Sunday, April 19, 2015

What FatSecret Just Told Me

My Weigh in Report

You lost 1.5 lb (0.5 %) since you last weighed in on Sunday 29 Mar 15.
At that rate it will take you about 61 months to get to your goal weight.
So, five years. I'll be done with Tamoxifen and fully post-menopausal. Ooh, what a skinny and spunky 57 year old I will be!

(I'm very proud of myself, because last night we got pizza from the best local pizza place, and after two slices — I usually have three and often four — I stopped and said, I'm satisfied. And I was! Proud, proud.)

Husband tightened all the screws and put new batteries in the panel for his stationary bike, so I have plans to give it a whirl after church. It hurt my knee and felt incredibly awkward the last time I tried it — it is really hard to bend my right knee past a certain point — but I think raising the seat should help, and I also have to remember that any new exercise is awkward at first until you get the hang of it, even something as relatively simple and familiar as riding a bike.

Back in the saddle again,

Lady C

Friday, April 17, 2015

Transitions, Tension, Travel, and Other Fun "T" Words — UPDATED with an update!


Still a ridiculous amount of STUFF going on at Chez Chardonnay!!

Mimosa is a high school junior, and "spring break" means one thing: heading to Florida with Dolores Hart and Yvette Mimieux!

OK, no. That is not what it means. Possibly to anyone but me, because I am 100. 

No, it means "college visit time." And the system is very organized; colleges have all sorts of things like tours and info sessions for incoming students, and it is possible to get a decent hotel rate when one has AAA or AARP or somesuch — but still. It all takes some organizing.

And also some self-control, as I burst into tears while booking the visit with the first college Admissions lady I spoke to. (She was nice about it though.)
Of course I want my daughter to grow up and go to college and be a self-sufficient!! Of course I want my daughter to stay by my side and be my best buddy/baby forever and ever! I am a living Push Me-Pull You.

So that's happening. Monday through Wednesday, we'll drive to Saratoga Springs, New York, and work our way back through Western Mass. A road trip with my daughter, we'll have fun. 


And then I'm planning Excursion #2 to D.C. with my family this August. Dad had always wanted to do this but never got around to it; Mom is now flooded with "life is short" fever, so — we're doing it! 

Which means: I'm doing it.

But I finally got the framework in place: Mom's plane tickets are purchased; after weighing the merits of Amtrak vs. driving ourselves, I've rented a minivan; our hotel suite is secured; and we have tickets for the Holocaust Museum, my and Mom's most-desired destination. And of course we'll go to as many Smithsonians and other attractions as we can. D.C. is such a cool town, and I'm hoping late August will feel more Septemberish, weather-wise, than summerish — time will tell.

So much going on! It's the hottest time of year for my church committee, all I do is make phone calls and e-mail people. Li'l Martini's in a show, my newly emerged yard needs serious care, I need Husband to get his stationary bike to work, my knees are killing me. Busy!!!!!!

(Right now I'm calling a different State Farm person, and her line has been busy for half an hour. Does that seem right?!)

I've been at my computer all morning, and my iPod is now recharged; I am going to walk a mile on my treadmill, lift some weights, do my knee PT, and work up a sweat, then take a hot shower and lie on my new couch with ice packs and my enticing stack of library books, because I have earned it

 

 But I have to walk the mile first, this is the deal I made with myself.


(State Farm chick's number is still busy. What the heck?)


Treadmill, treadmill, treadmill. Ugh. (I'd go outside but [a] it's raining and [b] I'm a major weenie.)

— Lady C, whose resolve is as flabby as her aging midsection 

UPDATE

It took 15 more minutes of "useful work" (i.e., trying to distract myself by feverishly checking e-mail and calling State Farm) but I made it to the treadmill, walked a brisk mile in 24 minutes (way slower than my glory days, but sister, I'll take it), lifted weights, and worked my sad little Jell-O core. I'm now going to do wall push-ups and stretch (part of my PT) and then the shower! the ice! the books!

My knees feel fine, though. I may not need ice at all. Though maybe it will prevent pain later?

The way I feel right now, the things that will hurt later are (a) my triceps and (b) my abs, ow ow ow.

