Rough cuts.

Last night was the world premiere advance screening of “The Wars of Other Men,” a short film I worked on this past spring. It had to be downgraded from a world premiere to an advance screening because the film wasn’t, what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, right: Done.

The audience was kind and forgiving, however. The whole purpose of this project was to show we could do a credible short with significant CGI sequences on a micro-tiny budget, and those suckers take time, as James Cameron could tell you. So we were missing a few, but the ones that were in there were great. This is a sci-fi war movie, set in an alternate-history early 20th century, about a small rifle squad on a mission to destroy a weapons plant. When the first threat causes them to run for cover, and they look up to see a zeppelin passing by overhead, flashing signals on a primitive mechanical sign, everybody cheered. The miracle had happened.

The narrative may have been a little confusing for total newbies, as it was missing the climactic explosion. The image is still rendering somewhere in Livonia, I guess.

We shot most of it at the Packard Plant, which lends that certain siege-of-Stalingrad look, as the makers of “Transformers 3” could tell you; they’re over there right now. A friend drove by and said they’ve constructed a passenger-train car, sticking out of a second-floor window. Yeah, well — we were there first. And all our crew had to do was cover up a few zillion square feet of graffiti tags.

This wasn’t my story or script, but I worked on it, and one of the things we hashed over was how much antique language to include. There’s something about the 21st-century American tongue that can’t quite sell a phrase like “have a care with that,” at least not to my ear. All I can say is, there’s a reason so many period pieces about ancient Rome, or wherever, take the easy way out and make everyone British. It just sounds better. And that’s no rap against our actors — I thought Brad Pitt sounded ridiculous in “Troy,” too. But all in all, the biggest incongruity to me was when one of the female soldiers (alternate history, remember) smiled, and showed a distinctly modern set of incisors. Oh, well. No money in a micro-budget for dental prostheses.

Finally, a note about the theater. It was in the Redford, on the west side of Detroit, a grand old movie house lovingly restored:

There are stars in the ceiling — you can see one in the picture. They twinkle.

And, as always, it was very cool to make the turn off West Grand River and see this:

(When Alan sees this, he’s going to say, “Three Stooges festival? Awesome!”)

So, some quick bloggage before I run:

Speaking of movies, everyone is asking me is I’m going to see “Waiting for Superman,” and the answer is: Eventually, I guess. I know enough about the film to know I disagree with its central premise — that bad schools are the fault of bad teachers, and charter schools are The Answer. Charters are a Hail Mary pass for a problem that is far, far more complicated. One of our local school-board candidates, a former teacher himself, seems to understand this. He’s running for re-election, and posted this on his campaign blog. Briefly stated, but worth reading, I think.

Today is Jolene’s birthday. Happy birthday, Jolene.

The hits just keep on coming in the housing meltdown. Look for this to blow up big — I don’t see how it can’t.

As for me, I’m outta here. Have a great weekend, all.

Posted at 9:13 am in Movies, Same ol' same ol' |
 

60 responses to “Rough cuts.”

  1. 4dbirds said on October 8, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Happy Birthday Jolene. You share a birthday with my cancer/hit by a car kid. She’s 20 today.

  2. coozledad said on October 8, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Happy birthday, Jolene.
    Zeppelins!

  3. Dorothy said on October 8, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Happy birthday Jolene and to 4dbirds’ daughter. Are you both 20 today?

    It’s a beautiful morning here in Gambier, blue sky, chilly temps but rising to about 75 today. And my son is moving into his new apartment in Dublin as I type this. Thank heavens. Our house will be restored to us now. I might sew something just because I can get to the sewing machine and cutting table this weekend!

    Happy birthday Deborah too – and take care of that foot!

  4. Peter said on October 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Stooges festival? Sorry to miss that, especially if they’re going to show “They Stooge To Conga” – my vote for most violent stooge short.

    Years ago I and my friends went to a Stooges festival at the Granada Theatre in Chicago (RIP) and they were selling Moe and Curly Howard autographs for $10.00 each – they were cancelled checks.

  5. Snarkworth said on October 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Dorothy, I’ve been in Gambier once, for elder son’s Kenyon visit and interview. Breathtakingly lovely campus, as you don’t need to be told.

