Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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another reason to keep texts

Back in the fall of 1994, one of the very first classes I took in college was Art of the Film, which was taught by an aging horny duffer who has now passed.

I didn't enjoy the class much at all. Which was odd -- what was there not to like? On Mondays I'd show up at the library and watch a movie for a couple hours and then return Friday to talk about the movie.

I think there was a few reasons for this: First of all,I was uncomfortable with the prof's advances towards his students, especially me. (Eep!) Secondly, he chose films that were mostly about sex, usually weird sex. Oh, and violence, too. (For example, he once showed a film -- one I was mostly absent for, though he showed us a few shots on the day of discussion -- where a man and a woman are in the middle of coitus when he shoots her and then himself. And when one of the students commented on a part of the film where the female lead appears nude for a brief moment the prof had to find the spot to watch it with us because he missed it the first time. And that was the only reason -- he just wanted to catch a glimpse of her naked body.) Finally, I was eighteen and right out of small town Idaho. If I were to take the class now, I might get more out of it. Perhaps not. A few years after I took it, another professor taught it and showed films directed by people such as John Ford and Orson Welles. I think I would have enjoyed that one.

Now, this is not to say that the class wasn't beneficial somehow. For example, I really enjoyed the textbook. As a matter of fact, I have pulled it out again and am rereading it and examining it in light of this writing thing I've been involved in. And I've learned some cool stuff. And anyway, I just dig movies.

Also, this is the class where I was introduced to Harold and Maude and Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, both of which instantly became two of my favorite movies.

I also learned that I didn't want to take any theater classes; he was one of the primary instructor's in the theater department. If he hadn't have been, I may have considered a minor in theater, at least for a while.


Yesterday I felt like crap, but it was still a good day. I read some Billy Collins (I <3, no, I <4 Billy Collins), I wrote a poem, I read by myself and with the kids, we played quiet games, I made spoon bread with mushrooms and cheese and dijon potato and kale stew, we watched A Wrinkle in Time, which was very disappointing in so many ways, but was worth it for the special features (a conversation with Madeleine L'Engle, whom I also <4), and rested. We listened to lovely music, like Bach, and enjoyed the Happy Chair*.

This day looks to be a good one, too.


*We have an old broad orange rocking-type chair we inherited from Rice's parents. It's so comfy. I have spent many hours over the years reading in it, napping in it (with and without babies), lounging in it, though not so much in the last few years and I think that's because it's been downstairs and I just don't relax down there -- not enough light, I suppose. We have currently moved it upstairs so the new owner can come and get it. The new owner is a divorced young woman who lives down the hill who has a baby just a wee bit older than William and has very little, e.g. no chairs. It's a really sad story and she's such a sweetheart. I really adore her. We offered her a couple of chairs we don't use much, including the orange chair. I hope she enjoys it.

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