Friday, May 25, 2012

Choking on Chocolate, & a movie review

I prefer not to dwell on it, but I do occasionally write about my main infirmity because others with Sjogren's Syndrome might be interested.
Sjogren's Syndrome affects many, many areas of my body and my life, but one of the most constant reminders that my body is screwed up is my inability to swallow anything unless chased by copious amounts of liquid. Sjogren's isn't just about having a dry mouth; and saliva isn't just about drooling! I wouldn't dream of sitting down to eat a snack or a meal without a big glass of water. When offered a sample at a grocery or farmer's market, I have to pass. I've choked on way too many teeny cubes of artisanal cheese.
Today, I made the mistake of thinking a little, old, Hershey Kiss wouldn't be a problem, because surely, it would just melt in there and trickle down my throat. Right? 
Wrong. And when the chocolate became wedged in my throat, it burned! Ouch! (and dangerous.) Makes me wonder if my medications (Evoxac, Rituxan, Plaquenil) are doing anything. I don't want to write about this anymore, so I will clumsily segue into...a movie review.

The Woman in Black. Trailer implied spooky, beautiful, and set in the Edwardian Era, my favorite for costumery. (Titanic, Oh! Downton Abbey, Ah!) Don't rent it! The premise: A family matriarch has died, and young, widdowed, lawyer Dan Radcliffe is to settle the estate. (I think. It wasn't exactly clear, and the dog was barking up a storm, at this point.) So does Dan work his way through a stack of papers in the office? No! Despite that he's a single father with a toddler son, he must go do his lawyering at the remote location of the big, creepy estate and look through the family papers, there. All alone. But not all alone for long, because his son and the nanny are scheduled to come join him, at the remote, creepy mansion, in a couple of days. 
Children in the surrounding village are killing themselves at an alarming rate. They drink lye, drown themselves, and jump out second story windows. They kill themselves after they see the ghost of the woman whose son died, young, and whose body was never recovered.
Dan must be sleeping all day, because it's always night when he's working through those papers. Ghostly noises. Ghostly visions. Ghostly everything. What looks to be poorly taxidermied monkeys that play musical instruments. Does Dan leave? Of course not. After another child suicide or two, Dan and a villager decide to wade into a muddy lagoon and look for the ghost woman's dead son's body. Because that's got to be easy, right? Even though no one else has ever been able to find him.
And it is easy! Dan wades into the La Brea Tar Pit of cold mud and--luckily, he's tethered to the villager's vintage automobile--here's the body! Dan and Villager wrap the boy's remains in a sheet and leave it where his ghost mother will see him and be so grateful that she'll stop haunting the village children to death. She must not have been grateful enough.
And then it's time for Dan's son to join him. After watching a few children kill themselves and hearing about all of the other children who have met terrible ends, confident Dan meets his sweet, little boy at the train station and greets him, then allows him to slip away and wander off--even though the children in this village die, die, die when they're not directly supervised--into big, surprise ending!

I'd love to divulge the rest. Especially because if you follow my advise, you won't bother to rent this movie.

But.....well, if you must know...SPOILER! SPOILER! Dan has allowed his sweet, little boy to wander away in this town of extreme danger-danger-danger for all children, and the boy's spotted the woman in black and wandered right down onto the rails, right into the path of an oncoming train that must be an express--it isn't slowing down. Dan jumps in, and the train blasts by. He couldn't have escaped death!

The train passes, and ...Dan is standing on the tracks! Hugging his son! But wait! Where is has the nanny gone? She'd been standing on the platform.

Dan and son look into the distance. "Daddy, who's that lady?"


"Why, that's your mother, who perished birthing you."

And they all walk off to Heaven. All, happily dead together.

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