Things Our Journals Tell Us

January 6, 2021
8 1/2 x 11 inch handmade journal with OLD Gutenberg paper. Some collage and thoughts, as well as sketches of James Corden.
An 8 1/2 x 11 inch handmade journal with OLD Gutenberg paper. Some collage and some sketches of James Corden.

If you look at my journal from January and February 2020 you learn a lot about me. 

You learn that I like to use my lunch break to watch a little bit of TV and sketch.

You’ll learn that I became fascinated with the young James Corden in “Gaven & Stacey.”

You’ll also learn that I sometimes think of things, write them on Post-it Notes™, aim to write about them later, but then in the desire to finish up a sketchbook, sketch instead.

I mean really, thoughts on how cute bunnies can be is something I can take on any day!

Another thing you learn from my journal on this day is that I believe actress Alison Steadman may be one of the funniest actresses alive, ever. In season 2, episode 2 at about 4 minutes in, her discussion of how “gayness” is thoroughly confused but funny in her own kind but inept way. This is just one such notation throughout the pages of this journal while I watched this show.

Not written on this journal page, but something drilled into my brain, is season 1 episode 3 when her character “Pam” pretends to be a vegetarian for hilarious reasons, with even more hilarious repercussions. It starts around minute 12, but you really have to watch the whole episode to get the effect, and then of course watch the entire series, to see what happens.

Steadman is one of those rare actresses who can make the idiotic and confused seem almost rational.

I actually laughed so hard when she announced she was a vegetarian to Stacey’s family that I made Dick watch it when he came home from work so he could laugh.

Then I had a moment of uneasy realization that my relationship to Dick is much like Pam’s relationship to Mick. And then I laughed even harder. (I am not a vegetarian, and have never announced like Pam, that I was, though I was a practicing vegetarian for 6 months in my 20s; but I spent my entire reproductive years with a hemoglobin count of 7 to 8 and simply couldn’t get enough iron without eating beef. My point being, like Pam I can dig quite a hole and then happily climb into it. So while I won’t make things up, Dick does calm me when things get agitating!)

If you haven’t watched “Gavin & Stacey” what you need to know is two young people meet on a work-related phone call, flirt on the phone, date, have two grumpy best friends (one is played by James Corden), and the series is the history of their relationship. Steadman plays Gavin’s mom.

(You might also remember Steadman as Mrs. Bennet in the 1995 series version of “Pride and Prejudice” staring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. If you haven’t watched that series know that it has a lot to recommend it (and I do not mean seeing Mr. Darcy without a shirt), and Steadman is a huge part of what makes that version of Jane Austen’s classic so delightful and delicious. Anyone who has ever had a parent who says the wrong thing at the wrong time and made them feel mortified will find much to relate to, and understand.)

I’m sure I’ve written about “Gavin & Stacey” before, but maybe I’ve just been meaning too…If you’re taking a lunch break and want your laughter served up mixed with moments of profound seriousness (which is the only real comedy after all), then poke around and see if you can’t find this show. I watched it on Amazon Prime.

Now you all know I like to take a lunch break and laugh and sketch.

One day I’ll write up my thoughts on how cute bunnies can be, I’ve drawn a line in the sand and this must be examined.

    • Andy H
    • January 7, 2021

    love this playful post. Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Thanks so much.

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