Sunday, April 26, 2009

1:46 a.m. - The wandering night

1:46 a.m.:

- Watching a movie, "The Adventures of Mark Twain," which I Tivo'd on Thursday from Turner Classic Movies.

- Was outside earlier, looking up at the stars, as much out of the glare of a burnished-orange light that remains on near the pool, even with no one there. Never understood that, not even with keeping the underwater pool and spa lights on. It's not like there's anyone who would sneak around that area anyway, being that this neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods are so quiet at this time of night, you could swear that they were either just built and awaiting new residents, or the real-estate crunch had caused their downfall. However, there's two ducks on occasional nights who sleep in the pool, and they're at least quieter than the residents set to use the pool in the coming weeks, when it opens back up.

- Recently recorded on the Tivo: "Chinese Box," starring Jeremy Irons and Gong Li (credited as "Li Gong"), "Camilla," starring Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda, and "Funny Girl," starring Barbra Streisand. I deleted the first a few months ago to conserve space, the second I recorded because of Jessica Tandy, and the third was because if you live in my house, then you know all about Streisand, whether you want to or not. I like her as a singer and actress (partly genetic, since I have my parents' musical tastes, with the addition of jazz, electronica, and some techno dance music), and had never seen "Funny Girl," so there you go.

- From what I can tell, this Tivo box in the living room is called "DirecTV Plus." There might be a newer version, but why can't this one retain actors' names and years of release after a movie or TV show has been recorded? Before something is recorded and during it as well, you can find that information on the guide. After, you're left only with a synopsis, what you recorded, the genre, whether it's closed-captioned, and what it contains (in the case of "Camilla," "adult content" and "adult language," abbreviated as "AC, AL." I know I can get that information online if I want, but I like having it right there.

- I remain connected to Las Vegas through the websites for the Las Vegas Sun, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the blog of VegasRex (, who has made known his intention to run for mayor in the coming election. He's ready to disclose financial details and every other kind of detail that's dredged up in these elections and he's serious about it too. Not sure how much publicity he'll get, what with Oscar Goodman, a former Vegas mob lawyer, wanting yet another term (I heard something about there being term limits on that, but he wants to eliminate that), but Rex has fans, myself included. One of the other ways I remain connected: Every week, I call the automated line for the movie theater the Hacienda Hotel and Casino in Boulder City, which is three miles from Hoover Dam. I've never forgotten the view from the mountain adjacent to the casino. Every dream I've ever had in my life so far seemed like they combined to create that view. They wait for about two weeks or so to get prints of what were then first-run movies. For example, "Monsters vs. Aliens" was reduced to one showtime, while "Fast & Furious" gets three. Cheaper rates for prints I'll bet. It shows, with "Hannah Montana" and "Duplicity" beginning there on May 1st. But with tickets at $3, why not?

My mom has become more pushy about Las Vegas, and with good reason, considering that we've lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for a little over five years, and last year wasn't by choice. The Clark County School District had stopped hiring teachers, and then the economy tanked. I got to thinking about Florida as well, and whether we might move back there. Not possible, because of the insurance rates for hurricanes and all the other high-priced insurance that goes with living in Florida. It was then that I realized Las Vegas was it, finally. That's where I belong. I know it's going to be home, and the word "home" will actually mean what it's supposed to mean this time. Not as fluid as "Let's go home," where "home" is just where you live, as it is for us in Saugus. But "home." As is said in a lyric from the song "Home" by Simply Red: "Home is a place where I yearn to belong." I have that in my Facebook profile. I know I belong in Las Vegas. I've felt it every time we've been there and I know it'll be different living there than just visiting, but I can get used to it.

- 27 books to return to the library today. Have to. The books I need for my research have come in and now the research officially begins, even though I've been stockpiling resources for the past two weeks, mainly in experts and historians to interview and quote in my essays. I've seen a few silent film comedy shorts that Fatty Arbuckle has starred in and directed, and he knew what he was doing, despite what his appearance may indicate. No clumsiness there at all. Just playing a middle-class man often stuck in farcicial situations, and guaranteed he falls on his back at least once in each film. I told my sister that this is harder than I had hoped. Not that I'm dreading the opportunity to research some of these ghosts of cinema's past, but there's so much to read, though I am looking forward to many of the movies I plan to watch to remain relatively well-informed. My sister reminded me that this is my first book, so of course it's going to be hard. 21 essays to write, and hopefully it'll get easier after the first one.

Time to disengage. Have to gather the books I intend to return, and also load many in the trunk that likely won't fit in a full tote bag. Then a shower and bed. Seems about right for a Sunday. Back to the routine of it.