Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's In My Head

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm A Vampire! That's Nice Dear

I'm still working my way through the four vampire books of Stephenie Meyer. Having just finished New Moon, I'm wondering if I'll make it. In this second volume, our heroine Bella continues to trip, fall and smash her way in pursuit of wild vampire love with her paramour, Edward. I wish I had kept count of the ripped flesh releasing blood lusts, concussions, and comas. And yet this clumsy high school girl from a small town in the Pacific Northwest is supposed to be an intellectual lure to the Volturi, the royalty of vampires: alive for over 3,000 years, living in the realm of the Vatican (the poor Vatican gets blamed for a lot lately.) Bella hits their radar and they think she'd be suitable to join them. And oh yes, her friend, the Indian Jacob, now running with a pack of teenage werewolves.

What we have are a group of people disaffected with their self image. Bella wants to be a vampire, the Volturi want Bella to be some kind of vampire princess, Jacob wants to be a werewolf, Bella doesn't want to get old. It's like some perversion on America's Top Model. Make me a star! Forever! Chastity Bono is in the news this week. She's undergoing sex change therapies to turn herself into a man. All news sources are calling her "him" now, and she wants to change her name to "Chaz." Somewhere in Cher's secret soul, she has to be asking herself, "Is this because I named my daughter after one of my movies?"

Then there is the return to Bella's life of Edward and how at the end of the book, Edward's little family is voting whether or not to honor Bella's wish to make her a vampire so she won't grow older than her love, and she will be bound in eternity with him and his family. I started thinking about this as I put the volume down the other morning. "Yes," Bella is in the full flush of teen love and thinks all of the passion she feels will remain forever. But I'm sure after a few hundred years, things have got to taper off a bit.

I'm not sure she's thought it out, in her posthaste to become living dead. I could just envision conversations like, "You never take me anywhere. We never go anywhere during the day," or Edward bringing home a vampire's version of fast food, some wino, and then who's turn is it to take out the leftovers to the trash. "I did it last time." Or "all you do is sleep," or having to hear his stories about how he died in the 1918 influenza epidemic at 18, for the 5,000th time. I mean "Flu schmoo. Get over it." One day, she'll be snapping out at Edward "I could have been something special....I could have been a Volturi!" Somehow, I don't think vampires escape the banality in eternity. Just remember. You once loved "My Little Pony" and lived in pink and purple. Life could be very long, Bella. Everyone wants a bite of you. Do you want to be a perpetual caregiver to bloodlusters? They'll suck the life right out of you.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Happy Birthday K

Sorry to interrupt your little tete a tete. My friend Kathy had a birthday today, and she's got "that cold" going so it's all low-keyed for her today. I'd love ta kiss ya, but "that cold," and ....I jes washed mah hair.

Since we were discussing the wonderful Barbara Stanwyck, K, I wanted you to see this rarity from "Remember the Night." It has Sterling Holloway (Winnie the Pooh, Waldo from Life of Riley,) singing "The Perfect Day." And since I wish you a perfect birthday, here ya go:

Happy Perfect Birthday, Kathy. Make a wish!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Return To Poor Person's Shopper's Food Warehouse

I don't know what it is about Poor People's Shopper's Food Warehouse, but I keep getting into the most interesting conversations in there. The other night I went in for a few things. The store wasn't crowded, but there was a backed up line at one register. An older black woman was in front of me, dressed to the nines. She had on a white raincoat with gold buttons, a white lacey hat, black dress, hose and shoes. She turned and whispered to me conspiratorily, "There's only one woman checking out," (meaning the cashier.) "Really?" I whispered back. She nodded like it was a disgrace and crying shame as in "what's the world coming to?"

We started talking. She told me she had been to a funeral at her church earlier in the day, and she said, "I was in such a rush to the get to the church on time I did something stupid." I asked what and she smiled and said, "I forgot to put in my teeth." Sure 'nuff, just a few scragglies here and there. I told her I certainly didn't notice because I was admiring her hat and thought she looked "real spiffy." She thanked me then started telling me about how she had found some real bargains (mint Life Savers.) Her cart was packed, and she was leaning over it with her cane.

