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Saturday Night/Sunday Morning

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Feb. 7th, 2010 | 04:54 am

This thing is becoming a time capsule, isn't it? Hello Livejournal. It is 4:03 a.m. on a dark Sunday morning. I am currently writing from my bunker in Windsor, Connecticut where I awoke several short hours ago after putting down Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald's thrilling "This Side of Paradise". It takes F. Scott to shake me from my year long, anti-novel funk. I think that he can be credited for doing so twice. The first time was in 2006 after taking a long hiatus from reading. I think it was in Book Trader where I picked up F. Scott's "Tender is the Night". After that, I began a reading frenzy which culminated in finally plowing through "Crime and Punishment" in November 2008. Since then I have been a sporadic reader, picking up a novel or short story here or there, but never really settling on anything solid (except thoroughly enjoying rereading Frankenstein last spring). Until now. Actually, one of the great things about Frankenstein besides how beautifully the emotions of the monster (mostly alienated, human hating ones)are the descriptions of Dr. Frankenstein's travels through Switzerland. Though he is pursuing a beast of a man that he created from grave robbing the limbs of murders (that has just murdered his adopted sister who he is planning on marrying. Don't ask), Mary Shelly paints as lovely a picture of the Swiss countryside as any travel channel special.

Whenever I read anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, I get that heady feeling readers sometimes get when an author's voice has been transplanted into their brain. It is this perfect union of image and idea and makes the reader forget that they have a body that may have needs independent of the brain. When reading F. Scott Fitzgerald the brain is everything: it becomes the only piece of equipment in the skeleton reclining quietly in the living room that has any pressing needs. Bathroom, food, exercise and outside world are all forgotten when the skeleton containing a brain dives into F. Scott. Of course, I don't want to give my human form a complex. It's nice enough. Hell, sometimes it even forgets that it houses an organ devoted to controlling the whole operation and just jumps into whatever pleasure seeking activity it can find. And there's nothing wrong with that. Just like there's nothing wrong with wearing the same pair of socks three days in a row. Trust me, no one will ever know the difference.

Since I have this newfangled computer (as in, I've had it for the past seven months)I have been loading a small fraction (meaning 8 CDs) of my music to it tonight.

Here is what I have so far:

Billie Holiday - The Commodore Master Takes
J. Retard - Retard Blood
The Buzzcocks - Another Music in a Different Kitchen
Marvin Gaye - Anthology
The Ravonettes - Pretty In Black
The Inclined Plane - I Am Pants
Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - The Ultimate Collection
Billy Bragg and Wilco - Mermaid Avenue
Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Self Titled
Luciano Pavoratti - 20th Century Masters
The Decemberists - Crane Wife

None of these are on the list of music I cateloged way back in 2006. Oh how time flies! I guess I'll have to add these to my new catelog of music (or as I like to call it, version 7.2). I don't know why it should be version 7.2. Maybe it's because it sounds really technical and geeky, like anything that happens post 7.2 is going to be a tremendous boone to mankind.

And since I meantioned geeky, here is one geeky thing I can do, which is to add my Netflix queue to this post which will greatly benefit humanity. The movie descriptions are courtesy of Netflix.

Population : 1 - Rene Daalder writes and directs this hard-hitting, punk-rock history lesson that telescopes 200 years of the American experience into a rock musical that will both shock and delight. The Screamers' Tomata Du Plenty stars in this twisted, sci-fi psychedelic gem, which also features Sheela Edwards, Vampira, Holly Small, members of Los Lobos, Al Hansen, Steve Hufsteter, Nancye Ferguson, Mike Doud, Beck and more.

Time Bandits - In Terry Gilliam's fantastic voyage through time and space, a young boy escapes from his gadget-obsessed parents to join a band of time-traveling dwarves. On their journey, they visit Napoleon (Ian Holm), Robin Hood (John Cleese) and King Agamemnon (Sean Connery), among others. It's a giddy, visually outrageous fairy tale, a revisionist history lesson and a satire on technology gone awry.

If - Rebellious private school student Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) and his friends like to break the rules. Their minor infractions lead to cruel punishments from the faculty, prompting a bloody student uprising against the school system. With its controversial counterculture message, this British satire created a stir at the time of its release. The film received BAFTA nominations and won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.

Notorious - Government agent T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant) recruits American beauty Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) to spy on her father's influential Nazi friends in this top-notch Alfred Hitchcock espionage thriller that builds to an incredibly suspenseful climax. As part of her cover, Alicia marries one of her father's associates (Claude Rains), but she finds she's falling hopelessly in love with the man who hired her.

Heavy Metal Parking Lot - Shot in 1986 in the parking lot of a Maryland arena before a Judas Priest concert, this cult classic captures some of the most devoted metalhead fans in all their unbridled, mulleted splendor. In addition to its quotable musings on the rock 'n' roll lifestyle's allure, the profanity-peppered film also serves as a time capsule of bad 1980s fashion, complete with acid-washed jeans, Spandex, teased-out perms and badass muscle cars.(Personal note : I watched this about 10 years ago and thought it was hilarious. I'm sure I will be equally thrilled when I see it again).

Class of 1984 - Mark Lester's 1980s cult classic pits high school music teacher Andy Norris (Perry King) against a gang of punkers. Norris has no idea what he's in for when he's assigned to lead the band at inner-city Lincoln High. The idealistic teacher soon becomes the target of gang leader and musical rebel Peter (Timothy Van Patten), culminating in a brutal showdown. Seasoned actor Roddy McDowall co-stars, and the cast includes a very young Michael J. Fox.

Le Mans - A classic auto-racing movie, Le Mans is a 24-hour pedal-to-the-metal jaunt through the French countryside. Steve McQueen plays an American driver locked in an intense grudge match with his German counterpart, even as he wrestles with his guilt over causing an accident that cost the life of a close friend. McQueen comes through with a penetrating, stoic performance, and the racing sequences are nothing less than thrilling.

Three Days of Condor - Robert Redford stars as Joe Turner, a New York-based CIA researcher who returns from lunch to find all his co-workers murdered. In the next 72 hours, everyone Turner trusts will try to kill him, in this conspiracy thriller by director Sydney Pollack. Double-crossed and forced to go underground, Turner kidnaps a young woman (Faye Dunaway) and holds her hostage as he unravels the mystery. Max von Sydow and Cliff Robertson co-star.

Mildred Pierce - This potent mixture of melodrama and film noir was nominated for six Oscars and features a standout performance by Joan Crawford. When police interrogate restaurateur Mildred Pierce (Crawford) after finding her second husband dead, will her obsession with her selfish oldest daughter (Ann Blyth), cause Mildred to sacrifice herself to protect her child?

The Singing Detective (Pts 1 and 2) - Mystery writer Philip E. Marlow (Michael Gambon) is suffering a debilitating bout of arthritis in a British hospital. Unable to move without pain, he escapes into his imagination, plotting out a murder tale in which he's both a big-band singer and a super-sleuth. Mix in flashbacks of Marlow's youth and his unhappy marriage, and you have a gripping murder mystery and a lavish musical rolled into one.

That's it for now. It's almost 5 a.m. I am listening to the Decemberists, burning my friend Sue a copy to give her when I see her at breakfast in a few hours.

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