Tag Archives: movies

Now and Then

Is anyone else cursed with the inability to separate the term “now and then” from the 1995 movie of the same title?

I say this without an ounce of disdain because this movie was totally enthralling and watched repeatedly by my 11-year-old self.

The pre-teen drama.  The emotional scars of not yet having a chest.  The denim overalls (worn, regrettably, by both the girls and their adult counterparts).

The movie is about four 12-year-old girls who become best friends one summer and vow to always be there for each other.  Fast-forward twenty-five years and one of them is nine months preggo so they all show up.  Tears, flash-backs, and bad hair ensue.

Demi Moore is dark.  Melanie Griffith is vain.  Rosie O’Donnell is unattractive.  Rita Wilson is annoying.  You could say it’s some of their best work.

I bring this up because I’m feeling very “Now and Then” about one of my BFFs 25th birthdays (you can’t talk about long-term best friends without using cheesy acronyms).   Although we were never adolescents together, we certainly acted as though we were.

The three of us met in college as roommates in a women’s house at the UW.  I was 20, Lindsay was 21, and Annie was 19.  A snapshot to give you an idea of how far we’ve come (and how well traveled…this is in Oahu one year after meeting):

We’ve now been friends for nearly six years.  In the movie they’ve been friends for about 25, so they’ve got a few on us.  But hey, at least none of us grew up to look like Rosie O’Donnell.  I think that makes us winners.

And though we’ve never had a séance in a cemetery as we attempt to contact Dear Johnny, we have hosted outrageous dance parties, fit 13 people into a Jeep Cherokee, gone skinny dipping in Lake Washington (twice), run a half-marathon, stayed up all night with nothing but three bottles of two-buck-chuck before a 5AM flight…sorry I just lost myself in the buzz of our beehive of memories.  Or is that the buzz of the two-buck-chuck?  Nevermind.

Last Saturday night we celebrated Annie’s birthday in high style at Toulouse Petit in lower Queen Anne, and had a great time, as usual.  But it should be noted that there are definite differences between who we are now and who we were then.

Then
We dressed up because there was never a reason not to, and we were out to prove we were hott.  Yes, two-T’s hott.

Now
We dress up out of the knowledge that chances to dress up don’t happen twice a week anymore, and we’ve never been more aware of the fabulousness of our youth.

Then
We’d order long islands, multiple shots of Jose, and anything pink.

Now
We order champagne (Lindsay), a glass of wine (me), or a gin and tonic (Annie).

Then
We’d scrounge for the cheapest happy hour and tailor our evenings to the clock of half-priced drinks.

Now
We make the plans to our liking.  Damn the cost!

Then
We were all single and ready to mingle.

Now
I have been married 2.5 years, Annie has a boyfriend, and Lindsay is actively dating.

Then
We were there for each other.

Now
Still the case.

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Filed under UpWORD (Beauty)

Paralyzed Chicken Feet

I am disturbed.

Disgusted.

Annoyed.

I just watched Food, Inc.

I’m obviously grossly behind the times, since the movie came out in 2008, but still.  It’s awakening.  It’s upsetting.  I’m itching to get to a grocery store just so I can buy organic even though my freezer is already full of food.

And I’m no naturalist.  I’ve always felt that the organic movement was just a ploy by grocers to make me spend $3.99 on spinach when I only wanted to spend $1.99.  Don’t act surprised; you already read this; is my behavior really a shock?

Anyway, it’s pretty hard to get excited about a sale on frozen chicken after seeing chemically-altered chicks hobble around on their enfeebled legs from the “enhancements” farmers give them.  How’s that for too long of a sentence?

I’m literally the last person on Earth to care about where my meat comes from.  But something clicked when my sister-in-law Rachel, who was watching this for the first time with me, turned to me and said, “Yes, God gave us dominion over the animals.  But this is not how He designed them, and we’re abusing them.”

How can I argue with that?

The hard part is when I’m standing in the poultry section of the grocery store, and I’m looking at one price versus another much higher price.  I’m thinking about my wallet, but I’m also thinking about that chicken: that chicken who can’t walk because his butt-head farmer feeds him hormones that make his muscles grow beyond what he can bear.

So I guess I’m going to start paying more for chicken.

Here’s the thing: I tend to find heated political documentaries (read: Michael Moore) to be nothing more than a slanted agenda.  But this seems to affect everyone.  Who among us doesn’t eat corn?  Oh, you don’t?  I bet you eat hundreds of things made with corn syrup, considering virtually everything is made with it.

Ugh, I sound like one of the documentary directors.

Mike and I have always been very on-the-fence about locally grown and organic food, because we weren’t sure that paying more for something meant that we were causing change in a corrupt system.

Now I know that’s because we didn’t realize just how corrupt that system is.

It would be wrong to say that this movie is the ultimate authority on meat and corn; it certainly isn’t.  But at least they’ve done more research than I have, and have spoken with some experts on the matter.

I don’t know if they’ve utterly convinced me never to buy regular meat again; what I do know is that they’ve sold me on doing my own research.  They’ve shown me that ignorance is anything but bliss.

My mom once asked me if I’d like to buy a portion of her cow.  Mike and I laughed.  What?  Your own cow?  What are you, a farmer?  She looked at us like she was speaking to 5-year-olds and explained that you can buy an entire cow from local farmers and the meat will last you a year.  I was grossed out at the thought of all that meat sitting in a freezer for months on end.

