Tag Archives: movies

The Memories are Thick Today

It’s only fitting that you would be on my mind this weekend.  There’s a HUGE movie premiere today – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – so it makes sense… Movies were, after all, the thing that brought us together, as we bonded over shared favorites and new recommendations during work at a video store.  As a matter of fact, the first several times we went anywhere outside of work revolved around movies.  Even years after we split up and went our separate ways, movies were a shared interest that would forever keep us friends.

So today, like so many other times over the past two years, a single thought keeps going through my head:  It isn’t fair that you aren’t here now.

That thought revisits often and some days it’s particularly difficult to swallow…  You would have been one of the first people I know to buy tickets for the new Star Wars film.  I felt like I should have been at the front of the line for the first showing at the best theater in town out of loyalty to your memory.   The first gift you ever gave me was your box set of the original Star Wars trilogy in “letterbox”, because I only had episode one.  We stood and had a heated discussion about the difference in widescreen ratios and which episode was the best, so it was a nerd connection from the beginning. I can still remember, in fact, standing in line years later each time the original three movies were re-released in the theaters (1997?), hoping to get the right seats in the audio “sweet spot“.   We did that for most big blockbuster releases for years, if possible, and had the process down to a science.  A huge portion of my movie memories involve you in some way, and I can’t walk into many theaters without smiling as I hear the phrase “buttery toots” run through my mind.  haha!

josh massey pensive copy


There are too many things you didn’t get to do before you were gone.  Too many new movies, like The Forces Awakens, that you didn’t get to see.  Moments you didn’t get to share.  Carter just got married, you know.. and you really should be around to celebrate.  Jen changed her Facebook profile picture to an older shot of the two of you in Hawaii recently and it’s lovely…  Speaking of Facebook, Kim posts new pictures of Alex every couple of weeks and you wouldn’t believe how much she’s grown!!  She’s so beautiful!  She misses you, I’m sure…  They all do.  They deserve you around.   And it makes me so angry sometimes that you’re not here.  One of those moments in life that seems so unjust.  So unfair.

It’s only fitting, I suppose, that you would be on my mind this weekend due to the premiere.  How was I to know, however, that you would also come to mind because I discovered your grandfather passed away yesterday… He was such a unique and wonderful person and one of your best friends.  I heard the news this morning and my heart broke a little because I always considered him family.  He was not the same when I saw him at your funeral and I’m glad that’s not the memory that comes to mind when I think of him.  Instead, I see him laughing at a joke the two of you are sharing over a family meal at your mother’s house.  I see him animated and engaged discussing a story or memory he is sharing.  I see the two of you hugging each other before making plans for your next get together.   He’s headed your way now, so I hope you’ve got a chessboard set up and ready to play…

What part of Ninja didn't you understand?

I don’t talk about you much anymore – our lives took different paths before you were gone and most  people I see didn’t know you well enough to chat about  memories of you.  You’re still on my mind, however, at random moments or when some odd thing reminds me of you.  Like a Danny Elfman song on any soundtrack new or old.  Or when a movie or video game comes out I know you would flip over.  Sometimes I’ll be looking at t-shirts and see an image or joke that is exactly your brand of humor… or hear a song that you used to repeat over and over just to  get it stuck in my head (“doo-doo, doo doo doo doo, mahna mahna”).   Thank you for those memories.  For those moments that are now more dear simply because they were so finite in nature.  Those things still occasionally have the power to make me sad, but mostly they make me smile.  Smile because I was so blessed to know you.  Smile because I know you lived every moment of every day to the fullest with no regrets.  Smile because you were one of the best friends I’ve ever had…

It will probably be a bit bittersweet waiting to file into the theater to see the new Star Wars movie, but I know I’ll be smiling when the phrase “buttery toots” go through my mind.   Thank you for that…  🙂
in memory of Josh and his wonderful GPa, Jimmie






