Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Scriblings~WEDDING

You might want to read the backstory (again) of each character first... the links are in the story. I suggest you start with Margaret, and then Neville.

The Day of Days

They stood in front of Rev. Dalripple, friends and family in the pews behind them, flowers lined the altar, and the last notes of the organ settled into the end of the day's light as it came though the windows above them all.

Neville had watched his Margaret (oh! How he loved saying 'his' Margaret!) as she walked up the aisle towards him, her right hand resting in the crook of her father's arm, her left holding the bouquet of the lilies she chose to carry. Their colour was a shade off from her wedding dress from Cassini. It's silk folds whispered 'Paris Couture' with ever step she took, skimming her body then going into a train from the full skirt.

She smiled in that Margaret fashion, looking towards him steadily through the veil over her face. He shook slightly, still awed he was to be part of her world, that their lives would be intertwined throughout all the things that occur in a marriage...that eventually, they would have children he would love partly because they were half Margaret.

Facing each other, veil back over her head, the ring firmly in place on her finger...the last of the Reverends words had been spoken, waiting for them to follow his directions. "You may kiss your bride!", he'd announced quite loudly, and all of them waited. Margaret looked up into Neville's eyes, her smile not quite reaching her own. He knew then why she'd been so silent in the last weeks, why she avoided the last part of her time in Paris in her conversations. He knew, and it made no difference to him.

"It's fine, my dear. All is well.", he whispered as he leaned forward to kiss her.

With that, Margaret discovered you can fall in love more than once in your life, that the one will never wipe out the other. She smiled into Neville's kiss, leaning into it fully, her hands on his broad shoulders; shoulders she knew would hold more than his share of trouble in their world.

Turning to the full church, they paused for a moment--two people who knew they were meant for each other, willing to accept the good and forgive the bad... two people who would go through their lives together, knowing at the end of it all, they could close their eyes that last time, content in the belief they had been beloved by the other.

Stepping down from the altar, they walked into that future with matched steps.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mystery Date

I found myself filling out one of those date site applications yesterday.

I was very honest, stating what I believe spiritually, politically, morally... what I love to do, what I don't like, what I want to do with my life.... everything.

I sent it off, awaiting my 'perfect' matches... with an assurance if I didn't find some one in six months, I had another six months to try. I mean, can it get any better than that?

I received my matches.... and I wondered what fool had read my application and what drugs they were on when they read it...

There were 10 of them.... six lived in the desert, three put one of their most important possessions as their guns (and I'm pretty sure that wasn't a pet name for their manbits), they owned horses (I'm good with that), and all of them put down that they value physical exercise on a daily basis.

Excuse me?


I mean, I walk and stuff, but, focus on physical exercise as an important thing of their lives? I believe that we get a certain number of do you want to use them? I may be mushy when I'm 125, but, I'll be 125.

I resigned my membership.... I can't make it with some physical fitness guy with cactus in their yard and a collection of guns.

I'll take my chances on my own from now on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lakeview Terrace

I've not put a movie review on this bit of my world in a long time, mostly because I've not seen anything worth chatting about.

I liked Lakeview Terrace. No, I loved it. Not just because I think Neil LaBute is one of the very best playwrights around, not because I love his vision when he directs theater, not because I think his work in film(directing and as a screenwriter) is outstanding (I do not put Wicker Man on him, studios get in there, as do producers, and sometimes, the director's vision is lost) Nope, I enjoyed it enough to see it twice, and one of those was at California prices...because it was good. I confess, I still snuck in my drink and candy, but, I paid the double my little town's film prices to get in when I saw it in LA, so, that says quite a bit.

There are a variety of levels to this film, of emotional involvement, of messages given... Sam Jackson plays Abel Turner, who bought his house 20 years prior, in order to keep his now deceased wife and kids out of the 'hood he grew up in, to give them a good start. I loved the opening of the film showed him getting out of bed, and going to his knees in prayer... it added a depth to his character, and, enhanced the later behaviour he shows.

Able controls... his kids, his neighborhood, the people he runs into on his job as a member of the LAPD. He has rules... what appears to be thousands of rules, and does not back off of them, be it his ruling on which basketball jersey his son, Marcus' (Jaishon Fisher) can wear, to how a man he is arresting should take care of his family. His way or the highway is pretty much the way it goes. His children are disaplined the way he thinks it should be, no matter if it is socially acceptable or not. Able's scenes with his daughter, Celia (Regine Nehy) are smartly done, and ring very naturally.

His neighbors are racially mixed married couple... and, the feeling I got was the wife, Lisa (played beautifully by Kerry Washington), was far more at ease than her husband, Chris (Patrick Wilson), who is very shallow in the beginning, very Wonder Bread in the relationship. You get the feeling he really does listen to the rap he blares out in his car to be seen as, well, black. Lisa's father treats Chris with barely contained disdain, displaying his own issue with the marriage. He is so dismissive of his son in law, that after Chris explains their problems with Able, how they feel he is harassing them, the father turns to Lisa, and asks her the very same question Chris has just answered. His voice, his body language, all of it shows his desire that this white man wasn't married to his daughter.

The intensity of the terror (and, yes, it was very terrifying) increases... the understanding they have nothing they can do. Able holds all the cards and grows steadily intense in his pursuit of having them leave, and leave now.

Yes, it all comes to a boiling point, with a wildfire echoing the heat and encroaching danger found in situation. Am I going to give out the ending? Nah. Just know that Sisterwife gave a scream, and was on the end of her seat in the last 10 minutes... talking to the people onscreen. Those in the theater around me gave gasps, a few "Oh, NO!"s, laughter when it was called for, and a few applauded at the end.

