Sunday, July 26, 2009

a bomb and a blast from the past

We returned from the kind of weekend away that demanded cinema therrapy of the two rental variety.

From some NPR Best Of 2008 list, I picked a couple of two-name titles: Wendy and Lucy and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

That's two, two, two rents in one.

First up in the DVD player: Wendy and her dog pal, Lucy.

Question to NPR reviewers: Were we watching the same movie?

Same question goes to you, 84% approvers on Rotten Tomatoes. Really?

Because I thought it was borrrrrrrring and slowwwww and well, kinda stupid. Poignant, yes, but ruined moments with an insipid screenplay. And then there was watching Wendy make some idiotic choices.

So it's a story about a girl and her dog who trek cross country, bound for Alaska. And become stranded in an unfamilliar town. And she throws F-bombs at the one stranger willing to assist her. And then she leaves the dog tied to a bicycle rack outside of a grocery store while she meanders down food aisles and leisurely browses magazines. And then she loses the dog (no!). Eventually she lost me and SAM as a serious audience.

Next up, Nick and Norah. I picked this one largely because my son was interested and I thought maybe we could actually enjoy a movie together, the teen and his older than dirt 'rents. He was busy, so I opted to watch it anyway. After Wendy, I was desperate for something with a little pick me up.

Pick me up, it did. Right back to those crazy nights of younger years in Jersey. Not the cross into NYC Jersey, like Nick and Norah do, but the cross into PA and Delaware Jersey. But it felt the same.

Nick and Norah is a fun romp around the Big Apple in a yellow Yugo. It's about the necessity of friends, even if it means babysitting a too-drunk-again best friend. And it's about the pursuit of music and how all powerful and meaningful it is when you both get the same band. And it's about love. The film hits each of these points with the precision of a New York cabbie changing lanes during rush hour.

A great rental, in other words. Even if Norah does summon a squeaky excuse for an orgasm. No matter. Because Michael Cera (Juno's baby daddy) is flawless and his character is that sweet geeky boy every misused girl hopes to find.

P.S. The head butt at the end is the most rocking macho-boy-defends-girl-fight scene, like, ever.

P.P.S. Don't blink or you might miss the surprise SNL cameos.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

silly summer haiku

Join the fun!

Sit, sweat in lawn chair.
Down to spring fed pool ... splash!
Ahh, so refreshing.

Join Jen and friends at You Know ... that Blog by writing your own silly summer haiku.

Monday, July 13, 2009

a big "told ya" on the small screen

You know how you read about a local happening that you are sure your kids will love?

And then you tell your kids and they're all, Um, no thanks.

And you're all, But I made plans so you could attend this super funtastic interactive art event.

And they're all, I'm not going.

And you're all, But I know you will love this. Trust me. It's paper making, printing art, book making crafts. Cool stuff!

And they're all, Why would I want to make a book?

And you're all, You absolutely will go or you can stay home and clean the dust bunnies under your bed.

And they're all, Don't care. Not going.

So then you're all, with your eyes bulgy and your voice screeching in that larynx-popping way, We're going and you're going to like it. Now get your little arses in the freaking car now.

And then the entire way there you hear whining and complaining and you start to think you've got this parenting thing all wrong. Instead of wasting so much energy keeping them entertained, you should be locking them in a cement laundry room where you pass them clothes to wash, fold, and iron, and a bowl of lukewarm gruel, but only after they've gotten every last wrinkle out.

That way, when you offer up a funtastic arty outing they'll be all, Yay, Mom! You're the greatest!

But instead you get to the artsy place parking lot and the kids are all, Look, there's a teenager. It's for bigger kids, Mom. We're not going in there.

And you're all, Just wait until we get inside. We'll see how it is and decide then.

And then when you enter the art studio you're greeted by a kindly and enthusiastic printmaker who smiles at your children, and he's all, Step right this way.

And the kids are all, rolling their eyes and looking like spoiled brats all apprehensive masked by underwhelm.

