Most Engrossing Reads (So Far) of 2011

Biography/ History/ Travel:

Essay/ Memoir:

  • Body of Work:  Meditations on Mortality From the Human Anatomy Lab by Christine Montross



  • Sepharad by Antonio Muñoz Molina

*          *          *

Most Disappointing Read (So Far) of 2011:

  • After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Of Note Today, 3rd Wednesday of May (2011): Watching Mel

Self mailed out a piece. It’s one of her short short ones (She’d call it prose poetry, but Zack says her work will stand a better chance if she stops describing it as such — people shy away from anything with the word “poetry” in it, he says. Next time she does a send-out, she might try describing her work as “TransGenre.” She thinks that might have a nicer ring)

Self is in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she actually sees some sun (A miracle!)

Bella, the old beagle, seems uncommonly hungry this evening.

Self saw a movie with Mel Gibson, the one with the strange title, “The Beaver.” It was in one of her favorite theaters, Palo Alto Square off Oregon Expressway. (The other movie showing there was “The Conspirator”, with James McAvoy. But she’s heard terrible things about this movie, just terrible. So, even though James is ever-so-cute, she settled for Mel)

Time was when Mel was absolutely the most gorgeous living man on the planet. Now, he sounds like Michael Caine (She won’t go so far as to say he looks like Michael Caine, for he doesn’t. Not yet, anyway). In fact, self thought Michael Caine might have made a good stand-in for Mel, in this role.

In “The Beaver,” Mel plays the CEO of a toy company (called “Jericho” — Ha ha ha!) and can only communicate with anyone by talking through a hand-held puppet (the “Beaver” of the title). In a very smart ploy, he hands out pre-printed cards that tell people that the puppet has a therapeutic purpose (She thinks the movie called it a “prescription puppet”). When he is not talking through the puppet, he is absolutely miserable, as witness what happens when he and his wife, played by Jodie Foster, celebrate their anniversary at a swank restaurant and she makes him cut out all the beaver foolishness (at least while having dinner). Then he has nothing to do except listen to her earnest pronouncements, and we have nothing to do except gaze at the sad wreck of a face of Mel Gibson.

Then there are some very dark moments towards the end. But all is saved by the presence of the absolutely hot young Jennifer Lawrence, who plays a cheerleader and valedictorian who develops an inexplicable fondness for nerd son of Mel Gibson, played by an unexpectedly tall Anton Yelchin, who self last saw at the console of the starship enterprise, beaming up Spock, Kirk, and all secondary characters in J. J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” re-boot of many moons ago (Self is so tired of waiting for news of a sequel!)

The movie was directed by Jodie Foster and is quite good — at the very least, it gives us another opportunity to ogle Jodie’s tremendous physique — she just looks so strong, so physically strong, like she could blow will-o-the-wisps like Angelina or Maggie Q right out of the water. One of the best things about Spike Lee’s “Inside Man” was watching Jodie march around in tall stilettos, with calves as oiled and sleek as one of Schwarzenegger’s biceps. Ugh, self just realized that’s a terrible comparison. But, dear blog readers get self’s drift.

Alas, self did not arrive early enough to go to the cafeteria in one of the next-door buildings, the one that sells absolutely scrumptious lemon and apricot bars. Instead, self decided to follow the lead of a woman ahead of her at the concession stand, who purchased a box of mini-Nestlé crunches for $3.95. It took self about 15 minutes to gobble the box’s entire contents.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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