Dragon McBeal

…will be the name of my first born.  Just kidding.

I’m currently watching Dragonslayer (1981).  I am doing so because first of all, Netflix instant movies now stream to your TV (instantly) via a Wii:  this is just fucking awesome.  Secondly, someone told me to watch it.  A while ago I was working on an exhibition which involved interviewing the artists and taping these interviews to be archived.

I interviewed Robert Banks, Jr., a filmmaker.  (You can see some of his work here: http://www.opensewer.com/banks/main.htm –I recommend Motion Picture Genocide.)  At the end of the interview (which was intelligent and serious and art-y, etc.) I simply could not resist asking (acknowledging he probably gets asked this a LOT) “What is your favorite movie??” Robert didn’t mind; he said he’d name his top five.  This turned into a list of ten or so, which I furiously scribbled on the back of my notes.  Dragonslayer was one of them.  And the Mad Max movies (which I have also since seen because of Robert: I LOVE THESE MOVIES.), The Hospital, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and more I can’t remember right now.  Don’t worry I still have the list.

Virgins: part of a well-balanced dragon diet.

My first observation about Dragonslayer is that Peter MacNichol cute-peaked too early.  I seriously didn’t even recognize him because when I think of Peter MacNichol I think of John Cage from Ally McBeal.  (Oh another one: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, also a too-early-cute-peaker.)

Before and After

I was a pretty die-hard Ally McBeal watcher, and I loved Cage and Nelle.  And of course Cage’s pet frogs.  And Ally.  My famously wonderful high school English teacher used to call me Ally McBeal because he thought that I looked like her.  That would be great if I did, but I must admit that he also thought a guy in our class looked like Ellen DeGeneres and referred to him as “Ellen.”  This made being called “McBeal” a lot less cool.

Kicking court room ass in a miniskirt since 1997.

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Oh, hi.

I haven’t been here in a while.  I have been, however, buying my first home and fixing it up and continuing to be the only employee running a small museum–how those are  for some good reasons?

Also, a true dilettante is way too flighty to blog super-consistently.  Right? Right.  I so own it.

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crafty

What up girlfraaan!

I’m very good at getting excited about a new project, devoting my attention to it for about 1 hour, and then forgetting about the project thereafter for months–sometimes indefinitely, actually.  Well a few MONTHS ago Russ spotted an old sewing machine in a cabinet by the dumpster behind our apartment and even though it had been rained on, I insisted we salvage the beast.  We brushed off some dirt and hauled it up to our (2nd floor) apartment.   I chipped a bit at the peeling veneer on Day 1, and then dragged it to the dining room where it has sat on newspaper ever since.  (Sometimes I wonder how many other cool things Russ has noticed but chosen NOT to tell me about, just so we don’t have to go through this again…)

Well the other day I got the notion to finally DO something with my cabinet.  So I got some proper tools and finished chipping off the veneer, and today I primed and painted it!  It’s here, drying next to me, a lovely muted blue-green.  I’m just tickled.  And the more I stare at it, I swear some part is just screaming to be decoupaged…but one step at a time.

I got a makeover!

ALSO, today on our way back from a late diner breakfast, we both sighted a luciously gaudy mirror by the side of the road in a garbage pile.  It’s cracked, put that’s easily fixed and then I plan to paint it a really fab color–like red, or bright white or something.  (I feel like I should note:  this mirror was not in, like, a garbage bag with banana peels and rancid bits draped all over it…someone was clearly moving or spring cleaning or whatever and ditched their busted mirror–so don’t judge me, I’m not some icko dumpster diver.)

Mirror, Mirror on the wall: I will spray paint you.

I feel wonderfully crafty today.  Martha would be so proud.  Now to really dazzle you, last night I picked up my Lithuanian mp3 lessons and dove back into my studying.  I’m so proactive!

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movies, please

I seriously love to watch movies.  I’m not a full-blown film buff or anything, but it truly is one of my favorite things to do.  I know when people list their “interests” movie-watching tends to get included, so it’s sounds cliche when I say it, but whatever.  (I also am one of those people who claims to like “every kind of music”–but I do dammit!  Maybe I’m not a huge metal fan, but I can still enjoy “Enter Sandman”–so there.)

Here are a couple summarizing examples of how my love of movies manifests itself: 1.) I can watch movies marathon-style.  They don’t even need to relate to one another; I can take an evening and watch three flicks back to back, easy.  2.)  I’m currently pursuing a goal to see all 100 films on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 American Films.  I’m slightly less than half way done.  I just watched Dr. Strangelove and have Sunset Boulevard, West Side Story, and Schindler’s List on deck (rewatching the latter two to refresh my memory).  3.) I am hyper-fascinated with Vincent Price and am in the process of watching all of his films.  And all those directed by Tim Burton.  And Kubrick.

