Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things That Make My Heart Go Pitty-Pat

It's a funny thing, defining what moves a person.

What gives their life meaning and keeps them going.

This post is NOT about my family, despite the fact that they do that and more for me.

I received a note from a friend recently. It ended with a line from one of my favorite movies, Casablanca.

"We'll always have Paris."

That conjures up all kinds of feelings; that despite how something has ended, one has a lovely memory to treasure of a time they enjoyed with someone else.

I know the movie is a romance and that I'm supposed to feel sad because Rick has done the noble thing, sending Ilsa away with her husband. And I do love the iconic moment when he tilts her head up and says "Here's looking at you, kid."

My heart starts to flutter just looking at her so-damned-cute hat. But there are two other lines that really set my pulses racing. Watch the ending and see if you can guess what they are.

Rick shoots Major Strasser, the police reinforcements arrive, and Captain Renault hesitates for a moment. Camera angle cuts back and forth between him and Rick. What will he say?

Round up the usual suspects.

This moves me. Louis Renault, corrupt and flawed, has chosen to protect a noble man who has possibly committed murder. He gives up everything he has to fight against the evil of oppression, to risk death for something truly important.

Admittedly, most of us aren't tested this way. Make no mistake, though. We face opportunities to stand up for our core values every day. To protect our friends when they need our help. To work together with companions to get things sorted out.

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Cue stirring music. Walk off into the mist side by side, jauntily, ready to face whatever fate has to toss at you.

Oh, yeah. My heart is pounding hard.

What moves you? Feel free to illustrate your answer with movie quotes if it pleases you.

I Miss My Friend

Sometimes, only one person is missing,
and the whole world seems depopulated.

"L'Isolement", Méditations Poétiques (1820)
Alphonse de Lamartine
October 21, 1790 - February 28, 1869
writer, poet, politician

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

UPDATED: Rain and a Mystery Link Just for You

I promised to volunteer in Amazing Girl Child's school today.
To work with the kids on reading.
And to help in the school's organic garden.

I'd like to stay and chat, but I need to go.
And get drenched.

Hope you're having a good day.
Here's a nice article for you to read.
In the warm, cozy environs of your home.
With a cup of tea.
While I serve as a place for raindrops to land.

Please keep your fingers crossed that I don't get pneumonia.

UPDATE: Here is the weather icon for today in my town:
My girl woke up with a very stuffy head. So we had to stay home together while she slept, got up, drank juice, slept, ate soup, slept, and watched Harry Potter. I hope she's better tomorrow. Especially since I promised to help a friend learn how to use her new Mac.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mike Rowe, Naked. Let's Get Active, Shall We?

I was going to talk with you today about my outrage over the chemical industry's opposition to Michelle Obama's organic garden. But I got a little sidetracked by a clip I found related to organic cooking with this very nice looking man.

Apparently this was a segment done for Evening Magazine, hosted by Mike Rowe on CBS in the Bay area pre-Dirty Jobs back in 2002.

Hopefully, watching it affected you the same way it did me: it made me restless, eager to burn off a sudden burst of energy. Since Mike doesn't appear to be available for a cooking session in my bedroom kitchen, despite my repeated emails and phone calls to Discovery Channel, I found something else almost as fun to do.

Let's put the pesticide peddlers in their place
. It might not be exactly the same as hanging out with Mike, but it's sure to give us all a satisfied glow after we do it.

Oh, and if you like, you can do your activism naked in the privacy of your kitchen. When your neighbor sees you through the window, and asks what on earth you're up to, you can share the link with him or her.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trees are for Hugging, not for Hanging

Remember yesterday, when I told you about the hateful ad from National Organization for Marriage? I promised to tell you today why it bothers me so much.

Homophobia is wrong.
Fear mongering is wrong.
Raising children to believe that gay people are bad is wrong.

This is a black and white issue for me.
Sort of like racism.
That's another monstrous wrong.

Which made me think of how the two issues are related. I spent some time recently over at Monkey Girl's place. She had a post about how it was fine with her if Texas seceded because she felt - well, I'll let you read what she said. One part that caught my eye dealt with all the hanging trees down in Texas. Trees which the tourism site blithely lists as attractions, noting:
The best way to survive as a tree in Texas is to arrange to have some historic event occur under (or hanging from) your branches.
Racism is still very much alive in this country. President and Mrs. Obama may be in the White House, but there are a lot of people saying very hateful things about them. And let's not forget this, this and this. It's not just words, either.

