Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Grief and Me, BFF?

Hell, I was sitting here this morning in my robe on the computer--writing and playing games. And I was feeling "guilty" about it.

I judge myself for doing what I feel like doing. I always feel like I'm doing "something wrong."

Then I realized I was waiting for Ed to come home and approve of me so everything will be okay again.

He's not coming home anymore.

I wish I could go back to that moment in the hospital when he took his last breath, and yank him back.

I didn't mean to let him go.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Leap Year the movie

I have fallen in love with a movie and a movie character. Of course I love Amy Adams. I have been watching her movies so much lately I feel as if she's my new best friend. My BFF? She's always good. I love her acting. However, I am talking about her co-star "Declan O'Callaghan."

I admit I am a bit obsessive compulsive but the movie I am fascinated with is Leap Year. You might say I am addicted to it since I watched it on HBO every time it was on, then bought the DVD and have been watching it ever since. I'm getting' my money's worth out of that DVD, diddly-eye.

I have never seen Matthew Goode in a movie before this one. Never even heard of him. (In fact, when I saw this movie in the theater it didn't really impress me. Where was I? DUH.) But what I am sure of now is that his acting is absolutely amazing. I am just blow away by his portrayal of Declan O'Callaghan in Leap Year. (I joined NetFlix so I can see all his other movies.)

What makes it even more amazing is that Matthew Goode is completely submerged in the character he creates. Declan is scruffy, quiet, distant and then open with his feelings. Plus those expressive eyes and looks, and the facial expressions!?! OMG. There is just no Matthew Goode showing through the role. Declan is a real and unique person.

I assumed Goode was like other actors--playing a role and bringing a good deal of himself into it. But the character in the movie is absolutely not Matthew Goode! Now that I have seen interviews of Matthew Goode online, seeing how he looks,how he sounds, I simply cannot even imagine that Matthew Goode is underneath the guy that's Declan O'Callaghan. Goode is a master and a genius at creating a film persona. He loses himself and becomes the role. If he keeps it up and they give him some good scripts, he might just be one of the best actors ever.

It's not just good acting, it's a conjuring trick, a feat of magic. I have rarely if ever seen such a thing. For instance, I used to love Gerry Butler movies. I didn't fall in-love with his characters, I fell in love with him. In all his pictures I could still see the actor under the costume and underneath/within the role. In fact, I think he often just pays himself with a different name. Even as different as he was in 300, I still knew it was Gerry. Even when he does Irish, British or American accents instead of using his lovely Scots accent, he is still and actor in a role.

This is so not true with Matthew and Declan. Matthew is in a class by himself. A magnificent actor. I am so going to join Netflix so I can see all his movies. (I assume he is a fabulous actor in all of them.) And he's a cutie. Especially those big blue eyes.

It's still amazing for me to see Leap Year and read all the meanings I find in it (whether they are there or not or it's just me, I don't know. I'm a Gemini. We see meaning in everything even when it's not there.) I think it's absurd that critics criticized Leap Year. What the heck? The fans love it and it has developed a new following from the DVD than there was for the original movie. People are still talking and writing about it. And of course, like me, watching it again and again.

One of the things I like about the movie is technique employed similar to that used in The Sixth Sense: skipping from scene to scene obviously leaving things to the imagination as a way to advance the plot and create some mystery into the story. For example the first time I saw Leap Year on HBO, I assumed, along with other viewers,that Declan and Anna slept in the same bed in the B & B and avoided temptation. That's how it appears.

Later, it dawned on me that they DID do it, and the whole movie became much more understandable. I have written a list of 38 hintsin the movie that prove Declan and Anna, OF COURSE, made love at the B & B. I put these in a more recent blog entry. (Please send comments...even if you want to argue about it.)

Everything after that point in the movie make a huge amount of sense. Look at the eyes, the looks, and the dialog, and you'll see what I mean. (One big reason is that he's a guy. He's a guy. Duh. And she's an American girl. And he wanted to win the coin toss so that he could have the bed, and she would have to get into bed with him. And listen to the words of the song. There are numerous clues, before and after the "event."

