Sunday, February 9, 2020

It's Time For...

...Winter's Return...or so it seems this morning.

What a difference a day makes...yesterday we enjoyed delightful sunshine...
...which naturally inspired the artiste within! 

Ok, so it wasn't my idea; Karen pointed that out to me.

She: "Look, isn't that pretty?  You should get a shot of that for your blog."

Me: "What for?"

She: "It's beautiful!"

Me: "What is?"

She: "The tree of course!"

Me: "C'mon, it's just a tree..."

She: "So much more!

"See how the shadow of the trunk makes a path through the snow running up the wall illustrating the concept of perspective?

"Then all the branches spread out gracefully across the wall creating depth.

"And finally the real trees from the woods blend together with the shadow tree on the wall forming the top and signifying the illusory union of opposites."

Me: "I knew that."

She: "Then what are you waiting for?"

Me:  "Um...I'm waiting for the viscosity of the diffused light to segue more definitively from daytime to evening so the -"

She:  "Just do it!"

Me, mumbling:  "'Go do this, go do that!'  I'm telling you, one of these days..."

She: "What are you mumbling?"

Me: "Nothing, dear!  Just on my way to take a picture..."

Did something we don't normally do, and that's watch a movie by bona fide nut case Quentin Tarantino.

It's not only a political thing; I just don't find his subject matter nor his devotion to profanity and cartoon violence in prodigious proportion appealing.

But last night we broke with tradition and cued up...
...Once Upon A Time In Hollywood...and mostly because I was intrigued by his concept that the Manson family murders in August of 1969 were a line of demarcation...

currently burning in hell...
...a definitive event that ended one era and ushered in a new one.

There's some truth there I believe...the shocking barbarity and perverse evil of those crimes served as an exclamation point at the end of a decade filled to overflowing with rapid and often violent change on many fronts.

As society continued to devolve through the 70's and beyond, it's appropriate in many ways to see that seminal event as the kickoff to much of what followed.

And the movie itself is ok...high production values of course - with a budget of $95 million you oughta be able to pull off a few whizbangs here and there - and many tips o' the hat to iconic music, movies, people and events from that bygone era.

I thought Brad Pitt was especially good as the oxymoronic low key / adrenaline junkie drifting through life, existing simply amidst excess and welcoming danger with nary an uptick in heart rate...
...and apparently the wizards of smart at AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) agreed since he won the big O for best supporting actor...happy for him to get this honor, his ignorant acceptance speech notwithstanding.

Even DiCaprio -

(taking a much needed break from his climate change preaching tour where he flies around the world in his private jet, massive carbon footprint and stunning lack of self-awareness in tow, instructing the faithful in his "good for thee but not for me" gospel)

- gave a credible turn as a one time star descending into "has been" status at a pace that both befuddles and ages him far too quickly.

And the alternate ending for the Tate-LaBianca murders was a rewarding piece of's what we all wished had happened to the despicable Tex Watson...
...who inexplicably has been supported by taxpayer dollars for 50 years now.

Watching the Tarantino version of his ending, being ripped to shreds by a pit bull and dispatched by an acid tripping Brad Pitt, is far preferable to the sad reality of the truth.

Why this scum sucking piece of scat - or any of the so called Manson family members for that matter - is still drawing breath today is incomprehensible.

One of the few times I've found myself in wholehearted agreement with QT. this worth 2 hours and 41 minutes of your life?

Meh...probably not.

If you're a history buff and care about seeing Hollywood magic that substitutes DiCaprio in place of McQueen in a scene from "The Great Escape"...

...or seeing Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate watching herself on screen in "The Wrecking Crew" with Dean Martin...

...well then...maybe.

Otherwise, go outside, look all around you at God's creation, and give thanks for the precious, fleeting gift of life.

You'll be happier at the end of that exercise than you will be having spent almost 3 hours knocking around inside QT's skewed vision of the world.

Warning: if you do opt to watch this movie, try not to get any on you.  It's messy and it stains.

