The Snoozeletter @ s.9TimeZones.com

 
You've Got Words.

You´ve Got MailI started exchanging eMails with Anikó in 1996, and we wrote literally hundreds (if not thousands) of missives to each other during the following three years. When she flew from Budapest to L.A. for a vacation in 1999, I asked her to marry me within a couple of days. We celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary last June.

The other night, we were watching an interview with writer/director Nora Ephron in the extras section of her You've Got Mail DVD. At one point, Nora says: "I think it's a real conceit of romantic comedies--certainly of this particular romantic comedy--that you would fall in love with someone entirely because of words. I think it's a fantasy that we would ever really fall in love with someone entirely because of the fact that they were a great writer."

Anikó and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.
 
878

I finally killed the d*mn fly that's been tormenting us for the past two days. Bzz. Bzz. Bzz. My computer cursor was in the Title box, and the fly was sitting on the keyboard, between the 7 and 8 keys, when I swatted him. So his last message consisted of the three numbers in this posting's header.

While we're on the subject, here's a short film by Ferenc Rófusz:

 
Henry C. Turner Jr. (4 Nov 1921 - 17 Nov 2007).

Henry C. Turner Jr., 1969 yearbookA beloved teacher from my high-school years died recently. First, the obituary:

Mr. Turner [tributes.com]

GRANVILLE [MA] - Henry C. Turner Jr., 86, of Granville, died Saturday, November 17, 2007 at Governor's Center in Westfield. He was born on November 4, 1921 in New York City, New York, son of the late Henry C. and Evandne Praetorius and has lived in Granville since 1956. Henry received his BA from Princeton, his Masters in Education from Westfield State College and CAGS from Wesleyan University. He taught Science at Westfield High School from 1960-1984. Henry was a member of the Westfield Education Assoc., the National Educational Assoc., the Retired Teachers Assoc., and Anglo Saxon Lodge of Brooklyn NY. He was a Selectman and a Dispatcher in Granville for many years. Henry was the widower of Helen (Thunig) Turner who died on January 8, 1994. He leaves two daughters, Patricia A. Turner of West Granville and Linda T. Lightner of Simsbury, CT, five grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Henry was predeceased by a sister, Sylvia Horwill. Funeral with burial in West Granville Cemetery will be at the convenience of the family. Calling hours will be Tuesday Nov. 20, 2007 from 1-3 pm at the Firtion-Adams Funeral Home, 76 Broad St., Westfield. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Henry's memory be made to the Activities Fund at the Governor's Center, 66 Broad St., Westfield MA 01085 or the Granville Ambulance Fund c/o Granville Town Hall, Granville, MA 01034.

***

When my friend, Robert Grace, heard the news, he wrote this:

Mr. Turner really made physics come alive for me. He was a passionate man who knew how to communicate his passion without judging students. He was excited when they figured something out; the students had a real feeling of accomplishment when they left one of his courses. I remember crazy things like friction on an inclined plane. Later, when I took physics in college I didn't have any problems thanks to his courses. But even more than a teacher, you'd have to say his qualities as a human being taught us even more. He never considered us stupid, always managed to find a glimmer of light or hope in all that we did.

He never seemed to want to go home: always stayed late to help someone with a problem or just to bullshit. He treated us all as adults and seemed happy to be with us. He'd come to the dances in the evening to chaperon.

Later, when I was a teacher, I tried to communicate some of what he had taught me to my students: his joy of being with students, his faith in their ultimate goodness, his knowledge that this course was not the most important thing in life, but that being together and trying to understand this world was certainly important.

As I recall we could never figure out why he wasn't teaching in a university; but we were all glad that he was a simple high school teacher whose grandeur we measured each and every day. Generous, funny, out of control, crazy, lost and serious are all adjectives that we can use to describe him.
 
Happy Thanksgiving!

My wife and I have given up on the traditional turkey, in favor of a Hungarian concoction (töltött csirke) that looks like chicken breasts and thighs embedded in a sea of cooked stuffing. Yeah, it's quite different, but that's the closest I can come to describing it.

This dish is f*cking delicious. My mouth is watering already.

Anikó has really taken a shine to good ol' American cranberry sauce, though. They don't have anything like it in Hungary. She can't wait for this time of year, so we can buy the good stuff at Fry's deli counter. This'll be the fourth week running. Our tongues have become dyed permanently red.
 
