Friday, May 28, 2010

renting movies from the library

admittedly, i've been too much of a couch potato this last century as a mostly unemployed young woman. that's a story for another day. but in any event, it's long been my goal to see as many films as possible -- isn't it weird how many movies there are? how many millions of dollars that get spent on straight to video b-movies, even? i'm not being critical here, i really do think the film industry is a marvel.

in any event, i'll tell you right now, in this hardcore film watching year of mine, i've developed a problem: the Harry Potter films. i'm addicted to them. as i write this, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone plays in the background, and it's actually a calculated decision on my part: i keep our less popular dvd's in a drawer, & the more popular ones on shelves, and i'm currently letting myself watch each Harry Potter movie one last time before banishing it to the drawer.

anyway, i just started renting movies from the library down the street. some people's local libraries charge for dvd's but not mine (though if you want to buy drugs or hook up with a male prostitute, which you can also do at this library, at the front entrance before the library opens, it'll cost you plenty). you are aloud to rent 3 movies per genre: for kids movies or grownup fiction movies, you can rent the movie for 2 days. for documentaries, they're presumed boring enough to be in little demand, and you can therefore keep them for 7 days. most of them are russian language though, but i did have some good documentary finds: all the michael moore movies (don't bother arguing with me if you hate him, because i don't want to hear it), and a good one about hunter thompson called "Gonzo."

for the most part, the dvd's offered are slim pickings, because they're donated, i think. This is how and why i recently ended up re-watching the Back to the Future trilogy, or finally giving in to watching Jerry McGuire. i've ended up watching some movies i never would have seen otherwise. recently, i watched the original Towering Inferno (which geof's dad is in, as a stuntman). it was pretty good -- the ruggedly handsome steve mcqueen looks awful in comparison to paul newman ... i think they were both in their fifties in that movie. anyway, the movie Poseidon has the same plot as Towering Inferno except on a yacht, and even though the library carries the original Poseidon, I opted for the early 2000's remake, starring Kurt Russell. What, i watched these movies? yes.

i have always hated Disney movies, even when i was a cute little youngin, but i rented the old animated disney version of Alice in Wonderland, and boy does that movie suck! all this weird shit happens to her, and it's kind of neat and pretty, but then right when things are about to get interesting, she wakes up and her private tutor says something like, 'Oh Alice, what am i going to do with you? you've been napping this whole time!' The end. what the fuck?

geof and i made a deal that i would watch the 3 original Star Wars (i never had) if he'd read Slaughterhouse 5 (my bible), and i was able to rent 2 of the 3 Star Wars from the library, so that was helpful. i had to watch the first one for an undergrad film class and was the only student who hadn't seen it before, and i never saw the other 2 -- I'm glad I finally saw them. I wish I liked them when I was a kid because Princess Leia is a really strong female character: she's smart, compassionate, strong and an anarchist and i would have loved loved loved her when i was a little girl. instead, i only loved that weird Ewok movie/Star Wars spin-off, with those blonde siblings in it that dress the way people dress in Malibu in my imagination, taupe linen shifts and braided headbands, etc.

Today from the library I rented: Mouse Hunt (kids movie with Nathan Lane's voice), The Muppet Movie (which kicks almost as much ass as Follow that Bird), Flyboys (i'm powerless against movies with james franco in them), and Bulworth. I lose my temper on a regular basis with strangers who try to take advantage of me or do a half-assed job on medical procedures, which unfortunately happens often in the hustling bustling city of Los Angeles, but other than that, i try to keep my feelings reigned in, which is hard for a tempestuous, passionate, some may say crazy girl like me. in any event, when something makes me extremely happy or sad in a movie or book, days worth of passionate disappointment or bliss get unleashed and I cry like crazy (my poor dad and stepmom had to stand around the theatre lobby like 'uh, should we go check on her?' recently when we all went to see Slumdog Millionaire and i excused myself to the restroom to cry uncontrollable rapturous tears for a half hour). I saw Bulworth when it came out, and it might not seem like it'd be a good movie, but it's really excellent. but it made me too emotional to want to see it again. Anyway, that's what i just finished watching, and the ending hasn't change since the last time i saw it, so i just finished crying. hmmm, what should i do with myself now?, i thought. while i take care of my Harry Potter-watching project, that is. So here we are. good night. xox princess robin

Monday, May 24, 2010

Musical Therapy Part II

There've been a couple misunderstanding of lyrics that always seemed poignant to me. The uk surf version of The Pixies "Wave of Mutilation" was one of me and my mom's shared favorite songs when I was a teenager. One lyric goes:

I've kissed mermaids
Rode the El Nino

but my mom always misheard the lyrics as

I've kissed her legs

and once she told me she loved that line because it was so tender.

