What I Found in the Trunk: Chapter 4

Hello, there. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. Gigi and I went on a trip this week. We went to the ocean. But we could not get out of the car very much because there were a lot of people around there who were not wearing masks. Our novelist is a hippocondoraddict…or something like that and she was scared we could sick so we got out of the car a little bit and she timed when we could get out because of the not wearing mask thing. But it was good to get to go somewhere because I get bored. Even though I sleep a lot I get bored…

No one cares about you getting bored! This is my blog by the way you insipid…Good afternoon. I am Gigi the parti poodle and this is my blog that my novelist gave to me to practice my writing skills…

I am happy Gigi has a blog now. She does not bite me as much as she used to…

I never…well, I might have given you a pincer or two…Anyway, here is today’s chapter.

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Four

Gary watched the four college age guys walk over and circle the bean bag chair. He looked up at them not certain what to do but aware of what was coming next.

“So, minimalism is like control,” the kid in the chair said to Gary grabbing a box of Ritz crackers that was sitting by his chair, retrieving a stack, and opening the factory sealed package. “Cracker?”

Gary watched the four college age men circle around his beanbag chair. He looked up at them not certain what to do but aware of what was coming next.

“So, you see,” the kid said. “We have a problem here.”

“There’s no problem,” Gary said. “You don’t need me. You need to give Rune her box back with the ring and whatever this gargoyle keychain thing is.”

“See, Gary that’s the problem. Something else is supposed to be in that box and it isn’t there.”

“What’s missing from the box?”

“I have no idea if you took it or if Rune took it but I’m going to find out.”

“I didn’t take it!”

“Well, see now, Gary,” the kid laughed. “I want to believe you. My boys here want to believe you. But guess what? We don’t believe you, Gary!”

“Now wait a minute. You could at least tell me what’s missing.”

“Oh, we could, Gary. We could do that. We could sit here and tell you all about it. But see, we don’t want to. Because either you know what’s in the box because you took it or it’s none of your business!”

Two of the college guys grabbed Gary and picked him up off the floor and dragged him over to the kid in the chair. The kid picked up another RITZ cracker and shoved it in his mouth. He looked Gary in the eye as he crunched it. “Where is it?!”

“I don’t even know what “it” is!”

“Don’t mess with me, Gary! Tell me where it is!”

“I don’t know what it is!”

“Hit him!”

One of the boys slapped Gary across the face.

“Hit him again!”

The guy slapped Gary again.

“Answer me or they are going to do a lot worse than that!”

“I’m just a used car salesman! I just came here to return a strongbox a girl left in a car she sold me this morning! This violence is completely unnecessary!”

“Take him to the basement!”

“What?! Are you crazy?! I’m not going down into a basement!”

Gary kicked and struggled but he couldn’t get out of the hold the boys had on him. They dragged him downstairs to a door at the bottom. They opened the door and threw him inside. Gary stumbled around in the darkness not knowing what to do, his feet shuffling around on cement. He put his hands out trying to find the walls or better yet a door or a window that led out. How had he gotten himself into this crazy mess? He was just trying to do the right thing. He just thought maybe the girl would like her diamond ring back. He wasn’t sure about the keychain though. Maybe it was the house key to this place. What difference did it make? He was locked in a basement in a house he’d never been to before and if he didn’t act fast, he might never get out. He kept reaching out his hands. The wall had to be here somewhere…somewhere…

Gary’s foot kicked something. He bent down to find a milk crate. He leaned down and reached his hand into the crate to find a small metal box. Much smaller than the one from the trunk. Small enough to put in his pocket. He slipped it inside his jacket and started feeling around again. His hand touched a surface. It was cold and rough, and he knew it was cement. Slowly, he edged along the wall, sliding his foot out a few inches at a time so as not to trip on anything.

Light flooded in from above and four faces stared down at him. “Whatcha doing down there, Gary?” the kid asked.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! 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: BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM-Amazon

This year’s Screenwriter’s Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay went to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. And it is a wonderfully funny follow up to Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The big twist in this one is Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) is going back to visit America but this time with his daughter Tutar Sagdiyev (bravely played by Academy Award Nomenee Maria Bakalova). Borat must come to terms with his daughter’s need to be her own woman and follow her own journey. The film has some hilarious if not wildly cringing moments as father and daughter tour America together.

What I Found in the Trunk Chapter 3

Good afternoon and Happy April Fools’ Day. Gigi the party poodle here with my third installment in my story What I Found in the Trunk. On a distressing note, it was bath week. The rotten little Maltese did not have to have a bath because he was recently groomed. I, however, was put into the tub sprayed with warm water and scrubbed with a lovely smelling soap against my very vocal protestations. I detest these horrors of hygiene. But as one should after such an ordeal I dried off and carried on. I plan on spending the weekend sitting vigilantly waiting for the Easter Bunny and focus my efforts there instead of reliving the bath experience. Without further ado, here is my story.

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Three

Gary didn’t like this. He didn’t like it at all. Maybe he should just leave the box on the porch and run. This punk might be wanting to rob him. Maybe even kill him. Either way he had a bad feeling about the situation.

He turned and headed back to his car. He moved around to the trunk, popped it open, picked up the toolbox, grabbed a reusable grocery bag with a bunny rabbit and the words The Hopper Shopper on it, put the metal toolbox inside, slammed down the decklid and marched back to the driver’s side door. Then he hopped in and started the engine.

Gary parked the car on the backstreet one block down, got out, popped the trunk, grabbed the Hopper Shopper bag, and headed for the house’s back door. Tied up near one of the neighbor’s was a black and tan Boxer chained to a stake. As soon as the dog saw Gary, the thing went ballistic. He lunged at the trespasser snarling and barking and ready to tear him apart.

Gary jumped back stunned. He stumbled away from the ghoulish hound’s bared teeth, tripped, and almost hit the ground. He ducked right then dove left, but the beast cornered him at every turn. “Nice doggie! Nice doggie!” he said. But the creature was anything but nice. Hungry, angry, crafty perhaps but not nice.