Giant Red Nipple, encore.

My ongoing research into the geology/anatomy connection (1, 2, 3) keeps bouncing right along... the nipple-like outline of our local landmark, Red Mountain:

click Red Mountain photo for wallpaper image

(click photo above for wallpaper image) is now jutting into logos everywhere, like this housing subdivision:

Mesa Desert Heights

, and this golf resort:

Painted Mountain Golf Resort

, but the only place it really makes sense is at this Montessori school, where the vague familiarity of an erect nipple/mountain might provide a certain amount of comfort to recently-weaned toddlers:

Red Mountain Montessori Academy


Update: Read some comments on my new blog (Upper Write Corner) over at the Arizona Republic.
 
Amazon's UnSpun (Beta).

According to Amazon: What is the point of UnSpun?

Existing methods for community collaboration on the Web aren't good at developing consensus rankings. If you do a web search for "sexiest movies," you might find websites that have lists of "sexiest movies," but each will be the opinion of the individual who authored that website.

Wikis (as prominently and beautifully exemplified by Wikipedia) are an excellent mechanism for community collaboration, but they don't support consensus rankings. Imagine a large group of people editing and re-editing a wiki page that purported to have a ranked list of "sexiest movies." It wouldn't work -- they'd step on each other.

So that's the niche that UnSpun endeavors to fill.

If you want to see the community consensus on what's the best or the worst, the scariest or the funniest, the tastiest or the dumbest, UnSpun provides the right amount of structure to make that possible.


***

So I figured, what the heck, I'll create a list of Top Screenwriting Books, with Eszterhas, Goldman, Breimer, Cole/Haag, and... Baird/Bartos. Over the weekend, three other people added books, and voted the books up or down. Please feel free to add your favorite book, and--if the spirit moves you--give that 9TimeZones.com book an up (up arrow) vote!

 
Gettysburg PA, 19Nov1863. Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, inscribed on Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.:

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate... we cannot consecrate... we can not hallow... this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us... that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
 
Dance Week(10): Genesis.

Genesis: Turn It On Again - The HitsI Can't Dance
Written by: Michael Rutherford/Phil Collins/Tony Banks
Performed by: Genesis

Hot sun beating down,
Burning my feet just walking around.

Hot sun making me sweat,
Gator's getting close, hasn't got me yet.

I can't dance, I can't talk.
Only thing about me is the way I walk.
I can't dance, I can't sing.
I'm just standing here selling everything.

Blue jeans sitting on the beach,
Her dog's talking to me, but she's out of reach.

She's got a body under that shirt,
But all she wants to do is rub my face in the dirt.

'Coz I can't dance, I can't talk.
Only thing about me is the way I walk.
I can't dance, I can't sing.
I'm just standing here selling.

And checking everything is in place,
You never know who's looking on.

Young punk spilling beer on my shoes,
Fat guy's talking to me, trying to steal my blues.

Thick smoke, see her smiling through,
I never thought so much could happen just shooting pool.

But I can't dance, I can't talk.
The only thing about me is the way that I walk.
I can't dance, I can't sing.
I'm just standing here selling.

And checking everything is in place
You never know who's looking on
A perfect body with a perfect face.
 
Dance Week(9): Summer.

Donna Summer: The Dance CollectionLast Dance
Written by: Paul Jabara (the song won him a Grammy® & Oscar®)
Performed by: Donna Summer

Last dance, last chance for love
Yes, it's my last chance for romance tonight
I need you by me, beside me, to guide me
To hold me, to scold me
'Cause when I'm bad, I'm so, so bad

So let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance
Let's dance this last dance tonight

Last dance, last chance for love
Yes, it's my last chance for romance tonight
Oh I need you by me, beside me, to guide me
To hold me, to scold me
'Cause when I'm bad, I'm so, so bad

So let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance tonight

Yeah, will you be my Mister Right?
Can you fill my appetite?
I can't be sure that you're the one for me
All that I ask is that you dance with me, dance with me, dance with me, yeah

Oh I need you, by me, beside me, to guide me
To hold me, to scold me
'Cause when I'm bad, I'm so, so bad

So let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance tonight

Yeah, will you be my Mister Right?
Can you fill my appetite?
Now I am sure that you're the one for me
All that I ask is that you dance with me, dance with me, dance with me, yeah

Last dance, last chance for love
Yes, it's my last chance for romance tonight
Oh I need you by me, beside me, to guide me
To hold me, to scold me
'Cause when I'm bad, I'm so, so bad

So let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance tonight

Oh I need you by me, beside me, to guide me
To hold me, to scold me
'Cause when I'm bad, I'm so, so bad

So come on baby, dance that dance
Come on baby, dance that dance
Come on baby, let's dance tonight
 
Dance Week(8): Pointer.

