Tuesday, February 26, 2013


This morning I started a new devotional by Joyce Rupp, Open Door. I have gone through her devotional The Cup of Life twice, and was hoping for something new, but similar. I'm already a little disappointed and it's only the first day of six weeks. (My standards are high.)

But she asked what kind of door was our heart. And in my mind, I saw a summer porch, with a screen door. And that seemed to fit. Because I don't like surprises, for the most part. So a door where there are two steps, the screen and the door, getting to me is a two part process, after you've rung the bell. (I am, as everyone who knows me will agree, high maintenance.) Chuckle.

I slept ten hours last night. One of those hours meant that I missed the very last minute of Bones at 8:56ish. I woke up to the new show with Kevin Bacon, The Following, which I'm sure is great TV, and I adore Kevin, but looks much too violent for my taste.

Yesterday I went to the movies. I saw Quartet, which I had first heard about at the Golden Globes and then a friend from Twitter recommended it when I was moaning about the wasteland of movies. (January-February are typical wastelands, due to the awards schedule. All the movies up for awards are still, or back in the theaters, and movies that producers don't care about as much are opened in January. See: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, see Hot Tub Time Machine.) [ed.: Hot Tub Time Machine was released in March of 2010.] [DARN! s.l.]

This year was rich in the rich movies and weak in the weak ones. In past years I have sat through some interesting January fare (see Hot Tub Time Machine) [ed: see note above] [s.l.: darn!], but this year, I went to see Silver Linings Playbook three times and other movies, none. I was contemplating not going to the movies yesterday, as I sat (no joke) in Starbucks with my decaf no whip Mocha and no less than five newspapers, culling out what I wouldn't want to read later, saving all the news about the Oscars. And then I remembered Quartet. I had an odd schedule yesterday, as I had a 6:15 chiropractic appointment, so I couldn't do a 4:00 p.m. movie that was longer than 2 hours. And none existed at my regular Monday theater. So I started to look.

The Manor, a Squirrel Hill film institution (Squirrel Hill being a Pittsburgh neighborhood) had it, but the time looked wrong. I called to find out how long the movie was and their movie line was busy. Darn. My eyes looked eastward to the Waterfront listings, which is where I found a 3:10 showing of Quartet. With my therapy appointment at 2, it would be cutting it close, but that's what previews are for. I still didn't know how long it was, and I was not about to call the movie line of a theater that has 22 theaters. Can you imagine listening through that possibly alphabetical list for Quartet? So I did what any non-smart-phone card-carrying librarian would do. I called work. "Reference desk." "Yes, I'm trying to find out the length of the movie, 'Quartet.'" After a few minutes (or less), she came back with the magic words, "An hour and thirty-five minutes." Blissful sigh. That would give me enough time to drive across town from the Waterfront to Etna for my chiropractic appointment at 6:15.

Quartet, review: To say Dustin Hoffman's debut as a director was a treat would be an understatement. There were moments where I thought, I WILL FALL ASLEEP, as the movie was about sleepy people. The movie took place in a retirement home for aging musicians. I wonder if such a thing exists outside of the imagination of the playwright, but what a wonderful concept! I would only hope I could get into the retirement home for aging writers (Anne Lamott, Judy Blume, Nicholas Sparks) or even the one for people who care about children's books (Anita Silvey, Leonard Marcus, E.L. Konigsburg, Margaret Kimmel, Amy Kellman, Elizabeth Mahoney).

But I digress, where was I? (By the way, that was the way the movie went.) People went in and out of being completely lucid to being completely mad, but were brilliant at it, the entire time. You really had respect for them, even the diva we all hated by the end of the movie, well, because she was SUCH a diva. The credits showed the musicians and publicity photos from their musical youths. So. There were two movies about Brits in retirement homes this year, and Maggie Smith was in both of them. In the one, she was a racist housekeeper needing a hip replacement (The Best Marigold Hotel), and in this one, she was a former opera singer needing a hip replacement. In the BMH, she was the first guest we meet, and in Quartet, she was the last. She shone in both, and I'm glad that I saw both. The two movies have ONLY these components in common: British movie, film adaptation, Maggie Smith needs a new hip, wonderful casting.

What a luxury that this is a post called "Ruminations" and I don't need to do a thing before I leave you but check to see if I should use less or fewer when describing minutes.

Ah, the Grammar Girl has set me straight. Minutes are an exception to the rule. Of course they are, that's what makes English such a delightful language to learn:

"There are exceptions to these rules; for example, it is customary to use the word less to describe time, money, and distance." (Grammar Girl)

And I'm out. Until next time,

Sarah Louise

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