Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “movies”

Film Finds and Redeux

Lately I find myself drifting towards watching movies rather than reading. Having a bit of a brain fizz from teaching this year. It’s been a stressful year, as was the year before, and the one before that one. Reading, my usual standard of decompressing, is not the tonic is once was.

I am turning towards old favorites, movies that make me feel good, or are entertaining or offer a sense of escape. Here are a few that have helped me cope through the odd and strenuous days from teaching, grading, coping with students present and those missing, not to mention coping with parents and policies.

Watch The Prisoner | Prime Video
The Prisoner: I relate to how Patrick McGoohan tries to find answers to the question of “Why Am I Here?” Field of Dreams : Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Timothy Busfield,  James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Ray Liotta, Frank Whaley, Dwier Brown,  Gaby Hoffman, Phil Alden Robinson, Lawrence Gordon, Charles Gordon, Phil
Field of Dreams: Believing in the impossible is encouraging
The Thin Man' Movies in Order
Thin Man Series: Solving mysteries in a humorous fashion is something I understand as I try to track down missing assignments from missing students.
Mystery!: Cadfael (TV Series 1994–1998) - IMDb
Cadfael: Derek Jacobi as a mystery solving monk from the Middle Ages provided inspiration to making sense of the insensible

Silverado (1985) - IMDb
Silverado: A good laugh, and I need those lately
The Hunger Games (film) - Wikipedia
The Hunger Games series: Katniss is resourceful, loyal, and tenacious. She might consider becoming a teacher.
Watch This: Stranger Than Fiction | Tres Bohemes
Stranger than Fiction: definitely English teacher humor at work here.
Nature | PBS
Animal documentaries are quite soothing and inspiring as critters deal with their environment Western Legends 50 Movie Pack : John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene  Autry, Tex Ritter: Movies & TV
I also discovered a 24 hour Western station. There is something satisfying about the good guys getting the bad guys.
Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Book 1: Abadzis, Nick, Scott, Cavan, Mann,  George, Stott, Rachael, Melo, Adriana: 9781785863462: Books
Wouldn’t it be amazing to pop in a time machine and travel to better times, let alone experience new adventures and be home by tea time?

What movies or series do you gravitate towards for escaping or coping?

Classic Movie Nights

Daytime in the summer is mainly working on my writing projects, wslking, yard work, and of course, reading, reading, and more reading.

Around seven o’clock the hubs looks at me and asks: “So what do you want to do tonight?”

There aren’t many options in a town of 6,000. It usually comes down to watching a movie. 

Our smalltown boasts one theater. It’s not fancy. It’s not AMC. The seats tip back because the springs are stressed. The floors are s bit sticky. The rows are offside instead of center screen. We have to really, really want to see a movie and not be willing to drive an hour away to the mega-complex to go.

There is also the fact if we wait a couple of months the movie comes out on DVD. Then we rent it for a buck fifty at the grocery store instead of paying box office prices. We start the movie when we want, pause it, subtitle it, enjoy it in our kickback loungers. We even sleep through the boring parts. I can catch up on my phone stuff. Or play another level of Candy Mania.

Why wouldn’t we choose to watch movies at home? 

Another option is that our local library has a HUGE movie section complete with TV series. I’m ever so patiently waiting for The Hollow Crown. We aren’t hooked up to commercial channels. The TV is basically a movie screen. That’s a whole  different post.

Being Baby Boomers, the hubs and I are partial to films where actors versus CGI is the primary billing.This means we tend to watch a lot of  classics. It’s like visiting with old, favorite friends when  we settle in to watch Cary Grant, Hepburns Audrey/Katherine, John Wayne and the rest of the screen star crew.

Some favorites this summer we’ve revisted:

Now and then a new movie comes along that’s based on an old classic. From some reason, we were won over by: 

mainly because we grew up with:

Guy Ritchie got it right. The light-hearted, comically serious tone, the Bondian flavor, the sixties style. Henry totally got Robert Vaughn and Hammer did his own Ilya. How come the critics didn’t get it? Then again, if I paid attention to the critics I wouldn’t watch movies at all. They either love something I don’t get or, like above, they pan what I deem brillaint. And that’s another post as well.

