Saturday, August 31, 2013

Who's a good girl?

That would be Charlotte! We went to the vet this morning and she got three shots: rabies and upper resp vaccinations and a shot of cortisone for her allergies.

For all her massive diva behavior at home, she is freaking terrified of the world outside this condo. So today -- the carrier, the cab rides, being handled by a stranger and those three shots -- was especially hard for her.

She got a clean bill of health, except that she probably should get her teeth cleaned this winter and she lost 2 lbs. It might be the better quality catfood they're all eating now. Or she might have the beginning of a thyroid problem. (Another reason for her to return come winter time.)

2013 August Happiness Challenge -- Day 31

Today's happiness: I helped! My oldest friend lost her job earlier this month. She's had a terrible time since moving to LA: trouble with her kids, disappointment in her cousin, broken bones, a car accident, a robbery, emotional isolation … and now unemployment. My heart goes out to her. No good has come from this move. But it's where she is, and she has to make it work somehow. She can't afford to move back here just now and besides, the "here" where she lived is gone. (In the past three years, her home has been sold and naturally, her boss replaced her.)

I've been encouraging her to build a life for herself out there. To reach out and try to make friends. To get out of her apartment and enjoy the ambiance that attracts tens of millions of tourists to Southern California every year.

Sometimes I feel like I've been talking to a stapler.

Well, she does hear me. I am helping! I woke up this morning to an email where she detailed her trips to local public library, how she found a nearby coffee shop to sit and read. She's also signed up for a meet-up in her neighborhood. All things I've recommended, and all things that seem to make lighten her mood.

I'm so relieved that she's doing better. She's a good person and she deserves good things. I'm so happy I could make a difference.

Appreciated it. Didn't like it.

I saw Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine today. Just as the wonderful Match Point was Woody's take on A Place in the Sun, this is his crack at Streetcar Named Desire. I get it.

I just didn't like it.

The script is smart. The editing and story construction are masterful. The acting -- especially Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin -- is impressive.

But I think Woody Allen hates all his characters. Even the "good characters" -- especially the kid sister played by Sally Hawkins -- are condescended to by the script and the direction. Her "dumpy" apartment is at least 2BR with a fireplace and an eat-in kitchen, and lots of artwork and books. The woman manages to afford this with waitress and grocery store jobs. And somehow we're supposed to pity her. I admired her.

Woody Allen is immensely talented. He's also no paragon of virtue -- there's a conversation between Blanchett and Baldwin toward the end of the movie that uncomfortably mirrors what we know of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. And he's 77 years old. Maybe he's been cossetted in Manhattan too long, maybe he's too out of touch with the rest of us.

So while I understand the movie and was impressed by its strengths, I was turned off by how toxic it felt.