"I hid under your porch because I love you."
~ Dug the dog in Up

Hi all,

As I previously reported, the summer blahs have set in pretty heavily with me.  Usually energetic, I've spent way more time than usual watching TV and movies.  Unfortunately, my movie viewing does not include having Andrew parked right beside me.  But some people are luckier than I...  And thus I shall turn this newsletter over to one such individual.

God bless,

PS- I hope our North American members had a happy Canada Day and/or Independence Day!

Summer Movie Guide
from the
Dyeland Daily Gazette

We here at the Dyeland Daily Gazette have found ourselves with a serious bout of summer laziness.  As a solution, we have turned this issue over to two Dyeland residents who promised to write something appropriate.  One particular guest writer was warned that she was NOT to write a treatise about Andrew's hair.  We hope that worked out.  The views expressed in this edition are not necessarily those of the editors of the Dyeland Daily Gazette.  Thanks.

Lift Your Spirits with Up!!!
by Lady JenniAnn Dwynwen Chandler

So I've been feeling a little down with everything that's going on with my beloved godfather, Vincent.  And being away from ya'll and in New York (though I love the Tunnels) has made me more than a lil homesick.  That's why I jumped at Andrew's offer to take me to a movie to cheer me up and/or distract me (as if he alone wasn't already accomplishing both goals).  Since I'm not big on action movies and Andrew didn't fancy having to save me from drowning in my own tears while watching My Sister's Keeper, we opted for the film Up and I'm so glad we did!

First, a warning.  Andrew and I both went into this movie thinking we'd be watching a really light, colorful, bouncy, carefree animated film.  Like Toy StoryUp *is* a lovely, colorful, and at times light and bouncy film.  However, there are also some
very, very serious moments.  I think I managed to sob for an entire eight minutes at the beginning.  Those minutes were sooo sad!  But Andrew was totally a good sport about the fact that the right shoulder of one of his white shirts is now purple thanks to the running eye shadow of yours truly.  (We're gonna have a tie-dying party once things settle down, maybe on the 4th,  so it won't be noticed.)  This particular montage I'm speaking of is, nonetheless, beautiful and very artfully done.  It's amazing, even with animation, how much small movement and lighting can depict emotion.  Stunning.  Andrew said I could report that he cried, too.  He just didn't damage any clothing in the process.

As far as the plot, Up is about a recently widowed man named Carl.  Carl is about to be forced out of the home he shared with Ellie, the love of his life.  Carl is, of course, very upset about this.  And his stress isn't aided by the incessant visits from Russell, a young scout trying to earn his "Assisting the Elderly" badge.  Just when it looks like Carl is about to lose his home for good, he lets loose a bazillion balloons and away float Carl and the house!  They're bound for a place in South America where Carl and Ellie dreamed of going.  Except, unbeknownst to Carl, little Russell has stowed away!  When they arrive in South America, it's up to Carl and Russell to survive a maniacal naturalist, escape a pack of talking dogs, reunite a rare bird with her babies, and learn a whole slew of touching lessons. 

So what did Andrew and I learn?  Well, obviously that Andrew shouldn't wear light shirts when I'm liable to cry on them while wearing colored makeup.  But I'm gonna talk about what the movie actually made us think about.  First, there's an amazing friendship that grows between Carl and Russell.  It made me think about how much we need each other, even when we don't realize it.  And how friendship knows no bounds.  It doesn't matter what the difference in ages are.  It doesn't even matter if the concerned parties are of different species as demonstrated by the bond that grows between Carl, Russell, Kevin the bird, and Dug the dog (a personal favorite).  Second, the movie stresses that it's never too late to fulfill your dreams.  In the aforementioned montage, we see Ellie and Carl saving for a trip to South America but always putting it off when an unexpected expense pops up.  That was entirely too relatable.  Who among us hasn't deferred a dream?  Yet, Carl *does* end up going to South America.  He fulfills their dream.  Finally, and maybe my zeroing in on this has a lot to do with recent events around here, the movie reminds us that death is not the end.  Love continues.  Those we lose will continue to inspire us.  And we need to hold close to those that remain.

Awesome movie, especially when seen with an equally awesome friend. 

Top Ten Lessons I've Learned from Watching Movies with Dyelanders
by Andrew

Hello everyone,

I thought about doing a movie review also but I decided a sort of feel good, humor column might be more fun.  And since this is JABB, I'm going with the top ten format.  0:-)  So here are some things I've learned while watching movies with all of you:

10.  Getting eye make up out of your shirt after your viewing partner has wept into your shoulder is difficult.  But I'd still rather be cried on than watch the movie alone. 

9.  Throwing things at the movie screen is okay in Dyeland as long as the object thrown is something soft that won't break the screen.  It's also okay to shout at movie characters if you feel they're giving death a bad reputation.

8.  Going to the movie theater is fun but maybe not as much fun as spending a summer evening watching an old favorite from a projector in the Fields of Gold while our pets play together and we enjoy Willy's treats and not some high fructose concoction sold at ridiculous prices.

7.  If a historically based movie brings on an unwanted flashback to a past assignment, someone will squeeze my hand or pat my shoulder.  Thanks. 

6.  Speaking of historical movies, after viewing one I will be required to show visual evidence of myself in the depicted fashions or Eli will be contacted and find the most embarrassing piece of evidence possible.  Tess and Adam just might help. 

5.  Road trip movies make me want to hop into the Jolly Green and go for a long, long ride.  Maybe go see the world's Largest Ball of Twine and the National Lighter Museum.  Who's with me???

4.  Escapist summer movies can be fun but after spending some time in Dyeland, you know, I just don't feel like escaping.  Besides, watching Lulu gleefully tear up a toy or the turkeys chase Adam is more fun than watching Transformers blow things up or a high speed car chase.

3.  Despite the fact that I am very, very, very old and have seen many, many, many things someone will still try to protect me during risque or violent movie scenes.  And it's actually kind of sweet even if a little misguided.  0:-)

2.  I am more awesome than Edward Cullen?  I don't think I wrote that.
Yes, you did.
Pretty sure I didn't.
Well, it's true!
Far be it from me to second guess a lady.  I am more awesome than Edward Cullen.

1.  Movie ticket price: $16 for two.  Popcorn: $5.  Watching your fellow viewer explain to the kind old lady sitting next to you that you are not her boyfriend but instead married to your job as a "transitional life coach" all before the film begins: Priceless.

Thanks for all the fun!


JABB 278

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)