So, right now I am getting really pumped for the Oscars.  Admittedly, I have really sucked at seeing the nominated films this year.  (An even worse admission: I **just saw** Slumdog Millionaire.)  I have only seen two of those up for Best Picture:  Inglourious Basterds and The Hurt Locker.  And still having only seen those two, I can confidently say that THE HURT LOCKER MUST WIN BEST PICTURE.  What an amazing, amazing film.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been so intensely involved in watching a movie.  I really could go on and on about it, but I’ve already done a lot of going on and on, so for now I’ll save it.

I’ve always wanted to host an “Oscars Party” where everyone comes over the watch the awards and must arrive dressed as a character from a nominated film.   Most importantly, such a party would give me to perfect opportunity to justify acquiring a Scarlett O’Hara get-up.  All that’s left is to decide if I want to be Green-and-White-Barbeque-Dress Scarlett, or Green-Velvet-Curtains Scarlett.  (Forget Red-Slutty-Dress Scarlett, I’ve always thought it looked anachronistic.)

Fiddle dee dee!

One day I’ll tell you about the time I met Careen from Gone with the Wind.

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the avengers

I’ve started watching old episodes of The Avengers on Netflix.  I began with the 1967 season (during the Emma Peel years) because I really like Diana Rigg–and she is ultra-cool as Mrs. Peel.  The show is cheesy, but it may just be that I’m watching television made over 40 years ago–I especially like the fight scenes; someone will come at Peel with a gun and she always quickly karate chops it out of their hand…

I so die for this coat.

The real reason I am loving watching is that the costumes and the sets are an aesthetic dream.  Steed’s suits and hats are always impeccable, and Peel gets to don way fabulous mod dresses and catsuits.  I love the scenes in Peel’s apartment, which is the epitome of mod and chic.  If I were a wacky eccentric millionaire, I would totally have a room in my house that looked just like Peel’s apartment.  I’d make everyone drink champagne, talk in witty one-liners, and sit in plastic pod chairs hanging from the ceiling.

Making a modern art sculpture in your living room in a purple jumpsuit? Fabulous.

After I get through some more of the Steed/Peel episodes, I want to go back and watch the first seasons, featuring Steed/Gale.  Cathy Gale is played by Honor Blackman, famous for her role as Pussy Galore, the Bond girl.  Eeee!

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poetry

Everyone needs a healthy dose of poetry now and then, right?  Though I read obsessively, I feel there is presently not enough poetry in the mix.  Okay, there isn’t any.  I’m fixing it.

I went to the library the other day and picked up The Portable Walt Whitman (I sort of feel like you have to read some Whitman if you’re trying to dabble in poetry–I take it he’s pretty much a superstar of poetic history.  Anyway, gotta love those Humanists.)  I also got Robert Lowell’s For the Union Dead (1956) because I was assigned to write about him in my sophomore-year English class.  I had a terrible time reading him back then; I’m hoping that simply by virtue of being 12 years older than I was at the time, reading Lowell now will be much easier, and therefore enjoyable.  I also happen to love Tortured Souls.  I think of Robert Lowell whenever I hear the phrase “chain-smoking.”

My third library selection is Willa Cather’s April Twilights (1903).  To be honest, I never knew Cather busied herself with poetry.  I love her novels–ohmygod if you haven’t read O, Pioneers! do so immediately, it is so juicy and wrenching and fantastic.  I’ve gotten a good start on April Twilights; I got very excited because when she says “The city, dreamlike, far away,–/ The island, stream and towers” she is talking about PARIS.

Willa Cather: saucy minx

I have two books of poetry here on the bookshelf that I bought some time ago and haven’t read, so I’ve pulled those out too: Charles Bukowski’s The People Look Like Flowers At Last (2007) and Sharon Olds’s The Unswept Room (2002).  I know both will be delicious.  I love Sharon Olds.  She’s so good at family drama.  Also, one of the poems in here is called “Diaphragm Aria.”  Yessssss.

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Nice ta meetcha.

I’m starting this little journey…

I’m excited to have my own place (albeit cyber) to talk about things that I like, things that I try, that I do, and see, and come across.  I cannot promise anything will be interesting–or important for that matter.

I’m all for The Unimportant!  Work is important, bills are important, getting an oil change is important.  Here is a place in which to flit from one mildly relevant fascination to the next, to be ::the happy dilettante:: that I am.  It’s nice to have you.

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