So–a couple of questions, if I may:

1. Do you prefer classics to new?

2. Do you prefer DVD to big screen?

3. Any new  films  you think might become classics?

Button, Button

My usual adage of “The original source is always better” went out the window after watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
When the movie came out in 2008, I promptly avoided it. I thought the premise strange, that a baby would experience life backwards–going from old and decrepit to incapacitated infant. It especially seemed odd, even a bit creepy, since a romance was part of the plot.

Aging backwards. Not a new concept, apparently backwards aging is not a truly new trope. After all, Shakespeare hinted at our returning to our infancy state in his “Seven Ages” poem.

I also was a bit leery of Brad Pitt at the time. Fight Club isn’t exactly my type of genre. The male progeny tried to interest me (who can resist bonding with their sons via a movie?) but after a few minutes of gruesome artsy cinema, I deferred. However, since Fight Club Pitt has appeared in movies I do like, such as the Oceans triple, and Mr and Mrs Smith. Into the library basket went Benjamin Button as I gathered movies for the week. I didn’t realize I was committing to two and a half hours.

A sick day, and no energy for reading and in popped the movie. I sat spellbound. I even cried at the end. And was a bit indignant that Brad Pitt got passed over for an Academy Award. This trailer captures the heart of the movie well:

The most interesting part for me is that the movie is based on a F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. The fantasy genre intrigued me because I didn’t peg FSF for writing anything but brooding rebellious characters from the Roaring Twenties. The story’s biting satirical tone is very much Twain, and I learned that Fitz was indeed influenced by MT, who had made a comment about what a shame we don’t experience the best years, our older years, first. Interestingly enough, the only thing the movie and short story have in common is the title and premise. Here is the story link:


Any of you been surprised by the film being actually better than the written work?

Eyre of Distinction

Soon we start our AP novel unit, Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte’s novel is one of my favorites, which means I will infuse as much of my appreciation for it as I do for my other favorite classics like Hamlet.  While many wax profoundly about Jane Austen, I think Miss Bronte gets overlooked. Jane Eyre has the distinction of being one of those novels that set things of literature memes, tropes, and motifs in motion by becoming a template for other stories. Consider:

  • she is plain in looks, but beautiful in spirit
  • her intelligence is valued by others, at a time when women were not widely educated
  • she values family over fortune
  • she easily speaks her mind
  • she is independent and finds a way to survive
  • outwardly she is calm, yet ripples with passion underneath her facade of restraint
  • she is perservering, sourceful, and a woman of strong morals
  • she stands up for herself–no doormat dame here

My opinion: Jane rocks. Over the years there have been several film adaptations of the novel.  I binged on JE films over the weekend and came up with my ratings:

1971: Starring George C. Scott and Susannah York
Verdict: skip.

George, too familiar with his Patton role, brought it to his interpretation of Rochester.  He railed and ranted in a very American accent and I gave up after he meets with Jane after their encounter on the road. Besides York’s Jane being too old and much too pretty I couldn’t sit through the poor film quality. The video transfer was so muddied I felt as if I were watching the movie through an unwashed glass.

image: eleganceof fashion. blogspot

1983: Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke
Verdict: one of the most faithful and watchable versions

Being a BBC production, I had initial trust it would be a quality adaptation, after all these are the folk who brought us Colin Firth as Mister Darcy. The sets, the important scenes, those inscrutable nuances of the original story are all contained in this mini-series. Timothy Dalton definitely understands the Byronic hero that Rochester embodies and has even said in interviews Rochester is one of his best roles. Clarke, while a bit older than the required 18 year old fresh from her Lowood imprisonment, captures the Quakerish passivity and ethereal nature of Jane Eyre.  The scenes between Dalton and Clarke are melt-in-the-mouth truffle satisfying.  Their version is what comes to mind most often when I return for a refresher novel read. I really did believe a heartstring developed between them. The agony of Dalton’s Rochester when he realized his Jane was leaving him forever kept the tissue box occupied.

1996: William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg director: Franco Zefferilli
Verdict: passable, but strayed terribly from the novel

William Hurt seemed on the verge of understanding Rochester, but kept the bitterness too diminished, too washed out. Charlotte G as Jane got her part right. The plain, passionate young actress  imbued the paradoxical spirit of Jane Eyre. Sadly, there existed no believable passion, that needed kindred heart-string spark, between Gainsbourg’s Jane and Hurt’s Rochester. This spark is the very core of the novel. Without that essential core the movie floundered about like a fish hoping to get back into the water to have a proper swim. The director who brought us Romeo and JulietTaming of the Shrew, Hamlet, and other great stories of passion missed the mark with this adaptation by rushing the story and taking way too many liberties with the plot.

