Thursday, December 5, 2019

Performances And Other Stuff

I got up bright and early this morning to be at Owen's school at nine to attend the Tropicana Speech contest that he was competing in. The kids who'd won first and second places in their classrooms (this was for 4th and 5th graders) were on the stage of the cafetorium and all of the 4th and 5th graders were brought in and they sat at the their lunch tables. That was a lot of kids!
Lily and Maggie joined me and we listened to all of the speeches and we were so proud when Owen got up and gave his. He rushed it and he didn't speak very loudly and he had obviously decided to disregard every bit of advice I'd given him about speechifying but it was quite the accomplishment for him to just get up there and do it. My handsome little man.
Lily and Maggie and I sat behind the students and I loved watching them as much as I enjoyed the speeches. Some of them put their heads down and dreamed with their eyes open, some paid attention for a little while and then let their attention wander. Some had to be reminded by the roaming teachers to be quiet or sit still or whatever it is that teachers have eternally told their students to do. Mostly, the kids were good and I loved watching the three little girls right in front of us. One of them had massive braids that I believe were a weave although I can't be sure of that. The other two little girls decided to braid the already-braided hair and the girl who was being hair-styled took off her glasses and gave in to the pleasure of it. They were quiet as polite little mice and no teachers asked them to stop.
For some reason, I loved this little scenario.
Maggie did very well with sitting as still and quietly as she could. I know she was bored but she handled it.
Snuggling with her mama was involved.

When the contest was over and we'd hugged a very relieved Owen, Lily took Maggie to dance and I took a pair of shoes to the shoe repair guy in hopes that he could do something about the falling-apart soles on them. These shoes are my go-to "real" shoes and I have not only had them for years but have owned at least four other pairs, exactly like them, before, buying a new pair when my current pairs have worn out. 
I was devastated when I went to put them on a few weeks ago to find those crumbling, cracking soles. I love those shoes. They are ME, in a way. Comfortable and sensible and yet, I think they're pretty. A sort of Mary Jane clog and the company who made them has gone out of business. 
Dammit, dammit, dammit. 
So in the dim hope that they could be rescued, I took them in but the shoe guy just looked at them and shook his head. 
"Those soles are biodegradable and they're just going to fall apart. I can't replace them."
It was a sad moment for me. 
"Well, okay. Thank-you," I said, and took them back to my car and that was that for the shoes. 

I went to Marshall's to look around for Christmas presents and what I ended up getting was a purse for me. 
I no more need a new purse than I need an owner's manual for a frying pan. 
But it charmed the heck out of me and I decided it was (once again) the perfect purse and I bought it and nothing else. Then I had to go to Publix and then I came home where I removed all of the stuffing from the new purse and transferred all of my stuff from my old purse to see how that felt and how it all fit and it was fine but I'm going to take it back. There's nothing wrong with it at all but honestly, I just don't have any business spending money on something so unneeded. And if it had pleased me tremendously I would keep it but I do still love my current purse and because of the quality of it, I won't actually need a new one for the rest of my life. 

So I finished watching a movie this afternoon that I started watching yesterday. The Florida Project.
Have you seen it? 
Man. It's hard to watch. But don't let that dissuade you from seeing it yourself. 
William Defoe is the only known actor in the film and I suppose the lead role is the one played by a little girl named Brooklynn Prince and she's one of those kids who puts grown-up actors to shame with her authenticity. I have to say that Defoe gave an amazing performance himself, very understated but with a thin wire of steel moving through him every second. The sort of performance that makes you wish you knew what his backstory was because there had to be one. 
I say it was hard to watch for several reasons. 
One is that it was filmed in Florida in a part of the state that I'm quite familiar with so that struck home hard. Another reason is that it's the story of a sort of poverty that although I've never experienced, is too close to the edge of a situation that any mother (or grandmother) could possibly find herself in and to look starkly and honestly at what sort of choices might have to be made in order to support a child or children or grandchildren is a nightmare as well as an indictment of our current social structure. 
And then there's the always looming nearby presence of Disney World which promises magic to all but which, in fact, has created a decidedly non-magical environment for so many in its shadow.  
All of the actors were spot-on. Their performances were as fine as anything I've seen lately. 
I doubt I'll forget it soon. I even dreamed about it last night when I was still only halfway through watching it. The dream was so realistic that when I woke up it took me a few moments to try and remember whether the scene I'd dreamed was actually part of the movie or something I had imagined. 

