Movie nights.

If I didn’t get my fill of movies-in-the-theater during the holidays, I came pretty close. For all my posturing as a cineaste, the plain fact is most of my viewing is via DVD, so much so that I’ve started noticing how much I’m coming to resemble Kate at her first in-theater movie (“Elmo in Grouchland,” in the year Three): Sitting on Alan’s lap, happily scarfing popcorn, the movie started and she froze. Her hand didn’t move from the popcorn bag, and neither did she, for many long moments. That wide screen was pretty overwhelming.

Nowadays, when I see a movie in a real theater, I need to ask myself, “Was the cinematography in ‘True Grit’ that good, or did it just look good to someone who’s seen the last two Coen brothers’ movies on a not-even-16:9-TV?” Answer: Yes. It’s that good. And after “The King’s Speech,” I had to marvel at Colin Firth, who played two-thirds of his performance with the camera about three inches from his nose. Or maybe they set it back a few feet and used a long lens, but he still filled the screen. And when you fill the screen, you better know what every muscle in your face is doing, and to the extent he seemed to have control over all of them, well, it’s Oscar-nomination time for Colin.

The last of the three was “The Fighter,” and I think I enjoyed that one best of all, and I’m not sure why, although let’s check off its pleasures: The fabulous Melissa Leo, Christian Bale playing a crackhead dancing right up to the edge of chewed scenery but not stepping over, the fabulous Amy Adams, a perfectly fine Mark Wahlberg, and boxing. I’ve come to appreciate boxing late in life; too many Saturday nights spent on the couch watching HBO bouts has finally paid off, and I can see the sport of it now. It’s not just two guys pounding each other, it’s scoring and strategy and plans of attack. The film is based on a true story, and I was glad not to be a lifelong fight fan, because I didn’t want to know the ending. Alan said afterward he could see it coming like a punch in slo-mo, but not me.

But it raised the question about things like that. I don’t think I’m being spoiler-y here about “The King’s Speech” when I tell you the story — about how King George VI learned to master his lifelong stammer — all leads to a climactic address before the entire British Empire, via radio, and that he manages to pull it off. There wouldn’t be much of a movie if he had stood in front of the microphone and gaped like a landed fish, after all. And yet, you watch it unfold with your heart in your throat. The director, Tom Hooper, keeps the suspense high by showing Britons gathered around radios around the world, all gnawing their fingernails to the quick, waiting for their king to buh-buh-blow it. You empathize, the great miracle of storytelling.

The other wonderful thing about “The Fighter” was its several scenes of lively arguments between large groups of people, everyone talking at once, that reminded me how hard it is to capture these things. I guess it’s a credit to the director. When you watch your share of amateur-made short films, that’s the first thing you notice. One person talks. Then another person talks. Then the first person replies. And so on. It’s just not the way life unspools, especially when you’re arguing. I’d love to watch David O. Russell at work. He directed my all-time favorite rom-com, “Flirting With Disaster,” which contains a dinner-party scene just like that — audio chaos, everyone yap-yap-yapping over everyone else. Just sublime.

Anyway, I recommend all three. “The King’s Speech” isn’t a big vitamin sandwich on whole-wheat bread, either. It features Eve Best as Wallis Simpson — how wonderful is that?

Pretty wonderful. As is our first bit of bloggage today, from our own Coozledad. He always wanted to live with a sexual athlete. But he might have arranged the furniture more wisely.

Last night was a slow news night. Some people were late for church, and it made the main page of the New York Times.

Do not take health-care advice from celebrities. A new year’s resolution that’s easy to keep.

Finally, a sad story from a former Freep reporter: Farewell, Detroit. It broke his heart.

As for me, I’m just freezing. The long dark slog toward the light begins with the disassembly of the holiday displays. And it’s Monday. Urg.

Posted at 1:04 am in Current events, Movies, Same ol' same ol' |
 

59 responses to “Movie nights.”

  1. coozledad said on January 3, 2011 at 2:05 am

    I should have titled that post “meetings with remarkable women”, but I’m not an Ouspenskyite, and I really can’t remember many details from that period.
    I think I just stumbled into one of the preliminary manifestations of the fitness craze: One that was more exhausting than enlightening.
    And I wouldn’t trade it for a Bluthner piano.