Gary lunged left, dodged right, then faked left again and ran right making a beeline for the house with the fanged leviathan chomping at his heels. He banged on the back door. No answer. He clutched his bunny bag to his chest and watched the snarling villain jump up and attempt to snap its chain. Gary banged the door again as the dog foamed at the mouth. Still no answer.

Finally, the door opened and a college age guy, possibly a grad student opened the door. He was wearing a gray Husky t-shirt and a pair of purple sweatpants. “Draco!” the kid yelled. “Hey, Draco! Shut up!”

“Let me in!” Gary demanded.

“Draco!” the kid yelled ignoring Gary’s request.

“Let me in!”

“Draco! Stupid dog.” The kid went back inside and shut the door leaving Gary on the porch alone with the snarling creature.

“Are you insane?!” Gary yelled at the kid inside.

Three minutes later the kid returned with a fistful of raw hamburger. He hurled it at Draco just missing Gary. Draco ceased barking and engaged in wolfing down the raw meat.

The kid turned and looked at Gary. “You got the thing?” he asked.

“Yes!” Gary yelled, his face red with rage.

“Come on in, man.”

The kid held the screen door open and Gary, still clutching the Hopper Shopper bag to his chest followed him inside. 

“Is that…thing your dog?!” Gary asked.

“Oh, no man,” the kid said. “He’s the neighbors.”

“Isn’t owning something like that illegal?”

“Don’t know. You want to look it up?”

“No! I just want to drop off Rune’s things.”

“Sit down, man,” the kid said motioning to a bean bag chair. “Take a load off.”

“Look. I don’t have time I just want to drop off Rune’s…”

“You smoke, man?”

“What?”

“Do you partake of marijuana?”

“No.”

“No wonder you’re so uptight.”

“I’m uptight because I need to drop off this strong box for the girl who sold me her car this morning.”

“You mean Rune.”

“Yes, Rune. How well do you know her anyway? Is she your girlfriend?”

“Rune? Naw. I’m going to smoke a bowl.”

“Look, I’ll just put Rune’s things here,” he said motioning to an upside-down milk crate.

“Sit down, man.”

Gary reluctantly sat down on the beanbag chair and straightened his tie. The kid grabbed a bong from the side of his chair shaped like a gargoyle.

“Is this a drug den or something?” Gary asked.

“A drug den?!” The kid laughed. “No. Why would you think it was a drug den?”

“There’s almost nothing in here. You don’t even have posters on the walls.”

“And you think that means it’s a drug den, bro? Because we don’t have an appreciation for art?”

“No, it’s just…the place is abnormally sparse.”

“We’re minimalists, bro.”

“Minimalists?”

“Yeah. You know like those people who live in tiny houses.”

“This isn’t a tiny house.”

“No. But we adhere to the same principals. We live with more because we live with less.”

“Sounds like broke to me.”

“No, man. It’s true. Like a lot of college kids like me are going to graduate from school with a mountain of debt. You know why?”

“Because college is exorbitantly expensive?”

“No.”

“Because the government doesn’t properly fund higher education?”

“True. But that’s not my point.”

Gary looked at his watch. The ball game was on in a couple of hours and he didn’t want to have a pointless philosophical conversation with this guy.

“What’s your point?”

“My point is people are about appearances. Like where did you get that suit?”

“The Men’s Warehouse.”

“How many suits do you own?”

“Not that it’s any of your business but six.”

“Six?!” the kid exclaimed splashing his bong water.

“I need them for my job.”

“Yeah, man but six?”

“I hate to break it to you Einstein but there are a lot of folks who own more than six suits.”

“Wow, man. That blows my mind. Like six, huh?”

“Get to your point.”

“Okay, yeah, well…just a second.” The kid took another hit off the bong. “Okay, so like people are about appearances, right? You own six suits because you want to establish a certain status.”

“I own six suits because I sell cars.”

“Okay so you want to look successful selling cars.”

“Sure.”

“And so, you spend money on suits and you probably drive a fancy car.”

“I get my cars at a discount because I sell cars.”

“But they’re luxury cars. Am I right?”

“Sure.”

“And you live in a nice condo on the water.”

“I own a house.”

“Really? You look too young to own a house.”

“Is Rune coming to get her stuff or can I leave it with you or…”

“And you have nice furniture and new gadgets and stuff like that. Right?”

“Alright. Here’s Rune’s stuff,” Gary said standing up and setting the Hopper Shopper bag with the bunny on it in front of the kid. “I’m going home to catch the game.”

“Do you feel stressed, bro?”

“Yes, I feel stressed! Goodbye!”

“Hear me out man. Most people buy things because they think it will make them look a certain way on a certain sociological level. Like you. But us minimalists we live with what we need and only what we need. You on the other hand are stressed because you worry about how people perceive you. I don’t worry about how people perceive me.”

“Obviously. Goodbye.”

Gary started walking towards the door when three big athletic men came out of the room to the left, stood in front of the door, folded their arms, and blocked him.

“So, like I was saying, bro,” the kid said. “Here me out.”

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! 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: IF ANYTHING HAPPENS, I LOVE YOU-Netflix

This Oscar nominated short is the one you’ve probably been avoiding. But you shouldn’t. And recent events amplify its point even more. Honestly, the film shouldn’t exist. There is no reason this film should exist. But it does. The filmmakers consulted with the ones left behind to deal with the aftermath to provide a truthful story that should never have to be told. And if you are too much of a coward and think you don’t have the stomach to watch this twelve-minute film or if you are merely indifferent and would rather spend your twelve minutes watching something vacuous you are part of the problem and not the solution. I watched it twice.

