Monday, November 29, 2010

Blogging Harry Potter

Sunday, November 28, 2010, 12:06 PM

I don't consider myself a huge Harry Potter fan. I have found that the books can be over long, over complicated, and tedious to read. But I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next one.  The movie versions, although epic in length, are stripped down to a bare minimum of plot and move along at a fast pace. The film version of the seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Something something, part one, has opened and I feel duty bound to watch  it.   In preparation for the final film chapters of the Harry Potter Saga, I will watch the six previous films and write about the experience.  There will be SPOILERS!

I downloaded all six movies from a USENET newsgroup and started re-watching the films during our recent vacation in New Orleans. My plan was to write about each film as I saw them, but didn't have the energy after our long trip.  It was easier to watch the next movie. I ended up watching the first three together, and write about them in one post.

Some of the things I wanted to write about are but couldn't fit in are:
  • I do some of my best thinking in the shower.
  • Not a lot happens until the end of the first and second movie. The previous 2/3rds are exposition about the characters and location.  The real mystery doesn't present itself until the end, when Harry fights against his nemesis.
  • The third movie is beautifully made, using many interesting and stylish effects.  A great example is the glorious montages that depict the changing of seasons.  Sometimes the visual style threatens to overwhelm the movie, but it is totally worth it when you can't sleep.
We first meet our protagonist in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) , directed by Chris Columbus. His further adventures are chronicled 2002's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, also directed by Chris Columbus. The third installment in the Harry Potter franchise is 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this time directed by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron.

Harry Potter is an orphaned adolescent whose parents were murdered by evil wizard, Lord Voldemort when he was an infant. He divides his time between the nonmagical world of his aunt and uncle and the magical world of his parents. Each film takes place during a single school year and chronicles Harry's growth, both as a wizard and as an adolescent heading for adulthood. The films have a similar three act structure; Harry's relationship to the nonmagical world of “muggles” (non-wizards or non-witches), his life during the school year, and a final segment that is part climactic battle and part epiphany.

Each movie begins in the muggle world, the non magical world, in the home of his abusive, adoptive family, the Dursleys. Harry struggles to fit in with them, but they treat him with contempt, believing him responsible for the death of his mother, sister of Mr. Dursley. Life with the Dursleys is work and and humiliation.  Their dislike of Harry is so great that they bar the windows and padlock the door to his room.

As Harry's strength and maturity grows in the wizarding world, so does his ability to defend himself in the muggle world.This arc is reflected by how he leaves the house; in the first two films, he needs help to leave the house, but in third, he is able to walk out on his own.  

The middle section of each film takes place at Hogwarts, a school for people with magical abilities.  Hogworts is also where Harry makes his friends and meets his enemies.  His greatest enemy is the mysterious Lord Voldemort, the wizard that killed Harry's parents. Voldemort is known as a “dark” or evil wizard who was unsuccessful in his attempt to kill Harry when he was an infant.  He is without physical body in the first three movies, relying on humans to do his evil bidding.

Draco Malfoy and his toadies
Among Harry's mortal enemies is the Malfoy family, whose son Draco also attends Hogwarts. The Malfoys preach racial superiority, based on how the magical talents were inherited. Like white supremacists, they often refer to them and their kind as “pure bloods.” Lucius, the patriarch of the family, uses his position at The Ministry of Magic, the governing arm of the wizarding world, to foment discriminatiuon against half bloods, wizards and witches with one magical parent, and mud bloods, those with two muggle parents.

Near the end of the school year, also the final section of the film, Harry does battle against his enemies, using the tools he picked up inn the middle section.  As the series progresses, Harry's strength and skill also increases.  

Hermione helps Harry save himself
In the first two films, Harry receives aide off-screen; the first is a spell cast by his mother to save him from Voldemort, the second by two magical items that appear, well, magically.  In the third film, Harry is able to save himself by going back in time to save himself when failed to cast a spell correctly.  Even though his loyal friend, Hermione, provided him with the means to travel back in time, it was his increased confidence that allowed him to succeed where he had failed earlier (or failed at the same time? Time travel can be so confusing.).

Thus far, Harry is well on his way down the path of his own bildungsroman,  his journey from adolescent to adult.  I can't wait (maybe I am that big of a Harry Potter fan after all) to see what happens in the next movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Sunday, November 28, 2010, 9:30 pm

Banner courtesy of

Friday, November 26, 2010

Watch this space for further announcements

We returned from our trip to New Orleans late last night and I am glad to be home;  I missed my couch, my pets, my reliable Internet connection, and my coffee maker.

