25 April 2009

Whattaya Call That Block That Writers Sometimes Get? (AKA Worst Blog Post Ever)

Not today. Couldn't string together words that made any sort of sense. Not to save my life, though thankfully I was under no such threat. Tried two previous posts and it was a no go. Abort! Abort! This was not so much a case of writer's block as writer's Rock of Gibraltar (you see, I don't even know if that makes sense and I'm pretty sure its not funny).

By God I tried. I stared at the keys and the computer screen and my fingers. I pecked. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Nil. Zero.

So here I am so desperate to get something posted that I'm writing about not having been able to write. You see not posting wouldn't be such a big deal were it for the fact that, not only was this not a work day it wasn't even a go-somewhere-day. Plus I didn't get much else productive done. If I manage a blog post well that's something in the plus column. I did a very half assed job of yard work that further convinced me that I'm not a house guy. I'm an apartment guy. I'd much rather watch a movie than pull weeds.

Last night the missus and I watched Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) (tried to blog about it today but like I said...). Among the cast was Roland Young who pretty much comes with a guarantee that you're watching a good movie (among his other credits are Topper (1937) as the title character, The Philadelphia Story (1940) as Uncle Willie, and another movie that I'll get to in a second). Today we watched The Young in Heart (1938) in which Mr. Young also featured (told you we'd get to it).

In both films he's a fun and fun loving English gentleman. In Ruggles he's a man of means who loses his valet (Charles Laughton in the title role) in a poker game to some rich Americans from the sticks. In Young at Heart he's the father in a family of four high class swindlers, moochers and card sharks. Billie Burke plays mom with Janet Gaynor and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as their young uns. At the risk of being obvious it's a great cast, especially the notion of sweet as candy Janet Gaynor being a rogue.

So I've managed two movies in two days. Big deal. It's not like one of them was epic length, or even two hours. I also squandered time being unable to write. I fumbled and stumbled at gardening (I'm really a sight with a rake, like a fish wearing a hat). I read about three pages from the book I'd been breezing through until I crashed into today.

I hate to blow my own horn but I did manage something I'm quite proud of. The missus prepared a large and delicious dinner and I selflessly consumed a large portion of it. Please, please, no applause.

As the evening wore on I watched an episode of the Jack Benny Show (proudly sponsored by Lucky Strike cigarettes) on You Tube. His very special guest was Humphrey Bogart. It was a hoot. You Tube is one of the greatest ways to waste time ever invented. Here's an example: I watched Woody Allen and Nancy Sinatra on Password circa 1965. I watched old TV commercials. I watched a bit of Captain Kangaroo. I watched a few Oscar acceptance speeches, Diane Keaton, Liza Minnelli, Robert DeNiro and Matt Damon/Ben Affleck were the winners. By this time I was beginning to bore myself.

Just to prove that my time wasting was an all day affair I will report that in the morning I had an extended conversation with the cat. Of greater interest was a chat with oldest daughter (still in Europe) on Skype. And hey how about this, I washed the sheets. I spent time wondering if in a past life I had a fling with Myrna Loy (pictured above) which come to think of it is no waste of time at all. Watched some baseball. Washed the dishes (twice!) Watched last night's Letterman. Wondered about Charles Laughton. And here's why: according to his IMDb Laughton was gay, though married to actress Elsa Lancaster for the last 33 years of his life, they had no children. Further, Laughton reportedly became an agnostic because of his experiences as a soldier in World war I. No details provided which makes me all the more curious about what he saw there. Also of note: filming on Ruggles was "delayed when Laughton was hospitalized for several weeks for a rectal abscess." Oh my.

So if you've read this far you may gather that today was not a total waste. I've again established that I'm a grand master at frittering away time. I also got a blog post out of my inability to write a blog post earlier. By the way you need not have read this far out of any sense of obligation. I have to be here but there's no reason why you have to suffer.

I'm hopeful that my case of writer's block (rather presumptuous, assumes that I'm a writer -- ha!) is of the 24 hour variety and I'll be back in form tomorrow. I do have blog post drafts ready to be built into something I can show off at the county fair.

I leave you with this fun fact from the Letterman show: the Chinese are working on a submarine that can go above water.

That's it. I'm out!


Kate Gabrielle said...

That was no Rock of Gibraltar, it was a pebble! Even on days when I don't have writers block, I wish I could write as well as you do when you have it!

ps. Congrats on eating the dinner-- I'm very impressed! :)

R. D. Finch said...

I sure agree with you about Roland Young. He was also great as Uriah Heep in Cukor's "David Copperfield." And I recently saw him in Rene Clair's tremendously entertaining "And Then There Were None." He played a Cockney P.I. and was very, very funny.

P.S. There seems to be an epidemic of writer's block going around among movie bloggers. I'm just starting to get over a bad case of it myself. It just seems to get harder all the time to find things to say that others haven't already said or even to avoid repeating things I've already said!

Kathryn said...

Well, if you did have an affair with Myna Loy in a past life, it would have been between 1920 and 1954 -- but since, you weren't you in another life, you were someone else, so wouldn't that preclude you having an affair with her? Just asking.

Richard Hourula said...

Aww your just jealous cause while I was with Myrna you were hooked up with Guy Kibbee.