Well, we'll see. Anyway — just wanted to report! I know how you doubt me.

Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. I know how I doubt me.

(And points to you if you know what movie I'm quoting!)

xx

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Juggle!! Juggle!! Ju— Crap.

This is one of those weeks where my calendar is so black with ink I almost can't read it. Everyone in my family is busy, and there are so many moving parts to my many moving Chardonnays!!! And of course all of this is coupled with my near-inability to say no when I'm asked for help.**

Yesterday, the parents of Ottoson Middle School students were asked to bring baked goods or drinks to the teachers who are administering the MCAS, our state standardized test. I'm a baker, I support the teachers, of course I said I'd help.

At 6:15, I arose to begin concocting a loaf of banana bread with toasted walnuts. I read the recipe and turned on the oven.

As the bread baked, I thought, Wow, it seems a lot more fragrant than usual. I patted myself on the back. What a good citizen I am! What a delicious baked good I have produced!

At 7:20, the bread should not have been done but the fragrance was powerful. I took it out of the oven — whew! just in time! The edges were actually a bit black! I then inserted a knife to test for doneness.

The knife came back with raw wet dough clinging to it. What the heck?

 Yeah. I set the oven to 425°.


The bread bakes at 325°.

This is the kind of moronic mistake I make when I have too many balls in the air.

I'm also editing up a storm, which is good because we are broker than ever. My three nearest neighbors and I all banded together to cut down a tree, which (1) is always kind of sad, (2) will improve our backyard situation enormously, and (3) cost an arm and a leg. Mimosa needs new glasses and fewer wisdom teeth, both kids need summer activities, Husband's car gave up its last leg  so we both have "new" cars now, which is awesome — but yeah, two monthly car payments now, and I will be paying for Li'l Martini's braces till the end of time.

And, of course, tons of editing means being glued to my chair in front of my computer.

I did buy a seat cover for the stationary bike but haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Maybe today, depending on when my next job shows up. I'd planned to use my "free time" today to clean up our yard a little. The snow has finally melted (crazytown!!!! February and March are just a blur now), and the most interesting things have emerged, including a string of Christmas lights!!! Pulling into the driveway and seeing the messy yard makes me feel anxious and stressed, so if I can tidy it a little, my quality of life should improve, or at least my mental health. Right? (And tromping around in the fresh air should also give me a lift.)

Except:  it's raining right now. Mother Nature freaking hates me.

April and May are crazy months for parents of schoolchildren, and April is also my busiest time for my church committee. But the great glorious news there is that tonight is my penultimate meeting with this miserable group; two more meetings and an election, and I'm DONE!!!! And next year I've decided to go back to Kind Tina and her committee again, and that will be a joy.

Next week looks to be lighter. Perhaps I will set some goals and give it a framework, as I did a few weeks ago.

And I just checked Weather.com: the rain should stop this afternoon.

Nothin' but good times ahead. Yeah.


— Lady C, not quite convinced


** I asked Good Neighbor Anne if she could mentor me in the art of saying no and not feeling guilty about it. She said, "Saying no, no problem — but I always feel guilty."

I continue to seek a mentor.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Little-Known Gems and Guilty Pleasures


Easter weekend means many things to many people, but for me it has come to represent one key thing:

Film Festival with Brunie!!!!!

Last year, you may recall, we did a three-day multi-film tribute to Meryl Streep. This year, after debating many worthy performers and considering many different themes, we landed on the following:

Guilty Pleasures, Little-Known Gems, Should-Sees, and Catherine Deneueve !

Brunie gave me her list:
Should-Sees:
• The Women
Night of the Hunter
Nashville
Godfather 2
Bonnie and Clyde
Fruitvale Station
Manchurian Candidate
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Way We Were
(Note: I have seen all of these. I love Nashville, Butch Cassidy, and The Way We Were, but I didn't necessarily feel like slogging through the others again.)
Guilty Pleasures:
Blast from the Past
Freaky Friday
Reality Bites
St. Elmo's Fire
Truly, Madly, Deeply

