Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lose a Pound, Gain a Pound - Updated! (Twice!)


My weight is dropping, but with abysmal slowness! I expected to be down this morning, then remembered last night's sushi dinner (sodium!).

The weather is nice, so I enjoyed a brisk outdoor walk the other night. I only have to do 10 minutes (which feels very freeing) but I did more like 20 and then came home and did all my stretching. Stretching is the Challenge component I'm still most likely to skip. With exercise, I can definitely feel and see that I'm making progress.* With stretching — nada, I'm still stiff and un-springy as a board, despite a near-daily 10-minute stretch. It's the opposite of empowering.

As I was heading out for my walk, I immediately got a text from FitBit:
  • FitBit: Hi Lady! How are you doing tonight?
  • Me: I'm taking a walk. CAN YOU SEE ME?
  • FitBit: Yes! I see you!
She cracks me up.
UPDATE: I took a walk at noon today, and when I was about five minutes into it I got a text from – guess who – FitBit! I wrote, "HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS?"

When I got home, I did my stretching right away. I'm still board-stiff, but hey. I GOT MY POINTS, that's all.
I did a favor for FitBit yesterday, proofreading her bestie Yambi's Capstone paper, and Yambi kept apologizing to me for her poor grammar:
  • Me: Honey, your English grammar is TEN TRILLION TIMES BETTER than my Spanish grammar!! 
  • Yambi: Ha ha! 
  • Me: FitBit asked me once if I spoke Spanish, and I said, “Besame mucho! Taco! Gracias!” That’s about it.
  • Yambi: That’s all the Spanish you need to get by, most likely you will get tons of kisses, tacos and smiles from Spanish speakers.
She is very sweet and I was happy to help, but now I'm behind on all my other work and starting to feel testy and cross. Husband and I leave for the Pacific Northwest in a couple of weeks, and I think I have work scheduled for every single day before we go. Too much!!

(But yes, I know this is a quality problem.)

Tonight I'm supposed to attend Part 1 of a three-part church discussion of the book Waking Up White. I think I need to go, as this whole topic (How welcoming is our mostly white church?) is starting to make me edgy and eye-rolly (did I mention that we live in a very white community? Where are we going to find all these folks of color who want to be Unitarian Universalists?), and I don't want to be edgy and eye-rolly, I want to have an open heart and an open mind. But this is the absolute last thing I want to do with my precious free time tonight, believe me.

(This event was publicized for a while before I signed up; I kept feverishly checking the three Tuesdays, as I couldn't believe that my packed schedule offered three free nights in a row. But it did, so the message is clear. Get ready to get woke, eye-rolly girl.)

Three phone calls to make this morning, all of which I'm either dreading or semi-dreading:
  • Doctor's office: Why do I have a bill saying "Balance forward"? I pay all my bills in full. What balance are you talking about??
UPDATE: "The balance is from your knee X-rays." "Yes, I see that bill. Which I paid in full." "Yes, you did, but there was a balance." Repeat three times. The bill is only $59, I give up.
  • Overstock.com: You delivered a broken table! What are you going to do about it? And yes, I'm asking for the second time.
UPDATE: Super-nice lady says I'm in the system now and my table should be picked up in a couple of days. And we don't even have to dis-assemble it ourselves! This is very good news. Less good news: My gorgeous table is out of stock. Back to the drawing board . . .
  • New School financial people: Why do you insist that I only paid half the tuition I paid last year??? So sick of this, but it will make a difference to my taxes of about $800, so I need to follow up.
UPDATE: Hateful hateful hateful people. What I need is a 1098-T that reflects the more than $50K I paid in tuition last year. What I have is a 1098-T that says $22K, which is just wrong. They keep insisting that the 1098-T reflects what I was charged, not what I paid. Which . . . WTF??? Why would I have paid something if I wasn't charged it???? I am begging my accountant to help me with this, I can't talk to these people any more.
All of these calls could have been avoided if other people would freaking do what they're supposed to do!!!! Grr grr grr.
I am so fired up and testy! Why doesn't this count as 10 minutes of exercise? I'm sure my heart rate's up.

Lady C

* Encouraged by my niece Stacy Sparkle, I can now hold a plank for 15 seconds! It's still not much, but when I first tried it I could do maybe 3 seconds. I'm trying to do a plank a day and to increase my stamina by a few seconds each time. FitBit was very impressed yesterday!! which always makes me feel good.

