The Descendants: Oscar worthy or just another rainy day film?

During one of my very few attempts to step away from my computer, my job, and my apartment, I decided to go to the movies. For those of you who actually follow this blog, I guess I will say my dating fast is over (it was peaceful while it lasted), and I went on a date (or something like a date I guess) to the movies. My outing led me to view The Descendants with George Clooney. Overall I would give the move 2.5 out of 5 stars. I must say the previews of the movie were appealing, the actual movie…umm could have been better. To my surprise other people actually loved this movie. Important people loved this movie. It was the rave at the Golden Globes, and George Clooney received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, while the movie received a nomination for best picture.  Wow, who would have thought. I must say that Shailene Woodley had an excellent performance, I hope to see her in future films.  My recommendation: It would be an excellent Netflix film (if you are bored and have a quick 2 hours to waste).

What fascinated me about The Descendants was that the movie takes place and was actually filmed in Hawaii. It is always amazing to see Hawaii on the big screen. To know that I can go outside my door and bear witness to the full beauty of Hawaii is always an added perk of living on the island.  While other movie goers may dream of living here to experience the serene atmosphere and ocean waves, I have the pleasure of living in that world daily.

The Descendants is based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, a writer who actually grew up in Hawaii. I can probably imagine as in all novels turned movies, the novel is probably much better. The overall story was one that had a good balance of the struggles of the Hawaii of the past to the Hawaii of the present. While explaining the current struggles of Geoge Clooney’s character and the breakdown of his immediate family life,  a touch of native Hawaiian history was thrown in to add an increased dynamic to spice up the overall dullness of the movie.

While the movie had good intentions, I felt something was missing, well a lot was missing. I kept waiting for that climatic moment that would bring out heartfelt emotion. It never came.  Since I haven’t read the book, I can only blame it on the Hollywood effect. To live in Hawaii, has greater raised my understanding of Hawaii and the struggles that native Hawaiians have faced in times of industrialization. Not to be misunderstood, Hawaii is a great place to live, however everyday is not a walk on the beach. One of my favorite lines from the movie was during the initial narrative recited by George Clooney’s character as we are introduced to him. He is explaining that everyone on the mainland thinks it is great that he lives in paradise. The narrative ends with  “I think paradise can go fuck itself”. In essence that one line was the most realistic line of the whole movie, maybe because I have heard that exact same thing from a few of my clients, and some days I can relate to that exact same feeling. While to the outside world, Hawaii is all sun, Hula, and Mai Tai’s, to some of the people who live here island life can be a daily form of torture and devastation.

When Hollywood makes movies, of course they make them for the glitz and glam. A movie made in Hawaii may also be considered propaganda for tourism. The island must look like a place where people would love to come visit and spend lots of money. That part I get.  What was missing was the local style, and the local people. Hawaii is an extremely diverse state, yet diversity was greatly lacking from this movie. Again I will blame the Hollywood effect, often movies are one dimensional with a lack in diversity.

So does George Clooney deserve an Oscar for The Descendants? I would say no. I will give him credit his performance was good, but I have seen him and others do much better. The Decendants came off as simple. It was a simple movie, with an attempt to incorporate a complex story line. Not the best of movies to watch (even if you are bored for two hours). Should it get the Oscar for Best Picture? Definently not. I am not sure what the criteria is for a Best Picture winner, but I am sure this movie does not meet the critera.

Maybe I am judging The Descendants too harshly, hey who am I anyway, my opinion doesn’t really matter. But what do you think? If you have seen The Descendants do you think that it is an Oscar worthy film?

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

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We all have a story, what’s yours?

We all have a story to tell, whats yours?

The only way you can really know a person is to actually know their story. Know their history, know where they came from, how they got to their current situation. It is easy to pass judgments on others, to make assumptions about their present lives because we do not know, or put little effort into caring about their back story. The story that has made them who they are, the story is what has created the person who you see in front of you.

