Caught this one while flipping chanels and I couldn’t stop watching it. It reminded me of Rebecca, in that it was a dark black-and-white romantic melodrama with hints that something creepy and occult going on. The heroine Miranda (Gene Tierney) is stunningly beautiful. I did not recognize the chisel-faced Nicholas Van Ryn at all, but IMDB told me he was Vincent Price. He was incredible.

Dragonwyck, in which no dragon appears, is the name of the Van Ryn ancestral home. But suprise! The regency romance is actually set in America. New York started out as New Amsterdam, remember? and the Van Ryn empire is a full-on castle with Peasants and Nicholas is the Dutch nobleman, called ‘Patroon’.

That woud be totally weird, except that the movie takes it head on, with the American farmers revolting against their fuedal situation. Slavery in the south is well-known, but I didn’t know that New York had this going on as recently as 1840.

I expected this movie melodrama to be a straight up romantic drama, but the political story was really intriguing. The status awareness of Nicholas Van Ryn creates the structure and motivations for the characters.

It has a lot of unexpected twists and tons of suspense. It has all the wonderful guilty pleasure of an overblown romance, but surprised me by keeping a pretty realistic hold on human behavior. I think I may have to get this movie.

Too bad for me, Amazon doesn’t have it. They have the book, which I think I’ll read. I’ll let you know how that is

The Report from Ozzfest 2005

Not really a fan of Ozzie, or that genre. But my friend went there this weekend. He’s been a fan for a long time. Long enough that maybe he should be over it.

But he’s not. He and his buddy went. His teenage son declined a ticket in favor of staying home and playing World of Warcraft. The son of his buddy was psyched to go, though.

Both the heat and the moshing were intense. The men headed for the beer and the teenager headed for the pit.

Of course, the kid had his cell phone. And his Dad called him in between every song.

“You okay?”
“I’m fine, Dad.”
“Okay, be careful.”

They discovered that many women had abandoned their tops in favor of bodypaint. He showed me a picture of a lady wearing painted grenades like Ariel wearing seashells. She was one of several.

“You should have seen it! There was a booth called ‘Kick me in the head, a###*le’. There was this guy, shaved head, covering his nose, and you got three chances to hit him as has as you could with a soccer ball. There were people lined up around the corner! Bunch of sickos.”

“Did you throw the balls at him?”

“Well, yeah. My buddy paid for me to do it.”

“Couple more years in purgatory for you.”

“Huh, probably. I asked the guy if he like getting hit. He said, ‘It’s just a job man. It really sucks when you get him five times in a row.'”

“Sounds like a time.”

“It was great!”

Misadventures in the (213) by Dennis Hensley

Los Angeles is a fun place. It’s also a pretty silly place–a place that tries to invent the fashions and create the trends. And the world is just an enabler, letting L.A. get away with it.

Which gives L.A.’s silliness a self-importance it probably doesn’t deserve.

But the best of that brand of uber-hip ridiculousness is self-aware. The people who know they are ridiculous–who are serious about their art some of the time but almost nothing else the rest of the time–make L.A. a fun place.

Hensley wrote up that side of Hollywood, using the jaded, pop-media-saturated 20-something zietgiest that I’m so familiar with.

The title refers to the area code of the downtown/hollywood area–part of the zip and area code caste system that allows one group to look down on another. The TV star actress, the painfully gay screenwriter and the chubby actress friend start it off and it takes off from there.

A cast of characters go around on unlikely adventures through L.A. I would usually dismiss this kind of book, but I actually enjoyed it. Having lived here for a while, I find it more believable than I otherwise would.

This is a fun read, not a challenging thought in it. But it’s engaging enough to read it to the end.


If you can’t get this on the audio version, at least read it out loud. This epic was meant to be heard.

Gilgamesh is arguably the oldest story in the world, with all the great ancient epic tricks. I love how it repeats the same phrases, such as when Gilgamesh wakes up from his prophetic dreams over and over:

“Did you touch me? Did a god walk by?”

It had me chanting along with the CD. The adventures of Gilgamesh and Enkidu are pretty exciting.

So exciting, in fact, that I would seriously consider recommending it as excellent bedtime reading for the kids.

Except that Gilgamesh and Enkidu get up to enough high-jinks to get not only an ‘R’ rating, but maybe even an NC-17.

Good stuff, that’s all I’m saying.

For the sporty Islamic woman

There is still time to purchase the new Burqu-ini!

“Nowadays when we slowly feel the warmth of the sun, Hasema has already started to lead the summer fashion with its new collection…HASEMA TEKSTİL LTD.STİ. was founded in 1989 in order to produce appropriate swim suits through islamic rules…”

Maybe there are some on clearance now that summer is almost over.

the closer

During the TV summer dry spell, TNT has come up with “The Closer” to catch out interest. Kyra Sedgewick plays this Deputy Chief of police in Los Angeles who solves crimes.

Love the cops shows. And I love “The Closer.” First of all, the show is about the deputy chief, rather than the beat cops. It’s a new take on police work. But in addition to the “dead bodies” we all love, the cool crimes and detective work, the Closer is character-driven.

