commonplace

Published on May 5 2006

poster Wow. I went to see this movie last night. I knew it was going to be a tough experience, but I found that after 5 years, this story still shakes me deep. This brought back every second of the confusion and horror of that Tuesday morning. Who would have thought that a Hollywood full of right-bashing, "Blame-it-on-us" liberal types could make a movie without a hero or a love story? Let alone have it be a movie like this one. It's not a flag-waver--there is only one shot of an American flag early on, during the terrorists trip to the airport. There is no "agenda" or any attempt to portray one side or the other as sympathetic. This was a movie with and without heroes, any heroism rising out of fear, panic, and terror. The people portrayed in this film were us. Gerard Van der Leun says it here in a way I only wish I could say:
"United 93," from the first frame to the last, simply and clearly lets you see what happened high in the air on that day. It is, as the phrase on the poster says, "The plane that did not reach its target." Instead, it reached something unintended and much higher. It became and will remain a legend; an integral part of the tapestry of the American myth from which we all draw what strength remains to us, and, in the future, will surely need to draw upon even more deeply. Like the best of our legends, it arises out of our ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
I didn't know a single face or recognize a single name among the actors. It's a somewhat documentary style telling, not filmed from any particular person's viewpoint. I wasn't even sure of the names of the characters. Although we've all heard the name "Todd Beamer", I would have been hard-pressed to tell you which character was his. I knew that Ben Sliney, national operations manager at the FAA, played himself in the movie, from reading about it beforehand. But there was not one recognizable "star" in this film, not one "beautiful people" type. At two hours, it's very close to real time the actual events of that day, which brings back the feelings of "What the f*** is happening?" that we all felt. There are no "timestamps" on the scenes to give a sense of how fast events were unfolding. There were none needed. We all remember the confusion and the incredulity of those few hours that morning, and how time stopped when we watched the second plane hit the south tower. During the scenes of the inner areas of the FAA headquarters, and the headquarters of the military exercises, the confusion over which planes were hijacked, which planes were still in the air, had it been Flight 11 that hit the WTC, or was it still in the air had me as confused as those traffic controllers must have felt--even though I already knew the flight numbers of the planes that became deadly weapons. The visual of the huge board with a light for every plane in the air was chilling. This movie is gut-wrenching at best, since we know the outcome. We know what happens. Still, I was surprised at the emotional reaction I had, the incredible anger I felt, the urge to hurt those terrorists, even the interior prayer that this time the passengers would get into that cockpit and get that plane down safely. Knowing that there was a potential flight crew in a passenger with some flight experience and a passenger who had worked control tower operations drew me in, made me hope that that maybe, just maybe...... I was shaken by the intensity of that anger, that hatred of those people. Shots of the passengers praying intertwined with shots of the terrorists praying, and all I could feel was hatred for those b******s. Those murdering b******s. I found myself gripping the armrest of my seat so hard that my hands hurt. What would I, could I, have done in that situation? Even though much of the resolution may be embellished--we don't know what happened in the final moments of that flight--there was such a catharsis when the passengers took their only chance. The last ten? five? minutes of the film is the most gripping and intense I've ever seen on screen. I'm not going to "spoiler" the ending, but it will shake any viewer to their deepest core. It's hard to keep your eyes open for it. I've read that audiences have been crying as they leave the theater, but I didn't see any of that last night in the mostly older audience. There was dead silence as we all left. Absolute silence. I wonder if they were all as numbed as I still feel today. It was painful to watch. It was not "too soon".

