So it’s late, now, late at night; I could spoil watching Monsters U with my daughter and watch it now, or find something else. There’s so much, after all. The amount of queued entertainment I have would daunt an immortal. Earlier I watched -

Well, hold on that. I went downstairs, poured a Bulliet, perused the Twitter feed. Ah: the time of the night when people you otherwise enjoy turn into that friend who leans close one evening at the bar and says “you know, it all comes down to the Jews.” Enough of these and you unfollow - and then you refollow, because it’s instructive. Ordinary funny insightful people veer into the hooch and hooo boy, out it comes.

Clock: 11:49. Time to disturb the child. We have a game going. Hide and scare. When I scare her, she shrieks; four out of ten times, I yelp and leap. Her MO is to hide and surprise; I creep down the hall, then stroll into her room and say SO WHAT’S GOING ON and yipe, she leaps. Tonight I go down the stairs as quietly as humanly possible, reach a hand around the corner, and turn down the dimmer on the ceiling lights. Desired reaction achieved.

She was gone all day with friends; wasn’t around when I got up. I hate getting used to that. Made arrangements to be picked up after I’d shot a video and filed a column; on the way I dropped into the Package Store, as they were called in North Dakota for some reason, possibly because it was shameful to announce that you sold, or patronized a place that sold, intoxicating spirits. The one by our house was managed by a relative: Polar Package Store. Anyway

I talked with the clerk about dogs and old dogs and learned she had an old Yorkie who perished a while ago at the age of 18. Was outside then came inside and climbed into boyfriend’s arms and coughed and died. The Shiba is sniffing a box of beer. It has the same self-possession and studious quality Jasper had as a pup, but he’s more contained. He regards himself as a partner in these endeavors, not a happy lackey.

I like these dogs.

Drive to the house to pick up daughter; the kids are coming back from someplace else across the broad field by their old elementary school. Laughing, tumbling on the ground, school-free Friday personified. The rest of the evening unspools perfectly; I return to the surprisingly large task of cleaning up a backwater website, edit two chapters of the novel, hit the hay, and face the Twin Chores of Saturday: errands and the dishwasher.

Errands are a pleasure; no stone in the heart this time. There are so many Saturdays I just feel as if I’m sleepwalking through the routines of life, prodded along by the sharp point of the clock hand. You there! Move it along! That grave isn’t going to fill itself! Chop Chop! And sometimes you find yourself in a mood for mischief. I know one of the Saturday product demonstrators,a dn we have a little bit of theater every week. This time she’s giving away samples of tiny Clif bars. There are two, three people standing around the counter: perfect. I roll up with my cart and pull my coat out so the pocket’s open and put all of the bars in my pocket, one at a time, saying THESE LOOK GOOD, and then I ask if she has any more. This is a hideous violation of the social contract. The other customers never react. Not so much as a glance askance, because obviously we have a maniac here; look away.

At Trader Joe’s I’m looking at the wide array of Blended Greek Yogurt. The music from the overhead speakers is “Brandy” by Lighthouse, and the stocker is singing along to herself.
So I started a conversation about whether Brandy actually bought that line, because at Trader Joe’s there’s a fighting chance the stocker will know just what you mean and respond in kind. So we had a conversation about that, and concluded that the man in the bar might have been a member of the “Ride Captain Ride’”crew. You know, 73 men sailed up, to the San Francisco bay? He’s letting her down easy in any case.

Home. Wife’s taking down the Halloween decorations. She relates a tale from earlier in the day: While walking Jasper a couple who was walking their dog had stopped and waited for them, then said they were from the neighborhood, long-timers, and seen Jasper walk past for years, and were amazed he was still going. (I suspect they were Bleat readers; if so; hello!) They related the tale of their own old dog, how it had passed the day before they were going to put it to sleep - 18 years, that one. They talked about the secret of canine longevity and everyone got a spark when it turned out that both dogs got Frosty Paws every day. Until they didn’t, that is; Jasper stopped demanding them a year ago, and their dog lost interest as well. I think they just forget.

The weather’s been warm, or what passes for warmth in our state of ever-diminishing expectations. Fifty, fifty-two; cloudless sky; mellow sun. Most of the trees are now participating, although a few just go from green to dull green, like adults invited to a costume party who prefer to put on an old pair of glasses and consider that sufficient. Sunday winds separated the hardy from the weak, stripping some trees with the frenzy of starved piranhas

The sun still burns, but only the dead:

Watch this space. I shoot it every day. It's going to go fast.




Not a review, really - just a glance back at the look of things, the lesser rolls of famous actors, the small characters whose names we often forget.

With no one else! And you now when I walk alone, I prefer to be by myself. Our solitary walker:

The more Burt you watch the more you see he has three modes: INTENSE INTENSITY, woundedness, and big-smile happiness tinged with some sort of Cheeveresque irony that may or may not undercut the actual emotion intended.

He's been released from prison after 14 years, and walks alone from the train. He is instantly met by his brother, rendering the title moot. He has a grudge against his old partner, who didn't go to jail but went legit, mostly.

The Chin Himself. So you'd think this is just going to be Explosive and Terrific, a Tense Match of Wits and Brawn. It's talky and slow and sluggish and mostly a snooze. But:

It's Moose Malloy! Or Mike Mazurki, to use his stage name. Great Ukranian actor. Played the good-hearted sensitive brute roles, the guy who'd beat you unconscious but apologize afterwards 'cause he always liked you, the guy who crushed a fella because he just lost his head and didn't mean ta, and so on. Actually a learned and sophisticated fellow, which makes his work in these roles all the more impressive.

Part of the problem is the love interest.

Lizabeth Scott, who always projects a keen discerning intelligence and distant beauty without ever catching fire: Bacall made of dry ice. That may be a minority opinion, since Noir enthusiasts love her. She always leaves me cold, and while that has nothing to do with the fact that she would have returned the favor, she would have had a different career if she'd been active today.

The other dame:

Kristine Miller, 84 at this writing. Hasn't made a movie in 52 years; wonder what she did. What she's doing. Whether she still has a scrapbook of all her clippings. Oh, of course she does.

There's always a band in a nightclub movie:

The Regency Three, that's the credit; no individual names. Possibly cobbled together for this. They introduce a new tune: "Heart and Soul," everafter known as the tune kids with no piano training can bang out in duet form. It's like watching an old movie where someone plays "Chopsticks."

Hey, it's that guy:


Mark Lawrence. Good for the thug roles, the lowlife guys. Huzzah: he's this week's Star Trek connection, since he played a role in "Next Generation" AND DS9 - a holodeck ep set in a Vegas casino run by mobsters.

So. The imdb reviewers say "underrated noir classic," as they always do. It has the requisite black-and-white world moments - night, menace, hats.


It has the fog-shrouded lamplit moments.


There are barking roscoes and justice and love and so forth, and so forth.

I can't imagine anyone was expecting much when it was done. They had to know in their bones this thing was stillborn.

And now it's a FOX CLASSIC. Time heals all disappointments.


See you around - work blog will be scant this week, since I have a huge amount of other work to do. But maybe yes! And maybe not. Tumblr for sure.








blog comments powered by Disqus