Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The weird stuff in my head

"Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes." — Maggie Smith 

YOU KNOW HOW random stuff pops into your head and sometimes it stays there for days? For some reason I've been thinking about how perfect Tilda Swinton was in the role of Karen Crowder in Michael Clayton. She became that character so completely that even though she's a villain in the story, I found her sympathetic. She won the 2007 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for it. I also love it that IRL she has the courage to live unconventionally.

Tilda Swinton

I'm two-thirds of the way through adding "quotes for the day" to all of my past blog posts, leaving 102 blog posts yet to finish. Now if I could only make myself obsess about the right sorts of things like exercising, cleaning and making money.

When I write a blog post at night in bed, Shye likes to lie on my chest under my chin, as she is right this moment. I look like I'm wearing an extravagant, furry muffler or sporting an impressively hirsute bearded-lady beard. In so doing, she makes it next to impossible to see the keys or the screen as I type, but she gets so purry, kneadingly comforted and happy, that it's worth it. How could I possibly resist the sweet Shye girl and her sweet kitty kisses?

For some reason, I'm memorizing Chapter 18 of Persuasion by Jane Austen in it's entirety, word for word. I'm slightly more than half way there. I'm not working very hard at it. I add a sentence or two every week. It started quite by accident. Persuasion is one of the audio books I have on my iPhone, and the British actress who reads it has such a soothing voice that if I'm having trouble falling asleep at night, I stick in my earbuds, set the volume on the lowest setting, and the repetitiveness of it lulls me to sleep.

Once I'd heard the whole book through several times — being female, of course I'd already read the book and seen a couple of versions of it as a movie — from then on I kept choosing Chapter 18 to listen to as my soporific. Anne's family is too mean to her in the first part of the book to be soothing, and the end of the book is just slightly too dramatic, although in a good way, and I risk running out of story, so all in all Chapter 18 was the perfect part. 

I discovered after awhile that I knew certain chunks of it quite by heart, so I decided just to learn the whole chapter. The process has had the unexpected additional advantage of being now so firmly implanted in my head, that I can just think it to myself to put myself to sleep as if I were listening to someone reading it.

Paul has been playing his trombone — a lot! He had gigs Sept. 27, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. He practiced three hours Oct. 4, taught his trombone classes Oct. 5 and had a gig the same night, had more gigs Oct. 7 and Oct. 9, followed by another gig rehearsal. He likes it.

Myron and I had pizza and rented a movie this past Friday night while Paul was gigging. We watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and boy, was everyone right who told me that I really ought to see it. I loved the whole cast, most especially Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson. Tom was also in Michael Clayton and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and 13 other awards for his part.

Dame Maggie Smith

Bill Nighy

Tom Wilkinson

I've known Myron for maybe 25 years — since just a couple of years after his severe injury. The cool thing is that his brain continues to heal. More and more he tells me about things from before his accident that he's remembering, and he "gets" things on an emotional level. I wasn't sure if he'd like TBEMH, but he really did. He got all of the subtleties of the relationships. Way cool.

When stuff goes wrong in a person's life, it's always surprising who is present, and who isn't — the ones who actually want to know what's going on versus the ones who'd really prefer not know the nitty gritty, who'd just as soon change the subject or get out of the conversation altogether, and as it turns out, hadn't really paid attention to what you'd talked about in the past anyway. Then there are others, who by rights don't have any vested interest in how your life is going, but actually want to know. Paul always says, "Must be present to win."
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