IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD
IDEA AT THE TIME
8 February 2002
My friend Ellen called the other day and during our conversation she told me that she
was taking a course through Sacramento City College on "Women in Film," which is being held here in Davis, at the theatre Paul used to manage. It sounded
interesting, and having nothing else to do in my spare time (yes, I'm joking), I said I
might be interested in attending the class with her. Ellen said that that day was the last day it
was possible to register and she gave me the telephone number of the professor.
I called the prof and asked if it was too late to enroll. She said that I
could still join the class and asked if I could get into Sacramento that afternoon to fill out the
enrollment papers. When I explained that I had to work, she offered to go and get the enrollment papers for me, call me back, and just
fill out the forms for me. She even offered to forge my signature if I'd describe what it looked like to her, and she said she would write a personal check to cover the cost of envrollment. Nice lady!
Tonight was the first class...well, the first class I would attend (it was actually
the third class). I made arrangements to meet Ellen there. Walt and I had a car switch,
since he was planning to go to his mother's house and would thus need the Honda and I
would drive David's old clunker car.
The class looks interesting. The prof gives an introduction to the
movie she is going to show, then we all watch the movie, and then there's a discussion. (Tonight's had something to do with the "virgin/whore dichotomy" and the symbolism in the lighting effects.)
The wisdom of someone who works part time as a theatre critic and has problems staying
awake to review a show taking an evening class where part of the class involves watching a
90 minute movie may be questioned.
Tonight's subject was film noir and the movie was Out of the Past, with Robert
Mitchum, Kirk Douglas and Rhonda Flemming, all looking like teenagers. I knew that I was having
some difficulty concentrating and following the plot, but I thought that I was doing well
to stay awake through it.
I think tonight proved that my brain is able to turn off and "sleep" while my
eyes are open. I know I nodded off a time or two, but during the discussion when someone
commented on the gunshots at the end of the movie, I was totally lost. I have absolutely no
recollection of anybody getting killed. Other points that were raised also left me blank.
I guess I missed more of it than I realized!
Next week is Gilda and the following week Mildred Pierce, both movies
that I already have here on videotape. Perhaps I should "study" ahead of time!
When the class ended (9:30) I went home and suddenly realized that since I had David's
car, I also had David's keychain and that my keys were hanging safely on a hook inside the
front door. Walt was in Sacramento. I was locked out.
Normally this isn't a big problem because there is a door which is usually open, but
when we went to the wedding this weekend, Walt made sure it was securely locked and we
hadn't had occasion to open it since our return, so I couldn't get in there either.
I decided I'd drive to Ned's house and borrow his key, thinking how glad I was that he
was still in Davis (they move to their new house in Sacramento this weekend). However,
Ned's key to the house was in his car, which he just loaned to a friend of his, in
exchange for loan of the friend's pick up truck. He couldn't help me either.
We tried calling Walt in Sacramento, but the line was busy every time we called.
Ned suggested he could come back to the house with me and get me in by climbing up to
the upstairs bathroom window and getting in that way. But I told him that the extension
ladder was sitting inside the house, in the stairwell, which we are preparing to paint.
There was no way I could get into the house.
I ended up staying at Ned's until the end of E.R. and then decided Walt surely would be
home soon, and if he wasn't there, I could just read my book while I waited.
He wasn't home, and the light in the car was much too dim to read by, so my choices were
to sit in the car and wait, or sit in the 40 degree (or colder) weather outside so I could
read by the light of the carport light. I chose to wait in the car. For an hour.
It wasn't so bad for the first half hour, when my body was still radiating enough heat
that the combination of body heat and jacket heat kept me warm. But by 30 minutes, the
body heat was starting to go and by the time Walt finally drove up, I couldn't stop
shivering. In fact, I'm sitting here hunched over the computer, still shivering.
I think the class is going to be a good one (if I can stay awake), and I will never
again forget to take my keys with me!