Hello! My name is Lowered Expectations!!

I first saw Princess Bride when it was released in 1987. I was in 9th grade. I fell in love with the movie, the words, Inigo Montoya.

That hair. That voice. That backstory though. Tragically romantic and he was available. LOL

Okay, so he had a drinking problem and was blinded by revenge. But I can change him! LOL

I just wanted to scoop him up and nurse him back to health. Just like Fezzik did. Inigo was heroic, noble and flawed. Loved it!

He’s still my favorite character.

Although, I had a tendency to fall for the side character in any story. It seemed much more plausible to actually have a relationship, not with the main (perfect) character, but their trusted sidekick. The one desperate for the lead’s cast-offs. Why would I aim for less than the best? Not sure. I mean it’s all a fantasy, right? Even in my dreams, I’m rationalizing. LOL

My daughter may suffer from the same plight. In Shape of Water, she fell for Dimitri. The lovable Russian spy/American doctor who ended up helping the aquatic couple. It’s genetic. We’re suckers for a foreign accent and flawed nobility. God help her.

guy
My co-star! 😀 Finally found my lead in 1998.
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The Shining

You may not know, I love Stanley Kubrick films. 2001: A Space Odyssey. A Clockwork Orange. Dr. Strangelove. Full Metal Jacket. I’m even planning to devote an afternoon to Barry Lyndon. I have it on DVD, haven’t seen the whole thing yet.

One of my favorites is The Shining. I also watched the documentary Room 237 on Netflix. It is detailed fan theories of the meaning behind this complex film.

I’ve seen The Shining several times and I never get tired of it. During the quiet parts, my family and I (yes, even my 14 yo watches it, ’cause she’s cool) crack jokes at the absurd moments of acting. Such as, Jack is asleep at the writing table and starts to have a graphic, violent dream and is moaning in his sleep. After seeing the movie several times, you can’t help but find this funny upon the third viewing.

It’s supposed to be disturbing. And it is. The first few times. But if your husband makes these same noises in his sleep IRL? It’s funny.

Plus, seeing the doc about The Shining gives you awesome little Easter eggs to hunt for.

Anyone a Kubrick fan?

I wasn’t when I was in my teens, but after seeing 2001 as an adult, I really started to dig SK and was often moved by his themes. I feel The Shining was perhaps his most complex and symbolic film. The Native American aspect of the movie was deeply provoking for me. What do you think, SK fans? What’s your favorite of his?

Allegations

Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Louis CK.

All stand accused. Are they all guilty?

For Harvey and Bill, let’s check the Magic 8 Ball–all signs point to yes. For Louis CK, I just don’t know. I really like his truthful, real-life comedy. I hope it’s not true. I would have to stop watching his stuff if it is. But it’s not for me to say in any case. That’s somebody else’s job.

What I do know, not all accused are guilty.


In the early 2000s, my husband and I served on a community theatre board. We were involved in day-to-day operations and acting in shows. We directed, performed, coordinated, sold tickets, designed, painted, printed, anything that needed doing we did. And loved it, mostly.

Our board was a tight-knit group of friends. Every show was just a pretense to hang out, laugh and sing some songs. I would linger long into the night with these people after rehearsal/performance. Talk big about the world, dream big about the future. It was a golden time.

Then the whole thing started to slide off into the ocean. Tremors were rumbling regarding allegations of sexual harassment.

The director of the summer musical was an older man in his 40s. A bachelor. He was a kind man with clear ideas. He was a bit arrogant, but friendly. He was the music and creative director of the show. A large task, but he was more than capable. He actually came to our home, had dinner. I cooked meatloaf. We got to know him. I’m glad.

Late into rehearsals, we had a costume parade 1-2 weeks before opening night. In community theatre, costuming was always a last-minute detail. Usually, each actor must provide the bulk (or lack thereof) of their costume, coordinating with the costumer and other actors to pull of a cohesive theme.

The show was not necessarily risque, but that summer Moulin Rouge had just come out and all the teenage girls in our production aspired to be the best dance hall vixen. Their costume choices reflected that mentality.

During one of our costume parades, the three girls in one of the lead ensembles came out in sparkly, festive, revealing costumes. Everyone reacted. Mostly appropriate reactions. Our director blushed, looked down at the floor and said with a shit-eating grin, “I’m not going to say ANYTHING!” Most everyone laughed.

That’s it.

That night or the next night, I’m standing in a parking lot, in an impromptu board meeting, talking about sexual harassment.

I tried to defend the director. These conversations went on for several weeks. I felt sympathy for the girl making accusations, but knew, for sure, nothing happened.

Should he have kept his mouth shut?
YES

Should he have said, “You look nice.” or “I approve.”
YES

Should he be black-balled and strung up?
Hell to the NO.

