Yard sales were great on Saturday! I spent $19 on various stuff - that's a lot for me - including a tall stack of music CDs and various books. One of the books was a neat coffee table book about skyscrapers ($2); I was admiring it one day a few years back at a COSTCO. I went to bed last night wondering where I had seen a movie with a dance sequence featuring women dressed as New York City skyscrapers doing a tap dance. One of those late Twenties/early Thirties "Broadway Melodies" musicals, perhaps? Anyway, I am now wishing to once again be on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, one of my favorite places.
I like skyscrapers, you see. My Mom and I visited New York City when I was twelve, and I loved the place. It was my first ride up the Empire State Building and I have never forgotten it - I was totally blown away by the view. Ever since, every few years or so, I get the same dream: I am atop a skyscraper, feet dangling over the edge, looking down. I always wake up with sweaty palms.
The yard sale CDs are a combination of rock and classical (mostly Heitor Villa-Lobos - I must have happened across a fan of his music). I bought a two CD set of Jimmy Buffett songs. I've always wondered about that guy... will I like his music or not? Am I a repressed Parrothead? I shall find out. I was on the hammock listening to a really fine CD of Sir William Walton choral works yesterday - that's the nice thing about finding yard sale classical CDs. When I'm at a store I ponder whose music to buy... at a yard sale I just buy what's available and discover some real gems.
From my desk calendar: Dilbert's pointy-haired boss decides to blog.
Burbank, California, has a block letter "B" overlooking it on the Verdugo Hills. For the upcoming 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the city next year, they gussied it up some. This is an improvement over how it looked for a few days in August, 2005 when it was vandalized! Can you imagine a city of over 100,000 inhabitants looking up into the hills and seeing that?
Here is a great little piece of amateur cinema, capturing history: VJ Day in Waikiki. Look how good the Kodachrome looks!
Spain's Giant Baby. The "passion" China has for children? EXCUSE ME? The Red Chinese (and yes, I mean to use that olde tyme phrase) scorn humanity as infants and as adults. What impossible nonsense!
I saw some good films noir recently:
The "Phenix City Story" (1955): A hard-hitting, gritty film noir about a local good old boy mob in a small Southern town. From wikipedia: "The drama depicts the real-life 1954 assassination of Alabama attorney general Albert Patterson in Phenix City, Alabama, a city controlled by organized crime, and the subsequent imposition of martial law." Martial law! Imagine that. Anyway, good film.
The Brothers Rico (1957): A proto-Goombah Flick starring the smoothest gangster in classic period noir, Richard Conte. (He of the oddball tombstone.) I always enjoy a good Conte flick - he's just fun to watch. In this one the Mob executes two of his brothers - it's just business - and he gets even.
The Lawless (1950): Surprising in that I've never heard of this film and yet the subject matter - race relations between whites and Mexican-Americans in California - is still very topical. A good unknown, in other words. It starts out slowly and builds to a great climax featuring themes of yellow journalism on the part of the local media. I'm not sure this one really qualifies to be a film noir, but it is a nice companion piece to The Sound of Fury (1950), another film about yellow journalism that is a noir.
My wife and I also watched "Dreamgirls" (2006) last night. While I acknowledge that it was a good film with many fine performances, it didn't really do much for me. Not my kind of flick...
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