2006: Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson
Verdict: enjoyable, even if a bit too contemporary in approach


Admittedly, I had started watching this version years ago when it first came out, but found myself so disenchanted with the cutaway flashbacks, I couldn’t get past the Lowood scenes and it wasn’t until recently I returned to another viewing.  I did like the lead actors portrayals, and yes, there was a definite spark between them. I thought Toby Stephens got off easy with his fire wounds, unlike Hurt and Dalton. His rugged looks only appeared rather marred, instead of being ruined. The rolling around, ankle rubbing bit at the end seemed a bit too lenient for true Bronte style. Then again, there are leniences throughout this adaptation I willingly overlooked since the production quality proved so high.

2011: MiaWaikowska and Michael Fassbender Director: Cary Fukunaga
Verdict: Admirable

The first scene makes a diehard JE fan sit bolt upright and ask, “What? Wait–did the movie skip! because the opening scene is starting right off with Jane making her mad dash from Thornfield, which usually means the film is winding up to the grand finale.  Instead Fukunaga gets a bit artsy and dips in and out of Jane’s childhood days in flashbacks, with a quick glance at times at her more recent history.  Artfully done, but a bit disconcerting for those who prefer the linear progression.  Fassbender and Waikowska do provide a sumptuous Rochester and Jane.  Looks, mannerisms, nuances, smoldering passions–it’s all there.  That’s why it the ending is so absolutely frustrating.  I could not understand the need to transform Rochester into a Tom Hanks Castaway lookalike.  Maybe trading out the maimed hand for a beard was a contract compromise. Also, there should have been another 20 minutes of wrap up, yet we are whisked away much too soon.  It’s like being served the most savory dessert and having it taken away after a couple a bites–“Yo, I wasn’t finished.” Apparently Fukunaga thought the audience needed no more indulging and wanted us to move away from the table.

Overall: If a dedicated JE fan go to one of the series adaptations, such as the 1983 or the 2006.  It appears that only when given the proper amount of time (3-4 hours) can Jane’s story be told sufficiently. However, if thinking “book or movie first?” and movie wins out–get the 2011 version.

Further notation: I thought about finding the Ciarin Hinds version, especially after watching him in Austen’s Persuasion with Amanda Root.  Our library no longer has it and after reading the widely mixed reviews of loving it and hating it, I thought I will stick with my picks of 1983, 2011, and 2006 for classroom clips.

Any readers have their own picks of fave JE adaptations?

A Slice of Pi

Too often I realize I am a book snob. Certain subjects, authors, or just because it is crazy popular will place me in snub mode. My shame, especially since I am a professed Book Booster. Isn’t confession supposed to be part of the cure?
This is why I am even more embarrassed I have put off reading Life of Pi for so long.

image from

When it first came out I did my huffy verisimilitude snort and bypassed it. “Oh, please, really? A boy and a tiger on the ocean in a boat and he lives to tell about?” I had no problem with C.S. Lewis creating a horse and a boy as pals, let alone a lion mentoring three British children? I really must get my veracity meter checked one of these days.

With Pi I broke THE rule and saw the movie first–home version, sans Blu-Ray or 3D glasses. My review? Magical.
And that’s it. You don’t need yet another review among the surfeit of Pi commentaries. The movie motivated me to read the book.. Fortunately, our school librarian, in the midst of checking in end-of- the year materials, hasn’t had time to shelve new books and she allowed me to take it home over the weekend. There’s nothing like a long weekend and a mesmerizing novel.
I will say this–I appreciate the novel so much more having experienced the film (possible even in plain everyday vanilla DVD fashion). Frankly, parts of the plot were a bit hard to visualize, such as the raft and the meerkat island, without the aid of movie inserts. It’s not that my imagination station is broke it’s just that Ang Lee created such a wondrous palette of preprogrammed living color the plot danced more as the movie played in my head. Then there is Richard Parker; I couldn’t have imagined him as well as his CGI counterpart. He is such a handsome tiger. Of course,  meerkats by the thousands is visually is much more impressive via the wide-screen than by my mental viewing station.

The novel contains much more detail (I, uh, flipped past some of the more colorful aspects of oceanic survival); however, aspects of the movie were better, such as the family dynamics.

The most important takeaway of both stories is this quote:

“And so it is with God.”

