Saturday, June 30, 2007

Things I'd Love to Write About Right Now

I'm in that place where I'm thinking a lot, up late, but completely and totally unable to coherently write anything. I want to write. If I could only hone this craft, I believe I could be a writer. I'm okay at this. But, I've had this lifelong issue with actually getting things written. In 6th grade, I won this mystery short story contest put on by a local talk radio station. I was the proud winner of two autographed novels by a couple of mystery novel writers, I have no idea who they were or the first clue what the books were about as I never ever even tried to read them, but I got to go on the radio and talk about writing, which was a really cool experience. I remember telling my parents that day that it was going to be the best day of my life. I remember my mom telling me that she honestly hoped I would have better ones that that. And Mom? I so totally have.

Anyway, the story was about how I lost my creativity. I can't quite remember the particulars about this story, and I'm sure we could locate it somewhere in the labyrithine basement of my mom's house, but I know it involved some kind of neurotransmitters acting as private detectives for my poor, forlorn brain stem robbed of it's creativity. I believe the neurotransmitters located the creativity somewhere in my gut, where some evil bacteria was planning to have me poop it out with last night's dinner. The lesson in that story? Take Acidophilus. Also, this writer's block shit I have had again and again and again (does anyone who was my friend through the evil horrible writer's block that was my last semester in college, when I had to write my honor's thesis, still read this blog and care to comment on my propensity to sit at a computer and not have the first clue how to write down all that I've been talking about incessantly for 18 months care to attest to this fact?) is something of which I've been painfully aware from a very young age.

And so, I have all of these fabulous posts in this brain of mine, while some evil bacteria is instigating bowel movements imbued with my precious, precious gifts of gab (that guy in Dr. Strangelove was so right, it is all about the bodily fluids), and I can't seem to get them out on time if at all, and so, in short:

1. I can't stop thinking about The Sopranos finale. It's been three weeks now. I may need to find a support group.

Do any of you watch the Sopranos? Because dude. It ended with the most magnificent mindfuck of any and all mindfucks I've ever been, um, victimized (?) by. I BAWLED when that last scene started. I knew, since forever ago (Entertainment Weekly obsession, thanks), that the final scene had been filmed at Holsten's (which sounds like the world's best place for a Sundae Sunday), and as it started, I said, "It's Ending!" The last scene was all anticipation and anxiety, that first time, and as it cut to black, I thought, wow. David Chase is an asshole. He just refuses to end this story. But how beautiful, how fitting, how ambiguous, how just like the hours and hours of film already devoted to these characters:

I watched the entire episode again, immediately. And I noticed Tony peeling the orange. And that orange cat obsessed with the picture of Christophuh. And the guy in the Member's Only jacket going into the bathroom, as if following the script from The Godfather. Also, Onion Rings which are Best in the State are to The Sopranos are what Veal that is Best in the City is to The Godfather.

The intervening weeks have only made me crazier. I read that the color scheme of the final scene is only grays and blacks and oranges (it is), Member's Only is the title of the episode in which Tony is shot, previously, and the man in the diner is wearing a Member's Only jacket. Episodes prior to the last, Tony talks to his brother in law, and this conversation is alluded to moments before this last scene, that you wouldn't probably hear a gunshot, that everything would fade to black. And Meadow. She can't parallel park. But she tries twice, unsuccessfully. That third time? Bingo. Tony? First time he's shot, unidentified black males, bottle of orange juice in his hands, not killed. Second time... In the gut, doesn't die. Third time? Perhaps?

So, now I'm kind of thinking Tony is whacked in that scene. But how beautiful and horrific and torturous of David Chase to make us figure it out.

Buon Anima Sopranos. Thanks for fucking with my brain, still.

2. Camp. The Kid has been going to a special needs day camp for the last two weeks, his final week is coming up. It's been FANTASTIC. I'm completely humbled, as I've now met kids and parents of kids that have challenges that so far outweigh our own, that I feel like I can never ever complain again for the rest of my life. I wish every child could go to camp with these kids, get some perspective, learn some empathy, and learn that a child with autism, or cerebal palsy, or any other of the myriad disabilities that exist in this world, are children, are funny, get grumpy, have great days, have bad days, eat food, love swimming, like challenges, and jokes, just like any child, I don't know. I think the world would be a better place if more people gained that perspective.

Also, The Kid is in such a great environment at this camp. He benefits from the people employed there. He still has some tough moments, needs guidance and could definitely not function in a 'camp' or daycare that didn't have staff trained to cater to his needs, but the overall prognosis is AWESOMENESS. Overall, awesome. He is having fun, he is working SO HARD to stay calm, to work the social skills and calming skills that he's learned in the last year in his various therapuetic settings, I seriously could not be more proud of him.

