Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rive the Dog Poet and RIP for Kim

I got a call on my land line the other night. I figured it was my mom, since no one else calls me on that phone, but, what to my surprise, I say hello and some young girl starts talking, "This is Jennifer with Crown Hill Cemetery, how are you today?" WTF??!!! "No, it's not an emergency, this is a courtesy call. We're going to be in your area and we'd like to leave you pamphlets." ???? Strangely enough, earlier that morning I'd just finished reading 'My Sister, My Love' by Joyce Carol Oates. The main character had just attended his mother's over the top 1980s-ish funeral. He spends some time thinking about how much detail she put into the planning of her own funeral.

The girl on the phone was so insistent. "Have you done any planning? We're going to have someone in your neighborhood tomorrow and we can leave some pamphlets." Did she know something I didn't? The economy is so bad cemeteries have to canvas neighborhoods for business?

Really weird day.

Later on, I had to truck downtown to the post office before they closed. On my way out the front door of the post office I see a woman with a couple of cloth bags, a hat, a cane, and a drink from Einstein bakery standing on the top of the steps and looking about. "Shoot", she says to no one in particular, "I've missed the bus and it won't be back until 4:47." I turn to check her out and ask, "Where do you live?" She looked completely harmless and completely interesting. "I can give you a ride."

On the way to her house, Patricia explained that she'd sent her college age daughter a thick blanket for camping. There were so many folks out walking their dogs. When I bought this up, Patricia said, "Are you a dog person?" It was then that I noticed she was wearing a Bichon Frise sweat shirt. "My dog writes poetry." Yes, it turns out Patricia Walworth Wood, in collaboration with her dog Rive, has written an illustrated book of poems called, Thoughts, Oughts, Naughts.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ikiru @ Gary's and Oscar Party @ Joe and Brian's

Saturday night, Ikiru was the Movie of the Month @ Gary's for February. The doomed Watanabe, who has dutifully worked everyday for 30 years, gets the news from his chain smoking doctor that he has stomach cancer and decides he needs to do something, he just doesn't know what.

He has 2 Tour Guides to help him out.

Tour Guide #1 is a journalist who looks like a Toulouse-Lautrec-ish character; he is clearly Akira's homage to Toulouse-Lautrec's paintings of Aristide Bruant. He volunteers to be Watanabe's Mephistopheles to the netherworld of bars, booze, and broads. Watanabe's hat is stolen but is replaced with a much nicer one. These bar scenes are very densely packed with artfully arranged dancing. I will have to check this out again on the library copy.

Guide #2 is Miss Toyo Odagiri, his co-worker who has come to check on him. She is so pretty and full of life. She is leaving for another job and wants to make sure she tells him goodbye. She made him the butt of several jokes at work for eating the same thing for lunch everyday and never missing a day of work. Her nickname for him was Mummy. Watanabe takes her out to dine, amusement parks, and shopping. He buys her a much needed, but expensive pair of stockings to replace her worn out pair. At their last dining excursion, he picks up a cheap mechanical rabbit the girl makes at her new assembly-line job, and decides that life must be made meaningful in the time left.


Toulouse-Lautrec's painting of Aristide Bruant:

Joe and Brian from the Indy Film Buffs hosted their second annual Oscar Party Sunday night. I knew when I got out of the car and saw the smartly arranged, high tech cooking ware sitting in the front window, I was in for a trip to Yumstreatville. The food was fab! Everyone gets into the red carpet best dressed chick stuff. Again this year - my top 2 picks were Michelle Williams and Gwyneth Paltrow. Milla Jovovich was jaw droppingly elegant. Nick Nolte was unrecognizable.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chasing Amy and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Last Saturday night was Cult Movie Night @ Gary's. At one point there 10 people on the list to attend and 8 in queue - 3 of us ended up showing up. I'd actually seen both of them in the past and was curious what I would think now. Chasing Amy just has not stood the test of time. Kevin Smith just tried so hard to be controversial it all came out so trite. Yawn. ESofSM is still a gem. No matter how much memory erasing and logical thought you put into it, you cannot control the folks you're attracted to.

Instead of bringing my usual bag of chips, I decided to make some Mini Pretzel S'mores. I had the mini-marshmallows (at one point one of the vets had suggested using them to conceal cat meds) and the chocolate; I just need to purchase the mini pretzels. I used a Mexican chocolate bar that contained ancho and chipotle chilies. I also sprinkled a bit of dried red chile pepper on top too. They turned out yummy. I was afraid using 3 marshmallows per pretzel-wich would be over kill. Nope....just right.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why British Food Was So Bad For So Long

I'd always wondered why British food was so bad. The country clearly had centuries of kings, castles, and fests. No one really knew how to cook?

Like tonnes of other folks, I've taken up watching Downton Abbey. The dining scenes are so elaborate and the food looks yummy. The cook, Mrs Patmore, has on occasion refused a dinner item request from a quest. Her reason - the dish requested would be too completed to prepare. So...why is British nosh so famously bad?

Ahh......This article from the NPR food blog The Salt, Dining After 'Downton Abbey': Why British Food Was So Bad For So Long, answers that question.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rockers From the 70's and Their Parental Units

From the article:

In 1971, the likes of Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Elton John and the Jackson Five were some of the most famous celebrities in their world.

But for their parents, these ultra-famous rock stars were still only grown-up children, whom they doted on and fussed over.

LIFE Magazine photographer John Olson followed some of these big name stars home to see their parents to tell the inside story of the private lives of famous musicians and show their person histories.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff + Robert Maplethorpe

Black White + Gray is a film that documents Sam Wagstaff's relationship with Robert Maplethorpe. There definitely would not have been a Robert Maplethorpe without Sam Wagstaff's money. Alternately, Sam probably would not have collected the photographs he chose without the influence of Robert. Robert's style was influenced by Sam's collection of George Platt Lyne's photos. George was famous for his fashion photography, but unknown to the rest of the world, was quietly amassing beautiful erotic photographs of friends, lovers, etc. Some of George's secret erotic works were donated to the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana.

Sam was a curator and collector, who influenced by Robert's taste for the daring, collected various photographs. One such photograph that fascinated him was the photo of Angelo Colarossi taken by Julia Margaret Cameron.

It is a beautiful photograph.