So I go find my stepfather. He has no idea why the Charter guys are there. He stands out there on the porch and calls my mother. She has no idea why the Charter guys are there. "[House number]?" asks Charter Guy Actually Wearing an Employee Shirt. "Yeah, that's us," I say. It's about that time that Casual Wednesday Guy goes, "Oh, we're supposed to be across the street." You know... even though they had the right number. So they saunter back to their van, and as my stepfather's trying to get back into the house--and bear in mind here that I am actually leaning down and holding the dogs by the scruffs of their necks at this point--Shelby slips between his feet and bolts out into the front yard.
I have some pictures of them I'm going to post sometime, but the thing you need to know is that Shelby has these long coltish legs. "She's all arms and legs," as my mother is fond of saying (to which I usually reply, stealing from L.M. Montgomery, "Well, they have to be long enough to reach the ground"). The other thing you need to know is that, as I have said many, many times, I am built like a hobbit. A particularly unathletic, slothy hobbit. Actually, now that I mention it, I wasn't wearing shoes, either. So while my stepfather goes to find a leash, I'm out in the front yard screaming and flailing because Shelby is heading almost directly for the street, and all I can think is, Those two guys are such morons that they will probably run her over.
The third thing you have to know, however, is that I can tear it up when shit is on the line. I remember evading a third baseman (basegirl?) during my softball days--I think she chased me down all the way to home plate, and she missed me by about an inch. I know, because she ran into me after I'd crossed the plate. And then there's the time I was on a school trip, waiting in a dinky Bahamian airport for our plane, and our professor assured us that it had been delayed another twenty minutes. So I stroll over to the restroom, and when I come out, the concourse--which was previously wall-to-wall with antsy passengers--was dead cold empty. I saw my professor standing at the very end of the concourse. I was weighed down like a packhorse with a large suitcase and a backpack. All I remember to this day was sheer terror that I would be left behind--the first time I had ever been out of the country--and cheap carpet pounding beneath my feet. I booked it like Carl Lewis, is what happened. Later, my professor told me--laughing--in her Slovakian-accented English, "I never saw anybody run that fast before."
So here I am, six years later, double-timing it around the yard and shrieking. Shelby is what my stepfather grimly calls "a free spirit," and she is having the time of her life--I can actually see the grin on her face when she wheels around to get away from me. She knows when she's being bad, and she will duck and feint with the best of them if you try to grab her. I think she got near the street twice, but I was sprinting after her so hysterically that both times even she knew to back off. It ended up that George went "Hey, Shelby! Treat!" and leashed her up pretty easily. You know, after I'd done all the hard work for him.
Meanwhile, Sister Girl came across me grimly watching X-Men 3 for the third or fourth time on cable a couple of weeks ago and asked--particularly in light of the fact that I didn't like the movie--"How many times are you going to watch that?" "Until it gets funny," I said. So at the moment I'm watching the first two POTC movies, not so much until they get funny, but until I get familiar with them on a macrocosmic level, if that makes any sense. Which is to say: until I start seeing the forest instead of the trees. Because I have a feeling that the only way to parody the POTC movies will be to do all three as a single parody, keep it very short, and focus on the plot convolutions, the whole "Wait, what are we supposed to be doing now?" idea. As I've said before, I feel like The Prestige is a little bit my model in that regard; I condensed almost every single scene with Borden's long-suffering wife into a single segment. Let's put it this way: I think it can be done, but it'll have to be done more as a small treat than the centerpiece of the book. Emphasis on small.
To that end, I listened to a few of the commentaries (again) on the first two movies, and noticed a few things that only now make sense:
>> The writers talk about how Jack is treated as "a god in human form" on the cannibal island, and how that echoes something in POTC3--as we know now, Calypso.
>> The point of that whole sequence, by the way, was apparently to explain "why Jack couldn't just stay on land": No matter where he goes, he gets into trouble. Now, what the point of the fruit kabob was relative to that, they did not say.
