31 July 2012

July, 2012 Errata

I had a terrific time a couple weeks ago; after seeing Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears in concert, I took in The Dark Knight Rises in a matinee showing with my friends the following day and Citizen Kane at The Louisville Palace the night after that as part of their summer movie series. I was disappointed by the laziness of TDKR, but thrilled at seeing "the greatest movie ever made." It's not, of course; I'll happily take Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia over it, just to name a pair, but I was more than impressed and satisfied by the outing. Of course, I adore just being at the Palace and the chance to see this film there - where, as my friend noted, it likely played during its original run 71 years ago - was too good to pass for my first ever viewing!
[NOTE: My reviews of The Dark Knight Rises and Citizen Kane were published in my diary on Letterboxd. I find it easier and more convenient to review films there than here, and in all likelihood most of my movie reviews will likely appear there in the future. I invite you to join Letterboxd and friend me there!]
Then someone alerted my guts to the fact I'd had such a wonderful time. I woke up Sunday (22 July) feeling miserable. It's stayed with me. I've had to take a Promethazine every day since, save one. I've slept 75% of the time, entirely exhausted and fatigued even when I manage to get out of bed. I was in excruciating pain all throughout Saturday and Sunday, forcing me to resume Prednisone, which I haven't taken regularly in a few months.

This is all routine for a Crohnie. As I've said before, there are plenty worse experiences one can have in life, and even within the spectrum of life with Crohn's, I've had it better than some. I'm genuinely grateful that Prednisone is still effective for my flares, as the other meds I've been prescribed over the years have all proved useless. I've had a difficult time staying hydrated, though not for lack of drinking plenty of water. I've had to make enough mad dashes to the bathroom that I'm relatively certain I could win at least a silver medal in three different Olympic events.

It's not been all doom and gloom. I finally took the time to stream Downton Abbey in its entirety (Series 1 and Series 2, plus the Christmas special), catching a few episodes here and there in my sporadic bouts of consciousness. It's a likable enough period soap with a solid cast and some witty dialog. It reminds me as much of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves stories as it does Dallas, only instead of Southfork the setting is an aged English manor. It also reminds me of the Robert Altman film, Gosford Park (also starring Maggie Smith). I have to believe that Phyllis Logan was cast as Mrs. Hughes because of her resemblance to Helen Mirren (Mrs. Wilson, who held the same position as Mrs. Hughes).

The second series's running narrative of World War I was particularly well handled, I thought. I confess I have some problems with the continuity of the show; some subplots seem to pick up exactly where they left off in the previous episode despite months, even years, passing between them. Eight years is an awful long time to accept as covered in the span of the 17 episodes that presently exist, particularly with the cast not showing any real signs of the passage of time. Even hairstyles have remained consistent throughout, which is fine for some characters but seems a bit unlikely for others.

One thing that I now want to see is some kind of modern day Patty Duke Show story starring Kristen Bell and Joanne Froggatt. I don't really care what the story is, really, as long as those two appear together in it. This needs to happen. While I wait for Hollywood to get on that, at least I'll be able to follow along with Twitter when Series 3 debuts (whenever that is; sometime next year, maybe?).

Meanwhile, there have been some social issue stories that I've not discussed in this blog. I'm reluctant to get into them at all, frankly, but this kind of catch-all post sort of invites it.

Regarding James Holmes's mass shooting in Aurora, CO at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, I was reminded of something Craig Ferguson espoused in one of his TV specials. He suggested that there are three questions to ask before discussing something: "Does this need to be said?" "Does this need to be said by me?" "Does this need to be said by me, now?" I quickly decided that whatever I might have had to say about the shooting didn't need to be said by me.

I did get caught up in a side conversation about a Facebook campaign to get Christian Bale to visit the victims in the hospital dressed as Batman (I thought the notion was misguided and evidence that Facebook would make a lousy therapist), and I did pitch the idea of a special tax on guns to help fund a pool of therapists specifically trained for treating victims of gun violence that met with predictable resistance. Otherwise, though, I found I didn't really care to add my voice to the cacophony. It's weird, as a self-avowed activist/advocate/whatever I am, to shrug and say, "This doesn't need me," but there it was.

Likewise, I'm not terribly inclined to comment much on the current controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A and their ownership's very public anti-LGBT doctrine and spending. I last ate at a Chick-fil-A in late Spring, as I was hungry and leaving Best Buy one afternoon. I hadn't really planned on it, but I was there, it was there and that was that. I love me some waffle fries, but their menu prices are way too high. I can only assume that if they quit using the restaurant as a fundraiser for a hate group that my conscience and my wallet would both be more inclined to eat there. As it is, I'm perfectly content to abstain from the chain. I haven't put a single dime into BP since their oil spill, and I've no intention to fund Chick-fil-A, either. (I also have a vendetta against Sarah Lee for engineering a hostile takeover of Jimmy Dean and ousting the venerable singer/actor from his own company.)

Lastly, I was recently made aware that an album is being released in September collecting Waylon Jennings's final studio recordings. He recorded the vocals shortly before his death, and they've been finished posthumously by former band member Robby Turner. We've already had the Waylon Forever album, in which Shooter's backing band, The .357s, filled out Waylon's vocal tracks and a pair of other such recordings ("The Dream," which appeared on 2003's I've Always Been Crazy: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings and "Goin' Down Rockin'," which appeared on The Music Inside, Volume I: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings). The lead single is a different production of "Goin' Down Rockin'" from the one that appeared on The Music Inside release. I'm excited about this project, though I'm hopeful this isn't going to amount to just a variation on the handful of tracks already in circulation.