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Posted at 08:14 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (2)
12 Years a Slave - Well, I always love a true story. This was one of my favorites, though at one point I couldn't watch the flogging any longer, and yes I know the real people couldn't turn away from the flogging. If I didn't know there was a "happy" ending I might have given up.
In the Heat of the Night - I liked this one because it didn't go where I expected. I expected the sheriff to be stubborn for much longer, but they had him grow earlier than I expected. And Sidney Poitier was so spectacularly cool. The plot? No idea. It all came down to something about abortion, but how the dead man connected to that I could not tell you. Also, I will never chew gum again.
Moonlight - This was lovely, and I don't know if it belongs in the race category, really. Maybe it would fit in a poverty category. Or a "being authentic" category. Or a "recently eclipsed Academy Awards scandal" category. Somehow, though almost nothing happened, the pace didn't bother me.
Here are my nine movies, ranked from most favorite to least favorite:
I notice the correlation between the age and the rank.
Posted at 08:18 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
Patton - I had to watch this three hour movie over the course of three days. The first hour was spent establishing Patton as an interesting character: a Renaissance martinet. Oh, and also, explosions. Forty-five minutes of that hour was used up with explosions. Give me an explosion-free version of this movie. I would say I liked the screenwriting, but it seems all the lines I liked were just quotes from the man himself. What I did well and truly like was the music.
The Bridge on the River Kwai - Again, another ponderous war movie. I couldn't go to war, I would be bored to death. Perhaps I'm just used to the pace of a 90 minute movie with poor cinematography. I know the end is supposed to be suspenseful but, is it? Is the bridge not going to be blown up? Of course it is. What is so odd to me is that because they used the name of an actual place, it suggests this is what happened, when it is not what happened at all (evidently there were two bridges and the one blown up was the shabby one, which prisoners built at gunpoint). Why on earth wouldn't they change the name? Change the name and you can write and film what you like. I liked the conflict in all the characters, though I find it hard to believe Alec Guinness could lose sight of the big picture in that way.
The Deer Hunter - Yeeessh. Man, I did not like that movie. It was uneven. Russian Roulette, Part the First; hard to believe, hard to watch, but compelling. Russian Roulette, Part the Second, utterly ridiculous. How does Mike get the money to fly back to Saigon? Did they explain that? If they did, I didn't see it, probably because I was skipping over one the ponderously slow sections in which I had to watch iron smelt. And the singing at the end? Was there no better way to end it? People did some tremendous acting, I'll give it that.
Posted at 08:19 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
No Country for Old Men - I actually enjoyed this movie. I wasn't expecting to; I had chanced across the gas station coin scene years ago and said, "This is not for me." I liked the subtlety of the ending, thank you Coen brothers for that choice. And for every bad person there were three good people. I liked that too.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - What I found most interesting about this movie is the IMDB page. The book was narrated by the chief? Fascinating. And they cut that out? No wonder the author won't watch it. Also, the behind-the-scenes story is incredible. One person diagnosed with leukemia mid-filming, early dramatic roles for two comedic actors from Taxi, Michael Douglas made bank, another person legitimately had a meltdown (two if you count Louise Fletcher, who evidently wanted to make a point that her character wasn't her, so she took off most of her clothes for cast and crew).
All the Kings's Men - I have recently had enough corrupt populist politicians to last me a lifetime. This movie did make me look up Huey Long, who seems like a piker in view of recent history. I never would have guessed I would agree with John Wayne about anything, but he rejected the script with the complaint that everyone was evil. Of course, that's the point, and probably the reason why the book won the Pulitzer Prize, but really you just hate everyone at the end.
Posted at 08:25 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
I've probably said it before, but the second draft is SO much more fun than the first draft. You are God and you can put everything right in Creation. And Creation is made up of hundreds of puzzle pieces, and if a piece doesn't fit you GO BACK and change things so it fits.
I still don't know why I don't go back to bad oil painting and recreate them too, but I don't. If I did anyway, it wouldn't be fun. It would be unraveling and re-knitting a sweater.
Like recently, I had two pages in which I have the heroine explains her complicated fix to a physical problem, and the explanation comes as she's drawing someone a diagram. Slooooow. Difficult. Killed the flow. And short of drawing the diagram on the actual page, I couldn't see how to fix it, until I realized I was in her head, I could just have her figure it out in one paragraph and scribble it out in far less detail in the next. Two paragraphs, not two pages.