The real question, of course, is why do I have such a bossy niece?? Why isn't a single one of my nieces a nice quiet bookworm??? Five nieces, not a gentle reader in the bunch.
UPDATE: Just did today's plank. 20 whole seconds!!! Progress!!!!!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Film Festival!!

This year's movie weekend felt a little different to me — I should ask Brunie if she thought so, too. Usually, my mindset is MovieMovieMovie!! I want to watch as much as possible and fill every waking moment with cinematic joy. But this year not as much, even though I was as excited about our movies as ever. We both have a lot going on and haven't seen each other in a while, so there was a lot more talking than usual. Plus, my Whole Life Challenge started on Saturday, so I went to the fitness center to work out and also did my stretching and had Brunie log in for me and write my Daily Reflection, and that was all new. And of course we drank to excess — some traditions are sacred! — but I touched neither a Bugle nor a Peanut M&M, and believe me, they were there.

I drank WATER this weekend! I'm a clean teen
It was as fun as ever, it just felt a little different.

I think we're growing up!

OK. Let's get started! Which was my mindset when I left my house on Friday at noon. Brunie couldn't get there till 4, but I was ready to start feeling joy NOW!

Except I drove right past the exit, so I decided to have lunch at Mandarin Danvers, so yummy, and read The Power, my weekend book. I got to our hotel at 2.


Surprise! Brunie hadn't put my name on the reservation, the Marriott wouldn't let me in without confirmation from her, and she wasn't answering her phone. I sat in the lobby for 45 minutes, glowering and feeling persecuted and unloved.

But then Brunie called and authenticated me, and I had a happy few minutes setting up our home base, chilling the wine, and heading for the hot tub. No one bothered me, I read People magazine and drank cold water, it was blissy bliss.

However, our Friday the 13th luck continued, as Brunie could not make the TV show our videos, no matter what technological wiles she tried. The Peabody Marriott, man, it is immune to both our charms. She had to drive back home to get external speakers.

'S cool, I poured my first glass of wine at 4:10 and painted my toenails while I waited for my friend.
Don't my feet look relaxed?


The theme of our weekend, remember, is "It Might Surprise You to Know I Have a Crush On . . ."

Brunie let me pick the first movie.

5:11: The Rewrite, starring two of my secret crushes: Marisa Tomei (oh how I love her) and Hugh Grant

(I'd told her that I had to drive to four libraries to get it; we weren't leaving this weekend without watching The Rewrite!)

The movie takes place in Binghamton, New York.
  • Brunie: This is probably everyone in Binghamton's favorite movie.
[she pronounces it BingHAMton]
  • Lady: BingHAMton?
  • Brunie: Yeah.
  • Lady: Northampton and Binghamton?
  • Brunie: Yeah.
My crush Marisa doesn't show up until 5:34, but she is worth the wait.

Also: Allison Janney! J.K. Simmons! What a cast! What a cute movie!
  • Lady: I love Marisa Tomei so much. I would so marry her or Jodie Foster.
  • Brunie: Jodie is too bony, but I would share Marisa with you.
[Brunie would marry Queen Latifah.]
  • Uptight Allison Janney: This is the finest school in the Northeast!
  • Lady: Uh . . . hi, have you heard of Harvard?
  • Hugh Grant [paraphrasing Marisa Tomei's screenplay]: Small-town girl goes to the Big Apple . . .
  • Marisa Tomei: I did not say the Big Apple. I named the city.
  • Hugh Grant: The Big Manhattan, yeah.
This convulses us, and we say "the Big Manhattan" for the rest of the weekend.
  • Brunie: This movie's adorable.
  • Lady: It has everything.
  • Brunie: Why isn't it better known?
  • Lady: We will have to publicize it. Thank GOD my blog has 17 readers!
Brunie LOVES The Rewrite!!
Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Love, meaning, in Hugh's third act.
  • Brunie: Good teaching can heal your wounds.
There were many mentions of Matt Damon in that movie, so we decide to watch School Ties next — but Brunie wants to hot-tub first, so I will watch Inside Man with my secret lovah Jodie Foster, which Brunie has seen 10 squillion times.

