Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Grounds for Divorce

I was sitting on the toilet recently (as I am wont to do) - sorry for the visual - and noticed that the toilet paper was rolling off the roll in the wrong direction.  I am definitely an "up over the top" person when it comes to my toilet roll and I get rather upset when it is rolling from down under, as it were.

Since I was in the half bath water closet, the one Hubby uses the most, I knew it was he who had replaced the toilet roll and replaced it incorrectly.  I was irritated that after 31 years of marriage he would not only put it on the wrong way but that he didn't remember that I preferred it the other way.

Then I thought, after 31 years of marriage, did he do it on purpose?  Was it an act of passive aggression?

So then I got to thinking about other little things like that that can harm a marriage.  I mean, who hasn't heard about people getting divorced because she always squeezed the toothpaste from the top or he never put the toilet seat down?

Grounds for divorce? 

Sounds extreme but then those little things can add up, especially if they are used to irritate the other partner.  And this time of year with all of the stresses of the holiday season, those little things can turn into big things.  I mean, who wants to think their spouse has a New Year's Resolution to kick them to the curb?

So as a public service - and you know I am always here to help - here are some "little things" that could add up for grounds for divorce.

Now I need to preface my list with the fact that I think we get many of our pet peeves from our parents.  So my list is rather heavy with the things that drove my Dad crazy.  Thanks, Dad, they now drive me crazy.

See if you are guilty of any of these.

Never putting something back where it belongs.

Scotch tape, scissors, the stapler...ever have to go looking for those things all of the time, right when you are in the middle of wrapping a gift or needing to open up one of those products that is so well wrapped in plastic only slicing the thing with scissors can help? 

I was brought up to put things back where I found them and woe to me if my father could not find the scissors and they were found in my bedroom (we must have not had much money, because why did we only have one pair of scissors?).  So I am very good about putting things back where they belong.  The Hubby is not.  To avoid divorce, I keep an extra pair of scissors in my office and have my own scotch tape and stapler.

Taking off his shoes and leaving them where I can fall over them and really hurt myself.

This is a serious issue. Did you know that when you get to be a certain age, falling down is such a serious issue that you could die from it?  Well, now you know.

You could say he might be doing it on purpose, but I don't have life insurance so there really isn't any motivation to knock me off so I just think he's not thinking.  Growing up, if my Dad would trip over our shoes, he would have a fit and throw them outside. We were warned.  So I carry on the tradition.  Hubby has been warned.

Going to Costco or the grocery store without telling me

Let's just say that Hubby is a pacer.  He gets bored so he goes off to Costco just for the fun of it or for something to do.  But the problem is, he forgets I HAVE A LIST!  He gets back from Costco with his new winter wardrobe, a gallon of gin and a new TV and I'm out of chicken broth and canned diced tomatoes.

Never hearing his cell phone

Now this could be the ultimate in passive aggression.  For some reason, Hubby carries a cell phone but it is always turned off or he doesn't answer, which is particularly irritating when I actually DO know he has gone to Costco and I remember something else he needs to get that is not on the list.  Funny how he never answers the phone when I need him to, but he has no problem pocket dialing me by accident when he is traveling. 
Hello?  Hellooo?  Helloooooo?  Helloooooo?  HUBBY HANG UP THE PHONE!!!!

Falling asleep

I have always had the suspicion that Hubby was narcoleptic because of his ability to just fall asleep anywhere.  When he used to have long commutes from Silicon Valley, he told me that sometimes he would have to pull over because the hot late afternoon sun was lulling him to sleep. 

His safety while driving home is one thing, but explain to me why, when we are sitting in the living room watching the riveting finale of "The Bachelor" and I say, "Wow.  What did you think of that?" when I look over at him, his head is lolled back, mouth gaping open and there is drool.  Not sure how long he's been out.  Now that is insulting.  Yes, I know he gets up earlier than I do but when we finally have quality time together (watching "The Bachelor" together is considered quality time), I can usually expect that he will fall asleep during some of that time and that implies boredom to me.  "You are so boring you make me fall asleep" is how that makes me feel. 

However, I prefer to think of Hubby as the narcoleptic dog. 

He is so excited to be in my company that he falls asleep. It's an actual phenomenon. I know it's not funny, but this narcoleptic dog gets excited about something like eating or escaping and falls instantly asleep.  I don't feed Hubby canned food and I haven't found him asleep with his head in the dog dish yet but it's close.  So I like to think that that puts "the pleasure of your company" into a whole "nother category."

