Sunday, January 08, 2006

Weekend Update

I’ve had a nice quiet weekend. I really needed one.

I’m happy to report that I’m making progress on my resolutions. I’ve been climbing on the treadmill, not EVERY day, but regularly. I feel better already. If you can believe it, I’ve even begun to run at intervals for some minutes. That’s right. Me. Running. FOR MINUTES. It’s a wonder I haven’t had a heart attack. So, really, it’s shape up or die. And I don’t much care which at this point. Fortunately, drinking water just follows along naturally with time on the treadmill.

My other resolution? Positive self talk? Would you believe has been the HARDEST? To date, I’ve only managed to sometimes quell the negative talk. I still can’t think of anything nice to say to myself. I’ll keep trying.

It was a movie kind of weekend. We took in "Ben Franklin", "The Squid and the Whale", and today I was fortunate enough to catch “If I should fall from Grace” on the Sundance channel. My favorite of these, by far, is “Grace” which is a documentary on the lead singer, Shane MacGowan, of a punk band from the eighties called “The Pogues”. Now, keep in mind, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that documentary film is the absolute highest and best form of filmmaking. (Real life, baby. It’s the biggest trip of all.) That being said, this move was just fascinating. The Pogues reached their peak in popularity in the early eighties, a time that was arguably my heyday, but I simply have no recollection of them.

The Pogues are all Irish blokes and actually nearly as self-destructive as the Sex Pistols (who became popular at right around the same time). Unlike the Sex Pistols, however, they all managed to survive (barely). Of course, that was all part of the “punk” persona. All that drinking drugging, and snorting and spitting and bleeding on-stage (and off) just went with the territory. It was a very angry genre. The Pogues’ music, however, is rooted firmly in the Irish tradition and is mostly love ballads and drinking songs and such. It sounds like a contradiction to categorize these songs as “punk”, but the Pogues managed it. Very well. I’m completely taken with the music which you can preview here. I can promise you I won’t be able to hold off purchasing that CD for any length of time.

Satan and I had mixed opinions of The Squid and the Whale. I liked the movie much better than he did. The movie is set in the late seventies and tells the story of the painful divorce of Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels and the resulting emotional fall-out for them and their two adolescent children. In a nutshell: often painful stuff to watch. That's not to say there aren't some great funny moments, particularly with Steven Baldwin who plays the unexpectedly likeable tennis coach to the boys and Linney's new love interest. Otherwise, this is pretty heavy duty stuff, something Satan finds hard to forgive in a movie or music. He tends to like his entertainment more toward the light and amusing. Me, I like a nice messy emotional trainwreck on occassion. I can definitely see Linney and possibly Daniels getting an oscar nod for this one.

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