    Or maybe I would.

  2. basset said on January 3, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Bluthner? We watched “Let It Be” the other night for the first time since college…

  3. Julie Robinson said on January 3, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Alarm clocks are so analog. Both my kids use their cell phones as watches and alarms and can’t comprehend why Mom & Dad need all three devices. Of course all their appointments, work schedules, and contact information are in them too, which is why they panic when the phones can’t be found.

    Ben Schmitt has my sympathy. Our first house was in a sketchy neighborhood, and by the time our daughter was two or three we were desperate to get out. Normalcy was police cars every night for domestics. Normalcy was parents screaming obscenities at their children. Normalcy was a parent in jail, off work, or abusing substances. On a positive note, even the criminals knew there wasn’t anything worth stealing on our street, and we never felt unsafe. After we moved out it took two years to sell the house at a loss and we were grateful.

    Another sad note: The BBC just announced that Pete Postlethwaite has died at 64 after a long battle with cancer. He was quietly wonderful in every role.

  4. nancy said on January 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Nooooooooo! Not Pete Postlethwaite!

  5. susan said on January 3, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Rebecca Watson put up an amusing youtube decant of the “Sense About Science” debunkery (via pz).

  6. Dorothy said on January 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I said the same thing, Nancy! Heard the news in the car on the way to the office this morning (and the stupid newscaster called him Postle-wait). I’m gobsmacked.

  7. adrianne said on January 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

    We also caught “The Fighter” over the New Year’s weekend (while the teenage boys were at Tron:Legacy) and really enjoyed it. I love the Greek chorus of harpy sisters at Alice’s home (complete with big hair and acid-washed jeans – a flashback moment).

  8. velvet goldmine said on January 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I realize this is “soooooo not the point,” but I am often struck by the similarities between Kate and my Phoebe, who is about the same age. “Elmo” was her first movie, as well. I waited until she was three, per busybody advice, and then Elmo was the only game in town.

  9. velvet goldmine said on January 3, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Just read the celebrity science thing, and of course the premise is right on, but I raised my eyebrow at this reasonable-doctor-refuting-spacehead quote:

    Dr John Elmsley, a chemical scientist and writer asked by SAS to comment on this idea, said charcoal is known to absorb toxic molecules when used in gas masks and sewage treatment, but is “unnecessary when it comes to diet because the body is already quite capable of removing any ‘bad damaging stuff’.”

    Now, I’m not saying I crumble Kingsford briquettes over my cornflakes, but I do wonder why a doctor would claim that the body routinely, effortlessly gets rid of everything bad for it. Give up your fiber and antioxidant veggies, people! Chug the corn syrup and quarter-pounders! Your body will just get rid of that nasty stuff all on its own!

  10. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Hmmm. The waste material from corn syrup and quarter pounder does get eliminated. It doesn’t just hang out in your body. The problem is it’s mostly empty calories and it can turn to fat. Fiber and veggies make you poop faster which is known to be a good thing and has been known to be a good thing for a long time. My grandmother was always going on about roughage. Anyway, the whole “detox” theory doesn’t make you poop faster. It assumes that eating charcoal or living on maple syrup, lemon and black pepper will remove things like free radicals and residual insecticides or preservatives from your body. This is a faulty assumption. I’d say it’s a given that charcoal and maple syrup won’t remove corn syrup and fatty ground beef from your body. You want to detox? Stop eating so much processed food. I see the shopping carts in Costco full of jumbo packs of hotpockets and poptarts. Skip that shit. That’s detox. Read labels. Choose stuff that is recognizable as food and has short list of ingredients.

  11. nancy said on January 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

    The other day we drove past a health-food store with a big sign in the window: GOOD HEALTH BEGINS IN THE COLON. That touched off a discussion with Kate about quackery and the various miracle cures that have been, are, and will always be peddled to the gullible, in particular the coffee enema. People report feeling better after one of those, I said, mainly because it feels good to have a big bowel movement, and you probably absorb at least a little caffeine through the mucus membranes. The magic elixir of health! But it’s probably less trouble to take your coffee orally, and trust your body to do the rest.

  12. coozledad said on January 3, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I’ll have a tall mocha latte, cinnamon.

