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Posted by on August 18, 2010

Helloo, friends…

See that?  I meant to just type “hello” but “helloo” came out and it just looked right to me.  So I left it, against all my copyeditor’s instincts.  And this is a perfect representation of my current mood: mellow. Relaxed. Rediscovering my capacity to laugh and be silly.

Not a whole heckuva lot has been going on ’round these parts, and that in itself is the cause of my improved mood.  Joe is on his one-week break from classes after having totally aced his summer courses.  Accomplishment feels so good.  This whole month we decided our weekends would look something like this: 1) complete a task that’s been put-off around the house for far too long and 2) do one social thing with people we’ve been meaning to see.  And it’s been working swimmingly.  But NOW!  With this week sans classes for Joe?  Every weeknight is free.  We’ve been eating dinner at a leisurely pace.  Playing outside with the kids (did I mention the weather also turned glorious?  It did!)  Watching movies left and right.  It feels so good.  Extra good.  I was just saying to Joe the other night that this new phase of our lives has given me a new appreciation for our “down” time.  I value it so much more now because of its scarcity, which is just the story of our human lives, isn’t it?

Speaking of movies!  Joe and I are going to do a special joint post on I Am Legend, but let me tell you about a couple others we’ve watched recently.  First, Joe watched Mark of Cain, which is a documentary about the tattoos in Russian prisons.  Yeah, really.  He can’t remember the date he watched it even, but he did and told me it was interesting.  So there you go. Next on our list is Annie.  Yes, the movie musical Annie.  My parents are probably asking themselves why I’ve included on the project list a movie I watched no fewer than 100 times growing up.  The answer?  It was Maxwell’s first time seeing it.  Awww!  It was a big moment for me as I shared this childhood favorite with my firstborn favorite.  I am pleased to announce that he loved it.  I am also pleased to announce that it was even better to me as a grown-up, if that’s possible.  Because the brilliance of casting Carol Burnett?  And Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters?  Unparalleled. 

Then I watched Harold and Maude when Joe was off taking his algebra final.  Where has this movie been all my life?  Oh yeah, out there in distribution because it was made before I was born.  I’m not sure why I’d never seen it but it might have something to do with its exceeding weirdness.  But wow…it knocked my weird socks right off.  If you’ve never seen it, the brief rundown is this: Harold is a 19-year-old socialite’s son.  He has a bizarre fixation on death and regularly fakes his own suicides to get a rise out of his mother.  He drives a hearse and attends random funerals for kicks.  At one of these services he meets Maude, a 79-year-old whose preoccupation with funerals lies in her fascination of the life cycle rather than a death wish.  Maude loves life: she drives fast, makes art and inventions, drinks, and basically lives the life of an eccentric student of the world.  Harold becomes fascinated with her, and she with him.  The resulting relationship is a thing to behold.  I really recommend this weird old film.

Next we had a marathon movie night wherein THREE films where clocked: The Land Before Time, Helvetica, and The Dead Zone.  The boys enjoyed watching The Land Before Time.  Joe and I both think that’s a movie ripe for a restoration, because it looked horrible.  Sure, it has to compete with today’s slick-looking animation…but it was really rough-looking.  And I couldn’t help but think of how the adult Triceratops were depicted incorrectly according to recent paleontological discoveries.  I mean, who ever heard of a Torosaurus? 

Sorry for the digression.

After the kids were in bed, Joe and I settled in for Helvetica, which is a documentary about the font of the same name.  Yes, really, we watched a documentary about fonts.  Because I am a huge giant dork.  But it was pretty darn interesting to hear about the origins, proliferation, and perhaps overuse of this ubiquitous typeface.  I can’t say I’d recommend it unless you, too, are a huge giant dork for fonts.

Then I wandered off to dreamland and Joe watched The Dead Zone alone, which is how it should be when it comes to horror/thriller movies.  The reasons for this will become obvious when we do our joint post here shortly.  Anyway, the movie has Christopher Walken in it, and is based on a Steven King story, and Joe said the story was really great.  He even described scenes to a friend and I using his stellar Christopher Walken voice impersonation and it sounded interesting.  So if you like thrillers and/or Christopher Walken (I’m looking right at you, SARAH) then maybe you want to check it out.

