Thursday, February 28, 2008

Miss Potter

A week ago I totally lambasted the movie Becoming Jane. This week I watched Miss Potter and surprised myself, by really liking it. Now I am going to compare it to Miss Potter and Becoming Jane and try to figure out why I liked one and not the other. I have spent the last couple of days contemplating the difference between the two films and have come up with several similarities instead. Both are about British women authors. Predictably, both are stifled by the environment in which they live. Also, these women are misunderstood as artists, in other words put down by the patriarchy. The final commonality is that both films are Hollywood's clumsy attempt to fictionalize these women's romantic lives.

But the difference which tipped one film over to the like category was I am so unfamiliar with Beatrix Potter that she could have been Harry Potter's aunt for all I knew. I found the frumpy Renee and nerdy Ewan charming. The story unfolded with a clueless me enjoying the slow pace of the narrative as I happily knitted along. Where Hathway's Jane was perky, Renee's Miss Potter was feisty and persevered. She was convincing as an artist first and a woman second. Also Miss Potter had something Miss Austen did not, money. It is amazing what financially independence does for a woman with some serious spunk. And my final recommendation is the scenery, the views of the lake country are awesome. I wept with longing to go there after seeing this film. My final analysis is I liked it and at the end did not feel as if I had been pricked to death with a thousand quills.

Oh joy, spellcheck has returned to my blog dashboard. Life is good.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Guest weighs in on my behalf

I get to kick back and let someone else speak on my behalf. So without much ado the very cool Lady B, a champion speller, weighs in on correctness:
Sit down for a spell

I put a spell on you

Tori Spelling

As you can see, dear Alice, spelling is slightly suspect and not all it's cracked up to be.

Speaking as a compulsive speller and by the powers vested in me (Globe-Democrat Spelling Bee School Champ, 1959-60 Mark Twain School) I hearby relieve you of all guilt, trauma, and future frustration regarding the written word and the spellings thereof.

For those who write, spelling may be something akin to a minor, though chronic illness. Possibly genetic in origin it may be treated and kept under relative control should the host organism suffer unduly.

For those who write well the creative mind must take the lead and not be held back by
the petty parasites of grammar.

Think of spelling as a pesky case of athlete's foot, a minor irritant that takes place at the opposite end from the creative process.

The brilliant surgeon is brought in to do the hard stuff, the creative work. Then he walks away and leaves it to the flunkies to sew up, close up, count the sponges and do the dishes.

There will always be a flunky to clean up. And, let me tell you, the flunky, who knows spelling and grammar and just what the heck a semicolon does, works in a office the size of my desk drawer and eats lunch out of bag. He is on no ones speed dial and will never sip champagne from a ladys slipper.

In fact, sometimes proper spelling, etc. takes all the taste away from the meal. Sit down with the journals of Lewis and Clark, as written. This guy couldn't spell his own name the same way twice! But where those ill-spelled words take you!

Which do you prefer:
Dinner at Eight
Dinner at Ate

I thought so

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I can't spell

I have a confession to make. I can't spell. It is a cruel fact, I struggle with it everyday. I would like to say I feel really bad about it, but truthfully like a sociopath, I only show contrition for my spelling when caught. However, I just don't care. My talent is not spelling. I wonder where I took the wrong turn into the world of the spelling clueless. I do try to look things up, but you know if you can't spell something it makes looking it up a real challenge. Spell check helps, but you know to that I say ate and eight. I fake spell when possible, spit out letters and hope no one notice the "e" came before "i" and not a "c" is in sight. Some of my friends who live in the world of good spelling are pained by my problem and "correct" me. Some even enjoy the sensation of pointing out someone elses flaws. To them I say go ahead boost your ego at my expense. It won't change the fact that I can't spell.
Now let them wear green and look as fabulous as I do in it. That is the boost to my ego