  6. Julie Robinson said on October 8, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Deborah’s birthday is this weekend too–she mentioned in the comments yesterday, so Happy Birthday to both!

    Creative projects on tiny budgets are always a challenge, as I’ve learned working costume duty. It’s a lot of making do, altering, adding trim, not always being happy with a non-period fabric, and wishing you had two more weeks. It is a challenge I relish and in the end I find it immensely satisfying. It sounds like the Proprietress does too. Let us know if it gets into general release.

  7. 4dbirds said on October 8, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Happy Birthday Deborah!

  8. ROgirl said on October 8, 2010 at 10:55 am

    It happens to be my birthday today, too. A beautiful fall day, supposed to get into the upper 70’s.

  9. LAMary said on October 8, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Period dialogue is so difficult to get right. I’ve been ducking a friend for about a year. Said friend wrote a book set in the late nineteenth century and reading the dialogue makes me tired. I can’t plow through it. I keep thinking of Cybill Shepherd in Daisy Miller if you can remember how horrible her acting was. That’s what the title character’s dialogue sounds like to me.

  10. Carolyn said on October 8, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Greetings from Florida, generator of astonishing news since 1845.
    I’m lucky enough to be directing the foreclosure meltdown coverage for my paper, yes, paper, and we’ve got a kick-ass reporter on the case. Here’s to the subtropics. We’re the ones who invented the boom and bust economy.

  11. moe99 said on October 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

    It’s also my son Seth’s birthday and that of his great grandfather, for whom he was named. Although I didn’t know that when Seth was born. Found out later doing detective work on the family.

    Happy birthday to all!

  12. Dorothy said on October 8, 2010 at 11:12 am

    A hearty birthday greeting to ROGirl, and anyone else who happens to chime in today to let us know.

  13. brian stouder said on October 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

    rough cut post:

    1. At first glance, I didn’t see the Stooges on the marquee, because I was admiring the gams of the lady walking out front.

    2. Last night Grant and I went to IPFW to hear Ken Auletta’s remarks, regarding “New Media” and “Old Media” and Google (etc). He has a new book out on that topic, and it was familiar ground for any regular NN.c reader.

    3. On the way to the event, my cell phone rang, and it was the Gallup Poll people. The guy’s first question was to confirm that I was indeed on a cell phone, since they were specifically looking for people on cell phones (which, having read a little over at 538.com, struck me as interesting) and the next question was “For your safety, are you driving?”. When I said yes I was – and that I had 15 minutes to make it to a lecture, that was it*. (the call had a 402/Nebraska area code) Hmph!

    4. Anyway – here’s wishing a very Happy Birthday to all our birthday people. It’s going to be 85 degrees here today, so that’s a pretty good present (if you’re in the region)

    *so, I’m part of the Margin Of Error! WooHoo!!

  14. Sue said on October 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I find myself having trouble speaking normally after a Jane Austen readathon, so I guess you could say I’ve got the reverse problem.
    For public education, Wisconsin has open enrollment, and the surprising thing that’s happened, at least in the suburban and more rural areas, is that the moves are requested because students (or their parents) want to get their kids into a winning sports district. The high school in my district has continually-dropping enrollment, which I thought had a lot to do with taxpayer association takeover of the board and ensuing cuts to just about everything but Administration staff. Nope, says a friend who works there – although our school is more than usually devoted to sports, they haven’t consistently won State in anything since the late 90’s, so a big chunk of kids have transferred. Fewer students, less state aid, more cuts. Apparently my school district is not unusual in this.
    Foreclosures: I know I’m being contrary, but I have little sympathy for those who consider foreclosed properties as nothing more than a great bargain. You are buying someone’s personal disaster, so perhaps paperwork problems are the karmic price you pay.

  15. LAMary said on October 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I went on a multi-week Barbara Pym bender a few years ago and started sounding like a post war Brit. I got over it though.

  16. 4dbirds said on October 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Happy Birthday ROgirl and Seth!

  17. paddyo' said on October 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Happy birthday to all my fellow Librans — there seem to be lots of us in nn.c’s commentariat . . .
    And happy Columbus Day weekend. Yeah, THAT’s an obscure one . . . until I became a federal bureaucrat 2-1/2 years ago, the last time I had THAT day off was in grade school.

