My onset insomnia comes and goes, irrespective of what’s going on in my life, for good or ill, or how much exercise I’ve had or what foods I’ve eaten or haven’t, or how hard I’ve worked or lazed about or how much I drink or abstain (pain pills are great and weed can help, but even if I wasn’t relatively cautious about getting high as a regular strategy, I am too lazy to procure even the herb, especially considering in general I find pot culture annoying). The best strategy I’ve come up with is Acceptance, especially with regards to myself; to forgive and regard with some humor my imperfection of, say, not being able to settle myself to unconciousness. I usually end up watching something on Netflix, staying up late with the kids – at which point we often fall asleep together – and then sometimes, like last night, I’m up until dawn, long after everyone else has fallen asleep, trying to find something on Netflix that is good and relatively escapist or at least not triggering. Weirdly even with that caveat I’m also able to consume dark or intense material; one morning Ralph was up and about at 6 AM to find me finishing Awful Normal then up and starting I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal (both great films, hey); when he asked what they were about and I told him he reacted with mild horror.
But it’s funny what can really bother one; when I am trying to relax and feel sleepy, it sucks when, say like last night, I’m watching some BBC special, and all of the sudden my eyes crash open upon viewing yet another creepily insensitive and misogynistic portrayal of the process of birthin’ a baby (ah yes birth: inherently horrifying, gruesome, and hell yes does mommy scream and flail on her back, and rarely if ever have I heard a depiction of low-voiced coping-through-contractions; oh and then she dies – unless a d00d is helping her out – often being cut open or bleeding profusely and graphically, because don’tcha know women are just made wrong), and my toasty feelin’-sleepy vibes get put on hold (never mind the rest of the episode, where nurses kept the newborn motherless child from the father, because don’tcha know, men can’t care for babies, not even their own). The annoying and unsettling but far-too-common scene-chewing birth drama had one upside at least: I went on a cute li’l birth-in-the-media rant through Twitter today that ended up being one hundred percent satisfying.
Point is, I’ve consumed some great entertainment lately – and some not-so-great stuff. I finally finished the adorable sitcom “Gavin & Stacy” (& have happily had a Welsh-accented rendition of “Islands in the Stream” stuck in my head for a few days), a program Ralph felt was uncharacteristically “romantic” for my taste. Getting back to the semi-gruesome fare he apparently expects of me, I’m just about caught up on FX’s “Justifed” (thanks to the recommendation of this post at Racialicious) and I’m loving it right up to I think an episode this week, which I will gleefully grab right up when I can (I’m almost never watching television as it’s happening – how exciting!).
I also watched Jackie Brown last night. I’ve seen about seven Tarantino movies during which time I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with his seemingly perennial fascination with and reification of racial and sexual exploitation, plus the penchant for favoring slickness over story development, also shooting people in the face, sometimes children, and subjecting us to gratuitous rape, and the “n-word” as much as possible, all of which causes me to feel rather unamused & disinterested about his whole bit. However! However. Jackie Brown was good, and lead actors Grier and Forster were – transcendant. And icing on the cake: toward the end of the caper where Brown walks into a building and her cerulean blue blazer is exactly the color of an outdoor wall behind her, and I felt this thrill knowing they painted the wall just for that purpose, that fifteen seconds, and it was perfect! And never mind some other minor flaws in the film, for instance that IRL contemporary people don’t listen only to old-skool Motown. Because, the truth is, maybe we should.
Oh, and I finally got around to the martial arts classic Enter the Dragon, and laughed mightily at John Saxon kicking ass in an Orlon turtleneck and really tight flare trousers, which I’m guessing had just the right amount of Comfort-Stretchâ„¢.
If it seems I’m watching a bit more onscreen – well, that’s pretty much true; I just finished a sewing project for a client in Chicago and it involved hours of handstitchery. Handsewing, unlike machine sewing, provides different opportunities. Reminds me of: my mom will sign-paint in her living room with a film playing, but it’s usually something she’s seen many times, like Out of Sight or Casablanca or Out of Africa or old “X Files” are some of her favorites, and by virtue of walking into her house I’ve seen some of those over and over, in bits of pieces. So when it comes to machine-sewing it’s a bit tough for me – because like with my mom’s signage, I need to keep my eyes on my hands which means I can’t play something I really want to see. Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (watched it a dozen times so I now only really need to keep my eyes on the part with Gary Oldman’s nipples) and the recent obligatory viewing of Black Swan worked well for that. But handsewing? I can put something on that I really want to consume and pay attention to, and for the most part I see it all.
And that leads me to: my new sewing digs are up and running; while I suss out the perfect (dirt-cheap) studio in Hoquiam, Ralph bought and installed shelves in our backroom which converted that little space to an awesome work area (here, take a tour). Tomorrow I start on a shirt for a friend’s son, unless it’s sunny and warm, at which point I’m headed outside tout de suite.
& now: it’s almost 1:30 AM. Tomorrow’s Conch Shell lasagna is tidy in the fridge; the fresh-baked cheesecake smells delicious and cools on the stove. I’m cracking a beer, fixing a tomato sandwich for Nels & I, and getting up to some snuggling and, knowing my kids, a nature show. I’ve got my hopes set on “The Jeff Corwin Experience”.
There’s not much I like more than halfway watching a much loved movie while I work…my stack includes Moonstruck, Harold and Maude, Mermaids, and Lord of the Rings. I swear it helps the work move along too.
@Carrie I was beginning to think I was the only person that had seen Harold and Maude that was willing to admit it. I know it’s a bit dark, but it was happy at the same time and I loved it.
…and I really want that Jag!
@Kelly I have been a Tarantino fan for a long time, but I can see what you mean about some of the stuff he seems to be obsessed with. I’m losing my taste for some of it.
Have you ever seen Four Rooms? It had a bit more of a mix since it wasn’t only Tarantino. Although I think I liked his portion the best. Tim Roth always makes me laugh. I even love his Lie To Me show.
Moonstruck is classic, “OK, take me to the bed, I don’t care…” plus I mean, Olympia Dukakis (“Don’t shit where you eat). I don’t have classic films I watch over and over… maybe I should!
SHUT UR MOUTH, tons of people love Harold & Maude! It has a cult following. I was just listening to the soundtrack (all Cat Stevens, before he started dis-allowing the use of his music in film with immoral content). It was pretty fun watching The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in 2004 and wondering, “where do I know that ‘bond company stooge’ from?” – then realizing he was an (older, pudgy, balding) Harold!
I haven’t seen Four Rooms. I’ll think about it!
Thank you, as always, for your comment.