Sunday, November 27, 2005

Where's Tim?

It might seem like I'm taking a long and lazy holiday weekend, but we've had a number of little household emergencies the past couple of days, in addition to me starting immediate work on editing the contents of VW #124 (even though it won't be out till February or March), all of which has conspired to keep me from blogging.

A number of our appliances have recently elected to give up the ghost or show signs thereof -- two living room lamps, the coffee maker, the washing machine, and last night, the vacuum cleaner. Our vacuum "up and died," as they say, last night, so we went out, grabbed a quick deli dinner at Izzy's (I recommend the Izzy's Mex sandwich -- corned beef, melted cheese, diced onion and jalapeƱo chips on rye toast), and went to Best Buy where we looked at washing machines and bought a fancy front-loader, along with one of these new Dyson contraptions. The washing machine will be delivered December 18, but the Dyson vacuum we brought home with us. The crazy thing works like a charm and sucked up a surprising amount of dirt from floors and rugs heretofore imagined clean. I took the occasion of the downstairs clean-up to change some of the framed objects on our living room wall, taking down a couple of Bava locandini and putting up some autographed album covers. The posters had been up for years, maybe four years, which is well beyond the time when one starts to see through them. The change was refreshing and gave me a new feeling of pride about my surroundings; maximum return for minimal effort. I really must try to remember what a healthful difference it makes to one's outlook simply to change the things on the walls now and then.

Donna and I have been watching the entire SIX FEET UNDER series again, for the first time on DVD with the audio commentaries. Some of the commentaries are quite good, certainly a cut above those on HBO's THE SOPRANOS sets. We finished Season Two and started Season Three last night, where the discs suddenly bloom into anamorphic widescreen -- a pleasing change. Before starting Season Three, we decided to watch AMERICAN BEAUTY for the first time in several years, and now that we have the SIX FEET UNDER experience behind us, it's certainly easy to see it was written by Alan Ball: the main protagonist is aware of his own impending death; the wife is uptight; the daughter is an alienated artist-type with a more "popular" best friend who at least pretends to be a teenage sexual predator; there's the pot smoker, the gay couple, the "uniform" character -- it's interesting in retrospect to find all the 6FU archetypes there, having their moments of campy effusion as well as their moments of epiphany about the beauty and brevity of life. I don't mean to sound critical or condescending; we loved the series (we habitually watched it twice each week in first run) and we liked the movie, so we're fond of Alan Ball and his characters. Annette Bening has a scene in AMERICAN BEAUTY with Peter Gallagher -- the scene where she's sloshed and confesses her admiration of him -- that has some of the most pitch-perfect acting I've ever seen.

Anecdote: Donna has been snacking of late on a Shur-Good product called "Cheese Flavored Crunchy," which features the additional word "Baked" in a starburst on the bag. I looked at her happily munching on this stuff and noted, reading the bag, "'Cheese Flavored Crunchy -- Baked'... That's weird; it's all adjectives and not a single noun. It's like they know what it's like, but not what it is..."

Worry: The Game Show Network has been showing something other than WHAT'S MY LINE? in the 3:30 a.m. slot the last couple of nights/mornings. I hope they haven't taken it off their schedule.

Promise: I watched Mick Garris's MASTERS OF HORROR episode "Chocolate" last night and will be posting something about it later today.

Or tomorrow.

Next, at any rate.

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