  18. Jolene said on October 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Are you both 20 today?

    Oh man, did that make me laugh! Sooooooo long ago. Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone, and good wishes to all the other birthday people.

    nn.com is like an online family for me–an especially bright, witty, warm, and well-informed family. Can’t imagine that I’d let a day go by w/o checking to see what Nancy has to say and what all of you have to say about it. In our too busy, too angry world, this is a little island of the best of humanity.

  19. Dorothy said on October 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I’m glad you appreciated my tongue-in-cheek humor, Jolene! I was pretty sure you were around my age but didn’t want to presume!

    I forgot to say happy half birthday to my son. He’ll be 26 six months from today.

  20. MichaelG said on October 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Happy birthday to all and to all a good weekend!

  21. Bob (Not Greene) said on October 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Brian, you old wolf, you. If it’s not gams it’s, well, other attributes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  22. LAMary said on October 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Dorothy, it’s your son’s un-birthday. Mad Hatter Day.

  23. jcburns said on October 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    And it’s also the birthday of Sammy Smith, who, when she’s not blogging at http://archaeofacts.com, is often upstairs planning our trip to southern Italy next spring. With gusto. And other italian/latin words.

  24. beb said on October 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    The Redford, as I recall, has it’s own Wurlitzer organ so it’s a great place for a silent film revival.

    Brian Stouder ought to get his ass in gear and come down to the DIA theater tomorrow (The 9th) for a showing of “Behind the Burly Q” the story of burlesque in America. Among the featured guests will be Tempest Storm, Blaze Starr and…Alan Alda (?! — must be there to keep the ladies happy…)

    I have heard charter schools described as a ploy to split community support for public schools, the better for conservatives to do away with community schools. I never understood why conservatives are opposed to public education unless it’s the idea that they shouldn’t have to pay taxes for something they don’t use. Much like they shouldn’t have to pay for firefighters since their house will never burn down….

    Whatever the case I’m generally opposed to the idea of charter schools, even though our daughter goes to one. But in our defense it was either that or Detroit Public Schools. The Detroit Public Schools system has so many problems that I think the best solution would be to dissolve the district and reconstitue all the schools as charters.

  25. Rana said on October 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Happy birthday, everyone!

    Sue, your mention of the dialect effects of the Jane Austen marathon makes me think about a perpetual problem for those of us doing historical research: style creep. If you’re not careful, the tone of your sources inches its way into your own writing. Given that a lot of the things I read have a decidely purple quality, that’s not a good thing.

  26. brian stouder said on October 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    beb – that sounds marvelous! This weekend I’m tied up, or else it would be tempting. One pleasant surprise (amongst many others) about visiting Detroit/Dearborn was how pleasant the drive there is; not so terribly far, and beautiful to boot (as we cruised alongside the picturesque Maumee river to Toledo, and then shot north on a very nice expressway)

    Rana – this phrase –

    Given that a lot of the things I read have a decidely pur­ple qual­ity

    left me curious (yellow)!*

    *old racy movie pun

  27. Bob (Not Greene) said on October 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Oh, man, Brian at a burlesque show? I’d hear the wolf whistles here in Chicago.

    I’m just imagining

  28. Julie Robinson said on October 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Wow, lots of birthday cheer to spread around. Happy, happy, everyone!

    One of the characters in the play I’m helping with says, “whatever”. I don’t think they used that expression in 1904, do you? It jolts me every time I hear the line.

  29. brian stouder said on October 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Julie – one 100+ year old saying that turns my head when I read it is when a fellow is referred to as a “brick”; a high compliment – which would probably get you punched in 2010

  30. paddyo' said on October 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Julie, just make sure if that’s a male character in your play, he isn’t wearing a wristwatch — unless he was a German naval officer in the 1880s. The Kaiser had them made for a couple of thousand of his boatmen. But except for a handful here and there, wristwatches didn’t catch on until the 1920s or so . . . though supposedly a few women did wear them around the turn of the century.

    Or so those mysterious InterWebNets tell me . . .

  31. Dorothy said on October 8, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Don’t forget – “Sweet Smell of Success” is on Sunday night, 8 PM on Turner Classic Movies!

