Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's 2010!

I suppose this is my first official blog of 2010 although, to be honest, it really doesn't feel any different from 2009. Since, technically, it's really only three days into the year, that's not really a surprise.

It's been a busy three days. It's amazing how busy vacations turn out to be, even when they're relaxing. I managed to see two good friends, hang out with my family, celebrate New Year's with my sister and brother-in-law by unintentionally renting a movie with a talking penis, see "Sherlock Holmes" and, naturally, eat too much.

Some of that needs no explanation, other parts do. Take New Year's Eve, for example. My sister invited me over to hang out and watch movies she's rented. My sister, who I adore, has inherited my father's ability to view an entire shelf of well known movies and still manage to pick the ones that were never released in the theatre because, well, frankly...they're not good. Sometimes, the movies have been released but lasted perhaps a week or two at most in the theatre. I actually think this is quite a talent. I can tease my sister though because I know, unlike me, she actually has a life and doesn't spend way too much time reading Entertainment Weekly online or watching TV and seeing trailers for movies like,

Sometimes, though, this ability to pick bad movies is a bit unfortunate. For example, on New Year's Eve, she rented a movie called "Deadline" which starred Brittany Murphy and Thora Birch and made barely any sense at all. When the movie finished my sister, my brother-in-law and I actually had to collaborate to try to figure out what it was actually about. We never reakkt did come up with a conclusive answer.

Then we put in the second movie which was "Bruno."

Now, I'm not a Sasha Baron-Cohen fan. I think he was funny in "Talladega Nights" and he made a funny penguin in "Madagascar," but I was one of those people who thought "Borat" was stupid, didn't get it and wanted to smack him quite hard. So, I wasn't excited about "Bruno" to begin with. Five minutes into the movie our mouths were hanging open with a combination of horror and shock. Let's just say that Bruno, a German celebrity in his own mind, had a pigmy boyfriend and viewers were (un)fortunate enough to see how they pleasured one another. Somehow, we kept watching, hoping it'd get better. By the time Bruno had moved to L.A. and done a pilot of his celebrity interview show, complete with his penis doing a rather alarming dance and talking to the camera, we had enough. That was enough Bruno for us.

My sister was a little embarrassed. She believed that the Redbox movie rental machine would not have such things in it. Now we know better. Bruno was not our cup of tea. She said she wished she'd rented "The Hangover," instead. I wish she had too but, at the same time, being that she's my little sister, this does give me some rather delicious ammunition to tease her with for a while.

All in all, bad movies aside, I had a lot of fun spending New Year's Eve with my sister and brother-in-law and still made it home in time to ring in the New Year with my parents. We didn't do much to celebrate though we had some rather nasty cheap champagne that I thought seemed like a good idea but, like so many others, was better in theory than in practice. We also pulled Christmas Crackers which is one of our traditions- nothing like wearing a silly paper crown at midnight as the New Year is rung in.

I know, I doesn't sound very glamourous. I'm sure there were clubs I could have gone to, places to have celebrated but, truth be told, it was a pretty perfect way to ring in the new year and I wouldn't have changed it for anything.

As for the rest of the weekend, much of it was filled with food. My mother fell and broke her shoulder bone last week and, being it was her right arm, she's a little handicapped at the moment. Thus, my father has taken the opportunity to demonstrate that he can cook. For several years now, my father has been an enthusiastic cook, provided he's in the mood. He does cook well, for the most part. He even enlisted me as his soux chef for one meal- roasted flounder in a lemon-lime white sauce with saffron rice and roasted red peppers. Sadly, it was not my favourite of my dad's meals. Sometimes, he tries a little too hard and in this case, it was a bit heavy on flavours that didn't mix. However, his roast beef that we had the next day more than made up for it. Now that is one fine meal.

In addition to my dad's cooking, I also got to spend time with my parent's at the movies. My parent's and I all had wanted to see "Sherlock Holmes" because it looked very funny from the previews and, for me, it had Robert Downey Jr. in it whom I have loved for many years. Unfortunately, after viewing the film, I have to confess, the previews were the best part of the movie. While Robert Downey Jr. was very good and Jude Law a pleasant sidekick as Dr. Watson, overall, the movie was just kind of...boring. There were too many fight scenes, too much action and not enough of the clever humour the previews had promised. I admit, I'm not a Guy Richie fan to begin with; I find his annoying quick-cut/fast-talking action scenes in his other movies like "RocknRolla" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" slightly tedious. I'd hoped with "Sherlock Holmes" he might have calmed down but, alas, there were quite a lot of explosions, quite a few fight scenes and not enough comedy between two fantastic literary characters. What humour there was was actually hard to detect as it was mumbled in that British way where if you don't strain to hear it, you miss it.

So, my first movie of 2010 was a bit disappointing especially as I'd wanted to see it quite badly. I'm not too worried though. I mean, my last movie of 2009, technically, was "Bruno" so anything would have been an improvement.

The entire year lies ahead. Part of me loves this new beginning, part of me is worried that things will change. I'm a creature of habit as I've demonstrated time and time again in my blog. I like things the way they are. However, there are things in life that need a change: Jobs, for example. I dislike my job and would like to find something that reminds me that it can be fun to earn a paycheck, even if I'm not necessarily changing the world.
I'm also planning on writing more, being more assertive in trying to get published and avoiding the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest like the plague. I was invited to enter. I knew I wouldn't yet I clicked on the site anyway. It was like Post Traumatic Writer's Disorder. Needless to say, the minute I saw the same awful clique hogging the forums and when I read the rules, I knew I couldn't do it. I actually want to get something published that people want to read. As far as I know, the ABNA past winners are more like folk heroes. I can't even find the first winner's book in a bookstore. I'm not saying it's not a valid contest but after my horrible experience last year that I blame for over six months of writer's block, I'm not going to do it again. I'd rather expend the energy editing and writing and enjoying myself, not obsessively reading forum posts to see if anybody has actually read my entry or if there's a problem with the contest...again.

No matter what happens, 2010 is a new year. Depending how we look at it, it's really just a date. However, it's also a representation, as every New Year is, of a place to begin anew and start over with the things in life we want to change. Yet, it's also a time to appreciate what we have. I may dislike my job, I may still be single and I may still be unpublished but perhaps, in the next 362 days, I can find a way to change that.

And, if not, I'll try again the next year.

Happy New Year and...happy Monday.

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