"I thought"

"I thought" are two of the worst words in the English language when used together as in "I thought it was a good idea to store my six-pack of tonic water on top of the TV" or "I thought you would like a vacuum cleaner for Christmas."  "I thought" is the same as assuming and you know what they say when you assume?

Another bad word is "You."

I know I am guilty of this myself.  My Dad told me long ago that "you" was a bad, accusing word as in "You don't care about anyone but yourself" or "You forgot to buy me a birthday present."  We know we are supposed to say, "I feel bad when you don't care about anyone but yourself" and "I feel sad when you forget to buy me a birthday present."  I guess that's supposed to make saying that stuff better.

Putting his shirts in the dirty clothes without unbuttoning them

Yeah, why unbutton your shirt when someone else is around with no time on her hands who will have to unbutton it for you when it comes time for HER to iron YOUR shirt?! 

Thinking you can just say anything you want to your spouse

...like telling your significant other she looks fat, old or crabby.  Basically, keep your comments to yourself unless they are nice.  Didn't your mother tell you that if you couldn't say something nice to shut the...well, she didn't say that exactly but she said "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  Probably good advice.  Hubby has never dared say I was putting on weight or that I looked old.  However, "crabby" comes up a lot.

So that is my personal list of possible grounds for divorce. 

It may or may not apply to you.  I am sure you have your own deal breakers where your spouse or significant other is concerned. 

But these things have a way of evening out.  I know I do things that irritate Hubby, too, such as not allowing him to turn on the heat until I get up (the noise bothers my beauty sleep) and he gets up three hours before I do; making him put up a baby gate at the foot of the stairs so the dogs can't come up and whine at the bedroom door, again, robbing me of much needed beauty sleep.  Or my shopping.  Seventy-five jackets and counting.  Or trying too many new recipes and having too many leftovers.  He has mini-meltdowns every couple of days, "Cripes.  Who is going to eat all of this food?!"

I probably shouldn't be dwelling on negatives. This time of year we are supposed to count our blessings.

And I do.  I have Hubby, two successful, happily married children, grandchildren, three dogs who love me very much, we live comfortably, I am enjoying being retired, and I have my health (so far).

I know I probably can't change any of these little irritants on my list.  When we first get into a relationship, we think we can change our partners.  But in the end, we can only change ourselves and how we react to what bothers us.  I can choose to get upset every time I can't find the scissors (most of the time I do) or I can choose to make a fuss every time I have to unbutton Hubby's shirts to iron them (I don't). 

In general, after 31 years of marriage, I realize it's too late to change HIM.  I have to change ME. I have to change how I react to all of those things that irritate me so much.  And I can certainly try to change those things that irritate him about ME.

So what better time of year than now to make some changes, some New Year's Resolutions, if you will?  

No, not to get a divorce over trivial irritants.  But to resolve to not let those everyday issues get in the way of the big picture  and cause marital discord- to realize that I love that guy even if he falls asleep during "The Amazing Race" and leaves his shoes where I could trip over them and die.  And I resolve to work on the issues that irritate him like making so much food and feeling like I need another jacket.

But dammit, that toilet roll better roll off the top!

Thanks for Reading!


See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 

"The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay Part 2" 

The Week in Reviews

(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)


and the latest on
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before

 I Die Project."


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Friday, December 4, 2015

"Brooklyn" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "Brooklyn" and the DVDs "Southpaw" and "The Stanford Prison Experiment." The Book of the Week is "Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story" by J. Randy Taraborrelli.  I also bring you up-to-date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."]


Saoirse Ronan stars as Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant who finds love in 1950's Brooklyn.  However, when tragedy strikes her family back in Ireland, Eilis must choose between two countries and two loves.

Eilis is a shy, sweet Irish girl who makes her way to New York to try to make a new life for herself.  There was nothing for her in Ireland, so her sister Rose arranged with a priest in Brooklyn, Father Flood, for Eilis to have a job and a place to live in Brooklyn so she would have a better life.  Eilis has a rough crossing on the boat to New York and is befriended by an experienced traveler who gives her tips on how to look presentable when entering the country and advice on making a go of it. 

