I hope the holidays brought you the new science oven of your dreams.
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Miscellaneous observation on the human condition/New Year’s Resolution mash-up
I resolve never to mean well, nor to have a heart that induces others to bless it.
You know what I mean, even if you think you don’t.
During the after après-holiday dinner cleanup, you graciously but firmly refuse your notoriously ham-fisted aunt’s offer to dry the stemware. Smiling and cracking wise, Auntie pushes you aside and grabs a dishtowel and within seconds there is the jaw-clenching jingle of shattering glass. Your mother takes your elbow and steers you into the hallway, delivering her comment in a there-there voice, which is meant to assuage your distress at the fact that your aunt smashed your husband’s family heirloom, Waterford crystal champagne goblets, given to you as a wedding gift from your in-laws.
Oh, Aunt Erva – she means well.
Observation has led me to this point: One must strive to never, ever, mean well. Inevitably, whenever an anecdote is followed by “s/he meant well,” it was preceded by followed by the description of a boner of a comment and/or action by “s/he.”
I’ve noted a similar correlation with “bless his heart.” Uncle Harry, bless his heart. This seemingly benign consecration/invocation  is sometimes used when Uncle Harry has somehow fallen into misfortune (The doc told Harry the tumor metastasized to his lungs, bless his heart). More commonly, it accessories a certain kind of description — one that never includes tales of competence and/or intelligence. Rather, you are about to hear confirmation that Uncle Harry can’t find the play button on his remote control, so to speak.
Woe unto you if the two are ever put together – you may as well check yourself into the Loser Asylum. If I’m ever on the receiving end of, Bless her heart, Robyn means well…., I will hesitate to gaze skyward lest I espy vultures circling.
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Two Thumbs (both opposable) Up
Although I really, really wanted to edit it down to less than two hours, I nevertheless recommend seeing American Hustle. Who would have thought an entertaining movie could come from the story of a forty year-old corruption sting? I assume the story of the ABSCAM operation was made more cinema-worthy by the fabrication of a love triangle between an FBI agent and two informants – and also by copious boob shots of the female leads (insert director’s disco area clothing excuse). And ya gotta love a movie that has a side joke about how incredible microwaves (“the science oven”) seemed in the 1970s. Plus, an all-around stellar cast. And mancurlers.
I’d raise my opposable big toes  if I had them for Saving Mr. Banks. My movie-going friend LAH and I agreed that this is a movie we both are going to be processing for some time, for both personal and professional reasons. The story of author PL Travers‘ resistance to Walt Disney’s pursuit of the film rights to Mary Poppins is vastly entertaining in its own right, and also has several thought-provoking sub plots, including wrestling with how a person can succeed or fail at loving – and “saving” – their family. If you had or have a loving and problematic relationship with your loving but deeply flawed father, this might be the movie for you…or, it might break your heart.
For writers, the movie deals with the dilemma of selling (and selling out) your characters and stories, even as you grapple with the realization that your motivation for creating them in the first place might be far more complicated than you realize.
Special Bonus: SMB stars Emma Thompson, whom I want to be when I grow up.
Happy effin’ New Year to you, too. And may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Really, what is it?
 Trust me, that assertion would not stand up in a court of law.
 Not only that, I’m two and a half years older than her, and yet she somehow became herself before I did. Damn!