Sunday, February 25, 2024

Book and Movie and TV Show

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that we had hail on Friday. I was sitting at my desk in the library when I heard a clattering sound on the skylight, and about that time some kids came into the library from outside, talking about the hail raining down. I texted Dave at home, and he said it was coming down in our garden, too. Drama from the skies! It wasn't big enough to cause any damage -- just little pea-sized pellets.

Yesterday was indeed a very domestic day -- which is why you're getting this picture of the sunlight in our dining room. I barely left the house. It was just what I needed -- a restorative day to catch up on life.

Our windowsill cactus is going gangbusters, with four flowers. I don't think we've ever seen that many blossoms at once!

Our other windowsill cactus isn't blooming -- it never has -- but its colorful spines glow reddish orange in the sunlight.

So what did I do yesterday? Well, I cleaned, for one thing. I always feel better when I put the house in order.

Then I read the young adult book "Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!" which some of you may remember from your own years in school. It came out way back in 1972, and I remember seeing it in my own school library back in the late '70s. It was the basis for an ABC After-School Special on TV. But I never read it because I was put off by the title, which seemed super-gross to me. A couple of weeks ago, my boss pulled it off our shelves to weed, so I thought I'd give it a try and see if it's something we should keep.

It's somewhat dated now, with references to "encounter groups" and that kind of thing. It's also not that great. The plot is a bit scattered. I think there are better YA books, and ones modern kids will connect with more.

I also watched a movie called "All the Right Noises," from 1971, starring Olivia Hussey. It's the kind of movie that would never be made today -- about a married theatrical crew member who has an affair with an actress, who turns out to be 15 years old. And does he stop the affair when he finds out? NO! Why should he?! It was the '70s.

The only reason I watched it is because it incorporates songs by Melanie in the soundtrack. I only heard about this cinematic adventure with Melanie's recent death, so I thought I'd catch up with it. I'm not sure her songs were an essential part of the film. They seemed like a bit of an afterthought. (And I knew them all from earlier albums anyway.)

Dave and I are also finishing up the third season of "Slow Horses" on Apple TV, which has been really good. And that's the pop-culture roundup from West Hampstead!


Moving with Mitchell said...

That ending sounded like a typical report from Lake Woebegone! Those cactus flowers are amazing. I love the artwork in your dining room. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. I’ve never heard of “Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!” That came out the year I started college. From the sounds of it, I suppose I won’t bother finding it now.

Linda Sue said...

I hope that kid never combs his hair- looks like there may be no threat of that.
Your day sounds perfect - read, write, watch, though the choices of material would not be mine- 70's movies are awkward I find.
I get it about cleaning- I do the same thing when I need to organize my thoughts/life. Love the results and feel when everything ,that I can control, is in order maybe the world is not so effed up. It is a small illusion but works!
Your cactus is happy! I do believe that you could make anything grow and be glad!

Ed said...

As a farmer's son, I had quite a few run ins with hail on the open tractors of those days. Several of those times I didn't quite end up making it to shelter in time and received a few welts on my body from the small hail pellets smacking me at high speed. Then seven years ago, I was driving our minivan and ended up in one of those that you read about with baseball sized hail. It was terrifying and I thought all the windows would come crashing in at any second and pulverize my legs with the hail. The windows held fortunately but the minivan was totaled. I'm okay with never being outside in a hailstorm again.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I have read another book in the "Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!" series - "Stevie Reed Collects Trash!" It was okay but the central character was cartoonish and I just could not warm to him.

Andrew said...

Some old films and tv shows would never see the light of day now. The film you watched sounds dreadful but I do get that the music was appealing.

Boud said...

Such a lot of old shows are now pure cringe. Except I'm watching and enjoying Northern Exposure on DVD from the library, and it has held up pretty well.

ellen abbott said...

in lieu of anything new to watch we've fallen back on Game Of Thrones.

Ms. Moon said...

