What woke me at 2:57 this morning was a loud rap-rap. It sounded like wood on wood. Kinda loud. I sat upright, all systems alert. Bemoaning I no longer had a dog. "Who's there?" came out of my mouth. No answer... So I got up and tensely looked out every window, turning on the outside lights. No rain, no wind, no explanation. I can't go back to sleep so I play computer games till 5 when I decide to go back to bed for an hour before I have to rise and get ready for pilates class at 7:15. It was during one of our difficult stretches on the balance ball when I suddenly got an insight. "Ah, I thought, its an early rising pilliated woodpecker." I felt calmer almost immediately. It could be I'm right, or it could be that holding the posture was just so taxing I could think of nothing else.
Are you a movie buff? I hardly qualify for the designation for I probably have seen only four or five movies a year throughout my 82 years, but when I see or hear a good reviewer rave about a film I usually summon my assets and take the plunge. In years of elections I even cock my ear to the testimony of presidential candidates as to their favorite movies. (Then I promptly forget them.)
When asked what movies in 2012 he would see again Obama cited Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, and Argo. The latter is coming up soon as a free Sunday movie here in my retirement community, a Sunday ritual.
When I was little there was a different ritual about movies. We didn't always have a car but when we did and when my mother happened to be around she would drive my sis and I to the Palomar theater in downtown Seattle on Friday nights where a vaudeville show preceded the movie. At that time the Palomar was located in borderline skid row. I wonder if it still exists? We would sit in the loge balcony so she could smoke. She would bring butterfinger candy bars for us all and sometimes blankets. She would make kind of a nest there, first row, as if we were camping or at the beach. She'd always wanted to be an actress and so she was right in her element. My sis and I would fall asleep, as it was always a double feature and the films boring to us. I particularly remember giving up trying to understand The Grapes Of Wrath.
Roger Ebert, who died Thursday, has long fascinated me for his candor, crispness, and courage. Since his real voice was stilled due to throat and jaw cancer he has continued to enthrall us through electronic voice. Not a complainer or wimp was he. I'm moved by one of his recent observations:
"We must try to contribute joy to the world," said Roger Ebert. "That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."