  13. alex said on January 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

    When Europeans discovered tobacco in the New World, guess which mucous membranes were being used for the taking of nicotine.

  14. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Now I’m visualizing John Rolfe smoking a pipe with his butt. Just ignore me. I’m cranky today.

  15. Sue said on January 3, 2011 at 11:56 am

    The sandwich board sign on the sidewalk next to the natural health practitioner’s office in our town says “Death Begins In the Colon”. This is the kind of place that makes diagnoses by evaluating cheek scrapings and saliva, I believe.
    I remember a friend of mine who was into that. They could barely afford groceries but tried their best to keep up with the specially formulated, just for them vitamins their natural health person sold them. When they could no longer afford them the practitioner became angry.
    Another person I knew, a woman in my church, got caught up in some ‘organic veggies cure cancer’ scam. I’m not sure what money was to be made from this, maybe they sold her vitamins too, but she basically juiced everything and lived on carrots. Her daughter told me she was genuinely shocked when her cancer wasn’t cured, because they had promised. She honestly believed she was making informed choices.

  16. nancy said on January 3, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Hour for hour spent in the classroom, my high-school health class was probably the best and most practical learning of my secondary education. Straight, frank talk on sexuality, birth control, quackery and nutrition. I wonder if they dare teach it that way anymore.

  17. MichaelG said on January 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    So Mary, no ingredients with more than 16 letters? Stuff that might have been prepared in a kitchen rather than in a laboratory?

  18. Julie Robinson said on January 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I almost hesitate to tell anyone that I have plantar fasciitis, usually just saying foot problems, because of the quacks and those who believe in them. Recommendations have of course included special supplements, but the one that left me scratching my head was to visit a woman who looks in your irises and diagnoses everything wrong with you. I’m not sure what she tells you, I made an excuse to exit the conversation.

  19. nancy said on January 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    A woman Borden, Kirk and I both worked with in the ’80s was into that sort of thing, Julie — I believe it’s called “iridology.” She had a persistent skin condition that was probably psoriasis and could have been knocked out or minimized with a steroidal cream, but she refused to see anyone with an M.D. after their name. Her main complaint was that doctors never asked about her diet, and that, she believed, was the key to everything.

    The worst part was, she exploited her editor’s essential laziness and produced a steady stream of stories touting these quacks — iridology, vegetable cures, everything short of phrenology, and that was probably in the pipeline. I’m sure her editor thought there was no harm in them, but they always pissed me off. I think we included the iris chart with one of them.

  20. Sue said on January 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Julie, I remember that one too. This woman was part of a group I was in, and she wasn’t the only one who was involved in that kind of stuff. That was one of the dark undersides of the hippie mindset, kind of the opposite of the druggie hippies, but it’s a gullibility that’s not foreign to any true believer group.
    Odd that both the drug use and the hyper-natural nonsense lives on; apparently the hippie thing that did not survive was all the ‘let’s get along’ flower power stuff.

  21. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I have a coworker who claims to be lactose intolerant and have GERD. He’s a pain to feed. Anytime we have a luncheon or whatever special food has to be ordered for him. Thing is, he has no clue what is actually in food. The last time I saw him he said he could not eat guacamole because it had dairy in it. I asked him what dairy is in guac and he said, “mayonaisse.”

  22. coozledad said on January 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    My wife has a good question:If Starbuck’s and Fleet Enema Corporation got together, would they call it Starfleet?
    Sucks to be a barrista there.

  23. Julie Robinson said on January 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Oh my. Well, now I’m kinda sorry I didn’t go see the lady. It would have been highly entertaining.

  24. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I think I want to use those irises for my desktop background.

  25. moe99 said on January 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Heard another term worth remembering over the holidays. You know what to call the ponytail hairstyle preferred by aging, balding hippie men? A skullet. That made my evening.

    ps. the health scammers are prevalent in the cancercare industry:

    http://moesmisadventures.blogspot.com/2010/04/snake-oil-salesmen-r-us.html

  26. Dorothy said on January 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Mary we were friends with a couple in South Carolina and the wife had an endless list of foods she could not eat. I loved to have them over but it was a real struggle to make something we could all eat for dinner. She had to eat a gluten-free diet. Frequently they would bring a dish to add to the meal and that would be about all Karen would eat. She was always very gracious about it, though.