One thing I have learned through my career is that everyone has a story. Though some stories may look the same, they are all very different, the differences make us all unique, the stories create inspiration for others. Hawaii has a large homeless population. Each of my homeless clients has a very unique story. To look at an individual homeless person, it is easy to pass judgment. To assume they have caused their own situation. However, they also have a  story of survival, a story of hope, of story of love, a story with an ending that is yet to be written.

Recently I saw a man living in a box. I wondered what is story was. I also thought that no matter what life I lead today, it is also very possible that I could end up living in a box. Life is not to be taken for granted. To many of the homeless in Hawaii, Hawaii is not paradise. Hawaii is a living hell. Some feel stuck, some feel empty, some feel that everyday is the same, no movement. The ocean waves become torture, the daily sunshine enhances one’s own personal misery. Depending on the way you view their story, it could be one of sadness, or a story that inspires change in your own life.

Since everyone has a story that is unique, start by taking the the time to stop and pay attention. To listen or to watch, to allow ourselves into the world of someone else because they may hold the key for that change that we need for our own lives. In 2012, make it a year where we view the world through the eyes of others. Expanding our lives by allowing an understanding of the story of others.

Tell your own story without fear.  Keep telling it. Your story can create change, can inspire, you can make the difference. For the new year, try something different for others. Allow others to know you, to understand where you come from. Stay positive, decrease assumptions, and live without judgments.  Be open. Inspire.

What’s your story?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is coming to an end in Hawaii, on the east coast Christmas day is now a memory.  So I must end the night by saying a Very Merry Christmas to all.

I hope the day was celebrated and enjoyed by all. I hope we all remember the reason for the celebration of Christmas, and gave a very special shout out to Jesus for the celebration of his birth.  God has blessed us all, so lets celebrate life, blessings, and the spirit of the season for the next 365 days.

I spent Christmas in Hawaii. While I was in Waikiki, I sat at Starbucks for a short period of time. As as looked outside the window, I noticed a garbage can outside the front door of Starbucks. In a span of about 5 minutes I watched two different men look in the garbage in search of  food. One man found a box of Burger King chicken strips and ate what was left in the box. To him that was his Christmas.

I began to think. Today is Christmas, while some people woke up worried about gifts that were under the tree, other people woke up worried about where they were going to get a meal from today. Some kids were excited to get toys, while other kids were excited just to get food, and a warm place to sleep. While some people were complaining about spending time with family, other people were wishing that they had family to spend the day with. This is Christmas.

For everyone who celebrates Christmas it has a different meaning. Whatever your meaning is, lets not forget why it should be celebrated, and what the true meaning is.  Stuff can be bought any day of the year, we do not need to designate a day to give gifts. Lets celebrate Christmas with purpose, celebrate the gift of Jesus, the gift of life.

Hope you enjoyed your day! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Positive thoughts, Positive energy, Positive experiences

What type of dater are you??

During a conversation with a man I recently met, he asked me if I was staying in Hawaii forever. My answer was, “I have no idea how long I will be in Hawaii”.  I asked, “why?” He responded with because he, “wasn’t dating to find a girlfriend, he was dating to find a wife”. I thought that was very interesting, dating to find a wife. Well if you want to be married one day, shouldn’t the purpose of dating always be to find a wife or husband? Or, is it something else completely different? If you are single then you’re probably dating to find a companion, but what happens when the person you are dating has a completely different definition of dating than the definition you have in your mind?

To be on the single scene in Honolulu is a unique experience, and I can highly doubt that it is comparable to dating in any other city in the United States. Honolulu in a fly in city, meaning you fly in, stay a while, and end up leaving somewhere down the line. Next destination probably undetermined.  If you are not local, or have not lived in Honolulu the majority of your life, then you may consider yourself as a tourist-the extended version.

