brian o’connor

During my last year of college I lived in a row of three houses filled with theatre majors.  It was a fun block and group of people.  I’m not in touch with many of them today (other than Facebook, but we’re the generation who grew up without Facebook, so a lot of us function without it … which means not a lot of online living).  But through the years, oddly enough, I have stayed in touch with  my next door neighbor and friend Matthew.  And to some extent, through Matthew, his brother Brennen.  Matthew is a successful actor in New York City and Brennen is a successful architect back in Pittsburgh (where they are from).

But when I think of Matthew and Brennen, the first thing I think about is Brennen’s Laser (dark blue, and always sitting in the common driveway, the hood popped up and Brennen’s upper torso leaning over the engine -for a purpose none of us were ever too interested in).

It’s hard, in a few words, to describe that year I lived on North Atherton surrounded by those boys, but I have memories for days.  Brennen and the Laser, playing video games (the only time in my life, and only for a few months before Brennen took our Playstation away, pointing out that we’d completely stopped doing anything else).  Writing music, listening to music, sitting and talking for hours at a time.  It was a magical year.

It was also the year that I was first exposed to “The Fast & the Furious.”  And, for reasons I still cannot pinpoint, I fell in love with it.

When John and I started dating, we watched the fourth movie on a bootleg internet site – the coming back of Vin Diesel and Brian O’Connor after the (in my opinion) blasphemy of ‘Tokyo Drift.’  We saw ‘Fast Five’ in the theatre on opening weekend.  And the sixth.

And then, like a shock wave, Paul Walker died.

I cannot explain why it affected me the way it did.  I was absolutely devastated.  I watched all my DVDs for days, watched  Brian O’Connor wearing his chucks and vans.  Smiled with tears in my eyes when he spoke.  Tweeted too many times with the hashtag “Remember the Buster.”   I wore chucks for a week leading up to the release of F&F 7, and was there for a matinée showing on its opening day.  I don’t think I paid very much attention to the movie ~ I was transfixed with watching Paul Walker on-screen.  And I still cry every time I see the end sequence of that movie.  Big, hot, emotional tears.

So when “The Fate of the Furious” was released, I felt a little torn about seeing it.  Hubs was hoping that with the departure of Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker’s character in the movies), I would move on from my “Fast and Furious” obsession.  We didn’t see it in the theatre.  I listened to, but stayed quiet, about all the reviews.  Was I ready to see a new F&F movie without Brian O’Connor?  I didn’t know.

But I pre-ordered it on iTunes because deep down, I couldn’t turn my back on this series of movies that have grown more and more absurd as their popularity has grown. I love them too much.   I still think about Paul Walker asking for his tuna sandwich, no crust and am magnetically drawn to the films.  So John and I sat down to watch it this week.

To me, there was a gaping hole where Brian O’Connor should have been.  But, I also considered that life goes on for all of us when we lose someone we love.  Life continues, and the hole is there and the memories are there and the emptiness drums in the background, the heartbeat of the person we’ve lost.

It was better than I thought it would be.  It felt like there was a story again – something that I’d felt was missing from the sixth and seventh installments.  My breath caught in my throat when Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) mentioned Brian in the middle of the movie.  And I cried at the end, knowing but waiting for confirmation of what I’d guessed.

I don’t know why I love the movies.  Life, maybe?  Good memories?  And I certainly can’t explain why I was so ripped apart by an actor’s death — a person I didn’t even know.  And yet, I was.  I remain staunchly loyal to Brian O’Connor.  The Buster.  Tuna, no Crust.

And I’ll keep watching the Fast & Furious movies until they stop being made.  Because I can’t give up now.

legolas

It was January 2002.

I’d come home from studying in Italy and my brother — in his infinite wisdom and willingness to help — had secured me a room for spring semester in a sorority house.  Possibly important to note here, I am not in a sorority and never have been.  But he’d met a girl in Italian class who was headed to Rome as I was coming back, so he snagged her room for me.

I have memories of my parents coming up to move us both back in — but I must have driven, too, because at the time, I was the proud owner of Helen, my shiny red Honda Civic.

It wasn’t snowing when we arrived and carted all my boxes into the room that would be my home for the next few months.  We might have gone out for lunch.  I don’t remember.  I do remember that after everyone left, and I was alone, it began to snow and I listlessly began to put my things away.  I was living in a house full of women I didn’t know.  Back in a town that — until that point in time — had not been very kind to me.  I wasn’t in Rome.  I was alone in State College.