How does this relate to homophobia? Perhaps you haven't caught the news lately. I learned about a pair of tragedies related to homophobic bullying over at The Blue Door. My friend Mrs. Chili shared the news about 11-year old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who hung himself after enduring daily taunts of being gay.

I have to stop a minute to wipe my eyes. This could have been my son. This could have been my neighbor's son. It really doesn't matter whose son Carl was. His death is a blow to us all.

Rest in peace, Carl.

Then a few days later, I saw the title of Mrs. Chili's post: Quick Hit: We've Lost Another One.

Surely not, I thought.
She must be referring to something else.
She was not.
Another eleven year old, another hanging, for the same ugly, evil reason.

Jaheem Herrera, rest in peace.
I wish so much that you were still alive.

Mrs. Chili wrote a very fine post about things we can all do to foster love and show acceptance for gay people. If you click on only one link in my post, I hope you will click here.

And here too. I really like this post at Nailing Jello to the Wall. Sue J gives some excellent links for resources to combat intolerance and hatred.

If you travel around the Blog Universe, you will find a lot of people citing similar stories of young people driven to desperate acts by bullying from others. Some blame the schools for not taking action to stop it. Some point to the political climate with leaders who accepted torture instead of more humane methods of interrogation. Judith Warner has a thought-provoking piece in the New York Times about how young people socialize and the role that parents have in this process. There are hundreds of comments about it. I found my head nodding in agreement with one of them. A man wrote, in part:

Today, I live in NYC, with gay and lesbian friends and lovers.
New York City, a place where the new cardinal speaks once again as the bully on the playground.

It's more than just schools, or bullying classmates, or parents. It's our community as a whole. Bigots are everywhere, to be sure, but there seems to be a disproportionate number of them who are thumping on their Bibles. I think that people who make ads like the one from NOM bear significant responsibility. That people who proclaim that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality contribute mightily to this gay bashing. That people who voted to support Prop. 8 in California are a real part of the problem. They are culpable for these deaths.

This week was a busy one, with lots of stuff to occupy my time. Though I'm proud of my posts and my other activities, I am a little sad that I failed to acknowledge Earth Day in this blog. Environmental activism has been an important part of my family's life for many years, and I wish I'd written about it. Sometime soon, I will; for now this post title will have to do.

I had a hard time coming up with the title for this post. Given the nature of the two young men's suicides, I wanted to include a reference to that. I briefly considered using the famous song that Billie Holliday performed which condemned racism and the lynching of African Americans. The lyrics by Abel Meeropol are powerful indeed. But when I began to type in the title, a light bulb came on over my head. I don't want to be misunderstood in any way that I take this issue less than totally seriously.

And that is why this post is not called Strange Fruit.

Language is a fascinating, ever-altering instrument. It can be an instrument of change. An instrument of lovely musicality. Or an instrument of torture.

Be careful how you use it. Be mindful of your word choice.

Choose love over hate. And express that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stormy Weather

Warning: This might be sort of confusing unless you click the links as you go along. So click the links, people!

There's a storm gathering.

And my second husband has spoken about it.

He has parodied it.


Because that is how he does things.

Apparently some people don't get that he is a satirist. A really good one. Or maybe I just have my liberal goggles on when I look at him. Rrowr! He looks very good to moi.

There are lots of other people who've done parodies of the storm ad.

Like this, I really love it, don't you? or this, or even this!

And a bunch who've commented on the whole deal.

Human Rights Campaign has a great website that talks about this. It also has material here which uncovers the lies of NOM.

Rachel Maddow did a couple of pieces on the ad; they are combined in one clip at youtube. But it looks like youtube is pulling a lot of these videos at NOM's request, so you might need to go to Maddow's site. It's kind of tough to search, though, so check the one clip link I provide above first.

Huffington Post has a ton of stuff about the issue and Stephen's parody here. There are links to blogs, comments, and - yes! - another parody, entitled A Shitstorm of Intolerance.

Come back tomorrow and I'll talk about why it really bothers me that groups like NOM exist.

Meanwhile, I'll bet you're thinking "FF, this is a total ripoff. I clicked on this post from someone's blogroll because I thought I'd get to see Lena Horne singing Stormy Weather."

I hate to disappoint you, my darlings. Here's Lena.

