Tuesday, February 26, 2008

hiya, Mr. Dunnaghy

Me and my dad loved this part of Jackie Gleason's American Scene Magazine. Craz (Frank Fontaine) would come out, tell a funny story or two, then sing. For me it was the opening shot, which was always the same: the greeting, the pouring of the beer - just the intimacy of the camera like I was there in Joe's bar. Yes, even at the tender age of 8. Ha!

But most of all...it was watching my father laugh. When he laughed I always felt like everything was always going to be OK.

film of the day

Sophisticated British macabre comedy, The Battle of The Sexes(1959), based on James Thurber's short story, The Catbird Seat, has mild-mannered, dignified Mr. Martin (Peter Sellers), as an infallible staid accountant at a archaic textile plant, trying to prevent a business takeover by a brash American efficiency expert, Mrs. Barrows(Constance Cummings).

Mr. Martin, a man who rarely speaks above a respectful whisper, envisions a plan to..um..terminate interloper Barrows. Robert Morley, as the permanently pouting and befuddled owner of the plant, is among the wonderful supporting cast.

This film has one of the sweetest endings I've ever seen. A little known Seller's film worth seeking out.

Monday, February 25, 2008

the morning after

Sometimes they get it right.

Diablo Cody with her best buddy for original screenplay for Juno.

photo credit: Diablo Cody

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

release the feathers!

The morning snow floated down just like a shoot on a 1940's movie back lot. It was an easy scene. All I had to do was enter right from the apartment door, walk down the sidewalk expressionless, open the car door, turn the key, back out and drive away. It only took one take. I didn't fall or spill a drop of coffee. The Director was proud of me. I hope he tells his friends I'm amiable to work with.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

black thursday past

Oh, there was a time a long long time ago as a child when I gave the biggest card with the huge pink heart from the assorted pack my mom bought for me to the prettiest girl in my second grade class. Weighed it down with a couple new copper pennies so she'd notice mine from the other boys. Back in a time when even us boys would have to exchange cards. At lunch I don't believe we looked up from our soup, or maybe answered in grunts. Or, we shoved each other harder on the playground that particular day so we knew where we stood.

A blush spread like a brush fire on her fresh white face when she tore open my envelope. I could see looking sideways pretending not to notice from across the room at my desk. She was at a window desk, and my desk was against the wall just below the portrait of the serious disapproving old guy with his mouth clamped shut to hide his rotted wood teeth, and next to that a signed letter by the Governor with instructions on procedures in the event of a nuclear holocaust. A cheery classroom for an 9 year old.
She hid her face in her hands in embarrassment and didn't talked to me for a long time afterwards.

Her name was Sherry Barnett and before the school semester ended she moved away. My Grandmother, Grace, told me there was a sign in their front yard. Sherry lived in easy bike riding distance and Grace would offer the love of my lifetime homemade oatmeal cookies and milk in a glass from a matching pair. My heart broke. She just upped and left. No forwarding address. I went down the street to the front window of her house, cupped my hands to block the glare, and saw a lone bulging cardboard box in the middle of the abandoned living room. I drowned my sorrow in Grandma's oatmeal cookies that crumbled like a delicate heart, watching the cat's eyes on the wall clock in Grandma's kitchen.

Friday, February 8, 2008

simple gifts

a cold winter's day
morning arises like the swirling aroma
a hot porcelain-chipped mug of coffee
chickadees swiping one seed
breaking the shell for a solitary reward

across the Atlantic
in a restaurant
a girl
with creme-like porcelain skin
coffee eyed
and no reflection

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