13 August 2015

A squirrel & a couple films

I’ve mentioned a few of this entry’s subjects in former diary entries, but I want to stress that this present entry is neither a rerun, a repeat, a rehash, nor a redo: it is totally original—fresh from the oven, hot off the press—it just happens to revisit favorite topics, such as squirrels, maple seeds, and the movies of Robert Downey, Sr.

Obligatory image

Dear diary,

While reading The Bostonians by Henry James, I got distracted by a chippy-chippy sound… —Wait, hold on. This afternoon’s main event cannot make sense until I describe the particulars of my apartment’s gutter guards:

The rain gutters on the eaves of our apartment have guards over the top of them, and these guards have many tiny holes that allow the rain to flow into the gutter while keeping out unwanted objects like leaves, which can clog the gutter; but there is a certain type of seed that comes from the maple tree—we locals call it the whirlybird seed—which has, fanning out from its nutlet, a large flat papery wing that helps it fly (or rather gently spiral downward); well, the holes in the gutter guard are large enough to let the whirlybird’s nutlet pass through; but the wing of the seed gets stuck: it’s too big: it can’t fit: so if you look at the gutter after the Season of the Great Fall of the Whirlybirds (as we locals call it), you see zillions of nutlet wings standing straight up out of the holes of the guard of the rain gutter.

Now, while reading The Bostonians by Henry James, I got distracted by a chippy-chippy sound, like the sound of a cartoon bunny eating a carrot; so I stood up and looked out of the screen door at the deck of my apartment, and there I saw a squirrel sitting amid a mass of whirlybird seeds that had accumulated on the deck. This squirrel was eating the whirlybirds: one after another, she would pick up a seed with her Freddy Krueger claws, consume the whirlybird’s nutlet, and discard the wing.

What this has to do with my apartment’s gutter is this. When the squirrel had finished consuming the seeds that had littered the deck, she hopped upon the handrail and then leaped to the rooftop and began to eat the nutlets that were stuck in our gutter guard.

I gather that the squirrel was pleased to find this source of food on and around our deck, because, once she had finished eating, she leaped back down from the rooftop and ran to each opposite end of the handrail and shat. I assume that she did this to claim the deck as her territory: to warn other squirrels not to eat the rest of her whirly­birds out of the gutter. My window is positioned directly before the deck’s handrail, so I witnessed this sight too clearly to ever forget it.

To conclude, here’s a pro-squirrel quote from Emerson’s essay “Art”:

I should think fire the best thing in the world, if I were not acquainted with air, and water, and earth. For it is the right and property of all natural objects, of all genuine talents, of all native properties whatsoever, to be for their moment the top of the world. A squirrel leaping from bough to bough, and making the wood but one wide tree for his pleasure, fills the eye not less than a lion,—is beautiful, self-sufficing, and stands then and there for nature.

(a couple films)

At least five times a day, strangers approach me and ask me to name my favorite movie director. For many bare years I have answered David Lynch, but I think I’d like to switch up my top choice now: not because I like Lynch any less—on the contrary, I love his works as much as ever—but I’m noticing a trend: lately there seems to have arisen an entire subcountry whose citizens claim to love Lynch; but none of them really understand Lynch very well: these people laugh at the wrong moments during his films (as a defense mechanism, I assume) and are generally clueless about what makes Lynch so fine; whereas my own opinion on Lynch is exact and true.

What I’m trying to say is that Lynch has become like the movements of Dada and Surrealism: a real apostle must worship these things in secret, alone, with the closet door closed. So, from now on, I’m going to say that my favorite director is Werner Herzog.

Last evening I (re-)watched Herzog’s movie Stroszek. It was released the same year that I was born: 1977. Another film that was released that year was Lynch’s Eraserhead. Another film that was released that year was Star Wars. I love all of these movies that share my year of birth.

Moreover, a large part of Herzog’s movie Stroszek takes place in Wisconsin, which is the state where I was born. And, in German, the word Herzog means Duke. This is significant because, at the moment, my favorite movie character is Officer Duke from the film Wrong Cops, which was released in 2013 (my 37th year): exactly when I finished releasing all my books. Also the first section of my favorite poem, ‘Song of Myself’ by Walt Whitman, contains these words: “I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin…” Plus, George Lucas was the age that Jesus died when Star Wars came out.

So the first film that I wanted to mention was Stroszek. And the only other film that I wanted to mention is one that I have mentioned before already: Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight, directed by Robert Downey, Sr. (whose movies I’ve recently been re-watching with envious love—envious because I wish that I myself had made them). Chafed Elbows (1966) and No More Excuses (1968) are also adored in my household (my household’s staff must adore them or they get fired), but my favorite is still Two Tons of Turquoise… etc.

That’s all—I just wanted to mention these couple films.


I’m trying (yet again) to get back in the habit of recording readings of texts that I love, mostly in hopes that others will say “I could read that better” and post their own shot… so pardon my amateurishness; I really just did this casually, on a whim, to goad myself forward:

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