Ten Things, 02-2022

It's Ruby!

Here are ten things.

  1. A belated note: January 8th was my cat Ruby's fourth adoptiversary. That picture up there is the first picture I took of her when we got home. As we say around these parts, what a baby!
  2. I got my booster shot on Thursday, which knocked me on my ass for about 36 hours. Worth every ache.
  3. Getting lost in the archives of San Jose-based film critic Fernando F. Croce, whose 300ish-word capsules read like poetry (in part because they allude to poems, and novels, and other movies, natch). To wit, on one of the great films, RoboCop:
    His Calvary is a limb-pulverizing fusillade, with frenetic views of his torso in flayed close-up giving way to a reverse tracking shot of memories vanishing into the ether.
  4. Cult MTL film critic/local legend Justine Smith prefaced her year-end top ten with a smart, sobering state of the profession. “The best critics don't speak for a generation; they speak for themselves.”
  5. Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that I've been into sentence diagramming as of late for... reasons. I finally found a readily-available vulgarized resource that can help me out when I'm in a pinch: A Sentence Diagramming Primer: The Reed & Kellogg System Step-By-Step by Dr. Judith Coats.
  6. RIP Ronnie Spector. If I had to draft a list of perfect songs, “Be My Baby” would be one of the first ones I jot down, due in no small part to Spector's voice; sometimes it doesn't have to be more complicated than “For every kiss you give me, I'll give you three.” Brian Wilson knew what was up, so did Martin Scorsese.
  7. RIP Bob Saget. Sure, there was Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos and the ecstatically filthy stand-up comedy; to me, he's the guy who directed one of the most sublimely idiotic and totally hilarious scenes in any 90s comedy.
  8. One of my odder ongoing pet projects is what I'm tentatively calling “chillhop auteurism;” the plan is to listen to lo-fi hip hop, a ubiquitous genre of music that is meant to be experienced passively, as I would any other album, i.e. in an “active” way. Who are the artists with interesting influences, points of view, and bodies of work? Who is out here shaking up the formulas? I recognize some of these artists by name, but what makes their music theirs? This week's case studies: beat tape 12 by Dutch producer Eevee, Pool Days by Norwegian producer HM Surf, and the best of this bunch, Like the Sky, or Something Else by American producer Sleepy Fish.
  9. At time of writing, I am on pace to watch 494 movies this year, which is a pace I will absolutely not maintain. Some recent favourites: the operatic and stylish Casino (look at all the shout outs Marty is getting), the time-dilated WWII moodtape Dunkirk, and the beautiful rip-roaring animated sci-fi pulp actioner Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie.
  10. A bit of found poetry, courtesy of this video by Toronto-based YouTuber and comedian Kurtis Conner:
    First thing you do when you wake up? Pour a bottle of red wine on your sheets. And then, I don't care how fucking thirsty you are, you go downstairs and you have a sleeve of saltines all to yourself. And then you do some beta breathing. It's kind of like alpha breathing, but instead, on every exhale, you go “ooh, I'm a little cuck!” Next, instead of meditating, you're going to play the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song at full blast and you're going to sit there and think about every single mistake you've ever made in your life. And then you go upstairs, get in the shower, and you make it as hot as you can. Make it so hot that it sets your journal on fire. And while that wet, wet journal is up in flames, you make a “to feel” list and you leave it blank. Today, you feel nothing. Then you go back downstairs, pull out your blender, pour a can of Mountain Dew in there along with a fistful of cosmic brownies and you just guzzle that down until you can't feel your legs anymore, okay? And that's fine, you don't need them for what you're about to do. You're going to park your ass down to play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 until you pass out due to exhaustion or a heart attack from the smoothie. Good morning! [x]