She's 3 years old but already a Pinball Wizard, just like me! Is it heredity, environment, what? Because she'd never before laid her little eyeballs on a pinball machine.
And a review of "Brokeback Mountain", yes, I watched it and unlike other reviewers, this heterosexual female noticed something not written about in the many reviews of the movie I've read.
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DISCLAIMER: Movie Reviews
I never see a first-run movie so any movie reviews I do are likely older ones. But if you're looking to rent a DVD for the weekend, or just want a new perspective on a movie you remember fondly, or not-so-fondly, read on.
"Brokeback Mountain"-Yes I Watched It; Yes I Was Intrigued
IMDB SITE for "Brokeback Mountain"
When I saw that "Brokeback Mountain" would be showing on one of the local premium channels I had mixed emotions. For on another Internet public board I stated firmly that this movie would never appeal to heterosexuals and its viewing audience would likely be too small to make it into some sort of blockbuster.
Yet, out of curiousity and since it was free, I tuned in.
First, I greatly enjoyed this film.
Yes I did.
Second, I don't believe in this film's premise, not even for a second. Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy the film, because I did.
I especially adored the character Jack Twist, who is very handsome and goodness I hope this young actor was just playing the part of a homosexual else the females of the world will be denied his beauty.
I have a great, big, fat criticism of the film but I also have a sincere complimentary assessment of this film that I'm not sure its intended audience would see as well as this heterosexual female.
First, the criticism. Come on, Jack and Ennis were no more typical homosexuals than Goofy the Dog and Donald Duck. In fact, I'm thinking whoever wrote this screen play crafted the characters to be homosexual men as he or she WISHES they were.
Jack was a rodeo clown and Ennis was a for-hire cowpoke. This duo met while rounding up sheep and herding them down Brokeback Mountain. The film then continues to track Jack and Ennis' life as they marry, have children, suffer heartbreak and divorce, all the while stealing some time together on Brokeback Mountain whenever they could get away, throughout the years of their lives.
Both of these men eventually married, even after their affair on that infamous mountain. And their marriages, beyond anything my mind could grasp, were perfectly normal. A love scene between each of these men and their respective wives was inserted explicitly at various points in the movie and the love scenes were inserted just so the viewer understands that these fellows plainly can have heterosexual relationships and enjoy them as well.
Okay, so this is one thing I do not believe at all.
Which is not to say that there aren't plenty of homosexual men that are married and manage to lead mostly normal, if unfulfilled, lives. It was different with Jack and Ennis. Ennis even makes a point to scold Jack that he "ain't no queer" even as he prepares for a night of man love in Jack's arms.
Jack and Ennis were truly in love. I'm serious. These fellows were totally in love with each other and their love endured through years of separation, punctuated by an occasional tryst when the duo could get together. They even talked about running away to Mexico and living the rest of their years in blissful togetherness. Ennis quashed the idea, however, due to financial concerns, adding the odd comment "You ever heard of child support?"
Well Ennis did have to pay child support after his divorce from his wife but go on, how many homosexual men use child support as the reason they can't get together more often with their male lover? Of course I have no statistics on such a thing but it was such an odd comment considering the theme of the movie it almost made me giggle.
Both Jack and Ennis were betrayed as "he-men" that would handily squash nearby trouble-makers who use bad language in front of their children. Ennis regularly picked up his daughters for visitation and Jack loved his son and defied his father-in-law for interfering into family discipline.
Again, I just don't see this duo as your more common homosexuals but more like a homosexual would LIKE to be perceived.
I will naturally get scores of email telling me I don't know nothing, that what I think is normal homosexual behavior is nothing like I imagine and this movie, in fact, is trying in its very creation, to shatter my preconceived heterosexual notions.
Perhaps. I still don't buy it. In fact, Ennis showed absolutely no tendency or attraction to other men beyond Jack Twist. Jack, on the other hand, openly solicited other men for homosexual trysts. The viewer is supposed to believe that Ennis just happened to love Jack Twist and it happened and that's the end of that.
