Saturday, April 21, 2007

Another reason blogs are changing the way we think...

Well maybe... Scientific Sex postulates that once someone writes something down they believe it, even if they write about something they don't agree with or against something they do agree with. Further research (in the guise of calling up a couple of psychologist friends and searching a bit on the 'net) explains to me that while a complete and utter reversal of opinion isn't the usual result, a questioning as to why one believes as one does, in respect to disagreeing with the 'false' opinion written often occurs.

So that makes me wonder, when we write about something, when we 'blog' our opinions what are we blogging? Are we blogging well thought out stands on issues we are well versed in? Or... are we guilty of 'jumping on the bandwagon' when we read something well written (regardless of truth in what we've read).

I know I am, at least at times, guilty of just that. But...then when I read what I've written I become even more firmly convinced that yes, that is my opinion and why is anyone even questioning that I think that way. Too bad if not that long ago I voiced a different opinion. That doesn't make me wishy washy it makes me smart enough to realize when I'm wrong.

The next time I find myself writing with Passion, I promise myself that I will examine that passion to be certain that it is mine and not inherited second or third hand.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Recycled Post

Well folks, it's come to this. I liked this post when I wrote it but I posted it somewhere else. Now that I'm trying to gather my fractured personality into one place I thought I'd post it here as well. This was written and posted in December 2006.

I tried the NaNoWriMo novel. Which to those uninitiated is a challenge to write a novel in 30 days. The goal is 50,000 words in the month of November. That breaks down to 1667 words per day. I got to just under 42,000. Much closer than the 13,000 I arrived at the end of November 2005 with.

The idea is great. My novel, not so much. But that's not really the point. The point is to write something, anything really, every day and keep it up for 30 days solid to establish the habit. Sadly, when you allow it to either become such a priority that you end up resenting the fact that you have to write those damned 1667 words or such a barrier that every word is wrung from you with such effort you start to sweat just sitting down at your desk, it sorta defeats the purpose. Not that I got that way you see. :P Just that I can see how that whole let's establish a habit can backfire. :P

Meh, I suppose that's nothing more than justification :) But I did learn a few things about myself and my desire to be a writer. I really do want it; and I really need to stop believing those 'only from angst and strife comes good literature' stories I've been hearing. Writing has to be something I do because I enjoy it, not because it's ripped from me like some clinging tentacles that are unwilling to leave go. So when it's not on, it's not on and forcing it, working myself into a mood of anger, disgust or just plain depression will not feed any muses that are hovering nearby.

On the flipside? When the muse speaks I need to listen. I've learned to carry a small pad and pencil in my purse as well as a small tape recorder for those moments where writing won't work. And I need to record everything. Because if I try to write in an orderly fashion, telling that dream of an idea to just wait its turn it will dissolve into the ether, leaving only the barest of flavour to the air that surrounded it. A teasing touch on your tongue, a brush of whisper against your mind and then it is gone. Never to return, never to dance upon your heart again to send it quivering. Oh you'll think you've got it back but if you're truthful with yourself, there'll be some lingering word that just isn't quite right.

Writing can be painful :) but it doesn't have to be. And just because it isn't rent from someone's mind amidst the throes of angst and turmoil that frankly would just leave me with a headache doesn't mean it's not good enough to put out there to read. What some would call bubblegum for the mind, soft teen romance and a girlhood crush that turns to first love is just as important, just as hard to write frankly as any epic. Just ask Margaret Mitchell (author of the ultimate true love gone bad story, Gone With the Wind...which she wrote in long hand.)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Wild Hogs

There are certain movies that have to be seen in a theatre to fully appreciate the scope of the film. Epic type movies like Lord of the Rings and certain family favourites like the Harry Potter franchise which while not really needing the *big screen effect* certainly are a family tradition to see on opening day.

Wild Hogs is not one of them. Not because it's not a side slippingly genuinely funny movie that had us smiling fondly and laughing out loud, choking on popcorn within 10 minutes of opening. And not because the cinematography isn't awe inspiring for many of the long 'road trip' shots. And certainly not only because it's a very accurate assessment of why many people find the appeal of the open road and no helmet addictive.

No, it's because at home, you can REWIND to hear the parts you missed from laughing at the bit just before.

There's little time wasted setting up the premise, as it's not really that difficult a concept to grasp. Four friends, middle aged, a couple of them apparently friends since college like to get together for a ride on their hogs. Not that strange that one or two or even all of them for varying reasons are in a state of malcontent at the way life has turned out for them.

