Sunday, July 16, 2006
Hot, sunny, humid
Day 7 of Home Om over on Kemmyrk.
Barbaro is hanging in there. I think of him constantly and hope he makes it.
Four instances of suburban stupidity:
A. At the gas station, I pull in and prepare to put the hose into the gas tank. A jerk driving a Lexus (of course) pulls up behind me and tells me I have to move aside and wait to fill up the tank so he can because, “I’m a man and I drive a Lexus.” My response, “You’re a dick and you can wait your turn.”
B. In White Plains, I found a perfect meter parking spot under a tree across the street from the store, and pulled in. A woman driving a Lexus SUV (of course) pulls up beside me and says, “You have to give me that parking space, because I’m a mother and I have more rights than you.” Excuse me? First of all, there was no car seat or child in her SUV. Second of all, how can she possibly know whether or not I have kids? When I asked her the latter, she said, “You’re not fat enough to have had kids.” Again, excuse me? I know plenty of women with children whose figures are lovely. And guess what? I’m tired of women with children making demands like that. Having children is a choice. It does NOT mean you are better nor have more rights than ANYONE else. My response to her was “bite me”. Fortunately, a cop drove by and saw what was going on and told her to move along. He hung around while I went in to the store to make sure she didn’t vandalize the car.
C. In Greenwich, at the Lexus dealer (of course), a guy wanted a longer look at a car, so he stepped back out off the curb into traffic (it was one of the main streets), nearly causing a multiple-car pile up. His response was, “That’s not my problem.”
D. Taking a sharp curve in Greenwich, I had to go over the yellow line into the oncoming lane because a group of people stood in the middle of the street, at the hidden curve, with a baby stroller in the middle of the road, chatting. There were plenty of sidewalks. But they were just hanging out in the middle of the street, Had the sun been a tad lower in the sky for that turn, or it been some other moron who was driving while talking on the cell phone, they would have been run down.
The level of idiocy and lack of self-responsibility around here is appalling.
Other than that, it wasn’t a bad day, although busy and I was in all directions. First, to Trader Joe’s, which is three towns to the south. In addition to groceries, I bought a jade plant, which is quite lovely. Then, off to White Plains, which is about a ten minute drive to the northwest. I couldn’t find what I wanted at the Asian market, so I just stocked up on incense.
Then, off to Greenwich, to visit the Bush-Holley Historic Site. I grew up around here, and never even knew it existed, or that Cos Cob had a thriving artists’ colony (mostly impressionists and tonalists) at the turn of the twentieth century. There’s an exhibit of John Twachtman’s work up; the house itself has several Childe Hassams and a good bit of Edgar MacRae (since he married a Holley daughter and they continued to run the house as an artists’ colony).
The prior owners, the Bush family (no relation to the Current Pretender) were people I’m glad I didn’t know – although I rather liked Sarah, the original matriarch, whose gentle spirit is still strong in the house. Not as strong as the painters’, but still there. I was also annoyed not only that they owned slaves, but that they were the last in the area to comply with the laws in the late 1700s to free their slaves, claiming they needed them to keep the business running (grist mills). Well, sweetie, if you weren’t so fucking indulgent in your lifestyle and didn’t have such a disgusting sense of entitlement to be waited on, impress the neighbors, et al, and put the money back into the business, you could afford to pay your workers a living wage!
Some things never change.
It was interesting, and gave me lots to think about. It must have been a lovely sight over the water before I-95 went up.
Swung by Dunkin’ Donuts and dropped some off at a friend’s, then came home, exhausted. The heat wore me out. I hardly ate all day – had no appetite, and was, in general, feeling run down.
The Daisy Hill Farm story is spinning itself in my head, but that’s where most of it needs to stay right now, because I’m on deadline.
Worked out some plot difficulties with Real, which should be helpful in this last third of the book.
Watched National Treasure last night. Another movie that was very good and just missed being great. Loved the casting, loved the story, loved some of the throwaway dialogue, felt the studio interfered too much. Sean Bean’s character had so much potential for complexity – how often is it that a villain of a piece actually cares when one of his men dies, as Howe cared when Shaw fell down the shaft? Also, we got to see a bit of Ian’s cleverness when he figured out the Silence clue – he’d watched and learned from Ben. And the group of men he kept around him weren’t merely goons – they worked together to work things out, and you could tell they’d been a crack team of thieves the way they worked together to get in to the Archives. I wanted it balanced a bit more that way. I would have also liked to see Abigail show off some cleverness before she intersected with Ben and Riley. And I wanted to see more at the beginning of the interaction with Ian and Ben – they tried to set the stage for some genuine good camaraderie (otherwise, no matter what, Ian wouldn’t have helped Ben escape from the FBI) – I wanted to see more. There were hints of all that – I’m sure the scenes were shot and cut out, and bits of dialogue had to be dropped in to make up for the loss. We didn’t need a fourteen minute sequence of potentially all of them falling down the shaft. We could have used some of that time for character development in other parts of the movie. I also HATED the ending at the mansion – thought I liked seeing Riley in his red sports car, I felt cheated. I’m glad the original ending, in the Archives, with all of them still imbued with the spirit of the hunt, was included. It was much more satisfying. But, typically Disney, they felt it was setting up a sequel they probably wouldn’t pay for, and, instead of letting the creative team hold true to its vision, they tried to second guess the audience, and, especially the critics, and put in this other ending that cheats us all. I’m pretty sure everything I wanted to see in the film was in the script that was shot, and then massaged out by the studio. I don’t think Disney was the right studio for this film – I think there are two or three others that would have been a better fit, although they might not have had the muscle to shoot in the real locations, and that was SO important to the film. I’m surprised – usually Jerry Bruckheimer can protect his people better – but maybe he was the one who demanded the ending that didn’t work. Although it seems more Disney than Bruckheimer.
In any case, there was more I liked than didn’t, but again, the things that bugged me were things I’m sure were there and someone in a suit and tie who doesn’t have an ounce of creativity in them but wanted to put a mark on the piece demanded cut out.
Having worked on sets run by corporations, it amazes me that anything remotely coherent ever makes it to either the television screen or the big screen. There are too many numbnuts (and that’s where they carry their brains) trying to prove they have power putting their own agendas ahead of the work.
Slow start today. Feeling under the weather, and my back hurts. Trying to catch up on some writing, especially the deadlined work.