One thing about this film that really moved me was Ennis' relationship with his daughters. Ennis was devoted to his daughters and his daughters to him. One of the most moving scenes in the movie was when Ennis' daughter visited him in his bare little trailer and asked him to please attend her upcoming nuptials. Ennis, as was his wont, kind of shuffled and blushed, pleading a busy upcoming herding season with no time to take off for such as weddings. Eventually Ennis relented and said he would be there.
It was so obvious Ennis loved his daughters and his daughters' devotion to him says a lot about the man. It was also obvious that Ennis loved Jack Twist and there would be no other consuming love in Ennis' life like the love he had for Jack. After his divorce Ennis did date women and in fact one woman was very much in love with him. As for Ennis, that part of his life was done. He would live the remainder of his life alone and pining for Jack Twist.
The movie has a sad ending and I was moved. As a viewer I truly felt that Ennis was a confused man who only wanted some happiness and love in his life. The viewer is left to wonder about Ennis' real sexuality and perhaps that was the plan.
Kaitlyn Smells Like a Dog and Is a Pinball Wizard
Okay, Kaitlyn doesn't exactly SMELL like a dog, in that, sniff, sniff...ooooh, Kaitlyn, you smell just like a dog!
What I mean to say is that Kaitlyn tells me she can smell the same things with her human nose as Jo-Ann can smell with her dog nose.
It all began during a recent after-Christmas visit to Mom-Mom's. For at Mom-Mom's house is big galoot Jo-Ann, a horse-dog that loves Kaitlyn dearly and would give her canine life for Kaitlyn Mae. Now Kaitlyn does understand this and she loves Jo-Ann too. Only sometimes Jo-Ann can get on a toddler's last nerve as the dog smells and licks a human face at exactly Jo-Ann's own dog-face level.
"Tell her NO, Kaitlyn," I tried to explain to precious granddaughter. If Kaitlyn was to stop Jo-Ann from dominating her every move or action, it was on Kaitlyn to learn to assert herself as the human being over galoot Jo-Ann. The way it was going down was for Kaitlyn to come running to me to make Jo-Ann leave her alone, which I did. Still, I knew Kaitlyn had to learn to give Jo-Ann human commands and she needed to do it with authority. A task not so easy for a 3-year-old.
"Jo-Ann is a DOG," I explained to Kaitlyn one evening as I tried to elaborate on where she needed to go with this. "Dogs enjoy taking commands from humans. In fact, they EXPECT their humans to tell them what is expected of them. YOU are Jo-Ann's master, Kaitlyn. YOU can talk and communicate in English and that right there is understood by dogs to be a sign of a superior species."
"You are way smarter than a dog and you have to communicate to the dog that you are her master," I continued, not at all sure what part of my lecture Kaitlyn was absorbing. "Right now, Jo-Ann thinks you are another puppy and she wants to play with you."
Kaitlyn's big blue eyes were round and absorbing. It was the next morning during our dog walk that Kaitlyn asserted herself as a superior species to Jo-Ann.
"See how she sniffs the ground, Kaitlyn?" I asked granddaughter as we watched Jo-Ann's huge dog nose sniff every inch of ground. "She can smell animals that passed by days ago. Why I bet she can smell that fox we saw yesterday."
Kaitlyn was quiet for a while. The she pipes up with some authority "I can smell the fox too."
So I had to laugh. For I knew that Kaitlyn certainly could NOT smell the fox while I was pretty sure Jo-Ann could. And yet Kaitlyn didn't want to appear to be INFERIOR to the dog. A)I had just given her a lecture on the superiority of humans over dogs, an assertion many dog-lovers might take me to task for but you know what I mean and B)Kaitlyn wasn't at all sure if she SHOULD be smelling the fox as she's just a young child and not aware of what talents might suddenly appear as she grows and matures. She sure didn't want Mom-Mom to know that she couldn't smell the fox because hey, the dog could smell the fox and Mom-Mom says humans are a higher species than dogs. In her mind, if the dog could smell the fox then surely Kaitlyn should be able to smell the fox?
So she lied and told Mom-Mom that she could smell the fox as well as any galoot dog. Heh.
