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Sunday, February 11, 2001

We took Mom out on the town last night. Well, not really. We bundled her up in my car and went to dinner at Suzanne's house. She sat by the fire, staring at the cat who was curled up at (or rather, on) her feet.

When it was time to eat, she had a plateful of angel hair pasta to look at. Then we moved back into the living room for coffee. It's a little like having a garden gnome in the house and moving it around from room to room with you. Well, except that she's not inanimate.

The fact that we can only see the top of her head makes her quips and one-liners even funnier. She hasn't lost her mind, even if everything else in her head is being altered by the force of gravity. The doctor expects her face to be puffy for awhile after she's able to look up again Tuesday.

And that blasted bubble inside her eye is already giving her fits. She keeps that eye closed most of the time, and no one knows for sure how long before it'll dissolve. Days? Weeks?

In any case, her spirits are good, despite the boredom, and so ours are better, too. And we're doing what we can to relieve the boredom. I kind of wish the funnies were a little funnier, though.

I watched What Planet Are You From? on cable last night. I wanted to like it but didn't expect to. But it's really a kind of sweet exploration of how relationships develop, as men are "civilized" by women who are willing to look beneath the surface.

There weren't as many leg-slappingly funny scenes as I'd expected from seeing the trailer over and over again last summer, but I loved Annette Bening in this, loved the way she kept giving Garry Shandling's clueless alien another chance. It's a movie about communication, and how much easier it is to make a relationship work if both people make the effort.

And, by extension, it shows how society is held together by the open exchange of ideas, and the willingness of groups to be receptive to the views of others. That's a lesson we could stand to have enforced here in the real world these days.

house and garden, windy day

Even though I had trouble getting used to the writing style in Pay It Forward, I very much like the structure of the novel. The author uses both first-person and third-person narration, and shifts the viewpoint from character to character as the big idea gets spread through the world.

Every person who "pays forward" a good deed done for them affects more lives than he or she knows, and that becomes the point — that even if we don't know the eventual outcome of the kindnesses we show to others, it doesn't matter, because they affect the world in a positive way.

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I love what Kymm wrote about O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

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Some get the marrow bone
And some get nothing,
Though there's plenty to spare.