Room

I woke up and watched some morning television. Candice Kumai was the chef visiting CBS This Morning. Some of her signature dishes are: Mom’s tori no karaage Japanese fried chicken, creamy butternut squash and shells, kale-mushroom gyoza, roasted kabocha squash salad, apple cider vinaigrette and vegan dark chocolate-avocado cake. I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on January 15 were “Sugar Daddy,” “You Are Everything,” “Clean Up Woman,” “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony),” “Scorpio,” “Day After Day,” “Sunshine,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Brand New Key,” and “American Pie.” I went to work and had a pretty quiet shift, although I listened to a Michael Jackson CD before I left. I went home and fell asleep for a few minutes while watching the game between the Patriots and the Chiefs. I didn’t think the Chiefs had much of a chance. I walked over to the theatre that was showing “Room.” A mother and her androgynous son Jack are trapped in a shed in a backyard. Their captor is Old Nick, a rapist. This story made me think of the Jaycee Lee Dugard case. I also thought there was a bit of “Being There” in the story. Jack has spent the first five years of his life in the confined room. He seems to cry a lot, and so I didn’t believe he could survive any type of dangerous situation. I had no faith that he could escape. Old Nick would have done something to get Jack to make a sound from his hiding place. Jack didn’t seem to know how to remain quiet. A large part of this movie is about parenting and women’s concerns about their children. The key question is whether a woman would make deep sacrifices for the safety of her child. They had a television set in the room, and Jack definitely has seen Dora too many times. How would a boy be affected by only being in contact with his mother for the first years of his life? I kept thinking about the number lock on the door. It seemed to me that over the course of seven years, they could have tried all possible combinations. I knew as I was watching this movie that a woman had to be the writer of the screenplay. It was because of the monstrous father and the nurturing mother and the issues of motherhood. I wondered if this child could ever become a normal kid. I imagine that going to a public elementary school would have been truly traumatic for someone like Jack. This was a strong movie, although I didn’t think of it as a great movie. It had dramatic moments. Brie Larson did a good job in her role as the mother. I was rather annoyed that she didn’t correct Jack’s use of words like “strong” and “wardrobe.” What kind of a sense of language is this kid going to have? Some of the people in the audience reacted strongly to what the kid was going through in the outside world. Ma’s name is Joy, so I guess it’s meaningful that Jack forgets her name. Joy isn’t in his vocabulary, so to speak. The person I liked most in the movie was Joan Allen as the grandmother Nancy, although she thought too much about cutting Jack’s hair. I think that male viewers of this movie may become uneasy with the male characters in this movie. The themes don’t have what you would call a universal quality. I read a little bit about Emma Donoghue, and it didn’t inspire me to read her novels. I thought that “Room” was an interesting concept, but too much of a concept. The last scene reminded me of how I thought my childhood home was such a big house until I looked at it years later. It seems that when you’re a child, you get emotionally attached to things that are rather stupid. I would say that “Room” is a more meaningful Best Picture Oscar nominee than “The Martian,” but I wouldn’t put it in the top three. I walked home and watched the second half of the game between the Cardinals and the Packers. It was a memorable game, with all the wild things that happened at the end. There was the desperate pass that resulted in the miracle tying touchdown, the bizarre coin flip, and the winning touchdown. I’m not too excited about the idea of possibly seeing the Cardinals in the Super Bowl in Santa Clara three weeks from today. I went out to buy a burrito, so that I could have something to eat while watching the Star Trek episode “The Squire of Gothos.” It seemed to me that Captain Kirk’s ideas of mischievous behavior belonged to a different century. The character of Yeoman Teresa Ross was played by Venita Wolf, who appeared in television programs like “The Flying Nun,” “The Monkees,” “Gunsmoke,” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” She died on November 22, 2014. The Johnny Carson show that was airing on Antenna TV was from September 1, 1977, and the guests were Lou Brock, Don Rickles, Eli Wallach, and Colleen McCullough. I was kind of funny that Johnny talked about Brock’s stolen base record being unbreakable when it would last for only 14 more years. I fell asleep and so missed the other guests. I awoke in the middle of an Alfred Hitchcock program. I had enough television for the night, so I turned off the set and listened to the raindrops outside as I fell asleep again. Some of the people who died on January 17 include Betty Smith (1972), Virginia Mayo (2005), Art Buchwald (2007), Erich Segal (2010), and Don Kirshner (2011). Today is a birthday for Michelle Obama (52), Jim Carrey (54), Steve Earle (61), Muhammad Ali (74), James Earl Jones (85), and Betty White (94). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 17, Dean Martin’s son Dino was arrested for trying to sell an AK-47 machine gun to an undercover officer. In 1976, Barry Manilow had the Number One single, “I Write the Songs.”

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