Monthly Archives: February 2011

Well, looky here

I read somewhere that trying to publish poetry in America is like throwing a feather into the Grand Canyon and waiting to hear it hit bottom. Heh. I think it’s the same way with bloggers, about whom it has been said, “Never before have so many written so much to be read by so few.” Guilty. Still, I’m a happy nobody.

RtB is three years old today. Can it really be? Looking at the “Archives”  menu on your right, I’d say yep, it sho can.

It’s no big deal in the grand scheme of bloggy things, mind. Some blogs have been around for ten years or longer. I can’t hold up my three little candles to those behemoths. But really now, how many blogs about absolutely nothing have run for ten years? Not many, I’ll wager. So, hopefully, I’m off to a good start.

Once again I thank all (90 of) my worldwide readers for stopping by Finkville once in awhile to see if I’d happened upon an intelligent thought overnight. Commenting fiends — and you know who you are — I adore you. I appreciate the folks who read but don’t comment, too, even though I think you’re scaredy cats (come on, really, I’m harmless).

Highest of fives also to my online writing idol, Ross.

This endeavor represents the longest I’ve “kept at” anything outside family and career in my life. I do not possess innate self-discipline, believe it. My mom was always after me to do the daily household chores (“See? If you’ll just fold up your halfslip and put it in the dresser drawer like so, you’ll never lose it again”), and it seems like I fought her at every step. I will let the errant Starbucks cup or Pepsi Max can sit on the garage floor forever. I’ve been losing the same 20 pounds for 30 years. Personal tenacity is not my strong suit.

Therefore, this almost-daily writing odyssey must provide me with some comfort, or a feeling of acceptance and peace in a weary, crazy world. I certainly think so today. So I thank all my fiends for coming to my little party every day (or at least on occasion). I am both happy and humbled that you do.

Fink out (and up) for another year.

The Nuttiest Things Ever

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Zimbabwe’s inflation:

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The teacher union “Fair Share” program. It’s an “either-or” situation. There is no compromise, no discussion, no negotiation and no open lines of communication — crucial activities on which many unions are built and in which they take great pride. Hypocritical? Nah. “Join us and pay, or don’t join us and pay” — yeah, that’s the ticket. Whatever. Join your union and be proud, or choose not to join it and be proud. Anything else is extortion.

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Lucky Break Wishbones. Just $8.50 for ten in a package.

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I triple-dog dare you to drink this.

And on that note, I’ll go make the coffee. The non-predigested kind, thanks. :P

B & W photos: Getty Images/LIFE

Relapse,

I shake my fist at you.

By Friday night, I was starting to feel better. I’d had a light lunch at school, and by the time we left for BFF Kay and Bob’s house for dinner, I was feeling OK. So, I ate a big meal.

Big mistake.

Spent all day and evening chained to the couch so I could be near the…well, ick. And although this morning is a mixture of weakness, sleepiness (how in the world??) and dehydration, I’m on the mend. Blast you, flu, you foul thing.

Not having the concentration to read or the strength to get up and do anything other than make more tea, I watched movies. Five of them; two I’d seen already, and three I hadn’t. I’m interested to know what you thought of the following, if you’ve seen them:

  1. Howards End. Loved it, although I love just about any James Ivory period piece (Remains of the Day, A Room With a View, Surviving Picasso), or any period piece at all, actually — especially Edwardian England. If you’ve ever pined to repair to a secluded, peaceful, gorgeous cottage in the English countryside where not much exists except you and nature, you’ll see lots of photography you like in this film. The story is the perfect marriage of tragedy and delight — with some comeuppance thrown in at the end for good measure. It was worth a third viewing. I think I’ll get Remains to watch the same two lead actors (Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins) in very different roles.
  2. Brooklyn’s Finest. My film sensibilities don’t require this much misery and bloodshed. I can’t lie. There was not a single moment of anything but drudgery, pain, murder, disillusionment, anger, bitterness, loneliness and guilt in this film. My constitution — at least the state it was in yesterday — couldn’t handle it. But I finished it. The one positive note is that the ending held a bit of a surprise, in that the people I thought were going to survive didn’t, and vice-versa.  Unless you go for gritty dramas featuring all kinds of cops (the cynical near-retiree, the drug money skimmer, the hardcore undercover), take a pass.
  3. The Hudsucker Proxy. Had to watch this one again, after not seeing it since around 1995. While a bit trippy and silly, it’s a good representation of the Coen brothers before they decided they had to be so unbelievably bizarre that people would say, “Wow, that makes no sense at all; it must be great art!” The best part of the movie is Jennifer Jason Leigh, whose characterization channels a strange combination of Katharine Hepburn and the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s awesome. Watch this film and you will hear and see both.
  4. Modigliani. A pretty film with a whole lot of flaws. Music that doesn’t fit the era, hugely popular artists who seemingly have nothing to do and just happen to be everywhere Modigliani decides to go, and jumpy-jumpy plot and venue changes are among the niggling details that bugged me. But — and this is a BIG fat but — Andy Garcia was dreamy. Case closed: worth watching. And speaking of anachronism…
  5. Moulin Rouge! I knew I was supposed to like this film. After all, it’s A) a musical, B) it contains some really nice tunes from the last 30 years, C) Ewan McGregor’s in it and D) everyone who’s anyone loved it. Um…A) so what? B) see A, C) eww, and D) I guess I’m a nobody. McGregor’s irksome sing-yelling (honey, take the time to study and learn how to control your upper register) was the biggest obstacle for me. That, and the fact that every time he smiles, he reminds me of the guy from Creature Features, a Chicago-based horror show I used to watch in my childhood. I know, that’s really shallow. Guilty as charged. But still, the plot jumped so higgeldy-jiggeldy from campy Rocky Horror nods to serious issues dealing with consumption and grief, it was hard to care about any of the characters. And for me, I have to establish that empathetic link — at least on some level — or the movie is a deal breaker for me. I have to admit, though, the “Like a Virgin” production number was awesome. And don’t get me wrong; non-singing actors who do their own singing get my respect. Both leads sang in tune, and when McGregor was in a comfortable range, it was pleasant enough to listen to. It just didn’t happen often enough to diminish the cringe factor.

