Create your balance. Design your life.

Be careful what you wish for…

Be careful what you wish for…

Jul 29, 2014

Nancy Downs is an angry young woman. Although she attends a private Catholic school, she comes from a poor family. Her mother is an alcoholic and her step-father is a jerk. She has two close friends, Bonnie and Rochelle. The 3 are as tight as you can get and Nancy seems to be the leader. The girls have an interest in witchcraft and the occult. They haven’t had any real luck in their endeavors. The need a fourth member to make their circle complete with the elements: earth, air, water and fire. A new girl comes to their school. Her name is Sarah Bailey. She is a natural witch and can make things happen although it is unintentional when she does. The girls are going to befriend her. Their magic is going to work. Then, due to Nancy’s instability and anger it will all go wrong. The movie is “The Craft” and the character I am featuring this week is Nancy Downs (played in an Oscar caliber performance by Fairuza Balk). This will basically be a list of what not to do. Nancy is a bad girl and the villain of this movie. Sit back and let’s cast a spell. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week. Nancy Downs is a poor girl with a terrible background. She lives in a trailer with her mother and step-father and the place is about to collapse around them. Nancy’s biggest desire is to not be poor. She must be an exceptional student to be in an expensive private school (most likely on a scholarship) and she only has two close friends. The three girls are thick as thieves. Nancy at one time had a relationship with a football player named Chris Hooker, who, like many boys, lost interest in her after she had sex with him. She has the reputation of being a major slut because of him and she holds a lot of anger because she really cared about him. She feels betrayed. It is also rumored around school that the 3 girls are witches. A new girl comes to their school named Sarah Bailey. She tries to befriend the girls in science class and...

Musing #35: Yo, Broadway! Stop with the Hollywood. (Part IIA of II)

Musing #35: Yo, Broadway! Stop with the Hollywood. (Part IIA of II)

Jul 25, 2014

Welcome, dearest readers, to Part IIA of Musing #34: Yo, Broadway! Stop with the Hollywood. When I wrote Part I, I did not know that I was being sent to Florida for the second half of July to work on a huge federal trial in my (exasperating) legal secretary capacity. I’m writing today from Tampa (near where I grew up), more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life, with no ticket home yet booked. AWFUL!!! There’d be no end in sight even if I could fully open my swollen eyes, which I cannot. I’ve been toiling 18-hour days (weekends included) in agonizing, indefinite limbo from my real life. I miss my New York shoebox more than I could ever miss a lover. I’m losing weight my tiny body cannot afford. This is some seriously tough Scylla and Charybdis steerage, because the only work in the world that I want to be doing is on my screenplay. I haven’t a moment to myself. It’s utterly soul-searing. Of course, this particular depression will be greatly assuaged when I can finally go home and receive what will be the largest single paycheck I’ve ever earned. (By far.) WONDERFUL!!! I’ve managed to find enough of a lull in the madness to knock this out, but it’s clearly not the lengthy essay I intended to write. I feel so passionately about the fundamental wrongness of adapting cinematic works into stage musicals that I could write an entire book about it if I had the time and inclination. But because I’m blogging on the sly, as it were, I have no choice but to “adjourn” my essay until August. Please accept my deepest apologies for the rain check. There’s simply nothing I can do about it. So tune in next month for Musing #36: Yo, Broadway! Stop with the Hollywood. (Part IIB of II). Until then, “Damn the trial. Take me back to Manhattan!” The Ghost of Reno Sweeney @IvyLawEditor   Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