This quote absolutely resonates with me. The ambiguity of the story’s ending reminds me so much of Inception, allowing us the intelligence of denouement possibilities.

I wonder if there is a correlation between my initially snubbing Life of Pi because I did not grow up with pie–seriously, I don’t remember my mom serving up chocolate cake, apple pie, or cookies (I have compensated and I taught myself the art of pie making and make a mean apple custard pie complimented by “my goodness!” flaky crust). Pie didn’t interest me until I reached adulthood.

And so it is with this Pi, of which I will ask for another slice.

Cover of "Life of Pi"

Cover of Life of Pi

Wives and Daughters

One of the final pages from the manuscript for...

One of the final pages from the manuscript for Wives and Daughters (The Works of Mrs. Gaskell, Knutsford Edition) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever eagerly brought a movie home only to discover you’ve watched it before?

When that happens I either slip it out and chastise myself for my negligent memory or shrug and go for it anyway.  Such was the case with BBC’s production of Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters.


Lovely.  I watched the whole thing in one sitting.  I would not do well with the weekly installment watch plan anymore.  I tend to eat all my Haagen-Daaz in one sitting too.

As for Wives and Daughters I think Gaskell should have actually named the series, The Doctor’s Daughter because it all centered on Molly, who was the doctor’s daughter.  I didn’t see much about wives and only a couple of daughters were the focus.  Maybe I will have to read the book.  And right now I am trying to do so.  It’s not working.

One problem I am finding out with watching really wonderful BBC adaptations is that they quench my desire to dig into the book.  I really should stick to my book first policy.


If you should hunger after a character driven historical plot that is reminiscent of Jane Austen’s complicated romance plots, then do look up Gaskell and her Wives and Daughters–watching or reading it is too personal of a decision for me to actually recommend. Umm-I did really like, really like the BBC more than I have Gaskell’s flowery writing.  But don’t let me influence you.

Gently Persuaded

Raise your hand if you prefer Pride and Prejudice.

All right, now raise your hand for Emma.

How about Sense and Sensibility?

Mansfield Park? Okay.

Northhanger Abbey? Just asking.

And the rest of you? It’s got to be for Persuasion–right?

Well, Jane only wrote six novels; it’s got to be for one of them.

Hmm, I shall gently try to persuade you to cast your Austen vote for Persuasion.

Reason 1:

  • Pride and Prejudice gets much too much attention.  Jane has six literary children and P&P will become unbearably too spoiled with so much fuss. Look at all the celebratory brouhaha over the publishing of the novel! Goodness…

Reason 2:

  • Anne and Frederick don’t have to go through that messy “love me, love me not” business found in JA’s other plots; they already love each other.  Getting to the point where they re-realize it makes it so much more satisfying than the on/off dilemma.

Reason 3:

  • Persuasion has THE best love letter.  Here is a partial:

“I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.” 

Who could not met upon receiving this as an encouragement?

Reason 4:

  • Anne and Frederick are older and have been knocked around a bit in life and more truly represent the reality that love’s course is not perfect. In other words: their love is more relatable than the fairy-talish idea of sitting around and waiting for Mr or Ms Right to pop along when least expected (okay–Emma had a bit of that going on).

Reason 5:

  • the 1995 version with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root captures well the complicated tango of emotions these two separated lovers endure as they find their way back into each other’s hearts and arms.  Amanda Root’s transformation from wilted and worn down spinister-in-the-making to resolute refreshed woman is transfixing.

True love lingers and is not forgotten

So, five amazing reasons why Persuasion should become THE Jane Austen first mentioned in her stable of renowned novels.

Have I persuaded you?

English: Persuasion(ch. 9) Jane Austen: In ano...

English: Persuasion(ch. 9) Jane Austen: In another moment … someone was taking him from her. Français : Persuasion(ch. 9) Frederick libère Anne de son jeune neveu, qui l’étouffe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

Cover of "The Last Action Hero"

Cover of The Last Action Hero

Yesterday I thought I would be enjoying my extra day off, the perk for having worked two twelve hour days.  Instead , I was doing the porcelain hug–yup, the flu bug caught up to me and bit me rather nastily. Lipton soup, napping, and the wonderful ministrations of my MEPA (most excellent personal assistant) righted me from prone to errands.  I had to get my Saturday library run in–plus I expanded my horizons with a chocolate taste-testing lesson from ET, my librarian compatriot.