And the printmaker's smile distorts into an uncomfortable grimace and you detect a smidgeon of disapproval.

And you're all, with an awkward smile back, Sorry, we have a couple of reluctant book makers here.

But then you cattle prod nudge your pride and joys into a line where they have an antique printer press set up and they get to pick out the metal letters spelling their names from a printers drawer and work the press themselves.

And then they move along to wood block relief printing, and paper marbling, and calligraphy, and book collage, and suminagashi.

And they're all, Oooh, we really love the suminagashi.

And, Look, Mom! My name in calligraphy! Isn't this cool?

And, when it's time to leave, they're all, Noooo, Mom. We want to watch her do another calligraphy.

And, Can't we do one more book cover?

And, But the kindly printmaker has this really cool marblized paper for my collage book.

And, the next day we see footage of this event. It has made it to the local television news. We see one of our girls making a book collage and the shoulder of the other girl watching the relief printing.

And they're all, Hey Mom! Look! There we are!

And they're all telling their friends how funtastic the collage and bookmaking and printing press was.

And you're all, silently told ya.

And when does it get better, people? Seeing your I told ya so on the small screen?

Image source, Wisdom calligraphy, here.
Image source, Suminagashi, here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

an interpretive query

As my workday came to a close, I was doing the usual bookkeeping with collected fees and copays . I came across a check that gave me pause. It was written by a longtime client.

It was written out to, "Burger King."

And I have to say, I was stumped.

Was this an example of transference? What might this client have been projecting onto me, exactly?

And what is the appropriate therapist response? The fact that I, upon reading it, immediately felt a craving for a charbroiled hamburger, could smell it even, says what about the therapeutic alliance, exactly? What counter transference issue was at play?

Interpret amongst yerselves.

Friday, July 03, 2009

you can bite my ass

No wait, fellas. I meant that figuratively. Not that I literally meant for you to bite me on my ass for real. heh heh.

Chigger bites. That's right people. On my ass. Both cheeks. One of the little fockers dared to make the climb into the great gorge, falling just short of my holy grail, you know that place from which things exit but never, ever enter. Dirty bastard.

Try to conduct a full day's worth of therapy sessions when you've got chigger bites all over both of your gluteus maximusses.

"And then, Dr. Yogurt, after he called me a whore, he grabbed me by the hair and threw me across the ...."

I'm sorry, Mrs. O'Reilly. Do you mind if we pause for a moment while I scratch my ass?

scratch. scratch.

scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch

They itch like freaking hell. Especially the dime sized ones. Chiggers like creases. Yeah, right there. Both sides. And at my age, creases are everywhere the sun don't shine.

My daughter fared worse than me. She counted more than 50 bites. Most of them following a military straight marching formation along her bikini line.

Where were we? What were we doing? And how long were we doing it, when we gave chiggers unlimited access to our asses?

First we were walking along here:

Lady Bird Lake, which at my house shall always be referred to as Town Lake Hike 'n Bike Trail. This is part of the Colorado River that runs through Austin. We are standing on the 1st Street pedestrian bridge looking westward, at that dividing point between downtown and south Austin. The bridge in the distance is the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge.

And here:

And here,

The reason my tweenage twin daughters are looking all sullen and petulant and refusing to look at the camera, otherwise known as bringing me the kind of joy and satisfaction I knew would be my reward for all of those million-and-five sh*tty diaper changes, is because the forced march walk was Stalin's their mother's idea. And none of their friends were available to come along. You know how that goes. Mother will pay.

But how did the chiggers skip over the ankles and plant themselves on the butt-tocks region, you ask? I asked that too.

Apparently while we were crouching down to capture the right amount of sunlight for their America's Next Top Model portfolio, a nest of larvae-of-harvest-mites were rubbing their grubby little arachnoid legs together in anticipation of a late lunch.

Right about here,

So yeah. Mother always pays.