Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goals for 2010

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I used to, and they used to consist of the usual promises to eat better, work out more, get better organized, live more in the present, blah blah blah…

And then, of course, by mid January or at the latest February, half of those are forgotten, the rest lost in the daily activity of life.

New Year’s Resolutions are sort of a running joke, anyway, aren’t they? Everyone makes them, just so they can break them it seems. And why wait until January 1st (well, technically 2nd, because nobody starts on the first because it’s a holiday, right?) to make changes in your life? What’s wrong with December 21st? Or July 15th? October 10th?

It just all seems so silly to me.

And yet, there is something inspiring and refreshing about the start of a New Year that makes you want to take control of your life, and make things happen. It’s true, silly or not, January 1st holds a certain significance for new beginnings.

So, I decided that I would take advantage of this feeling, but not fall victim to the uselessness of resolutions.

Instead, I make plans, I have GOALS for the coming year.

It’s so much more productive for me to focus on actions I plan to take, instead of a “vague” idea of what I will and will not do.

That said, here are some of my “GOALS” for 2010:

1. Finish that novel – Yep, this is a lofty one, but I have all year to work on it. In winning “NaNoWriMo”, I accomplished 75% of this novel. This leaves me a full year to write the remaining 25% and focus on the editing process. Winning “NaNoWriMo” also provided me with a free “printing” of my manuscript, and I have until June to use that, so, this gives me a deadline of June to have a “working” manuscript done, so I can then focus on how in the world I’m finally going to get my work published. I can do this. I will do this. The goal is not so much to get it published as it is to make this novel a daily part of my life.

2. Stay healthy – that’s it. No crazy “lose this much” or “go to the gym this many times per week” scheme that is sure to fail. Just stay on the path I set for myself two years ago, and continue the daily exercise of focusing on being healthy. There is weight to be lost, and then maintained, and there is a goal for being at the gym regularly, but these are things I already focus on, and not some big resolution. The goal is simply to continue on my path.

3. Put God ahead of everything – if I’ve learned anything in the last few years, it is that without God in my life, things always make less sense. And yet, for some reason, I let the rest of my life overshadow this one most important relationship. I’m getting better at it, and I just hope to continue on this faith journey with my priorities straight.

4. De-clutter – and by that I mean EVERYTHING. My closets, my drawers, my computer files, my Twitter and FaceBook accounts, my toxic friendships, my calendar, my mind. Good grief there is too much STUFF everywhere. I need to simplify.

And finally:

5. Fall In Love. What? It can happen. If I put it on the list, then I’m putting out there in the universe. So, there you have it.

What are your goals and plans for 2010?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Avatar - Movie Review

I kept this review very basic and spoiler free. Read on!

I first saw a preview for Avatar a few months ago, and thought it looked interesting. I remember thinking "yep, I'll want to see that". But then, when the movie was released, and all the insanity around it broke out, I lost a bit of interest. I couldn't understand what all the hype was all about. I wanted to see it, but it wasn't a "must see", by any means.

But, the other night, my cousins and I decided to go check it out, and figured that since we were going anyway, we might as well watch it in 3D, right?

So, dorky 3D glasses on our faces, we settled down for a very long movie. I'll admit, the first 10 minutes or so were oddly uncomfortable. Getting used to the 3D was awkward and there was a certain amount of "motion sickness" to it all. But soon enough, the 3D seemed natural, and I was able to just enjoy the beauty of the images on the screen.

And beautiful they were. This movie was absolutely beautiful. Breathtakingly so. I will be incredibly surprised if it doesn't get nominated and win for every category having to do with set, costuming, etc.

The 3D just simply added to the beauty, and fit perfectly with the fact that the movie was taking place in a world that was so unlike our own, filled with magical plants and gorgeous surprises around every corner.

I'll make this clear, there is no other way to watch this movie but in 3D. Don't bother to watch it otherwise.

As far as the story line itself goes, it was also a beautiful story, filled with awe, wonder, sadness, rage, fantasy, and every other emotion you can think of. In order to avoid posting spoilers, I'm going to skip any summary of the plot, and let you watch it for yourself. I will, however say that this movie served to show both the beautiful soul as well as the ugly nature of humanity. I was both touched and angered while watching this movie. Reminded of how the human race is so quick to destroy anything different and beautiful. But also how amongst us there are always those who will sacrifice everything to save that very thing.

The cast was fantastic. Sam Worthington as Jake Sully captured both the human and the avatar perfectly. Giovanni Ribisi was a pleasant surprise for me (i'm a big fan of his) as Parker Selfridge, the rich benefactor of the entire project. He always seems to play these conflicted characters, and is always so great at this. Zoe Saldana was beautiful as Neytiri.

The movie is almost three hours long, and yet, I found myself wanting more when it was over.

I don't have much more to say because I don't think my words can't do justice to this film. Honestly, if you are even remotely a fan of fantasy, go see it. If you love beautiful images, go see it. If you are a romantic, go see it. If you like watching movies that make you think and examine the world around you, go see it. If you like explosions and battles, go see it.

I'm going to easily say this is my favorite movie of 2009. How's that for a review? Just...go see it. In 3D. ;-)