Other things in the movie that have double meaning: At the castle, was he or wasn't he hitting on her? He was telling a legend about the original couple that came to that castle and finally consummated their love after a time of not wanting to two-time the man she was betrothed to. I think Declan was admitting how he didn't want to betray the other man in Anna's life, and how much he valued love and the consummating of it.

He also revealed his values and integrity when he said in the garden, "A father is someone you can rely on."

The story might be formula romance (like in the romance novel genre.) Except this story has a few switcheroos. In a romance it is usually the girl that takes sexual relations seriously and feels sad that the guy doesn't. In this story it's Declan that takes the love making seriously and was hurt that Anna didn't seem to take it as seriously.

Remember the scene in Dublin on the bridge? Declan was talking about his feelings (do guys only do this in romance novels and movies?) When he said, "I thought me and Kaleigh were mad for each other." Then he turns to Anna and says, "Apparently not." His face, eyes and demeanor are really saying, "I thought our love making at the B & B meant something. Did it mean anything to you?" He held himself back from speaking his mind frankly to her until he saw she was open to a relationship.

It wasn't his male ego that was hurt, it was his heart that was wounded, maybe his whole life. He didn't want Anna to "fix" him, he just wanted a sign from her that she was becoming a real person, willing to really value things in life like he did, seek true love instead of just romance, willing to be seek something other than material riches.

Diddly-eye ( i.e., dance your way along in life in foolishness? No one is sure what this means. It could be a reference about her way of making plans and being in control of things. In several instances he seems to mean that.) I believe he wanted a sign from her that she was something beyond shallow. He was waiting for an indication from her that she was willing to become sincere, genuine and caring. If she didn't show that, he didn't really want her. That's one reason he walked away when Jeremy proposed to her. She appeared to be still attracted to that big ring and a life of security with a man that she didn't love. Materialistic and a high society life style. He probably felt he couldn't offer her that type of life and wealth.

Read his facial expressions. Remember the scene when Declan's patrons/friends toss in extra money to save the pub from repossession? Declan puts his head down and give a half smile and shakes his head. This, to me, indicates that he was pleased and surprised to see people loved him and he's getting something he wants and needs. (His self-esteem might have been damaged when Kaleigh left him?) So when Anna is speaking to him in the pub near the last scene, and he lowers his head, gives that half smile, and shakes his head, it means the same. Not, "no, I don't want you" or "No, it's too little too late." It means, "I don't believe this. She loves me and I'm getting what I want." When she came back to him with a new appreciation of what life in Ireland with him, it was the sign he had been waiting for that she was ready to be a real person and live a life other than diddly-eyeing. He could then take strong positive action and move forward confidently.

The story is told in the facial expressions. And the key to the story is the recurring themes. The screenplay is great, the acting and direction are great.
Formula romance is pure fantasy, but Leap Year, while fun and funny, has serious,complex, and touching aspects that goes way beyond typical romance. It's a shame that romantic comedy isn't taken very seriously by critics and many viewers (they won't even look at them, dismiss them as "chick flicks." But Leap Year is a good movie not just a good chick flick romantic comedy. The caliber of Amy Adams and Matthew Goode lift this movie way beyond where it could have gone with two other actors.

Oh, another thing I like about this movie, it keeps changing or I notice more every time I see it. I noticed that Anna was the one approaching Declan. I am sure he thought she was a control-freak and was avoiding that. But she leaned into the kiss at the dinner table. She was the one approaching him to talk about personal things like on the bridge asking him about "chancers & cheaters." She was the one that stood in his face and pushed her body up against him on the beach at the wedding and told him what a lovely, lovely lion he was and tried to kiss him (even tho she was drink and puked. She was the one moving towards him and not being "sincere" about it. He was the one disappointed and waiting for her to grow up and wake up and admit she wanted him. So she came back to Ireland and "proposed" to him. It is the reverse of a typical romance where the guy is taking the girl for granted, coming on to her yet keeping his distance and the girl is the one who wants a more serious relationship and is hurting until it unfolds. In this switcheroo it's the guy in that role. Hmmm, clever.

