jwgh: (content)
On Friday I left work early, at noon, to go to a dentist's appointment -- I went to the dentist for the first time in many years last month and learned that I had a small cavity. So after a little cleaning I got the cavity filled. This all went fine.

After that, I headed to Fabric Place in Warwick and got some 39-inch #8 circular needles to replace the busted 24-inch ones I broke on Thursday. While I was there, I stopped by the Barnes & Noble and picked up the latest Harry Potter book on tape.

Then I met [livejournal.com profile] chaos_are_me and [livejournal.com profile] fire_truck_yeah for dinner at Rasoi, a fairly new Indian restaurant on Hope Street. I had the chicken chittinad, which was very spicy and excellent. After that, we went over to [livejournal.com profile] plant_geek's house and we all headed to the Rustic Drive-In in North Smithfield for the 8:30 showing of the Simpsons.

pictures )

The Simpsons movie was good -- I agree with other people who have commented that it was more like a long TV show than a movie as such, but it was a very good long TV show, and I had a really good time.

Then it was home and to bed.

Yesterday I slept pretty late and puttered around the house for a bit before packing a sack lunch (almond butter sandwich, peach, almonds, bottle of water) and walking from Wayland Square to Prospect Park, which is a nice little walk. Then I walked back, went home, took a bath, had some dinner, and headed over to the Mediator to see the Providence Wholebellies play. The Wholebellies is a large, amorphous music group centered around Chris Turner and his wife Rachel Maloney (who respectively play harmonica and fiddle, though both also occasionally play other instruments) and featuring a somewhat random group of 5-15 musicians. They play without amplification and there's always a lot of dancing, singing along, and so on. (At this particular show there was another, less common, feature; there were some kids up on the balcony and they started throwing a rubber chicken down into the crowd below.)

Enough people asked me why I didn't bring my accordion that at the first intermission, at 9 pm, I drove home (the Mediator's maybe a 3-5 minute drive away from my apartment) and got it and played for the second set, which went from around 9:15 to 10:30. Partway through the set a friend of Chris and Rachel's from North Carolina (where they used to live) showed up with another accordion; between his and my keyboard accordions, and Wholebellies regular Phil Edmunds's button accordion, there was a lot of accordion-playing going on. Then, for the last song, Rachel switched from fiddle to button accordion.

I had a really good time. Here are a couple of pictures of people doing the Circle Dance:

circle dance )

Then I went home and went to bed.

Today I think I'll pack another sack lunch and head to Wickenden Street. I'll put up posters for Thursday's show at Nick-a-Nees, then have some lunch, then maybe head to Thayer Street for more postering ... maybe I'll bring my guitar and do a little street playing while I'm at it. We'll see how it goes!
jwgh: (interroscarf)
[Poll #925685]

Defend your position in the comments!

(Tik-Tok's a robot, obviously. But what happens if he's sprinkled with the Powder of Life?)

Important Breaking News: Project Gutenberg has 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' available for free onliine, which allowed me to find this possibly relevant excerpt:
"Oh, I see," said the Tin Woodman. "But, after all, brains are not the best things in the world."
"Have you any?" inquired the Scarecrow.
"No, my head is quite empty," answered the Woodman. "But once I had brains, and a heart also; so, having tried them both, I should much rather have a heart."


May. 11th, 2006 02:34 pm
jwgh: (Default)
On these little business trips I tend to descend into complete exhaustion after three days or so. That appears to have hit. Fortunately, tonight I go home! (Unless my flight is cancelled.)

Feet are doing pretty well.

On [livejournal.com profile] vardissakheli's recommendation, I went to Silver Spring last night to check out the 48 Hour Film Project, which was quite fun! Many of the movies were surprisingly good.

I am going to call a customer shortly, which I am not entirely looking forward to, but I am sure it will be fine, really. Posting to my livejournal allows me to postpone this task a few more minutes.

I'm going to see if the bookstore at the airport has this book. (The one at Union Station didn't seem to.)

There is a carton of Berries & Cream Dr. Pepper in the employee lounge. I could get used to that.

Dr. Pepper Berries & Cream
jwgh: (Default)
I ended up going to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I enjoyed it; an odd thing I noticed about my reaction to it is that the one thing that consistently made me laugh was the doors. Did other people react similarly or am I just a freak?

