Wednesday, July 31, 2013

the films of peter bogdonavich

My father must have been a fan of the films of Peter Bogdonavich. Or Ryan O'Neal. I remember seeing both Paper Moon and Nickelodeon at the local drive-in when I was a kid. Probably neither movie was really age-appropriate for my brother and me, but when you couldn't get a babysitter and you really wanted to see a movie, you took the kids along with you. Of course that still happens these days, it's just more obvious at the movieplex.

Tatum O'Neal and Ryan O'Neal in Paper Moon
I recently re-watched Paper Moon and was struck by not only how great the story and characters were, but how gorgeous it was to look at. Tatum O'Neal was of course a cute kid, but there was nothing cutesy or child actor-y about her performance. Set during the Great Depression, con man Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) agrees to transport (for a fee) a young orphan girl, Addie (Tatum O'Neal) who may or may not be his daughter, from Kansas to her aunt's house in Missouri. During their road trip Addie shows a knack for pulling a con, and the two become partners. Ryan and Tatum have not just amazing chemistry but great comic timing together, each line reading a winner. Surprisingly the O'Neals were not the first actors attached to the script. Originally the project was planned to be directed by John Huston and star Paul Newman and his daughter Nell Potts.
Addie, "I want my two hundred dollars."
Moses, "I don't have your two hundred dollars no more and you know it."
Addie, "If you don't give me my two hundred dollars I'm gonna tell a policeman how you got it and he'll make you give it to me because it's mine."
Moses, "But I don't have it!"
Addie, "Then get it!"
Waitress, [walks over after Moses slams his fist on the table] "How we doin', Angel Pie? We gonna have a little dessert when we finish up our hot dog?"
Addie, "I don't know."
Waitress, "What do you say, Daddy? Why don't we give Precious a little dessert if she eats her dog?"
Moses, "Her name ain't Precious."
Tatum ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (she was the youngest ever to win an Oscar). Bogdonavich apparently consulted with his good friend on a number of things relating to the film, including the title (Welles told him that, "That title is so good, you shouldn't even make the picture, just release the title!") and the overall look of the film (Welles suggested shooting the film in black and white, with a red filter, adding higher contrast to the images, resulting in cinematographer László Kovács gorgeous images.)

Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, and Cybill Shepherd in The Last Picture Show
Paper Moon whet my appetite for some more Bogdonavich, so I recently found The Last Picture Show, at the library. This was a much more mature and bleak vision. Probably not one for the drive-in with kids. Set in a little, dying town in 1950s Texas called Anarene, right before the Korean War. The story centers on best friends Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) as they graduate high school and experience sex and love. While Sonny is drawn to the lonely and unhappily married Ruth (Cloris Leachman), Duane and his girlfriend Jacy (Cybill Shepherd in her screen debut) are growing apart and Jacy's mother Lois (Ellen Burstyn) warns her daughter that she may get stuck for life if she stays in Anarene. The town is held together by Sam the Lion (Ben Johnson), but how long will that last?

The Last Picture Show, made in 1971, moves slowly, but is fascinating to watch. Bogdonavich co-wrote the screenlay with Larry McMurtry, based on his novel. He also edited the movie, although the credit went to Donn Cambern. The movie won (very deserving) Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Ben Johnson) and Best Supporting Actress (Cloris Leachman). It is sad, and bleak, but hypnotic.

Of course what is best remembered about The Last Picture Show is how Bogdonavich fell in love with then 19 year-old model-turned actress Shepherd and the two embarked on a long affair which resulted in three movies. Daisy Miller (1974) and At Long Last Love (1975), both starring Shepherd, were box-office flops and the two eventually split in 1979.

Bogdonavich has an affection and affinity for the past, and has made many other films that play with film genres, or period drama. But no matter where (or when) the film is set, what he seems most interested in are the people. Some of his best include:

What's Up, Doc? (1972) - A rollicking screwball comedy a la Bringing Up Baby, starring Barbra Steisand and Ryan O'Neal

Mask (1985) - An earnest and touching depiction of a mother's fierce love for her son, starring Cher and Eric Stoltz.

Samantha Mathis and River Phoenix in The Thing Called Love
The Thing Called Love (1993) - A romantic comedy - or tragedy - it's about country music after all - set in Nashville and starring River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, and Sandra Bullock.