3. My best friend forever is moving back to Canada. I have this entirely beautiful post planned, not specifically about Shannon and her marriage, but about marriage in general, how it mystifies me. How marriage must be so preferable to singlehood, that so many people make the choice to not be single. But I have no concept of that whatsoever. I can't imagine, at all, having another person in my life (other than The Kid) so important, that I would change my course for him. I simply don't own that handbook. What's the deal with that?

But also, Shannon, specifically, is moving back to fucking Canada. Land of socialised health care (and British spelling). I know the distance won't hurt our friendship, I'm not worried about that at all. She's got me for life, and she knows that. She's pulled me into her her incidious web of love and friendship, and I will never be able to escape the pull of being a friend to such an interesting, intelligent and, well, hot woman. But I won't be able to babysit for her from Canada, and that makes me sad. As does the prospect of memorial day weekends without her.

4. Wilco's new album is fantastic. It makes me think of The Beatles. And hot days. And hot days when I used to be able to drink 8 beers on a Thursday afternoon. How is it that an album released in 2007 can make me nostalgic for 1997?

The Hold Steady is the best band in America right now. They make me think of Bruce Springsteen, but I never ever really thought about Bruce Springsteen before, because I'm of the generation sandwiched one layer too young to 'get' him. They are making me reconsider Bruce Springsteen.

Amy Winehouse makes me want to drink to excess in a way that Cat Power does not.

5. There's the fabulous academic shitstorm going on about the diagnosis of bipolar in children. It begins, I guess, with the death of Rebecca Riley, about whom I've written on this blog. The Boston Globe has been a hotbed of this coverage, as has the NY Times.

First up, one Dr. Biederman of Mass General in Boston is challenged on the bipolar child paradigm.

Next, some doctor from Walnut Creek, CA calls Dr. Biederman a murderer.

I believe, as I've said before, there will be some refining of what constitutes "bipolar" and what does not, in children, that will hopefully come out of this. And perhaps, doctors will consider options other than medication (or along with) to help treat the behaviors. We've been doing incredibly well lately on a slew of supplements and very slight dietary changes (this could be item #6, but I'm not quite ready for that yet).

Then, the NY Times cannot be outdone. Of all doctors making money from pharmaceutical companies, psychiatrists rank number one. This could be due to the fact that it is difficult to have large fund raisers for research of mental illness, simply for the fact that there is such a cultural stigma on it (Susan G. Komen Foundation being and established charity for a disease--breast cancer-- which is largely accepted and commiserated with in our country, which what I'm thinking about here[in no attempt to devalue the great things they've done or the importance of cancer research!!!]), but also, numbers this large, it's hard to imagine that there would be no influence on the research. Like, who is funding research on schools and mental illness in children (environments that are more helpful vs medicating and then fitting square pegs into round holes). I've been battling this bipolar child shit for three years now, and have not found a single doc who knows the first thing about natural supplements until our current psychiatrist did say that Omega 3 is beneficial. No changes to diet suggested. No vitamins, no testing of the rest of his body (specifically his digestive tract!!!).

Anyway, as a spectator, it's been interesting, and if you are interested, you may also want to follow the sport from Furious Seasons, a psyciatric-establishment-dubious website, and a great resource for the latest and greatest in the field.

6. I wish I could blog about my sisters. They are fascinating.

Maybe if I could ever figure out how to write, I could write the best novel of all time based on those three women.

Movie Meme

I posted this over on The Cinema Firmament, the blog my sister and I keep trying to post to but often get busy and don't. I thought I'd try to reinvigorate that too, but I also want you to respond to this too, my gentle readers. I won't tag you, but please do this, it's fun.

Name your (current) top 5 movies of all time.

So hard to whittle down to five... But, here goes: Singin' in the Rain, Apocalypse Now, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Sunset Blvd., Underground

What is your favorite movie line ever?

I like smiling, smiling's my favorite.

Who is your favorite movie character?

Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's

What movie do you love that most people hate?

Well, how about Dancer in the Dark? I don't think people hate that movie so much as they have no idea it exists, and should they have an idea that it exists, they then only know that it is the musical with Bjork in it. That movie SLAYED me. And in general, I kind of worship Bjork.

What movie do you hate that most people love?

Crash. Hated it.

What is the last movie you saw in the theatre?

Spiderman 3. Rockin good time.

What was the last movie you watched on DVD or via Video OnDemand?

Volver. It was okay. Penelope Cruz is hot.

Can you remember what the first DVD that you purchased was? What was it?

I think it was Boogie Nights. I didn't even own a DVD player, but found it in a $5 bin, and couldn't deny it.

(For us old fogies ... ) Can you remember the first VHS movie you purchased? What was it?