Got a show tomorrow (that is Saturday the 21st) in East Greenwich at Main Street Music (165 Main Street). We'll play for an hour starting at 11 am, then (theoretically) starting at noon we'll be leading a jam. It will all be acoustic (there will be no soundboard at all), so it will be interesting to see how it goes. It will also be the first time I've lugged my piano down the stairs from my apartment (and back up again after the show), which should be something.

One of the folks in the dance band (Ed the percussionist) is going to become a father pretty soon, so I've been thinking about baby-related knitting projects ... I'm well on my way to finishing a teddy bear (I expect I'll finish it, or mostly finish it, this weekend) and I think maybe a baby blanket will be next. ([livejournal.com profile] kerri9494 provided some advice on what might be most useful, and I'm also going to consult my sister and her husband.) We'll see how it goes.

I should go to bed so I can be (relatively) fresh for tomorrow's show, but I think I'll stay up fifteen more minutes for On The Media to complete. I should make a point to have some sort of breakfast in the morning so I won't be playing on an empty stomach.

Maybe I'll do some post-gig walking around in East Greenwich since I'm not down there too often ...

For once there's no band practice on Sunday, so I will have the day to myself. Some of this will be spent maintaining web sites, but I also hope to do some music stuff, such as working on a recording of some lyrics recently written by [livejournal.com profile] plorkwort. (Practice has been moved to Monday this week.)
jwgh: (Default)
Last night, Tom Kraemer, Kibo, and [livejournal.com profile] muffyjo came by to watch movies. I had a good time, and I think everyone else did too!

The whole thing was a bit silly in that the movie night was originally intended to celebrate [livejournal.com profile] plorkwort's visiting of Boston and was held in Providence to make it more convenient for [livejournal.com profile] kerri9494 to attend. However, in the event, [livejournal.com profile] plorkwort was sick and couldn't make it and [livejournal.com profile] kerri9494 had previous plans. They were missed. ([livejournal.com profile] sanspoof and her husband were also going to come but had to bow out at the last minute, which was also too bad.)

I made rice and orange chicken for dinner. It came out quite well, if perhaps a bit spicy. While I was cooking dinner the others watched a couple of short films: George Lucas in Love and Ramen Baka Ichidai.

After that we watched Shaun of the Dead, which I had not seen previously. Tom brought it and I have to say it was pretty great.

Then it was time to watch a Kibo-provided movie. He had brought probably about twenty movies. After consulting with [livejournal.com profile] muffyjo Kibo decided that Battlefield Baseball was the right choice, which turned out to be very true. It's the story of a high school baseball team that competes with another baseball team composed of rejects from The Road Warrior. It's completely over the top and all of the characters die at least once.

Next we watched an illegal copy of the new Doctor Who episode (anoter first-time viewing for me). Kibo was fairly critical of it. I liked it fine. I think the pacing would have been better if it were closer to a full-length Doctor Who series (a three to six parter in other words). Anyway, I look forward to eventually seeing more episodes.

Next up was good old The Incredibles. I had seen this in the theater.

At this point it was about one in the morning or so, so the general idea was that it was about to go, but Kibo wanted me to see a little of The Starlost, a Canadian teevee series which is considered by some to be the worst television science fiction show ever, despite the involvement of Ursula K. LeGuin and Harlan Ellison. (Ellison has written about his horrible experiences writing for the show. He hated it so much that he removed his name from the credits, so the show now claims to have been written by 'Cordwainer Bird'.) We only watched a few minutes, but it was enough to see some truly horrible visual effects and a strange interlude where a bunch of guys in gold spandex confront the main characters, only to suddenly start worshipping one of them when they learn she is a woman. That's probably about as much of this show as I need to see.

It was a good bunch of movies and good company. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] muffyjo and Kibo and Tom for coming, and regrets to [livejournal.com profile] plorkwort and [livejournal.com profile] kerri9494 and [livejournal.com profile] sanspoof that you couldn't make it; we'll have to do this again sometime when it is more convenient for all.
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Last night I watched the Jimmy Stewart movie 'Harvey', and it reminded me of this little story.

Back in 1997 I was still reading talk.bizarre, and after Jimmy Stewart died on July 2 there were a number of posts commemorating his death. One of the longer, funnier, and in the end (I thought) more touching posts was one by Mike Delong, which I reproduce here:
When I started grad school there was this guy a year ahead of me whose name I recall being Rick, and Rick had it all together -- smart, good looking, good grades, a couple of papers in the mill, a wife sufficient to be the envy of any lesser grad student, a bright future, the works. Rick's office was next to mine, and the conversations that went on in his office were always much more interesting than went on in mine, except, of course, when Rick was involved.

