Time and Place: 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, at my main computer. I’m about 48 hours late for my usual Sunday Salon, having taken a couple of days off to celebrate my birthday. But now I’m back with a special Tuesday edition of the Salon.
Viewing: For a change, I’ve been indulging myself a bit on the movie front, largely thanks to Turner Classic Movies. Hammer Studios horror films are a big part of TCM’s Halloween celebration this month, so I’ve been watching fine, atmospheric films like Horror of Dracula and The Curse of Frankenstein. Also in the horror vein, thanks to my friend Jessica, I saw Stephen King’s It at her combination birthday-dinner-Halloween movie party. On the non-horror front, thanks to MUBI, I also saw a relative rarity by Luis Buñuel, La mort en ce jardin (Death in the Garden).
Reading: I’m currently continuing with the same three books that I had underway last week: Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, Thupten Jinpa’s A Fearless Heart, and Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.
Listening: While I haven’t been listening to much music, I’ve been enjoying a couple of podcasts that I am happy to recommend: Myths and Legends, featuring modern re-tellings of mythological tales from around the world, and my current favorite, You Must Remember This, “the secret and/or forgotten history of Hollywood’s first century.”
Blogging: I was reasonably active last week, posting…
* An article on the Tripitaka Koreana, a set of 13th century woodblocks containing some of the world’s oldest Buddhist texts
* A look at Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s film Cemetery of Splendor
* Norman Mailer’s Lego City
* Shinji Tsuchimochi’s wonderful 100 Views of Tokyo
* A cool photo of Harry Partch and his instruments
Pondering: Yesterday I embarked on the second half of my sixth decade on the planet. In other words, I turned 56. I don’t know that this is a particularly noteworthy achievement, but that I have managed to avoid major health problems and actually feel fairly decent at such an advanced age is a positive. I don’t think I’ve wasted my life thus far, either, and I hope to continue that trend. As it happens, I share my birthday with George Crumb, who turned 87 yesterday – Happy Birthday to the great composer! (Fun fact – George Crum, minus the “b,” a nineteenth century New York-based chef and travel guide, was the inventor of the potato chip.)
Anticipating: The World Series is about to get underway, leading me to post the following on Facebook a few days ago: “The Chicago Cubs came into being in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings, and were one of the original eight National League teams when the League formed in 1876 (they officially became the Cubs in 1906). The Cleveland Indians started life as the Grand Rapids Rustlers in 1894, and as the Cleveland Bluebirds became one of the original eight American League teams in 1901 (the Indians nickname was adopted in 1915). I love baseball history! Two of the oldest of all baseball franchises go to the World Series!”
Gratuitous Van Lingle Mungo Reference: Thinking of baseball history leads me, inevitably, to Van Lingle Mungo. Along with a pretty decent career that included three All Star Team selections, 120 career wins, and leading the National League in strikeouts (with 238) in 1936, Mungo has been immortalized by Dave Frishberg in a classic song, the lyrics of which are entirely made up of the names of baseball players from the past. Few of those names, however, are as sonorous as Van Lingle Mungo.