Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

I Don’t Even Know What to Title This One

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Friday night is usually movie and pizza night for the family, unless T. and I have plans. This week, we were supposed to go out to dinner with friends for my birthday. (44. My God. But that is a post for another day.) Instead, the weather interfered and we stayed home and watched documentaries (Muscle Shoals and History of the Eagles) with our friend Terri. (If you haven’t seen Muscle Shoals, you need to immediately – my third viewing was as great as my first. Parts of it actually give me goosebumps.)

On Saturday, we decided to watch another movie. Tills spent the night out, so we watched with R. He’s 12, so we can watch a little more with him than we can with her. We usually pick movies out and run them by Common Sense Media. (A great site that tells you exactly what subjects are in a movie.)

We didn’t this time, and we probably should have. T. and I had both seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower before, and I read the book. R. had already read The Fault in Our Stars, so he has read some stuff with more mature subject matter. We didn’t remember anything particularly questionable in the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower, except that I did remember it had the subject of child molestation in it. I said, “Well, we can discuss that with him, if he even notices it.” I don’t think he did notice it in the midst of all the other OH GOD I FORGOT ABOUT THIS PART stuff.

Within five minutes, it was going something like this:

[Main character sees his older sister being smacked around by her pony-tailed boyfriend. She begs her little brother to not tell their parents. She says she can handle it.]

Me: “You ever see anything like that, you totally tell your parents, you understand me?”

R: “Okay, mom.” [Rolls eyes.]

[Movie references blowjobs.]

R: “What’s a blowjob?”

Me: “Uh, let’s watch the movie and we’ll explain later. You will probably want dad to explain it.” [I smirk at T.]

[Characters drive through a tunnel and one of them stands up in the back of the moving truck.]

Me: “Do not EVER stand up in the back of a moving truck.”

R: “That is so stupid. Why would they do that. Stupid.”

Me: [Oh my god, thank you for him thinking that is a stupid thing to do.]

[Kid in movie takes three brownies at a party, proceeds to get really, really high.]

Me: “Never take brownies from someone at a party in high school. People put marijuana in brownies sometimes.”

[Later, at another party, kid takes a hit of acid.]

Me: “If someone has a piece of paper at a party, don’t put it on your tongue.”

R. looks at me like I’m off my rocker.

Me: “People put hallucinogenic drugs on pieces of paper. Like LSD.”

Me: [Why the hell are these people letting their freshman kid go off with these seniors all the time?]

Interestingly, R. had a full understanding of and zero questions about the gay characters. The only part that we had to explain was that in the year that this movie was set, it was probably harder to be a gay teen, it was less accepted, and that is why the gay football player hid it from his Dad and schoolmates and why his dad beat him up, and why the kids got in a fight in the cafeteria. I’m taking this one as a win and a pretty awesome thing that he didn’t question much of it and didn’t realize that parents might not accept that a child was gay.

He did at one point ask if Charlie, the main character, was crazy. Charlie does try to kill himself and he ends up institutionalized, but in the end he gets help. We told him to watch, but that some bad things had happened to Charlie (his friend committed suicide – only mentioned in the film, but not shown as part of the story – and his aunt molested him and then died in a car crash and he felt responsible for that). But I think all of that went right over R’s head.

There were also some teens kissing and a little groping, and in true Palmer family tradition, T. and I sang “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” during those parts.

At the end of the movie, I got a little misty, because I actually really like the movie and loved the book. I asked R. what he thought and he said, “It was kind of boring.” Which T. and I laughed about later, because usually if R. really finds something boring, he will get up and walk away. He was tired and it was late, so I told him good night and to let us know tomorrow if he wanted to ask questions about the stuff in the movie.

