Geena Davis, Cate Blanchett, and Other Simple Pleasures in an Apocalypse

Back in April—do you remember April? It was so long ago. Well, back in April, I left school on a Friday and said to my students “make smart choices!” just like I said every Friday. But also, on a whim, I added “and if I don’t see you until fall, have a good summer.” And we laughed. Within a matter of days, it was abundantly clear that I wouldn’t be back on campus until August. So I asked the librarian if I could borrow a digital projector. And then, you know, they laid me off. Don’t worry, I’ll return the projector when school is back in session. So like August 2021?

We have since gotten our money’s worth out of the projector. We started with Thelma & Louise on the porch with the octogenarian. It was the same day the landscapers did a major tree pruning. Around the time Thelma was saying, “good morning, ladies and gentlemen. This is a robbery,” we heard a thump. We thought it was an orange falling in the gutter, but there aren’t any orange trees on that side of the porch. And then Henry ran by. Henry—Hank, if you’re close—is a delightful little rat who tried to jump from the recently pruned tree to the roof. He didn’t quite make it. Usain Bolt ain’t got nothing on an octogenarian who has just seen Hank run along the porch railing. Ultimately, Louise and Thelma escaped the patriarchy, the octogenarian built some muscle, and Hank managed to find his way off the porch.

Have I told you about my wife? She’s very serious. She doesn’t seem so serious, which is a problem when she’s being quite sincere. Like after a porch movie when she has a twelve-point survey (How was the volume? What about the sound quality? Was it rich enough or did you feel the car could have rumbled more? Was the movie properly framed for your taste?).

The octogenarian did not take her post Thelma & Louise survey seriously, which meant our pre A League of Their Own survey was much more intense. That one was for the octogenarian’s birthday. Who said you can’t have a birthday celebration in a pandemic? Rigging up the screen for the birthday bash involved climbing two trees. As a child the only outdoor activity I willingly participated in was tree climbing. Turns out it’s more difficult when you’re an adult. Also turns out that taking down the screen when it’s dark and you’ve been drinking is a bad idea? At least it is according to my wife (the serious surveys are accompanied by a lot of rules) (she read this blog and wants you, dear reader, to know they aren’t rules. They are suggestions based on logic).

We have since done The ‘Burbs with our neighbors (duh). Ironically, the neighbor from the next house over asked us to turn it down. At 9 p.m. On a Saturday. He clearly has bodies buried in the backyard if you know what I mean (I mean literal bodies). We also did a movie in our friend’s backyard for her kid’s fifteenth birthday. We set it up over the pool so he and his buddy could float and watch Guardians of the Superfriends or Whatever. It was fucking dope. We also did Ocean’s Eight in our backyard for science. Yeah, ten foot Cate Blanchett flirting with Sandra Bullock for science.

I’ll be honest, there’s no real point to this blog. We’re in a shitstorm of a pandemic approaching an economic depression with a fascist regime and also the globe is literally on fire and in the U.S. we don’t have any firefighters because our prison slave labor firefighters are all sick with said deadly virus. I’m taking joy from watching feel good movies on an outdoor screen. I hope you’re finding joy where you can. I also hope the sound quality is good. And if it’s not, call my wife and have her rig up a different sound system configuration for you.


  1. Yes! Pics or it didn’t happen! Seriously though, I love the idea of outdoor screenings and would totally steal your idea except for the mosquitoes, blackflies and deerflies. (Watch out for them, they come with cutlery!)
    Ocean’s Eight was a fab movie, even if it wasn’t six feet high when I watched it. Movies while floating in a pool? That’s pretty perfect.


  2. Thanks for giving me some laughs. Grim times are good times to watch old movies. Old for me = 40’s, 50’s films noirs or the Marx brothers.


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