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The Original Plus-One

The world continues to spin seemingly out of control from various forms of chaos and uncertainty on far too many issues to count these days and during the past several years. And the necessity for random, happy stories reaches peak level more often than not. You need it. I need it. We all need it.

This is one of those moments that will (not should, but will) bring a smile to your face.

The famed expression is, “kids say the darndest things.” Well, as the 6-year-old boy in the video shows us, kids also have the potential and power to say the nicest things.

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Winnie the Pooh is…True?

Sort of.

Image result for winnie the pooh holding hand christopher robin

(Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, Disney)

Warning: Naming your stuffed animals can be life-changing.

Creativity is not something that can be memorized from a textbook. In its purest and most imapctful sense, creativity is a reaction or a feeling someone has to something or someone that few (if anyone else) sees. It happens when it happens. And creativity can be a truly wonderul thing when it rises from the normal everyday.

While we’ve all watched and enjoyed the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, including his best human friend Christopher Robin, it’s a safe bet that most of us don’t know the story-behind-the-story. Well, later this year, moviegoers will discover the former that inspired the latter.

To think it all started when British author A.A. Milne was casually introduced to some wonderfully named stuffed animals…

There is just something magical about England of yesteryear (or the days of yore, if you’re like Rachel Green) with its picturesque architecture and dreamlike parks. Maybe that special feeling we have is the result of so many creative people before who have subtly transformed these pleasant thoughts from England into our illustrious reality over the course of many generations? Cheers, either way. And it looks like Goodbye Christopher Robin aims to showcase one of those delightfully impressionable chapters in that evolving lineage of happy thoughts from that place across the pond.

A.A. Milne, his son and his cast of characters are not rock stars like the Beatles. However, their tale of heartwarming imagination continues to “top the charts” (of sorts) with children and parents alike, spanning multiple generations…like the Beatles.

Also like the Beatles, Winnie the Pooh wants to hold your hand.

A Crash Course in Listening

“Speak softly and carry a big stick”
–President Theodore Roosevelt

Perhaps we should listen to softly spoken words and, from there, determine what we’ll carry…

Steven Spielberg is the greatest movie director of all-time. But how did he become a movie directing icon? The highly sought after position of Hollywood movie director requires mastering expensive, virtually unavailable and evolving technology, acquiring an acute knowledge of cameras, lighting and effects, gathering a Scrooge McDuck vault of gold coins for a single film and projecting an unforeseen vision of the world to be successful. People (business partners and fans alike) trust you to deliver on the biggest stage/screen. A hiccup could derail your dream in the same time it takes for two trains to crash.

Or, that’s the precise amount of time it takes for you to see everything.

Teachers come in all forms.

And when you realize that, you’ll be admitted to the greatest show on earth.

The Pleasures of Past “Inconveniences”

It’s Friday evening and after unwinding from a long and “stressful” week at school, my family and I embraced the TGIF-mentality much like the family did from the movie “ET.” We gathered in the family room that was perfect for watching movies and enjoyed a film that was just released. Surrounded by and in between all of us was a steaming hot Donatos pizza box, a half-gone two liter of Coca-Cola, cups and plastic Dontaos themed plates everywhere and an opened blue and white movie container with the word in bright yellow block letters “BLOCKBUSTER” showcased down the cases’ spine. This was a Friday night spent with family during my childhood. It was awesome.

Once the 3:00 p.m. bell sounded on that Friday during my elementary school days, the opportunity to make the weekend great had begun! After discovering my mom’s car from the usual lineup I opened the door and said hello. When asked what I had learned that day, I just responded with what had become protocol: “stuff.” With a humorous roll of the eyes, she put the car in drive and we went home.

Knowing that a very cool new movie had arrived that day at the movie store, I waited for the right moment. “Mom, you look really great today!” Thankful for a split second, she quickly saw through my transparent motive. Uncertainty still in the air, time had passed to early evening, around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. Contemplating for a few moments, I finally mustered the courage to ask the two biggest questions of the impending weekend: “Mom, can we get pizza tonight?…and stop by Blockbuster?”

Pausing for dramatic effect (which worked in ways you cannot imagine), she replied, “Sure.” It was official: Friday night was going to be legen-wait for it…

The Blockbuster just a couple miles from my house was packed with fellow kids, parents, teenagers, adults and every age demographic you could picture. Looking at every movie box with precise analysis, I searched for “the one.” Once discovered in the “New Releases” section, I picked up and gazed at the cover box with amazement. Next step, I nervously and excitedly look behind it and hope for a VHS to be available for rental. As an FYI, a VHS is what us ‘old people’ used to call movies. Talkies is another popular expression.

At the counter, I hand the movie to the clerk who is sporting a welcoming smile and a happy attitude for the young man about the experience a cinematic adventure. My mom hands her the official membership card, the clerk swipes it, opens the case to ensure the correct movie was ready for rental, snaps it closed and then a white receipt is printed and stuck inside the top with the due date included. With a smile as wide as a mile, we walk out of the brightly lit, magical Blockbuster store and return home to then order a cheese pizza just like in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Home Alone” that is at our front door in a speedy fifteen minutes. Once the pizza guy is paid on our warmly lit front step, the moment had finally arrived and it was officially Friday Movie Night.

Today, at virtually any hour and day of the week, I turn on my laptop, open up iTunes, go to the iTunes store, click on the movie I want, confirm the download through my iTunes account and in less than an hour I’m watching the movie…alone and with total convenience in the comfort of my own home. Ughh.