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Diary
By ad hoc (Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 10:17:42 AM EST) partay, cycling, film, puppy (all tags)
Photos!


Saturday was the neighborhood association fundraiser thingy. It was an okay time. I really have so little in common with those people that it's hard to have much meaningful conversation. That said, most of them are nice people. Mostly. They are pretty generous with their money, too, and my summer bike ride came up a lot (like I said, there are very few topics we can talk about), and most of them pledged to support me again, so that's good. There's one woman there, though, who... I don't know. Maybe she has to give a dig to everyone, or maybe it's just me. I think it's everyone, frankly. She was in a book group I was in for a while, and when it was my turn to pick a book, i chose Maus by Art Speigelman. I picked is specifically because it was a graphic novel adn I was getting pretty tired of the Oprah type stuff they'd all been picking. And since it had won the Pulitzer, they couldn't dismiss it as a fluff cartoon. As it turned out, they really liked it. Except this woman who absolutely hated it because the Jews were depicted as mice, and mice were vermin. That's as far as she was willing to consider the book. So anyway, we were chatting about the cycling, and she said "if you do all this cycling, why aren't you thin?"

...


My cousin stopped by on Saturday on his way back home to Vermont from Rhode Island where he had just picked up his brand new puppy. Eight week old German Shorthair Pointer. It was a traumatic day for the poor thing. Pulled from thi litter, hours in a car, walking on the brick sidewalk, the hours more to VT. My dog wasn't happy. He was actually panting, which is something he only does when he's quite upset. Puppy getting all the attention! Imagine!


Dial M for Murder

[Netflix] [IMDb]

Husband Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) discovers his wife Margot (Grace Kelly) is cheating on him with murder mystery novelist Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings) and decides to do her in. He coerces the help of a an old school acquantance (Anthony Dawson) he hasn't seen in 20 years who bungles the job and ends up dead by his wife's hand. So rather than actually having his wife killed, the husband decides to let her go down for murder. One day from execution, the murder by proxie plot unravels.

Outstanding in every way. True Hitchcock magic. The story, taken from a popular stage play of the same name, is recreated faithfully in the film, rarely leaving the couple's living room. The tension is palpable. His perfectly plotted murder scenario is knocked off the rails time after time, yet he manages to get it back on track each time. He counts on her listening to a particular radio program, but this one time she doesn't want to listen to it. He counts on her staying home but this one time she wants to go out. He plans on calling her at 11:00 sharp, but this one time his watch stops. He tries to phone home but the phone booth is engaged. Great stuff.

The special features said this was made as a 3-D movie, and once you know that, you can see it. Again, to Hitchcock's credit, it looks as if the 3-D was done fantastically well. Rather than the kitschy gimmicks from creature feature movies, his way of doing it made it integral to the movie and didn't pull you out of the story. As I say, it was only noticeable once it was pointed out. (The only other movie I've seen that did 3-D this well was Inferno . It would be nice to be able to see these in 3-D again. I wonder why they're not available on DVD? If they can have widescreen and cropped, surely they can add 3-D.


Took a short ride on Sunday, only about 15 miles. Cold and windy, but sunny. I'm ready for Spring.

< I take it back | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Weekend | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
and kitties are so snuggly by 256 (4.00 / 4) #1 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 10:23:41 AM EST
just like nazis
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I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
say wha ? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 2) #2 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 10:27:52 AM EST
I'd think it's odd that you say the problem is all your neighbors, who seem to be able to get along socially, with or without your presence. Odd to blame them, eh ? Maybe your condescension towards the book club's "oprah" selections shined through ?

I'm not getting you by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:20:55 AM EST
Blame them for what?

I don't have a problem getting along with the neighbors. I don't have much in common with them, but we get along fine.

There's one woman who takes a dig at me every time we interact. But I think she takes a dig at everyone she interacts with, not just me. I think it's in her nature. The book illustration (so to speak) was to show the kinds of things she fixates on. I mean, if you've read Maus, would you fixate on the fact that the Jews were portrayed as mice to the exclusion of everything else in the book? And I don't think I'm being "condescending" towards the Oprah type books, I'm just getting tired of it. It's the same thing every month. I mean, just how many "introspective journey of self discovery" can you take? So I picked something as different as I could think of. I'd have picked a James Bond book if I thought I could get away with it. But as this was a Pulitzer winner, they couldn't object too strongly.
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Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?

[ Parent ]
Do you need by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:44:28 AM EST
a lot of things in common to chat with/hang out/spend time with others ?

I've got varied neighbors, and don't feel like I can't talk to 'em. Hell talk about the weather, if nothing else. Sure, it isn't "deep", but you've got go grow over time (and give a little) to get there.

What's the Feynman joke about the Nobel prize party he went to ? It's because someone knows something about quantum physics that a group could talk about it. (Butchering it, but the idea is, don't feel alienated because ya'll don't share stuff, share what you know/are and go from there).

[ Parent ]
No, not particularly by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #15 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 12:02:21 PM EST
That's why I said it was a pretty okay time.

Sorry, don't know the joke, though.

There was one (other) woman there that I talked with quite a bit. She belongs to the mailing list I run for the neighborhood, so there was a common experience we had that we could talk about. I hadn't met her in person before, so that was good.

I mean, don't get me wrong, they're all nice people. But it doesn't go much beyond things like "I though you were selling your house." "I was but it didn't sell." "So you sticking around here?" "Yes, I suppose so." (DS al coda)
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Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?