What I Found in the Trunk Chapter 2

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my novelist. As most of you know from last week my novelist has relinquished her blog to me. As I am a budding writer under my novelist’s tutelage, I thought I would use this opportunity to create a writing space for my own work. I am doing a good old fashioned serial story in which I write a weekly installment and share it with you. My novelist will continue to do the Stream of the Week section. She is recently concentrating on Oscar nominees. If you would like to familiarize yourself with some novels which were originally produced as serials you can look for them here: The Serial Novel: A Brief History with 30 Examples [Infographic] (booksonthewall.com)  As a side note, I must say the Maltese looks infinitely better after his trip to the groomers. I find I hate him a little less than I did before. But he’s still a retched cur and I despise him. Without further ado, here is this week’s installment of my story. Godere!

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Two

“What was that?!” Gary exclaimed putting on the brake and turning off the car.

He threw open the door, walked back and popped the trunk. When he opened the decklid, he found the trunk to be immaculate. Not a speck of dirt in sight. But there was an object inside: a steel metal box with a handle.

“Must be for tools,” Gary muttered. The box was the same shade of red as the car. He picked it up, shut the decklid, opened the passenger’s side door, and set it on the floor. Then he thought better of it, moved it to the seat, took off his blazer and threw it over the box to conceal it. 

He drove the car to an out of the way place at the back of the dealership and shut off the engine. He checked the rear-view mirror to see if anyone was around. Then he pealed his jacket back from the box, unlatched the red lid, and lifted it. Three things were inside: a house key on a solid silver keychain with a gargoyle dangling off it, an index card with an address and a small velvet box. Gary checked the box and felt around but nothing else was to be found. Just key, card and red velvet box. Garry picked up the red velvet box and flipped open the lid. Glittering up at him was a pear cut diamond ring. The stone must have been two carrots and had a lot of sparkle.

“Huh,” he said puzzled.

Gary closed the velvet box, put it back in the steel container, closed the lid, and flipped the latch. Well, he thought to himself. I’m going to have to call the girl.

Gary headed back into the dealership office and started flipping through the files.

“Did you call Doug yet?” his dad barked.

“Going to do it right now.”

“Then why are you going through the files?”

“I need to find that girl’s phone number.”

“Why?”

Now Gary was going to tell his dad what he’d found in the trunk of the Beretta. But instead, he said, “I need to call her about the trunk.”

“What’s wrong with the trunk?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing? Then why are you calling her?”

“I just have a question about the trunk.”

“Well, it’s a little late now, don’t you think?”

“It’s never too late.”

Gary grabbed the office phone, dialed the number, and waited. The room felt hot for some reason. He got the message, “The number you have dialed is no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again.” He dialed the number again. “The number you have dialed is no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again.

“Sounds like she doesn’t want to be found, cowboy,” his dad said.

“I suppose not.”

Gary hung up, put back the file, and left the office.

At five o’clock that evening Gary got into his sedan and turned on the engine. In the passenger’s seat he had placed the red metal box under his sport coat. He turned on the GPS, checked the index card and typed in the address. The address looked like it was about thirty minutes away and traffic was lighter than usual. The place was near the University District in Sandpoint. He used to drive down there when he was in college and chill out by the water during spring and summer quarters. He figured it was probably a house the girl shared with other students.

When he pulled up to the curb and parked the car, he noticed the place looked like a rented house. The neighborhood was quiet. Quieter than he’d expected. He got out of the car, locked it, and headed for the front door. When he went to ring the doorbell, curiosity got the best of him and he tried peeking through the blinds in the right-hand window. The place was sparse. No real furniture to speak of. Bare wooden floors, a staircase, no pictures on the walls. He thought there would have at least been a television inside.

Gary rang the doorbell and waited…and waited. He rang it again. This time he heard fast heavy footsteps approach the door.

“If you’re dropping off a package, just leave it,” a young male voice said.

“I’m not a delivery driver.”

“Who are you?”

“A young woman sold me a car this morning and she left something in the trunk.

“Yeah, so?”

“So, I came to give it back to her.”

“Yeah, what’s her name?”

“The registration said Rune.”

Oh,” the voice said. “Her.”

“Yes…so…is Rune here?”

“Nope…what was in the trunk?”

“A red metal strong box.”

“Uh, huh.”

“And inside it was this address, a house key and a ring.”

This time the voice didn’t answer.”

“Did you hear me?”

“You got the strong box with you?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you drive here?”

“Yeah.”

“Drive around the block a couple of times. Park the car somewhere else. Walk back here with the strong box but don’t let anyone see you carrying it.”

“How am I supposed to do that?”

“Do you have one of those reusable grocery bags or something?”

“Yeah.”

“Duh! Put the strongbox in the reusable grocery bag and come back here. But don’t come to this door. Go around to the back door and enter from the other side of the street. You got it?”

“Uh…okay…why?”

“Just do it, man.”

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! 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 TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (2020)-Netflix

Written and directed by Aaron Sorken this historical piece set in 1968 Chicago is a riveting and highly entertaining story about eight men who were put on trial for allegedly crossing state lines to start riots which occurred during the democratic convention. The movie is nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song and Best Original Screenplay (Sorken). Leaders of Students for a Democratic Society Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), head for Chicago to meet up with Yippies (Youth International Party) Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), as well as radical pacifist David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), Black Panther Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), and activists Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins) and John Froines (Danny Flaherty) to protest the Vietnam war. Hayden and Rennie attempt to get permits for the park nearby to help ensure a peaceful protest but are turned down despite their efforts to warn the city that many protesters are coming to Chicago. Riots do indeed break out between protesters and police, but which side started it is unclear. The eight men go to trial, seven of them represented by William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) and Leonard Weinglass (Ben Shenkman). Bobby Seale is supposed to be represented by Charles Gary, but Gary is unable to do so because he must undergo surgery and Seale is left unrepresented. All eight defendants must face the erratic and antagonistic Judge Julies Hoffman (Frank Langella) and attempt to prove their innocence.    

