Musings and Mirth

Watching Movies with Emma: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to watch Fast Times with my twelve year old daughter. She can handle a lot — but Fast Times is, well, pretty fast. My feeling, though, is that the sooner she is aware of the way things can be around her fellow teen the better. That doesn’t mean I didn’t tell her to shield her eyes from a couple of scenes. There are maybe three of four that simply can’t be watched.

But a few things struck me while watching this very great film. You would never see a movie today where a character gets an abortion and walks away worse for wear but still okay. You just wouldn’t see it. Things have changed so dramatically in our culture that abortion in a mainstream Hollywood film would not be acceptable.

The other thing that struck me was that the girls didn’t look like porn stars or strippers. They looked like girls. Regular girls. Kind of pretty but not ridiculous about it or anything. Well, maybe Phoebe Cates…

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New Kitten and Life’s Odd Timing

It is true, what John Lennon wrote, about life being about what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. As I type, a tiny, feisty kitten is trying to attack my fingers and my keyboard because he is so playful he can hardly contain himself. You’ve never seen a cuter kitten, even if all kittens are cute. Keyboard mistakes are his.

El Diablo, aka Tom, aka the Little Dude came into our lives while I was away at Cannes. My sister was housesitting for me and watching my 11 year-old. O!ne day she was driving up Laurel Canyon blvd. and reached the top, where it crosses Mulholland. She saw a tiny little animal on the road and assumed it was roadkill, but then it moved! There were many cars driving by indifferently, as they do all of the time here in LA, when they aren’t assholes, but she stopped, scooped =]ihim up and then panicked. Now what?

On her lap was a flea-riddled, nearly dead, certainly in shock one month old kitten. Tiny Tom. She drove back down to our place and retrieved my daughter. They both drove around looking for a vet hospital, or a shelter, or something. They ended up finding one in Van Nuys but they wanted the money up front or they wouldn’t take him in. Apparently, so the story goes, my daughter burst into hysterical tears right then and there. A little drama never hurts. They decided to do the right thing and take him in.

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Smart Cookie Abby Sunderland Found and is Just Fine

I know that it is easy to get hysterical when a girl’s life is at stake. Indeed, many of us were worried that the 16 year-old Sunderland was put in harm’s way. There was even talk of child abuse charges for her parents. But of course, Abby is the second girl of 16 to attempt this. Another Australian girl had done it already at the same age. Moreover, Abby’s brother accomplished the feat at just 17. I feel sure that in the same scenario, if it were a boy feared lost at sea, there wouldn’t have been such widespread panic.

But she’s a girl, right?

Sunderland’s boat was damaged in the storm – something that could have happened to any sailor of any age. I will admit that I was worried for her yes, because she’s a girl. As the mother of a 12 year-old I WAY too overprotective. My own ideas about the abilities of girls were challenged. Is a girl more vulnerable out at sea alone? Or can a girl do what a boy can do?

Now that she’s been found alive and very much okay – plenty of food, in good spirits – it’s easier to be supportive of a girl and her dream. Happy endings are few and far between. I’ll take this one, thank you.

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About Me

I spend way too much thinking about me. This is the blank space where that paragraph should be.