I'm going to scroll back up and look at Stephen some more. He is particularly adorable in that shot.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Evil Calculators to Strip Searches to Baby Days - Reminiscent of Gorey, But Not Gory! Also more Casablanca references!!

In my wanderings last night, I spent a moment with Lisa at That's Why.
She lists her location as "O'Possum's Drift, Midbartow, Georgia, United States." I had my doubts that this is a real place; however, she announced she's moved to Euharlee, which is a real place. Lisa is funny and writes with a wonderful strong voice. She attracts only the best people as followers. I was curious about my fellow followers, so I checked out a few of their places.

Randal Graves sounded like my kind of smart aleck. His blog is L'ennui mélodieux, which Babelfish informs us means l' melodieux trouble. Thanks a lot, Babelfish. I always thought ennui meant boredom. I bet it means melodious trouble. Or melodious boredom. I could ask him, but that would be too easy. His posts are very interesting and frequently hilarious, although often more clever than I'm capable of fully understanding. He is evil, but apparently not too much so. When you click on this badge:
it takes you to this funky site which claims to be able to calculate the evilness of a website or text passage. It's based on all this mathematical calculation stuff that purports to identify patterns in the Bible which show the spirit of God is present. It's hard to tell where the satire ends and actual true believer stuff begins. The links to Dr. Ivan Panin and the Revival Fellowship seem legit. Anyway, I took my most blasphemous post and checked it on the Gematriculator. It yielded the following analysis:

The text you sent is 29% evil, 71% good
pentagram pentagram

Oh, wait. I forgot about the Jack Black as Jesus video clip post. So these results may be inaccurate. I may be as evil as Randal. But I'm too lazy to check.

Randal has a commenter named Tengrain whose blog, Mock, Paper Scissors, has some great material. There were two posts which particularly caught my eye: one about activism to protect free speech at a local library, and one entitled

8th Grader Strip Searched At School

Yeah, you read that right. Because administrators were tipped off that she had some of this.

I'll give you a minute to go check it out.

Crazy, huh? Or do you think it was okay for the school to do this? If so, I think you're wrong. Explain yourself and maybe I'll change my mind. But I doubt it.

Moving on... let's go back to Lisa's.

Susan has just commented. It takes great self confidence to have a blogger identity that is this simple.

And she uses a cute little crow for her avatar. I am intrigued. She has three blogs. I pick one at random. Adventures, Ink and phantsythat will have to wait. For some reason, I'm attracted to Baby Days.

This is cool! Seriously cool. There are eighteen panels of pen and ink drawings of babies, coupled with a rhyming story which concludes (don't worry, it's not like it's a spoiler or anything)

Baby days, sweet baby days We've all been there you know Hearts are filled with sweet delight To watch our babies grow We hold them for a moment As their childhood slips away We're only catching glimpses of wondrous baby days
It's so pretty, it's like a song. Susan's work reminds me of Edward Gorey's pen and ink drawings. Only hers are less creepy. The girl's got talent! But I discovered something about Gorey I didn't know before while looking for one of his drawings to illustrate this post. He was a William Shatner fan! Blogger Shaenon K. Garrity posts an article about this amazing fact; she drew a whole Goreyesque cartoon sequence about the Star Trek Trouble with Tribbles episode here.

Back to Susan. I note that she is from Portland, Oregon. Or maybe Tuvalu. Her profile is a little confusing. But still, small world, eh?

And I had a John Muir moment (When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.): Remember Jean Reno, from yesterday, who was born in Casablanca? Wikipedia tells us that "One of [Gorey's] stepmothers was Corinna Mura (1909-65), a cabaret singer who had a small role in the classic film Casablanca as the woman playing the guitar while singing "La Marseillaise" at Rick's Café Américain.

That's enough entertainment for today. Go do your laundry.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuneful Tuesday Travel - begin in 1994 NYC, recede to 1948 Casablanca, fast forward to this summer

As promised, here's another Natalie Portman movie clip; this one is set to music by a brilliant youtuber named VictoriaVenom. It's Leon the Professional with Sting's Shape of My Heart. Portman was 13 when she made this film.

She gave a funny little interview with Letterman while promoting it. There are several clips from that here and here and here and here. It's in 4 parts. She is delightful. It's fun to contrast that appearance with this more recent one, ten years later in 2004, for Garden State.

Okay, so now you have probably gotten your fill of Natalie Portman for the day. If not, you're going to have to go elsewhere on the interweb for a fix.

