Author Topic: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?  (Read 19102 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2017, 10:05:19 am »
One should never be without a bottle of 12-year-old scotch. Single malt.

I'm never with one. I like most kinds of booze, except gin and scotch. Though when in Edinborough, I visited the whiskey museum and in the gift shop bought a bunch of airplane bottles of single malt to bring home to my then-husband as a gift. I got to the point where I kind of liked it, but never loved it.

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And it's "Bette."

 ;D

You're right, of course, and I knew that. Sorry. But while we're on the subject, my name is spelled Katherine, not Kathryn (like Hawn or Bigelow) or Katharine (like Hepburn). I actually don't mind any spelling. Just don't call me Kathy.

Speaking of older movie stars, my son won a Mary Pickford Scholarship from his college in LA. I had to explain who Mary Pickford was ("America's sweetheart -- kind of the Jennifer Lawrence of the 19-teens," I told him). But he's studying film and media culture, so he really should know that. I told him Mary Pickford founded a production company with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks that became United Artists. He had heard that, but thought it was Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith. I looked it up and we were both right -- it was all four.

How was the Brontë movie?






Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2017, 11:06:55 am »
You're right, of course, and I knew that. Sorry. But while we're on the subject, my name is spelled Katherine, not Kathryn (like Hawn or Bigelow) or Katharine (like Hepburn). I actually don't mind any spelling. Just don't call me Kathy.

I'm sorry. I need to make a note of that--and then keep the note some place where I won't lose it.  :(  I knew, of course, that you're not a "Kathryn" or a "Catherine" or "Catharine," but it seems that there are so many different ways to spell the name that I can never keep the "e-Katherines" and the "a-Katharines" straight in my head.  :(

(Despite all my enjoyment of Tudor history, I can't even remember if it's "Catherine of Aragon" or "Catharine of Aragon." Maybe I should just give up and use her Spanish birth name, "Catalina." )

Speaking of "Kathy," that reminds me of how I sometimes wonder at the short, sharp, sexy names that parents sometimes give to new babies. I wonder what they're thinking. Take "Cody," for example. Perhaps I can see it if the family is somehow related to Buffalo Bill, but otherwise, I think of "Cody" as perhaps cute for a little boy, or sexy for a young hunk (like the character in the old Baywatch), but I can't envision a "Cody" as a bald 60-year-old with a beer gut, and one can never predict. ...
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2017, 04:51:11 pm »
I'm sorry. I need to make a note of that--and then keep the note some place where I won't lose it.  :(  I knew, of course, that you're not a "Kathryn" or a "Catherine" or "Catharine," but it seems that there are so many different ways to spell the name that I can never keep the "e-Katherines" and the "a-Katharines" straight in my head.  :(

That's OK! Seriously, I don't mind a bit. Jeff habitually calls me Katharine, but I just like to think he associates me with Hepburn. And here we are on the Wuthering Heights thread, so for all I care you can calll me Catherine!

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Speaking of "Kathy," that reminds me of how I sometimes wonder at the short, sharp, sexy names that parents sometimes give to new babies. I wonder what they're thinking. Take "Cody," for example. Perhaps I can see it if the family is somehow related to Buffalo Bill, but otherwise, I think of "Cody" as perhaps cute for a little boy, or sexy for a young hunk (like the character in the old Baywatch), but I can't envision a "Cody" as a bald 60-year-old with a beer gut, and one can never predict. ...

Well, I imagine that's the way parents once felt about names like Maude and Clarence and Bertha and Floyd and Esther and Otis and Blanche. If a lot of people in a generation have a name, the imagery attached to that name follows them as they progress from sexy young thing to old person.

Some day, names like Heather and Tanya and Dylan will conjure images of old people. As will names closer to our own generation: Linda, Scott, Greg, Jodi.

I'm lucky, I suppose, that Katherine has endured for centuries and stayed current-sounding.

That's why we named our son Cyrus. I didn't know anyone under about 60 with that name, but it didn't feel particularly dated. And our other son is Jackson, which is a bit trendy, but he generally goes by Jack, which is classic.

Sometimes I wish we'd come up with something more original than Jack. Like maybe Vinnie. We both loved Hank, but our landlord at the time was named Hank, so that kind of wrecked it (two years later, of course, that wouldn't matter). And we kind of liked Rex, but we were in New Orleans and that's the title they use when they annually designate some old-line aristocrat King of Carnival. So in NOLA it had a snobby connotation that, again, would not matter now.