The Cat's Meow (2001) - An amusing "mystery" set around the real-life mysterious death of film mogul Thomas H. Ince (Cary Elwes) on the yacht of multi-millionaire William Randolph Hearst (Edward Herrmann), with most of 1920s Hollywood in attendance. Kirsten Dunst plays Hearst's mistress the actress Marion Davies and Eddie Izzard plays Charlie Chaplin.

Kirsten Dunst and Eddie Izzard in The Cat's Meow
Bogdonavich is currently working on Squirrels to the Nuts, which will star Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, and Jennifer Aniston. Bogdonavich will once again be working with Cybill Shepherd, Joanna Lumley, and tatum O'Neal who have are backing the film and taking the role of executive producers. Bogdonavich is also rumored to be writing a new film to star Shepherd, One Lucky Moon. We'll have to stay tuned, Fingers crossed.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

come fly with me

I haven't been on a plane in a long time — mom's dementia kept us closer to home, and before that the kid was small, so most of the time people came to me for a visit. I figured I better brush up on what I could or couldn't take on a plane, as rules have changed since the last time I was in the air. As I was perusing the TSA website this paragraph in the prohibited items section jumped out at me.

I have to admit that I am as befuddled by the imposed threat of snow globes as I would be by the frequency of travelers needing to fly with them. Anybody able to explain this to me?

"Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis ball size) will be permitted if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, re-sealable bag, as the passenger’s other liquids, such as shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics."

I have been warned, and will ensure that any snow globe I choose to travel with in future meets these rigorous standards.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

the ghosts of ava gardner

“I either write the book or sell the jewels, and I’m kinda sentimental about the jewels.” 
Ava Gardner, in 1988, after suffering two strokes a few years previously, felt pressured to come up with some money, somehow, to cover her expenses. She could no longer act, as the strokes had left her fabulous face paralyzed on one side, and her right arm useless. She toyed with the idea of an autobiography, and friend Dirk Bogarde suggested journalist Peter Evans.

Ava Gardner, in her heyday

Evans enthusiastically took on the task of ghostwriting Gardner's memoirs, and things moved along, if not swimmingly, at least steadily, for several months — until Gardner learned, most likely from ex-husband number three Frank Sinatra, that he had sued Evans and the BBC many years before for writing about his association with the Mafia. The collaboration came to an abrupt halt. After Evans's death in 2012, his publisher, with the permission of Gardner’s estate, decided to publish the notes for the book as Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations.

If one is looking for an in-depth look at Gardner's life and her tumultuous relationships with many famous men, this book will not exactly fit the bill. But it does contain some interesting glimpses of her life, and of Hollywood in the 1940s. What it really does is give a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to write a celebrity biography — with a reluctant, mercurial star and a diffident author. But fans of Gardner will be more than a little disappointed about the lack of coverage of her Hollywood career, and her most celebrated relationship, her marriage to Sinatra, as the book and notes are cut short very soon after he enters her life.

Gardner was a legendary beauty, but never received much acclaim for her acting skills, which she herself said were close to none. But she was good, even great, at times in many of Hollywood's best films, working with its top directors and co-stars:

  • The Killers (1946) - With Burt Lancaster, directed by Robert Siodmak
  • Show Boat (1951) - Her voice was dubbed in the movie, but she did sing two songs on the soundtrack album
  • Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) - With James Mason, directed by Albert Lewin (with amazing cinematography by Jack Cardiff)
  • Mogambo (1953) - with Clark Gable and Grace Kelly - Gardner was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress
  • The Barefoot Contessa (1954) - with Humphrey Bogart, written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • On the Beach (1959) - With Gregory Peck, directed by Stanley Kramer
  • The Night of the Iguana (1964) - With Richard Burton and Deborah Kerr, written by Tennessee Williams, directed by John Huston

Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations does cover, glancingly, her early life in rural North Carolina, and her unusual path to Hollywood. Her brother-in-law, who owned a photo studio, displayed a portrait of teenage Gardner in his shop window. A man who claimed to be a talent scout for MGM (as a way to get to pretty girls), tried to get her number by saying she should get in pictures. Gardner and her family didn't share her number, but took him at his word and brought her to MGM's New York offices.