I have some things that I would like to put here, about the city, about some movies I watched, why I want to see a lot more of...  Well, that is neither here nor there.

Hopefully I will be able to read my handwritten scrawl well enough to remind myself of what I found share worthy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spoiled by living in the land of free Wi-Fi

We left New Orleans on Monday after having a great time. Adrienne and I really enjoyed each other's company while touring around the city. We will be in Mobile, Alabama until Thursday, visiting a childhood friend of hers. I can not wait to see what interesting things I discover about my sweetheart!

The hotel in NOLA (the new, short hand for New Orleans) had no free access to the Internet (or Continental Breakfast!), so I am behind in my correspondence. I had plenty of great experiences and thoughts about traveling as a handicapped that I am sorting through right now and I am sure that writing about them will help.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Carrie (1976)

Monday, November 15, 2010 08:31 PM

In the fourth grade, at my friend Jeff's house, I spotted a book that his older sister had finished reading. The cover showed the face of a lovely girl, half in shadow, the other half in a silhouetted and masculine profile. His sister Judy asked me if I wanted to read it and I, being too scared of her to say no, said yes.

This was the first book written for adults I had read. It also introduced me to an author whose body of work would grow and mature as I did. I am talking about Stephen King's first novel, Carrie.

Years later, sitting in my literature classes at Miami, I hoped that a hundred years from now future students would be reading and deconstructing The Shining or The Stand just like we were doing with novels like The Red and Black or Death in Venice.

Not just an author of scary stories, King has also captured the minds, the thoughts, and the attitudes of Americans in the twentieth century with his writing. More than once during my years in Vermont did I meet someone who could have been one of King's New England characters.

Due to my parents strict "No R rated movies" policy,I wouldn't be able to watch Brian Depalma's 1976 adaption of Carrie until several years after it was released. It was maddening to listen to other kids, whose parents seemed not to care about movie ratings, talk about the movie (and give away the ending.) But at least I had read the book and could do my own compare and contrast exercises in my head.

The transition from book to screen went smoothly; Brian De Palma bought the rights to Carrie at the encouragement of a friend and easily found a studio interested in funding him. The film was a commercial and critical success, with two of its cast members earning Academy Award nominations.

King did not have any thing to do with making of Carrie, although he has reportedly said that it was a good movie. After watching it again recently, I think he is underestimating it. Not only is it a good horror film, but also a well made movie. De Palma brings a well crafted visual style to the movie while Lawrence Cohen's script imbibes the main characters with much broadness and complexity.

Sissy Spacek & Piper Laurie
practice family values at home
The cast's performances raise  Carrie above  most horror films from 1976.  Sissy Spacek gives an amazing performance as the titular character. She takes Carrie White from a shy and immature little girl to a mature young woman and then a vengeful demon sating its blood-lust on her Bates High School class in a short time. I found myself sharing her prom date Tommy's infatuation with her. I would have fallen in love with her too. This ebullience makes her final transformations in the last half of the film all the more frightening. It is subtle and delicate work; Spacek is absent for most of the first half of the film after its horrifying beginning. 

The contrast to her naiveté is the truly malevolent Margret White, Carrie's mother. Piper Laurie exudes her fervent religious insanity with a powerful intensity that casts her as one of the screen's most monstrous mothers. Both Spacek and Laurie earned Oscar nominations for their performances in Carrie.

Nancy Allen

Spacek's other supporting actors give fine, but less powerful performances. Carrie's high school nemesis, Chris Hargensen, played by Nancy Allen (RoboCop's partner!) is mostly a mystery; other than that she has Farah Fawcett hair, is dating hoodlum John Travolta, er, Vinnie Barbarino, er, Billy Nolan, and hates Carrie, nothing more is known about her. King seldom provides explanations or back stories for the evil that visits his characters; it just exists.
John Travolta as Billy Nolan or Vinnie Barbarino

Sue tries to use her boyfriend to redeem herself

Often King's characters cause calamity by acting in misguided or misinformed ways. This is personified by Sue Snell, Carrie's classmate, neighbor and a tormentor in the the film's opening scene played by Amy Irving, It is her attempts to redeem herself for harassing Carrie in the locker room that set the Rube Goldberg type chain of events in motion and results in the doomed dance.