  32. Julie Robinson said on October 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    No wristwatches–two of the characters have pocket watches. And I’m taking nail polish remover, in case one of the girls “forgets”. I’ve already replaced the very modern yarn in the knitting scene with some old brown wool of my grandma’s. The dummy supposedly thrown under the trolley has a plastic bag for a face, so I’m taking muslin in with me today. On and on, these things make me crazy. Once I saw a production of The Miracle Worker that used a plastic pitcher for the dining room scene where Helen throws it on the floor repeatedly. It ruined the whole show for me. Trust me, I am not an easy woman to live with. My husband is a saint.

  33. Sue said on October 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Rana, I guess I should feel lucky that I’m not talking “purple” after an Austen-palooza. Mostly I just say “indeed” a lot. But I have to be careful to come back to 2010 or I find myself talking like this:
    “He is the most amiable man of my acquaintance” = “That guy is hot”

  34. paddyo' said on October 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Julie, on behalf of anachronistaphobes everywhere:
    Yew totully rawk, duude . . .

  35. nancy said on October 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    My junior high class play was “Our Town,” which rehearsed mostly before spring break, and opened the weekend after we got back. The girl who played Emily came back from spring break looking like she’d been in an atomic blast; even in the days of competitive tanning, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone quite that shade of rosy brown. The director went apeshit trying to powder or pancake her into something resembling a white girl again, but it was all for naught. Complicating matters, the lighting effects in some of the SPOILER ALERT dead-Emily scenes were “black light,” which made it even worse. She honestly looked like she was in a minstrel show.

  36. Tom M said on October 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Good take on “Waiting for Superman” as Bob Somerby says of Davis Guggenheim:

    When it comes to low-income schools, pseudo-liberals and media stooges have chased magic bullets since the 1960s. Frauds like Guggenheim always have some simple solution to sell. To appearances, they never have the slightest idea what they’re talking about.

    Read the whole week’s worth of Daily Howlers

    Another quote from Somerby:
    In the arena of education, what are these Three Americas? In the broader sense, this country has a great deal of poverty, even within the white majority. More specifically, we have a large and growing student population made up of the delightful children of low-income immigrants; these children come from low-literacy backgrounds, and may not speak English. Beyond that, we have a large black student population; for centuries, our benighted ancestors worked very hard to deny literacy to this population. As recently as 1967, Jonathan Kozol was writing about the way black children were whipped in the basements of Boston’s schools—whipped by teachers who openly insulted them. (emphasis mine)

  37. brian stouder said on October 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    You know, I had heard the term “Waiting for Superman” a time or two, and paid little attention.

    Then, at the last Fort Wayne Community Schools board meeting, the term came up a couple of times, afterwhich I actively pursued what that term meant.

    Suffice it to say, FWCS has been diligently making large changes (both in methodology and testing/validation), and we have a whole chorus of lunatics who would crash the whole shebang if they could (paging Evert Moll! [long story short – he is an open adversary of all-things FWCS] who is running for the board!).

    And many otherwise respectable Fort Wayne political people (paging Mitch Harper! – local lawyer/blogger/city councilman) cheer this on, or at least applaud warmly.

    By way of saying, there is a volatile mixture of societal nihilism and outright opportunism in this.

    The good news – yesterday’s headlines hereabouts was that FWCS has made documented progress – HUGE documented progress – in their core mission of educating students.

    I await the chorus of wails and denunciations from the aforementioned waiters on Superman

  38. Joe Kobiela said on October 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Just got back from watching secretariat, really great movie. It was like Apollo 13, even though you know how it is going to turn out you were still rivited. What a horse!! 31 link victory and a time record that stll stands. I can still remember watching big red run,Awsome.
    Pilot Joe

  39. Deborah said on October 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Sitting in bar in Santa Fe. Happy birthday to all you other folks out there with birthdays this weekend. Mine is actually Monday. Sending this on iPhone let’s see if it works.

  40. brian stouder said on October 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Deborah – so did your train-riding family member make it? Every time I see North by Northwest, I resolve to take a long train trip somewhere, someday (although I suspect diner cars and sleeper cars such as Cary Grant and the lovely Eva Marie Saint inhabited have gone away). Here’s hoping your foot gets feeling better.

