18 January 2008

Followup to previous post

I got a comment from someone on the Extreme Makeover Home Edition forum!

The comment I got is in blue and my response is in green

SweetFaith98 Jan 17, 20:26gmt+01:00

See all postsFirst of all..... that's why this forum is here. By all means, complain. We're here to encourage and support you, that's the importance of sharing your story.

My prayers and thoughts are with you!

Jovanka Jan 17, 22:59gmt+01:00

thankx just a quicvk notye bnecause Im typing this wxith my elbosw


Yes, I realize that I'm juvenile.

17 January 2008

My Latest Obsession

OK - I've had insomnia for almost a week now. It's a chronic thing with me. Loooooong story. But one thing I do when I'm literally up all night is that I cruise the internet like crazy in search of entertainment. And, my friends, I found it:

All of you in the US have probably had Extreme makeover Home Edition for a while now, but it's a relatively new thing here. It only took me a few episodes to figure out that their theme was Those With The Biggest Sob Story Get The Goodies. So I sought out their website, and I found the forum where people post to try to get on the show, and I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. It's a festival of postings by people trying to outdo each other with their hardships, and criticizing others for not being pathetic enough. Pure comedy gold! So anyway, I've registered as a member on the site and made my own posting, which I have copied below. Here is the link to the site if you would like to follow along and see what responses I get, or if you just want to read some of the other postings:

Extreme Pouting/Home Edition

Here is what I posted (spelling mistakes completely intentional) I just followed the template set forth by other postings and I ran with it:

"I don't wanna complane because lots of people got lots of bad problems. But if you could see the room I'm sitting in you would cry. My hole house is a mess because my hole family suffers from a condition where they are just uncoordinated. The doctors don't have a name for it. We've been a few times and told them everything and they just shrug there shoulders and now we can't even go anymore because my husband got his head stuck in a drawer at work and got laid off. So no more benefits.

My oldest son is 16 and he just learned how to drive and my husband was teaching him out in front of the house, which was hard for him because his head still hurts from where they had to cut him out of the drawer and they slipped and took 2 inches of his scalp off. So my son is trying to park the car and he drove it right into the front porch. It got caught on a microwave oven we got out there and he couldn't back up so my oldest daughter, who's 17 and a big girl, went out to help by pulling from the other side and he ran her over. Now she's got 2 broken ribs and she had to have her hair extensions taken out. Turns out when she fell backwards she fell on Homer, our dog, and he's OK but he bit her butt pretty hard and now she can't sit down for two weeks which is hard, because like I said, she's a big girl. Usually she takes a bath but now she has to stand in the shower and she can't close the door all the way so water got on the floor too much and now we got a mold problem in the bathroom. I was trying to clean up the mold but it's real slippery and I fell forwards and broke fingers on both my hands so my 12 years old daughter is typing this for me. The day that my son drove into the front of the house my daughter thought it was funny and she couldn't stop laughing and she laughed so hard till she peed on the couch. So now the couch smells bad on top of everything else but what am I gonna do, until my husband goes back to work we can't pay for anything. I only work as a massage therapist and I'm having to use my elbows only. Some of my customers have left because of this. But I know there are people worse off than me. God Bless."

13 January 2008

A Long Overdue Tribute to Francis L. Sullivan


This has never happened to me before: I was lazing about on the couch on a Saturday afternoon (actually that part has happened to me quite a bit), halfway watching a film, when I saw an actor who was so amazing that I woke up. The film was the 1946 version of Great Expectations. The actor was Francis L. Sullivan.

