Thursday, May 2, 2019

Car Crashes, Real and Cinematic

The other day I was walking Olga (I know, I know -- ALL my posts begin that way) when I came across some damaged cars at the end of our street. They were parked against the curb, and I saw one of the owners -- a neighbor of ours -- standing over them. I asked him what happened. Turns out someone rounded the corner at 3 a.m. going too fast, lost control and slammed into two parked vehicles. Yikes! Somehow Dave and I slept through it.

My neighbor said the driver insisted that his steering had failed. Yeah, right! With the help of a half-dozen vodka tonics!

Anyway, he said he collected insurance information from the guy, as did the owner of the other damaged car. I'm unclear on whether or not the police showed up.

That's pretty much the only drama we've had around here. I've been doing inventory in the library, which means I've been working on scanning every single one of our 27,000 or so books. It's an annual ritual, to assess what's gone missing during the previous year. (There's always something. Usually several somethings.) It's kind of fun -- I can daydream and at the same time I have the satisfaction of occasionally correcting a problem. So far I've found one book that wasn't in our catalog at all, even though it had a bar code (it probably got deleted by accident at some point), and another that belongs in the library downstairs for the little kids. My need to organize is indulged!

This is a plaque on a house gate in Hampstead. I've been walking past it for years, thinking, "I should take a picture of that." So on Sunday I finally did. I've always liked that tree. Do you suppose the owners named the house after the creepy mansion in the Shirley Jackson book?

We're continuing to chafe under the tyranny of the squirrels. They upended one of my burdock seedlings and dug up one of my dahlias. I think both plants will survive, but I swear, every day, it's something. On the bright side, I'm pretty sure I saw starlings eating slugs on the lawn!

Dave and I watched "The Ten Commandments," the old Charlton Heston movie, over two nights this week. Dave loves that movie. Believe it or not, I don't think I'd ever seen it. Anyway, Dave always says he doesn't appreciate camp, but as I watched the glowering Yul Brynner and the floridly dramatic Ann Baxter sweep through scenes in all their tinkling Egyptian metalwear, I said to him, "You don't think this is campy?" Seriously, it's over the top. It probably won't surprise you to hear that I got a huge kick out of it.


  1. I think this illustrates your point

  2. Ah, "The Ten Commandments" - I remember seeing that in a cinema when I was about 8 or 9 with my parents and younger brother (probably when it was first released). I was brought up in a religious home that rather frowned on going to the movies as a general rule but obviously exceptions were made for religious movies. (To my parents' credit, we all mellowed a lot more on the movie issue when I was in my teens). I now have a DVD of the movie which I have watched several times - I think the introductory music is among the grandest movie music ever written. And as a teenager, I thought Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner were extremely handsome, but didn't know why. Great movie, but terribly inaccurate - on both biblical and historical accounts, I believe.

  3. And I love that YouTube clip! Talk about over the top! LOL

  4. That clip is amazing! That is the worst acting I have ever seen and I have SEEN some bad acting. Let me just say...HOLY shit.

  5. The Haunting, the original movie based on that book, was and is one of the all time scariest movies to me.

  6. Be careful about making the dramatic comments. Dramatic things may happen when you don't want them. Hey I'm superstitious about some things.

  7. Oh wow, I haven't thought about The Ten Commandments movie in years. I think it used to show up on afternoon cinema channel in the mid-60s when I was a teenager. The 37 second YouTube clip captures the ambiance very well. Oy.

  8. "the power of GAWD has set us free", as Yul collapses in his comfy stone chair, weirdest movie - even when we were little and saw it on the big screen we laughed and laughed, though my mom thought it was "holy". Thanks for the memories! Yul was such a babe! Crushed hard on him always.
    The photo of the bashed car is brilliant, the soft colorful flowered bush over the red rumpled metal in front of Buckingham Mansion, So good. Too bad for the owners of that little car, but, being Britain, pretty sure there were "sorry's" and more "sorry's".

  9. You made me laugh. Yul Brynner was an expert at glowering and you are right, that movie was very campy. However, I'm sure I didn't think that the first time I watched it. I actually had a huge crush on Yul Brynner when I was a teenager. Who knows why. Raging hormones I presume. I watched the clip too and OMG. I had forgotten just how awful the acting was.

  10. Everything I learned about religion I learned at the movies didn't do me much good. I really liked The Haunting have seen a couple of versions. I tried to find the You Tube clip but don't know how to copy and paste. Enjoy your day everyone.

  11. Oh, that clip is wonderful! Buckingham Mansion and One Tree Hill: sounds like you live in the lap of luxury. Speaking of squirrels, how about this one:

  12. My step-daughter's extended family always celebrate the yearly tv showing of The Ten Commandments by have a Ten Commandment Pizza night. They all get together and "watch" the movie and have pizza. They've been doing it for years.

  13. Chafing under "the tyranny of the squirrels" - LOL!! Well expressed :)

  14. As a retired librarian I volunteer in my local school library and soon will be helping with the scanning/inventory there. It is always good to get things back in order after a busy year.

  15. David: I think the music is a big part of why Dave likes the movie. He also grew up in a religious household and I think this movie was "approved" for that reason.

    Ms Moon: Isn't it AWESOME?!

    Ellen: I don't think I've ever seen it! Maybe I'll rent it at Halloween. :)

    Red: Well, that's true. You never want to invite trouble, right?

    Robin: Oy is right!

    Linda Sue: As car wrecks go, it IS photogenic. I'm impressed that you thought "The Ten Commandments" was unintentionally funny even when you were a kid. I don't think my sense of camp was fully developed in childhood!

    Sharon: Well, Yul WAS pretty sexy, and he was certainly showing off the musculature!

    Comox: I was going to post a link for you on how to cut and paste, but then I realized you'd have to cut and paste the link! So just Google "how to cut and paste." It's very easy. The clip is worth it!

    Catalyst: That poor squirrel! It was probably terrified. Or maybe not, being a Boston urban squirrel.

    Sue: Fun! Is it still on TV every year? Somehow I missed this, though we always caught the annual shows of "The Sound of Music" and "The Wizard of Oz."

    Jenny-O: They ARE tyrannical, in their own way!

    Peter: It gives a great sense of satisfaction, doesn't it? Bravo to you for volunteering!