The End of Happy Hour and a Man with the Movie Camera…and Some Books and Things in Between.


Tonight we celebrate World Book Night so I thought I would go out.  All in all a very good night, but one with some unsettling discoveries.

First off, it seems with a new staff at one of my frequent stops comes something of a hardship.  I no longer get all day happy hour at Amore Victoria.  This might be good for me specifically and good for society generally, but it is a shocker to pay double my familiar rate for house wine.  I might as well go back to the Brunello.

But not so fast…I did manage a glass or two and made myself friendly despite the absence of happy hour.  It was very simply a quiet pre-World Book Night stop and there’s no need to over prepare for that.

Magers and Quinn Booksellers hosted a World Book Night get together tonight with authors Kate DiCamillo, Leif Enger, and Laurie Hertzel.  I read a lot and spend plenty of time in bookstores, but I have to confess that I had no idea who either Leif Enger or Laurie Hertzel were…I’m still kind of in the dark as to Hertzel.  I discovered, however, that Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, the location of an annual family vacation proudly called the Fracas on Osakis.  I felt an immediate bond.  Naturally.

Kate DiCamillo just seems smart and cute and kind of sassy so of course I knew about her.  I feel a bond, too, of course.  Naturally.

Tonight’s discussion was your typical love of books kind of stuff with typical questions to the authors about the art of writing.  I was dismayed to hear (once again) that success in writing requires discipline.  Really?  What a thing to tell me.  I do write my blog posts, but as any casual reader of my blog can tell you, there isn’t much thought or editing that goes into it.  I pretty much throw it up there and because it is my blog, it sticks.  I choose when the macaroni is done right.  Regular posts organized around a subject or goal…forget about it!

Well, no…maybe not.  I think I will do it the DiCamillo way and put in my 1000 words a day.  (Ask me in a few weeks how I am doing.  Maybe I will write about you.)


On the way home I noticed the sky.  (I seem to look at the sky a lot.)  Tonight was a special treat.  I think we call it nautical twilight or some such thing when the sky glows a dark deep blue.  Directly west above the horizon a beautiful crescent moon hung below a brightly shining Venus.  The air is desert dry tonight in Minneapolis so the outline of the moon could be seen clearly.  I almost like this more than full moon.  My camera — which is my phone — did a poor job, alas, of capturing it.  (I really do need a true camera.  I think this would be a good starter camera for me.)

I played with the pictures at home and found that cropping the sky photo gave me a respectable silhouette of a treeline on the horizon.  That’s not so bad.  Just don’t look at it too closely.

I believe the sky might look even better tomorrow.  If my thinking about this is correct, the moon should be closer to Venus at the same time tomorrow night, although we will have a much more humid and therefore more hazy nighttime sky.

Cropped Twilight.

I’m not sure what’s unsettling about that, but I like to remind myself that I need a real camera whenever I get a chance.

This brings me to a Man with the Movie Camera.  This is Dziga Vertov‘s study of everyday life in 1929 Kiev and Odessa.  It is a must see.  At just under 70 minutes, the film clips along and never drags.  Throughout you see the filmmaker — which is kind of interesting…who’s film are we watching? — and footage of the film making process.  But this is secondary to the people, places, and life captured by the film.

About 40 minutes in, the film delivers its best in a segment called “On Sports.”  Technically the photography is exceptionally good and the athletes, including several women, perform to impress.  The motion and accomplishment is good to the point of almost being erotic.  In fact, the film does prove that the bikini is not post World War II fashion.  There are two pieces (and less) captured on the beaches of the Black Sea.  In fact you get a sense that in 1929 society was fairly egalitarian among the sexes — if not the classes, despite claims embracing a Marxist vision — in Kiev.

I am guessing Dziga Vertov was happy with his camera.

That cheap Cabernet has caught up with me.  I feel a nap coming on.  Someone edit and clean up this post for me, would ya?


One thought on “The End of Happy Hour and a Man with the Movie Camera…and Some Books and Things in Between.

  1. Gary Farland

    During non-happy hours the prudent imbiber drinks tap beers that are always $3 at the bar at Amores. Plus, a good beer like Summit is better for you than cheap wines that have God-knows-what in them. I found a toenail in one!


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