Friday, April 15, 2005

What Do You Do When I'm Not Here?

The changeover at work continues, and it's going well... I really like the woman who will be taking my place (heretofore designated "AM"), we've been having a lot of fun talking about the little quirks of the job and the various personalities and types she'll need to be prepared to deal with. I feel really positive about the whole thing, I think she'll do a great job; I'm also looking forward to learning instead of teaching, to being on the other side of this training equation at my next job (whatever that might turn out to be).

However, the work is still weighty, and the weather has turned warm (which slows my Druid blood into near-catatonia), and so I continue to exhaust myself daily, returning home a spent shell incapable of thought or action. When I drag my sorry sweaty carcass out of the car and into the house, I hit the sofa and turn on the television, just to give my brain a rest while not letting myself fall asleep (because if I went to sleep at seven, I'd wake up in the middle of the night and that would throw me off schedule completely).

And of course there's never anything on television... well, there are things on, but nothing I want to watch: I do catch a lot of crime shows (Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, and CSI in particular), but I can't watch them if I miss the beginning, and I too frequently miss the beginning while I'm hunting the dial; the PBS programs are always boring lately, Mystery! and Masterpiece Theatre and Great Performances have been completely overwhelmed by financial self-help gurus, Antiques Roadshow, that travel-show guy with the too-nasal voice who somehow manages to make all of Europe look dirty and boring, and concerts of elderly rock and R&B stars one thought were dead); and though I never get tired of looking at Tom Welling, I have gotten tired of watching Smallville (which comes on conveniently at seven).

So I've been watching a lot of movies, instead.

I watched Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon and really enjoyed it... Grandmother enjoyed it, too... the beautiful costumes and lovely sets and some fairly convincing accents. It was interesting as a story, too; though I've never read the Thackeray novel, I did see Becky Sharp (1935), which was the same story but with the eminently unlikeable Miriam Hopkins instead of the delightful Ms. Witherspoon, and this was far superior, with much clearer characterizations and understandable motives... it even had a happy ending!

I wondered, though, as I watched my beloved Jonathan Rhys-Meyers playing yet another Arrogant Asshole, if he'll ever get the chance to play a nice boy (I didn't see Bend It Like Beckham, so I don't know if he was nice therein), but I guess the petulant upper lip and big hooded eyes work against him... he sneers so beautifully that casting agents can't seem to see past it. I saw in a trailer the other day, though, that he is playing Elvis Presley in a soon-to-be-released made-for-TV biopic. A skinny decadent-looking Irishman playing Young Elvis? I'm curious to see how that works out.

I watched Stage Beauty with the beauteous Billy Crudup and the ever-so-likeable Clare Danes. It was quite interesting, though perhaps a little too shallow. But then, as far as I'm concerned, beautiful things are allowed to be shallow. Besides, it combined three things that I always love in a film: a Shakespeare play, cross-dressing, and a lovingly-recreated historical period (the Restoration, one of my favorites).

I watched Touch of Pink, a lovely little gay indie film about a young man living in London, though originally from Mombasa by way of Toronto, whose quite nice life (including good real-estate, a glamorous job, and a handsome and loving boyfriend) gets turned upside-down when his (exceptionally beautiful) mother comes to visit unexpectedly in order to convince him to get married. It's an old story, really, but there is of course a twist: the young man has an imaginary friend, The Spirit of Cary Grant (played exquisitely by Kyle MacLachlan). It was sweet and lovely, and it made me cry.

Of course, everything makes me cry, lately. I caught myself crying over a commercial the other day.

I watched Thirteen Ghosts, which was scary and fascinating and beautiful and horrible. Actually, this film was Caroline's idea; we went out for dinner and window-shopping and whatnot last Friday, and she wanted to see a horror film, so we stopped at Blockbuster and bought that and The Village (which we didn't get around to seeing because it got too late, so we're saving it for another evening).

I watched The Triplets of Belleville, which was heartily recommended to me by my coworker JB. It was unspeakably strange, as only a French animated art-feature could be. But I enjoyed it... the artwork and the music were amazing, even if the story (or lack thereof) was sometimes difficult to wrap one's mind around. And of course I cried.

I watched Angels in America, which was powerful and moving and wonderful. If you haven't already, I insist that you see this miniseries. Al Pacino was amazing, Emma Thompson a magnetic presence, Meryl Streep a revelation as always; and I totally fell in love with the excruciatingly beautiful Justin Kirk (who, you may remember, also starred in Love! Valour! Compassion!... if he's not careful, he'll get stereotyped into Tony Kushner adaptations, which would be fine with me but might be rather limiting for him).

I saw a lot of other things, but I'm tired of writing and looking up links. Besides, I need to get dressed and take the Grandmother to the hair salon... and then go have my beautiful acrylics removed (*sob*), get a nice manly manicure, and then do some grocery shopping. Big day, big day...


Well, my babies, I have another week to go at the office, so if you don't hear from me in another seven days, you'll know where I am. Wish me luck. After that, I am going to stay home for two weeks and write, clean my room, and sleep as much as I can without slipping into a coma. I will also be sending in applications during that time, and I will start on the job rounds as soon as my little vacation is over. Wish me luck on that, too.

I wish you luck, on whatever you're doing. Have a happy day!

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