Fixing that was so fun. So much more fun than re-painting. It's the re-assembly: you don't get that in painting. You can take what you have and re-use it, only better. And maybe it's because you can use the mistakes for good, maybe that's why I like it.
6,000 more words and Draft 2 is done.
Posted at 08:44 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (9)
One nice thing about this heart hiccup is that I took a break from the Keto diet and put my body into Mediterranean diet gear instead.
Fruit! Not just blackberries! And bread if it's packed with 27 grains and seeds, minimum. And a new surprise friend, Impossible plant-based burgers, as long as they are sprinkled with taco seasoning or something else to tamp down that slightly sweet taste.
It seems that the trick to feeling good during both diets is to avoid anything made with sugar. One dose of sugar and I wake up feeling foul the next day. Just contaminated.
The trick will be to pick one of the other. I can see myself picking the worst parts of both.
Posted at 08:57 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (0)
Posted at 08:57 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (2)
Posted at 08:20 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (4)
At some point last month I put my left hand against the headboard behind my head and pushed. (You know that move, you've done that move, I am not ashamed.) A few days later I noticed some mild pain in my left armpit. I figured I had pulled my chest muscle.
Only, a pulled muscle would get better, this pain got worse and kind of marched across my left chest to my sternum over the next few weeks.
I picked out my own working diagnosis, as you do, and I was pretty certain the doctor would say "pericarditis," and I'd feel better just from that.
But instead the doctor said, "EKG," and then, "see this wave and that spike," to which I said, "Someone saw similar waves in 2020," and now I have an appointment with the cardiologist next week.
Much of what I read about my EKG "echoes" one thing the doctor said, which is that I might have previously had a heart attack. This seems impossible. No heart attacks, minor or major. Not unless I'm one of those pets that can sneeze itself into a heart attack.
This is not anything I need right now, that's for sure.
Posted at 08:40 AM in In Which We Mock Our Illness | Permalink | Comments (6)
Posted at 08:34 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (1)
The novel now has three scenes involving raccoons. Raccoons fearing noise, raccoons avoiding noisy places until those places go quiet, and one scene just has the threat of raccoons.
I should branch out into other wildlife to symbolize "nature" but I can picture raccoons best.
Posted at 08:25 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (0)
There are ads on the news channels touting online home sales - you register and for 2% of the sale you can sell your house, like, in a day.
I have also been hearing older people tell me how one generation back buyers just knocked on your door, assumed your loan, signed some papers at the bank, boom, they owned your house.
I was unfortunately born in the time between past and future, and here in the here and now selling a home is miserable. I have 22 pages of contracts to initial and sign.
I unearthed all of Mom's files regarding the house, and you know how long her contract was? One page.
More misery on top: selling the house severs one of my last ties to Mom. I'm sad, thumbing through her files and seeing the garden map she drew, along with all the warranties I need to get to the buyers. And all the checks and receipts, none of which are interesting only that they are in her handwriting.
It makes me want to buy a cheap house and flip it so I can see what this is like without all the emotional baggage.
Posted at 08:26 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (2)
Gary will often start a conversation with me by explaining some fact. This goes one of three ways.
The last one is rare.
So, we were watching The Girl King, which was an updated historical account of the same Queen of Sweden that Greta Garbo played.
So, [SPOILERS] the Pope takes an interest in The Queen, and Gary said, "I wonder if that was back when there were two popes."
I said, "Huh" and he then paused the movie and spent twenty minutes telling me about the Western Schism and the pope in Rome and the Anti-pope in France and the bonus pope in Pisa.
It was far more interesting than the movie at that point, which was surprising, given that she is one of three women buried in the Vatican. And my compliments to Gary, who explained things very well.
Posted at 08:40 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (0)
I watched that Feud miniseries about the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and that was sufficient for me. Never needed to see the real movie.
Gary said it was a terrific film, and he wanted to re-watch it. Sure, I said.
I made it as far as when Baby Jane tosses the "Call the authorities! Don't tell my sister!" note back in the lap of the wheelchair-bound sister, and then I said, "What is wrong with you that you would want to watch even a minute of this sick, horrible movie?" Then I stomped off. He yelled at me that I was weak.
It did take about ten minutes of sulking to realize why a movie about an older woman in, say, her sixties (me in five months), who is trapped in a wheelchair (me in ten years) at the mercy of her mentally ill sibling (me, never, I hope) might not be my favorite.
