Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kitsap Street cinema

Looking at my film collection you might think it would be time for me to open up my own little movie house. I think it would be grand to build it into some kind of pub-like setting, spin some music, pour a little wine and then turn down the lights and splash a bit of old cinema on the walls, just like that theater down there in Portland. How cool would it be to serve up pub food, play tunes while the crowd rolls in, then, when everyone is poured and well oiled and lightly fed, pop in a film, chat it up a bit and let it roll.

I took in a film tonight downtown, something I rarely do. I don't know why I don't do it more often, but tonight it was easy to catch, as the film I wanted to catch was right up the street at the Historic Orchard Theater. Seven o'clock showing of Gran Torino. I can't tell you how many films have come and gone out of that little house that I've wanted to see. Some I've caught up with at home on dvd, but most I've only gotten to read the reviews about or heard tell about them through my colleague at work. But tonight I managed to drag my groceries home in time for a quick turnaround and had cash enough in my pocket to pop for a flick. It was a good thing to do. Great movie, wonderful time.

Wonderful if only because I felt that I was doing my part in keeping that little house going. There were only a half dozen or so of us in the theater tonight. That made the screening feel very intimate. For a moment I sat to the back of the auditorium, right next to the door, close enough to the projection booth to hear the film sproketing through the projector. I moved a bit closer to the screen after that, not close enough to hear my neighbor rummage around in his popcorn tub, but close enough to block out the ambient light of the exit sign. I paid good money to experience the movie on a big screen, and I sat close enough to make that screen seem bigger than anything I could experience at home.

What's wonderful, too, about the whole movie out in town thing is the joint emotional experience you share with the crowd. It it never fails to thrill me, those shared cinema moments. It's one thing to be at home and get all intellectual about a film, really study it in a somewhat controlled environment, but it's another to register the movie through other peoples reactions. Isn't it something to sit there and groove with a bunch of strangers and laugh at a scene together? I find it fascinating that we all find different things to laugh at, or find similar ways to feel that grand sweep of panic or joy or pain that the characters feel together as a group. I suppose that's why I am so dogged about keeping my little film group going, why I work it so hard at maintaining it's momentem. It's that communal experience, that vicarious thrill we all share together, each and every month, that makes watching movies together so worthwhile. It's a grand thing, indeed, even if that grand thing only lasts for a moment or two.

Tonight, in order to earn that movie time, I had to hump almost fifty pounds of groceries..on foot. I have friends coming over for supper on Saturday. I plan on making Mexican that night. Always a crowd pleaser. Enchiladas, spatchcocked chickens, fresh frijoles, a pan of Mexican rice, a jar of my cousin Ray's famous salsa, and couple new sauce and salad recipes I cadged out of the Seattle Times on Wednesday. I think it will be great to break bread, drink wine, chat books and all that with new friends and family of my colleague. Get out some toys for her boy to play with. Play some parlor games together as a group. Nothing better than having friends over.

But later on this weekend, after the food is put away and the dishes are done, I hope to find some time to plow through some of the movies I found today at Goodwill. Sure, all of them are on VHS, but still. Get aload of these titles:

House of Games
Mona Lisa
The Sheltering Sky
The Handmaid's Tale
La Cage Aux Folles
The Rose
The Quiet Earth. And all, except for two, were new in the box. A buck a throw. How nice is that?

So all that, plus a screening of An Inconvenient Truth at the Port Orchard Branch on Sunday at 2PM. Wow. All the movies a man can stand. Maybe, just maybe.

But still, it's a time thing we're facing here. Like with books and music, there's all too much to see, to read, to listen to. Where are we going to find the time? Well, how 'bout right now? Who needs to open a movie house when the best local cinema is right upstairs? Come on by and I'll pour you a glass of some Barefoot Pinot Grigio. Heat up some enchiladas. We'll nosh abit, then turn down the lights and let those reels spin!


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