7:10, Inside Man
  • Brunie: I can sing along to the theme song.
  • Lady: The theme song to INSIDE MAN???
Dudes, she is not kidding. Go watch the opening credits (which include a heapin' helpin' of yummy Clive Owen). Brunie also dances. It's rather amazing.

Brunie says she's leaving to hot-tub, but she's mesmerized by no one's secret crush (as in, it is no secret) Clive Owen.
  • Lady: Are you feeling your boobs while Clive Owen talks?
  • Brunie: I'm warming my hands.
  • Lady: Whatever you need to tell yourself, lady.
Brunie still hasn't left.
  • Lady: This does not seem like an efficient way to rob a bank.
  • Brunie [full of portent]: MMM-HMM.
  • Lady: What does Clive Owen want?
  • Brunie: What indeed.
  • Lady: Would my secret crush on Clive Owen shock you?
  • Brunie: To be alive is to have a crush on Clive Owen.
Brunie says she's staying till no one's secret crush Denzel (see: Clive, secret, NOT) says her favorite line: "I'm the big dick today!"

He says it very well. And we believe him!
  • Lady: I don't think Willem Dafoe likes being the small dick.
  • Brunie [yeah, she's still here]: Nuh-uh.
  • Lady: And if you saw The Last Temptation of Christ . . .
  • Brunie: Right, not usually an issue for him.
At this point, we take a one-hour break to discuss all the happenings of our crazy lives, but we barely scratch the surface. I resume Inside Man at 9, Brunie goes for a hot-tub-smoke break for, like, two hours.

What a good movie! Twisty twisty!!

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Bank robbery isn't what it seems.
  • Brunie: Bank robbery good, mitigated by Holocaust.
10:23, a surprise switch from Matt Damon: Body Heat! "Starring" (i.e., barely featuring) my secret crush Mickey Rourke, who is kinda terrible now but ohmygod so dreamy in this movie
  • Lady: Such a fetch little pyro he plays.
  • Brunie: Stop trying to make "fetch" happen.
  • Brunie: Do we get to see him swinging snake?
  • Lady: He's not the big dick in this movie.
So dreamy, right?? Oh, Mickey, what happened.
  • Lady: There's William Hurt.
  • Brunie: William hurt me.
  • Nameless Female: God, it's hot. I just got out of the shower and I'm already sweating.
  • Brunie: Story of my life, lady.
Brunie turns the lights off at 11:21 — this is the latest she's stayed up, ever! I see about a quarter of the remaining movie, it makes enough sense.

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Don't trust sweaty murderous blonde girl.
  • Brunie: Not enough full frontal nudity, pal.
Brunie is up with the dawn.
  • Lady: I think I need a time that starts with a 6, at least.
  • Brunie: It's 6:02, baby doll.
  • Lady: I think I need a 7.
Brunie brings me coffee. After a little negotiation, we decide to go classic.

I love coffee, Brunie, and Mickey Rourke in Body Heat

7:33, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, or, as we've been calling it, Thirty Seconds of the Last Good War, starring my secret crush Van Johnson and Brunie's secret crush Robert Mitchum!
  • Lady: LOVE Van Johnson!
  • Brunie: You're such a whore.
  • Lady: I have a lot of secrets.
Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay! We cheer patriotically.
  • Spencer Tracy: It might give our boys from Bataan to Singapore a big lift.
  • Brunie: Our boys need a big lift.
  • Lady: My bosoms need a big lift.
I am swooning over these young boys in the plane.
  • Brunie: They're all gonna die.
  • Lady: Well, that Barbara Ehrenreich book you're reading . . . [Natural Causes]
  • Brunie: Yes! Death is inevitable.
  • Lady: So we should start smoking and stop jogging?
  • Brunie: That was my take-away.
  • Shorty: Well, beat me, daddy!
  • Lady: Ooh! My new favorite line.
  • Brunie: Shut UP, Shorty! He can't die soon enough.
Spencer Tracy gives an inspiring talk.
  • Brunie: He's kinda dreamy.
  • Lady: Katharine thought so.
Brunie sighs longingly. It's a sweet moment. But then:
  • Spencer Tracy: You're going to have to do things with a B-25 you thought were impossible.
  • Lady: Oh, my!
  • Brunie: Did we both go right to anal penetration?
  • Lady: Robert Walker came to a bad end. Got busted for reefer, then became an alcoholic, as you do.
  • Brunie: It's a gateway drug.
  • Lady: Who's that girl? Maybe . . . Phyllis Thaxter?
  • Brunie [checks Wikipedia, where she's been reading about Robert Walker]: Yep.
  • Lady: Pulled that out of my ass. Just like a B-25!
Phyllis Thaxter shares my secret crush!
Phyllis Thaxter is considering baby names.
  • Brunie: Jennifer is a good name.
  • Lady: Yes!
  • Brunie: Barbara and Jennifer, we are such a product of the '60s. All we need is a Nancy.
We do not watch all of this movie, as we would rather avoid inevitable doom before breakfast, no matter what Barbara Ehrenreich says.

