Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2007

Here's to 2008

It's New Year's Eve. My daughter is out with friends. She leaves early tomorrow morning to return to Boston. Fred and Ginger are dancing cheek to cheek. My cat is on my lap. My wine is within reach. Considering the year I've had, it's practically perfect.

I've been thinking about this all day and decided that I won't do resolutions. I haven't done resolutions for many years - not really. It's just another chance for me to fail myself. So this year, I thought I'd give serious thought to what I'd like my life to look like in a year. And maybe that will help me focus on what is really important and let go of all the other stuff.

So, a year from now, this is what I'd like to be different from tonight. I should like to be more kind to myself, more forgiving. I should like to worry less about my body and my diet and feel like I've made changes that are healthy and life long. I shouldn't mind being alone, but I'd prefer a sma…

Raindrop Review - ENCHANTED

ENCHANTED (Kevin Lima, 2007) is enchanting. A Disney movie that makes fun of Disney movies while being a perfect Disney movie.

Amy Adams is Princess Giselle and James Marsden is her Prince. Or is he? On their wedding day, one day after they meet, the Prince's evil stepmom lures Giselle to a wishing well and pushes her in. The well is a portal between the animated kingdom Andalasia and New York City. Giselle rises up out of a man hole into New York traffic. (A moment worth the price of admission) And quickly is lost in this world of reality. Rescued by Patrick Dempsey, Giselle proceeds to turn his world upside down with her innocence and unwavering belief in True Love.
Excellent performances all around. Everyone must have had a marvelous time - especially Susan Sarandon as the evil queen. (That's the costume I want for next Halloween!) Timothy Spall is a wonderful second banana to the queen. Idina Menzel, as the spurned love of Dempsey's Robert, was supposed to ha…

Raindrop Review: SWEENEY TODD

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd
He served a dark and an angry God.

Tim Burton's vision of Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece is dark and angry. Johnny Depp is brooding, empty, fueled by revenge. Helena Bonham Carter is surprisingly (to me) wonderful as Mrs. Lovett. And I am completely in love with this film.

Now, you must understand that I wanted to love this film. Sweeney Todd is one of my very favorite musicals and Sondheim is a god as far as I'm concerned. His skill of sculpting beauty out of rhyme and his gorgeous melodies have always captured my ear and my heart. And Sweeney Todd is his finest work, imho. The sweetest songs come out of the vilest beings from "Not While I'm Around" to "Pretty Women". (on a side note...I can die happy. Alan Rickman and Johnny Depp singing Pretty Women made me so very happy....) The lyrics are clever and poetic. And the music drives us forward to the inevitable, bloody, sad, ending.

Now to the movie itself. Fro…

Poetry Corner - Global Warming

For Winter Solstice Global Warming - written Dec. 2006
The iceberg thaws.Floes of frozen matter,Large and small, Break off and enter the vast ocean.The waters rise.Salty oceans are cooled.The heat expands the air above,And the planet is shaken.This passionate fury Of tempest and turbulenceBrings down upon usGreat suffering and pain.Homes are broken and lives are lost,And we wander without purpose,Seeking Moses in the rushes,Seeking answers in the questions,Seeking light in the dark.The Planet howls its' furyLeft too long ignored; her needs unmet -So much given and so little asked.Yet we wander on oblivious to the change that comes unbidden.We stay the course. We refuse to see."We cannot change," we cry."This is the only way."Change – and challenge – Choose possibility.Say yes.Accept the grief and loss.Ride out the storm that shook our core.And let the thaw be not in vain.Let every heart.Prepare a room.For possibility. KC McAuley

On a Desert Island

Every so often someone will ask me that question. If you were on a desert island what book would you take, what movie would you save, what music would you want? As if somehow these answers will define me once and for all. But it's a good exercise and I enjoy seeing where I am at this particular point in time. My movie hasn't changed for many many years. Children of Paradise - Les Enfant Du Paradis. I love this movie for so many reasons. Its history, its artistry, its story all appeal to the deepest romantic in me. Book - has to be the works of William Shakespeare. That will come as no surprise to those who know me.

Music is much more difficult for me. The recent request told me I had to limit my list to 10-15 pieces - just enough to fit on a CD.

There are some pieces of music that I simply adore and would have to have on my desert isle...

Rhapsody in Blue - G. Gershwin - Oscar Levant
Lacrimosa - Mozart's Requiem Mass
Violin Concerto in D - Beethoven - So many interpr…

Present(s)

Be here now.
Feel the force.
Let your light shine.
You had the power all along.
Click your heals three times....

I was watching the new SciFi miniseries TinMan - which wasn't too bad actually. I like ZooeyDeschanel and the story was a nice twist on the OZ tale. And I started thinking about Joseph Campbell and the Hero's journey and all the times in my life that I've tried to be present to what is happening in my life and not worry about what it might mean or that it might all go away. Because it always does. That's what makes friends so precious and memories so treasured. Because we only have those moments and those friends and those precious connections for a heartbeat.

