Musings

Dorm shopping: today vs three decades ago

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I was working on a blog post of the things I didn’t grow up with when I stumbled on a post from Real Simple called The Ultimate College Packing List – 26 Things Every College Student Needs. I passed right by it and then scrolled back up a minute later because, really, I AM interested to see how much things have changed since I went away to college 32 years ago. Let’s go through the list and compare! Continue reading “Dorm shopping: today vs three decades ago”

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Musings

Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again!

*spoiler inside*

Film Title: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Today is all about light and happy (it’s my Birthday!) so I thought I’d say a few words about that new Mamma Mia movie. I am a fan of ABBA from way back and feel like there is nothing better than a little ABBA Gold, their greatest hits album, to pull anyone out of a funk and I’ve been in a serious one lately. A couple of my friends saw the movie was out last week so we made plans to see it on Monday night. Guys, the theater was PACKED! I haven’t been to a theater so packed and on a Monday night in ages.

So a little backstory. Back in 2002, Jim and I visited London and the Cotswold area of England which had been a HUGE bucket list item of mine. When I met Jim the year before, I had been in the midst of planning and saving to take this trip on my own and he ended up surprising me with tickets for Christmas. Mamma Mia, the musical was a fairly new phenomenon and he got us tickets. It was icing on the cake. A cherry on the sundae. The play was amazing and fun and I ended up seeing it three or four more times over the next several years. One of those was a girls’ trip to New York and it’s with this group I saw the first and then the second movie.

While I saw the trailer, I did not read any reviews or other articles about the movie so as not to spoil it. The week before I watched the first movie on Netflix so I was primed to go. So I was completely taken aback when I learned Donna was dead. What?! No Merryl Streep in Here We Go Again?! But really, they made the best of it. They flashed back to Donna’s younger years from when she graduated from college and found her way to the island that would end up being her home for life and how she met the three men who were the questionable dad to her daughter Sophie. Lily James who played the young Donna has an amazing voice and screen presence. It was fun and cheesy and ok, it was a little sad.

The preview seemed to highlight Cher as an addition to the star-studded cast but she didn’t come in until nearly the end and I have to say she was a little weird. To be honest I’m not a huge fan and thought she upped the cheese factor significantly with her rendition of Fernando (played by Andy Garcia who was also weird in this movie).  There were definitely some drawbacks and it didn’t really measure up to the first because, most notably, Streep’s absence until the very end of the movie when she ghosts/sings a song to her grown daughter. It was a low note to end the movie on. The montage as the credits rolled was somewhat redeeming.

Overall, it was a fun movie and I will likely see it again when it comes out on DVD.

MC

 

 

Musings

The Royals, Not Like Us

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In case you are living without access to information, a new Royal made their way into the world yesterday. And if you’re reading this, you certainly have access to information and a lot better sources than this blog for news about the Royal family. I am not overly gaga about them but it’s hard to miss when they are in the news every day with Kate giving birth and Harry’s upcoming nuptials. And here’s my conclusion: The Royals, they are NOT like us.

How do I know this? Did you see pictures or videos of Kate seven hours after she gave birth to the yet-to-be-named Prince? She looked stunning. Stunning! I cannot look this good on my best day but she was dressed smartly: lovely dress, heels, full make-up and barley a bump where the baby had been and this is her third baby.  She bestowed upon us an ear-to-ear smile as she looked fondly at her newborn boy and then left the hospital shortly thereafter to head home.

Continue reading “The Royals, Not Like Us”

Musings

Mnemonics and Names

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I suppose there are things to say about mnemonics but I’m not really feeling it today except to say that I use them for my computer passwords here and there (you basically need full phrases with numbers and symbols thrown in these days to be sure everything is secure). A couple of these phrases have really stuck in my mind so I guess you could say they are now serving a dual purpose. The things I learned them for are not even anything I use anymore in my grown up life but they got me through whatever tests I needed them for and for that and the fact they are still in my brain 40 or so years later is a testament to them.

Speaking of remembering, I really need an ace way to remember people’s names. I’m pretty good if I know someone else with the same first name (especially my own because I usually will say to them, well, that’s easy to remember with a little laugh and that somewhat reinforces it). But there are many, and I mean many times when I am introduced to someone and my mind isn’t present when they say it so I’m like, uh oh, and hope someone else will come by and say their name so I’m not embarrassed later when I can’t remember. Does this ever happen to you? It could be me saying hi, I’m Mary and then I totally miss their name when they say, I’m ______. I seriously have a short attention span.

