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Friday Night at the Movies

We can't resist Philip Seymour Hoffman's call

Dinka and I treated ourselves to a movie on Friday night after it didn't work out during our Christmas vacation in Pennsylvania (what a sinfully extravagant year 2008 is turning out to be!). The lobby was packed with teenagers, noisily joking in that teenager-group way that makes everyone around them a little nervous, rushing to get a ticket for Juno. We waded past them and into our theater, ten minutes early, and took our seats for The Savages, average age of audience member: 58. Young people? Warm-hearted indie comedy about teenage pregnancy. Souzeks? Middle-aged brother and sister unite to deal with caring for their estranged father recently diagnosed with Parkinson's. I made a "this is who we are now" joke but Dinka quickly reminded me that this is who we've always been, for the most part (see: opera, driving cap). I liked the film quite a bit, filled with a couple of excellent performances (let's just say Philip Seymour Souzek has been thrown out there in our ongoing baby names discussion) and more layers than expected.

After a wonderfully quiet weekend at home, the first in a long time, I can recommend two more things without reservation: Paris, je t'aime and spending task-free time with children. Both will remind you of the fullness of life and send you beaming into the night.

January 07, 2008 | Comments (2)

Yesterday & Today

I was on the YMCA treadmill this morning, back to the grind after five days of lounging around a cabin in the Poconos eating Christmas cookies (pictures to follow). As I hit the home stretch, the iPod shuffled up Murs' "Yesterday & Today" and it captured a few days' worth of emotion for me in the first 1:25. Today was my first day back to work after the holidays—long overdue days off spent with the family, doing nothing but enjoying being with them and trying to soak up enough of it to get me through the next stretch without them—and in comes Murs:

I ain't getting out of bed today
Nine to five to survive, there's gotta be a better way
Waking up early to punch in the clock
How I look, a grown man with my lunch in a box
But my kids need socks and shoes, I'm walking through...

Those first few bars, summing up the Sunday night/end of vacation feelings, and the 9th Wonder beat were enough to cover me in a fresh coat of goosebumps as my shoes started thudding as they caught the front of the treadmill. I pushed those tiny iPod earbuds as hard as the treadmill was pushing me. On top of that, it's the new year now and while I'm not big on resolutions, I never miss an opportunity to reflect on where I've been and think about where I'd like to be going and how. You can imagine my reaction to the chorus:

(Yesterday I) Felt the most hated
I thought I couldn't take it, I fought until I made it
(And today I'm) Feelin' brand new
I got nothin' to lose, get out my way, move

I started to think about the coming year: people are getting married, babies are being born, things are in motion. Change is coming and I am ready to embrace it, not in the sense of replacing what I already have but rather building on it for an even better future. I am filled with hope for this new year, for myself, my family and the world around me. Happy new year, everybody, let's make it a good one.

January 02, 2008 | Comments (1)