Holiday weekend.

Alan gazes wistfully at a club that will probably never have him as a member.

That’s the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, by the way. Isn’t it pretty? (OK, so you can’t actually see it, but take my word for it. It’s pretty.) I love that tower, a great landmark when you’re out on the water, and easy on the eyes, too. (And I’m kidding about them not admitting the likes of us. They’re not all that exclusive, and besides, we’ve never tried.)

On Saturday, it rained. Sunday, likewise. But Monday, the holiday, was clear and bright and, well, you see the picture. A perfect day. We sailed close along the coast, and I put the binoculars on the big houses, while contemplating a heist story in which the thieves would hit the houses in January, then make their getaway by snowmobile, over the ice. We passed a giant freighter called Federal Yukon, whose stern announced its hailing port: Hong Kong. I guess that makes it a salty, unless they’re talking about the obscure port of Hong Kong, Minnesota. It’s a bulk carrier, our “Know Your Ships” guide said. BCs carry everything from taconite pellets to potash. (Kind of makes you wonder if the Edmund Fitzgerald would have a song written about it, had it been carrying potash. Hard to rhyme that one without sounding stupid.)

Here’s a stern shot of the Federal Yukon. Note that diagonal structure rising over the aft deck. It took me a minute before I figured out what it was; the blaze-orange lozenge within was the clue. It’s the lifeboat. Orange for visibility, enclosed for survival, it looks like a tiny submarine, nothing as picturesque as the Titanic lifeboats, those big open rowboats staffed by freaked-out members of the White Star Line. But then, I guess by the time you reach the lifeboats, being picturesque is no longer a concern. I’d like to know the launching procedure, and why it’s up on that structure. I’d imagine there’s a stairway to a rear hatch, and it deploys automatically if it ever reaches the water, with all souls on board kissing their asses goodbye.

I’d love to take a trip on one of these suckers, and write about it. Please, no hello-sailor jokes.

Last weekend we saw the Best Actress performance, so this weekend it was Forest Whitaker’s turn. “The Last King of Scotland” was fine enough, and the Oscar was well-deserved, a real game-set-match turn, but I think I’ve OD’d on Africa movies for a while. Black savages, unspeakable violence, death-by-machete brutality, flawed white heroes — is there ever a variation on this theme? Why can’t someone make a film of “King Leopold’s Ghost”? At least then we’d know where the natives got the inspiration for all that limb-severing.

So, the bloggage:

Not much today — I stayed away from digital devices most of the weekend — but I found yet another time-waster: Overheard in the Office, along with its sister sites Overheard in New York and Overheard at the Beach. As an enthusiastic and unapologetic eavesdropper, I love this stuff. I may submit my most recent gem, overheard at the video store:

First guy, holding DVD box: This one shows a hot chick with a sword.
Second guy, holding DVD box: This one just has a bunch of dudes on it.
First guy: So this one wins.
Second guy: Totally.

Posted at 8:23 am in Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

11 responses to “Holiday weekend.”

  1. Dorothy said on May 29, 2007 at 9:08 am

    I just love Overheard in New York. I’m gonna have to visit the sister sites!

    We saw “Dreamgirls” and “Little Children” this weekend. I’m glad I got to see Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson do their thing, but I really liked Little Children much better.

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  2. LA Mary said on May 29, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    We went to movies and saw Once. It was good in some ways, cliched in others, but worth seeing.

    In the flesh I saw an incredibly cute Jack Russel puppy on Saturday. Four months old, smooth coated. He was all white except for black and tan ears and a perfectly symmetrical black spot right in the middle of his back. His name was Mick Jagger. He and my Lab had a good sniffing session.

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  3. Christopher Clausen said on May 29, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    The lifeboat is indeed a single enclosed cabin with airplane-like seats. It sits atop tracks at a 45-degree angle over the ship’s stern to shoot the boat clear of the ship and its props.

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  4. brian stouder said on May 29, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    It must have been absolutely marvelous out on the lake yesterday. Last week we went to a graduation party at Pokagon (spelling?) state park, at a resort on Lake James.

    We had forgotten how lovely it is up there; horse trails and hiking trails and boating and restaurants….seriously, I can see doing a week’s vacation right there, instead of loading the family truckster and heading across 4 states – especially given the increasing price of fuel.

