Michael Keaton Day

September 15th was Batman Day.

Did you know this is an annual thing?  Well, the cool kids knew.  And me. I also knew.

For me, Batman Day really means it’s Michael Keaton Day, because Michael Keaton is the BEST Batman ever.  A quick scroll with the tv remote tells me that at least 4 cable channels agree with me, as they are currently running a loop of the Keaton films that will undoubtedly go on all weekend.  No such thing as too much Michelle Pfeiffer in red lipstick and leather, so I doubt anyone is complaining.

There’s so much to appreciate about the MK Batman movies, I hardly know where to begin.  I have been in a mood today so let’s begin with his mouth.  If you’re going to cover up approximately 97 percent of your body with latex and leave your mouth showing so that you can speak and scowl and whatnot, it needs to be a pretty damn impressive mouth.

Exhibit A:

batman-keaton-0126-e1485471155261-1

For all his handsome broodiness, Christian Bale does NOT have a pout like that, I’m just saying.

Secondly, Michael Keaton’s Batman was campy and fun.  He told great jokes and was able to have a laugh at himself.  It’s like he KNEW this shit was comic books, man.  He wasn’t trying to get all philosophical about it, he was just there to bust some noses, spend some Wayne Enterprises money, and kiss the pretty girls.  I admire his simplicity.  Jack Nicholson is so enjoyable as the Joker that his performance elicits giggles of delight.

And finally, the reason I hold Michael Keaton up as the Batman Standard which all other Batmen have failed to measure up to:  Well, this guy says it better than I can , but Keaton’s Batman’s whole purpose was wrapped up in his alter-ego. They weren’t so easily separated as Christian Bale’s version.  He wasn’t ALSO Bruce Wayne.  Bruce Wayne in the Keaton films was a regular guy who lit up and came alive when he answered the call to save Gotham.  I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

So Happy Michael Keaton Week, everyone.

I hope you get the opportunity to sit down with your loved ones tonight and watch Batman, followed by Batman Returns, a cinematic masterpiece starring one of the sexiest set of lips that has ever graced the big screen.  And also Michelle Pfeiffer’s.

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I am the (K)night
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Care Bear Scare

This is so funny and I had nowhere to post it, so here you are…

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…and I don’t really have anything further to add to that.

((not my art, artist unknown))

Migraine

My head feels like

It’s splitting open

Too much, too much

So I crawl down into

The darkness again

And sit, and sit

And forget.

p e r s p e c t i v e

When you’re sitting down there on the floor, all cried out and delirious, eyes red and swollen, flicking the lamp switch back and forth, mascara smudged all over your face and you just can’t see that it doesn’t matter if he has her or she has him…

You can’t see because right now you’re just deep in it, you’re thinking about boiling bunnies and you are still turning the goddamn lights on and off while blasting Madame Butterfly through the speakers and wearing his cologne because he shattered your heart…

You were Alex for him, a damn good Alex too, until he decided Alex wasn’t what he wanted and all the things that made you exciting and intriguing now make you a human land mine and he’s afraid of taking another step…

I want you to know that it doesn’t matter if he lied or broke your heart or used you or made you feel cheap, that he spat out beautiful bullshit with a Cheshire grin, it won’t matter after this momentary break or in any other instant after…

It won’t matter because you’re not Alex. Alex was never who you really are, only a part you played once, someone who fit his mold and expectations, who made him feel important, a woman who thrilled and intimidated him, a woman he callously dismissed and discarded…

It won’t matter because the truth is evident now, you can see it and taste it and feel it, that fire burning in your gut, that voice that tells you you’re stronger without him and you were made to handle tough things, the one that dares you to prove it to yourself…

It won’t matter because – plot twist – you’re Glenn Fucking Close and when this moment is over you’re going to stand up, put your pants on, take a long drag off a longer cigarette and go eat some over-seasoned salmon on the balcony of a hotel where the sheets cost more than most people’s dignity and you will never shed a tear over him again…

And that, my dear, is perspective.

Moon in A Box, or Life Story 4

He was enchanted

By her luminous glow

And sought at once

To possess her.

He reached up high

Pulled her down low

And put up a fence

Around her.

She was no longer worshipped

No one admired

Her grace, her magic,

Her splendor.

No songs were sung

No petitions, no prayers

Only darkness

Confusion, despair.

The moon had been plucked

From her beloved sky

Captured

And put in a box.

Never again would she

Call in the tides

Or cast ocean waves

Upon rocks.