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Gorgeous airmen in deadly SECRET mission.
  • Brunie: Shut UP, Shorty! Shut UP, Thatcher!
8:22, Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More, featuring my secret crush Jodie Foster (though Kris Kristofferson is wicked hot in this movie, also Diane Ladd)

Alice says a teary goodbye to her bestie.
  • Lady: Don't ever move, Brunie.
  • Brunie: I can barely move off this bed.
Alice is weeping in a bar. Bar owner hands her a scotch.
  • Bar Owner: Here, swig on this — your troubles'll vanish.
  • Lady: That's certainly my philosophy.
(We are drinking mimosas with our breakfast. Yum! Though mine is 3/4 champagne and 1/4 OJ; Brunie's is 1/2 OJ, 1/3 peach seltzer, and 1/6 champagne.)

We consider li'l Jodie Foster. 

Awkward kid or timeless beauty? Discuss.
I like her because we're the same age and grew up together; I thought she was a homely kid who grew into a beautiful woman, which gave me hope. Whereas Brunie thinks she's at her most beautiful here and became too bony, also too determined to make sure that you know she's the smartest girl in the room (a trait that doesn't bother me in the least, as you'll see when we get to Election . . .)

Brunie is not enamored of Alice. It hasn't aged well, I'll admit, but I still love so many parts of it. The parts are more than the sum of the whole, or something like that.

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Alice keeps making same bad choices.
  • Brunie: Brunie doesn't watch this any more.
9:54, School Ties, with my secret crush li'l Matt Damon at last!

(He's so awful in this movie but his face is so cute. Unlike his bestie Ben Affleck, who plays "Chesty Smith" and whose puffy face isn't cute in the least.)
  • Brendan Fraser: Wheeler's a great guy.
  • Brunie: Hates Jews, though.
  • Lady: And how!
Amy Locane looks like Kristen Dunst. She's smoking on their first date.
  • Lady: She's going to taste awful.
  • Brunie: She's going to taste like sin.
Brunie decides that she doesn't want to watch anti-Semitism after all. She's anti anti-Semitism. Good for you, Brunie! You take that stand!

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Secret Jew endures elite prep school.
  • Brunie: They all lived happily ever after!
11:05, Calamity Jane, starring my secret crush Howard Keel (or as Brunie calls him, Howard Muthafuckin' Keel!)

Credits roll. "Howard Muthafuckin' Keel!" we cry in unison. Oh, the neighbors.

Some guy is painting a portrait of Katie Brown, which Howard Muthafuckin' Keel! stops to admire.
  • Lady: She doesn't have an elbow.
  • Brunie: He loves a disabled girl.
  • Lady: "Baby, you need someone elbowed outta the way? I'm your guy."
Howard Muthafuckin' Keel!!!!
  • Lady: Oh! My favorite scene! You know what my favorite kind of movie scene is, right?
  • Brunie: Uh — cleaning up a mess!
  • Lady: YES!!
  • Brunie: Aw — you're so excited by my memory of your pathology.
  • Brunie: Are you saving the champagne? Want some?
  • Lady: Nah, I gotta work out. I think I should wait.
  • Brunie: I already did my workout. 
  • Lady: WHAT.
  • Brunie: I do it lying in bed.
  • Doris Day: "Once I had a secret love . . ."
  • Lady: Theme of our weekend!!
Very sweet movie! We are charmed.

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Doris Day marries her best friend.
  • Brunie: Doris Day adorable, muddy or clean.
Workin' for a livin'!
Break time! I work out, Brunie does work-work, then we hot-tub for a bit.

2:31, About Last Night starring my secret crush Elizabeth Perkins!

[We confess that we each have secret crushes on Jim Belushi, but only in this movie.]