It’s hard to remember all the details, this many years gone, but I know that I was terrible at feeding myself (I didn’t really start to cook until I was nearly 30) and I was very sad.  I remember meeting the girl in the room next to me — far too chipper, far too happy about life.  Her hair fanning out like a fountain from her high pony tail.  She seemed nice enough (and we are friends to this day!) but I wasn’t very enthusiastic about anyone at that point.

I think I suffered through the entire next day putting my room together.  I don’t think I went anywhere, because the snow had come fast and furious, and the roads weren’t inviting.  It was probably dusk when i decided I couldn’t possibly stay in that house for one more minute.  I bundled up, locked my door, and headed out to walk the streets.

It was bitterly cold.  The wind was wicked, spreading the already fallen snow across bare surfaces, numbing any exposed skin.  The snow was like powder, a fine dust in the twilight.  The streets were fairly empty; both of cars and people.

When I went to school at Penn State, there were two downtown movie theaters.  By this time, the small, one screen cinema had closed and was in the process of being turned into something new.  But the multi-screen one across from the metered parking lot and next to the Gingerbread Man (also, sadly, extinct) was still there.  When I couldn’t bear the cold anymore, I stumbled into the lobby, hoping to find a movie that was starting soon.  I’d seen “Ocean’s 11” over Christmas break, and I would’ve watched that again.

But absolutely nothing was starting within an hour except for “Fellowship of the Ring.”

I remember taking a keep breath and weighing my options.  Go see a movie I had absolutely less than zero interest in ever seeing and be alone, in the warmth, for a few hours (and thus avoiding returning to the sorority house).  Or continue to wander the streets, and have to go back to that house.

I bought a ticket.

The movie theatre had multiple screens, but some were very small, with only ten or twelve rows of five or six seats.  It was playing in one of those, and I shuffled into a seat near the back.  There was a smattering of people in the seats in front of me.  I peeled my coat off, and tried to warm up.  I think I’d bought myself a soda and some popcorn.  It wasn’t long until the theatre dimmed.

There were no previews.

I sunk low in my seat, wondering if I could possibly sleep.  I was tired, and that house was so unfamiliar.  It was so cold.

And then the movie began.  And I was completely transported from the first moment.  I found Hobbiton endearing, and the Riders in Black terrifying. I loved Merry and Pippin and the dogged loyalty of Samwise.  I loved the stoic nobility of Aragorn and the majestic beauty of Legolas.

In a strange, surreal sort of way, “The Fellowship of the Ring” saved me.  Those first few weeks living in the DZ house were rough.  But I didn’t care anymore, because Tolkien and Peter Jackson had completely transfixed me with the story of One Ring and Middle Earth. It didn’t matter that I didn’t want to be back at school, that I felt as though I had no friends. None of it mattered, because I had Frodo, and Merry and Pippin and Samwise.  I had Gandalf and Gimli and Aragorn and Arwen and Legolas.

To this day, my husband puts on “Fellowship” when I am sad, when I am tired.  When I need comfort.  We have watched it more times than I can count.  I know most of the lines.  It feels magical, even fifteen years later.  Literature – creativity and imagination — those are the things that have always saved me across the years.  When I’ve been alone, deserted, lost.  Something that lifts you up and takes you somewhere new.  Somewhere exciting and unknown.  Something created from nothing.

small respite

It’s not often nowadays that the man and I sit down and watch a movie sans devices and distractions.  And yet, somehow, last night we did just that completely out of the blue.  Finished with our Downton catch up, we noticed a movie that we’d both be hankering to see – and so, we watched.

Lasse Hallstrom’s “The 100 Foot Journey” is everything that is good about food. Food is wondrous, and beautiful and creative and sensual.  It is all things and no things — that’s sort of how I feel about the intangibility of it.

There are some film shots in the movie that made me fall in love with cooking all over again — and I’ve had a very long love affair with food.

It’s a simple and gentle film — it doesn’t sucker punch you, and it makes you fall in love with the beauty of France, even if you didn’t mean to.

It’s been a long and winding week.  Some good news, some excitement, a lot of stress and pressure for the end of the month.  And last night I dreamt of whisking fresh eggs in the French countryside.  That’s how visceral the film was. And human, in a Hollywood sort of way.

It’s exactly what I needed.

contrary

I’ve been in quite the mood today.  So let me get a few things off my chest.

