Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Is England going to hell?

This past Easter, Sean converted from Church of England to Catholicism

We attended weekly classes in preparation and explained to Lucy the classes were like Sunday School for Daddy so he could learn more about the Catholic beliefs and practices

There was much discussion with her about why Daddy was not born Catholic like she was and could he still be English even if he was not part of their Church any more

Sean received into the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass this past March

Lucy now takes great delight in the fact that Daddy goes up at Communion with us (she of course keeps her arms crossed and is blessed)

She is even more thrilled to think that next year, she'll make her Holy Communion and we can all "eat a piece of Baby Jesus"

Sean going through this process has prompted fantastic, and at times mind blowing, conversations not only in the "classroom" but with Lucy as well

It has also resulted in Lucy asking some very pointed questions about God, about why Jesus had to die and why people argue about which God, whose God, is the best God

In her head, if we all love (a) God, and (our) God loves all of us, we should all be able to love each other (even if, she allows, sometimes we have arguments and fights but we should not be so mean to each other)

Simply put, Lucy submits the following argument:
if you believe in God, no matter which God and no matter what you call him, there is probably only really one God
Otherwise, she reasons, there would be too many Gods in heaven and no one would know who is really in charge

So, her argument concludes, even though we all think we believe in different Gods, the joke is on us because there is really only one God, he just lets everybody call him what they need to call him (notice its needs not wants!)

I think I might just have to agree with her
And then I realize this is how my newly minted seven year old grounds me (us) as much as our beliefs and faith do

Last night, my little religious scholar couldn't sleep
I was up and down with her no less than 7 times

Why can't you sleep I asked

Because, Lucy replied, someone at Project Learn told me something and I can't stop thinking about it and it's making me upset

I pulled her closer and asked what was said

Well, so-and-so told me that Dobby (the house elf from Harry Potter) dies and that a really bad man kills him....and I love Dobby and I don't want that to happen!

I kissed the top of her head to buy a few seconds while I composed my response
I was of course annoyed that so-and-so ruined it for her and I was more focused on responding to that than her actually concern

But she beat me to it

Mumma? Even if Dobby does really die, I just need to know, will he get to go to heaven with God?

Oh Luce....honey...that is not....

She sat upright in bed and interrupted me in that tone which makes me stand at attention

Mumma! she threw her hand down on the bed as if banging on the table top!
Since Dobby is from England and they don't belong to our Church, of Dobby really died, will Dobby get to go to heaven with God and Jesus and Mary and Joseph??? Or will he go to some other heaven?

Does England even have heaven????!!!!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

An Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix

We have been a customer of yours for a really really long time

When we first signed up, I would spend hours laboring over my queue and prioritizing my movies

And when I knew a DVD was coming, I would rush home and do a happy dance at the mailbox when I saw the little red and white envelope peeping out from between my credit card bills and the Bed Bath and Beyond coupons

Remember how you would send an email telling us what movie was on its way to us?
I would deliberately not read that email just so I could be surprised!

Sometimes, I would get anxious because it would take us a week or two to watch the movie
I always felt like I was depriving someone else of seeing the film as I had the DVD in my possession
But Sean assured me you had more than one copy and that you, Netflix, would make sure no one was deprived and was enjoying the same exact movie I was at the same exact time
Thank you for taking care of us all

Then you started streaming!
Holy Crap!
It changed my life
I rank streaming up there with my wedding vows and the birth of my child

Because of you, I have lost countless hours to binge watching new and old shows
Which means my pop culture references have been refreshed and revitalized
Streaming made me hip and relevant again
Streaming gave me back my 20s

And just when I thought you could give me no more, you gave me House of Cards, Daredevil, and Orange is the New Black
Is there no end to your endless list of talents and success?

I love you Netflix

Only once have I ever been disappointed

That was when we received the movie Primer
The movie itself was pretty fucked up and kinda hard to follow  
That of course is no fault of yours

Primer was one of those movies that once you started watching, you could not stop; you had to know how this was going to end
Halfway through, we looked at each other and realized neither of us knew what was going on
But we were committed
We had to know where this crazy rabbit hole was taking us

We watched and watched and watched
It was one of those movies that was maybe 90 minutes but because it was so slow moving and cerebral, you felt like it was three hours long

And 15 minutes before the movie ended, you are not going to believe this…..