Roger Daltry as Tommy, Sue's boyfriend

Sue's terror in the final scene, where Carrie attempts to drag her to Hell in a dream, might stem less from her fear of Carrie and more from guilt over her role in the demise of most of Bates High School's class of 1976.

The final act of the movie begins with Carrie near the height of her triumph-she stood up to her mother and has made a successful entrance to the prom. Her descent to vengeance seeking, blood spattered, homicidal demon is quick. Carrie ends the film a scared child, seeking comfort in her mother's arms, her transformation complete.
Prom Queen Carrie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 06:30 PM

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The coffee ritual

Saturday, November 11, 2010, 11:47 PM
Oxford has been unseasonably warm for the past few weeks, temperatures up in the seventies! Since it was too hot to be outside much this summer, I have been trying to take advantage of the warm temperatures by being outside as much as possible. I got to spend this morning drinking coffee with my neighbors while their kids played with Frannie and Eloise.
My coffee ritual is one of my favorite parts of the day. Sharing its mysteries with my neighbors made me feel like an evangelist for Starbucks (or a drug pusher).
Preparing for the ritual doesn't need any special raiments or a pure heart, but clean tools are needed for successful completion. I start by carefully cleaning out my stove top espresso maker. Next I carefully put water in the bottom, being careful not to go over the steam valve. Then I put in the basket and two or three scoops of espresso ground coffee (I only buy beans in stores that have grinders with an “espresso” setting); usually I use a bold, dark roasted bean, like French Roast or Sumatran. On the opposite end of the scoop's handle is flat disk that is used to tamp the coffee down. The final step is to screw on the pot on top put it on the burner, set on high.
Soon the water will boil, turn to steam and push the hot water through the grounds. I can watch the thick, black stream of coffee come out of the spout inside the pot. Soon the coffee covers the bottom of the pot and the crema (layer of foam) starts to build up . This is the best time to stick my nose over the pot and inhale the delicious sweet, almost peanut like aroma of the freshly made coffee. Because of its delicate chemical nature, the smell quickly disappears like the green flash at sunset in the tropics.
Watching the steam rise like the tails of invisible kites, I reverently bring my mug of espresso to my nose and think about all the promise for today that is within. I focus my concentration to the brown black contents of my mug, beckoning me to share its mysteries. Gently inhaling the promise and hope to be discovered today, I softly recite the magic spell, “ Coffee good!”
I can’t believe it is nearly noon and I’m still in my pajamas.
3:13 PM

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I watched last night: Walking Tall (1973)

Thursday, November 11, 2010 12:11 PM

Last night, Olivia and I watched Walking Tall , the semi biographical film about Tennessee's Sheriff Buford Pusser. Even though I had never seen the film, I have vivid memories of it . It played on television on a Sunday night and was all everyone talked about about at school the next day .
Let me clarify, everyone in 4 th grade got to watch it, except me. When I saw it in a newsgroup last night, I thought now is my chance. I could remember the enthusiasm my 9 year old peers brought to the critical discussion at lunch that Monday; they were all impressed by the car chases, fighting, and Joe Don Baker's (as Sheriff Buford Pusser) use of a big stick to mete out justice to the bad guys.
Were I able to travel back in time to the lunchroom of Pleasant Street Elementary School in 1974, I might have pointed out that what was dished out in had more to do with revenge and vigilantism than justice. Wikipedia defines a vigilante as
someone who illegally punishes someone for actual or perceived offenses, or participates in a group which metes out extralegal   punishment   to such a person. Often the victims are criminals in the legal sense, however a vigilante may follow a different definition of criminal than the local law. (italics mine)

And that was how Buford Pusser found solutions to his problems with organized crime and corruption in Mcnairy County, Tennessee. After retiring from his career as a professional wrestler, he returned to his parent's home, and quickly ran afoul of the local crime syndicate. This began an increasingly violent series of confrontations between Pusser and the gang of criminals. When he was arrested and put on trial, he realized that the local law officials were corrupt and he was on his own.

Even after being elected sheriff, Pusser's attempts to end the illegal gambling, moonshining and prostitution failed. He was critically wounded and his wife was killed in a gun battle.  After he funeral, he took the law into his own hands, and crashed his car into the criminal's hangout, killing two men. The towns people arrived and made a bonfire out of the wreckage, pledging their fealty to Sheriff Pusser and his individual code of law.

