Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Despite being sick, it was a pretty active weekend. On Friday I watched three movies back to back to back. It's the kind of thing I like to do even when I am capable of moving, but rarely get to do. (Because of, you know, job, wife, friends, obligation, and the innate human impulse to get off one's ass every once in a while.) I started with the Kiyoshi Kurosawa film Pulse, which found its way into my dreams. The Japanese horror cycle seems to have chased itself around until it turned into cliche (witness either version of The Grudge) but this was a reminder of how potent a combination urban isolation, new technology, and old-fashioned ghost stories could be. But it's the slow creep of the apocalypse that really set it apart from me. Thunder Road was next, and while it wasn't really that great a movie, but 90 minutes of Robert Mitchum playing a Tennessee bootlegger is nothing to complain about. Keely Smith co-stars as Mitchum's love interest and sings a song co-written by Mitchum (who also provided the film's story and served as producer.) Finally, The Brothers Grimm. Ouch. That just doesn't work. Also, I like Peter Stormare a lot, but his performance, as an atsa-Italian! soldier may be one of the worst pieces of acting I've ever seen.

Saturday I slept and slept. Then we went to see a comedian named Demetri Martin, who was pretty charming. He occasionally shows up on The Daily Show and used to write for Conan O'Brien. His stand-up leans heavilyon Steven Wright-inspired one-liners (e.g. "My computer beat me at chess last night" (Pause) "But that's okay, I beat it at kickboxing") sometimes with musical accompaniment. The whole low-key spectacle has a handmade quality to it, as if Martin wanted the audience to feel like they were attending the first performance of a beloved kid brother. (Even though he's my age.) It was one of a series of shows intended for a comedy CD. Martin even wore a shirt reading "CD Recording Shirt" for the occasion.

Sunday: More sleep then I did a radio show with Bryce at Radio DePaul. We did a three-hour set of film music. He focused on songs from films; I did score music. It was fun to have an excuse to play Morricone, Goblin, and Tangerine Dream one after the other.

Yesterday I made it back to work and it was good to be back. Last night Stevie and I had Bryce over for dinner. (He'll be staying with us while recuperating from hernia surgery this weekend.) We flipped back and forth between the Olympics and the Westminster dog show, two events I like watching but more as spectacle than sport. I rarely have any idea what sets one ski jump run apart from another or what makes this pug better than that Boston terrier. Highlights: A Chinese figure-skating pair that made an amazing comeback from a terrifying spill to nab the Silver. Also, the pug. That's a damn cute dog.

Today I'm feeling much better, but I've lost my voice. Just so you know.

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