Today is the traditional first day of my personal "I Hate Turkey" season. I should be wearing an outfit of baggy sweatpants where I've snipped the elastic in the waist, one of my seasonal post-Thanksgiving t-shirts ("JUST SAY NO TO CRACK [POTATOES]!", "FUTURE BREATHARIAN," or "MY BABY IS A FOOD BABY"), with a square of duct tape affixed firmly over my mouth.
But no, I am at work today (which the sad few of us here have deemed the practice to be a hybrid of unsupervised day care and being sent to after-school detention. We have also deemed our presence here at the office to be very un-American of our employers because we should be out supporting Black Friday and our crumbling economy).
Because I am here, I had to forego the modified sweatpants and baggy top in favor of regular clothes (found some that fit, perhaps there is a god) and brought the requisite turkey sandwich for lunch (which has been made more enticing by adding some thick slices of Delice de Bourgogne atop slices of rustic Italian bread, and topped with my homemade cranberry relish, which will be my fruit ration for the next week.). And true to my word, once I finish this post, then I will be off on a virtual spree of visiting you all in blogland for the next 6 hours or so.
I hope you all did have a lovely Thanksgiving, and that if you're reading this, you're idling in front of the computer in your jammies today. Even those of you who don't live in the US, I hope you're benefitting from some of that Thanksgiving spirit too, even if you're not feeling the fatness.
We had a very quiet and restful day, mostly. No computers, no phones. Days like this always involve extreme couch-potatoey-ness because our home is very well equipped for the sport of marathon movie watching. Although we've been TV-free for well over a decade (both as individuals and in our coupledom), that doesn't mean we suffer from a deficit of visual entertainment. We have a self-made home theatre, with projector, surround sound speakers and a pull down 10' movie screen that's mounted in the ceiling for hard-core movie watching. Those of you who attended the famous Movie Maven's Movie Marathon for America can attest to this.
The Boy selected The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as our first film of the day. With extreme deference to John Ford, Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, this is a boring classic film. The Boy fell asleep, which is added proof because he loves westerns and I don't. So while he snoozed, I swapped that movie for Little Big Man. The Boy's never seen this film (!) and I've seen it many, many times. There's something really fun when a friend watches a really great movie for the first time in your presence.
Even though you cannot watch this film with the idea that it's a documentary, there's enough truth in the relationship between the Native American and Caucasian cultures to provide some historical perspective and give some food for thought at Thanksgiving time. Our national myth of the first Thanksgiving, complete with the deliverance of the English settlers by the Indians with the bounty of this country's native foods adds a poignant sadness to the fact that the cultures of these noble natives were almost completely destroyed 150 years later. Not that I don't want to be thankful for the bountiful life that I have, because I am, but lately it just seems right to be even more focused on our nation's checkered past. Its perceived greatness and promise as well as its tragic cruelties. I still feel sensitized and overly aware of our American myth, as a result of this past election. Everything I read or see makes me view our current situation from the continuum of history that has gotten us to this day.
To me, the best scenes of this film are the ones that feature Chief Dan George. And of those scenes, this one is my favorite:
One aside (which has nothing to do with anything really) after watching Little Big Man again is that there was a certain type of actress in the 70s: Faye Dunaway, Julie Christie, Marisa Berenson, to name a few, that had this willowy, high-cheekboned and exotic beauty that is not seen on the screen anymore. Even overly made up, these women had a lanky grace that I identify as a symbol of 70s films.
The first episode, "Volcanoes," is simply spectacular. Spectacularly exciting, wildy entertaining, and full of stuff you never knew about our planet and which also makes you very very glad to not be living near a volcano if you can help it. Although it doesn't make you real excited to be living on a moving tectonic plate, either. This episode really puts the concept of our planet and how it came to be formed, and how it continues to evolve, into fascinating perspective.
When faced with a bit of overwhelming reality, the best thing to do is take a break.
That means get some pumpkin pie (not homemade but certainly delicious), a cup of hot cocoa (I'm now a big fan of Mexican Chocolate Abuelita by Nestle ) and plug in some escapist adventure.
For me, that's Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity. You guys can keep your James Bond in all his incarnations.
So there you have it. Our little holiday of gluttony, sloth, historical perspective, adventure and general condition of the planet, all in one day. Maybe it is good to be back at work.
And with that, I am off to pay my visits to you!