Monday, November 29, 2010

movie trailer monday

The Straight Story(1999)
A beautiful film by David Lynch
A true story

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

dead last

Hold it up closer to the light. You can see the Maggie, the engraver got that right, but turn it to the dark side. That's what I always called it - the dark side. He got my name wrong. P-H-L-E. That's why I keep the sonovabitch up here in the attic. Your grandmother teased me all the time with that. Spelling it on birthday cakes; calling me 'Philly.' That was a long time ago. And a long ways from up here.

1928, yep, hell of a year. A gold cup for coming in dead last. That shows you how carefree life was in the days before The Crash. Easy money floating down off trees. A cop on the corner would gladly give you an escort to a speakeasy, tapping out the secret code on a hidden door with his nightstick. Saw a guy one evening behind the door looked like Al Capone. Phissssh, gone like that when we walked in. But cops, they'd walk out into an intersection during a rainstorm, halting little beady-eyed Fords you could stop if you braced yourself just right, giving you the right-of-way to get where booze flowed like old faithful. Whiskey from Heaven.

Geez, a cup for coming in last for a stupid dance. Engraved right there on the spot by a guy who did it for a living. Carried a miniature kit of precision tools inside his heavy overcoat. Probably kept a surgical knife in there too in case Capone wanted to collect pinky fingers from non-paying clients. Yeah, I'd say he downed a few too many to misspell my name like that. Geez.

Yes, that's your grandmother, it's delicate and it should be framed. Funny hat, blueberries, so lifelike it confused magpies. They'll eat anything, you know. Like looking in a mirror ain't it sweety? Ah, yes, she kept her hair short too. She was suppose to die last. Sure, sure, you can have the sonovabitch cup, honey. No, I'm not crying.

Monday, November 22, 2010

movie trailer monday

Possibly my favorite Thanksgiving Day movie.
I sure do miss Candy though.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

time standing still

Some say a broken clock is right twice a day. I say there is a certain comfort in time standing still.

A motionless clock is the great equalizer:

A banker's pristine gold watch, worn only for countdown to long lunches and impenetrable steel door closing times, is expensively silent, close to his ear. The phone rings: trouble at window #2 with a phony Ben Franklin. He curses quietly below the sound of his empty stomach.

The village idiot is enthralled by the broken clock hands shaped like a 'V' in the abandoned courthouse tower, his eyes profusely watering in the glare, the tower now a harbor for the newborn falcon; it is time for trash dumpster food out of the rucksack; the big clock says so he states proudly to a quick-walking passerby. The responsible parent of the newborn swoops down and claws the rucksack up and away from the bewildered crying man.

A bespectacled professor with ear hair long enough to snarl flies, most likely for severe microscopic study, sneaks a quick look at his over-wound scratched dangling silver pocket watch, droning on and on before hushed log lumps full of mush, thinking, it must be a broken spring; did I just read this page of lecture notes twice? Pushing his glasses up his nose, he notices the lecture hall is empty. Class ended 47 minutes ago. He drops the lifeless timepiece to the tile and stops time for good under his heel.

Monday, November 15, 2010

wind in the tree tops

I was left behind at 11. Forsaken. At Summer band, we finished practice and waited for our rides in front of the brownstone school on a side of town that seemed a completely different city. One by one, my fellow band mates slammed trunks holding trumpets, trombones, french horns, while skinny girls in over-sized t-shirts held tiny clarinet and flute alligator cases with both hands, tight on their laps in front seats, waving goodbye to me sitting near the yellow curb at the sidewalk on my gray alto sax case. I waved back and fell over.

Soon they were gone and all was silent. Except, I was drawn by a marvelous sound of rushing water, and looking up saw the green waves against a clear blue sky. I did not panic at first. The Band leader, seeing his #2 chair sax player alone, drove around the block twice like a pedophile casing an elementary school. I assured him nervously that my ride was near, on the way. I waited and did not panic. At the forty-five minute mark I started to shiver as the water falls above grew louder.

Hauling my instrument case with sharp metal edges, I walked across the street, probably resembling a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman, and approached a creepy house that was a splitting image of The Munster's from Thursday nights on CBS, right before Gilligan's Island.
So, I imagined I was stranded on an island, since my sax case would not float anyway, water would just seep into the case and flood into the cushioned open ports of my saxophone, and I was gonna sink, goodbye cruel world.

A pretty blond answered the door, that's Marilyn check, no seven foot bumbling monster. She welcomed me like I was going to stay for dinner, I said no thanks, can I use your phone please? My brother answered the phone and said Mom forgot me and was on her way. He asked me where I was phoning from, and I said The Munsters automatically, softly, so the pretty blond would not hear. There was complete silence on the line and then I heard a click.