What I Found in the Trunk

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to begin my weekly blog. My novelist has chosen to hand the blog over to me indefinitely and I have decided to share my writing with you. Under the tutelage of my novelist, I have begun to dabble in the art of storytelling and am now prepared to share my work with the world. I will be releasing the story on the blog as a serial novel and will be delivering it in weekly installments. I call my piece, What I Found in the Trunk by Gigi the parti poodle. This is a great celebration especially since the Maltese is presently getting his first professional grooming in a year. I am most delighted with his suffering. So, without further ado here is my first installment in the story. Profiter!

What I Found in the Trunk

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter One

“She’s a real beaut, isn’t she?” Gary said moseying up to his first victim of the day, a pretty college aged woman sporting a mini skirt and a red scoop-necked t-shirt.

The coed looked the twenty-seven-year-old car salesman up and down. He must be sweltering in that suit she thought. “I’m not here to buy a car,” she replied. “I’m here to sell one.”

“Oh…,” he said disappointed. “Well, that’s…uh…I didn’t see you pull up.”

“My car’s right over there.”

The young woman pivoted in her white leather sneakers and pointed to a 1994 red Chevy Beretta. Gary frowned. That thing was near thirty years old. 

“Wow. Really?”

“I just need to sell it.”

“Well…we do buy cars. That’s what the Larry’s Luxuries sign says. Larry’s my dad you see. But the point is the sign says Luxuries. That’s the operative word here: Luxuries. Your little job there is not what I’d call a luxury. In fact, it’s one of the worst cars from the nineties.”

“The car is in great shape.”

Gary noticed how nervous she was. The way she bounced her hip and the vague wrinkles in her forehead that were not from age. Whatever this lemon was she was selling she was desperate.

“Well…I couldn’t give you much for it. The car is older than you.”

“There’s always a market for vintage cars.”

“That car’s not vintage. It’s old. Best I could get out of it is to sell it off for parts. And I’m not running a chop shop here you see.”

“I’m willing to bargain,” she told him in a despondent voice.

“Do you have the title? Because I’m beginning to wonder if the thing is stolen.”

“Of course.”

The young woman unzipped her cheap quilted cotton purse and produced what was, after Gary looked it over, a title claiming legitimate ownership of that piece of garbage parked by his dad’s business.

Gary shrugged. “I’ll give you four hundred for it.”

“Four hundred?! It’s worth at least seven!”

“No, it isn’t.”

“How about seven?”

“How about three?”

“Oh, come on!”

Gary wasn’t sure if she was angry or just putting on a show. “Four hundred and that’s my final offer.”

“Seven. Please.”

Gary looked her up and down. Sure, she was cute. Maybe more than cute. But he wasn’t a sucker. “Five and that’s my final offer.”

The young woman bit her lip and grimaced. “Okay, fine,” she grumbled.

Gary knew his dad was going to call him an idiot for closing this deal.

“Son, you’re an idiot,” Larry the paunch bellied sixty something owner of Larry’s Luxuries bellowed at Gary when he arrived at the dealership an hour later. “This is the last time I let you open my business in the morning ever again. I’m putting you on closing detail, you moron!”

“We can sell it for parts.”

“Are you kidding me?! We’ll be lucky if we can sell the rearview mirror! I can’t believe you let that girl walk in here and railroad you!”

“Oh, like you’ve never made a bad deal in your life!”

“I know when to buy and when to tell a con artist to hit the road. You should have told her to hit the road!”

“I test drove the thing and it runs smooth.”

“Son, I sell luxury cars and a 1994 Chevy Beretta ain’t no luxury car. This place isn’t called Larry’s Lemons it’s called Larry’s Luxuries. Now get out of here and park that tin can out of sight. Five hundred dollars! You know how much beer I can buy for five hundred dollars? Enough to forget about this screw up, I tell you what!”

“Alright, dad. I’ll go park the car around the back.”

“And call Doug. He’ll know what to do about that thing.”

“Alright, dad.”

Yep, Gary muttered to himself as he walked out of the office. He called me an idiot. Gary slogged out to the car and unlocked the driver’s side door. He got inside, sighed, and loosened his tie. He just wanted to help the girl out. It wasn’t like business hadn’t been booming for the last couple of years. He started the engine and began backing the car out. That’s when he heard something go clunk in the trunk.   

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! 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: SOUND OF METAL (2019)-Amazon

On Monday, this film garnered six academy award nominations: Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, Actor in a Leading Role, Film Editing and Best Sound. It’s a profound movie that haunted me long after the ending credits. As I was watching it before the Oscar nominations came out, I thought, wow, the sound in this is amazing. But because a lot of movies that get nominated for sound are big splashy action films and this one probably will unfairly get passed over. Thankfully, I was wrong. The sound in this film is not only amazing but it is a character itself. Ruben (brilliantly played by Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed) is a drummer for a punk band he and his French girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cook) are in. When Ruben starts to develop tinnitus, he goes to an otolaryngologist Dr. Paysinger (Tom Kempt) and finds out he only has a little over twenty percent of his hearing left. The doctor warns him to try and protect what hearing he has and decide how to proceed with treatment. But Ruben is dedicated to his music and decides to keep playing. However, fate has a different idea and Ruben later meets Joe (Paul Raci in a terrific Oscar nominated performance) who presents Ruben with a new philosophy.

MUSICOLOGY: VOLUME FOUR, SWEETIE! IS ALIVE!!!

Musicology Volume Four is now available in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon!!!

And then there were FOUR! Musicology’s Circle of Four contestants prepare to battle it out for the title. But before they do, they must endure the seasonal Parents Dinner, Bear und Buggy and unusual mating rituals. Max believes he has figured out who The Kid is when he runs into an old acquaintance. Ruby drops a bomb on Max involving Robbie Sexton, a contestant’s dark secret is ultimately revealed, and the Musicology champion is finally crowned.