"And," she says, "two movies I know are going to be horrible but I haven't seen them yet":
On the Road
This Is Where I Leave You
I listed my movies (Brunie's comments are in parentheses — and in all caps, she's a screamer):
Guilty Pleasures:
Fast Break (GOOD GOD...)
Bring It On (LOVE IT SO!)
Grease 2 (WHERE DOES THE POLLEN GO?)
The Towering Inferno (HOT TUBBIN'!)
(In other words, she will blow off this fine film, AND shun the maximal charms of Paul Newman AND Steve McQueen, for the hot tub. Philistine.)
Little-Known Gems:
Apartment for Peggy (YES, PLEASE!)
City Island (LOOKS PROMISING)
Win-Win (GAH... I KNOW IT IS GREAT, BUT I CAN HEAR THE SOOTHING WATERS CALLING MY NAME...)

My Personal Tribute to Catherine Deneuuuuuve:
Diabolique (SURE)
 Note: I am a moron. Catherine Deneuve is not in this film.  I mixed her up with Simone Signoret.
A Christmas Tale (ZZZZZZ)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (INSERT LITTLE HEART ICON HERE)
Belle du Jour (OOOH... NAUGHTY!)
I added:
I’ve requested Lady In a Cage from Inter-Library Loan; we’ll see if it gets here on time. It’s not exactly a Guilty Pleasure . . . more like, Craptacular Urban Horror? But it’s James Caan’s film debut!! and stars Olivia de Havilland!!! O it is magnificent. Magnificently AWFUL, I mean.
Brunie:
WE WILL NEED TO BE DRUNK, OF COURSE...
Me:
As for Should Sees, I’ve seen everything on the AFI’s Top 100 but Blade Runner, The General, Intolerance, Sunrise, Spartacus, and Lord of Any Freaking Ring. I’ve seen every Oscar winner except Cimarron, The Great Ziegfeld, The Life of Emile Zola, and Lord of Something That Rings. I do like to be complete, so if you’re willing to watch any of these terrible, terrible sounding movies with me, let me know.
Brunie:
MY WORD, NO WONDER YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANY OF THOSE MOVIES. THEY BLOW.
NO LORDS, NO RINGS. I WILL DO BLADE RUNNER, WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE GREAT. NO SILENT FILMS PLEASE AND YOU CAN WATCH SPARTACUS WHILE I SOAK. I'LL DO THE 1960 CIMMARON OR EITHER OF THE BIOPICS — THEY ALL LOOK GOOD...
Me:
Cimarron of 1960 didn’t win jack so it is meaningless to me. I tried to watch the early version once, oh dear God it is so bad. I will bring The Great Ziegfeld and Blade Runner, and if we watch them we watch them, whatev. If you’re not watching Spartacus, I sure the hell am not.
I’m bringing a notebook to record our brilliance, though I’m tireder than last year, no guarantees of wit this time.
Brunie:
I AM PRETTY SURE YOU WILL BE WITTY.
Me:
I think we will spread out all our movies, organize them, make a plan, get drunk, forget the plan, and watch 30 minutes of a lot of movies. That is what I think. Do you concur? Life will be a lot easier if you just concur, generally.
Brunie:
I love the 31 and done idea! Unless we both love a movie and feel compelled to finish it, of course! I love not finishing things! It is one of the joys of adulthood as far as I am concerned! Your plan is perfect! I concur! I am an excellent concurer!
Me:
I'm packing now. Do I need any clothes? They seem superfluous.
Brunie:
Clothes are unnecessary for you. As a matter of fact, if you spend the weekend completely naked and I wear 3–4 layers of garments, we should both be perfectly comfortable.
Spoiler: I was always a little too hot, she claimed to be freezing.

Me:
Shall we meet in the room at 4? Or earlier in a bar somewhere? (These seemed likelier options than, say, at the track, or a Christian Science Reading Room. But I’m open to anything)
Brunie:
4 IS PROBABLY THE BEST TIME FOR ME, BUT IF YOU WANT TO PREGAME IN THE BAR, I WON'T JUDGE...
I arrive at the DoubleTree Hilton at 3:30 on Maundy Thursday. Brunie booked the room, she is sure they won't let me in without her.

She is wrong.
  • Marie of the Front Desk: If you were a man, I might think differently — but two women? Sure, I'll give you a key.
  • Me: At last, sexism is working for me!
  • Marie of the Front Desk: Yeah it is!
I told Marie that she is my new best friend; she squeezed my hand, gave me two warm chocolate cookies, and told me to call her if I need anything.

