June 2011

the writing on the desk name plate says: Veronica Martzahl / Records Archivist / Awesome Mom

Veronica hit a birthday today.  We won’t say what, but suffice it to say it is a number smaller than mine.

She got a new pocketbook, a gift card for Starbucks, a gift certificate to Porch and Wardrobe, the lovely clothes store downstairs, and, from Thomas, a nameplate for her desk.

The bas-relief on Boston Common that lead to the film Glory

My Top 20:

  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Henry V
  4. Born on the Fourth of July
  5. Crimes and Misdemeanors
  6. Say Anything
  7. When Harry Met Sally
  8. The Little Mermaid
  9. My Neighbor Totoro
  10. Do the Right Thing
  11. My Left Foot
  12. Dead Poets Society
  13. Heathers
  14. sex, lies and videotape
  15. Batman
  16. Black Rain  (Imamura)
  17. Drugstore Cowboy
  18. Hanussen
  19. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  20. The Mighty Quinn


the Dell paperback cover of Vonnegut's Mother Night

Mother Night

  • Author:  Kurt Vonnegut  (1922  –  2007)
  • Rank:  #37
  • Published:  1961
  • Publisher:  Fawcett
  • Pages:  192
  • First Line:  “My name is Howard W. Campbell, Jr.”
  • Last Line:  “Auf wiedersehen?
  • ML Edition:  none
  • Film:  1996  (***.5 – dir. Keith Gordon)
  • First Read:  September, 1994 (more…)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - the best film of 1988 and the best animated film of the 80's

1980  –  1989

Total Films I’ve Seen:  942

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  43

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  Platoon

Film of the Decade:  Raiders of the Lost Ark

Worst Film of the Decade:  Human Highway

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  Fatal Attraction

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  Phobia


The posthumous Pulitzer winner: Confederacy of Dunces

Confederacy of Dunces

  • Author:  John Kennedy Toole  (1937  –  1969)
  • Rank:  #38
  • Published:  1980
  • Publisher:  Louisiana State University Press
  • Pages:  405
  • First Line:  “A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.”
  • Last Line:  “Taking the pigtail in one of his paws, he pressed it warmly to his wet moustache.”
  • ML Edition:  none
  • Film:  long rumored, never made
  • Acclaim:  Pulitzer Prize
  • First Read:  August, 2000 (more…)

Thomas blows out the candles on his baseball cake

Yes, Thomas is now seven (insert you feeling old here).  As you probably know by now, this means that it’s June 20, and of course, that Veronica has made another impressive cake.

Her comment: “It isn’t his best cake ever.”  Yeah, well, the baseball looks pretty good to me and to Thomas, and as you might know, she has given herself a high hurdle to leap.  When Thomas turned 3, there was the Blue’s Clues cake.  When he turned 4, there was the Very Hungry Caterpillar cake (no picture, unfortunately, because Veronica had broken the camera).  When he turned 5, it was the ice cream cone cake.  Last year, he had the rainbow cake.  Now, it is the baseball cake. (more…)

Everyone talks about how short Tom Cruise is - but notice how much taller than Hoffman he is?

The 61st annual Academy Awards for the film year 1988.  The nominations were announced on February 14, 1989 and the awards were held on March 29, 1989.

Best Picture:  Rain Man

  • Dangerous Liaisons
  • Mississippi Burning
  • The Accidental Tourist
  • Working Girl

Most Surprising Omission:  A Fish Called Wanda

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #35 (more…)

Bob Hoskins and Roger Rabbit listen for sounds of the villains in Who Framed Roger Rabbit

My Top 20:

  1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  2. Dangerous Liaisons
  3. Running on Empty
  4. A Fish Called Wanda
  5. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  6. Bull Durham
  7. Wings of Desire
  8. Mississippi Burning
  9. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
  10. Rain Man
  11. The Accidental Tourist
  12. Castle in the Sky
  13. Die Hard
  14. Beetlejuice
  15. Married to the Mob
  16. Dead Ringers
  17. Eight Men Out
  18. Babette’s Feast
  19. Red Sorghum
  20. Big


Portnoy's Complaint: the novel that made Philip Roth a household name

Portnoy’s Complaint

  • Rank:  #39
  • Author:  Philip Roth  (b. 1933)
  • Published:  1969
  • Publisher:  Random House
  • Pages:  309
  • First Line:  “She was so deeply imbedded in my consciousness that for the first year of school I seem to have believed that each of my teachers was my mother in disguise.”
  • Last Lines:  “So [said the doctor].  Now vee may perhaps to begin.  Yes?”
  • ML Edition:  1982 tan hardcover – hard to find
  • Film:  1972 – never seen, supposed to be quite bad
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #52; All-TIME List
  • First Read:  Spring, 1994 (more…)

Our results on the Scrubs personality test – I’m Dr. Cox and Veronica is J.D.

This may seem odd – a television list from me.  But I have several reasons for throwing it in here.

1 – I wanted a piece between the two Top 100 Novels pieces.

2 – I had no For Love of Books pieces ready.

3 – During the first few years that we lived in Boston, Scrubs was very much an everyday part of our lives.  I usually worked at night and so we couldn’t get into regular shows, but Scrubs was airing sequentially on Comedy Central in the late morning.  Even before we started checking out the DVD’s (and later, buying them), we were able to watch the whole show, from start to finish.  During our time in Quincy and our first two years in Arlington, during all the time that I was toiling at Borders, it was one of the few things that Veronica and I could do together. (more…)

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