But she was the moon!

A goddess, by right!

And she simply refused to

Give up the night.

So she kissed him goodbye,

Restoring herself

Among the stars

In the heavenly realms.

Now when a man is enchanted

With our goddess moon

And bids her

Please come down

She winks and she shines

And she sweetly declines

Possession,

Preferring her crown.

Tidbits

Just some things I’ve been thinking about.  Dear Diary…

1.  Why does commercial success sometimes (often times?) come at the cost of artistic integrity?  I remember standing on the first floor of the Virgin Megastore in Orlando, Florida and listening to Songs About Jane by Maroon 5.  I joked that they might as well have called that album “Songs About Jenee”.  That album was my life.  I’ve never liked them more than I did at that time.  They got super popular and famous after that, but less good.

2.  A book about a painter should always include photographs of his or her work.I bought a book about Picasso yesterday, his life and his works.  Picasso is one of my favorite painters.  I think he’s a good example of there being a hairline fracture – thin separation between genius and madness. (If you haven’t seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona, go watch it now.)  One of my life goals is to own at least a couple of Picasso sketches.  Not paintings, pencil drawings.  Those were his best, in my opinion.

3.   Running shoes are the absolute worst for walking long distances.  HOW is that even possible?  I cannot understand it.  Can you?  Talk amongst yourselves.

4.   Last night I showed my kids video clips of the Saturday Morning Laff-A-Lympics.  They will never be the same.  I’m not sorry.

5.  I am beginning to embrace the idea that it’s a (supermassive) possibility that everything we have ever been taught is wrong.  And it’s wrong on purpose (for a purpose, I  mean).  This is both liberating and terrifying.  Red meat is extremely nutritious. North American indigenous peoples didn’t tend to grow corn (duh, most of the tribes were nomadic because they followed their food.)  I have an extra vertebra in my back so I’m now 99.9 percent sure I’m an alien.  Broccoli isn’t even a real vegetable, y’all.  Nothing is real. Inception + The Matrix + Vanilla Sky = Closer to reality than “reality”.

6.   There’s not really an inappropriate time or place for dancing, is there?  I mean, maybe a funeral but even then I feel like it’s a hard maybe.  I’ve been dancing a lot this week.  They say if your kids hum around you it’s a sign of security and contentment.  Maybe randomly dancing is the adult manifestation of that?  It’s a good theory, anyway.

timing [draft] notes bc it’s raining

Angie tapped her fingernails on the windowsill. She had been sitting here, curled up in the breakfast nook, watching the rain fall for the better part of an hour. Rainy days were the best days for thinking, Grandfather used to say. Angie disagreed with that. She thought rainy days were best for sleeping. The gray skies made her feel drowsy and if she weren’t thinking so hard she might have stayed in bed this morning. She missed her Grandfather, and the way he always made her feel safe, especially now.

She’d give anything for his reassurance today.

This was the longest she’d gone without speaking to Clint, aside from the years he was married. She wasn’t sure what it meant, or if it meant anything. On their first phone call after his divorce, Clint apologized for a decade of silence.  Technically it had been eleven years, she reminded him.

“Let’s just call those my ‘Wonder Years’ because I still wonder what the hell was wrong with me”, he laughed.

She laughed, too.

There was a short pause, and then he cleared his throat. Angie’s ears perked up. She knew he only did that before he said something serious. She pressed her ear to her phone and held her breath.

“Kiddo”, he started, and he cleared his throat again before continuing. “Kiddo, I need you to know that not a day went by that I didn’t think about you.  You were always there. You were in everything – my dreams, my successes, my failures, my ups and downs and all of it.

I didn’t hear a song on the radio that wasn’t written about the freckles on your skin. I never saw one twinkling star in the sky that wasn’t just a pale reflection of the light in your eyes. I dreamed about you, too. Wrote about you. I tried so hard to get rid of you, Angie, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t get rid of you because you were already a part of me. I swear, every time I took a breath, it’s like you were breathing with me. I know I’m not making any sense, darlin’, but I missed you – I missed you something awful – and I just really need to say so. I need you to know it.”

Marriage was marriage, she understood, and Angie had never held a grudge about it, or let her mind linger too long on “what ifs”. She tried her best not to let it wander now. She hoped he was thinking of her today. She was always thinking of him. The rain was falling heavier now, big dime-sized drops that plopped onto the window in front of her before streaking down the glass pane and joining each other in a puddle at the edge of the wooden mantle, eventually spilling over onto the muddy ground below.

