Saturday, April 30, 2011


I must confess, I am a serial eavesdropper.  Most writers are, I think.  After all what better character fodder is there than the conversation of strangers?  Of course, I don't go out of my way to hear what is obviously intended to be secret, but if people discuss things loudly in public places, they must take the consequences.  I like catching bits and pieces rather than whole conversations, and yes, I am quite easily amused.  Sometimes I jot the best things down, and today I went back through some of my old notebooks and unearthed these gems:

At the coffeehouse:

       "The secret to long life is to keep moving.  They can't bury you if you keep moving."

At the Campbell House, where I used to volunteer... always a goldmine:

       "People used to fall down stairs and die all the time.  It was really common back         then." (Speaking of the early Twentieth Century)

       "That was a 'picture box'.  It's how they watched movies." (Looking at a music box from the same period)

        "But it's a maid, and it's making food!" (A little boy, after seeing me in the kitchen, when his mother called him back upstairs)

        "The chest was made from wood from the Black Forest, from Sherwood Forest!" (This woman clearly thought they were the same place.  Completely aside from this geographical inconsistency, the chest, to the best of my knowledge, is not related to either forest.)
        "Did you hear that babies can't digest pickles all the way?"

And the latest, overheard yesterday when I was at lunch:

        "Now tell me, why would you want to sit diagonally?"

I will always regret that for that last I was sitting with my back to the people involved.

I purchased new pointe shoes yesterday, just in time to get them properly broken in before the show.  I love the smell of new pointe shoes.  It's strangely reminiscent of a saddle shop.  Also took myself to see the new Jane Eyre as a special treat to break up the errands.  Definitely the best version I've seen.  It's something that's been done so often you'd think there'd be nothing new there, but I feel it did the best job of capturing the spirit of the book.  Always there is the difficulty of making the Jane/Rochester relationship not too creepy.  In the book you're in her head.  You understand it.  But it's hard, I think, to transfer that to the screen.  It always seems to end in a compromise, either making Mr. Rochester younger, or getting an older actress to play the eighteen-year-old Jane.  Mia Wasikowska is the first Jane I've seen who is actually the right age, and Michael Fassbender is the perfect Rochester.  Of course, it's always good to see Judi Dench, and I've liked Jamie Bell ever since I saw him first as Smike in Nicholas Nickleby.  They also keep the eerie feel of the book, which seems to be missing from any of the film versions I've seen.  Altogether, they've managed to escape the trend of turning it into just another "period British drama".  I'll stop now, but it's definitely worth seeing, even for people who are not usually fans of period British film.

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