Aching for Autumn

The second full weekend of Fall found us sweltering, with summer-like temperatures in the mid-90s. Needless to say, we had hoped the weather forecasts would prove right and we would enjoy evening temps in the low 80s. Alas, that was not to be. On both Friday and Saturday, the temperatures hovered in the high 80s, making the idea of sitting around a campfire most unpleasant. So, we reluctantly moved indoors to spend yet another weekend watching some of our favorite flicks.

After Friday’s Date Night dinner, we watched The Birdcage, with brilliant performances by Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Hank Azaria, Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart and Christine Baranski. Although the film was made nearly 25 years ago, it hasn’t aged a bit.

Saturday brought Cliff’s third attempt at a smoked brisket. Let’s just say there’s still some work to be done. In his own defense, Cliff declared, “I’m really good at grilling rib-eyes, and I make a killer grilled salmon, and lemon chicken, and pork chops!” As they say in Texas, “Bless his heart.”

Saturday’s night at the movies featured Mildred Pierce, a 1945 film noir crime-drama starring Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce and Ann Blyth as her daughter Veda in a codependent relationship from Hell. Cliff took particular delight this exchange: Veda: “With this money I can get away from you and your chickens and your pies and your kitchens and everything that smells of grease. I can get away from this shack with its cheap furniture, and this town and its dollar days, and its women that wear uniforms and its men that wear overalls.” Mildred: “Veda, I think I’m really seeing you for the first time in my life and you’re cheap and horrible.” Veda: “You think just because you’ve made a little money you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can’t, because you’ll never be anything but a common frump, whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing. With this money, I can get away from every rotten, stinking thing that makes me think of this place or you! Mildred: “Get out, Veda. Get your things out of this house right now before I throw them into the street and you with them. Get out before I kill you.”

They don’t make ’em like that anymore! Crawford received a Best Actress Oscar for her performance, and Blyth was nominate for Best Supporting Actress (along with a delightful Eve Arden). The film was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Although it seems like a time capsule from another era, it also holds up well, even after more than 70 years.

Sunday found us longing to stay but needing to go. The promise of an approaching cold front, with widespread showers and storms, prompted us to pack up and head home.

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