Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Duly Noted And Marked



I've been busy trying to clean a house out before settlement that is part of an estate. Did I get the price I wanted? No. Far less. Am I glad it is almost out of my hair? Yes. I want my life back. In the meantime, I've been contending with collapsed garden sheds (snow,) and shoveling snow (snow,) and making alien snow people (snow,) and oh yeah...I fell...a bad one. Nothing broken, but I was limping for a few days at a time when I need all of my wits about me. I'll be back over at house central this week hauling out an 1890's treadle sewing machine that has to be shipped to Oregon and crawling in decades old filth in an attic and other fun things.

Right in front of me is a pile of things "to blog" about. I gave up on the subject of desire. See above. Wait a minute. I would still like to write about desire someday. The strange paths it can take and who is to say what driving passion fuels you is wrong. Did you know that rubber fetishes have diminished as an aging population are the only ones who remember childhood rubber pants? It's true. I have charts. I have tables. And, I would add, just in time to get back into them. Full circle, as it were.

But still, I want to write, but between answering emails and doing sales on Amazon and eBay and writing Phil of The Playaz (God love you Phil for checking on me,) it's been unholy. Yesterday I went to a Starbucks to hook up with a former neighbor who moved way out to Eldersburg, and I caught her at the end of her work day at her chosen destination point before she headed to the netherlands. I am so Starbucks naive, I had to look on line to see what I would order and how to order it. I got a Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea Tall. OH...sweetened. What a litany. I feel like I need to go into more coffee shops just to learn the language of latte. Did I mention I'm fussy about coffee and think Starbucks is crap? No? Well. I do.

While I was out, I ran by my local library to pick up some books, but also to return those due and see if I could nab them another round, which I did. When I got home, I don't know what triggered this, but I decided to make bookmarks for them on photo paper, and using craft scissors I deckled the edges to make them look like old-timey photographs. The idea being, when I return the books, I will leave the bookmarks in as a surprise for the next reader.

The first bookmark I made was for a book called L.A. Noir by John Buntin. I thought, without checking, that it was part of a noir series I had been reading that features major cities, then has crime-mystery writers from those cities and their short stories. D.C. Noir has George Pelecanos, of course. There is a Baltimore Noir, a New York Noir, even a Dublin Noir. This book, however, is about mob activity in Los Angeles in the 30's-50's and the city's police captain and his involvement with Jack Webb who based the television show Dragnet on real police work.

I also learned that Jack Webb's overvoice "This is the city. Los Angeles" was a direct rip from a movie where he played a forensic specialist (Lee) called He Walked By Night (1948.) He also ripped off his "ching ching" hammer music from the same film. So I found a noir shot of Los Angeles. I also discovered while google goofing that there's a software game called L.A. Noir. Why that could be right up my... ALLEY.




I've been trying to finish up Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence. If you've never heard of him, he's a Nobel Prize writer. He's Turkish. He's political and he's pissed off. I still love his writing. His sentences could be filagree in the Hagia Sophia. Much like travel writer Paul Theroux, Pamuk just put himself into his own latest novel: his family attending a wedding reception. Nice way to control getting the waiter over to your table with the tiny kebap.



Yeah...he looks pissed off here, too. He's one of those guys you can jokingly let loose a "trigger" word and watch him blast off. When he goes out in public, citizens of Turkey are either cheering him and treating him like a rock star-guru, or they are hanging him in effigy. Guess it depends on which side of the Bosporus your freak flag flies.

Another book (in a stack) I picked up is a new release called Baby Let's Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him by Alanna Nash. It's already deep into good and white trashy, and I haven't even gotten his mother married yet. I know this one is going to be a pissah. I was flipping through, looking for a bookmark image and bingo. One I've never seen before. I couldn't even believe it was Elvis, but 'tis and just months before he died:



The girl on the back is a dancer named Mary Kathleen Selph. She died in a car accident a month after this picture was taken. I showed this photograph to a friend today, and they said, "THAT is NOT Elvis...that is some ole black woman pretending to be Elvis." He immediately amended himself after looking again and said, "Actually, I think Elvis is trying to look like his mother, Gladys. " I agree. Also, if you can see? The little boy in the car next to him has his mouth open, and it almost seems like he's screaming "ELVIS!"

Can you imagine the things that are going to come out in this book? The author interviewed a lot of his former loves, going all the way back to childhood. I mean, I knew about the white cotton panty fetish. (Note to Self: Add that to desire article and fetishes.) This same friend and I were discussing how a certain level of talent walks off the planet, and it's never seen again.