The Pointer Sisters: Break OutNeutron Dance
Written by: Allee Willis/Danny Sembello
Performed by: The Pointer Sisters

I don't want to take it anymore.
I'll just stay here locked behind the door.
Just no time to stop and get away
'cause I work so hard to make it everyday.
Woo-hoo, woo-hoo.

There's no money falling from the sky
'cause a man took my heart and robbed me blind.
Someone stole my brand new Chevrolet
and the rent is due, I got no place to stay.
Woo-hoo, woo-hoo.

CHORUS: And it's hard to say
just how some things never change.
And it's hard to find
any strength to draw the line.
Oh, I'm just burning doin' the Neutron Dance.
I'm just burning doin' the Neutron Dance.

Industry don't pay a price that's fair.
All the common people breathing filthy air.
Roof caved in on all the simple dreams
and to get ahead your heart starts pumping schemes.

CHORUS
Woo-hoo, woo-hoo.
I'm on fire, yeah, I'm on fire, yeah.
CHORUS

I know there's a pot of gold for me.
All I got to do is just believe.
I'm so happy doin' the Neutron Dance.
And I'm just burning doin' the Neutron Dance.
I'm so happy doin' the Neutron Dance.
I'm just burning doin' the Neutron Dance.
 
Dance Week(7): Doroschuk.

Men Without Hats: My Hats CollectionSafety Dance
Written by: Ivan Doroschuk
Performed by: Men Without Hats

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y
Safe, dance!

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can dance
Dansez!

We can go when we want to
The night is young and so am I
And we can dress real neat from our hats to our feet
And surprise 'em with a victory cry
Say, we can act if want to
If we don't nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile

REFRAIN: I say, we can dance, we can dance
Everything's out of control
We can dance, we can dance
We're doing it from pole to pole
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody look at your hands
We can dance, we can dance
Everybody takin' the cha-a-a-ance

Safe to dance
Is it safe to dance?
Is it safe to dance?

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y
Safe, dance!

We can dance if we want to
We've got all your life and mine
As long as we abuse it, never gonna lose it
Everything'll work out right
I say, we can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine

REFRAIN

Is it safe to dance, oh is it safe to dance?
 
Dance Week(6): Yerbouti. We're adding another 5 days onto Dance Week, mainly because of Da Zap:

Frank Zappa: Strictly CommercialDancin' Fool
Written and performed by: Frank Zappa/Sheik Yerbouti

Don't know much about dancin'
That's why I got this song
One of my legs is shorter than the other
'N' both my feet's too long
'Course now right along with 'em
I got no natural rhythm
But I go dancin' every night
Hopin' one day I might get it right
I'm a dancin' fool, I'm a
Dancin' fool
Frank Zappa: Sheik YerboutiI hear that beat; I jump outta my seat,
But I can't compete, 'cause I'm a
Dancin' fool, I'm a
Dancin' fool

The disco folks all dressed up
Like they's fit to kill
I walk on in 'n' see 'em there
Gonna give them all a thrill
When they see me comin'
They all steps aside
They has a fit while I commit
My social suicide, I'm a
Dancin' fool, I'm a
Dancin' fool
The beat goes on
And I'm so wrong
The beat goes on
And I'm so wrong
The beat goes on 'n' I'm so wrong

The beat goes on 'n' I'm so wrong
The beat goes on 'n' I'm so wrong
I may be totally wrong, but I'm a
Dancin' fool, I'm a
Dancin' fool

Yowsa, yowsa, yowsa
I got it all together now
With my very own disco clothes, hey!
My shirt's half open, t'show you my chains
'N' the spoon for up my nose
I am really somethin'
That's what you'd prob'ly say
So smoke your little smoke
Drink your little drink
While I dance the night away, I'm a
Dancin' fool, I'm a
Dancin' fool...