I’m also not great in social situations with people I don’t know (these situations that require us to introduce ourselves in the first place). I’m too busy thinking of things to talk about so if people are being introduced, my mind is already too absorbed in my other thoughts to take it in. I will try to ask someone else if I really need to know. If I know I’ve met someone before but see them another time and can’t remember, I’ll just say, hi, I’m Mary again and hope they reciprocate.

A few years ago, I took part in Dale Carnegie training and let me tell you, they really stress how important it is to remember people’s names. A person’s name is really the most important thing about them and it makes people feel good when you use their name in conversation. If I can remember it the first time, I will always try to say it again or at least at the end of the conversation because that is a good way to reinforce it as well. I practice this when I’m on the phone with anyone in customer service because they always give their name. I write it down so I can use it during the conversation and again when the call is ending.

Maybe we should all develop our own mnemonics so when we introduce ourselves, we can say, hi, I’m Mary, Meet A Real Yoyo. On the other hand it might just be easier to remember Mary.

Tell me how you remember people you meet for the first (or second time).

MC

 

 

Musings

How do you solve a problem like football?

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Football season is over! Of course, there will be the post-game rehash of what happened, the half-time show and the commercials but the long season of men in tight pants, tossing around a ball is over. Can you tell I’m not a fan? To each his own, I guess, but apparently, I’m in the minority because over 114 million tuned in to the big game yesterday.

I did give football a go many times through the years for the people in my life: family, friends, boyfriends and my husband. I could never understand the game and why each 15 minute quarter seemed to last an hour. Whenever I asked questions during a game I was sushed because you are not permitted to talk during the game due to rules of social propriety unless you are yelling at the players and coaches on TV.

Continue reading “How do you solve a problem like football?”

Musings

A crazy idea

I am forever trying to get my act together. You’d think by 50 I’d have things well under control, but instead I find myself still messing things up several times a week and this morning’s was a doozy.

Liam is playing basketball over the winter so he’s had to miss Sunday school for the past few weeks because his games have been on Sunday morning. I was very excited we didn’t have a game this weekend and while Jim ran him over to church, I got back in bed with a cup of tea and a book – sounds heavenly, right? I still had to shower before we went to collect him before mass and I kept telling myself just one more chapter.

Then Jim came in and announced there was a family activity during his class today where we were all supposed to make Valentine’s together. Jim had thrown on jeans and a sweatshirt and didn’t stay with him because he also needed to shower before mass. I was upset because I could picture him at a table all by himself in a corner sulking that we did’t love him as much as the other kids parents. I pictured him in many years hence describing to a therapist the various ways we had let him down through the childhood and I hightailed it to the shower and was ready in an astounding 15 minutes, makeup and all. I managed to get there with 20 minutes left in class but I could tell he was sad.

I’m sure I have an unread (or worse, an unread and deleted email) from the organizer because we always get reminders when something special is going on. I usually make time to read these because I am trying to be more organized but sometimes my email gets so overwhelming I just delete a bunch without reading – most of it is junk.

I really don’t know how to get it all together and that’s where my crazy idea comes in. Last week I had the idea to start a vlog about “getting it together”, but I’m not really sure there would be any interest in it. I myself love to follow several vlogs but they are run by extremely put together people. By all appearances they have perfect homes, cleaning routines, flawless makeup, healthy diets and excercise schedules and just all around good organizational skills. I was thinking of something more realistic for the rest of us who might not have it all together.

I did end up shooting a five minute video to introduce it last week, but I’m not sure how to even edit and publish such a thing. These people all have good camera presence and editing skills and I am just so raw. What do you think? Would you watch such a thing? It might be kind of like looking at a trainwreck!

I’ll have to think on it some more.

MC

Musings

Blogging from my phone

We are in an age where we can always be connected if we want. I don’t always want to but that’s a topic for another post. Over the past several days I’ve been traveling and have used my phone to create blog posts. For someone who prefers their desktop above all else, this has been pretty interesting. The best part might be using autofill to generate words since I only use one thumb to type. Maybe there should be a new typing class that helps us navigate the smaller keyboard. I see people frantically typing away with two thumbs all the time and I’m always impressed!

This morning I can’t get into my computer which I need to do my job. So reliant on computers are we that we freeze up when we can’t get access to them. But alas, I have my phone and decided to use the time to create my daily (um, multi-weekly?) post.

Continue reading “Blogging from my phone”