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Having sworn a handful of times never to publish my ‘famous’ Jack-o’-lantern photograph even one more time, I offer the [clickable] photo below, stolen from the New Yorker magazine online.  Herewith, a link to my photo, but no one says you have to use it…

I won’t distress you with a guess of how – not even a ‘circa’ – late in life I confronted the fact that not everyone thinks like me.  If on occasion I sensed otherwise, I must have been sure they were just being willful and contrary for the sake of it.

Now, from the standpoint of any number of statements made in posts over the years, if I need to say that I’m sorta/kinda kidding with those last two sentences, I’m in trouble.

How e v e r, when someone whom I love and respect trashes a movie I revere, they are just being willful and contrary.  Or, they will have been deceiving me into thinking they were bright, warm, insightful, when they were but ignorant beasts.

Our friend Martin, whom I mention here rather frequently, thinks that the comedy ‘Galaxy Quest’ is terrible in every respect, when a more affectionate and spot-on sendup of ‘Star Trek’ and Trekkies does not exist.  Just Alan Rickman as a Shakespearean actor trapped in a Leonard Nimoy/Mr. Spock role is worth the ‘risk’ if you would not normally go near a picture like this.

This brings me to Wes Anderson’s perfect ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, which in turn brings me to Peter Bogdanovich’s ‘They All Laughed’, the worst movie ever made.

Wes Anderson says ‘They All Laughed’ is one of his ‘Top Ten’ favorite movies.  This is the strongest possible argument for re-examining willfulness and contrarianism.

If you have not seen ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘, you need to pray for forgiveness.  However, if you have seen ‘They All Laughed’, having worn a hair shirt for those two hours, I grant you partial absolution.

By the way, Quentin Tarantino also claims They All Laughed’ as one of his ‘Top Ten’, but who are you going to believe, me or those two?

This month marks a decade of blogging.

Chalk it up to a pinch of OCD that I’ve managed to not miss a month (even last month) without a post over the past ten years.

Your gift to me on this occasion, should you agree to, is to allow me one more post of the kind to follow.

Once, I disdained (but without so much as a whiff of snottiness, mind you) personal health-related posts on blogs.  Then, it appears to me, a tsunami of them has appeared here.  I apologize for those, and this one, the absolute last of its kind.  Promise.

I don’t recognize myself.  Stephen tells me that his understanding is that some people never ‘recover’ from anesthesia, of which I’ve had two authentic and two ‘twilight’ during the past two years.

Of course, this could be the onset of dementia, or maybe just garden-variety depression, which is enhanced by means of reading articles positing things like if you’re younger than sixty, you will witness the eventual collapse of western civilization.

Maybe it’s just that some of my cherished demons have jumped ship, and their absence is confusing me.  I’m out of ideas.

I’ve treated my blogmates shabbily over the past year at least, and the siren song of abandoning this blogging enterprise is never completely out of earshot.  I wish I were a natural writer like those bloggers, but writing is a pinch-of-OCD chore.

Domani Dave will endure, I suspect, but I see continued slim pickings.

Oh, by the way, blame Michael for this blog having been planted in the first place.  He’ll inspire you at the start, then continue to write sumptuous blog entries making you feel inadequate.  Curse him.

Except for four years consecutive, plus another one later, I have lived in this town since 1965, when I came here to college the summer after high school.

The five blocks of the main drag through the center of town once sported an assortment of ‘Fifties’ stores, including an honest-to-goodness ‘appliance store’, where something like forty years ago Stephen and I bought a clothes dryer.

It’s still running.  Scary.

Today, the street is all boutiques, bars, and cafés.  The only remnant from the past is a corner drugstore called Horton’s.

Though I think there must still be a pharmacist in there somewhere, I propose that its isolated survival on the strip can probably be chalked-up to an unplanned role as ‘bodega’, where in a panic one can pay quadruple for eyedrops and flashlight batteries.

At probably about the same time the soda fountain was decommissioned, the business changed hands, and a decision was made to empty decades of dead stock which had been warehoused on the second floor of the building.

I can’t remember asking Stephen how we came by these Horton’s artifacts.

Briefly back to machines, in my older brother’s potting shed sits a ‘Frigidaire’ purchased the year I was born.  According to my mother, the keeper of the legend, a single repair: the replacement of the rocker arm on the compressor motor.  The rocker arm.  Your guess is as good as mine.

Over the last couple of years since turning seventy, I myself have had several repairs, but both the fridge and I are still running.  Scary.

I have an intuition we will go out together.

Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-poc…

During the Q&A following a lecture by film critic Pauline Kael which I attended years and years ago, I asked Ms. Kael what she thought about the trend that had taken hold at that time of filmmakers re-editing their released films.  She replied with a question-approving look on her face that she hadn’t decided.

I read an article the other day about Francis Ford Coppola’s second re-editing of ‘Apocalypse Now’ called ‘Apocalypse Now: Final Cut’, due out next week.  In a promotional lecture/interview mentioned in the piece, he says:

“In film-making and in life, extraordinary things happen to you, and it’s up to you to make them be positive.  Because the good news is that there is no hell, and the quasi-good news is that this is heaven.”

I recently ran across a favorite greeting card, with this wonderful illustration on the outside.  Inside, it says: ‘Listen to your instincts.’

I have never been able to make the picture and the sentiment match.  I think Coppola’s might work better.