I may be totally wrong, but I'm a
I may be totally wrong, but I'm a
I may be totally wrong, but I'm a
FOOL-uh!

Hey darlin'... can I buy ya a drink?
Lookin' for Mister Goodbar? Here he is...
Wait a minute... I've got it... you're an Italian!
Hah? Yer Jewish?
Love your nails... you must be a Libra...
Your place or mine?
 
Dance Week(5): Khan.

Chaka Khan: Life Is A Dance (The Remix Project)Life Is A Dance
Written by: Gavin Christopher
Performed by: Chaka Khan

Everywhere from coast to coast
Around the land
We all have one thing in common
We all love to dance
In and out of discos, crazy lights
Keep on movin' all through the night

CHORUS: Life is a dance, life is a dance
Life is a dance, life is a dance

Why don't you listen
Listen to the groove?
I am sure 'nuff sure you'll find
Just the rhythm, the rhythm of your soul
Dance to the music keepin' steady time

CHORUS

Dance to the music, crazy lights
Dance to the music on crazy lights
Dance to the music, crazy lights
Dance
 
Dance Week(4): Chung.

Everybody Wang Chung Tonight: Wang Chung´s Greatest HitsDance Hall Days
Written by: Jack Hues, Nick Feldman & Darren Costin
Performed by: Wang Chung

Take your baby by the hand
And make her do a high hand stand
Take your baby by the heel
And do the next thing that you feel

REFRAIN: We were so in phase
In our dance hall days
We were cool on craze
When I, you, and everyone we knew
Could believe, do, and share in what was true
Oh, I said dance hall days, love

Take your baby by the hair
And pull her close and there there there
Take your baby by the ears
And play upon her darkest fears

REFRAIN

So take your baby by the wrist
And in her mouth an amethyst
And in her eyes two sapphires blue
And you need her and she needs you
And you need her and she needs you

REFRAIN
 
Dance Week(3): ABBA.

ABBA / ArrivalDancing Queen
Written by: Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson & Björn Ulvaeus
Performed by: ABBA

You can dance, you can jive
having the time of your life
see that girl, watch that scene
dig in the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
looking out for the place to go
where they play the right music
getting in the swing
you come to look for a king

Anybody could be that guy
night is young and the music's high
with a bit of rock music
everything is fine
you're in the mood for a dance
and when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen
feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
you can dance, you can jive
having the time of your life
see that girl, watch that scene
dig in the Dancing Queen

You're a teaser, you turn 'em on
leave 'em burning and then you're gone
looking out for another
anyone will do
you're in the mood for a dance
and when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
young and sweet only seventeen
Dancing Queen
feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
you can dance, you can jive
having the time of your life
see that girl, watch that scene
dig in the Dancing Queen
 
Rainy Day Femmes #12 & 35, redux.

My Art Gallery @ Ovation TVThe website of cable channel Ovation TV now features a gallery that includes this drawing.

It's on the main gallery page right now, as well as in this Flash showcase.

They say that someday it'll be broadcast on their TV channel, too... but I'm not holding my breath.
 
Dance Week(2): Henley.

Don Henley: Building the Perfect BeastAll She Wants To Do Is Dance
Written and performed by: Don Henley

They're pickin' up the prisoners and puttin' 'em in a pen
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
Rebels been rebels since I don't know when
And all she wants to do is dance
Molotov cocktail, the local drink
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
They mix 'em up right in the kitchen sink
And all she wants to do is dance
Crazy people walkin 'round with blood in their eyes
And all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance
Wild-eyed pistol wavers who ain't afraid to die

And all she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
She can't feel the heat
Comin' off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance

Well the government bugged the men's room in the local disco lounge
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
To keep the boys from sellin' all the weapons they could scrounge
And all she wants to do is dance
But that don't keep the boys from makin' a buck or two
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
The still can sell the army all the drugs that they can do

And all she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance

Well we barely make the airport for the last plane out
As we taxied down the runway, I could hear the people shout
The said, "Don't come back here Yankee!"
But if I ever do, I'll bring more money

'Cause all she wants to do is dance
And make romance
Never mind the heat
Comin' off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
All she wants to do is dance
 
Dance Week(1): Bowie.

