Friday, March 31, 2006

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Into a Time Capsule...

Last night I unearthed an underappreciated classic, Joseph Mankiewicz's "Letter to Three Wives" from 1949, in which three close friends spend the day wondering which of their husbands has run off with local beauty Addie Ross, the author-ess of the aforementioned letter. 'Three of the wondered - while one of them wandered.' This sly screenplay says a lot about sex and class relations circa 1949, and the three wives are, interestingly, a career woman, a gold-digger, and a small-town waif who'd met her husband by joining the Navy. The waif, facing her first visit to the local country club in a dowdy, decade-old dress, notes sadly that the Navy uniform was a wonderful equalizer... like death : - ) Flashbacks examine the relationship of the three couples, punctuated by the narration of none other than the husband-stealing Ms. Addie Ross herself... There's drama and heartache, but ultimately plenty of humor and a twinkle in the eye. For example, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks lives literally next to the tracks, with the house constantly shaking. Finally, the movie has some gleefully apt observations of radio and advertising culture. Interestingly, the richest husband makes much fanfare of buying a TV set - when there's still no TV stations strong enough to reach their (presumably Connecticut) community...

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

160,000 Helping Hands

WAVES - Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service - 80,000 brave women joined the Navy during World War II - A brave assignment for what society consider 'the weaker sex.' This interesting site explores the WAVES in pictures and words...

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Like a Yo-Yo

The Brazil trip is off. The Brazil trip is on. I'm sick. I'm well. The deal lives. The deal dies. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. The deal breathes. The Brazil trip is on, but shorter. (Happily leaving me here this weekend) I have a slight sore throat, but it will recover this weekend - or die trying....
I must be inventive - like the chap who designed the 'yo-yo' sketched below...

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Live and Let Die

Saturday I finally saw "The Sea Inside," a Spanish film from 2004 about a quadriplegic's 28-year quest to end his life. As directed by Spaniard Alejandro Amenabar, it's a very engaging, honest, and unpredictable movie, fairly free of clichés, social statements, and moralizing.. One shudders to think what Hollywood might have done with this material.
But it's lovely, poetic, scenic, and offers some amazing characters, ranging from a pregnant right-to-die crusader, to man's long-suffering farmer family, to his love for his lady lawyer, who herself is threatened by a degenerative disease, and finallly, there's a single mother/factory worker/radio DJ who takes a shine to our hero. There's lots going on here. Javier Bardem is spectacular, playing 20 years older and acting mostly with his head, including as a writing instrument (see picture). Not to be missed...

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lazy, lazy, lazy, lazy Aaron.... It's spring. My sister's headed for San Francisco (she can drive again!). And my Mom, my extremely youthful Mom, is turning 70 on Saturday... it's kind of surreal..

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

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Friday, March 24, 2006

From The Onion, my favorite feature, “What Do YOU Think?

Question: “The Supreme Court ruled that universities must allow military recruiters on campus if they are going to accept federal money. What do you think?”

Answer 1: "So...exactly how much do you have to endow for permission to raise an army?"
Answer 2: " I thought I was being recruited once at my frat, but it turns out that Party Patrol is not one of our nation’s armed forces. "
Answer 3: " Finally, an actual career path for 17th-Century French Lit majors. "

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

More images from "Best of Youth," the best foreign movie I've seen in many a moon...
Good cartoons follow immediately...

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

From The Onion, my favorite feature, “What Do YOU Think?

Question: “Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is calling for a censure of the president for illegal wiretapping. What do you think?”

Answer 1: " This is a cheap stunt designed to discredit an executive order that, only by pure coincidence, happens to be illegal."
Answer 2: " This political move is like when I call my parents when I know no one will answer just so I can say I called."
Answer 3: " No big deal. Now, when the House actually starts listening to a senator from Wisconsin, then you have problems. "

Question: "A recent survey of hospitals indicated that methamphetamine is responsible for more drug-related emergency-room admissions than any other illicit drug. What do you think?"

