Monday, August 18, 2014

Shaggy dog story (sorry)

From the category of "cool things that are new to me if not necessarily new in and of themselves" is this story.  Most reliable info I've read puts original publication at 2005, so it's recent anyway.  The career of its author is storied.  Kit Reed has been writing science fiction and other fiction since the latter tip of the Eisenhower era.  She's done a lot of her best work in the 21st century.

I had her omnibus collection The Story Until Now out from the library recently, and this was one of my favorite stories from it.  It's got some very interesting story elements.  A premise that operates in a grey area - a twilight zone, if you will - between science and mysticism.  A not-too-sympathetic but understandable central figure with a tragic lack of understanding.  The story unwinds in a strange, hard-to-predict way.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Not much to say about this situation that isn't being said elsewhere, better. Only that it's depressingly predictable. Not unavoidable, that's very different. We don't have to have police take on the role of invading armies. But if it's going to happen, it's going to happen in places like Ferguson, to people who look a certain way. For now at least. I think we all have an interest in stopping it, but the sad truth is that for whites it's an abstract concern.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blood all over the Friday Random Ten

Chan-wook Park's Thirst, which I just watched, is a vampire update of Zola's Therese Raquin, which I read a long time ago.  Definitely an interesting idea, and the film has its moments.  A little too long, maybe?  Too many false endings?  But Park's visual sense is as sharp as ever.

1. Paul Simon - I Don't Believe
2. Amy winehouse - Know You Now
3. Lou Rawls - Show Business
4. Brian Eno - Spirits Drifting
5. Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Lovers' Walk
6. Pink Martini - Sway
7. Broadcast - I Found the F
8. Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley - A Sleeping Bee
9. Neko Case - Maybe Sparrow
10. Dave Van Ronk - He Never Came Back

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I can't say for certain that this is how he would want to be remembered, but it's one of my better guesses.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Random Ten (feels weird just saying it)

Day off tomorrow on account of VJ Day.  Victory over Japan.  Rhode Island is the only state that still celebrates it, which feels kind of weird.  Pretty sure Pearl Harbor was elsewhere.  But a day off is a day off, I guess.

1. Broadcast - Goodbye Girls
2. R.E.M. - Driver 8
3. Beck - Waking Light
4. Paul Simon - How Can You Live In the Northeast?
5. Elton John - My Father's Gun
6. Dave Van Ronk - Stackerlee
7. Tito Puente - Take Five
8. St. Vincent - Bring Me Your Loves
9. Fats Domino - Walking to New Orleans
10. Diana Krall - Quiet Nights

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Okay, it looks like I was lying about a Saturday Random Ten.  Turns out my day was scheduled a little beyond my control, although not in a bad way.

Last night I watched The Americanization of Emily, which I'd ordered from the library.  Actually it turns out that I could have watched the whole thing on YouTube, but hell, why not give my TV set something to do?  It was getting bored.

It's an antiwar comedy released in 1964, so while it's sentiments were a little more acceptable to society than they had been, it wasn't really something most people had been thinking about.  James Garner is a navy "dog-robber", which is to say the guy who makes sure the admiral is coddled and happy.  He's a self-professed coward, and so of course falls into a love affair with Julie Andrews, a widow who buys into the myth of war being noble.  It's well cast all around with Melvyn Douglas as the loony admiral and James Coburn as a propaganda officer.  His character goes power-mad and has moments of pomposity that kind of play against his cool image.

I'm not sure the movie keeps all the balls in the air, but it is worth seeing.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Message to the future

I just called myself at my work number to leave myself a reminder about stuff I should do tomorrow.  No, I did not hear myself answer.  Still, the activity does have a kind of sce-fi thriller feel to it.

Looks like another Saturday Random Ten week.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.