Now I’m shuffling my feet around as I sheepishly admit to my conservative mother that her liberal idea was actually…brilliant.

So our brother and sister-in-law may join us in buying a cow.  We think it’s the best approach for an enormous problem that seems beyond repair.

Well, maybe half a cow.  It’s not like we eat beef five nights a week.

But I do eat beef.  Here’s a secret I share with very few people: when no one is around, and I’m out to lunch by myself, I like to visit Taco del Mar.  Or Taco Time.  But never Taco Bell…I do have some dignity.

I love the Mexi-fries and the crispy beef tacos, the shredded lettuce and the diced tomatoes.  I especially love the anonymity of the drive-thru.

But then I had to go and watch Food, Inc., and ruin all of that.  They essentially convinced me that I’m eating dog food, beef fit only for dogs, and I’m sickened…but slightly sad.  Is that weird?  Is it OK to mourn the loss of food that is repulsive but delicious?

I’m not likely to tell people how to eat better or more organically.  I think everyone is entitled to their own choice — all I can do is inform people to watch Food, Inc., and see what they find.

When your conscience won’t let you order a burger after watching this film, I would not be the least bit offended if you wanted to punch me in the face.  In fact, I cry the same crocodile tears about my loss of Taco Time.  The pain is real.

But then, so is the cost.

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Filed under One WORD (Current Events)

UPward Adventure

*Disclaimer:  It may be best to read this after seeing the new movie UP, both to avoid giveaways and to understand what I’m describing.

If you were to ask anyone, stranger or friend, about what they consider an adventure to be, very few would reply “a relationship.”   You’re far more likely to get answers about hiking in the Amazon, climbing Mt. Everest, or exploring the Mayan ruins.

And who could blame them for thinking the great outdoors hold the keys to most thrills?  Earth is essentially a giant piñata awaiting a bat-wielding person to reveal hidden treasures.   Until last year, I completely believed the outdoor-definition of adventure.  I clung to the ideal that unless I traversed the far reaches of the world, I was settling for a mind-numbing existence.

Being with Mike has taught me that sacrificing my plans can actually lead to a different adventure, a much greater adventure: the adventure of intimacy.

But who cares about that?  Where in our society is there an example of marriage being EXCITING, of all things?  This is why it’s such a surprise that the central theme for the animated movie “UP” is that adventure can be found in a relationship, in a marriage, as much as it can be found traveling the world.

The trailers for the film show a septuagenarian soaring in his home suspended by a thousand brilliant balloons, headed for the wilds of South America.   However, the story is infinitely richer and more multilayered than the simplistic journey of an old man.

In the first wordless five minutes, the filmmakers display a portrait of a marriage spanning fifty years in images so poignant they brought me to tears.   I glanced sideways at Mike and could see the glisten of moist eyes behind his 3-D glasses.  We both realized their relationship held so much of what we want for ours.

But I think the reason this movie struck me so deeply is that I sometimes battle the feeling that I am missing out.  Many of my extended friends are exploring Machu Picchu, serving the poor in Ethiopia, and heading to China for graduate degrees – they are LIVING.   And everywhere you look it seems that married people are not.

Which is exactly why I didn’t want to get married, or even have a boyfriend, until I was thirty.  I had a list of things to accomplish (literally, a Word document titled “Things to Accomplish Before I’m 30”) and I wasn’t going to let any man halt my plans.  I knew that the moment a ring was on my finger, all of my adventures would be over.

I was so wrong.

My adventures, even wild ones like cliff-jumping off waterfalls in Kauai, tempted to distract me from ever experiencing one of God’s greatest intentions for us – intimacy with other people.

In the book “Sex God,” Rob Bell writes, “We want someone to see us exactly as we are and still love us.”  It would be incredible to show Mike the adventures I’ve been on, because I know he’d be impressed and want to know more about me.  It would be harder to show Mike who I truly am, without any accomplishments, and still be loved by him — but that’s exactly what God wants me to do.  Because once I let Mike love me, I might be better at letting God love me.

Now when I tell Mike my ideas for adventure and desires for our life, it means that I trust him to hold onto them.  It means that he’ll work with me to make them happen.  And it means that they aren’t just mine anymore; they’re ours to live side-by-side.

What I didn’t know before, and what I’m just learning now, is that by sacrificing my plans I’m opening myself up to more excitement.  I don’t know what’s ahead, but I know who’s going there with me.

It scares me.  It’s unsettling.  But it’s exciting.

The most surprising aspect of most of our mutual “dreams” is that they have nothing to do with physical attainment.  We have normal dreams of travel, entrepreneurship, and having children, but most of our ideas for adventure are for our relationship.

We talk about how we will get to a place of trust that is unshakable.  We dream of total openness where we can share ANYTHING and feel safe.  We imagine the richest intimacy possible in this life before heaven.  That is an adventure.

And the most rewarding part of the adventure, in my opinion, is exploring the person.  In my case, it’s the endless journey of finding out who Mike is, what makes him tick, what he loves, hates, and how I can be the best partner for him.  It’s so much more intense than it appears.

If I’m really dedicated, truly trying to reach a level of intimacy neither of us has ever known, it takes all I have.

What could be more adventurous than giving someone all of me?

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Filed under The WORD (Faith)