Too Earnest

The sometimes serious, but generally frivolous, musings of a city girl now living in the woods.

A New Year, A New Blog

Happy New Year!

It would seem that a status update cannot quite contain the amount I think.  I read a lot of books, watch a lot of movies and think a lot of thinks.  (Thanks, Dr. Seuss.)  Here, then, are my occasional–and always rambly– thoughts about, well, everything.

***

Let us begin with Weekend.  Have you seem this movie?  It’s absolutely beautiful.  I am a sucker for a couple of things, most notably 1) British movies, and 2) gay movies, so as a British movie that centers around the falling in love of two men, it had me, as they say, at hello.  But then I saw it.  It’s good.  So good.  And really, it’s rather amazing that it is so good.  I mean, it was shot in 17 days, for a budget of £170,000 and was written and directed by a dude called Andrew Haigh, who while talented, doesn’t have the backing of gazillions of dollars or a big studio.

The basic story is–here come the spoilers–that Russell and Glen meet and have a one-night stand that turns into something more over the course of the, you guessed it, weekend.  What makes it so amazing?  Unlike most rom-coms there is no perfect happy ending, and unlike most queer romances, coming out isn’t the main issue for one or both characters.  That latter fact, folks, is nearly unheard of.  Russell is a little awkward–not in the closet, but not totally comfortable talking about his love/sex life with his best mate, a straight guy called Jamie.  Glen, on the other hand, is all talk, happy to be out, and brash and confident, but NOT. INTO. HAVING. A. BOYFRIEND.  Methinks he doth protest too much.  To the movie’s credit, though, Glen isn’t converted into a perfect boyfriend because of the love of Russell.  It’s just clear, as in real life, that what people say often reveals much more about them than just the words.  Glen has clearly been hurt, and is trying to protect himself.  He is also honestly grappling with the idea that boyfriends and marriage may not be the only way to happiness.  He falls in love with Russell, but it’s not as though there is some grand happy ending awaiting our two heroes.  Because that’s life, you know?

Glen is an artist who sometimes records his lovers talking about their first impressions, their first meeting, their first…you know.  (Ok. Fuck.  There, I’ve said it:  their first fuck.)  It is very painful for  Russell to talk so openly, but he is so kind and tender that it almost breaks your heart.  You know right them he is going to get his heart broken alongside yours.  He asks Glen why he does it and Glen says, “You know what it’s like when you first sleep with someone?  You’re like the blank canvas and it gives you an opportunity to project onto that canvas who you want to be.”  He then goes on to say that with a new person we get to be the person we want to be.  Throughout the rest of the movie, I keep thinking that Glen is just trying to be who he wants to be or who he thinks he should be.  And Russel, well Russell sees through him.  At least a little.  Throughout the movie they have an intimacy, an ability to call each other on their shit that doesn’t necessarily happen easily or quickly.  An intimacy that resembles love.   And therein lies the delicacy of this movie.  From very early we know that Glen is leaving to move to the States.  Whether he is all bluster about boyfriends, or not, he is leaving and this beautiful weekend is all these guys have got. Gorgeous.  Really gorgeous.

(I feel compelled here to share that there is sex–yay!–and lots of drugs–not so keen on that–because, as I may have mentioned, this is real life.  And these things happen.  Hopefully they won’t distract you too much from the beauty of the performances and writing.  As another reviewer mentioned, I challenge you not to find yourself in these characters.)

***

Also, I know it’s so 2011 to go on and on about Adele, so let me get this over with.  Her voice.  Holy shit.  I defy you to be unmoved by her glorious rendition of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love.

***

Here are some lessons from 2011:

  • Be careful what you wish for.  Seriously.  We wanted to move to the country.  We wanted to build a house.  I wanted to work for a particular school system.  Guess what.  It all happened.  And I am having a professionally and personally trying time.  Not bad, exactly, but I am busting my butt to live this particular dream.  Busting. My. Butt. The butt-busters include talking to the septic system people, taming sixth graders, and building, rather feebly, a new community whilst trying to stay in touch with the old, Bay Area one.  But I can’t wait for that house.
  • Listen to music.  Delight in it.  If there is anything I have learned from my son, it is that music is worth thinking about, listening to and making with joy and delight.  Soon–I hope–I will join a chorus so I can make music, too.  In the meantime, I am going to make him sing Old MacDonald and Shoo Lie Lee as often as I can.
  • Read more books.  This year I read some truly wonderful and, let’s face it, some truly difficult books.  (Room, I’m talking to you.)  But, man, do I feel like I’ve explored the world, met new friends and understand history just a little bit better because of them.  I also think book clubs are awesome.  Last year I started one, and now I can’t imagine not getting to see them every month.  I love the women I get to talk about books with.  We eat, we talk, we laugh a lot and frankly, I leave feeling a little bit like I am smarter that I really am, thanks to all of them.  I am going to read even more this year.

Happy 2012, everyone!  May it be peaceful, startling and filled with communion.

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One comment on “A New Year, A New Blog

  1. lyn
    January 3, 2012

    your prose is still thoughtful and interesting. Perhaps this is you calling.

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