>> The reason that a lot of people have been so confused and frustrated by the two sequels--seriously, I've heard from a number of people who are actually angry about them--can probably be pinpointed at an exact moment in the POTC2 commentary when one of the writers says that they went out of their way to do as Billy Wilder once advised and "Give the audience two plus two, but not four." Letting the audience do the math on their own (rather than forcefeeding them exposition) is great and all, but I'm not sure it's the best idea when you've got a storyline that can already be, to use the technical screenwriting term, Hella Confusing at times. I mean, I can follow the plots, but I can see how they'd frustrate a lot of people. I'm just saying, Two Plus Two is a great way to stop treating your viewers like morons, but sometimes you need to go back and make sure that the audience realizes numbers are there to be added up in the first place. Or, in other words, they did go out of their way to make the movie intentionally puzzling at times, in the best sense of the word--to make it a puzzle for people to play with. They do specifically mention that they wanted "discussion of the movie[s] to be a community experience." So, you know, go us, I guess.
>> I don't know if they intended this as any kind of foreshadowing, but Jack saying "You know, as a captain, I can perform a marriage" seems to have added significance now.
>> The writers do, however, point out that Wyvern--the Flying Dutchman crewmember who is already part of the ship--saying, "Stab the heart--no, don't stab the heart! The Dutchman must have a captain!" does, in fact, hint at the idea that the curse is more complicated than Will currently thinks it is.
>> I had never quite understood what the hell was going on with Jack and his compass, because I couldn't think what he was confused about wanting; for some reason, I thought that he wouldn't really think about Elizabeth until she actually showed up on the docks, maybe because he'd told her "It would never work out between us" at the end of the first one. Not because he believed that, of course--more in the sense of sour grapes, you know, she played me for a fool so I was the one who didn't want her, I'm moving on. I understand him going after her again once she shows up, but apparently the original order of the scenes--Jack escaping from the prison in the coffin, then the interrupted wedding--was supposed to show you the progression from "What's wrong with Jack?" to "Oh, he's got Elizabeth on the brain." I like it better the way they ended up cutting it, with the almost-spooky not-wedding up front, but as with the third movie, information gets lost as a tradeoff. So apparently all these references to Jack not knowing what he wants most, or "being afraid to claim it for himself," or "Why is the rum always gone?," or him being the one to answer, "A woman," when Tia Dalma asks what vexes a man most--these are all supposed to be references to Elizabeth. Well, I are not smart, because I didn't catch that.
>> The thing that does crack me up is how Rossio and Elliott repeatedly intone "THE LOOOOOCKEEEEET" every time one shows up.
>> Somewhat oddly, someone mentions musicals on the first movie's commentary--something like, "What's next for Johnny, musicals?" And then on the second movie, the writers actually mention Sweeney Todd, but in the context of Norrington and his sword. Weirrrrd.
Strikethrough '07: "When Perverted Justice calls you a moron, it's bad." And then: "Well, we really screwed this one up…"
Medics fear fliers exposed to TB superbug. Do you ever see a headline like this and wonder if our own personal apocalyptic Michael Crichton thriller just started?
$1M gold tub stolen from hotel in Japan. ... How?
Microsoft unveils new Surface computer.
Man described as a top spammer arrested.
Zoo: Rare rhino death leaves 13 in world.
I love the idea of unionized lolcats.
Today In Soft Outings: Actor You Long Believed To Be Gay Is Confirmed As Gay.
The Summer Tv Wasteland: Mark Burnett Slaps Eye-Patch On 'Survivor,' Resells It As New Pirate-Themed Show.
Yahoo Picks: The best of craigslist.
Annette Bening and Eva Mendes Join 'The Women.' I love the 1939 version, but I'm actually really excited about this.
Deschanel is Happening for Shyamalan.
K-Fed Lands Movie Role Opposite Keanu Reeves. Why? Whyyyy?
Hi-Res Dark Knight Photos.
Sin City 2 Still on, But It Will Have to Wait. *sob*
First Snaps of Leo DiCaprio From 'Revolutionary Road' Set.
Reese Witherspoon Will Remake Claudette Colbert's 'Midnight.'
'I Am Legend' Trailer Reportedly Attached to 'Ocean's 13.'
Gaiman writing and directing adaptation of Death: The High Cost of Living?
'Half Nelson' Team Will Write 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics.'
New "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" Theme Park Announced for Universal Studios.
"Check out Dominic Monaghan in period grave-robbing flick, I SELL THE DEAD!!!" Well... that's a headline you're not going to see every day.
And now, I have to go back downstairs and make sure the puppies haven't set the house on fire.