Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thursday Thirteen #192


I liberated this from MovieFone. While I haven't seen all the movies listed here, the ones I'm familiar with did indeed wrest tears from these old eyes. (In fact, I cried while I wrote this. Damn you, Skip!)

My mother, who died just a few weeks ago, watched some of these movies with me when I was a little girl. She believed it was important to learn about the sad inevitability that our pets never live as long as we need them to. Perhaps she was right and these films did help prepare me. But oh, watching some of these felt like open heart surgery!

1. Marley and Me (2008) "You know how we're always saying what a pain you are, you're the world's worst dog, don't believe it, don't believe it for one minute because you know we couldn't find a better dog, I love you, more than anything, you're a great dog, I love you."

2. Dances with Wolves (2000). Oh! Two Socks the Wolf, Dunbar's first friend. Playing with Two Socks is how Dunbar got his Indian name. Two Socks is murdered.

3. My Dog Skip (2000). He was that boy's first and best friend. When Skip died, he was buried in his boy's baseball jacket behind the elm tree. "But," that boy, now a man, tells us, "he really lay buried in my heart."

4. Where the Red Fern Grows (1974).  I never saw this one, and that's OK because I understand two dogs die after tangling with a mountain lion.

5. Old Yeller (1957).  I'll never get over this one! I didn't think it was at all funny but in fact true when Phoebe (Friends) angrily refers to this as "a puppy snuff film."

6. Bambi (1942). That sadist Walt Disney is at it again! "Man is in the forest." Then Mother tells Bambi to run and keep running and then there's a gunshot and ...

7. Born Free (1966).  Has any movie ever had a more beautiful heroine than Elsa the Lioness?

8. Hachi (2009). Akitas are naturally loyal, but none more than Hachi. He waited at the train station for his owner every day to walk back home with his master. Even after his human died, Hachi went to the train and waited patiently ... every evening for nine years. Age, illness, bad weather -- nothing kept Hachi from his hopeful vigil. Based on a true story, the real Hachi became a hero in his native Japan, his loyal heart is celebrated with a statue at the train statue where he waited for his master every evening.

9. The Neverending Story (1984). I never saw this one, but I'm told a horse named Artax sinks tragically into a swamp.

10. Fatal Attraction (1987).  That bunny was a completely innocent victim!

11. I Am Legend (2007). A virus wipes out 90% of New York except Will Smith and a very loyal dog named Samantha. She falls victim to an attack by infected dogs and he had no choice.

12. The Lion King (1994). Knowing that what happened to Mufasa is all part of the Circle of Life doesn't make it any easier to watch.

13. King Kong (any and all versions). Talk about misunderstood! Kong was just in love, that's all.

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This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, compose something that includes the third definition of the following word:

Halloween had always been Sherri’s favorite day of the year – more even than her birthday. It wasn’t because of the candy, either. Halloween gave her a chance to indulge her dark fantasies. Instead of a Disney princess, Sherri trick or treated as The Bride of Frankenstein or shewolf (think “wolfgirl” instead of “wolfman.”) One year she and her best friend both dressed as cheerleaders, only Sherri was bruised, battered and bloodied – the tragic pom pom girl from Bloody White Line, the cautionary driver’s ed film.

Now, as a woman, she didn’t have a little black dress, she had a closet full. As the local country club’s photographer, she took sunny pictures of golf tournaments and tennis matches, but on her own time she photographed grave markers, tombstones and memorials that captured her fancy.

Sherri still lived for Halloween. This year she donned pantalets, a hoop skirt and period-perfect blouse, with a perfectly round bullet hole. She was Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. As she pinned her hair up, her head began to throb. Her muscles ached. The light above her makeup mirror suddenly hurt her eyes. Dammit! She couldn’t be coming down with the flu! Not on the most magic night of the year!

She promised herself she’d lie down for just a moment. The nap would rejuvenate her, she was sure.
She didn't awaken till the next morning, having missed her holiday altogether. She felt strong but filled with disappointment … and a curiously clear recollection of a vivid dream. A handsome, clean-shaven Union officer sat at her bedside, wiping her brow, lifting her head gently and carefully spooning Golden Elixir (a thick syrup containing alfalfa, willowbark, sage and brandy) between her lips.

Only it wasn't a dream. For as much as Sherri loved Death, he loved her, too. He tended to her and ensured she didn’t join him one moment before her appointed time.

I Want Wednesday

I want to relax. The worst thing I could imagine happening -- losing my mom -- happened. I know I have lots with the house and her estate to deal with, but that will either break in my favor eventually or it won't. And no matter what I do with the house and the "estate" (which is really just a collection of bills, anyway), I'm going to piss off one of my sisters.

I'm going to see Streisand later this month. I'm celebrating with my oldest friend in California right before my birthday next month. I'm spending New Year's in Key West again.

I need to concentrate on the good, let go of the bad, and forget about what I can't fix.

Who's the candidate around here?

I am going to vote for Barack Obama. I have regularly contributed money to Barack Obama. I see phone banking for Barack Obama in my future.

So why do I feel like I'm working harder for, and am more enthusiastic about a second term for, Barack Obama than Barack Obama is?

Yeah, he sucked in last week's debate. And, frankly, I didn't expect him to do that well. He didn't shine in the 2008 debates with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and John Edwards. (In fact, the one who did best was Biden, so don't sell him short tomorrow night.) But I didn't expect him to be as disengaged as he was. He didn't "not do well." He sucked. That's not the media's fault. It's not his opponent's fault. It's not the moderator's fault. It's Barack Obama's fault. Alone.

And when people remember the DNC convention, who's speeches do they mention? Michelle Obama's. Bill Clinton's. Not Barack Obama's. That surprises me, because our President has proven himself a gifted orator. Yet when millions of people are watching him in prime time, he can't pull out a memorable performance?

Read about the speech Bill Clinton gave in Nevada yesterday. It was awesome. It rocked. It was aggressive but not mean spirited. It had substance as well as heart. The Big Dog conveyed to the audience that this was important … vital … he actually leaped in the air at one point.

Bill Clinton and I want Barack Obama to be re-elected. It's time for Barack Obama to show us he's with us.

Photo courtesy of The LA Times