Thursday, December 25, 2008

And the Word Became Flesh

May the peace of Christ be with us all on this Christmas Day, over 2000 years after His arrival.

Let us ponder the true meaning of this Holiday. Pray for wisdom. Pray for patience. Pray for guidance. Pray for strength and the ability to understand. Pray for peace.

Take comfort in the fact that we are never alone, for He is always with us.
May we all carry His peace in our hearts into 2009 and beyond.
A blessed Christmas and abundant New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Drive-By Random Thoughts

Life has been a blurrrrrrr lately, and updating the blog has fallen by the wayside. In an attempt to catch back up a bit, here's a random accounting of activities and thoughts from the last couple of weeks:

  • Work has been a whirlwind, and I'm clocking 12-15 hours a day right now, trying to keep up. I think it will settle down a bit in January, once we're done with all the year-end rush. Fingers crossed.

  • I just got back from Toronto, where it snowed 3-4 inches on the city before I got out of there. Snow is so wonderful when you can look at it out your window; not so wonderful when you trudge to work in it. Still, being from the relatively warm south and spending much of my time in the tropics, snow is always a novelty, and if it's going to be frigid outside, it may was well snow to make it worth the while.

  • I feel like I am way behind on Christmas shopping. Truth is, compared to the short list I'm buying this year, I'm not. But compared to what I bought last year, I am. I feel a bit like Scrooge -- I've been trimming down my list, sending more cards than gifts. But it's sort of the mode in these economic times. Conspicuous consumption is a bit gauche right now anyway.

  • Current Christmas plans are up in the air. Plans to spend it with my parents have been dashed due to a flu bug at their house. We may not go now. If not, it's just my husband and I, and no gifts to boot! So we're thinking of being creative this year -- midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, a volunteer gig to pass out holiday meals on Christmas Day. And as for cooking, I think maybe I want to do something like research what a traditional Christmas meal is in Italy, and try to recreate that here. Something completely different, but perhaps establishing a new tradition for us. I'm sort of in the mood to break with the old and bring in the new. I must say that not rushing around to over-buy Christmas gifts this year has been refreshing. Perhaps some good things will come out of this bad economy; perhaps we'll get back to finding meaning in non-material things, and we'll find more joy in the giving of our time to others and in the little things. I'd really like to see that happen.

  • Finally, I have managed to work off the extra five pounds I put on during the summer by being lazy, eating too much frozen custard and starting on some new BC pills (which I think is the real culprit). It's odd, because I've lost the poundage during the holiday season and while working for 12+ hours a day, a set of circumstances that usually has me finding the 5 pounds, not losing it.

  • I have been eating a lot of sushi lately -- perhaps too much. I need to cut that back to once a week, as I'm hearing about avid sushi lovers getting too much mercury from it (Jeremy Piven), and that's a really bad thing.

  • Parents all around me are starting to fail healthwise, including mine. My husband's mother, my neighbor's dad, my parents....all starting to feel their age. I fear that some of them won't be with us for long, but also the road ahead will be difficult for us all, as we struggle to help them with their health issues. Thirteen years ago, my husband's father fell over dead out of the blue (heart), and while that was a shocker, I'm starting to think it might be preferred to the deterioration of health as they get into their 70s & 80s. Sometimes I think maybe we just weren't meant to live so long.

  • My shitzuh is the cutest boy ever. For some reason, he has become my constant companion lately, following me around the house at all times. Suddenly, he' s a mama's boy, and that's okay by me.

  • I am in a mental panic over the first few months of next year. We still have some ugliness going on with my husband's business that has collapsed, and it is likely to peak in March '09. I am trying very hard to hang on mentally and financially to get through it all. I don't talk about it much...I try not to think about it much....because it sends me into a tailspin, and I have to continue to be functional to get us through this. I have to say that it's amazing what life throws at us and what we can actually bear. I hate the challenge this has presented, but I am thankful for the strength I am able to find. It's terrifying yet interesting to explore the boundaries of what one can handle and still be able to function. I thank God every day for the strength and the blessings He provides. He is the only reason I am still here and halfway sane, given some of the events of the last 18 months that I do not ever speak of here.
  • I must remember to pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow. Note to self.
  • My brother and his wife are in Europe for Christmas -- Germany at the moment. It's odd turnabout. I am usually the jetsetter, and he's the one at home. But not right now. Not this year.
  • Tomorrow is Monday, the start of a holiday week, and I hope enough people have already started their vacation that it starts to lighten the workload for the rest of us who haven't. Please let the emails slow down!!

And with that....I must sign off for now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Saw It....and Saw It Again

Mostly because I'm a Daniel fanatic, but also because the action moved so fast, I couldn't keep up the first time! I'm wondering if that isn't a conspiracy by the producers -- confuse them the first time so they buy a second ticket, and make twice as much money! Well, it worked -- at least in my case. And by the way, I'd be willing to go again, but that's just to see Mr. Craig one more time. He's a beautiful man, especially in a Tom Ford custom suit. *sigh*

I found Quantum of Solace to be a decent flick, although not on par with Casino Royale. I missed the moments from CR -- the human moments -- the witty dialogue, the rare heartfelt scene, the window into some of the characters -- that we enjoyed in CR. It's like they just skipped over that part in Quantum. They just omitted them in favor of more action sequences, and it took away from the end product. In fact, if we hadn't come to QoS already enamored with the characters, there really wasn't much to endear them to us in this one. It truly was a sequel, and it would have been a whole different experience -- a lackluster one at that -- if you hadn't seen CR first. It doesn't stand on its own.

While I missed the deeper elements, on a much shallower note....why did we only get to see the Aston Martin DBS for about five minutes in the whole film? I read all about how they cracked up two or three of them during filming ($250K+ a piece -- CHA-CHING -- down the drain, or in the lake, as it were), yet we only got to see that beautiful piece of artwork on wheels for maybe five whole minutes. There were way too many scenes of Daniel driving a Ford (yawn) and not nearly enough of him in the Martin, and that was really disappointing. Next flick, more Martin and less Ford, please. He is James Bond, afterall. Get him into an impossibly fabulous car again as soon as possible, please.

As for the women in the flick, I thought Olga was gorgeous -- loved the dark skin and green eyes. Beautiful! And Gemma Arterton was okay....she fit the spunky young thing part well, but she couldn't hold a candle to Olga. What a gorgeous girl! Daniel needs to dump his fugly girlfriend and get it on with Olga. I'd feel much better about that if he did. :)

Which leads to my next issue -- not nearly enough sex in this one. I want to see James Bond (well, Daniel Craig anyway) seduce a few women along the way. Say maybe a brunette, 5'10", an American career woman, highly intelligent, maybe a little older than the others.... :) Yes, that would work quite well, thank you.

So I have to give this one 4 out of 5 stars. Remove the Daniel factor, and it gets 2.5 out of 5 stars. Watching him on the screen is worth the price of admission....I don't care if he stands there and reads the phone book. Shirtless, of course. :)