Eilis moves into an Irish boarding house for young women run by Mrs. Kehoe (Julie Walters, who also was stunning in the recent first series of "Indian Summers" on "Masterpiece Theatre" ) and works in a high end department store.  However, Eilis is not comfortable interacting with customers and has a difficult time adjusting to her new life.  She becomes very homesick and depressed. She meets with Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), who counsels her and gets her into a bookkeeping class because Eilis wants to be an accountant like her sister Rose. Then she meets Tony (Emory Cohen), a charming Italian "fella" at a dance and they fall in love.  What better antidote to homesickness than to fall in love?

But all is not peachy keen for our lovers. A tragedy back in Ireland forces Eilis to return and the pull to stay in Ireland threatens their future.

Ronan first made an impression in a small part as the young girl who set off a series of tragic events in "Atonement (1997).  Now Ronan is all grown up and this film is all about her.  She beautifully captures what it would be like to be a young girl in the pre-Internet age of the 1950's struggling to make a life for herself all alone in a new country far from everything she had known. Ronan's performance is lovely and spectacular in its sublety.  She starts out shy and uncertain and slowly Eilis grows into a strong woman.  She carries this film in an Academy Award-worthy performance. 

All of the other actors are also first rate. Julie Walters as Mrs. Kehoe, the landlady of a boarding house for young ladies who runs a tight ship, brings humor and a bit of edge in a lovely nuanced performance to this otherwise romantic film. Emory Cohen, who you might remember from the TV show "Smash" is adorable as Tony. Who wouldn't want to be his girlfriend?  But there is another suitor in the picture back in Ireland played by Domhnall Gleeson, who we were first introduced to in the Harry Potter films and who was able to show his romantic side in "About Time."  I even liked the kid actor, James DiGiacomo, who plays Tony's wise-cracking kid brother.  And you know how I feel about kid actors.

This is a lovely romantic film. And who doesn't love a good romance?  This film beautifully directed by John Crowley with a script by Nick Hornby (based on the novel of the same name by Colm Toibin) has all of the bells and whistles that makes for a dreamy love story. The cinematography by Yves Belanger creates that dreamy feel and you will be transported to another time and place as you take this journey to Brooklyn with Eilis.  Bring your hankies.

Early Oscar prediction:  Ronan will get a Best Actress Oscar nomination for this (she just won the New York Film Critics Circle Best Actress Award).

Rosy the Reviewer says...This movie is a must see!  One of the best performances of the year.  You will thank me!

Some Movies You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)!

***Now Out on DVD***

Southpaw (2015)

Things don't look good for boxer Billy Hope after a tragic accident.

The ironically named boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a tough guy who grew up in foster care in Hell's Kitchen.  It doesn't get much tougher than that.  His wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams), had a similar background and is also a tough cookie.  The two were childhood sweethearts and are clearly in love and in an "us against the world" relationship. Billy fights and Maureen keeps Billy together

When the film begins, Billy and Maureen are doing well.  Billy is an undefeated light heavy weight championship boxer and they live in a nice home with their daughter Leila (Oona Laurence).  But unfortunately, tragedy strikes early on at a charity event when Billy gets into a brawl with a rival boxer's entourage, Maureen gets shot and then things all fall apart for Billy.

Billy is not an easy guy to relate to.  He's not very smart and makes a lot of his own problems.  He goes on a binge, making one bad decision after another until he loses everything, including his manager (50 Cent) and custody of his daughter. Nobody wants anything to do with him. But he finally pulls himself together and approaches Tick Willis (Forrest Whitaker), a local gym owner and trainer and begs him to let him train.  With Tick, Billy learns that he needs to train his mind as well as his body if he is going to win in the ring and in life.

In Rocky-like fashion, Billy starts over and trains to seek his redemption.  We've seen this film before many times but Gyllenhaal's, Whitaker's and McAdams' performances, and the relationship between Billy and his daughter, make for an emotionally satisfying film.  And Director Antoine Fuqua shows us the gritty world of professional boxing with impressive "you are there" fight scenes.

Gyllenhaal lost weight, learned to box and trained for this role and once again shows his versatility as an actor.  He seems to like the loner roles, like his nutty rogue photographer in "Nightcrawler" and characters on the edge.  McAdams is always lovely to watch and here plays an edgier character than we are used to.  Whitaker and 50 Cent also put in impressive performances.

