The Artist in his studio.

I think this captures the self-possession of the artist, calm in his sense of his place in the modern pantheon. Many others have worked in the medium of Pillow, but he has found a way to display the innards of the pillow in a way that challenges our assumptions - are we all so random inside, really? Or is there a method and design in the seemingly artless way our secrets are spilled?

He calls this work "Fine So You Won't Let Me Outside While You Dig in the Dirt Because I Ate a Hosta FINE THEN JUST FINE

Well, that was a weekend of sodden hell, and I mean that in both senses of the word, one of which I just made up. It was Sod Time again; wife said the bare spot on the front lawn should be dug up. The ground is barren and practically spits seeds back in my face when I sow them. New dirt? Hah! Fertilizer, tender loving watering? I get a Sahara. It will not accept life, and I fear that if I put down sod the ground will have the same response as Data when the Borg Queen gave him a patch of skin and blew on the arm hairs. That was just weird.

So I got the sod, four more rolls - they look almost edible, like enormous sponge pastries of some sort with delicious filling - and schlepped them home. Dug up the yard, marveling again at the extraordinary quality of dirt on my property, to say nothing of the world. It’s just dirt forever in every direction, which is why the planet is called Earth, I suppose. I know I mentioned this before, but our planet is basically named Dirt, and perhaps every alien civilization would name its planet Dirt, or perhaps Liquid. Maybe there’s one that calls its planet Mud. In their tongue, of course. Always seemed silly when aliens said they came from Atari Four or something; we don’t say we’re from Sun Three.

Anyway. The dirt had to be hauled up to a spot where nothing else had been growing; too much shade. Wife wanted to plant more hostas. The bags of dirt I brought up were about 50 pounds each, and there were 20 of them. Keep in mind I do not know what I am doing. I mean, digging is easy, but I’m just not a dirt guy.

“People have different skill sets,” I explained to my wife later, after her displeasure with my pace and uneven digging had subsided. “Some people are naturally good with gardening things. Some people can detect the type of plug on the back of a video unit by feel. Oh that’s an optical sound cable, that’s HDMI, that’s power, that’s Ethernet.”

She saw my point but I should have known that the roots had to come up.

To be honest, I didn’t. The lawn is lousy with roots, because there are all these . . . what’s the word, trees? See, I’m learning the lingo. There are big roots, and endless thick capillary roots. Wife said they are keeping the grass from growing, because they take all the water, and I’m thinking well that’s nature’s way. Survival of the thirstiest, maybe. Do we want to take out these roots? The trees may need them.

YES we did, and so I used the new chopper-thingy to sever the roots, only to read a story online hours later about how trees are altruistic and communicate the health of the ecosystem through their roots, so basically I just severed an undersea fiber-optic cable.

Anyway, the roots were removed, the dirt was removed and then added back because it all looked a little sunken. I should note I’m doing this on a hill, which makes the sod-laying a bit more difficult.

Oh: it was also 93 degrees. So I’m just dying. But: the next day comes the other definition of sodden; pounding rain, great winds. A tree around the corner, a hundred-year-old citizen, toppled over and almost hit a house. There’s always something shocking and almost shameful about seeing its underground root system suddenly exposed. A tree on the ground is like an affront to everything, a bad omen, a sign that the order of things can be sundered at any moment.

People came by to take pictures. Joggers stopped to ask us, laboring up on the hill, when it happened. Kids were amazed - this was awesome, cool, wow, destruction. What surprised me was the appearance around six of a truck that chopped up the massive wreck and took it away. Tomorrow I will take a look to see if there’s a slight sidewalk crescent - those indentations that indicate the sidewalk had a concave indentation. You find those all over the place in old neighborhoods, a cenotaph for a Great Tree.

The rain lashed the world until 2 PM, and then the sun came out, which meant it was time for more sod. This was done. That was my weekend.

No, not entirely. I disinfected the recycling buckets, washed the floors, vacuumed, did the kitchen windows, and wrote a piece about how the philistinism of the White House is actually a good thing, and we’re in an artist Renaissance right now that belies the incessant insistence that we live in an age of muddy sucktitude. But that’s tomorrow.




I love 50s and 60s creature / sci-fi movies, and not because they’re great. But not because they’re bad, either. “Cult classics” are not good movies, and they’re often enjoyed by people who enjoy spending actual time on crap, because they’re geeks or something. I don’t know. Never got it. But I like the ones that are earnest. The ones that try.

Was momentarily hopeful . . .

. . .but then I wasn't.

You can feel the audience sighing: aww, jeez.

Oh great, it's the director's brother:

You get the feeling that the producer scrambled the letters in his name to keep the stink from sticking:

But no, that was his name. It's just a festival of nobodies. Okay, what's this crapfest about? Two wacky Army guys discover space girls.

Hey, Amazon women! There are mouthbreathers in the audience who will see this in the theater every day until it leaves. Oh finally oh finally my dreams on the screen please have them pick the men up just please pick them up -

It has monsters . . .

But mostly yuks. Ask yourself: what’s the one thing you really want in a sci-fi alien invasion movie? Right, yuks, and lots of ‘em. What else?


Wikipedia has the plot’s inevitable conclusion:

They succeed in saving the Earth by prematurely launching the alien spaceship, but are captured by the aliens. However, Puna convinces Tanga not to kill them as they have no way of returning home now and they need to rely on the two soldiers. Tanga accepts this, kisses Penn and the sparks fly. At the end of the film, the soldiers receive medals for their actions and they drive away with the aliens, now their wives.

Of course.

Invasion of the Star Creatures has never been well reviewed by critics. When it first opened, the film trade magazine Box Office opined: “What a lot of baloney! Such a waste of time, film and effort. The title was good, but was it a spooky film? Nope! A comedy!! Closed the first night.” Film historian Bill Warren, in his 1997 book Keep Watching the Skies!, called the film "astonishingly helplessly bad that it's almost unwatchable."

No, it's not almost unwatchable; it's out-and-out unwatchable, unless you're at the drive-in and your best friend is making out with the other half of the double date in the back and you don't like the one you're with so you're just staring at the screen until this night is over.

IMDB has some notable quotes:

Pvt. Penn: So what are we gonna talk about, the weather?

Private Philbrick: Yeah, whether we're gonna get outta here!

Like I said, yuks.

One of the IMDB reviews said “skip the movie, watch the trailer” - and you know what? He’s right.

That'll do - enjoy your Monday! I will. BECAUSE THERE IS NO CHANCE OF SOD



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