Alas. I am easy. I have no needs. (Spoiler: This will come up again.)

Brunie and I are excellent hotel room roommates; we both like to unpack fully and make a cozy home base. I set up a food and drink area:

Brunie's drinks

  • Brunie: I was going to make laminated cards for each of our movies . . .
I hand her the category cards I made.

  • Me: We are best friends.
  • Brunie: Yeah, but these aren't laminated.
  • Me: Because I'm not a freak.
We compare our stacks/lists and negotiate until we each have 10 movies. Twenty movies will take approx. 40 hours to watch, and we have the hotel room for about 43 hours. Challenge! accepted!

My projects for this weekend: Take in new jeans, make a cute tank top out of a T-shirt, heal my inflamed cuticles, and do my PT. Brunie's projects: Finish grading, practice her Dancing With the Faculty routine, make hats.

Our first movie is Blast From the Past, one of Brunie's Guilty Pleasures. IMDB says:
A romantic comedy about a naive man who comes out into the world after being in a nuclear fallout shelter for 35 years.
It's adorable. Among other things, we "learn" that Juneau is the capital of Alaska; Anchorage is merely its largest city.

We watch the whole thing, breaking only for room service. I have clam chowder and clam fritters, and later I need a lot of floss.
  • Me: I can't get rid of my clams.

At 7:30 we prepare to hit the hot tub. I'm wearing a bathing suit, cover-up, and sandals, Brunie is dressed as though she's heading to Alaska's largest city.

Hot tub topics: why Brendan Fraser isn't as famous as Matt Damon, the awesomeness of Breaking Bad (she's seen it all, I'm halfway through Season 4), why we love/hate Skylar.

Next movie: Fast Break, my #1 Guilty Pleasure. I had written:
The only only ONLY thing I want this whole weekend is for you to watch Fast Break with an open mind and an open heart, I don’t care how drunk you are when you do it. You do however have to be awake, so we must start it before 6 p.m. It is my NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE MOVIE, BRUNIE! Bottoms up!


Brunie wrote:
Wikipedia had me at "Fast Break . . . was one of the first film appearances of Lawrence Fishburne," who I ADORE!! My mind is completely open as I love Gabe Kaplan AND basketball movies as a rule!
The movie's tagline: "His dream team's got a preacher, a jailbird, a pool shark, a muscleman. And the best guy on the team is a girl."

Fast Break has an awesome theme song, "Go For It" by Billy Preston and Syreeta, lots of '70s' waka-cha waka-cha waka-cha. Our favorite line sounds like "Put your mamas on the line!" but Brunie's pretty sure the word is "marbles." But it's very easy to sing along with this song, adding our own words, and we proceed to sing it through the entire weekend.

You cannot watch this movie with a critical eye. You have to let the art flow . . . and also keep repeating, "It was the '70s."

Example: D.C. Dacey is horrified to be developing feelings for his teammate Swish. He tries to run away (from the team, and from his terrible awful gayness).
  • D.C. (to Coach Gabe Kaplan): Do you want two fags on your team?
  • Me as Coach Gabe: Wait, who's the other one?
D.C. finds out that Swish is actually a girl; with great relief (and an equal amount of randy), he heads straight to her room.
  • D.C.: Do you mind if I sit down?
  • Me: Do you mind if I sit on your lap?
  • Brunie: Do you mind if I sit on your vagina?
Ah, the '70s — when racism was cool., homophobia was hot (and often led to sexy-time!), and people talked about marbles, and chopped liver.

10-ish: Fever Pitch, one of Brunie's Guilty Pleasures. IMDB says:
Lindsay is stuck in the middle of her relationship with Ben and his passion for the Boston Red Sox. 
Lindsay and her girlfriends are rock-climbing in a gym; one girl lets go of the rope and drops her friend.
  • Brunie: That's a bad friend. I would never drop you. Well, we would never. . .
  • Me: Yeah, there are way too many hypotheticals in this story.

