Would ya look at that?
Glorious! That sunshine. It’s what greeted me upon entering the living room this morning and has inspired me to write, at last. The early part of this week was absolutely hellacious. I spent days in bed sicker than I’ve been since childhood with the flu. Tossed cookies left and right all day Sunday only to wake groggily at midnight to that movie Dead Calm playing (has the most beautiful score by the way) which set the stage for my dreams to follow as I tossed and turned waking midday Monday to the sorest sides ever from all that cookie tossing and a headache capable of splitting the Red Sea. Ai carumba! Energy returned early in the evening and I had just enough time to finish watching the latest episode of 24 on the ipod (watched all the past seasons through Netflix at the great urging of my sister) before the newest episode started. I awoke to “You’re sleeping?!” from Bean who came down to my room to discuss something big that had just happened- guess I’ll be seeing that on the ipod, too. Tuesday was one of those well-am-I-still-sick-or-not-kinda-days and I’m happy to report, that nope, I wasn’t! My sister was.
I’ve been meaning to write.
About the most spectacular Christmas season and how I didn’t want it to end.
How that feeling, that Christmas spirit that I wonder each year if it’ll arrive, and it has, save for one, was abundant this time around, arriving on Thanksgiving and ending only after each holiday decoration was packed away.
How there were many activities and outings, almost daily, and how cookie baking lasted until two in the morning and shopping was a cinch this time around, and how our much too tall tree bent right off the ceiling and back down to the floor in a dramatic swoop after a gross overestimate in vertical height, but mostly about the Pacific NW Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
How this was my year to finally, finally attend after many years of saying I would one day, and could’ve, too, except the key was that my dad had promised me tickets years ago, ten to be exact (years, not tickets), and that he would attend, a big deal because he’s quite the hermit at times.
How he called up and told Tina and me to reserve us all seats.
How a dilemma arose when we sat staring at the online seating chart, coded with little colored blobs to indicate sections on all spots, but one, the important one.
How the little yellow blob in front of the orange blob had no price listings and that happened to be right where we wanted to sit.
How to purchase tickets in the orange blob behind the yellow blob meant we were to be rows and rows back behind dozens and dozens of heads potentially obstructing the view of a ten year wait.
How I wanted to sit in the yellow blob!
About the huge internal victory dance when we arrived to find we were in the yellow blob!
How the heck that happened I don’t know, but thank you mislabeled online seating chart for your grace because front row smack in the center was divine!
How I don’t think I blinked the entire time.
About how the production’s fabulousness lies in the sets designed by Maurice Sendak, the celebrated children’s book author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are.
How no other city’s production would do.
How I was thrilled and touched and blessed to finally attend it with my hermit, I mean, dad.
Yes, I’ve been meaning to write.
About 2006, about the year’s highlights and lowlights, a wrap up of sorts:
About my favorite art exhibit.
How it was called Highlights from the American Folk Art Museum, but it’s like no folk art I’ve ever seen.
How the artist Henry Darger was a janitor by trade who in his off hours created his own imaginary world.
How he began his work at 19, continuing until his death at age 81, when his landlord discovered the accumulation of his work blanketing the room he’d rented for decades.
How he wrote a 15,000 page illustrated epic entitled, wait for it, The Story of the Vivian Girls, In What Is Known As the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. Whew!
How it’s the tale of seven little girls who attempt to rescue enslaved children from an army of adults, the Glandelininas, whom enslaved them.
How his work consisted of an incredulous amount of material, several diaries, a six-part weather journal, an eight volume autobiography, a sequel to the aforementioned mondo epic novel, several hundred nine foot long, double-sided scroll-like paintings, collages galore, five hundred pen and pencil sketches and studies, and thousands of media clippings, often of girls, most especially the little Coppertone girl, clouds, landscapes, plants, weather, war, and disasters.
How that sheer mass of material, that whole secret world fit in that room he rented.
How that handwritten novel, 15,000 pages, was absolutely amazing to view in person, I mean, imagining the time each page represented as he thought, planned, wrote, drew, painted, each and every one and then the accumulation of his touch on each of those pages, the sweat, the smearing, and tiny tears in the paper, amazing.
