5 July 2012
Dad rebuked me for having to live in squalor, saying, "...and me turning one-hundred." I awoke - the dream was so shameful I could bear it no longer - and it occurred to me that next month, on August 22nd, is the one-hundredth anniversary of my father's birth. So... what am I supposed to do about it? Does this dream have a point or is it just me running my internal chronometer, as is my wont? I shall ponder the matter.
We watched Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) the other night, a domestic comedy starring David Niven and Doris Day. It was overlong and seemed to be unfocused. What's the main point of the comedy? My wife and I both remember the television show from 1965-1967; that was very much about the trials of a big family in a big house. The movie which inspired the comedy, however, seemed to at least partially be about a New York City drama critic who has a family living in a big house. Not an entirely convincing movie, and not very funny.
Also not so funny is a thoroughly odd Charles Chaplin film I'm now watching, The Great Dictator (1940). While some scenes are great - the celebrated ballet with the globe for instance (after the very Hitleresque dictator fantasizes about being the only dark-haired man in charge of a world filled with fine, blond Aryans) - most of the film is just plain odd. I'm not sure to what extent American audiences understood what was happening in Europe with the Jews, but to feature this in a comedy is either ill-advised or audacious, I'm not certain which.
There's one little gag I got a kick out of: When the stormtroopers march down the street they have a chant: "We're air-air-Aryans/We're air-air-Aryans..." And I also enjoyed hearing Chaplin emulate Hitler's oratorical style, ranting in pig German (snorting, using the word sauerkraut and making all sorts of unmusical sounds). But the rest of it - not so funny. My wife's assessment: "This is a weird film." But then, I was never a fan of Charlie Chaplin. I prefer Harold Lloyd.
For the past few years what we've attended the "Capitol Fourth" rehearsal show on the west lawn of the Capitol on the third, but this year we decided not to go. It was just too hot! Good thing: An advancing storm front canceled the activity and everyone had to leave, just like last year. And normally on the evening of the 4th we have a tailgate picnic in the Pentagon north parking lot and trot over to the banks of the Potomac to watch the fireworks, but we didn't do that, either. The heat was still too oppressive. (The weather service is calling for an incredible 102 degrees for Saturday; 106 degrees in Shirlington, where I work!)
On the morning of the fourth I attended a breakfast activity at church. People kept asking me where my wife was. "In bed," I told them. When the kids have all grown up and you're an empty nester, the rules change. A woman we know once observed that when you're a kid the point in life is to stay up and awake as long as possible, and when you become an adult - especially an older one - the point in life is to get as much sleep as you want. I have never heard a truer statement.
We went to a pool party yesterday and ate there. Way too many kids in the neighborhood pool - it was like swimming in liquefied suntan lotion. Yuck. I saw a Twinkie eating contest: disgusting, but fun to watch. Did you know they now stuff Twinkies with chocolate creme filling? I had one. They're not as good as the original.
We attended a little cul-de-sac evening fireworks party going on in my pard Chris Olsen's neighborhood. It was quite good - there were all sorts of fireworks. When it seemed that they had come to an end, a neighbor trotted out with pre-arranged fireworks with interconnected fuses, mounted on boards. They just kept coming: we all laughed. I think we may have had an encounter with the biggest pyromaniac in Springfield! My favorite type shot colored globules into the air; I've never seen one of those before. Hypnotic.
Gibson photos! The poor thing has baby acne. It'll clear; it's a result of the hormones in mother's milk.
I liked this cheery Nabisco display I saw in a grocery store.
- ▼ July (21)
- ► 2011 (249)
- ► 2010 (246)
- ► 2009 (256)