Dixie Darr

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

March Madness Sadness Gladness

In Home, Learning, spirituality on March 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm

March is a confusing month for me.

Although March is historically our snowiest month in Denver, it is also the month when spring begins and flowers start to bloom, even in the snow. Actually, that’s a pretty good metaphor for the month.

My beautiful nieces were both born in March, and they have been bringing light into my life for more than 40 years. That’s the gladness. They live in Phoenix, so I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.

Sadness comes because both my mother and father died in March. My mother passed away on March 18, twenty-one years ago at the age of 67. My dad lived until age 90 and breathed his last breath on March 25 three years ago.

Maybe that’s why March Madness irritates me so much. First, CBS pre-empts The Young and the Restless for FOUR days to show some idiot basketball games. I don’t even like Y&R much anymore, but it’s what I use as background noise when I eat lunch and read.

In the middle of the basketball frenzy comes St. Patrick’s Day. How can the Irish be proud of a pseudo-holiday that’s celebrated in America by people drinking themselves stupid?

And speaking of people drinking themselves stupid, what can I say about spring break. When did it become a requirement for college (and now even high school) students to debark to Mexico to raise hell and party themselves into oblivion? Don’t get me started.

Let’s just say I’m happy April is just a few days away.

March Madness Sadness Gladness

In creativity, Learning, spirituality on March 26, 2011 at 6:52 am

March is a confusing month for me.

Although March is historically our snowiest month in Denver, it is also the month when spring begins and flowers start to bloom, even in the snow. Actually, that’s a pretty good metaphor for the month.

My beautiful nieces were both born in March, and they have been bringing light into my life for more than 40 years. That’s the gladness. They live in Phoenix, so I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.

Sadness comes because both my mother and father died in March. My mother passed away on March 18, twenty-one years ago at the age of 67. My dad lived until age 90 and breathed his last breath on March 25 three years ago.

Maybe that’s why March Madness irritates me so much. First, CBS pre-empts The Young and the Restless for FOUR days to show some idiot basketball games. I don’t even like Y&R much anymore, but it’s what I use as background noise when I eat lunch and read.

In the middle of the basketball frenzy comes St. Patrick’s Day. How can the Irish be proud of a pseudo-holiday that’s celebrated in America by people drinking themselves stupid?

And speaking of people drinking themselves stupid, what can I say about spring break. When did it become a requirement for college (and now even high school) students to debark to Mexico to raise hell and party themselves into oblivion? According to Time magazine, the debauchery started with the ancient Greeks and Romans  celebrating the vernal equinox. But American students have put their own special stamp on it, egged on by liquor companies, MTV and Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild notoriety.

These things make me happy that I’m not a teenager anymore. Maybe I should celebrate that this month, but mostly I’m looking forward to April.

Pride and Prejudice

In Books, Learning, writing on March 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm

It was the Academy Awards that got me started thinking about Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Colin Firth won (as expected) for best actor in The King’s Speech, but I kept thinking about him as the definitive Mr. Darcy in the 5-hour BBC television mini-series of the book.

The newer, shorter Keira Knightley version is frequently on television, and I’ve seen it several times. I think Keira Knightley made a sparkling Elizabeth and I loved Donald Sutherland as her father and Dame Judi Desch as the imperious Lady Catherine de Bourg. But Matthew Macfadyen just didn’t cut it as Darcy. No smolder, no inner turmoil. And the movie moved too fast. The viewer doesn’t get the same feeling of suppressed desire and frustration, wondering when Lizzie and Darcy will finally get together.

In short, it doesn’t have Colin Firth.

I ordered the BBC series from the library and spent most of Saturday watching it. It didn’t disappoint. I fell in love with CF all over again. When the series was over, I wanted to watch it again. Instead, on Sunday, I watched Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway as the wildly popular author.

Soon, I will want to reread the original book, but until then, I’m filling in with Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, an audio download from my library. This “sequel” to P&P tells of life at Pemberly after the wedding.

Next, I’m planning to dive into one of the Austen biographies. Obsessed? Not me. I could probably spend the rest of my life studying Austen, but there are too many other books I want to read, too. So many books, so little time.