Saturday, January 12, 2013

Keep off the flowers


Earlier this week I watched a Percy Jackson movie on TV with both my sons.

The hero from a series of books, based on Greek Mythology , written by Rick Riordan,  Percy Jackson is an American teenager who's also a demi-God. (aren't they all?). 


Anyway, so we're watching the movie - but before this all sounds like technology based Waltons story  - I have to point out that I was doing it under duress:

2013 has started with a vengeance  Sure it was lovely to have the holidays, but now there's a ton of work to catch up with, stuff to be done, resolutions to be kept.
And if I'm honest, anybody stupid enough to have built themselves a daily web show (hands up me and Mr T) will find themselves with an endless amount in their "to do" pile that gets added to every day.

But my sons had both protested.  They had loved watching movies together during the holidays. Couldn't I do it for a LITTLE while? 

I sighed and conceded.

Well Percy Jackson's quite something. Despite being part mythological, he and his friends Annabeth and Grover are all very attractive and focussed - not qualities I seem to remember I particularly had in my own teenage years.


I watch them as they defeat Medusa - a pretty aggressive woman with snake hair (selectively ignoring the comment from Mr T - "Is that Medusa or your mother first thing in the morning?")


I watch them petrify the Hydra using Medusa's head (ignoring Mr T 's, "that's exactly what happens to the mailman if he sees your mother in the morning.")


And as Mr T snores on the sofas alongside us, I snuggle up with my boys and watch Percy, and his friends,  enter "the Lotus casino" in Las Vegas.


"No, they're going to the kingdom of the Lotus Eaters" says my 10 year old.


I used to love Greek mythology. It's one of the things me and my 10 year old share.

In Greek mythology, the Lotus eaters were people who lived on an island filled with lotus plants. The lotus fruits were delicious and addictive and narcotic, and the Lotus eaters existed off their heads.  Only caring about the Lotus flowers and completely unaware that real life was totally passing them by.

I'm thinking to myself I like Rick Riordan's writing very much.


"That's clever making the Lotus eaters in Vegas," I say.
"Why?" says my 10 years old.
"Because, well because....never mind. You're missing the movie."

So in the Lotus casino, even though they appear to be in a bar, Percy and his friends don't drink - like I say they are NOTHING like me as a teenager. They eat Lotus flowers and hang out with all the other people who are out of their heads on Lotus flowers. They meet a guy who appears to have done nothing much other than eat Lotus flowers and play pinball since 1971.  I'm not going to do a spoiler - though I will tell you that there are subsequent books in the Percy Jackson series.

Point is, my 10 year old, my 5 year old and me,  watched the movie, all snuggled up on the sofa, whilst their father 'napped" beside us.
Even though my phone rang a couple of times. Even though there were definitely e mails that should have been read and e mails that should have been sent. There was a video that had to be tagged. Scripts should have been finished. And I should have been making dinner.
But we watched the movie right to the end.

And periodically since I've found myself thinking about it.

Another glass of wine or 10?  Lotus flower.
Piss around on Facebook for hours. Lotus flower.
Bitch about someone who's pissed me off. Lotus flower.
Compare myself to other people. Lotus flower.
Get mad at myself for not achieving. Lotus flower.
Worry about stuff I have no control over. Lotus flower.

It's ridiculous. But when you think something, you can't make yourself unthink it.

So here at the start of a new year, I can't say for sure I'm going to avoid every 'Lotus flower." In fact I'm pretty certain I'll dabble from time to time.
(Anyway, surely it could be argued that the continual act of looking for Lotus Flowers could be considered a Lotus flower in its own right.)

What I do know, is I'll be watching a lot more movies with my kids.
Maybe Percy Jackson really is a demi-God after all.