This was the first year of the Film Festival, and the 50th (or was it just the 45th?) anniversary of the release of It's A Wonderful Life, and the Festival had dropped a pretty chunk of change for a restored print of Wonderful Life, major renovations to a big, ancient theater downtown, and transportation and accommodations for Mr Stewart and his entourage.

Rick, against all odds, scored tickets for himself and his enviable wife for the only showing.

Just as the short reel, an overblown Capra bio, clattered to its dreary hyperanalytical conclusion, and the Main Attraction began, Mr Stewart Himself entered, looking like a benevolent, permissive, Protestant God, minus the beard and flowing robe, plus a comfortable tweed suit, to a chorus of gasps at his incredible grandfatherly Hollywood otherness.

And against all odds, he and his companion seated themselves immediately in front of Rick and his enviable wife.

Rick, of course, was near-fatally blissed. Mr Stewart, to his credit, uttered not a word for the entire show. And when, at the conclusion, he was called to the microphone front and center, his only words were

``I have said time and again that of all my films, It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite. Mr Capra was a genius. And I'd like to thank the University for bringing me here, and all of you for being here with me tonight. Thank you.''

And Rick, his brush with Greatness past, headed for the exit to return to his hitherto-charmed life.

Which instantly fell apart. Rick's papers were eventually rejected by the journals to which they had been submitted, after long and tedious arguments with a host of anonymous referees. He mysteriously failed his qualifying exams, and his enviable wife succumbed to an envy of her own and ran off with a neighbor's husband. By the following Christmas Rick had disappeared altogether, another grad school story with a unlikely, unhappy ending. No angel named Clarence (or anything else, for that matter) earned his wings saving Rick from his improbable end.

I took what lesson I could find from Rick's unhappy fate, and steered clear of any and every famous person who happened through town -- not an entirely easy task in a place like Charlottesville.

So say what you will about Jimmy Stewart (and there is much that can be said, and almost all of it good -- my favorite of his films is The Philadelphia Story (1940) -- any film that stars "Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord" deserves an Oscar unseen), I for one feel a little bit safer knowing that he's dead.

merry christmas everybody
Now, as it happens, my friend Craig grew up in Indiana, Pennsylvania, the small town in which Jimmy Stewart was born -- I remember Craig telling me that he had always had a certain fondness for the line in It's A Wonderful Life where Jimmy Stewart's character says "I'm going to shake the dust of this crummy little town off my feet" because that expressed very well the ambition of many Indiana, PA natives and is something that Mr. Stewart succeeded very ably in doing. I figured that Craig would find the article amusing and forwarded it to him.

As it happened, Craig was quite amused by it and decided to forward it to all of the people in his family. As it turned out, none of them thought it was funny at all, and he got a lot of negative feedback -- one of his brothers suggested that perhaps the author would also feel a little safer when Marion Hammer (then president of the National Rifle Association) was dead and gone. Craig also found this to be pretty funny, as I recall.

The end!
jwgh: (Default)
Here's the chronology:

A while ago on NPR I heard people talking about the new remake of The Stepford Wives, and they said nice things about the original (they also liked the new one although the two versions are quite different).

So I decided to rent the original version through Netflix.

Now, I vaguely remembered that the writer of the original screenplay (which itself apparently differed greatly from what ended up on screen), William Goldman, had written about it in Adventures in the Screen Trade and said that it had the distinction of being the project on which he had the earliest warning that the project was, in some sense, doomed. So while I waited for the movie to arrive I reread the book, which is quite entertaining, and the section on The Stepford Wives is also enjoyable to read. (The script was rewritten extensively by the director, Bryan Forbes, although Goldman claims that the last quarter of the movie is pretty close to what he wrote, which he says he thinks is probably because Forbes didn't have time to rewrite the whole thing.)

Then the movie arrived and I watched it today. I liked it.

Then I noticed that there was a special feature on the DVD where they interviewed the stars and the director and maybe one or two other people, so I watched that too, and I discovered that a substantial chunk of it was devoted to the director (and maybe one or two other people) complaining about what a jerk William Goldman is.

I give this combination of media two thumbs up!


jwgh: (Default)
Jacob Haller

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