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Last weekend I left my house and went to an actual theater to see a movie. It felt like a bold and daring move, bordering on reckless debauchery. This is what the world has come to. The movie was Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos, and it was so significant that a week later I’m still thinking about it. I’m not sure why it stuck with me all week, but like the title says, I got some ‘splainin’ to do, mostly to myself, so I can figure it out and move on with my life. There will likely be spoilers in this post; consider yourself forewarned and prepare accordingly.

Much of the action in Being the Ricardos takes place over the course of a tense week in the personal and professional lives of Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnez (Javier Bardem) on the set of I Love Lucy. Deviations from the production week timeline occur via monologue from the writers Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll, and producer Jess Oppenheimer (played by Linda Lavin, Ronny Cox and John Rubinstein, respectively). Serving collectively as a narrator, each one reminisces from a vantage point decades later, about the off-screen drama. Thus, they set the stage for pivotal moments, like when Desi and Lucille first meet on the set of the movie Too Many Girls. They also provide details about the couple’s relationship, with quips like, “They were either tearing each other’s heads off or tearing each other’s clothes off,” which is followed by a scene in which the couple does both simultaneously. The story weaves back and forth through time creating a patchwork effect.

Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of the smart and savvy businesswoman behind the character of Lucy Ricardo was brilliant. Javier Bardem’s performance was equally as awesome — he dances, he sings, he acts! The whole cast was just fabulous. I was so lost in the story I couldn’t even tell you if the black-and-white scenes were the original footage or remade by the present-day actors. And I don’t even care. So there.

It was fascinating to see how Lucille and Desi persistently pressed the establishment to accommodate their personal lives and to expand the broadcast of basic human life to the public. In their day, of course, married couples did not share beds on TV and children were apparently brought into the world by stork. Yet they eventually convinced the network to televise a pregnant Lucille/Lucy on national TV at a time when such things were considered much too risqué for general public consumption.

The story was structured in such a way to explore the dynamic tension between fantasy and reality, practice and performance, public politics and private life. These tensions are as relevant today as they were then. The individual parts were jumbled, but recursive. By the end, the pieces came together to create a unified quilt-like whole, even as the couple was being torn asunder.

The linguistic nerd in me was gratified by all the dialogue surrounding the concept of “communism,” which demonstrated how abstract ideas come to have vastly different meanings depending on one’s personal experiences. The treatment of communism reminded me of Trumbo, another interesting movie set around the same era when all the cool intellectuals who hadn’t actually experienced the particulars and practice of communism were being accused of thinking it was such a great idea.

I wonder whether the movie would have been as salient if I had not seen it in a theater. Could it be the need to sustain attention for two hours straight that kept the movie with me for a week? Or maybe there is just something special about the ancient ritual of sitting in the dark experiencing a shared story with other people.

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Last weekend El D finally managed to get me out of the house for a roadtrip.

Since giving up my interstate life and moving to Peace.Love.Home. last June, I have become a serious homebody.  (On a side note, it feels like we packed multiple years into the last one. It went by in dog years – at least seven.)  Though it was difficult to pry myself away for even a day, it was fun.  Summer doesn’t seem like summer without a roadtrip.

Our destination was the Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, just a short drive north from Jackson, TN. We took the backroads because that’s how we roll (i.e., amongst the villagers, cornfields, cows, and goats).

It was a gorgeous day.  The sky was filled with marshmellow clouds.  On the drive I was struck by how short the Tennessee sky seems. We have plenty of sky, it’s just kinda squat. I never noticed this until I went to Tulsa where the sky is really tall. It’s weird. Maybe the sky here just seems short because it’s usually hemmed in by a canopy of trees. Or maybe the clouds here are just lower and poofier.  At any rate, I prefer the short one.  It seems safer.  The tall Tulsa sky always made me feel like I could fly right off the Earth at any moment without warning.

short sky and deer

short sky and deer through broken glass

I liked the safari park. I had planned on coming home with a peacock and a goat, but El D and Moon Pie were not being at all cooperative, which is fine because I saw something I might need more than a peacock.  Check it out:

 This guy has the same hairdo as the Angry Russian

I think he’s great.  And his hairdo is just like the Angry Russian’s.