In other words, Leap Year is worth seeing. Do it! And now that I have studied the movie to death, it's time to write my own romance novel. I have to do that while I am single because I plan on getting a new true love one of these days even if he's an old geeZER.

I have found a couple of downsides to watching good romantic comedies: You fall in love with a guy young enough to be your son, and find out again that the man you want doesn't really exist. (SIGH)

Okay, I gotta stop writing for tonight and watch a little Leap Year before bedtime. Declan is whispering in my ear, "Dream a little dream of me..."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is it Normal Grief or Depression?: Beneficial Artical

Is it Normal Grief or Depression?: How to Decide If You Are Grieving or Depressed

Grief and Depression from my perspective

I keep trying to explain to people (well, a few of them) the difference between grief and depression. I AM experiencing grief because my husband died June 6, 2009, and the heart revisits other losses and the grief they brought (especially if it was not fully felt.)

But depression is different. A lot of people have theories as to what depression is and what to do about it.

The point I would like to make is that real clinical depression and Bipolar depression are a physiological disorder and have to do with brain chemistry or brain processing things like (and I am not a professional here) electrical synapses or neurotransmitters.

I would prefer to have NO comments about this, since understanding or learning ABOUT or hearing what people's helpful comments are as to what depression it, doesn't HELP. In fact, comments from people as to what they think it is are really not supportive at all.

Knowing about depression is not the same as knowing depression.

Here is the difference from my experiential perspective.

Grief is centered in the heart. When a bout of grief hits me, my heart aches (it is real pain) and I cry and feel it intensely. When I feel my grief and express it (mostly with crying and/or body language, whatever) the feeling is one of release and healing. When the bout is over (until the next time it strikes) I feel relief and certain healing, a wellness of being, a love of life, and hope or even eagerness for the future. It's like drawing closer to the light at the end of the tunnel and I see the light growing bigger and brighter. It has a spiritual context for Light, too, but that is not important in this blog entry here.

However, depression is centered in the head. It's a thing of thoughts. It's a psychic experience (not the ESP meaning of psychic.) I experience it like I have a hamster wheel in my brain and I run around and around looking for a comforting though. And can't find one. Like running down a long hall way and trying to find a room to go into to feel safe, but all the doors are locked. That kind of feeling. The sadness is not related to circumstances or situations, it's just that everything appears to be unbearably sad no matter what it is -- things that a little while ago were okay, acceptable, manageable, maybe joyful even.

Crying with depression makes the experience worse and worse until the pain brings on despair. When grief hits, the expression of it occurs and it's alleviated and bearable.

But expressing depression doesn't feel healing, it is not alleviated. The "end" of feeling depression is a state of numbness when I don't feel anything at all.

Expressing and feeling grief turns me back on to life, experiencing depression removes me from life.

So, this is my opinion. Keep in mind arguing about this won't make anyone feel better. I don't need opinions. If you want to comment, send some love to me..

Please go to the link published on my blog above for a good entry on grief vs. depression. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


New series on PBS: Sherlock (a 21st century "consulting detective") starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. EXCELLENT. WONDERFUL. FABULOUS.

I loved the "old" Sherlock, too. But this show is phenomenal.

Cumberbatch is good, fascinating, and strikingly handsome in an exotic way (love that curly hair and blue blue eyes) but Martin Freeman is funny, cute, and a wonderful actor and I adore his Dr. Watson struggling to maintain equilibrium while following along on the radical adventures of the young Sherlock Holmes.

Watch it. It's good.

