Friday, October 15, 2004

Throw my ticket in the wind

I was an official grandparent yesterday: at Molly's school, it was Grandparents Day, and a little inexplicably she asked me to attend with her. So there I am, running around with the Geritol set, seeing their classrooms and their cute little presentations. Just too cute. And she was so excited. She'd introduce me to her friends by pointing to me, saying, "Hey, Justin, look." And Justin would look. She's in kindergarden and it's all very "awesome" for her.

She did, however, point out Christina, the girl who is mean to her. I offered to run over Christina's little feet, but Molly just looked at me like I was nuts.

The typical response.

***

I mentioned the other day that one of my classes has discovered this blog, that I've a book, and that I have a reading on campus in a couple of weeks. Two of them, Taylor and Graf, are cooking up something. "We've decided what we're going to do for your reading," Taylor announced yesterday. Considering they were tossing around ideas like doing huge banners on Tuesday, I imagine, knowing them, they've progressed to something infinitely more rock and roll.

An anecdote: Graf is a few minutes tardy one day. He walks in, apologizes, saying he has "a bagpipe situation."

***

I've been showing A Touch of Evil to one of my classes over the past week. Orson Welles as Hank Quinlan, a ruined, corrupt near-corpse of a cop in a Texas border town, and, this is the best part, Charlton Heston as Vargas, a Mexican narcotics agent. Yes, Heston plays a Mexican, which meant wearing a lot of dark make-up. It's such a great movie. So noir, but utterly modern in its camera work. Welles was just a genious. Famously, the movie was taken away from him and re-edited, destroying much of the brilliant unbroken tracking shot's tension. He begged to be given the picture back, writing a 58-page memo on how to rebuild the film to its original status but was never allowed. Four or five years ago it was restored and restructured according to his notes and it's one of my favorite movies. Just classic. It was interesting to see which students got into it and which of them just zoned out.

***

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a bagpipe situation that requires my attention.

6 comments:

Eduardo C. Corral said...

LOL. I can't picture you running over that little mean girl's foot. And yes, kids at that age are beyond cute. I taught for Head Start for two years, & my students were such amazing little people.

*

I started reading Louise's Lark book this week, & I'm under her spell. Swoon. Swoon. New Issues has released quite a few good books recently. Ugly covers & all. :)

I'm gonna order Wendy's book sometime next week. I love buying books directly from the authors. Wendy, if you're reading this, email me.

Danny Pitt Stoller said...

Yeah, at my old elementary school they now call it "Grandparent's and Special Person's Day"; I think they're being sensitive to the kids who don't have grandparents, or who have other "special people" not normally acknowledged.

My little sister is eleven, now a middle schooler, but last year she was in fifth grade and I went back to my old school as her Special Person. Our grandparents died when I was in high school, while my sister was still teensy, so she never got the full Grandparent's Day experience.

Michael said...

Throw my mattress out there too. Throw my letters in the sand, 'cause you got to understand that tonight I'll be staying here with you. Get ready!

Anonymous said...

RE: A TOUCH OF EVIL. I was always so intrigued by this film because Heston is, essentially, in "brown face." If it had been "black face" there would have been something of an uproar even at the time of the film, but because it is such a complex portrayal of a Mexican (and because the movie deals with the racism of the border) it has been a forgiveable act--the deliberate darkening of a white actor's face to make him look ethnic. Also, if I remember correctly, there was much sexual tension between the Heston character and his white leading lady, therefore negotiating interracial relationships as well. Way before it's time, that's for sure. And Welles' performance and director's cut is absolutely superb.

A Mexican Writer

Liv said...

can i use your quote about the bagpipes?

Paul said...

Go right ahead, feel free...