Answer 1: “It wasn't the meth that put me in the ER, man. It was trying to wrestle that horse ."
Answer 2: " Meth's a bigger problem than weed, coke, and heroin? No wonder popular music sucks now."
Answer 3: " We should just train all the pharmaceutical reps mulling around the hospital lobby in basic lifesaving measures."

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

358 Minutes of Joy

Next time you have six hours to spare, I highly recommend renting "Best of Youth," a wondrous 2003 Italian movie that follows two brothers, a wistful psychologist and a troubled policeman through forty tumultuous years of family life and Italian history. The stories begins in the rebellious 60s and carries us right up to the present day. Despite its epic scope, this film manages to remain intimate, immediate, and engaging throughout. After the first two hours, I was wondering if this would peter out. It didn't. Pictured here: the two brothers reunited, during the Florence floods of 1966, where left-wing students and right-wing soldiers joined forces in a race against time to save the city's fragile cultural treasures - particularly books stored underground - from destruction.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

On The Head Of A Pin

Not a bad weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday I had lunch and dinner plans - a rarity, and very lovely to catch up with dear friends. Last night I actually cooked dinner, too! Chicken with wine sauce, dark mushroom rice, and a light salad, washed down with Spanish cider and capped off by a touch of sorbet, brought by my guests.

I'm also rapidly digitalizing my 1600+ album collection. Using DVD-Rs, I can burn 80 albums to each disk, and make back-up copies stored with my friends. I wish Homeland Security were this vigilant and efficient : - ) Anyway, hope you all have a nice re-entry into the work week. Here's some humor:

From The Onion, my favorite feature, “What Do YOU Think?

Question: “A recent study shows that 5 percent of all workers in the U.S. are illegal immigrants. What do you think?”

Answer 1: “ I yearn for the day when 100 percent of all workers are illegal immigrants and we as a nation can devote all our time to bitching about them.”
Answer 2: " Five percent seems like a lot, but when you consider that they’re responsible for 100 percent of the work that actually gets done, the problem is much worse. "
Answer 3: “Ha! You should check out the factory I own! It's gotta be like 30 percent, maybe 35 percent! "

Question: “A recent survey indicated that bald eagles would soon be taken off the endangered-species list. What do you think?”

Answer 1: “Damn it! Every time I memorize the endangered-species list, some bureaucrat changes it.”
Answer 2: There goes any hope I had of my basement full of bald eagles appreciating in value."
Answer 3: " And with that, trout go back onto the endangered-species list."

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Which Is The True Man?

Like all of us, Truman Capote has many faces..... Three of which are pictured above. Truman Stecfus Persons, born in 1924 in the deep south, best-seller in my mid-1960s childhood, and talk-show/Studio 54 cliché in my formative years... Last night I finally saw 'Capote' fully and completely - without the half-hour doze I took in my December viewing, following eight grueling days of ten hours' driving... I must admit Philip Seymour Hoffman was brilliant, a high point in an already impressive career, of capturing a complex, unusual, sometimes unlikeable character already indelibly remembered by a generation, and doing him justice. It was a feat on par with Heath Ledger's brilliant incarnation of Ennis del Mar, which in any other year would have walked away with a Best Actor Oscar. "Capote" is a well-written and deftly directed film, which you should not miss.

It's sunny but chilly here in New York on this Sunday morning. I've been sleepy most of the weekend, and lazy... Today though I have lunch and dinner plans. So I should probably get to the gym.... : - )

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

A long, long time ago, before I met Brian.... California rewarded him with this token of recognition. Twenty years later, Brian is once again... living at 1210 Short St - in his garage/rec room of an apartment...

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Aaron-zinho Go Bragh

Happy St Patrick's Day. Brazil's color is also green (and yellow) - and here's a very homo-friendly medical plan ad on a billboard in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sao Paulo last year had the world's biggest gay pride parade, with 2 million strong attending, including my pals Thomas and Emerson.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blue Skies, nothing but Blue Skies.... Spring is in the air, and good music abounds. The fish are jumping, and the cotton is high : - ) Who could ask for anything more? (j/k) One caveat: You haven't heard the last of the Neighborhood Chicken....

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