I almost didn't review this one because I had decided I was only going to review films I really liked and wanted to recommend (with the occasional review to warn you off something). The film itself has issues and I am not a big fan of boxing films, but Gyllenhaal's performance is noteworthy.  He plays a character you don't like, a not very smart punch drunk guy, but when you think of all of the various characters Gyllenhaal has played: the sensitive Jack Twist in "Brokeback Mountain," the creepy Louis Bloom in "Nightcrawler," to name just a couple, it is worth seeing how he transforms himself here. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...See it for the performances and if you like boxing films, you will like this one.

The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)


In the summer of 1971, 24 male students took part in a proposed two-week mock prison experiment in the basement of a building at Stanford University.  Each was randomly assigned to be prisoners and guards and let's just say, the "guards" took their roles very seriously.

This is a dramatic reenactment of what took place during that real life experiment.

Dr. Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup), a psychology professor and researcher at Stanford University, placed an ad in the newspaper to recruit 24 male students to participate in an experiment to study the psychological effects of being a prisoner or a prison guard and "the effects prisons can have on human behavior." Since it was summer, the school would be deserted so classrooms and hallways of one of the buildings on campus became the prison. The students were offered $15 per hour to participate and as the film unfolds, we see that each student had his reasons to participate and many of them needed the money.

At first, each student thought he wanted to be a prisoner. No one wanted to be "the man," a guard. The prisoners and guards were chosen randomly and the guards wore uniforms and sunglasses to establish their authority.  All were told that once the experiment started, they were not to refer to it as a study or experiment and no one was allowed to get physical.

At first the guards used a script and got a kick out of play acting as they picked up each prisoner from their home, blindfolded him and made him strip so they could "delouse" him.  Each prisoner was given a number and addressed as such and had to wear a uniform that was more like a dress, also part of the dehumanizing process meant to strip away their individuality as part of the experiment.

It only took one day for everything to get very out of hand and for the experiment to become a harrowing exercise of the haves and the have nots.  As things would unfold, the guards would step up their punishments and the prisoners would start to rebel.

The prisoners created their own hierarchy:  those who wanted to do what they were told and just get through this thing and those who rebelled. Likewise, some of the guards took their guarding more seriously than others.  When the guards realized that the prisoners would do whatever they told them to, including participating in humiliating acts, the guards continued to step it up.  They would wake them up in the middle of the night to do jumping jacks and push-ups and it quickly became clear that you don't have to use physical violence to terrorize people.  One of the most vicious of the guards (Michael Angarano) loved the film "Cool Hand Luke" and adopted a southern accent to mimic one of the nasty characters in that film.

What do you do when you sign on for some role playing but no one stops playing and you begin to question your own sanity? Why didn't the students playing the prisoners quit?  Why did all of the guards go along with the torture when they didn't really want to?  And, you keep asking yourself, why doesn't Zimbardo step in and stop it?

Zimbardo was always torn between protecting the students and protecting his own research. Today watching this film, one can't help but be struck by its timeliness in light of recent reports of police brutality and what happened at Abu Ghraib. 

This dramatization, directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez with a script by Tim Talbott, is an excruciating exercise in the darkest side of human nature.  But the film showed that goodness still existed, too, even in the most torturous of situations.

Crudup is the only big name here and he is one of our most underrated actors. I have never forgotten him in "Waking the Dead." Not sure why he failed to make it to superstardom, but he certainly has been a working actor, which, I guess is what most actors wish for. He has been in at least one feature film every year since his first one in 1996. Here he puts in a wonderful performance as Zimbardo, a good man who made some bad decisions in the name of research.  All of the performances from the ensemble cast of young actors are also believable and memorable.

It's difficult to imagine that the real Zimbardo would be happy with this film as it does not paint him in a very good light.  However, when this film first came out, he appeared to be endorsing the film as he made the talk show rounds but when asked what he would have done differently, he replied that he would have stopped the experiment sooner. Duh.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a harrowing but incredibly compelling ensemble piece about the abuse of power.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

270 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film?

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

Auteur Werner Herzog gained unprecedented access to film inside the Chauvet Cave which was discovered in 1994 and is considered one of the "greatest discoveries of the history of human culture."

German film director, producer, author, and actor Herzog is considered one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema with such classic films as "Aguirre, the Wrath of God," "Fitzcarraldo" and "Grizzly Man" under his belt.  He has directed as many documentaries as he has feature films.