Finally, I just have to say a few words about last night’s movie pick: This Is It.  You know, the Michael Jackson concert documentary?

It was…amazing.  So incredible.  Joe and I were both blown away that depicted here was a man who would shortly be dead of a heart attack.  He may have been a tiny bit…um, looser?…with his dancing than in days of yore, but the man was 50.  And basically a skeleton.  The fact that he could still dance like that, while singing very well indeed, was remarkable.    It had the makings of a fantastic show, and I for one was glad they had film footage to piece together what it might have been like had he lived to do the concert series.  I personally love all his hit songs, and he even had a little Jackson 5 medley bit in there that made me squee like a schoolgirl.  I’m ridiculous for Jackson 5 music.  It takes me right back to parties in the Wilmar House during college. In any case, even if you don’t have memories of an old college friend dancing like Rick Astley to “(Baby) I Want You Back” in an abysmally dirty living room, I recommend this film. Especially if you’ve enjoyed the music of MJ over the years.

Okay!  That’s it for now, but look out for the special dual-author post shortly. And Joe and I will be seeing a movie…together…in the THEATER this week, when we go ON A DATE. So you have that report to look forward to as well. Try not to faint!

6 Responses to Respite.

  1. Crazy Aunt Linda

    Remember when I warned you and Sparky that, since I never reproduced, you two are going to have to take care of me in my old age when I wear nothing but fishnet stockings and smoke big ol cigars? Think Maude. You still have to do it! Maybe we could find me a Harold! GREAT old movie!
    And, yes, anyone who doesn’t get that MJ was perhaps the most incredibly wired dancer ever has a hole where thier funk should be. Saw “This Is It” on the big screen with the House Mother from the Children’s Home here in our fancy schmancy new theatre. She cried a lot. I danced in my seat. If you can listen to “ABC” w/o dancin you may as well be dead.
    Watched the movie “Kinky Boots” last night. SEE IT!!!
    LOVE movies, LOVE you!

  2. Erica

    Harold and Maude is one of my favorite movies of all time. I first watched it in a college film studies class. You forgot to mention the awesome soundtrack from Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam). The music added so much.

    This Is It. I found that move to be good and depressing at the same time. I felt as though I was watching him die. He was pushing himself to do the tour not because he wanted to perform but because he was in financial ruin and he was trying to raise some money for his family. I felt that the pressures were pushing him to his death. It was the last nail in the coffin so to speak. Hard to watch. His dancing was so lethargic, and I notices that the backup singers covered up most of his weak vocals. Very sad really. The highlight for me was the amazing dancers he hired for the shows. They were wonderful!

    Keep watching! I love your movie posts! Oh, and I’m calling shenanigans… A movie about fonts doesn’t count!!! ha ha ha!

  3. administrator

    Linda…if you’re anything like Maude, I will gladly let you live in the room above my garage indefinitely. When I have a garage with a room over it. “ABC” is my favorite J5 song. I think. Because they’re all my favorite!!! And I just put “Kinky Boots” in first place in the ‘ol Netflix queue.

    Erica…it’s so weird that I had almost the opposite reaction to MJ in “This Is It”. He didn’t seem so frail to me. He seemed 50, sure, and malnourished as he had for many years, but I was sort of amazed at how well he did with the dancing and the singing. I get the part about feeling badly that he had so much pressure from his family to be their cash cow, though. And yes! How could I forget to mention the brilliant Harold & Maude soundtrack? I *loved* it! (P.S. Thhhhpppt! Movies about fonts totally count if you enjoy that sort of thing. Which I do. Occupational hazard.)

  4. Crazy Aunt Linda

    Aren’t movies about fonts a little like TV shows about cupcakes?

  5. administrator

    Perhaps, CALi, but this was a 1.5 hour documentary. How do you make a whole TV series out of CUPCAKES?!? Font nerds are at least practical enough to see their ultra-minute obssession can only (maybe) sustain a brief documentary. How do those cupcake fiends sustain a show, week after week?

  6. Crazy Aunt Linda

    Keep changing the color of the frosting? Sprinkles vs. no sprinkles? How to get that pesky paper cup to peel away w/o losing half the cupcake? Clearly the possibilities are endless…

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