NEW EXPERIENCE: Teaching the 30 girls in R & V's Brownie Troop to play the ancient game of Cat's Cradle.
COMMENTS: Um, my head almost imploded. No, seriously. I felt my brain splintering into several pieces. Also, I felt a deep and abiding gratitude towards my friend, M., who gamely leads this large and fantastically loud group of seven-year-olds. Another thing: I'm sure I had already mastered Cat's Cradle by their age. How can it be that NONE of them really knew how to play?
VIDA UTTERANCE #1: "I can't tell what's corny and what's not corny."
COMMENTS: This is yet another failing of mine. Filipinos have a special relationship with the word and concept of "corny," which I have apparently failed to nurture.
VIDA UTTERANCE #2 (while looking into the frying pan and espying corned beef hash): "Oh. I was wondering what the unfamiliar smell was."
COMMENTS: See previous comment, replace "corny" with "corned beef hash."
MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Love in the Time of Cholera.
RAMBLING COMMENTS: Well, it was okay. I was worried about two things. One, John Leguizamo. In this case, I was right to fret. He was horrible in that he went for caricature rather than attempting to lend some humanity to his character. Also, he couldn't settle on an accent. At one point he was speaking through clenched teeth and channeling a manic Tony Soprano. Annoying. I was also worried about Shakira's music, but it was actually quite beautiful and inobtrusive. Benjamin Bratt is, as the spousal unit pointed out, "aIways Benjamin Bratt." Which is not to say he wasn't successful; it's just to say he was...Benjamin Bratt. As for the the performances by Javier Bardem and Giovanna Mezzogiorno in the lead roles, I will proclaim customer satisfaction. I was so moved by the shuffling walk of Florentino Ariza, which Javier (that's what I call him. I call him "Javier," or sometimes "Javi" if he's being silly with me) affected when the character was still relatively young. At one point, Fermina Daza says about Florentino: "He is not a person. He's a shadow." And this is true. A shadow who gets laid every time he turns around, but a shadow nonetheless.
FORGOTTEN JEWEL FOUND ON MY BOOKSHELF: Critical Fictions: The Politics of Imaginative Writing, with essays or conference presentations by Jessica Hagedorn, Educardo Galeano, Nawal El Saadawi, Angela Carter, Leslie Marmon Silko, Jamaica Kincaid, Salman Rushdie, Ana Castillo and many others.
COMMENTS:This book was published in 1991, not long after the demonstrations condemning THE SATANIC VERSES, so you can kinda imagine the energy of the work included. Jessica Hagedorn's conference presentation begins (and maybe this is a much-anthologized piece?), "Now I will discuss Virgin Mary Power." I've had this book for fifteen years or so, and I read it before I could truly understand it, so I'm excited to re-visit.
And now I have to go make lemon bars. *tap dances away while raising and lowering black silk tophat*