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This Chinese new year reminds me of a film shoot I was on where we were filming rabbits. And trying to capture animals acting on set is always entertaining… no matter what happens.

The script called for the heroes (people) to liberate the many rabbits from their cages in the lab and for the rabbits to run, hop and skedaddle down the hallway and out of the building. It would be even better if they looked a little panicked as they made their escape to freedom, but hopping quickly would be sufficient. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Dozens of rabbits running in one direction on cue. Uh-huh.

So we brought in a ferret to chase the rabbits. Everyone knows that rabbits and ferrets are natural enemies. I mean ferrets were raised to chase rabbits out of rabbit holes. What could go wrong?

On the day, what we didn’t foresee was… that both the rabbits and the ferret were raised in captivity. We may have known they were natural enemies of each other, but they didn’t. On set they merely padded up to each other nose-to-nose and sniffed a gentle “hello.” There was mild interest to indifference between them. Now what do we do?

In the end, we had someone just off-screen and around the hallway corridor push the rabbits around the corner into the hallway and into shot. Yes, if you really looked, you could see some of the rabbits sliding along the floor while a few others hopped around them like they were on a pleasant afternoon stroll.

The Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be more calm after the ferocious Year of the Tiger… and I know what they mean by calm rabbits, so I don’t doubt it!

Cheers & Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Deb

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The start of the new year typically has one setting resolutions to improve facets of one’s life over the next year. If you go by advertisements and sales, the major areas for improvement are: diet & health, exercise, career and money (savings).

But as the weeks slip by, you start to wonder if it’s too late for making resolutions. You have to admit you’re no longer writing 2010 when you mean to write 2011. The year is no longer new. Heavy sigh. Have you failed even before you started? And this year you may have really wanted to make significant change in your life!

Have no fear. Each year is filled with multiple “new years.” Why do you have to restrict yourself to the Gregorian one? Maybe your timing with January 1 just doesn’t work. Choose another new year – one more appropriate to you instead. Here are a few to choose from in the next few months:

January 1 (the Gregorian calendar new year) – ok, this one is past. Did you know it was created in the 1500s and prior to its creation there were several calendars being used at the same time?

February 3 (the Chinese new year… this year) – this date moves around a bit from year to year; in 2011 it’s on February 3. Each year is associated with an animal. Next up is Year of the Rabbit.

March 20 (a new year for Nature; the first day of spring) – who can argue with Nature as the start of a new year / new choices when life is blossoming around you? The Iranian calendar also synchronizes nicely with this date as the official start of the new year.

April 24 – (a church new year; Easter) – this one is another new year that moves around a bit year after year. The traditional start of its church year, it is a time associated with rebirth.

None of these are suited enough to you? Then what about…

A film industry new year – “What?” you say. “Could there be such a thing?” In film, anything is possible so why not! In this case, I recommend you make up and recommend an appropriate tradition. In “Gone With the Wind” for example, Scarlett tells us that “tomorrow is another day”. Hmmm… well, as long as you make tomorrow into “today” when you wake up in the morning, then tomorrow is an excellent day to resolve to improve your life! Get right on it!

Good cheer & much success to you for your new year (whenever it is),
Deb

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