Now I need to paint the picture properly: I really had been half asleep. The other actors in the 1946 Great Expectations are pretty mediocre, to say the least. The guy who plays "Pip" is a whiney-looking midget, the actress who plays "Estella" is much bigger than him and looks as if she could beat him arm wrestling, and don't even get me started on Miss Havisham. But then a scene comes up with Mr. Jaggers, the lawyer handling Pip's benefits, and WOW. Francis L. Sullivan played the role, a role which could have been the biggest yawn in what was already a veritable Armada of yawns, but instead he was amazingly alive and he brought the role (and indeed whatever scene he was in) a certain coolness. I actually stopped the scene at the end, rewound it, and played it again a few times (I love digital cable). And then I was so possessed that I actually waited for the credits just so I could see who this guy was. Yes, it was so important to me that I actually sat through the entire 1946 version of Great Expectations, just to see the scenes Francis was in, and to get his name at the end. I hope that wherever Francis is, he appreciates this fact. In case you're curious, all ends well for Pip at the end of the story, although it's a pretty boring ride getting there. This is a film sorely in need of a sex scene or a well-timed car chase. But I digress.

So anyway, I immediately got up and found out everything I could about him. Well, OK, I didn't exactly "get up", because my computer was right there. But I sat up. And here are some of the things I found out:


Francis L. Sullivan was born 6 January, 1903 in London, England. From childhood he had a great interest in the works of Shakespeare, he made his Old Vic debut at the age of 18 in a production of Richard III, he worked successfully in theater in London, and then eventually was "discovered" by Hollywood, and the rest is history - or rather not. Because although he worked a lot and was very successful and certainly had the admiration of his peers, it's not as if his name has gone down in history. In fact, if not for the fact that he performed with some bona fide Hollywood legends, he might be altogether forgotten (or in today's parlance: Un-Googleable). This is an interesting thing about Hollywood: Not all great actors are famous. And not all famous actors are great. Not by a long shot.

This is how good Francis is: He was actually able to steal focus from one of the most beautiful women in screen history, Vivien Leigh. Here's a scene of him in Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), in which he plays Pothinus. He's the big chubby one.

Such presence! And there's no mistaking who he is when he walks into the scene!

Here he is as Mr. Brumble in 1948's Oliver Twist:


Look how expressive he is! You can't even see his whole face, but for crying out loud, look at him!

Now here's a theory that I have: I think that people who are really great actors must also be very intelligent. I mean how can you convey intelligence on the screen if you haven't got it for real, right? A lesser actor might convey intelligence by putting glasses on, but he's only fooling himself. Well go and look at some of Francis's work. The man simply oozes intelligence. I would love to go back in time and have lunch with him!

Here's a story that I adore: Apparently, while portraying an airplane passenger in a live television drama, Francis forgot his lines, ad-libbed "Excuse me, this is my stop," stepped off the "plane," and disappeared from the proceedings. I LOVE HIM!!!

Here he is looking all intense. I don't know which film this is from:


Pretty scary, huh?

By now you might have gathered that I have a bit of a crush on him. I do. Wim knows it, too. But since Francis has been dead for over 50 years, he's OK with it. So, you know, everything's out in the open. Ain't nothing for me to feel guilty over. I've gone a whole lifetime without ever being the sort of person to get a crush on an actor, and now finally I do and he's, well, so inaccessible. *sigh*

I'll leave you with what I consider one of the nicest photos of Francis, and the one which I imagine was closest to what he must have looked like "off set". So when I imagine hanging out with Francis and giggling like a schoolgirl while I tell him he's my favorite actor of all times, this is what he looks like:


More Francis Stuff!!

The trailer to the 1946 version of Great Expectations:

Here he is in Oliver Twist (1948) - from about the 7:48 mark on the video:

And here from about the 4:08 mark on the video:

BTW It turns out the guy who plays Fagan in this film is the same guy who played Pip in Great Expectations who I described as a "whiney looking midget", and it turns put it was Sir Alec Guinness (whoops!), and I must say he's amazing as Fagan. Maybe I just don't like the character Pip altogether. Either way, Francis L. Sullivan is consistently fabulous in everything he does as far as I can tell. Editors note: April 2009 I have just been informed by a reader that Sir Alec Guiness did not, in fact, play Pip; but instead that he played Pip's friend, Pocket (who was considerably handsomer and more engaging on screen than Pip so it explains a lot, really). I must have read the credits too quickly or something.