Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Down Side of Up

Cinema Minima, a film site I have a lot of respect for in the independent/grassroots film world, recently remarked on a slow news day "Not 'Hollywood Independent'--writer John Oak Dalton is the real thing." Let this humbling statement not proceed the death knell of American Cinema.

Despite this great affirmation, like the stoic (which unkind reviewers might refer to as wooden) star of "Drag Me To Hell," I have started to wonder if I am under some sort of gypsy curse.

Both of my cars died within four weeks of each other, leaving my wife and I stranded in different cities. I cut through the ball of my thumb again while slicing a bagel. The garden hose on the outside wall leaked into the house and I came home and found the plumbers had to cut a big hole in our kitchen wall. We hiked around, as is our tradition, on Father's Day and saw a big timber rattlesnake sunning itself on the trail. Though we did not see it was a timber rattlesnake until we looked on the interwebs, which we did because when my wife (who believed it was a grass snake) poked it gently with a stick and said "Go away, honey," it rattled at her.

I do have to admit I watched "The Seventh Seal" again the other night and maybe that's where it all started. You watch a dude play chess with Death and you sort of have to take what comes. But with its eye-popping black-and-white cinematography, clear-eyed scripting, and a hard-assed performance by Max von Sydow, it is worth it. The down side is that you remember that most everything made today is disgraceful crap in comparison.

Even though I love this movie, I still love "The Bicycle Thief" more and wish I could make a movie like "Alphaville." If you have not seen these three greats, shut off the internet, set aside your Will Ferrell movie marathon, and get to work. Then come back when you get it done.

Until later I am at

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Taking a Hike

For three years running we have gone hiking on Father's Day. This year, Roush Lake State Recreation Area and Salamonie Reservoir, both near Huntington, Indiana. Wife, puppy, and new Kindle in tow.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Revenge of the Great Cornholio

Field-testing, for the first time, the Colts cornhole boards I made for my father-in-law in the sub-zero weeks before Christmas. The event was the shared birthday party my in-laws held for my kids, now aged 21 and 25. Time marches on.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Good Morning, Campers

Summer Straycationing at O'Bannon Woods State Park in southern Indiana this past weekend.

Albino Raccoon Captured

If you don't think I could have gotten any cooler after this photo was taken, on Monday I was fitted for a mouth guard to wear at night so I don't grind my teeth.

One Less Artery to Worry About

I asked my wife to take a picture so I would always remember this steak, a good two to three inches thick and as red as Mao's little book. Great camping memories.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Be Careful Not To Touch The Wall, There's A Brand New Coat of Paint

The hipster pinnacle for a midnight movie-loving kid like myself growing up was Fangoria Magazine, and I'll never forget when I first saw my name in its pages. And it never gets old.  You can check out the trailer here.

Careful readers see that I got some "Memoir 44" in over Memorial Day and actually won against my brother, a rare victory but tainted somewhat by the fact that I knocked the Allies off the beach on D-Day.  Somewhere, a parallel universe is in peril.  But I also got in "A Touch of Evil," also a very good but very different horror-themed board game.  Old fans of this blog, check it out.

And check out this guy, who, like me, apparently enjoys a Gold Medal paperback from time to time (and I am trawling away on ebay trying to replenish my stock, an old fave company that you used to be able to throw away by the handful and now has disappeared off of used book shelves in favor of big thick Tom Clancys and John Grishams).  (Best not follow that link at the office).

Feeling linky today; more later at