Chris grows, which is one aspect I loved... that Wilson found that arc in his character, based on a well done script and a director with a good eye for interpersonal relationships. Although LaBute didn't write the script, there is a definite sense he dabbled in it some. You could feel his hand in some of the dialogue, and his ablility to show us the not-so-nice view of how people treat each other was well used here. The shots are tight, on occasion the close-ups adding to the tenseness of the conversations. In one or two, it was so tight a shot, the entire face didn't fit on the screen... I loved the forced intimacy that it brought on. My favourite shot was during a scene in the bathroom, with an important conversation between Chris and Lisa. LaBute set it up with Chris in focus, looking back to where Lisa is standing... and just over his shoulder, you see her face reflected in the mirror. It highlighted the emotional distance between the two at that point... I was tickled both times to watch it, with that perfect framing to enhance the exchange.

The Investment stayed awake, and gave it a thumb's up, and Sisterwife loved, loved, LOVED the entire thing (a quote).... and not just because Patrick Wilson was in it.

Neil LaBute is a master at his craft, using words and people and the situations in which they find themselves in ways that keep you talking long after you leave either the cinema or a theater. I've always said his work is always based on love. Even Lakeview Terrace falls into that category, as you'll see. How he does it, I'm not sure... not the presentations... that's his talent, it's the continual work, all of it strong, well done and proving his place in the theater/film world.

Go see it, you'll be happy with the decision.

Lakeview Terrace PG-13
Running Time 110 minutes

Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Patrick Wilson

Written by David Loughery and Howard Korder

Directed by Neil LaBute

Monday, September 22, 2008

And.... Home

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Six hours of driving, 478 miles door to door, 16 gallons of gas, 1 bathroom stop, 76 songs of my 1066 songs on the iPod and 1 ever so tasty In 'n' Out burger in Vegas.... my butt was numb.

Norma ran like a charm, giving me great gas milage, and a comfortable place to sit (minus the butt numbing). The ride out consisted of me struggling to change CD's in my little CD player (the radio died!) and heat. While in LA, the Brother gave me his broken iPod, saying if I could get it to work, it was mine.

The folks at Apple were champs, working on it, finding it frozen, and then... after spending some time talking and telling a few jokes and smiling.. a lot... they gave me a brand new iPod! woot!!

So, the drive home was in the dark, cool compared to the day trip, with my new iPod cranking out songs. Lots of time to think, with that insulation of dark and music in my ears. It was a fast trip, it seemed.

Sophie was wild when I got home, bouncing around the room... refusing to settle enough for me to pet her. Finally, she came close and let me pet her... and she spent the night sleeping on my head or face... I guess she wanted to make sure if I leave she'd know first.

Home again, waiting to sell the house. It was a good trip, I adore the Brother and the Wife.... they are always good and decent and fun...

And they introduced me to sushi. Good times.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Scribblings

The word is invitation.

Miss Manners

Manners and no money will garner you more respect than money and no manners, Gloria was always told, and she kept this maxim into her adulthood. Thank you notes, "Please", never raising her voice in public.. all of these things served her well, allowing her to live in a world more and more chaotic without ever becoming a part of the chaos. She was almost alone in this behaviour, still, she clung to it, wearing the proper clothes and saying the proper words at work and in her social life. When she fell in love, she issued an invitation to the man of her dreams to come and be with her, telling him of her devotion and desire. On the day, she sat in her living room, perfectly turned out, back not touching the chair, a lovely tea awaiting his appearance. It was only after hours had gone by, the tea bitter and cold, the pastries looking soggy, that she thought perhaps putting an RSVP on a love letter wasn't such a good idea after all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

On Holiday!

The height of silliness is taking a vacation when you don't have a job.

I am dwelling at the top of Mt Silly, as I have done just that... taken a holiday.

One thing you forget about LA is the dense texture of the air you breathe... coming into the valley it was spread over the tops of the hills, looking more like thin material than air. It is hot and steamy and my hair grabs the moisture and curls.

The joy awaiting is, of course, my brother and his wife... two people I love being around. Their dog population has increased, giving me Ella to get used to... a cattle dog/Doberman mix who thinks she is a lap dog, insisting on settling on my bed with me Saturday night, effectively putting me on the very edge as she sighed and stretched out.

She has large teeth, so, I don't argue.

Sunday gave me the best time in a long time.... breakfast with two hot, sexy men... my friends--Peter and Prince. We walked over to an amazing place for food, chatted as if we met every week, laughed, and separated after a few hours, with some plans on doing this again soon... Peter and I will try and meet up for lunch one day before I go. The amazing people you meet via the internet!

I've a week here, still... some legal things to do, some just doing... nothing. The long drive home awaits on Sunday, and thinking about it reminds me why I never would have made it as a pioneer...

I'd have looked at that vast expanse of desert leading to California, turned to my partner and said:

"Let me know when you get there, mmmmmkay??

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Scribblings-II


He lay still, keeping his breathing even, listening to his parents on the other side of the bed curtain. The train moved south, carrying his family home; his parents, himself ill from scarlet fever and his older brother, who lay not in the lower bunk as usual, but, in a casket in the freight car. He heard them as they mourned, asking each other why God had not listened to their prayers …choosing instead to grant the miracle of recovery to the wrong boy. He lay still, keeping his breathing even, understanding what his life was now; he was six years old, an only child, and would never know love again.

Sunday Scribblings-I

Needing some kind of push to write, I found Sunday Scribblings, thanks to Thom.

Every week, they post a word, and if you accept this challange, you write 100 words or something based on said word.

This week, it's MIRACLE.

I'm off to figure out 100 words.... more or less. I like the power of flash fiction.

Until then....I will stay with the use of the word here-- let there be a miracle, and let Ike die out soon.