Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Night at the Oscars

Imagination at Play, Stressless

There is no argument here -  the best way to enjoy the Oscars is in the comfort of a Stressless recliner, sofa, or sectional. 

Stressless, not the kind of comfort you are used to. But something extraordinary. Comfort you never would expect from a recliner. As you sit, the chair comes alive, responding to your every movement. It is not something you have to imagine. It is something you have to feel.

Lincoln leads the list of movies with 12 Academy nominations. A history come to life movie that is well-written, well-acted, and everything else.

In addition to Lincoln, we enjoyed Argo, the true story of the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans stranded in an angry Iran after the fall of the Shah. It is a plot cooked up in Hollywood by an unsung CIA operative, and that seems too surreal to be real.

For pure action, there is Django Unchained, a movie that demonstrates that the guy in the black hat can be the good guy. And how did Django and Schultz, his German bounty hunter, travel from the Deep South to the Far West and back again in Winter? That, is the magic of Hollywood.

Les Miserables, something the kids can watch and sing along to. That is unless one remembers that the story is about Jean Valjean, a man who was imprisoned 18 years for stealing a loaf of bread, and the police officer Javert, who puts duty above justice, and a cast of despicable and  honor-worthy characters. This is Victor Hugo’s sweeping tale of revolutionary France, of crime and punishment, fear and flight, of persecution, redemption and love, all put to music.

Life of Pi - How do you make a movie about a young boy, a tiger, and a boat? Life of Pi might be the most imaginative screenplay, the story of a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey with a Bengal tiger.  With eleven Academy nominations, Pi is second in total nominations. Director Ang Lee and Adapted Screenplay writer, David MacGee are good bets to win.

What would you do if you were adrift in a ocean with a tiger? That is something to think about.

 Oh, as for personal favorite - how about Zero Dark Thirty? At its core, the movie is a story about focus, persistence, dedication, and success? That is a winning formula in any book.

Whoever wins, we will be sure to watch from the comfort of a Stressless recliner, where you don't have to imagine comfort, you experience it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines Day at Traditions Home





St. Valentine

There are several early Christian saints named Valentinus. I must insert here the fact that, in my wife's family history, the name Valentine Van Huss appears often, a name passed down thorough several generations in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Perhaps the most popular St. Valentine is the 3rd century Valentinus who was martyred for ministering to persecuted Christians and performing marriage ceremonies for soldiers who were forbidden to marry during their long 20 year service. Valentinus was executed on the Via Flaminia on February the 14th. Legend is that the night before his execution, he sent a note to the daughter of his jailer, who he cured of blindness, closing the note with the salutation, "from your Valentine".

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 - 1400), writing in The Parliament of Fowles (The Gathering of Birds), is credited with popularizing the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.
... And in a launde (land), upon an hille of floures (flowers), 
Was set this noble goddesse Nature; 
Of braunches were hir (her) halles and hir boures (bowers/shady places), 
Y-wrought (There wrought) after hir craft and hir mesure; 
Ne ther nas foul (fowl/bird) that cometh of engendrure (engendered/created), 
That they ne were prest (pressed) in hir presence, 
To take hir doom and yeve (give) hir audience. 

For this was seynt on Valentynes day, 
Whan every foul (fowl/bird) cometh ther to chese (choose) his make (mate)
Of every kinde, that men thenke (think) may; 
And that so huge a noyse gan (going) they make, 
That erthe and see, and tree, and every lake 
So ful was, that unnethe (with difficulty) was ther space 
For me to stonde (stand), so ful was al (all) the place....