Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I'd like to thank the Academy...

I would like to say that this is my last post about Brokeback Mountain, however I can make no such promises.

8 Academy Award nominations! Eight! That's huge! Count them with me: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Screenplay Adaptation, Best Director and BEST PICTURE!
(I would like to add a nomination for best use of Randy Quaid)

Now, my money is on best Best Screenplay Adaptation hands down, and also best director. I'm thrilled that they were nominated for Best Picture, but I don't expect it to win. The awards are, after all very political and I don't believe the country is ready to make Brokeback Mountain best picture. I wouldn't be sad if Crash won.

The thing that gets to me is that there are still so many douche bags out there in who won't go see this movie becaue they're afraid of what it might be. (And I'm not going to name states - because they're everywhere.) And it's unfortunate they won't see it because their fears might be confirmed (fear of what? I'm not sure. That they might empathize with people who love each other perhaps?) but probably not. It's just a damn good movie. I agree with Sam who said it's possible to read your own views on homosexuality into the movie, and Christianity Today agrees with their startlingly honest review (and disapointingly stupid comments on said review).

I think some people don't know what to do with these characters because they're so masculine and until now homosexuality has been defined for some people by Queer Eye and Will & Grace. So don't challenge yourself and see it. But, agendas aside - it has no agenda; It is a haunting love story and an equally haunting look at our own history. A history so recent it can hardly be called history. So recent I can see it when I look back to high school.

So to all you douch bags out there who've been up on your soap box about this film - as long as your on your soapbox over there, I'm going to be up on mine, singing the praises (and shortcomings) of this film. (One thing I'm grateful for - no excessive foley like in Angels in America. I think you know what I'm talking about...).

Ok, I'm sorry I called you a douche bag. But I hope and pray that someday you'll find it within yourself to open your mind enough to JUST SEE THE MOVIE AND STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THINGS YOU HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN! Because I'm singing the praises of this film, and the Academy is singing with me. And when I sing the loudest it sounds like this: Love is a force of nature! Got it?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I almost don't want to post it...but you know I'm going to.

Check out "Domestic Pardners"

Recipe of the weekend: rosemary & garlic mashed potatos. Don't have a recipe yet, but I will find one. I finally finished the left over red beans and rice!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm a Goddess

I've been meaning to update my blog for a while now and this seems like the best way to do it. I appreciate everyone who posted their forms on their blogs so I could see what the other results on the quiz were without taking it a bunch of times.

You are Form 1, Goddess: The Creator.

"And The Goddess planted the acorn of life. She cried a single tear and shed a single drop of blood upon the earth where she buried it. From her blood and tear, the acorn grew into the world."

Some examples of the Goddess Form are Gaia (Greek), Jehova (Christian), and Brahma (Indian).The Goddess is associated with the concept of creation, the number 1, and the element of earth. Her sign is the dawn sun.

As a member of Form 1, you are a charismatic individual and people are drawn to you. Although sometimes you may seem emotionally distant, you are deeply in tune with other people's feelings and have tremendous empathy. Sometimes you have a tendency to neglect your own self. Goddesses are the best friends to have because they're always willing to help.

Ok, this is Laura talking again. Here's the link to the quiz, although I don't know how to link it all nice and pretty.

For those of you keeping score, last weekend's recipe of the weekend was Taco Bell. (mmm, Seven Layer burritos.) Unfortunately I've found myself indulging quite often and I think that's the reason my face has broken out so horribly as of late. I'm actually wearing concealer today! The weekend before the recipe was none of your business! Someone's getting a surprise!

Monday, January 16, 2006

I went to see Brokeback Mountain again on Saturday. I went with a woman in her 80's I met through Bible Study at the UCC Church I attend. She brought her "friend" Jim, also in his 80's and the two recently got engaged. I think it's a little slice of Heaven that I met these people and got to see this movie with them. How cool is my life? I saw Brokeback Mountain with a church couple in their 80's! Doesn't that rock your feeble clerk world?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Oh Sweet Hell!

Brokeback Mountain among other things

My long wait was finally ended last Friday; nearly a week ago, and yet it’s taken me this long to collect my thoughts and post something here. Know that inside I have been keening since I saw it.