Lightning flashed blue and white across the sky and lit up the acreage outside like a heavenly strobe light. Thunder bellowed behind it, and Angie threw her head back to listen. She could hear the booming sounds rolling from left to right over head.

Wolf and Woman

I’ve written before – and at length – about my sensitivity.  About how at times, the world can be too big, too loud, too bright, too much.  Last night I had a chat with my (also sensitive) firstborn about what it means to be an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), to feel and absorb the energy of others, and to live in a heightened state of awareness.  Talking to him, I realized I might sometimes make sensitivity sound like a negative thing.  It isn’t.  I believe with all my bleeding heart that sensitivity is a superpower.  My Native American birth totem is the wolf, and I have always identified with that strongly. As a Pisces, empath, HSP, many of the traits are complimentary and parallel.  Recently I’ve posted several articles on Facebook about being an introvert, and until I began to receive responses I didn’t truly understand just how different my experience is from “regular” folks.  I decided to write down some positive aspects of being highly sensitive.

The title of this post is taken from a poem by Nikita Gill:

Some days

I am more wolf

than woman

and I am still learning

how to stop apologizing

for my wild.

Of course, this poem speaks to me on so many levels, but I thought it appropriate to include here.

Hearing: I hear everything, even from far away.  From a roach’s footsteps on tile to the neighbors having a laugh down at the pool at midnight. I complain about it sometimes, because for sleeping (we live in an apartment complex) it’s not ideal.   However, there’s a lot to be said for having sensitive hearing, and it has to do with more than just volume.  For example, it means I like certain tones in music and voices.   Some are sweet and melodic to me.  (Alternatively, some are quite grating.)

I hear small things in nature, like sound of bees buzzing.

I like the sing-song way the actress Miranda Richardson says “ingenue” in the movie version of Phantom. Or the way Fanny Ardant’s Marie de Guise says just about anything.

Classical music (particularly piano, particularly Beethoven) and Opera moves me to tears.

Learning to music is easy for me, and as a child I taught myself facts like the Seven Deadly Sins to the tune of pop songs.  I still remember them. (Hey, I grew up going to Catholic School, so there’s a lot of Scripture in my head.)  I think being HSP is also a contributing factor to how meaningful song lyrics are to my listening experience.  If I like a melody, but the words are stupid, I won’t keep listening.  I like a song that’s deep, that is tragic or curious or whimsical or raw.  Without that it seems pointless to me.

When I was a kid my grandfather called me a mimic because I was so good at accents and dialects.  I impersonated George Bush and Michael Jackson for laughs.  This comes in handy when learning language, as I am able to pick up pronunciation easily.  I can also hear when someone’s tone of voice or inflection changes, even subtly.

Taste: It means I absolutely delight in food. Flavors, textures, temperatures. Sweet and savory, spicy and mellow. I frequently mix textures (ideally I’d do this with every meal) so that I can have crunchy, soft, chewy, warm, sweet and bitter and cool in the same bite.

Some foods are very comforting, like smooth dark chocolate, and I can discern the subtle differences between brands and percentages.  I love a good soda for the bubbles and the way they tickle my tongue and cheeks before rolling down my throat.  A warm, from scratch Belgian waffle disintegrating into sugar is one of my favorite sensations in life.

I like hot cinnamon tea on a cool Fall day and very cold ice cream (a certain kind, of course) in Summer.  I appreciate a good burger more than my vocabulary will allow me to express.

Touch: The sun feels extra warm on my skin.  I like the way it feels on my face, especially in the morning time. I can perceive the sun’s effect on my blood through my skin.  The crunch of dry leaves underfoot when I walk barefoot on grass is lovely.    The way sea water gently introduces itself to my legs each time I walk the beach, and the grittiness of sand between my toes makes me grin.

Sensations that others might take for granted – like being fully submerged in water, or sitting with friends next to a bonfire – are extremely pleasurable to me.

When I shop for clothing, I always try them on.  They should look good, but I need them to feel good, too.  If a material is smooth, soft, and I like the way it glides over my skin, I’ll buy it.  I am particular about fabrics, linens, and especially blankets for this reason.

I like to touch everything.  Walls, paintings, animals, the mail.  I get information this way.

I need hugs and physical affection like some people need air.

Books have a certain feel.  Especially old, hard-cover books.  It makes my fingers tingle just thinking about it. One of my favorite things to do when I’m in a vintage book store is open a book and run my fingers over the type on the page.  I also like to feel the edges, especially if they’re uneven.

