Monday, August 3, 2015

Thankful for summer movie nights!

Animated Favorites


I love the movies! I have been enjoying movie nights with my film major daughters this summer. I love the experience of seeing movies in the theater. Our family loves going to Regal movie theaters because they have amazing caption high tech SONY glasses. My youngest daughter is deaf and she loves seeing movies with the subtitles that only she sees with the SONY glasses. We have seen a lot of great movies this summer. I am thankful to share these movie moments with you.

We loved both Inside Out and the silliness of the Minions. Inside out takes us inside Riley's head as she learns to manage her feelings after the family moves her to the west coast. I loved Lewis Black's amazing anger voice. So happy to see a new imaginative animated film. I loved the depictions of Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. I would have loved to see a Gratitude character. I wonderful ride into our amazing brains. We really need all of our emotions to live full, happy, and productive lives! Bravo Pixar for another great film!

If your in the mood to laugh your head off and enjoy supreme silliness go to see the MINIONS. I loved King Bob. It's amazing how much comedy these endearing minions manage to get with their nonsensical minimalist language. I loved the soundtrack from the 80s! Why is just saying Banana funny? Enjoy this nonsensical trek through time as the minions try to find new villains!

Spy Action and Superheroe Favorites
Melissa McCarthy Makes a Great Spy!
Paul Rudd a super hero with a Sense of Humor
Tom Cruise Hanging Off the Side of Plane!

These are my favorite action flicks this summer. And yes I have seen Avengers and Jurassic World, which did not make my summer favorite list. I loved Melissa McCarthy as a spy in Spy. This movie is hilarious and also addresses all the sexism woman face in the world! I loved the special gadgets they devised for her as this female version of James Bond. Who knows what I would do if I was Jude Law's field operative. 

I was surprised to love the movie antman! I could not imagine the power of a small super hero. The movie completely beat my expectations. Paul Rudd was fantastic as an unlikely, deadpan funny Marvel hero. Micheal Douglas is great as the ant man's crazy inventor! Who knew ants could be so smart and powerful. Love this new weapon in Marvel's fun movie franchise.

I enjoyed seeing the newest Mission Impossible movie. Our family has a special thing for Mission Impossible as my daughter Liz got to play Brenda the spy in No Limits Theater Group's production of Mission Possible. I love the theme music from this franchise. Tom Cruise does his own stunts, and it was fun to see him hanging off the side of a plane and that's only the beginning of the movie. A great spy movie with lots of twists for Ethan Hunt's team to take down the Syndicate. Can't they cast more woman in these movies? This film has one great woman spy character and she is the only woman in the entire movie? I did like Alec Baldwin's performance as well as the great Jeremy Renner!

Summer Sleeper and Independent Movies
Meet These Amazing Tap Dancers from around the Globe
Great Performance from Nat Wolff from the old Naked Brothers Band

I was thankful to go to a screening of TapWorld at the East Village Cinemas recently. Before the screening I was treated to some wonderful tap dancing from 2 of the producers of this amazing documentary. I loved the rhythms and tap riffs in the movie. The personal stories on how tap dancing transformed peoples lives were riveting and heartfelt. This documentary will be on netflix soon. So if you missed seeing it at an independent film theater you can watch it on netflix. You can also watch youtube clips from their website Tap World Film. Enjoy these amazing dancers and their incredible stories.

I loved  Paper Towns: a sweet high school movie adapted from John Green's book, "Paper Towns" It's a story about friendship and being a geek in high school. Great performance from Nat Wolff who is all grown up from the Naked Brothers Band. My daughter Liz loved watching and listening the Naked Brothers Band ten years ago! A movie with just a great story is rare today. I love films like this where there are no special effects, just a good story and nice performances from this young cast!

Enjoy these great summer films! Hope this post has made you smell the popcorn and given you some ideas on what to see on your next movie night with family or friends! Share your favorite movie that you saw this summer in the comments,

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thankful for Dancing in the Summer Rain

Liz dancing in a summer rain!
We had a small heat wave earlier this week.  Temperatures were in the 90s! It was a hot summer day, and I was being a sloth and relaxing at home. I have been doing the Oprah and Deepak Chopra Manifesting Gratitude through grace meditation exercises. I don't like to watch TV during the day and I decided it was a good time to just sit and meditate to Day 4: Grace is replying. While I was meditating listening to Chopra's soothing voice, it started to rain. My daughter Liz was home and she said come outside. I thought she saw a rainbow? So I ran outside and it was a sun shower, raining hard. She was happily dancing in the rain. I joined her. The cool rain felt exhilarating! Its been a long time since I splashed in puddles. It was a joyful moment filled with Grace! After our water ballet in the rain, we both went in the house and changed into dry clothes. I was thankful to have shared this cool moment of joy with my daughter. What's helping you stay cool this summer? I would love to hear about a pure moment of joy that you experienced. Sharing these moments of simple grace is what makes life joyful!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Enjoy the freedom of being UNREACHABLE: Take a daily smartphone break!