[ Parent ]
Yep, Damn fine movie by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 10:34:55 AM EST
Oh, and that's a right ugly dog.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

You're right about the movie. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:21:28 AM EST
You're wrong about the dog though.
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Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?
[ Parent ]
talk about missing the point by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:02:18 AM EST
You should next suggest "Huckleberry Finn" so she can get upset about the "N Word".
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Awww, puppy! by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 2) #5 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:10:00 AM EST

Since the inquisitive lady obviously reads, you should ask her why, if she does all that reading, she's still a clueless moron.

Also, give your dog an extra hug today. Or let him perch on your shoulder while you walk around. One or the other.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
He was attached at the hip all day Sunday by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:22:39 AM EST
Gotta make sure no upstart gets a foot paw hold, you know.
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Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?
[ Parent ]
Maus... by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:29:25 AM EST
was my (rather belated) introduction to the world of serious comics. It was, rather surprisingly, taught in one of my upper-level English classes in college. We did some analysis of the Jew=mouse representation, and the class decided that, y'know, what's really wrong with mice? Why do we consider them "vermin"? It's much the way Jews have been treated for thousands of years, and while mice tend to be moderately successful, when they get too successful, the cats (Nazis) move in.

It was typical undergrad English class bullshit, but I've always loved engaging in those sorts of conversations - it's pseudo-intellectual trolling, in a way. I would've loved engaging in a circular discussion with that woman that would've bored everyone around me to tears.  It's why I was a great college student and a mediocre grad student - eventually, one needs to move beyond the bullshit and actually say something meaningful and original. But not too original. Or too meaningful.
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damn it, lif eis actually really *far4 too good at tghe momnent, shboyukbnt;t whilen. --Dr Thrustgood

What I wanted out of it by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:52:24 AM EST
is to get them to realize there are different ways to present a compelling story. If you can focus (if only briefly) and examine the relationship between the guy and his father, which I find one of the best and most interesting parts of the book, then you can examine whether this medium conveys that relationship well. Then you can broaden it to include movies, plays, songs, chants, poems, kabuki, hula, ballet, interpretive dance, shadow puppets, or whatever. Each has its own characteristic way of presenting a story. Some work better for some stories than others, but if the story is strong, it works.

I think it succeeded to an extent, and a couple of the people even went out and got Maus II.
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Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?

[ Parent ]
Personally, by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #16 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 12:03:12 PM EST
I think that particular format was the best way to present the story. The horror was intensified in a way that a more "realistic" portrayal couldn't have accomplished without being maudlin or preachy. Maus told an intensely personal story without ever allowing the audience to distance itself.

I recently bought Maus II, and I thought the relationship between Art and his father was even more poignant. I got all teary when his father died, and I was right there with him as he dealt with his grief and relief and guilt. Once again, I think the comic was the best way to tell the story.

My favorite aspect was the way some of the Jews tried to "pass" as Polish or whatever--wearing the mask of the other groups' animal. Passing is wearing a mask, and that representation made it a literal in addition to a psychological mask. Well done, I say.

</English major analytic crap>
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damn it, lif eis actually really *far4 too good at tghe momnent, shboyukbnt;t whilen. --Dr Thrustgood

[ Parent ]
Also by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #10 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:32:14 AM EST
Not to be smart, but given that you're limited in diet for health reasons, plus you ride like a madman on your bike, well, I'd expect that you would be fairly trim. So maybe she's a passive-aggressive type, but it's not a completely stupid question.

That said, when I was a youngster I used to be able to eat 500,000 calories a day and still weighed about 50 pounds. People used to mention my weight (or lack thereof) to me ALL THE TIME which after a while would just grate on me. I mean, I would never just go up to a fat person and ask them why they're so fat, yet nobody ever had a problem just blurting out the obvious to me about me being thin.

And yeah, society views fat as weak and sloppy while thin is in blah blah blah, but I can tell you as a young fragile man in the world being thin and wimpy was never really in as far as I was concerned.

Well, that's a tangent but I feel better for having got it off my chest. Now I have another meeting to attend.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

Perhaps by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:41:59 AM EST
and if it had come from a friend or someone I knew well, that's one thing. But I see her, at most, once a month and often have a hard time remembering her name. I'd venture she'd be hard pressed to remember mine unless she's one of those people that can remember names for years. But since I don't know her at all well, I don't know if she is or isn't.

And it's not that it's particularly upsetting, I just thought it was very, very weird. I mean, how do you reply to that? At a party. "Nice to see you too, I'm going to refill my glass now. Say hello to your husband."

I mean, after her (any my) who knows how many glasses of (pretty good) Spanish red wine, do you want to start debating the Thrifty Gene theory?
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Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?

[ Parent ]
Oh it's weird alright by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #18 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 01:09:05 PM EST
That is to say it's socially inept at the very least.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Maus by johnny (4.00 / 2) #14 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:57:52 AM EST
Is the most profound book I've ever read.  Excellent choice.

 I gave a copy of Maus, part one to my father.  Some time later I asked him if he had read part two.
"I'm trying to get my courage up," he said.  He's a "WWII-era" vet, by the way.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

BTW by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #17 Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 12:03:35 PM EST
This is the same group that I got to read your book.

Another bold choice! :>
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Would you rather battle Klingons or trolls?

[ Parent ]
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