Many of the people who I have met who have landed in Honolulu for whatever reason, such as work, the military, or just wanting to live on an island, usually return back to the mainland at some point. Hence, dating in Honolulu can be a difficult experience. You have to think to yourself and decide am “I dating for the right now?” Or “Am I dating to find someone who will be a permanent fixture in my future?” Knowing that will probably determine if you will settle down on Oahu or, if you will find yourself settling down back on the mainland.  Once you figure out your own reason for playing the dating game, make sure your dating mate also shares that reason with you. If you have two different definitions of dating, you can find yourself dating for disaster.

Quick guide to commonly used definitions of dating

·         The sexual dater– This type of dater dates to have a sexual relationship. Yes sex may be easy to come by, but they prefer a one consistent sexual partner. No relationship strings attached, just sex, and a few dinners or movies here and there to keep the sex partner happy.

·         The right now dater– This type of dater dates for right now. They are 100% present focused. This dater may have plans to move away in a few months or in a year, but right now they are dating, or may be in a relationship and choose to think about the rest later. If they move away, yeah the relationship will probably end (or you can move too!)

·         The relationshipper– This type of dater always dates for a relationship. They go from relationship to relationship very quickly. You might know them as the serial monogamist. They find their prey, latch on, and poof! They are in a relationship. However, the relationships never seem to last that long. They often get bored (on to the next one) or, they after spending more time with a person, they finally realize that they were never meant to be in that relationship in the first place.

·         The dinner dater– This type of dater likes to go on date for the free dinners (ok I am mainly talking about girls on this one). She can plan to go out with five different men in one week to five different restaurants, and have five different free meals. The rational; why go grocery shopping with I can just go out on a date!

·         The non-exclusive dater– This type of dater will date many people at one time to avoid being exclusive with just one person. They may admit that they are dating other people, and want to “test out” a variety of people before just settling for one. They choose not to put all their eggs in one basket, so they don’t end up giving an overly excessive amount of attention to just one person. This type of dater may appear to have commitment issues, or have been badly hurt in a past relationship. Handle with care.

·         The traditional dater– This type of dater will date to find a monogamous relationship. They will take the dating process slow, not rushing into an exclusive relationship too quickly. They are sure to analyze the situation of the relationship before deciding if they want to settle down and be in a relationship.

·         The dating for marriage dater– This type of dater wants to get married and they are dating for that reason. They are ready to take themselves out of the dating game and are looking for a partner who wants the same. They know what they want and they are not afraid to say it. They are in search of a viable partner who they will be able to spend the rest of their life with. This dater offers a strong sense of compassion, but may be overly compassionate. If the person they are dating, does not share the same definition of dating then this dater may be seen as overbearing, smothering, or rushing the relationship.

So what type of dater are you? Does that match up with the person you are currently dating?

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

Say hello to another Hawaiian winter

Cover of "Winter is"
Cover of Winter is

Today was the first day of winter. Well, it doesn’t really feel like winter in Hawaii, but it is a bit chilly. Yes chilly, to tell you the truth I am just cold.  There is daily fall like breezes (tradewinds), daily rain,  and for some reason it is cold and flu season. Really, I have had a cold (or the flu) for the past week. Apparently there is something going around, I wonder where it came from. To have a cold in Hawaii anytime of year is like getting a cold in New York during the middle of July. It is a bit unnatural.  I know colds come from germs, not from the weather itself, but it does suck to have a cold while the sun is shining, you are dressed in summer attire, and the ocean is calling for you to jump in.

I have tried to explain the concept of winter in Hawaii to my mainland friends. They don’t seem to understand. But I think I finally have an understanding of seasons in Hawaii. The season change is just a little less subtle than the mainland. No the weather does not get down to 30 degrees, but when it gets down to 70 degrees that is cold. I have “Hawaiian blood” now. I get yelled at by my friends on the east coast when I tell them that I drive at night with the heat on in my car. Unfortunately my apartment does not have heat, so to stay warm at home I put on a sweater.

