This has been an odd last week of the year, marked particularly by the passing of my friend and former teacher. He was 83, I say, and still I’m shocked, sad and not without regrets. Always a phone call put off.
And that might be a good wish for the next year; make the calls.
I’m struck, as always, by the arbitrary nature of the calendar and the way I can get all goofy about it at the same time. My practical part will always wrestle with the romantic. Or maybe I should just hope that will be the case. At any rate, I wish you all good things, only good things. And me too. This should be an eventful one, and I can wish only for less loss, I guess, or no more than usual.
I have no lists; I’m not really disciplined enough at the moment, or particularly interested. But I love those Academy Award “In Memoriam” montages every year, and over the past few weeks I’ve socked away some names and images with the following in mind. My memories, then, of the people who entertained me and moved me and kept me occupied on otherwise dull days.
It’ll feel shorter than it is. As will 2009, I suspect.
See you next year.
And if you want to give me grief for putting “memorium” as the title instead of “memoriam,” well, then, good for you, I deserve it, and it’s important to remember that I can always get better.
There are no words — I will find some, but you know — for the following act of selflessness, heroism, and pure public good that you’re about to hear. Anyone — ANYONE — who has a phone and has ever answered it, particularly around 6pm or so, needs to watch (really, listen) to the following.
I am super cereal here. It’s not long. You will thank me so much.
I think I’ve been remiss
In not talking about Dallas Clayton
Although I have my reasons.
Most of them revolve around envy.
Because he has a small child at home
And also because he makes me smile
More than pretty much anyone
Including me myself and I.
This is unfair.
I thought you might confuse him
With “Michael Clayton.”
Which is a pretty good movie though.
THIS IS MY FAVORITE OF ALL TIME
The next time someone
parks their car
in a way
that annoys you so much
that you feel the need to leave them a note
telling them about it,
you should instead
just write them a note that says-
“Dear Jeff, now I know where to find you.
Don’t think I forgot about what you did to my little girl.
I’ll be watching youâ€¦”
Then draw a picture of a knife at the bottom.
This way, if they are not named Jeff
they will certainly reconsider parking
in or around this area so as not to be mistaken for Jeff
and if they are named Jeffâ€¦ well,
victory is yours.
Using some sort of algorithm that calculates size of the roles, success of the films and financial stuff (it’s Forbes), the award goes to Morgan Freeman, which is not hard to believe, although there were some surprises in the top ten (I expected to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman there, but I guess he’s lazier than I thought).
But this guy is amazing:
Samuel L. Jackson appeared in 19 films over the past 3 years. Time for a break.
I wrote yesterday about Herman Rosenblat and his foray into James Frey fiction. Gabe Sherman in The New Republic was on top of this from the beginning, and adds an interesting footnote in what is really a sad story, Rosenblat’s son Ken:
When I asked Ken how his parents could have lived a double life for some 15 years, he explained that for his mother, who survived the Holocaust as a child by hiding as a Polish Catholic, living with an assumed identity was almost natural. “My mother lived a life of hiding. It was natural for them to lie, to cheat, and this is something that they lived with,” he told me. “This is something they knew, and they lived. And they continually lived with that. It’s very difficult for my father to confront what they’ve done.”
I really don’t know what to think about this; or, rather, whether I really care one way or the other. Something about it depresses me, though.