Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Pajama Game

Apparently Doris Day was a very big deal in 1957.  She was hailed as a triple thret.  She could dance.  She could sing.  She could act.  She could even show some leg.  She could work as a union rep for a pajama making company or at least that is the premise of the movie, the Pajama Game.  Her name in the movie is Katherine “Babe” Williams.  Everyone calls her Babe.  It is her nickname, which was appropriate in 1957.  No real person is named Babe.

A new guy comes in named Sid Sorokin played by John Raitt, who I had never seen before.  He sings well and even does a duet with himself via tape recorder.  That takes a great deal of skill.  Sorokin is in charge of the pajama factory being as efficient as possible.  He and Babe fall in love.  Their love is caught in the middle of a strike by the pajama factory workers.  He even fires her when she blows a circuit to support the Union.  I can support that kind of boldness in a woman, especially in 1957.  The production crew strikes over a 7.5 cent raise.  When Sid Sorokin gets into the books of the big boss man, he finds out that a 7.5 cent raise was approved six months ago.  Boss Man then tells everyone they have gotten their raise, but denies them backwages.  The workers don’t know they’ve been lied to and celebrate with a great big cheer.  The movie ends with Babe and Sid sharing a pair of pajamas in a fashion show, so her legs are revealed very saucily and his manly man chest is shown to the world.

There is also a secondary story between a character named Gladys and Vernon Hines who they call Hinesy.  Vernon is an abusive alchohol and Gladys is his girlfriend.  They are essentially a source of levity in this movie, even though he’s really an abusive idiot.  He used to be knife thrower and part of their storyline revolves around a fight with Gladys.  He is drunk and uses his throwing knives to try and hit Gladys and Sid (who he thinks are romantically involved.)  He is unbalanced and violent with his girlfriend.  It’s about as funny as it sounds.

The other point about this movie that I found so striking was its racist turn.  It wasn’t immediately apparent to me, but in a factory setting, every single character was white.  In a low income factory neighborhood the likelihood of every single person employed there being an attractive white person is low.  Maybe it is just me, but nothing makes me want to watch a musical more than sweatshop labor, union abuse, alcoholism, racism, and knife weilding abusers.  Maybe I should stop watching old movies.  I fear I may become disillusioned.


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I am proud to report that we have been the dominators of the ants.  At least we think we have.  We have left the little cardboard poison cards along our baseboards and seen very few ants since the great influx.  I am a little sad that I was the only person home when the ants were completely ridiculous.  No one was there to share the amazing victory that I have had over the ants.  H caught the tail end of the influx, but didn’t really understand what it took for me to hop the little death cards along to floorboards to kill the ants.


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I noticed a week or so ago that I was seeing the occasional ant.  I didn’t think much of it.  Our apartment is older.  It’s spring, bugs happen.  Then they found my desk.  My desk where I live most of my academic life.  Oh hell no they can’t be on my desk.  H got some little ant houses, but they didn’t seem to be doing anything so we got some liquid terro, which is what my mom always used.  We put them on and around my desk.  When I got home tonight the one on the floor was dry.  In 6-7 hours they had eaten all of the poison.  I refilled it and migrated the ones on my desk down.  I’ve been slowly hopping them along the baseboard to follow the path of the ants.

It’s not pretty.  They are everywhere.  There are so freaking many of them.  It freaks me out but fascinates me as long as they aren’t on my desk.  I have had several little poison cards that all look like this picture.  There is no room along the edge for more ants to get to the poison, otherwise, I imagine there would be more of them.  I hope that they will take all this poison back to their little colony and die die die.

I don’t like ants.  They freak me out just enough to make me feel ookey.  Now, anytime I have an itch or a nerve twinge anywhere on my body, I think it is an ant crawling on me because for a couple days, it was.  Thank God we have tile so we can see exactly where they are going.  I would be freaked out by having them in my carpet.  Ant corpses everywhere, ick.  It’s blurry because I had to get really close and was hovering off the edge of the bed so as not to touch ants.  As you can see there are too many ants.  There are so many they are fighting to get at the edge of that poison droplet.

Supposedly they’ll all be gone in two weeks, which is not soon enough for me.  The sooner those ants are dead the sooner I can get rid of the poison yellow brick road spanning my house.

I have also gotten very minimal amounts of the terro on my hands from distribution and moving the cardboard along their path.  It doesn’t give any kind of instructions for what you are supposed to do when it touches your hands.  I’ve been washing them, so hopefully that will be good enough.  Otherwise I will be poisoned from touching my keyboard, mouse, and other things in my apartment.  Here’s hoping we can give the ants a grand goodbye sooner rather than later because they are not okay.  Not okay.