About Last Night has a cleaning-up scene that's also a makeover!! My joy is complete. Also, I'm on my second After-Hours Lemonade.

We love this movie!

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: First love is bumpy, yet HOT.
  • Brunie: All that sex would kill me.
4:45, Hair! starring my and Brunie's secret crush Treat Williams

I swoon over Treat Williams singing "I Got Life" while strutting down a fancy dinner party table. Oh, my.

My overall response to Hair's choreography: Jesus, Twyla.
  • Brunie: They need Calamity Jane!
Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Hippies avoid war, make ultimate sacrifice.
  • Brunie: Oh, Berger, we hardly knew ye.
We peruse the room service menu and learn that "Statler-style chicken" is a boneless breast with a drumette attached, just like in nature. I ask Brunie for some ice water.
  • Brunie: I put a lot of ice in your water, princess, and eventually it will become water.
  • Lady: I feel like you're mocking me. I know how water works.
6:46, Election, starring our secret crush Reese Witherspoon!

We plan to take a drink every time Tracy Flick does something Lady-like. This should go well. I'm back to wine, Brunie's drinking bourbon and Coke with, like, 9,000 maraschino cherries.

Brunie chooses subtitles, and we see the words "English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing."
  • In unison: That's us!
Tracy Flick's is the first hand up! Her hand stays up! She knows the answer, yes she does!

Good lord, we'll be drunk as skunks in two minutes.
  • Tracy Flick: I never missed a meeting! I volunteered for any committee, as long as I could lead it!
We drink.

Tracy Flick makes a disappointed face when the bell rings before she can finish her answer.

We drink.
  • Chris Klein: Thank you, God, for all my blessings, especially for what I've been told is a very big penis.
  • Lady: At least we don't have to figure out who's the big dick in this flick. 
  • Tracy Flick: Hey! Hey! One per person! Put those back!
We lift our glasses at precisely the same moment.
  • Tracy Flick (to Matthew Broderick): Aren't you supposed to keep those? [her election signature sheets]
  • Lady: "I know what you should be doing better than you do!"
We drink.

  • Tracy Flick: Eric, you don't put tape ON the poster. It goes on the BACK of the poster!
We drink.
  •  Tracy Flick: People are so ungrateful!
Brunie is now drinking very pointedly, to mock me.
  • Tracy Flick: On Election Day, Mom and I got up early and customized 430 cupcakes!
  • Brunie [to me]: Yeah, I hope you're drinking. I'm out of liquor, thanks to you.
  • Tracy Flick: Order! Order! Order!
I drink. Brunie is snockered.
  • Tracy Flick: I was in the top seventh percentile of my class and I got into Georgetown . . . !
  • Lady: I can't drink fast enough!!!!
Great movie! Good God, we're drunk!

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Driven girl seeks class presidency, friends.
  • Brunie: Lady Flick got me hella snockered.
9:40, Wild Things, featuring my secret crush Theresa Russell
  • Brunie: I remember nothing about this movie.
  • Lady: I remember that it's HOT.
  • Brunie: Maybe that's our theme.
  • Lady: "Who's the big dick?" is our theme.
  • Brunie: Is Theresa Russell even in this movie?
  • Lady: Yeah, she plays someone's mom, I think. I saw it on IMDB. She was in a lot of terrible movies, I blame her husband.

Hi, I'm Theresa Russell. You may remember me from Wild Things. Or not.

Surprise! After 92 glasses of Tracy Flick-prompted hooch, we fall asleep quickly. Which, of course, doesn't stop us from summarizing a movie we saw a third of.

Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Twisty murder plot — few stay dead.
  • Brunie: I think this will end badly.

Wow, we slept till almost 7! Very late for us, but so Compliant.
  • Brunie: I'm going to check out the hot tub, see who's there.
  • Lady: I don't think anyone's in it at 7 a.m.
  • Brunie: YOU don't know.
  • Lady: You're right.
  • Brunie: I KNOW I'm right!
  • Lady: Wait — did we switch? Are you Tracy Flick now?
  • Brunie: "I deserve my own private hot tub! I work so hard for everyone else!"
  • Lady: I hear you, honey.
7:41, Suspect, introducing my and Brunie's secret crush Liam Neeson!

