I was going to title this post “more than one way to skin a …” but I couldn’t bring myself to type the final word. I love those little furry four foots too much to even flirt with the image that title brings up! I’m sure what made it come to mind was a scene in a 2010 Sundance movie we saw last week, WINTERS BONE, winner of the Sundance 2010 Grand Jury Prize. The scene is of Ree Dolly teaching her young siblings how to skin a squirrel and was a difficult thing to watch on a big movie screen. This kind of movie isn’t for everybody, but it was right up my alley. Hubby thought it was a very well done movie, but admitted he’s not so “into” cultural studies like that depicted in this movie adapted from a book I read a few weeks ago by Daniel Woodrell, an exciting new writer discovery for me. I’ve read two of his books and on my third. Here’s what the NY Times movie critic had to say about the movie.
Anxious sympathy for this young woman in peril [that would be Ree Dolly] — at 17, barely more than a child herself and forced to respond to challenges that would terrify most adults — is the prevailing emotion you are likely to feel when watching “Winter’s Bone.” It is straightforward and suspenseful but also surprising and subtle. Ree is torn between loyalty to her brother and sister and a desire to escape her ancestral home, to join the Army and make a new life for herself. But an interview with a military recruiter reveals just how deeply she is embedded in a way of life that has defined her family for generations.
If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so hard for people to escape the circumstances of their lives–poverty and such–and if it comes to your town, and you like what you read about it in the link or if you just want or need to learn how to skin a squirrel, go see it. It probably won’t be at the regular theaters, more likely it’ll show up as a presentation by an art cinema, i.e., “artsy theater” as it was here in SLC. If you go with a friend, it’ll give the two of you a lot of talk about afterwards.
Anyhow, as roundabout as it seems, it brings me to this admission: that photograph of me and the fish wasn’t real. It was doctored. When I used Windows XP, I was privy to software that allowed me to superimpose a head from one picture onto a different body in a different photo. What makes me mad about the “improvements” Microsoft keeps making is that just as you get used to and fairly good using a photo program, they come up with a new and “improved” way to do things, and when you eventually give up the old computer as we who got hooked always do, and be forced to switch from Windows XP to Windows 7, you have to learn things all over again. And sometimes, as in Windows 7, you can’t even do some of the things you could do with XP, all in the interests of “improvements.”
Like all those writers who still refuse to use a word processor, electing instead to keep writing on their trusty old yellow legal pads, I decided to do my photo doctoring the old-fashioned way. I took several pictures of myself with my digital camera, printed a copy of it, then printed a photo (real, presumably) of a woman holding a huge Walleye. It took several tries to get my self-portrait head to size-wise match the fish/woman photo, but finally the look was honed to just about right, or at least good enough! With my trusty old scissors I cut out my head–even kept the woman’s hoop earrings though they don’t show up very well–and slapped it right over that other woman’s head in about a half hour. Learning a new way would probably have killed the whole day.
I know some of you saw through it right away, but like that fellow, President Lincoln wasn’t it?, who said you can fool some of the people all the time? Actually he said “please the people” but it’s all about the same thing, isn’t it? So I wasn’t fishing, but I did go to the lake last weekend, and I saw a dead fish carcass swept ashore by the ferocious winds last weekend in Utah and surrounds. Next time I’ll share some pictures of that trip, another beautiful travel destination. There’s a photograph of the ideal vacation home–shaped like the shoe that Mother Hubbard’s old woman who had so many children she didn’t know what to do lived in. Have a great weekend.