Hey, let's move away from this onslaught of deaths of talented writers, musicians, producers, songwriters, filmmakers, and actors that the last couple of years has seemed to provide in unending succession, most of these people too young, shall we?
Instead, here is a ridiculous coincidence that happened to me yesterday.
It was a beautiful day. I didn't have to work. The weather was perfect. I met my wife and a friend visiting from Louisville for lunch (jambalaya, fried chicken, and potato salad - oh shit hot damn hell yes) and a visit to the latest exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, "Making Movies." I got to see a lot of great stuff in this exhibit, including Robert De Niro's costumes from Taxi Driver and Casino, Tim Burton's storyboards for Beetlejuice, notes from Ernest Lehman to Alfred Hitchcock about North by Northwest (including my favorite from a list of "wild ideas" for action setpieces, unfortunately never used in the final script, "M. Mantle -- exploding baseball"), a smart-ass note from Robert Altman to a censor board requesting overdubbing of swear words for television distribution of O.C. & Stiggs, a list of banned words from the Production Code of the 1930s (including "nerts"), a ton of stuff from Gone with the Wind, a ton of stuff from Martin Scorsese's films, Paul Schrader's scripts, rough drafts of a book on directing by David Mamet, vintage posters, a note from Francis Ford Coppola to Kenneth Branagh with the story of Coppola's falling-out with Roman Polanski, and some beautiful photographs of movie theaters in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and New Orleans at the beginning of the last century.
After lunch, I returned home and decided to take a long walk in the neighborhood with my iPod and some earbuds. I walked around for almost two hours, and at the very end of my walk, something very bizarre happened. No significance to it, really. Just a weird coincidence. I was waiting for a car to pass so I could cross the street. The car had the right of way and no stop sign, but the driver hemmed and hawed. She slowed way down, presumably to let me cross, but she was still going too fast for me to bolt across the street. She finally came to a stop and motioned for me to go ahead. This is a giant pet peeve of mine. If she would have just driven her normal rate of speed through the intersection, she and I would have both crossed the intersection much quicker, but by waving me across, she gets to look all thoughtful and pedestrian-friendly when really she is just wasting both of our fucking times. Anyway, I looked back at her car and said "Jesus!" in frustration. At the exact same time I expressed my blasphemous frustration, the singer of the song playing on my iPod sang the word "Jesus," and a fraction of a second later, I saw the bumper sticker of the woman's car, which read "JESUS is the answer." Three Jesuses at once! What are the odds? Besides the weirdness of the triple J, I find it hilarious that all three Jesuses were expressing three different things:
My Jesus - Irritation and displeasure
iPod Jesus - Simulated erotic ecstasy
Car Jesus - Literal expression of religious faith (or, at least, the public appearance of same)
Damn, March 17, 2010. You were a good day. I didn't even have to use my AK. Of course, Alex Chilton died yesterday, but I didn't find that out until the evening.
Jesus H. Christ, Esq. (left)
Dr. Mystery (below), ate jambalaya, didn't have to use his AK, bummed about Alex Chilton