Sep 24, 2007

Wisdom By the Awful Grace of God

"When I was ten my father held me
on his shoulders above the crowd
to see a train draped in mourning
pass slowly through our town.
His widow kneeled with all their children
at the sacred burial ground
and the TV glowed that long hot summer
with all the cities burning down." Mary Chapin Carpenter

"Eddy, now don't you run,
you know you're a bootlegger's son,
and you saw just what they've done
to your brothers." Styx

We recently signed up with Netflix and, although it is costing us more than it would to go down to Bl0ckbuster and rent movies, the selection of documentaries is astounding. We just watched... and rewatched... PBS's edition of American Experience on Bobby Kennedy.

Now, I have been a Kennedyite since my first exposure to that administration in my AP American History Class in high school, where my term paper was on the relationship between the Kennedy administration and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Anyone looking for a good book on the topic: Of Kennedys and Kings by Harris Wofford.) But my focus, as is typical I think, was on JFK - the president is the most public face of an administration and, as a high schooler in the middle of nowhere, I did not understand the symbiotic relationship between the brothers enough to pursue it in more depth. In that, I think I did myself, and RFK, a great disservice.

Watching this documentary was, in no small way, transfiguring as, indeed, RFK was transfigured from the 'runt' of the family (his father's word) to the dogged supporter, to the champion of the disenfranchised. I am changed for having witnessed, albeit at a great distance, his change.

It is fascinating also to see history, for thus it is now, in the words and pictures and actions of its creators. Somehow, there is more potency in hearing RFK's words, seeing him speak the words, in Indianapolis informing the crowd of the assassination of MLK, than there is in reading it in print. It has an impact that older history must surely suffer from in comparison.

I finished the documentary, both viewings, weeping for the loss of a man I cannot remember, the loss of his potential, the loss of our own potential through his inspiration.

"He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God." Aeschylus

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Sep 18, 2007

A Night at the Movies

I'll admit it - I'm not into "film". I like *movies*. Great art isn't necessarily what I'm looking for; I like a rollicking good tale, well told, with appealing characters. I want escapism, for the most part.

Jade's entry on her favorite movies of all time got me thinking... what are mine and why?

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade - "Dad, I *was* the next man!" What's not to love? I only hope the next one is as good. (Part of it was filmed about 45 minutes away this summer so it's underway!)

Galaxy Quest - Maybe you have to be a Trekker with a good dose of humility to appreciate it but I didn't know I could laugh so hard and NOT bust something!

Apollo 13 - I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up (still do but I'm 40, nearly blind, and fat... chances are diminishing rapidly!) and this story captivated me. Gary Sinise did a great job in this bringing a character to life that could've been easily overlooked.

Stargate - absolutely.

Princess Bride - "It just so happens that your friend here is only *almost* dead." "'Allo, my name is Inigo Montoya, you keel my father, preepare to die!" "Wuv, twoo wuv..."

Say Anything - Yes, it's a bit cheesy, I don't care. It's still a fave.

The Cutting Edge
- the same genre but with figure skating! Woohoo!! The look on Moira Kelly's face when she's standing back against the hotel corridor, hungover as all hell, when she realizes she's locked herself out. Ouch.

Ladyhawke - "Truth is, I talk to God all the time and he never said anything about you." A young Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer (mmm!), and a hauntingly beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer.

Star Wars - the first one - um, the first one that came out - not Episode I (*that* was mediocre). Space opera at its finest and with a *great* score.

Million Dollar Baby - Not a huge Clint Eastwood fan but this was a really good movie (Unforgiven was great too). Not sure I'd watch it again, though, I cried too hard the first time.

Pride & Prejudice - the A&E version. Ok, technically, this was a miniseries but I'm counting it here anyway. I've seen several P&P versions but this came the closest to what was in my head in one of my countless re-readings of the Austen classic.

- "Nobody steps on a church in *my* town!" Again, it's the supporting characters that get me - Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd are hilarious. And the short little geeky guy.

Top Gun - Yes, it's a pretty mediocre movie but the flying is AWESOME. I saw this 8 times in the theater while I was in college.

Probably the absolute top of the list is Schindler's List. I've watched it only twice because it's so emotionally draining. No, it's not escapism; it's gutwrenching. What capped that movie for me? The end where the survivors are placing stones on Schindler's grave. I sobbed.

Lord of the Rings - take my all time favorite book(s) and turn it into a movie? I've watched the trilogy (the extended DVD versions) close on to 10 times now. I think it made an enormous difference that they filmed them back to back. It's clear that Alan Lee, Peter Jackson, the cast, and me share a vision of what Tolkien was after. Transfixing. Only thing that could surpass it? Make one of the Silmarillion.

What are yours?


Sep 6, 2007

A Gordian Knot of Nerves and Excitement

Well, I heard from my OB at 2:07 p.m. this afternoon. Looks like I peed on enough sticks. (Although I peed on another one this morning - just to be sure... again.) We are, indeed, expecting again. My HCG number is good and my progesterone is terrific. (They look for at least 15 with 20 being quite good and mine's 42.) We have our first ultrasound scheduled for about 8 weeks - September 27th.

I am thrilled.
I am terrified.

It's going to be a very long 3 weeks.


A Day of Grief; A Day of Hope

As I was visiting a friend today, her sister called, distraught. The sister had just had an ultrasound that showed her baby had no heartbeat. She is, was, 9 weeks along. Right about when we lost the Baby That Wasn't. I was not prepared for the raw grief that surfaced again so quickly. How visceral the memory is of hearing the same words not a year ago.

The surreality of the situation was heightened by my trip (just prior to visiting my friend) to the doctor's office to have blood drawn to check for HCG and progesterone to see if we are, indeed, expecting again. I've had four positive pee-on-a-stick results but, as anyone who has struggled to get and stay pregnant knows, that doesn't mean squat until the doctor says your levels are good. Even then, there ain't nothin' guaranteed. You can't be sure you'll be walking out the door with a baby (ok, riding out since they insist on the wheelchair thing) until you're actually doing it.

Sometimes the circle of life spins just a little too fast to be sure which end is up.

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Sep 3, 2007

Choose to Live to Fight Again Another Day

Thank you all for your potty training stories! It's good to know I'm not alone rather than just hearing "do this, don't do that!" From what I've heard and read, there really needs to be an interest on the part of the child and she just doesn't have it. She doesn't care if she's wet. She doesn't recognize that she's about to go. And, until she does, ain't nothin' gonna happen.

So, having seen no improvement over the last week, we have decided to table it for a month or two and then try again.

LOL - maybe if I tell her she's not allowed to sit on the potty anymore, she'll get interested? (Hmmm... is using reverse psychology acceptable on almost 2 year olds?)