Here he directs yet another documentary, this time turning his camera to the Chauvet Cave in southern France.  The cave contains immaculately preserved cave paintings dating back over 30,000 years, the oldest in existence. It was unprecedented that he was given access to film inside the cave as only a small group of scientists had ever been inside.  Because a rock face had fallen and sealed the cave, it provided a perfect time capsule and today it is still sealed off from the general public.

Written, directed and narrated by Herzog, he used a tiny, non-professional camera rig, minimal lighting and could only film four hours per day, but he was still able to add his artful direction to produce what appears to be a labor of love for him.  As he films, he asks the scientists questions and comments on the paintings, wondering who these people were, why they drew these pictures, what their hopes and dreams might have been and drawing a parallel between those ancient humans and ourselves.  We are all the same. The paintings are amazingly drawn, not what you would expect from ancient people who lived over 30,000 years ago.

Why it's a Must See:  "All of the hallmarks of Herzog's work are present, but 3-D technology allowed the filmmaker to explore motifs of landscape, mythology, and the eccentricities of his subjects with new guile... [This film] provides a critical milestone for those with reservations about 3-D technology and 'serious' cinema."
---"1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die"

Not sure how this film would appeal to the general public, but artists and history and archaeology buffs would be in heaven here as the cinematography is amazing, even though I didn't see it in 3-D.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a chance to see something that few have ever seen.

***Book of the Week***

Becoming Beyonce: The Untold Story by
J. RandyTaraborrelli (2015)

How Beyoncé became Beyoncé - in 400+ pages.

I was drawn to this book for two reasons:  One, I realized I knew nothing about Beyoncé other than her fame, and since she is one of our biggest superstars, that wasn't good for a pop culture queen like myself.  And two, I knew that J. Randy would tell me more than I ever wanted to know about her.  And he delivers.  He is, in fact, one of my favorite biographers.  You can count on him to do his research and find out every fact possible about the celebrity he is writing about.

It's all here from Beyoncé's early years as a child pageant winner growing up in a middle class community with her successful Dad, Mathew, glamorous mother Tina and her sister Solange (who has become a celebrity in her own right), to her first singing success at the age of eight followed by big success in Destiny's Child at the age of 16.  That was followed by her highly successful solo career, her marriage to rapper Jay Z and the birth of their little girl, Blue Ivy, to Beyoncé being named by Forbes Magazine as the #1 wealthiest celebrity in 2014.

However, her success was not without hard work, sacrifice and single-minded focus.  And I'm talking about her Dad, Mathew.  He gave up a lucrative career as a tech salesman to spend all of his time promoting Beyoncé.  But that's not to diminish Beyoncé's own drive, which she had from a very early age.  Her talent at delivering a song was recognized early and belied her shyness in real life.

Taraborrelli's strength and the reason why I enjoy his books so much is his extensive research (24 pages of acknowledgements and notes) and attention to detail as well as his ability to tell a compelling true story and make it as exciting as the best fiction.

Want to know what really happened in that elevator when sister Solange went off on Jay Z or if Jay Z really had an affair with Rhianna? Then you will just have to read this book!

Rosy the Reviewer says...a fascinating look at just what it takes to make it BIG and stay there!

That's it for this week!

Thanks for reading!

See you Tuesday for
"Grounds for Divorce!"

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Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

15 Tips to Help Banish the Holiday Blues

We are empty-nesters with two successful children.  They are so successful that they are long gone and living rich, fabulous lives.  Well, not exactly, but they are married, have careers and live far away.

So we are often alone for the holidays as we share them with their spouses' families or we can't get together for whatever reason.

But even if we are not alone, the holidays still remind us of holidays past and those who are no longer with us which can bring on the holiday blues.

So the holiday blues can hit you at any time under any circumstances.

For the most part, we have accepted that our children have their own families, and we will not always be able to get together for the holidays so we make our own plans.

One Christmas Hubby and I were alone so off to Paris we went (with everyone else in the world, it seemed). It was the same year the "underwear bomber" decided to fly so on our way back home, it took hours to get through security at the Paris airport. They searched everyone again at the gate and when the Paris security person found a little box of sour candies in my bag, she asked me what they were.  I tried to explain but before I could finish, she shoved them at me and said, "Eat one!"  Geez, I guess she thought if they were little bombs it was best I blew up right there.  So much for Christmas in Paris.

So Hubby and I have accepted that some holiday seasons we will be alone and have had to make our own plans.

