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A10 Friday, December 27, 2013

The North Haven Citizen | northhavencitizen.com

Opinion Give and take of the season By Charles Kreutzkamp The North Haven Citizen

I’m declaring Dec. 26 to Feb. 2 the first annual Season of Taking. Don’t get me wrong - I love the Season of Giving. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, we’ve all enjoyed gifts, gratitude, smiling at strangers on the street, and being cut off in traffic less often. Food pantries have been filled, charities have received donations, and gifts have been exchanged. Those who aren’t religious often participate in gift giving too, and although the time frames differ, gifts also are exchanged for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Eid. Everybody seems friendlier during the most wonderful time of the year. For most Americans, the Season of Giving starts on Thanksgiving, when we celebrate the peaceful union of pilgrims and Native Americans. But that season of harmony didn’t last long, and neither does our annual Season of Giving. The Season of Taking really isn’t a radical proposal if you think about it. Throughout the holiday shopping season, gifts are purchased for others, but on Dec. 26, shoppers flock to spend gift cards and attempt to return singing wall fish and horrifying sweaters. The Season of Taking really starts to shine on New Year’s Eve, a delightfully self-centered holiday which is celebrated not with a family meal that includes yams and stuffing, but by staying up late partying, usually with alcohol, usually with friends. Both of the most popular New Year’s traditions are totally self-involved. Many people kiss their significant other at midnight — if they have one; those that don’t

www.northhavencitizen.com P.O. Box 855 North Haven, CT 06473 Assistant News Editor – Nick Carroll Reporter – Dan Jackson News Editor – Olivia L. Lawrence Executive Vice President and Assistant Publisher – Liz White Senior Vice President of Operations and Major Accounts – Michael F. Killian Senior Vice President and Editor – Ralph Tomaselli

are left in the literal cold. Even the most benevolent New Year’s Resolutions focus inward, on changing the self, and “Losing Weight” is the most popular resolution of all, according to the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology’s 2012 statistics. Vanity, vanity. Another one of the top five resolutions is to “Enjoy life to the fullest.” After all that exhausting generosity, people just want to focus on themselves. So why not extend the Season of Taking out another month to match the Season of Giving? Celebrants of the Season of Taking can forgive themselves if they forget about their New Year’s resolutions — that’s the first perk to enjoy. Participants can follow it up by giving themselves a break on cooking and ordering take-out, or buying themselves that shiny new whatsit that no one gave them for Christmas. It’ll be good for the economy. Businesses can promote some revenue-raising self-indulgence with special offers on dinners for one —tis the season! Food banks and charities will weather the storm of selfishness with the well-stocked shelves and savings from the holidays. The best part of the Season of Taking, however, is that it ends. On Feb. 2, everyone celebrating the season wakes up, confronts their shadow in the mirror, and realizes that it isn’t good to be selfish forever. We can swing back to giving just in time for Valentine’s Day, oscillate back to taking when taxes are due, and shift gears again when we get our tax returns. Because really, if we don’t set aside a season for taking, isn’t that just our default attitude?

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Diagnosis: Movies

Writing left me hungry for ‘Hunger Games’ By Tanya Feke M.D. Special to The Citizen

This is a wonderful time of year to reflect upon all that we have been blessed. Truly, I have so much to be thankful for in my life. My family, my friends, my health, and turkey with leftovers upon leftovers top the list though there was one key ingredient missing for the month of November. Movies. I placed myself on a movie fast over the month of November. Instead of indulging in my love of cinema, I pursued my second love, writing. In 30 short days, I completed a 50,000-plus word n ove l for Na NoWr i Mo (National Novel Writing Month). I am hopeful you will all see this novel on book shelves one day, a medical thriller, but I will admit the going was rough at times. Dedicating every waking moment to my novel left me without a leg to stand on because my bottom was planted in a chair morning, noon, and night. While that level of intensity may be unhealthy long-term for someone raising two children and working a full time job, the NaNoWriMo challenge re-ignited a passion in me that had long been dormant. Whether I am published in the future or not, I now consider myself a real writer. But that level of intensity comes with a price, and that is withdrawal. When I submitted my word count on Nov. 30, there was an instant satisfaction and pride that I had accomplished a goal long on my bucket list back, but the first thing I wanted to do was buy a ticket. I was hungry for the movies. I was hungry for “The Hunger Games”. I hit the theater with the ferocity of a film addict. The smell of buttered popcorn, the twinkle of f loor lights guiding me up the aisle, the

chill of excessive air conditioning, they all brought me home. Even the lackluster previews could not deter my excitement of what was to come – transportation to another time and place. I was not disappointed. “T he Hunger Ga mes: Catching Fire” picked up where t he origi na l left of f . R e luc t a nt h e r oi n e Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) must face the repercussions of winning the 74th Hunger Games. When she tricked the gamers into having two winners instead of one, she brought hope to the people of Panem that the rules could be changed. Threatened by a possible revolution, President Snow develops a devious plan to punish Katniss and another Hunger Games ensues. The story flows smoothly, the actors share chemistry, and the scenes are brought to life relatively true to the book. When Katniss hits the Capitol stage with the slimy Caeser Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), I at first ogled her wedding dress and then gasped at its transformation into the mocking-jay. After reading the book, knowing the scene, and still being surprised, I have to give the filmmakers kudos for a job well done. While my level of fashion sense is minimalistic at best (I try not to mix stripes with polka dots, though for all I know that may be all the rage right now), I could not help but marvel at the costuming on the project. The couture of the Capitol played out like New York fashion week and every fashion venue in between. Effie (Elizabeth Banks) evokes, gasp, a hint of emotion though my attention was drawn more to her styling. I wanted to paint my eyes up with sparkle and wear larger than life tufted See Movies / Page 11

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North Haven Citizen Dec. 27, 2013

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