Friday, March 19, 2010

RIP Alex Chilton

Memphis musician Alex Chilton died this week at 59. You probably remember him as the lead singer of the Boxtops ("Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane/Ain't got time to take a fast train"), but in the early 70's after the Boxtops broke up he was the leader of Big Star, a great band that in its day was more of a critical than a popular success. Their best songs still sound fine today. I have been listening to my old LP of their album Radio City, singing along with "September Gurls" and remembering the boy who gave me that album...

I found a recent and very good video of a reunited Big Star performing "September Gurls" in San Francisco a couple of years ago, but I'd rather look at this tribute video and reminisce about life and love (the unrequited variety) in 1974.

Friday Five: Movies

Jan says:
Whenever daughter MJ comes home on breaks from college, I get to go to movies, which has me thinking about motion pictures. Plus, it is fun to watch rented dvd's at home, which my husband prefers.Share your preferences, opinions, and recommendations about movies! Choose 5 types of movies to discuss:
science fiction
Bonus: Tell about the first movie you ever saw and/or the last one!

Drama: Is this the best category for Lord of the Rings? I think Return of the King is my all-time favorite movie. Amadeus would fit here too. Some dramas are not to my taste; I don't really care for spy movies (except Sean Connery Bond films--they don't count as drama), war movies, etc. The Scientist was amazed that I fell asleep watching The Hunt for Red October.

Foreign: I'm going to lump "thriller" in with "foreign". I am thinking of an exciting and stylish French film, Diva, from 1982. Haven't seen it since it was new--might have to check for it on Netflix.

Romantic comedy: This is my "escape" category. When I'm tired, stressed, a little blue, this is what I want to see. Moonstruck, When Harry Met Sally, What's Up Doc?, Return to Me, It Happened One Night, The Philadelphia Story, on and on...

Romance: Two of my very favorite romantic films are Sense and Sensibility and Enchanted April, but you wouldn't really call either a comedy. I'd put The Turning Point in that category, too (or maybe just drama). If you enjoy dance (or just want to admire the young Baryshnikov), don't miss that one.

Comedy: Sometimes I just want to laugh. I love Ghostbusters ("When someone asks you, are you a god, YOU SAY YES!"), Young Frankenstein, and one of my all-time favorite films--such a period piece now--A Hard Day's Night. Sometimes we rent stuff that's both dumb and hilarious--a few weeks ago we enjoyed Rock and Roll High School. Hey! Ho! Let's go!

Animated: Classic Disney, of course. And I enjoyed Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, years ago. We watched both Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle to see what all the fuss about Miyazaki was about, and I'm sorry to say I still don't know.

And speaking of classic Disney, my mother always told me the first movie I saw was Cinderella, but the first one I remember was 101 Dalmatians! Most recent? We are in the middle of The Soloist--maybe we'll finish watching it tonight.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Scientist and I had a nearly perfect day yesterday. With clear skies and the temperature in the mid-70s, we spent most of the day outside, weeding the beds, planting tomatoes, and replacing all of the plants that froze during our unusually cold weather this year. I'm so happy to see life and color in those beds again. We enjoyed the company of two happy, well-behaved dogs all afternoon. We grilled Elgin hot sausage and lovely pastured pork chops from Yonder Way Farm, then cleaned up and went downtown to the ballet, where we received a seating upgrade and--for the first and probably the last time--sat in a loge box, just like the rich folks. And indeed we are rich, in every way that matters.

However, two blocks away from our home, a family in our neighborhood has been living their worst nightmare: their Marine son was killed in Afghanistan earlier this week. Our peaceful little day seems meaningless beside what this family is suffering. I have no profound comments on the nature of war; I just grieve for the death of this young man and so many like him. Please remember his family in prayer.