IF all else fails, the kid can eventually go the way of Diablo Cody (née Brook Busey). It's a cool name, but very few parents would give their child a name that means "devil."


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2017, 05:10:08 pm »
My excuse for misspelling your name, lately, Katherine, is that I have a client named St. Kathryn Cellars, so that has become the default spelling! I'll try to do better!
Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2017, 06:11:56 pm »
That's OK! Seriously, I don't mind a bit. Jeff habitually calls me Katharine, but I just like to think he associates me with Hepburn. And here we are on the Wuthering Heights thread, so for all I care you can calll me Catherine!

Thanks, except I'd never be able to remember which way to spell Kate's name, either. Generally speaking, I have a Katherine/Katharine problem.  :(

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Well, I imagine that's the way parents once felt about names like Maude and Clarence and Bertha and Floyd and Esther and Otis and Blanche. If a lot of people in a generation have a name, the imagery attached to that name follows them as they progress from sexy young thing to old person.

Some day, names like Heather and Tanya and Dylan will conjure images of old people. As will names closer to our own generation: Linda, Scott, Greg, Jodi.

"Esther" at least is Biblical (I had a great-aunt named Esther). One thing I think you can say about Biblical names, at least for boys, is that they wear well. (Obviously, not all Biblical names; anybody who would name a child Nahum or Haggai ought to be taken out and shot.  ;D ) Back in the day, before I knew I wouldn't have offspring. I used to think I'd name a son, if I had one, Andrew Michael: Both Biblical. Both masculine. Both enduring and not strange sounding. And multi-syllable given names tend to "work better" with single-syllable surnames. (Can work the other way, too; a single-syllable given name can work OK with a multi-syllable surname.)

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I'm lucky, I suppose, that Katherine has endured for centuries and stayed current-sounding.

Probably so.

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That's why we named our son Cyrus. I didn't know anyone under about 60 with that name, but it didn't feel particularly dated. And our other son is Jackson, which is a bit trendy, but he generally goes by Jack, which is classic.

Sometimes I wish we'd come up with something more original than Jack. Like maybe Vinnie. We both loved Hank, but our landlord at the time was named Hank, so that kind of wrecked it (two years later, of course, that wouldn't matter). And we kind of liked Rex, but we were in New Orleans and that's the title they use when they annually designate some old-line aristocrat King of Carnival. So in NOLA it had a snobby connotation that, again, would not matter now.

Vinnie?  :o

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IF all else fails, the kid can eventually go the way of Diablo Cody (née Brook Busey). It's a cool name, but very few parents would give their child a name that means "devil."

No foolin'? That's her birth name? I never knew that.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2017, 10:52:21 pm »
My excuse for misspelling your name, lately, Katherine, is that I have a client named St. Kathryn Cellars, so that has become the default spelling! I'll try to do better!

Not to worry!  :)  Seriously. I'd rather you misspell my name than your client's!

Vinnie?  :o

Well, just a thought. We'd probably have to move to New Jersey, though.

We briefly toyed with "Otis." My great uncle was named Otis, and he was quite a character -- a talented artist in both paint and sculpture, but much of his artwork is vaguely disturbing, eccentric to the point of being almost macabre. I have several pieces of his and love them, but mainly because they're weird. He also did time in prison for counterfeiting, and according to family legend he spent more time in the slammer than his fellow counterfeiters because he was so difficult.

When Mike and I mentioned, at a family gathering at my dad's, that we were thinking of naming the kid Otis, my entire extended family spoke in unison: "Don't name him Otis!!"

My only objection to the name was that it reminded me of the town drunk in Mayberry. But they probably remembered their eccentric uncle.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2017, 08:58:48 am »
Well, just a thought. We'd probably have to move to New Jersey, though.

We briefly toyed with "Otis." My great uncle was named Otis, and he was quite a character -- a talented artist in both paint and sculpture, but much of his artwork is vaguely disturbing, eccentric to the point of being almost macabre. I have several pieces of his and love them, but mainly because they're weird. He also did time in prison for counterfeiting, and according to family legend he spent more time in the slammer than his fellow counterfeiters because he was so difficult.

When Mike and I mentioned, at a family gathering at my dad's, that we were thinking of naming the kid Otis, my entire extended family spoke in unison: "Don't name him Otis!!"

My only objection to the name was that it reminded me of the town drunk in Mayberry. But they probably remembered their eccentric uncle.

