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» Friday, February 18, 2011Running Warm and Cold
So after breakfast errands commenced: return the library book, go to Walmart for soy isoflavones and yogurt, then, if I felt like it, go up to JoAnn to exchange the battery-powered candle bulbs I accidentally bought.
The library book was easy, but I ran into a snag at Walmart: I saw something I thought a friend would like as a gift. I tried to call another friend to consult, but it turned out I did not have the cell phone number. This wouldn't be so aggravating except that I have put it into my phone two different times (two different phones, in fact!) and for some reason it never "takes." Okay, I've got the cell phone number of the person who I want to buy the gift for. I will call that person, to ask for the phone number of the other person. Arrrgh! That phone number doesn't work!
Oh, well, I know where it is.
Also discovered when I got home that I accidentally picked up a container of vanilla yogurt. Bleah. Have despised vanilla since I was a kid. Maybe I'll squirt some coffee syrup in it to kill the vanilla taste.
I did go up to JoAnn to return the candle bulbs, only to find no electric bulbs available with the candles. Shrug. Bought some refills for the Scotch tape gift wrap dispenser, found some unusual glitter on clearance, and then did find a package of electric bulbs on one of the end caps.
From JoAnn went to the Kennesaw Borders, one of the three that is closing. The coffee shop was already closed, and, although they did not have a "closing" sign up, the employees were pulling all the regular signs down (the "buy one, get one half off," etc.), presumably in preparation. There was melancholy music playing over the sound system and it sure made me blue. Heck, I still miss Media Play, and they closed how long ago? Gaw, it's five years.
Anyway, home in time for lunch: had a bow-tie pasta Lean Cuisine and then cleaned out that stupid drain in the master bath again. Actually put vinegar and baking soda down both of them. Much better. Have the bedclothes washing and the mattress and pillows airing in prep for changing the bed. Had Walt and El Grupo on (the story of Walt Disney and some of his workers visiting South America as part of the Good Neighbor Policy, after which they made Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros), but spent most of it doing the sinks.
Finally put on something I had recorded ages ago, Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North. Although this was released in 1922, the opening notes indicate it was filmed between 1912 and 1919, which means parts of this are nearly one hundred years old. I'm not sure if this is the first documentary ever made, but it was one of the first, and amazingly Flaherty managed to make it without so many of the value judgments that popped into literature of those days, about the Eskimos being savages or having "queer ways." It is simply a filmed record of the way of life of a band of Eskimos on the northeast side of Hudson Bay near the opening of the last century. I had always heard of it—the film had passed into everyday parlance by the time my mom was a kid, and if I was bundled up for cold weather she would say to me "You look like Nanook of the north!"—but it was fascinating to see it: Nanook and his companions hunt, kill, and skin a seal and also a walrus whose mate tries to rescue it, visit a trading post, fish using nothing but two ivory hooks, and, most fascinating of all, build an igloo, complete with a sheet of ice used for a window! They also show the sled dogs, very wolfish, fighting each other for dominance and almost attacking them for food. Simply fascinating from beginning to end.
Apparently several things are staged in the film, including the Eskimos hunting the "old time way" when they at that time used guns, but it still seems pretty impressive as they didn't gimmick up the film with cutesy things like in some documentaries. The closest they got to "cute" was the scene at the trading post where one of Nanook's children supposedly eats too much and is given a dose of castor oil, which he enjoys because the Eskimos are used to eating seal and walrus oil. There are some cute, but not cutesy, moments with Nanook's small son learning to use a bow, the baby posed with husky puppies, one of the puppies pulling a tiny sled, and the kids coasting down the hills without sleds, just like seals.