 

Hey, remember that time last summer when I saw the neighbor’s horse and called it over like it was a puppy and El D made fun of me?   Well, same scenario, except this horse was a little punk rocker who tried to get in the car with us…

july 7 2012 017

I’m beginning to think that a roadtrip isn’t a roadtrip unless there’s a zebra involved. 

 

More Posts on Roadtrips:

Arkansas Roadside Attractions

The Angry Russian, SeniorCitizenChurchLady, and The Devil on a Road Trip

We are very busy at work this morning doing urgent, important things!

What are you up to today?

It all started almost five years ago when I was gearing up to move to Tulsa for a 9-month teaching gig. I traded in my gigantic 1990’s mobile phone for a ridiculously expensive upgrade to a new super sexy iPhone, which for some reason I named Matilda. I carried Matilda around in the box she came in for several days, much to the amusement of a certain relative (COUGH*Elitest Jerk*COUGH), who teased me so mercilessly about it that I finally let Matilda out into the cruel, tamasic world. Less than a week later – my first weekend in Tulsa actually – I dropped poor Matilda on the concrete floor of Bill & Ruth’s Subs.  Her screen shattered upon impact. Fearing a total meltdown, The Devil rushed us to the nearest Apple Store where a Genius told me that he was very sorry, but there was absolutely nothing he could do to save her.  I would have to buy a new one. I stood stone still in complete shock blinking at him.

BLINK-BLINK.  BLINK-BLINK.

Lip twitch.

BLINK-BLINK. BLINK-BLINK.

Something in my near catatonic expression must have caused him to reconsider this position because he furtively took my phone, disappeared behind a door into the mysterious Genius Lair, and then promptly returned with a pristinely-screened Matilda (or at least a reasonable facsimile).  Thereafter, Matilda was dropped all over the place, including one unfortunate time into the toilet.  Despite all this, she managed to survive the years intact and working like a champ.

That is until last week.

Last week I was walking to my car while doing at least 5 other things simultaneously. I’m sure I was heading off to go do something that was terribly important since…ya know…I’m such a busy person with so many important things to do. If I recall correctly, my Indentured Servant was doing one of her running commentary comedic routines that accompany these outings.  Nilla Bean (aka Donkey), who has definitely left behind the so-fluffy-I-could-die phase of her puppyhood for the lanky, moose-like ‘tween phase, was prancing around, all tongue and tail, like a complete maniac.  Add to this chaotic scene, the new neighbor’s oversized work truck, which is backed into a parking space causing the long metal rods in the truck’s bed to extend out dangerously beyond the tailgate to threaten the people of the sidewalk.

I have no idea how it happened, but quite suddenly Matilda went flying out of my hand and crashed face first onto the sidewalk. I was mid-step when this happened and somehow the toe of my sandal connected with her right at the moment of impact with the ground.  Thus sending poor Matilda skidding across the sidewalk like hockey puck.  With my history of falling, it’s nothing short of a miracle that I managed to stay upright and unharmed.  Matilda didn’t fare as well.  Her face was again shattered.

I found a place that does screen repairs. The two fellas in the shop seemed right out of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The “Bill” of the pair opened up the phone and asked me when I got the phone wet because it was all corroded inside.  He was surprised it even worked and he couldn’t guarantee that it would continue to after he put a new screen on.

It turned out that Matilda worked just fine once she was patched up.  But then the day before yesterday she fell out of bed and bumped her head. And now she doesn’t work anymore. Well, her screen works, so I can see when people call or text but the screen won’t swipe so I can’t get in to actually read my texts or hear voicemail or call out.

Please understand that nobody ever calls me.  Except the Devil. And Senior Citizen Church Lady. Or at least they didn’t until yesterday when people started blowin’ up my phone with calls and texts.  I’ve had more calls and texts the past two days than I have in the previous 2 years.

And that’s the end of the story.  Long story short: I’m not ignoring calls/texts.  My phone is just broke!  You may email me or reach me on the Devil’s line.

I leave you with a video of the song the Indentured Servant and I listened to to commemorate the demise of Matilda along with select snippets of her philosophical musings of the lyrics.

Why don’t they just silence the mofo?
…..or you know…maybe put it on vibrate?
‘Cause that’s what I would do…
….This is a disaster??? Seriously?!
….This song is clearly not meant to be thought about.

