Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Great birthday, or the greatest birthday?

Several months ago, Russ bought us tickets to see Jeff Daniels in concert tonight. He is great--warm and funny. Everyone in the crowd was laughing hysterically at some of his songs, and you could have heard a pin drop during the tender and sweet numbers.

After the concert, I talked to him! First off, no, he's not a birder, doesn't have a favorite bird at all, and really doesn't notice birds except geese who "shit everywhere." Oh, well.

I keep track of my favorite Great Movie Moments"--single moments, less than 2 seconds, that have so much resonance that they stay with me. The Jeff Daniels Great Movie Moment is in Speed just before he's blown to smithereens. He has this perfect expression when he realizes the place is booby-trapped--he manages to capture a lifetime of regrets and joys with an unmouthed "Oh, shit!"—all in a split second. So I told him how much I loved that moment, and he told me the story behind it!. Turns out, Roy Sheider had such a moment in Jaws when he first sees the shark. Jeff Daniels asked him how he did it, and Roy Sheider said he just had his face tense, and suddenly let it all go slack. Now I'll have to watch Speed again! (And maybe Jaws, too.) Neither movie is known for scenes with birds, but I'm sure there are a few to watch for in Jaws. But first I'm going to listen to my new Jeff Daniels CD—"Grandfather's Hat." It includes the song with the same title, which he sang tonight--one of the genuinely touching ones that had me close to sobbing. I'll pull out my old CD as well. And I'm putting his other two CDs on my "wanted" list.

Being 59 is so far pretty darned wonderful! (Even if I'm not at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival.)