As Pusser, Joe Don Baker delivers a perfect two-tone performance; either dewy-eyed sentimental or red-faced indignation. There are no gray areas in between the two. This polar opposite, world view can create an ugly frame of mind, where one's personal frustration level dictates right and wrong. If Pusser had continued to seek legal redress, he may have saved his family from harm. At the very least, he would have avoided committing murder himself.

Parents and schools strive to educate children from the harmful effects of acting out while angry, that violence is seldom the solution to problems. But as a nation, when we lapse into bouts of fist pumping jingoism against perceived enemies, we run the risk of doing the same and subverting our established legal system, thereby becoming criminals ourselves.

Friday, November 12, 2010 07:47 PM

Monday, November 8, 2010

Here are some of the things I really want to talk about:

(This is a repost from my other blog.  This was when I decided I should start a new blog.)
I am a lifelong fan of horror movies and this past October I immersed myself in them. I watched old horror films, from the 1932 White Zombie to a slew of recent remakes of classic horror films such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, Dawn of the Dead,and Halloween, and some new original films like Jennifer's Body, Trick 'r Treat and House of the Devil.
I have to say that compared to the originals, these remakes were pretty tepid. The new Texas Chainsaw Massacre is nowhere  nearly as frightening or bull-goose loony as the first one. One thing missing was the totally over the top family dinner scene, where a shrieking Marilyn Burns is tied to an armchair made from real human arm’s.

Fangs of the Living Dead
I was also pleased to watch several Euro-horror films from the mid 1970s. Many of these films are pretty obscure and maybe for good reason. They all thrived on bizarre plot twists, poor acting, and incomprehensible dialogue. On the other hand they were all gorgeously filmed, featured great costumes and sets, and made excellent use of the beautiful female stars.

The Blood Drinkers

Lastly, I spent a lot of time watching a group of films by Filipino auteur Eddie Romero. These films were made in the late sixties and early seventies and most featured the word blood in the title. The best of these films is called The Blood Drinkers and can be watched for free at Beautifully shot in a mixture of color, black and white and monochrome tinted scenes, and populated with some of the most interesting villains I’ve ever seen, it reminded me of the stylish films of Jean Rollin.

My companion for most of these films has been Olivia, our black cat. She curls up in the crook of my arm and watches as my computer screen with me. I’m pretty sure she’s not actually watching the movies, but rather than moving colors on the screen. Otherwise I would give for one of my ear buds so she could listen.

Friday night-Rabid

Sunday, November 7, 2010 02:14 PM

Last Friday was an awesome day. I did a couple of firsts in physical therapy, then went to a party in the neighborhood that was the most fun I have had in a long time. What better way to cap off a great day like that than to watch David Cronenberg's 1977 film, Rabid .

David Cronenberg is one of my favorite movie makers. His last two films, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises are among my favorites. Early in his career, in the mid-1970's, he made a name for himself directing very original, creepy films horror films.

His first two, mainstream films, Shivers (1975) and Rabid (as they were known in the US) explored a subject that would soon became a world-wide obsession; a mass plague, transmitted by sexual contact that would transform its victims into monsters. Both these films were made well before AIDS became the global scourge it would later become in that decade and the one to follow.

People quickly demonized AIDS suffers or even people who might be a high risk. The first time I heard about AIDS was my freshman year at college, when someone voiced their fear of catching the disease from Haitian dining hall workers.

In both films, the plague is released in small, isolated communities, an exclusive apartment block on an island in the earlier film, and in a remote, sparsely populated area in Rabid.  Shivers ends with the infected leaving the island to spread the illness; Rabid goes a step further and shows what happens when the plague gets to a large city, Montreal.

In Shivers , Cronenberg casts a wide net with several competing story lines happening at once. Rabid is more restrained, focusing primarily on one couple, Hart and Rose. Marylin Chambers, primarily known for her career in adult films,   especially Beyond the Green Door, the 2001, a Space Odyssey of adult films, plays Rose.

Rose, a Typhoid Mary type carrier, wakes up from experimental surgery craving human blood. She ingests the blood through a proboscis like thing under her armpit that penetrates the victim and sucks the blood she needs. In a typically Cronenberg-esc image, while draining the blood, Rose calmly strokes her victim's heads in a disturbingly nurturing way.

