Diary, 4/14 to 4/19/19


Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{4/14/19}  Weight 220.2.

Watched Psycho III last night.  It revealed Anthony Perkins as a fine, steady, sometimes inspired director as well as an intelligent, subtle actor.  Which is to say, I liked it, and him.  Whatever it is that makes the Psycho movies entertaining, is present in spades in III.  It is the saddest, weirdest, grossest, and funniest of the series, as well as offering the best eye candy.  Unaccountably, Videohound gives all the Psycho sequels two bones.  How it compares to Hitchcock’s original I feel incompetent to judge—I don’t trust my objectivity, though I do trust it over Videohound.  Apparently, Perkins got little respect for directing this movie, because he is not listed as having directed any others.

In two hours and a bit I have to leave for the Hemlock Club.  There is nothing I want to do, but the point is, it just seems like too much work to ride the tricycle.  Shall I sell it, then?  I bought it on 3/9 and have yet to ride it.  In reading the 3/9 entry, I came up with an idea for how to get started:  forget about riding in circles in the parking lot, but instead take it down to the golf course and look at birds—get there, no matter how long it takes nor how many stops I have to make.  Clearly, this would be a “major project,” but it is more appealing in that it has a goal at the end (though coming back would likely be agony).

It wouldn’t do to take on too big a project at first, because I might then never try another; but I want to do this.  I should know after a block whether this is feasible.  Clearly also, this is not something I can do in a spare hour or two before going on to something else—rather, this must be a goal for a day in which I have no other significant goals.  Unfortunately, tomorrow I absolutely need to do laundry, and the rest of the week has only days with other priorities.  The solution:  blow off my Wednesday morning commitment and commit instead to this “major project.”

So, Psycho IV.  The basic idea of the script is brilliant, and the working out of it is good.  There are nits that can be picked, but overall I am content with the conclusion of the series.  I love Perkins’s voice.  The music this time was, as far as I could tell, 100% recycled Bernard Herrmann, which was fine by me, because the original score seems to me about the best ever soundtrack.  But there’s nothing more to be said about IV if I am to avoid spoilers.


{4/16/19}  Weight  220.0.

Sometimes I am stunned by my stupidity—like today, for instance.  I had a 1:40 appointment at the DMV.  I was careful to take with me the validation number that I had neglected the previous time I went to the DMV a couple of years ago.  I rode the bus to get there in good time, then discovered that I was on the wrong bus because the one I was on did not go where I thought it did.  So I missed the appointment and ended up wasting two hours, though I enjoyed my reading.  I could have gone to the DMV without an appointment, but there was no reason to gamble on the typically hour-long wait.  I’ll just get another appointment.

That reading was A. E. van Vogt:  Monsters, one of the best of the old paperback collections of vV short stories.


{4/17/19}  Weight 220.0.

On the bus, a woman was expatiating on gun control and the decline of morality.  She said that gun control wouldn’t reduce murders because people who are going to kill are going to kill, but if they take away guns, the “lefty liberals” will go on to take away knives, etc. and etc. And morality has declined because “they took God out of schools.”  She reads “books” on her phone or listens to dramatizations of the KJV.  I’d describe her, but I don’t want to remember the grossness.

SW Library book sale the first week of next month.  Like I need more books?  Of course I do.


{4/18/19}  Weight 221.2.  Ouch!  Where did that come from?  Well, I made the mistake of eating snacks for dinner, instead of dinner.

Had a dream last night about the mechanism demonstrated in the movie The Abyss, in which one breathes an oxygen-carrying liquid rather than air.  I was observing a couple of people using the device, and they were having trouble, going into convulsions or fainting.  And as sometimes happens in dreams, I became one of those persons, not by putting on the suit, but by dream-magic.  And I got very anxious and felt like I was smothering.  I didn’t fully wake up; I was speculating how it would feel to try to breathe a liquid, and whether the mechanism would work at all.  Then I was more or less awake, but still feeling anxious.  I got up to use the bathroom, and the anxiety didn’t leave me while I remained awake.  Thankfully, I slept again easily and had no further trouble.  I caught about an hour of The Abyss a few days ago, including the demonstration of the mechanism.  Watching the rat “drown” was disturbing.

Watched Geostorm last night.  It was a generally silly movie.  The special effects were mostly good, but sometimes looked cartoony.  Once or twice I laughed out loud at the predictability of the plot (the one who knows it all gets killed before he can pass along what he knows, except for one cryptic word); aside from predictability, there was occasional other silliness.  The acting and music were okay.  Unfortunately, I spent $5 for this DVD, but I knew it was a long shot.  I’m generally quite forgiving of movie stupidity for the sake of special effects and appealing actors (I can watch Justice League and the outrageously silly Batman v. Superman over and over) but Geostorm isn’t worth keeping.

I am accumulating a number of DVDs and Blue-Rays that I don’t want.  It occurs to me to sell them in a batch on eBay, since selling them to Bookhounds at $4 per shopping bag is really giving them away, and not worth the bus ride.  I doubt that Zena has a Blue-Ray player, and I’m pretty sure that Pablo doesn’t.


{4/19/19}  Weight 222.4.  Grr.  Later reading is 221.2.  Maybe I misread it?

So we finally have “the Mueller report.”  Shall I read it?  No.  Trump is a liar and a crook and should be impeached—I already knew all that.  I can let the media fill me in on anything important.  I have other fish to fry:  climate catastrophe and fixing our democracy.

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved




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