Once and Again
I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

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Eli's no poet. He doesn't know it.

Commercial. Something about a very special Drew Carey Show coming up, and I make a mental note to watch with my whole family because I have a feeling we can't miss it, and that we'll have to see it to believe what happens next. Just a feeling.

Eli, having patented the technique of barging into a room, employs said skill when entering Karen's Kitchen of Tedium. But it's so boring there that, mid-barge, he slumps to the floor in a dead sleep. Jessie nudges him awake, and the action resumes. He's curt with her when she asks about rehearsal, preferring to fix himself a bowl of cereal. CE-RE-AL. Karen would be proud. He could've just said "sludge." Karen reminds Eli that he's got a meeting with the college counselor the next afternoon, and that he needs to chat with his coach about missing practice. "I was thinking about quitting the basketball team," Eli sasses. "I don't want to spread myself too thin." Karen warns him not to "start" with her. "I didn't," he says. "I've just been trying really hard." He slams his bedroom door. Jessie looks upset, because she'll have to go through this in three years.

Karen and Leo eat Chinese food in her office, working and passing the soy sauce. I think that would make a great euphemism. "Leo," Karen could growl. "I want you to pass me your soy sauce. Pass it in my office." Then: mad, passionate sex atop a bed of steamed rice and vegetables. Okay, maybe not. I'm just trying to make Karen's life anything but painfully ponderous. "Tell Eli it's all set," Leo chirps. Karen has no idea what he means, and turns steely when he tells her he set up the coffeehouse gig. "Great. A school night," Karen mutters. "What? It's an early gig. He'll be home in time for milk and cookies and beddy-bye," Leo brats. Karen is startled. "Who told you? What do you know?" she snarls. No, sorry. My mind wandered again. Karen actually just worries that Eli has too much to think about, and can't juggle it all with a full-fledged band. Good thing he doesn't have one. Leo laughs at her, calling her "horribly uncool in a funny way." Heh. He defends himself, saying he thought she'd appreciate his interest in her kids. Karen calls it interfering. "Okay, I'll just stay in my box," snaps Leo. She agrees that he should stand back a bit, but Leo argues that she can't have it both ways and has to make up her mind where she wants him in this situation. "Maybe that's the problem," Karen sighs. "Maybe sometimes, it's not just about you." She walks out of the office, aware that it's hers and he's the one who should leave, but unwilling to give up the chance for a good un-boring flounce. I'm warming up to Leo in this scene, and that's saying a lot because I just saw this actor in Woman on Top, a terrible performance in a horrible, horrible Penélope Cruz movie. I'm still bleeding internally from the experience. The only reason I saw it -- for free, mercifully -- was to save our movie critic from having to go though such pain alone. But I digress.

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Once and Again




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