A storm approaches -- 01/22/05

So our prediction is for lots and lots of snow accompanied by strong winds -- enough to qualify as blizzard conditions -- with gusts well in excess of fifty miles an hour. We are told to expect a foot or a foot and a half or maybe twenty inches or...

I don't know about some of the extremes, but it is apparent that a major storm is about to hit.

This picture was taken around three o'clock, as the storm has just begun. The snow has covered the pavement with a quarter inch or so (the snow on the lawn is left from a mid-week storm). Jeremy's girl friend is leaving as he is getting ready for work -- he packed a sleeping bag so he can spend the night at work in case the storm makes the roads impassable. (It is supposed to bring heavy snow until sometime Sunday afternoon -- with possible "whiteout" conditions tonight.)

This should have been her day off, but Jill had been asked to come in to work at six a.m. -- an hour before the supermarket opens -- to help get ready for a big day. She phoned me as she was leaving work to go to her Saturday role-playing game session to tell me that all registers had huge lines and I should stay away. However, I needed to buy some chicken because my plans had been to make a beef stew except she does not eat beef, so I had to switch dinner plans to chicken pot pie. (Given the weather forecast and the rural location and long driveway to the house she is sharing with some other college students, she decided it was better to visit Mom and Dad -- also, she could get some laundry done.)

She and Nancy went out to shovel while I was fixing dinner. This picture was taken about half an hour after they had shoveled. Despite what it looks like in this picture, the snowfall is not as heavy as I had feared and, although it is windy, we don't yet seem to have true blizzard conditions. A snowplow just went down our street, clearing the roadway. I wonder if this will end up bringing us the huge snowfall the weather-babblers on TV have been hyping or if it will turn out to just be more media hype.
I rented two movies yesterday. We watched one of them -- De-Lovely -- last night. It's a biography of Cole Porter (2004 release), directed by Irwin Winkler. It stars Kevin Kline as Cole Porter and Ashley Judd as Linda Porter. This is a very theatrical movie; that is, it has more in common with a stage play than a motion picture, especially at the start. It took me a while to get into the movie -- the same things that probably would have grabbed me as a member of the audience at a live performance seemed a bit too stagey in a film -- and yet, once I did get into it, I was captured. The film opens with an aged Porter, in his seventies, at the moment of his death, being greeted by "Gabe" (yes, the archangel Gabriel, played by Jonathan Pryce) who is showing Porter a replay of his life, staged in the theatre where he first entered show business as a child playing piano accompaniment for silent movies. Kline and Judd are first rate, really marvelous performances. The organization of the movie, sliding back and forth between fantasy (Gabe and Porter watching performers stage his life) and the reality of Cole and Linda's difficult relationship (a gay man deeply in love with a woman) and the huge variety of musical numbers, may be a bit much for some viewers, but the performances are solid and the sound track is fantastic. (Many of Porter's tunes are performed by contemporary artists, including Alanis Morissette, Elvis Costello, and Sheryl Crow.)

There is an awesome scene about two-thirds of the way through the movie. It is set in a gay nightclub, filmed in a single take with a camera that wanders through the nightclub, with the point being made that this was an on-going activity in his life by means of having him (and many of the rest of the actors in the scene, including Vivian Green as the performer in the night club changing clothes everytime the camera leaves them so that when it catches them again they are dressed differently as if this is a yet another night. (The comment is made in one of the special features on the DVD that the only way this scene worked is that most of the cast were experienced stage actors and were accustomed to doing very quick costume changes.) The scene is haunting -- and Green's rendition of "Love for Sale" is marvelous. (Okay, so this film isn't for everyone, but if you like Cole Porter's music or are a fan of Kline and Judd or you enjoy musical theatre, you might consider giving De-Lovely a try.)

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