Archive for Thursday, January 8, 2004

Matinees illuminate post-holiday blahs

January 8, 2004

The big days (Christmas and New Year's) have come and gone for another year. I finally got the Christmas tree and lights taken down. I loved my tree.
My grandchildren were upset when they heard I was not going to have a tree this year. One cold evening several weeks before Christmas the doorbell rang, and I found the three "G" boys on my doorstep proudly displaying a beautiful tree they bought for me at a local tree stand.
It was the best one I have ever had -- not only beautiful but also a gift bought with love. What more could you want for Christmas? I wanted to wait until the Christmas season came to its official end on Epiphany, Jan. 6, to take down the outdoor lights, but with the snowstorm Sunday it was better to take them down earlier. What a switch after the past few days, which have been practically balmy.
Reading about a past winter in 1973 in the paper last week reminded me what December used to be like. "Rain and sleet damaged many trees and shrubs. Five inches of snow fell in a weekend, and temperatures hovered between zero and 10 degrees."
I remember those days. The kids were always delighted because school was out, but making the trip to Lawrence to work each day was hazardous. Besides, I always felt like Cinderella -- everyone playing in the snow and having fun while I had to go to work.
I'm not sure what most people do on New Year's Eve -- stay home, I think -- but I do know what they do on New Year's Day. They go to the movies in droves. Unless you bought a ticket early, it's doubtful that you got into the movie of your choice that day. Two movies I managed to see were noteworthy.
It's doubtful that "Something's Gotta Give" starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton will win any awards, but it will certainly give you a few laughs. It should boost the morale of women over 40 or 50. Without giving away the plot, it was great to see Keaton playing the part of the older woman -- wrinkles and all -- being wooed by the ever-entertaining Nicholson and the young, handsome Keanu Reeves. I'll let you wonder which one gets the girl/woman.
"Shattered Glass," described by the critic in the Lawrence Journal-World as a "masterful movie," recounts the true story of a young journalist, Stephen Glass, who fabricates 27 of the 41 articles he wrote for the "New Republic" in the late 1990s. As a young, gifted writer he becomes enamored of his own writing ability to entertain, thus furthering his own ambitious career. Never mind that what he wrote was fiction in a magazine known for its scrupulous accuracy. As the critic says, "the film is a fascinating look at how a situation like this could be allowed to occur."
Might sound slow, but trust me it's a real study in the complexity of human nature.
Another must-see movie on the critic's list was "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" starring Russell Crowe -- "an epic story of war at sea during the Napoleonic Wars."
According to my friend Pat Kedhe, who is part owner of a bookstore in Lawrence and a person who would rather read the book than see the movie, this one is truly a must-see. She read the book. In fact she read all of the books in this series by author Patrick O'Brien.
Now, go buy a ticket (early) and watch one of the above. Maybe I'll see you at "Cold Mountain" or "Lord of the Rings." Which part are we up to now? Caution: Must be seen with your resident teenager to explain what's going on now in this new episode with the hobbits and the dwarfs (or is it "orcs?" Or is that another movie?)
Saying goodbye to 2003 and moving on, there is big news in 2004. Anthony Brown is running as a Republican for the Kansas House seat left vacant by Rob Boyer, who is seeking a seat in the 9th Kansas Senate District.
Anthony, of the rugged good looks and his wife, Susie of the sweet, heart-shaped face, despite their boy/girl next-door appearance, have five children and have been residents of Eudora for sometime. Quite naturally, Anthony says family issues will be uppermost in his mind as he seeks office. Congratulations, Anthony. I'm sure you will have a lot of support.

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