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» Friday, March 13, 2009What a Difference a Temp Makes
The last two days have been like day against the night of the first three days of this week. Tuesday night it was so warm I didn't sleep well again and woke up with a headache on Wednesday, which went away until about six o'clock. It then came back with a vengeance. I had to take some ibuprofin and lie down in the dark until James came home.
Wednesday night it dipped into the forties and it was wonderful sleeping. I have had energy for the past two days, finished five orders and posted one more, did laundry and craft projects at lunchtime, refilled the bird feeder and the suet cage, and even went out to lunch one day. (Well, I went out at lunch. I didn't waste money on food; I bought a book.)
Oh, and I saw the prettiest thing yesterday: I had taken Willow out at lunchtime and heard a faint, faint honking. I searched the sky and flying north was a tremendous flock of geese. I counted them and there were 36 in all!
Received the second part of Little Women today and watched it before James got home. The second part improves slightly. Susan Dey really did do a nice job as Jo, and in this version they did show the affecting sequence where Jo takes Beth to the seashore, which played very well.
Many people love this because they show some of the scenes that are usually left out of the other films for time, like the seashore sequence. This version includes the episode where Meg pays $50 for silk material for a dress. In the book, this is part of a longer sequence where Meg has to adhere to a budget and complains to John about being poor, but all that is omitted, so the sequence has no meaning. In another interesting sequence that's not in the book, Mr. March and John Brooke salute the birth of the twins with wine. Except it's very clear in the book that the Marches are teetotalers. Jo even makes Laurie promise not to drink at college.
William Shatner's Professor Bhaer is...interesting. He has the fun inherent in the part, and thankfully doesn't take Jo to the opera or kiss her on the neck; instead he tries to teach her German, as in the book (if later on they did climb trees together). But again, no one ever casts Bhaer as he is portrayed, in his late thirties, already greying, stout, and with a beard.
Ann Dusenberry's Amy went back to being very unpleasant. I couldn't put my finger on why she was so unlikeable in the first part, but by this part I understood. In the book, Amy has her moments of brattiness, as when she burns Jo's manuscript, and silliness, when she uses ridiculous vocabulary to make herself sound older, but she is determined to be a well-bred lady and, as she ages, tries to cultivate herself that way, to be gracious and polite, with a soft voice and a pleasant manner. Dusenberry's Amy is, in Benjamin Franklin's words in 1776, a Boston fishwife. Her diction is often coarse and loud. And damn, she's still doing that rabbit thing with her upper lip.
The whole business with Amy and Laurie is unbelievably truncated. Jo refuses Laurie's proposal, he goes to Europe. Amy finds out he is there and asks him to visit. He turns up, drunk, in her room the night before she is leaving, and she tells him off for his condition. He goes to Vienna to study music, realizes he hasn't the talent to be a composer, and returns to Amy when he learns of Beth's death. All of a sudden he is in love with her, she with him, with no chance to be together and fall in love as they do in the book, and they get married.
The miniseries moves full-circle and, as it concludes, once again it is Christmas. The "under the umbrella" scene with Jo and Professor Bhaer thus not only occurs at Christmas, but it quits raining and of course starts snowing (since it snows everywhere on television on Christmas Eve). Okay, the end does have a good sniffle factor. I did cry anyway, if just remembering "the good ol' days" at home.