I’m sending out an SOS (Save Our Seeker!)

I devoured season one and now I’m a quarter of the way through season two, at the end of which the show was cancelled. Dammit. Something must be done! I’m not kidding. In my panic I’ve joined the movement to Save Our Seeker.  There is an entire website for this cause.  Look for yourself: saveourseeker.com

I’m considering campaigning at ComicCons across the country….and internationally…and maybe even intergalactically….

What can you do to keep me from losing my dignity?

Watch the show (Season 1 is on Hulu for free)! 

 Buy the DVDs!

Send angry letters to the networks!

Volunteer at a fan table with me dressed as a Mord Sith!

…or at least that’s what I was instructed to do when Dana nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award in her blog. 

In reality I think my adoring crowd consists of just Dana.  But Dana, I am smiling and waving at you!

The “Rules” for this particular award are:

1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the award. Thanks Dana!!


2. Post a photo of the award.

TADA!

3. Share ten things about yourself readers don’t know.

          3-1.  I don’t have a TV, but I am maniacally tearing through two shows via Netflix. The first is Legend of the Seeker.  Everything and everybody is just so pretty on this show.  And the sword fights are like dances.  It makes me giddy.

The second is Big Bang Theory, a show that is funny and that features smart people who use big words.  Being a scientist has never been so sexy.  Thank you Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady!

          3-2. I briefly entertained the idea of going to  Cancun/Tulum/Chichen Itza  for spring break  because the  “2012 end of the Mayan calendar” seemed like THE time to go.  Then I decided I was being cliché  and that maybe I should just stay home, read a book and  and plant a garden instead. 

          3-3. Speaking of books, these are the ones I’m concurrently reading: The Lost Art of Compassion, 2012 The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Born to Talk, The Geography of Bliss.

          3-4.  I went to Tulsa last weekend, mostly to eat. 

          3-5. I ate cupcakes with eggs in Tulsa — the first violation of my dietary restriction in months.  The Devil made me do it (as usual).  He said he wouldn’t tell anyone, but there’s no point denying it happened.

Kupcakz of Tulsa! My favorite.

          3.6 While in Tulsa I also drank Irish hot chocolate. Two cups in fact. 

          3.7   Following this imbibement, I  drunk-texted my yogini support group for an emergency intervention.  With their help I managed to resist ordering a hamburger from the restaurant that serves the best hamburgers I’ve ever had anywhere. Ever.  (Thank you yogini’s for talking me down off that ledge!)

          3.8 Then I apparently took some drunken pictures of Tulsa…

          3.9  Tulsa is one of my favorite cities. On this trip we visited a spot I didn’t know existed until recently.  It’s known as “The Center of the Universe.”  It appears to be an ordinary place in downtown Tulsa  bordered by buildings and a parking garage.  However, ordinary it is not.  There is a certain place that has very odd (and unintentional) acoustic properties. If you walk up and stand at the center of a circle of bricks and speak, your voice will h ave an odd distorted quality. If your partner stands right outside the circle and you are in the circle listening to yourself talk with this weird voice, he will not hear anything odd about your voice.  If your partner stands in the circle while you stand in the circle and you both talk you both will hear the weird distortion.  If you both stand in the circle in the cold trying out a variety of weird voices to see how they will sound  you will be delighted at the effect; however, other people passing by outside the circle may look at you quite strangely and wonder if you’re crazy. At any rate, from what I’ve read the archeticture of a nearby concrete planter has a parabolic reflectivity that creates the acoustic effect.

          3-10 One last weird thing about Tulsa — the sky seems unusually high. There is just so much of it and it is so far away.

4. Choose six people to present this award to.

          4-1 Amy – because your blogs are creative, but they don’t come nearly enough.

          4-2 The Good Greatsby – because you’ve made smoking jackets cool again.

          4-3 Tori Nelson –  because letting readers plan your wedding is creative and fun and…brave.

          4-4 Rene – because Life in the Boomer Lane makes me giggle on a regular basis.

          4-5 Plum Bananas – because you promote good health and keep two blogs and reading your blog makes me feel less neurotic.

          4-6 Progress on the Prairie – because your blog inspired me to grow arugula and I have to respect a woman willing to kill for herself a life she consumes.

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