Today, all four of us met my sister Lisa, nephew Dash, and my mom for lunch. Tiller got a little upset at the restaurant about having to leave for her girl scout meeting before getting her dessert. (My sister eats there at least once a week and we know the manager by name, and he gave the kids free dessert.)  So, Todd left to take Tills to her girl scout meeting, and R. and I rode back with mom, Lisa, and Dash to Lisa’s place. I drove Mom’s car, because I was going to drop them all off at Lisa’s, then go look at records. I said something about T. crying at the dinner table.

Mom: “Well, she is getting hormonal. I expect she’ll start her period before long.”

Me: “What? No.”

Mom: “I started in 5th grade.”

Me: “You did?”

Lisa: “Anne and I were both late. We were 14.”

Me: [sigh]

Dash: “What’s a period?”

Rollie: “Yeah. What’s a period?”

Dash: “You don’t know what a period is?”

Rollie: “Well, I know about the period at the end of a sentence.”

Me: “Rollie, you didn’t learn about periods at Fernbank when you learned about puberty?”

Dash: “What’s puberty?”

Rollie: “No.”

Me: “It’s also called ‘menstruation.’ They didn’t talk about that? You just learned about male puberty? It’s kind of like when you get hair under your arms and on your genitals. Except girls also menstruate.”

Dash: “Oh, that puberty!”

[Mom, Lisa, and I bust out laughing.]

Me: “Rollie, I’ll explain later, okay?”

Rollie: “Okay. You also need to explain what a blowjob is.”

Mom, Lisa, and I exploded in laughter. I was lucky that I was in the parking lot of Lisa’s condo at that point, because I just put on the brakes and cried laughing. And, of course, Mom and Lisa had no idea how the subject of blowjobs even came up in the first place. We tried to pull ourselves together, and I finally told them all to get out of the car.

Mom: “No, Annie, I’d really like to hear you explain this one.”

I turned around in the car and wiped the tears out of my eyes and looked very seriously at Rollie.

Me: “Baby, you know I love you, right?”

Rollie nods at me.

Me: “Please trust me when I say that you do not want me to explain this to you in front of your cousin, aunt, and grandma. Okay? We will talk about it tonight, okay?”

I managed to get everyone out of the car and when I got home, I told Todd he definitely needed to have that discussion with Rollie sooner than later.

I swear, I really don’t know what I’m doing with this parenting thing sometimes, but I always feel that honesty and openness is the best path. That being said, I’m super glad that T. will be explaining this one. Although I kind of wish that I could see video of R’s face when he hears what it is, because that is going to be comedy gold.

And So We’re Told This is the Golden Age

Friday, January 1st, 2016

I often have grand ideas about end of year posts, New Year’s posts, the marking of the passage of time, and what it all means. This isn’t one of those posts.

I stayed up until 3 am with friends. I slept late in a bed fit for a queen. I awakened to coffee and bacon, and no hangover. I visited my sister and drank a cup of coffee with our families and dogs. I talked and laughed at a bar and drank a pitcher of beer with my best friend (spoiler: also my sister) while waiting on takeout barbecue, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. It was okay that this year I didn’t make them myself. I met my first stranger of the year, a sculptor named Nate who goes by Hugh, and I hit the jackpot and brought home a brown paper sack full of beer bottle caps for my son’s bottle cap collection.

I stuffed myself on beer, bbq, prosperity, and good luck while watching a movie with most of my favorite people. I am terrible about seeing movies in the theater. I always find other things to do, or to spend my money on. Even when they are on Netflix, it takes a while to get around to seeing them. So, for instance, I saw Grand Budapest Hotel in the theater, but had not gotten around to watching Moonrise Kingdom. Honestly, Lisa, Todd, and I were going to watch Love and Mercy (I was going to invite Kristin to come over and bring Danny Noonan the puppy!), but the sound was messed up, so we settled for Moonrise Kingdom.

