Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Monkey And A Chicken Walk Into A Bar ...

A Mythical Monkey and his niece Plain Chicken, that is.

In case you haven't checked out her blog, she writes about recipes—and quite well, too. Plain Chicken is one of the few bloggers I've ever heard of who actually makes money at it.

Not to mention she's a hoot when you get a couple of drinks in her.

I wish I could say the occasion that allowed us to hang out together this past weekend was a happy one. But in fact, my mother passed away recently after a long illness and we were in Nashville for the service.

As you no doubt know, I don't write about personal matters except to the extent that my insights into movies are colored by my own experiences. It's not that kind of blog. But in this case, I think I would be remiss not to mention my mother's passing, given the influence she (and my father, who passed away when I was a lad of eighteen) had on my movie-watching habits.

Obsessions start somewhere and my obsession with movies started in childhood. Both of my parents believed that a person can't be considered really literate unless they know something about the landmark movies that helped shaped our culture—not to mention they thought movies were fun. My mother especially was a devotee of classic movies from the 1930s and 1940s, and it was she, for example, who introduced me to both Cary Grant (with His Girl Friday) and the Marx Brothers (Monkey Business).

Not to mention she was also the only woman I've ever known who unabashedly adored the Three Stooges.

I should be back to the business of movie blogging in a day or two, first with a post commenting on the results of the latest Monkey Poll, and then with the long overdue essay about the best actress of 1932-33 (comedy/musical).

In the meantime, enjoy this free and legal copy of His Girl Friday. This future Katie award winner comes to us with limited commercial interruption courtesy of Hulu.com.


Maggie said...

: ( My condolences. Thank-you moms, for introducing us to a magical world.

Erik Beck said...

My deepest condolences. So much of what I write is tinged with opinions that my mother has, I can understand how the two can overlap.

KC said...

Sorry to hear about your mom MM. Thanks for sharing the lovely tribute. I think it is so charming that she loved the Three Stooges. She must have been a great lady.

Lupner said...

Dear Mister MythMonk, am deeply sorry. Can also certainly can relate to the connection between mom and movies ... now all of your readers get to benefit from the love of film your folks passed on to and shared with you. Wishing you peace and happy memories.

mister muleboy said...

MythMonk -- I tread carefully here; mothers are somehow different from fathers, and certainly different from Bill Taylors.

So you may be fragile, and I would never hurt a fragile monkey.

I deeply enjoy the loving portrait of your mother sitting on her bed. I presume that Plain Chicken's oh-so-talented brother was lovingly (and interestingly) capturing his grandmother?

If not, someone else has the gift as well.

And take heart in the knowledge that

if the lifetime of this planet were represented by the Empire State Building, the
of human existence

would measure one sheet of paper in that edifice.

So the grand scheme of things is measured by you and your heart.

no, I can't make hide nor hair of it either. . . .

Mythical Monkey said...

Thank you everyone for your kind wishes. I admit I had hesitated to post anything of such a personal nature on a blog strictly about movies, and I certainly don't want to come across as trolling for sympathy, but I've also learned from past experience that sometimes too much restraint is just as damaging as too little. As Elvis Costello once said, "It's the words that we don't say that scare me so."

In any event, I wasn't going to get any writing done until I wrote that.

As some of you know (Mister Muleboy, too well), my mom suffered from Alzheimers for the last several years of her life. The photo of her sitting on the edge of the bed pretty much captures it. Note the bear tucked into the covers. That was "Bobby Bear," the only name my mom could dredge up from her ravaged memory -- Bobby Bare and his son, Bare Jr. were our neighbors for years -- and as her memories of family and friends slipped away, that bear became more real to her than the "reality" she lived in.

As is the wont of Alzheimers patients, my mom would say every day "I want to go home" -- doesn't matter if they are home, they want to go home. My brother learned early on not to try to reason with her, but would ask instead, "Where's home, mom?" And she'd say, "Nashville."

"And what do you want to do when you get there?"

"I want to see my mother and my father and my family."

And my brother would say, "Well, I promise I'll take you home someday." And as he said in his eloquent eulogy, "She's finally home."

And that's all I'm going to say about that. My next post will be a frivolous one about Louise Brooks and then I will move on from there.

Flapper Flickers + Silent Stanzas said...

I am so sorry to hear this. May your Mom rest well and know she was loved...she sounds like a very special woman. *hugs*

Mythical Monkey said...

Thanks, Avalon. I only wish I had some pictures on the computer of her in her younger days. She was quite stylish and elegant before the disease took over.

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

I'm sorry for your loss, MM.

Anonymous said...

hi MythMonk, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Your mum sounds like she was a super lady, I bet you have lots of fond memories.
I hope all is well.

Mythical Monkey said...

Thanks, Zoe and Ivan and everybody who's passed along their well-wishes. You guys have helped more this week than you'll ever know.

Bellotoot said...

Mr. MM - Having just logged on from the beach, I am saddened at the news of your Mom. Of course, I never met her, but my thoughts go immediately to a young woman who fell in love with a uniformed ballplayer on the street. That image is indelibly etched, so I hope it's ok if I hang onto it; my condolences, belatedly, Mr. MM, and may you find some comfort in a million memories. Yodel Heidi and I are thinking of you.

Mythical Monkey said...

Thanks, Mr. B. Hers and my dad's was indeed one of those classic World War II romances -- meet on a street corner and get married three months later. I guess it worked out -- they were married more than thirty years, til death did them part. We should all be so lucky.

Mister S. said...

MM - Just back from a long vacation and I'm catching up with your blog, including this thoughtful and poignant post about your Mom. A. and I send our condolences.

Mythical Monkey said...

Thanks, Mr. S, I appreciate it. And tell the lovely Ms. A I said hello.