Screaming Singers: Diary 1/26 to 2/2/22

Movie soundtracks; reading blogs (mine and another’s); book/DVD storage; going blind, so watched DVDs; MS store; movie reviews; yada yada.

Marvel’s Greatest Movie: Avengers: Infinity War

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved


I listened to the soundtrack of Avengers: Infinity War last night and was moved almost to tears, mostly because I was imagining scenes from the movie as I listened with full attention.  Comparing the impact of this movie with Zack Snyder’s Justice League (reviewed here 9/29/21) reveals the importance of the movies preceding AIW and, of course, the overall quality of both.  Really, it’s like comparing Der Ring des Nibelung to, say, Puccini’s Edgar, the latter an obscure early effort with a decent aria or two.  If you don’t know what DRDN is, you should—unless you consider opera “screaming.”  Though if you like the screaming in popular music, why wouldn’t you give it a try, with voices trained for years and with a lush orchestral backup?  For the record, I like it when certain popular singers scream, e.g., Kate Bush or David Bowie (“Cat People”).

Dictating the Prison Diary again, which I hope and expect to continue after breakfast.

Diverted by Thom Hartmann…

Reading some of Marcus Aurelius, a short nap or two, then some dictation on the PD.  It’s more labor-intensive than I remembered, but I’m also improving the cleanup macros as I go.


Watched a Korean movie on DVD last night, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (2003), perhaps the sixth Korean movie I’ve seen, in Korean with subtitles.  It’s as simple and puzzling as a Zen koan.  Monotonously beautiful, placidly disturbing, “a Rorschach test on film.”  Did I like it?  The thematic answer would be “yes and no,” but in fact I liked it quite well, though I also got a bit bored during the first Spring.  It’s like a visit to a Buddhist monastery without a guide, that is, you know that things are happening, but mostly you have only a vague idea of what they mean.  It’s one I want to inflict on (“share with”) others.  Rotten Tomatoes, oddly, doesn’t give a score for critics’ reviews, but twelve reviews are shown, 11 “fresh” and 1 “splat”; audience score is very good at 93%.

Another annoying thing about WordPress:  when I updated the copyright notice that I use on all my posts, it updated all the old posts, too.  So now everything is copyrighted 2022.  I guess it doesn’t matter…and of course it’s “user error.”

Now what?  (I saw this paragraph in an old diary blog-post this morning and liked it, so it will probably show up endlessly from now on.  Or, at least until I come to my senses.) (Ha!)

In reviewing just now the nine items I ordered a few days ago, I see that not one was worth buying, with the possible exception of one by Karen Horney.  These were all “impulse purchases,” deliberated over for hours, picked from among hundreds.  Some of them, like the Horney, weren’t available through the library; others were not checked.  What’s going on here, and how do I stop it?  This is about $50 that I could well have saved, an idea rather on my mind since my bank balance was down to $400 this week, after almost a year at being above $1,000.

Dropped in on somebody’s blog and left a comment.  This always feels like an intrusion, though I did offer praise.

The morning hours have trickled away, spent mostly on reading my blog and another’s.  But breakfast approaches, as does my appointment with Dr. Hill, and a likely grocery shopping and/or library trip with Pablo.

My storage problems are getting to the point where it no longer makes sense, if it ever did, to keep on hand “marginal” books and especially DVDs.  Getting rid of the marginal books will result in some regrets later on; the DVDs, however, will be forgotten instantly.


Hap Part One has gotten fifteen views so far, Part Two seven.  This is modestly encouraging.


Posted Hap Part Three.  Plugging away on the Prison Diary.  Going blind.

The last item requires amplification.  After spending two and a half hours on the laptop yesterday, I had breakfast and took a nap.  When I woke up, I noticed a decrease in my visual acuity when wearing glasses.  I theorized that the significantly increased amount of reading and laptop work was making me more nearsighted.  I’ll need to get new glasses, which will take a while because I’ll need to do it through the Veterans Administration clinic (i.e., I’m just about broke).  So I spent the rest of the day watching TV, which rather quickly got my vision back to where it had been pre-nap.  Today my vision has been the same.

So I watched The Woodsman (2004), Zulu (1964), Student Bodies (1981), and Northanger Abbey (2007) ; these were, respectively, creepy, exciting, so-so, and satisfying.  Rotten Tomatoes scores:  88/77, 96/91, 40/53, and -/79—percentages of critics/audiences, respectively.

I also watched news and Family Guy, or perhaps The Simpsons, or both—still limiting myself to two episodes a day.  I did little or no reading.

So, what now?  Now I plan to interrupt my work on the laptop from time to time, giving my eyes a new focusing level, meaning, I’ll look at things further away than twelve inches, and try to stave off the necessity of new glasses until the VA can provide them (free).

In anticipation of working on the blog post of Hap, I had gotten a clip art book and disk through the library.  The clip art files are layered, which requires better software than I have to make use of them.  Going through the Microsoft store was an exercise in futility.  Eventually I downloaded a program (not the Corel program I tried to get because it didn’t download), but haven’t really been able to do anything with it except open one or two files.  It looks so far like the program displays only one of the layers, but I suppose that’s because I don’t know what I’m doing.  I had extensive experience with Corel Draw decades ago…


Watched part of Watch on the Rhine (1943), a good movie based on a play by Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett collaborated on the script.  Bette Davis mostly subdued in a supporting role, with Paul Lukas giving a couple of excellent speeches.  The DVD was defective, so I missed about an hour in the middle.  80% from critics, 64% from audiences, at Rotten Tomatoes.  Lukas won three major awards including the Best Actor Oscar.

Received a story from C by email.  Trying to arrange a meeting, but it’s not working out.

Watched Wages of Fear (1953), the gritty, classic B&W thriller from Henri-Georges Clouzot that stars Yves Montand.  Scores 100% and 95% from RT (which calls it The Wages of Fear).  This is the third time I’ve seen it, but despite familiarity it’s still edge-of-your-seat tense.  Last time I saw it I was sure I picked out John Huston in a cameo; I looked for him again but he wasn’t there this time.  Maybe he’s in the edited (and shorter) American version?

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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