Monthly Archives: December 2013

The One Night We Should All Raise a Glass

The final day of 2013 has arrived, which is when we collectively reflect on what this year has meant to us, as well as the people we care about. We will think about the good and the bad scratch that: only the good!

It’s New Year’s Eve: the special, global celebratory moment (depending on the time zone) when the lens through which we see the world shows us that anything is possible in the upcoming new year. The sky is the limit. And let’s be honest, there’s really only one thing you can and should be doing tonight.

And it goes a little something like this…

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Happy Monday!

It can be the little things that can encourage one to get better, especially if one happens to be sick. In this circumstance, movement of one’s body is minimal. The alarm that will ring relentlessly on a cell phone merits a quick jolt to the right to turn it off. However, before swiping my finger left to right, listening to the predetermined song choice (that had been forgotten) was surprisingly motivating. It provided a nice little spark to get better as fast as possible because it’s difficult to enjoy this specific music with a cold.

This song was meant to be listened to and experienced when feeling good.

Happy Monday!      

…Sorry, I Just Zoned-Out for a Minute

The mere passing of time has a funny way of evolving the things in our daily lives. Add in the fact that humans have long proven they will innovate to varying degrees (and yes, I am aware of The Dark Ages) during a certain amount of time. Whether in days, weeks, months, years or decades, familiar things change. Incentives arise. Reality is altered for the future. This can pertain to a myriad of items or even entire environments.

It can also involve stories.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is not a new story by any stretch of the imagination. However, the version known to a particular generation varies. For instance, there are two movies derived from the famous James Thurber short story of 1939 of the same name, one in 1947 and one recently released in 2013.

Same title, different interpretation.

Part of this distinction between the two major motion pictures is due to the year it was produced and the world we lived in and are currently living in at the moment. Another prominent factor is not only the technology available, but also filmmakers trying to define who Walter Mitty would be back then and today. Where would he live? What would he do for a career? What or who does he dream about and why?

Below are two trailers for the two film adaptations of the Thurber classic.

Same character, different time.

Do you know a Walter Mitty? Are you Walter Mitty?

Only time will tell.

FYI: Friday is a pretty good day to find out either way…

P.S. Walter Mitty in 2013 is well-worth daydreaming about in a movie theater for a couple hours.

The Voice That Always Gets Our Attention

Wrapping paper of all colors, with red bows and green and silver ribbons, covered our living room floor like it was New Year’s in Times Square. The scene was chaotic, but in a happy and joyful way. There were smiles everywhere we looked as we simultaneously celebrated the birth of Christ and the presents Santa Claus placed under our Christmas tree. The food was delicious and the gifts ranged from exciting new books to a portable gaming system to a visionary Blu-Ray adventure to sharp looking clothes to a princess or two. There may have even been a personal steamer for suits and shirts…

People were obviously good this year, which explains why everyone will end 2013 and start the new year in 2014 in good shape.

Except one. With the exception of one particular nephew.

The prize gift for my nephew was a Nintendo 3D DS. Once he unwrapped this from Santa, it was game over.

Actually, it was just the beginning, but you get the point.

We all tried to get him to stop for a while, but to no avail. It was his game and he wasn’t going to stop.

There was nothing we could do or say.

The rest of the day was a blur of action fighting, magical powers and mazes upon mazes upon mazes in adventurous lands. Hours passed and his fingers were slightly indented with the shapes of the DS buttons. Then, sadly, the battery life was spent. Time to charge it up! Feeling uncomfortable without the red gaming system in his hands, he fittingly sat uncomfortably next to the wall outlet and continued his journey inside the world of Pokémon.

Nothing would tear him away. He was in his own little world. He was in an impenetrable bubble floating just out of reach.

Then came the trip back home at the end of the evening. As we squeezed inside my sister’s car, my nephew continued to play without missing a beat. However, about twenty minutes into the drive, he just closed the game and squinted and cringed awkwardly.

Asking if he was okay, he said, “no…”

Some time went by. The following question and answer exchange revealed the last things we wanted to hear.

“Do you feel sick? Do you feel like you’re going to throw up?”

“Yeah, kind of…”

At this point, my sister and I instantly looked at each other with the realization that 35 MPH down a neighborhood street may not be fast enough for our current predicament.

Uh oh.

Moving as quickly (and smoothly) as possible, we made it to my parent’s house on the way. After getting inside, I filled a cup with cold water. We then watched him like a hawk.

Nothing.

Yet, he was still feeling ill. So, of course, the appropriate next step is giving him a trusty Tums (Tum-Tum-TumTum-Tums!). He sat on the kitchen floor, feeling a little better, but not wonderful. Then, he said something both confusing and surprising. We all listened intently as he basically explained how he (admittedly) had played the DS for too long and that looking at the screen, plus playing it in the car, had made him feel sick.

He still loved the gift, no question, but he realized that there may be a limit to gazing at a screen. What’s truly impressive is who ultimately got my nephew to stop playing his new game non-stop that day…my nephew.

For some situations like this, it takes self-realization. Whether this involves putting down an addicting game or learning to go to sleep or trying new foods, there are moments when one has to figure it out on his or her own.

In the case of my nephew, he won’t just get better and be in good shape…he’ll be in great shape.

That’s always a fine way to start any new year.

Hopefully everybody had a very Merry Christmas!