Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the tag “old movies”

Classic Cinema

It probably wouldn’t surprise many people that I love old movies. I don’t think it has much to do with being a historian and lover of history, but more to do with having an appreciation for things that are classic, well-made, and timeless ( see also: vintage clothing).

I don’t quite remember where there is love of classic cinema began, but I’m sure 3 movie musicals had a big hand in it: The Sound of Music, White Christmas, and The Wizard of Oz. All three of these movies are on my top ten list of all time favorites and both were introduced to me as a child. I love the stories of all, the music and dancing, the beautiful costumes and sets. I can watch them time and time again, recite the words almost verbatim, and always sing along.

Perhaps this love of musicals was what helped along my exploration of other older movie musicals which I think was my gateway drug into other older films. I worked at Blockbuster in high school ( earning me the nickname Movie Maven by a few people) and had a lot of access to older titles, as well as worked with some great folks who introduced me to film noir and early Hitchcock movies. In college, I took a film class about understanding changes in film through history. This only helped me develop my love of old movies and amazing movie stars in a more diverse way.

For me, watching something like An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr or James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is not just about watching a great story or actor, but also gives so much information about the past and how the world was- what was taboo, what people found funny, what were popular food/drinks of the time. All of that is endlessly interesting to me, which is of course why I work in the field of history to begin with.

And honestly- does it get any more handsome and debonair than Cary Grant?


29 going on…?

The past few nights- really the past few months- I’ve been going to bed by 930 or so. Sometimes I stay up for a half hour or so and read, but other nights I have to force myself not to crawl into bed at 7pm after I eat dinner. My tiredness is somewhat related to my HORRIBLE allergies this spring, the loads of rain we’ve been getting in MA/RI ( I sleep like a baby with the sound of it), and because I have not been as active going for walks and exercising as I should be.

These things aside, I am one of those people who has to have a good seven or so hours of sleep a night. I function well when I’m well rested and well fed! I struggled for awhile with the fact that I went to bed early, while other people my age sometimes don’t go out until 930 or 10pm ( that thought exhausts me).

I’ve often said that I think people have an internal age that often doesn’t match their actual ‘outer’ age. I was often described by my mother as “8 going on 16” or something like that because I was mature and interested in things beyond my years. With my love and passion for history, I do love all things old, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

Recently, as I’ve been settling into my new lifestyle and finding out what I want the most, I’ve grappled with this idea that my ‘inner’ age may be far older than my 29 years. I am that lady who complains to the skateboarding kids in the parking lot next to the house about loitering or yells at a teenager who litters in my street.  I have frequently tweeted things with the hashtag #whendidIgetold? A recent example– getting excited about buy one, get one free chicken breast in the supermarket sale flyer. Yes, that does make me sound like a suburban soccer mom who has nothing better to do than plan her grocery list out with coupons and the sales flyer on a weekly basis. My inner age might be in my 40s, though some nights I feel like it might be about 75.

But you know what? That’s me. I’m not a soccer mom, but I’m excited about BOGO chicken breast because I’m on a tight budget and I use chicken a lot in the summer, so yes, I am pumped I’m getting two for the price of one! And I yell at those kids because it’s my neighborhood and I want it to look nice and be a great area, not because I have some personal vendetta against fun.

And yes I am proud of the fact that I go to bed at 930p and spend most of my nights watching old black and white movies or reading!

It’s taken me a long time to get to this place. Before and during marriage I was so worried of being labeled as strange, weird, or old before my time. But honestly? Who cares? I am happy in spending an entire night reading in my sunroom or watching great pieces of cinema. Playing the comparison game about thinking about other people’s lives who are out and about every day of the week is a waste of the time I could be spending thinking about things that make me happy and what I am grateful for. I will enjoy a night out when I want and in the manner I want it. I spent so much trying pretending to be something I wasn’t and pretending I wanted things that other people did– it was exhausting. Being true to myself is stress free, it’s joyful, and honestly- it’s ten kinds of awesome.

So bring on the books and some more Cary Grant please!

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