I’m holding a twenty-four hour movie marathon next month. It’s something I’ve had on the brain for a few years now, inspired by (it shames me to admit) the birthday party that Harry Knowles throws for himself every December. His event is called Butt-Numb-a-Thon. We’re going to go with Sore Asses and Explosions, which was a joke name at first but has since been justified by the final program. When this was first conceived, it was going to be a line-up of pretentious, artsy shit. I didn’t realize what a bad idea it was at the time, but luckily I came to my senses. Just last month, I was checking out the recap of BNAT 7 and it occurred to me that Knowles’s line up isn’t pretentious at all. It’s got weird stuff, -xploitation films of every kind, and things I’d never even touch at the video store, but it’s all fun. You’re awake and in a seat for twenty-four goddamn hours—it better be fun. I opened the voting to a few friends. And trust me when I say that I didn’t exclude you on purpose. I
The Searchers I’m still not liking Westerns. The only exceptions that come to mind are Unforgiven and the series Deadwood . Regardless, I’ll feel duty-bound to catch the best of the best as far as this crappy genre goes. They’re just so damn long and dull. I don’t get off on sunsets and dudes riding horses across the landscape. There’s just too much not-gunfighting between all the gunfighting, if you know what I’m saying. The titular searchers ( hot damn I love that word!) are looking for a band of Comanche that massacred members of their family. The two man revenge squad is led with moral-of-the-story intolerance by John Wayne, and assisted by his nephew, who is half-native himself. What promises to be a quick mission turns into a five year journey. These searchers: not so good with the searching. This movie showed up in Entertainment Weekly’s top 100 movies of all time a while back, and stuck with me as something to see ever since. Done now, so good on me. Moving on
McLeans are copycats; I mentioned this way back . We bought a dog because my uncle and aunt got a dog. We already lived on the same street, and my uncle and aunt were also Dad’s brother and Mom’s sister, but just to make things all the more familiar, we both got dogs from the same litter. Bandit was the runt, the last one not yet sold, and when we went to check him out he fell asleep in my brother’s arms. There was never really a question that we’d take him home. I honestly don’t know who came up with the name Bandit. I think ‘Gizmo’ was the only other real contender. If my brother and I had our way, he would have been either Axel or Slash. This is why you don’t let your kid name things. Case in point: Bandit’s brother, named by my cousins, was called Booger. I’m trying to think about the strongest memories I have of him, but I can only really think of his traits in general. He was loud for a little dog. Back when his sight was still good and he wasn’t totally deaf, it took him about
The Maltese Falcon I rediscovered Casablanca about five years ago. (Truth be told, I really only discovered it around then. My first attempt was when I was sixteen, where the pretense of ‘watching it’ with my then girlfriend devolved into a sloppy make-out session before Bogey even hit the screen.) So damn good, that movie. Brilliant dialogue, surprisingly topical for its time, and for a classic, incredibly watchable. After watching that, I walked away with the impression that Humphrey Bogart could do no wrong. But then I watched The Maltese Falcon . Bad, bad, bad, bad. Bad movie! I wanted to punch the cassette after it came out of the VCR. I wish I’d read the book because my anger would be better justified, but even with my limited familiarity with Dashiell Hammett I can still imagine how mortified the guy must have been over this movie. I’m not even going to recap the story other than to say that there is a bejeweled statue of a falcon, and people want it, and you don
Got a call from my parents saying that they had to put the family dog down. Bandit was seventeen, and he lived far longer than anyone would have imagined, so it could have been much worse. Still, if you've had a pet who died or if you have imagination of any kind, you know that it still sucks. I think what bothers me the most is that I wasn't there. Not because I wanted to see him one last time--he looked a little bit worse every time I came home. It's that I wish my parents hadn't had to deal with it alone. You have kids, the kids drive you nuts about buying them a dog, you give in, the kids leave home, the dog gets old, then you're the one who has to put it down. So it goes. I'll write more on Bandit this weekend. Happier stuff, I promise; the kind of stories you break out at a wake. But for now--for those of you who knew him--I just thought you should know.
By now, I think I’ve stressed how cripplingly lazy I am. I can also be remarkably anal. Very strange combination. I imagine I’m a hard person to judge, and I know I’m a hard person to live with, because you can’t be sure who I’ll be that day. If there’s nothing really pressing for me to do or if I’m just not feeling up to, you know, any kind of accomplishment whatsoever, then I’m sloth incarnate. But if I’ve got something I’m determined to do or—God help you—a list of things, then any tiny interruption makes me a miserable bastard. (Truly, there are innumerable things that make my grumpy. Just ask Sarah. For brevity’s sake, we’ll save the full list for another time.) I bring all this up only to say that today was a good day, in that, I had a list of tasks and I finished every task and then some. Got to the gym for the first time in three generations of McLeans, finished some stuff for work, picked up a wireless router, watched The Manchurian Candidate remake (more on that la
Until work calms the fuck down I’m eschewing epic entries in favour of these macro as-it-happens posts. This comes two days late, but congratulations to Jorge and Rebecca for their NaNoWriMo successes. Jorge finished his book about a week early and won himself a trip to sunny Cuba. He, Castro, and Elian Gonzalez are all tossing back Cuba Libres at the pool bar right about now, those bastards. Rebecca didn’t hit the 50,000 mark, but had her best year in three years (I think—correct me if I’m wrong on that one.) Rebecca also gets the Miss Congeniality award for always being positive and never once gnashing her teeth and cursing out the world. Nice job, folks.