Boy, this working for a living stuff is hard. Stimulating, challenging, often fun, and a great way to break a long financial drought. But hard.
This afternoon for the first time in quite a while, I was able to wrap up work before meandering in the woods with the dogs. Brilliantly sunny day — and we’ve had more of those than any winter I can ever remember here. I’m sorry for you in the east suffering all those Bad Boy winter storms (Zeus or Giorgio or Henri-Claude or whatever they’re calling them, these days). I’m sorry for you Californians facing a dangerously dry summer. But here? Glorious!
Anyhow, so instead of charging out and back for the sake of doggie exercise and canine elimination needs, I actually rambled. Meandered. I might have even managed a few minutes of strolling. It was amazing. Really.
And now I’m just rambling here. Just writing down whatever comes to mind. These little verbal expeditions tend to embarrass me, but they also draw a lot of thoughtful, touching comment. Which is I guess at least part of what this blog ought to be about. It’s one of the best feature’s of Joel’s blog, that he just exposes all those warts and lets you visit him inside the Secret Lair on good days and bad.
Still, other things go on in the world.
I watched Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine last night. It wasn’t one of the greatest Woody Allen movies (that might be Midnight in Paris). But it featured the greatest performance of Cate Blanchett’s great career, and a surprisingly effective small part from — remember this guy? — Andrew Dice Clay.
The thing that, for me, made it only a good Woody Allen movie and not a great one, is that neither Allen nor his production designer/set decorator team have the foggiest idea what a working class apartment look like.
The allegedly run-down San Francisco apartment poor Jasmine Francis ends up in after she loses her fortune, is small. But it’s decorated to the nines! It’s like so Crate & Barrel idea of humble. Its walls are all dramatic burnt oranges, contrasted with crisp fall greens. Orange walls shade into gold walls — and all kinds of other things a poor grocery bagger with a beer-n-football-lovin’ boyfriend wouldn’t think of. The kitchen shelves are meant to look poor by being small and nothing but open boxes. But no! The dishes are arranged with a decorator’s touch, every hue harmonizes, and pots and pans hang brassily from the ceiling.
I mean, srsly people.
I know that Hollywood has often put middle-class characters into leafy hillside manses or SoHo lofts that they couldn’t afford if they pooled their money and slept 10 to a bed. But portrayals of the working class have usually been right on. Shabby houses, cheap goods, arranged without much style. Maybe some doily-level pride. Something like I remember from childhood. Filled with surly people, as often as not.
Well, the people were surly, though also salt-of-the-earth. But those damn designer walls distracted me through the whole movie. Even worse, the wall colors in the “poor” apartment had obviously been designed to reflect and blend with the rich side of Jasmine’s life. Which was exactly the wrong thing to do.
It was like in the otherwise terrific movie The Help, which would have been perfect except for Emma Stone running around with a hair-do decades later than the era the film was set in.
But why do they do that? Have they never heard of this minor little detail of their art — the need to create suspension of disbelief? Are they so enamored of this years particular shade of puce or that cute perky bounce of the hair that they’re willing to lose a certain discerning part of their audience?
I know different things bother different people. Bad gun handling in a movie that is all guns all the time is a crazymaker. But you could chalk that up to ignorance and carelessness. This they do on purpose.
Here’s a random link while I wait for the next thing to waft into my mind:
Millennials turn out to be as naive and easy to manipulate as the religious right.
And another, as I wait for brilliant sunflowers to open in my head: MamaLiberty’s excellent “Unreported” — about the crimes that never happen because we’re aware and prepared.
Now actually, I have four more tabs with intending-to-blog links in them. But I’m still intending to do something with them. I’ll mention them only briefly here.
Something about how those who thought they were doing right by getting concealed carry permits are now paying an increasing price. Something else about consequences for tyrants.
But — by golly — I’ve run out of everything else that’s accessible in my brain. And those four I’m going to save. So that is that. Sunday went where Sunday would — and didn’t get very far. It apparently didn’t merely meander or stroll. It moseyed before settling down for a nap.
Sorry. But at least it’s out there. I Have Blogged.
I do apologize for “lite” blogging lately and I can’t promise it’s going to change very soon. Maybe March? Who knows? So I really thank you for coming back here and finding it worth your while.