Sanford from Sex In the City is playing baseball with Jimmy Fallon.
  • Me: What's Sanford doing on that team?
  • Brunie: We know he's gay.
  • Me: And we learned from Fast Break that two fags on a team is one too many.
(Don't judge us! It was the '70s!!!)

Fever Pitch puts both of us to sleep.
  • Me: I'm not asleep!
  • Brunie: You're snoring in time to "Sweet Caroline."
We call it. Nighty-night!

FRIDAY

Brunie forgot to pack pajamas; she's sleeping in about 17 shirts.
  • Brunie: "Where Are My Pants?" The Brunhilde Crow Story.
  • Brunie: I feel like Fever Pitch had its chance. Spoiler: It all works out for those two crazy kids, and the Red Sox win the Series.
  • Me: It's like I was there.
Brunie goes downstairs to get us good Starbuck's coffee.
  • Me: Oh, I brought muffins. Didn't we have Twizzlers for breakfast last year?
  • Brunie: I think once. I was going to get a Danish, then I thought, Muffins and Cheetos, breakfast of champions! 
7:12 a.m., Apartment for Peggy, one of my Little-Known Gems. IMDB says:
Professor Henry Barnes decides he's lived long enough and contemplates suicide. His attitude is changed by Peggy Taylor, a chipper young mother-to-be who charms him into renting out his attic as an apartment for her and her husband Jason, a former GI struggling to finish college.
  • Jason: We spend as much money on liquor as we do on education — and what's more important?
  • Me: Than liquor? It's at least worth a discussion!
Henry Barnes waxes rhapsodic on the benefits of being an educator.
  • Me: Is that what you're getting out of it?
  • Brunie, professional educator: That's what I'm getting out of it. Plus medical.
Apartment for Peggy is a gem. Why is it not more famous?
  • Brunie: It's a sign of aging that I'm more into Edmund Gwenn than William Holden.
  • Me: William Holden comes to a bad end. After drinking, he falls and hits his head and then bleeds out for four days.
  • Brunie: IN THIS MOVIE?
  • Me: In life. He also dates Stefanie Powers.
  • Brunie: The horror.
The movie is totes adorbs. Brunie is a smitten kitten. She also needs a smoke. She's a kitten with a monkey on her back, it's all Wild Kingdom around here. Since she's heading out anyway, I coax her to bring me another coffee.
  • Me: I'll give you a dollah.
  • Brunie: For a dollah, I will hollah!
  • Me: And get yourself some notions or somesuch, I know what you girls like.
Brunie sticks my dollar under her bare boob.
  • Me: Is that how you're going to pay for it at Starbuck's?
  • Brunie: "Hey, need anything else? I think I've got an Allen wrench up here."
 
  • Brunie: Are we as funny as we think we are?
  • Me: Who else would laugh when I say "notions"?

9:30 a.m., Nashville, one of Brunie's should-sees. IMDB says:

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.

Curiously, IMDB doesn't mention "country music stars, superstars, and wanna-bes," which to me is the whole point of Nashville.
  • Barbara Jean (superstar) sings: "I can't take no more, baby."
  • Me: She can't make no more babies?

Brunie sleeps through the ending. I have to re-enact it for her. We do this a lot.
  • Brunie: Without looking, what time do you think it is?
  • Me: OK, we started at 9:30 . . .
  • Brunie: No, don't do math. What time does it feel like?
  • Me: Oh well, then, based on how drunk I am, 4:15.
Very ugly picture of me, taken by Brunie.
Brunie guffaws.
  • Me: It is not that funny.
  • Brunie: Most of it is your delivery.
  • Me: OK. 11:52.
  • Brunie: You're only 14 minutes off.
  • Me: My phone says 11:54!
  • Brunie: Oh, like your phone knows.
  • Me: It does! It's connected to the earth!!

  • Brunie: Speaking of cancer . . .
  • Me: WHAT????
  • Brunie: No! I'm going to go smoke.
  • Me: Jeez. Well, as long as you're up, will you refill my drink?
  • Brunie: Oh, so I can be your enabler?
  • Me: YES, Miss Cancer Stick.
  • Brunie: Your liver, meet my lungs.
At 12:27 p.m., we attempt to watch The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but the DVD player dislikes it.

