Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Powerfully Spiced Sausage Meat

Bill Boyle got me reading these stark novels of Osamu Dazai. I read two of them and neither one had an owl in it, as far as I could tell. But as you know, I also like books with gelatin in them, especially Jell-O. (See also.) But I'm not "blogging" anymore, so I can't just "blog" about any old thing anymore, especially seeing as how I don't "blog" anymore. But there was this interesting jelly sequence in this one Osamu Dazai novel: "Oh, I'm sorry. Have you made jelly? That's terrific. You shouldn't have bothered... it would be wicked not to eat your wonderful jelly... It tasted watery, and when I came to the piece of fruit at the bottom, it was not fruit after all, but a substance I could not identify... as I manipulated the peeling lacquer chopsticks to eat my jelly, I felt unbearably lonely." It really made wonder about the particular kind of jelly being discussed, but not enough to look anything up. And I couldn't just "blog" about that! But what if there were TWO books with gelatin in them? Suddenly we would have a theme going! Such a possibility did not even occur to me, frankly, but then there I was in Square Books all of a sudden, and hey! Do you know about this "Constant Reader" program they have? Well, it's not my job to explain it to you. But sometimes you get a free book. And I had this little slip of paper in my wallet entitling me to a free book. And that's when I saw what I didn't even know I needed, inconspicuous on a back table: the recently discovered novel by Walt Whitman. So I got it for free. And I meant to open it to the beginning but somehow it fell open to page 10, which catches Whitman mid-phrase: "preferable to some, is the powerfully spiced sausage meat, or the jelly-like head-cheese." Now we're getting somewhere! PS: Prayer works! After composing the bulk of the above, but leaving a few gaps to fill on my return, I went off to visit my mom and dad for a few days. I took with me a biography of Howard Hughes that Megan and I are reading. In my few free moments, I read some of it, which is how I came upon "Charles W. Perrelle, the able vice-president of production for the Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Company," who was, somehow, in the eyes of the authors, both a "boy wonder" and an "owlish-looking man." PPS! Not to put a cherry on top, but when I came home I watched the most recent episode of Pete Holmes's show CRASHING, which I had set to record in my absence for just that purpose. The song over the closing credits was "Sometimes I'm Happy," as performed by Jerry Lewis. Life seems to be at its peak.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Last night I watched UN FLIC on Ace Atkins's back porch - just look, there I am standing in front of the projector afterward - and I had a pretty good tweet about UN FLIC that I tweeted when I got home but then I realized that nobody wants to read tweets about UN FLIC, so I deleted my great tweet about UN FLIC, and that's when I realized I'd better "blog" about UN FLIC even though I don't "blog" anymore. That's what the "blog" is, I realized: a big old city dump. You don't want to drive out there to the city dump but sometimes there's some unwieldy thing you have to get rid of. So I was supposed to bring something "French" to Ace's, so I found this mushroom recipe in an old French cookbook, and I used about half a bottle of good white wine in these damn mushrooms - pardon my "French" - ha ha! And then they turn out to be these... mushrooms. Just some mushrooms lying there. Just some cold mushrooms lying wearily on a plate. "Serve very cold," the old French cookbook advised. It didn't help. They were just like... mushrooms. You eat one and you're like, "Yep, that's a mushroom." You know, maybe I was too timid with the coriander! "They can't possibly require THIS MUCH coriander!" I yelled. "These old French people were CRAZY!" Well, who's laughing now? The old dead French people, that's who. The only good thing about them (the mushrooms, not the old dead French people) was Dr. Theresa's suggestion that I bring along Bob Hope's cocktail forks for people to spear and eat them with. I also brought Bob Hope's very own personal (former) glass toothpick holder to hold them in! The cocktail forks, I mean. One of my greatest joys of the evening was seeing Bill Boyle's little girl absolutely murdering a strawberry with one of Bob Hope's cocktail forks. (In case some of you don't know why I have Bob Hope's cocktail forks, I bought them at an auction.) Well, anyway,
I didn't understand UN FLIC. Like, Richard Crenna spent a lot of time combing his hair! Like, I think I got up to pee and came back and Richard Crenna was still combing his hair. That's what my great deleted tweet was about. I can't remember the exact wording of my great deleted tweet, but it was something like, "Critics the world over agree that UN FLIC is the film in which Richard Crenna spends the most time combing his hair." So you can see why I deleted it. It's too specific for the high-pressure world of the on-the-go twitter user of today! This "blogger" I found ("click" here) has a more positive spin on that scene (pictured), which I will now quote: "Once we're inside the train, Melville's sure touch returns... The scene goes on for several minutes, during which we see Crenna carefully adjust his coiffure not once but twice... the meticulous preparations are mesmerizing." The fact that I was just all, "Boy, he is sure is combing his hair a lot!" is my own problem. As Bill Boyle pointed out, the long shot of the adorable little helicopter flying over the tiny train made UN FLIC look briefly like a Wes Anderson movie.