Notes · · Tucson

Lane 9

Ken, bowling
Golden Pin Lanes
Lane 9
Hiram, bowling

We were looking for something to do and Ken suggested bowling. I don't remember the last time I went bowling. I think this was maybe the fourth time ever. Golden Pin Lanes, the last non-chain bowling center in town will close sometime in the next year. We decided to go there. 

Sounds · · Tucson

Odyssey Storytelling: Fake

It's been almost a month since the May Odyssey Storytelling event and I'm still cracking up when I think about Drew Cronyn's story of finding life (and vocal) direction in an important book, Vene Aguirre revealing the identity of her true father to her dad, and other stories about faking it.

Sounds · · Tucson

The Marble Faun, Parts 1 & 2

Among many things, this is also the story of another young person whose life is forever changed after discovering the Beale sisters.

Everything is Stories: The Marble Faun “A story of a runaway, sexual identity, and survival in the wake of loss.” 

Notes · · Tucson

Monster Children, Issue 58

Monster Children, Issue 58

I love Monster Children because its images of surfing and skateboarding remind me of what it's like to be young; I love Monster Children because its writing reminds me it's okay to put into writing how annoying things can be; I love the Australia Issue of Monster Children because it reminds me that I'm not the only one annoyed by U.S. news.

The Australia Issue. A concept that started as one thing and ended up completely contrary to what I intended at the close, for better or worse. The initial idea came about in light of over a year of being completely assaulted on all fronts with nothing but news of the United States. Sick of nothing but the frumpy clown in the White House, we thought shining a light on our own country, warts and all, would offer brief respite if nothing else.

Alistair Klinkenberg: The Australia Issue, an Introduction

Notes · · Decatur

Serena Joy

Serena Joy, what a stupid name. It’s like something you’d put on your hair, in the other time, the time before, to straighten it. Serena Joy, it would say on the bottle, with a woman’s head in cut-paper silhouette on a pink oval background with scalloped gold edges. With everything to choose from in the way of names, why did she pick that one? Serena Joy was never her real name, not even then. Her real name was Pam. I read that in a profile on her, in a news magazine, long after I’d first watched her singing while my mother slept in on Sunday mornings. By that time she was worthy of a profile: Time or Newsweek it was, it must have been. She wasn’t singing any more by then, she was making speeches. She was good at it. Her speeches were about the sanctity of the home, about how women should stay home. Serena Joy didn’t do this herself, she made speeches instead, but she presented this failure of hers as a sacrifice she was making for the good of all.

Around that time, someone tried to shoot her and missed; her secretary, who was standing right behind her, was killed instead. Someone else planted a bomb in her car but it went off too early. Though some people said she’d put the bomb in her own car, for sympathy. That’s how hot things were getting.

Luke and I would watch her sometimes on the late-night news. Bathrobes, nightcaps. We’d watch her sprayed hair and her hysteria, and the tears she could still produce at will, and the mascara blackening her cheeks. By that time she was wearing more makeup. We thought she was funny. Or Luke thought she was funny. I only pretended to think so. Really she was a little frightening. She was in earnest.

She doesn’t make speeches any more. She has become speechless. She stays in her home, but it doesn’t seem to agree with her. How furious she must be, now that she’s been taken at her word. 

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Cineclub · · Tucson

Mister Lonely

Mister Lonely. Dir. Harmony Korine. 2007


You are not alone. Actually though, you are. If you believe you can fly, you can. Actually though, you can't.

Cineclub · · Tucson

Swagger

First of all, I want to say something about a pair of Parisian twenty-somethings I met at a street vendor’s crepe cart in 2010.

I was trying to remember French prepositions I didn’t learn in high school so I could ask for Nutella and coconut on my crepe when two sleek young black men who looked like dancers from Madonna's “Truth or Dare” introduced themselves like this:

“Hello. Please, please say aus coco, again.”

