Friday, March 29, 2013

Note to Self - Keep Your Chin Up

It's the end of March. 2013.

No news on the job front.

Jobs Help Wanted I've applied online. In-person. Been to job fairs. Done some networking. Followed up on leads. Taken some college courses. Performed some volunteer work. 

Note to self:  Keep your chin up. After all, what's the alternative?

As that cartoon fish once sang:  "....just keep swimming...just keep swimming...."

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Cinema - Oz, the Great and Powerful

I firmly believe that my first words as an infant were set to music, as follows: 
♫♪    Somewhere ... over the rainbow ... way up high...  ♫♪
♫♪     There's a land that I heard of  ... once in a lullaby   ♫♪ 
That's how long I've been a fan of that cinematic treasure, L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz". I recall the annual airing of this beloved classic feeling like a holiday, like Christmas. All year long we waited - and waited - and waited. For that big announcement. The date and time the movie would air on television. And on that celebrated holy evening, my family would gather round our black and white television. Fresh popped popcorn. Plastic cups filled with cherry Kool-Aid. A hush would fall over our crowded little living room as the opening sequence of the film appeared on the big old console at the end of the room. 
Sweet, innocent memories. To me, the movie is sacred. It's a masterpiece. It represents that basic human curiosity through the eyes and dreams of a little Kansas farm girl:  Is the grass greener on the other side?  Is there "no place like home"? 
So now that you know how much this film is revered in my little mind, you'll understand why I will look at any other "Oz" production with caution and skepticism. It had better do justice to its predecessor.  

And that brings us to the newest release from Disney, "Oz, The Great and Powerful", the prequel to the Wizard of Oz. Set 20 years prior, it tells the tale of how the Wizard, Oscar Diggs, arrived in the land of Oz. I saw the previews and was very excited and anxious to see this film. Sadly, it didn't measure up to my expectations. 
I went to the theater with hubby, my sister-in-law and her son. Our review was unanimous: we weren't bowled over. It was ok but not a movie we we'd see a second time or rate very high (maybe 3 stars out of 5?). Tho there was much to like about the movie, we agreed the problem was the cast. We didn't buy either James Franco as Oz or Mila Kunis as Theodora. And the storyline was a little thin. 
Without giving too much away, in case you haven't seen it yet, here's my review:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Adventures on the West Coast

There's no place like home. No truer words were ever spoken.

I'm home after an awesome week in California. The best part? It didn't seem to fly by like most of my vacations. It felt like it hit just the right note.
(Don't you just love it when that happens?)
We were busy, yet relaxed. We did a lot of fun stuff but also found time to just chill.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This trip to the west coast has certainly been eventful. And no, I'm not just talking about all the fun things we've been doing.

I'm talking about the one BIG event that seems to be exclusive to the west coast. Something I've heard about for years. The dreaded ground shaking....EARTHQUAKE !

So I'm sitting in the backyard of my brother's home. It's morning. Enjoying my breakfast and a cup of coffee. Under a pergola. Two cats lazing at my feet. Beautiful day. Bright, clear blue sky. Warm, bright sunshine.

Suddenly a strange rattling of the pergola above me. Simultaneously the cats both spring a few inches into the air and run to the back door, crying to be let in. Strange. I look around. Nothing seems amiss. Can't figure out what caused the noise overhead. What spooked the cats?

Puzzling. But I shrug the shoulders, continue on with my breakfast and sip my coffee. I open my phone and surf the web until I find the day's news. And there it is....headline..."Earthquake Shakes Southern California"... what!?! When? I didn't feel anything. Shouldn't I have felt the ground move under my feet? Shouldn't there have been people screaming, running out of their homes? Mass hysteria? Sirens blaring?

I don't know. I've never been in this situation. I'm not a native Californian. This isn't something I've lived with. What am I supposed to do? To feel?

It slowly dawned on me. I DID experience the quake. It was in the shaking of the pergola. The strange behavior of the cats. It only lasted about 15 seconds. THAT was it. The EARTHQUAKE. 5.1

Wow. How crazy was that? Now don't get me wrong, I'm really happy the quake didn't cause any damage or injuries. But I think its cool that I can now add this to my list of fab stuff experiences. Like the tornado in Nebraska. The blizzard of '78. Batting down the hatches during a New England hurricane. The emergency landing at Dulles airport.

You just never know what lies around the corner in this life. Just got to be ready!

Friday, March 8, 2013

California Dreamin'.......

♪♫ All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey ♪♫
I've been for a walk, on a winters day
I'd be safe and warm, if I was in L.A.
♪♫ California dreamin'.....on such a winter's day ♪♫

I was. California dreamin', that is. Been thinking about flying out to the west coast for a long time. My brother, his wife and their his/her kids live out there, in the Los Angeles area. I love visiting with them. And it's been way too long since I have found the time (and funds) to make the trek out west.

Hubby knew how much I longed to see my west coast family. And how much I needed to take a break from my discouraging job search. So a few weeks ago he proposed that we should grab this opportunity to go. Thanks to unemployment, we have the time. We have points built up from lots of traveling, enough to cover the cost of 2 airline tickets. I, of course, agreed that he had come up with a great plan!! (Ain't he the best?!)

Flash forward:  We're here!! Cal-i-for-ni-A !!

We left New England right before a massive icy cold snow storm. (How convenient, eh? Ha!) Buh bye, old man winter....helllloooo sunshine! and warmth!

Gosh, we needed this. Time away from the daily fruitless job search drudgery. I'm really hoping the change of scenery will give us (at least me, anyway; hubby is a lot more upbeat and optimistic than I) a better frame of mind. Who knows? Maybe I'll find something here. I've wanted to live near my brother. There's just something about this part of the country that has always called to me. this an opportunity...or is it fate?

We're having a great time. Consignment shops. Girl talk with my awesome sis-in-law. Hubby played fireman with my super-hero brother. Dined at the local cowgirl cafe. Enjoyed great company. Introduced ourselves to the local wildlife. And taken lots of pictures of the beautiful scenery. Today we have plans for more shopping, movies and family time. And we're gearing up for even more fun activities over the next few days....I'm loving it!

Stay tuned for more updates..............