Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Silver Looks Good

Twenty-five years ago today I married the love of my life. After coming through a difficult time of singleness (I had been very upset that at 27 I had not found anyone to love me forever) and finally deciding to make the most of my life in its current state, Ivan came into my life.

While neither of us claim love at first sight, it didn't take too long. Five months after we met - we got married, church wedding and all. By then I was 28 and he was 32. In those days we were old, almost past hope of finding love.

It has been twenty-five years of adventure, growth, challenge, love, excitement, routine, and most of all - no regrets.

Happy Anniversary Ivan - here's to twenty-five more!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A 5K? Me?

Before I started walking
pre-dawn this was my view
For years my husband begged me to walk. He tried every motivation possible. “It’s healthy and we want to grow old and be grandparents”, “We’re going to California on vacation and we’ll be doing lots of walking”, “Let’s be a good example to the kids”, and the list goes on. He’d try to get me to go to the park and walk on Saturday morning, sometimes I did – but almost always begrudgingly. We’d take the kids to the park and let them ride bikes while we walked. I’d do it, but never enjoyed it.

Three years ago I fell and completely tore the ACL in my right knee. It was painful and a long recovery. I chose not to have surgery as I am not a tennis player, athletic, or under 30. I wish I could say the change came then, but it didn’t. I did start going to the YMCA to work out from time to time, but not much.

A year ago, for some reason I’m still not sure of, things changed. I decided to lose weight and started using MyFitnessPal – an app I could track my calorie intake and exercise on my newly purchased iPhone. I started going to the YMCA regularly that summer and slowly started walking. Then I took a full-time position at Guilford College and working out became challenging for my schedule. I started walking early in the morning before everyone got started in the house –that meant getting up at 5:30 and heading out with the dog. An interesting thing happened – I discovered I liked it.

I like walking while it is still dark. The birds are loud and the stars bright. I’ve started using the MapMyWalk app and it tracks my route, measures distance, pace, and calories burned. It helps motivate me. Amazingly, I am now contemplating walking in a 5K this fall. All those seeds my husband planted years ago are finally starting to bloom. Thanks sweetie.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Filmmakers and World War II

I wrote this as part of my homework - a journal entry from listening to NPR.

Terry Gross interviewed Mark Harris who wrote a book about five filmmakers who enlisted in the military for the purpose of filming during World War II. Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life), John Ford (Grapes of Wrath), George Stevens (Giant), William Wyler (Ben Hur), and John Houston (The Maltese Falcon) all enlisted in the military with the express purpose of filming the war.

Hollywood and the American government (the War Department) called an uneasy truce in order to make this happen. Neither trusted each other, but the need to encourage the American public brought them together (this truce would end after the war was over). Some of the men were conservatives and some were more liberal – but they were all established, respected Hollywood directors.

These directors were given specific tasks it seems. It didn't always turn out to be exactly what they expected, but they all had an impact. It was expected that they would mostly film and make movies/documentaries that would be shown to the American public at the movie theaters before the feature film.

Capra made a series of training films called Why We Fight that was mostly for the soldiers, but of few of them made their way into the theaters. John Ford filmed the Battle of Midway. When he was sent there he didn’t know a major battle was going to take place, though the people in charge did. They placed him not in the thick of things but in “the doorway to the battle” where he could see everything and film it. He was also sent to Omaha Beach for D-Day, which he had time to prepare for and setup filming. A lot of it was lost due to cameras not working and such, but what did get filmed was largely too graphic and raw to be shown to the public. It was shown to the war department and a carefully edited version was released to the public.

George Stevens, who I did not know by name, wound up at the Dachau concentration camp when it was liberated. His plan of filming a documentary was abandoned when he saw what had gone on there. Instead he filmed it all as evidence, which it was used for during the Nuremberg trials – where the defendants were forced to sit and watch it. Wyler, who I also did not know by name, made a documentary about the Memphis Belle crew (which I think must be what the movie was based on). I didn't catch what exactly John Houston filmed.

At any rate, I was fascinated. I have seen some of those little clips they used to show at the theater, usually in a movie about that era, and somehow I never considered how they were made. I certainly never thought about real Hollywood directors stepping out of their established lives and putting themselves in harm’s way to do such a thing.

I have a difficult time imagining such a thing happening now.

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