Man, if you get that title reference, you are the perfect blend of really big pop-culture encyclopaedia and really big loser. Join me, won’t you?
I’m in Toronto now, visiting Marianne for a couple of days. Yesterday we went downtown and wandered about, doing some shopping, stopping into a couple of bookstores to buy books of screenplays (Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, The Brothers McMullin, She’s The One, and another one I can’t remember the title of and can’t be bothered to get up and look). I’m a little disappointed that the latter two Edward Burns scripts are transcripts of the finished films and not the shooting scripts, which is more what I was looking for.
After wandering, we went over to Marianne’s friend Natasha’s house to quietly watch some TV and eat copious amounts of those cheese crunchit things. Natasha is a producer of As It Happens, the flagship show of CBC Radio One. She says it’s not %100 rosy to work there, but I think she’s just saying that to make me feel better about them not hiring me ever. She’s sweet. Mare’s friend Martin was there, as well, and although he doesn’t work for the Ceeb, I enjoy his company anyway. Insert smiley emoticon here.
In one shop I found a set of magnets that Joe LaRose had at his house in Hamilton. It took a lot of self-control not to steal said magnets from said Prakrit scholar. Tiny and unassuming, they were discs of colour with the small word “anus” written in each one. It’s so unexpected, I loved them. I didn’t buy them yesterday and I’m kinda regretting it now. If we go by the store again, I might pick them up.
I’m reading a good book now. It’s called Songbook, and it’s by Nick Hornby, the author of About a Boy, High Fidelity, and Fever Pitch (oh, and A Long Way Down, which I have not yet read, and How To Be Good, too, but that one’s an afterthought for me because although I read it wasn’t as memorable for some reason – female protagonist, possibly?). I thought Songbook would be a collection of essays about music he really likes, and it sorta is, but it’s more than that. It’s not just why he likes the song, but how he found it, or why he bothered to give it the time of day, or what it means to him as the dad of an autistic son, or just trying to point out the unexpected genius and sincerity buried in pop music. I like reading his stuff because he’s unabashedly dedicated to pop music and culture, so I sympathize with him trying to qualify its allure. A mantra: because a lot of people like it does not mean it’s crap, but I concede that there are always exceptions to rules. (And, just because it’s crap doesn’t mean a lot of people don’t like it.) (His style also includes long interjections with parentheses, a characteristic with which I can identify.)
Tonight, Mare, Martin and I are going to see a movie and go to eat. I think we’re seeing The Squid and the Whale, which I didn’t know a lot about until yesterday, but it sounds good. I’d see 3 movies tonight if Marianne didn’t disapprove, which I suspect she would, so I haven’t asked. I know I could squeeze in two Clooney films today, and then more tomorrow, like Water, Everything Is Illuminated, P&P, HPIV again, and I’ve been hearing good things about The Ice Harvest, so why not that, too? In case you haven’t caught on the last 10 times I’ve mentioned it, I’m movie-starved.
Oh, and can I recommend a movie I recently saw? Yes? Good, yes, I will. It’s called Green Street Hooligans, or Green Street, or Hooligans, depending where you see it. It’s starring Elijah Wood, but don’t be put off if you think that all he can do is stare at rings and dance with hairy feet. Wrong, of course. This movie is about a Harvard journalism student expelled in his last semester. He goes to visit his sister in London, meeting his infant nephew, brother-in-law, and his brother-in-law’s brother all at once. The in-law’s brother is, to put it lightly, a supporter of West Ham United football club, and soon the main character is adopted into the world of football hooliganism. Be warned: it’s violent, and sometimes the thick common London accent is difficult to parse, but this is a very good film that I’m surprised hasn’t been given much attention here. Yes, I am an anglophile, so I go searching for his stuff, but I think anyone would like it. To finish, a quote from Elijah's character: “And as for this, the violence? I gotta be honest - it grew on me. Once you've taken a few punches and realize you're not made of glass, you don't feel alive unless you're pushing yourself as far as you can go.”
Tomorrow, Marianne’s friend Chris Kaynes is coming back to Toronto for a week-long intensive advanced videography course at the CBC. He’s stationed out in Prince Albert as local CBC video journalist and not loving it, but I’ve been told he’s very talented and his superiors feel it’s worth training him further. Either way, I get to see him. It’s been a joke for a long while that the best way to get Chris to socialize with us is for Catherine to come to town. Well, I came from Ottawa and he’s coming in from Prince Albert. Huh. I guess it’s true.