Life Should be More Like a Musical

Anyone that knows me knows that I love musicals.  I get swept up in the cheesy, impromptu singing and dancing.  Suckered into thinking it was permissible to run out into the street, spontaneously burst into song and be able to finish a musical number without someone trying to drag me off to seek professional help.  My love is deep-rooted and began in childhood – honestly!  I’m not just saying that as a story telling device!  : )

When I was younger (much, much younger) my family moved to New York.  Since I didn’t really know anyone and spent most of my time with my cousin, we became very close.  I’m not sure how it began, but we ended up with what I believe was probably an *ahem* 8-track tape.  (I know – it doesn’t seem possible that I could be that old… Trust me, I’m not!  lol)  Anyway!   Each time we drove anywhere we wanted to listen to this 8-track.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it… it’s the soundtrack to a little musical called GreaseIt became my favorite music and my cousin and I would sing the songs wherever we went.  At some point this probably should have concerned our family considering some of the lyrics, but we were too young to understand what they meant and didn’t even really get all the words right.  The only drawback to the whole scenario was the fact that my cousin’s name is “Sandy”, so she felt she should be the female lead in our play… which relegated me to the male role of Danny.  I was actually just happy to sing and play so it didn’t really matter to me!  Even though many other musicals have made their way into my heart, Grease will always hold a special place as the first.  It isn’t solely to blame for my belief that life would be better if it contained more group numbers, but it definitely paved the way!

It’s easy to dismiss the ‘life would be better’ notion if you don’t consider the full impact of what it would mean.   Think about it.  Being a part of a large musical number takes lots of practice and cooperation.  You have to coordinate with different people and work together to bring about the foot-tapping, hip-shaking crowd response that would prove the success of the venture.  It would also be much more difficult to fight or go to war if we adopted and implemented these skills.  Don’t believe me?  Perhaps you need to watch West Side Story and pay particular attention to any ‘rumble’ scenes.  Consider the time and effort that would go into choreographing those scuffles!  By the time the two combatants learned all the moves and practiced them to perfection they would probably be too exhausted to actually fight and would have to go home to catch some Zzzz’s!  And who can forget the epic love scenes and duets?  No one would ever lose the love of their life if able to confront their soul mate with stars in their eyes and a choir to back them up.  It would be nearly impossible to resist – you have to admit!  Still not convinced?  If for no other reason, living life like a musical would enable each of us to get in touch with our inner child and empower it in a magical scene complete with a town full of people we don’t even know following our lead and dancing in sync with our every step.  Talk about an esteem boost!  Who wouldn’t like that??

It seems impossible to pull this off, I know. Yet, there is a modern version that is one step closer to living in a world full of dance numbers and potential lovers singing their hearts out!  Consider the ‘flash mob’.  It’s seemingly spontaneous,  completely unexpected by a group of people who will ultimately serve as the audience, begins with one or two and grows in number until it becomes a full troupe that use their jazz hands like artistic weapons… Pure magic!  (On a side note – my sister recently directed a flash mob to support a local production of The Rocky Horror Picture ShowRegretfully, I was not included in the mob and with my elephant memory will probably remind her of it for many years to come.  In fact – I only mention it here on the off-chance that she’ll read this in the future and feel obligated to include me in the next episode she produces… lol!)  Where was I?  Oh!  Before I got caught up between the parentheses I was expounding on the valid contributions of flash mobs as support to my theory of awesomeness.  However, I don’t think I’ll be able to convince you with words so I’m including one more video for your musical enjoyment!  It’s a flash mob my mom recently saw at Americas Mart in Atlanta.  Wouldn’t this be fun?


Kinda makes you want to jump up and dance, huh?  You could say they make a perfect pair.  Life and musicals, that is… They go together.

“Like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever as shoo-bop sha whada whadda yippidy boom da boom
Chang chang changity chang shoo bop that’s the way it should be… Waooo, Yeah!”     : )