Sunday, November 6, 2005

Undeleting a Deleted Entry

AOL frustrated me so much today that I deleted this entry. But I returned and beat two browsers into submission and here it is again. I just wish it were a better entry. Oh well, sometimes the concept is more important than the execution.

MARCH OF THE NOTRE DAME GAME
VS. Tennessee at HOME

I'm multi-tasking this entry today. Football and a movie.

My stepmom wanted to see March of the Penguins the other night. So did I, but I was thinking I'd wait and watch it on DVD.

No matter how much everyone has raved about that flick [do people still say FLICK?], I just knew it would be a made for TV kids and family thing. I wasn't in a feel good mood. I wanted men, action and excitement.


Besides it was French. Not that I don't love the French. well, Jacques Cousteau anyway. But the problem with the French is that they're so French. For instance, even though the movie is narrated by Morgan Freeman, I just had the feeling there would be subtitles -- in French -- to remind us just whose movie it was.

NOTRE DAME 0  TENNESSEE 0  Game Starts

Jarhead looked interesting, but a war movie wouldn't fly with my Stepma. And Jake, with the impossible to spell and pronounce last name, doesn't elevate my pulse -- just as well, given my age. I love Jamie Foxx and, of course, I do have a thing for men in almost any kind of uniform. Although I think the UPS guys could wear something more flattering besides BROWN.

Anyway, Stepma and I go to March of the Penguins. I'm prepared for chicks eating regurgitated fish, Penguin sex. Lots of snow and ice. Penguin sex. Plenty of underwater shots in the freezing cold. Penguin sex. Penguins eaten by predators. Penguin sex. The usual National Geographic fare. Ah, but this was a sophisticated French documentary. Perhaps we might be spared the bird porno.

We go to see the movie at the cheap seats theater, which always has the movies you meant to see, but didn't for some reason. The penguin movie has been out for awhile. The good news is that late first run movies cost less.

The bad news is I passed for my age. The guy taking tickets announced that anyone over 62 could get in for a special price. I told him I was 62 with a big smile and he didn't say a thing. Asshead.

At the very least, he could have pretended I didn't look that old. "62? You had me at 55." He should flatter me like the sales guy in Pretty Woman who starts sucking up to Richard Gere until Gere tells him to suck up to Julia Roberts. But, noooooo, he didn't.

NOTRE DAME 7  TENNESSEE 0   6:51  First Quarter
Irish score on their first possession. Yay. Quinn throws to Fasano, followed by the tightend lumbering into the end zone, with an all important block for him by Maurice Stoval.

The penguin march movie begins with extraordinary footage of the Antarctic ice shelf on the edge of the ocean.The beauty of the pristine white cliffs of frozen water is eventually interrupted by the bobbing movement of indiscriminate shapes on the horizon.

I am reminded of the opening of Lawrence of Arabia when Omar Sharif slowly appears out of the waves of heat rising up from the desert, riding on a camel.


Only now it's penguins waddling across the Antarctic ice.

NOTRE DAME 14  TENNESSEE 0   5:51  First Quarter TD ND -- Stoval makes a leaping catch from Quinn, then falls down on his back in the end zone.

The Penguins are walking, trudging actually, in a long single file. Summer's over and they're heading to the thick pack ice where they will meet and greet and make babies.

The ice pack is seventy miles away. You try walking seventy miles in a penguin suit.

NOTRE DAME 14  TENNESSEE 3   3:43  First Quarter
Field Goal Tennessee

Other penguins return from their summer of feeding out in the ocean to join the march. Astonishingly the huge group of thousands of birds reaches the deep ice homebase within a day or two of each other. Like college students arriving at Daytona Beach during spring break.

NOTRE DAME 21  TENNESSEE 3   9:49  Second Quarter
Zbikowski of ND [a Chicago area boy] returns a punt for a touchdown like he did against USC.


There is a scene with several penguins navigating the slick ice, when one does a sudden pratfall worthy of the Three Stooges. The penguins behind him chatter as if to say, "Hey, are you okay?" After righting himself, the fallen bird made a sound that I could have sworn meant, "Man, that sucked."


NOTRE DAME 21  TENNESSEE 13   5:14  Third Quarter
Field Goal Tennessee


The courtship of the penguins was very, ah, French, you know, almost romantic. None of the graphic examples of males climbing on top of females that you might expect from American animal epics. The photographers showed what appeared to be genuine affection between the coupling birds. Instead of viewing acrobatic acts of mounting, there were gentle touches and soft carressing between the future mother and father. Awwwwwwww.


NOTRE DAME 21 TENNESSEE 10   3:19  Second Quarter
Tennessee TD pass from Eric Ainge to the back of the end zone -- he should have been sacked before he threw it. I was screaming at the TV.

The male penguins take over the incubation of the egg, but first the mother has to transfer the egg from her feet to the father's feet. They actually practice this move beforehand. We watch as one egg falls to the ice in a bad transfer. The freezing cold causes the contents inside the egg to expand and freeze in a matter of moments, splitting the shell as the bird embryo perishes in the cold. A bunch of frozen eggs dot the ice like giant pearls.