Her beauty impressed, but her thick accent did not, so a silent screen test was sent to Hollywood and Gardner and her older sister were soon packed off to the West Coast for her new life as a starlet. She claims to have met Mickey Rooney, who was one of MGM's biggest box-office stars of the day with his Andy Hardy films, her first day on the lot. He certainly didn't waste any time trying to get to know the 19 year-old hopeful, and the two were soon an item, and sooner married. Gardner was quite naive when she arrived in California, and although the two were mad for one another, she was blind to his non-stop womanizing, even, ostensibly, after being warned by his own mother.

Mickey Rooney and Ava
"I still didn’t know that he was the biggest wolf on the lot. He was catnip to the ladies. He knew it, too. The little sod was not above admiring himself in the mirror. All five foot two of him! He probably banged most of the starlets who appeared in his Andy Hardy films — Lana Turner among them. She called him 'Andy Hard-on.' Can we say that — 'Andy Hard-on?'"

“I don’t see why not,” I said. “It’s a funny line.”
Practically as soon as she had signed her divorce papers, tycoon Howard Hughes was auditioning her for the role of his next lover. Their affair lasted many years, but she didn't love him enough to marry him, and soon fell for band leader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, which would result in another very short-term marriage. Rooney ignored her and constantly ran around with other girls, while Shaw put her down and tried to make her feel inferior. Gardner definitely had a taste for macho men, as she also had romances with famous bullfighters and Hollywood co-stars Robert Mitchum, and later George C. Scott, who purportedly knocked her around. But she found her match in Frank Sinatra, who may have been waiting in the wings all along:
"I was with Mickey in the studio commissary. We had just gotten married. Frank came over to our table — Jesus, he was like a god in those days, if gods can be sexy. A cocky god, he reeked of sex — he said something banal, like: 'If I had seen you first, honey, I’d have married you myself.' I paid no attention to that. I knew he was married. He had a kid, fahcrissake!"
Most of the fun in Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations comes from the sense that the reader is hearing Gardner talk to Evans in her actual voice. But sometimes the Southern drawl and epithets seem to be poured on a little too thick. Ava admonishes her would-be ghostwriter after reading a sample chapter, "Does she have to curse so much?" If Gardner did indeed speak this way, every other sentence punctuated with "fahcrissakes," she held onto her Rat Pack parlance until the end.

Frank Sinatra and Ava
What also comes through in this short and fast read is an inescapable sadness. Beauty and fame don't last, which Gardner was intelligent enough to be aware of, but her strokes also robbed her of her physicality, as she describes how she used to enjoy sports like tennis and swimming. She seems to always be alone, calling Evans in the middle of the night, with a tumbler full of wine or liquor in hand, reliving some of her past exploits. There is not just a ghostwriter, but ghosts everywhere, as she laments the passing of friends and mentors like John Huston and "Papa" Hemingway, and morbidly begins to dwell on death, which she fears and believes is soon coming for her. Gardner died of pneumonia in 1990.

Perhaps most poignantly, Gardner resents that the book must focus on her "mistakes," her broken relationships, which Evans is constantly prodding her to talk about. Ava wants a book, but her way. “Why can’t we settle for what I pretend to remember? You can make it up, can’t you? The publicity guys at Metro did it all the time.” Maybe that isn't just a question from a Hollywood actress past her prime. Don't we all tend to remember things the way we want to and not the way they were? Evans never got his memoir, but Gardner did get to tell it like it may or may not have been, soon after ditching this project, in Ava: My Story. Apparently Sinatra had no objection to that.

Originally published on Blogcritics: Book Review: ‘Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations,’ by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

swimming to beat the storm

The kid was able to take a quick dip in the ocean the other day before the afternoon storm hit. It is rainy season, after all.



Saturday, July 27, 2013

sir ian and derek — a match made in heaven

Two of my all-time favorite actors, Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Derek Jacobi, are starring together in a Brit-com called Vicious, about an older gay couple. It also stars Frances De la Tour. I could only find a few clips, but hope ITV will get it on hulu or BBC America soon. Jacobi with light-colored hair is sort of reminding me of Mr. Humphreys from Are You Being Served ...

