Postcards from California and New York City

Another day when the postcards maybe hung out together and had a beer before arriving in my mailbox.
Jan sent me this very fun postcard from the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California.  She says it’s such a cool museum she is thinking of volunteering there.  I’ve looked at the website and it does look quite cool.  Nice find, Jan.  The postcard is cool too. Very retro.

Kelly recently visited New York City and reports that the Met was awesome and that visiting the Cloisters was totally worth the trip.  As I recommended the Cloisters, I was quite glad to hear that.  I was also glad to get this sunny David Hockney postcard on a cold January day.  Thanks, Kelly!

Three sentence movie reviews: Pariah

Thanks to the excellent Mudbound, I found Dee Rees and was able to see her first film, which is an excellent portrayal of a young woman’s coming of age; one complicated when she doesn’t fit in the boxes her parents have checked off for her.  Adepero Oduye is a controlled (and frustrated) Alike and Kim Wayans brings it as her trying-to-be-oblivious-while-also-controlling mother. This movie is a good reminder that even as our culture becomes increasingly queer positive, there are still a lot of harrowing individual journeys.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

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Three sentence movie reviews: A Star is Born

This 1937 version* is yet another 1930s movie that is fabulous to watch.** In this non-musical version, Janet Gaynor is charming as the fresh-faced aspiring actress while Fredric March charms as an actor on a downward slide.***  There’s a lot of good stuff about love****, and the trappings of alcoholism, back when it was something to be hidden.

Cost: free from library via Hoopla (for this movie, I figured out how to watch Hoopla via the app on the TV.  It’s a little bit wonky, but works great once you figure out all the steps.)
Where watched: at home.

*Regular commenter Jan watched the 1954 version and alerted me to the fact there will be four versions, once the 2018 one is released.  Four versions of the same movie? With the exact same title?  There was no way I was leaving that alone.
**Though it presents a very different lifestyle than my previous 1930’s movie: The Grapes of Wrath.
***Also very good was Andy Devine, playing Gaynor’s friend Danny.
***Both of career/movies and romantic love.

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Postcard from NYC via Minneapolis

Another odd-sized postcard from the Whitney Museum.  Are modern art museums the place to go to find odd-shaped cards?  Test my hypothesis. Visit modern art museums and send me postcards from there.

The translation is “a giant tomato”

Sara writes that she’s doing the tricky process of revising a piece and also dealing with computer updates that took long enough that I got a postcard out of it.  Thanks computer updates!  And Sara!

Three sentence movie reviews: The Grapes of Wrath

A “classic film” that is gripping to watch, rather than something to be gotten through so you can check it off your list.  Henry Fonda is good, but Jane Darwell as Ma Joad steals every scene.  Also interesting: to see how different things were 35 years before my birth.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

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This is one of my favorite scratch-offs so far.
The first time I watched this classic was at a free movie showing on Boston Common.

I found this one rather predictable.

Three sentence movie reviews: The Meyerowitz Stories

He’s a straight white male mostly telling stories from the limited perspective of well-off, neurotic straight white males.*  So why do I find his movies so delightful, more often than not?  You’ll watch this movie for stellar performances from Sandler** and Stiller, and if you are me, you will ignore all the parts with Grace Van Patten’s student films (which were a repeating joke that wasn’t really funny the first time.)

Cost: Netflix charge
Where watched: at home

*Most of whom I wouldn’t be that interested in spending time with in real life.
**If all of Adam Sandler’s performances were as good as this one, he would be an actor I sought out more often than one I took a pass on.

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A walk on Mississippi Ave.

I spent a lovely morning walking on Mississippi Avenue looking for Help Wanted signs for Job Spotter.  I found none on Mississippi.  Maybe the stores there are too fancy for help wanted signs in the window? I also took some pictures.  Here they are:

On the lower left, ghost stairs that are probably not long for this word given the pace of the development.  You can see a new building that has gone up, looming over the original house.  Will something else be built on its other side?

Some great side-of-building art.


Someone has repurposed a disco ball into a very large Victorian-style garden looking glass. That’s a really big disco ball.  I wonder where it once was?

New construction happening where there once were ghost stairs. In fact, I have pictures of those ghost stairs.  See them here.


I love this gate.

Here is some art embedded into the side of building with a QR code to go with it.  I did not scan it, but you probably could.


Amen to this statement.  @UnzippedPDX turns out to be two strippers who talk about whatever they want.  Here’s a link.


I liked this oddly-shaped bumper–or back panel–sticker.  The internet tells me it’s a famous line from Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” which also led to a discussion of if Bob Dylan coined the phrase.

Overall, this was a good day for a walk.

Three sentence movie reviews: I, Tonya

Margot Robbie is amazing as Tonya Harding, in this funny and hard-to-watch story based on interviews given by Harding and Jeff Gillooly, her husband at the time of the ice skating.  It’s tough to watch the abuse both from a parent (an excellent Janney) and the domestic violence* (by the also excellent Sebastian Stan). There is greatness and tragedy in a story that everyone who lived through it the first time has an opinion of plus, the wigs are really on point.

Cost: free due to gift cards
Where watched: Regal City Center Stadium 12 with Matt

*”I have never seen so much domestic violence depicted on film before,” said with a sense of awe by Matt, the DV counselor.

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Requiem: The Below-Thirty-Degrees Coat

Is there anything better than a plaid wool coat?

This was my coat for when it gets really cold* in Portland. It’s wool construction makes it super warm, and I pair it with real gloves (not the $1 stretchy guys I usually wear) and a hat that covers my ears and neck.  Then, I’m ready for any sub-30 degree weather. (Portland rarely sees temperatures in the 20’s and even more rarely does the mercury drop to the teens.)

However, my hips have exceeded the capacity of this coat, and thus I am sending it off to be consigned.  Hopefully, the next person will love it as much as I do.

*I realize that Portland’s “really cold” is laughable when compared to other areas.  I’ve lived in colder places, and had more intense coats.   But intense coats are not needed here.