Kaitlyn as toddler Pinball Wizard emerged a few days later. Kaitlyn, myself, my niece and her boyfriend were on Ocean City's boardwalk. It was January and all the locals were vacationing in Florida. There were few places open to stop for a bite but we found one.
Kaitlyn spotted the pinball machine almost as soon as we sat down to eat. She begged and pleaded with my niece to take her somewhere as she pointed her little fingers in the direction of the pinball machine and pool table.
"I bet she wants to play pool," my niece said. Kaitlyn sure was pointing to something and she was very eager to get at it.
My niece took Kaitlyn's hand and they headed toward the pool table while I pondered just how the hell my niece was going to play pool with a three year old. Only Kaitlyn passed right by the pool table and ran up to the pinball machine.
It is now that Mom-Mom must make a most extraordinary confession. I am a pinball junkee and have been all my life.
Not that I am all that good at it, but anytime there's a pinball machine around I am hopelessly hooked. In fact, my mother was also a pinball junkee and there were times that my mother and I would play pinball machines ALL DAY! And I'm not talking video games or any other of the more modern and sleek forms of electronic entertainment that so beguile children of today. I am talking about an honest-to-goodness, silver-ball, lights, wheels, sounds and action PINBALL MACHINE.
So far as I knew, Kaitlyn had never laid eyes on a pinball machine in her entire three years of life. My niece hoisted Kaitlyn up to the machine level and in front of my astonished eyes, Kaitlyn began flipping the flippers and any fool could see she was mesmerized.
I was utterly amazed and wondered if God wasn't playing some joke on Mom-Mom. Surely Kaitlyn's own mother, my daughter for those in Rio Linda, had introduced Kaitlyn to the wonder of pinball machines? Although as I recall my daughter was more into the more modern electronic type video games and only paid passing attention to pinball machines.
Study the pic montage above. For sure the pinball pics are fuzzy but look at them closely. It was very dark when I took the pic but I simply had to document this most amazing thing.
Eventually, heh, Mom-Mom took over operation of the pinball machine along with Kaitlyn. I'm not making this up...Kaitlyn operated one flipper while Mom-Mom took over the other. Kaitlyn was a bit too small to stretch her arms to reach both flippers but look at the pic again, she sure was giving it a mighty try.
"Hit the flipper," I shouted to Kaitlyn as the silver ball headed her way. Sure enough Kaitlyn artfully pressed the flipper button and she sent that silver ball to heights unknown. Lights flashed, bells rung and Kaitlyn's eyes grew to saucer-size. Kaitlyn and Mom-Mom played that pinball for all it was worth. The entire bar stopped and was regarding this unusual sight with amused and somewhat disbelieving eyes. The Kaitlyn and Mom-Mom team racked up over 300,000 points as bells rang and lights flashed. Kaitlyn could operate her flipper button smartly, way better than anyone would expect from a child that age. We both shouted with glee as we hit that silver ball all the hell over that pinball backboard. So okay, 300,000 isn't all that much considering you needed five million points to win a game. I'd argue it was a damn good score considering the game was played by a toddler and a seriously middle-aged woman, hardly anybody's notion of pinball wizards.
I asked my daughter later if she'd ever played pinball with Kaitlyn and she told me so far as she knows no one has ever played pinball with Kaitlyn and, indeed, Kaitlyn hadn't even been in any of the many arcades which decorate Ocean City's boardwalk.
So what the hell's going on here? Could an oddball fascination with pinball machines actually be HEREDITARY? How did Kaitlyn spot that pinball machine through the dark and smoke so readily and further, how on earth could she know what it was? The pinball machine was way above Kaitlyn's eye range so all the child could see was something or other sitting on four tall wooden legs.
What I DO know is that there is a future out there and that future likely includes many pinball games between grandmother and grandchild. For Kaitlyn surely has the pinball gene and I'm thinking maybe it came from me. Along with the child's pointy chin and that mysterious pinball gene I figure, heh, my progeny shall live on.
As for that ability to smell a fox scent as good as any dog, well that's strictly a Kaitlyn talent.
More Kaitlyn posts HERE