I really like Jean Reno. I'd assumed he was French after seeing him in The Pink Panther. In Léon, he plays an Italian immigrant. But it turns out that IMDB reports he is Spanish:

Born in Casablanca, Morocco, to Spanish parents (from Andalusia) who moved to North Africa to escape the fascist regime of Francisco Franco ("El Caudillo"), Jean Reno settled in France at 17.

In case you're wondering, Casablanca, the beloved classic with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, was filmed just six years before Reno was born. Casablanca was filmed entirely on the Warners lot except for one scene in which L.A. Municipal Airport stood in for Casablanca airport. Oh well. That's the magic of Hollywood for you.

What's funny is that Wikipedia calls him a French actor despite noting his Spanish parentage. His birth name was Don Juan Moreno y Herrera Jiménez. Other fun Wikipedia factoids:

On July 29, 2006, the actor married model and actress Zofia Borucka, 35, at the city hall of Baux-de-Provence in southern France. The French President (at the time, only a Presidential candidate) Nicolas Sarkozy was his best man. (Reno endorsed Sarkozy for the 2007 French Presidential Elections.

I'll bet you were wondering if I'd write a politics-free post two days in a row.

Obviously not. But if you watched all the Portman clips, you already knew that.

This summer, Professor X and I are taking the Amazing Children to New York City. We are looking forward to a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Statue of Liberty, Zabar's Deli, the Natural History Museum, the UN, and Ellis Island. We're hoping to score some discounted play tickets the day of performance. Beyond those activities, I am wide open to all your suggestions. I figure we'll look for an apartment rental service similar to the one we used in Paris. But I'm a little freaked about all the notes on Tripadvisor warning of apartment rental scams... Ack! If you have a recommendation, let me know.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday's Movie Music

Am I the only one who thinks Zach Braff resembles a young John Ritter?*

I discovered a clip of one of my favorite singers, Imogen Heap, singing Let Go coupled with scenes of Braff's film Garden State.

I have to rent this film. Have any of you seen it? Looks really intriguing. Plus, Natalie Portman is in it. I love Natalie Portman. Sure, she's smart and beautiful, but her face is so incredibly expressive. She positively inspires me to poetry!

You can light up a square mile

if you make Miss Portman smile;

Skies will turn stygian, by golly,

when Natalie looks melancholy.

Tomorrow, I'll share a different music video clip from one of her other films. Five points if you can predict which one.

*Apparently other people did see the resemblance between Braff and Ritter. I just read that Ritter played his character's father on Scrubs. Excuse me, I have to go sweep out the cave in which I've been living.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Put on Your Crazy Hat! Mad Tea Parties

Mad Hatter: No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow."


Alice: It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

I have been watching the commentaries about the "grassroots, broad-based, spontaneous teabagging" which occurred on April 15th with open-mouthed Unfortunate choice of words? Possibly. You decide. amusement/amazement. Now I want to say a few things.

1. The morons who were interviewed on television saying that "It's time for a Revolution!" carrying posters which read "We came unarmed THIS time!" need to shut up and go home. They're welcome to clean their guns and mutter in the privacy of their basements. But they had darned well better not bring them out and use them on our democratically elected leaders. Or anyone else, for that matter.

2. The Bush administration did a lot of things that were totally screwed up with which I passionately disagreed. Sure, I protested at rallies, advocating for environmental clean up, an end to the war, and a shitload of several other hoped-for changes. But I never threatened violence, nor did my friends. We worked hard, paid our taxes, and organized for a change in leadership. Which we got, thank you very much! So stop equating that with "no representation" - you're really being poor losers because the American people wised up to your candidate's inadequacy! You got to vote. You lost. Get over it.

3. I am not nearly as good at explaining what I believe about this issue as many other writers. So I am going to borrow their words to share with you.

A. There's a great new Facebook group created by Brian Grey. I joined. Here's an excerpt from the page:

National Coffee Party - Anti-Tea Party Group

A lot of people in this country are upset about government spending because they are afraid of a spiralling deficit.

Bull. There was no outcry from the fiscal conservatives until Bush was a lame duck president and, essentially, nationalized the banks. Now, Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress and need to try, whether it works or not, to apply Keynesian theory and spend our way out. When this money was unbudgeted and went to a war effort largely against a foe we attacked unprovoked, where was this fiscal outcry?
B. One of my favorite blogs, Thoughts from a Liberal Mom, had a great post on Wednesday entitled Teabagging Today. Please go check it out.