Two things: First of all, I love Wes Anderson movies, but I find them completely overwhelming from a sensory and nostalgia standpoint. I find myself constantly distracted by thoughts like “I really need to wear more mustard and khaki,” or “I miss smoking,” or “Holy crap! My parents had that ashtray with the plaid beanbag bottom!” or “That’s totally what Tang packaging looked like when I was a kid!” or “If I were pregnant right now? My kid would totally be getting a Moonrise Kingdom-themed nursery!” Then I have to reign myself back in to even pay attention to what is going on.

Secondly, I had to watch it, because a few folks told us that our son was like Sam in Moonrise Kingdom. We spend a time or two a year yurting with friends. In the fall, we go to Fort Yargo (in Winder, near Athens) and spend a weekend on a peninsula. We have our own canoes. And now that the kids are all older, we slap lifejackets on them, send them off in the canoes, and pour a drink on dry land. This past October, our kids exercised their freedom in the natural world. And my son was a lone trailblazer. He would wake up and before I had finished my coffee, he was out in the canoe, shirtless at times, heading for the beach across the lake, all by himself. He wanted to be in that canoe by himself. He wanted to feel that quiet that you get in the middle of a lake by yourself, and to go somewhere that no one else is, and where none of your people can see you. We hear tell that he beached the canoe and swam by himself. I guess I am a terrible parent for letting my kid canoe out of my sight across an acre or more of lake, and for letting him swim unattended, but I think our kids never have enough time alone exploring nature, so I am willing to chance it. As he headed off numerous times that weekend (I think he may have done 3 or 4 trips out alone on the lake by himself each day), our friends commented that he was “like that kid in Moonrise Kingdom.” I knew enough of Anderson’s movies to know that might be a compliment, but it also meant, well, he’s kind of weird, but then the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. So, I was looking forward to finally seeing the movie to see a glimpse of what others were seeing in my son.

I saw it, too. His curiosity, independent streak, desire to explore, need to be and do things alone, and his innate craving to be in nature. I’m okay with the comparison.

After, Lisa and Dash went home, I decided to write while listening to my new records. Todd bought me a few albums: Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model; Squeeze’s 45’s and Under; U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky; Prince’s Prince; Simon And Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits; Joni Mitchell’s Hejira. (The Joni Mitchell album deserves a post all it’s own, but I’m working up to that one. Still thinking on it.)

I put on U2, because I’m obvious like that. Rollie sat down next to me with his Sherlock Holmes book, and he let me play with his hair. (He’s 12. I don’t get to play with his hair much longer, so I’m trying to take advantage of times like that.) We talked about U2, and we looked at the album cover, and I showed him photos of Red Rocks online.

I wrote some more while he read at my side. He asked if I would play “Cecilia” and I said “Yes, but we’re listening to the whole album.” His two favorite songs right now are Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” It is not lost on me that this is fucking awesome. I told him how much my mom loves Simon and Garfunkel, and how much I love them, and how we would listen to Simon and Garfunkel on 8-track, and when “The Boxer” came on, I told him that one made me cry, and he said “why?” and I told him to just listen to the album, and one day it would make him cry, too. I didn’t tell him that it is a sad song on its own, and it reminds me of mom, and makes me feel like a little girl, or about my friend telling me that his father loved the song and one of his kids played it for him on his deathbed, but I thought it all, because I think it’s beautiful in the way that only a classic song can be as it infiltrates our memory and thought and intersects with bits of our lives like a puzzle piece.

Todd has since asked if he can watch Black Mirror, so the music is off and the tv is on. The cat is snuggling up next to me on a blanket and the dog is asleep in the chair next to me, and we’ve cleaned up spilled prosecco by turning over the wet cushion to the ugly ripped side.

All of that is pretty much what life is like in general. We turn over the cushion to the more comfortable side. The less wet and dirty side. It still might be a little torn up. We have to choose which side is better.

This was me last New Year’s Day, early on the beach at Cape San Blas.

And here is me last night, laughing and giving the finger to 2015. (Okay, I’m actually giving the finger to my friend Jason’s parents while I sit on the toilet, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)


I know nothing of what this year meant. It may mean nothing. Things I know: I know that whatever I think is normal will change. I know that whatever happens, I will be okay. Whatever happens is what is supposed to happen. I know I need to think less about it all, and that I need to put one foot in front of the other and try to enjoy the small, beautiful moments.