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Published on April 15 2006

It's Jackson Browne night on the old iPod!! I hadn't heard this one since forever, even though it's one of my favorites from the "newer" albums. I've been listening to so much Jazz for class lately that I've been neglecting some of my favorites. Off the '93 album "I'm Alive". Yeah, you know, the one with the cover photo that made him look like an escapee from the movie "Creature from the Black Lagoon". Horrible cover shot, but the music was worth it. Have a listen to "Sky Blue and Black", too; one of his best songs after the "Late for the Sky" album. Yep, it's wussy-California-Singer-Songwriter night here!!!
You hold a life there in your hands You probably don't know Somehow your dreams became my plans Somewhere long ago Think about the things we've done and where we've been Your touch made me a king I don't want to live without your love again I'll do anything To make you see what I'm imagining To know the pleasure your smile can bring To keep the light from vanishing I'll do anything I fly this airplane upside down I walk out on the wing To see you watching from the ground I'll do anything When I see the light upon your upturned face I can hear the angels sing Don't ever let another take my place I'll do anything To make you see what I'm imagining To know the pleasure your smile can bring To keep the light from vanishing I'll do anything I make this world a place for you and me I make your happiness my responsibility To make this world the world you want to see I'll do anything When I see the light upon your upturned face I can hear the angels sing To see that no one ever takes my place I'll do anything To make you see what I'm imagining To know the pleasure your smile can bring To keep the light from vanishing I'll do anything

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Published on March 16 2006

"If time flies when you're having fun, it hits the afterburners when you don't think you're having enough." Jef Mallett

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Published on January 15 2006

This site will tell you the #1 tune in the country (either the US or UK) on the day you were born. My US song is: "Mr Cluster - Larry Verne" Who??? I do recognize the UK song, however. It's: "Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance" Wonder if that's where the name came from?

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Published on January 13 2006

A project of the Music Genome Project.... you give it an artist, and it creates a playlist of music you might enjoy. Too bad I have such lousy speakers on my laptop--the songs it plays really are interesting, and mostly new to me. I'll have to try a couple other genres to see what it comes up with! h/t to From Where I sit

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Published on December 31 2005

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne! And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp, And surely I'll be mine, And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet, For auld lang syne! We twa hae run about the braes, And pou'd the gowans fine, But we've wander'd monie a weary fit, Sin auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl'd in the burn Frae morning sun till dine, But seas between us braid hae roar'd Sin auld lang syne. And there's a hand my trusty fiere, And gie's a hand o thine, And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught, For auld lang syne

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Published on October 25 2005

Interesting new-to-me blog.... Sigmund, Carl and Alfred: A World Without You In It?
In fact, we suffer a kind of debilitating malaise- “Nothing I do or say really matters.” There is the belief that whether or not we contribute anything to the the world and those around us, the world would be no different. It is the 'my vote doesn't really count' school of thought. No matter our efforts, nothing will ever really change. If you truly believe that your efforts and contributions are meaningless, can you really know and have passion? What can you truly look forward to, what will truly excite you? To what can you truly be committed? Will you ever know that 'fire in the belly'?

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Published on August 11 2005

Ya know, I used to love this song. It was one of those songs that you didn't mind having as an "earworm". But this.....I don't know if I will ever be able to listen to it again now. The most agonizing thing you'll ever hear Keep an eye out at the beginning of the clip--Elton John WITH HAIR.