White Wildflower at Norman Levy Park
I had an epiphany at my morning meditation class today. At the end of the class which is held at our local library I heard the sound of a dog barking. It turned out to be someone's cell phone ringtone.  Sometimes my smart phone feels like a pavlovian dog. I jump everytime it rings, beeps, bells, and vibrates. We have all put ourselves on call 24/7 being available to the next facebook update, tweet, email, emergency, text, and phone call. When did we all become on call doctors to one another. The stress of being available to everyone all the time makes us jump when our phones vibrate!

 I was thinking about what activities get me to turn off my phone. I turn off my phone for meditation class, for orchestra rehearsal, when I am at a play, or a movie. This got me thinking, I got that aha moment of clarity. I should turn off my phone when I am enjoying being out with my friends, at family gatherings, on my walks on the beach, or hikes in nature. So I can enjoy that beautiful white wildflower blooming without distraction. I want to enjoy that feeling of freedom.

I should enjoy more of these moments with out the constant updates. I can catch up electronically later. I need to stop letting my smart phone hyjack me of enjoying the NOW.  Maybe I should plan a daily smart phone break.

I remember growing up as a kid -  there were no cell phones. We went out and enjoyed our moments with friends. We had change for a payphone for an emergency. We went to the park, or the beach where no one could reach us. We enjoyed just spending time with each other, laughing, being outside being free. We were for that moment UNREACHABLE!

Start planning your UNREACHABLE smart phone break. Experience this feeling even if its only for 15 minutes. You can always be updated later. Take back that feeling of freedom, and enjoying the moment! I am so grateful for that barking ring tone for giving me the courage to disconnect and enjoy more UNREACHABLE MOMENTS!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sharing Thanks for a one minute beach break!

I am so thankful to live 15 minutes away from the beach. It was a beautiful morning for a beach walk. I love to go to Jones Beach during the week for a relaxing walk. I usually walk one mile on the boardwalk and then head down to the shoreline for the walk back. I love listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean, while cooling off by getting my feet wet. I love looking for shells, smooth stones and beach glass. I love the tranquility of just listening to the waves roll in. I breathe in the sea air and the energy of the sun. It is such a wonderful way to start my day. I took this small video this morning to share my beach moment. Watch the video for a one minute beach break. Just relaxing and breathing for one minute will rejuvenate you!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sharing Thanks for walking the High Line in Spring in NYC

Thanks to the stranger who took this picture of me and my good friend
I love Spring in Manhattan. Although I live in the suburbs one of my favorite things to do is to spend a Saturday in New York. I love exploring the city. I am lucky to know kindred friends to share in my NYC adventures. One of the best free things to do in the city is to walk on the High Line. We took the train into the city and got on the High Line on 32nd street and 11th ave. The high line offers great views of the Hudson River. At one point you can actually catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty! I love all the public seating, installation art and beautiful architecture you see on this trail. I love that you are above the traffic and the new perspective from being elevated. It was wonderful to celebrate this top ten Spring Day with a good friend. I love this picture a stranger took of us with all the wonderful spring pinks and greens. At the end of the Highline you can see the new Whitney Museum building and all the great restaurants in the meatpacking district. I treated myself to a lobster roll at the fun Gansevort Food Market.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sharing Thanks for reading what's on My Bookshelf: March Reads "10% Happier" by Dan Harris and "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling

I am always thankful to read a good book. So I am going to add a new feature to Sharing Thanks. Every month I am going to share what books I'm reading! These selections are books I fell in love with over the month. They either provided me with inspiration, comedy, or wild imagination. I love reading while I'm soaking in a hot bath. I also love to read while I am waiting. I am happier waiting if I have a good book. It turns down time in to a learning time for me!

This month I loved reading, "10% Happier" by ABC Nightline reporter Dan Harris. 

Don't we all want to be at least 10% Happier. This is a great read as Dan Harris has interviewed many self-help gurus over the years like Eckart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, and even the Dalai Lama. I enjoyed reading about how Dan Harris started practicing meditation. He has some great instructions in the appendix of his book about beginning a basic mindfulness meditation practice, as well as how to do walking meditation, and compassion meditation. I enjoyed trying some of his exercises. I attend a weekly library meditation group in our town, and it may be the most relaxing hour of my week. It energizes my positive thinking.

If you are looking for a good laugh , I recommend Mindy Kaling's hysterical ,"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?"

I began reading this book on my Kindle when I went to Chicago to visit my daughter Liz. I hope my giggling on the plane was appreciated. (Maybe Not) I loved reading about her passion for comedy growing up. Her honesty about the difficulties in starting out in a creative field rang true with me. My daughter Becky is a recent liberal arts film/theater/music major trying to find that first job.  True artists try to create while they are paying the bills and it is original creative work that gave Mindy Kaling her big break to be a writer for "The Office" I loved reading about her friendships and quirkiness.  

I love to read. Please share some books that your thankful for reading this month in the comments. I love good book suggestions

If your interested in purchasing these books, just click on the picture of the book for an easy link to buy from! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Grateful for good neighbors learning ASL

Sharing thanks today by sharing a video my deaf daughter shared with me in a link last week. Since she sent it to me, it seems to have gone viral and I have seen it on the Huffington Post. Having a disability cuts you off from people when you don't speak the same language. How wonderful that this man's neighbors would gather and take the time to learn ASL, to give this man a day he does not expect, We all need to find ways to connect with one another. Enjoy the video and be a good neighbor!