Sunday, March 20, 2016

Onion rings for breakfast

Do you know what happens when you get too busy for the daily chores of life? You get onion rings for breakfast. My schedule got messed up again thanks to stuff at the radio station (all volunteer, including humble self) and I never got to the supermarket for groceries. As I don't have a car these days, I have to rely on the bus. I missed my planned excursion on Friday morning, with the result that while I have plenty of leftovers for dinner, I'm out of cereal, eggs, and well, just about everything. I could make rice and veggie dishes for dinner for a couple more days without a shopping trip, but I've been trying to be better about actually eating breakfast. Balance and all that. Last night I wasn't all that hungry after doing my radio show, so this morning I was primed for some nice scrambled eggs with veggies, French toast, cereal - something. But the cupboard for the necessary ingredients is bare. (Studio apartments don't have much in the way of cupboards.) All that's in the freezer is some turkey stock, and the onion rings. They made a good brunch.

Logging in to the blog made me realize that I never posted last week's radio show, which was the 16th anniversary edition. The show has gone through a few evolutions, but lately I haven't been able to spend the time to do the shows the way I want to do them. Between running the station, and being President of the station's non-profit, there is just too much to keep me busy. ("If only I were paid rather than a volunteer", he thought to himself for the 1,474th time.) Over the last few years the show has concentrated on the mid 1940's. This has been mostly due to the number of music oriented shows from that period which have become available. Those episodes, when the entire broadcast was spent in a certain week or two with various excerpts from radio shows of the weeks involved - including the news - are the shows of which I'm proudest. But I've been feeling like I'm stuck in a rut. There's no time to listen to the radio shows of the period, no time to make new clips from the shows, I've just been re-using the clips I made in the year and a half I wasn't running the station. I was thinking of calling it a day last August with the show that marked the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. At the time I didn't think that I'd accomplished what I had wanted with that show, so I figured I would just keep at it for awhile. Since then, I've had an increase in the odd verbal mistakes I've been making ('senior moments'), and an increase in the feeling that I'm not putting together the quality of shows that I want to accomplish. And I feel like I'm done with the WWII story for awhile. Over the last few weeks, I gave a lot of thought to calling it a day. Just before the anniversary show, I decided that while I'm done with the WWII shows for awhile, I'm not done with the show itself. That decision had a lot to do with my thoughts about Delores deleting her blog. I wrote to her, by the way - she's fine. She didn't say why she deleted it, and I didn't ask. At any rate, here's the 16th Anniversary edition of Recycled Radio:

Another thing that got away from me this week - I'd intended to start writing a bit about the movies I've been seeing. When I first started collecting 16mm movies, I began a practice of noting the movies I showed - mostly as a way of tracking bulb life. When I worked in film distribution, I took home a lot of movies from the company's non-theatrical library. Now I wish I had made notes about the films as well. I remember my assistant asking me to show him Mario Bava's 'Four Flies on Gray Velvet', but I'll be darned if I remember much about it 40 years later. I actually went out to the movies at a movie theatre last week to see - oh, great - I can't remember the name. It's a Marvel anti-superhero superhero movie. Ah, "Deadpool". (Bless the ability to instantly look things up on the internet.) It was in its last week at the local theatre, a late era smaller town movie palace, built in 1938. I've posted about the Latchis before. For its last week the movie went back to the main auditorium which is mostly intact and still has an old fashioned big screen. (The only change of consequence to the main auditorium was turning the "crying room" into a separate screen.)

I've not really seen much of the wave of superhero movies of the last decade. While the special effects made possible by computers have opened up a whole new world of possibilities, I can't say that using them for ever bigger explosions and more intense battle scenes has any kind of innate appeal for me. Plus, I was never a Marvel kind of guy. My era was DC comics with the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League of America, et. al. Over the years I've known a number of people who have toiled in the comics industry - when I used to manage that big bookstore in NYC in the 1970's, the guys from Marvel were regular customers. At that same store, I gave several autograph parties for various illustrators. So I've been aware of many of the problems of the artists, especially the shameful way Jack Kirby's heirs were treated, and etc. So a part of my boycott of superhero movies was due to my feelings about Marvel specifically. At any rate, 'Deadpool' makes fun of its own genre without really making it to the levels of camp. It's a movie for the teenage boy still hiding inside of adults no matter what chromosome set they have. It's got the best opening and end title sequences in recent memory, and is highly entertaining. But even though it was very enjoyable, it was kind of like popcorn without butter on it - something was missing, it was satisfying in an empty calories sort of way. Now I have no problem with sheer silly entertainment for entertainment's sake, after all, one of my favorite movies is "Cobra Woman" with Maria Monetz as twin sisters. The problem I have with this kind of big budget film making may come down to the budget itself. When one is spending over a hundred million dollars to make one two hour movie, problems with protecting the investment arise. The necessity of having every single thing planned out leads to a certain lifelessness. This kind of filmmaking used to be the B picture, inventiveness due to budget constraints was required; there was a kind of 'make it up as you go along' giddiness to many of them. Now, it's a very studied affair, a linked group of set pieces told in broad strokes and broadswords. Even the cheeky vulgarity seemed too planned. When I see things like this, I keep wondering what if Kurosawa had been able to use this technology while making 'Dreams', or if Orson Welles or Dali had been able to use it.... etc.

I keep thinking that I must have seen a movie at home this week, but I can't recall having watched one. I did watch a few pieces of movies on the Blue-Ray player a friend lent me to test the format. And one day was spent at the Smith College annual bulb show. Tuesday night a friend without tv came over to watch the primary election returns, and to bitch about the current state of politics.

Spring arrived at 12:30am this morning. We've had a temperature drop, and at one point snow was predicted. No matter, it's Spring. My radio show had its annual 'Swing Into Spring', on last night's program, which also played a few for Stephen Sondheim's birthday on March 22nd. 'Senior moments' intruded when I noted Ted Lewis as Al Lewis; and totally forgot to credit a lovely piano solo on "Meditation" to Marian MacPartland, whose birthday is today, March 20th. These kinds of mistakes have been increasing in frequency. My memory doesn't work as well as it once did - or as quickly. This morning I read that statins, which I take for high levels of bad cholesterol, can cause this kind of thing as a side effect. I once went on a specialized diet for many months without any change to the cholesterol reading. My doctor smiled as she said, "this is genetics laughing in your face". When compared to the size of my father, his brothers, and my brothers from both my father and my mother's later family, I may be taller than my Dad and his brothers, but otherwise as far as bulk is concerned, I'm the runt of the litter. Also possibly contributing to these little lapses in memory are the antidepressants I used to take. Ditto the anti-anxietals I used to take. Luckily I got off of those years ago. Next time I see my doctor, I hope I remember to discuss the statin. At any rate, here's the annual "Swing Into Spring". As always, I hope any listeners enjoy the show.