Wow, self-serve is 84 cents a gallon?? How long ago was this?
  • Lady: Who's screaming out in the hallway?
  • Brunie: A baby.
  • Lady: Go yell at it!
  • Cher: I want you to go now!
  • Brunie: Into my vagina!
  • Joe Mantegna [prosecuting Liam Neeson]: Did you punch your own attorney in the face?
  • Cher: Objection!
  • Lady: He punched me, but it felt like a kiss!
We are astonished to see Dennis Quaid smoking on a bus!
  • Brunie: Well, in the '80s you could, in the back.
  • Lady: Because of the special physics of smoke.
  • Brunie: The Internet could've solved this movie.
Dennis Quaid is lying on his hotel bed, watching TV and sipping whiskey.
  • Brunie: That's me in every hotel room.
  • Lady: Nah, he still has his pants on.
Cher picks up a box cutter.
  • Brunie: It's Chekhov's box cutter!
Cher looks around for Dennis Quaid.
  • Brunie: Is he in her house? Her office? Her pants?
Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Cher defends wicked hot homeless guy.
  • Brunie: Liam Neeson will be a star.
We called it!
  • Lady: Your summaries are not so much summaries.
  • Brunie: You're doing the summaries. Mine are responses. They are reviews.

  • Brunie: I want to put in the Hank Williams movie for a few minutes.
  • Lady [makes a face]
  • Brunie: HOW many of MY movies did we watch? Between ZERO and ONE!
We have the room till noon but Brunie has to leave at 11:30. We compromise:

10:09, You'll Never Get Rich, starring Brunie's secret crush Rita Hayworth!
  • Brunie: 88 minutes! It's like it was written for us.
We attempt to dance like Fred and Rita.
  • Brunie: Do you know this dance?
  • Lady: Nah, I'm just doing what they do, like I do at zumba.
  • Brunie: I can do the arm part.
The plot is . . . busy.
  • Lady: What does the box say?
  • Brunie: It's convoluted, even for a box description.
  • Lady: Gosh, she's pretty. Does she get Alzheimer's? Not in this movie, I mean.
  • Boss Man: I have just one question: What does [Fred Astaire's character] weigh?
  • Lady: Well, that was random.
Brunie is packing while we watch.
  • Brunie: Oh! My pants!
  • Lady: Pants are always such an afterthought for you.
Six-word summaries:
  • Lady: Love triangles, misunderstandings, musical highjinks ensue!
  • Brunie: Horny producer causes havoc for everyone.
And that was it! It's 11:30, we each have to get home.
  • Lady: This festival was awesome! We should watch random movies we like every year!
And so it is written.

Lady C

Today's Morning Question

I know that some of you are avidly anticipating my write-up of the Film Festival weekend (spoiler: it was awesome!), but you'll have to hold on a bit longer; the Whole Life Challenge has started again, and this week's Well-Being Practice is a Morning Question: What would success look like for me today?

I am literally supposed to write my answer to this question, so here it is: Today, success will mean getting through my whole to-do list:
  • Three editing jobs: home visiting, literacy, numeracy (the third one is really long, I'll only start it today)
  • Go to the gym for some cardio and sweat
  • Pick up a tax form from my accountant
  • Call the New School and see why the tax form they gave me acknowledges only half the tuition payments I sent (really looking forward to this one)
  • Wash my hair and do something to make it pretty before . . .
  • . . . Memorial service at 2:30
  • Bring up and fold my clean laundry
  • Assemble the final two new dining-room chairs (so! cute!)
If time and energy allow:
  • Assemble packages to mail to Mom and my sweet niece Stacy Sparkle
  • Tighten the screws on one of the chairs that Husband assembled
  • Write Film Festival recap!
And, of course, eat Compliantly, drink my water, stretch, all that jazz.

Big busy day! Back to it.

Lady C

Friday, April 13, 2018

Festival Bound!


I've spent the past two days feverishly gathering DVDs from my "local" libraries to represent my and Brunie's secret Hollywood lovahs. (I trekked all the way to Wellesley! But it was a fun trip; Mimosa came with and we had lunch at Alta Strada, one of our favorite restaurants, and also drove by Mass Bay Community College, where I'm hoping she'll take a class or two next fall. Good day!)

I told the Arlington librarian what we were doing, which made her smile, and then as she checked out my movies, I murmured the name of my secret crush (Crimes of the Heart — Sam Shepard! Body Heat — Mickey Rourke! About Last Night — Elizabeth Perkins!), and when she got to An Affair to Remember, I held it up and said, "I really don't need to tell you, do I?" and she laughed out loud.

