Thursday, August 27, 2015

When tv and books collide

 *As a reminder, I am part of the Netflix Streamteam. I am being compensated for sharing with you, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

At the start of the year, I mentioned I had watched Marco Polo (a Netflix original series) to get me through some sleepless nights.

I've been fascinating with thinking about this show, the time period, and other things.

Also, I try to drop Genghis Khan into as many conversations as I can.

This shouldn't be surprising as I also love history. And no, Marco Polo isn't actual history, but the backdrops, the scenery, and all of that, help one picture what it might have been like during Genghis Khan's time, albeit with a Hollywood take.

Watch the show - the land is beautiful. I think that every time I watch it (oh, why yes, I have watched it more than once!). I am enjoying the story line as well and can't wait to see where they take it in season two.

 That aside, I recently came across the book On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey through the Lands of the Nomads and I just knew I had to pick it up and read it.

I really enjoyed this book. Tim Cope is able to weave a tail that intertwines his adventures today with history and tells an amazing tale of man and horse and describes a relationship so wonderful, I sort of want to get a horse.

As I read, I kept picturing some of the wide open spaces from Marco Polo - which was filmed in Italy and a studio but also in Kazakhstan, where part of Cope's journey takes place.

Somehow thinking of the two books together: one a fictionalized version of history, one of how that history is still alive today mixed in with many facts, seemed to come together in my mind beautifully.

This might be because as I watch Marco Polo, I often wonder what is based on history and what is fiction. Now I have a clearer picture in my mind (it's mostly fiction, but I still love it). The scenery of the show helped the journey of the book come alive in my mind.

It's a perfect pairing I think!

Of course, I'm still hungry for more information. I think I'll dive deeper into learning more about Genghis Khan, Marco Polo, and the time period. But for now, I've got a better understanding!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Oh Jealousy!

I suppose it's not cool to admit this, but if I'm being frank and honest, I've got a lot of jealousy these days.

I know, I know. I've got more than so many. And I am extremely grateful for all of that - I promise I am.

But still. I'm jealous.

For some reason, this has been the year of fabulous vacations for so many (many of them to Europe!). It's also been the year of kitchen remodels.  And the year of new cars.

And. I'm genuinely happy for my friends. Cruise in Spain - awesome! Trip to Germany - fabulous! Third time to Disney this year - that's wonderful! New kitchen - bet that's fun to cook in now! Blue car - nice choice!

But mixed in with that excitement for them and happiness for them, is some jealousy.

Oh, you just redid your kitchen and got all new appliances? Awesome. Now excuse me while I go cook in my kitchen with the original cabinets and counter-tops from 1950, and a 20 year old fridge and dishwasher.

Wow! Packing for vacation again? That's cool. Oh, no we didn't plan a vacation this year. And it looks like one won't happen next year. And since in three years our oldest will be 18, I'm not sure we'll get a family vacation with the 5 of us again.

Whoa, you're new car is really nice! Lots of features! Where's the button to close the doors on my minivan? Yeah, it's too old for that, you have to actually use the handle and pull it shut!

So, I know what you're thinking now. Um, Brandie, you have a kitchen. And a dishwasher - it may be old but you've got one. And last I checked, that fridge was not empty or at risk of being empty. Neither is the pantry empty or the freezer. Running water in that kitchen? Doing better than too many parts of this world as well.

Oh, you didn't get a vacation this year? Boo-hoo. Some people almost never take vacations. Some people are working two jobs for minimum wage and vacations aren't even an option, assuming of course, we don't count those time periods when the boss suddenly decides to leave them off the schedule for three weeks and let's be honest: that's not a vacation, it means time to panic and maybe look for a third temporary job to help make ends meet.

Tell me again about how your car is old? The car. That works every time you put the key in the ignition? The car you fill up with gas without wondering if you've got enough money in your wallet to pay for it.

The thing is, I know all of this. I know I'm lucky. I want for no necessities in life. What I want for are the extras. The bigger. The better. The newer. These are not things I need. These are not things my children need.

But it's hard to reign in that green-eyed monster at times, and I'm definitely having a hard time with it right now.

And if we're speaking honestly, I'm jealous of people's health. There I said it. I jealous of the people who are healthy and haven't had to deal with health issues. Boy, am I ever jealous.

Which is silly! It's not like someone woke up and was like "Whoa. Totally healthy today. Better go rub that in Brandie's face!"

And of course, there are people out there much more sick than I am, who deal with many more issues than I do, who wish they had what I have. I know this because every so often they just flat out tell me.

It makes me feel all sorts of confused feelings inside. Wait, someone wants what I have? Because, um, I'd gladly give it away if I could. But no, not in return for what you'd trade away.

I'm hesitant to share this. I'm afraid you'll all think I'm sitting over here, stewing in what I don't have, ungrateful for what I do have, and completely shallow.

Sometimes, I might be all of that, but I don't think I am all the time, or even most of the time.

I even tell myself things like "oh, cry me a river Brandie. Or you know, suck it up and move on."

But there it is. I get jealous. I wish I had bigger, better, newer, and more things. I wish life was easy and uncomplicated and nothing wrong ever happened.

I also wish that I'm not alone in this. That you understand where I'm coming from and that at least one of you will nod along and say, yeah, I feel this way too sometimes. I get it. And it's okay to feel this way as long as you don't let take it over.

I hope that's not too big of a wish.