Watching Pittsburgh play last night was agonizing and heartbreakingly frustrating.  I’m sad their playoff run ended so soon — but I couldn’t have watched that team struggle through another game.  It was painful.  I will miss the veterans on defense whom I am assuming will not be re-signed next year (Kiesel, Harrison, Taylor … dare I say Polamalu?)  I will not miss watching the defense struggle when the Steeler’s defense shouldn’t struggle.  Ever.

Next up:  Whenever I begin watching one of “The Hobbit” movies all.I.want.to.watch is “Lord of the Rings.” I’m sure I’ll get over that one day and really crave returning to Bilbo’s adventure with the dwarves.  But right now — I just really need a little Frodo and Sam — with some Strider and Legolas thrown in.  Essentially the entire feeling of “The Fellowship of the Ring”  — none of which “The Hobbit” films have.

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane …. Hopefully it clears up some of my love for the LoTR films.

In early 2002 I’d just returned from studying abroad in Italy.  I’d wanted to stay another semester but circumstances (and finances) prevented it so I found myself back in State College, half-way moved into a room my brother sublet for me in a sorority house (sidenote: I am not, nor have I ever been, in a sorority). My parents had driven the two of us back to school on a cold January afternoon and nearly instantly headed home — for fear of getting stranded by the impending snowstorm.

The snow hit, and I unenthusiastically tried to put my room together.  I was sad, and scared and not at all happy to be back at school.  I felt alone.  Really, fully, in my bones, alone. So — after meeting the girls who would be my housemates for a semester (one of whom is still my great friend, so it all ended up working out!) I decided to go for a walk.  I bundled up (it was cold cold cold) and shuffled around State College (where the sidewalks weren’t all shoveled yet and no one was really out and about). After some walking and far too much introspective thinking, I found myself outside the movie theater and decided to see if anything was playing.  I’d seen Ocean’s 11 that break and had really loved it — I thought watching that again was vastly preferable to returning to my new ‘home.’

Ocean’s 11 had begun half an hour earlier, and wasn’t playing again for quite some time.  In fact, everything in the theatre had start times in over an hour, except The Fellowship of the Ring.   I had absolutely zero desire to see JRR Tolkien’s epic.  As in — none.  I’d read The Hobbit during middle school and enjoyed it.  But I had failed to be even slightly intrigued by the density of The Lord of the Rings.  (That’s the nicest way I can think to describe trying to read Tolkien).

But I also REALLY didn’t want to go back to the sorority house.  So I paid for a ticket, and after taking off several layers of snowy clothing and buying some popcorn and a soda, I settled into the last row of what was perhaps the smallest movie theatre I’d ever been in.  The previews had already begun (I remember thinking forlornly that I’d missed the best part) and I watched and waited for the film to start.

And — not to be overly dramatic — it completely swept me away.  And continues to do so to this day.

That movie, on that day, at that time — something about it was so magical, so transporting — that all the sadness and loneliness of being back at Penn State seemed to melt away into the background.  And strangely — it was also a turning point.  My college experience began to change then — school seemed less dismal, and I made new friends — friends to go drink margaritas with at Mad Mex, friends who came to see me in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, friends who brought me to cross training classes at local gyms  … and so many other things! — sometime I’ll have to revisit the day Minda and I drank White Merlot and watched an entire season of Buffy while the fraternity next door did mud slides on their front lawn.  The next year I became a total theatre school nerd, did lots of shows (both on stage and on crew) and made more friends who are still in my life today.

I know it probably sounds hokey, but there’s a part of me that feels as though that movie saved my life.  Certainly changed my life.  And maybe it did, maybe it didn’t.  But it feels like it did to me.  So a lot of times, when things feel a little overwhelming, all I want is to drift away into Middle Earth and forget my woes.

As I’ve written this, I’ve sort of marveled at how strongly things have marked time in my life.  I can remember so many clear details of opening the door to the movie theater in downtown State College (that no longer exists) and being overwhelmingly disappointed that not a single other movie was available for me to see.  And I also remember walking home in the blustering wind, still halfway in Middle Earth — plotting to buy the books (which I did) and read them from cover to cover (which I did not).  Totally transported to a place of imagination and wonder.   I saw the movie another two times in the theatre, and the subsequent sequels on opening night (Return of the King —midnight showing with my roommate at the time — nearly killed me!  I was so tired by the end and I swear — the sun was coming up when we left the theatre!).