She asked about a cake in my cart from the bakery, and I told her I had a friend with a birthday, and even though they said not to do anything, I got a small Italian cream cake and some candles to celebrate. She said, "When a man tells you not to do anything, they really mean for you to do it." I nodded. She went on to praise the bakery and how the woman who baked for the store was "a doll." I had only seen an older woman back there with gold teeth, so I guess that's who she meant. Next time in, I'll remember "doll," rather than "teeth."

She went on discussing the store in general, then we shifted the conversation. I had mentioned I was tired from being over in a house of someone deceased, clearing things out until late, and I was really dragging. I told her the woman had been 96 years old and living on her own, and that seemed to perk her up; thinking she might make it that way, maybe. We talked about what it was like removing things from a deceased person's house. She said, "I'm originally from Philadelphia, but I've been living down here for decades. When my mother took sick, my two brothers wanted me to move back to Philly to take care of our mother, but I told them "No. I'm not doing it." She paused and added, "That would be my brothers Jack and.....Jack Ass."

She stayed put in D.C. with no regrets. She said they still want her back up there, but she isn't budging. She talked about a man in her life who is "sniffing around her." Trust me, this woman had me howling with laughter. It was all in her expressions and timing. A store manager came up and split us up to go into two express lanes. I told her I didn't want to go because when that happened last time, the cashier was looking at my coupons and check and license, just short of biting it for authenticity, and everyone being held up was pissed, and sure enough, I got back into that cashier's line again. Same thing.

When I was done, I saw the church lady over by the pharmacy talking to a friend, so I went over and said, "I want to thank you for our conversation today. It absolutely made my day, and I had such a good time talking to you." Her friend turned to me and said proudly, "She goes to my church!" I told her, "Well, it's obvious everyone in the store knows her and loves her (they did know her, too,) and that she's a very interesting lady....and funny. My church lady turned to me and said, "I'm the Whoopi Goldberg of Aisle 3!" And on that note, we parted. Laughing.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I'm Just A Teenage Dirtbag Redoux

I just finished reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, not my usual type of read, but I like to keep an open mind. The truth is, the book was just something I pulled off the library bookshelves in desperation while I waited for my "on holds" to turn up. I was aware of all of the hoopla over these books when they came out, and nothing registered for me at the time. I had zero interest. I may have even been going through blood issues myself when the first book came out, or the movie, due to severe anemia (which has since disappeared,) but not before some nasty testing and treatment. If you want gore and pain, try a bone marrow biopsy, Stephenie.
I was surprised some Gothbag teen hadn't smeared his or her own blood over the pages of the book in some perverse allegiance. Someone did drop black ink all over the pages, so that it was like reading through brimstone.

Beelzebub Publishing -- A Bit Of Brimstone On Every Page

While reading the book, I had the unsettling feeling I was back in high school, and I'm guessing that's who's been reading these novels? But it sure wasn't my high school. My high school was rebellion and Rimbaud and Rebel Without A Cause and The Wild One and beat poets and George Groz and this one sofa at the Phillips Gallery where you could be tucked in away from the Van Gogh freaks and think about the use of orange in the Renoir "Luncheon of the Boating Party," or a midnight showing at the Biograph of Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS and having my companion squirm at the maggot scene while I inched popcorn up his arm to mimic maggots, and when would I ever escape my parents and have my own life, but it sure wasn't about being a clumsy girl who needed rescuing or the living dead--unless you counted fifth period math or my biology teacher.

Probably the only thing I could connect with was that the vampires liked fast cars. And there's another song about escape for teens, Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car." I used to see her busking in Cambridge, Massachusetts near Harvard Square. Now that I can identify with. As for escapism....on the days when they had footballs games after school, I would climb through that fifth period math class window and leave the school grounds early. A ticket to football was my ticket to freedom. I didn't need the wings of the living dead to get me out of there. I did it on my own.

Labels: , , , , ,

Add to Technorati Favorites