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Just keep swimming

Oh the homework.  The massive amounts of homework.  I have no time to blog, so I will make a list.
Health Econ:

Finish chapter 11
chapter 12
chapter 13


Read 80 pages of briefs on death and dying (how delightful given what’s going on my with my grandmother)
Case brief 1
Case brief 2
Case brief 3

Away with me, clearly.

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Yesterday my grandmother went into hospice.  She is not in pain.  She has had a wonderful life.  She married a man whom she has loved long after he died.  She has been speaking with him more and more frequently since the heart attack.  She has been sleeping, not eating, and only taking in small amounts of liquids.

Here’s a little about Grandma Ruby:

She has 4 children.
She has 9 grandchildren.
She has 3 great grandchildren.
She loved playing cards, especially pinochle.
She loved singing to her kids and grandchildren as they grew.
She has had a long life filled with family and friends.

I love my grandmother and having to say goodbye in spite of dementia and heart attack and aging is still incredibly difficult.

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Weird Movie

Would you like to know what is a weird movie?  I will tell you what.  The Seven Year Itch is a weird, weird movie.  I put it in my netflix queue vaguely remembering it from long ago.  I watched it this morning while I puttered around my house.

Tom Ewell plays this man named Richard Sherman.  He sends his wife and son to Maine for the summer while he stay in New York City.  By a stroke of fate Marilyn Monroe is his new neighbor, subletting his neighbor’s apartment.  It takes him less than a day to go absolutely insane.

The whole movie is centered around a really fantastical and bizarre narrative all done by Ewell.  He fantasizes that he woos Marilyn Monroe, that his wife comes home and finds her in his apartment so she shoots him.  Then he fantasizes that his wife is on a romantic hay ride with this hunky blonde man who says very poetic things to her.  In his fantasies: He turns down his secretary who propositions him, turns down a nurse that propositions him, and does all sorts of other incredibly random things.

His imagination is so fantastical that he ends up trying to hit on Marilyn Monroe and even kisses her a few times.  Generally she seems fine with it, but is clueless throughout.  She just wants to stay in his apartment to take part in his air conditioning.  Otherwise she is completely oblivious to the fact that he is having elaborate bat shit crazy fantasies for the hour and forty minutes of this movie.  The title comes from the idea that a man will cheat on his wife after the seventh year of marriage, he gets a Seven Year Itch.

At the end of the movie he goes to Maine to be with his wife and son and brings his son’s kayak paddle with him.  That’s it.  He just goes down the street running with a kayak paddle on his way to Maine.  There’s no moral, no sense, no nothing.  I guess it’s good that Marilyn Monroe escapes with her skin intact and Ewell not wearing it as a suit, but it is just a bizarre movie.  It’s also the movie with the white blowy dress.  Ya know, this one.

I don’t understand how she was possibly standing on that grate in those shoes without falling in.  Also, how would the Subway possibly be kicking up cold air when it is 95 degrees and all the heat and smoke trapped down there?  I’m pretty sure it was just a ruse to look at her legs.  Overall, it perpetuates all sorts of random 1950s crap that I don’t care to go into, but even without all of that added in, it is just a weird, weird movie.

The only seven year itch I think it’s going to give me is the way I’ll be forever scratching my head thinking about how anyone ever came up with such a premise for a movie and thought, oh yes.  That seems like a wonderful plan.

It is based on a play, which translates in the narration that Ewell does, but it means that he dominates the movie and there is very little action outside of his apartment.  It was also in the midst of the censor issues in the mid 1950s, so I can see where it might deserve a benefit of the doubt, but it certainly hasn’t aged well.

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The semester is ending?

I don’t know how it happened, but all of a sudden I have reached the end of my academic semester.  I have 4.5 weeks left until summer.  On the one hand, this is incredibly exciting.  I’ll get to leisure read.  I’ll get to sleep more.  I’ll get to watch television.  These are all great things.  However, to get to this point, I will need to get through final presentations and finals.  I have a big presentation next week for Health Economics.  I have a terrifying final for that class.  I have a 7 page (but intense) paper for Legal Aspects of Health Care Management and a 10 page paper for Information Policy.

I need to get on the ball with my coursework to get ahead and make sure that I’m not a frenzied stress ball at the end of this course.  I do not need another Kermit scenario at the end of this semester.  I just don’t need it.

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