So I stared this post with a completely different intention.  But I enjoyed walking down memory lane.  I am glad of the significance this film has played in my life (just ask the man — we both completely love it).  I’m glad I remembered the story of how I found it.  It’s been  a crazy trip down memory lane.  Insane to think it was 12 years ago.  Time is an amazing thing.

 

noah & his ark

The man and I watched “Noah” last night.

It’s been on my mind all day.

And I had a good day.  I got a lot of work done and ran some (very) delayed errands.  I nearly died (slight exaggeration) at LA Fitness swimming laps (I’m in a flare right now, so exercising may seem counter intuitive — but I had this wacky logic that the more I shy away from certain things because of my MS, the less things I will be able to do — so off to the gym I dragged myself and what a lesson in humility -and how out of shape I am – it was!)

And now, after a dinner of stuffed peppers (that wasn’t in any way earth -shattering) the man and I find ourselves watching “Noah” again.  (That’s what you do when you get a 2 day rental On Demand, right?)

And it’s just as strange and intriguing the second time around.

It definitely has me asking questions I would never have thought to ask.  And I believe that’s a good thing (although I fear that some groups may vehemently disagree with me. And that should -theoretically – be okay. Y’know, according to that little thing called the Bill of Rights.  But I digress!)

I am fascinated by the director’s interpretation of the landscape, the societies that could have existed, the struggle that Noah faces as a man tasked with protecting the innocent from annihilation.  Some of the camera shots are just stunning — and the pace of the story was incredibly well done considering the breadth of time covered.

Both the visceral nature of the film and its specific ambiguity just totally captured my mind.  So any thought of a food blog, or an MS blog … or really anything else is totally beyond the scope of my thoughts right now.  Right now I’m contemplating the stories of the bible, and how much room is left to fill in the details of the time, the personalities of the people. I mean, I’ve known the story of Noah for a long time and never have I ever questioned the way in which it was told to me or the specifics of the story.

Sort of the way Dr. Sadeghi talked about accepting beliefs without ever questioning their roots.  Again, I digress.

I think now, upon the second viewing, what I love about the movie is exactly that — the writer and director’s fearless re-telling of a classic and -until now -unchanged story.  It definitely pushes the boundaries of faith, but it also challenges us all to reconsider what we’ve always accepted without question and open up our minds to different perspectives.

paths of least resistance

Sometimes, on this crazy journey, I get more caught up in what I can no longer do, instead of focusing on what I can do.  I think that’s inevitable ~ life felt established, with routines and traditions and then all of a sudden, those things were taken away, like a rug being pulled out from under my feet.

Every time I see someone posting on social media about running, I feel deflated and frustrated.  I drive past the trails that Lucy and I used to run three or four mornings a week, and I am sad.  I’d like to believe I will be able to run again, but the truth is, I don’t know.  I feel so angry and defeated.  I am full of regrets ~ regrets for not running Broad Street earlier this year before everything started with my legs … disappointed in myself for not running the Half Marathon last October in Atlantic City ~ something I may never have the opportunity to do again.  It calls to mind the saying “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”  Had I not delayed, failed to train sufficiently last fall, at least now I would have the satisfaction of having run a half marathon, instead of the sadness that I got close and failed to get it done.

And then I think of all the things I am still able to do, and remind myself to be grateful for those things ~ yoga, swimming, walking.  And I try to talk myself up and remind myself to focus on the positives.  I know that what is most essential right now is action ~ creating a new routine, finding new ways to stay healthy and get exercise.  But it’s harder than that  … loading Lucy in the trunk of the car and heading to the trails was a matter of getting up and doing it.  Swimming or yoga requires scheduling and can’t include my pupster, who deserves to stretch her legs even more than I do.

On a different, and more positive note, the start of this week was a busy one for me work-wise.  Our third project hit full speed with a Tasting and Happy Hour for potential investors on Tuesday evening which had been preceded by a preliminary Panini tasting on Monday.  Which has meant take-out three nights in a row at home.  On Monday, I cheated and brought home treats from work (who can honestly say no to prosciutto, kunik and pizza?  seriously). Tuesday was a visit to our favorite local sushi place (where they do actually know our names… and our order.  As a small sidenote, there is something indefinably comforting about walking into a place of business and being recognized.  I believe that is a legit part of Starbucks training … and not a bad idea.  I know how important it was and what great relationships were built when I worked in restaurants every day instead of the office ~ a great part of real social interaction versus social media).  We have been enjoying some choice selections from Pennsylvania’s Chairman Select collection.  On Tuesday, we cracked open a bottle of Duckhorn Decoy Zinfandel.  I happen to deeply love the thick headiness of a good Zin ~ the husby isn’t quite as big a fan (he prefers more dry, minerally juice) but we both enjoyed the bottle, and our movie pic, The Great Gatsby (directed by Baz Luhrmann).  Totally didn’t expect the movie to be what it was but we were both completely drawn into the overly stylized telling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic.

