28 October 2006

Stoic In The Middle With You

    A slightly odd day in these quarters, evidenced most plainly by the picture below.  Sure, you're no doubt thinking, another effing picture of the Doctor's cats.  Well, yes; but more than that, because today Trouble was in one of his rare "I'm-a-big-suck-after-all" moods.  In addition to spending much of the afternoon on my lap, at my window or at my feet, Trouble spent some time lounging on my futon, something he never does, and has probably done only once or twice since Blake, another cat, died several years ago.  Why this is remains a mystery, but today Trouble broke entirely from his normal John Wayne-wannabe behaviour.  (He didn't even dart when the camera came out.)  Something else to note: in this pic, he's lying in Jenny's spot, and on Jenny's blanket, or the cheap piece of fabric one calls a blanket for lack of a better term.  Jenny, as you'll observe, is sleepily watching aloft, but certainly trying to indicate proprietorship by sitting nearest the Doc's right-hand, or where it would be if he hadn't gone to get the camera.  So, what you see below is a rather surprising anomaly, but one I find impossibly sweet.  It's also a beautiful testament to Jenny's temperament, acceding to let Captain Stoic act a little needy--- on Jenny's turf, no less!--- without even a little grumbling.  Awwww....
Of course, since this picture was taken, Trouble has returned to being his curmudgeonly self and Jenny has reclaimed the futon.  All things shall return to what they were.  There must be a Pauline or Ecclesiastical wisdom in there somewhere.
    BTW, check out Helen Mirren's impressively Wedgewood performance in The Queen when soonest you can.  Michael Sheen's Tony Blair is canny, but Mirren demonstrates again why she may be the best working actress in the business, even if she does too much material that's beneath her (Shadowboxer, anyone?).  Stephen Frears' film as a whole seems to miss something I can't yet articulate, but Mirren guinnesses the role brilliantly.  Can I hereby claim invention of the verb "to guinness?"  (Perhaps also a portmanteau of "to guile" and "to finesse"?)  Guinness was the master of eerie transformations of familiar figures--- see his Hitler in The Last Ten Days, or his movie-redeeming Freud in the Dudley Moore comedy Lovesick--- and I think here Mirren lays claim to be his heir(-ess) apparent.  There's no higher compliment I could give her.  It's point- and pitch-perfect acting, made even more astonishing given the level of difficulty--- and the potential for a single misstep to undermine her completely. 
    So, there we are: two notes, entirely unconnectable, and so utterly beyond unity.  But, we move on; as the lisping dead man said to Charon: Stoic, stoic, stoic....

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