Urban (mis)Advantures

Flying Monkeys are Still Freaky…. — March 17, 2013

Flying Monkeys are Still Freaky….

My mother said I was four years old when I settled on the floor in front of our television to watch The Wizard of Oz for the first time.  She said I made it through the tornado ripping up the house and landing on the witch.  I made it through Dorothy getting swarmed by munchkins.  Yet when giant monkeys soared in, Mama said I propelled off the floor in a hissy and cowered in her lap.  

And this weekend, thirty-plus years later, I sat in a theatre, again wowed by the land of Oz. Sam Raimi and teams of special effects artists delighted us with Oz, The Great and Powerfulcomplete with Munchkins, Tinkers, witches, and yes, flying monkeys.  Though not seen at first, they howl and screech through the wind and cast menacing shadows on the land below.  Once they make their appearance in hordes, they hiss and bare baboon fangs, and attack with clawed hands and feet.  And now they are in 3-D.  I squashed back against the theatre seat and wast tempted to duck.  

Though obviously computer generated, Oz, the Great and Powerful is a beautiful movie.  The costumes are quite imaginative. The characters are wonderfully executed, as James Franco is charming and marvelous.  Rachel Weiss is wickedly lovely.  And Mila Kunis is surprisingly brilliant.  Oz is well worth the price of the ticket and a trip to a good theatre to view it.  


A Beautiful North versus South Moment — March 12, 2013

A Beautiful North versus South Moment

My Southern Fried family is in the midst of selling the childhood home in Louisiana (heartbreak). What all does that include for me now living in Massachusetts?  A trip to the notary public with a document from a Louisianian realtor.  Everything went well.

“All set,” the notary said with her customer service smile, “except I an not sure what they mean by ‘parish.’ It normally says ‘county’ there.”

I hide a smirk and decide not to call her a stupid Yankee.  You see, in Louisiana, we don’t have ‘counties,’ we have ‘parishes.’  Therefore an official document from said state would ask for a parish.  Instead I use the moment to bridge cultural gaps between us diverse Americans and help someone learn something new today.