Friday, June 11, 2004

What a crap day today has been. It's been raining -- if you've seen any of the Regan coverage, and with it's ubiquitousness, I can't imagine anyone hasn't at least seen something unless they lived in a cave! -- and I have been incredibly unmotivated to do anything today.

I had grand plans -- well, not too grand -- to clean up my apartment and finally finish unpacking from last weekend. It's already seven o'clock, and I have yet to get started. Oh well, I did manage to make a fairly disgusting pasta salad for dinner. It was from the new Good Eats magazine -- it's a Martha Stewart publication. It was supposed to be this tasty Greek pasta salad with shrimp, but instead it ended up being too much pasta, not very good yogurt sauce, and the fresh mint I tracked down doesn't taste very minty. Oh well, I guess the moral of the story is to not try new things. Oh, I'm just kidding. I'll give it a try tomorrow and see if it improves any overnight, but otherwise, I'll just fish out the shrimp and chuck the rest.

Oh, I wanted to say something about Regan. It was very bizarre -- because I was away for the weekend and Jenny's TV reception is less than desirable, I didn't actually find out that he had died until Monday morning when I turned on the Today show. Regan was the president of my childhood -- in fact, until Bill Clinton ran for election, I was probably a Republican. (Oh, how things have changed.) I don't know much about Regan's policies, and after reading some articles about Regan and his legacy, I've realized that he isn't someone I would support now. But he's gone now, and it's unlikely there will ever be a politican who can combine personality and policy as Regan did so successfully. Quite a charmer, or so I understand.

So what is that I have been doing today? Reading and watching movies. It's been raining fairly steadily all afternoon, so I managed to catch up on some of the movies that have piled up from my Memorial Day weekend access-to-cable tape-athon. And I watched Easy to Wed, which was so-so. I enjoyed Van Johnson (who still reminds me of Ronald Regan and Republicans), but otherwise, it wasn't very good. However, it did make me want to seek out the orginal -- Libeled Lady, mostly to see what real stars (Tracy, Powell, Loy, and Harlow) did with the excellent material. Although -- there was one very entertaining number in Easy to Wed. A woman plays the organ very well, and there is a song and dance number by Johnson and Williams. I especially enjoyed the fact that the organist left on her high heels to play the organ -- and they panned down so you could check out her legs.

I also got a couple of Hitchcock movies from the library -- ones I hadn't seen before, but had meant to. Dial M for Murder was pretty good -- very suspenseful, but it was pretty clear that it had been a play. Grace Kelly was good, and Ray Milland was very enjoyable. I almost wanted him to get away with murdering her -- but then when it didn't work out and she killed the murderer in self-defense, I wanted him to not get caught. I also got Shadow of a Doubt, one of Hitchcock's more minor thrillers. Uncle Charlie comes to town after being pursued by detectives to visit his family. His niece Charlie has very strong connections to him -- they're closer than niece and uncle, they're like twins! -- but soon this connection starts to go awry. It's an excellent look at small-town America, and young Charlie's suspicion that her Uncle Charlie is a serial killer (the "Merry Widow killer") builds quite well. She can't share anything with her family, and watching her deal with her knowledge -- and the attempts made on her life by Uncle Charlie is very engrossing. Joseph Cotten plays Uncle Charlie, and he is great. I would definitely recommend both of these movies -- especially if you've already seen most of Hitchcock's more famous movies (Psycho, North by Northwest, Rear Window, etc.). I've always been a big fan of Hitchcock, espeically after my film class in college. I read Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut to write a paper on Psycho, and it was quite an interesting read. The book is essentially an interview of Hitchcock by Truffaut, who was a very influential French new-wave director, and it discusses all of Hitchcock's films. Now that I've watched some of the movies that the book made me want to watch, I think I might have to track it down again....perhaps I may have to invest in buying a copy someday....

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