Friday, July 24, 2015

Wayward Pines, A Place to Die...

I found it difficult to get interested in the initial installment of The “Wayward Pines”.
It was a little too dark visually and I had trouble keeping up with the characters and their spidery networks of relationships. But when my husband seemed to become engrossed in something that appeared to be not much more than a mid-season filler with a cult-like following, I was intrigued. His cultish television viewing habits are more like “top 40” shows. The DVR is his second best friend. I digress.

After learning that M. Night Shyamalan was heavily involved in the production, I felt like I really couldn’t commit to “Wayward Pines”. Critical comparisons to Shyamalan’s “The Village” really left me cold. I found that movie disappointing in its predictability. A clever story, but not as cleverly veiled as “The Sixth Sense”. I am a Twin Peaks fan and it did not even come close!

Fast forward to the mid-way point of “Wayward Pines” and there is an irresistible buzz about how ‘good’ this show is and so, I became interested, but not really hooked. I made lunches while watching the show and did not miss anything.

Based on an apocalyptic horror trilogy by Blake Couch, it appears the entire television series covers all three books of “The Wayward Pines Series” in ten episodes. Although I admit I did not read the books, I admire the economy in trimming down three books into a ten episode television series. I also think that was a shortcoming which made it difficult to follow. If you’ve read the books, watching the series might be like a ‘Cliff’s Notes” version. Huge chunks of information are omitted, the general story is applied but not enough to make you care.

Recently, we accepted an invitation from the Philadelphia Film Society to attend the series finale to be screened in the Prince theater and a follow-up Q&A with Mr. Shyamalan. I thought it might interesting but soon felt like a trip to Center City after 8’oclock, on a ‘work night’  for a less than one hour television view and a brief fan based Q&A might not be worth the time. I was correct.

The ending was flat and disappointing. If it was supposed to be a cliff-hanger, it fell with a thud. If the FOX network has any designs on a second season, I hope the actors option for advance payment in the event of series cancellation. Maybe the big name actors that were killed off reckoned a revelation that the apocalyptic series was really an end of days saga.

Shyamalan’s next movie opening in September , “The Visit”, received noticeable commercial air time, and the most memorable commercial spot was a tease for the “X Files”, set to air after the NFL Championship game in January.
Fans of the book series might pine for more Wayward Pines, but I’m saving my heart for resurrecting Mulder and Scully. The truth is out there. I want to believe. I do.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Life we Claim we Didn't Sign Up For: Independence Day and 30 Days of Yoga

The Life we Claim we Didn't Sign Up For: Independence Day and 30 Days of Yoga: Happy Independence Day! It is the 4 th of July and I have just completed 30 days of Yoga With Adriene , a routine that I stumbled upon whi...

Independence Day and 30 Days of Yoga

Happy Independence Day! It is the 4th of July and I have just completed 30 days of Yoga With Adriene, a routine that I stumbled upon while surfing the internet. 

Pigeon pose

Yoga is not new to me, I’ve practiced it since my early teens and was actually quite good at it,  like some of the hip opening poses, like Pigeon pose, one my favorites for a really great stretch in places that are often folded up all day.

This is something I really enjoyed. Although I am a large woman, lack of flexibility was never an issue. And for me, Yoga feels good.
Once an acquaintance said in disdain, “YOGA! That’s not real exercise, no pain, no gain.”
My mantra is slow movement is better than no movement, and if it hurts to do it, don’t do it! And that is exactly what my Orthopedist says, too. I have lousy knees.

The daily yoga routine has fell to the wayside over the last couple years, for a variety of reasons, none of which I can recall with certainty or good conscience.
Even my family stopped asking why I stopped doing yoga. 

Cow Face Pose
It is energizing exercise, I feel refreshed and loosened up when I finish. My 60 year old joints don’t hurt so much and my brain is definitely less foggy, or at least I believe that things are clearer for the day ahead.

Today I finish the commitment to myself to complete these 30 days of Yoga. It wasn’t always flowing and pretty, but I did it and acknowledge the benefits I noticed incrementally over these last couple weeks in regaining flexibility. I’m not ready for the Cow pose, but I am confident I’m on my way. I've done it and will do it again.

Today, I salute myself. I bow to the light in me. Yoga is back to my daily routine.
Enjoy this Independence Day and do what feels good.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Perspective and Snap Decisions

I came home from work the other night and walked in to an emotional shit storm. My daughter, the mother of my eldest granddaughter was ranting, more like storming rage, about something her 18 year old daughter had done. She was on the verge of tears, and slamming her fist on the table repeating, “I CAN NOT BELIEVE SHE DID THIS!”
This rant only produced more emotional upheaval as she tried to stifle her tearful frustration when I asked just what it was that was so offensive. Along with this festering emotion was my husband, who also was fuming, but really waiting for me to have a similar reaction to the issue at hand, whatever it was, so I asked.
“Did she have a car accident?"No.
“Was she pregnant?” Nooo.
“O.K. then what?”
The rant continued. “She told Nancy Nonsense (of course that is not her real name) that she could move in here for a couple weeks because she is fighting with her mom and is getting thrown out! “
With that declaration my daughter slammed her fist against the table again in what was actually more her own temper tantrum than a real anger or disappointment.

A brief background, these girls have been friends off and on  since grade school. The off times were usually because of a stark difference in personal choices. Nancy has a little issue with household authority, and wrestles with a heavy dose of oppositional defiance.  Now they are college students and not much has changed. She’s a real charmer when it suits her, but lately, Nancy lacked that charm in her own home. 
Back to the emotional shit storm. I took a deep sigh and said, “You’re upset because she made that decision without consulting you.”
“You’re damn right I am! Just who does she think she is?”
“She’s just a kid,” interjected my husband, still waiting for me to pile on.
With another deep sigh,  I got on my virtual soapbox and here’s what I said.
“Yes, she is not in a position to make such a decision without consulting the adults in the household. But let’s go back almost 30 years ago when YOU were just a kid and our house was always hosting at least one of yours or your sister’s  friends for a variety of reasons. It wasn’t because we lived in any lap of luxury that they didn’t have in their own home. It was because they were avoiding their own home and as long as they were respectful and kept in touch with their parents I was okay with that. The way I saw it, I knew who you were with and what you were doing (for the most part). When the welcome mat wore thin, I sent them home. Nancy can stay here tonight but then she has to leave. She is not homeless and she has other places where she can stay. She can’t stay here just because she can’t make all the rules to suit herself.”
With that, my daughter and husband chafed that I wasn’t going to carry on in a fit of rage similar to theirs.
“Then YOU tell them,” they said as if that were a challenge, like I don't speak my mind.
After speaking to Nancy’s Mom and hearing her side of the story, we agreed that she would spend only that night at our home and then be on her way, essentially a cooling off for both sides.

The girls were informed that this would be the last night of her stay and then Nancy Nonsense would have to either go home or find someplace else to stay, but it would be wise to first try home.
Nancy wasn’t happy, but did depart the next day, albeit with a bit of a pissy attitude.

And my granddaughter’s offense? She offered to someone a place to stay that needed some time to pull themself together. With time and experience she will understand the consequences of making snap decisions. I hope she never loses that compassion for another human being.