So, to summarize:

YES – Howards End, Hudsucker Proxy, Modigliani
NOBrooklyn’s Finest, Moulin Rouge

And all the above + $3 will get you a…

Dear deer…

…may you rest in pieces.

Almost a year after our interesting I-71 debacle with the flying boxes, the Finkmobile gets into another jam — this time, with flying animals.

[The only reason I’m making light of this is because my son, who was driving my car at the time, his wife and my grandsons were unhurt.]

We’d traded cars yesterday, and #1 Son had just come home from the road, and was looking forward to a fun day with his sons at the zoo today. R & R over the weekend was apparently on the schedule as well. Instead, he got a car full of Bambi’s mom. Fortunately, after some major body work, it’ll all be good as new, but for now, it’s not so pretty. I just thank the good Lord it wasn’t the windshield that took the brunt:

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Since another car hit the deer after my son, he called the law and notified them. They came out to his house, looked at the damage, and provided the only thumbs-up event of the evening. Hence, the very excited 3-year-old:

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Too much close-call stuff for Grammie Fink last night. But hey, another paint job, couple o’ new doors, some new headlights…it could be worse. :-)

A Thursday respite

Yes, I gave in and stayed home today. I don’t take sick days very often, but it was all I could do to get through the school day and my rehearsals yesterday. Not so good. Phenergan is my friend.

But I’ve never gone more than two days without a post. Can’t start that trend now, what with my third birfday coming up, can I? Mais non. So here it is. I’ll tell the tale while it’s still somewhat fresh in my mind.

I had a dream this morning. I know it was this morning, because the Thriller’s alarm startled me out of it. I was with my students on choir tour, but instead of NYC, we were in Dallas. It wasn’t a part of Dallas I’ve ever seen, or that even exists. It looked more like, say, a European city, with old, delightful apartment buildings and shops, lined up close together on narrow streets. As I sat on the tour bus and told my students, “We’ll be seeing this part of the city later,” a text-messagy-type update scrolled across my phone screen: Paul McCartney dead.  Then my phone went dead. I couldn’t retrieve the message to see if that was what I’d really read, or if I was mistaken.

Immediate switch to a concert venue. Students have vanished; I’m there with people I don’t know to listen to a band I’d never heard of. I’m sitting on the right side of what I believe was a church, but I’m seated under an eave, where I can’t get phone service. Finally, I can take it no more. I ask the man next to me if he’d heard anything about McCartney, and he said, “Oh, yeah. I heard that on the news yesterday.”

Rinnnng, rinnnng, rinnnng…

This is why I never remember my dreams: they’re too stupid. I think I know why the phone was involved, though, seeing as how I spent three hours last night rebuilding the replacement Droid Verizon sent me (my camera and gallery went kaput, so I finally used the insurance policy I’ve been paying into for years). It’s still not where I want it settings-wise, but it’s getting there. Thank the gods for backups of contacts, ja? I just wish Android would have saved the free apps as well as the paid ones.

Anyway, I’m not sure why McCartney was involved. We can’t lose that guy yet, please. Do you know another 68-year-old man with full-voice high Bs? What a performer, wow. Beyond words.

OK, I’m off to make tea and curl up on the couch.