Thursday, May 29, 2008

Polling Iceland

"Click for a larger image."

A long, long time ago, if you image-Googled "Iceland", you were directed to this blog site as your first choice. A strange and welcome choice for me as it introduced folks wanting more "Iceland" to come for a (usually short) visit here. From time to time, as a public service, I image-Google "Iceland" to see what picture of that lovely country comes in as #1.
Today it turns out this pic is #1 (Tip of the Hat to Elementaryteacher) while this one, a previous all-time favorite comes in at #2 (Tip of the Hat to Layne Kennedy). The picture I have borrowed for this post, #7 at this time, has a good chance of advancing. No caption was provided, so I'll assume this is "Opera, the Icelandic Way". (Tip of the Hat to I think I do see a person bobbing in the water that doesn't realize there is not a primary in Iceland.


Not Asleep

A wonderful little short story, Awake, by Jenny Allen, from this week's New Yorker. Quick! Quick! Unless you're a subscriber, the link will most probably vanish shortly.

Favorite passage. ""Cleave" is a funny word, because it means to sunder, and, strangely, it also means to stick to. "Ouster" is a funny word. "Ouster" means the act of getting rid of someone, but it also means the person who does the getting rid of. Who should be the ousterer. "Timorous" means timid, but why not just say "timid"?

Timmy was the name of the boy in "Lassie", the television show. The theme music for the show was melancholy, shockingly so. It made you yearn, it made you homesick, even as you watched it in your own home.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Get Out Your Handkerchieves!" Or...

..."Mommy, why is that man wearing sunglasses at night?"

Not sure how this happened, but the last three movies I've seen with the ever-loving wife have resulted in the jerking of tears at least once, during each movie. All, in spite of their causation of tear duct leakage, are highly recommended.

The Visitor - Remember Paul Reiser's conundrum with the word "Nuance"? Well, this movie has nuance in spades. A glacier (if there are still any left way up North that I can tie this metaphor to) of a movie with excellent acting, a simple story, a terribly real portrayal of our country post 9/11, and hope in limited supply. I give it a 1/2 box of Kleenex and 3 Wellbutrins for a safe return to reality.

"Then She Found Me" -In her directorial debut, Helen Hunt comes up big. A small story, heavy on family guilt, biological injustice, the begatting (or not) of kids, and the inept sadness of being a guy, the movie stars Hunt (who continues to seperate herself from her Reiser-partnered TV comedy, "Mad About You"), that eternal hair arrangement challenged woman's heart melter, Colin Firth, Matthew Broderick in his continuous exploration of male weakness (What ever happened to the coolness of his eons ago Ferris Bueller?), and the ever-charming scene-stealer Bette Midler. There's a collection of short great scenes and Mr. Firth gets to blow off some steam before he returns to his pettable self. Bring along 1 box of Kleenex and 1 Wellbutrin for recovery.

"Young at Heart" - I was (fortunately) persuaded by the ever-loving wife to accompany her to see this gem. Shot in the shaky camera documentary style that these days is a slight step-up from YouTube, the movie is not simply a hand-held concert film. The British crew is quite successful in chumming the movie with various Senior Singers who are members of the group, Young at Heart. They are all like your elder relatives, only more interesting and definitely much funnier. Once you've bitten, though, the film reels you in and the tissues are fluttering like Scarlett O'Hara's eyelashes. As with the other 2 movies, a small story well-told (and well sung). I'd say 2 boxes of Kleenex and 1 Wellbutrin before exiting the theater.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Link Addition

A new addition to the Daily list is Mr. Jason Gurley over at Deeply Shallow. Got to his site via a search for reviews of one of my top five all-time movie favorites, Robert Benton's adaptation of Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool. A perfect book joined with an almost perfect film adaptation. Mr. Gurley does a fine job of critiquing the movie. Only part he left out was that Nobody's Fool was probably Bruce Willis' finest hour. Being a Jersey kind of guy, I always had a soft spot for Mr. Willis, the thinking man's Sylvester Stallone.

And Mr. Gurley's Site? Something's always happenin', no matter the mundanity of it all.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Shoe Tea

"Slovenes will make tea out of your shoes if you stand still long enough and then they’ll give it to you for the hangover you got from drinking their schnapps made from flowers."

What Rebecca West was to the pre-WWII Yugoslavia, Mr. Sgazzetti over @ Isoglossia is to the post-Yugoslavia split Slovenia. With quaint observational lines like the one above, how would you not be tempted to read on about the happenings in that beautiful country that is so often mixed up with Slovakia?

Hint! Slovenia has A seacoast (o.k. a very teeny slice of one).
Slovakia has NO seacost.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Sunday Tune-age

My shift is coming up this coming Sunday, a week after Mother's Day, at WVUD, University of Delaware's student and community radio station. "Morning After" comes to from 9:00 am until Noon, EST at 91.3 on your highly limited FM dial and also on the internet.

On tap are selections from old reliables Mr. Bill Frisell, Mr. Greg Brown, Mr. Stanton Moore, and Ms. Kathleen Edwards. Also on plan are Nicholas Payton, Jonah Jones, Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Will Bernard, and a touch of Los Campesinos. Other folks from the jazz, blues, and r&r oeuvres will be tucked in as I plan out the show on Saturday.

Saturday night plans to be another great evening with my daughter as we scoot up to Philly (sans police involvement) to catch Devotchka at the Fillmore-TLA on South Street in Philly.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The New Seven. An Alt Take

P.J O'Rourke has a point and he closes it with this fine gem, as a suggested addendum to the Seven Original Sins.

"#6 Opinion. It's the reverse of fact. Listen to NPR or AM Talk Radio if you don't believe me, or, better yet, read the opinion page of the New York Times. (I'm talking about you, Paul Krugman.) Some people have facts, these can be proven. Some people have theories, these can be disproven. But people with opinions are mindless and have their minds made up about it. The 11th Commandment is, "Thou shalt not blog.""


Friday, May 02, 2008

Wish I had a Tongue to Get Tied

From the Globe & Mail, a most excellent of articles dealing with funerals and their attendance. A favorite passage,

"Anyway, enough said on the topic of "You should have gone."

Since you didn't, I would say your best bet now is to send your sister a note of both condolence and apology - a note expressing your sincerest "condologies" (memo to Hallmark, you should have this type of card, it'd be a big seller: "I'm very, very sorry for your loss - and also my behaviour during your time of grief.") Be humble, don't try to justify. Say you're an idiot and really, really sorry.

Don't know about you, but I am an utter idiot when it comes to funerals/wakes/viewings, if I have the moral strength to come to them. Aside from saying the wrong thing, not saying anything, forgetting people's names (including my own at one occasion), not knowing when to move on in the line, shaking the hands of the grieving family too enthusiastically, and, last and certainly not the least, blubbering at every one of these events as if a closest family member of mine has gone on. You would think that with age would come an acceptance of the inevitable note, You're Gonna Die. It is a less disturbing site for friends and acquaintances to not have me at funerals they are tangentally involved with.

I'll try my best to at lease send a card or bouquet of black roses.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Vase

""When things are good people seem to want to give you flowers. When things go bad - heads up! The vase is coming at you."-Martin Biron, Phlyers netminder and florist

Philly up 3-1 over the Habs of Montreal. Unbelievable. Each game basically the same. Phlyers go up 1-0. Then 2-0. Then Montreal ties it up. Two goals between a sip and a subsequent swallow of beer.

Uh-Oh. This is the game that they fold. Well, it was a good run. Next year, with this year's experience, they'll do much better. And Kovalev; this period he'll stop dancing with the puck and start making a serious commitment with the Phylers' net.

it doesn't happen. The Phlyers take a moment or two to mull over things and they close the deal. 4-2, last night and another demoralizing loss for Montreal, despite the best efforts of the NHL referees in the first period to assist their scoring efforts. The Phlyers have come to terms with the fact that they will be penalized needlessly and seem to have planned for playing a man short as part of their game plan.
You've got to empathize with the Habs. They play a beautiful game and yet...they're one game from elimination. The Clydesdales are galloomping past the Thoroughbreds.


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