Minus the ‘heaven’ part…


Here is a gift in the form of advice, or a warning, if you prefer.

Assuming a choice, if you don’t want to do something, you have to say ‘no’.

I inherited a spot on a committee that supports and promotes what is essentially a local municipal ‘attraction’ in the form of a grand mid-nineteenth century house, outfitted with authentic period furnishings and objet.

When a plan was hatched to create a database and website cataloguing the contents of the house, an assumption was made that with my professional background, I would take on the photographing of the items.

This is where the ‘no’ should have come into play.

Two years and hundreds of items later, the project is nearing completion.

I have my favorites of the photos I’ve produced, in most cases because the object simply photographed well; more often than not, they refuse.  Here and there, a pleasure to look at, as in the case of the attached portrait.

A rather attractive gentleman, I believe, and projecting quite a modern ‘air’.

Or, something…  Click to enlarge to decide if you agree.

At the beginning of Joseph Conrad’s ‘Victory’ (I think), there is a passage about the loneliness of our hero’s possessions in his absence.  I remember this description ‘speaking’ to me when I read the book six eons ago.

Yesterday, Stephen was engaged in an e-dialogue with our insurance agent over the sideswiping of his beloved car last week.  He asked me, ‘What is the legal term for the person who causes the damage?’

I said: ‘Assassin’.

The vehicle in question is a 1997 Honda Accord station wagon, which was the last true station wagon Honda produced.  In addition to its ‘Classic’ status, it is a rarity due to the fact that it has a 5-speed manual transmission, apparently no small thing for those who get all goose-pimply over cars.

Stephen loves the car because he can haul all manner of thing, which was, of course, what station wagons were intended to be able to do in the first place.  Also, he can love ‘the antique’ because we also have a modern conveyance in the form of a hybrid we preciously call ‘the quiet car’.

In the course of correspondence with the insurance adjuster and the body shop, my beau is once again facing the reality of car-as-moneypit.  He has been – as Shirley Temple used to put it – ‘glum’.

My own sentimental attachments to objects is not altogether healthy.  In one of Duane Michals’ photo essays called ‘The Journey of the Spirit After Death’, there is a picture entitled ‘The Spirit Visits His Possessions’.

Hmm…

We have come to understand that our president here in the USA fancies large military displays in the manner of those of his friend Kim Jong-il.  Many wish he could vanquish his insecurities else-wise, but if ‘Air Force One’ won’t do it, well…

For ceremonies planned for the 4th of July celebration tomorrow in Washington DC, apparently Mr. Trump requested tanks.  Big asphalt-chewing tanks.  I have not been following whether he got them, or not.

But! In the spirit of military displays, I offer here on Domani Dave, a photo of my/our friend of 40-something years, Bruce G, who retired from the Marine Corp after serving for 30+ years.

This picture appeared on the back of the bulletin accompanying his retirement ceremony.

We brought blackberries back from a short trip to North Carolina last week, and half of them were still languishing in the refrigerator today, so to rescue them from fruit oblivion, I started a pie.  At some point, Stephen took over, which meant doodads and crispy sugar highlights.

Now, which of the two photos is your favorite?

I will think very poorly of you for answering ‘pie’.

My best friend George S knows me far better than Stephen; I believe I know him far better than his wife, no surprise there, she’s a woman.  I should be cast into a lesbian snake pit for that remark, but I won’t take it back.

Once upon a time, on an aircraft yet, Geo set about convincing me that I was dead and that he was the cosmic messenger.  Of course, it was one of those nerdesque Twilight Zone kinds of exchanges at the start, but with a combination of theatrical prowess and a skilled hand on the conversation rheostat, he had me within a micron of going for it.

Apparently, something in my eyes signaled that it was time for him to bail out and say just kidding, but maybe [‘just maybe…’] it was too painful for even a cosmic messenger and he was backing out.  [Cue the theremin]

Yesterday we drove two hours to a museum we’d never visited before to see a show by one of Stephen’s friends, fellow artist Andy Nasisse.

While there in the gallery, we encountered the museum director and she and Stephen immediately engaged each other over the exhibit and Mr Nasisse in general.  A couple of times before quickly giving up, I tried to interject a remark, only to be completely ignored.

The two of them just rattled-on, and I reflected on my ghost-hood, 50 years after that conversation at 35,000 feet.

Our friend Tom O used to introduce his beau as his ‘lover’.  Too in-your-face?

Situationally, today I use ‘partner’ or ‘spouse’ or ‘husband’ referring to Stephen.  ‘Partner’ in uncertain territory, ‘spouse’ when legal union wants to be stated but I sense ‘husband’ may pack the same punch as ‘lover’.

To simplify, since there is ever the possibility I may misjudge my audience in an introductions setting, I’m thinking after 42 years I may revert to roommate’.

What do you think?  Let’s give this a try.

Today, my roommate Stephen gave me a new bird by our artist friend Tex C, to celebrate my all-signs-pointing-to successful second eye surgery yesterday.

Of course, this is one of those gifts you give to your companion when it’s really a gift for yourself.  Feign to deny…

Please enjoy.

 

Why am I telling you this?

I started blogging in 2009, but in October 2016, I ditched the previous posts in a fit of cyber housecleaning. Some of it was really nice writing, but alas, as my old friend Susan once said: ‘Compulsion is a cruel master’.

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