A Study Of Reading Habits
By Philip Larkin
When getting my nose in a book
Cured most things short of school,
It was worth ruining my eyes
To know I could still keep cool,
And deal out the old right hook
To dirty dogs twice my size.
Later, with inch-thick specs,
Evil was just my lark:
Me and my coat and fangs
Had ripping times in the dark.
The women I clubbed with sex!
I broke them up like meringues.
Don't read much now: the dude
Who lets the girl down before
The hero arrives, the chap
Who's yellow and keeps the store
Seem far too familiar. Get stewed:
Books are a load of crap.
Had an incredibly gorgeous 60+ degree late November day, so we spent most of it at the National Zoo. It was tiring, because my throat is still raw and my nose still stuffed and I was caught between Nyquil and Advil Sinus, but very worth it just to be outdoors in Rock Creek Park. Saw the new Asia Trail with the otters, sloth bears, fisher cats, red pandas and redesigned panda habitat, visited the small mammals to see the meerkats, mongooses and porcupines, and went to the bird house which was almost too warm given the outdoor temperature. Apparently the birds inside did not know it was not mating season, since one of them was calling so loudly that it could be heard throughout the entire building, and we witnessed the following exchange of food between this pair:
And the gorgeous early winter trees and cloud-speckled sky deserve a more detailed description, but I am tired, because after we came home, had dinner and finished organizing the CDs, we watched Brokeback Mountain on HBO (for no good reason, since we own it on DVD) and talked about it with the kids, who weren't in the room during the one sex scene I wouldn't have let them watch. Younger son made loud BLECCH noise when Ennis kissed Jack outside his house, which surprised me because I'm sure he's seen men kissing each other before on film and he usually only rolls his eyes when women kiss men in movies. We had a whole long discussion about hate crimes...neither of my kids had ever heard of lynching. Now I can't remember exactly when and how I learned about it, but I keep forgetting how much further away from the civil rights movement they are than I was during my childhood. Anyway, it was an interesting conversation, though younger son later declared the movie boring because there were not enough sheep. (Penguins would undoubtedly have been his first choice.) And after that we watched Boston Legal making a rare appearance in its former timeslot after Desperate Housewives, which continued the trend of totally insane cracked arc stories.
Denny begs Alan to come with him for the results of his paternity test, but Alan receives an emergency telephone call from Jerry that summons him to a murder scene where Erica -- a woman who shares Jerry's psychiatrist -- explains that she blacked out for a couple of hours after an argument with the victim -- her lover -- and she might be guilty of tying up and hanging the woman. Realizing that Erica may become psychotic in prison, Alan convinces Jerry of the necessity of convincing the judge to give her bail. Meanwhile Alan talks to both the dead woman's ex-husband and her new lover, finding that the new lover is a very cold fish who seems more psychotic than Erica...and who has a handwritten will naming herself as the dead woman's heir. The psychiatrist, however, explains that Erica is delusional and hears voices telling her to do things; he believes she could have killed her former lover then blocked out the incident.
Denny discovers to his relief (as the Jeopardy music plays) that he is not Bethany's father, but Bethany still doesn't want to date her mother's former lover. Bella is only too happy to pick up right where she and Denny left off, and she's not taking no for an answer, tackling Denny whenever she sees him to remind him of the good old days. When Bethany shows up to announce to Denny that it's really and truly over, Denny says that she can say whatever she needs to in front of Alan -- "We're married," Alan explains -- and though Denny reads cue cards provided by Jeffrey to try to win her back, it's to no avail. Lincoln flirts with Bella when he meets her, but his priority is convincing Denny to take him on as a client, claiming that Gracie Jane is slandering him on television and he's a suspect in the murder of a judge. To Shirley's horror, Denny agrees to represent Lincoln, even though Denny thinks Lincoln's a "fairy" which causes Lincoln to compare Denny to Mister Dirty Mouth. Lincoln's testimony on his own behalf is so outrageous that Denny suspects he wants to be arrested, "like one of those weird Democrats."
Meanwhile Alan overhears Denise explaining to Shirley that since Daniel died, all she can think about is sex, and offers himself as potential relief from her deferred grief: "After 9/11, people ran around like rabbits." He insists that he will go as low as she wants to give her the debased sex she needs. Denise's usual casual sex partner, Brad, has his own problems, since Mister Dirty Mouth's presence in the office is becoming increasingly intolerable to him. When Jeffrey comes into the men's room and insults the way Brad urinates ("Have you had your prostate checked?"), they come to blows, only to have Paul walk in and scold them, unimpressed with the battling machismo. In private Shirley tells Jeffrey that he was supposed to be a team player, but he confesses that he only moved to Boston to be with her (it sure wasn't the Red Sox), begs her to be with him and convinces her to have dinner with him.
After going unrecognized in a lineup of potential murder suspects for the judge, Lincoln sneaks into Gracie Jane's hotel room pretending to be room service staff, overhears her talking to her editor about the dud murder trial, and whacks her over the head with a shovel, saying, "Oops, I didn't see you there." Then he visits Shirley, whom he rightly observes is primping to go on a date, and when she says that he's a pretty weird guy, he asks her to have dinner with him instead...at gunpoint. She tries to tell him that he isn't crazy enough to be doing this, but he insists that she is going to walk out of there with him quietly so they can get on with their special friendship, ultimately tying her to a chair in a dark room with duct tape over her mouth. Later, Jeffrey asks Denny whether Denny has seen Shirley, nearly prompting Denny to come to blows with him, but Denny is tackled by Bella and distracted.
Alone on their balcony for cigars, Denny asks Alan whether he is wrong to dream of a mother-daughter menage a twaddle. "You mean trois," Alan points out. They are discussing the culpability of women and Denny is looking around for below-the-belt midgets when Denise pops out, asks if they're getting some fresh air, and says "See ya" to Alan, whom she previously labeled disgusting for expressing interest in sniffing out her inner bad girl. Denny hopes that Alan's client is guilty as he wants to hear a hot lesbian love story and asks when the trial is. "This Tuesday, ten o'clock," Alan replies, helpfully letting us in the audience know that Boston Legal is not in fact moving permanently into its former time slot after Desperate Housewives. Alan says he believes he can win his case if his client will change her plea, because she's insane...not knowing that Erica is listening just inside the curtains.
This is twice the crack of the usual BL crack, and I am not sure I like all the gay-people-are-crazy storylines suddenly popping out all over...Gracie Jane says that inner perversion always leads to outer perversion and at the moment it appears that the show agrees, though the show never agrees with Gracie Jane on anything so perhaps I should trust David E. Kelley to take this all somewhere unexpected. I hope Denise rescues Shirley, because this is one too many damsel-in-distress incidents, too. And, of course, I hope Brad and Jeffrey relieve the tension between the two of them in the logical way.
Hope everyone who was celebrating had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend! My sister left without saying goodbye, which is really no surprise given that this is my sister. *g*