Seriously, if I had a pet bird like Sister Maude, this movie would be custom-made for my anxiety.
Posted at 08:45 AM in In Which We Mock Our Illness, Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
Posted at 08:54 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
It is that time of year!
Official First Friend of the Blog, Catherine, again eats all the fish sandwiches, just as she did a year ago. I particularly enjoy the little Filet-o-Fish fanfare she sings.
Posted at 08:14 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
Posted at 08:39 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (6)
You may remember my charming childhood tale of growing up next to Coldwater Creek, just at the primo time to be splashing in its radioactive waste. I just had to cross the parking lot of the condos across the street and I was in the creek. I lived there until I was twelve, when we moved into a house three miles away.
The house we moved to is the one I'm selling now, so I was reviewing Mom's documentation, and I read something alarming. Before they could build Mom's house, which is at the top of a hill, they had to clear up something that was at the bottom of the hill, and that something was a tributary of Coldwater Creek.
So, they diverted that tributary 12 years before I got there, so that's good, and moving that extra three miles put me four miles away from where they dumped the radiation, also good, but still, my bus stop was at the bottom of that hill.
I didn't spend enough time at the bus stop or in the creek across the parking lot to feel any effects. Still, creepy to think about the neighbors who lived there.
Posted at 08:01 AM in In Which We Mock the Queen Mother | Permalink | Comments (2)
On a day when you are being pulled ten different ways
a day in which you are leading a meeting
and your cell phone and your landline phone both ring simultaneously
because you're supposed to sell your mom's house next month
but now there's a problem and two separate people are calling about that problem
but also another problem,
and you would send the paperwork one of them wants
but you used up all your paper copying your taxes
... then use this life hack I just discovered today.
Go into the bathroom and sing along loudly with Don't Stop Me Now by Queen.
It's the perfect song for when your brain is whirling eight ways from Sunday. Sure, you'd think you want a song that's calming, soothing, but you really need a song already in sync with the breakneck beat of your heart. And it needs to be a song with lyrics about how you are traveling at the speed of light, and how much fun it is being a rocket ship on your way to Mars on a collision course.
It's really satisfying. Turns your outlook right around.
Posted at 08:26 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (5)
Some parts of the St. Louis metro area recently lifted the mask mandate. (Specifically, the area that actually HAD a mask mandate.) I hesitated to go out, because I suspected people would say things to my masked face, because I've heard enough stories. So, what to do?
I felt the masks I'd seen that read "immunocompromised" were not subtle enough, and, I suppose not apologetic enough. My plan to embroider "immunocompromised" on an existing mask did have one flaw: embroidery repeatedly pokes holes into a mask.
So, I bought this button, and dangled it off the ear strap of my mask when I went out into our mask-optional county to get something notarized.
I thought it was subtle and non-accusatory. Unlike this t-shirt, for example. "You sneeze; I die" is a bit much for me.
That was not Gary's take. ARE YOU CRAZY DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SPIT ON YOU?
It wasn't worth the argument, so I didn't wear the button, just the mask. But still? There is just a whole map of pandemic politeness I can't navigate.
Posted at 08:17 AM in In Which We Mock Our Husband | Permalink | Comments (9)
This was a little creepy.
They say the pundit on the left is Col. Jack Jacobs and the one in the right is allegedly Joe Cirincione, but come on. How are they not Colonel Jack Jacobs and Clone Jack Jacobs? The man on the left was cloned when he was about thirty, and they are just now meeting on an MSNBC split screen.
Posted at 08:29 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (1)
Posted at 08:22 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
I am in regular contact with a woman I don't trust. (For anonymity, I just want you all to know that this "woman I don't trust" could be "anyone I know.")
I was imagining how I would defend myself if someone called me out on not trusting this seemingly agreeable woman. My imaginary defense was, "Why should I trust her? Because she's capable of making chit-chat?"
I know. Rude. And you know that's exactly what I would say, and I would say it, because I don't realize how rude I am.
But now, thanks to Netflix, I now have a way to realize if what I am saying is rude. I just picture how it would sound in a fake Russian.German heiress accent.
Posted at 08:06 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (1)
Last night Gary andI were watching the Marvelous Mrs Maisel and bantering the way you do when Amy Sherman-Palladino's cadence gets in your head, when he paused the television.
"I have to pee," he said.