12:28 p.m., The Great Ziegfeld. (Later, Brunie says, "And we dislike it.") I've seen about half of it already. This movie won the Best Picture Oscar of 1936. IMDB says:
This biography follows the ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld, famed producer of extravagant stage revues.
Brunie takes her traditional "one hour into the movie" nap.

We did bring fruit, and ate some of it.
  • Brunie: Wake me for Fanny Brice. And don't let me eat Cheetos for an hour.
  • Me: Want a grape, to reboot your system?
  • Brunie: My system would explode.




  • Flo Ziegfeld: I'm going to call it The Ziegfeld Follies.
  • Me: Catchy title!
  • Brunie: Ziefeld fever — catch it!
Onscreen: INTERMISSION
  • In unison: Thank God!!!!
  • Brunie: Does this mean it's only half over?
  • Me: I have to watch the whole thing. I cannot watch the first half of this movie twice with nothing to show for it!!
Five hours into the movie, Myrna Loy (as Billie Burke, Ziegfeld wife #2) still hasn't shown up.
  • Me: We still have a whole wife to get through!!
 
  • Me: Why is this so bad? It's an Oscar winner.
  • Brunie: It's an Oscar winner of 1936.
Anna Held (wife #1) storms out in disgust.
  • Me: Too bad, so sad, let's get on to the next marriage! Chop chop!
  • Flo: Who's that girl with the gorgeous red hair?
  • Guy Who Looks Like Tommy Smothers: That's Billie Burke.
  • In unison: BILLIE BURKE!!!
There's a full hour left, Brunie leaves me to smoke, but I can't quit now.

Brunie returns.
  • Me: The movie's still on.
  • Brunie: Of course it is.
  • Me: But I think he's going to die soon.
  • Brunie: THANK GOD.
Very cute picture of Brunie, not that I'm pointing figures or implying
that one of us is way better with a camera or anything like that.



  • Frank Morgan: I feel as if I've been here a thousand years.
  • Me: I feel you, Frank Morgan.
Hot tub time! We read the posted warning: DO NOT ENTER if you're under the influence of alcohol.
  • Me: Define "influence."

5:30 p.m., This Is Where I Leave You, one of Brunie's Wild Cards. IMDB says:
When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

  • Me: I would be besties with Tina Fey.
  • Brunie: I think Tina Fey would make me feel bad about myself. Not on purpose. But I would be besties with Amy Poehler.
  • Me: I think I am the Amy in our relationship and you are the Tina.

  • Jane Fonda: Secrets are cancer to a family.
  • Me: What do you think is cancer to a family?
  • Brunie: I think untidiness.
  • Me: I think cancer.
  • Me: That movie is the opposite of the phrase "the whole is more than the sum of its parts." It had great parts.
We decide to eat out.
  • Brunie: This means I need to put on underwear.
Brunie presses the wrong elevator key.
  • Me: No worries. In the immortal words of Keith Carradine, I'm easy.
  • Brunie: In the immortal words of anyone who's ever met you.
  • Server: Here's the chicken-egg combo. [Egg = eggplant]
  • Brunie: Which came first?
  • Server: Heh.
. . .
  • Me: I think you're funny.
We start eating.
  • Brunie: This eggplant blows.
It's veal. We switch plates.
  • Me: As eggplant, this veal is terrible.
After six bites, we are SO FULL. I cradle my extended tummy.
  • Me: I'm having a little veal baby.
Back at the hotel:
  • Brunie: I'm staying out here to smoke.
  • Me: I'm carrying my veal baby to term.
We decide to watch a little bit of two Guilty Pleasures while Brunie does my nails with Jamberrys.

We start with Reality Bites. IMDB says:
Generation X Graduates face life after college with a filmmaker looking for work and love in Houston.
I am too old to find this movie any kind of Pleasure, Guilty or otherwise, though I do love Janeane Garofalo. After the "My Sharona" scene, we switch to Bring It On. IMDB says:

A champion high school cheerleading squad discovers its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year's championships.

Are my nails not fabulous?


