First things first: A friend lost her husband to cancer yesterday. Tell all your loved ones that you love them today.
I added three things to the birthday list yesterday.
I started off the day by visiting the Prescott House. I’ve now seen all of the historic homes in Boston proper. The Prescott House is in a great location that overlooks Boston Common. The home was built by a prosperous merchant in 1808, and later sold to William Prescott. Prescott was a well-known historian of his day and one of the first Americans to write about Spanish history.
I returned home and began the lotion experiment. I was slightly daunted by the number of ingredients.
I had to buy a kitchen scale to measure out such minuscule measurements as .1 oz. I mixed, I heated, I blended. And the finished product was the consistency of soup. I rushed over to the computer to find a remedy for the situation. I read that I should add more wax, add more stearic acid, add corn starch. I tried all three. Still soupy. I sighed and put it in the fridge, hoping a miracle would happen.
I later read that lotion needs to “cure” for more than 12 hours. So when I woke up this morning, voila! Lotion.
After cleaning up the lotion explosion in the kitchen, I sat down to watch The Best Years of Our Lives. It’s #37 in the top 100 movies list. It came out in 1946 and follows three men returning to their small American town after WWII. They deal with disability, PTSD, job searching, hasty pre–war marriages…I thought it was very well done. The Academy thought so as well; it won seven Oscars.
I need to have a few more triple-play days if I want to finish the list by the end of the summer. We shall see…
I don’t remember hearing about Oscar Grant III, the young black man who was fatally shot by a transit officer in a BART station on New Year’s Day 2009. A story such as this is hard to forget.
I saw a sneak preview of the film Fruitvale Station last night. The film chronicles Oscar’s final day on Earth. It is almost completely based on the true story, as the writer and director was in attendance at the screening and told us that just a few scenes were dramatized. In writing the script, he combed through all of the court documents from the transit officer’s trial and interviewed Oscar’s family.
It’s a beautiful, shocking, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking film. I left the theater feeling shell-shocked and exhausted from holding back sobs throughout the film. Not only is the story itself gripping, but the acting was superb. I had never seen Michael B. Jordan in anything before. Wow. And I think I could be riveted by watching Octavia Spencer watching paint dry.
I hope this film enjoys a wide release and opens up conversations about how we as a society can work toward lowering the number of Oscar Grants, Trayvon Martins, and Sean Bells in this country.
I have few vivid childhood memories to speak of, but one of them is the final scene of Family Ties. I remember that Alex and Ellen were in a train station and I remember the song that was playing. “At This Moment” by Billy Vera. This song makes my heart wrench because it reminds me of my first love who I let slip away. Oh, the agony of first love!
I hadn’t listened to the song in years, so came home tonight and googled it. I found this clip of the Family Ties finale.
R.I.P, Gary, and thanks for creating this poignant memory.
Having visited South Berwick, Maine, yesterday, I am halfway done with the birthday list. Phew.
Linda and I visited two lovely historic homes. Our first stop was the Sarah Orne Jewett House. I had heard her name before and knew that she was an author. After visiting her house, I’ll be looking for her books at the library! She was published by the Atlantic Monthly at age 19. Amazing! She was taken under the wing of James Fields (Atlantic publisher) and his wife, and was introduced to Hawthorne and Emerson and other luminaries. What a time to be a writer in New England.
The house was owned by her grandfather, and he left it to her and her older sister. They were into the Arts and Crafts movement, which I love. So I really enjoyed seeing the different rugs and wallpapers in that style.
When Sarah’s friends the Tysons were looking for a summer home, she told them about nearby Hamilton House. John Hamilton was a successful shipping captain who built a mansion overlooking the Salmon Falls River. His children were not as successful in the family business and put the house up for sale. Emily Tyson and her stepdaughter Elise snatched it up. The house itself is beautiful but I preferred the grounds. There is a lovely garden and water on two sides of the house. I love the idea of a “summer house.” When I win the lottery that I never play, one of my first purchases will be a summer house on a river, lake, or ocean.
I also found degus, one of which who gnawed on my finger.
I opened my mailbox today to find a job advertisement for the Wegmans store that will be opening a mere two miles from my apartment next spring.
Is it spring yet?
I’m currently listening to the Sonny Rollins CD I bought over the weekend. #18 on the birthday list. Most of the jazz CDs I own are of the jazz pianist variety, so listening to a jazz saxophonist is a fun change-up. Sonny is playing in Boston this fall, so I hope to see him perform live.