Grab Bag, Round 3

It was recently brought to my attention that I had not updated this blog since December 6. I am not going to say it has been because I have not had anything to write about, but I really have not felt compelled to write or made the time to write for publication a priority. I am not going to say it has been because I’ve been too preoccupied (not “busy” — too many people are reportedly “busy,” and I am not one of them) becoming 1% fluent in French, devoting a lot of memory space to what cat treats my cats prefer (is this a warning sign for dementia?), and just generally loving my job and life and cats.

Oh, let’s be honest: I have not had anything to write about. And I can hear one of my writing professors tearing this sad, rambling excuse of an introduction apart. Get to the point! Where is there a kernel of truth in this? So sorry….but I really do remember what cat treats I buy my cats and which ones they prefer! Sigh. Without any further ado or anything in particular to write about…Allons-y! 

I’m glad Casey Affleck won the Oscar for Best Actor. Like really, really glad. 

The Oscars are not perfect because in case you have not noticed the world is not a perfect, fair place. Some of my favorite actors have never been awarded Oscars–some unjustly so (cough, cough Montgomery Clift!!!! cough, cough), some understandably so (Cary Grant was just so effortlessly good, everyone despised Robert Redford for being so good-looking and talented, and I need someone to explain why Richard Burton never won one to me actually)–and so it’s easy for me to be dismissive of the award and to say it doesn’t really matter. But at the same time, The Oscars are a recognition of the finest acting and do occasionally get it right. See: Marlon Brando, Daniel Day-Lewis…and, this year’s winner, Casey Affleck.

Affleck’s win is being reported as controversial because of the sexual harassment allegations made against him. I do not know if the allegations are true. I’m not condoning that behavior, but I do know that his acting in Manchester By the Sea is of the highest caliber. I saw this film in the theater in January, and it has been a long time since I have been so moved and utterly captivated by a performance. He inhabits the role so heartbreakingly completely, it really is hard to believe that he is just acting. His character hardly ever cracks, rarely lets us in, yet Affleck did a phenomenal job of making him real. Pure artistry. So he deserved the award. The award is for acting, not being a perfect human being. End of discussion.

(But can we discuss how it is even possible that he is related to Ben Affleck? Really?! Guess who stole all the acting genes?!!)

While we’re on the subject of actors…

This line was read out of a book I purchased recently: “Leonardo DiCaprio is to Titanic what Clark Gable is to Gone with the Wind.” I’ve been thinking about that sentence a lot. It’s a dumb sentence. Of course Leonardo DiCaprio is to Titanic what Clark Gable is to Gone with the Wind: they’re both the lead actors. Unless the sentence is implying that Titanic and Gone with the Wind are somehow in the same class of movies or that Leonardo DiCaprio and Clark Gable are in the same class of actors, which is an ugly can of worms I do not want to open. Hadn’t Leo’s career kind of peaked with Growing Pains?  Luke Brower, man!! Classic.

And while we’re on the subject of Growing Pains

Maybe I stopped updating this blog because 2016 was so darn depressing. (Jimmy Fallon’s assessment of Manchester By the Sea was so spot-on: the only thing more depressing than 2016.) We lost Mrs. Brady, Dr. Jason Seaver, George Martin, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and George Michael–on Christmas day, no less–to name a few off the top of my head. Really, when George Michael died, I felt like I’d been knifed. (Quick, which actor told Hedda Hopper the story of his life in one sentence was “I’ve been knifed”? Quick now!) I could not listen to his music for a few days because I just felt so inexplicably sad and his music had always made me happy. I’m over that now–YAY!!–but what a loss. CHOOSE LIFE!

So how was your last Christmas?   

Besides George Michael dying, my Christmas holiday was quite enjoyable. I did not ask for any books for Christmas this year because even though I am a firm believer that you can never really have enough books, my shelf space is trying to challenge that belief. Still, I received two absolutely beautiful books — a stunning annotated edition of Little Women and The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, a never-before-published story by Beatrix Potter, freshly illustrated by Quentin Blake. I love them both (even though it will probably take me the whole year to fully digest the annotated Little Women)–so much so that I felt compelled to write my first Barnes and Noble review of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots because apparently, there are people in the world who do not appreciate Quentin Blake’s talent as an illustrator aka people who have no taste. Ugh.

That reminds me of how I used to pollute the internet with my Paul Weller obsession…

And how recently, I watched the Showtime documentary about my almost favorite band aka The Jam, About the Young Idea. It was so great and totally re-awakened my love for all things Paul Weller. Once upon a time, Paul Weller was all I cared about. Like really. He stole my soul, and I’m not 1000% sure that he has given it back, but I have stopped stalking him obsessively. It probably helps that I was banned from Tumblr, my main outlet for expressing my Paul Weller obsession (because hey, no one in my vicinity cares about Paul Weller). But I wasn’t banned for being obsessed with Paul Weller. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was the only person on that website who cared about Paul Weller. I was banned for posting pictures of Morrissey. Yep. Steven Patrick Morrissey. You’re the one for me, fatty–you’re the one I really, really love… We should talk about that song sometime. It’s great.

Anyway.

I’ve been listening to The Jam and The Style Council and Paul Weller a lot lately after not listening to him extensively for a couple years anyway, and I still remember every line, every beat. That’s kind of alarming but also comforting. Is there a study on this phenomenon? I love to listen to The Jam when I am angry or frustrated or just have a lot of energy or am just breathing because I really, really love The Jam. Like, can “Going Underground” be my wedding song? And the public wants what the public gets, 
But I don’t get what this society wants! Paul Weller was–IS–an amazing lyricist, and I don’t know if enough people realize that. That guy could pack so much into just one line. Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude. The world is your oyster, but your future’s a clam. And oh, who could pick just one line from “Town Called Malice”?

And then there’s The Style Council. Oh, The Style Council. More great lyrics, even better videos with Paul Weller’s often questionable haircuts and lamentable lack of dance moves. Really, that man should never have been without a guitar on stage. I could probably devote an entire blog entry to every Style Council video. But I doubt anyone would want to read that. Or would you?

Anyway, I love Paul Weller. Like a lot. And I just recently have been reminded of how much.

Remember when I told you this was my favorite picture of Paul Weller?

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Yup. Love this guy. He’s actually really talented and sometimes charming.

I still love Ellery Queen.

And I’m still sad there was only one season of the Jim Hutton series. But I still imagine Jim Hutton as Ellery when I read the Ellery Queen novels (which are a lot of fun to read), and I still watch the episodes over and over again, even though I know how they’re going to end. Why? Because Ellery has an expression for every emotion I’m feeling. Take a look…

I come home to find my cat has poop on her butt…again.

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I tell my ten blog readers that I’m going to start posting analysis and discussion of Style Council videos: 

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I see Marlon Brando in a Rolex commercial: 

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I need a sassy comeback, but can only muster a Melville reference: 

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Did I put deodorant on this morning?

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I realize it is 12:30 in the morning; I am always in bed by nine!

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Me currently:

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I told you I didn’t really have anything to write about. Well, didn’t I? All right. That’s all, folks.