The other night after I’d gotten home from this latest trip to Oklahoma, Julia and I sat up watching the film version of After Dark, My Sweet. I had actually just read the book while I was on my trip, so the story was pretty fresh in my mind. I thought it was actually a pretty solid interpretation, despite a few changes to the plot that left me scratching my head. The weakest link was Rachel Ward as the female lead, Fay. She didn’t do a particularly good job of portraying Fay’s personality swings based on how sober she was at any given moment. Jason Patric as Collie, and Bruce Dern as Uncle Bud, though, were awesome.
There was a scene (several, actually) where the three main characters were together in the ugly ranch house that Fay lives in, on the edge of Palm Springs. They’re burning through cigarettes and making a bottle of whiskey rapidly disappear. Julia and I, who often plot our own illicit scores, were in the process of wildly passing back and forth a plastic liter bottle of . . . Diet Pepsi. When I pointed this out, she said, “We’re so noir.” It was pretty goddamn funny. I suppose you probably had to be here.
From the “You’ve Got to be Freakin’ Kidding Me Department”
Our very friendly neighbor across the street, Becky, owns the Becky’s Superior Cuts barbershop on South Avenue. I’ve been going there for beard trims and (much more infrequent) hair trims since we found out it was her business. Anyway, Julia went there for a little trim the other day (go ahead, Butthead: trim, huh huh huh . . . trim), and happened to be there when the mailman delivered a bunch of magazines. Most of them are types that Becky doesn’t really care to have in her shop (in particular, women’s lifestyle and fashion magazines, that are somehow automatically sent to her) and Julia managed to work out a deal to have Becky give them to her instead of just tossing them. Those types of mags are a guilty pleasure of Julia’s, but the only one she actually buys is one called Lucky. This jackpot was akin to me falling into a steady supply of free Batman or Captain America comics!
So I’m eyeballing Scarlett Johansson on the cover of Vogue, and Julia asks me how much I think the t-shirt she’s wearing costs. I shrug, I don’t know, $200. No, $5000. What?! Five THOUsand dollars? “What, is it made from the plucked pubic hairs of virgins?!” I ask. No, she says. I just can’t believe that kind of thing. I mean, I could see if it were made of silk pulled from the asses of spiders, but it’s just a goddamn t-shirt . . . and an ass-ugly one too, if you ask me.
Have I mentioned Scarlett is playing Black Widow in the next Iron Man movie? I’d be remiss if I didn’t. That’s pretty awesome. I’ve always liked that character.
As I type, I imagine — hope — Julia has her ass planted on the BART taking her to the hostel she is staying in in San Francisco this week. She is there for the big bellydance thing she’s been working on all year. She’s been working very hard to get ready, so it’s quite the culmination of a lot of work. I had originally planned to go with her, but we decided that, for the money, with the level of distraction she’d have with the class we’d be better off waiting. We’ll make it back some other time. Hopefully we’ll go to Tucson some time this winter for a little vacation.
As for me, I have the week off as well. I have some big writing plans I hope to accomplish. At the moment, though, I’m watching the final big shootout of The Wild Bunch, surrounded by empty whiskey bottles and passed out hookers.
I’m just kidding. About the whiskey.