Fortunately, I am not the only one who feels the effect of an Hawaiian winter, last week one of my co workers had on a turtleneck. I did not realize that locals owned turtlenecks in Hawaii.  I am disappointed that I left my winter wardrobe in New York, I could wear my turtlenecks and winter boots (ok maybe I wouldn’t go that far). However, it is nice to know that other people are cold, and I am not just a weird east coast girl who does not understand tropical weather.

My Hawaiian winter is rather interesting. I can still go to the beach in the winter. Hopefully I feel better soon so I can go into the ocean.  The sun goes down early, and the mornings are rather chilly. So even though there is beach time, it gets cut down in the winter.

There is no snow on Oahu. I miss snow. I want to wear a nice puffy coat, with  a sweater dress. Well, not really, but it was a cute outfit. I like that I don’t have to run to my car because it is freezing outside. I love that I don’t have to heat up my car before I drive it. It is so nice that my care is ready to drive all winter. No icy windows,  no sliding on the roads. Actually I think I am starting to like my Hawaiian winter more and more. Forget snow. Snow is cold, and messy, pretty to look at though.

I miss Rockefeller center. I miss the coldness of central park in the winter. It is something about the smell of winter in New York that truly makes it feel like winter. Nothing like watching your cold breath come out of your mouth, and shivering as you walk down the street.  Ice Skating in Hawaii is not the same. Who comes to Hawaii to ice skate? I guess I need to make a quick trip to New York to get my winter fix, then return to the island. I was never a fan of freezing cold weather, and now I

hate it even more. The beauty of winter is nice from afar, but to have daily sunshine and 70 degree weather makes Hawaii a nice place to actually spend winter.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

I’m ready to run a marathon! Well maybe one day I will be ready

Scene from Honolulu Marathon
Image by El Hombre via Flickr

Yesterday was the Honolulu marathon. Did I run? Nope. Things I know about myself: long distance running is not for me, and I would not be too happy with marathon blisters on my feet. However, with all the pre marathon excitement and anticipation I almost had a small inkling of a desire to actually go for a 26.2 mile run. But yeah, that just did not happen.

When I was living in New York every first Sunday of November,  I would watch the New York City marathon on television and always think to myself, next year I am going to run in that marathon. It looks fun rather from afar. All the people, the crowds cheering, running through the city borough by borough. I would say to myself “oh what fun, I can’t wait to do that next year”.  Then the following day would come, and of course I would forget all about it.

When I lived in New York I wasn’t really a runner. It was cold outside for half the year, so I wouldn’t dare run outside, and getting on a treadmill excessively was a bore after a while. So needless to say, running was not a high priority activity for me.  Running an entire 26.2 in one day would be something that I would continue to only dream about.

Since I have been in Honolulu I have been running on a more consistent basis. Honestly, I have no excuse not to run. The weather is perfect, there are plenty of areas to go running, and everyone is doing it (as they say when in Rome, do as the Romans do). I have become actually pretty good at running, not great, but a far better runner than my New York self. I can run miles now, and when I completed the Great Aloha Run, I realized that I could actually run 8  full miles. Now if only I could add on 18.2 miles to that then I would be prepared to complete a marathon.

It amazes me that I am 29 and finally in the best athletic shape of my life, I wonder where all this energy to stay in shape was when I was 16. But oh well, better now than never. My hope is to be in even better shape at 30, and maybe next year the thought of doing a marathon in either New York or Honolulu can go from being a distant pipe dream to an actual reality! And why not, I already know that I have some athletic capability. If I keep going I will be able to have the endurance to go longer, stronger, harder, faster, and suddenly hit that 26.2 mile wall, which I must say will make my inner 16-year-old self very proud.

I am not the best runner. I get bored with running. I never get that runner’s high that so many people talk about. When I run I don’t stop because I am tired, or my legs are giving out, I stop because my mind has taken over and hit the territory of boredom.  How do I get over that? I know running is mostly mental, I need to keep my mind on track so I can go for that long distance run.

Any good ideas on how to get to the land of runner’s high so I could just zone out and run?

English: Marathon de New-York : Verrazano Bridge
Image via Wikipedia

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences