feel alive. Everyone can, when they realize everything they need is inside of themselves. When they are able to keep the pain at only a certain point, and not below (oh, Ayn Rand, and her cold characters). And, that said, I'd rather be alone than give up on my dreams. I'd rather be alone than force myself to feel something I don't. I'd rather be alone than be with someone who I do not love. And in that, I will be happy, because at least I know he's out there. Because at least I know he exists. Because at least I'm not settling for anything less than being overwhelmed. [[you were the best i ever had.]] "New slang when you notice the stripes, the dirt in your fries. Hope it's right when you die, old and bony. Dawn breaks like a bull through the hall, Never should have called But my head's to the wall and i'm lonely. And if you'd 'a took to me like A gull takes to the wind. Well, i'd 'a jumped from my tree And i'd a danced like the king of the eyesores And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well."
- New Slang by The Shins