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>Kurosawa’s movie Dreams is a visual masterpiece; imagine seeing your dreams onscreen in all their disjointed, lyrical, and familiar pieces. Just as in life when dreams take on various aspects of our days and lives and combine them in strange and symbolic ways, the movie takes us on eight journeys (vignettes) which may or may not be related, but all of which feel real in some way to everyday thoughts or experiences.

There is a school of thought which posits that the feelings that you have in dreams are more important indicators of what they mean than the actions or characters in them; if this is true then feeling happy or angry in a dream tells you the truth about whatever happened in the dream. If you dream of a fight and awake angry, then your have some anger issues to resolve; if you awake happy after dreaming about a wonderful vacation, then you are on your way to living the happy life you dreamed about last night.

Maybe we can be constructive by setting an intention about where we would like insight or resolution in our lives when we go to sleep; perhaps the chance to dream will bring us an answer that we will be able to understand.

May your dreams be as beautiful as roses.

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Kurosawa’s movie Dreams is a visual masterpiece; imagine seeing your dreams onscreen in all their disjointed, lyrical, and familiar pieces. Just as in life when dreams take on various aspects of our days and lives and combine them in strange and symbolic ways, the movie takes us on eight journeys (vignettes) which may or may not be related, but all of which feel real in some way to everyday thoughts or experiences.

There is a school of thought which posits that the feelings that you have in dreams are more important indicators of what they mean than the actions or characters in them; if this is true then feeling happy or angry in a dream tells you the truth about whatever happened in the dream. If you dream of a fight and awake angry, then your have some anger issues to resolve; if you awake happy after dreaming about a wonderful vacation, then you are on your way to living the happy life you dreamed about last night.

Maybe we can be constructive by setting an intention about where we would like insight or resolution in our lives when we go to sleep; perhaps the chance to dream will bring us an answer that we will be able to understand.

May your dreams be as beautiful as roses.

Mathilda is one of my favorite movies of all time because it is like a Harry Potter for girls; both were books before they became movies and both share a plot about an unusual child who possesses talents which annoy, aggravate, and amaze those who surround them.

Some of the greatest minds, hearts and souls are discounted, dismissed, ignored, and vilified when they try to enlighten and educate. Mathilda and Harry both remind us that being different is sometimes best in an environment of ignorance, intolerance or fear.

I think everyone who grew up with “different” talents or interests can relate to these books and movies because all children feel isolated if they are not accepted or acknowledged for their skills and spirit, especially if they vary from the mainstream. I don’t think any of Einstein‘s family or teachers gave him any accolades or even encouraged him to pursue his theories when they saw he could not tie his shoe laces. Inspiration rarely fits inside neat labels or boxes; there is no way to contain or quantify talent. Michelangelo was probably punished for drawing on walls as a child before creating his legendary frescoes; Jimi Hendrix was unable to read or write music, but he revolutionized music; and Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard even though he now has an honorary degree from the school.

Lighten the world by shining your best and brightest light everyday in every way.

Mahilda is one of my favorite movies of all time because it is like a Harry Potter for girls; both were books before they became movies and both share a plot about an unusual child who possesses talents which annoy, aggravate, and amaze those who surround them.

Some of the greatest minds, hearts and souls are discounted, dismissed, ignored, and vilified when they try to enlighten and educate. Matilda and Harry both remind us that being different is sometimes best in an environment of ignorance, intolerance or fear.

I think everyone who grew up with “different” talents or interests can relate to these books and movies because all children feel isolated if they are not accepted or acknowledged for their skills and spirit, especially if they vary from the mainstream. I don’t think any of Einstein‘s family or teachers gave him any accolades or even encouraged him to pursue his theories when they saw he could not tie his shoe laces. Inspiration rarely fits inside neat labels or boxes; there is no way to contain or quantify talent. Michelangelo was probably punished for drawing on walls as a child before creating his legendary frescoes; Jimi Hendrix was unable to read or write music, but he revolutionized music; and Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard even though he now has an honorary degree from the school.

Lighten the world by shining your best and brightest light everyday in every way.

>I recently went to one of my favorite movie theaters, the Landmark in the Westside Pavillion. The Landmark specializes in small independent and foreign films, and they even hold screenings where the directors and actors come to answer questions about their films. This is a cinephile‘s dream movie house with offerings from Caramel (a wonderful film from Lebannon) to Roman de Gare (from Roman Polanski). There are usually displays of props from the various movies being shown in the lobby, and the stand alone concession stand offers non movie goers gourmet snack food including La Brea pretzels, Pizza Rustica whole grain pizza, 70% cocoa bars, and popcorn made with real butter.

Special movie nights are offered for adults which add the unique experience of being able to bring in a glass of wine from the adjacent wine bar (at a discount) to your screening. My favorite part of this complex are the two Living Room theaters which offer cushy couches and side tables (for your wine glasses and snacks); it is the closest thing to feeling like you are watching a movie in your own private screening room that you can have in public.

A movie in a Living Room theater with a glass of wine…now all we need is a baguette and some cheese.

I recently went to one of my favorite movie theaters, the Landmark in the Westside Pavillion. The Landmark specializes in small independent and foreign films, and they even hold screenings where the directors and actors come to answer questions about their films. This is a cinephile‘s dream movie house with offerings from Caramel (a wonderful film from Lebannon) to Roman de Gare (from Roman Polanski). There are usually displays of props from the various movies being shown in the lobby, and the stand alone concession stand offers non movie goers gourmet snack food including La Brea pretzels, Pizza Rustica whole grain pizza, 70% cocoa bars, and popcorn made with real butter.

