Year 1, Week 19: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

christmas tree

Starting to write this during a wonderful winter snowfall, just in time for a white Christmas, increasingly rare in recent years. I have a great deal to be thankful for this year, and watching the snow swirl in front of me reminds me of the beauty of life.

Both our kids are home now, another reminder, and it is good reconnecting with both of them as they continue to grow and development. I think we all live a bit vicariously through our kids – oh, to be young again! – even if we are largely happy with the ‘peace and wisdom’ that we hopefully acquire with age.

And some good health news. On my side, the ultrasound for my hernia confirmed that nothing else to worry about (living with cancer always means worry). Not as thorough as a CT scan, but comforting never-the-less (and radiation-free).

In addition to the usual holiday preparations, I attended a retirement party for one of my former colleagues, a good opportunity to recognize her contribution to government service in both the larger and smaller sense, as well as see members of my former team.

LincolnWith the kids back, some movies. On the good side, Spielberg’s Lincoln, with a wonderful sounding script, a strong cast, and a captivating tale of the politics and intrigue in getting the 13th Amendment passed. A bit Speilbergian in how he is playing for an Oscar (and with the audience) but definitely worth seeing (and maybe some lessons for fiscal cliff negotiations …).

On the bad side, the latest attempt to film Anna Karenina, a passionless adaptation about a film that at its heart is about passion. None of the actors had any spark or chemistry and the only interesting aspect was how it played with being shot as a play and reality, alternating effectively at the beginning, but becoming tiresome, as was the movie, as time went on.

From a film making perspective, seeing the two movies, both set in the latter half of the 19th Century, the choices made by the directors in how to film were interesting. Anna Karenina had the polished ‘Merchant Ivory’ lushness, lighting and glow; Lincoln was stark, harsher lighting, with more authentic period lighting (e.g., all interior scenes felt dark). A bit jarring at first, as we are so used to the ‘polished feel’ of movies today, but contributed to its authenticity.

Some light videos as well: Best in Show, a delightful parody of dog shows and their owners by Christopher Guest (of Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind) and Habemos Papa (We Have a Pope) about a papal electee who doesn’t want the ‘job,’ how he tries to rediscover what he is forgotten, and the interplay with his atheist psychotherapist.

I have refreshed my blog layout as this refresh provides drop-down menus for my ‘pages’ or top tabs. Makes navigation easier but I may play a bit further with this while keeping the overall look. Let me know what you think.

I will be taking a break from my ‘clipping service’ over the next few weeks until January 8 but am keeping up with the weekly updates.

Merry Christmas for those celebrating, and happy holidays to all of you and your families.


2 thoughts on “Year 1, Week 19: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

    • All our best wishes to you and your family Andrew. Many thanks for all the precious thoughts you have been sharing with us.

      Umit, Kumru, and Ekin

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