Friday, April 26, 2013


Happy Friday, angels.  Taking a break from posting my old zines, this is my end of week wrap up.  I have been doing this for years now and I know you always look forward to it.  Just kidding!  This is the first time I've ever done it, and I think I’m my only reader.  Anyway, here is my review of my week:

Reading Material:  

I discovered a site called, a free electronic library, and I have been working my way through Raymond Chandler's works since last week.  I love it when novels mention Los Angeles, and I have been planning to like Raymond Chandler for years, but when I read The Big Sleep last week, I was disappointed because the writing was a little dopier than I'd imagined, though I knew that in film noir spoofs (shout out to Neil Simon's "The Cheap Detective," a 1978 spoof starring Peter Falk as a type of Philip Marlowe character) a typical line is something dopey, like "She had legs that wouldn't quit even if you wanted them to" or something, I was surprised when The Big Sleep was actually sort of like that.  Also, from the films that I liked that were based on his books, I expected some level of sensitivity from tough guy protagonist and first person narrator Philip Marlowe, and The Big Sleep isn't the book for that, really.  It has a homosexual antagonist and is very anti-gay, and otherwise simplistic, besides a last line I liked.  Marlowe is an anti-hero, but he lacked the oomph, the extreme cruel streak and empathy needed for a good anti-hero  Then I looked at his bibliography and discovered that this was his first novel (1939), so I wanted to give him a second chance, and I am glad that I did, because my next Philip Marlowe Adventure, Farewell, My Lovely (1940), had a better mystery plot but also a sweeter version of Marlowe – he has a sense of loyalty to this big dumb killer galoot who kills accidentally (he doesn't know his own strength), and in the name of puppy love – Marlowe is sort of a hopeless romantic in this one.  The next Chandler novel I read was my favorite so far, The Long Goodbye, written in 1953-54.  I am really familiar with the 1973 neo-noir film version of this novel, so I thought I would already know the plot as I read, but it turned out I still got to be surprised by twists and turns in the mystery, as the film is a lot different.  Maybe more important than plot to me is a book's style and language, and these I loved in The Big Sleep.  His writing about alcoholism in this is, if not necessarily accurate by every alcoholic's standards, nonetheless eloquent and authentic-feeling, and I don't often miss my youthful nights of bar hanging-outtery, but the way he describes drinking in a bar here makes me miss them:

 The last time we had a drink in a bar was in May and it was earlier than usual, just after four o'clock. He looked tired and thinner but he looked around with a slow smile of pleasure.

   "I like bars just after they open for the evening. When the air inside is still cool and clean and everything is shiny and the barkeep is giving himself that last look in the mirror to see if his tie is straight and his hair is smooth. I like the neat bottles on the bar back and the lovely shining glasses and the anticipation. I like to watch the man mix the first one of the evening and put it down on a crisp mat and put the little folded napkin beside it. I like to taste it slowly. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar-that's wonderful," I agreed with him.

A dear friend and my former high school English teacher recently gave me a biography on Chandler, in fact it was before I even read him, and I haven't read the bio yet but I am guessing that when I do, I'll find out that Chandler was an alcoholic, because he so painstakingly and beautifully explains the allure of the self-destruction involved in addiction.  Two of this novel's main characters are alcoholics, and both of them have this weird mixture of self-hatred and egotism that I haven't often read so well-described. 

Now I am reading The Little Sister (1949), and so far I am not incredibly engaged in it, but sometimes when I am out and about in 2013 and not safe at home in timelessness and love, reading anything that transports me to someone else's present tense is better than nothing.
the big sleep

That brings me to the next part of my Friday round-up, this past week's …

Viewing Material:

But I've actually been too busy with the social fabric to bother much with Viewing Material this week, so instead I will tell you a little anecdote.  I used to almost never shop for fun, and I still don't really shop as a social activity, because I have to concentrate when I'm shopping.  So since it is easy to concentrate when I'm shopping online, and I have had to cut out too many other compulsive activities, sometimes I have compulsive shopping sprees that I only don't feel too dumb about because they are very infrequent and always come to, like, under $70, so while it's often like "what the fuck was I thinking?" when I get my purchases in the mail the following week, and I've been ashamed enough to hide what I've bought in my trunk for a week or two before introducing it into the household, at least I'm not really doing any harm.  Anyway, this past Monday I just remembered that I was supposed to get a package from Target and that I'd previously spent like 2 hours looking at 144 pages of DVD's for sale under $10 each.  Shall I tell you what was in the package I finally received?  These DVD's (with my problem w/ each of these films noted in red):

Harold and Maude  One of my favorite movies as a teenager but too fucking depressing to ever watch again as long as I live.

Igor  I like this goth-y animated film very much, and lately I've liked having a few kid's movies on hand to mesmerize my baby with in the early morning when I have to get ready for work and daycare.  The thing is, this movie is only okay, and I am only truly interested in things that are wonderful or horrible, I don't like things to be only okay, and I think I just bought this because it was under $5, but still it makes me feel like I am just 30 "under $5 DVD's" away from being a hoarder.
harold and maude

Babar: The Classic Series   This is a cute old-fashioned animated series but should be watched on PBS midday when one is nursing a flu or horrible hangover, and not bought or owned.

Monsters vs. Aliens  see Igor

The Twilight Zone, Vol. 1  See Babar:  The Complete Series

Barton Fink  No regrets.  Totally happy I finally found this film on sale.

The Wind In the Willows  See Babar:  The Complete Series and The Twilight Zone, Vol 1.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run (double feature):  See Barton Fink

And last but not least this Friday round up,

Social Material:

I constantly dream of people I used to be close to in my past, and often write and think about them as well.  Living in the Facebook age is such a weird thing because instead of being like "I wonder what ever happened to my best friend from Kindergarten," I can usually answer this curiosity by finding them on Facebook, friending them, and then never talking or writing to them after reading their profile.  This seems sort of unnatural, like I've come unstuck in time like Billy Pilgrim.  Or else, maybe it just seems anti-climactic to be able to access information about someone from my past so easily.  But in some cases it has been so wonderful to get back in touch with old friends, and this has been particularly true with a dear friend of mine, Elizabeth.  I haven't seen her since I was 17, and she has been in town the past few weeks, for the Jabberjaw reunion and to visit with the Angelenos from her youth, from before she moved to various different cities and had various adventures.  It was so amazing seeing her again and getting to introduce her to my family and show her my house.  I love you Elizabeth!  

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