C. Jamie at IntoxiNation has a ton of interesting posts on this. I liked the one entitled Because Payback is a Bitch. Here's an excerpt:

Our Department of Homeland Security is taking a look at groups of people, who are out stock piling weapons and ammunition and even hinting at the assassination of our President. But now the very people, who just a couple of years ago were calling for left wing protestors to be jailed, are now crying foul.

Cry me a fucking river you bunch of hypocrites. This is America – love it or leave it. Our side of the debate was told that repeatedly for the past eight years and now that the tide has turned, the right has got their panties in a bunch.

When the left was under this kind of government scrutiny. Wait. When we were under a stronger scrutiny, considering the fact that the military was watching us, we didn’t run and stock pile guns and ammos and talk about killing Bush. We went about our business and continued our protests.

D. Jon Stewart has done several bits on this. For a good time, watch Nationwide Tax Protests. John Oliver's interviews on Tea Party Tyranny cracked me up. I particularly liked Tempest in a Tea Party. Stewart highlights the role that the rightwing media played in hyping this. Fox News was inviting people to come out for this while simultaneously calling it a grassroots, organic effort. They said they weren't sponsoring the tea parties, but Stewart's point that Fox had ownership is very valid.

E. My second husband, Stephen Colbert, had a few things to say as well. I heart him very much. Click on his red Wriststrong wristband to hear his wisdom.

When White Rabbit is tardy to the tea party, Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter tells him "No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow." I feel like these protestors are a few years late to the party. This new administration is neither to blame for our country's economic woes, nor is it misspending our tax dollars. The teabaggers need to better understand both early American history and our recent past.

And I love these people - from Liberal Mom to Mr. Colbert - for talking sense amidst this nonsense.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two of my Favorite Things - UPDATED: I am an idiot

I can't spend much time with you today, because despite having started a couple of weeks ago preparing to give a talk on actress Elizabeth Taylor in Taming of the Shrew to a film class, I have putzed around on putting the finishing touches on it and must scramble to organize my notes.

But I did want to share a few images and a valuable link.

See the picture above? Pretty funky, huh? It's Miss Taylor in Faustus, which I've never seen. It must have been low budget. Did you notice her top doesn't even fit?

That's a problem that even present-day actresses seem to have. Look at well-rounded thespian Salma Hayek, for example.

Of course, sometimes all is not what it seems. Like in the case of:
The secret of how flat-chested Keira became a buxom pirate girl

And now for the link. Please go visit Pink Porn. It requires a bit of time traveling - the post was written just a smidge over two and a half years ago. But it is as timely now as it was then. I really believe in the things said there. Be sure you click the link. Don't try to google the term or you may wind up in some pretty dicey spots.

I am leaving you in the hands of an outstanding blogger, ThreadingWater, whom I discovered while wandering around Bloggyland yesterday. She makes some excellent points and conducts herself with great class in the comments, which you should read as well.

Why are you still here? Head out now. I'll see you tomorrow.

Oh, and the post title, "Two of My Favorite Things?"

I meant politics and the environment. You'll see why once you've read Pink Porn.

What did you
think I meant?!

UPDATED: Apparently I am trying too hard to be clever, and therefore my entire purpose for this post has been thwarted. I thought I would catch people's attention by putting cleavage shots of famous actresses, except since I am linking to - and agreeing with - a thoughtful post about the message it sends when bloggers post pictures of their boobs to raise money for breast cancer research, I send a bizarre mixed message to those who are foolish enough to waste time reading my blog.

So I am heartily sorry for my idiocy. I blame it on trying to do too many things at once, which resulted in me doing them all poorly. Remember that film course talk on Elizabeth Taylor I was supposed to give this afternoon? The one for which I prepared 37 beautiful powerpoint slides with photographs of Taylor's career and personal life?

I arrived at the college and attached my thumb drive to the auditorium computer.

Gasp of horror.

Click on it, it's cool.
Don't you LOVE the internet?

The computer was only able to read about six of the slides.

The rest were blank.

In two weeks, I'm supposed to talk about Claudette Colbert.

I am bringing a sock puppet just in case.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Parisian Street Puppeteers & Spectacular Views

Everywhere we went in Paris, there were interesting street performers. Many of them engaged Amazing Girl Child in their acts. I wish I'd taken more photos of all the different people; I wish I'd videotaped some of them as they entertained. Yet another reason to return. I need to capture those images.