How the words “whimsical” and “sinister” begin to describe his work, and “obsessive” continues.
How this isn’t my favorite exhibit of the year because it’s pretty, or executed with immense skill, or contains my weakness, that being an arrangement of color to make my knees go weak.
About how it’s my favorite because it got me thinking.
How this man had such a need inside him to tell a story, that it wasn’t about the recognition of others, purely about that need to release what existed in him based on what he experienced in life.
How it’s a reminder that no one knows what another may live in their mind and in their home.
How it spoke to me about what lies in me as well, about the stories and art and work to be created, how it finds a way to express itself in one form or another, my clothing or my home or my cuisine, whether I consciously choose to give voice to it, or not.
About my favorite films | movies. (You drink coffee at a film and eat popcorn at a movie.)
About how this could so be a post in itself, so rather than even begin, I shall end with a list, the good, the bad, and the to-see list.
The World’s Fastest Indian
Akeelah & the Bee
Lady In the Water
Final Destination III
Notes On a Scandal
Stranger Than Fiction
The Last King of Scotland
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (love the first one!)
TO SEE LIST
The Science of Sleep
Lucky Number Slevin
The Dead Girl
My Super Ex-girlfriend
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (I wanna go fast!)
About my favorite song.
How about Til Kingdom Come by ColdPlay, Into the Ocean by Blue October, The Adventure by Angels & Airwaves and just about everything on the local jazz station, and I’m talkin’ the real jazz station, not that soft jazz, muzak bull puckey.
About my favorite book.
How I’m sorry to say, this year held not one standout book for me, I did read a few handfuls of ’em, though apparently, they were the wrong ones.
About my greatest struggle.
How I spent a better part of the year, okay, the whole darn thing, and then some, wrestling with myself, with the fear of moving forward on into what I’ve been working toward for so long now, have laid much of the groundwork for, and yet it’s got this precious, “fragile status” stamped on it because it’s taken so dang long in coming and because, the truth of it, it holds my heart, and I think writing it down here is the good swift kick in the bum I may need to push me over and on into it.
About my greatest triumph.
How it’s been such, what are the words, fun, a delight, and such a completely satisfying experience to reconnect with people from all different seasons of my life via, who-da-thunk it- MySpace!
How that makes it a triumph because I really didn’t think I’d make the connections again, but thought I’d like to, and it’s made life richer and fuller.
How there are still more out there I’d like to know again.
About my greatest hope.
How I have great hope for the full recovery of a friend of mine.
How the most nasty of turns were his for the taking about midway through last year and that has left him on dialysis.
How it happened to him, yet I’m the one still reeling to find one of the most energetic, hustling, bustling, moving, shaking kinda guys halted and slowed to a snail’s pace.
How I marvel at his upbeat, nothing-less-than-positive attitude and how I’ve known more than a few “poor me’s” who could take a lesson from him.
How a side effect of it all has been poor vision for him.
How I find I know how to communicate with someone who can see, but can’t hear, but to hear and not see is a challenge for me!
I really was gonna write.
About the year ahead.
How resolutions are such nasty buggers and I never make them, but how else am I ever gonna take time out to learn how to cook a rockin’ turkey for the holidays if it’s not by resolution?
About how I could nearly float with the joy I feel for the year ahead and about all the odds and ends I want to learn along the way like words beginning with “Q” for Scrabble, and five killer poems I can recite at the drop of a hat, and police codes, and all about volunteer vacations.
About so much more!
I was gonna write.
About the Oscars.
About how Helen Mirren was favored to win for her role in The Queen and how I had nothing to say about that other than &#%!@!
How thankfully, Beyonce was not nominated for her Dreamgirls performance as was once rumored saving me the task of pitching a fit.
How Notes On a Scandal was a delicious piece of work due to Judi Dench’s smug, wry narration.
How the film’s a great reminder that any fun found in cheating on one’s spouse often comes all too quickly to the messiest of endings.
About how Penelope Cruz captured my heart with a song in Volver.