Saturday, February 16, 2008

And then the Fat Lady Sang

Sometimes I wish I had slept more in my history and literature classes. If I had maybe I would be one of those people who was shocked when the at the end of The Titanic the ship sank. Or that the perky Kirsten Dunst gets beheaded in Marie Antionnette. I tell myself when I watch something like Zodiac, knowing the story, this fictionalized flim somehow will bring new insights into my perspective of the case. So flush from my orgiastic Jane Austen fest on PBS, I checked out Becoming Jane from the library. I had the added bonus of being the first person to check this DVD out, no skips or scratches for me baby. I prepped myself with snacks, a drink and all my knitting accessories with in reach, needles in hand I hit play.
Expecting entertainment and intellligent dialogue, I was sorely disappointed. To begin with Anne Hathway mumbled through her lines and the erstwhile Mr. Darcy (Mr. Lefroy), lacked charm enough to woo even a spaniel onto his lap. But I will not blame the acting for the annoyance level of this film. I will blame my own knowledge of Jane Austin. Being a literature nerd I knew how this was going to turn out, and this is not a spoiler folks it is fact, poor Jane ends up a spinster. The film became me waiting for Jane to realize she ends up a spinster.
The defining moment of the film becomes after the spinster Jane has listened to an opera singer she meets her old beau and his daughter named (cressendo music here) JANE. She is happy that his child with another woman is named after her. I wanted to fling the remote at the TV. The only upside here was that I got several rows of knitting done while watch this crap.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chicken and Waffles!

And from Wikipedia an answer to the burning question of what the heck is Chicken and Waffles If you go to the site you will actually find more references, but essentially it is as follows.

Chicken and waffles is a dish, combining waffles, typically a breakfast food, with chicken, sometimes fried, that is served in certain specialty restaurants in the United States.[1] The most famous of these are Roscoe's five restaurants in the Los Angeles area.
It's important to note, however, that there are two types of dishes that go by the name of chicken and waffles. The first type is one not often referred to: it consists of a plain waffle with chopped-up chicken on top, covered in gravy. The most common usage of the phrase, however, refers to the serving of fried chicken along with a waffle, the waffle then typically being covered with butter and/or syrup (as is common practice among those who eat waffles for breakfast in the United States). This unusual combination of foods is beloved by many people who are influenced by traditions of soul food passed down from past generations of their families.[1]

I want chicken and waffles for lunch. Also a big thanks to my research staff for doing the legwork on this obsession for me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fire eating

My beloved Baby taught me to eat fire one night. I remember his advice, "Don't breathe in." The flaming stick in front of my face was scary. At the last minute I would yank it away from the delicate skin of face. Finally, after several almost and nearly there moments I mustered up the courage I needed to just put the burning rod in my mouth (funny that sounds like another first, but I digress). It didn't burn. I was amazed. All night I practiced until I could light a fire on the tip of my tongue. I felt invincible. My mouth unburned and only a few singed eyelashes to my credit. The next day I ate a baked potato and immediately burned my tongue. So tonight I scalded my tongue on hot chocolate and it made me think about that night and of Baby. He was one of my best friends and I would literally eat fire for him and now we just don't see that much of each other. I feel estranged from him and yet nothing in particular has happened to cause the seperation. Life has just happpened and both of us have moved along onto other paths. And funny I never eat fire anymore either. It is sad and lonely without him along side me to say, "Don't breathe in."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Today Kimora Lee Simmons book Fabulousity crossed the desk at the library. I was stunned. How dare she steal a wordI cobbled together, I huffed. I know she is a local girl that made good and all, but over all I find her vapid and shallow. Indignantly, I flipped thorough the pages and suddenly something caught my eye. The chapter began with a tag that said dress as if you are going to run into your worst enemy. Wait she maybe shallow and vapid, but there is some wisdom here. I must admit that sometimes I think, what if I run into X or Y I should look, well not to be redundant, fabulous. So let me think maybe I am the vapid, shallow one. On that thought I slammed the book shut and pushed it away. Since then I have been wondering does Baby Phat brand come in plus sizes?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sometimes I should just knit

Sometimes I get lonely. I think everyone does. I feel isolated from those around me, like I just don't fit in at all. I have felt this way most of my life and I just try to pretend that everything is alright, but inside I am shrinking down to the insecure little girl I have tried so hard to leave behind.

However, sometimes I feel surrounded by friends and family. We get together, laugh, share, and feel cocooned from the harsh world around us. Paris may burn, but we still have one another. I am no longer the child I have struggled to leave behind, but the flamboyant persona I have desperately tried to create.

Then there are the moments of clarity between those two states of being. I am neither and yet both. I think this state might be the worst of the three. All facade and fear stripped away to the bare essence of myself. It is hard to see yourself for what you are and not flinch as you look into that personal mirror.

Finally, I break down and laugh or cry or both, pick up my knitting, tell myself to stop being so self-indulgent, and I get on with my life.