Afternoon of Terror, Night of Magic
I feel better now--Sunday was awesome.
I cleaned my room as soon as I woke up, and had a very pleasant morning, returning beer bottles at the Village Corner and having a nice conversation with the lovely manager (who's always really cool to me and works at Liberty Street Video, too), and then breakfasting at the Fleetwood, as I do pretty much every Sunday. I'm convinced that Kathy and Karen are conspiring to ask me if I "need anything else" only when my mouth's full.
Last week at Cinema Guild, we watched Georges Franju's Eyes Without A Face
(1960), commonly cited as one of the finest and most influential of European horror movies. It left me a little cold, to be honest. This week, we watched Judex
(1963), a terrific remake--yes, that's right, I don't hate all of them--of one of Louis Feuillade's adventure serials made during the First World War. Feuillade also directed Les Vampires
(1915), three-fourths of which I've seen. Judex
tells the Monte Cristo
-like story of a masked precursor to Batman pursuing his own private justice. It's great fun, and any movie that has two gorgeous, scantily-clad women engaged in a climactic battle to the death atop a gabled roof automatically has something going for it (especially if one of them's Silva Koscina).
I took a ramble through West Park that afternoon, and walked up a flight of wooden steps leading to West Huron Street. I looked down at the steps for a second and saw, directly beneath the step I'd reached, a skunk.
Anyone who's ever seen a picture of a skunk knows that they're actually rather adorable. Flower wasn't drawn that way in Bambi
(1942) for nothing. We used to see a family of skunks cross Spring Street occasionally, the cutest thing I'd ever seen over there. Viewed from afar or in a book or movie, they look absolutely darling. From up close, it's obviously different, perhaps the longest two seconds I've spent since I moved here. I broke contact first, briskly increasing my pace up the hill. We both took leave of each other without significant olfactory damage. Next time, I don't think I'll be so lucky.
The main attraction Sunday night was the "all girls' summer fun show" at the Madison House, featuring Kelly Caldwell. It was only this morning that I realized how funny the first description was. Brandon had set up the backyard beautifully, with my donated shelves, some cinder blocks, and rows of folding chairs. A variety of flowers and a flag of Michigan had been hung somehow on the high wooden fence and the rear wall of the rug store next door.
People brought their own beer, and this managed to loosen me up and get me talking (perhaps too much, but it can't be helped now). I don't know what it is about social gatherings in Ann Arbor (of course, I've been to about five or six in the nearly three years I've "lived" here), but I seem to instantly contract social anxiety disorder every time I'm at a function like this (for example, spending the first quarter of the evening engrossed in a cheese recipe book I had gotten for free--again--from Ann--the lady who lived next door*). This time, I talked a little more to people, and got to tell Kelly Caldwell how much I liked her music, which was nice. I even continued my apparent private war with the world of "dumb beasts," as Brandon's housemate Chris and I were almost brutally assaulted by a bee.
The music all-around was fantastic, the experience even better than the last show there. I'd never heard of the first three artists, and they all stunned, especially Sari Brown, who belted out song after song in this incredibly gutsy, throaty voice that stretched well
beyond her years. Molly-Jean from Detroit, a recent TasteFest vet, had an amusing set, in particular "OxyContin Denim Whore," about ripping on old ex-boyfriends. Aleise Barnett, who I've seen working at Shaman Drum (where I often browse but hardly ever buy--big surprise) and had no idea played music, delivered a lovely yet subdued collection, one of those kinds that really set me to thinking (always a good thing). And finally, I couldn't figure out whether Kelly Caldwell was actually better here or at the show a couple of months ago on North Division (also described in these pixels). I gave it up, as I probably won't figure it out. It was great, of course, but much more fun this time, as everyone, including me, knew the words to a lot of the songs and couldn't help singing along. "Southern Boys," a song I especially love for obvious reasons, was a hilarious group effort. Everyone sang along, the temperature mellowed out, the sky was pink with the sunset, the birds were aloft, the "motion-light" kept going on and off... Oh, the humanity. I was so carried away that I even told Brandon I might bring scones next time (once I learn how to make them on my own, which should be this weekend).
And this morning? No hangover whatsoever and I ran into Lou and a friend of his and had a nice chat on the #2 bus into downtown. Perfect.
*As one can see from the comments, her name is apparently "Diane," and she knew Peter S. Beagle (that one was for Natalie, I think), which is why she had the William Morris book the first time.