Recently I found two digital books that I could download to my Kindle from our local library. Both had been made into movies: Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century and Let Her Go.
Now every time I receive a package from Amazon, I wonder if some tired retiree from an rv camp had some part in it. The book, written by journalist Jessica Bruder, follows (literally at times in her own van) real-life nomad Linda May, a 64-year old grandmother, who found going on the road a last choice after she lost everything in the Great Recession. It is written in documentary style. Some of the travelers find seasonal work at rv parks, national campgrounds and Amazon warehouses. Apparently Amazon likes older workers because they are dependable, don’t demand much and are willing to work part-time in conditions that are not ideal for senior citizens: fast-paced where employees are tracked for efficiency.
The movie, directed by Chloe Zhao, is a fictionalized version of the book. The main character, played by Frances McDormand, is purely invented and she plays on the background of real characters and events from the book. There are three characters from the book who play themselves in the movie including Linda May who is the one the author mainly followed. Scenes from working at Amazon are filmed in a real Amazon warehouse; Amazon fares better in the movie than in the book in my opinion. I have not seen the movie and only read reviews about it and viewed the trailer. Here is a link to the movie trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sxCFZ8_d84
Let Him Go, written by Larry Watson and published in 2013, is a novel set in South Dakota and Montana in the 1950s. The opening chapter has the wife packing to go somewhere on a mission: husband (a retired sheriff) is given the option of going along. He opts to go even if it means walking off a job that is below his skills. Their son had died a few years before and his widow had remarried soon after, taking their young grandson with her and the new husband. The grandmother learns that all is not well with the child in his new environment with the domineering step-father. Determined not to lose contact with the child, protect him if necessary and even bring him back, the couple takes off. The husband is reluctant but goes along to support his wife. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner play the grandparents in the movie.
From reading reviews and watching the movie trailer, the movie appears to follow the book closely. I have not seen this movie either. Here is a link to the movie trailer – https://youtu.be/GfMkjdIc24I
Do you prefer to read the book first and then see the movie or see the movie and then read the book? Or do you think one version is enough? I always think the book is better. Some movies make me want to do more research if it involves history.
ONE LOCATION FOR ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S “THE BIRDS” (1963)
Restaurant scenes were filmed at Bodega Bay in and around the Tides Wharf and Restaurant. The memorable school house scenes were filmed in the small town of Bodega, about six miles away. This photo was taken from the Tides Wharf and Restaurant in 2012 by Husband.
One of my favorite movies is “The Birdcage” with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman, as there are so many layers to savor. Yet I had never seen the musical, “La Cage Aux Folles,” until I saw it last month at a local theater, Harbor Playhouse, in Corpus Christi. Husband, Daughter and I attended a Sunday matinee performance.
Daughter and I were delighted when Husband brought our wine in commemorative glasses.
The production was great fun and an outstanding last performance. My favorite song was “The Best of Times is Now”as it reminded me (at this age) that the best times are those right now in the moment…tomorrow…who knows…CHEERS!
One morning this spring Husband and I were having our morning coffee in the living room and watching the birds in the back yard. Two hummingbird feeders were up on the edge of the veranda cover to welcome the first of those visitors. A large flat feeder hangs from a tree and small one on the fence stay up all year-long that provide seeds for the usual birds – many doves and an occasional pigeon. Recently we had seen colorful spring visitors – a pair of cardinals, a painted bunting. Squirrels stop by also to check their feeder in a tree for peanuts and sunflower seeds.
Normally our thirteen year-old cat, Wiccan, just naps in a chair outside after her morning meal or attempts to hide beside some ornamental grass near the bird bath in the hope of catching a feathered creature. She has slowed down with age, but I still occasionally find a pile of bird feathers as evidence of her success. However, I do try to protect them from her when I can.
As I sat there enjoying a second cup of coffee and the bit of nature in the back yard, a black streak raced across the veranda. Wiccan was after a bird. Husband jumped up and rushed out the back door. I followed quickly and held the door open as I watched him come back to the door with a small brownish bird in his hands. Perhaps it was hurt.
THIS BUILDING IN BODEGA, CALIFORNIA WAS USED AS THE SCHOOL HOUSE WHERE THE CHILDREN WERE ATTACKED BY THE BIRDS. HUSBAND TOOK THIS PHOTO WHEN WE VISITED THE AREA IN 2012.
The bird slipped swiftly out of his hands and seemed to be flying straight toward me. I raised my arms up in natural defense as Tippi Hedren did so many times in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller,”The Birds.” This frightened bird veered off to the freedom outside while I lost my balance (one foot inside and one foot outside) and twisted to the left. I fell inside the house as I crashed into my favorite ornate floor lamp. My left ear hit it first…then my left arm…then my left hip…final stop…stunned on the floor. Blood dripped from my ear. All I needed was that green suit like the one Tippi wore!
My first thought as I sat there on the tile floor was concern for my lamp. Was the glass shade broken? One glance upward confirmed that it was not harmed. Startled Husband came to help me up. After I wiped the blood from my swollen and red ear, I needed another cup of strong coffee. (Didn’t Tippi get something stronger? Brandy, perhaps?) I had no broken bones – only a few bruises the next day. So be careful when you are bird watching. It can be dangerous!
The 50th anniversary of “The Birds” is this year. I may have to watch it again with new appreciation!