  • Announcer: Put your hands together for the Rancho Carne Toros!
  • Brunie: Rancho Carne? Meat Ranch?
  • Toros: That's all right / That's OK / You're gonna pump our gas someday!
  • Brunie: That's classism.
  • Me: Bad.
  • Brunie: Well, it was the early 2000s.
We end up watching the whole thing (because how can you not?), though Brunie falls asleep and misses the ending.
  • Brunie: Who won Bring It On?
  • Me: The whites. No, wait — that's every other movie.

11:18 p.m., Blade Runner (The Director's Cut), one of my Should-Sees. IMDB says:

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
  • Brunie: I'm just going to wake up enough to not wake up.
At 1-ish a.m., I realize that I don't understand a single thing I have watched. By two hours in, shouldn't some of the plot be clear??


SATURDAY

Brunie gets up early to grade. I have a lovely lie-in, and she brings me coffee.
  • Me: Don't ask me anything about Blade Runner. Well, you can ask, but I got nothin'.
  • Brunie: It was no The Great Ziegfeld.

7:15 a.m., The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. IMDB says:
A young girl separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision.
Curiously, IMDB does not mention that the entirety of this movie is sung.

I remember when this movie was re-released and every film critic went into a swoon. I don't know why I've avoided it. I guess, you know — worky. It is a foreign film. But I'm psyched to see it.

  • Random character (singing): Hello, what a beautiful day, I think I shall walk down the street now!
  • Second random character (singing): I shall watch you walk, and I agree that this day is beautiful!
  • Me: Good lord, it's Les Miz on uppers.
Part I: The Departure
  • Brunie: Wake me when someone actually departs.
  • Guy sings to Aunt Elise: How are your legs?
  • Me as Aunt Elise: They do not work!
Catherine Deneuve complains that her sweetie Guy smells like gasoline. Enter Monsieur Cassard, seller of precious gems.
  • Me: What do you think of a boy who smells like diamonds?
There are sailors everywhere.
  • Me: Cherbourg, Cherbourg, it's a wonderful town!
Guy needs a drink. He requests a dry white wine and is served a smallish glass.
  • Me: That'll get you drunk, in six glasses.
  • Brunie: That'll get you drunk in six glasses.
Part 3: The Return
  • Me: That's gotta be it, right? No more Parts?
  • Brunie: Part 4: Sweet Sweet Death.
Safe to say, we are not fans.
  • Me (reading the box): Did you know that their romance was ill-fated?
  • Brunie: When it ended, I did.
We desperately need a palate cleanser.

9:16 a.m., City Island, one of my Little-Known Gems. IMDB says:
Meet the Rizzos, a family that might get along a lot better if only they could tell each other the truth. A funny, touching, and smart family tale about the secrets of the past catching up with the lies of the present, and accepting that nobody's perfect — least of all your loved ones.


  • Brunie: This family needs a Peggy.
  • Me: Peggy?
  • Brunie: She had an apartment . . . ?
  • Me: Oh! Duh.
  • Brunie: We should discuss how Peggy could have improved every movie we saw.
 (Spoiler: We do not do this.)
  • Brunie: Implants and mild incest — it's just like This Is Where I Leave You.
  • Me: We've come full circle. Waka-cha waka-cha waka-cha!
City Island is awesome. Everyone should see it! It's a — dare I say? — little-known gem!!
I watch the opening credits of The Towering Inferno while I pack. Then I eat cheese, salt & vinegar chips, and chardonnay and watch (500) Days of Summer while Brunie packs.
 
  • Brunie: Wow, I never touched the water I brought.
  • Me: Blow me down.

IMDB says:
An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.

It's a very cute movie, but even with late checkout we don't get to see the whole thing.

Brunie eschews a plate and simply dumps the remaining Bugles on the bedside table to eat.

  • Brunie: I've just given up.

I take two selfies of us and examine the results.

  • Me: You can be asleep or demonic.
  • Brunie: Both.
I ask Brunie what stands out for her about this year's film festival:
  • Brunie: The love I felt for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
  • Me: Heh.
And that was it! A truly madly deeply wonderful "weekend" with a wonderful friend.

For next year, I have but one burning goal: a room with a refrigerator. Like Keith Carradine, I'm easy, but wine on ice gets really old really fast.

Waka-cha waka-cha waka-cha!

