Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Old Hatches

Time to reveal a lot of little hatches I've pried open or forgot to open in this burdensome advent calendar metaphor I've been toting along with me all month, mainly as an inducement to open up the big hatch: Old Hatch. To hatch a plot by plotting hatches, maybe; though I feel like that Mexican bandit in Treasure of the Sierra Madre who, tiring of his own ruse when challenged by Bogart ("If you're the police, where are your badges?"), throws it over with a savage, "I don't have to show you any stinkin' batches!"  Likewise, I don't have to show you no stinking hatches! But if I don't, then the bandits win, and what kind of lesson is that for the kids?

Dec. 10
A viewing of Shadows, John  Cassavetes's first film, which he shot twice, once in 1957 (a print thought to be lost until a copy was found in an auction of items left on the New York subway) and once in 1959, which was the version Matt and I watched from his box set of Cassavetes DVDs. Great jazz score and window on Greenwich Village hipsters in the late 50s, with black and white actors (students from Cassavetes's acting class) playing siblings, convincingly and reassuringly: sure, why not, she's just very light-skinned, I can see it...

Dec. 11
Next night a viewing of Band of Outsiders (Bande à part) by Jean-Luc Godard (1964). Very cool, noirish, nihilist, sexy, movie about a heist and a pair of thieves who get variously involved with the young Anna Karina, and the best scene is a jazzy dance they do, a Frenchified version of "The Madison," in a café, just because they're young and hip and free and sensational. And it is also pretty cool watching movies with a kid who loves movies and knows way more about movies than his avid moviegoer dad.

Dec. 12
An appointment with my neurologist, who always has interesting facts to share about Parkinson's Disease. This time I learn of a possible connection between the terrible Spanish influenza pandemic in 1918 and subsequent severe cases of PD (much worse than PD today). Also, the introduction of L. Dopa (probably the main medicine for controlling PD) after Chilean miners were treated for manganese poisoning in 1967, which caused Parkinsonian symptoms.

Dec. 13
Fortunate Friday! I received word from my alma mater, Colgate, that "Baker's Dozen," the film Matt and I collaborated on (I wrote, he shot, we both directed) featuring the number 13—which Colgate holds dear and decided to celebrate by inviting alums to submit a home-made movie to coincide with 2013—I found out that our little 6-minute film, shot and edited in three days, had won! Check it out!

Dec. 14
Regime change: snow. Several inches.  Sky acting out some ancient interplay—war, romance, contest—with earth. Also, what they say it is: freezing, adhering crystal hexagrams in the troposphere. Science disguised as art disguised as science...

Dec. 15
Carol and my wedding anniversary number 22, resembling two silhouetted swans. We celebrated over wine and drank toasts to art and nature and acceptance. The nearly full moon rose over a bare tree, over snow, while in the car we were confronted by the same old message, ERRE, on the radio/CD player, thwarting our ability to enter a coded number that would restore music and NPR in the wake of a newly installed battery. But it was fun to say: ERRRRRRRRRRRRR! like an irate Scotsman.

Dec. 16
The full Cold Moon, actually achieving fullness around 4:30 a.m of 12/17, but who's up then, besides my son.

Dec. 17
More snow, requiring Matt—and I, but more for keeping him company—to shovel the driveway and the wall of snow left by plow and front walkway, at midnight, when the snow stopped, so Carol could get to work in the morning. We maintained a dogged silence for the most part, but I silently applauded his father-besting vigor and strength.

Dec. 18
A more than seemly amount of time for a 65-year-old man to spend, absorbed by a collection of LIttle Lulu comics from the 50s, including one I recognized! Tubby is plucking petals from a flower—saying "She loves me, she loves me not..." and ending with "She loves me!" Lulu asks if he means her, but Tubby denies it. Who, then? Tubby runs off a safe distance and then hollers, "BETTY GRABLE!" 
Is it too bad that nearly no one nowadays remembers who Betty Grable was? Or is it too bad that it's not so bad, she had her heyday, died forty years ago, in 1973. But what does it mean that today was her birthday? Dec. 18, 1916. Will Google remember in three years that's her centenary? Will anyone (other than the unseemly, the aged children) spare a little time for Little Lulu?

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