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Friday, July 26, 2013

these lines really aren't so blurry ...

Robin Thicke's latest song, "Blurred Lines," a No. 1 hit, has raised some controversy, but is it the song, or the video, or both that offend? Thicke has been compared to Justin Timberlake, but Timberlake's latest singles are much more romantic than the blatant come-hithering of Thicke's song, where he is abetted in his attempted seduction by Pharrell Williams and T.I.

The song is undeniably catchy, a perfect summer radio hit. But when you are stopped in traffic, some of the more questionable lyrics may sneak through the bouncy grooves:

"You the hottest bitch in this place
I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey, hey, hey"


"... I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two ..."

Nothing blurry about those lines, or the blow-up silver letters in the video taped to a wall that proclaim, "Robin Thicke has a big dick." Subtle.

I didn't find the video particularly seductive or shocking, just kinda dumb. It actually works against the song, which is hard not to like. But the three lovely topless ladies featured in the video just seem bored or embarrassed — they keep trying to cover their breasts, with their hands or other incongruous objects. They look more comfortable, even more sexy, in the shots when they are clothed. The three dudes, predictably, look like they are having the time of their lives. Watching three gorgeous, bored, mostly naked models. Rock and roll.

The real question about Blurred Lines is not whether the lyrics or the video is offensive, but if this sort of "romantic" approach really works in the real world. And why did Williams and Thicke feel the need to push the envelope? The song starts out maybe not innocently, but typically enough, with Thicke trying to convince a girl in a club to drop her guy for him:

"OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you're an animal, baby, it's in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don't need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker"

A guy on the make, for sure, but not threatening. Pop music is, frequently, one long seduction or persuasion. Madonna could be just as demanding a potential lover as Thicke & Co.:

Open your heart
I'll make you love me (come on baby)
It's not that hard
If you just turn the key (I'm gonna get to you)

Where feminists start to get uncomfortable with "Blurred Lines" is the "I know you want it," chorus, which directly references rape scenarios — "She was asking for it." Maybe not the artists' intentions, but maybe ... We talk about consensual sex being the ideal situation, but there is always a give-and-take. There are countless (beloved) art and pop culture examples of men trying to "break down" a girl's resistance and give in to his charms.

"And that's why I'm gon' take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You're a good girl
Can't let it get past me
You're far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines"

Maybe that is what is most disturbing about "Blurred Lines." The battle of the sexes is frequently a true battle. And for many, sex, even romance, is not complete unless someone gives in and lets the other person be the victor. Not exactly blurred lines, but lines drawn in the sand.
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

back to the beach

It might seem strange for someone who lives so close to the beach, but I am really looking forward to our upcoming Jersey Shore vacation. I have realized that I haven't had a real vacation, a real break, since long before we moved down here. I haven't been on a plane since the kid was just a tiny one. So anyway, next week I will be leaving my beachy home to go stroll along the beach where I grew up. And I can't wait.


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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

angels and insects — weird and wonderful

In the period romance Angels and Insects, Charles Darwin's recent discoveries are at the height of popularity, prompting amateur naturalists everywhere to study the world around them. Such an interest in the natural world provides an opportunity for the penniless William Adamson (Mark Rylance), recently returned from the Amazon, to find a living cataloging the collection of the wealthy and kindly amateur insect enthusiast and collector Sir Harald Alabaster (Jeremy Kemp). Sir Harald has a household as interesting to study as his collection: his wife, Lady Alabaster, seems to either be perpetually pregnant, eating, or fainting; his son Edgar (Douglas Henshall) takes the term supercilious to new levels; the family governess, Matty Crompton (Kristin Scott Thomas), possesses a keen mind, artistic talent, and an observing nature; and his eldest daughter Eugenia, a blonde beauty, catches the eye of William, who because of his lack of finances, believes that he can only adore her from afar.