Smell: My mom laughs because I say every person has a unique smell.  I can smell people and I recognize them by scent.  (Only today did I realize that she doesn’t understand it because she can’t do it.) I didn’t know other people don’t recognize natural scents, I thought this was something we all do.  Smell is the scent most strongly tied to memory, and I am so fortunate that I can associate a myriad of smells to each of my loved ones.

I can tell when food is rotten, or when something is on fire from far away (this has come in handy more than once.)

No one appreciates a good essential oil like I do.  I love a hot Epsom salt soak with some oils mixed in.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only non-coffee drinker who likes to sit in coffee shops and inhale the aromas.

Sixth/Psychic: I am aware of energy shifts around me, so I can tell if some other entity is close.  I have been in places where I knew something bad had happened and I physically couldn’t walk down the stairs.  (I think this is good because it kept me from potential danger.)  I have met people and known things about them immediately.  I have dream visitations from deceased friends and loved ones.  I am entangled and enmeshed with my loved ones.  My grandmother calls me when I’m upset because she can feel it.  My brother and I have had incredible moments of what would be called mind-reading.  I know when people are lying, and my mother used to call me a Human Barometer, because I could tell her if a potential boyfriend was a good person or a bad person.  Empathy. Compassion. Love.  Off the charts.  Animals like me, too, so that’s good.  I like patterns and symmetry, I can see them a lot of times in nature, or art, or people.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but definitely something I’ll put on my resume (should I ever have to write one).  In Summary: HSP’s are Super Humans and sensitivity is an extraordinary gift.  I will never apologize for someone else’s failure to understand.

Timing [draft] notes to build on

The sky is a mix of blues, pinks and purples.  The sun has all but set, and Clint and Angie are sitting parallel on the bench seat of his vintage Bronco.  He had that put in just for her – or really, so that he could sit closer to her.  She was the only girl he never got tired of, and always wanted around.  Originally the old truck had separate seats with a cavernous space in the middle, without so much as a console where their elbows might touch together when they rested their arms.

The first time Angie sat in the Bronco with him, he knew he had to change the seats.  He wanted her to sit right next to him when they drove across the country, which in his mind they were bound to do.  God, he was crazy about her.  He sometimes drove with the windows down and her long brown hair would tickle his face and neck as it got swept up in the wind, and little goosebumps would raise on her legs.  Who knew goosebumps could be so sexy?  They were. She was.  Sexy and sweet and just enough of a sorceress to send him into a frenzy without even meaning to.

Angie usually sat right next to Clint, just like he’d intended except on certain Summer nights.  On a clear night like this one she loved to see the moon and stars, so she slid all the way over to her side of the truck to watch the twinkling lights in the sky go by overhead.  The stars were magical.  Small, beautiful, enigmatic representatives of the Cosmos – a tremendous unknown world that she likened to the deepest, bluest, most mesmerizing ocean she’d ever want to dive into and would likely never get to swim in.  She loved the stars like other people loved their pets or their sports teams – that is, with wild abandon and without apology.

She talked about the universe and all its inhabitants with such genuine passion, you might think she wanted to become an astronaut or fly to Mars.  But she didn’t.  She just felt connected to it, that big expanse.  The moon with her phases and the galaxies with their total otherworldliness.  She delighted in their beauty and marveled at their placement.

(((He drives her to a field. blanket the works.  Likens her freckles to stars. A galaxy yours.  It’s yours, she says.  That’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me, he says.  I promise you, I’ll never stop exploring it.

Can I change my answer?  This is my favorite.

What? The field? The stars?  Being naked?

Scrunch up her nose laugh.

She sits on his lap and he hugs her tight, the sarape enclosing them in their own very colorful cocoon… whisper/talks into his ear. Tells him they are two halves of the same star.  That’s why they recognized each other the first time they met.  That’s why they keep circling back to each other.  Why there’s so much heat.  Why her face lights up, why he gets restless.  The whole deal.  She waits for him to laugh at her.  He doesn’t.

So can I?

Can you what, Kiddo?

Change my answer.  I want to change it.

Sure.  Hit me.

These are all my favorite.  These moments I used to dream about, the ones I never thought I’d really get with you.  When we do something like drive out to an abandoned field and lie in the grass and trace freckles and breathe in the wild air and just hold on to each other and stare out at the constellations.  It’s hard to explain but sometimes it makes my fingertips tingle.  I can feel energy shooting from them, it’s like my soul reaches out a little, just outside the confines of my body, and yours reaches out too – just a fraction – and they touch.  And for half a minute we are one person, not two.  Like we’re whole again.  When they make the movie about my life, these are going to be the thing I talk about when it’s over. The best part.