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce my novelist. As you can see this is release day of her fourth book in the Musicology series Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! As everyone knows a novelist must always befall some sort of disaster before a book can have a successful launch. Today my novelist chose for her fourth book in the Musicology book series to have that disaster be melting the rice cooker on the stove. Now, I found this a bit strange, even for a poodle who owns a novelist but far be it from me to stop her. She just burnt the little plastic legs right off the thing. Artists you see. She claims it happened because she was trying to boil some water for a cuppa and turned on the wrong burner. A likely story I am sure. Anyway, she told me to let you know that in addition to the release of her fourth book in the Musicology series you are in for a real treat. She and I had a good long chat, and she has decided to allow me to take over the blog indefinitely so that she can concentrate on her final book in the Musicology series due out in May and her new novel which she is planning to release later this year. Starting next week, I will be taking my own literary story which I have been penning and post it here on the blog. This will be done in serial style with a chapter a week. My novelist will continue to do the Stream of the Week. Until then, please feel free to check out my novelist’s books listed below. Au Revoir, Gigi.   

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first four installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology:Volume Three, Twist!  and Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! 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: AFTER HOURS (1985)-HBO Max

Once upon a time, independent movies were not boring juvenile diatribes about dysfunctional families. They were about imagination, concepts, and ideas. And this little gem which won Martin Scorsese Best Director at Cannes as well as the Independent Spirit Award for Best Film and best director is one of those smart original films. This is not a story about a dysfunctional family. This is not a quirky love story. This is a film about a man who follows a white rabbit down an extremely dangerous rabbit hole better known as Soho in New York City. The film is considered to belong to a subgenre of films called “yuppie nightmare cycle” and it is one of the best of breed.

Let’s start with our Alice, a word processor better known as Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunn). Paul by the way means “small” or “humble”. Paul is also the only character in the story with a last name. One night after work Paul stops at a coffee shop and meets our rabbit Marcy (Rosanne Arquette). Marcy by the way means “god of war”. Marcy is dressed entirely in white throughout the course of the film just like the bunny. The two chat for a bit and Paul is smitten. He takes the bait and calls Marcy who invites him to her loft in Soho which she shares with her roommate Kiki (Linda Fiorentino), an artist who makes plaster of Paris bagels and other intriguing sculptures. Note that at one point Marcy mentions The Wizard of Oz and the difficult struggle for Dorothy to get home. Paul takes a twenty-dollar bill and catches a cab (in those days cabs did not take credit cards). The cab ride is quite harrowing, and his money flies out the window and he is left to fend for himself on what turns out to be an overnight odyssey that may be his last.

A couple of things to note in the film. Firstly, the use of numbers throughout which appear to emulate the mathematics of Alice in Wonderland. They come in the form of phone numbers, addresses, the time on various clocks, sales tax and most importantly the subway fare. Also, three prominent colors are used throughout the story: black, white, and yellow. Items such as a woman with a white and black bangle on her wrist, checkerboard prints in an apartment and of course Marcy in white and Kiki in black. Except for Kiki, every woman Paul meets in the film has blonde hair and blue eyes and wears either yellow or white which is opposite of Paul who has dark hair and brown eyes and changes his shirt partway through from a white one to a black one. Skulls such as a tattoo, a keychain and a belt buckle are littered throughout, and hints of death are woven in as well such as the Terminal Bar where a bartender named Tom (John Herd) and a waitress named Julie (Teri Garr) work. Look for Scorsese in a cameo midway through the story.    

Gigi’s Take on Personality Types

Good Afternoon. It is I Gigi the Parti Poodle here once again this time to seize my novelist’s blog by the horns. She is recuperating from taking a class in comedy writing which distressed her so much I required her to take a mental day and I shall be running the ship as it were. I had to do a bit of research for this, but I think it will make for an interesting study on character personalities and their level of happiness. I for one am most joyful if that shaggy little Maltese is in his corner of the room where he belongs. He is an introvert by the way. We suspect an ISFJ or an ISFP. 

My novelist is a big fan of personality types. She likes to use the Keirsey Temperament Sorter for writing fiction because it is easier to compare one character to another than the Big 5 although she thinks that perhaps the Big 5 may be more accurate in real life. So, by that rational, we shall be using Myers-Brigg.

The article I found lists the personality types from happiest to unhappiest. Here is the list:

#1 ESTJ

#2 ENTJ

#3 ESFJ

#4 ESFP

#5 ENFJ

#6 ENTP

#7 ESTP

#8 ENFP

#9 ISTJ

#10 INTJ

#11 ISTP

#12 ISFJ

#13 ISFP

#14 INFJ

#15 INTP

#16 INFP

As you can see the happiest personalities are all extroverts and the unhappiest personalities are all introverts. Also, Judgement personalities tend to rate higher than Perceptive personalities amongst both extroverts and introverts. Small wonder, myself being extroverted, that I would be joyous, and the Maltese would be miserable as he should be. One thing to note however is this article was written in November of 2019 which is to say that it was written before Covid19 took a foothold and lockdown occurred. It would be interesting to do this survey again one year after lockdown to see if those positions have changed. Are introverts now happier than extroverts? Are introverts better at living in the extroverted world than extroverts are living in the introverted world? With all the madness going on one must consider these possibilities.

I for one flourish in both worlds. If I feel I need company I can curl up in the chair behind my novelist as she types being as I weigh not more than six pounds. I can torment the Maltese and let out my aggressions on him when I get bored or when he thinks he has the right to sit on my novelist’s lap. Although I must ponder if I were, horrifying though it may be, how I would fare were I on my own in the world. Who would I manage and control then?  

One interesting point I found in the article was the matter of dopamine. Extroverts have a more sensitive brain reward system. Extroverts’ brains release more dopamine than introverts’ brains when they get food, sex, and social interaction as well as money… like psychopaths who are always extroverts. This motivates extroverts more towards their goals than introverts and they have more positive emotions when they are rewarded. If this is so, are extroverts essentially drug addicts addicted to dopamine? Is this partly the reason for the drive to reopen the world? Are extroverts going through withdrawals and fiending for dopamine because they cannot socially interact as much as they could pre-Covid19? Does this explain human being’s craving Ritalin? The article has a link to a study on the subject.