William woos Eugenia with a rare moth
But William is in for a pleasant surprise. Because of the tragic death of Eugenia's former fiance, and the impending marriage of her younger sister Rowena, the Alabasters (save Edgar, "You're not one of us") are more than willing to marry off the young scientist to their eldest daughter. William at first seems to have hit the jackpot, with a gorgeous bride and lots of enthusiastic sex, but Eugenia soon turns into a distant wife, and family secrets are bound to turn his new world upside down. The sense that there is something not quite right in the Alabaster household is underlined by the actions of the servants, who freeze and turn their faces to the wall when passing family members in the halls or on the stairs, and in Edgar's (vs. William's) treatment of the younger female servants.

William and Eugenia's distance increases through the years, apart from occasional sexual encounters and subsequent pregnancies which eventually produce five children, including two sets of twins. She insists on naming their first boy Edgar, after her brother, which gains no points from William, who never feels close to "all these white children," and he grows closer to Matty, who shares his interest in the natural world. The two embark, unbeknownst to the family, on a creative project together, compiling a book of stories and illustrations about a colony of red ants on the estate.

William and Matty share many common interests
The plot of Angels and Insects is very involving, but what makes the film extra special are its visuals. The correlations between the family and the red ant colony add another layer of meaning to the story, which is based on the novella, Morpho Eugenia, by A.S. Byatt. The (Academy Award nominated) costumes by Paul Brown are not just exquisite, but tell another layer of the story on their own. Eugenia, through her dress, is at times a beautiful moth, an absurd bumble bee, and the insect queen that she is destined to become. Ant colonies have one or two fertile females — the queens — and in the Alabaster hive Eugenia takes on this role when her mother dies.

Queen bee Eugenia
Angels and Insects may be a Victorian romance, but like a piece of rotting wood that reveals a bunch of creepy crawlies, its beautiful images and people are just on the surface. Kristin Scott Thomas's "plumage" may seem rather dull in comparison to Patsy Kensit's, but her performance and chemistry with noted stage and Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance smolder. It's a weird and wonderful film, and fascinating to watch.
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

paprika 's dream world

Vintage has recently re-released Yasutaka Tsutsui's 1993's mind-bending novel Paprika. Set at Japan's Institute for Psychiatric Research, two brilliant scientists, psychotherapist Atsuko Chiba and inventor Kōsaku Tokita are developing a tool they have dubbed the "DC mini" which can allow psychiatrists to enter a patient's dreams, and which they hope to use to cure a variety of psychic aliments, from anxiety to acute schizophrenia.

In order to work as a "dream detective," which is considered illegal, Atsuko has created an alter ego called Paprika, to more easily invade, and in many cases, inspire dreams. Unfortunately for Paprika her secret identity is no longer very secret, and someone has stolen the DC minis and has started using them to drive everyone at the Institute insane. The differences between the world of dreams and the real world is becoming more and more difficult to determine, and with increasingly deadly results.

Although it has an initially interesting concept, Paprika is a very slow read, with at times some very plodding prose. The inter-office politics at the Institute, and the absurd notion of the main characters developing such an unstable device as a way of vying for a Nobel Prize, bogs down the initially clever sci-fi premise. The dreamscapes that Paprika and her friends explore include some interesting imagery, but readers will be far more rewarded by Satoshi Kon's wonderful 2006 anime adaptation of the novel.

Satoshi Kon's Paprika was chock-full of amazing images

Although Atsuko/Paprika may be the heroine, and a potential Nobel prize winner for her lethal co-invention (exactly who is reviewing these inventions, by the way?) she is far from a feminist or any kind of female role model. The two-dimensional "dream doctor" falls in love with all of her (older) male patients and is frequently the (willing) recipient of their rape fantasies. Rape and virtual sex seem to be the core of her diagnostic technique. A lot of the attitudes about sex - gay or straight - leave a bad taste for the reader. It is unclear if the author, Yasutaka Tsutsui (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, What the Maid Saw: Eight Psychic Tales), who is much revered in Japan, intended his characters to be misogynistic, homophobic, or both. Maybe a poor translation has eliminated a sense of satire in regard to the sexual politics of the novel, but it seems not.

Most of the characters, except for one of Paprika's patients and champions, Deputy Chief Commissioner of Police Konakawa, are downright unpleasant. Innocent people are mauled and destroyed left and right when the dream world starts to take over the real world, but with no real world consequences. Paprika and her friends don't seem to have any regrets about the public impact of their deadly invention. The ever-growing love-addled male Paprika-posse just keeps taking her out to eat after each escalating disaster, to public places where her enemies can easily get to her.

