Where the Wild Things Are

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” 






My father was a gifted story-teller and I thank him for the many nights he read to me as a child. He did so of his own works and he read stories others had written as well. One night, he read me a book that inspired my love of fantasy and science fiction that I carry to this day. That book is “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. 


Maurice’s book transcended generations of young children and their parents alike. He took away the boundary lines and gave us something that is oh so memorable.  You see, the way I look at it everyone has fears whether they are a child or not and those fears need to be addressed, not sugar-coated or pushed aside like they don’t matter. I think Mr. Sendak agreed with me by something he once said. He said,  “. . .from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.”


This man wrote and illustrated more than 50 children’s books. But the legacy of “Where the Wild Things Are” will live on for an eternity


At 83 years old, Maurice Sendak has written his final words. But I can’t help but think that in 1964, he wrote how I’m feeling right now. 
“But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!”

And Max said, “No!”

The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye.”
– Maurice Sendak- 

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Dog Bonk

“If dogs could talk, perhaps we would find it as hard to get along with them as we do with people.”

    -Capek-

I love dogs. I must for I have three, each with personalities as individual as you or I.  One of my herd, Maverick – the Amazing Beardie, appears to have been blessed with the most personality and is a constant source of amusement and frustration for all of us. This morning was no exception.

Occasionally, I have to move to the couch in the middle of the night because Darling snores. I don’t necessarily like it, but came to accept it years ago. It makes for a much better night this way. Maverick hasn’t quite grasped the concept of letting sleeping writers sleep. This morning about 0500 hours, I was right in the middle of a pizza dream. (I know it was a pizza dream because it was weird enough that I was like, “Duuuuuude.” And now with the light of day, I can’t freakin’ remember it. Stupid dog.)
However, he comes up and nose bumps me.

The nose bump.
Ingenious.
Frustrating.
Guaranteed to get your attention.
Almost guaranteed to get a dog shot.

What is it you might ask? Well… Maverick is tall enough that his head can pretty comfortably sit on my dining room table so he’s a pretty big dog and could theoretically use his size to great advantage. But instead, when you are sound asleep and the “Dog Stare” doesn’t wake up you, he comes and bumps your face with his nose. It’s all rather Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Unlike Snoopy, it’s not nearly as cute at 0500 hours.

Maverick nose bumped me at 0500. I told him in no uncertain terms to go lay down and leave me alone.

Maverick nose bumped me again at 0530. I got up and let him outside under the assumption he really had to go. I didn’t want an accident and I didn’t want to clean it up.

THE MOMENT I let him out and shut the door. He began talking to a friend of his.

It’s not like he could have waited a couple of hours I suppose, but really?

So, I opened the door and “yelled” at him to quit talking about the squirrels or birds or what have you and to come – back – inside – now!

He came. Shock.

I went and laid back down and from my perch on the couch I told him, “Dufus. Lay down.”

I just got back to sleep and just started another pizza dream.

Bonk.

The alarm went off one minute later.  Yes. One. Instead of hitting the snooze, I bonked him back.

Dream a Little Dream

Ah…. “Smash” was on tonight and I missed the first twenty minutes. However, I have to say I think I got the gist of the show and next week I won’t miss the season finale. In the meanwhile, I will probably have to see if it’s on NBC.com or Hulu and catch what I missed. In case you wondered, the answer is yes.
I am.
Addicted.

Tomorrow I have a training session for half the day at work and I can honestly say that I really don’t want to go. It’s not that I want to listen to the construction crew jackhammer the concrete walls and ceiling during the remodel tomorrow either. (That’s getting really, really old.) However, the program “they” are “demonstrating” for four hours, I have been using for a while now. I’m pretty sure I need about 20 minutes to fill in some blanks  and I’m good. There are people I’m sure that need the full four hours. Heck, there are some that might need more than that. Who knows? But I am not one of them and I am considering taking my Nook to class to read for a bit. Would that be horribly wrong of me? (Anyone have a good book to recommend?)

Anyhoo, I’ve been having what my niece and I call “Pizza Dreams” at night. Usually they occur when we eat pizza a little too late, but I have to say some serious weirdness is going on in my subconscious. I’m thinking Freud might have some kind of  field day with the old gray matter, if ya know what I mean. This morning I woke up in the middle of a flight to God only knows where, but the plane was upside down and Kurt Russell was the pilot. And I’m not talking a little plane. I’m talking about a Boeing 737/747 or something along those lines.
Yeah… rut-roh Shaggy!
 I have no idea where on earth Kurt Russell would have come from either. I haven’t seen a movie, read a news article, or anything with him in it. But BOOM! There he was.

So, I suppose I’m going to go to bed shortly… and yes, I had pizza for dinner tonight. God help us all.

Avatar Trilogy

“Man is always inclined to be intolerant towards the thing, or person, he hasn’t taken the time adequately to understand…”
Robert Brown

The first time I saw Avatar, I got sucked in by the visuals. Good Heavens… the visuals!!!

The second time I saw Avatar, I watched it for the story which was actually kind of soggy for me. It was more or less a  politically correct denunciation of US imperialism, nature exploitation, cowboys and indians violence, and the rest in a story of US campaign to exterminate the natives of a planet for its minerals.  It was about intolerance and greed (which inherently should make a good storyline, but it felt wishy-washy at best.)It’s all rather “Dances with Wolves” set in outer space. And yes, being the woman that I am, I appeciated James Cameron’s ability to throw a love story in the mix. Thank you, James!

The casting… superb. There really isn’t another word for it.  Sam Worthington, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver could not have been better choices and I’m hoping that they will come back in the sequel.