Well, I thought I did a brilliant job with that. You must excuse me now as I must get back to my writing. I am planning to share with you one of my fictional masterpieces in the future so you can relish in my genius. But before I do, I must tell you that my novelist’s book MUSICOLOGY: VOLUME FOUR, SWEETIE! will be available one week from today on Thursday, March 11th, 2021.

Au revoir, Gigi

P.S. Here is the description of MUSICOLOGY: VOLUME FOUR, SWEETIE!::

And then there were FOUR! Musicology’s Circle of Four contestants prepare to battle it out for the title. But before they do, they must endure the seasonal Parents Dinner, Bear und Buggy and unusual mating rituals. Max believes he has figured out who The Kid is when he runs into an old acquaintance. Ruby drops a bomb on Max involving Robbie Sexton, a contestant’s dark secret is ultimately revealed, and the Musicology champion is finally crowned.  

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first three installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, & Musicology:Volume Three, Twist! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! releases on Thursday, March 11, 2021 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: SAFETY NOT GUARENTEEED (2012)-Netflix

This little sleeper is one you may not have streamed on Netflix yet. Set in Washington state it’s the story of young reporter Darius (Aubrey Plaza) a recent University of Washington graduate who works as an intern for Seattle Magazine and lives a morose life with her widowed father. When staff reporter Jeff (Jake Johnson) reads a classified ad in the newspaper written by a grocery clerk named Kenneth (Mark Duplass) who lives out in a small town called Oceanview, Washington (on the Pacific Ocean) he proposes taking Darius and Arnau (Karan Soni) a booksmart UW student intern with him to get the story and hook up with his old high school flame. The twist is that Kenneth’s classified ad says he is looking for someone to travel back in time with him, he’ll pay them, and he’s done it once before. Kenneth and Arnau stay at a cheap motel as they send Darius out to charm Kenneth and find out if his proclaim is real or false and if he is insane.  

SCREENWRITINGYU FREE CLASS FRIDAY: MAKE SURE YOUR STRUCTURE WORKS

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Comedy Class

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle once again and let me tell you this has been a most distressing week. My novelist has been taking a ten-day screenwriting class and I have had to man the fort. The Maltese has been up to his usual tricks like sleeping behind the couch and barking when he knows its suppertime. At times, I have had to lie by my novelist’s side in the Barcalounger as she holds her head in her hands and makes use of our foot massage machine. But she has been able to turn her work in on time and is getting to the end of the course after which she will prepare the final touches on her new novel Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! for March publication.  

As for myself, I have been busy on my own writing project which I am hoping to premiere on this blog soon. It is a glorious tale, and I am excited to share it with you. But for now, I am going to hand the blog back over to my novelist so she can talk a bit about her class. Without further ado, here is my novelist.     

For the past week I’ve been taking a ten-day online writing class. The class is designed for writing comedic screenplays. Taking classes as you know are a blessing and a curse. And this one has been no different. Everyday I have a writing assignment due in twenty-four hours. Kind of like Jack Bauer except more daunting. I have a list of over 200 log lines, so I pulled one of the lines and basically built a day-by-day story out of it. The good part is it forced me to come up with a brand-new tale I had never thought of past the log line stage that might be fun to write once I shoot my boss in the back of the head, rescue a child from kidnappers, behead some guy with a saw and find the love of my life bound and dead in a desk chair before the clock runs out.

I have taken more than my share of writing classes over time and am at the point where the only good choice would be to get another degree. But as I write comedic novels (a genre that for some reason doesn’t really exist) I thought this class might be a good refresher. And it does what all classes do which is take me away from my novel writing and turn me into this thing:

Self Portait of Class Taking Karen

I think writers walk on a tightrope between when to block out time to take a class and when to cut the cord and go solo. I prefer solo most of the time. I do think you need both but once one has completed one’s college education the more one focuses on writing and reading instead of classes the better one gets. That said, I in no way regret taking this class. It has forced me to think and act quickly and gave me a couple more things to add to my toolbox, which is the point. As the class is designed to build a scene layer by layer it justifies the tools I have garnered over time and others I naturally work with. I found while taking the course, I had often already put in several of the elements that were eventually taught in upcoming lessons.  

That said, one of the items I gained from the class and have added to my toolbox is the specificities of props. I often put props in my stories automatically because of my acting background (I studied both writing and theatre) and so props are often important. However, this class forced me to punch them up a bit so instead of a pencil cup for instance it becomes for example a pencil cup shaped like a rabbit because of the characters obsession with bunnies or springtime or whatever.

I did get a good price on the class which played a large part in my deciding to take it. And I do encourage other seasoned writers to take courses here and there provided they help and not hinder their ability to get their core writing done. It’s good for the mind and adds more concepts you can use going forwards.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first three installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, & Musicology :Volume Three, Twist! 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: STARMAN (1984)-Amazon Prime

This wonderful little Sci-fi gem from the early 1980’s often gets forgotten or overlooked and I thought it would be a great one to feature. Jeff Bridges earned his third Oscar nomination (and he deserved all seven nominations and the one win he has gotten) stars in the title role as an alien who has gotten stuck on earth and has a limited amount of time he can spend here until he dies unless he can meet his spaceship in a few days and catch a ride home. He takes safe harbor in the home of young recently widowed Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen who is fantastic here) and after looking through a photo album while she is sleeping morphs into a human baby and grows into a living embodiment of Jenny’s deceased husband hoping doing so will help convince her to assist him in his quest.