    GERD is no fun – I have a sister who had surgery for it and she’s still not able to eat much of what the rest of us eat. I think she cheats a lot just so she has something to bitch about, though.

  27. Connie said on January 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    LAMary, only bad guacamole has mayonaisse in it.

  28. Julie Robinson said on January 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    My DH has some food allergies and of course they are the foods he likes best–anything with tomatoes, most especially spicy tomatoes. We always know when he is coughing and blowing his nose that he has loved the meal.

  29. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    “LAMary, only bad guacamole has mayonaisse in it.”

    Very bad. And only extremely bad mayonaisse would have dairy in it.

  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    LAMary’s thoughts translated into Twitter: @bittman (Mark Bittman)
    3 Recipes to Change Your Life and the World http://post.ly/1QTL3

  31. Connie said on January 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Eggs aren’t dairy?

    We learned long ago not to order anything listed on the menu as guacamole dip.

  32. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Eggs aren’t dairy to be considered a no no for the lactose intolerant. No lactose in eggs. I don’t think of eggs as dairy anyway. Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream yes.

  33. Jolene said on January 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Eggs aren’t dairy?

    No, only milk and milk products are dairy–cream, butter, cheese.

  34. Connie said on January 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I knew that. It’s just that in the grocery store they’re dairy. Sort of.

    And along with dairy not eaten by vegans.

  35. Little Bird said on January 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    My grandmother put mayonnaise in guacamole. And people wondered why I wouldn’t eat it for YEARS!

  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    And with all due respect to thoughtful, committed vegans, I’m highly amused by the cohort for whom “I’m vegetarian” actually means “I’m picky beyond all reason,” who will eat meat when and how it suits them, but defend their menu fussiness with the all-purpose, unanswerable “I’m a vegetarian.”

    It’s like all the people who say early in conversations “Oh, I don’t watch TV” but reveal over and over further on that “well, I saw that at a friends” or “we keep a TV in the basement and only watch *certain* programs.”

  37. A. Riley said on January 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Oh man, quackery. Don’t get me started. I’m appalled to report that my niece’s alleged pediatrician put a little silver bead on a string around my great-nephew’s neck to ease his teething pains. I couldn’t freakin’ believe it. Yes, I believe in the placebo effect, but that wouldn’t help a baby, for God’s sake.

    The ignorance out there is appalling. Little great-nephew had pinkeye and she posted on facebook, asking for advice. One of her friends suggested that the way to cure pinkeye was to rub his eyes with her wedding ring — yellow gold was best. I nearly had a stroke. I advised her to take the kid to the doctor (preferably a real professional, not Dr. Silverbead) but she thought a homeopathic solution would be best since she could never get in to see Dr. Silverbead without a long wait.

    Yes, this is California. Clearly they don’t have a health & hygiene requirement in their public education system.

  38. bobolink said on January 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I’ve oft had Nancy’s thought about the big screen excitement covering a multitude of sins. With the continued and continuing best seller status of The Girl Who, I think the same thing happens when someone who doesn’t read much reads. The novelty of the experience and the naivete of the reader elevates the product. Same thing happened with the DaVinci Code.

  39. Catherine said on January 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I once did some focus groups with LA-area middle school nurses and guidance counselors. I promise, pinkeye would be an easy day for them. There are definitely restrictions on what is in the approved curriculum (though less so in CA than in, say, Texas). My impression is that, as a group, they are a tough love bunch. They say what they think needs to be said, and screw the administrators, politicians and parents-with-blinders if they have a problem with it.

  40. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    A. Riley, I don’t know where in California your grand niece is, but here in LA, the school nurses are spread very thinly, especially in elementary schools. When my son was in elementary school he had to keep an asthma inhaler in the school’s health office, but only the nurse could oversee his use of it. If he was unlucky enough to need it on a day the nurse wasn’t there, I’d get a call at work to come to school and help him with the inhaler. He knew how to use it, but between the school rules about kids using inhalers and the laying off of many school nurses, it became a big problem.

  41. paddyo' said on January 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Oh hell, how about guac enemas, then? And for Chrissakes hold the mayo . . . “guacamole for your col-e” . . .

    BTW, CoozleD, if that StarFleet combo ever comes to, uh, pass? Can a “Venti for your ventie” offer be far, um, behind?