However, for some reason this year, when I discovered that both of my kids were going to be with their "other families" for Thanksgiving, I started feeling sad.  Even though this year for Thanksgiving, we delivered meals to elderly shut-ins and had a lovely meal in a restaurant, there was still that lingering loneliness that only a boisterous family gathering can banish. 

So I thought I had better start thinking of ways to get through the rest of the holiday season.

1.  Wine

 I can't say enough about the medicinal qualities of wine.


2. Don't let your husband choose the Christmas tree

That could ruin your holiday right there.  Hubby went to Costco and bought a tree that was all wrapped up with wire.  I asked him, "You bought a tree you didn't even see?"  The tree has so many holes in it I felt like I was decorating a big green slab of swiss cheese!

3.  Likewise, put the lights on the Christmas tree yourself.

Otherwise, a big fight will ensue over the placement of the lights (once again) and that would just add to your holiday blues.  Or better yet, do what we do. Make a big fight about the Christmas tree lights a holiday tradition.

4.  Shop for yourself too.

Buy yourself yet another fur jacket (faux, of course) to add to your collection or some other crap you really don't need.  It's the thought that counts.

5.  Do not under any circumstances watch Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movies.

If you do, you are asking for it.  You will find yourself sobbing uncontrollably when the heroine reunites with her long lost mother or dog just in time for Christmas.  And watching Candace Cameron Bure find love while snowed in at the Buffalo airport in "A Christmas Detour" would depress anyone. I know it did me. Her voice alone will remind you of fingernails on a chalk board.

6.  Most experts would recommend exercise to ward off depression.

I say exercising will just depress you more.  Forget the gym.

7. Don't bake, especially if you will be alone.

I know you think you are going to give your goodies away as gifts but you know you will get depressed about being on your own and will just eat all of those sugar-coated candy cane cookies and rum balls yourself and then when you weigh yourself...I don't need to tell you.

8.  Dress your pets up in holiday costumes.

Dogs and cats in costumes will always give you a laugh.  There is nothing funnier than your dog going about his business, sniffing things and taking a wee in his Santa suit and party hat.

9.  Buy a new ornament for the tree every year and give them as gifts.

I look forward to this little ritual.  A new ornament for our trees and one each for the kids and grandkids to help them build their collections.  My Mom used to do that, and now thinking of her, I'm getting depressed.

10.  Throw a party to remind yourself how many friends you have.

But if you don't think you have any friends, forget it.

11.  Go on a Christmas home tour.

These tours are usually in high end neighborhoods you can't afford, of houses you could never afford, beautifully decorated with ornamentations you can't afford, with gorgeous views you could never afford...never mind.

12.  As I mentioned about our trip to Paris one Christmas, if you are going to be alone, taking a trip somewhere can perk up your spirits.

However, keep in mind that it's a big world out there.  If you have a great idea, a ton of other people will have that same idea.  When we went to Paris I thought that flying on Christmas day would mean the plane would be empty, because everyone would want to be home with their families and all of the flight attendants would be cheerful and it would be one big festive flight.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  What I learned is that school is out and people want to take trips with their entire families.  The plane was packed!  The flight attendants were crabby and there wasn't anything festive about it.  Likewise, Paris was also packed.  Everyone had the same idea that we did.

So if you want to go away for Christmas, I recommend going somewhere that is decidedly off season like the San Juan Islands.  One Christmas we went to Orcas Island and stayed at the Rosario Resort

We had a room with a view and practically had the place to ourselves. 

Heck, we practically had the island to ourselves because EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED.  Let's just say we spent a lot of time in the hotel bar and, I think, we had a sandwich for our Christmas Eve dinner. 

There was a piano player in the bar who was singing some Christmas songs and Hubby talked his way into performing.  You can see the startled expression on the piano player's face as Hubby wormed his way into his act to sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!"

Going away for Christmas can be fun and lift your spirits but choose wisely.

13. Have an ugly Christmas sweater contest at work or with your significant other.

I already have mine.

(It has jingle bells on it too)!

14. Boycott the holidays completely.

There is always that.

Not sure if those tips helped. 

But then there is Tip #15.

15.  Remember the true meaning of the holiday season.

Whether you are celebrating with your whole family, part of your family or you are just on your own, it's all about love.

Being loving, doing something nice for others and lifting their spirits will automatically banish those holiday blues.

Now I'm off to dress up the dogs and have a glass of wine!


Happy Holidays everyone!

How will you get through the holidays?

Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of the new movie 
The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)
and the latest on
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

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