The late Satoshi Kon created a brilliant anime film based on Paprika in 2007. Many of the characters were condensed, and most of the boring office-related dialogue was excised. This book can best be viewed as an interesting inspiration for a superior work of art.

Originally published on Blogcritics: Book Review: ‘Paprika’ by Yasutaka Tsutsui
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Monday, July 22, 2013

birthday boys — alexander calder, albert brooks, and terence stamp

Happy birthday to some of my favorite people, Alexander Calder, Albert Brooks, and Terence Stamp.

I love Alexander Calder, especially his Fish at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.
I love lots of Albert Brooks's movies, but my two favorites are Defending Your Life and ...

... Mother, where his mom, played by Debbie Reynolds freezes everything, including salad and cheese

Love, love, love, Terence Stamp, especially in Federico Fellini's Toby Dammit (the director's contribution to Spirits of the Dead), and ...
... The Hit, with John Hurt and Tim Roth
Sounds like I have a few more great films to (re) watch.
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

more sunset beauty

It may be the rainy season, but post-thunderstorm evenings yield some gorgeous skies ...




Saturday, July 20, 2013


Trying out the panorama effect on my iPhone with a gorgeous sunset.


Friday, July 19, 2013

(my) people used to use such things

Going through a chest of drawers the other day looking for something, I found this interesting item:

A linen pouch with a "C" embroidered on it
The "C" must stand for "Cassels," my grandmother's maiden name
Untying the bows of the package
Reveals some very old satin table napkins
A little the worse for wear, but still lovely
Especially the details of the fabric in the light

People used to use such things. People like my family, to make dining a special experience. At a table, and not parked in front of a television screen.
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

every time you go away you take a piece of me with you

There's no good way to lose a loved one. But I've been thinking lately about the differences between someone going suddenly, and someone going bit by bit. I watched my cousin slip away gradually a few years ago — it was excruciating for her, for me, and for everyone who loved her. At the same time my mother started to go away as well. She has dementia, and it was becoming clear as we were that I would have to step in and start helping mom out. So we moved to Florida.

I've spent the past three years trying to be a good daughter, take care of my mom, and also take care of my daughter. It hasn't been easy. I've been in this fight or flight mode so long, that now that she's in a nursing home I don't know what to do with myself. I've had to deal with my own health issues, which I'm sure have been more than a little impacted by my mother's situation and the worrying that goes along with it. No blame, just the facts ma'am.

So this week has started to feel a little strange, as I have just begun to realize that I no longer have to take mom into consideration for the day's schedule, meals — a variety of things. This Thanksgiving and Christmas we could actually go somewhere, as mom would be safe in the nursing home. The past few years I never could have thought this way. I would have had to structure either a very short trip, or more likely, as she had been having more and more issues, keep us at home and not travel anywhere.

But since her fall in June all that has changed. I'm still in a bit of fight or flight mode, as I keep my tight schedule of acupuncture and chiropractic appointments, but I'm hoping that as my brain realizes that some of the pressure is off, my body eventually will too.

It occurred to me the other day that I could actually do something outside of the house. Could I even think of a job? Maybe something part-time, or I could volunteer at the local library or museum. But I'm not gonna rush into things. This seems like a school-year or new year's project.

I never hesitated for a moment when it became clear that my mom needed me. She took good care of me when I was a kid, it was the very least that I could do for her. My ego is taking a bit of a blow lately as I realize that maybe I was holding on to her at home a bit longer than necessary. They are definitely taking better care of her at the nursing home than I could here at home. I'm sorry that she's no longer as mobile she used to be, but her health situation required this transfer.

Mom, as usual, was looking out for me. Her taking a fall necessitated not only a week in the hospital, but the transfer to an acute care facility (the new term for nursing home). I didn't have to commit her to such a place. Something I was holding off on doing as long as possible. Something that she had led me to believe that she dreaded. But lo and behold, she seems happy there. She would like our visits to be longer, but for the most part it's a good situation. Mom has let me off the hook. Now I can devote more time to my daughter and to myself. That's what a mom is supposed to do. Help you be the best you can be. As always, mom is doing just that.
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