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Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Movie On A Cold Night

Cold temperatures have swept across America and Los Angeles is no exception. It’s been friggin’ cold here.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate the cold weather and prefer to stay in doors with the heater full blast, so going out to the movies was a big adventure for me. We decided to see “Slumdog Millionaire,” and my expectations were high.

The screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy (of “Trainspotting” fame), based on the novel “Q&A” by Vkas Swarup, and helmed by British director Danny Boyle.

It’s the story of a Mumbai street kid (aka a “slumdog”) who becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” He’s on his way to winning the grand prize, but is accused by the producers of cheating. He’s arrested, and during the brutal interrogation the movie flashes back to his horrible life in the slums and how he learned the answers to the game show questions through survival.

Sometimes the pacing is a bit dizzying, but overall this is an extraordinary film. The performances, by unknown actors (though well known in India) are all superb. It’s an emotionally charged story that confronts poverty, despair, survival, brotherly love, trust, and first love, and builds to a tense climax, one that ties everything up a bit too neatly with its predictable love story ending, but that’s just a minor complaint. Overall this film is far better than most everything currently playing at the local cineplex.

“Slumdog Millionaire” is on my favorites of 2008 list. Don’t miss it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Christmas Party To Be Remembered

Last Sunday I was invited to a Holiday House Party at a friend’s house.

Oh the decorations were abundant with holiday lights and ornaments everywhere. The main attraction of course was the Christmas Tree (a real tree!) beautifully adorn with the Colors of Christmas; green, red, and gold galore.

The food table had various salads, roast pork, turkey, and an array of vegetables. It was a holiday buffet certain to please the fussiest of taste buds.

Then it happened...

The beautiful turkey was minding its own business when a little girl, about four years old, made a beeline to the turkey, leaned forward with her little mouth wide open and bit the turkey in the ass. But instead of taking a bite and pulling away she stood there with her lips clamped down on the turkey’s ass.

I was stunned. What would provoke a little child to do such a thing?

The child’s mother witnessed her daughter’s oral skills in action without saying a word to chastise her. She pried her daughter’s lips from the turkey’s ass and laughed, commenting it was not an uncommon occurrence. People just stared in disbelief.

The mother didn’t cut off the piece of turkey ass that contained her daughter’s DNA. She left it alone with the bite marks intact, and instead helped herself to the wing.

I opted for the roast pork.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snowflakes

They say it rarely snows in Baton Rouge; maybe once a decade.

This morning I woke up, looked out the window, and was shocked to see it snowing. It wasn’’t a light flurry kind of snow, but big fat snowflakes that seemed to be taunting me with their devilish smirks and irregular shapes.

I hate the cold. I hate the snow.

Laugh at me all you want, but if you ever lived in New Hampshire or Massachusetts (which I have) where the wind chill factor can fall thirty degrees below zero, and the snow stands a few feet tall, you wouldn’t be laughing.

How could Mother Nature do this to me?

One of the people in the production office joyously ran outside and created a snowman. I reluctantly ventured outside, bundled up in layers of clothing, to take this photo.
Yeah, it’s a cute snowman, but I cannot wait for it to melt.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ahh-choo x 8

The other night I took a much needed break from life and poured myself a rather large glass of Malbec, kicked off the shoes, sprawled across the couch, and channel surfed.

So many channels with so little to see!

Between sips of wine I happened to click upon “Little People Big World” on the TLC channel and overheard the tall son telling the short dad after the short dad sneezed that a sneeze is equal to one-eighth of an orgasm.
Hmm... I thought about that and, maybe it was the effects of the wine, but I laughed and as I laughed I sneezed. I felt something. It wasn’t mind-blowing but it was there, a smaller version of something I’ve felt before. I tried sneezing again but unfortunately it didn’t come.

I look at sneezing differently now.

With a little practice maybe I can become a multiple sneezer.

Ahh-choo
Ahh-choo
Ahh-choo
Ahh-choo
Ahh-choo
Ahh-choo
Ahh-choo
Ahh-choo

Aaaaaaaaaaaah....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Southern Charm

My stay in Baton Rouge comes to an end this Friday, and then it’s back to Los Angeles to my apartment and friends and all my things I’ve missed while here. This has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to possibly coming back in January for another film project.

To celebrate my last weekend here I ventured to Darrow, Louisiana to visit the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, half way between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Houmas House? Isn’t houmas something made with chick peas and served on pita bread? Humas is the chick pea thing, and this Houmas is the plantation, the Crown Jewel of the Louisiana River Front. Oh yes, oh yes it is.


The very first owners of the plantation were the indigenous Houmas Indians who sold the land in the 1700s to Maurice Conway and Alexander Latil. By the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 the plantation was producing sugar, and it was one of the most successful plantations in the area.

If you want to know more, and I suggest you do, go to www.houmashouse.com and learn all the details of its rich and astounding history...

Ghosts have been known to inhabit the property.

The plantation has a heroically Greek Revival exterior.

The plantation features two garconierres.

“Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte” (starring Bette Davis) was filmed there in 1964.

Shall I go on? One more thing...

The plantation also boasts beautiful gardens and two fine restaurants and a wine cellar.

It’s simply beautiful; southern charm at its absolute best.