Mostly I can say that I agree with Sam (except that Anne Hathaway plays Jake Gyllenhaal’s character’s wife. Michelle William’s character is married to Heath Ledger’s character.)

I was glad to hear from reviews and other people who’ve seen the movie that this is the kind of film that stays with you – you find yourself thinking about it days later, and in some cases randomly crying. I’ve heard it described as haunting, and now I know it’s not just me because I do become singularly obsessed with things.

While I was absolutely impressed with the stellar performances of the lead men (and women) I have to stay what struck me the most was the film’s writing. Having read the short story (stupidly) I knew what was coming much of the time because the movie is so accurate to the story – which isn’t that long! I was mostly blown away by how characters who don’t say a whole lot can reveal so much in every line of dialogue. The subtle double meaning of some of the lines would occur to me much later and give me shivers.

After seeing this movie there is much to think about. My mom was telling me reviewers in newspapers are trying to describe it as not a “gay cowboy movie” or not a gay movie at all, but a film about two people in a relationship – who happen to be gay men. I wonder if it’s even that. The characters certainly don’t identify themselves as gay. More than a topical film about sexuality, or identity – I walked out of the theatre asking myself a more basic question “What is love?”

I can say that I love the film’s tagline “Love is a force of nature” and as someone who’s had experience dealing with the aftermath of the forces of nature in the past year – I have no problem with the comparison. One of the most shocking things about the film as a whole is the violence – and in more than one way, but I feel this tagline is especially appropriate because these two people come together violently.

“When despair grows in me and I wake in the middle of the night at the least
sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go lay down
where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron
feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with the
forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. For a time I rest
in the grace of the world and am free.”

- The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry.

This quote is part of a “meditation” I prepared for a meeting before Thanksgiving. Coming back to it now, I can’t help but be reminded of Brokeback Mountain and all the beautiful scenes of nature. I think about what it means if love is force of nature. I think about Heath Ledger’s character Ennis who spends his life “in the forethought of grief” and, unfortunately, not without reason. And I sorrow at what some human beings do to other human beings.

Earlier this week I attended a community advocacy training session on GLBT issues – or so it was called. It was an organizers meeting for people interested in the Together Minnesota campaign to stop the state from amending its constitution to basically deny anyone who’s not married any rights similar to the rights of legally recognized couples (I’m not exaggerating.) I was sad to learn that Minnesota has a better chance of keeping this off their ballot in ’06 than my dear home state of Wisconsin.

At the meeting, I was in the process of freaking out over Heath Ledger on the cover of the January issue of The Advocate. (I got my copy free!) and a woman turns to me and says “Have you seen it yet?” No need to explain what we’re talking about. Not in this room. “Yes!” “My wife and I cried for 40 minutes after the movie.” To which I responded “I will never be the same.”

All fondness for hyperbole aside, I believe that is true.

I thought I would include more “issue” material in this post. I tried to write a moving review/editorial that would inspire us all to get more involved in creating change. Or maybe just to get more in touch with the beautiful thinking feeling human beings we are – but if I’ve not succeeded already this post is altogether too long. And if I can’t do that, the best thing I can do is tell you to see the movie and/or read the story which ends with the line

“…but Jack had never asked him to swear anything and he was not the swearing kind.”

The 2nd best thing I have to offer: Friends, ACTORS or not actors, if you’re reading this blog, read this article:
http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid23334.asp (if you don’t I’ll find you and nail it to your head.)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Vital Stats

Musical of the Month: Into the Woods - not that I spend any time listening to it because my portable CD player just crapped out on me.

After School Program: Starting up again on the 30th. We're recruiting new college student mentors and training them this month.

Working on: All of that and my quarterly report.

Sky: Gray

Snow: another 6 inches the night before I got back from break - but little precipitation lately. It would distract too much from the gray sky.

Reading: The Fellowship of the Ring. (Gandalf decided to lead us through the mines of Moria. It's scary but as long as Gandalf's with us we're fine. He's a great leader.

Movies, most recent: Narnia. Overall I give it a good review! Wish I could have seen it with friends and/or with my mom who read the book to me.

Brokeback Mountain: Seeing it this Weekend!

Phone: Turn it on every night at 9:00. Call me!

Recipe of the Weekend: Red beans and rice in the crockpot - not a real recipe, I'm just making it up.