September 20th, 2002


Kissing Jessica Stein

Nice film. A little fluffy, almost, and a little predictable in parts. It celebrates (I hate that word yet am fresh out of alternatives) the types of friendships that develop among women without being irritating and "wise".

While it is the story of two women who land in bed together, neither having had much experience in that department, and while it is easy to see that Jessica is driven there by bad experiences with men, the film does not treat all men as scum.

I loved that this film was written and directed by its two co-stars, two young women believable in the roles they chose, and I love that many of their co-stars and film crew are relatives and friends. Locations are borrowed, clothes are mostly their own, yet the quality of the photography and the sets struck me at the start, did not scream "low budget".

The character of Jessica Stein is smart yet strangely ditzy, while Helen is smart, creative, sexually driven. Jessica fills out when she allows her hurts to show, her vulnerability both attractive and a little humorous. The friends-and-family circle includes a so-with-it mother, who embraces and even broadcasts her daughter's liaison with another woman, something of a variation of Michael's mother on Queer as Folk.

The film skirts the sometimes-ugly side of living as a lesbian, yet believably so in New York City in this day and age. Nice theme, nice turns, nice ending. I recommend it.

trailer trash

I reluctantly went to a meeting of the mobile home park's homeowners tonight, at the recreation building. I don't generally like these because I am hermit-like and I know some of my neighbors don't like me. I don't take the greatest care of my lot and some of them look down on me for that. I think they also don't much like the huge tree in my front yard that drops leaves and other things all over the street. It's a beautiful tree and it gives me shade so I like it.

But this meeting was a meeting with a lawyer to discuss buying the park! I felt that was worth enduring. The lawyer was some guy from Bakersfield who thought he would be meeting with just the five-member board, and here he was facing 25-30 homeowners, some of whom were a bit disruptive.

One was a guy, fortyish, fiftyish, who appeared to have had too much to drink. He has a deep loud voice and he interrupted a lot. People outright shushed him and several people led him out of the building at various times, and he came back in. There were a few others who interrupted inappropriately but overall it wasn't too bad.

We brought food. I made some hummus after work and toasted some bread that I sliced. Actually, I sliced up some small foccaccia breads and put the slices in the oven until they were browned and crisp. THat worked very well, they were rather like herbed toasts, went well with the hummus. I also sliced up some bell pepper to go along. Most of the others brought sweets, so mine stood out a little.

I got some idea about what lies ahead in buying a park, and a sense that maybe we can pull it off but it's going to be tough. So it was good to hear that. The speaker was disorganized, probably because he was just expecting to chat with a few people, not give a presentation. Still, he's worked through a lot of these conversions so he may be of help to us.

After the lawyer left, we hung around a bit waiting for our manager to come back in because he had some news to tell us. During that time an older woman who has lived in the park even longer than I have came over to ask about Mary & Elaine. I told her what they were up to, she thought that was great, told me she now has 18 great-grandchildren! Wow! I hope that I get to be as perky as she is when I have great-grandchildren.

Another woman came up to me and said, "Now don't be mad, but I want to ask you something. Did you have gastric bypass surgery?"

I laughed and said no. She said wow, I did it the hard way. She plans on having this surgery. I said for me it was a matter of starting over infinitely. She said she just can't do it, and I said we all have to do what works for us, that I knew two others who have done it or are about to.

Then, on my way out the door the president of our association asked me about the hummus, what it is, and said she just loved it, wants the recipe. So that was nice.

I have to admit that as I sat there looking around the thought crossed my mind: " I don't want to grow old with these people". Yet they are no better or worse than anyone else. I must be prejudiced. What also crossed my mind was my idea, from a while back, of having an architectural tour featuring "trailer trash". I really think it would be a big seller. My house would be on the list. And there could be the one where the owners never take out the trash. And the one around the corner that is pristine, has original art on walls. The full range.

At least the event was entertaining, got me thinking.

the knee

My right knee has been so bad today. It is almost as bad as the day it flared up in June. I was limping around so much at work that three people asked me about it. Normally nobody notices because I am able to maintain a steady walk. I am tempted to take some drugs, whatever might be around, to get through the night mainly.