It's been a year where I have had to let go of people. But mostly it's been a year where I have had to let go of me. A year where I have had to learn to be more gentle with myself - as gentle as I am with others. And where I have had to find the courage to be me, no matter what the cost.

I…

Raindrop Review - ONCE

6/20/07

Once in awhile a movie comes along with that
Once upon a time feeling of something that happens, if you're lucky,
Once in a lifetime.

Such a movie is ONCE. Frames singer Glen Hansard is 'guy' - a vacuum repairman who spends his spare time playing his guitar on the streets of Dublin. During the day he sings what people want to hear, but when the night comes and no one is around, he sings his own song. Well, no one but 'gal', Markéta Irglová, who is enchanting, beautiful, wonderful and heartbreaking. She spends her days selling flowers and magazines on the streets - but she listens to his song. The two quickly form a bond, perhaps recognizing the sense of aloneness that can so easily be hidden in this world.

The music is perfect, flowing out of the hearts of the characters. Who hasn't felt like a Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy - at least once in their life? The un-produced feel to the songs and video lend a sense of voyeurism. We are peeking in…

Working for a Life

I just finished watching an episode of LIFE and toward the end of it, something happened which got me very excited. No it wasn't the cute blond trapping Damien Lewis in the elevator and kissing him. Although I have to admit that I'd be tempted to do the same if I were in an elevator with Damien Lewis. It was the introduction of a new character and it would appear that the actor playing this new character will be none other than Titus Welliver - which for me means the appearance of another DEADWOOD alum.

One of the main characters on LIFE is played by Robin Weigert (Calamity Jane) and a recent episode featured Garrett Dillahunt (Jack McCall/Francis Wolcott). And it isn't only TV. A group of friends who discuss DEADWOOD at length - among other TV shows - took to spotting actors from DEADWOOD in other shows and movies shortly after the end of the series - premature as it was. And these actors turn up all the time. Some, like Dillahunt and Dayton Callie (Charlie Utter) a…

Where have all the writers gone?

Of course, they're on strike. I know that. You know that. But have you really thought about what's at stake here? Since I fancy myself something of a writer and since I'm using this blog here to hone my skills - I thought I'd add my own humble opinion about writers here.

Writers are my salvation. I turn to Shakespeare, Yeats, King James and even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert when I'm looking for the answer. At least once a day, a Seinfeld-ism pops into my day - from "it's in the vault" to "SALSA" to "master of my domain" And at the end of a long week, nothing soothes my soul like a new movie or TV show.

It's easy to fill the gap that the writer's strike has facilitated. I have plenty of backlog in my TiVo, a never ending list of movies to see, and boxes of videos and dvds to rewatch. I'm sure you are much the same. But I can see the horizon where I will have watched all there is of interest to me and my life …

Poetry Corner - Persephone

Persephone
KC McAuley - Sept. 2007

The ground heaved –
Great mounds of earth and rock rose up before her.
She made her way through the rough terrain,
Gingerly stepping here and there.
The mud sucked at her ankles and held her fast.A mighty chasm yawned before her and up from the darknessHe rose.
His chariot of twisted roots and hardened clay flew high above her.
Sinuous vines wrapped around her and lifted her up.
Up beside him.
Where he pulled her to him and kissed her with his sour mouth.
Down into the abyss they dove.
And blackness surrounded her.A thousand hands were on her.
A thousand mouths devoured her.
A thousand cries to Zeus she wept.
Hades slept.
At last.
Slowly she slipped the vines from her body.
Slowly she forced the hands away.
Inch by painful inch she climbed.
Up.
Up – was light.
Up – was home.
Up – was all she knew.With measured pace and careful step the darkness fell away.
Encased in mud
She stood upon the edge of the abyss
And spat into his eye.

Raindrop Review - INTO THE WILD

I've had a hard time composing my thoughts about this movie, separating what it is as a movie from what it did to me emotionally. I give up.

I can appreciate the love and compassion that Sean Penn had for Alexander Supertramp. It's evident in the care he took in making this film. The scenery is beautiful. The supporting cast of characters that Alex meets along the way are note perfect. I can appreciate the desire Christopher (Alex's real name) had to escape the world, figure the meaning of life, get away from all the artifice and pretense and the complication of emotional relationships. But when William Hurt, playing Alex's father, collapsed into the middle of the street sobbing because he doesn't know where his son is or what has happened to him - all I could think of was how selfish Chris was being.

We all have our selfish moments. We all have days, weeks, months even when what we want is all that matters and we will walk over anyone, especially those we lo…

Company

I tried something new tonight. I was looking for a way to meet new people and do something I enjoy and am pretty good at. I went to a pub quiz. I knew there would be things I would know for certain - like - What is Ophelia's relationship to Polonius? Things that I might know or could make a good guess at - like - In what movie do the Beatles sing If I Fell... ? And things I wouldn't know no matter how my brain tried - like - What is the lowest weight class in boxing?

