Saturday, May 29, 2021

Sunday Stealing

Stolen from Journal Buddies

1. When do you feel the world will stop? I don't think it ever will. Things will evolve, of course. That's the natural order of things. But I don't believe it will ever end.

2. What is your personal motto? "Above all, be the heroine of your own life. Not the victim." Nora Ephron.

3. What is the greatest gift you ever received? So many! I've been lucky that way. Most recently I've received flowers from unexpected sources. Snarkypants sent me a bouquet when she sensed I was feeling low. My oldest friend sent another on behalf of my cats for Mother's Day.

Reynaldo examines the flowers from Snarkela

The Happy Fur Mom's Day bouquet

4. Who is a leader who inspires you? President Kennedy. (BTW, his birthday was yesterday.)

5. What irrationally annoys you more than anything else? The tinfoil hat brigade, the ones who post that they know "the truth." About Dr. Fauci and the vaccines. About the Clintons and Jeffrey Epstein. About Q and "the storm." These poor people deserve my pity more than my scorn. It must be really hot under those tight tinfoil bonnets, with only suspicion and hate for comfort.


6. What small thing can always bring you a bit of joy? Singing with my shower radio each morning.

7. What is your favorite thing to do on a lazy day? Watch the first-place Chicago Cubs. They've won six in a row!


8. How often do you take risks? I'm less inclined to take risks each year, it seems.

9. Write about your happiest memory, Again, I'm lucky to have so many happy memories! One of my favorites is of Easter, when I was 5. My favorite uncle hid our gifts somewhere in his car. Then he put the top down and drove us around the block until we found them. Mine was a book under the floor mat in the back seat. It was about a girl who had yellow curtains in her tree house, and I had yellow curtains in my bedroom.

10. How long do you think it will be before we see a female president? You know, I don't much care about the President's gender. If he or she isn't a crazy racist homophobe, I'm happy. (Isn't it wonderful to wake up each morning and not have to hear about the hate your President tweeted overnight?)

11. Do you think it’s important to be part of a community?  Why? Why not? Very much so. It's one of the things our reverend reminds of us often: we're part of something bigger. A congregation, a community, a nation and a world. We have a responsibility to each. If we all do our best to honor that, the world will be a better place for us all.

12. What piece of modern technology are you most grateful to have. It's a toss up between the a/c and the microwave.

13. Do you feel anonymous on line? Depends on what site I'm on and what I'm doing.

14. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have never gotten around to. A sleep study. I wake up in the middle of the night, and sometimes suffer headaches first thing in the morning, and I suspect I have sleep apnea.

15. What would life be like without the internet? I bet we'd all be more fit. I know I moved more before I spent so much time online.


More than beautiful

It's hard to believe that anyone was ever as gorgeous as Elizabeth Taylor was in Butterfield 8. She's so lusciously proportioned and her hair and lashes are so thick and her face is so flawless that you can't not look. So it would be easy to dismiss her as an actress and just regard her as a force of nature.

That would be a mistake.

During the first 10 minutes of the movie, she barely speaks. Her character, Gloria, wakes up alone in a strange bedroom after a one-night stand, and wanders around in a sheet, slowly remembering how she got there. When Gloria finds the torn remnants of her dress on the floor, she's alternately disgusted that it's destroyed and turned on by the memory. She's about to go home in the nice cloth coat with a fur collar she finds in her absent, married lover's closet when she sees an envelope addressed to her. Inside is cash and a note: "$250. Enough? L." 

$250 in 1960 would be $2,200 today.

Gloria may be a slut, but she's not a hooker. She went to bed with "L" (Weston Liggett) because she dug him, and she's furious that he treated her like a prostitute. She scrawls "No Sale" in lipstick on the bathroom mirror and switches the sensible pale coat for the far more expensive, full-length mink. That'll teach him!

All this with no dialog. 

By the end of the segment, when she gets into a cab and tells the driver she'll double the tip in exchange for a cigarette, we already know a lot about our very feisty, very tarnished heroine. And we like her. We get that she's self-destructive, has poor impulse control, and now we're worried about her.

Sure, Elizabeth Taylor was beautiful and controversial. There have been many gorgeous movie stars (from Lana Turner to Angelina Jolie) with equally tumultuous private lives, but there's only ever been one Liz. She was genuinely gifted. Especially when it was just her and the camera. She knew how to communicate with us through the lens.  

She won her first Oscar for this part. Hollywood legend has it she won for surviving a near-fatal bout of pneumonia. Look close at that LIFE cover and you can see her tracheotomy scar. That all may be true. But it all happened before I ever saw Butterfield 8 so it doesn't affect my assessment of the film. It's a messy, far from perfect movie, but she is perfect. I appreciate her more every time I see it.

Happy Birthday to My Favorite C Student

In honor of his May 29 birthday, I give you John F. Kennedy's 7th grade report card.

Known as "a prankster" (aka "smart ass"), he could be disruptive in class. Throughout his academic career, teachers commented that he was "charming" and "clever," but none of his report cards was cause for celebration. He was, at best, an undistinguished student until he got to Harvard, where he graduated cum laude. Actually his college grades weren't so hot, either. His senior thesis, however, was outstanding, received a magna, and that high honor put him over.

As a solid C student myself, I love this very, very much. Some of us turn out OK.