Thoughts on Mick Jagger and Other Tidbits from Parade Magazine

Parade Magazine and the Style section (which includes the books reviews) accompany my little donut and cappuccino every Sunday morning.

Mick Jagger graced this weekend's cover. Make all the old-guy jokes you want to--this guy's still cooking. I watched a documentary on VH1 in which Mick took the reporter into a room in his house that contained tapes of all the Stones' recordings. The walls were lined with boxed reels.

The reporter commented that Mick must be very proud when he enters that room, to which Mick responded something like, "Well, I'm not like . . . " and then he puffed out his chest like a rooster.

On the trailer for Shine a Light, the new Stones' rockumentary, a clip shows Martin Scorsese sitting at a desk when Mick calls. Mick expresses concern over Scorsese's use of cameras, particularly one that "swoops over the audience" and around the stage. He said he thought that would be annoying to the audience.

Humor and attention to detail--I like those qualities; I guess I never thought of someone like Mick Jagger being sort of like a regular person. Though I do not listen to the Stones, the film looks interesting. I especially think it's funny when Scorsese is totally stressed because the Stones won't pin down the set list for him.

No-Guilt Desserts--I didn't even read this article. No-guilt means the same as no fat, which equates to no flavor.

I did not know that Ping-Pong is an active trademark--did you?

The magazine closes with a feature on John Krasinski, who plays Jim on The Office. Apparently, his original goal was to be a scriptwriter, but another writer told him to go for acting instead, saying, "Don't even try making it as a writer. It's too tough."

Geez, now you tell me.

A Small Gesture Changes Everything

As I passed a side road today, I glimpsed a woman sitting on the sidewalk, legs splayed out. A group of ladies stood in a close circle in front of her.

Just exercising, I thought. After all, they were near a gym and they all had shorts on.

But then something happened, something small happened that caused me to see the scene a different way: One of the ladies leaned down and put her hand on the woman's shoulder. Though I was half a block away, the compassion in that gesture was clear.

Among other things, it made me think how powerful a single gesture can be in our writing. In the scene above, a little gesture transformed friends exercising together into women concerned for a hurt friend. I was amazed when I thought about the impact of that one small movement.

We probably all use this concept instinctively in our writing, but seeing it in action and recognizing it enables us to use it deliberately and with precision. We can build a scene and then with one swift movement, lade it with meaning.

Orlando Has Clean Air!

We have the mouse, we have the whale, and now we have clean air! According to a recent Yahoo! article, Orlando took fourth place in the list of US cities with the cleanest air. Oh yeah! O-town rules! Listen, I've got no swampland, but for a small fee, I will send you a vial of our fresh air. You cannot get this stuff anywhere else. (Well, maybe three other places. If you live in those three other places, I am not talking about you.) Hurry now, supplies may be limited.

Doing Donuts and Time

One winter up north, snow fell for three days. My friends and I were tired of being cooped up.; we decided to go out for lattes. We loaded into my car, an old beater that was as strong as a tank. I drove cautiously on the ice-slicked roads, and we admired the white branches and icicles on houses as we passed.

It was early yet; there were hardly any cars in the plaza when we arrived. I still don’t know what came over me, but I pressed the accelerator and raced to the empty side of the parking lot.
“Danette!” my friends squealed. Expertly, I cranked the wheel hard to the left. Whee! We spun around in a sharp donut. Hitting the gas again, I cranked the wheel to the right. We screamed in delight—even me—the thrill of almost losing control overtaking me. I hadn’t lost the technique I’d perfected in high school. Laughing, I whipped the car around a few more times, and then decelerated to a demure fifteen mph to park in front of the coffee shop.

But a policeman stopped me before I got to my spot.

“You endangered other people and vehicles,” he admonished as he wrote me a ticket for careless driving.

A ticket? “I’m going to fight this,” I said.

He nodded. Apparently he’d heard this before.

When my day in court came, I sat in the judge’s chambers trying to look like the law abiding citizen I was. “But it was private property, and that parking lot was basically empty,” I wheedled. “Besides, it was an accident.” Okay, I don’t know how that slipped out, but I still didn't think doing donuts meant doing time (or even getting a ticket).

The judge frowned and flipped through the paperwork. She looked directly at me. “The officer reports that the driver and passengers could be seen smiling and laughing through the windshield.”

My mouth opened and closed. I drove carefully home after paying my fine and taking my points.

Bottom line: You can go out for coffee, but don’t do donuts.

The Blustery Day

It's a wonderfully windy day. The huge puddle in the unconstructed lot has whitecaps. A gust of wind pushed me into Target. (Okay, I was headed there anyway, but still!) Leaves skittered down the road in front of me in such multitude, it was a leaf marathon.

I love this kind of day.

Funny, Weird, or Scary Signs #4

More than flowers at the local nursery.