So in the eternal cry of moviedom solutions, a roadtrip is proposed.

The story plays out as expected, but not in a jaded, oh here we go again fashion. Allen is eloquent, although almost seems to be striving to play against type, Travolta sometimes appears to be mailing it in. Hennessey is miscast in my opinion, not to mention looking a tiny bit too skinny. Lawrence is the fallguy or maybe not. And William H. Macy is brilliant. Tomei, cute, sexy, honest. Liotta...mmmmm HOT in a badboy is only misunderstood sort of way with just enough of a nod to the old Rats&Mice version of bikers to make it not sit badly. The Easy Rider nod might not be so apparent to some of the younger crowd but I certainly got it :) as did many others around us. And for anyone who didn't, look it up.

Certainly not an *enthusiast's* movie, for that you might want to go here. It sure won't give you anything more than a jaded 'let's make 'em look like idiots to stop people being afraid of them' glimpse of bikers either. Then again, it's not a documentary, so why should it do anything more than entertain? Which for myself, it did very well. Well enough that a few minutes into the movie I found myself thinking, "I'm so buying this when it comes out."

My rating: 3.5/5

Friday, April 06, 2007

You gotta know how to celebrate the difference, is all I'm saying...

Without much hope of a change, despite the determinedly cheerful forecast by the poor guy on the weather channel last night; (I do believe that's one of the most thankless jobs around at times) I looked out the window this morning to a view of white with more falling from the sky. Did the weatherman not hear the date? I mean we changed to DST early and all for this? Oh sure it's beautiful, all pristine and still like that; the white flakes falling from the sky in silent splendour reminding me of the awesome implacability of Mother Nature. IN DECEMBER it's freakin' awesome.

We are now in April. 'nuff said.

'Move south' my american friends tell me. 'Come to God's Country' my relatives on the west coast and in the valley tell me. 'Come home' say the ones still living in Saskatchewan, adding 'at least you'll know what to expect', because when it's winter in Northern Saskatchewan it's WINTER and while it's brief, when it's summer time it truly, truly is.

Having grown up with seasons as distinct as that I have to say that as much as I bitch and complain along with everyone else I look forward to the seasons changing.

There's something about the scent of snow in the air in October that reminds me that all's right with the world and sends me into a Suzyhomemaker spiral that equates to a squirrel getting ready to hibernate. I bake, I cook, I organize my spice cupboard after much swearing because I can't find the nutmeg I bought last fall after running out and I go out and buy more. Somewhere in my house is a treasure trove of little orangeybrown tins of nutmeg. I pull out my wool for new winter wool socks and I revel in it anticipating the hours I'll spend watching the new seasons of various tv shows and knitting because it's too ugly to go out. And just when it's become very nearly unbearable to stay cooped up inside one more day, I catch a glimpse of a brave stem of grass poking through the muddy snow.

I know that spring will stir other, although similar, urges within me. My farmer father's genes run rampant and I have to fight the urge to rip up the soil and plant something, anything. Usually I manage to lay down and this urge goes away :)but sometimes I have to repot all my herbs and houseplants (the ones that survive in spite of me) and there's usually a new addition. Last year it was crocuses (crocusi?)in a lovely blue crockery pot and I'm rather curious to see if they will come back this year. I guess pulling the pot out of the storage shed and unwrapping it would help, hmm? After spring comes summer, days of lake time (if Miss gets a chance and life cooperates that is) and hot days. As little clothing as is legal or practical and corn on the cob grilled on the barbeque. But even that ideal fades as the summer winds to an end. A soft chill creeps into the morning air and takes longer to leave each day, and soon the dry scent of snow is in my nostrils and the cycle starts again.

Winter allows me to love summer, and summer allows me to love winter. I think that's why I firmly believe you can't know if you're happy unless you've experienced sadness, nor sad unless you've experienced happiness. Success is only truly embraced if you've experienced failure. Although I do believe that contentment is another matter, because it's a fine line between content and complacent with only a step or two to go from there to contempt. But that's another post.

I've learned that seasons change and nothing is forever, not even the idyllic 'hazy days of summer'; no matter what that phrase becomes a euphemism for. I know that life is a temporary state. It's also what you make of it. You can freeze your fingers and bitterly complain about the cold, walking around in clothing unsuitable to the climate, however no matter how much you complain the weather isn't going to change for you unless you move. Or you can bundle up and have a snowball fight, or make a snowman, knowing that even that emblem of fun will not last forever. It's all about how you choose to view the world.

Today, I'm choosing happy and let the snowflakes fall where they may.