Well, two movie reviews (of a sort) in one week. 

Mr. Moon is not leaving for Tennessee until Sunday morning which means that at least he will be going to the holiday office party. He keeps telling me that I don't have to go and I may not. Is not having the proper shoes a good enough excuse for not showing up? 
Sure. Why not? 

Okay. More roses. 

The camellias will be coming along soon. 

Big love...Ms. Moon


  1. Try searching online for the shoe by brand-name. You might find a supply.


    1. I have done that. No luck. Dansko sells a very similar shoe but it's so expensive. I imagine I'll end up buying it though.

  2. I’m extremely proud of Owen. Public speaking at his age is extraordinary. Wow. So glad you were there for him. This just makes my stupid heart well up. Bravo Owen. ❤️ 🏆

    1. I'm so proud of him too. It surely does not come naturally to him. Thank you.

  3. Go Owen!

    I loved that film. The children (and Willhem Dafoe) were amazing.

  4. Good for Owen to continue to master his fears.
    And good luck to you, looking for that pair of shoes.

  5. Yay, Owen! And may you find a perfect pair of shoes...

    1. These WERE my perfect shoes. Can a woman find two pairs of perfect shoes in one lifetime? We shall see.

  6. Those roses are so beautiful.

    Good for Owen. Public speaking is HARD and that took courage.

  7. I bought a camellia at the garden club plant sale. I had to cheat and get a friend who is not a member to get it for me as members aren't allowed to buy until 30 minutes before the sale ends and it has opened its first flower! I'm thrilled.

    and yay for Owen. I always hated having to get up in front of just my class (and not the whole two grades!) to give oral reports. I always volunteered to go first. better to get it over with quickly and no one to compare me to. so there's some future advice for Owen.

    1. Ooh! I want to see a picture of your new camellia! You know how I love them.
      I'm pretty sure that the kids in this speech contest were assigned their place in the contest. But that IS good advice.

  8. Bravo to Owen for speechifying! I know getting up in front of people is not his favorite thing, so he definitely gets kudos for trying.

    If I were you, I'd get a second opinion on those shoes. Maybe someone else can fix them. I don't know anything about shoe repair but it seems like a shoe repair person ought to be able to put a new sole on just about any shoe. Wouldn't you think?

    I LOVED "The Florida Project." It is a bleak movie in many ways, but so honest and truthful -- and the cinematography was weirdly beautiful. I think it deserved a lot more attention from the Academy than it got.

    1. I'll tell Owen what you said. It'll mean a lot to him, coming from Steve Reed!
      On the shoe situation- nah. This guy has been in the business for a thousand years. They have sort of a platform clog sole. Hard to explain but it's not just a plain old sole. I had my doubts to begin with that anything could be done about them. He said, "They do this so that women have to shop for new ones."
      He's probably right.
      The cinematography of that film was weirdly beautiful. I'm sure that a lot of the stuff they filmed was familiar to you. Not specifically those exact stores and motels and stuff but the general atmosphere. Florida in all ways.

  9. I should like to see "The Florida Project". It sounds like my kind of film and I missed it when it came to my favoured cinema.

    1. You don't have any streaming services? You really should see it. I do think you'd like it. It's a make-you-think film.

  10. Good for Owen! Public speaking can be very frightening. Not sure if you gave him this tip: Pretend you are squeezing a quarter between your butt cheeks, it helps with focus. Seriously!

    I must look for that movie - it sounds difficult and sad, but a good reminder that not everyone is as fortunate.

    1. Hmmm...
      Okay. I'll pass on that advice to Owen.
      It's a good film to watch for a lot of reasons and the one you mentioned is one of them.

  11. ebay your danksos! i get all my shoes ebay and pay half of what they are in the store. i like alegria shoes too. signed, the lady who walks 5-6 miles a day in a classroom...


  12. I had a friend who used to insist that people should only do what they truly WANT to do, forget obligation, duty, guilt. Sounds nice in theory. But at least the office party is one you can not choose, shoes or no shoes.


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