It was Date Night for my bride and I last night. We had dinner at the Irish pub near where I work (bangers and mash - Irish sausages and mashed potatoes - I like bangers and mash) and then we took in a movie, The Artist (2011). We don't often go out to the movies because it's gotten rather expensive and something of a bother. It's far easier and cheaper to see movies at home, something the industry has been wrestling with since the 1950's.
Anyway, we liked this charming film. It wasn't epic or great - it was amusing, clever and entertaining. Leave it to the French! While everyone else is making grand IMAX 3-D productions with multi-channel sound, the French turn in a neat little movie with a stunningly retro theme in a black and white silent format with a nearly square aspect ratio! Mix A Star is Born with Singing in the Rain , a leading man who reminds one a lot of Gene Kelly and Douglas Fairbanks and stir in some je ne sais quoi and you get The Artist. Well done, recommended.
We saw this movie at the AMC Shirlington Theater. I asked somebody working there how old the place was, and he said, "Old." Not helpful. 1950's? 1970's? So while waiting for the film to start I did some quick investigation with my iPhone. I didn't find out how old the theater was, but I did learn that the place where I work, Shirlington Village, was one of the D.C. suburbs' very first major shopping destinations, begun in the 1940's. Modified through the years to suit changing retail tastes, the place is now built along "New Urbanist" lines.
I was unacquainted with the phrase. What's New Urbanist? A description is here, but, in short, think walkable, with traditional streets and gathering spaces. Definitely not an enclosed mall surrounded by a huge parking lot. Actually, New Urbanism is simply the stuff people were doing at the turn of the last century (the pre-automobile era), building with a sense of community. As with the film we saw, that which was passe is once again fashionable.
More evidence: It's official, Vinyl record sales were up 39% in 2011. I bought about six of them that year, but all at yard sales and library sales, however, so my contribution doesn't count. Could it really be that 33 1/3 rpm vinyl is making a comeback?
I finished my book about Volkswagen stories. Time to start on my own web page.
More Fawkes! I found the obit for J.W. Fawkes in the pages of the 29 June 1928 Los Angeles Times for this colorful early Burbank citizen. I don't know how I overlooked that before...
I learned of the death of a high school friend yesterday, Mike Acord. He died just over a year ago. We were in elementary school together as well as high school; he graduated in the class ahead of me. We used to play chess in study hall. I was a bit flattered by this because he was also a popular jock, but he was a well-rounded, intelligent jock. It lifted my spirits to know he was my friend. He was the kind of guy you wanted as a friend: stable, confident, personable, friendly, supportive and encouraging. The high school version of a man's man; I wanted to be more like him.
(Remembrance: The entire male population of our fifth grade class adored and worshipped Lori Marsalis; a girl of gentle demeanor and soft glances. Mike lived next door to her on Lamer Street, and we always considered him somehow favored because of this. We counted on him to impart special information about her - but none was ever forthcoming. The conclusion I drew later on in life was that the down-to-earth Mike and the fey and angelic Lori were not suited as a couple, and so they didn't communicate much.)
I am not at all surprised to learn that Mike had a happy 34 year marriage and that his wife misses him greatly. I haven't seen him since he graduated in 1973; I had always hoped that I would see him again at a reunion or something. Now I know I won't and it saddens me.
Well. The weekend arrives once again, as it does, by definition, each week. We have no plans. The Anglo-Saxon Horde at the National Geographic Museum looks promising, but that's open until March and therefore rewards procrastination. I got all my scrapbook archive DVDs produced and mailed off to the kids and friends, so that's done. Hmmm.
Have a great weekend!
- ▼ 2012 (240)
- ► 2011 (249)
- ► 2010 (246)
- ► 2009 (256)