So I did and when they stopped laughing they lamented their lives in Paris with the same hopeless tone of street people begging for money for food. “Paris is so boring. Please, there is nothing to do here. We are dying of the boredom.”

They said they wanted to live in the United States, where life is like in the movies.

“You are from Arizona? Cow-boy!”

I thought about how when I was a teenager, all of my pals would have lived in Paris given the chance. Then I thought about how young people are bored no matter where they are.

Swagger. Dir. Olivier Babinet. 2016


“Swagger” is a beautiful environmental portrait of a group of African and Middle Eastern youth at a school in a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris. The things they talk about are the same things young people everywhere talk about: Dreams, love, the future, and what it feels like to be an outsider.

But when they speak of being outsiders, it's with a bittersweet degree of understanding of the World that most of us don’t have the credentials for. They dream of being French and living in Paris; and even though they are, they aren’t.

So close and yet so far away.

If you like honesty, light, hope and laughter or even if you don’t like any of those things and the only thing in life you like is drone photography, see this movie.

Music · · Tucson

Popcorn/One More Chance

If you've been alive anytime in the last 46 years, you've heard the song Popcorn in one form or another.

Notes · · Tucson

Groundhog Day

The owner of the market was cashiering and couldn't remember how to ring things up. He said, “This is my store, but every time I have to work the register it's like groundhog day.”

People have really warmed up to this analogy. I hear it a lot anymore.

Cineclub · · Tucson

Il Boom

Il Boom. Dir. Vittorio De Sica. 1963


Giovanni is a contractor looking for a way out of the debt he's amassed maintaining appearances. At first, things are frenetic: Giovanni buying his wife a car and furs, Giovanni writing lots of checks, Giovanni at the racquet club. Ciao, Giovanni. Ciao! Then things get frantic: Giovanni at the loan company asking for an extension, Giovanni asking a friend for a very large loan, Giovanni trying to scheme his brother-in-law. No, Giovanni. No!

Everyone is zipping around Rome in tiny cars, drinking and dancing the Twist in smart suits and cocktail dresses until dawn, talking Italian. Everything is happening so fast and I start to wonder if the words for frantic and frenetic are as easily confused in Italian as they are in English. Any time you can make out a few words here and there of a language you can't speak, things are bound to feel like they're going too fast, I suppose.

Things slow down eventually and everyone goes to bed. The next day, the wife of a wealthy manufacturer offers Giovanni a way out. It will costare un occhio della testa. I know that idiomatic expression because Spanish has a similar one: costar un ojo de la cara, which means (translated literally) to cost an eye from your face. Or, as an English speaker would say, “It'll cost you an arm and a leg.”

This adds an existential dimension to the film's premise. If Giovanni were living beyond his means in Manahattan, he would have to sell two limbs.   

If you don't think about the dark socio-economic implications — and there isn't a lot of time to, so you probably won't — it's a light and fun film. There's even an intermission. You can use it to get snacks or look up words you're wondering about.

Notes · · Tucson

Compatibility Issues

A rainy day and riding my bike to work are two things I love but prefer to love not at the same time.

Recipes · · Tucson

Sad Love Story Scrambled Eggs

  • 4 eggs
  • Oil or butter

Coat a skillet with the oil or butter and place it on the stove over medium heat.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook until the whites are no longer transparent. Flip the eggs, exacly as you would if you were trying to prepare them over-easy. A large chunk of the whites will end up on the stove top. If they burn, it will set off the smoke alarm. Try not to worry about it. Use a wooden spoon to sort of scramble what's left. 

Whatever. 

Serve the eggs with sourdough toast and a some freshly cracked black pepper. You hoped things would turn out differently.

Cineclub · · Tucson

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty. Dir. Julia Leigh. 2011


A nihilistic college student moonlights with a Helmut Newton styled catering company. She is soon promoted to the role of Sleeping Beauty, a job that entails sleeping for powerful men who can't risk engaging with a woke person.