Archive for December, 2009


Gypsygrrl asked for a review of the film Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. I saw it over the weekend, and was just blown away.

Honestly? I’m not quite sure where to begin. The amazing acting?

Mo’Nique was incredible—completely believable as a cold, harsh, abusive, sadistic woman who cares only for herself. Her assumed affection for her daughter and grandchildren is only for what she can get from them: welfare money, food, cigarettes, playing her numbers, and sex.

Mariah Carey was amazing in her role as an overworked and overtired social worker who is trying to get to the root of what’s going on in Precious’s life. It was very evocative of my brief tenure as a CPS investigator, trying desperately to understand what was happening in the families and wanting to help, but being completely stonewalled because I was an outsider, someone who couldn’t understand, it was none of my business, or perhaps because like Precious initially seemed to feel, nothing could help.

Paula Patton stars as Blu Rain, the reading teacher at the alternative school, and inspires Precious with her passion and dedication. She takes the time to sit with Precious, and teaches her to read, letter by letter, word by word. When Precious flees the horrors of her mother’s home, she goes to the only safe place she knows: the school. Ms. Rain takes her into her own love-filled home until Precious is able to get into a halfway house.

Gabourey Sidibe, above all, absolutely shone. She tried to avoid dealing with the horrors of her life by escaping into fantasy. Not until she is suspended from the junior high school she attends, and encouraged by the principal to attend an alternative school, does she begin to avoid escapism and face things full-on. Precious starts to come out of her shell, warmed by the love and acceptance of her teacher and the other people who come into her life.  But the blows keep on coming, and you wonder how long this stolid young woman is going to be able to keep on standing on her feet.

I can’t say enough good things about this movie. It’s agonizingly painful to watch. There are a few scenes that struck a chord with me because of my experiences as a child welfare worker, and it brought back a lot of memories. And I’ve spent plenty of my life escaping into fantasy, not because of the experiences Precious had, but because of the blows that life has dealt to me. But the hope that is blown from a spark into a fire will resonate with every viewer.

On Saturday I saw a play where the frequent refrain was, “There was hope! There is hope! There will always be hope!” The same refrain could be quoted at the end of this movie. “There was hope! There is hope! There will always be hope!”

It takes a lot of talent to turn something so ugly into something so beautiful. Kudos to all the people who worked on this movie.


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One More Thing

In the scene where Adrian Helmsley is riding in a cab e en route to his friend’s home/mine in India, he is reading The Consolation of Philosopy by Boethius, presumably translated by Chaucer. Any person, living or fictional, who enjoys Boethius is a friend of mine.

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Adventures in Movie-Going

Joe and I went to see 2012 Monday afternoon, as you may have guessed from my last post. It wasn’t an altogether flawless movie experience, though.  Approximately 2/3’s of the way through the movie, we noticed theatre attendants helping a couple to seats in the row just past the row I like to sit in, where I can put my feet on the railings.  We didn’t think anything of it until a few minutes later, when the man started talking really loudly. Then the woman took a header and landed face first on the floor. The man began loudly berating her for her clumsiness. Then she was groveling on the floor–I thought maybe she’d dropped something, but never did figure out what was going on. Then he began talking really loudly, etc. through the last third of the movie, despite some subtle and not-so-subtle shushing by other theatre patrons who were very annoyed.

As soon as the movie was over, I bolted for the bathroom, making sure to go behind the crazy couple instead of in front as I normally would. Joe bolted to ask for a refund from the manager. We left with readmission tickets.  While we were strolling through the mall, a few women came up to us and asked if we were in the theatre with them. We commiserated with them, and told them the theatre would give them readmission tickets so they could try watching the movie again another time.  Apparently the couple had been drinking (big surprise), and the man claimed he had been injured in an auto accident, hence the help getting into the theatre. Anyway, everyone there probably asked for a refund. It wasn’t fun.

Today I decided it was massage day. I’ve missed getting my weekly massage for several weeks, and my back was really hurting. So Joe decided to meet me at the mall so we could try again to see 2012.  Got the massage. It was lovely. Had dinner. It was good. Got chocolate. Mmmm. Bought a pair of glasses. Expensive. 

Then it was movie time.  Things started off well–the popcorn wasn’t stale, like it was on Monday, and there were fewer people in the theatre, and no one who appeared to be drunk.  We made it through the previews, and then it started. Someone in the row behind me was farting. Let’s just say I didn’t realize it because it was loud.  Joe asked if I wanted to move to another seat, but I kept thinking it would stop. It didn’t.

And then a guy walked in wearing a pimp suit and red hat and shoes, carrying a metallic briefcase.  As soon as he walked in, my prickles went off and I wanted to leave. But hey–it was the second time we were trying to see the movie (and trust me when I tell you that my suspension of disbelief was far less willing than it was the irst time), and I didn’t want to make Joe leave.

The person behind me kept gassing, so I told Joe sure, let’s move to another seat.  Yay! Fresh clean air! 

Someone walked into the theatre and sat down in the seat immediately in front of Joe, right by the exit. What are all these people doing, coming in way after the movie started?  He sits there for a while, then gets up and walks out. 

Two minutes later, pimp dude walks out.  My hackles rose again.  Joe leaned over and asked if I wanted to leave, and I did, so we did.

What was going on? Drug deal? Gun deal? Terrorist attack? (I’m kidding about the last one. I think.)  Whatever it was, we were both uncomfortable about remaining in the theatre.

And we’re not going to try again.  Apparently the powers that be have decreed that we will never see 2012 in its entirety in the theatre. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

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Thoughts After Seeing 2012

Robert Frost said it best:

Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

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Not to be confused with omnivore, which I am not, or vegevore (is that even a word), which I am.

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading Tavi’s Style Rookie blog and getting inspired. She’s reminded me how much fun it is to actually put outfits together like you’re creating a work of art. I’ve started rethinking the way I dress, and it’s a hoot.

Then yesterday I discovered Polyvore.  Oh, baby. Mmmm.  I can spend hours putting together sets, finding new ways to combine clothes, shoes, and accessories.  It takes shopping to a whole new level, even if I can’t afford the $2K ring I was drooling over yesterday. And so far I’m not using it for shopping, although if one shirt I used in a set yesterday were available in size oh-my-gosh I’d have bought one. No, I’ve been putting together items from various designers and seeing what I can come up with. It’s fun. And if you click on the link over to the right, you can see my sets. And if you sign up to start making your own sets, please leave the link so I can do some more drooling.

Play! Create!

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Happy Burfday!!

Today is the birthday of the Incomparable Izzybella. I don’t have any embarrassing photos to upload right now, but tonight–I think I might come up with a cute one. In fact, I know I will. (Revenge is sweet, my dearest sister, saccharine sweet!)

All I can tell you is that she’s been my best friend since the day she was born, and perhaps before that, and I cannot imagine the world without her.

Happy birthday, baby!

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Yay! It’s my birthday today!

If you’re the one who left me a voice message at 3:30 this morning, please accept my apologies for not listening to it then. I will sometime today.

If you’re the ones who started my day off with loving birthday texts at 5:30, thank you! It was a nice way to start the day.

I got to work to find that the Grape Ape outdid himself. The last time he visited my desk, he just exploded. This time, he threw up and then exploded. Most excellent. There are purple balloons, streamers, feathers, beads, candy, bubbles, and even a cute little purple flip-flop keychain. And there is cake. Oh, yes, there is cake. White cake with white buttercream frosting and, yes, you guessed it, purple flowers.

I made the announcement yesterday on Facebook, but just in case you missed it: I have decided to be 13 this year. So bring on the fart jokes and juvenile fun and games. Woohoo!

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