Friday, December 04, 2009

Adjacent Islands

I was watching a movie with my brothers last night, and the scene was one of those notorious "opportune moments." The hero had a chance to confess his love - or tell the truth - or something useful, but he couldn't quite bring himself to do it. But he had planned ahead and brought with him a little gift, which he laid on the table between himself and the lady.

My brother summed their plight with the poetic description: He laid a gift on the moment's grave.

Tonight I was reading the dictionary - not just to read it, but as one does when one is trying to get somewhere in those pages, and must journey through dangers and distractions like those of Odysseus. (I'm such a terrible speller of Greek; is that right? I am only newly acquainted even with the story of Odysseus, and most disappointed in his character.) My brother is reading The Federalist Papers, great essays on government and history and economics, which employed the word "temerity." It happens to mean foolhardy or brash, but before I discovered this, I saw a picture.

To be honest, I almost always get caught by pictures, and carried away by root words. That is the way dictionaries have with me. This picture was of a little hog-like rodent, and the caption was like a Boggle-champion's dream: tenrec. How simple. How very likely to occur in Boggle. How unheard of. Honestly. Have you ever heard of a tenrec?

No? Well, I suppose that is to be forgiven, since it, like so many interesting creatures, makes its home on Madagascar. The tenrec is a hedgehog-like mammal that eats insects (thus the nose looking like a pig's, though it could have looked like an anteater and made itself more obvious). Our dictionary's entry reported that this beast inhabits Madagascar and the adjacent islands.

Adjacent Islands!!! Who ever thought? Almost an oximoron! I mean, we're not talking about islands connected at low tide but not at high. Maybe they were connected during the ice age. But then they weren't islandS; they were AN island. So my meticulous brother commanded (he's the one with leadership skills) that I look up "adjacent." And it turns out that "adjacent" has as its first definition, "to lie near." Still, I think that "Adjacent Islands" would be a great title for something. The image is so poetic.

Movies are almost always on in my house, maybe coming from so many of us enjoying long movies, or maybe because there are so many of us who think we need our own turn at choosing the program. Tonight there was yet another movie, and it was simply horrible, because the message of the movie was that when grown ups lie to children, the children owe it to them to sort of believe, because they want to believe, and miracles happen when you believe... The end of the movie had very little to do with this subject, as it consisted of the main little girl receiving three separate pairs of roller skates for Christmas. The last pair came from a blind man. And the little girl responded that she had a gift for him, her arms now full of metal and wheels. The most natural thing to expect her to give was a pair of roller skates. But then we pictured a blind man skating down the road... Don't give such gifts to blind men!

Oh! I signed up for all sorts of restaurant email updates, and have coupons and freebies rolling in! Mostly they just want to give me something free with purchase, but I have plenty of choices! There is something so pleasing about having a coupon in one's purse. Tonight I used a Kohl's discount they sent in the mail, and saved a whole $1.50! The best sign-up's so far are Coldstone Creamery, Red Robins, and Lone Star Steakhouse. Wendy's gives a coupon for a dollar off. But I'm still waiting to see what happens on my birthday. I'll let you know.

The movie from last night (Wednesday) was Sense and Sensibility. There are 4 versions I know anything about. The earliest was made by BBC in the 70's or 80's, and according to my brother, who picked it up by mistake, is acted by robots who sit on teeter-totters sideways trying to converse with each other. Next in importance/quality is a strange version made in India. In fact, I believe the English is dubbed. Not anywhere near as good as India's Bride and Prejudice. Now we come to the competitors. In the 90's, Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility. She also starred as Elinor. Alongside her were Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet, the latter reporting that she scarcely had to act; her personality was so much like Marianne Dashwood that Kate simply had to play the part. That movie is beautiful. Funny. Sad. Thoughtful. With the exultantly happy ending highlighted by the perfect score. I have my objections. Hugh Grant - he's not handsome, and his stuttering is annoying. Colonel Brandon (I should know his name) isn't very handsome, either, and Jane Austen movies aren't known for their realism, so we should aim for attractive. Finally, the version we were watching is the latest BBC adaptation, made in 2008. It is about 3 hours long, with pretty scenery. Other than that, the characters are poor imitators of the really good Sense and Sensibility. Andrew Davies failed to convey emotion with his screenplay, and I don't think most of the actors understood their characters. The movie has its moments of interest. Anyway, the actor who plays Colonel Brandon was recognized by all watching, but we couldn't place him, so I looked him up. IMDB is great! I have been spending a lot of time there lately, for one reason or another. The actor is David Morrissey, whom I recognized from The Water Horse. Ah, the relief of answers!

Have a good night. Don't waste your day.

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Wow. Lone Star just made me sad. I got their birthday email and rather than the free entree it was last year, they are offering me a free appetizer with the purchase of an entree. I guess I don't want them to go out of business giving away free things, but I'm disappointed.

Holding out for the free burger from Red Robins.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn