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Starting with a digression. Milo is snoring like that cartoon character of childhood, blowing a feather up off his lips, again and again, more like a machine decompressing than a true snore. I think he learned it from the hubster, lying prostrate on his chest, paws curled in the sweetest heart shape, cataloging his every move. Though the pair is quite capable of sawing gigantic logs, as well. Last night, as a matter of fact, the the G-Man was roaring something fierce, and I tickled him on that soft spot near the hollow of his hip bone, and his body leapt, utterly and completely shaking the bed. I laughed and told him everything was alright before the pair of us drifted off, though who knows where. I have only echoes of those dreams.

I realized that it had been a while since I told you about movies, so here we are, despite the fairly steady stream I watch. I wonder if Netflix has a little widget like the Goodreads one? It would be nice to always have them there, quiet and patiently waiting for a click. Do you look at them, the books I read? That last one was a goodie, Autobiography of Red, still wrapping my brain around it.

Anyhoo, to fil-ums, these are coming-of-age stories, magnifying those painful bits we all go through in one way or another.

Submarine takes place in Wales during the eighties and follows Oliver Tate, as he navigates the waters of his first love with Jordana, a girl with a lot of extra-curricular problems and a wicked sense of humor.  Although his life isn’t without complications. He is awkward and nerdy, with few friends, and suffering at home, too, through his parents faltering marriage. His father is inept and clueless, while his mother contemplates an affair with an old lover, a pseudo-ninja, self-help guru with a bad mullet. It is comical and sad and hopeful, too, punctuated by a great soundtrack and unusually great narration. Proof that first love matters, always.

Oh dear, this is a toughie, to tell it straight. I did a whole LOTTA tonglen during this one, dear readers, the hubster looking over at me, tears streaming, but breath a-flowing. From the novel of the same name, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints follows Dito as a youth and an adult through some pretty rough experiences. This is a memoir made of composites of people the author/director knew growing up. His parents, deeply in love with their son, but rife with their own problems. His own first love and the coarse ways between them, yet tender, too. His best friends, on the cusp of insanity, hopelessly tethered to violent homes and surroundings, drinking and drug use, the infinite love and jealousy that can never be spoken, and the one who sees it all with enough clarity to know that they will be the end of him if he doesn’t make his own way, apart from them. A heartbreaker.

Chris Waitt has an interesting way with women. They dump him. One by one, again and again. He sees this as a problem and decides to make a documentary in which he seeks out his ex-girlfriends to ask them what happened. After a bit, it becomes obvious to everyone but Chris, though, bless his heart, he plods on, ever determined to get to the root cause. And he does, in his own way, with a little bit of everything, including help from his dear Mum, S & M, getting arrested, and being verbally abused by more than one ex. Hilarious one minute and tear-filled the next, watch how a grown boy becomes a man, for all the world to see.


Some ever so random bits and bobs for you today. My mind is a wandering one. Its oft preferred state, which, after some overly obsessive and incredibly tiresome thinking suits me fine. Uh-huh.

First, a little more leg than I anticipated, but whatever. Call me a slut, but my neighbor beat you to the punch on whore. Because if a little leg, using birth control before having my internal lady parts removed (read about it here: 1, 2, 3, 4) , and enjoying sex with my husband make me one, I say, in for a penny, in for a pound. Anyhoo, the socks beg to be seen! They are from Gumball Poodle (oddly, I bought mine at New Seasons) and are perfect for roller skating, even when hidden under cropped pants, with many other neat-o options. Meat, anyone? Beer? Bacon?

Second, a little listening. Do you know about Poking Smot? I must say that I, in no way or shape, like this moniker. Really? That’s the best you got? Well, I shall forgive you because your website is so freakin’ awesome that it nearly makes my head spin. Music, so very much music: new, old, jazzy, synthy, rocky, poppy (currently jiving and toe tapping to Sandy Bull’s “Blend”). Merde et zut alors! This place could be the site of my downfall. I’ll just listen to one more song and be on my way, oh and another, but wait, they’ve got that? Down for the count peeps, d-o-w-n!