To my great disappointment, I couldn't find Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore because the Newton library lost it. (My secret crush: Jodie Foster! Who's in the movie for about five minutes, but good Lord I don't want to slog through The Accused or Panic Room or Taxi Driver or Nell again. I want to watch Inside Man, but Brunie says she's seen it 100 times; I could try to watch it while she's sleeping, but I tried watching it late at night once before and the plot is kinda labyrinthine and it put me right to sleep.) I asked Brunie if she could get it at her library. She said:
Beverly doesn't have ALICE, but we can stream it on Amazon for $3. So I think we should. I have never seen it and I love Ellen Burstyn and I didn't know it was directed by Scorcese! I am all over this . . .
She also informs me that she's bringing a box of wine, as she did last year. Two things:
  • Do you remember which one of us insists on a refrigerator?
  • She got to the room first last year. When I opened "our" refrigerator, guess what filled it completely?
I said:
I would like to gently recommend that you get used to the idea now that your honkin’ box of wine is not going in our fridge. But I’ll have a little ice chest, it can go in there (I think we did that last year).
Her reply:
I am fine with ice for my DELICIOUS box of wine. I also have other libations, I am unconcerned.
Ah, we co-exist so well. Until we start fighting over the room temperature. And whether I have to watch Sweet Smell of Success, Junebug, or anything featuring Andie McDowell. Fortunately, we have a well-established 15-minute rule! Anyone can call it after 15 minutes, life is just too short.

I am very excited about the two games we've planned. One is a drinking game while we watch Election (my secret crush: Reese Witherspoon in Election! Barb crushes on her too but prefers her in The Man In the Moon, which we may also watch, weep weep) — we take a shot every time Tracy Flick does something that reminds us of me. (I expect to be snockered in 10 minutes.) Our second game is Six Word Summaries, which we play often at my parties: summarize the movie plot in six words, even if we watched just 15 minutes of it. This is always a hoot and should only be enhanced by box wine and vodka.

This weekend's featured cocktail: After-Hours Lemonade, created by my brother Mateo. Citrus vodka, diet tonic water, and homemade sweet 'n' sour mix, served over ice, boy howdy is it good. I made the sour mix yesterday, with fresh lemons and limes as per usual, but I also added a blood orange, and it is now blood red sweet 'n' sour mix. It tastes delicious but oh my. A slightly murderous-looking drink, for sure.

I will head out to Peabody soon, because I'm excited and ready to start feeling joy. Brunie, alas, won't get there till 4. I can't watch movies until she arrives, but I can drink wine and read my book and visit the hot tub and fake-tan my legs, and that sounds like a lovely afternoon to me!

See you on the flip side.

Lady C

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kiss Me What the Hell?

In what may be a new tradition, I spent Film Festival Eve (as in, the night before my annual Film Festival with Brunie) watching a classic film with my ace pal Writer Jenny, while also enjoying wine and tasty snacks. We are eating cheese and flour while we still can; the next round of the Whole Life Challenge starts on Saturday.

Our movie was Kiss Me Deadly, a noir highly recommended by Jenny.

Good lord, is it batshit crazy!!! But we had a lot of fun.

In general, things are better — or, more accurately, I am feeling better. I was a wreck on Sunday and drank wine all day long, almost a full bottle, weeping, weeping, then Nurse Kathy took me out for scrumptious Indian food and I drank three Cosmopolitans and another glass of wine, and mercy Maud was I unwell on Monday. But a quiet day in my nightie, drinking water and reading library books, was just what the doctor ordered.

Plus, I'm pulling all the loving messages from my friends around and over me like a blanket. All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

And tomorrow: Film Festival! Stay tuned.

Lady C

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Why Aren't My Healthy Habits Making Me Happy?


My friend Reverend Linda once said that it's important to have an ongoing faith practice, because then it's there for you when you need it (she said it much more beautifully and spiritually than that), and that's sort of the way I've been thinking about physical health and my daily life: the key word is ongoing. If I keep at it on a regular basis, then when times are bad at least I have my health.

Or something like that.