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Published on July 18 2005

AFI's 100 YEARS...100 MOVIES I've seen most of these movies, but quite a few of them were so long ago that I barely remember the plot. I'll keep updating this list if the memory comes back, lol. The Complete List: 1. CITIZEN KANE (1941) Saw it a loooooooong time ago, don't really remember it. I guess I should see it again. 2. CASABLANCA (1942) "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." 3. THE GODFATHER (1972) yep 4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) i've seen this movie at least a dozen times, and I'd still like to kick Scarlett's butt for being so obtuse. 5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) another one I saw a looooong time ago 6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) I never could decide if this was a child's movie or not 7. THE GRADUATE (1967) "Koo, koo, katchoo, Mrs. Robinson". All I wanted to know was what happened AFTER they got on the bus and rode away?? 8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) 9. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993) Why this movie isn't number ONE, I don't understand. Powerful stuff. 10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) 11. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) the Christmas classic 12. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) "I am big. It's the pictures that got small." 13. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) I can still hear the whistling 14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) Marilyn..... 'nuff said 15. STAR WARS (1977) Still the best of all of the series 16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) bitchy backstabbing at it's BEST 17. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951) 18. PSYCHO (1960) 19. CHINATOWN (1974) 20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975) It's not even possible to conceive of anybody but Nicholson in this role. This was his best, by far. 21. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940) 22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) '68? Really?? I saw it when I was about 11 or so, and didn't understand HALF of it. Amazing how primitive HAL looks nowadays. 23. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941) 24. RAGING BULL (1980) 25. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) I'm probably the only person in the country who never saw this. 26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) I don't think I've managed to sit through this entire movie yet, even with the dozens of times it's been on the tube. 27. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) Warren and Faye....what a couple! 28. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) 29. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) 30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948) 31. ANNIE HALL (1977) Loved her clothes. Woody Allen I can do without. 32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974) Pretty good, but sequels are rarely as good as the first movie in a series. 33. HIGH NOON (1952) "I've got to, that's the whole thing." 34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) This was probably my favorite book as I was growing up. Gregory Peck was incredible in the movie. 35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) 36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969) 37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) There's a reason this won 6 or 7 Oscars. 38. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) Never heard of it 39. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) This was another favorite--I wanted to go to Russia after seeing this movie. I'd STILL like to go to Russia someday. 40. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) 41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961) Romeo and Juliet, updated... 42. REAR WINDOW (1954) 43. KING KONG (1933) I've never seen the entire original movie--only the remakes. 44. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915) 45. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) 46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) I've seen this a couple of times, and still haven't really figured out what's going on. 47. TAXI DRIVER (1976) Scary movie, very very scary... 48. JAWS (1975) Not scary--but I loved the shark music. 49. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937) Disney's best 50. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) Newman and Redford....mmmmmm..... 51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) 52. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) That beach scene..... 53. AMADEUS (1984) Who knew classical music could be so much fun? 54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930) 55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) I remember my parents loading up us kids in the back of the station wagon ( so we could sleep) and going to the drive-in to see this one. I don't remember if I stayed awake for the whole movie or not, lol. 56. M*A*S*H (1970) 57. THE THIRD MAN (1949) 58. FANTASIA (1940) 59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) 60. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) Good old-fashioned campy adventure movie! 61. VERTIGO (1958) 62. TOOTSIE (1982) Huh? This was one of the 100 greatest? 63. STAGECOACH (1939) 64. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) I recognized Devil's Tower immediately in the early part. That music is still irritating, though. 65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) Awesome movie, with the best villain in movies. No, I didn't mean Jodie Foster's character, either. 66. NETWORK (1976) 67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) 68. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951) 69. SHANE (1953) 70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) 71. FORREST GUMP (1994) Fun movie. I loved how they inserted Tom Hank's character into old film. 72. BEN-HUR (1959) 73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) 74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925) 75. DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) I can watch this epic over and over and over and.... 76. CITY LIGHTS (1931) 77. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) I enjoyed this one--it introduced me to a lot of that early- 60's music. 78. ROCKY (1976) "Yo..." 79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978) "The Best Years of our Lives, part two" 80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969) 81. MODERN TIMES (1936) 82. GIANT (1956) 83. PLATOON (1986) 84. FARGO (1996) The only movie I've ever seen where they talk just like ME 85. DUCK SOUP (1933) Ah, the Marx brothers.... :-D 86. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935) 87. FRANKENSTEIN (1931) 88. EASY RIDER (1969) I ride a Harley. Of course I like this movie. 89. PATTON (1970) 90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927) 91. MY FAIR LADY (1964) 92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951) 93. THE APARTMENT (1960) 94. GOODFELLAS (1990) Ray Liotta.....drool 95. PULP FICTION (1994) Hated this one. Just HATED it. 96. THE SEARCHERS (1956) 97. BRINGING UP BABY (1938) 98. UNFORGIVEN (1992) Probably Eastwood's best. 99. GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967) I never saw many Tracy/ Hepburn movies, but their chemistry is undeniable. 100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)

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Published on May 28 2005

WHEN 'EVERY WORD IS JUST RIGHT,' WRITING TOUCHES THE SOUL - Yahoo! News
There's no grand lesson in today's column, no little truth struggling to break into your morning, just the sense of sadness that comes with the death of a writer whose words have been forgotten -- forgotten, except of course, like whatever scrap of paper you have stuffed in a blotter, or tucked in a drawer, or slid onto a shelf, or placed in a file to be read late at night when the kids are asleep and when the memories move with a slow canter, by those who read them.

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