Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The color of thunder

Lily was in a very poetic frame of mind when I put her to bed. I sat with her for a little while and held her hand while we listened to the rain, "The rain sounds like pebbles falling on the ocean floor." I wasn't expecting her language to be so metaphorical at her age.

The rain got heavier, and she was worried that it might storm. She said "Sometimes I think that thunder sounds like a dinosaur roaring up in the clouds and I get scared by that. I know it's not really a dinosaur, but I still get scared."

Hmmm...I think there's a haiku in there.

Sound of stones on the
sea floor. Ah! That dino scared
the shit out of me!

Ha! Lily's not the only poet in the family!

Later on I asked her what type of animal she would be if she could be any animal, she answered, "A butterfly. But an invisible butterfly, so birds won't eat me."

After she went to sleep, Jen and I watched Up in the Air. It starred George Clooney and Anna Kendrick, who plays Scott Pilgrim's sister. Clooney plays a motivational speaker and consultant who travels up and down in the world and to and fro, firing people in person for bosses who can't do it themselves. Anna Kendrick is a recent college grad who wants to fire people over the internet. Clooney doesn't like the idea, so Jason Bateman, their boss puts them both on the road together.

Clooney as Bingham reminded me of my old boss, the Autistic Robot, an impression that was reinforced when he gives his lecture on never checking baggage. I used to travel a bit and the Robot had been doing it for ages, and he was HUGE into never checking baggage if he could help it at all. I agreed with him, and this was actually something I had come up with on my own. I mean, it's not exactly rocket science. Checking your baggage is a hassle and it takes forever. I think it's sold as a bigger revelation than it is in the movie. This is something that never occurred to a 23-year-old rising star? Really?

J.K. Simmons was in it. I mean, it is a Jason Reitman film. I was hoping his part would be bigger. As I mentioned a couple months ago, I ran into his cousin when I was visiting Tim in New Hamster. I was going on about how much I enjoyed the soundtrack in Juno and she said, "Oh, my cousin's in that," and I was like "Really, which part?" and she said the dad, and I was like "J.K. Simmons?"

In Up in the Air, his character is getting fired and he he shows a photo of his two children to George Clooney, and I thought it might be the girl I met, but according the imdb, it's a photo of Simmons' own kids. He's still awesome, but the part is too small! When will American filmmakers learn that what every movie needs is more J.K. Simmons?!

The movie itself...I don't know if it's some kind of meta-textual commentary, but I just didn't feel the connection that I did with other movies. On an intellectual level, it's sad and horrible when it's discovered that the woman who committed suicide in exactly the way she said she would comes up and a.)The only reason Jason Bateman gives a shit is to protect the company from liability and b.)Clooney can't even remember her, but it didn't resonate emotionally with me.

On the other hand, that may have been the whole point of the scene, and the larger point of the movie, that this lifestyle will insulate you and leave you numb to the troubles of other human beings.

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