Dawn Reader

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Sundries, 55

1. AOTW: This happened several times this week (and happens every week), so this is an award that people can share (and although Mommy taught me that Sharing Is Good, it's definitely not in this case). Okay, I'm driving along--north, south, east, west (doesn't matter)--and ahead of me I see a car about to turn out on the road. I glance in my rear mirror: No one behind me in sight. But I know what's going to happen--and it almost always does: The AOTW(s) turn out right in front of me, forcing me to brake.

2. Okay, this might even call for an AOTW Runner-up category: Whoever invented those plastic holders that join pop bottles together, a design that insures one thing: They will fall over in the fridge. (Unretouched photo from our fridge!)

3.I did it again. A week ago I finished streaming all of the episodes of The Rockford Files--again. Joyce and I used to watch the series when it originally appeared on NBC-TV (1974-1980) on Friday nights. Then I started watching the re-runs. Then I got the entire series on VHS. Then on DVD. And now, via Netflix, I can stream the episodes. Here's what comes next: (1) a period of extreme withdrawal (think: heroin), (2) a period of longing (think: a lost love), (3) a period of guilt (think: a lost love), (4) a period of self-delusion ("I'll just watch the first two or three"), (4) a period of watching, an episode a night, for about three months (think: human weakness). (5) a period of extreme withdrawal ...

I know the episodes so well now that I can quote chunks of dialogue along with the actors, and I know them so well that I can often do other things while I'm "watching"--like reading, writing, etc. So it's not really a waste of time, you see. I'm in bed anyway. Right?

4. Here's a story that I tell with a mixture of shame and pride. The other morning I saw a former WRA student, Sam Clark, in the Open Door Coffee Co. I didn't ever get a chance to teach Sam, but I knew his family--mostly from coffee-shop encounters (they often were there as a group). Anyway, Sam was sitting there reading David Foster Wallace's immense 1996 novel, Infinite Jest. Even though I didn't see the full cover, I recognized the book immediately for a very good reason: It's been sitting on my shelf for years. I went over to Sam and joked about it (infinite jesters, we) and probably implied by my manner that I'd read the book. Which I haven't. No, it has been sitting on my shelf staring reproachfully at me for years. I can almost hear it whisper as I walk by: Why haven't you read me yet? I pretend I don't hear. 

Anyway, seeing Sam with the book--there's no other word for it--inspired me. And so, when I went home that day, I pulled it from the shelf (About time! it snarled), and I began reading it that night. I'm about 25 pp into it (I read only a little each day), and need I say that I'm dazzled?

Thank you, Sam!

5. Joyce and I went to see Spy on Friday night (trailer for the film). Neither one of us is much of a Melissa McCarthy fan (okay, Bridesmaids was funny), but we'd read some good reviews--and even had some promising recommendations from Facebook friends. We both liked Jason Statham playing off-type (he's a brassy bungler here), and Jude Law is always fun (here, a James Bond impression--and, hey, the guy played Hamlet in Elsinore Castle!); we both also liked the Bond parodies. But the rest of it? To me? Jokes about an overweight woman doing pratfalls, kicking people in the groin, and performing stunts of which she is, of course, incapable (i.e., kicking the butts of trained foreign agents). A little bit of that goes a long way, and there is far more than a little bit in the film. And, of course, the obligatory jokes about poop. (What would film writers do without poopery and kicks-in-the-groinery?)

6. I didn't finish any books this week--except the one I'm reviewing for Kirkus Reviews, but we're not allowed to say what they are: Kirkus reviews are anonymous, though reviewers' names appear in a list in the magazine. But I'm about to finish two books (will post about them next week): Andrea Mays' The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger's Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare's First Folio and Thieves Fall Out, Gore Vidal's "lost" 1953 pulp novel, originally published under the name "Cameron Kay." Both published in 2015.
7. The sourdough bread is rising out in the kitchen. Time to go check on it ...

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