jump to navigation

The Lunchbox July 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Synchronicity & Mystery.
Tags: , , , ,
32 comments

200px-March-hareThis movie is an unexpected delight.

Through coincidence or synchronicity (or Universal conspiracy), two lonely people “meet” for lunch each day . . . without ever meeting.

The change in perspective allows each to see past the bleak confines of where they are to envision where they want to be.

The promise of a brighter future keeps them moving forward toward a spot of hope on the horizon.

“Sometimes the wrong train gets you to the right station.”

Handy subtitles for those who don’t speak Hindi.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you seen it?  Did it make you hunger for curry?  For understanding? For a heaping helping of synchronicity?

How To Be A Movie Reviewer June 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , ,
38 comments

220px-Poster_-_Tarzan_the_Fearless_01To be a movie reviewer, you need to learn how to say something without saying anything in such a way that people reading the review think you said something worth reading.

Consider these two reviews:

Review #1:  This is a great movie. Everything about it is fantastic.  I am very glad I went to see this movie.  It is the best movie I have ever seen.  Everyone should go see this movie.  This is a must see.

Review #2:  In this delightful comedy, the brilliant director and talented actors work together to create magic on the screen, causing viewers to laugh, cry, and leave the theater in a happier frame of mind than when they arrived.

Assuming you didn’t know the reviewer, which movie would you want to see?

That’s the review you want to write.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  “I like the word indolence . . . it makes my laziness seem classy.”  ~ Bern Williams

Her June 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Fiction, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
24 comments

In the Spike Jonze movie, Her, Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson are perfect for each other . . . if you’re willing to overlook the fact that Samantha is the Operating System of Theodore Twombly’s computer.

The new wave of artificial intelligence packaged with a sexy voice.

Her, a quirky, amusing, and thought-provoking film, reminds me of issues raised in Robot & Frank, when Frank Langella, a retired cat burglar who’s tired of retirement, befriends a robot and creates a shared history.

In these days of cyber friendships, when gadgets and apps connect us via screens around the globe, the criteria we use to evaluate relationships is changing.

Someday, perhaps, dating an Operating System will be commonplace.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you seen the film?  What’d you think?

Related post:  The Odd Life of Timothy Green

 

 

3 Things I Learned This Week June 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
44 comments

170px-PuckCoverAs a child, I loved the story of Epaminondas ~ a young boy who was forever applying the “right lesson” at the wrong time.

So much so that his auntie often shook her head and said, “Epaminondas, Epaminondas ~ you ain’t got the sense you was born with!”

Like Epaminondas, I’ve learned a few things this week.

Let’s hope that moving forward, I apply the right lesson at the right time:

1.  “Legal lingo” doesn’t translate well into the “real world.”

When lawyers counsel clients to avoid “even the appearance of impropriety” by revealing potential “conflicts of interest,” they are not saying that anyone has done or is doing anything wrong.

It’s “code” for laying all one’s cards on the table so that no one looking on will ever be able to raise the issue of possible impropriety or shady dealings due to the relationship of the parties.

2.  I need to avoid the temptation to extrapolate from what’s “right for me” to what’s “right for you.” 

Unless retained to represent someone else, I should keep my nose out of their business.  It doesn’t matter if I know what I would do if I were in their shoes . . . because they aren’t MY shoes.

3.  I am NOT the General Manager of the Universe.

What a relief!  A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  Almost as if Atlas Shrugged ~ an interesting synchronicity since we happened to watch a documentary on Ayn Rand last night.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If any of you are looking for a “beach read” this summer, I have it on good authority that Andra’s book,  To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, is a page turner!

“The mystery of how and why Meriwether Lewis died at thirty-five on the Natchez Trace in 1809 Tennessee is one of the lynchpins that holds the story together and propels it forward. In a wonderful leap of imagination, Watkins pits two adversarial figures straight out of American history against each other for one last deadly confrontation, with the winner gaining redemption and the loser falling into the eternal abyss.” [J.R. Stewart]

Related posts:  Traveling the Natchez Trace with Meriwether Lewis and author Andra Watkins (Breathe Lighter) * Interview: Andra Watkins (Blog Critics) * To Live Forever by Andra Watkins (I Heart Reading) * To Live Forever ~ A Novel By Andra Watkins (Michael Carnell) * More Press & Praise for the book.

 

 

Philomena May 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, People.
Tags: , , , ,
36 comments

Philomena shares the story of a young unmarried pregnant girl who, after being sent in disgrace to a convent by her father, agrees to put her son up for adoption.

Fifty years later, after seeking help from recalcitrant nuns to find her grown son, Philomena (played by Judi Dench) enlists the aid of a journalist (Steve Coogan) to help her track him down.

This touching comedic film, based on a true story, is not a documentary ~ it takes dramatic license and liberties in depicting historical events.

