1. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… This time of year we seem to spend a lot of energy to “make memories.” But in my experience the most memorable moments are often the ones that are unexpected. Tori Nelson shared a fond holiday experience in a post this week and it got me thinking about some of mine. One sweet memory was when my nephew was a baby. It was Christmas Eve and I took him outside to look at the multi-colored lights draped around the front door. They twinkled and his little face turned all the colors of the rainbow. He was mesmerized and just stared at them for long minutes. It seemed that he was in some other dimension of time and space where he was fully aware and present. Now he’s 17 and the only thing that mesmerizes him is his smart phone.
What is your favorite holiday memory?
Speaking of holiday lights, let’s go from the sublime to the ridiculous: If you don’t like it, move; aka Christmas lights in Brooklyn.
2. Imagine a French-inspired bistro, bathed in sepia tones with mottled mirrors, penny-tile floors and worn tables, serving croissants and mini-quiches. That’s one of my favorite brunch places, Balthazar. It’s so…civilized. This place is always hopping with chic, put-together people who know how to wear scarves. Really, it’s the next best thing to Paris. So since I’m researching Paris for a story I’m writing, I decided to
splurge call it research. It was the most luxurious hour, people-watching with my cafe au lait and tattered copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, all about his time in Paris in the 1920’s.
What are little ways you treat yourself?
Love the reflection of the taxi and people walking by.
3. And…action! It’s not uncommon for a film shoot to happen in my neighborhood. Usually it’s a television show like Law & Order (when that was still around), Person of Interest or Boardwalk Empire. The production companies come for a day, spend a few hours filming a scene and then pack up. No muss, no fuss. This week, all bets were off when A Winter’s Tale came to the nabe. It was clear from the outset that this movie was going to be big budget. First off: the horses. We don’t see horses much in Brooklyn, well, like never.
There was more crew milling about than the population of some small towns and they were pretending it had snowed.
The trailers and craft services tables and power cords snaked around several blocks. They had dialect coaches and large wardrobe trailers.
Definitely a period piece. There were plenty of extras hanging around in stovetop hats and cloaks.
Now that you’ve seen the shots here is the movie description from IMDB: New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter, a middle-aged Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay, you might know her as Lady Sybil on Downton Abbey), a young girl, who is dying. Also starring: Will Smith, Matt Bomer, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt and others. Release scheduled 2013. Hmmm…what do you think?
Have you ever seen a movie or television shoot?
4. A Big Holiday Fur-raiser and Giveaway. My pal Aleks over at Love and a Six-Foot Leash is hosting a wonderful giveaway for the four-legged. The giveaway is part of a fundraiser for The Schrodi Training Fund, run by Austin dog trainer Shari Elkins (named in honor of her dog Schrodi). The Schrodi Fund focuses on keeping dogs who have behavior problems in their homes through low or no-cost training. Sometimes it takes just a few sessions with a trainer to address a behavior problem, keeping everyone in the house happy, healthy and safe. In 2010, The Schrodi Fund worked with 80 families who would otherwise not have been able to afford the help they needed. Of the dogs helped that year, 95 percent remained in their homes.
I know how valuable training can be from personal experience. When Reggie came into my life, I quickly found out that he had some issues – mostly stemming from fear aggression – that had to be addressed. Luckily I was able to afford a few sessions with a positive reinforcement trainer who gave me the tools to help both of us build more confidence. (We still work on it every day.)
But quality trainers are not inexpensive. As Aleks notes, “Behavioral issues continue to be the #1 reason that dogs are surrendered to shelters, and especially in a weak economy, the need for affordable training — especially private lessons to address behavioral issues — is great.”
Today is the last day to enter, so please hop (heh, heh) on over to her site and enter to win some terrific prizes. Look at all the paw-some swag you can win! (Can’t you just see Reggie in that bow-tie?) Your furiends (okay, I’ll stop now) will thank you!
5. The new rat race? At your office, do you ever feel that you’re a hamster running on one of those little wheels? Well, now you can live it.
Have a great weekend, everyone!