Welcome back CHUD readers. I took some much needed time off after my last blog. I last posted on Saturday night at about midnight, and decided to catch up on some much needed rest time. I wanted nothing more than to just sleep all day Sunday, but had some prior engagements. House hunting was on the main agenda for the day and at ten in the morning I was off to find my new home so I can stop ‘pissing money down a rat hole’ as my father so eloquently puts it. You see in California, rent is not tax deductible. Since you do not own the property you cannot claim it and is similar to setting a thousand dollars on fire every month. Therefore, it is the goal of the state residents to own a piece of land. Even though the houses are empty, it is still fun to imagine what life was like for some of the previous owners by what they leave behind.
I want to point out that the need to save money is in all of us, regardless of our income, but sometimes we need to bite the bullet and hire someone instead of going off the deep end and giving ‘do it yourself’ a new meaning. The first house we looked at had baseboards running over the entire flat. Pretty average I would say, if they used vanishing head nails instead of black drywall screws! All along these baseboards approximately every foot, there was a black drywall screw (sometimes not even flush) jutting out of the wood. Cutting corners is one thing, but these people just lopped them right off. The next wonderment was the ‘hardwood floors’ in the bedrooms. Hardwood meaning it looked like hardwood, but instead was a wood grain wallpaper stuck to the floor mat. Listen, even if you are going to try this little trick, at least make sure you line up your seams so that it looks quasi natural. However, not all homes are a disaster. The one I fell in love with was a quaint three bedroom, three bath, two story with a garage. My realtor’s first reaction was to point out the mauve carpet, which didn’t seem to fit the home at all. I smiled as to show agreement, but what I was thinking was entirely different. What she didn’t seem to notice, or at least didn’t point out, was the gold plated outlet and light switch frames. When I saw these coupled with the mauve flooring, my mind began to envision the home as it used to be not too long ago. I pictured an old eccentric lady with many nick-knacks and trinkets older than time itself. Perhaps a few cats and endless hours of stories to go along with her antiquities. “This home must have gotten a lot of love,” I thought as I sauntered through the halls. If only the walls could talk…
We finished looking at the homes around noon and my father and I headed back to my apartment to eat lunch. After finding my refrigerator empty we agreed we needed some pizza. When the pizza arrived we were already enveloped in the Sunday TNT movie, “Silence of The Lambs”, incidentally one of my favorites. With our stomachs full of Pizza Hut pizza and pasta (which by the way, if you haven’t tried their Tuscany pasta you have got to, ASAP) and after a few bad Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill impersonations, we said our goodbyes. Suffering from my lack of sleep coupled with my overflowing stomach, I found the best remedy was to hit the sack. I slept all through the night till Monday morning.
Having the day off and still reeling from the previous few days, I wanted nothing more than to stay in all day and just relax. So, after three or so hours of daily World of Warcraft quests, I needed a good wind down session and concluded that I couldn’t give ample attention to a film I hadn’t previously viewed so I needed to settle on some classics. My all time favorite filmmaker is Stanley Kubrick. Every time there is a new picture released that claims to be deep and full of symbolism, I compare it to a Kubrick. It was about five in the evening now and I knew that if I wanted to view his art, I would only be able to see one or two. But how to choose? I pulled my Kubricks off of their shelf (they have their own) and stacked them one on top of the other and squared up the pile. Then, closing my eyes, I shuffled the stack. Satisfied that any selection at this point would be totally random, I chose two DVD boxes out of the bunch. I grinned as I opened my eyes and saw what fate had decided. All Kubrick films are great in their own right, but these two are particularly deep due to the fact that there is not much action in them. Lolita, and Barry Lyndon.
Stanley Kubrick has used Peter Sellers before in “Dr. Strangelove” for his fantastic diversity of characters, and he is no different in this picture. For any man who has ever had a girlfriend, wife, daughter, or any loved one for that matter, that they obsess over for no good reason aside from a deep love, this is a must see. Kubrick’s ability to show the human condition is unparalleled throughout all of his pictures and he demonstrates love’s affect on man in one of his earlier works, “Lolita”. The protagonist, Dr. Humbert, is madly in love with the daughter of his landlord. The lust is so fanatic, that the simple fact the girl is well more than twenty years younger than he seems not to matter. In order to continue seeing her, he goes as far as to marry her mother despite his apparent distaste for her appearance. He goes through a lengthy battle within himself. He pits his logic against his heart and eventually his logic gives in. His love for the young girl drives him so far as to quit his job, move across the country and even to murder. Kubrick’s portrayal of greed, lust, and envy are exemplified in this magnificent picture that no one who claims to love movies should go without seeing.
I suggest that every American with any ambition see this movie as it shows the true capabilities of humanity when they set their eyes on a goal. This film is probably one of the ‘lay’ person’s least favorite Kubrick films, simply because it had little if any action or climactic points, and is a little over three hours long. At first sound, three hours seems daunting as hell I know, but it is necessary for the substance of the film, to cut any would be a crime and therefore is unthinkable. It follows a young man growing up in England in the early 1700s. He is Irish by birth and because of the times, has no title whatsoever. He has great ambition to become a gentlemen and person of nobility. He climbs his way to the top through some very seedy actions and processes, only to find once he reaches the top his ‘empire of dirt’ (to quote Nine Inch Nails) crumbles beneath his feet and he loses everything, including his leg, which has more meaning than it originally appears.
I have been in many discussions online with other Kubrick fans and have had some very interesting conversations. Some have even gotten pretty heated. I was quite outnumbered once when a group of forum posters agreed that “Barry Lyndon” could be a play. True, along with “2001: A Space Odyssey”, it is one of only two Kubrick pictures to be long enough for an intermission, but Kubrick films are more than just a script. They are so deep in fact, that they require every facial expression, every camera angle, every lighting point to be just right. So I say to those who disagree, “Barry Lyndon” is perfect the way it is. Do not shorten it, and certainly do not cheapen it by setting it to a stage.
I gotta go to football practice now, my youngsters are waiting. I will be posting again tomorrow, so until then, keep watching the skies…