Thursday, April 06, 2006

corruption at the highest levels

Actually it was more like corrosion at about waist-height. Our internet connection has been down, and having ascertained that the problem lay within the walls of rancho FirstNations and not at the server end of things, the yummy biker removed a chunk of sheetrock and revealed a phone jack dissolving into a solid chunk from sheer age and damp climate. Now things are back to (as) normal (as it ever gets around here.)

I have gardened. I have mown; yeah verily I have weedwhacked, trimmed and edged. I have done so with great vigor, with careless abandon, with no thought for the fact that I am no longer 30. Therefore, I hurt. This has lead me to prescribe one order of spaghetti alla marinara, 5 ciders, two naproxin, and one acetominophin for myself. And I was feeling somewhat better.

And I was still feeling somewhat better right up until my father-in-law, the playboy of the western world, called. 20mg. valium was added to the medication rota. More than likely another 20mg. will follow.

He is in the hospital again. The emergency ward. For dizziness. Again. Oh, he's fine. Again.
Then we got a phone call from the friend who took him to the emergency ward. The story changed.

He had a stroke. His second one. Those dizzy spells? Were cerebral incidents. Yeah.
So tomorrow we have to go visit him and try to hammer something out concerning assisted living-whether home or in a facility. What I'd like to hammer is somebody right onto a log placed across the path of a speeding elevator.

This is not going to be fun. One man minimizes or outright lies about his physical condition so as not to get in the way or whatever the fuck his excuse is-personally I think it's vanity-and the other man, his son, avoids any kind of difficult interpersonal situation the way I avoid Fundamentalist Christians. Then you have me, someone who was so traumatized by the treatment her grandmother received during her decline that I still cannot talk about it. And somehow I have to make those two jackass men sit down and forge out a plan of action taking into account all those favorite manly topics like the inevitable decline of health, death sooner rather than later, the inability to take care of ones basic needs, money, property, legal issues, selling the house, fuck fuck fuck.

Then of course there's that whole bargeload of unfinished business between father and son about father being, oh, GAY and everything. And not discreetly small-town gay either. Full on. No excuses, no regrets, young men in and out at all hours at the house and even up in the hospital room. (My father in law rocks so hard!!!!!!!!!!) So that just puts the ketchup on that order of fries, doesn't it?

I am so out of my depth.
I am so PROFOUNDLY out of my depth.

If it was just me dealing with fil, no problem. I am an a to b type of person. Kind of like Harvey Keitel was in Pulp fiction. Quilts on the back seat, rinse off under the hose, car sent off to be reincarnated as Furby parts; problem solved. But add one more player and it becomes the dance of the seven fucking veils with everyone avoiding the subject at hand as though it were the plague. And its kind of a serious subject, y'all. So if I play the responsible party here I have to keep the conversation on track and thereby come off as a nagging bitch. (Admittedly no stretch.)

Remember how ol' Harvey caught a lot of snipey bullshit from Chilli and Fro Guy after everything was fixed? Yup. Once you've sorted everyone shit out, is there gratitude? Are you thanked? Do people say "Bless you, you magnificent example of womanly strength? No, you are resented for making everybody face the mean old unpleasant nasty thing.

Actually what I just described is motherhood. So never mind; I guess I can handle this.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Get a goddamn grip; or, Reality part deaux


This image was pulled from Ebay and shows us a man in the act of exhibiting one of my bras for public inspection.

Actually no. But I think he may have just removed it. And his pants too for some odd reason. Perhaps the weather is a tad sultry where he is. (We will cling to this assumption like barnacles to a rock anyway.) Now in order to make this tatty old bra that much more saleable, he could have upped the ante by describing all the little floaty spots you can see drifting around as ' spirit orbs' and by claiming that this bra is haunted.

But no. I quote from the sellers' description: "Sorry about the spotty picture".

Whatever else he may have (we refuse to speculate) this hairy, naked guy selling a bra has INTEGRITY.

"See! Our superior spookiness has attracted a powerful phantom ally! You cannot defeat our SPOOKY FU!!!"

This photo was posted on a ghost site. We are helpfully provided with two red arrows which point to the terrifying circular anomaly hovering above Bad Devine and Premenstrual Woman(apparently Scary Bathrobe doesn't rate supernatural hoverage.)

Now, what I find most disturbing about this picture is that there appears to be a great weight pressing down on their house which is bending the wall over on the right there like a banana. I think that they missed the REAL picture. I think while they were busy immortalizing their Dungeons and Dragons personnaE a BIG HONKIN UFO LANDED ON THE ROOF. And what would have totally kicked ass bigtime is, if what happened next is that they all started melting and smoking and getting big gross blisters from UFO radioactivity and then some landing gantry things came spearing down from overhead and skewered them like a trio of costumed Ball Park Franks. Now THAT would have been a cool picture.

