Andi Winter

Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Category: life Page 1 of 9

Today’s haiku

sunny blue sky with leavessunny clear blue skies

I sit in my writing room

the standing lamps lit

-to be fair, it was overcast earlier

Spring is here

camellia in full bloomIt was a long time in coming this season, but my camellia has finally produced a bloom. Well, there were exactly two blooms (when there should have been a gazillion), but I’ll take it.

<doing a happy flower dance>

Haiku movie reviews

Recently I started watching new-to-me movies (having seen all the Marvel movies, some of them multiple times*), and, having been not entirely interested in many** movie releases of the past few years, thought I might try some Academy Award winning/nominated films. Because, hey. They should be good movies.

Well.

A few were outstanding, and a few were the disappointments.*** That said, I’m glad I saw them, and don’t feel like I wasted my time.

So with no further ado, here are my Haiku Movie Reviews****.

Mad Max: Fury Road

biker grandmas and
Tom Hardy in the desert
couldn’t save this film*****

Dunkirk

stunning visuals
but shocking lack of context
so disappointed^

The Hurt Locker

it was intense, yes
fine acting, Falcon, Hawkeye
but lacked a story^^

Zero Dark Thirty

dark, gritty, intense
doesn’t spoonfeed the viewer
and very well done^^^

The Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman, wow
two hours about a choice
totally worth it^^^^

Victoria and Albert

Dame Judi Dench rules,
gets friendly with a Muslim—
tender and heartfelt^^^^^

Police Academy

a screwball premise
Mahoney, Tackleberry
silly ’80’s fun^*

What films have you seen lately that impressed you? Which films are you looking forward to seeing? I’m looking for recommendations, so post your thoughts in the comments.

###

*Captain America and Doctor Strange, I’m talking to you.

**Is it any wonder that TV, in its many-varied splendor, is doing so well?

***I don’t think they were all accolade-worthy. Perhaps the Oscars™ are not the best baseline for quality.

****I initially wrote them as “One-Sentence Reviews,” but some of the sentences became so long and unwieldy that I thought haiku might be a more suitable form.

*****It was a spectacle, but not much else. Can someone explain to me, in this dystopian world, where they get all the fuel for their vehicles? And what is with the flamethrower guitarist?

^Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer does nice work, but not enough to save this flimsy docudrama about the truly gripping rescue of the British and French WWII soldiers facing imminent annihilation by the Nazis. Shame on Nolan for providing no context for just how desperate and stunning this rescue was (just three—3!—sentences at the beginning of the movie, with NO mention of the sacrifice of British soldiers at Calais as a means of drawing off the Nazis, was pathetic), and shame on him for the odd time-structuring of the movie. And shame on Hans Zimmer for providing a soundtrack consisting almost entirely of pounding heartbeats (and minimal music). And again, Tom Hardy couldn’t save this film.

^^Glad I saw it, but damn. Another job I do. not. want. Bigelow can do action, though. And those Marvel actors? They really can act. Huh.

^^^Apparently my knowledge of recent history is sorely lacking. And to learn that Bin Laden was captured while they were filming the movie? Wow.

^^^^Phenomenal. Intelligent, nuanced. Has me itching to read more about Churchill.

^^^^^And now I have to see Mrs. Brown. And wash my handkerchief from crying at the end.

^*Just to see if you’re paying attention. I’d only seen bits of the movie when it was broadcast on TV, so it was interesting to see it in one complete showing. I <3 Tackleberry.

Snow day

A little late in posting, but thought you might enjoy this taste of the crazy (for the Portland area) snow earlier this week.

snowy back deck

the 2nd round of 4″ of snow on the back deck

We still have some snow on the ground, but just the barest hint.

Winter arrived at last!

To-Do List overwhelm? Try this

I’ve been feeling twitchy lately—that angsty-I-can’t-sit-still feeling. Just when I start to tackle my To-Do list, darn if I don’t have to get a tea refill, or find the answer to an incredibly important question (“What is the difference between ‘copy that’ and ‘roger’?”*), or check email.

Hours later, I’m kicking myself because I didn’t get to the real things I needed, or worse wanted, to do.