I thought that this wasn’t one of those posts, a post about the year past and the year to come, and what it might all mean. But then again, maybe it is one of those posts.

Nim’s Island

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

For some reason my kids barely make a peep during this whole movie. I mean, I know why I don’t make a peep: Two words- Gerard Butler. But what is it that they love about it? Anyway, this is how they looked when I came upstairs to see why it was so quiet.

R.I.P. John Hughes

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Not much to say that hasn’t already been said all over the internet. But this guy really got what it was like to be a teenager, and he made all the horrible stuff that goes along with the teen years seem interesting, and funny, and like it was normal. He got us.

If you haven’t read it, this is pretty sweet, a blog post about a girl who exchanged letters with John Hughes for a couple of years.

I’m off to the lake for the weekend, but I could see myself watching a John Hughes film or two this weekend.

Possibly Not the Domestic Goddess

Friday, June 5th, 2009

. . . that I think I am.

I was cooking dinner last night (ahem, mac and cheese) and was boiling the macaroni, when the pot boiled over. (Or, “balled” over, as my Daddy with his Savannah accent would say. He also says “aygs” for eggs, “all” for oil, and “tin fall” for tin foil.) Tiller was in the kitchen with me and as the pot boiled over, she looked at me, shaking her head as if in disgust, and said, “That always happens.”

Night before last, our babysitter Rebecca got to the house, and I was dressed and saying good night to Tiller. She hugged me then pulled back to study my face, as if seeing me for the first time.
“Mama, what’s wrong with your eyes?”
“Um, that’s makeup baby.”

She keeps me honest, that one. No thinking i am a beautiful domestic Goddess with her around.

The Living and the Dead, Heaven and the Moon

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Recently, on Friday nights, we go out and get mexican or pizza with the kids and then come home and have movie night. This is kind of Todd’s thing, and he and the kids pick out the movie and he cuddles up with them. Meanwhile, I pour myself a drink, and I sit and write or read or fuck around on Facebook. This also means that when the pick isn’t that great, i can blame Todd for its failure. Like, oh, say, tonight.

We had a discussion at the dinner table the other night about what movie we would watch on Friday. Tiller voted Bolt. Rollie voted Wall-E.

“Hmmm,” I said. “I think i would like to watch Wall-E too. Todd, what would you like to watch?”

Todd knew by the tone of my voice that he wanted to watch Bolt, so as to create a tie, and a teaching experience. We would teach them how to share through the joys of a family movie night tie-breaker.

“I would like to watch Bolt,” Todd said. Cause he knows what’s good for him.

Rollie and Tiller both sputtered. It is inconceivable to a 3 or 5 year old that things might not swing their way.

“Seems we have a problem,” I said. “We do not have a majority here. What are we going to do?”

We all looked at each other around the table. Rollie was obviously mulling something over.

“I know,” he said.

“What?” said Tiller.

“Well, Daddy and Tiller can watch Bolt, and me and Mama can watch Wall-E. We get the upstairs tv!”

Todd and I looked at each other, knowing we had been outsmarted by a five-year-old. Not exactly what we had in mind.

“I’ve got an idea,” said Todd. “I’ll go by the library tomorrow and get us a new movie.”

He did.

So, tonight, he got ready to go out for his Friday night outing, I poured a Bloody Mary, and the kids and i piled up on the couch, lights turned off, movie cued up, the setting sun illuminating our west-facing room. The dog and the cat were our bookends on the couch.

We had been talking all day about Daddy’s pick: The Corpse Bride.

It is PG. We debated if we thought it was okay for them to watch. They saw The Nightmare Before Christmas and loved it. Rollie saw Coraline in the theater, in 3D no less, and loved it. We figured this would be a piece of cake. Tiller fell asleep about halfway through and Todd took her up to bed. Then he left and Rollie and I finished the movie, his head nestled on my chest to my left, Quint curled up in a donut to my right, and Scully sitting in a curl next to Rollie. One big happy family.

For those of you who haven’t seen The Corpse Bride, it is great. A brief synopsis: Gawky, geeky Johnny Depp-looking guy of modest means, Victor, is set up to marry the well-to-do in name, not so well-off monetarily bride, Victoria. They fall in love. The wedding turns into a disaster and ends up not happening. Victor accidentally marries a corpse instead. Corpse loves Victor. He grows to care for her, but still loves Victoria. Stuff happens. Skeletons do a catchy musical number. To make marriage the real deal, Victor must die. Meanwhile, Victoria must wed bad guy who actually made the corpse bride a corpse in the first place. In the end, Victor and his true love Victoria end up together and the corpse bride is set free and the bad guy gets his comeuppance. So, suffice to say that there are three weddings, and a whole lotta dead folks.

During the third wedding, Rollie says to me: “I don’t like weddings.”
Me: “Why not?”
Rollie: “They’re boring.”
I laugh.
Me: “Yeah, actually, sometimes they are boring. You know what, though? If your daddy and I never got married, you wouldn’t even be here now, right? So, that’s a good thing.”
Rollie thinks this over, then says, “I went to a wedding. It was boring.”
I think to myself, no way you remember the last wedding you went to, which was Aunt Lisa’s. You were three.
I say, “When did you go to a wedding?”
Somehow, I knew what he was going to say before he said it.
“Grandma and Papaw Johnson had a wedding.”
“What?” I say.
“They had that girl that used to sleep in the chair all the time.”
My mind was racing to figure this out, hoping he wasn’t talking about what I thought he was talking about.
He was looking at me, waiting to see if I knew what he was talking about.

When Todd’s grandmother was alive, and living with my in-laws, she spent a lot of time sleeping in a chair in her room.

“Honey, do you mean Meemaw?”
Rollie said, “Yes, we went to the wedding and she was dead.”


I took a deep breath.
“Sweetie, that wasn’t a wedding. That was Meemaw’s funeral. A wedding is when two people who love each other promise to be together forever. Like Mama and Daddy. A funeral is when people get together to celebrate the life of a person who has gone to heaven. Like Meemaw.”

Rollie: “Oh.” He seemed to accept this all and go back to watching the movie. I, on the other hand, will need therapy after showing my son a movie that totally blurred the lines between the living and the dead in such a believable way.

We sat on the couch quietly watching the movie, him getting the dazed look kids get when they are tired, me thinking quietly to myself that the movie seems so benign and sweet, but I can see where all the living and the dead people hanging out together could be confusing to someone so little. At the end, Victor and Victoria stand together on the church steps, watching as the Corpse Bride disintegrates into a beautiful cloud of. . . well, I won’t give the full imagery, in case you haven’t seen the movie. (See the movie!) But the particles of her being float apart and up into the moon.

“Where is she going?” Rollie says to me.

“She’s going to heaven, Honey. She found love and acceptance, and that freed her soul to go to heaven.”

Rollie mulls over this and then says, “Is Meemaw in the moon?”

“Yes, honey, i think that if the moon is heaven, then she might be in the moon.”

“I like the moon.”

“Me, too, sweetie.”

Zombies in Decatur

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Okay, I didn’t actually see any zombies. I was in Decatur, going to the library there to find a particular reference book for nerd purposes. Turned down Sycamore, (I think) and started seeing “Zombie Land” everywhere on director’s chairs. Big cameras I had seen on Ponce began to make more sense.

Unfortunately, I was driving and am not comfortable with rubbernecking in a high pedestrian traffic area, so I saw no celebs or zombies.

Which just sucks. If you are headed to downtown Decatur, and battling for a parking space, and paying for parking, then you damn well want to see a zombie or a celeb, or the pinnacle, a zombie celebrity.