    Tom M – here’s a marvelous article about Waiting for Superman:

    http://citypaper.com/film/waiting-for-superman-1.1045726

    an excerpt:

    It is a testament to the narrowness of Waiting for Superman that the question of race is not broached. The Civil Rights Project at UCLA in its January 2010 report, “Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards”, begins, “The charter school movement has been a major political success, but it has been a civil rights failure.”

    At the Baltimore promotional screening of Waiting for Superman, the movie was introduced by Davis Guggenheim’s sister Grace—who had worked with her father making films for 18 years before his death—and Maryland Film Festival Director Jed Dietz, who brought two shorts made by Charles Guggenheim. The elder Guggenheim also won an Academy Award in 1968 for his “Robert Kennedy Remembered,” which was shown at the Democratic Convention in that portentous year.

    The shorts were essentially campaign ads for Robert Kennedy. They show Davis Guggenheim as a child walking up the steps of the capitol. He drags behind him a toy bus and cars on a string. The steps are steep and long. The toys catch and are hard to pull. We are told in that particular campaign voice that “it shouldn’t be this hard” as we fade to the smiling face of RFK flanked by children asking for our vote. In March of that year, before he was assassinated, Kennedy spoke at the University of Kansas:

    “If we believe that we, as Americans, are bound together by a common concern for each other, then an urgent national priority is upon us. We must begin to end the disgrace of this other America. And this is one of the great tasks of leadership for us, as individuals and citizens this year. But even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task; it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction—purpose and dignity—that afflicts us all.”

  41. coozledad said on October 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Nancy: I had to play Pappy in Lil’ Abner, typecast because I was the only person approaching sufficient baldness. But I wasn’t bald enough, so they decided to cover my head with a frosting cap and yank my remaining hair through it. It was painful, and I looked like a toilet plunger that had been used to dislodge a hairball from a sink. I hated that fucking play anyway, except for the live pig that shrieked the entire play and shat all over poor Moonbeam McSwine.

  42. MaryRC said on October 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Joe, I’m going to see Secretariat tonight. The Belmont was something all right but his performance in the Preakness was almost as impressive in my mind. Coming around the first turn, he moved from last to first in seconds. In the video on YouTube the other horses seem to be standing still.

  43. Deborah said on October 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Yes Brian Little Bird made it safely with lots of train stories to tell. The sleeper cars are pretty pricey so she’s always traveled coach except once she and I traveled from Barcelona to Florence in a sleeper on a trip in Europe. Leave it to Amtrak to be way behind the rest of the world.

  44. LAMary said on October 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I understand Sarah Jessica Parker does a great job as Secretariat.

  45. joodyb said on October 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    meow, LAMary.
    birthday wishes to all. sante fe is a very nice place to celebrate a bday.
    my late dad’s bday was thursday, and i think sunday is one of my wedding anniversaries, (!) — an auspicious month for weddings, the 4th most popular according to the Intertubes.
    that Redford theater is dreamy.
    has anyone seen the new Glenn Gould documentary?

  46. Jolene said on October 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    The WaPo has a very favorable review of Secretariat, as well as some videos of his races in the year that he won the Triple Crown. Good real-world viewing and good advice for weekend movie-goers as well.

  47. beb said on October 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    The other day I read that Mitch Albom was going to write a play about the life of Ernie Harwell. As a diabetic I don’t think it would be advisable to attend.

  48. Denice said on October 9, 2010 at 12:18 am

    In the tradition of bad parents everywhere, we introduced our daughter to The Three Stooges during a Redford Theater Festival years ago. She loved it and it was such fun to see them on the big screen. I remember going there when I was a kid to see serials of the old Batman black and white films of the 40’s. (It was in the 60’s when I saw that) I attended Redford High School and grew up in the area. Next door to the theater was Master’s Candies where we would load up on goodies and sneak them into the show. Ah, the good old days.

  49. basset said on October 9, 2010 at 1:17 am

    In the tradition of bad parents everywhere, we took Basset Jr. to a Penn & Teller performance when he was maybe eleven or twelve. Close to ten years later, Mrs. B. barely remembers it, but Jr. still cracks up every time he sees a wood chipper; they did a routine which involved the big one, I can never keep their names straight, putting a rabbit down a chipper and the little one getting a faceful of red gunk from its exhaust. Which caused Jr. to laugh so hard I thought he was going to hurt himself.

