Heroes and Villains

Growing up we watched Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights.  We rarely went to the movies but I do remember seeing “Sleeping Beauty.”  I’m not sure if it’s one my parents or my Granny took us to the theater to see, but I do remember watching it.

Because I never wanted to see that movie again.

We had the album soundtrack too.  And I did not want to look at the back of the cover.  No way, no how.

That woman, that creature was the scariest thing I had ever seen.  She was the stuff nightmares are made of.  Terrifying.  And when she turned into the dragon and fought Prince Phillip?  Oh my land, cover my eyes and just know there’s no way I’m sleeping by myself then.


So it’s interesting that today I was conflicted.  Part of me wanted to see the movie “Maleficent” and part of me wanted to run the other way and never look back.  Guess which one won?

It’s been out since May 30.  The way movie math goes these days, I am certain it’s going to be pulled from the main theater any day now.  Our discount theater is closing, so I figured this might be my last shot unless I wanted to wait for the DVD release.  The fascinated little girl in me did not.  As scared as I was of the evil fairy growing up, I had heard intriguing things about this movie, and I wanted to go.  Today.

So we did.


I loved it.

Every bit of it.

This is a movie about redemption.  About how hurting people (and fairies) hurt people.  It’s about revenge, regret, and loyalty.  About what greed can do to friendship and how love can protect and heal.  It’s about revenge, regret, loyalty, and faith.

Really good stuff.  There was even a bit of redemption for an actress I’ve loved to hate for years.  Imelda Staunton, with whom I spent some time last night as I watched her play the role of the much-hated Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  Again.  Each time I watch her, I just get so angry.  She’s that good.  In Maleficent she was delightful as a spunky little fairy.  It was interesting that my feelings could change just that quickly.  The mark of a good actress?  Perhaps.

At the end of the movie, something was said about heroes and villains–and the truth is there is a little of both in each one of us.  It depends on which side we listen to and what actions we take that determine our fate.

If you have an opportunity to see this movie, it is a beautiful retelling of a much-loved fairytale.  Whether you hurry to the theater now or wait to watch it on DVD, I hope you’ll try to make time to see it.  No, I’m not getting paid to say that, but if someone were to send me a ticket or a copy of it when it is released on DVD, I could be okay with that.  😉 This movie ranks right up there with Drew Barrymore’s Ever After for its clever retelling of an old classic.  It was just that good.

Redemption.  Grace.  Love.  Hatred.  Greed.  Revenge.  Regret.  Love.

It’s all there.  The writers are to be commended.  What a story!  It all fit together in the context of the story we’ve all heard, and it made sense.

And you know what else?  There will be no more Malificent-inspired nightmares for me.  I know our own Princess loves her Anna and Elsa (from Frozen, for those of you who have somehow escaped the madness) but for me, I’ll take Maleficent.  A strong woman can admit when she’s wrong and then work to do something about it.  And I empathize with the pain Maleficent feels when she is robbed of something very dear to her.  Those tears…..that sobbing…..

And that’s all I’ll say about that.  I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Thumbs up?  Loved it?  Fell asleep right after the previews? What did you think?  What moment was your favorite?  (These are the kinds of questions we heard in the go-mobile on the way home after the movie was over.)

Tonight I’m thankful for movies that entertain and make me think and feel.  I’m grateful for another reminder of this fact: we may think we know someone’s story, label them as evil or bad, and write them off.  But we don’t know.  There’s nearly almost always more to the story.  And when we take the time to listen to the stories of others, sometimes it becomes painfully obvious that all is not what we thought.  Many folks just need a shot at grace and redemption to rewrite their whole tale.

Love to all.


Mess Cat’s Back in Town…..For Good

Mess Cat is back in town.

I am ecstatic.  And relieved.  And so happy.

Mess Cat and Aub celebrating the fun of being together--from now on!

Mess Cat and Aub celebrating the fun of being together–from now on!

Today was the first day since my sister and her family moved back home that they’ve let themselves slow down.  Forget about packing, cleaning up their old house, meeting service people at the new house, unpacking, making decisions about where to put what, assessing what still needs to be done…..today they put all that aside and relaxed.  Just for a little while.

We met for a fun lunch at the pizza place that is quickly becoming “our” place to hang out with family and friends.  We skipped the Game Room (insert huge sigh of relief here), because we had much more fun ahead of us.  After a leisurely lunch of stuffing ourselves silly with pizza, salad, and dessert pizza, we walked next door to the movie theater to see “Despicable Me 2.”  (Remember last night I told you my record of two years not seeing a movie at the theater was coming to an end?  Well today it did.)  I was glad I took my “carry around in my van” sweater in with me, as it was very cold in there.  Just wish I had worn shoes other than flip flops.  My feet were freezing by the time we left.

Oh but the fun.  The movie was entertaining, and how good it was to sit and laugh with the very people whom I’ve cried with so much over the past few years.  I mean belly-bustin’ laughs.  If you’ve seen it, did you see the “Isaac” from Love Boat reference?  That cracked me up.  And when they played “YMCA” I thought our little guy was going to jump out of his seat.  That’s his new favorite song y’all.  He plays it over and over and dances his little heart out over that one.  In that moment, seeing delight and recognition all over his face, it was perfection.

I came home full.  My heart was full.  In a good place.  I was thinking about how relaxed I felt and wondering why.  I mean, I came home to a clean full dishwasher and another load’s worth in the sink and laundry that always needs doing.  (When I finally get all the clean ones off the couch, the crew wants to know who’s coming over.)  So it wasn’t that I’d reached a point that I’d earned a day off.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, and then I remembered the laughter.  And sitting next to my sister, not trying so hard to savor it until the next time as I usually do, but instead enjoying it and anticipating so many more times like this–knowing it could now happen on just about any given day.  She and my big brother (BIL) and nephew are like my favorite cozy blankets on a gray winter day.  Comfortable, comforting, and reassuring.  They are family and dear friends.  All the best of each all rolled into one.

We’ve spent so much time over the past four years with them making the trip back and forth–two and a half hours each way…..on a good traffic and rain free day.  Making that trip, trying to pack in as much as they could in their time here–first with Daddy, then helping Mama, and then during Mama’s HospitalStay, and finally house hunting so they could come “home.”  And now all of that is over.  There are still a few things left that will keep the trip up north a part of their lives, but now they’re driving in the right direction.  My sister laughed about driving back to work on their old house up there yesterday–finally on a Saturday she didn’t hit traffic either way–and that was because she was headed in the opposite direction of what she usually travels on both trips.

Today we were all relaxed.  The only time restraint was the movie schedule, and hey, if we missed the 2:15 there was another one shortly after.  We had no intense conversations about anyone’s health or estate business or decisions that MUSTBEMADENOW.  It was laughter and getting up and down for pizza and choosing seats in a movie theater and walking in the drizzle from one to the other.  It was children’s eyes lit up with laughter and wonder and laughing ourselves, appreciating the humor put in just for us.  It was–GOOD.

And because it was good, I’m thinking I will sleep well tonight.  I hope so.  That’s something that doesn’t come easily anymore.  I learned something today from the movie.  Without giving anything away I hope, I learned that a little sweet can turn a monster into a cutie pie.  And I think I saw that today–it was a sweet day, no tension, no anxiety, just good stuff.  And tonight, I find myself not my usual “get in the bed, PLEASE!” Mama Monster, but a whole lot more relaxed.

For that, we are all thankful.

2013 just took a turn for the better.  Finally.  Welcome home, Mess Cat and Family.  Today was a first of many, and that makes me happy happy happy.