Sequel?

Oh yes…. Avatar is the first of a trilogy –  most likely an award winning trilogy that will take plenty of time and money to produce.

You see, the concept for the 2009 blockbuster Avatar started in 1994 with an 80 page treatment for the film. It grew to a screenplay and a multi-million dollar venture that has grossed more than two BILLION (yes, with a B) dollars and brought home three academy awards for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction.

For those looking for Titanic releases from movie mogul, James Cameron, in another genre, your wait will be a long one. Mr. Cameron has no outward desire to do anything but continue the Avatar storyline. “I’m making ‘Avatar 2,’ ‘Avatar 3,’ maybe ‘Avatar 4,'” Cameron revealed during an interview about the Chinese film industry. “I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts.”

With the long wait for Avatar, don’t hold your breath for the next in the trilogy. The earliest we might see any sign of life is going to be 2014, but more realistically it will be 2016. If the sequels are anything like the original, I think they will be well worth the wait.

Thoughts of the Grand Dame – The Herring

“The minor events of history are valuable, although not always showy and picturesque.”
Mark Twain

Every day I look across the way to the Col. C.T. Herring Hotel. She is the 14 story, 600 room Grand Dame who sits on the corner watching people scuttle by and ignore her inevitable decay. She was born in an era when the Cattle Barons still ruled the plains and the oil tycoons purses were heavy with black gold.  Businessmen and bankers would discuss business in the hotel’s Old Tascosa Room. I wonder what secrets were told.

The lady stood through the Stock Market Crash of ’29, WWII, Korea and ‘Nam. She’s watched as black and white children, once segregated, came together. Her structure never faltered as Kennedy, Malcom X, RFK and MLK were assassinated. As the wall in Berlin fell, hers stood firm and on September 11, 2001, I swear you could hear her mourn.
 
She’s seen the the radio, television and movies transcend from silent films to iMax 3D. And communications improved from the telegraph to the switchboard to universal and satellite cellular service. What hasn’t she seen? She’s seen the best and the worst mankind has to offer and still she stands on the corner just watching people scuttle by and ignore her inevitable decay.

The Herring Hotel in her day

As she stands today – not the most attractive view. The view I have of her is actually between some trees and a much prettier shot.

This is a picture of the lobby that was taken in 2005. Its has fallen into disrepair and you can notice at some point in time, vagrants got into the building. (Shopping cart?)
The old hat check room remains as it was left. Nails in the wall to hold cowboy hats. The coffee shop still has brandings on the walls representing ranches in the area. After the death of Colonel Herring, his wife moved to one of the top floors where she eventually passed as well.
I write about the Grand Dame today because the city is changing – and in my opinion, not necessarily for the better. There is an effort to “revitalize” downtown and to make it something more than it is now. This cow-town could stand for some revitalization, but not what the city has in mind and not at the cost. I sincerely hope with all of the changes this town is about to thrust upon downtown, she can withstand them all – just as she has withstood all of the other events through her history.
*Pictures courtesy of the Amarillo Globe News*

Fruits of the Forbidden

“Your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden itself.” 
Oscar Wilde

When something is forbidden it becomes more desirable, more delicious. It’s a temptation we contain through self-control and that nagging feeling in our subconscious when we entertain the idea of taking a bite of the forbidden fruit. And I’m sure you know the fruit is metaphorical; however, even though it’s late in the evening, I wouldn’t mind wrapping my lips around a strawberry and feeling the sweet juice of spring explode in my mouth.  Yes… the diet continues. (Happy, Happy…. Joy, Joy…)

Anyhoo…
 I was watching “Smash” on NBC tonight. For whatever reason, I dig that show. And this show is in so many ways about the forbidden fruit and the attempt (though not so successful for so many of the characters) to deny themselves what they are so longing for. The show is a tangled mess of interrelationships during the creation of a Broadway musical, “Bombshell” centered around the life of Marilyn Monroe. Uma Thurman is cast as the “lead” on stage as Marilyn and I just have to say “Why????” I’m not sure of the casting choice exactly, but she plays the movie star come Broadway star wannabe well. However when I think of Marilyn, I don’t think of a 41 year old woman and on the close up shots of Uma, I see too many fine lines, which I never saw with Norma Jean. Call me cynical, but really? Marilyn died at 36 and I don’t think she looked it, but that’s just me.

With two episodes left, I’m not going to sweat it too much, but I have to ask what I think is a pretty good question. What was Marilyn’s forbidden fruit? She was the golden fleece for so many, but what was it that was forbidden to her and was it enough to push her over the edge?  I know I’ll never have the answers to those questions, but it does put into perspective some of my own forbidden desires and makes it a little easier to acknowledge their existence and say, “Thanks, but no.”

So I guess I’ll just have to tune in next week for the next to the last of the Season 1 episode and see if Ivy has screwed up with Karen’s boyfriend (pun intended) and hope that Julia doesn’t lose what’s left of her marbles when she runs into her old flame. And does Rebecca Duvall steal Derek’s heart. Heck… does Derek even have a heart?  Forget those daytime soaps folks…. we have a “Smash” on our hands.

Celeste

The Fork in the Road

I’m introspective and contemplative –

stopped at the fork in the road.

To the left lay an unknown future
To the right lay the path foretold
I’m pondering and I’m reflecting 
on choices and where they’ve led
I’ve taken the highway and stumbled
I’ve taken the low road and bled

I can’t.

Stop.

Now…

Determination and Concentration
Drive me toward the finish line
To where I will finally get my rest
and wipe the sweat from my forehead

I can’t.

Stop.

Time.

By: Celeste High 4/30/2012