Last night we checked out a new take-out place, Palace of Asia.  I was worn out (I usually am by Wednesday … how lame is that?)  and the man and I didn’t feel like shopping and then cooking.  So after some menu perusing, we got a variety of vegetarian entrees featured on the Indian cuisine menu.

Whew.  Delish.  Despite the major language barrier encountered when calling in, we got everything we ordered, and enjoyed every bite.  Our first entrée was a selection of nine garden vegetables (squash, potato, peas, etc) cooked in a spicy cream sauce (Korma ~ my favorite!).  The second dish featured tiny potatoes stuffed with cheese in a kashmiri sauce (a super amazing cream sauce with nuts and raisins).  For our first foray into Indian take-out, it was a success.  Although I couldn’t eat that every week ~ much too heavy! I love the flavors and seasoning Indian food employs though ~ so outside of the flavors I grew up with and know.  So decadent.  We caught up on some sitcoms and enjoyed another bottle of Zin (the man is going to boycott soon) which was actually (dare I say it? sacrilege) a little superior to the Duckhorn.

At the end of October, my offices will move downtown again, and when that happens, I hope the husby and I can get into a groove with cooking, and the gym and Miss Lucy.  Until then, I plan on enjoying the waning days of my easy commute and spending as much evening lounge time with my family as possible.  This evening we are headed out to a Mexican “Haute Cuisine” BYOB in Old City (which we have only heard rave reviews about)  … I am very much looking forward to it, and to continuing our streak of not cooking this whole week.  (Hehe!)

Until tomorrow.  xo.

 

my Oscar recap

I love the Academy Awards.  I have for a very long time, and I have certain traditions that I try to keep.  They are very simple ~ champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.  Yummers.

A few years ago, I started having people over fo watch the Oscars, and I planned meals in addition to the strawberries, because let’s be honest ~ people get hungry.  Three years ago, I did beef tenderloin, Israeli couscous with cinnamon, raisins and pine nuts and I believe asparagus.  John did wedge salads to start, with a homemade blue cheese dressing, cherry tomatoes and real crumbled bacon.  Two years ago, i made my Monday Night Football Polenta ~ polenta topped with Portobello mushrooms, Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella and yummy red sauce (side note: I’m half Italian, and I most assuredly do not call it gravy).  Last year, we did blanched veggies and beef tips with hummus and curry dipping sauce.  This year, I decided I wasn’t going to do a big thing ~ I was going to enjoy the Oscars solo (well, with the man and Lucy).  And then I got a huge and awesome surprise ~ one of my dearest girl friends and definitely my oldest (since I first moved to my second high school at the tender age of 16) would be staying the night with us, and watching the awards.  It’d been awhile since we’d seen each other, so I was super excited.

For the Oscars this year, I went simple again (instead of a three course meal ~ zoinks!).  We enjoyed shrimp with curry dipping sauce (one of the man’s ultimate favorites), a cheese plate with smoked salmon and a cream of asparagus soup.  My lovely friend is a pescatarian, so no meat, but that was a-okay.  The man and I are pretty used to veggie and fish based meals now ~ it’s our new norm.

So, yesterday afternoon, after Mass and Lucy’s walk (which was ridiculously muddy, thus Lucy also got a bath)  I got busy prepping for the evening (beginning by recording –just to be safe – all Oscar coverage).  First up, chocolate covered strawberries.  Last year, we invested in a glass bowl to create our double boiler, and I have to say, it has made all the difference in melting chocolate.  My first two years, I used one of my metal mixing bowls, and I’m not sure if it just got way too hot, or if it didn’t hold the heat as evenly, but glass is by far superior.

Next up (after making John’s Curry Dipping Sauce), I began the Cream of Asparagus Soup.  Not hard at all, but a couple of steps, so I referred back to the recipe a lot!  Bonus ~ there were additional directions for switching up the featured veggie, so I’m looking forward to making some other soups before the weather warms up.

