Summer blockbusters

There were four movies that were on my summer 2013 must-see list. Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger, and Iron Man 3. As of last week, I've crossed three of them off my list.

I am a sci-fi fan and a Zachary Quinto fan. His portrayal of the intellectual Spock's deep emotional turmoil just below the surface gets me every time. (Yes, I have a little crush on him. I am partial to smart men.) Plus, I loved the 2009 reboot from J.J. Abrams, so I corralled a friend and went to see Star Trek Into Darkness first. I enjoyed it, but walked away wishing it would have made a little more sense.

Next on my list was Man of Steel. I have a soft spot for Superman and what he stands for (truth, justice, and the American way). I think he's my favorite superhero. I adored Christopher Reeve in the original Superman movie as a kid. I watched all ten seasons of Smallville. Now, I admire director Zack Snyder and have grown to appreciate his gritty interpretation of the Watchmen, but that didn't seem like Superman to me. Still, I was cautiously optimistic. I ended up disappointed. It felt a little too much like Transformers to me. Henry Cavill did a credible job in the title role, but it just wasn't what I expected.

You know how sometimes, you are hoping against hope that a review will be completely off the mark? I crossed my fingers and went to see The Lone Ranger. However, this movie was, to quote my father, "silly."  (I think that's a generous assessment.) Johnny Depp played Tonto with shades of Jack Sparrow, and the other characters were completely one-dimensional. You know it's a bad sign when you're looking for your watch to check the time during a movie. (Still, props to Gioachino Rossini, the composer of The William Tell Overture. Gives me chills, every time, even if the movie stinks.)

Oh, Iron Man 3, please don't disappoint me!


Thoughts about naps

I'm going to share a secret with you. If you try to call me on Sunday afternoon, Odds are, I won't answer the phone. I am probably sleeping. Sunday's supposed to be a day of rest. I take this literally.

My eight-year-old self would be horridly disappointed with me. My mother has long been a legendary believer in the power of a good nap. But growing up, I viewed taking naps to be much less desirable than taking a spoonful of medicine (and I HATED NyQuil, so that's saying something).

I went to extreme lengths to avoid having to nap. I got busted more times than I can count for not behaving during nap time (pulling out the trundle bed and using it as a stage to reenact the Donny and Marie Show with my sisters, for example). Plainly speaking, I was a nap delinquent.

My mother said, "Someday, you'll be glad when you can take a nap." Of all the things my mother said when I was a child, this was the one I found most unbelievable. Was she serious? I could only think of all the time that was WASTED as I SLEPT. As in--gone forever! For example, I could have been using my chemistry set to conduct experiments in my laboratory. (Oh, wait, I didn't have a laboratory. I tried, but my parents put the kibosh on that too. Some nonsense about blowing up the house. Too bad; instead of becoming a Nobel prize winning scientist, I am now a writer. I ask you...who got the last laugh?)

I'm not sure when naps became an indulgence rather than a dreaded chore. But here I am and there's no going back.  

And now, I think I could run for office on the sole strength of this platform: Vote for naps! I bet I'd get elected too. I'm Jill Tiefel, and I approved this message.


I've got mail

I love getting mail. The anticipation of going to the mailbox and wondering what might be in the mailbox is, to me, one of life's little pleasures. Who knows what will arrive? I might have a new magazine, the latest Entertainment Weekly or Psychology Today. Maybe it will be a new movie from Netfix or a peel-off coupon from Kohl's department store (Did I get 30% off? Time to go shopping!).

My favorite kind of mail is an envelope that's been hand-addressed. That usually signals something fun, like a card from a friend or an invitation.
Bills are decidedly less exciting, but I'm still willing to take a chance and pull the black door open.

Knowing the thrill that I receive when I retrieve my mail, I like to mail things to other people. Oh, I know there are other more immediate and less expensive ways to communicate: E-mail, texting, Facebook, phone calls. And I use all of those too.

It's possible that I've romanticized the idea, but I believe there is a gravitas to receiving something in the mail. In my mind, nothing can replace a handwritten card or letter which arrives in an envelope that bears my address in a familiar scrawl. The sender thought enough about me to personally see to those little details.

When I'm addressing a letter, I'm thinking about its recipient with each swirl of cursive that my ink pen presses into the paper. I don't care that it costs 46¢. It's completely worth it. Less than two quarters to make my family and friends feel like a million bucks? It's a bargain.