We now pause this blogpost to give this emergency message:
WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE ARE HAVING A TOUGH TIME. Have you even noticed how ignored we chicks are? I know how rough it’s been for me. And when I noticed a few weeks ago that even ivillage.com has taken down their ‘careers’ section, I felt so discouraged.

But as for “the Closer”…
This woman, a little southern-drawling slip of a thing, has to come in and command the respect of the hardened crew she’s been given. Brenda, played by Sedgewick, was brought over by a former boss and lover to come work in L.A., leaving behind a murky scandal in her previous job. She is in a career that is so harsh, but she is totally feminine. I love her!

She is on top of her game, totally a woman with foibles and weaknesses and awkward moments, but she rocks. I love love this show.

I had the opportunity to actually shake hands with Kyra Sedgewick when I saw her at a local watering hole. I told her I loved her show and that she was living my life exactly as Brenda. She was very gracious and thanked me for watching.

You all should watch it to; you won’t regret it.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Imagine a chill room at a rave. The pounding music with the repetitive but interesting sound samples, the rythmn and the heat are pervasive but still slightly removed. The pillows are beneath your dance-exhausted body and you stare at the weird visual projection provided.

Your mind is open and relaxed, ready to ponder the slow changing light-shapes metamorphasizing across the screens. You are ready to think about the relationship between circles, squares and sine waves–the universe and everything. Themes and dissonances flow, merge and separate in your consciousness. You are relaxed, receptive and passive in that moment.

That’s what reading Murakami feels like for me. Except I don’t feel passive. His book,The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, has some of the most far out things happen. Toru Okada, the hero of the story, lives the most ordinary life in which occur the most surprising and illogical experiences.

And yet, like a chill room, I feel totally open to the story. I do not feel passive about it though. I could not put the book down. More than 600 pages, and I could not put it down until the end. I am still thinking about it days later.

There is an emotional truth to the story that lodges deep. The love of Toru Okada and his wife for one another is so poignant, while being completely devoid of sentimentality.

And the book’s struggle to write around the extra-reality of human spirit or experience leaves me very thoughtful about what it means to be human.

I am going to find more of this guy’s books. As an avid reader, this blew my mind away. If you are looking for a good chewy book, this will not disappoint.

Shouting can take longer than you think

There was a post…how many days ago? it seems so long ago.

I posted “It’s all over but the shouting.”

Shouting takes longer than I would have expected. I finally closed escrow on my new Claremont home. I will have the keys tonight.

WHAT a lot of drama. Oh my goodness. All this back and forth and this crisis and that mislaid something or other has convinced me of one thing:

I do not want to make my living with real estate.

No thank you. There are too many things outside the sphere of your control in real estate. NOT my comfort zone.

I am quite happy to take on systems with lots of layers of complexity. I like to dig deep and thoroughly learn the systems so that I can quickly navigate between them all.

But, the precision factor is totally lacking in real estate. There are not enough expected outcomes. I mean, there are too many people involved.

And people are not precise.

So, leave me with my machines. I can have patience with them. But I have lost patience with the people.

And just in time. I’ve sold the one and bought the other and NOW, i just have to move all the stuff.

My whole body is a sigh of relief to have it done.

Traven and his books

Someone recommended this book to me: The Death Ship. He said, “It’s by Traven.”

“Oh yeah!” I remembered. “That’s the guy who did The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I had to read that for a film and lit class. It was really good.”

Since I had to take a test on it, I knew that Traven was kind of a pinko socialist kind of guy. He wrote TOTSM as a kind of critique on capitalism and greed, etc. The story is about goldminers, after all. How much more greedy can you get?

But TOTSM was a great story, and I actually liked hearing the description of how they did the actual mining. Being from Alaska,I ran into a few gold miners now and again.

As is often the case, the book is better than the movie, but the movie is really great too.

Remembering all this I went to check out The Death Ship. This one was in a similar style and structure as TOTSM, but unless you are really into sailing…I mean, I don’t know. It didn’t grab me. It went on and on in very grim depressing language about how this life was so awful and the ship was so crappy. In the end, I couldn’t finish it.

Which is too bad. The other book was so great I would have loved to read another like it. Maybe I’ll try some of his other books.

All over but the shouting

So all the papers are signed and the movers are scheduled. We are now just waiting for the keys exchange.

Chris and I will be moving into the house next week and officially, I will be a Claremont resident. Gulp.

We alternate between telling each other that things are mostly packed to saying that there is way too much left to pack. We are certainly chest deep in boxes. But then again, we keep tripping over all the loose stuff that is not packed yet.

Soon. Soon.

I’ve been at my new job for two weeks yet. It seems to be a good one. There is enough to keep me busy, but also the people are supportive and pretty nice. What more coudl I ask for?

I am wanting to get back into writing my book, which is gathering a layer of dust.

But there has been a lot of change going on. I know I will get back to the book, and I should be able to finish it next year. But there is a little bit of chaos in my life, so the muse if hiding.

It will come back.