    Anyway – thanks for the neat pics; one can almost feel the breeze

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  5. nancy said on May 29, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks, Christopher. If theme parks really wanted to scare people, they’d set up rides like this — the launching lifeboat that may or may not escape the screws. I imagine the landing is hell, but if you’re abandoning ship, maybe not distinguishable from what came before it.

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  6. michaelj said on May 29, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    In the end, nothing, and nobody, ‘escapes the screws’. What happens after that? I’ve got a pretty good idea, and you don’t meet five tedious people, and for almost everybody, there are no televangelists or smarmy Sports Reporters. I think it’s either Pop Staples or Curtis Mayfield, although George Burns would please me just as well. Grand jete or grand bouffe. Groucho or George Harrison would also be acceptable. There’s there there, one way or another.

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  7. brian stouder said on May 29, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Say – over on the Newsweek part of msnbc, they have a deal where people list their ‘5 Most Important Books’, and ‘A classic that, on rereading, disappointed’ and ‘A Certified Important Book you haven’t read’.

    Laura Lippmann’s list struck me as interesting (especially given her fans hereabouts), since you catch that she divides her list by author; one of her 5 is her favorite Philip Roth book; another is her favorite James Crumley – and so on

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  8. michaelj said on May 29, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Why, in the movies, do white folks find it so comforting to discover God is in fact black, Jack, and was just slumming when He was driving Miss Daisy? Hell, maybe He’s Anthony Hopkins or Ralph Richardson.

    Those of us that aren’t going to be rapturized have ample, too much, time to consider this biblical question, but maybe if you’re rapturized, you meet up with Fred G. Sanford and he’s really pissed off.

    If you go straight to hell, it’s the Cos, and I don’t mean the Cap’n Sitting Bull or Ralph Jameison Cos, I mean the jello and Ghost Dad, eternally, Cos. Shivers up me timbers.

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  9. michaelj said on May 29, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    OK, shooting fish in a barrel. But these nitwits send this stuff through the tubes:

    Can you keep a secret? OK, there are no secrets on the Internet. But I am excited to divulge to you the first word of an intellectual explosion that The New Republic cases in our June 4 issue. Paul Berman has written a 28,000 word essay–an incendiary pamphlet, really–about the extraordinary -though exemplary- case of the Islamicist thinker Tariq Ramadan, who has become the darling of liberal commentators in Europe and increasingly also in the United States. Berman’s essay is a detailed examination of not only of Ramadan’s thought, but more generally of Islamicist thought since the 1920s–and more, of the bizarrely cordial reception that certain strands of Islamicist thought have recently found in the West. Berman’s essay is erudite and vivid, a model of the history of contemporary ideas. And a model also of the battle of ideas: Berman has written a stirring defense of the liberal ideal against its enemies (and even against some of its friends)–an unforgettable call to intellectual responsibility. People will be arguing about it for a very long time. Subscribe today for only redacted to read this first-rate essay and the rest of our June 4 issue.

    You may recall Berman’s 2004 book, Terror and Liberalism, which was on the serious best-seller lists for months and months, and began the intellectual debate in which we are all, willy-nilly, now unavoidably ensnared. Reading his essay will be both a responsibility and an opportunity.

    From Martin Peretz, Editor in chief of New Republic. Did he put it on MySpace first? Fer sher. The serious best seller lists for months and months? I know this guy is the nepotism-run-amok poster child, but did it never dawn on him that Islamicist is a synonym for Wahabist, as in Ole Dirty Bin, and their families are business partners with Prescott’s spawn?

    The magazine’s a post Cold War freakshow, but they’re entitled to an opinion. But does anybody proofread? Edit? He’s the freaking editor in chief. I guess they couldn’t figure out a way to get the smileys in the i-dots through email. This is the single worst attempt at writing in English I’ve seen in a long time. And this is the apotheosis of neocon thought. Can anybody discern a point, other than begging for a subscription, much less a point of view? Cooler heads should have prevailed before hitting send. But this is so hilarious. He didn’t actually say internets, but that was probably spell-check.

    No political statement intended but if you can’t write, at all, spam and fodder are pretty much separated at birth. As I imagine the old man wishes he had been. instead of letting Tommy-boy run the magazine.

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  10. SweetPea said on May 30, 2007 at 1:04 am

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  11. MarkH said on May 30, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Prayers for Kevyn.

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