She bought me the best fountain Coke an 11 year-old ever had on the way home. The biggest cup, sweetest blackest fuzzing kick in the cloudiest ice. All the way home she said she was sorry, having so much on her mind, so much to do. I had my first adult thought then. I kept thinking this is the last person on Earth that needs to be apologizing to me.

movie trailer monday

The Remains Of The Day(1993)
Sir Anthony, Emma. Just beautiful.
From a great novel, by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lodge meeting itinerary

As always, meeting will commence the first Tuesday of the month, 7:30PM, out on Route 47, Bellefontaine, under the low ceiling of the dear old rustic fire station basement, during which this years beloved recipient, (your name), will be presented..
The Sons Of The Golden Mystic Magpie Medallion.

Write this schedule inside your left arm:
7:30-7:32 - invocation & singing of Mystic Hymn
7:33-7:34 - minutes read from previous meeting and placed into file cabinet upstairs
7:35-7:45 - first name introductions
7:46-9:01 - cocktails(limit 206)
9:02-9:37 - Supper
9:38-9:38:20 - presentation of Medallion
9:38:21-12:11 - Hail & Farewell cocktail salutations to dearly departed members since last meeting
12:12-1:15 - Film: Caring & Feeding Of Your Baby Magpie, narrated by Charlton Heston
1:16-3:17 - cocktails(no limit), sliding up station pole contest
3:18-5:14 - dancing, or indiscriminate shuffling(as usual)

As always, please bring a covered dish, folding chair, and a fork.

See you there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

movie trailer monday


McQueen. Coolest guy ever on screen.
Always wanted that car.
Always wanted Bisset.
And you can tell it's the 60's from that music, can't you? Great soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

chicken crossing up ahead

A vagabond's take on how a few of my favorite authors would tackle that inscrutable, unanswerable, question:
Why did the chicken cross the road?

Ernest Hemingway...
It was cold in our short time traveling Switzerland. We had a fine hotel with a well-stocked pub. We had the best coffee ever. The heaviest snow fell the night before and unexpectedly warmed quick in the morning breeding an avalanche catching the village by surprise. Some could not move fast enough out of its path. It was as though someone fired one true shot echoing forever. I had seen this once before during the war. A chicken in the road unable to move fast enough, the powerful avalanche tearing its head away exposing only muscle and black eyes, helplessly darting every direction...

Joseph Conrad...
It was not about the chicken. He kept telling me that over and over. There was no horror, no physical pain in its suddenness. Two men in heavy black coats pulled up around their thin white Sea necks waited on the other side of the street; the small bundle strapped to the two-legged clucking terrorist half way in the narrow street sparked like a coal fire breaking glass and bending walls three blocks away.
was about the chicken.

William Faulkner...
He knowed, but I didn't knowed. It was dusk when they crossed. He wanted me to cross.
"Cross with them, boy."
I saw him remove his belt slow, his pants not falling.
"I'll beat you now you N."
I run for the sheriff but when we get back they was across. They was blood everywhere.

Ivan Turgenev...
"Is there a village near?"
I had been walking some time with my gun and dog, the purple clouds hinting a storm would soon arrive.
"Yes, Philka Yardanya, ahead!"
Following the friendly gesture, we arrived in good time. The village with its autumnal cheerful church bells tolling, a welcome invitation to bed down out of the rain, peace only shaken by a wayward chicken, chased by my barking companion, assisted by a little laughing girl, Tatyana, with a stick, the fleeing chicken crossing back and forth on the pebbled main, defiant and free as most living in The Steppes will never know.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...
It was the following morning, a Sunday, as I recall. Holmes kindly offered the extra soft bed as we arrived at Baker Street the previous night ducking out of a torrential rain. Mrs. Hudson had hot soup ready for these cold bones, bless her sweet heart. Strange - Holmes did not eat.
But the shock, the truth, upon waking that fateful morning needs to be stated here for one and all.
There was the sliver of light, then the door burst open.
I sat bolt upright, startled, webs in my eyes and mouth.
'Holmes! What's wrong?'
'Bring your revolver!'
There I stood in my bedclothes, blue steel gun, Holmes hiding out of sight at the window, fearful.
'Watson! They are after me.' He could barely speak now, a hopeless wisp of his former voice, gesturing for me to come to the window.
I looked sleepy-eyed down into the morning mist. It was quiet, except a poultry wagon, with the insignia,
Moriarty's Fine Poultry and Vegetables, had lost a wheel and had spilled its contents into the street. A happy, patient dog, tail wagging, was devouring a free breakfast. My friend looked deathly pale as I turned to him.
'Those chickens, Watson. Running across the street over and over and over again. They are after me!'
'Calm yourself, Holmes,' I pleaded kindly. 'There are no chickens. Sit over here, old fellow.'
Then it dawned on me. As Holmes was hunched over, shivering, I walked over to the desk. Yes, it was there. The dreaded empty syringe.
'Oh, my dear Holmes.'

Monday, November 1, 2010

movie trailer monday

The Natural(1984)
Great soundtrack by Randy Newman.
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