15 February 2010

I'll be that fool for you

I remember watching this in 2002 and just being heartsick that Sale and Pelletier lost the gold. The universe righted itself (Sale and Pelletier were eventually granted the co-gold after the judging scandal surfaced), but at the expense of the sport...with this new point system, the artistry seems to have faded and beauty has segued into one big checklist.
Is there anything in our world that is simply beautiful and free of automation?
It seems like we've devolved, and art has suffered...
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?

09 February 2010

"she was madly in love with Charles Darnay and no other man measured up"

"If you haven’t seen The Philadelphia Story, stop what you are doing, rent it, and watch it. It’s probably overstating the point to say that until you watch it, you will have been living a partial and colorless life. However, it is definitely on the list of perfect things. You know what I mean, the list that includes the starry sky over the desert, grilled cheese sandwiches, The Great Gatsby, the Chrysler building, Ella Fitzgerald singing 'It Don’t Mean a Thing (If You Ain’t Got That Swing),' white peonies, and those little sketches of hands by Leonardo da Vinci.

If you have seen it, then you know there’s a moment when Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord steps from a poolside cabana. She’s got a straight white dream of a dress hanging from her tiny collarbones, a dress fluted and precise as a Greek column but light and full of the motion of smoke. A paradox of a dress, a marriage of opposites that just makes your teeth hurt it’s so exactly right.

I was fourteen when I first saw it. It was three days before Christmas, which in my family’s house meant, means, and will always mean, Yuletide sensory overload: every room stuffed to the gills with garland and holly, the whole place booming with Johnny Mathis, and a monstrosity of a tree towering in the living room, weighed down with ornaments of every description, including dozens defying description that my brothers, sister, and I had made in school over the years.

Fourteen was not a good year for me. I was the latest of late bloomers, of course, about two feet high and scrawny as a cat, still shopping in the children’s department, profoundly allergic to every member of my family, and convinced that nothing could make me happy.

But then my grouchy channel-surfing landed me in the middle of a black-and-white heaven: Tracy, the dress...

I slid my fingers over my face, feeling for Tracy’s winged cheekbones. And when Dexter (Cary Grant) took Tracy to task, saying, 'You’ll never be a first-rate woman or a first-rate human being until you have some regard for human frailty,' I recognized it as wisdom and wondered whether I had it, that kind of regard, and just how to get it if I didn’t.

In college, I took a film studies class subtitled something like 'Turning the Formula on Its Head' in which the professor talked about the trick The Philadelphia Story pulls off. It should never have worked: creating a fantastic love scene between two characters whom you know are not in love with each other, getting you somehow to root for them wholeheartedly during the scene, but then to feel completely satisfied when they end up with other people.

Before you get the wrong impression, you should know that I’m not and never was one of those film people, the kind who argue into the wee hours about the auteur theory and whether Spielberg is the new Capra, or whether John Huston impacts, in unseen ways, every second of American life. I don’t know from camera angles, and I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of pre-World War II German cinema, but I fell a little in love with the film professor when he looked upon us with shining eyes and proclaimed, 'No, it should not work. But work it does!' because he was so passionate and right.

When I heard Mike (Jimmy Stewart) say to Tracy in that tender, marveling voice, 'No, you’re made out of flesh and blood. That’s the blank, unholy surprise of it. You’re the golden girl, Tracy,' I clasped my hands under my pointy chin, prayed that she would run away with him, and swore to God that someday a man would say those words in that voice to me or else I would die. But then, at the movie’s end, my father heard cheering and left water running in the sink to watch his lately distant, disaffected teenage daughter bang her fists on the arms of her chair and turn to him crying, 'with a face as open as a flower' (my dad’s own improbable words), saying breathlessly, 'She’s marrying Dexter, Daddy.'

I’ll admit it. I’ve always been more than a little proud of myself for having been fourteen and deeply benighted about almost everything, but having had the sense to recognize what is surely a universal truth: Jimmy Stewart is always and indisputably the best man in the world, unless Cary Grant should happen to show up."

~Love Walked In, Marisa de los Santos~

08 February 2010

"oh, I assure you, they exist."

"My choice is to do something hard and boring or to marry [and] go to Paris and Rome and listen to jazz and read and eat good food in nice restaurants and have fun. It's not enough to educate us anymore, Ms. Walters. You've got to tell us why you're doing it."
~An Education~

07 February 2010

oh for purple nights and lazy mornings

I squeeze my eyelids shut, tight, and I dwell on infinity and objets d'art and passion...
"As I began to write our story down, I thought I was writing a record of hate, but somehow the hate has got mislaid and all I know is that in spite of her mistakes and her unreliability, she was better than most. It's just as well that one of us should believe in her:
she never did in herself."
~Graham Greene, The End of the Affair~

"She thought it was part of the hardship of her life that there was laid upon her the burthen of larger wants than others seem to feel-- that she had to endure this wide hopeless yearning for that something, whatever it was, that was greatest and best on this earth."

"Saints and martyrs had never interested Maggie so much as
sages and poets."
~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss~

"I am never quite alone. Members of my family keep turning up and collecting luggage and going away again, but the white
raspberries are ripe."
~Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited~

(photos from a variety of unremembered sources. please credit them in your hearts)

05 February 2010

It's the little things we do together

A couple of things that are brightening my day (as I lay on my couch for the second day straight, home sick as a dog...and completely stir crazy)...
These purchases from Target that I picked up this morning on a juice and cold medicine run
I won these on ebay for a steal
This cracks me up. I'm currently watching the entire third season
of How I Met Your Mother (another Target purchase),
since that's what we do whilst ill

And these lyrics to a fantastic song:
They made a statue of us
And it put it on a mountain top
Now tourists come and stare at us
Blow bubbles with their gum
Take photographs have fun, have fun

They'll name a city after us
And later say it's all our fault
Then they'll give us a talking to
Then they'll give us a talking to
Because they've got years of experience
We're living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
We're living in a den of thieves
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious

We wear our scarves just like a noose
But not 'cause we want eternal sleep
And though our parts are slightly used
New ones are slave labor you can keep

We're living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
We're living in a den of thieves
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious

They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
The tourists come and stare at us
The sculptor's marble sends regards
They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
Our noses have begun to rust
We're living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
We're living in a den of thieves...

04 February 2010

midnight in marrakesh

We finally did Moroccan.
Morocco, tinted red.
If only it were the real thing.

01 February 2010

la vie en rose

I wonder into what category obsessive date-keepers fall. Are they like list-makers? Clean-freaks? Those obsessed with memorizing all the digits of pi?
I keep track of dates so that I can remember what used to be....I like to think that it doesn't prevent me from moving on, but I think that it's more difficult than we could ever imagine to find the balance between honoring the past and dwelling in it.
1/31/09. My heart still has a chip in it. Worst of all are the days I forget you're gone.
I hope you're watching and guiding me. I hope you're proud of me. Miss you.

she loved her flowers...but she loved us best of all.