What I used:

3 cups fresh asparagus, cut in 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 lb)

2 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)

1 close crushed garlic

3/4 fresh chopped thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free, King Arthur brand)

2 cups skim milk (or low-fat)

Salt

Dash of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
What I did: 

1. In a large saucepan, I combined the asparagus, stock, garlic, thyme and bay leaf.  I brought it to a boil, then reduced it to a simmer, and allowed it to cook for about 10-15 minutes.

2.  Once the asparagus had significantly softened, I transferred the mixture to my food processor, and blended until it was smooth.

3.  Meanwhile, I added the flour to the now empty saucepan, and slowly added the milk, whisking as I went.  Then I poured the pureed asparagus in, added the nutmeg, lemon zest and salt, and brought it back to a boil, stirring constantly.

4.  I immediately reduced it to a simmer again, and allowed it to cook for about five more minutes.  Then I served with a few roasted asparagus tips as garnish.

 

 

It was a feast, despite our best efforts to keep it simple.  And to finish it all off, we sat down to watch the awards with my tradition ~ chocolate covered strawberries and bubbles (even though this year, I had Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider mixed with tonic instead of the real stuff! I always forget about special occasions when I give things up for Lent!).

I thought the Awards were great, Seth McFarlane was a fun host, the winners were deserving and the entire night a triumph.  A few of my favorite moments … Jennifer Hudson singing “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” (Wow.  She continues to amaze me.  She rocks) … the cast of “Les Miserables” singing (Chills.  I got chills.  For real.  I’m such a musical theatre nerd!) … Daniel Day-Lewis’ acceptance speech (perfection!) … “Argo” winning best picture, and everything Ben Affleck said.  But especially his commentary on marriage (which, anyone with half a brain knows is the truth ~ I’ve read some of the feedback and wow people, way to focus on the negative) and some of his last words, which have become, over the past few years, my personal motto.

It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down.  It’s that you get back up.

He’s walking proof of perseverance, and I thought “Argo” was a brilliantly constructed film ~ a beautiful balance of historical events, suspense and comedy, woven together with a thoughtful soundtrack and beautiful camera work and editing.  The acting ~ while not on the level of “Silver LInings Playbook” (um, seriously, everyone should see it because it is a tour de force of amazing work by all four leads and an awesome supporting cast) paid homage to the fact that each was portraying a real person, and together made it a strong ensemble piece.  Even now, having watched it twice, I am stunned that the mission existed, but even moreso that it worked.

In the end, the 86th Oscars were very satisfying, and I enjoyed every minute.

hatfields & mccoys

As we watched the end of “Hatfields & McCoys” last night, I kept thinking over and over again, as the ashes settled, did either side look back on the hardships and the ruins of their families and think their actions were worth it?

Obviously, we’ll never truthfully know.  The mini-series implied it ~ but first hand accounts are few and far between.

But it made me think about actions in life.  Is the instant gratification worth the long-term pain?  Usually not.  Is hanging on to anger and hurt and pain healthy – in any way?  Definitely not.

But it’s more complicated than that, as we all know.  Life doesn’t exist in black & white.  Knowing the logic and reason behind something rarely takes the coloring and tinges of emotion out of the picture.

It’s really easy to get caught up in the small things.  And once you get caught up in them, they slowly become the big things, because having fixated on an issue, it grows at an exponentially fast rate.

It’s an interesting thing to wrap my brain around.  Thinking that events snow-balled to the point that Hatfield and McCoy men charged at each other in a battle with the intent to kill ~ not for justice, or freedom or a noble cause, but because two men held fast to feelings of injustice, and as time grew, their hatred engulfed not only them, but their kin as well ~ is craziness.  I mean, utterly incomprehensible, other than the fact that it actually took place.

I can think back and admit that there have been times in my life that I have walked away from friendships, and now, couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause.  It all just came together and was, for me, the best option.  I don’t carry a significant amount of hate in my heart ~ hating is exhausting, and gives credence where it is certainly not due.

But it makes me stop and think about the things that are niggling in my heart right now.  Is anything worth destroying precious relationships over?  In the end, it’s the people in your life who give life its substance.  And while sometimes you have to walk away, most of the time small perceived injustices aren’t worth holding onto.

Just my rambling thoughts for tonight.