Third, a little reading. This is a shout out for local writer K.B. Dixon who sent me a copy of his book, The Photo Album. It is a very quirky, Colleen-style tale. A warm breeze of an afternoon read and well worth the time, it’s an imaginary photo album (hence the title) with captions. What was happening there? What was intended? What don’t we see? Filled with details of places I love and very much home. It made me think, laugh, and sigh with wonder.

Fourth, a little watching. And contrast. First, another one of my man-crushes, Zach Galifianiakis (I’m not kidding), in a supporting role (with Jason Schwartzman and Ted Danson – a fine trio if ever there was) in a truly awesome and also very Colleen-style comedy series, Bored to Death. I think I’ve mentioned this bit of kooky before, but dang, do I love it so. The hubster can’t get enough of it either, I might add. We laugh until we cry and always want more. Luckily we’ve got DVD number two waiting for us to-night. It’s on, bitches! (Just for you, Amber)

Now to the contrast, The Yellow Handkerchief. It follows Brett (William Hurt) after his release from prison, searching for a new hold on life and remembering May (Maria Bellow), the love he left behind. Then there is Martine (Kristen Stewart) and Gordy (handsome Eddie Redmayne), young and inexperienced, escaping home, awkward and yearning for a connection, to no longer be outsiders and first forgotten. They travel in Gordy’s car, through the post Katrina aftermath, taking ill used highways and discovering unexpected places, especially within themselves. Sweet and sad and happy.

Fifth, a little love, for you, sweet readers, and Friday. Have a tip-top, hat’s-off, groove-on weekend!

I took the day off Tuesday, writing not a single word of useful prose. Instead, I enjoyed an extended yoga practice, a perfectly pruning and exceedingly hot bath, and two very good streaming fil-ums (Why I like to hear and type this, I do not know, but it’s staying, for now).

The first was I Am Love with Tilda Swinton, object of one of my lady-crushes. The woman is a goddess, brilliant and beautiful, a style all her own, that certain je ne sais quoi that keeps me rapt. Which also reminds me of my latest man-crush on Michael Fassbender. I saw him last year in Jane Eyre and thought, well, isn’t he interesting? And those eyes! Then I heard him on Fresh Air and saw him on Charlie Rose and said, “Oh, yes please.” There’s nothing like an attractive man speaking eloquently of the work he loves. Indeedy.

Lest you get your knickers in a bunch lamenting my poor hubster and his wife gone off the rails speaking openly of her admiration of others, he’s got his own crush (and thinks Tilda’s pretty, too), and I wholeheartedly approve, on Emily Blunt, even putting her movies in the queue for him. She’s cute, smart, and a good actress. I would have liked to steal her Golden Globes dress, I might add. As well, I know for a fact he’d be over the moon at the chance to spend a day, week, or a month discussing everything tech with the Woz. So there. We’ve got our own good thing going, with crushes and silliness and all that jazz.

Anyhoo, enough of my digression, I Am Love is sensual and expressive, a very cerebral examination of a family that on the surface looks and acts the same as always but is roiling and changing and coming apart at the seams. Tilda plays Emma, a Russian plucked and inserted into a very bourgeois life (servants who dress her and wear gloves – can you imagine?) in Italy, speaking Italian and Russian (I told you; she’s brilliant). She is the mother of grown children, a good wife and cook, and a very stylish dresser. She is a master organizer, very much in control, planning parties and dinners with aplomb and ease. The slow unraveling starts and ends with a party, both of which look the same on the surface but are wholly different. Filled with exquisite food, immaculate homes, romance and infidelity and upheaval and picturesque landscapes, so very much at once. The score is fantastic and the cinematography some of the best I’ve seen. Molto bene!

