...all my troubles seemed so far away...
Just kidding. I didn't do too much around here yesterday. With Cameron leaving the house at 7:30 for a 4-day trip, I was feeling a little blue. We ordinarily buy our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, but I won't buy it without him. So, early in the morning I finished cleaning the kitchen and sorted through some e-mail. I ended up doing some work at home rather than going into the office. I ate a piece of mincemeat pie for breakfast while watching CNN.
Later, a small bowl of oyster dressing for lunch was good while watching 1994's "It Runs in the Family" (also known as "My Summer Story"), the second movie based upon Jean Shepards's semi-autobiographical stories of growing up in Hammond, Indiana. To me, this movie wasn't as good as the 1983 release of his first one, "A Christmas Story," based upon a story that first appeared in the December 1965 issue of Playboy, "Red Ryder Nails the Hammond Kid", .
Next, I watched "Hustle and Flow." Because I previously had the attitude that I didn't want to see "gansta" life on the big screen I avoided seeing it when it was released. The fact that I actually liked the movie surprised me. There were aspects of it that I found very disturbing, while at other times I felt empathy for the characters in the story. Plus, I saw bits and pieces of Memphis in the film that were familiar to me which is always fun.
Next was "One Last Thing" with Cynthia Nixon and Gina Gershon. This was the second time I've watched the movie in the last couple of weeks. It's a great movie about a teen's final wish after he learns he's been diagnosed with terminal cancer and what he does to make that wish come true. Grab the Kleenex, especially for the end where he's reunited with his father.
Since it was around 4 P.M., I got up and fed the dogs, made a small plate of turkey, asparagus, mashed potatoes and gravy and oyster dressing for myself and watched the local news, which was riddled with "breaking news," including the third, fourth or fifth story of robberies, domestic violence and shootings I'd seen in the three days I've been home. Very uplifting.
Knowing that the Christmas season is officially upon us, I pulled the remaining Franciscan Desert Rose from the china cabinet and stacked it with the pieces we used for Thanksgiving which were already on the dining room table, making ready for the Lenox Holiday china that Cameron bought me for Christmas 5 years ago. I'll go into the attic today and pull down the large "dishes" box we bought at U-Haul a few years ago and put our Pier 1 red, green and blue striped champagne flutes, martini and wine stems in the cabinet as well, allowing me to store our usual cabinet inhabitants and get the dining room table cleared off. Then, I'll take out the leaves and remove the pads and Thanksgiving will be officially done.
Maybe then I'll listen to some Christmas music. I'm sure, by then, I'll be more in the spirit of the season.
Around 9 P.M., I was channel surfing and ended up watching "Indie Sex: Extremes" on IFC (the Independent Film Channel). It's a four-part series -- this was part four." I haven't seen the other three.
It was a documentary featuring Dita Von Teese that looked at sex in film throughout history with commentary from writers, actors, producers, directors and film critics about whether it's art or porn, whether they're pushing the envelope for the sake of pushing the envelope, depicting life as it actually is, whether specific examples of sex added to the story or were simply gratuitous, and whether simulated sex can tell the story as well as something more explicit. Specific examples were mentioned, including "Caligula," "Shortbus," "Myra Breckinridge," "Lolita," and "9 Songs." It was interesting to listen to each of the viewpoints.
After the credits for Indie Sex there was a spot for the IFC Friday series "Grind House" and "The Henry Rollins Show." I like Henry Rollins, so I decided to hang out and watch his show.
He opened with this episode's "Teeing Off," a commentary on musicians and bands "selling out" and being able to distinguish between bands getting paid twenty years after they recorded the music they wanted to record and bands who actually do "sell out," recording what they're told to record. His celebrity guest was Gene Simmons of KISS fame and his musical guests were Queens of the Stone Age. I enjoyed the interview with Simmons as well as the music of the guest band.
The animated series "Samurai 7" followed Rollins' show. Me: completely disinterested. Because I wanted to watch tonight's Grind House feature, "Bully", I kept an eye on the clock while I surfed for a half-hour between Logo, Showtime, Flix, and the XM lineup for the holidays.
"Bully" is a good, but distrubing, movie based on actual events that happened in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1993, among a group of high school friends and acquaintances ending up in the murder of Bobby Kent, the "bully." He had emotionally, physically and sexually abused his best friend Marty all of thier lives. He raped a friend of Marty's girlfriend, Lisa. The parents were oblivious to what was happening with their children everyday, let alone what was brewing among them to retaliate against Bobby.
My heart hurt for the abused. It's a story where you wish the teens had been mature enough to deal with the tormentor in a different way. But, they didn't deal with any of their lives in a mature way. Unprotected sex resulted in Marty's unintended girlfriend becoming pregnant, they smoked pot, dropped acid. Where's the guidance? Where's the parental involvement?
At the end of the movie, each of the seven were shown along with their sentences. Most involved got 10 or more years in prison. Lisa, the mastermind, got 40 years. According to this site, she's already been released, as have two others. One remains on probation. Two others were sentenced to life. Marty, according to the movie, was sentenced to death by electric chair.
It's a sad, sad story. But, I think it's definitely worth watching.