This is reality, Mike

June 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I missed a day of blogging!  Consider this post for yesterday.  Fridays are always good days.  Mine started by meeting my friend Grace for breakfast.  We ordered the same thing as always: whole-wheat toast, two eggs over medium, and coffee.  We try to meet for Friday breakfasts about once a month, I suppose, and topics range from running to cats to relationships to cake decorating.  She is a good friend.

After work, I stopped at the library to return some items, and picked up a collection of short stories by Ann Beattie, called Perfect Recall, and E.T.  I read one story in the book called “The Big-Breasted Pilgrim” about a well-known chef and his assistant preparing for the President’s (at that time, Clinton) visit to their restaurant.  A few crazy things happen: an unexpected woman (called the “highlighter” because she does hair for celebrities, including Madonna) shows up with the chef’s sister and brings a kitten and falls in love with the assistant.  President Clinton calls to talk about a date when he and Hillary can come and visit and he ends up talking about fishing with the assistant.  When the highlighter leaves, she forgets her kitten.  The chef climbs a tree to rescue the cat, falls, and breaks his neck.  George Stephanopoulos sends a brief letter that the chef is “in the president and first lady’s prayers” and that’s the end.  My teacher Ian has recommended that I read Ann Beattie because she writes in a minimalistic style and has seen the same style of writing in my own work.  I like her writing style, her characterization, but I wonder what I’m supposed to do with the story I just read.  I won’t give up on her just yet.

I popped E.T. into the DVD player a little after midnight.  I haven’t seen this movie before (gasp!), unless you count the first couple minutes I saw when I was five or six.  I was so scared I had to leave the room, and that has been my experience with E.T. until now.  A couple of my favorite scenes: When Elliot sleeps out in the yard waiting for the goblin.  E.T. comes out of the shed, hobbles and grunts his way over to Elliot and drops a handful of Reece’s Pieces in his lap.  So cute.  Also, when know-it-all Mike says, “Can’t he just beam up?”  And Elliot responds, “This is reality, Mike.”  I had to laugh at that.  About mid-way through the movie, when Elliot gets drunk even though E.T. is the one drinking the beer, I wondered if E.T. was actually going to take over Elliot’s life.  I also thought it was interesting that the father was absent.  I wonder how many movies before this depicted families with divorced parents?  It made it more believable then, that the mother would be busy and distracted and not notice E.T. in the kitchen.  Or that the kids would have experienced some trauma and therefore bond together, and latch onto something “other”.  I’ll have to discuss my thoughts with Ben tonight.  Slowly, I’m getting an education in Spielberg.  (Watched Jaws for the first time a few weeks back.)

Okay, I’m off to do my long run for the weekend.  The marathon will be here in 15 weeks.  Eek!

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