  42. coozledad said on January 3, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Just don’t order the Deep Space 9.

  43. DellaDash said on January 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Julie @18 – if you’re willing to brave the chlorine…swim for your plantar fasciitis

  44. Julie Robinson said on January 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Della, I love swimming and did it regularly for years. Right now I’m on a bike riding kick, outside in nice weather or inside the rest of the time. I don’t mind chlorine and in my fantasy life I have an indoor pool. It’s a nice fantasy, no?

  45. Jolene said on January 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    For the historically inclined, PBS has an American Experience show re Robert E. Lee tonight. Next week, Ulysses S. Grant.

  46. brian stouder said on January 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Jolene, thanks for the tip! Shelby wants to run downtown to the library this evening, but I shall dvr it.

  47. MichaelG said on January 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Mayo in guacamole would make me do a reverse guacamole enema.

    I think you’re right about vegans et al,Jtmmo.

    It’s been a while since my daughter was in school here in CA, but the school nurses I saw were harded, practical and no nonsense. But, Mary, that was A Riley’s ped, not a nurse.

  48. LAMary said on January 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I know Michael. She was talking about health and hygiene requirements in the schools though.

  49. prospero said on January 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Planatar fascitis is a very painful affliction. Been there, off and on for years. Had injections in high school for running track and football, but could never figure out anything that helped. I do about a mile in the pool four or five days every week, and swim across the sound here (guessing 3.5 miles) once a month or so. The damn pain has recurred for years, and I’ve also had to deal with plantar fascitis and foot-drop (even worse) at the same time. I needed My Free Rascal, I guess. Did use those motorized grocery carts for a while, even though I looked entirely healthy and people must have assumed I was nuts. brough along Subway and mini-bottles to make an afternoon of shopping. I found that riding my bike provided temporary relief from both conditions, as does swimming laps or, even better, open water distances. Ocean here is probably 54degrees. But was 60 or so Christmas Day for my annual Christmas invasion of Parris Island, across the Sound from our beach. The trip there takes about 90 min. Back on my bike, around the water, more like 4 hrs. and a million times more dangerous.

    All of the bodily functions discussion was Fundament-ally a little off-putting, but the crack about Starfleet was amusing. Next stop, Uranus. Reminds me of one of too many parents-meet-principal moments for me when some Sister of St. Joseph didn’t think human flatus was as funny as I found it. Must have been ill-timed, comically. When I stopped laughing and was asked to explain my behavior, I told the nun that God surely intended something so inherently hilarious as a gift to His favored creation (His Image and Likeness). That went over big, I’ll tell ya. Even at my age and with my professional status, I’ve had to excuse myself from meetings and conference rooms to avoid looking like an idiot juvenile when somebody cut the cheese. J. D. Salinger got this right with the pompous alum and Ackley in the chapel.

    What is a proper response to somebody ripping one in a business setting? It can’s possibly make sense for everybody to act like nothing happened. Generally, audible effects occur when some participant heaves out of an Eames chair to pontificate, which, of course, makes the whole deal even more uproarious. Is this hopeless childishness on my part? Just as ridiculous is the really acrid, tears-inducing SBD emission, when there is obviously no canine to blame. When everyone acts like nothing’s out of the ordinary and I’m thinking about Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen scrabbling for masks, how do I deal with the astounding absurdity of alleged adults pretending one of us hasn’t just tried to clear the room after spendindg the previous evening at Hooters and then devastating the mini-bar back at the hotel? I’ll admit, I don’s own up to sneak attacks, but if I happen to sound a klaxon, I have said, simply, “Rouphage”. Who can argue with what their grandmas told them.

    There is an high-colonnically funny, if you find this sort of thing a ludicrous commentary on the human condition and aren’t too adult, enema scene in The Bushwhacked Piano, by Tom McGuane.

    I have mixed in some riccotta or cream cheese or soft mexican queso in guacamole before and felt no ill-effects, but breaking wind while watching football and consuming beer in gallons doesn’t produce any social dilemmas at all, if you didn’t invite aholes to your tailgate.

    A. Riley, my dad practiced pediatrics for 30 something years and believed the one teething remedy with any efficacy was to use a finger to apply whiskey to the affected gums. Of course, in the South, this caused great consternation. I know from experience this works, but I expect my daughter to be a hard sell for my grandchild due any day now.

