Monday, March 12, 2012

books, movies, tee shirts...and movies again

First off, I'm sorry about that shitty review of My Week With Marilyn. I don't mean that I trashed the movie, but the writing isn't very good. Sometimes I get self-conscious about people reading what I write, and end up writing something with a pretentious tone and pretentious language. My favorite writing professor said not to use a two dollar word when a fifty-cent one will do. Then he told us to read a lot of E.B. White.

It's daylight savings time, it's warm and sunny, and i think winter pretty much passed us by this year. Boo global warming, yay mild winters.

So I was strolling around at lunch hour today (rather than running out and grabbing some hot soup to take back to my desk), and walked into Forbidden Planet, at Broadway and 13th Street. Forbidden Planet is basically a big comic book store, aimed at serious collector-types with some loot in their pockets. I read a lot of DC Superman comics as a kid, "underground" comics as a teen, and a handful of indies about ten years ago ("Action Girl" was a particular favorite), but I guess I was never a big fan of comics in an ongoing way. Even if I loved the art, it was never enough reading bang for my buck.

But I strolled into Forbidden Planet anyway. And as I was browsing the indie comics, I heard two guys in the next aisle - one said, "...did you watch it yet?" and the other said, "No, I was watching The Dark Backward last night." So I went into the other aisle, and one of the clerks there said, "Can I help you?" I said, "No, I just wanted to see who was watching The Dark Backward." It was yet another clerk, talking to a third. Then a fourth clerk said to me, "Have you seen our Basket Case tee shirt yet? It's a limited edition design." I feigned interest in the shirt, wondering exactly how he got there from The Dark Backward. But never mind.

The Dark Backward is very obscure and very bizarre, and I'm actually not sure I'd ever met anyone else who's seen it. I made Barry watch it once but it was too disgusting for him. It's not disgusting in a blood-and-guts way, but simply by virtue of being set in a bizarre fictional town where everything is filthy, rotted, slimy, and ugly. And then someone grows a third arm out of his back. The three-armed accordionist (played by Judd Nelson) is pitiable, and everyone else is greedy and nasty. And then the show-biz types arrive. It's ickily wonderful. If you look closely, there are signs and posters within the movie for all kinds of dreadful-looking products (mostly involving pork or pig) from a fictitious company called Blump's; I believe that one was pourable bacon, one was Pig Newtons, etc. When I lived in Manhattan, the film was released, and my neighborhood was covered in fake Blump's posters as advertising for the movie. I so wish I had one.

After Forbidden Planet, I walked down to The Strand at 12th Street, a shrine to the printed word. It's easily the best used-book store anywhere, and so was very important to me at one time. Enormous, stuffed with overstocks and out-of-prints and rare books, as well as half-price reviewers' copies of new hardcovers (the latter used to be a great attraction). I looked at some of the sale racks outside the store - one, two, three-dollar books. And I thought, What on earth would I do with that huge thing? I suppose I've become a die-hard eBooker. I'm keeping some books that are out-of-print and not likely to be eBooks any time soon, books that are personally inscribed to me by the authors, picture books, and cookbooks. Other than that, it's on my Kindle. Or if it's new and too costly as an eBook, I take one out from the library. I just don't need to own those big dusty decaying bricks any more...and I used to have so, so many, and held onto them like they were gold. Things change.

Sometime this week, I'll head over to The Village Scandal, and get the verdict on my jewelry: sold or not. I have two new necklaces ready if she wants more - and if not, I'm keeping the earthtone one (mostly mookite jasper, tan and burgundy).

I'm finally putting my lack of money where my mouth is, and have volunteered to work at the Mermaid Parade this year. The $35 to join Coney Island USA is a mite steep for me, and the gala fundraiser at Webster Hall this month is way too steep. so I'll take a sunburn for the team, if they'll have me. It's going to be summer before you know it.

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