22 December 2014

Two Women I Observed, Comments After a Party and a Very Brief Synopsis of Recent Films Seen

On the way to the basketball game yesterday I stopped at Top Dog to get a veggie dog. The woman working there was probably in her late '20s. She was efficient, hard-working, courteous and desperately unhappy. She seemed on the verge of tears and on the verge of decking someone. I wouldn’t have bet against her in a fight. She was a burly woman who would have fit in on a construction site. I was taken by how she could handle customers and cooking  despite seeming about to burst into a rage or flood of tears or both. Maybe she could have done a better of masking her feelings, maybe being in customer service she should have put on a plastic happy face. But then again I doubt most people noticed and most that did notice didn’t give a damn It’s not like she’d have driven customers away. People were out Christmas shopping or running other errands or on their way to a movie or the game so couldn’t be bothered with the demeanor of someone cooking their weiner. I just found it interesting is all. There are a lot of important earth-shattering events that bore me silly and a lot of trivial things that fascinate me. I’m like that.

I was fascinated today in a store. I stopped on my way to the gym to buy a post workout snack to accompany my smoothie. I was in line when I noticed a woman in perhaps her late ‘30s of Asian descent —probably Chinese — who was bending down to move or get something from a display. She might have been an employee of the store and was with someone who clearly was. Anyway she was wearing those loose fit jeans and as is often the case for someone bending while wearing loose fit the crack of her ass was showing. This has become normal in the past decade or so. But what was a little unusual was that she was a little older than your usual butt flasher. Plus frankly your typically Asian women — I’m sure this is cultural — do not reveal their ass cracks. But there’s more. That is there was more. She was showing far more ass crack than is normally seen. Almost a third of the entire crack and accompanying buttocks. Well the line was moving and I was disinclined to stare at anyone’s ass crack. But on my way out I happened to glance in her direction again and she was still hard at work moving things about on the floor when she preceded to bend even further forward resulting in a display of fully half — if not more — of the aforementioned crack. Okay let’s be clear on one thing, she has to have known. When that part of your body is out in the wind — so to speak — especially in a public place, you can’t not know. This means one of two things: either she doesn’t care how much of her ass other people see or she gets her jollies out of showing people her ass. I mean when its that much we’re not just being favored with crack but the full moon effect. Really I don’t get it. I’m more than happy to see a beautiful woman’s bum if I must, but when anyone’s butt is displayed in such a sloppy manner it is no great turn on. Or good turn on. Or any kind of turn on at all. Seriously.

Last Friday I went to the annual holiday party held by the good folks who work at the middle school where I plied my trade for a couple of decades. Most of these people I hadn’t seen in over three years, some longer. Some were strangers to me having come on board since my departure. I was asked about my general well being and about the missus and my two young uns who both matriculated at the school. Interestingly there was virtually no curiosity about my doings now, people apparently being satisfied that I’m gainfully employed. I did give a few people assurances that far more than liking, I love my work. There were a few queries about my commute but that was pretty much it. No one seemed the slightest bit interested in what manner of teaching I did there. I did squeeze in a comment or two on the diversity of our student population (I’ve had students representing over 50 different countries) and that was pretty much it. I’ve spoken to quite a few people over the last few years about my new line of teaching and how much I love it but have gotten somewhere in the neighborhood of one question about what goes on in the classroom, how I teach, the curriculum or any other specifics about my work. I do get a lot of questions about my commute. A lot. That’s all anyone seems to care about. Seems kind of weird too me. Unless you’re traveling to work by camel over the Alps the details of a daily commute tend to be pretty pedestrian stuff. What a person does at the end of the morning commute, now that might be interesting. Just not to people I talk to. Mind you I’m not simply dying to tell people what I do all day, you just think after all this time someone, somewhere, sometime would have asked.

Yes I’ve seen a passel of movies since I last checked in but I’m not all that interested in writing about them if you want to know the truth. Maybe you don’t want to know the truth, maybe you’d prefer to be lied to. Maybe you’d rather I said that I wasn’t going to write about movies I’d seen of late because the North Koreans had threatened to cancel Christmas if I did. But you’d see through that. You know I’m not afraid of no North Koreans. I can't believe that Sony Pictures is afraid of them. That’s one of the saddest things that has happened all year. The capitulation to a bunch of saber rattling terrorists. Fuck Kim Jong Un. If he showed up at my door I’d slap his fat face — assuming he wasn’t accompanied by armed bodyguards, of course.

So you asked about recent films I’ve seen (no you didn’t I just used that phrase as a device to segue into this last bit). Okay here goes: The Big Parade (1925) starring John Gilbert directed by King Vidor. A mostly very good picture but featuring the greatest scene ever filmed when the U.S. Army is pulling out of the French town. Just watch the damn thing, its incredible. Then there was Christmas in Connecticut (1945) starring the great love of one of my past lives, Barbara Stanwyck. I think I’ve watched it about seven Christmas seasons in a row and haven’t tired of it a wit. It’s perfectly fun and charming and delightful. Mon Oncle Antoine (1971) I just discovered this — let’s say “holiday treat” — last year. It has been hailed by Canada as that country’s greatest film and who am I to argue? It is set in a very small French Canadian village around and on Christmas. It’s got the whole coming of age vibe but not in a corny way. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) is a Christmas film from my people, it being an export from Finland. Here we have the real story of Santa Claus (or more properly Joulupukki) who’s less about rewarding good children and more about punishing the bad ones. He’s got an army of elves and they are not the cute little imps of other folklore. Rare Exports is almost more horror story than Christmas story but it is altogether a good story that can be enjoyed by anyone, save children, particularly those who still believe in Saint Nick. Whiplash has been in theaters for a few weeks and I had no interest in seeing it until I noted the near unanimity of the critical acclaim it was garnering. Suffice to say that acclaim is well earned. I was impressed both with its star Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons who almost certainly will garner the best supporting actor Oscar. But more than that I appreciated a well crafted story that did not suffer from the usual cliches rife in films about rising young talents under the tutelage of demanding mentors. There was much to the movie including thoughts on talent, genius and life choices. Last night it was time for another traditional cinematic holiday treat, Home Alone (1990). I’m guessing you’ve heard of it. I’ve watched it off and on with the children for years now and still enjoy it and still chortle at various times and still love John Candy’s cameo — polka, polka polka.

I’m out.

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