Good God, I never thought I’d say it, but here I am, saying it: I miss the year when Rob Lowe chatted up Snow White in the big Oscar opening. Is it just me, or is Billy Crystal stinking up the room? This is ghastly! No one is laughing! And that red-carpet opening? I wanted gowns and are-you-wearing-a-corset, not an uncomfortable stand-up with the Sarandon-Robbins extended family. Is it so hard to get this event right? Stars in unguarded moments, nasty political jokes that make the audience howl, and a few water-cooler embarrassments — this is what I want from the Oscars.
Oh, well. Spring break has tottered to a close. Cookie Tour ’04 is complete. The week, after starting off with a small snowstorm, finished springlike — it touched 60 degrees today, and I celebrated by getting my dusty bike out and pushing it around town for a while. Although the snow is mostly melted, the world still has that dirty, matted-down look that a winter thaw exposes, and I felt the same. I thought my heart would explode on the big hill home, but it didn’t, so I expect sooner or later I’ll regain my customary warm-season semi-fitness, if you define that as “can walk the dog without wheezing.”
(Renee Zellweger? Good lord, and they played that awful “h’it’s RAY-nin'” speech, which was in the trailer and may have singlehandedly pushed “Cold Mountain” to the wait-for-the-video column for me. Her character in the book was not the sort to dither about RAYn, but what do I know?)
I had the day pretty much to myself, which I planned to spend writing. What I wrote: Three sentences. Not good ones, either. I don’t believe in writer’s block, only laziness, and that’s pretty much what the problem was, today. Also, a library copy of “Smilla’s Sense of Snow,” perhaps the first best-seller I’ve ever read originally published in Danish. I read it when it first came out, and recall loving it up until the end, which was just sort of muddled and strange and mad-scientist-y. You want a mystery novel to have a satisfying ending, but when all the stuff leading up to the ending is so good, it’s not so bad. About a year after I read it, I went to London and found a British edition in a bookstore there. Title: “Smilla’s Feeling for Snow.”
Maybe the ending was better in that one.
I don’t think we’re leading up to a good ending of this entry, either, so let’s go with a few links and call it a night. Steve Lopez in the L.A. Times takes an obvious topic but has some fun with it:
When your neighborhood is always referred to as “artsy,” it’s code for you-know-what. The neighbor across the street was gay. Some of the regulars at the Coffee Table were gay. The couple we bought our house from was gay, and we became dear friends.
After you’ve been in Silver Lake a while, it seems perfectly normal to start drinking chai lattes. Were we subconsciously rejecting our own heterosexuality?
I don’t know, but our man-woman love seemed quaint, if not imperiled. And then Massachusetts took the plunge on same-sex marriage.
“The very fabric of society has been threatened,” I said to my wife. “I don’t know if our marriage can survive.”
“I can think of 100 better reasons to leave you than gay marriage,” she said.
“You don’t understand,” I sighed. “There’s only one thing that can save us.”
“A month in Paris?”
“No. A constitutional amendment.”
Christopher Hitchens goes off the deep end with the Mel Gibson movie, but he gets off an amusing line or three: … It came back to me this week that an associate of his had once told me, in lacerating detail, that an evening with Mel was one long fiesta of boring but graphic jokes about anal sex. I’ve since had that confirmed by other sources. I don’t know what makes that passage funny — the fact Mr. Catholic tells jokes about Oz-style lovin’ or “I’ve since had that confirmed by other sources.”
You tell me.