David Bowie: Let´s DanceLet's Dance
Written and performed by: David Bowie

Let's dance, put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let's dance to the song they're playin' on the radio
Let's sway while color lights up your face
Let's sway, sway through the crowd to an empty space

If you say run, I'll run with you
If you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall
Into my arms
And tremble like a flower

Let's dance for fear your grace should fall
Let's dance for fear tonight is all
Let's sway, you could look into my eyes
Let's sway under the moonlight, this serious moonlight

If you say run, I'll run with you
If you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall
Into my arms
And tremble like a flower

Let's dance, put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let's sway under the moonlight, this serious moonlight
 
Sunshine.

SunshineThree generations of Sonnenscheins, a Jewish family living in 20th-century Hungary, are traced in Sunshine, the sweeping epic from director István Szabó, who won an Oscar® for Mephisto.

Ralph Fiennes offers three remarkable performances--first, as the family patriarch, an aspiring judge faithful to the Austro-Hungarian Empire; second, as his son, who converts to Catholicism to become an Olympic fencer but falls victim to the Holocaust; and finally as the grandson, a Communist police bureaucrat.

Along the way, the Sonnenscheins lose their name, religion and identity, while experiencing love, incest, betrayal, anti-Semitism, murder, and finally, a modicum of self-awareness. The theme of assimilation as a survival strategy has certainly been covered before, but rarely, if ever, has a film spanned three generations to chart one family's history of hiding its roots in order to conform and survive. In the final analysis, this masterpiece showcases the triumph of human resilience and tenacity.

[Also starring William Hurt, Tony® winner Jennifer Ehle (the older version of her character is played by Ehle's real-life mother, Rosemary Harris), Rachel Weisz, Deborah Kara Unger and Molly Parker.]
 
If your book is listed by Logo, does that mean you're gay?

Not that there's anything wrong with it...

[Logo is the cable network specializing in LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) TV shows. A Google Alert just told us that we now appear here.]
 
The King of Point Doom.

Hollywood Animal B000HDZ9O2I just checked Hollywood Animal out of the library. I don't know why it's taken me this long...

Ch. 1 ("The King of Point Doom"), p. 26: Through the years, Hollywood had experienced many other famous or infamous Hungarians: Ivan Nagy, Heidi Fleiss's boyfriend; Mickey Hargitay, Jayne Mansfield's muscleman; Adolph Zukor, Jolie Gabor, Thomas Ince, the Korda brothers, Vilma Banky, Ilona Massey, Eva Gabor, George Cukor, Cornel Wilde, S. Z. Sakall, Magda Gabor, Ernie Kovacs, Joe Pasternak, Tony Curtis, Leslie Howard, Bela Lugosi, etc., etc.

There had even been a sign at the cash register of the MGM commissary that said, "It's not enough to be Hungarian, you still have to pay for the chicken soup."

Through the years, people in Hollywood had gotten to know Hungarians and said these things about us:

1. "If a Hungarian is in a revolving door behind you, he will arrive ahead of you."
2. "If you have a Hungarian for a friend, you don't need an enemy."
3. "The difference between a Romanian and a Hungarian is that a Romanian will offer to sell you his sister and the Hungarian will do it."
4. "If you see a Hungarian on the street, go up to him and slap him. He will know why."
 
Eszterhas told lies. Surprise.

Telling Lies in AmericaHungarian-born screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (Hollywood Animal) antagonized nearly everyone in Tinseltown while cranking out fifteen frothy, formulaic films (Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, Flashdance, Showgirls, etc.). His screenplays have earned him over thirty million dollars, and the movies made from some of those scripts have taken in more than a billion dollars at the box office.

Eszterhas attempts to redeem himself with Telling Lies in America, a semi-autobiographical story. Karchy Jonas (Brad Renfro) was born in Hungary and immigrates to Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1960's, where he feels overwhelmed and alienated by American culture. He tries to fit in at school, but his stern father (Maximilian Schell) insists that he follow traditional Hungarian ways at home.

Karchy wants to impress a beautiful girl (Calista Flockhart), so he starts accepting money from has-been disc jockey Billy Magic (Kevin Bacon) for running illegal errands. Billy introduces Karchy to life's wild side, but the naïve youth is destined to learn--the hard way--many unsettling truths about his new friend.