When I was heartbroken once in college, sad Otis Redding songs were all I wanted to listen to, and similarly, the lines I misheard were also my favorite lines. There's one verse that goes:

Honey, I saw you there last night
With another man's arms holding you tight
Nobody knows what I feel inside
All I know is I walked away and cried

and I always love the last line of that verse, which I thought was All I know is I want the way you cried.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Musical Therapy

in 2004 i had open heart surgery. in the long run it was a success, but in the immediate post-op aftermath, my cardiologist, Dr. Dumbfuck (which in English translates to Fatally Incompetent), didn't actually look at any of the echocardiograms he had me wait hours to take, 3 days in a row, and so nobody knew my heart sac was filling up with blood, until my heart almost stopped working one day, and this time when i went back into the hospital, i guess the insurance company weighed the risks of making me leave again asap, and this time they took care of me until my heart was healed. i lived.

in 2005 i had a nervous breakdown, but i'm too sarcastic to ever go fully crazy, so while i was a bit incapable of taking care of myself, i wasn't fully incapable, and therefore i was a day-patient (I didn't have to live at the facility, i could go home at night, not that i wanted to) for 3 weeks at a rehab/mental health facility. the famous one wc fields went to.

we had music therapy on fridays. the woman who facilitated the class looked like a ballerina and was nice and calming. she let people play songs that they related to, as a form of therapy. my closest friend at the institution was, unless he was bullshitting, raised by his grandpa in a cult, had been in Desert Storm, and was an ex-cop. he was on twice the normal dosage of whatever it was he was on, and the side effect was that he basically had amnesia. even though he looked like a jock and i always try to look like a sloppy ne'er do well, he seemed to be sweet on me, he'd get me soda refills at lunch and stuff like that. but he forgot me and got reacquainted with me every day, liking me more on some days than others. One Music Therapy class, the facilitator let him put on one of his songs, and it was Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People." Here are some of the lyrics:

The beautiful people, the beautiful people
It's all relative to the size of your steeple
You can't see the forest for the trees
You can't smell your own shit on your knees

There's no time to discriminate,
Hate every motherfucker
That's in your way

Oh god, it was so funny to see the pretty ballerina smile and close her eyes and nod her head along with the music. "Okay, that was really interesting, very expressive," she said, when the song was over. A middle aged women who was normally really quiet said "I liked it. It reminded me of the rock music we used to listen to when I was younger."

Every song that played during these sessions yielded such fascinating reactions. The Eagles "Desperado" made a lot of us cry. it's really a beautiful song, tacky as it is. I love these lines:

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table.
But you only want the ones
That you can't get.

Ohhhh you aint getting no younger.
Your pain and your hunger,
They're driving you home.

When it was finally my turn to play a song, I chose Elliot Smith's No Name #3. I love the chorus:

a good old fashioned fight
so come on night
everyone is gone
home to oblivion
home to oblivion
home to oblivion

But my friend with the amnesia and the history of falling victim to brutal institutions (a christian cult, the army, the police force), he put on the wrong song. He put on No Name #4, which goes like this:

For a change she got out before he hurt her bad
Took her records and clothes
And pictures of her boy
It really made her sad
Packed it up and didn't look back
I'm okay lets just forget about him
The car was cold and it smelled like old cigarettes and pine
In her bag I saw things she drew when she was mine
Like this one here
Her alone nobody near
What a shame lets just not talk about it
No it doesn't look like you
But you did wear cowboy boots
That's your fame
There's no question about it
Once we got back inside
With one ear to the ground
I was ready to hide
'cos I don't know who's around
and you look scared
it's our secret do not tell okay?
Let's just not talk about it
Don't tell okay?
Let's just forget all about it.

This song sounds to me, obviously, like it's about an abusive relationship. "That was a very pretty song, Robin," the ballerina said, "Are the lyrics significant to you in any way? do they remind you of something that's happened in your own life?" The empathetic therapist thought I'd been in an abusive relationship, and i didn't want to embarrass anyone by admitting that it was the wrong song. I told her, "uh, i've never really listened to the lyrics. i just like how it sounds."

the music therapy class would never hear my own real song choice, the song about going home to oblivion.

it was a strange 3 weeks. most of the people in my group therapy sessions were on the make. we were in a nice, warm waiting room of our real lives, but recovering from psychic incapacitation takes too long and is too sad.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

odds & ends

despite all the neat clothes, books, jewelry etc i've sold, given away or just left behind, these are 4 postcards i've managed to hang on to for over 10 years. xo