It was an awkward fumble. It was not sexual harassment, in my opinion. I was there. My husband was there. We saw it all and witnessed the alleged harassment. Nothing happened.

The loudest torch-carrying villager was a woman who was not even present during the incident. She bullied me for defending the director.

I relay all this, not to excuse the director’s faux pas. Not to excuse Weinstein, Cosby or Louis CK. To illustrate, sometimes there are witch hunts. Sometimes, the accused is just mildly stupid, awkward or mentally disabled, but not guilty. Sometimes, well, all the time, we need to withhold judgment and hear all the facts, first! Especially, if it’s up to you to decide what happens to the alleged creep. Let’s not crucify all men for what a few assholes did.


But. If it is true (and it looks like there’s mounting evidence), why did everyone sweep it under the rug? It’s disgusting!

And Harvey, if you did all this? Karma’s a bitch. That you molested for years. Time to pay.

Guy Maggio (Kacey Moe) said, “He may have been rich and powerful. Now, he’s just rich. But not for long.”

I agree. Taking this man’s power and money and reducing him to just an average toad is a well-deserved punishment. Should he do jail time? Would someone without his power and influence do jail time?

Blade Runner 2049

Saw BR today. Totally worth it. Went to see it in IMAX. Also totally worth it. The sound was amazing. I won’t spoil it. All I’ll say–the solar fields of Los Angeles are sad and breathtaking all at the same time. Well done. It might surpass the original in cinematography alone.

So good! If you appreciate science fiction and detective novels, go see it.

One more thing, all the actors are superb IMO.

Ok, last thing, the script is masterful.

Blade Runner

I cannot wait for Blade Runner 2049. I’ve seen the two mini movies (<– that’s the first one, here’s the second with Bautista, who is great!) they released and I’m stoked. I really hope it lives up to the hype.

I have watched the first BR over and over. I tried to read the book, but it was challenging and different and had to be back to the library before I could finish. Embarrassed to say that, but it’s true. The movie seems to be entirely different. Based on, right?? :/

The ending scene in the director’s cut of BR is perfect. “…tears in rain.”

So much Christian/Jesus influence with the dove, and the nail, and sacrifice/salvation. Love it.

When I was a kid, I didn’t understand and was completely bored by this movie. There are many quiet moments that would be lost on a child. In 1982, I was 9. I probably didn’t attempt to watch it until it was released on video. So maybe 12 or so. It was boring though.

“When’s Hans Solo going to do something??”

My daughter has even seen the movie several times and is excited for BR 2049. That’s. Cool! We are definitely going to the movie theater to see this one.

Lilli and I joke, when Pris puts on her black mask of spray paint–
“Trying to even out your eyeliner!”EYELINER MEME

I would wear this look. 🙂 Would it be weird to dress up for the show? LOL I’m sure people are somewhere!

Let’s All Go To the Movies.

More from Vol. 2 of Present Tense


My mother and father have lost the will to parent. I am sitting in a dark movie theatre with Mom, Dad and my sister. I am five, almost six.
Alien.
Oh, God. That man’s face has just been attacked by an octopus egg.
Oh, God. The android’s head is decapitated from his body and milky fluid is shooting out from his neck.
I am screaming. I am crying. I am being ushered quickly to the lobby by my mother.

We lounge for about a minute.
“Ready to go back?”
Okay, there are no more bodiless robots. Popcorn.
I have to have my legs in my seat. I am sitting cross-legged. No aliens can possibly eat my dangling legs if they are safely tucked up, away from their snotty teeth.
Oh, God. There’s spaghetti exploding from that guy’s open stomach.
Oh, God. It’s a baby alien. I am screaming. I am crying. I am being ushered.
A minute.
“Ready to go back?”
My parents also let me watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Deliverance (ABC Presentation of the Week). Also, A Thief in the Night.
This 1972 (made before I was even born) Christian classic talks about end times. Christians are taken to heaven in the rapture and non-believers are left behind. Everyone has to take the 666-Mark of the Beast tattoo or they can’t buy eggs and butter. People who just want a little breakfast are arrested for trying to buy groceries, and a girl with a balloon gets beheaded on a guillotine. There’s a fun song at the end, too.
I wish we’d all been ready…

The synopsis of this movie may be slightly inaccurate. It’s what I remember and the impression that remains.


I lived through what seemed like a very real threat of nuclear annihilation during the height of the Cold War and was constantly worried about being microwaved to oblivion by a nuke. These movie nights and paranoid world destruction fantasies could be considered the bright, sunny moments of my childhood with an abusive father. My prayer, as I got older, became this:

If I have to die–God, just don’t let me die a virgin.