Where I've Been, Not That You Should Care

Well, I guess I took an unexpected blogging hiatus there. Hope I wasn't missed! I have a number of excuses:

First, we've been doing a major rearranging project at Pun Salad Manor, switching around the functionality of a couple rooms. This involves a lot of lifting and carrying, coupled with animated family discussions. ("It's yours, you figure out what to do with it.")

That, coupled, with the heat, took a lot of wind out of my sails.

In addition, we spent a couple days dogsitting. Our clients were kind of high-maintenance. Specifically, they didn't get along well with our cats. And they didn't sleep well at night. So neither did we.

Finally: on Saturday, one of the dogs cornered one of the cats in the basement. And this is where I did something stupid, even for me: instead of taking the dog away from the cat, I tried taking the cat away from the dog.

And—as it turns out—cats aren't really that great at figuring out your good intentions; I think she thought I was going to feed her to the dog. She sank her fangs into my right hand, the fleshy part between thumb and forefinger.

Things were a little crazy at that point. I think I may have actually dropped her on the dog. Anyway, I was leaking from multiple puncture wounds and scratches. I cleaned myself up as best as I could, and resolved to never try to rescue a cat again unless I was wearing thick protective padding from head to foot.

But my self-inflicted first-aid wasn't good enough. The next day, things got achy and swollen and red. And Mrs. Salad, coming home that night, told me to get the Hell to the Emergency Room.

I thought maybe I could get away with a tetanus shot and a prescription for antibiotics. No such luck. In short order I found myself admitted to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, my first hospital stay since I got a tonsillectomy over 50 years ago. In addition to the tetanus shot, I got an IV drip, got poked for numerous samples of blood and wound snot, temperature and pressures taken, the works.

For all my recent postings on Obamacare, you'd think I would have some pithy insights from my up close and personal observation of the American Health Care System. Not really, except (a) show a valid insurance card, and you are treated pretty much like royalty. Albeit sick royalty. Everyone was nice, helpful, sympathetic, professional. And, best of all, everyone pretended to be amused with my clever repartee.

But (b), despite President Obama's predictions otherwise, nobody suggested chopping off my hand just so they could make an extra $50K or so off Harvard Pilgrim.

So, no big deal, I'm out, and on a few more days of horse-pill antibiotics. But I found it difficult to get back in the blogging groove for a couple more days.

Back now, I think. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading.

They Live By Night

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

The DVD from Netflix is actually a double feature, both movies starring Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell. This one is a classic directed by noirmaster Nicholas Ray.

Farley plays "Bowie", who, as the movie opens, has just broken out of prison with two grizzled cons, Chicamaw 'One-Eye' Mobley and Henry 'T-Dub' Mansfield. They hide out at One-Eye's brother's gas station. There, Bowie meets "Keetchie" (the previously mentioned Cathy O'Donnell), the brother's sheltered daughter. Love blooms! But is it doomed? Because Bowie's companions keep wanting him to go out on stickups. That never works out well.

This is one of those movies where you're supposed to feel sorry for the protagonist, who came from a deprived background, wasn't treated fairly, root causes of crime, etc., etc., etc. You almost expect him to start singing "Gee, Officer Krupke". To its credit, the movie does a pretty good job of that, mainly by concentrating on the romance between Bowie and Keetchie. The movie spends much more time on the love story than on the violence, crime, and betrayal.

A big plus for me was a small role for Ian Wolfe as the sleazy proprietor of a 10-minute marriage chapel business. Mr. Wolfe is known to all fans of WKRP in Cincinnati as Hirsch, Mama Carlson's insubordinate butler, one of the funniest bit parts in sitcom history. (And, were I James Lileks, I'd also mention Mr. Wolfe's double-whammy Star Trek connection.)

Last Modified 2012-10-05 4:22 PM EDT