Hello. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. I am introducing Gigi’s story today because she is on drugs. She had her teeth professionally cleaned this week and had to have a fractured tooth removed. I am happy I get to do the intro because Monday is Valentine’s Day. I like Valentine’s Day very, very, very much. I like to go out on dates and get treated like a prince. There is a cute little Shiatzu in the neighborhood, and I have a crush on her. She is fluffy and has black and white fur like Gigi. But she is not mean like Gigi.
Oscar season is here, and my novelist is going to talk about some of the films nominated as the big day draws near. I have watched most of them with her. I like them although I do not think any movie is as good as Isle of Dogs. Anyway, here is Gigi’s…let me see if I can remember…oh, right. Here is Gigi’s Twenty plus one chapter of Alanna the Piranha. I hope you luv it. I hope I get white chocolate for Valentines. I luv white chocolate because dogs cannot eat milk chocolate or dark chocolate. I hope I get white chocolate for Valentines. I luv white chocolate.
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Twenty-First
Alanna has been restless. She is tired of watching television and playing cards. I think she wants to see what the outside world looks like. But in all fairness, I must get her perspective about the situation. Perhaps she is happier just hanging out in the house. So, today I am sitting her down and having a talk with her about it.
“Outside,” Alanna tells me. “Definitely outside.”
“But you know there’s a good chance you won’t be accepted.”
“Because to the best of my knowledge there aren’t many fish girls walking around out there.”
“I won’t be liked because there aren’t many human piranhas?”
“I want to go outside anyway. And I want you to go with me.”
“It goes without saying I would go with you.”
“And Fabulous. We have to take Fabulous along.”
“Do you think Fabulous will get a lot of attention too?”
“Yes, but not the kind of attention you will.”
“Well, I can’t stay in this room for ever. I think we should get out as soon as possible.”
“We need to get a plan together first.”
“What’s to plan? We just get dressed in the proper attire and go.”
“But we can’t just leave the house anytime we want without a plan.”
“But Flint, you often leave the house without a plan.”
“That’s different. I’m not an anomaly. I can blend in with the crowd.”
“So what? Maybe I don’t want to blend in with the crowd. Maybe I want to stand out.”
“It’s not what you want that worries me, Alanna. It’s how you will be reacted to.”
Tears fill Alanna’s piranha eyes. “Are you ashamed of me?”
“No, I am not ashamed of you.”
“You are ashamed of your own creation!”
“You should let her out.”
Alanna and I look at each other confused. “Who said that?” I ask.
“Well, it wasn’t me,” Alanna says.
“You should take us both for an outing and see what happens.”
Alanna and I turn to look at the bunny who is nestled in her bed watching us. I say, “You talk?”
“Well, you’ve been shooting me up with CRISPR Cas9 for weeks. What did you expect?”
“How long have you been able to talk?”
“Since right around the time Alanna could.”
“But you’ve never said a word until now,” Alanna says.
“How did you learn to talk?” I ask.
“The same way Alanna learned to talk,” Fabulous says. “I watch television and the internet with you when you aren’t looking. Take Alanna and me out for a stroll somewhere. If we get any flack for it, we know we tried.”
“Do you know your name?” Alanna asks the bunny.
“Isn’t she the cutest thing?!” Alanna says to me clapping her hands together and bouncing on the balls of her feet.
I roll my eyes. “Good grief! Okay, I’ll figure out a place for us to go. This is insane.”
“Okay,” I tell Alanna and Fabulous. “Here’s the plan. I think we should start with the park. What’s good about the park is it’s by the lake and has a beach. If we’re going somewhere, it should be compatible for both of you. There’s trees and grass for Fabulous and water and beach for Alanna.”
“What should I wear?” Alanna asks.
“If it were warmer weather, I’d say a swimming suit.”
“That sounds marvelous! Does Stacy have one that would fit me?”
“I have no idea. But it’s cold weather so you shouldn’t wear one. Pick something that will keep you warm.”
“What about a dress and a shawl?”
I know nothing about clothing. “Maybe…”
“Does Stacy have a dress and a shawl?”
“I doubt she owns a shawl. My mom might.”
“Are they pretty?”
“Do you want to be warm, or do you want to be pretty?” Fabulous snaps.
“Both of course,” Alanna says.
“Well, I don’t need any clothes. I’m already furry and cute.”
“Yes, you are, muffin,” Alanna coos.
“Oh, stop it!”
“Alright, let’s plan out when we’re going. My strategy is to leave on a Sunday morning. I think we’ll get the least amount of people then.”
“But I thought the idea was to see how people react to us,” Alanna says.
“Yes, but we don’t want to cause a big stir. We shouldn’t go headfirst into a large crowd. We should ease into society slowly. I’ll go look upstairs to see if my mom has a shawl. I think there might have been a couple of dresses Stacy wanted to get rid of and then we’ll give this a try tomorrow.”
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE POWER OF THE DOG (2021)-Netflix
The movie nominated for the most Oscars this year (twelve nods) is The Power of the Dog, a gorgeous looking and unusual story that does not take a predictable course. This is the first full length feature film from Jane Campion in twelve years! She spent 2013-2017 working on the revered television series Top of The Lake. It is wonderful to have her back making movies. Campion’s direction in this film is visceral and vibrant and she is clearly a frontrunner for the win. It would be wild if she were to take the trophy because it is the second time both she and Steven Spielberg have been nominated for Best Director in the same year. Spielberg won best director for Schindler’s List in 1993 the same year Campion was also nominated for best director for her magnum opus The Piano. She did, however, deservedly take home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. She is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay this time with cowriter Thomas Savage (who also penned the novel of the same name).
In addition to Campion’s outstanding work, all four main actors were nominated for their stellar performances. Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Set in 1925 Montanna, ranchers and brothers Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons) run a successful ranch. They are quite different in temperament. George is younger, likeable and of above average intelligence. Phil, on the other hand, is bold, masculine and whip smart. It is suggested that Phil, though excellent at his job, probably doesn’t belong in this kind of work. As a graduate of an ivy league school, he should be a professor at a major university or perhaps a successful professional or businessman. But he is peculiarly loyal to George and with the help of a deceased man named Bronco Henry the two have become wealthy. They head to an inn one evening with their ranch hands to have dinner. The inn is owned by widowed Rose Gordon (Kirsten Dunst) whose husband committed suicide. Rose is or has become a fragile woman and her near adult son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) assists her in running the establishment. Phil hates them instantly and makes his feelings clear. George, however, takes pity on Rose and the two become close much to Phil’s horror.