Currently tip toeing through the tulips as I try to put the final bow on...

I'm at 31,000 words and probably going to bring it in at 35,000 when all the shouting's done.

A little mixed on this one...a lot of it I like...or at least I've enjoyed writing it...but since I've never attempted a coming of age story before I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it.

I think a lot will depend on the ending because in writing as in life, endings truly do matter.

More to come.

And speaking of endings, behold the time draweth nigh.
In fact, it's here:

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Saturday, February 1, 2020

Happy Birthday... my beloved...and can you believe it? 
Karen with her twin sister Barbie...
What?  You thought I was going to tell you? 

As Tweety Bird used to opine...

As part of her birthday celebration we enjoyed dinner at the Irish pub...
...a good time was had by all.

And because it was Karen's birthday we watched "City Slickers"...
...which as she correctly pointed out, is truly a great birthday movie.

How could it not be?

One of the writers is a guy named Babaloo Mandel...
...uh, no...not Baba Looey from Quick Draw McGraw...this guy right here...
...and besides having a great name (c'mon, Babaloo?  fuggedaboudit...) he's been involved in a ton of really good movies...Splash, Parenthood, Multiplicity, Forget Paris...the list goes on.

In City Slickers, our hero - Billy Crystal - is turning 39...and as he says to his boss:

"Did you ever reach a point in your life where you say, this is the best I'm ever gonna look, the best I'm ever gonna feel, the best I'm ever gonna do...and it ain't that great?"

To which his boss responds, "Happy birthday".

It's a wonderful movie, filled with dozens of hilarious one liners as well as poignant moments of people dealing with real life and the challenges of relationships.

And that great character actor, Volodymyr Palahniuk...
You might know him as Jack Palance...
...won an Oscar for his performance as the grizzled but intimidating trail boss, Curly.

Do yourself a favor and watch this classic from 1991...even if it's not your birthday...

Making pretty good progress on Chrysalis...
...I'm at 20,000 words and counting...will probably bring it in around 30,000, so solidly in the novella category.

Plus I've got my ending least that's what I'm telling myself...feels like it fits, but we'll see when I get there...sometimes a "great" idea loses its luster upon closer examination.

More to come...

Looks like Ol' Man Winter is attempting a one day comeback...
...though I'm not sure why he's bothering...if Mr. Weatherman is correct, it's going to be in the 40's the next couple of days.

And if something's going to make a comeback, how about Spring instead?

Then we could enjoy one of those smooooth British Wills' Cigarettes...
...while swinging the hickories with greats like George Duncan...
...or J.H. Taylor...
...ah, the good ol' days...

I suppose I ought to mention there's a convention of millionaires this weekend being held in one of the southern states.
These overpaid, whiny, self-important crybabies will participate in a game, the outcome of which will have no meaningful impact on anything of significance in the real world.

Their confab won't solve any of the country's manifold problems, won't advance solutions to thorny issues like homelessness, the opioid crisis, wage stagnation for blue collar workers, the looming potential of a world wide pandemic that is the coronavirus outbreak...
...but they will get an enormous amount of attention, and of course money, for staging this gaudy spectacle, this tribute to worshiping at the altar of excess.

When it's over, the winners will then opine publicly about whether they should condescend to meet with the most powerful man in the western world, and a sycophantic press will megaphone their every incoherent, grammatically incorrect thought, no matter how mundane or trite.

Ah, the Super Bowl...from its humble beginnings in 1966, when the greatest quarterback of the era was paid the whopping sum of $100,000... today's surreal extravaganza with quarterbacks pulling in 10s of millions of dollars...

I enjoy both reading and writing fiction, but alas, I cannot relate to fantasy in this appalling proportion, so I shan't be watching this overhyped trifle.

It's akin to finding a child's plaything in the corner and then building a cathedral around it so it can be worshipped...
...well, except that building the cathedral would  be far less expensive than this theater of the bizarre known as the Super Bowl.

I have heard some of the commercials are mildly amusing.

On the other hand, if the Detroit Lions were playing...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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