Prunes and Prism

RULES FOR YOUNG LADIES: Some arch advice on snagging a husband. Exercising the mouth into a pretty shape through repetition of certain words seems to have been an indoor sport for young nineteenth-century girls; in Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens' overly bred girl repeats, "papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism." (

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Tiger Beat Dream Date (With Lech Walesa)

I almost sent the last disc of The Decalogue back to Netflix without watching Commandment 10, just because I'd had been having a WWF smackdown with the series for lo these many months and frankly, friends, I was growing weary. It's not that I wasn't appreciating them -- it's just that my attention span is borne aloft by helium balloons. So for me, a ten-part series in which the residents of one apartment block in Poland, in the waning days of Communism, break the Ten Commandments one by one is best doled out over a good long while. Not to mention that the four discs eat up one's Netflix allotment, thus making it difficult to cleanse the palate with a little Margaret Cho or some Season 1 Gilmore Girls.

I'm so glad I slogged through the last installment, though, because it turned out to be my favorite. Two brothers are reunited over their dead father's stamp collection, and one of them is Zbigniew Zamachowski, who just sends me, and not only because his character was the front man for a Polish metal band called City Death. Zamachowski also plays the hapless husband in White, which is by far my favorite of the Trois Couleurs movies*. I think he's so human and real and great to watch, and if I could I'd carry him around in my pocket and nibble on him like a potato pierog.

What is it with me and the Slavs? I hope the Comrade knows I love him for him** -- and not because I owned, and wore, a Solidarity T-shirt in 1987. ***

*I'm pretty sure I'm the only one on earth who feels this way.

** Frankly, if I met some Ukrainian who subscribed to The Oxford American and thrilled to Southern womanhood, I'd be suspicious.

***Have you visited the Engrish site and seen the Japanese guy in the T-shirt that says "BEWARE I'M ARMED AND I HAVE PREMENSTRUAL TENSION"? I'd say we were both about equally aware of what we were doing.


Blogger Recovering Baptist said...

Mmmmm. Eastern block men. Do you know Gy├Ârgy Cserhalmi? Hungarian guy who was in this FANTASTIC polish movie called Zelary? I command you to move it to the top of your Netflix list. Also watch East/West if you haven't already experienced the hottest russian actor ever, Sergei Bodrov. Who tragically also happens to be dead.

12:43 AM  
Blogger frostine99 said...

I am eagerly adding Zelary as soon as I finish typing this comment.

Okay, girl, I'll eat shoe leather if just, like, two or three days ago I wasn't waiting for a train and thinking about how sad I am that Sergei Bodrov had to get buried in that avalanche. (Are we sure he didn't just get depressed and fake his death when he heard I was seeing someone?)

One reason I love him is that he is (or rather, was) so searingly hot and yet so unassuming you can trick yourself into thinking you're the only one who's noticed.*

It feels very wrong to speculate on the sex appeal of someone so recently and tragically dead -- but, you know, if I were recently and tragically dead I can't think of a better tribute than people all over the Internet writing about how foxy I am. (Remember that when I'm gone.)

He also runs around being hot in the movie "Brother" and its sequel -- you can get these with English subtitles but I think they're hard to find even in the video stores. I got them on VHS from eBay. Solely for the purpose of language study, of course.

Funnily enough, the Comrade can't stand "East/West," though I enjoyed it. I think for him it's a big schmaltz-fest. Like "The Thorn Birds." Which also, for that matter, has a special place in my heart.

(The Comrade also never wants to go to any of those big Russian restaurants on Brighton, with the dinner and the dancing and the Popov decanted into kegs. I think he thinks of them as the Russian version of Dixie Stampede -- that place in Pigeon Forge where you eat a whole chicken and watch a rodeo. Come to think of it, I thought Dixie Stampede was not without its charms, either.

* I broke off my secret marriage with Jason Bateman in "Arrested Development" when it became apparent that every other woman in my demographic was getting in line to undo his necktie.

3:43 PM  
Blogger frostine99 said...

And Recovering Baptist, I have to know: How'd you make that umlaut?

3:49 PM  
Anonymous EndureForte said...

I once had a Russian girlfriend with sophisticated tastes who was much like your beloved Comrade. She refused to eat at upscale Russian restaurants saying that they were not "authentic". Thinking that she was being a typical but delightfully stubborn Russian woman I reminded her of the menu. She frowned and said,"This is real only for Czarist." Presumably, the last vestiges of indoctrination die hard. For the record, her absolute favorite food? Barbeque. Kansas City style.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Recovering Baptist said...

Re: the umlaut - Like 90% of the things I do, I cheated. I wasn't sure how to spell his name so I found it on the internet and copied/pasted.

3:09 PM  

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