When they awake, the victims are green foam spewing mopnsters, seeking their own supply. Except for when they are attacking, these monsters appear human enough to pass, able to get close to their intended victims, unleashing the plague in a largely populated area.

Marylin Chambers does an apt job in her role as Rose. The last act of the film allows her to show quite a bit of versatility. These are the scenes where she struggles with her changing identity; no longer being the person she was, young, pretty, surround by a nurturing group of friends and family, and what her illness has made her.

Anyway, both films are totally worth watching and I have moved Cronenberg's third film, The Brood to the top of my Netflix queue.

Monday, November 8, 2010 11:41 AM

Sunday, November 7, 2010

P. J. Soles

P.J. Soles in Rock and Roll High School
In my post about watching The Devil's Rejects I forgot another reason to like the movie; getting to see P.J. Soles again.

P. J. had supporting roles in seminal classics Carrie, Halloween, and Stripes.  But she captured my teen age heart as Riff Randlle, superlative Ramones fan in Rock and Roll High School .   I think it was her pigtails.

She is one of  a group of fellow travelers who suffer painful and humiliating deaths at the hands of the Firefly family when their paths intersect at a hotel.

I don't remember my gym classes being quite like this.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

What I watched last night: The Great Rock and Roll Swindle

Friday, November 5, 2010, 10:14 AM
Last night I watched The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, a somewhat fictionalized account of the birth, short life and demise of the band The Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols are considered to be one of the most influential bands in rock and roll, much more for the for their lifestyle and the controversy they created than for their musicianship. They were the anti-band; whatever it was, they were against it.
This was the closest I ever got to reading
about The Sex Pistols
Growing up in the small Midwestern town of Norwalk, Ohio, I was in my early teen years during the reign of the Sex Pistols. In the days before the Internet, to learn about anything exotic (anything outside the borders of Ohio),like punk rock, one had to go to the local public library and use the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature to find magazine articles about it. It was dismaying to find that the Rolling Stone magazine that featured the Sex Pistols from October, 1977 had been heavily censored by the staff at the library. The article and any pictures had cut out of the magazine.
The librarian was nonplussed when I confronted her about this act of censorship. She clearly thought that it was the library's job to remove offensive material before making it available to patrons. That did it for me, if the Sex Pistols were against everything, then I was for them.
Today, like a deadbeat dads who desert their infant children the Sex Pistols ceased to be before they got the chance to know their absentee fathers.  But in post bicentennial America eir ill-behaved antics made headlines. Reactions to their outlandish behavior ranged from amused to outrage. The post hippy world didn’t know how to respond to this angry punk rock child.
Johnny Rotten,The iconoclast's iconoclast,
For me the Sex Pistols, with their destroy everything attitude, provided definition to the walls of my cell, giving me an object to butt my head against. At last, I could see what was confining me or so I thought.
Of course such a self-destructive, nihilistic force, does not produce cogent statements or a manifesto of belief beyond “I want to destroy everything.” Paradoxically while calling mass destruction, Johnny Rotten also elected himself as the leader of this movement, urging his fans to “Follow me!”
One of the miracles of our modern age is the Internet. Thanks to the Internet, finally, 30 years after its release, I am able I was able to watch The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, a mockumentary about the Sex Pistols, as from the perspective of Malcolm Mclaren, their manager.
But thanks to the Internet I’m finally able to watch this film 30 years after its release. Up till now I only had a copy of the soundtrack (on vinyl). It is disorienting to see the still images from the record jacket and the sounds from the album put to life in a film. Seeing those boys from 30 years ago who wanted to destroy the world's icons (and refused to become icons themselves) didn't make me feel nostalgic and pine for days gone by.
But I did feel it was a vital part of my education.

 Here is the trailer on YouTube: 

Poor Sid, he took destruction to its end.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday Morning and the Devil's Rejects