With a bag of AP Cyrano journals to grade I needed a movie to keep me company–my MEPA had a previous engagement with the roof. It’s an oldie but goodie: Last Action Hero. I checked it out again (third time watching it) because Ahnold plays Hamlet.  “Hey Claudius, you killed my fadder.  Big mistake.” I’m readying for Hamlet in AP and thought it would be appropriate to show how far Shakespeare’s influence reaches.

One reason I like LAH so much is the irony, paradox, parodies, and outright clichés. Here it is in a nutshell if you haven’t seen the movie: Arnold  is playing Jack Slater who is Arnold playing Jack Slater, who is the  quintessential action hero.  There are a bazillion inside jokes and cameos. Maybe this movie gave me the idea for my NaNo novel. Who could resist writing a novel about a girl writing a novel during National Novel Writing Month?  I couldn’t.

If you are writing your NaNo, hang tough, because this is the week people start to find the going tough and drop out of the word count race.  You can do it.  You can do it. You can do it.  Yes, you can.

See you on the other side of 50,000.  It’s one word at a time making each sentence reach into paragraphs into pages.

And with that,
Happy Pages


Battleship and Black and Blue Reviews

Sometimes after a long week of teaching direct objects, nuances of symbolism, and grading ceaseless stacks of papers I need to unwind.  Discovering chocolate is a downfall to dieting, and being a longtime teetotaler,  I have succumbed to the ACTION movie for unwinding on Friday night.  We have a local grocery store that offers new releases for only a buck on the weekends.  Who can resist?

I am prone to choosing action movies with disasters or aliens, and I can’t resist the Navy.  So it was natural I selected Battleship. Expecting major cheese for ninety minutes I found myself rooting and hooting for the entire movie.  Being a movie trivia addict, I Googled up IMDb.  Glancing through the reviews I couldn’t help but wince at the meanness of many of the comments.

This brings me to the subject of Black and Blue Reviews.

These are reviews that involve slicing and dicing of the given subject, be it a book, a movie, restaurant or product.  Having been a reviewer for various journals over the past twelve years I have developed a philosophy: it is much easier to depreciate than it is to create.  We all know how much easier it is to diss and dismiss than it is to praise and raise. And being a published writer I tend to stem the critical ink flow when it comes to someone else’s creative effort because I know the stings of criticism do sting. As Thumper once said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Or least compromise and try to say two things for every bad.

Back to Battleship. Of course it wasn’t going for Academy Award status; it’s intent is action and it delivered.  How could you not like a movie that:

  • features Liam Neeson as a Navy admiral?
  • is filmed in Hawaii?
  • has aliens who wear helmet sunglasses and sport wicked porcupine goatees?
  • debuts Rihanna as a  sailor who holds her own with the big boys?
  • stars Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgård?
  • also has Japanese legendary actor Tadanobu Asano?
  • laughs at itself with borrowed kitsch from Jurassic Park and Transformers?

Instead I found most reviews were negative.  Here’s some samplings:

Of course, in the old B-movie tradition, our response to the alien visit is immediately military. There’s not one word of discussion about the aliens possibly just making a social call. We invite them, they come and we open fire. This despite the fact that they’re remarkably humanoid; when we finally remove the helmet from one alien’s spacesuit, he turns out to look alarmingly like James CarvilleRoger Ebert, Chicago-Sun Times

Alien invasion movies usually work based on three things: strong characters, cool aliens and a good idea. “Battleship” has boring characters, boring aliens and a couple of minor ideas stupid enough to elicit a temporary smile. Jeffrey Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

Those represent the pro-view.  Here are a couple of IMDb user review comments:

A simple way to describe Battleship, is that it’s basically a $200 million naval recruitment video that was made by a schizophrenic 8 year old who likes video games and things going Ka-Boom.

Turning a board game into a big-budget summer blockbuster was always going to be a stretch. But Hasbro the company behind the cinematic juggernaut Transformers series thought they had locked on to a winning formula for their adaptation of their best-selling board-game Battleship…namely ditch Michael Bay for the supremely talented Peter Berg, add aliens and throw shed-loads of money at the screen. And it almost works…

Ouch. What were this people expecting from a summer movie?  Hamlet on Mars? Sheesh…

These people totally missed how the film did something totally remarkable by:

  • having Japanese and American military forces  collaborate at Pearl Harbor, no less
  • featuring real life vets of the USS Missouri, some who had even served in WWII
  • showcasing real life active duty Army Colonel Gregory Gadson., who is the first bilateral amputee to serve as a Garrison Commander to any post in the United States Army. This man is a war hero.
  • honoring the military, particularly those from our past.