NOTRE DAME 21  TENNESSEE 21 1:49  Third quarter
Tennessee TD pass from Ainge followed by 2 pt conversion [pass]. Ainge is good dammit. His front line gives him all day to throw.

The females walk the 70 miles back to sea to feed again while the male incubates the egg for eight weeks in -80 degree weather, going without food the entire time.

The winter storms are ferocious. The males take turns huddling at the center of the flock where it's warmer. When the chicks are born over several weeks, the wait for the females to walk the seventy miles back from feeding begins. They better hurry. If Mom became a meal for a seal out in the ocean or died on the trek back, her chick will die. Dad can't save it. 

After they're born, the chicks perch precariously on Dad's feet since they will freeze to death within seconds if exposed to the ice.

When Mom returns, parents and chicks recognize each other by their unique vocalizations, which are as different as fingerprints. Then another transfer tales place between the parents. This time it's the newborn chick instead of the egg. And some of the birds screw it up. Mom has to feed the baby. Dad has to get food now. He's already lost lots of weight taking care of the kid.

NOTRE DAME 28   TENNESSEE 21  13:57 Fourth Quarter
Samarzija catch for ND TD -- his 12th TD pass of season, a ND record.  They call him The Shark because he looks like a character in Shark Tale.


More chicks die because Mom or Dad couldn't handle the pass. We watched one female mourn her dead baby, touching it for signs of life while making sounds that clearly expressed sadness and anguish. The sound of grief was so familiar you couldn't help but recognize it, no matter what your species.

A childless mother who lost her chick tried to steal one from another penguin. But she was rebuffed by a whole group of females. The males, who have lost half their body weight while incubating the eggs, have started on their own seventy mile walk back to the sea to get a decent meal. They haven't eaten for almost three months by this time.

NOTRE DAME 31  TENNESSEE  21  7:47  Fourth Quarter
Fitzpatrick field goal ND, Samarzija holding

As summer nears, the chicks start losing their fuzz and their parents leave them alone more and more. The ice breaks up with the warmer weather, making the walk to the ocean pantry shorter and shorter, until the adults only have to walk a few hundred yards to dive into the water for food.

Soon all the adults take off for the summer ocean feeding grounds and the chicks, who have never been in water, seem to realize that if they want to eat they better follow. For four years they stay out at sea. The fifth year they return and join the rest of the penguins to march back to the nesting grounds.

NOTRE DAME 34 TENNESSEE 21  4:06   Fourth Quarter
Field Goal ND


Watching the precarious balance of life on this cold and desolate continent, I realized that if global warming continues, the pack ice may soon not be thick enough to keep the chicks and the eggs from falling into the nearly freezing water.


If that happens, nesting and breeding would suddenly be an almost impossible task. In a very short time the Emperor Penguin could easily become extinct.

NOTRE DAME  41  TENNESSEE 31  3:07 Fourth Quarter -- FINAL
ND TD/Zbikowski again/this time an intercepted Tennessee pass   

After watching the movie, I had newfound respect for the resilience of the rest of the animal kingdom. Anyone who thinks that the human experience entitles us to claim superiority over any other species should try raising kids outdoors in an ice storm, or walking 70 miles any time you want food.

On Danny DeVito legs with bird feet.

13 comments:

meforevermore said...

I LOVED that movie. I'm glad you saw it. They did do it in a way that was very touching to the viewer.

~Lily

jckfrstross said...

Congratulations!!!!!

Deb

ally123130585918 said...

Just love your split personality....I enjoyed the game and the film...thankyou for both..lol...Ally

ondinemonet said...

Hi Mrs L. :)

Congratulations on your VIVI Award win! Good for you darlin!!

Always, Carly :)

pharmolo said...

Congratulations on your Vivi Award!

gaboatman said...

Mrs. L
So, were you listening to the game on headsets while watching the movie?  LOL!  Congratulations on winning the VIVI!  I'd walk 70 miles to read this journal.
Sam

bosoxblue6993w said...

since France is the land of fornication ... penguin sex in a french nature flick should come as no surprise

N.D. kicking ass to such vast effect SHOULD.

tillysweetchops said...

A brilliant masterclass on our Antarctic friends and baseball thrown in as a chaser. You certainly give value for money!

Congratulations on the Award, Mrs L.

Tilly x
http://journals.aol.co.uk/tillysweetchops/Adventuresofadesperatelyfathouse/

deabvt said...

Woo Hoo!
Congrats on the Vivi!!
http://journals.aol.com/deabvt/DeablerVT/
V

dornbrau said...

An Outspoken Multi-tasker... Now I'm really impressed!
Congratulations on the ViVi Award.

onmiownnow2 said...

Oh YES, Mrs.L!  Congratulations on winning your Vivi Award!  I am SO happy for you!  You certainly deserve it!  And you get to stand up there for a whole year with that sexy cop, Nemo!  What could be better than that?  Hugs!  Lisa
http://Journals.aol.com/onmiownnow2/TheOccupant/

robbush6 said...

Browser beating? Now that's what I call rage. Go girl.

verypinkinside said...

Interesting isn't it? Here's a source for more info:

http://RightDownTown.com/infosource.html