Technically, I remember buying a "buns of steel" tape early on in high school, so I'm thinking that was my first purchase of VHS, but as far as movie goes, I have never really owned many and most that I have are kid movie hand-me-downs. We were big on the renting, our family. I too, remember buying It's a Wonderful Life. But my parents did that buying, not me. I do own the VHS of Underground, one of my top 5 up there, so I'm guessing that might be the first (and possibly only) MOVIE I purchased on VHS.

What movie have you seen that you never want to see again?

United 93. And not because I didn't like it. I did. I really did. And not because it was overly disturbing. I'm really glad it was made. It was visceral and real and heartbreaking and I felt like I needed to see it, to live that anxiety again. But from now on, I want film makers and story tellers to bring us something less literal that can tell us about 9/11. Like, if Alien and Aliens were an artistic response to a cultural consciousness that arose from cancer awareness and AIDS, I want to see a figurative response to our reactions to terrorism and the cultural diseases that cause it. You know what I mean?

What is your least favorite movie ever?


What song or soundtrack would you choose as your life's theme?

Blur has this song, The Universal, which is really cinematic, I think. I also think the refrain, "It really really really could happen" is fitting for my life, should it ever be a movie. Boring movie, however. If you follow that link, I can't believe how NOT hot Damon Albarn looks in that video. He's one of those incredibly gorgeous human beings.

Which actor or actress would you like to look like?

That's easy. Audrey Hepburn. If I got to inhabit the body of a man, that would have to be George Clooney, because who wouldn't want to be George Clooney for a day?

What classic movie are you embarassed to admit you've never seen?

The Maltese Falcon. I've had it at home for months at a time from Netflix, and never watched. I've returned it twice, unseen. It is now back on my queue. Someday I will watch it. I love Bogey, I love Noir, I can't explain why I've not watched it.

What is your favorite movie genre?

Good movies. I truly believe in assessing each movie on its own merits. I think WAY too much about movies, just like I think too much about everything, but I think when watching a movie, does this film accomplish its aim? Does it do what it sets out to do? I like all sorts of movies, as you can see from my top 5 today, I have a musical, a war movie/reinterpretation of a classic novel, a fantastical children's movie, a classic comedy/satire, and an epic foreign film. I love them all, because they are well done.

What is your least-favorite movie genre?

See above. Bad movies.

Is there an actor/actress/director whose movies you refuse to see?

The guy who plays Ernest as in "Ernest Goes to Camp" and such. I suppose.

What is your favorite movie concession stand snack?

Junior Mints and Sprite. Has to be the minty-citrus combo.

Front row, back row, center seats, aisle seats - where do you prefer to sit in a theater?

I like the front row of stadium seating where there is a bar directly in front where you can put your feet up. I really like seeing movies on opening weekends in full theatres with a bunch of other movie geeks, so I kind of like when I show up and the theatre is all full and you sit where you can because you are with your filmgoing geekitudes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

So, yes, I've managed to keep Daisy the kitty alive for a full eleven days. Well, there was a close call there in an incident involving a three inch wedge heel and a tail, and I'll tell you, I pulled through that one, barely. The cat? She ran away just in time for my faceplant into the couch.

So other than that, not much is going on here. Did you know that you can watch a kitten grow?

Last week:

This week:
Alright, I realize this may be something only I can see, but seriously, bitch is porking out on the kibbles (okay, I used a bad word there strictly to move from the PG rating I got so I can be more "adult" like her and her and him).

Did you know that a kitty will always need to take some 'personal space' as soon as you decide it's time to clean out her litter box? And that you will never, ever tire of watching a kitten run full speed down a hallway to make a 90 degree turn on hardwood?

In a week, this kitty has gone from angel lover baby to gonzo mischief maker and impulsive killer of any and all moving (or not moving) limbs (or extremities, or clothing, or hair, or noses) on any individual human in her vicinity. In short, she is a kitten.

Also, did you know that if a cat is befouled by falling into a tub being emptied of bathwater, she will return to the scene of the crime to investigate, as if the place had offended her, and you better believe she is going sort this shit out here and now and if there are any loose toes on the way she will definitely be violently pouncing, biting and attacking them with her wet self because, what are you looking at?

In non-kitty news, the sunsets in Denver have been sublime this week. The Kid and I have become connoiseurs.

He's also huge. You can watch him grow as well, like Bamboo. Or Kitties.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Introducing Daisy

I finally broke down. Last night, we brought home a new family member, a little girl kitty, Daisy. Isn't she just the cutest?

The Kid just loves her, and more importantly, she really loves The Kid. We all stayed up way too late last night playing and playing and playing, and then waking up at an unnecessarily early hour for a Saturday to continue the playing and playing and playing. Naturally, by late afternoon, this was the scene:

So, you'll have to excuse me while I spend the next few days talking in a higher register and playing with catnip toys.