My brain has decided, out of NOWHERE, that this should be the only song in my head today.
This. Always this. Always, always, always this.
Any and every other version of this song is less spectacular.
Even when I strum it on my guitar and belt it out for my neighbors a little too late at night. Sometime, especially on nights like tonight, especially then.
Thank you, Etta James. You gave the world a little more soul, beauty, and awesomeness.
In case what you were wondering what growing in Beverly Hills was like. Our chauffeur Wilshire was such a buffoon! And how I miss our triple stretch jacuzzi with the pool in the back!
I will say, though, that the Strawberry Fizz Bubble Baths at 2:50 brings back one of my most beloved memories of watching this show after school with my sisters (before they fell asleep with gum in their mouths, which then subsequently ended up tangled in my hair…).
There are a lot of reasons to love “It’s A Wonderful Life” - Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, the invention of Bert and Ernie - but this scene, this one’s my favorite. And this movie is definitely a Top 10 All Time Desert Island favorite of mine.
Now, picking this as one of my favorite scenes in cinema, let alone this movie, is saying a lot, especially considering that the epic Charleston sequence is set in the Swim Gym of my high school (which by the way, so full of chlorine that I couldn’t stay inside for more than 10 minutes at a time). And lest we forget Zuzu’s petals, and throwing a rope around the moon, and Merry Christmas You Old Savings and Loan.
But this scene gets me every time. I was even late to a party this weekend because the movie has started its seasonal romp through TV and I happened to tune in at just the right moment.
It’s the perfect connection of subtext, chemistry, and relatability. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed have this beautiful chemistry in this scene, this gorgeous embodiment of the heartfelt innocence that separates Capra from the pack. But if there’s one scene that nails romantic longing (and I’m gonna go ahead and include the obligatory stereo scene from “Say Anything” and the salad-making scene from “Singles”), it’s this one. Infatuation sometimes just makes it very fucking hard to concentrate. Also, a guy being a prick can sometimes make it hard to concentrate, but George Bailey gets a free pass for having so much shit to deal with.
And ladies, there is most certainly something to be said for wearing really lovely and fragrant conditioner.
And fellas, that there is a very well earned kiss. Sure, he could have done it earlier, but timing is everything.
Yesterday I had myriad profound moments, mainly due to the appearance of a shoe on my right foot for the first time in over 10 weeks. I decided to walk, Grandpa-style, up the street, really focusing on how I was walking so as to not limp, but WALK. You know, walk hard.
It was totally existential.
I pondered the whole process of this whole foot thing - how I went from being broken and dependent, how I rolled with it all, embraced it, and challenging myself every day to be stronger in more ways than one, and how ultimately I had built the strength to walk across the room with a different style of purpose than I did when I was a toddler. Healing is simply symbolic like that - I was leaning on people, on crutches, and then on my own weight, ever so slowly - especially the part about relearning how to be independent right before turning 30. This shit means something cosmic, you guys.
Anyway. After I spent twenty minutes inching up the block in my zen-like walking meditation, random epiphanies started flooding in…and, much like when I’m totally quiet and in a legit meditation, who jumps into my head?
I started meditating (kind of) when I was in grade school, and have always had teachers and gurus and too-tan yoga instructors tell me to look out for “visions” when my Chakras were open and what not. But THIS, this was different. This was awesome. This was all I could see in my mind’s eye:
This shit means something cosmic, you guys. For reals.
Anyway, after that, naturally, I couldn’t get Jeff Daniels out of my head for the rest of the day. I then proceeded to have a “How fucking underestimated is Jeff Daniels OR Is Jeff Daniels really fucking OVERESTIMATED OR Is Jeff Daniels just estimated ENOUGH?” dilema. I mean, seriously? Let’s consider this for a moment.
Jeff Daniels has done SO FUCKING MUCH in his career: Speed, Terms of Endearment, Dumb and Dumber, The Squid and the Whale, and that Anna Paquin geese movie from the 90’s…plus the fact that he played Anna Paquin’s dad in that geese movie and then fucked her in The Squid in the Whale. He totally blew me away earlier this year when I saw him perform onstage in God of Carnage. Plus, he was at one time considered for the role of Uncle Joey on Full House. Talk about an actor’s body of work, guys!
Oh, also, he’s gotten fat gracefully, and is still working on important things, so that’s really a plus as well.
Anyway, my inexplicably-cosmic Jeff Daniel’s quasi-epiphany spiraled into a vortex of YouTube clip watching. And I think that I decided that THIS is most definitely my favorite Jeff Daniels Jeff Danielsness…
PS: If anyone wants me, I’ll be in Reel Six! What a day!
Since I’m about ready to fuck up New York in a manner that has not been seen since the Muppets in the ’80s, I’ve decided to post Big Apple-related quality content until my departure. Granted, the first stop of my trip is spending a few glorious, beautiful days in rural Virginia, but, like, there’s no showstopping musical numbers about Virginia, so I’m rolling with NYC for blog-sake.
TRY listening to this without bursting out into a kickline. YOU CAN’T.
PS: I fucking love her microphone.
PPS: This song is especially poignant because I used to perform it (WHILE tap dancing, thankyouverymuch) in my pj’s for my parents and their friends when I was a kid. This and Lea Thompson’s song from “Howard the Duck” (I have very eclectic musical tastes).