Zombieland appears to be filming in Atlanta and um, Valdosta. Zombies in Valdosta! Looks like Woody Harrelson is in it. Hmmm. Would be interesting to see Woody Harrelson in Decatur. Dressed as a zombie.

A Few Things

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Talking about it makes it better.

I can’t believe I have a niece who is one year old.

Todd has one week to purchase and install my new UGA flag. Sex withheld until installation complete.

My favorite movie of all time is most definitely The Black Stallion. And it holds up well to time, too. You are making fun of me, but it was Oscar-nominated for Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel, who is Zoey and Emily’s Daddy, i believe) and Mickey Rooney was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. The only sad thing about it is that Kelly Reno, the kid who plays Alec, never really did anything else and ended up a cab driver in NYC. That being said, if i ever got into his cab, he would feel like a rock star after my reaction. Um, the kids and I watched The Black Stallion last night.

Britt A. from high school is purchasing a ticket for me to attend the GA Auburn game. I will explain this another time, when I don’t have to drive to Montgomery for a birthday party, but know(shon) this: It does not bode well for the Auburn Tigers.


This Pretty Much Sums It Up

Friday, February 8th, 2008

I’m the kind of girl who has a leftover dinner of mac and cheese, okra and blackeyed peas, green beans, one can artichoke hearts, and a glass of Chardonnay.

Dessert? One bigass heaping spoon of crunchy peanut butter in a bowl, drizzled with honey and a splash of Kahlua, and a squirt of canned whipped cream, and another glass of Chardonnay.

All of this is of course consumed during one episode of Masterpiece Theatre’s Complete Jane Austen’s seriesNorthanger Abbey, followed by the season premiere of Rock of Love 2. That one’s on VH1, which means not only am i cheesy, but I am old and cheesy.

Wow. Warner. Makes Me a Little Wacky.

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

First of all, Mom seems to be doing pretty well. Visited her in the hospital (hospy, to family in the know) and she seems better than before. Still hoping they will keep her a while longer, as she is precious cargo, and I would be afraid that Dad and I would screw things up here at the house.

2nd of all, if my father ever says he got “really good movies” at the video store, you should be scared. That usually means that you are going to be watching Iron Eagle II. Mom and Dad have a tendency to bring home the same movie over and over, not remembering that a)it wasn’t that good the first time around, and b)they already saw it. Ask them how many times they have rented the movie where Michelle Pfeiffer is dead and comes back to life (or something? have not seen it.) Anyway, the answer is “tons.”

That being said, I almost keeled over when the movies Dad picked turned out to be Last King of Scotland and Borat. Unfortunately for Dad, he wasn’t too jazzed about LKOS until people started bleeding a lot, and unfortunately for me, that meant he talked a lot during the first half. Dad doesn’t do dialogue. He does however like to namecheck the movie Manhattan, referring to it as a “social commentary,” even though I don’t think he knows what that means, or if he has even ever watched the whole movie. I also think that if he knew it was directed by that Commie Woody Allen, he wouldn’t talk about it so much.

All of the above two paragraphs are so not the point of this post. The point is: OMG. Forrest Whitaker is really good, and really scary as Idi Amin. I am also a little surprised that the lead kid wasn’t nominated. I thought he was actually really good, and you never heard that much about his performance.

Also feeling some Darfur guilt after watching it. Like, yeah, this happened in the not-so-distant past in Uganda, but here I am sitting and watching a movie while similar shit is still happening.

Must go drink another glass of wine. Do not be jealous, as it is Cecil Wine. That means that he opened a bottle like six months ago, stuck the stopper back in, and tells visitors that it is “perfectly good.” Note to Palmer guests: It is wise to bring a “hostess’ gift” of whatever it is you like to drink.

p.s. Love and kisses and hugs to all of you that have called and emailed and checked in on us. We love our Mama. Glad you do too.