Thursday, March 05, 2015

Don't Snow On My Parade

It had just started to snow shortly before I woke up at 7. It wasn't that bad then, but I figured it would get worse later. Rose called me around 8. She would be picking me up for work. She told me that she'd drive me home if she had to, but it would probably be better if I found a ride at work.

I tried. I really did. I asked everyone all day, but either they weren't getting off when I was, or they couldn't be spared. We were very busy! I assumed we'd be dead. Everyone must have decided that, snow or no snow, it was still the beginning of the month. They had to get their big orders and amuse their now out of school children. The longer the snow raged, the more rude people became. It culminated in a woman throwing a fit about an hour before I finished over her high grocery bill. I tried to sensibly point out that she bought at least ten very large and very expensive containers of steaks and porch chops, some of them costing as much as fifteen dollars! She just kept complaining. I was ready to tear my hair by the time a college student came in for me.

I really hated having to call Rose for a ride, but by 3 PM, the snow had turned into a raging blizzard. Rose didn't make me feel much better. First of all, both she and Craig are having car trouble. They don't want their cars out in the snow at all. From now on, I'm on my own during inclement weather.

Second, she told me what's wrong with Dad. He has throat cancer. Apparently, it was detected about a decade ago, and they thought it was gone or went into remission. It's reappeared, along with back troubles. He'll be going into surgery in about two weeks, then will have to spend the next three months recovering. Rose also pointed out that they won't be available to drive me anywhere, either. I have to either make friends fast or get rides with co-workers.

I wish I could explain things to her. I work in a large corporation. I'm very different from my co-workers. She's never worked for anything larger than a law office at Camden's City Hall. She doesn't know how hard it is to make friends with people who are either much older or much younger than you, and with whom you have absolutely nothing in common. I can't make friends on cue. Maybe she can, but it's not that simple for me.

I went upstairs in tears. Rose didn't mean to be mean, and I'm glad she told me about Dad being sick. I'm worried about Dad, though. I lost Uncle Ken to cancer. I don't want to lose Dad, too. And I feel like my family is abandoning me. It was wrong of me to rely on them. I should have known there's no one I can depend on. I trust me, and me alone. It's better that way.

Even a bath didn't make me feel better. I curled up and read The Happy Introvert and Revolution From Within while listening to Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra (who introduced "Let It Snow!"). I ended up curled in a ball, wishing I could just stay in the nice, warm water and never have to come out ever again.

I did have to get out eventually. I thought I'd cheer myself up with a nice dinner. There was a recipe for Wilted Radicchio With Pasta in the Harvest Cookbook I took out of the library on Monday. I replaced the radicchio with escarole, the blood orange in the sauce with a clementine, and added chopped celery. Ooh, yum. It was a nice, zesty blend of flavors. I had it with a leftover chicken leg.

Started Funny Girl while I made dinner. Barbara Streisand won an Oscar playing Fanny Brice, one of the most famous comediennes of the early 20th century. Brice started out in amateur shows and moved up to small-time girlie shows in New York in her 20's. Gambler Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif) notices her after her performance of a ballad at one of these shows gets her raves. He's not the only one who comes a-calling. She finds herself courted by none other than the great producer Ziegfeld himself (Walter Pidgeon) and quickly becomes a star in his Follies revues. Though she eventually gets Arnstein and all the stardom she could ever hope for, things sour with Arnstein very quickly. He's a wandering gambler with an eye for the ladies. When she funds a casino for him and it loses money, she finally admits that, she may be the funniest lady around, but her taste in men isn't nearly as amusing.

Actually, quite a bit of this doesn't have a lot to do with the real Brice (starting with Ziegfeld would never have let anyone, no matter how talented, mess with a number like that and get away with it). Despite good performances from Sharif and Kay Medford as Fanny's supportive mother, Streisand's star-making role and some incredible cinematography are the reasons to see this today. The long tracking shot during the "Don't Rain On My Parade" number makes it one of the most famous solo song sequences in Hollywood history. If you love Streisand or the epic movie musicals of the late 60's and early 70's, this is one of the best of its era, one of the few movie musicals to actually improve on a Broadway show.

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