Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Sundries, 16

Bridges & Garcia
8 Million Ways to Die
1. Friday night we went to local Regal Cinema in Hudson and saw A Walk Among the Tombstones, a film based on a 1992 Lawrence Block novel with the same title. It's another story featuring recovering alcoholic investigator Matt Scudder--memorably portrayed in a much earlier (and much better) film by Jeff Bridges-8 Million Ways to Die, 1986, with another dynamite performance by Andy Garcia. I think it was the first time I'd seen/noticed Garcia in a film. There are quite a few "Scudder" novels by Block (there are seventeen of them, I think).

Lawrence Block
In the early-mid 1990s (shortly before I retired from the Aurora City Schools in January 1997), I liked taking groups of kids around the area to book signings. One night--June 24, 1995 (I just found a confirmation of the date!)--I took a carload up to see Lawrence Block at the Barnes & Noble on Mayfield Road near Cleveland. I took a bunch of his books with me for him to
sign, but at the reading/signing, I felt he was kind of ... dickish. He told us he would sign only (what? 4? 5?) from any one person--a problem easily solved: I gave copies to the kids who were with me. But his manner was kind of ... dickish. And my enthusiasm for him sickened, nearly died. I still read him now and then--but not with the avidity of my pre-signing days.

Oh, and, yes, my copy of A Walk Among the Tombstones was one that he signed that night.

The film was so-so, Liam Neeson playing a version the character he's been playing a lot lately. Minor characters were all, well weak. Lots of blood and gore and misogynistic terror. Didn't care for it.

2. A couple of nights of bad dreams ...
  • A vicious dog walks into the kitchen (I'm there--but I don't recognize the place), bites me above the left knee, and hangs on. Enter son Steve with a baseball bat. Then some gunfire (better not to get into the details, there being so many dog-lovers in the world, me, generally, among them, except when a vicious one has a death grip above my left knee). I look down: My femur is exposed. I cry out. A doctor (I don't recognize) is there but, seeing the gravity of my injury, covers his mouth and walks away. Wake up.
  • I'm in another kitchen (do you see a pattern? it's different from the first one--but I still don't know where I am). I come in with another guy (who?) who's supposedly been attending to my sourdough starter. But when I look at it, I see he has mixed into the starter a bunch of shredded blueberry muffins. I scream obscenities at him (yes, I remember what they were; no, I am not sharing) and tell him to get out of my house--though it looks nothing like any house I've actually ever lived in. I wake up angry.

3. Speaking of dickish behavior (as I did in #1 above): I see a lot of it in coffee shops, people complaining--sometimes angrily--if their drinks aren't exactly perfect. I will hesitate here ... will not say something about spoiled Americans, especially ones able to pay $2 for a cup of coffee (5¢ in my boyhood) . (This is an example, kind of, of the rhetorical device called apophasis: the device of mentioning a subject by saying you won't mention it.) Anyway, there was a guy I saw this morning who was about to have a stroke because the dark brew wasn't quite ready. He paced around like the bull who's just been told that the cow will be a little late this morning.

4. Saturday night we saw the Jason Bateman-Tina Fey-etc. film, a death-in-the-eccentric-family story, This Is Where I Leave You. It was funny in a kind of I've-seen-this-before-but-it's-still-amusing kind of way, and it was fun to see Jane Fonda--though I wish someone would give her a real part one of these days. Also in the cast, playing very much off-type, was Timothy Olyphant (Justified, etc.), and his screen presence is so remarkable that when he's in the shot (and he was not in a lot of them), you just don't really notice anyone else. Poop jokes and predictability--but I laughed a lot, too.

5. Finally--in the category of What? This week the City of Hudson re-seeded the village green, which throughout the summer, experiences heavy traffic--especially on Saturdays at the Farmers' Market. So, I thought, seeing the seeding, the markets must be over for the year. Nope. One's going on right now as I type this (Saturday forenoon) with half of Hudson walking all over the once and future grass.

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