Monday, February 18, 2013

Love the Memphis!

Today is Presidents Day and I am in my apartment, working on the computer and preparing myself mentally for meeting former VP Al Gore at The Booksellers at Laurelwood at 12pm CST. My three day weekend has been filled with much laughter, excitement, work, writing, reading and traveling yet I am glad for every minute of it.  I have also signed up to be a volunteer with Indie Memphis and Volunteer Mid-South while planning out the rest of my day after the book signing. I am also thinking about my visit to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art yesterday to view their newest exhibits: Romare Bearden - A Black Odyssey and Angels and Tomboys - Girlhood in 19th Century American Art. I lead a full life.

In any case, I love the Memphis. I have heard so many people talk trash about this city and how there is nothing to do and nothing to see. Yet, whenever I talk with these people, I ask them if they have seen the latest exhibit at the Dixon, the Brooks or the Metal Museum, or if they seen the new baby giraffe and sea lion at the Memphis Zoo, or if they went to the Ridgeway Four to check out the latest foreign films (I saw the French film AMOUR on Saturday and it was both very good and very depressing!), or if they have been to a book signing at the Booksellers at Laurelwood, and so on and so on. Usually, I get a blank look or an "Uh, no" as a response. Truth be told, there are a billion (okay, maybe not that many!) things to do in the River City; all it takes is to get in your car or on your bike or grab some good walking shoes and just begin exploring. That's how I found out about a lot of things I have now incorporated into my life and continue to do so.

So, on this Presidents Day, if you are at home and have nothing to do, go out and explore! Whether you live in Memphis or in another city, the world is waiting for you to explore it!

As for me, I'm just getting started!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Everlasting Moments (Criterion DVD)

Just finished watching the Swedish film Everlasting Moments and it left me with feelings of hope, happiness, sadness, and wonder. Based on a manuscript written by the director's wife, Agneta Ulfsater-Troell, chronicling her ancestors lives in the early 20th century, this movie is an excellent example of how the spirit can conquer all. Simple and down to earth Maria is married to Sigfried, a loving yet coarse and abusive man, and her life consists of keeping their home and her children. Yet, when she discovers photography and her passion for what the eye sees, her life changes forever. As I watched this film, I paid close attention to how Maria's ever growing passion for photography gave her a chance to experience life beyond the rigid borders set up by her husband in the form of spending time with other women, drinking and regular beatings. Thankfully, she had a friend in Sebastian Pedersen, photographer and aesthetic, who cultivated her passion and let her know that all was well. The acting was wonderful, the story was well written and I longed to be with Maria as she took her photographs of Life. Because of The Criterion Collection, I am able to view such great films like Everlasting Moments, movies that would have normally slipped through my radar. Thank you, Criterion, for including such a delightful film to your collection. This simple and emotional movie is not to be missed.

** Photo came from IFC Films' website:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Animated French Film is a DELIGHT

For the record, I love anything French, especially their films. Although I am very rusty in speaking francais, I know that if I were ever stranded in France, I could at least ask someone if they had a cup of tea or some mushrooms with bread while telling them thank you sir or ma'am and by the way, where is the bathroom? There is something to be said for a French film: the way the actors and actresses carry themselves across the screens, the food that they prepare to make one's mouth water and their ability to leave a film unresolved while giving the audience just enough to keep them engrossed in conversations hours later over espressos at the local coffee shop. So, it came as no surprise to me that five minutes into the movie, I knew that I was going to LOVE A Cat In Paris.

Young Zoe and her mother Jeanne, a police superintendent, live together in a small yet cozy home in Paris. While Jeanne is off to work, Zoe is cared for by Claudine, a sort of nanny and housekeeper. Zoe has not spoken in some time due to the death of her father, a policeman, and her mother is set on capturing his killer: a gangster named Victor Costa. Zoe's only friend is a a black cat that leaves every night to join up with its "friend", a cat burglar named Nico. Throw in a very good plot with several twists, wonderful animation and awesome jazz music and you've got a wonderful and delightful film that had me riveted to my couch until the very end of the credits. I already know that this film will become a part of my movie collection, ready to be watched over and over. Do yourself a favour and watch this film!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make a cup of tea and snuggle on the couch with my copy of In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by Marcel Proust. C'est magnifique! 

Au Bientot!

PS - the above picture came from the movie's website.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Great Birthday . . . Now What?

Although I still have balloons drifting from my ceiling in my living room and my refrigerator has part of an Italian Wedding Cake inside, my birthday weekend is over. I spent my time with loved ones and friends and ate way too much cake, pizza, and BBQ. My boyfriend and one of his children came down for the weekend and I drove them all over the city with a grand finale at the Memphis Zoo Sunday afternoon then sent them on their way while I watched one of my birthday presents: the DVD Valley of the Dolls. So yes, it was a great weekend and I am one year older . . . now what?

Well, to be quite honest, I have learned quite a bit over the weekend, things that I already knew yet received a refresher course. I re-learned that the world is a BIG place and that it still has many wonders for us to behold. That idea came into my head while we walked around the zoo. So many animals from all around the world and oceans and yet they represent only a tiny fragment of this place we call Earth. So many people these days have forgotten what it means to simply smile, laugh, dream or even explore. After seeing these animals for the millionth time in my life, the idea of the world made me feel quite good and charged up my curious side.

I re-learned that people choose to feel or act in a certain way. No one "makes" you do anything; the responsibility is your own. Once again, there are too many people out there who act in a certain way towards others and yet they blame it on the other person and escape all responsibility. How can we live when we can't be responsible?

I re-learned that all things are good in moderation. Yes, this was my birthday weekend and yes, I did eat quite a lot of fatty foods. Yet, today is a new day, a day in which I go back to my moderately eating ways that I truly do love and enjoy my fruits and vegetables.

So there you have it. Sometimes, it's just good to hear or experience words of wisdom every so often in our lives; it makes us stronger and more open to whatever comes out way, be it good or bad. I am now 39 years old and I feel more alive than ever. I had a great birthday; now what? Now, I continue living my full and enriched life as ME.

Thank you.