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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

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 second viewing selection between feedings were two episodes of Earth: The Biography, made by the BBC in conjunction with the National Geographic Channel. Is it just me, or do the Brits just corner the market on amazing scientific programming? Plus, geologist Iain Stewart is a super hottie, if you like really smart guys who are crazy adventurous and have great accents (I do).

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.

The second episode, "Atmosphere," was similarly educational, but as The Boy put it, "very intense." And "scary." The last part about greenhouse gasses and melting permafrost and methane was sobering, to say the least.

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.

Plus, you get a trip to Paris in this film.


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!


Mushroom cloud/exploding stomach image from here.
The Day After reference definitely an homage to the Russian menace exploitation of the Reagan era.


paris parfait November 28, 2008 at 10:55 AM  

Feeling the fatness here. Turkey, two (!) kinds of potatoes, cranberry and orange stuffing, sweet potato pie, chocolate, champagne, wine, etc. etc. Ready to burst! But it was lovely; alas by the time I could sit down and watch a movie (after guests left at midnight), I was too exhausted and fell asleep watching the horrors playing out in Mumbai. Sigh. I loved watching Chief Dan George in the movies. The night before last I saw Louis Armstrong in a 1938 film (the one with the horse named Jeepers Creepers) and was a bit dismayed to see the blast from the past when society was totally divided. Hope you have a great weekend ahead (to make up for having to work today). xoxox

Bill Stankus November 28, 2008 at 12:18 PM  

Ah, but if we didn't have gluttony what we have and what would we do? So, I say, pass the cranberries and how about some more pop corn!

Yoli November 28, 2008 at 3:12 PM  

I am a vegetarian so did not partake in the Turkey but did not leave unscathed. All the desserts found a way into my stomach and are now resting happily on my thights.

A Cuban In London November 28, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

Sorry, TB, let me get this right. Yo posted about 'Little Big Man' and there's no mention of Dustin? Dustin who is tasked with the responsibility of impregnating four women (was it four? My mind wanders... I haven't seen the film for donkey years now, but it remains one of my favourites)? :-)

Jokes aside, it's a great film.

Greetings from London.

Christina November 28, 2008 at 7:31 PM  

Sounds like the perfect day, to me. : )

I think I should have come to your job and rescued you! Dang, we should have planned better.

Jason Bourne is my type of guy. I so wanted to run around being adventurous with him in that movie. I guess that would have lasted until I passed some sort of food, a crepe perhaps. Crepe's would have been the end of the line for me and Jason's adventure. Damn, I am weak! lol

namastenancy November 28, 2008 at 11:43 PM  

I sympathize with the fat pants and having to work today. For years, when I worked in hospitals, I always got the holiday and weekend shifts. I tried not to eat too much yesterday but I made a killer corn bread dressing with gravy and helped myself to it a bit too much. Unfortunately, when one is a bit older, the pounds pile on without much effort. I've been totally lazy today but tomorrow - back to the studio, back to long walks and back to lean chicken and cottage cheese. Le Sigh.
Still, it was fun while it lasted and you sound like you had a great time as well, I can testify to your fabulous movie room and that couch would certainly be a great one for naps.
I loved Little Big Man; that's still one of my favorite movies of the era and of the white/Indian relations. There's a lot of pain in the movie but there's also a lot of very sly humor. Dustin doing his duty for his several Indian wives was hilarious but that funny scene was followed by the tragic one of yet another Indian massacre. I haven't seen the BBC documentary that you talk about - guess what's going into my Netflix cue.
Enjoy having the Boy back!

julochka November 29, 2008 at 4:15 AM  

love Jason Bourne too, tho' I am a James Bond fan...Bourne is more of a modern take on Bond and I think they're trying to push Bond in his direction, but it will be difficult.

sorry you had to work, but at least you didn't really have to work that much at work while you worked. did that makes sense?

our thanksgiving was a big success, even if a day late...will wax philosophical on it later...


Elizabeth November 29, 2008 at 4:48 AM  

Marisa Berenson's cheekbones in Death in Venice!
Julie Christie in Billy Liar!
I'm afraid I'm dating myself.

Gillian November 29, 2008 at 7:42 AM  

Back in October, I suffered my very own turkey-induced food coma. Complete with drawstring waisted pants to accomodate. :)
It must be done. We must enjoy the bounties of our harvest, or something like that.
So! You've introduced me to Chief Dan, I know not of this Chief. But I intend to-I love movies and can't get enough of them. Those 70's babes were indeed lanky, who else could get away scot-free with wearing one piece polyester pantsuits? I wear one of those and I'm the snake that ate the goat for Pete's sakes!
Glad you enjoyed your holiday, sorry you had to work, enjoy your Sunday tomorrow, hopefully you can rest then.

robinbird November 29, 2008 at 12:57 PM  

i always know that if i come here with extra time on my hands i am in for an educational smorgasbord (food analogy quite irrelevant here). sometimes i think you should be writing a regular magazine column. my brain is too turkey anesthetized to come up with a campy name for the column. but you do make me hoot and laugh! i followed all those links you set up and frankly i never would have known i wanted to learn about BREATHARIANISM until coming here today. now how on earth did you mange to gain such a wide range of completely useless knowledge? like this holiday you mention; "I Hate Turkey" season? but can you please send me one of those t-shirts? preferably the one that says "just say NO to crack potatoes!". i feel dead confident the baggy sweatpants are too cute for words on you.

and then you compliment all of that book learning and fact sharing with an additional 30 minutes of engaging previews of your movies. now 45 minutes have gone by and i want you to know i would not give that much precious time to anybody else who wears duct tape over their mouth. i also worked on friday so today is dedicated to jammies and blog visits. i learned about triple cream cheese today too!
XOXOX i adore you! simply adore you! kiss kiss!

dutchbaby November 29, 2008 at 7:09 PM  

I feel for you, tb, I used to work every Friday after Thanksgiving when I worked for Visa. We used to watch the Black Friday volumes in real time while biting our nails and wonder if we did a good enough job in our peak season planning to handle the peak volumes. Sadly, I'm guessing this is not an issue this year.

We just had another fabulous left-over meal. There was a scream of outrage because there is nothing left of either the butternut squash soup or the tomato soup.

Anonymous November 30, 2008 at 3:23 AM  

Well I do have my jammies on :-)

I loved Little Big Man, I remember watching it as a child with my Dad, who absolutely adored anything like that. Although I didn't share his love of John Wayne at times.


A Cuban In London November 30, 2008 at 4:22 AM  

Hey, TB, have you read Willow's new post yet? It's a very good one. I did not know that your profile pic was based on that film. I have written the title down and will definitely give it a go. I love German silent movies from that era, but this one had somehow escaped me.

Greetings from London.

Ruby Red December 13, 2008 at 1:31 AM  

You seem like a very knowledgeable woman. And I do not claim to be incredibly intelligent myself. But there is one thing of which I am sure: This planet upon which we live was not simply created from rocks smashing into each other. You say you like chemistry, and maybe you have heard one of the fundamentals of science: nothing comes from nothing. There could not have simply been a vacuum and then suddenly *poof* we have matter. It had to be created! The intricacies of our world point to that fact.

As to the rest of your blog, it is very interesting. I love your stories about the girl at the nail salon...little C, was it? Lovely. :)