Monday, March 30, 2015

East, West, Home's Best

Visiting my mom was a joy. She's realized that in addition to losing my dad, she lost a lot of her confidence — and is only now starting to get it back. But she is getting it back, and I'm so proud of her. Things like using the three remotes that are needed for her TV/satellite dish/DVD & VCR player/DVR combo used to throw her into a tailspin; now she manipulates all three with ease and can toggle between the four devices without getting flustered. She's been faithful to her PT since breaking her ribs and is doing Nautilus-type machines at her gym in addition to aqua aerobics. She's moving around so much better. I am really, really proud of her.

And on Day 5 of my visit, we went to Courtesy Motors and test-drove some cars. She's keeping her vintage 1970 Volkswagen Bus (the car each Chardonnay child learned to drive on — and both Mimosa and Li'l Martini got driving lessons from Grandma at age 13), but my dad's Accura is too much car for her; it's a giant old-man sedan, and she has trouble getting in and out of it. My youngest brother suggested something more like an SUV but with a car chassis, which seemed to be a good fit for her. I believe she's getting this, a 2015 Subaru CrossTrek:

I sat in the back seat while she test-drove, and she told me that she was a little shaky. After prodding, I learned that this was her first time in life driving a brand-new car; either Dad handled it, or she's always bought used cars. At age 72, she's doing something for the first time and handling it like a pro. Go, Mom!

Sadly, my flight to Sacramento was delayed, so I was not able to lunch with J at Old Spaghetti Factory. The flight from Boston arrived in Phoenix more or less on time . . . but then we sat on the runway. And sat. And sat. When I finally deplaned, I "raced" through two terminals on my arthritic knees, and my plane hadn't left yet — but they'd closed the doors and wouldn't reopen them for me. I was distraught. And the woman at Customer Service was a BEE-YOTCH.
  • Me: I'm going to miss half a day of my vacation with my mom, who lives 3,000 miles away.
  • Customer Service Bee-Yotch: I'm sorry. 
(Note: She did not sound sorry. She sounded mechanical.)
  • Me: I'm sorry, I know it's not your fault, but I really am confused. I missed my plane because of you guys. I can't believe there's nothing you can offer people in my situation.
  • CSBY: Well, I'm getting you on the next flight.
  • Me: Oh, really? I don't have to live in Phoenix now? Thank you.
(Okay, I didn't actually say the last line, because I only thought of it later. But seriously.)
 
Though nothing dims the pain of missing spaghetti with mizithra cheese (and seeing J, of course), I had many fine meals in Chico. The two highlights:
  • Street tacos from the taco truck by the beauty college where Mom and I get pedicures:
I ate A LOT of these. 
  • Dinner at my favorite Chico restaurant:
I love this especially because they do a 2 oz. pour, which lets you taste lots of different wines without committing to something you might not like:

But there was one challenge to this visit. Chico, California, is in full-blown spring right now, whereas Boston . . . isn't.


Remember I had that little cold before I left? Though I faithfully took cold medicine and drank hot tea and cold water every hour on the hour, I didn't get much better and spent the full week of my visit blowing my nose. The lady at the bank (Chico is a very small town, and my parents seem to know everyone) helpfully diagnosed me with allergies, which I think is probably right. I've never had seasonal allergies before, but I was dealing with an entirely different world of flora and fauna, in full bloom — my system went into overload.

Since coming home, I'm blowing my nose less — but I'm dealing with jet lag and have also had a daily migraine. No damn fun.

I've been trying to get my sleep back on track and otherwise take care of myself, but it's hard to do anything sensible when your head is about to explode.

But today, finally, finally, I feel better, and my weight is further down, and I am filled with resolve and resolution! Today is a Get Things Done day; I have a large pile of to-do crap to eradicate, four cards to write (three Get Well and one Thank You), three phone calls to make (I still haven't heard from State Farm chick), and many e-mails to address.

One thing I will not do is ride on Husband's stationary bike with my new comfy bike seat, because the one I bought doesn't fit. That is also on my pile of Things to Do: return bike seat and track down a new one. I'm rather bummed; I was actually looking forward to biking, which I think will be much easier on my poor knees than walking. Ah, well. More will be revealed.

Time to carpe the heck out of this diem!

— Lady C, lady of vim