My Barbecue Sauce Problem

My Barbecue Sauce Problem

Jul 25, 2014

Summer, once known as a time of outdoor activities and vacations, is now known as PCS season, that dreaded time of year when the Army gives and the Army taketh away. Short for “Permanent Change of Station,” you can rest assured that is is never “Permanent.” Landing somewhere new, making friends, then re-learning to say goodbye is a normal side-effect of Army life. In May, we lost our next-door neighbors to PCS season when they moved to their next duty station. This means I have a barbecue sauce problem. Let me explain. On the night before my neighbors left, we participated in a time-honored moving tradition: The Emptying of the Refrigerator. I was welcomed over to their now-empty house to go shopping in their fridge, and gladly took their frozen goods, including two packs of the good organic hotdogs, bags of shredded cheese, and some cream cheese. My friend encouraged me to also take her Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. “It’s so good!” she said. “Really, it’s the best.” But my arms were full and I was starting to feel a little bit greedy, so I said no. Also, I was sad to see my friends go. I hated being in their empty house, already echoing with their absence. They had become family, and I hated to lose them. It started the day we moved in. It was just me, my mom, and the two kids. I had left our home in Louisiana at the last minute, hoping to beat our household goods to Tennessee so they wouldn’t go into storage. Mom met me on the way, flying into an airport on our path to be my road trip partner. My two year old was confused. My youngest, three weeks old, had terrible diaper rash from sitting in the car for two days. We were in a new town, cranky, exhausted, emotional, sitting in a sea of boxes. A knock on the door changed everything. My neighbor brought us a casserole, that time-honored Army wife tradition and staple — but despite a couple years of Army marriage under my belt, I had never had a casserole delivery. We thanked her profusely, said the oh-you-didn’t-have-tos. We closed...

The Sharing of Inspirational Quotes on Social Media

The Sharing of Inspirational Quotes on Social Media

Jul 24, 2014

By Mo Breden There is great debate, controversy, and even drama among a group of my friends regarding the sharing of inspirational quotes on Social Media. I personally have no problem with the sharing, provided it is not excessive. I do it myself. If I see something that stirs or moves me, I naturally want to share it with friends and family. However, one of my friends goes absolutely berserk at the sharing of these quotes and in turn makes up her own, often obscene and offensive in order to shame the sender into ceasing and desisting. This, as far as I can tell, has not been an effective strategy because although the sender usually then excludes her from the group receiving the inspirational quotes, the rest of us continue to receive them. As I said, I am not opposed to receiving them, as I send them myself. Another of my friends monitored a quote that I posted for an entire day, so that she could report back to me that nobody “liked” it. I went ahead and “liked” it, and she told me that was cheating. We had a discussion about her getting back to work and leaving my posts alone, eventually someone did like the quote, so I guess I win! As with all things in life, moderation is the best strategy. We are all still learning how to best use the social media that is now available to all of us, all the time every day. I have always believed that the explosion of the Internet could be one of the greatest things to ever happen to humanity. The ability to connect instantly to any one, any where in the world is an outstanding achievement in communications. So much good can come from it, as can so much that is bad. It is really up to all of us. We don’t want to annoy our friends or overload them with garbage, so moderation must be the key. Just take the time to enjoy the quote and give some thought to whether you want to pass it on to everyone, just a few, or no one at all. It really is ok,...

Gifts of Summer

Gifts of Summer

Jul 23, 2014

By Katie Helms The summer season is represented in the Chinese Five Elements tradition by the color red, the element of fire and the sound of laughter. When I develop lessons for the summertime they are full of sorting, partnership, connecting, and awareness. As we design games in small groups, we build connections with each other and find ways to partner with our buddies. We take turns being the leader of the play we engage in. In our play, we develop empathy and joyful awareness of each other. One kind of energy we see in summer mimics the dancing quickness of flames. Another way that summer shows in our daily lives is in the slower more subtle and intimate or protected interactions akin to the embers of a fire. When we sit together with a trusted adult and explore simple materials, we use our sense of touch to learn about the world. We can connect deeply with children by witnessing their play with sensitive hearts. Dramatic play games that began indoors in the fall, blossom into a new fullness when we take them outside. This is a good time of year for dancing activities and Original Play. One job of the teacher in a summertime classroom is to help children build bridges between themselves and their peers. The best way that I know to help folks understand the spirit of summer is to remind them to connect to the spirit of play within themselves. Children are excellent stewards of the fire element, when we open to the energetic of fire, we open ourselves to joy and passion, to intimacy and lightness of being.   Katie Helms is an artist and a teacher living near Baltimore, MD. She offers adult and child workshops several times a year and is available to travel should you be interested in a group class outside of the Baltimore area. Her blog can be found at www.radlabs.wordpress.com and she can be reached at this email address. Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

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