  50. Dexter said on October 9, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Zeppelins mentioned the same day I was out chasing the Goodyear blimp. Excellent. Notre Dame is playing Pitt at 3:30 tomorrow and one of the blimps from Akron made the journey today. I am pretty sure that’s where it was going, but anyway, I can assure you that you can see it on TV later today at some football venue.
    “There are three: the Spirit of Goodyear, the Spirit of Innovation and the Spirit of America …”, says cha cha dot com. Several times a year I see one flying overhead, yesterday I was driving west on US 6 so I followed it for a few miles. It was hauling ass, and I don’t mean perhaps…fastest I ever saw one fly. They cruise at 35 mph usually, but one can go 53 mph and the one I saw Friday was going about 48 or so as I clocked it.
    Some of you may recall the Waterloo train derailment earlier in the year. I took my mountain bike over there Friday and rode around for a few miles. The wreckage is finally all gone on the north side of the tracks , the grass seed has been growing, and the only reminder of the coal train spillage is the darker shade of the railbed.
    Jolene, hope you had a happy birthday.
    Today is the 70th birthday celebration of John Lennon. Julian and Sean and Yoko and Cynthia were shown hugging on TV this week. Who’d a thunk it?
    Julian sounds just exactly like John…that’s nice. Julian has outlived John by seven years. I really really really fucking hate Mark David Chapman, that dirty son of a bitch. Let him rot until death. No parole.

  51. coozledad said on October 9, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Republicans: Fucking Godwin’s law up the ass since 1939.
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/ohio-tea-partier-spent-weekends-playing-nazi-games.php?ref=fpa

  52. prospero said on October 9, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Every day I get campaign porn in my mailbox because I live in South Carolina. It’s from the noted jackass Joe Wilson. Every single piece of unwanted mail features a picture of Nancy Pelosi, who has nothing to do with South Carolina. Way I figure, Congressman Wilson has a problem with women in general and a specific problem with women in power. He’s clearly got a problem with ejaculations.

    Listen, y’all. The Stooges only qualifies for bad parenting if you include Shemp or the odious Joe. Moe, Larry, cheese and look at the grouse. Abbot and Costello, Lucille Ball and Steve Martin did not come close on Niagra Falls. My kid was raised on this even though her mother objected. And it seems to me that Curly gets all the credit, and he is funny as hell, but Moe was the Groucho in this gang,

  53. ROgirl said on October 9, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Happy Birthday, John.

    And Go Blue!

  54. Little Bird said on October 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Sleeper cars have gone way downhill since the days of Carey Grant. The diner car is still nicer than some restaurants. Very pricey though, the both of ’em.

  55. MichaelG said on October 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I was in the car a while ago listening to Click & Clack on NPR. They were passing out entertaining snippets of advice. One bit of advice for little girls amused me: “Don’t let Mommy brush your hair when she’s mad at Daddy.”

  56. Dexter said on October 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Strange sports: How could Indiana play so hard and almost beat Michigan and then this week lie down like little orphans and let Ohio State kick them in the ass?
    How could the Cincinnati Reds play so well all year and then let the big bad Phillies stomp them into the ground? The Reds embarrassed The Queen City in Philadelphia.

  57. prospero said on October 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Little Bird,

    Find a better companion. Sleepers are excellent. Sex in them is generally excellent. I’d prefer Eva to Grace, if you’re talking about Archie Leach, but maybe you mean Rock Hudson. One way or another, if you have the time, rail travel rules.

    Me, I’m thinking about Keith Relf and one of the most greatest movies ever made. Planes suck and trains are outstanding, though I use the former and way too infrequently the latter. Did you see what you thought you saw, and if you’re convinced you saw it, did it really happen?

  58. moe99 said on October 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/the-titan-and-the-pfc/

    George S. Kaufman was my favorite humorist and playright (or is it playwrite?). The comments recalling other quips are also worth it.

  59. Jolene said on October 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    moe, it’s playwright.

  60. moe99 said on October 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks, Jolene. Drew a blank on it today.