Saturday movie review: Life's A Breeze

LIFE'S A BREEZE is a cautionary tale from Lance Daly, director of THE COMMITMENTS (a favorite of mine). What might viewers be cautioned against? Throwing out your elderly mother's household goods without checking with her first.

Life's A Breeze dvd

The 2013 Irish comedy stars Fionnula Flanagan as Nan, the elderly matriarch of...

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Saturday movie review: Love Is Strange

In the film LOVE IS STRANGE, the filmmakers, writers, and actors show that love is indeed strange. And beautiful and confusing and elusive and challenging. Whether between partners, parents and children, family, friends, and friends who feel like family, love is all of that and more. LOVE IS STRANGE hits on all of that, depicting the delicate dance maneuvering through such connections, regardless of age, gender, or sexual preference.

love is strange movie

In LOVE IS STRANGE—which is out on Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming—Alfred Molina and John Lithgow star as...

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6 topics on which I could speak with ease... even if drunk


I belong to several online writing groups. As a freelance writer, the gathering spots of like-minded wordsmiths are where I most often find support, advice, inspiration.

One tidbit I recently gleaned from such a group was instruction on how to determine the topics that one might determine — and promote to publishers — as his or her areas of expertise. The simple solution offered was to consider...

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Wherein I share a sibling sandwich and grandchildren that aren't mine

I didn't get to spend time with my grandsons or their parents on Thanksgiving. The miles are just too difficult (and expensive) for either of us to traverse at this time.

Making up a smidgen for not getting to see the parts of my heart that live in the desert was getting to share a warm and cozy (and filling) day at my place with many of my mountain-based family members, immediate and extended. That included two of my six siblings — my oldest (Jeff) and my youngest (Susan).

Forget the turkey and taters, this was the sibling sandwich of the day:

siblings on Thanksgiving 

I don't believe we have ever...

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Water under the bridge

For reasons unclear, reasons never honestly shared with me, my younger brother hasn't spoken to me in more than eight years.

This past Wednesday, thanks to my mom and my sister—my brother's twin—my brother and I had no choice but to have lunch together.

Which turned out to be a good thing.

Sometimes the reasons people do the things they do make no sense.

And sometimes, after a while, those reasons no longer matter.

Perhaps what does matter is forgiveness.

And watching the water continue on its course beneath the bridge.

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

Though we've not spoken in years, I'd love to reconnect with _____________.

Brotherly love

In my family, there's not much of a tradition of close, loving, secret-sharing relationships between the female siblings. I read in books, see in movies, even observe in some of my friends and their sisters the ideal sisterly state. In the real world, though, in my real world that's flush with far more females than males, it just hasn't been. Not for those sisters who came before me nor for those who've come after.

My mom and her two sisters clearly love one another, but I'd venture to say calling each other best friends would be pushing it. My sisters and I? Well, we did—and do—love one another, but in a group of five females, you can imagine the competitions, the cat fights. Or maybe you can't, if you're one of the fortunate ones who indeed calls your sister your best friend.

Even my own daughters—whom I have no doubt whatsoever love and cherish one other dearly—aren't now and never have been a tight-knit trio. Nor is there even an exclusive duo among the three, leaving a third wheel to roll on her own. (Which, truth be told, I accept, for having one child continually left out and heartbroken would be an even more difficult situation than the overall arms length at which they all seem to keep one another.)

It saddens me that somehow, somewhere, the sisters-as-best-friends gene seems to have skipped generation after generation after generation in my family. I envy those sisters for whom the sappy adages cross-stitched on pillows and emblazoned across coffee mugs ring true. I wanted that. I wanted that for my daughters.

When it comes to my grandsons, though, they do have that. And what a heartwarming delight it is to see. Bubby and Mac are unabashedly best buds, best friends who love and cherish, adore and idolize one another. Countless times during their visit I witnessed one reaching out to the other just to cuddle or kiss, share a toy or a moment. Sometimes I'd see one little hand pat a shoulder, an arm, a cheek as if they simply needed assurance their best buddy was still there.

Just as many times, I watched one hop on the other as though a bell audible to only them had been rung, signaling the start of a wrestling match. They'd giggle and roll and squeal in delight. Then just as quickly, the match would be over and they'd move on to another activity, together or solo, secure in knowing their brother, their best friend, was nearby if the urge to wrestle and wrangle struck once again.


Of course Bubby and Mac argue, compete for attention, clamor for the very same toys and don't hold back physically or vocally in challenging one another for what they feel is rightfully theirs. But once the victor is declared—by virtue of who's most determined to get their way or by virtue of Mommy or another adult breaking up the bickering—they're right back to lovin' on one another. No grudges, no resentment.

I'm not sure how it happened. I don't know whether Megan subconsciously—or consciously—did something absolutely perfectly right in creating the connection between the boys, instilled something that eluded me when raising my girls, or if it's just luck of the draw and she came up with the winning and perfectly matched pair.

Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, I'd say that Bubby and Mac are the true winners. I hope their winning streak continues. They'll always be brothers, of course. I'm crossing my fingers and saying my prayers that they'll always—and in all ways—be best friends, as well.

Today's question:

Which of your siblings did you consider your best friend as children?