Now to the Eames, Charles and Ray, who, like me, maybe you thought were brothers, instead of husband and wife, despite being fairly well educated on Modern Design. After the shame of my ignorance wore off, I really got into it, loving that the pair were so much more than really cool chairs. They made truly awesome animated fil-ums: puppets, stop motion, and drawn; collected ephemera, designed buildings, and worked, worked, worked, their minds like Vesuvius in a constant state of eruption. I loved their quirkiness, their manner of dress (so sweet and dapper), and how they truly loved everything they did, adding so much flair and panache to the world. Inspirational!




Without meaning to, this week I watched two films (or fil-ums as I once read in an Irish novel) that involved the murder of a child. What the h-e-double-hockey-stick kind of coincidence is that, anyway? Despite the rather gloomy subject matter, they were quite good and had me rapt.

In Bruges, takes place in, you’ll never guess, Bruges! Or “fucking Bruges” as Colin Farrell’s character often says. He plays Ray, a hit man who makes the rookie mistake of murdering a boy along with his mark. He’s in Bruges with his partner and sort of mentor, Ken (the brilliant Brendan Gleeson), while they wait for the dust to settle back in London. I’ve seen this fil-um touted as a comedy, and while there are some humorous moments, don’t go in thinking that it’s going to be funny. It’s actually very melancholy and quite beautiful, save for the end. Avert your eyes, for there will be blood, my friends.

As Ray fights their exile, forever cursing the city, and Ken embraces it, happily taking canal tours and exploring some of the oldest architecture in Europe, both struggle to come to terms with their chosen profession, a sincere loneliness, and, most importantly, the loss of the boy. They meet an assortment of characters: a caring hotel owner, an obsessive gun runner, a stunning drug dealer, and an opinionated dwarf (or midget, depending), each bringing out the essence of Ken and Ray, how they got to this place, and hope for something more. It is lovely and thoughtful in its brutality.

Troubled Water is Norwegian and tells two perspectives of the same event. The life of Thomas after his release from prison for murdering the boy, and Agnes, the mother of the murdered child. Each takes half of the film and merge in the end.

It is almost a thriller and definitely a meditation on forgiveness and reconciliation. How can you ever move on from something so horrible? Thomas tries to start fresh by becoming an organist at a church, his playing a mesmerizing gift. He likes the female priest, and her son, Jens, takes to him immediately, despite Thomas’s protests. Perhaps he is not evil?

Agnes obsesses about Thomas and what he might do now that he isn’t behind prison walls. Is she safe, her husband, their adopted daughters? Then there are the last minutes of her son’s life, never knowing exactly what happened. The truth sets them both free and has the audience (or maybe just me) gasping for breath.



I am not a fan of Formula One racing, the mind numbing sound of high powered automobiles traveling on winding, swirling, looping tracks of asphalt and concrete.  I’m afraid I land on quite the opposite end of the spectrum, the kill joy who watches in horror as I contemplate environmental degradation through the excessive use of fuel and rubber and who knows what else to make it all happen.

I am, however, fond of stories, in particular of those who have found precisely their intended métier, as the French would say, without equivocation or second thoughts.  The often brave men and women who hear distinctly the voice of God, Buddha, Allah, or perhaps a brilliant collection of cosmic dust, depending upon their persuasion, to move this way, along this path, despite the din of voices screaming otherwise.

Ayrton Senna was such a man, brilliant, charming, handsome, and a great knower of speed on macadam.  He found his passion early, behind the wheel of a go-kart, and would hone his skill over years and continents, through awful politics, pettiness, and ill conceived and implemented rules to dominate the sport, and win, win, win.

He was a gentle man, a patriotic Brazilian, close to God and his family, and an absolute pleasure to watch, behind the wheel, moving in ways I can hardly fathom, or speaking about that which mattered to him.

What great testament too, to the fine direction of the filmmakers to create such a touching portrait and have this naysayer on the edge of her seat with fascination and anticipation.  My soul was cracked.  Very well done, indeed.

Thank you, Bert, for the recommendation.


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