Sadly, I didn’t see anyone impressed with these positive attributes.  They were too busy complaining about how a movie could be made based off of a toy.  Oh yeah, it’s much better to make movies inspired off of a Disney ride.  Then it’ll be taken more seriously.

Don’t let the black and blue review sink your enjoyment of Battleship.  Besides, the chicken burrito scene is worth the watching all in itself.


Airport Moments

Cover of "The Terminal (Widescreen Editio...

Cover of The Terminal (Widescreen Edition)


I’m sitting here in the middle of a two hour layover at an airport that could use a serious makeover.  There is a pervasive nuance of worn out and drone in this place.  It’s not that I’m a world traveler and have a large repertoire of airports to pull out from experience to offer up comparisons, I’m calling it as I see it.  Plus, having caught a flight out of an especially aesthtic airport this morning (Portland–PDX–Orgeon progressive at its best),  it’s a real let down to spend excess time in a rundown terminal.  I shall not name it, except to say it’s in the Southwest and it’s hot out there.  Real hot.  Like I hope I have a covered tarmac to the plane because it’s heatstroke weather hot outside. (I didn’t–I nearly melted like a candy bar left on the dashboard)

Being between flights there is not much to do.  On the other hand, there is plenty to do in the people watching department.  My writer’s mind is storing all sorts of vignettes as I pretend I’m occupying myself with my laptop (well, I guess I am–this post is proof).

First Moment:
People-mover walkways never cease to amaze me.  Why do people walk on boring airplane motiff carpet when they can be transported on the rolling terminal sidewalk?  A fave is to stride aboard and walk with purpose, as if I am a Person Of Importance. Slow movers ride the right side as I power-walk down to my place of destination. The scenario:

“Sylvia checked her voice mail quickly, before reconfirming her flight and gate number.  Securing her phone into her purse, she mentally rehearsed her opening remarks  once again, allowing spots of applause and appreciative chuckles within the time frame.  Her thoughts were hampered by the incessant recording “the sidewalk is ending–please watch your step.”  Wait, that could be a metaphor.  Life is like a moving sidewalk in that we simply step on and roll through life and if we aren’t careful we can end up stumbling at the end.  Sylvia decided she would work it into remarks.”

Second Moment:
How does someone end up working behind an airport Burger King counter?  I pondered this as the cashier rang up my purchase. Did she think at fifteen that she would be handing back, “Have a nice day” with someone’s change when she was 32?  Would she go back, if possible, and say, “Girl, listen up to the counselor. You had better sign up for geometry, take that Biology II class, and don’t forget to study for your vocabulary test on Wednesday, otherwise you will be still wearing that zip up fugly polyster uniform when you get out of high school.”  She maybe took the wrong Frost path.

Third Moment:
“Look at this, no hands.  It’s self-propelled.”  This comment is directed to the woman in the airport courtesy wheelchair. The attendant grins widely as he walks alongside her.  She looks over at him like he’s popped a lugnut off his hubcap and his sanity is seriously wobbling.  Then, she smiles and they both share a laugh before he grabs a hold of the handle and continues pushing her towards her flight.  My thought: “Cool.  Way to make a rainbow in the middle of day.”

There are many more micro-moments: the guy in a ponytail, too tight plaid bermuda shorts and too small Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt and no visible carry-on luggage (hmmmm…), the grandma next to me reading her e-reader (who says Greys don’t do tech?),  the anxious bumped passengers waiting to get their name called off the short list (reactions range from resignation to disgruntled subdued rants shared on phones).

I remember watching a movie with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones a few years back, The Terminal,where due to circumstances beyond his control, Hanks ended up living at the airport, all the while harboring a passion for Jones, who is a stewardess.  I would not want to live at the airport, at least not this one.

Eve Bunting wrote a picture book, Flyaway Home,  about a father and young son who choose to live at an airport instead of the streets.  Both the movie and the book showed how airports are made for short visits and not lengthy stays.  Wait–my flight is finally being called.  I’m bound for home, or will be home soon enough.  Airports, are best suited for destination portals, and people watching.  Home addresses they do not make.


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