Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday potpourri: The Godfather, SNL, and KEYC

Louise is unable to sit still and do just one thing at a time. If we watch a DVD, she can not simply watch the movie. She folds clothes, or files papers, or edits manuscripts or talks about how she wishes she could be doing something extra. This occasionally perturbs me, especially if there's a great scene she's just missed because she's distracted by a 12-step plan to reorganize her closet.

"I saw it, honey," she'll say. Yes, but did she appreciate it? Did she laugh at an appropriate volume or was she distracted by her address book? She explains it by saying she can't just watch a movie or do just one thing at a time when she knows she could be using the time to do five, six or seven other things. It's a miracle I ever get her to a movie theater, because I'm sure she feels like a prisoner, locked in darkness, surrounded by germs, forced to focus on the big screen for two hours. I normally don't understand this psychosis.

But today I do. I'm currently watching the tape of last night's Lakers game while also working on a story that's due in two weeks for the St. John's alumni magazine. On the computer I've called up the video feed of the St John's-St. Olaf football game, but I've turned down the audio on that so I can listen to the radio broadcast from the Johnnies announcers. I'm also typing away on the blog and occasionally turning off the Lakers game to watch The Godfather II, which is in our DVD player. Louise refers to this as putting a whole day's activity into one hour.

Some Saturday thoughts:
* This is probably, I don't know, the 50th time I've seen Godfather II. One scene always confused me. After the attempt on his life early in the movie, Michael travels to New York to talk with Frank Pentangeli and plot his revenge against Hyman Roth. During a meeting with the Rosato brothers, a would-be and mouthy assassin attacks Pentangeli and attempts to kill him after saying, "Michael Corleone says hello." Frankie escapes and later, thinking Michael betrayed him, agrees to testify against the godfather. Yet Michael didn't have anything to do with the assassination attempt. It was Roth. So why would an assassin give credit to Corleone as he kills Pentangeli? Wouldn't he want his victim to know who really gave the order? Why say "Michael Corleone says hello" when Michael really said no such thing? It worked out for Roth because Pentangeli later does turn against Michael but the assassin couldn't have known things would break that way. This guy dissects this and other issues with one of the best movies ever made.

* Newspapers are dying. That's the accepted wisdom and to protest means you're stuck in the past and unwilling to acknowledge the present or face the future. Okay. But I still read them. The paper versions, the ones that stain your hands with ink and prove unwieldy on any type of public transportation. I buy a couple every day at the newsstands and read them before and after work. I'll almost always have one on the subway. And a few times a week, a fellow passenger peers down or leans over on the subway to read the paper along with me, as if it's a community activity. I'm reading about the Yankees or chaos in the state legislature and I'll sense - and eventually see - my 1 train neighbor gazing over my shoulder, intently poring over the headlines and text. Maybe he giggles at a cartoon or shakes his head at a ludicrous editorial from Charles Krauthammer. I'll always hesitate for a few seconds, as if I'm really concerned that the freeloader has finished the story. Occasionally the other person will actually sigh when I turn the page, annoyed that I've dared to move on to the next page. Can't I see they're still dissecting the movie review of The Expendables? Buddy, it's 50 cents. A bit more if you buy the Times. You obviously enjoy reading newspapers, you appreciate the reporting, the witty tabloid headlines and the writing. So toss a few quarters on the newsstand and support this dying industry. Or at least stop breathing on my cheek.

* Everyone remembers the classic Schwetty - or is it Schweddy? - Balls skit on Saturday Night Live.

I think I found one of the inspirations for the sketch. Here's another classic from KEYC-TV. This appeared on the Noon News, and apparently aired in 1986. That was a year before I started going home for lunch, so I probably missed this thorough examination of sugar, its benefits and dangers. Some people are meant to be on TV. Some people are meant to work in extension offices and help the public with valuable initiatives that teach people how to live healthy lives. Very few people are meant to work in an extension office and appear on TV.

I'd have more but I have to get back to my article and The Godfather. Also, the Lakers game is now in the fourth quarter. And, my uncle Mike's basketball team at Minnesota West just started their second game of the season and the school broadcasts the games online. I'm learning to multitask. And I'm learning from the best.


John B. said...

Your description of multitasking has given me a headache. Wait -- does watching a Harvard Business School video, taking notes, drinking a beer and listening to my daughter's nagging cough in the next room count as multitasking? Then maybe that's what is making my head go bum-bump, bum-bump. I think I might turn on "Casino" in the background now. Good post.

Shawn Fury said...

Ah Casino. A good one to have on. "I just hope that you're not talking to who I think you were talking to. I hope you're not."

Casino or Heat.

John B. said...

Your summation of the quote makes it too eloquent. All the correct tense and a sense of the singular. Here's the messed up quote I found online: "I just hope it's not someone who I think it might be. I just hope it's not them."

Angela Kulig said...

I have no idea if you just described most marriages, or maybe just mine. I made my husband get off the couch to come read your blog anyway.

A few hours ago he came home from work, clutching a rather menacing looking red envelope. I was in the middle of making dinner, i-tunes blaring, laptop open to a manuscript and twitter on the counter behind me, hardback book in hand, wooden spoon in the other. I just knew, that red envelope was going to put a serious dent in my evening.

I tend to get sighs and forlorn looks as I type/fold laundry/ tweet/read/make to do lists during my husband’s action flicks. See and I was worried that wasn't normal.

Fun post!