I promise to share.

And this was our view as we looked up the hill from our sixth floor apartment in the 18th Arrondissement, which we loved with every fiber of our four beings.

I vow to return.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trailer for Tuesday

So we went to see Michio Kaku last night, and he gave a great talk to a standing-room-only crowd (actually a few people were hanging from the rafters, it was so packed in there) about a bunch of amazing things. But I have to roll it all around in my head for a day or two before I share. Maybe I will lean on Amazing Boy Child to help me. And Amazing Girl Child, too. She may be young, but she is mighty in the ways of science. They both were talking nonstop about Kaku's presentation this morning.

I still have to download my pics of the Best Easter Brunch Ever to share with you. Sadly, Timberline appears to be stingy about giving out their recipes, but the photos will make your mouths water.

The pressure was intense this morning until I read this wonderful post from Badmom about her blasphemous Jesus experience.


I remembered this wonderful oh-my-God-these-filmmakers-are-so-going-to-hell-but-it-would-be-totally-fun-to-be-there-with-them moment that the fam and I had when we watched a trailer for the film Hamlet 2.

This is going to the top of my queue. I will tell you if it lives up to the promise.

I love trailers. Movie trailers. I really could sit in a theatre for two hours just watching trailers. Do you like them too? Do you have a favorite?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fun Family Outing: Traveling to Spend Time with Theoretical Physicist Michio Kaku

Guess who the Forrest family saw on Saturday night?

The same extraordinarily witty guy we're going to see tonight.

Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist, author of our latest book acquisition, Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel.

Unlike me, a lot of people had apparently already heard of this guy and love his book:

He's like the Jedi master of String Theory, which I really don't understand, but I'm sure after tonight's talk, I will totally be able to explain it to you all.

Because Professor X and I are the coolest parents ever, we brought the younglings to Live Wire! this weekend. We heard a great band, Horsefeathers, and a fantastic poetry slam champion, Anis Mojgani. And of course, the Faces for Radio Theater troupe had us laughing our lips off as we listened to their sketches. I highly recommend subscribing to their podcast for my out of area friends.

We also heard from this very brilliant, very funny, very cute scientist. In addition to having a beautiful mane of long snow white hair, Dr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, best-selling author, and popularizer of science. He’s the co-founder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory. At least, that's what his website says. And the four Forrests can attest to the fact that he has a great sense of humour and he's not afraid to use it. These photos don't begin to capture his infectious enthusiasm. He makes science fun. Where was he when I was in school?!

So tonight we're off to the BEST BOOKSTORE EVER, where Dr. Kaku will amaze us further with his observations on alternate realities and time travel and other formerly-assumed-to-be-impossible-super-neato things.

Don't live within a short drive of Powell's in Portland, OR?
No worries. You can catch Dr. Kaku another way. Click on this graphic to go to his website.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Fun for Good Friday

Despite the religious title, this is not going to be about religious things. Except to note that I am SO looking forward to the most delicious brunch ever at Timberline Lodge on Easter.

Usually I make a leg of lamb with mint jelly and tiny new potatoes and asparagus with hollandaise sauce and crescent rolls and something lemony for dessert. Very yummy and enjoyed by all.

But Professor X really wanted to go to the special once-a-year brunch on Mt. Hood, so we are delaying our traditional dining experience until next weekend for an amazing five-hour extravaganza of stuffing our face. At least, that's how long he'd like to sit at their lovely tables and gorge himself. But I think they might get a little annoyed if we stayed that long, since other diners will be waiting for their seating.

Here is the menu (doncha wish ya wuz me?):
Timberline Easter Brunch Menu 2009
Smoked and raw shucked oysters, Dungeness crab legs, Washington blue mussels, bay shrimp cocktails, lodge-smoked scallops, hazelnut smoked sturgeon
Smoked black pepper crusted baron of beef with rosemary jus, brown sugar glazed ham with pearl onion marmalade
Featuring Pancakes, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders,
hash brown bites, cereals, and fruit
With bagels, cream cheese, red onions, capers, and lemon
Grilled corn cakes stacked with ham and mushroom frittata,
meyer le
mon beurre blanc and fresh bay shrimp
With a willamette valley champagne veloute
With gingered-orange crème fraiche
Featuring desserts, cakes, and pies from roxanne hanset and sarah benton
With grilled huckleberry poundcake and banana bread
A spanish easter tart with caramelized spring onions and wild mushrooms
With toasted caraway vinaigrette and red onions
Slow cooked corrona beans and smoked ham hocks
Served with an assortment of house-made dressings
With cippolini onions, olive assortment, pickled vegetables, marinated artichoke heart

Be still, my heart.

