Week #8: Growing pains

“I’m carded for R-rated movies. & I get talked down to a lot. When I try to go rent a car or buy an airplane ticket or other stuff adults do, I get ‘Okaaaaaay, honey.’ I remember when I was 18, getting crayons in a restaurant.” – Kristen Bell

A friend was getting her wisdom teeth removed & asked me to be her chauffeur. When it was time to go back, the nurse turned to me & said, “Would you like to come back with your daughter?” My friend, who’s older than I am by the way, & I still laugh about that. I should probably be used it by now since I was always big for my age & looked older than I was.

Even though I can’t remember ever being carded for movies & I had to request the kids’ menu after age 10, I still think of myself as young. A lot of things flash through my brain with the caveat, I can’t do that, that’s for grownups. You know, stuff like eating at Perkins or having traveler’s checks. My brain’s rather stubborn about re-categorizing things & doing these things is often accompanied by a Bill & Ted-like sense of discombobulation.

Which is why all of you may want to stay off the roads tomorrow, as I’d imagine that driving discombobulated could be a bit dangerous. I’m doing one of the grown-up things on my list & renting a car. I’ve never rented a vehicle before (unfortunately, they card everybody at those places & being younger causes beaucoup más bucks) & since I’m headed home this weekend, I thought, Why not?. One small step for me, one giant step for grownup kind.

Week #7: Business Formal

Thanks Google!

“Ain’t no party like a Scranton party ’cause a Scranton party don’t stop!” – Michael Scott, The Office

I just washed a load of dishes to avoid writing this post. My hands are covered in lotion, which probably isn’t too good for my keyboard, but I needed to get to it while I had an inkling of motivation.

As you can probably tell by the date of this post, I haven’t had much motivation to write this week. Not without reason though; all my moti-vitamins were used up by a 50-ish hour work week (where normally I have 40) juggling several “hot” projects & bidding farewell to our senior designer. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful that I have a job & a means of supporting myself. But a girl’s only got so much get-up-&-go.

But besides an inordinate amount of work & stress this week also brings my Week 7 AN52 Project—a work awards party! I will be attending the 2012 Addy Awards tomorrow with all the hip & cool design-y/advertise-y people of the greater Kansas City area. I don’t really know what to expect except (whoa, that word combo will play tricks on the mind) for paid parking, an open bar (yay, free water!) & ‘heavy’ hors d’oeuvres. I…I…I—Insert a funny comment here, ’cause honestly, I don’t have motivation for any more.

Week #6: A Rock to Remember

“Geologists have a saying—rocks remember.” – Neil Armstrong

I was going to be Mrs. Prince Eric (from The Little Mermaid fame) from the time I was 5 to about 8. I don’t know why, but I was crazy about The Little Mermaid. I even had one of those Ariel dolls that I used to play with a lot. But she was lonely without Eric & she also knew that I liked him much better than her. But the Eric doll was just not in any of the stores, anywhere. Even though Mom looked & looked, things were pretty tight back then & we couldn’t really have afforded a new Eric doll anyway. It looked like Ariel & I were going to have to get used to each other when Mom found him—a perfectly dressed, low-priced Prince Eric doll in great shape—in a flea market of all places. To me it was just, Yay! I got what I wanted!, but to Mom, it was my Heavenly Father looking out for us through a kind of difficult time. That has always been one of the stories that my mom has pointed to as a mark of God’s providing love.

The Hebrews used to raise stone altars to help remind them of times or places that God had stepped in in a big way. Like in 1 Samuel when the Israelites had just repented of their sins & were faced with attacking Philistines. God threw the Philistines into a panic and the Israelites trounced them soundly. “Then Samuel took a stone & set it up between Mizpah & Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.’ ” (1 Sam 7:12). Now unless you think that Samuel was a Dickens fan, Ebenezer actually means ‘stone of help’. That’s why in the hymn Come Thou Fount, the line reads, “Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’ve come.”

God knows how quickly we as people forget or lose focus. He knows that He will always be there for us, but sometimes we need something to remind us & to help teach future generations. I have had God intervene in so many ways to bless me & draw me back to Him in my life, yet I still have moments of doubt, fear & panic. This week, I’m raising my Ebenezer in a tangible way. With a glass jar, some rocks & paper, I’m going to make mini Ebenezers to record those times where I’ve seen most clearly that Yes, He has helped me this far. I need reminders, visible, heavy, rocky reminders. I forget, I lose focus. I morph prayers into show tunes in my head. So that means, at least for this week & to help get past my ADD brain, here I raise mine Ebenezer.

Week #5: Reflections on a Silver Screen

“Although for some people cinema means something superficial and glamorous, it is something else. I think it is the mirror of the world.” – Jeanne Moreau

Let’s face it, things were easier as kids. Sure, someone’s usually telling you what to do & you can’t drive (not counting my cousin Christopher—he led a slow-speed police chase to his school before reaching double digits), but still it’s a pretty good life. You get toys when you eat, you teleport in your sleep from the couch to your bed & people usually let you win.

While I’m sure I was on the receiving end of the latter enough times as a child, there was one game where I never needed sympathy wins. From about the age of 4 to 9, memory games were my jam. We had this barnyard-themed memory game, the one where you flipped over cards to try to match animals, & I beat everybody. I mean everybody—Mom, Dad, brother, pets.

It turns out my brain is freaky good at remembering things it intakes visually. As my mom always said, “You could quote a movie right back to me after watching it once or twice.” We watched plenty of movies growing up. Mom wanted us to have a good idea of what the world was like at large, since the town we lived in was pretty small. Cinema’s not exactly the gold standard for what is true, but you can at least get an idea of what’s out there. I don’t know exactly how many movies I’ve seen in my life, but let’s just say that number would probably make a nice annual salary.

Yet, despite that, I have never seen what is reputed to be one of the greatest movies of all time—Citizen Kane. I understand it has something to do with Rose Bud & that Saturday Night Live did a spoof of it about roast beef sandwiches, but other than that I’m in the dark, or as I like to call it—AN52 project territory. Check back later for my review ☺

*Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey*

Alright, through the magic of the Internet, though only seconds have passed for you, hours have for me & I have now seen Citizen Kane. I have to wonder if I had seen it without knowing the high praise it has received if I would feel differently about it. Here’s the summation of my thoughts.

  • Pros: It was interesting & the story flowed rather seamlessly. A lot of the shots & effects were probably ground-breaking for their time & some of them were quite beautiful. Orson Wells was pretty handsome in his day (looks are never a negative, as long as they aren’t the only factor) & the aging makeup was usually done pretty well.
  • Cons: It felt a little trippy at times, a little weird. I don’t like stories where the protagonist is more of an antagonist. The overwhelming feel of the movie was a sense of decay & futility & depressing things depress me.

Overall, I appreciated the storytelling & very clever twist at the end, but was a bit turned off by the general tone & projection of the picture. The world they painted seemed to be a dark, grasping sort, like A Christmas Tale without Scrooge’s post-ghosts transformation. I’d have to say that Citizen Kane is one piece of cinema, I’m glad to have seen, but that I’m not going to try too hard to remember.

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