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Snakehood

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce another one of my novelist’s blogs. Today my novelist is going to discuss one of my most favorite subjects: money. I love the smell of currency. It’s like the fragrance of fresh air intertwined with something dirty. You may not think poodles have much interest in finance. You are grossly mistaken. We need collars, leashes, beds, veterinary visits, food, little stuffed weasels and treats, treats, treats. You don’t think we believe these things grow on trees, do you? Absolutely not. That is why I, much like the great mushers overseeing their dog sled team, crack my whip and get my subservient to bring home a paycheck. Not to mention how much I love to watch my stocks and mutual funds widen and expand much like that dullard Maltese. But enough about my tastes. Here is my novelist.  

This week I read an article about a college student who, last June at the age of twenty took his own life because he believed he had a deficit of $730,000. Perhaps you have heard this story. The money was a negative balance in his investment account. The company he had his investments with was also the investment company known for being a large player in the whole Reddit fiasco where companies that weren’t worth much suddenly had stock being purchased at an unbelievable pace. I see the value in that situation but let’s stick to this part of the story. The young man panicked when he could not get ahold of the company which did not have phone support. Because let’s face it, online chat is so much better when you are trying to figure out why you are suddenly $730,000 in debt.

I could go on for hours about how phone support for Americans regardless of the company should be based in America and follow an around the sun model meaning you should get phone support in America during the morning and through the evening and then at night and the early morning hours like say four AM you should get support in somewhere like say Ireland, especially if you are doing tech support. That is not how most support models are set up. The reason they should be set up this way is a support desk is an entry level position into a company. And it’s a position that helps you learn how said company works and provides a place to start learning the product or technology the company is in the business of making. Thus, you would pull your best and brightest off the desk and start having them work up the ladder filling jobs in house which creates a more knowledgeable employee which in turn helps to create a stronger company and hopefully a stronger economy without outsourcing labor from foreign nations. This costs more in the initial stages and pays off much bigger in the long run provided the company doesn’t waste its finances creating more and more overpaid management jobs, bureaucracy, and a weaker product.

Apparently these financial bozos thought it would be a good idea to have no phone support at all for a financial company no less. People go to business school for four to ten years to learn about the intricacies of the stock market. If it takes that long to understand complex investing why would anyone think a video game and a whole lot of lure would allow a twenty-year-old to cultivate the same knowledge?

Apparently, the company’s logo looks suspiciously like Pied Piper from Silicon Valley and if you watch the show’s entire run you know how that turned out. And this company strives to be the Joe Camel of the twenty first century. Big phallic nose and all. And who is their target customer? Why inexperienced zoomers and millennials of course! Especially college kids who are intellectually bright and financially dim.

I decided to run a little experiment of my own. As you know psychopaths have speech patterns which involve disfluencies (um and uh), subordinate conjunctions (because, so that, therefore, etc.) and repeated words as in saying the same word twice like the-the. All humans do these, but a psychopath does them more frequently. So, I decided to watch a few videos of one of the executives in the company being interviewed because, let’s face it, narcissists (psychopaths are always narcissists) crave attention. I watched four different interviews done at different points in time and counted how many combined disfluencies, subordinate conjunctions and repeated words said executive had. In the first interview which was four minutes the count was 36. In the five-minute interview the count was 28. And in the twenty-nine-minute interview the count was 254. For reference, I clocked a known psychopathic minister during two separate sermons at 100 both times. The sermons were around the same length as the twenty-nine-minute interview. I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but 254 sounds suspect to me. His favorite word was “um” and his second was “uh”.  If you want to read more about Wall Street reptiles like this sweetheart, you can read Snakes in Suits: When Psycopaths Go to Work by Dr. Robert Hare.

Our education system (if I can even call it a system) is run by brilliant individuals who have not figured out that psychopaths want three things: sex, food, and money. That’s pretty much it. Everything else is incidental. A lot of folks want to believe evil human beings want power. No. They want sex, food, and money. Power is just a way to attain these three things. When I hear someone say the creep who harmed them wanted power over them, I rage inside and look at them like they are stupid. Again, psychopaths don’t care if they have power over their mark or not. They don’t care about human beings at all. All they care about are sex, food, and money. If power is a way to take that from you that is the tactic or strategy, they will use. Evil people are always thinkers never feelers despite what some misguided idiots want to believe.

And yet the education system refuses to teach two basic skills to thwart making someone a mark: self-defense and financial responsibility. Probably because most of the education system doesn’t know how to teach these things because they tend to be individuals who are logistical or idealistic who, by the way are likely the most common marks for financial and sexual abuse.

Might I also add intelligent, educated people are notoriously terrible with money. Professionals are some of the worst. You can read about how many brilliant individuals cannot figure out how to pull and not push open the door marked PULL as well as screw up their finances in the famous book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley Ph. D. and William D. Danko Ph. D.. You can also watch my Stream of the Week below which I re-watched this week and it chilled me to the bone as much as it did on first viewing.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first three books in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, and Musicology Volume Three, Twist! 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 will Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: MAXED OUT: HARD TIMES, EASY CREDIT, and the ERA OF PREDITORY LENDERS (2006)-YouTube

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Gospel of Mathew 7:15, King James Version”. When I read the article about the young man who took his life whom, by the way, my whole heart goes out to, I remembered this important documentary on how lousy we Americans are with credit. That doesn’t mean all Americans suck at handling money and many save and pay off credit cards in full every pay period on time and invest wisely. But a lot of Americans don’t and are easily sucked into financial preditory traps which are much more daunting than I realized. This documentary does a good job of showing some of these traps and how fragile Americans are and how easily it is to get sucked in. It covers not only the individual citizen but our nation’s attitude as well. You may see a few familiar faces in this film such as Louis C.K., Robin Leach and Elizabeth Warren. But honestly, the non-celebrities are more fascinating and their stories more riveting.

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FINAL DAY! MUSICOLOGY: VOLUME TWO, KID! FREE ON KINDLE!