About how I suppose it really has much to do with the story being set in Spain and all that glorious, vibrant color, so easily swayed am I, by a little color.
How Jennifer Hudson was utterly fantastic in Dreamgirls, her, too, with a song.
How the song was delivered from the gut, all the pain, angst, need, want, desire, raw, bitter desperation of love and loss all wrought up and spewed forth in that song performance.
How it’d be lovely to see Abigail Breslin win as the bright, gleeful girl, Olive, in Little Miss Sunshine.
How much of her charm in that role was simply her being her in all her little girl glory.
How more than all the nominated movies combined, The Last King of Scotland made its impression on me, so much so, I must tell why another time.
How originally, I wasn’t looking forward to Dreamgirls and I could hardly believe all the hype surrounding it concerning its potential Oscar worthiness (Hudson song aside).
How then I saw Eddie do his thing.
How first I thought he might just be reaching into his bag of former SNL glory and pulling out an over the top impression of a musical performer on stage, but quickly thought differently.
How Norbit reared its ugly head all too soon!
How in Little Children, Jackie Earl Haley brought humanity to the role of a sex offender- a man who liked to expose himself- he was vulnerable and child-like, and it was a sad, sad thing to watch his compulsion and the consequences.
How Mark Wahlerg was even nominated in The Departed is beyond me, for the natural understated performance angle, maybe.
How I enjoy Ryan Gosling immensely and hope and expect to see him win one day, and in the meantime am thrilled he won a Spirit award, like the Oscars for indies, for his performance in Half Nelson.
How Little Miss Sunshine was a delight because it showed hurting, miserable people care enough in spite of themselves to help a family member, little girl Olive, reach her goal of winning a pageant.
How they ended up helping each other, too.
How the final scene may be a bit off-putting, but it’s so not the focus, it’s about the freedom and release and togetherness the family experiences.
How if anything should be of concern, it should be those plastic little girls cast as the other pageant contestants.
How I’d heard it called the little movie that could and I so wished it would!
How The Departed was aptly titled, I’ll give it that.
How I failed to see the greatness in Babel.
How I so looked forward to this film, expecting a film to follow in the steps of Crash in telling interconnected, individual stories with a deeper meaning to take away after having viewed it.
How I sat indifferent, almost put off, by the characters portrayed, not caring one iota for really even one of them as the movie rolled on.
How that’s just the state of mind the director intended for the audience.
How, rather than engage the audience’s hearts in caring for his characters, he wanted the audience in a state of agitation to reflect how the world often treats one another- like an annoying channel to be changed, out of sight, out of mind.
How it’s a brilliant idea, I appreciate the thinking-outside-of-the-box approach.
How personally, I prefer to be moved to action by being engaged to care.
About how Pan’s Labyrinth … oh my!
How what a tasty bit of terror was to be had in a brief but effective scene introducing us to the incredibly creepy, horrific, and oddly cute (?!) creature to be found tucked into one of the three tasks the main character of the film must accomplish.
How you must watch and see!
How everyone could do themselves a favor and learn a bit with The Last King of Scotland, feel a bit with Little Miss Sunshine, and dream a bit with Pan’s Labyrinth.
I was meaning to write.
About roadside etiquette.
About how we were driving up to Leavenworth for the weekend to celebrate my mom’s birthday only to break down on the side of the road just over the pass, but still tucked behind a momentous hill that kept the warm sun from shining down on us.
How when we were all sitting in my little car, people stopped to ask if we needed assistance on a regular basis.
How once we were without my little car due to a super-fast towing service and just a semi-fast rescue effort from the family, the three of us sat by our lonesomes perched in a row on three large rocks, while not a soul stopped to inquire of our needs, car after car drove by.
How maybe it had something to do with the dolly sitting behind us in the bare little tree.
How really, what else is there to do but break out the camera and take photos in such situations, hence said dolly in bare little tree?
How the fact that there even was a dolly accompanying three adult women on a trip into the mountains is an altogether different story best told by Bean.
Yes, I’ve been meaning to write. ♦