Timing Notes the best part convo

“So they’re going to make a movie about your life…”, Angie started, holding Clint’s hand as her eyes traced the quilted diamonds that _____________ the length of the periwinkle hospital blanket.  The material was rough and scratchy, like an old towel that had been hung out on the line in the sun and forgotten a few days.  For a moment she remembered the old scratchy towels at her grandparents’ house.  Angie’s grandmother would always wash the towels in the washing machine, and then hang them out on the line midday to dry.  Instead of softening and blowing beautifully in the wind like the towels in commercials, Grandmother’s towels always stood stiff on the line once they were dry, and they made a little crunching sound when she folded them.  Needless to say, they were hell to dry off with after a bath and young Angie would slip into her pjs sopping wet as many nights as she could get away with it.

Angie thought she felt Clint’s finger twitch in her hand and her thoughts came back to the small, cold room she sat in now.  She wondered to herself why a hospital wouldn’t have more comfortable blankets.  Shrugging her shoulders, she sighed, and repeated her original query.  “So they’re going to make a movie about your life.  What’s the best part?” She knew he wouldn’t answer.  She hoped he could hear her. “That’s ok.  I’ll go first”, she said.

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OR

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“So let’s say there’s going to be a movie about your life,” Angie said, smiling up at Clint.  They were walking hand-in-hand down the long hallway, meandering really, giving Angie time to examine each movie poster they walked past as if she were a patron in an art gallery, ______________ choosing a piece to take home. Compared to every other girl he had dated, she was so strange.  No, not strange.  Interesting.  She was always thinking new thoughts, inventing new inventions.  Creating.  Imagining.  Angie let her curiosity lead her and she had managed to preserve some of the wonder he thought was reserved for small children at Christmas time.  Somehow she inserted it into the every day things.  He loved that about her.

“A movie about my life?” Clint finally responded.

“Mmm hmm.”

“Well, that would never happen. At least not until after I’m dead.”

Angie shot him a confused look but said nothing.  As good as she was at figuring out what was coming next in a movie, Clint wasn’t as predictable.  Often she was sure she knew where a conversation was going, and he would lead her down a different road altogether.  It amused her.  She stayed quiet to let him explain.

“I’m a writer.  They don’t make movies about guys like me.”

“Uh, yes they do. I’ve seen movies about Hemingway, Tolkien, Fitzgerald.  There are plenty of movies about writers.”

“Kiddo, you’re proving my point.  One, those guys are all dead, and two, they’re nothing like me.  Or I’m not like them.  People generally like their big and famous writers to be one of two things: dead, or mysterious.  I will be dead one day, but I’ll never be mysterious.  Not like Stephen King or ________________”

Angie let her thoughts roll around in her head for a few moments before she spoke.  Clint wasn’t wrong.  He wasn’t mysterious.  He couldn’t be.  Clint had a big presence.  His drawl and swagger had a tendency to draw people close to him, and his easy way with people meant he made friends pretty easily.  The man could warm up a cold room like a wood furnace just by cracking a joke.

“Ok, so you’re not mysterious. Let’s say you’re correct about everything and they only make a movie about your life after you die. You have died and there is now a major motion picture made about you and your life. ”

“Alright. So?”

“So… what’s the best part?”

“The best part?  Of the movie, you mean?”

“Yeah, Clint.  What’s the part of the movie that people leave the theater talking about?”

They had made their way to the exit doors and as Clint flung one of them open, the bright sunlight from outside shone into the dark theater and momentarily blinded them both.  Angie put her arm up over her face in an attempt to see the sidewalk in front of her feet.  Suddenly, she felt a strong tug on her shirt and she fell towards it, spun around, and landed with her face in Clint’s chest.

“What are you doing?” she giggled.

Without speaking, he leaned down and kissed her sweet caramel corn – laced mouth with his salty popcorn lips.

She giggled again.

“That’s the best part,” she said. “For me.”

They stood there, in the corner of the movie theater building, Angie looking up at him and Clint smiling down at her.  “Love is the best part.  It’s cliche, but that’s the best part of my movie.  Love.  Kisses. Stolen glances. Butterflies in the stomach.”

“Honestly, Kiddo, I expected more from you” Clint grabbed her by the hand and led her out into the parking lot.

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