A Good Yarn

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Fun and Fast Week

This week went so fast! As I indicated in my last post, it's fall and it's gotten colder here. Too cold:

I know, I live in Minnesota. Snow in October isn't exactly shocking. But it was 80 degrees last weekend! I need a gradual transition, not summer then winter. It's enough to make me want to head south. Only as far as South Dakota, though. I'm visiting my mommy for her birthday.

I did virtually no knitting this week. Tuesday night I had my film class - our film this week was Chungking Express. Hadn't seen it before and LOVED it. I'd highly recommend this one to you. Wednesday night I had a training to become an election judge. Two years ago I was a pollwatcher for Election Protection, but since this isn't a Presidential Election year, they're not doing that. They suggested we become election judges to continue to ensure that the elections are run fairly, so I decided to do it. We need new blood in Minnesota too - at least in the Twin Cities area. Whenever I've voted, the election judges are almost always elderly people. What will happen when they pass on if the rest of us don't start chipping in? Of course, I'm hoping that perhaps in the next decade or so, we may have a different sort of voting, that takes advantage of today's technology and doesn't require people to go to one place on one day, so perhaps election judges of that sort won't be necessary. Anyway, back to the fun. Thursday night I went to a concert and saw Rhymin' Simon:

I really loved the show! I've been a big Paul Simon fan since those pictures I posted a couple of weeks ago were taken. "Graceland" came out in 1986 and I fell in love with it and went back and started listening to the back catalog and became obssessed with S&G as well. He really showed off the breadth and depth of his work in this show. He played a few S&G tunes, some of the 70s hits, a good batch from Graceland, and a few of the newer songs. Some of the songs were pretty faithful to their recordings, but a lot of them he re-arranged in really interesting ways. So the music was a mix of everything from funk and soul, zydeco, gospel and good old fashioned rock n roll. It was so much fun. The best part of the evening, though, was that I fell in love all over again with his lyrics. Paul Simon is the epitomy of the singer/songwriter and in a lot of his songs he just seemed to be telling a story. I forgot how happy listening to his words makes me. The man can turn a phrase! I wanted to quote one, but I couldn't pick just one. I'm so glad I decided to go.

Friday night was movie night with some of my law school chums, and we decided to see this new film:

I'll first warn you that I'm a HUGE Helen Mirren fan. Like many, I fell in love with her in Prime Suspect. She's pitch perfect in this film. The film is mainly about the time between when Princess Diana was killed and her funeral. You may remember that for quite a long time, the royal family did not publicly acknowledge Diana's death and the British people became more and more angry and began to question the need for the monarchy. This film purports to show what happened behind the scenes during that time. I don't know how accurate it is, but it seems very plausible and Mirren really embodies the conflicted nature of Queen Elizabeth. She shows that she has a devotion to the idea of royalty and what that should mean and is the essence of the British stiff upper lip. But times have changed, even in Britain. People demand that you cut open a vein. I know I'm as guilty of that as the next, though I try to remember that not everyone wants the whole world to see their innermost thoughts and feelings. For me, I both pitied Elizabeth for being unable to reach out and touch her son and grandsons in their time of need, to openly express her own mixed feelings about the death of Diana and I also admired her strength and courage and determination. The film also concentrates a lot on Tony Blair, newly elected Prime Minister, who gave us the term "the People's Princess" and ushered out Thatcherism for what might have been a whole new world in Britain. It was fun to remember when Tony Blair seemed like a young, enthusiastic good guy with a lot of promise instead of the poodle for Bush he seems now. The film does lay it on a bit thick in contrasting Tony and Sherie Blair -living in a middle class home, with open debates and loud kids and cooking and cleaning for themselves (including a guitar in the home office/library) while the Queen and Prince Philip live in a very sterile, quiet, proper home with books that are all matching in her library. But, I did enjoy the film and the walk down memory lane. I'd also like to point you to Roger Ebert's review of this film. He's been in the hospital all summer recovering from surgery for salivary cancer. I'm a huge fan of Mr. Ebert and it's awesome to read his lovely prose again. I look forward to his return to the television airwaves as well.