Special movie nights are offered for adults which add the unique experience of being able to bring in a glass of wine from the adjacent wine bar (at a discount) to your screening. My favorite part of this complex are the two Living Room theaters which offer cushy couches and side tables (for your wine glasses and snacks); it is the closest thing to feeling like you are watching a movie in your own private screening room that you can have in public.

A movie in a Living Room theater with a glass of wine…now all we need is a baguette and some cheese.

>Week-ends are when I write about inspirational themes/things/times and since yesterday’s post referred to Thanksgiving and an old friend, today’s post will have Christmas and ease as its’ themes (yes I know, it is still September).

The Westfield Mall in Century City has always been one of my favorite shopping centers; they have been undergoing a major transformation that will eventually include high rise luxury apartments and a park-like open space. The open air food court already has upscale eateries ranging from Coral Tree Cafe Express (my favorite), to Lawry’s Carvery, and live music; the shops include brands like Louis Vuitton, Cole Haan, and Juicy Couture; and if you want to enjoy a movie and a nice restaurant meal, there are 15 AMC movie screens, and date worthy restaurants like Savannah.

One recent improvement has made it look like Christmas in the underground parking structure, but not with holiday decorations like wreaths and trees. They have installed a new parking system which shows the number of spaces available in every direction, along with a light above each space that lights up in red (space taken) or green (space available), so you can look down a row of overhead lights and see if there is a green light instead of having to drive down the row only to find every space already taken. There are sensors over the spaces, so as a car pulls out, a red light turns green and visa versa. Not only is it an ingenious and unobtrusive way of indicating available parking, but it is pretty!

Now when Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping season comes, you may actually enjoy going to the mall just to see the lights in the parking structure; if there aren’t any green lights, remember there is always valet parking.

Week-ends are when I write about inspirational themes/things/times and since yesterday’s post referred to Thanksgiving and an old friend, today’s post will have Christmas and ease as its’ themes (yes I know, it is still September).

The Westfield Mall in Century City has always been one of my favorite shopping centers; they have been undergoing a major transformation that will eventually include high rise luxury apartments and a park-like open space. The open air food court already has upscale eateries ranging from Coral Tree Cafe Express (my favorite), to Lawry’s Carvery, and live music; the shops include brands like Louis Vuitton, Cole Haan, and Juicy Couture; and if you want to enjoy a movie and a nice restaurant meal, there are 15 AMC movie screens, and date worthy restaurants like Savannah.

One recent improvement has made it look like Christmas in the underground parking structure, but not with holiday decorations like wreaths and trees. They have installed a new parking system which shows the number of spaces available in every direction, along with a light above each space that lights up in red (space taken) or green (space available), so you can look down a row of overhead lights and see if there is a green light instead of having to drive down the row only to find every space already taken. There are sensors over the spaces, so as a car pulls out, a red light turns green and visa versa. Not only is it an ingenious and unobtrusive way of indicating available parking, but it is pretty!

Now when Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping season comes, you may actually enjoy going to the mall just to see the lights in the parking structure; if there aren’t any green lights, remember there is always valet parking.

>I have only babysat once in my life, for about half an hour, for a child who was eight, so my experience with children is just slightly more than my knowledge of music (see my post about music). Because my friends have children, I have had to think of things to do with them when they come to visit me with their parents (my friends). The challenge is to find things that would not bore them and that would still be enjoyable for the adults; it’s like a balancing act on a high wire, one false step and you land in an embarrassing fall. Hollywood is a great place to begin a Kid Stuff day, with entertainment galore in the place where movies and magic mix.

One no fail option is the week-end brunch at the Magic Castle which is the only time anyone under 21 is allowed into the private club. It is the most casual attire requirement for the castle (no jacket or ties for men), but you will still need an invitation from a member to attend unless you spend the night at the Magic Castle Hotel (see earlier post).

While in Hollywood, another great place is the El Capitan Theater across the street from the new Hollywood and Highland complex and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. There are always some interactive activities for the current Disney movie, including props and sometimes live actors doing plays or scenes from the movie.

If you want to feel like you are really on a Hollywood set, then head over to the Hollywood Museum which has everything from the jail cell of Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs” to “Planet of the Apes” costumes and “Rocky’s” boxing gloves. A little of everything for movie buffs of all ages.

For the starstruck kid or adult, Hollywood can be a fun discovery.

I have only babysat once in my life, for about half an hour, for a child who was eight, so my experience with children is just slightly more than my knowledge of music (see my post about music). Because my friends have children, I have had to think of things to do with them when they come to visit me with their parents (my friends). The challenge is to find things that would not bore them and that would still be enjoyable for the adults; it’s like a balancing act on a high wire, one false step and you land in an embarrassing fall. Hollywood is a great place to begin a Kid Stuff day, with entertainment galore in the place where movies and magic mix.

One no fail option is the week-end brunch at the Magic Castle which is the only time anyone under 21 is allowed into the private club. It is the most casual attire requirement for the castle (no jacket or ties for men), but you will still need an invitation from a member to attend unless you spend the night at the Magic Castle Hotel (see earlier post).

While in Hollywood, another great place is the El Capitan Theater across the street from the new Hollywood and Highland complex and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. There are always some interactive activities for the current Disney movie, including props and sometimes live actors doing plays or scenes from the movie.

If you want to feel like you are really on a Hollywood set, then head over to the Hollywood Museum which has everything from the jail cell of Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs” to “Planet of the Apes” costumes and “Rocky’s” boxing gloves. A little of everything for movie buffs of all ages.

For the starstruck kid or adult, Hollywood can be a fun discovery.

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