Sunday, January 26, 2020

What This Country Needs...

...is a good 5 cent cigar...hey...I just solved one of the country's problems...

This turned out to be another lousy weather weekend - a shock here in Michigan - which means it was also antique shop weekend...
...and we visited one that seemed to specialize in creepy Santa Clauses...
"heh heh...don't worry boys and girls..."



"...I'll be coming down your chimney tonight..."



"...while you're sleeping...heh heh..."
...nice...

But we did see some interesting stuff at another shop...
first time I've seen one in person...a Blick 5 typewriter...sweet...even if you don't have $400...



Not a T but still pretty cool...
...and we did actually buy a couple of items...
a brass fireplace screen...


...and a stove top percolator...


...to complement this Cattail electric percolator we already own...now THAT'S  a pretty good breakfast right there...



Might end up being a desperation move I regret...
...but I've resurrected Chrysallis and am now 11,000 words into this bittersweet coming of age story.

I figure even if I do end up abandoning it (again) I will at least have been writing...and in my world, that's a good thing.

More to come?


It's official...I'm suffering from the winter blahs...
...and I'm going to use that as an excuse for this pitiful example of a blog entry... 


...later, mcm fans...



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Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Legend...

...of Sleepy Hollow...and other tales, by Washington Irving.
Figured since I'm not writing I might as well be reading and I enjoy the writing styles from the 19th century.

The men who dared to take up the vocation were undergirded with a classical education and versed in the great literary works of the past.

This thorough preparation in the literary arts gave their works a rich descriptive vocabulary and a depth of meaning you don't often encounter in today's world.

One of the highest compliments you can pay an author is to realize, when thinking back on a scene about which he wrote, you see the picture he evoked more than you remember the words he employed.

That's how it is with Washington Irving's Sketch Book writings.  His essays on Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner evoke vivid scenes of an old fashioned English Christmas spent with a friend while traveling.

And of course his retelling of the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow and the fate of poor Ichabod Crane is simply delicious story telling at its finest.
And much to my surprise, I discovered that in one aspect, Mr. Irving and I share a common sensibility.

In a letter to Sir Walter Scott he confessed:

"I have no command of my talents, such as they are, and have to watch the varyings of my mind as I would those of a weather cock...I must, therefore, keep on pretty much as I have begun; writing when I can, not when I would..."

Well, what do you know...a kindred spirit.  The old saw is "writers write" but like the venerable Mr. Irving, I can only write when inspiration strikes...not before.

In any event, it's a delight to read his stories.

Same is true with Robert Louis Stevenson and his writings.
You think you know the Jekyll and Hyde story...
...but chances are you know whatever movie version you've seen.

You must read the story as he wrote it to get the full descriptive horror of the transformation pursued, achieved and ultimately abhorred by the brilliant Dr. Jekyll.

And for all of that, I still don't have an idea for my next book...



Looks like winter is making a feeble attempt at a comeback...
...just hasn't been much of a winter so far...and really, nothing in the forecast, either...temps in the high 30's in the days ahead.

Not complaining, but hey...if we're not going to have winter, can we get an early start on Spring?
That's what I'm talking about...



Had a strange experience walking into my living room early one morning this past week...
I kid you not...my golf clubs asked me if I wanted to go golfing!

Now I know what you're thinking...
...you're thinking, "Don't those golf clubs even know it's winter?"

There's more, but I just saw something shiny so I'll hafta tell you the rest later...



Watched a Polish movie the other night...
...that got universally positive reviews.

It covers the time period of 1949 through 1964 set against the backdrop of communist Poland under the boot of Stalin's Russia.

At the center of the story are two talented musicians; he an older concert pianist, she a young and beautiful singer.

The movie tells the story of their tempestuous and ultimately doomed love.

It's acted flawlessly and is visually captivating, filmed in black and white to match the dull severity of the repressive times in which they lived.

In the end they are together...
...but not in the Hallmark happy ending way you might imagine.

It truly is a very well done movie, just not uplifting in any way, shape, manner or form.

Made me happy I live in the land of the free and the home of the brave...



New objet d'art from the Retro Lifestyle Company
That's the iconic Enco gas station in Palm Springs, CA, circa 1965.

It's now the Palm Springs Welcome Center, located at the turn off to the Aerial Tramway in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Another gorgeous piece of artwork by Diane Dempsey.



Some recent sightings 'round the ol' homestead...


feeding time at the OK corral


Mister...


...and Mrs...


...and a friend.


this actually happens at our house



Enough already...don't you have something to do?
what could go wrong?
...yeah, like that...

later, mcm fans...


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Saturday, January 11, 2020

STORMageddon!

...or so we've been warned...for several days now.

Snow-mageddon, Ice-mageddon, etc...from all the breathless reporting, we're supposed to be in the midst of a "high impact" storm at the moment, with freezing rain, ice, snow.

We've watched multiple TV segments showing grim faced people racing to buy generators and stocking up on essential survival supplies like moon pies and pennywhistles...
...yeah...as you can see, Mr. Cardinal is every bit as terrified as the rest of us.

No doubt there's going to be some winter like precip over the next day or so...but since this is January in Michigan, not sure that qualifies as a weather emergency.

Maybe next time?


Had a little brouhaha at the Manor recently...
...I wanted this early 1960's Austin Cox chess set to be displayed above the fireplace...
...since it makes perfect sense to me to display classic mid century modern pieces in a mid century modern home.

However...the Lady Of The Manor disagreed...I was informed the blue green color absolutely clashed with the rest of the decor in the living room.

Thankfully we were able to discuss this situation calmly and rationally like adults...
...in order to arrive at a mutually agreeable compromise...
...happy wife, happy life...



Watched a movie from 1986 last night...
...A Room With A View based on the E.M. Forster novel of the same name.

This movie generated a lot of hype in its day and was nominated for many Oscars...wish I could say I'm in total agreement with the effusive praise heaped upon it, but in my opinion it was just ok.

Mostly it was interesting to see some well known actors and actresses when they were very young...Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Helena Bonham Carter, Simon Callow, Daniel Day-Lewis...

And the movie was fine...a slow moving mood piece set in Edwardian England, it's ostensibly a romance...well acted with a happy ending.

It just isn't substantial or riveting.

In the final analysis I agree with what E.M. Forster said about his book...it may not have been his best effort, but it was probably his nicest.



Something that was far more substantial...
...a documentary about Eva Kors, a twin who survived the demonic experimentation done on her by the twisted Nazi Doctor, Josef Mengele

Eva and her twin, Miriam, along with their family, were taken to Auschwitz in 1943.  All of her family were murdered there, except for Eva and Miriam.

The documentary reveals much of what she suffered at the hands of the sadistic Nazis, but focuses on Eva's path that led her to forgive Mengele...and indeed, all the nazis.

It's a compelling story, one that makes you think carefully about and examine precisely what forgiveness really means.

Not everyone can agree with Eva's definition or her decision to forgive an unrepentant monster for the suffering he willfully inflicted on innocents...
evil personified, currently burning in hell
...but everyone should see this documentary and be challenged on this subject.



Well, we did get some ice and snow overnight...



...but thankfully not too much, and we didn't lose power.

Looks like the turkeys beat feet out of here...
...no great loss...



And that my friends concludes another wildly successful broadcast day here at the ultra-modern studios of the Atomic Monster Cafe.
Naturally, there's no smoking while on camera...
...and always remember to read the cue cards...

later, mcm fans...

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