 :laugh:

Katherine, you need to write a book about Uncle Otis! Never mind the other stuff! Write about Uncle Otis!  :laugh:

Actually, I'm serious about that!  :)

(I remember the town drunk from Mayberry.  ;D )
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2017, 10:11:32 am »
:laugh:

Katherine, you need to write a book about Uncle Otis! Never mind the other stuff! Write about Uncle Otis!  :laugh:

Actually, I'm serious about that!  :)

Follow-up:

I took the liberty of sharing "Uncle Otis" with my colleagues here at work. One responded immediately, "I'd buy that book!" The others all agree with me, too.

Just sayin' and passin' on. ...
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2017, 10:17:56 am »
:laugh:

Katherine, you need to write a book about Uncle Otis! Never mind the other stuff! Write about Uncle Otis!  :laugh:

Actually, I'm serious about that!  :)

(I remember the town drunk from Mayberry.  ;D )

I actually have fantasized about spending a year in my dad's hometown, on the western edge of Iowa, and writing about it. Maybe 17 years ago or so, my family went through the town on the way somewhere else. I had spent some time there when I was a kid, when my grandmother moved back there toward the end of her life. (She had spent the interim years in Des Moines.)

We were there for an afternoon, and had lunch with my dad's cousin. At one point, her son came in. He was the mayor, and said the town had asked Johnny Carson to donate to its big new athletic center. (Months later, I just happened to be reading the "people" column in the paper, and there was a little item saying he did! Total serendipity, since I don't usually read that column.) Johnny didn't grow up there, he grew up in nearby Omaha. But his cousin Rex was a childhood friend of my dad and his sisters, and family legend has it that my grandmother dated Johnny's father.

After lunch, we went by where my great uncle and aunt's motel used to be. It was called the L&M Motel, after their names, Lloyd and Mattie. Now it was a little clinic of some kind. At that point, this woman walked up to our car and asked if we needed help or directions. Turned out she had been Lloyd's housekeeper (he lived across the street) and cared for him during his final years/days. He'd been born in 1898 and had hoped to live to see three centuries, but didn't quite make it. Now this woman lived in his house. I can't remember her name, but in the essay I wrote about it later I called her Roberta, so I'll call her that.

I joined Roberta in her giant old car, my husband and kids following, and we all drove to the cemetery, where Roberta led us to the family graves. One was a huge -- like, 12-foot-tall -- monument with my dad's name on it. Of course, it wasn't my dad's grave -- he had the same name as his father, but it wasn't his father's grave, either, judging by the dates of birth and death. It must have been his father's father. Other Reads had been buried in this same place, people with names like Maude and Beatrice.

Roberta then led us to the old family house, this big white house where my dad had grown up and where his senile grandfather (a traveling salesman who always thought he was living in a hotel and the family members were the hotel staff) lived for a while, as did Uncle Otis. Roberta told me Lloyd's attic was full of old papers and other stuff, including Otis' court records, written (of course, at the time) by hand.

After that, we drove to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner in a town not too far away. I asked my aunt about Roberta, and she recalled that when she was in high school a girl got pregnant, and she thinks the child was Roberta. I asked about the giant cemetery monument and what she knew about her great-grandfather, and she said she knew nothing about him. Which is so odd, because he had apparently owned a lot of property in town and it was a very small town. My grandfather inherited money, but lost it in the Depression and never worked again. When I was really little, he killed himself.

Anyway, I've thought it would be fun to go back, live a year, go to the courthouse and look into the family records, see if Roberta is still around and if Lloyd's attic is still full of stuff, and also generally write about the experience of living in an extremely small town. You don't hear much about that experience, or see it depicted in movies or TV shows -- they're always slightly bigger small towns, like Mayberry. Often they're cute and quaint. This one isn't particularly. If you've seen What's Eating Gilbert Grape? it's like that town.

So although it's pretty close to Omaha, it would be a scary adventure in culture shock. But just think of what I'd saving on housing for a year! If I could get an advance book contract to do it, I'd probably do it.





Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2017, 10:37:15 am »
So although it's pretty close to Omaha, it would be a scary adventure in culture shock. But just think of what I'd saving on housing for a year! If I could get an advance book contract to do it, I'd probably do it.

Well, maybe there's more there than just Uncle Otis. You could at least get an article out of it--and send it to The New Yorker!

Is it far from Council Bluffs?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.