It has been a tough week. Work-wise I'm okay; I'm caught up and won't do any editing this weekend, even though I have a big job waiting for me. But I need to get out of this chair. The biggest issue is the mental health of my nearest and dearest, which deeply weighs me down. My daughter is depressed (this is not new), my cats are territorial and frightened (I think we have to return our new cat to her foster mama, which is breaking my heart), and my oldest friend has freaking lost her mind. Her issue with me is so ridiculous, you would roll your eyes for a year if I told you about it, but she has chosen to let this be the thing that ends our friendship of more than three decades. I am worried about her, because she is acting so crazy, and beyond irritated with her, and both mindsets are unsettling.

The problem in all these cases is how little control I have over any of it. I would pay any amount to heal my daughter. I would try anything to bring peace to my kitties. As for my former friend, I tried reaching out to her husband (unhelpful) and thought about calling her dad, and then thought, To what end? I suspect that I'm being cast as the villain in her story. C'est la vie.

So, I continue to eat things that grow naturally from the earth and eschew dessert and try to limit my alcohol consumption and fit in exercise every day (yesterday I sawed off all the winter-damaged limbs in my yard, which just fit my mood) and go to bed early and drink my water, and it all takes concentration and effort, and why isn't it paying off in terms of peace of mind and any sense of well-being???


Once again, my poor hands are ravaged — always a sign of the stress I'm under. I had breakfast with Kind Tina on Friday, and she said, "You have way too much on your plate," which is true, but how do I send my plate back? Who on earth would take it???
Today's plan: clean the house, go to the gym while my daughter tries a yoga class, tend to my overflowing mending basket while watching old movies, and bring in takeout for dinner. And keep the cats in separate rooms while we wait for a foster home to open up. And probably cry, who am I kidding.


Lady C

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Crappy Day Full of Crap

Arggh!!! Not a good day.
  • I have a lot of work – which is a good problem, of course, but sitting in a chair all day is not good for me, and endless assignments are stressful. I just want to be DONE. Which I won't be, for several weeks, I fear.
  • I applied for an editing job (a short-term project, based in Michigan) that I didn't get, which, ironically, is also making me blue. I have plenty of work! Too much, in fact! But it's never fun to be rejected.
  • All sorts of "friend" issues: One old friend has stopped speaking to me (she is CRAZY), and another group of friends could not be less interested in my upcoming visit, apparently. (I'm actually finding the latter a little amusing, but it is humbling nonetheless. I think I am so beloved and popular! Except, not so much.)
  • For our upcoming trip to the Pacific Northwest, I told the travel agent that we wanted to go to Canada but weren't fully clear on the dates yet, so she should book five days in a Seattle hotel and then we'd deal. Apparently, what she heard was, "Please book a non-changeable hotel stay, because even though I'm mentioning 'Canada,' I'm not serious about this in the least – five days in Seattle for me!" We can cancel the reservation and get a full refund, that's not a problem, but we can't re-book that same hotel, so now I have to find a Seattle hotel for three nights . . . which so far is very pricey. And isn't this why I had a travel agent???
  • My cats hiss and growl and chase each other, 24-7. The boys do not like the new girl at all, and vice versa. I am home all day with my endless work and have to listen to this. I love my kitties, and their vocal pain and fear is incredibly stressful. Can't we all just get along????
  • April Broadway e-mailed me to come to zumba with her tonight, and I wrote back, "All I want to do is climb into bed with a bottle of wine and a straw and cry for two hours. Which is probably a sign that I should go to zumba, right?" So I went . . . and the class was really hard, and I hurt my back trying to "hula hoop," and I felt old and fat and clumsy and left before class was over. Which was incredibly depressing.
  • And finally: When I was last at CVS, I couldn't find the Neutrogena hand cream I wanted so I bought a different kind, also Neutrogena, and it's just not good at all. 
 The one on the left: good! The one on the right: bad! Don't be fooled.
I feel especially bad because I tucked a small bottle of the crap lotion in Good Neighbor Anne's birthday present – I'll have to apologize.
OK, I realize that this is a small thing, but I'm trying to type with greasy fingers and it is SO ANNOYING.
That is all. Time to take a hot shower, drink some wine, and watch The Good Wife. Tomorrow is another day, THANK GOD.
I found this while searching for "crap day" images. Yeah, thanks,
Perspective Fairy
. I'll stop bitching now
Lady C Is for Cranky (or Curmudgeonly) (or Churlish)