T hursday, November 4, 2010, 8:30 AM
I t is a beautiful fall morning in Oxford. The early sun is making everything glow with a golden light. Looking into our front yard, I see birds and squirrels going about their business in the trees. In the distance I hear the whistle of an approaching train joining the sound of chirping birds. I take the last swallow of my morning coffee and look around the living room:
T he Fat Bastard, also known as Thor, jumps up from his place on the couch and runs across the room, his big, orange and white belly swaying under him and causing Eloise to go into hyper alert mode. Stiff legged with her radio antenna like ears unfurled, she approaches the window, scanning the street for any signs of potential threat.
T he only thing she notices is that Thor has abandoned his place on the couch, which she promptly takes. Her ears twitch occasionally as cars and people pass our house, but she remains asleep.
L ast night I watched Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects (2005) , his sequel to 2003's The House of a 1000 Corpses . I saw The House of a 1000 Corpses and was not impressed with it, so I felt no urgency to watch the newer film. One thing that I did know about it was the Lynard Skynard song Free Bird was effectively used in the last gun fight. Since Free Bird was taking up space in my head last night as an ear worm, I decided to look for the film and watch it.
T o my frustration the only copy of the film I could get was a German dubbed version. Fortunately I was able to find English subtitles, but they was out of sync with the movie. The subtitles were about a minute behind the movie. Since the plot was  pretty straightforward and didn’t require have much in the way of narration, it was easy enough to follow. The story is pretty simple; the bloodthirsty, sadistic killers from House of a Thousand Corpses are fugitives from the law. That’s about it.
O n the plus side, the soundtrack was pretty cool, featuring great classic rock. Especially breathtaking was the final sequence, Free Bird playing on the soundtrack as the screen is filled with a montage of shots featuring the wide open spaces of Texas.
B ut there is plenty to not like about this movie. Two of the things that I had the biggest problem was #1 there is no clear insight into who these people are. Captain Spaulding, played with great zeal by Sid Haig, is the leader of this clan of misfits. He is the only one that has regular contact with outside society. He even has a job, granted he is an extremely creepy clown, and a girlfriend. The rest of the Firefly family are barely human and exhibit a psychotic rage that violence is their chief form of interaction with outsiders. The violence and sadism is so over the top that I quickly found myself desensitized to it.
My other big point for not liking this movie is the overt misogyny of the film. Why does every member of the Firefly Clan, including the two women, target females? Is it because they look better naked? I was surprised at how quickly I became inured to the site of yet another pair of blood splattered breasts.
I can’t say I would recommend this movie; its steady display of overt acts of violence quickly becomes boring and uninteresting. That was definitely 2 hours of my life I will never get back.
The waiting area at physical therapy is very small and if there’s more than one are two other people there, I feel like I’m in everyone’s way with my chair. I sat and the waiting room at physical therapy today for 15 minutes. Today there were four people in there, so I just parked my chair in the hallway and looked into the waiting room. There was a big, balding guy in gray sweats and what looked like brand new white New Balance sneakers sitting on the left side of the room , reading a Time magazine.
Directly in front of me was another, older guy in work clothes, talking animatedly on his cell phone. He wore ankle high, sweat stained work boots, faded khaki pants. The blue-collar of his shirt had been washed until it was nearly white. Underneath his baseball cap his broad nose supported thick glasses with wire rims and tinted lenses. When he spoke into his cell phone, he moved his body in a secret rhythm, dancing by himself in his chair. First he would nod his head from left to right, then whichever hand was holding the phone, that shoulder would jump up and down. he would jerk his body once and then his feet would stamp, one at time, on the floor. When listening his body was statue still, but as soon as he opened his mouth the solitary dancing began again.
It’s easy to tell who is there for therapy from those who are there to pick up patients; we patients arrive wearing our work out clothes. The other two occupants were one of each. The one closest to me was wearing red and white sweats, clearly there for her thrashing; the other woman had the look of a mother waiting for her child to finish before taking him back to school or returning home with them.
After such a clear and sunny start this morning, skies are now gray and dropping rain. And once again my pets is have taken up a sleeping positions around me.
8:52 PM

Can't sleep

Thursday, November 3, 2:11AM

Can't sleep again, thinking about stuff I would like to say.

I thought I was being original by coining the phrase "vomit blog," meaning a place for me to spew whatever is in my brain, but alas, I am exploring already charted territory.  I Googled the phrase "blog vomit" or "blomit" and "vomit blog" and found that each term had several, apparently unrelated definitions.  Many of them salacious.

But what I really want to say is that I am looking for a place to practice writing.  Anita Canterbury, my high school, freshman English teacher told us that if we weren't writing daily at this point, we would never amount to anything as writers.  However, at 45, I have a dream; I will never be a great writer, I may never even be a good writer, but if I work hard and practice, I can become a better writer (thanks to Bob Fosse's All that Jazz).

That is enough for now.  It is time to play with my settings.  And I don't mean that in a dirty way.