MORE MORE MORE ! We want more ! Tell BBC and PBS!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I am taking the challenge. National Novel Writing Month. Check out the website. I am going to write a novel in November. I have to come up with an idea, stick with it and type my fingers to the bone. (I hope some characters contact me in my dreams before Nov. 1 and give me the plot they want. Heck, the genre, too.) Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Assignment for Unity Basics Class

RE: Early Beliefs Systems

I don’t feel I have any old religious beliefs from my childhood, especially ones that are holding me back. I used to think Moses really parted the Red Sea and that Transcendentalism was cool in high school but I didn’t think there were any Transcendentalism churches. (Back east was very traditional in the 50’s and early 60’s. All there was was Christians, Jews, and, I suppose, atheists.)

I joined the local community church because it was closest to home. Luckily, I had an open-minded Sunday school teacher in high school who had us reading the Bible and participating in discussions where we could explore and express our opinions and beliefs. I also liked Catholicism because of the ritual and feminine aspect (Mother of God) and attended that church occasionally—though it was a longer walk.

I realized in college that studying history was basically studying religion because the political history of the world is basically religious history. I got hooked. Eventually I studied a little bit of a lot of religions in the 60’s and 70’s including Zen. I was what they now refer to as a “seeker” (as well as a hippie, a drunk, and a pot-head among other vices.)

I have worked on one 12-Step program after another since the late 1970’s. As a result got rid of my old ideas and started on the path of “change your mind, change your life.”

I found Science of Mind in Las Vegas NV (of all places, sin city!) and stayed with that the longest. I took some of the classes more than once and went through half of Practitioner II training. I met the true love of my life at Rel.Sci. church in Las Vegas and spent 22 wonderful years married to him. I also got into A Course in Miracles off and on for more than 20 years.

After I quit working at age 55, I got my BS, MS and PhD in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. That and $2.95 will get me a cup of coffee. Since then I’ve written and published a couple of books. (flash fiction humor and and poetry.)

I’ve recently gone back to 12-Step meetings because I was having a hard time with my grief after my husband died in June 2009. I did grief work and I’m learning to lead an individual life and still growing as a person.

I have developed to the point I am no longer “seeking” and no longer motivated to keep learning as fervently as I once did (my head is full.) But I hope I keep learning from life and from others and expanding my consciousness, knowledge and capabilities for the rest of my life. That includes continuously working Step 11: Seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God (as I understand God,) praying only for knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out. In addition I want to learn to give more, love more, practice the spiritual principles I have/will learn, and to enjoy life.

I started attending Unity church because it was closest to my home in the mountains. And I find now that it is closest to the religious experience I wish to have and because Sunday services at Albuquerque Unity are fun!

SandyJoy Schairer Oct. 20, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

After SisterSpirit Hearts on Fire Retreat May 2010

New poem:

I used to be sad
Now I'm not
I was closed
Now I'm open,
I was bound
Boundless now
Joyful, alive & free.

I used to be a stranger
Now I'm definitely ME,
I put away my old role
To loosen up my soul,
Have a brand new role now

I used to be asleep
Now I'm wide awake
I live to give
And give to live

Joy S Schairer
Thanks to Future Rev. Mrs. Abigail, the Dream Team, and all the wonderful new friends at SisterSpirit

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Poem by Sandy Schairer Jan. 30, 2010

Poem Sandy Schairer

They cow did jump over the moon
They told me so when I was four
What's more
They never told me about
The Korean War

I was 5
I could have been trusted with
that information

I'm still alive, by the way
Lived through VietNam Era:
Stoned, afraid, alone

No no Not alone
I had 2 kids, 2 parents, 4 grandparents,
and a lover Bobby
And Allen and Jay and Rod
And whatever that guy's name
In the next apartment was
Not necessarily in that order

I danced back then
On self-medication
Alcoholic Beverage

I danced again 40 years later!
It was FINE

I love myself now
And I'm recovering from...from...???
All of it!
I give myself permission
Always and forever.


Friday, January 01, 2010