18 Days, 10 Hours until Spring Training. So in that void waiting for America’s greatest game to resume its glorious, daily grind, I’m reading about the game and came across Satchel Paige’s ‘Rules for Staying Young.’ God bless this man.
1. Avoid fried meats, which angry up the blood.
2. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
3. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
4. Go very light on the vices such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain’t restful.
5. Avoid running at all times.
6. Don’t look back; something might be gaining on you.
This passage speaks to me, and it should speak to most writers.
‘When I awoke, I knew that this day was to be worse than the day that preceded it and that I could not hope to get down from where I was, until I was safely home with my books and my typewriter and all the crippled and ruined manuscripts lying about on the desk. I wanted to get back to the place where I had resisted so many things, and failed at so many things, back to the place where even when I succeeded I failed because it was never good enough.’
The great cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond, passed away on January 1st, 2016. His framing of film is legendary, and he could show intimacies in abstract, as well as fill the widescreen with an epic sense of wonder. The art of cinema lost a soldier in Vilmos. Rest in Peace.
A perfect example of when prose sings to you and makes you want to drink. In this case, Kevin Barry describing a proper pour of Guinness:
‘Each fresh glass he filled two sevenths shy of the brim, with the glass delicately inclined to the pourer’s breast, so as the stout would not injure itself with a sheer fall, and he set them then, and there was the rush and mingle of brown and cream notes, and the blackness rising, a magic show you would never tire of.’
In the unforgiving world of black and white, if you cheat, you get caught. The karma in Noir usually comes around and bites the protagonist in the ass. It surely does for Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster) in Criss Cross (1949, Robert Siodmak)
In the land of Noir, if there’s only one person at the bar, it would be wise to sit at the other end. Okay, you’re lonely — deal with it, and whatever you do, try not to make any eye contact. Because buying that person a drink will be like signing a contract with the fates of a slow, spiral-down doom. It never ends well. Phantom Lady (1944)