Letters to Holly

Monday, August 24

A New Blog Presentation

Big thunderstorms shut down our satellite TV for only the third time ever. We gave up on broadcasts and continued watching the West Wing DVDs. Within four episodes, the show breaks away from the breezy style and gets down to business. Some of the crest-swelling rhetoric is ham-fisted now, but the cadence of the the dialogue is rock solid. I miss Toby Ziegler. That character needs to be moved to another show as Richard Belzer's Detective Munch drifted from Homicide to X-Files to Law and Order: SVU. Toby doesn't get cute office flirts or abstract ruminations. He's is a laser for political reality and Constitutional dogma. He's driven and bitter and committed to proper government. I'm moved to write a fan letter.

I gave blood on Saturday at a local church. I didn't make an appointment and took along the John Adams book to wait for my extractions. I'm a pro at this now; I could take someone else's blood if I had to. Your Sis planned for us to see Inglorious Basterds after she managed her schoolwork, and I whittled the day away with chores.

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Now we present our new movie-review feature hosted by the original and latest toy versions of Bossh, the Empire Strikes Back lizard bounty hunter. We call it Bossh Office.

Today's film: Inglorious Basterds

Surly Bossh: What. The. Hell? No one told me this thing was subtitled! Like I can read anyway. I don't even speak whatever it is people speak in Star Wars. Interlac? Skywalkese? I'm a lizard, people. I speak lizard. And a scoash of Esperanto. I don't speak German or French, and I don't want to hear three hours of people speaking German or French. No one mentioned this in the ads. This was Das Boot all over again. I'm so in a snit.

Chipper Bossh: Chill, dude. It's an authentic immersion into the languages of WWII. I was fascinated by watching people act beyond the limitations of language. After an hour, I was practically speaking French myself. I haven't been able to do that since high school.

Surly Bossh: Yeah, and after that 90 minutes, you had another 90 to go. This fucker's interminable. You want to learn French? Try this: The film is el longo. No one told me this either. By the time Brad Pitt showed up in Germany, my bladder wanted to run screaming like a mousedroid.

Chipper Bossh: And how about Pitt? Good to see him doing comedy again. He's always funny. He can play dumb like no one else.

Surly Bossh: How about he's in the movie for about ten minutes? The whole film is people sitting around tables and having half-hour conversations. Then the director remembers, "oh, yeah, I've got funny Americans around here somewhere," and we get them for about three seconds.

Chipper Bossh: It's not about them.

Surly Bossh: The f'ing film is NAMED for them! It's not Inglorious Nazi People! It's not Surreptitious French Businesswomen! I paid for Basterds!

Chipper Bossh: And we got them. But we have to see why the Nazis are so bad and how they interact with conquered France. A tone must be set. Besides, that SS officer actor did a great job. He was charming and competent and clever.

Surly Bossh: He rocked the casbah is what he did.

Chipper Bossh: But we never forgot he was evil, and we awaited his hopeful bad end. Tarantino is great at presenting complex characters who show us why they are good or bad. Or a mix of both. The whole film is about complexity. These people have to be smart to survive this war. Everyone does. The film shows us smart people matching wits in polite conversation and on the front lines. It's about violence of the will and the hand.

Surly Bossh: And that violence was awesome! Lots of blood and gore. Kick ass.

Chipper Bossh: I could have done without it, but I suppose this is what we get from Tarantino.

Surly Bossh: Dude, we're cold-blooded. We're supposed to like violence.

Chipper Bossh: Oh, I didn't demand a refund or anything. Tarantino doesn't flinch from either free-flowing conversation or the evil that men do. Some are saying this is his best film, but I think it's too early to tell. Still, it's a satisfying film that made me squirm and laugh in the same minute, and that's good filmmaking. There were some touches that were unmistakably Tarantino's, and I enjoyed them all.

Surly Bossh: I enjoyed maybe ten percent of this film because those scenes were what I thought the whole film would be. Instead, we get heaps of tense yap-yap and David Bowie on the soundtrack. Bowie? In a WW II movie? Gimme a break. Surly Bossh out.

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I knew Sunday would be a big day for yardwork, and I skipped running this weekend. I'm also going back to the fall running schedule for the evenings. I can't run with all this impending school traffic. In the mornings now, I'll go back do daily drawing.

The garden was hammered by the rain, and we lost some plants. I weeded it Sunday. How much rain did we have? I'm growing kelp. I mixed coffee grounds, compost, and soil to brace the surviving plants. Later that day I mowed and weeded the yard, and I rewarded myself with the rare Pepsi.

I plucked a bell pepper and some jalapenos for the stir fry, adding carrots from a neighbor's garden. Now I stripped all the seeds out of the jalapenos. I know I did. Still, I was ablaze when we ate the meal. Sweating. Sniffing. Crying. My voice cracked. This was inhuman. But tasty.

Your Sis has today to go before she gets students, and she's mostly ready. This weekend allowed her to batten down the necessaries.

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