I used to play around with hobby photography and darkroom stuff. This type of thing just makes me rabid. Ladies and gentlemen, its not a ghost. It's common household dust.

Now maybe Naked Guy spilled the urn containing Aunt Rita and didn't get all of her out of the carpet. Or maybe he lives atop an Ancient Indian Burial Ground. Lord knows, America teems with these; we have to fly our deceased around in airplanes because the ground is so goddamn full of dead Indians. In any event, even if what we are seeing in that picture is particulate human, it is still DUST. And God bless him, Bra Dude may be naked, he may have bad panelling, and he may even be kinda icky when everything is said and done, but the man knows the difference between shit that doesn't exist and a dirty lens.

Monday, April 03, 2006

muk at the movies

My first movie review! My little heart is going pitty pat!
To see another, more inclusive review of the same movie by a man who knows his film, go here

The yummy biker and I rented out "Capote' since we were intrigued by the notion of someone attempting to portray such an off the wall personality, and we have liked the work of Phillip Hoffman in the past. The contrast between the role he plays in 'Patch Adams" with the one he played in 'Boogie Nights' is a good example of why. They're both types, but not played as stereotypes.

This is exactly how he handles the character of Truman Capote. That had to be like trying to cross Niagra falls on a tightrope.

I have a living memory of Truman Capote. As a kid, I was fascinated by him and made it a point to catch him on all the interview shows. He was bizarre. (And well into pills and booze by this time, so compound the bizarre factor by four.) You just can't imagine how a personality like his looked to the average person in the 1960's. And yet how interesting he was to listen to; and how much you ended up liking the man! And that despite a truckload of traits which are still considered very real drawbacks in a media personality. He was male, but NOT manly. He was not handsome. Poor man, I don't think he had a handsome day in his life; he was even a funny looking kid. He was short. He was round. He had tiny foetal baby features set in a squashed, weak-chinned head, and he was swanny as hell. And that voice. Fingernails on a blackboard, a whining child with a bad cold, a whinny, a bleat....those only come close. Back in 1969 they were unforgiveable sins. And yet there he was. And you liked him.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays him to perfection. Simply perfection. The voice. the turn of phrase. Stoned, sober, everything in between. He has every nuance down perfectly, right down to the odd breathing noises that Capote used to punctuate his conversation. The walk. The puckered forehead. Sitting and standing. The languid wave of the hand that hesitates in midair, and then wanders up to scratch the head...I have never seen an acting job quite like this. There is not once false note.

It is all the more remarkable yet for its having been held in restraint. Capote in person was a much more vivid character even in his subdued moments. Hoffman plays him at about 3/4 brightness. It's an acting job you can almost measure in inches, yet it flows and it rings absolutely true. This movie could very easily have ended up as the 'Look at Truman' show. That is what Capote's life was, after all, yet that point's made very clear by the movie as a whole, not just by Hoffmans portrayal.

The entire movie is done in subdued tones in order to point up whats at play here: the mirroring of a deeply flawed charactor in an unexpected surface, and the reaction to that image. They do it well.

In fact, where there are flaws, the error was on the side of restraint. The connecting scenes are almost like watching paint dry. A lot of the lead in tone is interminable. And why some scenes didn't end up on the floor of the cutting room eludes me. They seem to have been retained just to make the movie seem arty. Capote answering a phone. Capote lying on a bed while another man walks past with a box. Capote standing by a desk. And then there are those Kansas cornfield shots, as Wyndham points out in justifiable exasperation. Hell yes, already, it's Kansas; we get it. Alienation. Emptiness. Americas bleak heart. Fine.

The film also suffers from an excess of tinkly single note piano playing to remind us that this is a drama, dammit...the aural version of the cornfield shot. Whenever we cut away to a scene in New York we are suddenly assaulted by loud jazz and conversation, and again, I get it. We're in civilization now.

That's all I can come up with to complain about concerning the movie itself. Worth watching. A good erudite college date movie with espresso and conversation afterward kinda movie.

My only other complaint is that I do have a living memory of Truman Capote, because that knowlege rather got in the way of my enjoyment of the picture on it's own merits. If someone who doesn't, say, oh, NOSHIT SHERLOCK, were to watch this film and then give it a critique, I think that would be awesome. Consider yourself tagged, my darling.