My first clue that this wasn't my night? The pub quiz was in a gay bar. No problem for me. I was the prettiest woman in the bar. In fact I was the only woman in the bar - even once the quiz started.

Next clue - the teams were all set and the group I was supposed to be meeting wasn't showing up. So I signed up to be my own team. I had my glass of Johnny Walker Red - I'd paid my 3.00. And there wasn't any reason to head out into the cold, rainy night and go back home. Beside, I wanted to s…

Raindrop Review - THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES

There were four of us there - all women, all alone. They were perhaps lured by the prospect of Brad Pitt's blue eyes and sculpted abs. They were sadly disappointed. I was there to see what Jim Beaver called Ingmar Bergman's western. I was not.

What I saw and loved was a poem. An elegy to loss. A loss of innocence, loyalty, heroes, trust, brothers, and life itself.

We Americans love our Westerns. We love the romance of a cowboy riding alone for miles and miles. As I once said to a dear friend of mine, Cowboys don't have families. At least that's what we like to tell ourselves. But the truth is much harder to face.

The west was brutal, lonely, unbending. Trust in another wasn't given, it had to be earned. And even then it was a tenuous trust and could be broken at any moment. Loyalty was a precious commodity. Families were fragile. And heroes weren't always the good guys.

Jesse James was a hero to many. Penny westerns and newspaper accounts of his exploi…

My secret

I have a secret. I've kept this secret for years - for most of my life actually. I've kept it because I feared misunderstanding, misinterpretation, punishment, retribution. So I've kept my secret and not let it into the light.

You see - I am a woman who loves...something that nice women don't love. Something nice girls don't do - or at least they don't admit to. My secret is not something isolated in one particular part of me, but is wholly integrated into everything I do. Everything I see, taste, touch, smell, hear is part of this secret, this power in me, this energy.

I've struggled with my secret for so long, suffered so many bad experiences and tried to make myself fit into someone else's vision of what kind of woman I should be. I've finally realized that trying to shape myself into these other visions has meant denying the very thing that I love about...sex. I've been denying my own powerful, passionate, sexual, sensual self. When I…

A View from the Couch

This is the writing that led me to my name for the blog...the balcony is an online community of movie lovers that I have belonged to for many years now. I wrote this in August 2006 while recovering from surgery.

Thanks,
kat

Due to a series of circumstances that I just won't go into here, I have spent much of the past month in hospital beds, my own bed, and finally my couch. While much of the time has been spent in a medicated haze, I have had the opportunity to view a great many movies. Not new ones, due to the lack of a Netflix subscription and/or willing souls to make a video store run for me, but whatever I could find on the pay-per-view, HBO, Showtime, Turner Classics and my own library.

It has given me an amazing opportunity to rediscover some of my favorites and to make some conclusions about movies in general - at least as they apply to those of us here in the balcony. I don't presume to understand the general public's movie decisions in the least. But I've &qu…

What I think is....

(From June 2007)

My therapist said it was time. He said I was ready. Over a year of soul-searching, breakdown then build-up sessions, and he said I was ready to date. Ready to meet someone and perhaps find a partner who would be willing to walk by my side on this path I seem to be on. I'd identified my strengths and weakness. I'd examined my past relationships and determined what my expectations and losses and joys had been in each. I'd learned whatI needed and wanted from a relationship and, more importantly, I'd learned how to articulate it. Not just say it in a couple of pat phrases, but to truly articulate it. This is where I am, this iswhatI've lacked for most of my life, this iswhatI expect, need, want. These are my deal breakers. This is who I am at this point in time. That is who I was, who I pretended to be, who I assumed others needed me to be. But today - this is me. Fabulous, funny, strong, sexy, sensual, talented, creative, passionate, indep…

A survey for big people

Borrowed this from Bridgete's Blog - Living, Learning and Loving the Law. http://bridgetem.blogspot.com/



Here are some questions for the "out of high school" group...

What bill do you hate paying the most?
Rent. I love my place but I do wish I was building some equity with my monthly outpouring of cash.

Where's the best place to eat a romantic dinner?
There are so many great restaurant's in Portland, I have a hard time with this one. But I guess my very favorite is right in my own little apartment, candles and music and great wine. Makes the transition to other activity so much easier...

Last time you puked from drinking?
I was 20 and leaving a man I was very much in love with to go to college. I still think of him holding my hair back while I puked in his bathroom - how lovingly he took care of me that night and didn't take me home until I was relatively sober so as not to create havoc with my mother. I miss …

Happy Thanksgiving

My friends have been asking me to do this for some time now. They promised that if I started a blog, they would read it. We shall see...

So AJ, Brett, Nancy, Cindy, and all the rest of you - I don't promise I'll write every day. But I promise that when I have something I feel is important to say, whether it's about me or life or movies or my fabulous daughter, I will say it here.

To start with, I'll post some of my past writings. Get them out there in the world and see what happens. From there, who knows?

Here's hoping that you have a wonderful holiday and I'll be back soon.