The DVD shit the bed

It broke

Crapped out

No longer worked

Just stopped playing

Netflix, I was upset with you for like a month
We had invested so much time into the movie…

And by time I mean it was really hard to follow and I’m pretty sure I kept a flow chart while I was watching it just so I could follow what was going on

I also vaguely recall eating a lot while watching this film that’s how much it stressed me out

So you can imagine my frustration when the DVD went all crazy and stopped working with less than 20 minutes to go

Though you graciously offered to send us a replacement ASAP without bumping our next mobile down in the queue, we were so over Primer
A week later, we still had headaches

That was the only time you let me down

But Netflix, now I find myself at odds with you again

And I'm not even really sure if it’s your fault
I mean I don’t have to read the article which pops into my news feed
But I fear if I don’t, I shall miss something

See each month, right around this time, I click on the link in my news feed that leads me to one of the most stressful articles I read each month

And each month, I am on a roller coaster of emotions for a few hours as I read the article not once, not twice but no less than six times plotting my course of action

For it is this time, each month, 12 times a year, you announce what movies and shows will be leaving Netflix the following month

I scan the list holding my breath and praying I don’t see any of my “go to” movies, my favorite movies or movies in my queue

I know you are also giving me new stuff but what about the films and shows I never got to or the ones I never finished?

One time, I was binge watching a TV series and you pulled it right out from under me
In the spirit of full disclosure, I wasn’t upset because to be honest, it was not great writing, tired story lines, whiny characters and overall, in the words of Simon Cowell, my true love, self-indulgent

But I was, nonetheless, a bit put out because you made the decision for me
Who are you to decide when it is time for me to give up crappy TV?

It’s like the time I tried to watch thirtysomething
I realized by the third episode this show was not as good as we all thought it was back was and still is, total crap
But I gave it up
It was my choice
Not by your design

But once a month, I feel like a tribute in your Hunger Games
I spend hours poring over the list cross checking it against my queue

I plot my moves and strategies for the next 7-10 days in an attempt to see movies and TV shows before you take them away from me

The roller coaster of emotions and stress you put me under Netflix is at times paralyzing
If I don’t watch Dude, Where’s my Car within the next few days, who knows when I will ever have a chance to see it again?
How long will it be in the vault?

One time I scheduled a surgery for the end often month because I knew I would be on the couch for a couple days recovering
I knew I would have the TV all to myself
And I knew which movies I would watch before they were inexplicable snatched away from me

That is the only time I have been able to outsmart you

Every month I make the list of films I need to see, shows I need to binge on before you take them away from me

And every month, I fall short

As a direct result, there is no telling how much pop culture I have missed out on

The day I stop being relevant and hip will be the day I hunt you down Netflix

When I miss that imposed deadline, I have a day or two where I mourn the loss of Adam Sandler movies at my fingertips or the last four seasons of Brothers and Sisters
But then I get over it

And just when I think I am ok, it’s the 24th of the month again and your next list of expiring movies is in my news feed

And the vicious cycle starts all over again

I’ve shown nothing but love for you Netflix…. just ask our bank account

So I ask simply, why?

I know there are licensing and distribution issues…blahblahblah….chitty chitty chat chat

But see, here’s the thing:
I don’t care!

You are Netflix!
You put Blockbuster out of business!
You created Claire Underwood for fuck’s sake!
Surely you can overcome licensing and distribution limitations!

Can’t you just get Frank Underwood to issue some sort of presidential pardon and take care of this?

Or have Matt Murdock take it to court?

Or better yet, just get Piper to carry the licenses out in her suitcase???

And while you’re at it, could you sleep with HBO and get VEEP in your queue?

Please Netflix, end this senseless wave of anxiety I ride each month

Please, just let me have my movies, TV shows, documentaries and let me watch them too

I love you Netflix

I always have and I always will

So in June, though I welcome with open arms J Edgar and Elizabeth (The Golden Age),
I also bid farewell to and mourn the loss of Clear and Present Danger, Click, Bounce, and Dude, Where’s my Car

Until next month Netflix
I remain yours till Niagara Falls

Love Maria

A subscriber since 2005