Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another movie post...this time with literature.

Leopold and I aren't big movie goers.

It's still a treat to find the time and, frankly, the movie that gets us out of the house and into a theater. A movie that we probably wouldn't go to see is Park Chan-Wook's vampire pic Thirst but one thing has caught my attention.

It is - if all the reporting is to be believed - "loosely based" on Emile Zola's book Therese Raquin.

Not ringing any bells? Never had to take a "History of the Novel" course in grad school?

Put in one line, Raquin is a novel about a woman who kills her husband with the assistance of her lover.

Yeah. Go ahead. Start your list of movies that are also "loosely based" on Therese Raquin.

Next round...films "loosely based" on Romeo & Juliet.

The view from here.

Here's what I've been thinking a lot about lately (1).

Everyone always talks about hindsight being 20/20. But no one ever really talks about that view from the very edge of the future. That place where you're looking back and - because the end of whatever you're leaving is suddenly contained in a definable period of days - you are also able to see what might come to be.

From that vantage point it's amazing how closely a jumping off point and a slippery slope resemble one another.

It's also amazing when you realize that, either way, you're no longer the one to try and call it out.

1. Okay. Mostly since I woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. Do you know how many reruns of The Golden Girls Lifetime plays at 4am? A lot.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Leggo my Lego

The Snark and I had one of those great phone conversations yesterday. The kind where you laugh hard enough that you're more than a little thankful for having solid bladder control.

Part of the conversation involved not one but three solid movie ideas. Really solid. Solid enough that I could picture someone sitting in some Hollywood hotspot putting down their Saketini and saying that they want to get into The Snark business.

Unfortunately, it seems the folks in Hollywood might be a little busy right now...figuring out what to do now that they own the theatrical rights to Lego.

Yeah. The colorful building blocks. Someone bought the theatrical rights to them.


The theatrical rights to Lego.

I'd say more about this but I'm afraid I have to go finish the treatment I'm developing for my vacuum cleaner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tonight I'm supposed to be writing.

I have a piece that I promised would be done tomorrow and instead I'm completely and entirely distracted. I have no focus.

Well. I have some focus.

I can't stop thinking about food...a situation I am making worse by avoiding my work by watching food shows.

Which is why I'm sitting on the sofa watching Man vs. Food's Adam Richman eat fried chicken hollandaise at a place called Hash House A Go-Go.

Fried chicken hollandaise.

All I'm saying is this bowl of apples is not going to cut it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Very superstitious.

I am superstitious.

If I can avoid it, I will not pass someone on the stairs. If forced to do so I will, as my grandmother taught us to do, say, "Bread and butter."

If I have to fly I do my best to be seated by a window so that I can be sure the window shade will stay open. This is a little bit of crazy I made up all on my own.

And if I'm really hopeful or excited about something, I try not to talk about it because, like that book you will never write if you talk about it (1), the thing you really want will never come to pass if you talk about it.

So I'm not going to talk about it.

I will simply say that tonight I got a voicemail that may be good news, may be bad news or may be the most freakishly coincidental wrong number ever dialed.

But that's enough for now.

I don't want to jinx it.

1. Special thanks to the Godfather of Gay Literature for adding that one to my carnival of phobias.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Like riding a bicycle.

There are some things that I've never been very good at.

One thing is being able to immediately identify "left" from "right." I admit it. I have to actually consciously think when deciding which direction I mean to say.

I was also really lousy when it came to learning how to ride a bike. It escaped me for the longest time and then, after I finally got it down, winter would come. The bikes would go away for the season and I would spend some part of the next spring learning all over again.

So today, when it came time to follow the advice of a friend and former colleague, I had this strange moment of hesitation. It meant doing something else that I'm not very good at.

I didn't follow the rules.

I cut in the proverbial line.

I didn't try to stand on my own two feet.

Instead, I asked for help. And then I took it.


Ain't that a kick in the head.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Purchase. Purge. Repeat.

Leopold and I spent the weekend redoing our living room.

New paint. New furniture layout.

And now the purging resumes (1).

We ditched dozens and dozens of cds that we no longer listen to.

As I type this post Leopold is going through the periodicals that we accumulate in this house like kudzu.

Which leaves a review of of our books to be done...and makes me feel guilty about the list of books I'd like to bring into the house.

There's also a new budget to consider.

But here's the biggest issue.

We live in a city where, try as I once did, I can no longer bring myself to use the library.

Which is sad because I'm a huge fan of the public library.

But I'm not a fan of smelling urine in the stairwells. Or of tripping over people sleeping in the stacks. Or of having to pass through a metal detector and emptying my bag to get in the front door.

Before you get all bent, I understand that the library is a public building open to everyone. I also understand that in this city built on a swamp that I call home the library is an oasis and refuge for people with no where else to go to escape the heat of the day.

But you know what?

If you're inside...pee in the bathroom. Not the stairwell.

Because I'd like to take some books out.

1. We live in a small house. Purging is a way of life.

By the cover...not by the blurb...

Here's the thing.

It's one thing to judge a book by it's cover. It's another to buy it for its cover blurbs.

Lev Grossman's book The Magicians is a perfect example.

If you read the cover flaps you think you're getting some tailored-to-adults recast of the Harry Potter mythology with modern day Brooklyn standing in for the always romantic literary persona of England.

But if you're attracted by the really lovely cover you may open up to the page I did where one of the characters says, "I'd rather freeze my tits off than puke my guts out."

Or something very non-Hermione-esque like that.

With The Magicians there's (apparently) sex. There's ennui. There's a school of magic.

Reader comments that I've seen have been pretty divided. Folks looking to see Harry Potter post-drinking age seem irked off and unhappy.

Folks looking for something a little different, a little unexpected, a little...what's the word...oh yeah.

A novel not written by JK Rowling.

They seem to like it.

I'm putting it on the reading list.