After Ruby Diamond’s shocking decision, the Circle of Ten results have been revealed. Now Ruby is about to drop another timebomb into Max Buckner’s hands, a dangerous secret that puts the show on a collision course with legal and financial ruin. As Max scrambles to find out which contestant is “The Kid” and save Musicology from scandal, the Circle of Ten start carrying out agendas of their own …especially the resident diva who will stop at nothing in her attempt to destroy every contestant in her path, dominate the competition, and take the Musicology crown. Vote for who you think will win Musicology at www.musicologyrocks.com.

Much Ado About Bridgerton

Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce my novelist. Tomorrow starts Valentine’s Day weekend and President’s Day weekend. I must say I love Valentine’s Day. Being a gorgeous specimen of the canine variety, I am often showered with many gifts from suitors. There is a dachshund across the street who adores me. Down the way there is a Pardon Russell terrier who finds me mysterious and intriguing and then there’s a black and white Pomeranian who…

Tucker loves you very, very much!    

It’s never going to happen, you unkempt Maltese, so forget it!

I don’t love you in that way. I love you as a friend.

You are friend zoning me? Seriously? You aren’t even in my league.

I think that King Charles Spaniel by the park is cute.

Cute?!

And she likes me.

She doesn’t even know you exist!

I asked her to go out on Valentine’s Day. We are going to walk in the park and sniff each other.

Good grief! I don’t need those kinds of sordid details!

Maybe someday a dog will recognize your unique beauty.

My unique beauty?! I’m beautiful in all eyes!

Do you mind if I borrow the Lucy Blue Lightning Blueberry Grooming Spray? I want to smell my best.  

Get out of here! Can you believe the nerve of that…? Anyhow. Without further ado here is my novelist.

Happy Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend! First, I must make a confession. I tried to read Harlequin Romances when I was younger. I gave it the old college try. But every single time I cracked open one of these books and began to peruse the pages I’d get a headache. I am not kidding. A nasty headache. This stuff was not for me. Now, don’t get me wrong I am 110% behind a great romance. In fact, I am suggesting one of the best for this week’s Stream of the Week. I love Harold and Maude, The Graduate, 9 ½ Weeks, The Apartment, Rebecca, Chasing Amy, The Painted Veil, Sex Lies and Video Tape, Secretary, Blue Velvet, Paris, Texas, Bound, Leaving Las Vegas, Sweet Hostage, Welcome to the Dollhouse, The Terminator, Kissed, Flower, Vertigo, Boxing Helena and of course Zac and Miri Make a Porno. But apparently my taste in romance is different from the swooning pretty boy adoring stories others flock to.

Which brings us to Bridgerton, the newest girly hit on Netflix and yes, I have watched the entire first season. It has gorgeous costumes, beautiful sets, solid direction, well cast actors. Some of the jewelry looks a little too modern at times but that is not the problem. In fact, at first, I could not figure out what the problem was. But I knew the show had a problem from the first episode.

That doesn’t mean romance stories are bad. But something was wrong with Bridgerton. Then on a Sunday morning after I was two thirds of the way through the series it dawned on me. There is no villain in this story. Now, if you look at one of my favorite Netflix shows Cobra Kai you’ve got a villain. In fact, you have more than one. But in Bridgerton most of the characters make choices based on desperation or some “cleverly” written promise they made to someone. And then these would-be baddies quickly see the error of their ways and their villainy vanishes. Not so with Cobra Kai. Kreese is nasty and he just keeps getting nastier. Hawk is vengeful and he just keeps getting more violent. Tory is manipulative and she just keeps getting more maniacal. Their actions steer the lives of the other characters, compound the tension, and keep things intriguing. Not so with Bridgerton.

Bridgerton is a Gossip Girl-esque style show with someone called Lady Whistledown in the Gossip Girl role who is the eyes and ears of this niche group of aristocrats. And I will say when they reveal who Whistledown is the writer made an excellent character choice. But in Gossip Girl you have villains who become more and more interesting. So much so they started to take the center stage more frequently as the show progressed at least for a few seasons. But as far as its first season goes, there is no villain in Bridgerton, and I believe that’s why the storylines feel flat. There is no Chuck Bass there is no Blair Waldorf or if you want a period piece there is no Valmont there is no Marquise de Merteuil. The villain is what often smartens up a story. It’s what gives a tale it’s verve. Although Bridgerton is a very watchable show it lacks verve.  

I remember taking a class with a writer who penned a screenplay with no conflict. As admirable as this experiment is it does not work. In fact, it defies physics. An object at rest will stay in rest and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. All stories need an outside force to push it along or change its course. I hope Bridgerton finds that force.

MUSICOLOGY: VOLUME TWO, KID! IS FREE ON KINDLE!

My novel Musicology: Volume Two, Kid! is FREE on Amazon now until Sunday, 2/14! Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE PIANO (1993)-Pluto

One of the most original and sumptuous romances ever filmed, Jane Campion’s magnum opus garnered three academy awards as well as one Golden Globe, three Baftas, eleven Australia Film Institute awards, five Los Angeles Critic’s Association awards, two National Society of Film Critics’ Awards, three New York Film Critics’ Awards, the Writer’s Guild of America best screenplay, National Board of Review top ten film and best actress, best actress at Cannes and the Palm d’Or. This extraordinary film set in the mid 1800’s is about a mute Scottish woman named Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter in her brilliant academy award winning performance) who expresses her emotions through her piano. She has a ten-year-old daughter named Flora (Anna Paquin in her academy award winning performance). Ada’s father marries her off to a man she has never met named Alisdair Stewart who lives in the craggy New Zealand forest and Ada and Flora go to live with him. Not understanding Ada or for that matter women at all, Alisdair insists she leave her precious piano on the shore because it is too heavy to bring back home. He ends up selling the piano to his neighbor George (Harvey Keitel) who sees Ada’s disappointment in her new life and talks Alisdair into having her give him piano lessons of a most peculiar kind.   

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