I got into a weird frame of mind (as if I ever leave it,) the other day, and I started You Tubing Andy Williams and Sammy Davis, Jr. and these variety shows. What really triggered this was me wanting to see and hear Jobim and Elis Regina singing Águas de Março (Waters of March) cause well...it was the first of March, only March in Brazil comes after summer (go figure,) but still...great song.

The next thing you know I'm watching Jobim singing Girl From Ipanema with Andy Williams which led to Tony Bennett singing with Andy and people You commenting "Why don't they have shows like this on t.v. anymore? Such talent!" and me thinking Yah! Why not? Somehow that led me to Michael Jackson singing at Sammy's 60th birthday celebration and Sammy doing "Bad."

Don't even ask me about Billy Wilder and Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday) and that wild You Tube ride I took on Sunday. (Note to Self: Write about the German Film School, Berlin 1930, the onset of Nazism and this new Nazi zombie film with Norwegians called...uh... DEAD SNOW!!!) More snow!!! Full circle. I'll stop. Cyndy? Watch and enjoy.




I'm riffing! Patrick. Do you miss me? :)

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11 Comments:

Blogger Cyndy said...

That was delightful! So relaxed and gentle and happy and a perfect example of how what you leave out can contribute as much to the feel as what you put in there. I'm not usually such a big fan of Brazilian music because it generally sounds so cluttered to me with all those whistles and things, but this was really nice. I like all of the Latin grooves where there's no downbeat - it makes it have more of a feeling of lift on beat one. It's very uplifting, hahaha!

I hope the remainder of the tying up of loose ends goes well for you. That snow has caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. Our move back home was delayed in part by all the shoveling and lack of access. There's only so much you can physically accomplish in one day, or one month for that matter.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Cyndy: I agree re: Brazilian music and that ticking clock. During the snow, I could only think "tick" "tick" and what I had to absolutely have done by a set date. Very frustrating.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Ronda Laveen said...

I do not speak Starbuck's speak. I go in and order a medium sized coffee. People get freaky deaky because I don't know the lingo. I DON'T CARE.

I would like a medium, black coffee, please. Anything else (I work with a bunch of hair stylists and nail techs) and they have to write it down.

I'll buy. I'll fly. But I won't order weird shit that doesn't make any sense other than in Starbuck Land.

2:48 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Ronda: My manicurist told me at the other spa she works at, the "girls" are heavily into drinking something called "Rock Star"--some Red Bull alternative. She said they especially like "the white can." This is how I think. "I want the white can." "I want the medium coffee." I don't want a visa and passport to order coffee, and I think that special little language Starbucks cultivates is bullshit.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Checking in, keeping "tabs", "documenting", etc...yes, it's what I do.

And I'd like to think that boy is shouting "Momma! Is that Elvis?" and his momma replying "No, fool! That's just Elnora from around the way!"

10:37 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Phil: I am VERY glad you check in on me. Seriously. As for that Elvis photo...I almost added "Ebis loved his MOMMMA!" That is a profoundly disturbing photograph. I wish someone had a camera the night he took a gun to his television set.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I discovered your blog a few months ago, and I love it. You are such a talented writer. Bittersweet, witty, and sometimes loopy without being too silly. I love it. Anyway, this was a great post, and I had to bookmark it so that I can go back and check out your YouTube ramblings and noir books.

Anyway, thanks for a great Friday afternoon read!

4:18 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Amy: Thank you, and if you have a blog, I'd be happy to drop by. You caught me between stints over at "the house," where I am emptying out an attic today. I've got less than five days to finish, so busybusy. I came home to make some lunch and feed my squirrels. When I was at my home desk this a.m. one was on the upper window along a ridge of roof giving me the stink eye, so "peanuts" got added to the list. I can hear them chewing away out there. Trying to get some birthday cards and St. Pattty's cards out, tooz...then back to the grind.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

I love all those images on the tilt. Makes me feel like I'm surfing through time.

Send me a quick email, OK? Your address is on my old computer. I've been thinking. Take care, doll.

9:58 AM  
Blogger home before dark said...

We can't have The Cube getting the stink eye from a squirrel. Nuts to that! Glad you survived the winter from hell. Hope spring comes soon with great desire.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre modern noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD and Netflix through Vanguard Cinema (http://www.vanguardcinema.com/darkarc/darkarc.htm), and is currently
debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.

TRAILER : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPeG4EFZ4ZM

***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted
before..." Film Threat
"A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
"Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
version of David Lynch. " IFC News
"Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...Don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
"Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque

11:47 AM  

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