November wasn't only about pies and movies!
When I was a kid, my favorite Christmas decoration was a pair of legs painted on plywood mounted to the top of a chimney. They were connected to a windshield wiper motor and kicked, like Santa was stuck face down. It was a good gag.
Cue earlier last month when Mom said that she wanted a new Christmas yard decoration. She was looking at lit Santa Claus blow molds like she had on her door as a child, but when she tried to convey the idea, all I could think of were those kicking legs.
I didn't manage the same level of technical innovation, but I think I got the nostalgia angle right.
Kind of looks like a bit of Photoshop there, doesn't it? Here it is a little closer.
My next door neighbor seems to like it. He's already asked where we bought it so that he could get one of his own. Mom had to let him down easy. This Santa stands alone.
I only saw 11 new-to-me movies in the month of November. I'm no numerologist, but that seems an appropriate number.
193. (1632.) Caged Heat (1974)
This was the first movie that Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) directed. They grow up so fast! No, really, it looks only slightly more professional than the average women-in-prison exploitation flick. Hard to imagine while watching it that the guy behind this went on to Philadelphia.
194. (1633.) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
TCM spent the month highlighting films chosen by the The American Society of Cinematographers, and I'm so glad they did. This silent film directed by the legendary F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu) with the assistance of two great cinematographers (Charles Rosher and Karl Struss) is almost as perfect as a movie can be. There are very few title cards; the movie simply doesn't need them. This should be a must watch for everyone who loves movies.
195. (1634.) Fashions of 1934 (1934)
A comedy of errors? A screwball? A romantic comedy? A little bit of all of them. Not quite a classic, though it does feature a pairing of William Powell and a criminally underused Bette Davis, for those who love such things.
196. (1635.) The Big Picture (1989)
Kevin Bacon is put through the wringer of the Hollywood system in this satire a la The Player (with less murder). I didn't love it. Didn't hate it. Maybe it just didn't speak to me.
197. (1636.) Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
After watching a Murnau movie, I decided to watch this, a fictional re-telling of the making of Nosferatu as if the vampire was a real vampire. I remember William Dafoe promoting this on the talk show circuit at the time. It's a pretty good atmospheric horror. I liked it.
More to come.
Three panels. Two drawings. One derivative wordplay punchline.
It's like Jim Davis is looking into my soul.
My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner 2019:
It's not just the first apple pie I've ever made from scratch, it's the first pie I've ever attempted. Turned out well, too. The recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Step-By-Step Cookbook (1978). An oldie but a goody.
I'll have to raise the bar next year, but in the meantime, my next goal is gingerbread men for Christmas. I'll keep you posted.
ADDENDUM 1: I used Honeycrisp apples. Mom already had some Honeycrisp she wasn't enjoying as eating apples, so into the pie they went despite Friend Robin (and the recipe) calling for Granny Smith. (In fairness to the recipe, Honeycrisp wasn't introduced to the market until 1991, so it would have been real odd for a 1978 cookbook to recommend them.)
ADDENDUM 2: Leaving dinner, my aunt Kelley asked for "a small slice" to take home with her. As I started cutting what I considered a small slice, she shouted, "Not that small!" The piece that she ended up taking was not what I would call small, but I guess Kelley knows what she's doing. She's the lawyer, after all.
I've had several conversations in the past month on topics that clearly indicated the person I was speaking to hadn't read my blog in a long time, if ever. That was both surprising and somewhat discouraging.
When I created this blog, I certainly never expected to make money off it, but I did expect my friends and family to drop in every once in a while. I mean, when your family calls you to connect their new ISP router, the least they could do is use their new Internet connection to ping my site, Dad.
(Historical note 1: this blog predates Facebook by three years and has never stolen anyone's data or threatened American sovereignty. Historical note 2: I've still not made any money off of this website. Non-crime doesn't pay.)
So let me take this opportunity to thank you personally, reader of this post, for spending a few moments of your day at Wriphe.com. I'm grateful of your patronage, and I promise to try not to waste your time.
In fact, let me immediately repay your investment with a delightful meme I found on Reddit:
Ha, ha. See, I told you this site could be worth your time. (Unlike the 20 minutes I just spent on Reddit. What a rabbit hole that is.)
Late in the season, I'm way off the pace for movies in 2019, and it only gets worse as we get to the end of the football season. I've only got two eyes!
Anyway, here is the final batch of movies watched in October:
186. (1625.) Ghost World (2001)
I think I really enjoy coming-of-age movies more when they are based on comic books. Fantastic stuff here, really. Especially that ambiguous ending.
187. (1626.) This Gun for Hire (1942)
The original story of a hit man with a heart of gold! No, not really. He's actually kind of a jerk, but he does have a legit beef against some crooks worse than he is. Highlight here is Robert Preston as a crack-shot cop.
188. (1627.) The Phantom Carriage (1921)
Swedish silent film about paying for your sins in the afterlife. Great atmosphere if light on actual plot. Highlight here is the bit of trivia that the axe-through-the-door scene was the inspiration for a similar shot in The Shining.
189. (1628.) The Sheepman (1958)
Glenn Ford goes so far out of his way to play a cad that it's nearly impossible to accept that he would end up with town hot potato Shirley MacLaine in the end. Highlight here is Leslie Neilsen as a villainous cowpoke.
190. (1629.) Atomic Blonde (2017)
This very stylish action film wants to be John Wick, but the unreliable narrator aspect and resulting questionable reality are a detriment. Highlight is the 80s soundtrack.
191. (1630.) Here Come the Nelsons (1952)
This film uses a traditional sit-com setup, so it feels like a long TV episode. Highlight is that it is the first visual adventure of Ozzie and Harriet and family.
192. (1631.) The Dawn Patrol (1938)
Always-smiling Errol Flynn and his real life best pal, David Niven, leads their WWI flying aces into combat and inevitable deaths! Highlight is the chemistry between the leads.
More to come.
I didn't take that picture. That was broadcast by CBS, which is how I saw the game between Texas A&M and Georgia (final: Texas A&M 13, UGA 19). I post it only to remind myself of what I missed. What a great sunset!
I had a real debate with myself whether or not to attend today's game. The final decision came down to the (accurate) forecast of heavy rain. I went to the Kentucky game last month and was generally miserable. I ended up wet, cold, and bored by the lousy game quality. That wasn't an experience I was interested in having twice in the same season.
Now that the home schedule is over, I'd like to make note of two disappointing trends from the 2019 season:
- 1. Why is it getting so hard to get people to go to the games? Even putting aside the two rainouts, I had a hard time enticing anyone to come with me, and the seats around me were empty most of the time. Assuming this isn't purely a side effect of my own anti-social tendencies, is this a problem with the current state of Georgia football (which seems to win in spite of their anemic offense) or a symptom of some larger trend?
- What happened to bands at halftime? The only band marching in Athens in 2019 was the Redcoats. Was this a fluke in the schedule that no team playing in Athens this year had a traveling marching band, or are marching bands at football games becoming as archaic as the fewer and fewer fans attending them?
Maybe we'll get answers to these questions next year.
Meanwhile, good luck against Tech and in the SEC Championship, Dogs. I assure you I'll be rooting for you on the couch.
Finally! An appropriate thing to be made in the shape of a poo emoji!
Go ahead. Squeeze it.
"Best for photo ops" it says. I mean, yeah, I suppose if you are determined to take a photo of your dog eating poo, better this than the real thing.