  50. prospero said on January 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    As Ben Franklin is purported to have written to a bunch of academic European gasbags:

    I have perused your late mathematical Prize Question, proposed in lieu of one in Natural Philosophy, for the ensuing year…Permit me then humbly to propose one of that sort for your consideration, and through you, if you approve it, for the serious Enquiry of learned Physicians, Chemists, &c. of this enlightened Age. It is universally well known, That in digesting our common Food, there is created or produced in the Bowels of human Creatures, a great Quantity of Wind. That the permitting this Air to escape and mix with the Atmosphere, is usually offensive to the Company, from the fetid Smell that accompanies it. That all well-bred People therefore, to avoid giving such Offence, forcibly restrain the Efforts of Nature to discharge that Wind.

  51. Kirk said on January 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Prospero, my dad soaked a cotton ball in bourbon to put on a sore tooth of mine when I was 8 or 9. It really helped, and I certainly didn’t get a buzz.

  52. DellaDash said on January 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Seems like bike pedaling would give your foot a good non-weight-bearing stretch. Add the soothing massage of fluttering through water, and I bet that pain will disappear like mine did. Prospero, I’m jealous of your Sound swims.

  53. basset said on January 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    While we’re talking about clearing the room –

    http://faculty.sanjuancollege.edu/krobison/documents/Twain-1601.htm

  54. coozledad said on January 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    basset: He could have written for The Kids in The Hall.

  55. brian stouder said on January 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    At the risk of committing an internet-overshare, I will state for the record that I am one of those uptight people who will never, ever, ever, ever let one rip in public. I don’t think I conciously decided this, or if I did it was so long ago that, in any case, it is hard-wired in my brain, now and forevermore.

    At work, some guys seem to relish acting like cattle in a field, all but dropping cow-pies in their workspace. It is not too much to say that this all but makes me wretch!

    Pam recounted for me a story that Oprah Winfrey told – about how O absolutely will NOT defecate in a public restroom. In the age of Youtube and multi-function telephones and all the rest, she (rightly) sees the potential for a load (so to speak) of embarrassment.

    But one day – for whatever reason – her schedule was sideways and she was caught betwixt and between, and she had to hit the powder room in a public place (I think a gym, but don’t quote me). So – she goes into a stall and does her business, and sure as hell! – in comes another person; the cleaning lady! – and she won’t leave.

    Oprah said she could just hear it: “So today I went into the bathroom and Shazam! Oprah Winfrey was in there poopin’!”

    So, by God, Oprah waited her out! She didn’t exit until the cleaning lady finally departed the scene

    (Moral to the story: Being a celebrity and the Queen of Chicago isn’t always like a box of chocolates) (so to speak)

  56. Crazycatlady said on January 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    My daughter has never attended a school that had a health nurse. Never. I am her health nurse. We,too, have taught her about health, sex, quackery. And I have her watch Intervention.I’m confident about her ability to make educated choices. And I too was touched to read of a family leaving Detroit. I’m a lifer here so far. Born in Detroit, raised in Detroit Public Schools. 1960-1974. Have lived in the city limits all my life. Kind of a rare badge of honor. What would it take for me to leave? I’m not sure. Probably a catastrophic event I haven’t imagined yet. Been house-robbed, car stolen, witnessed a car-jacking. It’s rather like an invisible event line. I won’t know I’ve crossed it till it happens. I don’t know.

  57. Connie said on January 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Is it a tmi day or is it just me?

  58. Kirk said on January 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Considering that this line of discussion began nearly 12 hours ago, you could have a point, Connie.

  59. brian stouder said on January 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Jolene, didja watch the Bobby Lee show? I thought it was interesting enough, although I think they could have been rougher on the honor-bound marble-man’s decision to become a traitor against his country and his fellow soldiers of the US Army. They DID emphasize his class consciousness as a contributing factor to his decision to betray the United States, and one could imagine rabble rousers and lip-flappers’ rattling at their keyboards across the countryside, preparing to attack this blatant example of PBS-style “revisionist history”. I did like that they at least hinted at Lee’s post-war bitterness (if not disillusionment), but he kept his piece to himself – and for that we might thank him.