The creative blending of fact and fiction enhances the story line, allowing us to see how Philomena reconciles the nuns’ apparent lack of compassion without losing her deep and abiding faith.

Judi Dench reveals the amazing power of forgiveness to transform and heal.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Saving Mr. Banks May 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , ,
40 comments

We enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks, the semi-true account of how Walt Disney obtained the movie rights to Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers.

An arduous journey to say the least.

Travers did NOT want Mary Poppins, her no-nonsense nanny, to do anything as frivolous as singing.

Or dancing.  Or laughing.  Or flirting.

And she didn’t approve of casting Julie Andrews as Ms. Poppins or Dick Van Dyke as Bert.

Travers didn’t like the idea of animated penguins dancing, and she abhorred made up words like  “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” 

Getting Mary Poppins to fly off the pages and onto the big screen was an uphill slog fraught with tension between Travers and Disney Studios.

But it was worth it!

Aah . . . that’s better! 

 

 

Green America April 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Nature, Sustainable Living.
Tags: , ,
24 comments

Green America sees a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.

If you share that vision, you can learn more by visiting:

Green America: Our Programs 

Each year, Green America publishes National Green Pages to inspire consumers to make greener choices with the green in their wallets.

Green America’s corporate responsibility director, Todd Larsen, crunched the numbers published by the US Department of Labor for the average American household’s 2009 purchases, and came away with an inspiring conclusion and a $300 billion challenge:

If all American households shift just 10 percent of their current spending to green purchases, we could steer $300 billion toward green jobs and the green economy.

Think about it. That’s $300 billion toward businesses that build community… $300 billion toward recycling, composting, and reuse… $300 billion toward reduced energy use… $300 billion toward fair supply chains that protect workers and stop sweatshop abuses.

Equally powerful, the reverse of the equation is true. Shifting 10 percent to green means pulling $300 billion worth of support out of the business-as-usual economy. That’s $300 diverted from supporting fossil-fuel expansion … $300 billion pulled from irresponsible, exploitative banks … $300 billion of support denied to big-box stores with questionable sourcing standards and disastrous carbon footprints.

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_Moneybags

Green America’s website offers a plethora of articles, tips, techniques, and strategies for greening your purchases:

1.  Borrow, Trade, or Buy Used:  The greenest thing you can do is to not buy new at all. Use Green America’s resources for inspiration on how to barter for books, movies, clothing, food, home repairs, and more.

Bartering: Get What You Need Without Money

Dinner Co-ops: Cook One Meal, Eat for a Week

Neighborhood Home Repair Teams

25 Ways to Give and Get What You Need Without Money

2.  Grow Your Own Food:  When you plant your own garden you can ensure that your food is organic and healthy.  A National Gardening Association study found that the average family spends $70 a year on maintaining a vegetable garden, and grows $600 worth of harvest.

Food Miles and Global Warming

Think Globally, Can Locally

3.  Green Your Home Energy Use:  Switch your lightbulbs, fire your clothes dryer, unplug small appliances that draw electricity even when they’re turned off, or go all the way, with wind, geo-thermal, or solar.

23 Steps for Energy Efficiency

Making Solar Affordable Now

Here’s to a more sustainable and just future for our planet!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Create Space For What Matters April 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance.
Tags: , ,
28 comments

170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_02Often we get so caught up in the To Do Lists of our daily lives that we forget to enjoy the journey of life itself.  In Take Time For Your LifeCheryl Richardson reminds us to become masters of our limited time on this planet.

Creating space for what matters allows us room to breathe.

Instead of feeling like a Pushmi Pullyu headed in two directions at once, or a perpetually late rabbit unsure of which direction to head, we heed our inner wisdom and allow the path to unfold before us.

A few ideas:

JUST BE:  Practice doing nothing * Slow down * Be Here Now * Enjoy quiet contemplation* Watch your breath * Pause and Reflect * Meditate * Relax * Contemplate the bottomless ocean or the infinite night sky * Allow inner peace to surface * Don’t Worry.  Be Happy.

PRACTICE SELF CARE:  Evaluate your life * Reflect on your growth * Make a wish list * Celebrate your successes * Keep your dreams alive * Avoid negative self-talk * Eliminate physical and mental clutter * Give away stuff that makes you sad * Sometimes Less is More

PRIORITIZE:  Eliminate energy drains * Learn to say NO * Put yourself at the top of the list * Spend free time wisely * Ignore external pressure to conform * Get to know the real you * Be nobody but yourself

HAVE FUN:  Be adventurous * Listen to favorite music * Try something new * Laugh out loud * Dance like no one’s watching * Take an evening walk * Watch the moon and stars * Enjoy creative pursuits * Paint~Write~Sing~Cook * Live on Purpose * Fill each day with drops of joy

BUILD COMMUNITY:  Connect * Ask questions * Share your expertise * Contribute to others * Reach out and touch someone

CREATE LIFE BALANCE:  Empower yourself to change * Make healthy eating easy * Make exercise fun * Get a good night’s sleep * Realize that making a living is not synonymous with making a life * Evaluate which discretionary expenses make you happiest * Live below your means

GO WITH THE FLOW:  Notice where your life is abundant * Start a gratitude journal * Accept the what is * Embrace all with Joy * Watch for synchronicity * Let go of expectations * Listen * Let the Universe guide you to what’s next

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailSmile at the person you’re becoming.

Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What do you do when you don’t have to do anything?

Give Your Brain A Boost . . . With A Book April 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Meditation.
Tags: , , , , ,
43 comments

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052Last week, Andra Watkins (The Accidental Cootchie Mama) shared links to two research studies done to evaluate the impact of reading on brain function:

Brain Function Boosted After Reading A Novel

This study revealed increased brain activity measured in the MRI’s of 21 college students during and after reading the novel Pompeii.

While this is promising news for book lovers, I wish the study had used control groups so we could compare results and determine whether reading novels has a more pronounced effect on the brain than:  watching movies, playing video games, meditating, dining out, texting, yoga, drinking wine, eating chocolate, walking, parasailing, riding a bike, talking to a close friend, having sex, etc.

Since everyone read the same novel, it’s hard to conclude, based on this study alone, that novel reading is better for the brain than other activities, such as reading poetry, attending a concert, watching a ballet, or “getting jiggy with it” by going ballroom dancing.

But reading definitely woke up a few neurons.

How Reading Lights Up Your Mind

Another article with anecdotal evidence about the value of reading (and meditation) for brain health.

Here’s what the article had to say about meditation:

“Meditation has long been studied to better understand how sustaining attention and focus affects the brain. Studies on mindfulness meditation, for example, show that parts of the brain associated with positive mood are activated with the practice of focusing attention.”

I have found this to be true.  Plus the sustained focus and attention carries over in all areas of life. Instead of re-acting to events (using stale beliefs about past experiences), we more mindfully choose how to spend our days.

Sally-BrownPerhaps by curling up with a good book.

And a cup of coffee.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related: Fight Brain Drain & Set Your Mind On Fire (Andra) * Your Brain On Jane (NPR) * Cross Train Your Brain

The Electric Vehicle rEVolution April 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Sustainable Living, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , ,
19 comments

Last Friday, we attended a Lunch & Learn at Goodwill ~ The Electric Vehicle rEVolution.  Chris Sharek, President of Sharek Solutions, Inc., discussed both pure electrics and hybrid vehicles from his perspective as an Environmental Engineer and Chevy VOLT owner.

A few fun facts:

* This is not “new” technology.  Electric Vehicles have been around since the 1800′s.  In 1900, 28% of all cars made in the US were electric.

Wikipedia ~ Electric Car (in Public Domain)

* EV’s are quiet, reliable, and easy to maintain.  Sharek won’t need his first oil change until he hits 80,000 miles.

* EV’s get great gas mileage.  Sharek has driven 46,000 miles on 200 gallons of gas in the past 3 years.  That’s an impressive 230 mpg!

At present, the owners of Electric Vehicles tend to be Green, Tech-Savvy, Risk Takers . . . like my younger brother who just leased a LEAF:

* My little bro, a techie with a green streak, has solar panels on the roof of his home, soaking up the Colorado sunshine.  For fun, he can watch his meter run backwards as he sells sustainable energy to the power company on sunny days.

* He purchased solar panels for his camper and hooked them up so he can move them around to catch the sunlight while the camper stays cool in the shade of Colorado Pines.

* He latest acquisition is a leased Nissan Leaf which he charges in his garage and at free charging stations around Ft. Collins.  At home, he’s charging it with sunlight from his solar panels.  It costs him about $15 a month for 1,000 miles of drive time.

Nothing like a Leaf to enhance your green techie streak.  That said, the current ownership profile for EV’s will change and expand.  Soon we’ll all be driving electric cars . . . powered by the sun.

Don’t believe me?  Just ask Stephen King:

During a dedication ceremony for a public charging station in downtown Sarasota, Sharek met famed author Stephen King who autographed a novel for Sharek:  “From one Volt owner to another.”

King later endorsed Sharek’s “lucid, fact-filled” book.

Sharek wrote “The Electric Vehicle rEVolution” in 2013 to summarize the first 26,000 miles or almost two years of his electric car experience.

To get your copy of his e-book for Kindle, Nook, or PDF:  Buy Here for $5!

Also available on Amazon for Kindle for $7.49.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  10 Thoughts For Earth Day (Where’s My Backpack) * Frog Wisdom ~ Earth Day (Candid Impressions)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,917 other followers