Well, crap.

You’d think it would be easy enough to just call a do-over and start again.

Ha. No.

The guilt. The shame. The additional distractions.

So I tried something new, thanks to Tim Ferriss**:

  1. Write down the 3 To-Do items that are making you twitchy/cranky/angsty.
  2. Ask of each of them:
    1. If I accomplished only this today, would I feel satisfied?
    2. Would accomplishing this render the others on the list moot?
  3. Pick one that you gave a “yes” (better if there are two yeses for the item) .
  4. Spend the next (ideally) 2 hours (more realistically 45 minutes) working on just that.
  5. Do a little dance in celebration.

So I did this exercise, figuring ‘what the heck’, and lo and behold! I realized I needed to change my focus, and dove into the task, and ZOMG I made progress. Legitimate progress. And it felt really good. Like, really supercalifragilistically good.

Huh.

So if you’re anything like me***, give this a shot and see what you think.

<doing a little Snoopy dance>

###

*According to one source, “copy that” = an acknowledgement of the information; “roger” = an acknowledgement of the information AND affirmation that you are going to act accordingly on the information.

**Tim Ferriss talks about it in detail:
https://tim.blog/2013/11/03/productivity-hacks/

***Obsessive list maker. As in “I makes lists in my sleep”**** list maker.

****Meta comment: any Rent fans out there?

 

Do what’s in front of you

Today’s quote for those of us who get easily distracted*:

“Concentrate every minute like a Roman – like a man – on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can – if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.”
– Marcus Aurelius**

This was the January 29 quote from The Daily Stoic, which I’m back to reading again, and which pairs quite nicely with Pema Chodron’s Comfortable with Uncertainty.

Even having read this before, this time around it really hit home.

###

*Is there anyone among us who doesn’t get easily distracted? Anyone? Bueller?

**I have to admit a crush on Marcus Aurelius. Any Roman emperor-military commander who has to make notes to himself about ‘yes it sucks, but get your ass out of bed’*** has my undying respect and love.

***[meta-comment] My loose Latin translation from his Meditations.

Today’s haiku

my yoga soundtrack:
TLC, Bare Naked Ladies
finally a deep breath

-on relaxing after an oddly adrenaline-fueled day

Today’s haiku

no rain and clear skies
the shortest winter ever
for a Portlander

-on incredibly mild and dry January days
that have me slightly worried for summer

Meditation and the monkey

I sat down to do my pre-writing meditation. It’s nothing special—I just sit and breathe and do a body check-in (start with the tip of the nose, then follow a line over my head, down the neck, over the shoulders, down the back, the legs, soles, up over the top of the foot, shins, legs, torso) just noticing how things are feeling. It’s simple and intended to settle my monkey mind down before I write.

It’s normal to have the mind drift off to random thoughts (‘I really should do laundry’, ‘did I ever reply to that email?’, ‘look at me! I’m meditating’), which in Zen gets referred to as ‘monkey mind’, like a monkey constantly chattering away in your mind.

So today I was meditating and the monkey mind was loud and obnoxious and unending. Screeching and screeching. An image popped into my head and I saw the monkey, and he was jumping up and down, trying to pull me down to the ground. Well, I wasn’t having any of that, so I started pounding my fists into the monkey. Then I grabbed its neck and throttled it, shaking it violently with my white-knuckled hands.

When I realized what I was doing, I dropped the monkey. He fell into a heap on the metaphorical ground, and I had a radical thought.

What if I befriended the monkey?

Another image popped into my head, except this time it was me handing the monkey a banana and inviting him to sit next to me. He peeled the banana, started eating it, and plopped down by my side. With a contented sigh, he leaned his head against my side and quietly ate. The two of us sat there, each doing our own thing in companionable silence.

At last, I was able to settle down and relax.

And let me just say: it felt really good.

Today’s haiku

forest in sunlight

earthy forest scent

warm air caresses my skin

summer on the way

 

-on unseasonably warm spring days

 

Photo by Deglee Degi on Unsplash

 

Page 1 of 9

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén