Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 Favorite Quotes from the Movie “The Last Holiday"

    (Whispering) This is a secret. When I’m feeling down, tired or plain sick -- I watch the movie “The Last Holiday”. It never fails to put a smile on my face and give a kick in the butt. I love the story, I love the characters; and the movie always manages to pull me back to NOW. The very moment I am in.
Here are my 8 favorite quotes, in no particular order.

1)      You wait and you wait for somethin' big to happen... and then you find out you gon' die.
2)      Next time... we will laugh more, we'll love more; we just won't be so afraid
3) Chef Didier: You and I, we know the secret to life… it's butter.
4)      I would like to be cremated. I spent my whole life in a box. I don't want to be buried in one. Georgia May Byr
5)  “You know how it is. You keep your head down and you hustle and hustle. Then you  look up one day and wonder, “How did I even get here?”
          6) HMO Administrator: The cost of a median cranial debulking surgery is around $340,000. That's without anesthesia You'll want that.
          7) Georgia Byrd: I really wanted to meet you. And I shoulda ate that. I shoulda ate all that stuff. Especially that. Shoulda put my foot in that.
         8) Chief Didier: The start is not nearly as important as the finish.

What would you do if you knew less than a month to live? Would you like to know when you are going to die? What are your “pick-me-up” or inspirational movies? What helps you to relax and get yourself back at a track you’ve chosen for yourself?
This is it for today.
Come back soon and spread the word.
Aglaya Moroz

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday's Mythological Creature of the Day -- Sisyphus

You’ve probably heard an expression “Sisyphean task”, meaning endlessly laborious or futile work. Maybe you even felt like Sisyphus, a character from a Greek myth. You wake up, feed the kids, send them to school, get to the office, work your butt off, run errands, cook dinner for the family, stare at the TV and go to bed. The day passes only to repeat itself tomorrow, again and again. Like Queen Latifah’s character said in the movie “The Last Holiday”: “You know how it is. You keep your head down and you hustle and hustle. Then you look up one day and wonder, “How did I even get here?” If that sounds familiar – Congratulations! Now you can understand how Sisyphus felt after the Greek Gods punished him for trying to outsmart Zeus himself.

After his death and the second and final journey to the Kingdom of the Underworld (more about that later), Sisyphus was made to roll a huge boulder up a steep mountain. Just as he’d reach the top, the massive stone would always roll back down, forcing him to begin again, consigning Sisyphus to an eternity of useless efforts and frustration. That’s why today pointless or interminable activities are sometimes described as Sisyphean.
Have the Gods been unfair to Sisyphus? Was he just an innocent victim? What possibly could he have done to deserve such a horrible fate? Well, innocent he was not…  A deceitful, murderous trickster, who ignored the laws of the people and Gods, yes, he was that, indeed.
See, Sisyphus was a son of Aeolus and Enarete. He was the founder and the first kin of Ephyra, married to a beautiful nymph Merope, who brought him four sons (by the way, some myths also consider Sisyphus to be the birth father of Odysseus, who inherited his father’s wits).Instead of thanking Gods for his fortunes and ruling his lands mercifully, Sisyphus killed travelers and guests, breaking the sacred laws of hospitality. He tattled on Zeus to the river God Asopus of whereabouts of his daughter Aegina, ruining Zeus’s plans for having a good time. He seduced his own niece Tyro, who slayed the children she bore from Sisyphus, once she realized he was planning to use them to dethrone her father. He tricked a Goddess of Death Thanatos and got her chained in the Underworld, and because of that for several years nobody could die.
When Sisyphus finally passed away, and his soul moved to the Underworld like all the other normal souls, somehow he managed to wiggle his way out of the situation. He persuaded Persephone to temporarily free him, so he could punish his wife, who left his dead naked body in the middle of a public square instead of giving him a proper burial (per his own request). Once he got back to the world of living and had a celebratory feast with his wife, happily giggling about the successful implementation of his devious plan, Sisyphus refused to go back and had to be forcibly dragged there by a very irate Hermes.

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That’s it for today. Come back soon and spread the word!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day – Naglfar

Well,  Naglfar is not a creature, but a weirdly cool transportation vehicle that carries a bunch of dead warriors’ souls to the final battle. Why post about it today? Because I can ;-) And because my imagination went berserk when I read the description of it, so I had to learn more about it and share my findings with you. I also ran across some delightfully creepy images of this legendary ship on the web, like this one by Jeff Fairbourn.

Without further adue, it is my honor to introduce Naglfar -- the morbid ship from the Norse mythology, made entirely of fingernails and toenails of the dead,  sailing through oceans, realms and mists of time. It carries the dead Scandinavian warriors from Hel (yes, that’s the correct spelling), the kingdom of the Underworld, to engage in the final battle before Ragnarök, a.k.a. Armageddon, a.k.a. the End of the World.

“From the east comes Hrym with shield held high;
In giant-wrath does the serpent writhe;
O'er the waves he twists, and the tawny eagle
Gnaws corpses screaming; Naglfar is loose.
O'er the sea from the north there sails a ship
With the people of Hel, at the helm stands Loki;
After the wolf do wild men follow,
And with them the brother of Byleist goes”
from Völuspá, Translation byHenry Adams Bellows

According to some Norse myths, it is the one and only Loki, the trouble-maker god,  who steers and governs the ship to bring the reinforcements of Evil to expedite the end to the world and rule whatever is left of it. C’mon, not again!  Hasn’t he watched “Thor” and “Avengers” recently?........Geeesh!

But according to other myths Naglfar is steered by Hrym, who is actually a jötunn, a Giant from the far-away Ice Lands, sailing with a crew of other jötunns, to confront the gods of Asgard.

In any case, if you see the Nagflar landing ashore near you – run away. That ship is nothin’ but a trouble!

This is it for tonight. Come back soon and spread the word!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day – Harpy

With one hand covering my eyes, my swirling finger lands on a page in my mythological encyclopedia. Once again I find myself stumbling upon the Greek mythology. Harpies are fascinating creatures -- so strong, so ravenous, that their names are remembered through human history and our language! Even today we refer to nasty, annoying women as being “harpies”. So who are these mortifying creatures?

Harpies are the daughters of a seagod Taumas and an oceanid Elektra. They ravished the Earth even prior to the arrival of the Gods of Olympus (aka Zeus and Company). How many of them existed? Estimations run from two to five, depending on the source. That’s all! Their names are Aello (The Storm Swift), Aellopo (The Stormlike), Podagre (The Fleet-Foot), Ocypete (“The Swift Wing), Celaeno (The Dark)). Some scholars believe some of these names are just aliases for the same two or three harpies.

Typically they are portrayed as ugly-faced creatures, half-female, half-bird, kind of like an ugly mermaid, but with wings...

In mythology they are described as evil kidnappers of kids and lost souls (the name itself “Harpy” comes from the Greek “Snatching”). They swoop down quickly to snatch their victims and disappear just as fast into the wind. The relationship of the harpies to the winds can be proved by one of the myths about the divine nature of Achilles’ stallions. They were special mares, born from Podagre and Zephyros (the Wind of the West).

Another well-known story about harpies is their torture of a king Phineus, who was cursed for a crime he unknownly committed. They were devouring his food, starving him to death.

Harpies were banished by the relatives of Phineus, sons of Boreas (the North Wind). Iris, the rainbow goddess, the messenger of Zeus, prevented Boreas’s sons from murdering Harpies. I wonder why? (TMZ alert: allegedly Iris was their half-sister).

That’s all for today. Come back soon and spread the word!