I don’t do much for my birthday anymore. Friends live out of town or they’re married (or both) or they’re away on business. So this birthday was spent alone. God, that sounds a lot more pathetic than it was. It was fine and fun! Low-key but satisfying. Any day that I can spend watching movies and playing music I like and eating food that isn’t good for me is a good, good day. Here’s a sampling of things I watched and listened to:
Mirage (1965). Gregory Peck as a cost accountant who realizes that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s been doing for the last two years, and now people want to kill him. Sure, it’s been done a million times, but probably not at the time. And this one has the advantage of being filmed on location in New York City, in cool, crisp black and white, and the flick benefits from that filming greatly. Walter Matthau (as a private eye) and George Kennedy (as a bespectacled killer) steal the movie. It’s a good flick. I think the ending is a little too easy and abrupt but probably realistic as these things go.
Marshall Crenshaw. If I’m on a desert island and I have to pick the music of one rock guy to take with me, it’s Crenshaw. His music not only rocks, it also swings. He’s a great songwriter, very American – music and lyrics that inhabit the worlds of both the city and the county – and he just really, really does it for me.
MST3K. I watched The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, a rather sick 1962 monster movie about a scientist who decides to keep his girlfriend’s head alive in a pan after she’s decapitated in a car wreck.. It’s one of my favorites from Mike and the robots. There’s a scene inside a skanky club that makes me laugh like a crazy person every time I see it. Also watched several Rifftrax shorts. One stands out because it had a funny, funny line that classic TV fans would know instantly. A kid is put in charge of safety at school and when he sees one of the other kids doing something wrong one of the guys (can’t remember if it’s Mike or Kevin or Bill) says “Citzens’ arrest! Citizen’s arrest!” I think I laughed up a lung.
Also: alcohol! I don’t drink that much and a birthday gives you the chance to say “hey, I’m going to drink tonight!” Had Gin and tonics and Campari and sodas. I think I could drink every single day and get used to it (but I’m not going to drink every single day because that’s not something you want to get used to).
Right now I’m watching Escape From New York. Somehow I’ve never seen it. Kurt Russell is always good but I hate movies about grungy, crappy futures where everyone is either in jail, controlled by an evil government or diseased. But I’ll watch it til the end because it’s one of those movies I “have to see” for my sci-fi/comic book/action movie street cred to remain intact.
A quick weekend update but an update nonetheless! Have a great Sunday and I’ll see you on Monday.