"I have to pee," I said. "I call the nearest bathroom."
"I have to pee more," he said.
"Who has better bladder control," I said, playing the MS card.
And thennnn thee conversation slooooowed down.
"Hey," he said, hurt. "I clean up after myself."
"I try." He frowned
"What are you talking about?" I said. I would have let it go, because I really did need to go, but he seemed hurt.
"I mean, every man leaves a little pee here and there, but I always clean up after."
Turns out he thought I was slighting his aim or something when I entered into the bladder control competition.
Posted at 08:41 AM in In Which We Mock Our Husband | Permalink | Comments (6)
Well, here's more drama within a 10 mile radius. In a few days NBC will be airing The Thing About Pam.
The titular Pam lived about seven miles away from me. I was totally unaware of her existence until she murdered someone around the corner from a friend's house, and Facebook friends went a little nuts sending out that news.
I think the reason I didn't know about Pam is because her case was followed locally by the Fox News station, and if they had any journalistic pride they'd re-brand themselves as "Mongoose News" or "Rodent News" to establish they are unaffiliated with Roger Ailes and his crap factory. I also haven't followed the Dateline coverage.
The trailer frightened me with its accuracy. Because the murder house is my house. Those facades are my facade. The 1980's great room could be my 1980's great room. That ceiling fan is my ceiling fan. My only quibble is that Rene Zellweger put on 10 pounds too much fat suit. We're pretty fat out here, only not quite that fat.
It's just another way this Pam woman has made my area look bad. And I know they probably filmed it in Toronto, which is even odder, to think there's a twin of my town out in Toronto, and to think that it doesn't look cooler than my little suburb.
Posted at 08:24 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (0)
I want to establish that this new basket-weaving hobby will be short-lived. All I need to do is weave one basket, just one, to get that skill under my belt so if things get dystopian I can make a basket and fill it with cheese and crackers both made from scratch.
This is it. This will be the only basket I make.
Just buying the beginner's basket kit. No fancy basket tools. I'm making do with garden shears and an ice pick. Just in case anyone needs a basket in the end times know that you can come to me.
Posted at 08:41 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (0)
Well. It's been cold. If you've looked at the mileage for an electric car you'll have seen the asterisk that says mileage will vary based on the external temperature. Evidently they like it around 70.
It was in the teens recently last week, and I noticed that the round trip that took 30% of my battery in the summer now ate up half my charge. I was expecting a difference of 5%, not 20%, damn.
Supposedly, the electric spark that makes it go has to jump from one metal plate to another, and when it's cold the metal shrinks, so the spark has to jump farther. Evidently 20% farther.
I still love love love the electric Mini, and it's worth it, just a shock.
Posted at 08:17 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
Posted at 08:20 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
Posted at 08:04 AM in Miscellaneous Mockery | Permalink | Comments (0)
I was looking at some items Amazon suggested for Gary and saw this:
"Ooh, good call, Amazon. Gary does need that," I thought. "It is his birthday month."
I looked at a few reviews. Some troubling reviews said it smelled. More troubling were the reviews that said, "This mask helped me be the snail I was always meant to be" and "This is a slug mask, not a snail mask!!!"
I bought it so thoughtlessly that I forgot it until Monday afternoon when I was working and I heard Gary open a box, and then laugh.
I'm glad it's a slug. Gary often describes his retired life as "Slug Life."
Posted at 08:48 AM in In Which We Mock Our Husband | Permalink | Comments (2)
I have said before how much I hate the low winter light. Every dust mite casts a shadow and everything looks filthy.
For example, I was walking about the kitchen and I noticed some fingerprints on the dishwasher, and I cleaned those, then when I stood up I saw some cobwebs on the ceiling, followed by fingerprints on the microwave, then what looked like a dead bug in the ceiling corner and then two mysterious dots on the soffit.
I cleaned everything I could without getting on a ladder. For those I just might wait until summer, when the light is kinder.
Speaking of unkind winter, the daffodils are nowhere near blooming height because of the two ice storms we've had recently. I won't see daffodils until mid-March. It's going to be a slog through mid and filth until then.
I mean, I can't complain because I don't live in Ukraine, and I'm not being shelled or sieged. All four walls and a roof surround me. Doubt that anyone in Ukraine is pouting about daffodils right now.
Posted at 08:12 AM in In Which We Mock Ourselves | Permalink | Comments (0)