Okay. I have to ask- did Dinky Hocker actually use heroin?
I somehow missed that book.
Glad you got a nice day in. I love days when I can actually enjoy and appreciate my home and its little treasures. That cactus is joy in a dish.
I personally think that Olivia Hussey was one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Ellen D. said...

I like that artwork in your dining room! Are those pussy willows from your yard?
Your cacti look lovely.

Jeanie said...

It sounds like the perfect weekend. I really do need to add Apple TV to my line-up!

Margaret said...

So many people have recommended Slow Horses so I don't understand why I don't watch it. (except that I can only access Apple+ on my laptop) I am finishing the first season of "The Fall" which has been eye-opening. I too feel better when I've done some cleaning. I'm hosting Book Club again so I really need to vacuum since there is always cat hair around.

Susan said...

Your weekend at home sounds restorative. Like you, I prefer a well ordered home that feels fresh and clean. Your cactus plants are doing very well. The yellow flowers are like sunshine. My cactus has never bloomed. It is a 5 ft. tall green thorny stalk with arms. It belonged to my late 99 year old Uncle so I have a great fondness for it.

Red said...

I hear you on the domestic duties and cleaning. I'm doing the spring cleaning and I'm over half done!

Kelly said...

I haven't thought of Olivia Hussey in years! She was very pretty from what I remember. Yep... I don't think we'll see a remake of that movie.

Your photos are quite peaceful and beautiful today. Just what I needed!!

Sharon said...

That sunshine in your dining room looks very appealing and those cactus blooms are beautiful. It makes me think that cactus must be very happy living there.

Susan Kane said...

So amazing. Such a lovely thorny cactus. I have some huge outdoor succulents.

The Bug said...

Wow I love those yellow cactus flowers! We have a couple of cactus colonies (?? What do you call clumps of cacti?) in our neighborhood that have yellow flowers. Maybe this will be my year to remember take a picture of them.

Pixie said...

Love the photos, as always:) I'm always happy when my house is clean and tidy too.

Allison said...

It's surprising to me that you can get a cactus to bloom that far north. I remember encounter groups, I am glad they are gone.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: I suppose my blog is somewhat Lake Wobegone-ish, though probably less interesting. The artwork is by Andrew Pisacane, who posted this image all over New York as street art under his street name, Gaia.

Linda Sue: Yeah, I think cleaning gives us a sense of control and order in an otherwise disorderly world!

Ed: I can't imagine hail of that size. I've never seen it and I hope I never do!

YP: That must have been a short and very boring book!

Andrew: It wasn't dreadful -- in fact it was better than I expected it to be -- but yeah, it would never be made now.

Boud: I keep meaning to start "Northern Exposure" but then I forget. Dave and I just finished "Slow Horses" last night so maybe now is the time!

Ellen: We did one season of "Game of Thrones" and that was enough for me. I didn't like the violence.

Ms Moon: No! Dinky Hocker's mom ran a support group for drug addicts, and Dinky sprayed that graffiti all over town in an effort to win her attention. Olivia Hussey was (is) indeed beautiful. Her father was Argentinian, apparently?

Ellen D: No, Dave bought the pussy willows last fall!

Jeanie: There's quite a bit on Apple!

Margaret: We watched "The Fall" quite a while ago. I'd forgotten about it!

Susan: I think some of them don't bloom, at least not as houseplants. It depends on the species.

Red: Good for you! I need to get started on all that, after I do our taxes. (Ugh!)

Kelly: She was very pretty, but she kind of vanished, didn't she? I wonder if that was by her choice.

Sharon: Yeah, they love that sunny windowsill!

Susan K: I had never noticed how colorful those thorns were until I was photographing the flowers on the other plant!

Bug: Yes, by all means, take a picture! Are they prickly pears? Those are the cacti I remember seeing growing wild in Florida.

Pixie: It makes a huge difference! Gives one a sense of control, even if that IS an illusion! :)

Allison: Ha! Some things from the '70s are best left in the '70s. :)