A Quiet Afternoon (Almost No Film Content)

The b.w. is on a train right now, somewhere between Chicago and Austin, TX, on the first reporting and research trip of her next book. (Who would have imagined that UT-Austin would be the home of the world's foremost research center on ancient Aegean scripts? Sounds about as likely as the Tampa Bay Rays winning the AL East.) So I'm living the bachelor life for ten days, for the first time since . . . well, since her last reporting trip for her first book (which you should have bought and read by now, you loafers!).

So I spent almost the entire day watching sports -- how much more of a cliche of masculinity can you get? England over Kazakstan, Scotland haplessly drawing 0-0 with Norway, Wales over Lichtenstein, Spain over Estonia. With the doubleheader of Vi. Klitschko- Peter and Tarver-Dawson in prospect for the evening followed by whatever remained of Game Two of the ALCS (if I'd known how much remained, I might have gone to sleep after the fights), I looked out the window at a truly beautiful day and decided that I needed a walk and a cigar.

It's ironic that since we moved three blocks south (that's all it was), ten yers ago, I almost never get up to Ft. Tryon Park, but I had a large cigar, a book and the clearest blue sky imaginable, so I just started walking north until I hit the park and entered. I didn't take the heather garden route; I figure that with a cigar, I'd be competing with the scent of the flowers in the garden and most people would be less enthused by my smoking than I was. In a way, the roundabout route I settled on instead (down the road past the back of the New Leaf Cafe, then around the cafe and up to the upper part of the park, down through the underpasses to the northern lawn, then back out the way I had come in) was even more pleasant. No tourists snapping pictures or stopping to smell the flowers, no wedding photos being taken, etc. The sun was bright and warm, but not warm enough for me to break a sweat. It was a good cigar, and the people I passed by were interesting and pleasant. Finally, I made my way home by way of one of the supermarkets, with enough groceries for most of the ten days of my enforced bachelorhood, my mind clearer and my soul more relaxed than at any time in the past few insane weeks.

Tomorrow will be devoted first to Sukkah-building, then to several screeners from the upcoming Israel Film Festival, followed by dinner with the estimable Mr. Hozinsky (AKA the eponymous Ira of awards renown) and his lovely wife. Somewhere in the midst of that social/artistic whirl I should try and sneak off to the park again.

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A great find from Jonathan Rosenbaum's blog today, one that I feel obliged to pass along. It's a website called "The Site of Movie Magazines," a title that I must admit I find unintentionally hilarious, although I'm not sure I could tell you why. But the site itself is much more useful than funny. It is a highly sophisticated database of film magazines and 'zines from around the world, with links to the ones that are still publishing (and have an on-line presence) and a selection covers from most of them, living or dead. I find it very comforting to know that in the very early '6t0s there was a short-lived companion to Famous Monsters of Filmland called Famous Westerns of Filmland, which quickly became Wildest Westerns. And who knew that there was/is a 'zine dedicated to the German films based on the writings of Edgar Wallace and others of that ilk (called "krimis" in their homeland)? The site has a lot more to offer, and is worth a peek, if only reassure yourself that there are people who spend even more time than you do in the meaningless pursuit of film-related ephemera.

Me? I do it for the vast sums of money it brings me.

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