My original thought was to simply entitle this "Fun for Friday," do a google search for "fun", and talk about each of the results. There are 732,000,000 results for fun.

I do not know if Timberline Lodge's Easter brunch is in there. But it sure as heck is at the top of my list.

Look at that menu again. ORGASMIC. If it doesn't strike you that way, you are weird.

I'm struggling with how to train for this event. Do I eat very little between now and then, to build a great appetite?

Or do I eat large meals today and tomorrow, to stretch my stomach capacity to hold the 25 raw oysters and oh! ONION AND FOREST MUSHROOM FALLUKA and LODGE-SMOKED CHINOOK SALMON MOUSSE mmm.... must try some hazelnut smoked sturgeon... yeah! But I need room for the CARROT BISQUE With gingered-orange crème fraiche and uh uh uh....

The thing is, no matter how much I manage to consume, trying to take a tiny bit of everything in order to experience all the marvelous tastes, Professor X will exceed me. The man has an incredible capacity.

And he looks like this (really, he does, it's uncanny how good a likeness this is):I do not look like that. Not remotely. Which makes me want to do this:

Cool Star Wars stick figure graphic courtesy of Go check it out, it's fun!

Happy Easter, all.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Alternate Realities

Let's go in the Wayback Machine to Tuesday, shall we?

Alternate realities as portrayed by Sliding Doors, remember? Also the hotness of John Hannah, but let's move on to more philosophical observations.

I'd been thinking of the film as similar to The Double Life of Veronique, the focus of a blog called Brasserie Alizé. But it turns out they're not really that much alike. TDLOV is - well, I'm honestly not sure what it is, because I haven't seen it yet. It's on order. I've read several reviews, and it's intriguing, but I can't grab hold and characterize it for you yet.

Maybe I won't be able to do so even once I've viewed it, but I will certainly give it the old college try.

Where does that expression come from, anyway? I mean, my Mom uses it all the time, but where'd she hear it? Sigh. I am so ADD. While looking up "old college try" here might make for an outstandingly interesting post, I DID promise you something about alternate realities. Let's go back to the comments on Tuesday for more fodder to pontificate.

I don't embrace regret, but I do wonder and really, who doesn't?

(I, for one, am not going to lie to you.)

I guess I can live without knowing because despite the decisions I would do differently, I'm pretty happy to be where I landed.Delete

I actually go out with Lisa every once in a while, and I can attest she is a happy person. And a thoughtful person, in both senses of the word (kind to others and a deep thinker). So in our non-scientific poll, we have 1 who admits to wondering about other paths that might have been, but content with her lot in life.Delete

Blogger Mrs. Chili said... The bit you posted from Four Weddings gets me EVERY TIME.

Sometimes, I feel a little like I DO live in more than one reality; like somewhere, a little bit of my soul split off and took a different course and, if I'm still and quiet, I can hear the lessons it's learned transmitted back to me.

Aha! The plot thickens. We now have 2 who admit to wondering about alternate realities. Plus there's more than contentment, there's learning going on, and a reference to horcruxes (But I doubt Mrs. Chili has committed unspeakably evil acts like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in order to have the soul splitting; her writing is too lovely). This is intriguing. Anyone else ever have that multiple reality feeling? The transmitting reference reminds me of the Dennis Quaid movie, Frequency. Anyone else ever see that except me and Professor X?
Bee said...

That scene from Four Weddings is SO memorable, isn't it? I knew what you were referring to the second that I read "Stop all the clocks . . ."

As for alternative realities, or roads not taken, I often think about how nearly I avoided meeting my husband -- blind date; had just ended a long-term relationship, and didn't really want a new one. His English-ness decided it! And that brings me to John Hannah -- who has sweet droopy eyes.

My reason (you, too, JaPRA!) for not being prejudiced against Texans has spoken. Three out of three commenters wonder about alternate realities. And this one feels gratitude for not being on that other road. My buddies are all blessedly blissful. That makes me glad.


