On Rewatching Movies and yes, It’s Always Something

“It’s always something.” If you’re old enough to remember the original cast of SNL, there was a character played by Gilda Radner. Roseanne Roseannadanna would appear on the Weekend Update to editorialize about some current issue. She’d quickly go off topic, rambling on until the exasperated host (Usually Jane Curtain, the most perfect straight woman to ever grace comedy) would stop her. Then she’d say that wonderful catchphrase. You can find her bits on youtube.

“It’s always something.” Those words have been cropping up for me lately in the form of extra functional tasks that need to be performed on top of the regular ones like work, laundry, dishes, shopping and remembering to put the TP in the bathroom before you need it. My car needed fixing. Then the registration needed to be renewed, which meant another trip to the mechanic to have the smog check done. The taxes needed to be organized and sent to the accountant, our health insurance needs updating because Oscar labeled it’s product incorrectly. My aging parents have become an ongoing weekly, sometimes daily, project involving multiple trips to various doctors to help them keep ticking along.

To add to the pile of must-do’s, I worked out an aggressive new writing schedule for April so that I can self-publish my new Sweet Romance series in May with four completed books AND update and re-format my 6-book Darkwood series so I can take them wide and get into libraries. I declared out loud (no doubt tempting fate) that I could absolutely pull it off if I didn’t get sick.

I got food poisoning the next day.

I don’t recommend it as a diet aid, by the way, even though I lost seven pounds in less than twenty-four hours. There are better ways to move the needle on the scale. I was so weak, I had to take a nap after taking a shower.

It’s always something.

My “favorite” bit of “it’s always something” came in the form of the Dallas County Tax office last week. I’ve been there twice so far. The first time, the office was closed on Wednesdays, which was the day I’d cleared to go. No rhyme or reason. It doesn’t state that on the rather thorough website. There was just a tattered paper sign on the door. The second time I went, not on a Wednesday, there were at least 150 people in the room ahead of me, and a line out of the door behind me. Once we were “entered into the system,” via a computer, we all sat in folding chairs, inured into a Kafkaesque state, glumly waiting for a mechanical voice to call out our letter and number while it simultaneously flashed on a board. I was T-93. The T’s (for title transfer) were on number 53 when I sat down. I kind of hoped they were skipping numbers, perhaps only odd numbers for the T people, but no.

I had time to note that here are seventeen windows at the Tax Office. Ten of them were operating. I’d brought a book, but there was something so morose about the place, along with a vague underlying tension that you might miss your number being called if you let your attention waver that the effort to read proved to be impossible.

An hour and forty-five minutes later, T-93 was called to window ten. I said hello nicely to the blank-faced woman, and handed over my paperwork. She looked at it, flipped it over, and pushed it back through the window.

I’d made a mistake and didn’t have it signed in one spot. She told me. I’d have to come back when it was filled out correctly.

And wait again. Just not on Wednesday.

It’s always something.

To combat this relentless tide of addressing the next important thing that needs to be done, my husband and I have resorted to watching movies we’ve seen and enjoyed before. A caveat: I tend to like movies with a high body count when I’m feeling glum, so that may have affected my perception. Here are the ones we watched recently. Three were surprisingly good, two held up well, and one was sadly dated.

THE GOOD – The Expendables Trilogy. Here’s why: Sly, Arnold, Tom, and the rest of the aging action stars know exactly who they are and what their audience expects of them. There are many hilarious moments when they say lines we all know, like “I’ll be back,” or “yippee-ki-yo.” The body count is crazy, like 480 per movie. The third one is the weakest. I think they are going to try for four. I hope they do.

HELD UP – The Silence of the Lambs. The long opening credits sequence makes this movie seem horribly dated, but MAN the performances of all concerned are great. When you know what’s coming, you can watch the subtle camera angles being used to heighten the tension. The way Hopkins simply holds his hands is riveting. Worth a rewatch. We tried the sequel, Hannibal, but sadly, it doesn’t work as well, even with Gary Oldman in it.

HELD UP—The Help. I loved the book, and loved the movie when it came out. The performances are still wonderful, with Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer making me remember why they won all those awards. You’re glad when Bryce Dallas Howard eats that pie. “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.”

JUST NO – Mission Impossible One. The cast all look like BABIES, particularly Tom. He looks like he needs a chaperone to cross the street. Both the FX and the tech are laughable. They were ‘whoa’ back then, but now… cringeworthy. There are iconic moments, and yay that they brought back the franchise, I’ve enjoyed them, but this movie just doesn’t work anymore… it just goes to show you..

It’s always something.

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