I loved Hannah's performance in Sliding Doors. and it was a great movie. One of the few movies I've purchased. It plays out that question we all contemplate from time to time.

As for your question, I'd have to say no. I don't believe in destiny. I think of myself as a romantic, but I guess I'm a logic bound romantic. Life is random and so never boring or predictable.

A fourth wonderer, who also seems content, and addresses the question of destiny with a shake of her head. While appreciating the charms of Mr. Hannah. :)

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you told me to come look! This made my night! I love John Hannah. And that scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral brings me to tears every single time.

This is a great post. I waver between thinking that some things happen for a reason and thinking that everything is random. I never get very far with those lines of thought before I'm flat on my face in confusion.

The John Hannah fan club is growing by leaps and bounds. I only hope that Lisa hasn't skinned her nose. Acknowledging randomness vs. believing my mother's phrase (everything happens for a reason) - those are two very different places. No wonder Lisa is bewildered. Me too. But she avoids my alternate reality question. Very slippery.

Kathy Amen said...

What was so great about Sliding Doors was that the earth-changing thing was such a minor, overlooked event! Who knows what will change our lives forever?! (And--spoiler alert--that would be a good movie to include in your list of good movie pathos, would it not?)

Kathy's the fifth to wonder about the wee things that change one's life.
She's right - it would be a good movie to include.

So I wasn't getting any male commenters, and I sort of wondered about that. Then I had what my friend Alexandre would call an "A-ha moment." I needed more delectable bait! Some beautiful woman would bring the boys running. So I replaced John Hannah with Gwyneth Paltrow, and waited, and the comments came rolling in....
from more women.

Hello, thanks for your email! First of all, I love John Hannah. Also John Cusack. I really liked Sliding Doors, from a "cinema therapy" perspective, as a great example of the low-grade emotional abuse/crazymaking/codependency that can occur in an unhealthy romantic relationship. "I can't write without you"--manipulation heaven.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Nancy has this great blog, Fumbling Toward Serenity:musings on the quest for happiness. I'd discovered her while preparing to write on Tuesday. She has a fun analysis of Sliding Doors on July 9, 2008. You should go visit her. She is very smart, but like most counselors, she doesn't answer your questions, just gives you some thought-provoking observations. Articulate and intelligent, but shielded from revealing anything about her own reactions. I mean, these are great points about the therapy value of the film, and will be extraordinarily helpful to me in constructing my class. But do we know whether she thinks about alternate realities or destiny? No. Still, she's AWESOME.


I like J. Hannah too. Not long after I saw Sliding Doors, I ran into him in Liberty's in London (as ya do!).

We were on the stair case. I thought it so good of him not to stop me and make a big fuss in public.

Gifted Typist makes me giggle. But I do wonder - why didn't she trip Hannah and make him live in her house forever? Not that I'm saying I would, you understand. Hey! wait a minute! Another avoider of my questions. These people are getting unruly.

dianne said...

I really enjoyed 'Sliding Doors' and yes I have often thought what my life would be like if I had chosen a different path or made different choices.
I did a post on that very same thing on my blog on March 13...I have often wondered 'what if'?
Remember that beautiful poem that the Colonel posted on Nature Diary 'Love at First Sight' by Wislawa Szymborska about parallel lives and how we might have just missed an encounter with someone we could love by a second in time, that we may have touched a door handle or rang a bell that the person had also done before us but we would never know...I have often wondered if that pesron exists for me. ♡

Dianne's response does not surprise me. Her blog, Here is My Heart, often has a wistful tone about the what-might-have-beens. So she is my sixth wonderer, and my first sometimes sad one. I hope that good things come to her. Or that she goes out and grabs some good things. But that's a topic for another day, I think; the going in search of your bliss in a sneaky way. Yes. I will share my incredible insights on that (distilled from my mother's expert advice) some time soon. I wish I could go back to Nature Diary and look at that poem she references. But the Colonel has taken the blog down, which is a very fink-like thing to do. If he doesn't want to keep posting, fine. He could simply announce that he is leaving it up as an archive, but it will not be updated. But to remove it entirely....

Anyone else out there have a favorite blog totally disappear? Why, there oughta be a law.....
Hey! What's the source of that quote? I honestly don't know. I googled it and came up with 6,810 hits. But none of them seem to answer it. Okay, the first two don't answer it. Then I got bored. Will someone please tell me?

Oh, and feel free to talk about the post too.

What was it about again?