Philadelphia Museum of Art

September 2017 Update

Books, Movies, Reading

September wasn’t as busy as the past couple of months. The fall semester at the university where I work started right before Labor Day so things got hectic there. We did manage a few fun things including going to a Phillies and Dodgers game. Holly is from southern California and is a long time Dodgers fan. While I lived in Las Vegas, I chose the Dodgers as my “local” team even before I had met Holly so it was entertaining to see both our home teams play each other.

Holly’s dad visited the last weekend of September so we enjoyed going out and trying some new-to-us local places, including Pinefish, Ippolito’s Seafood, and Noord where we had a spectacular brunch. We also revisited the always reliable Pumpkin and IndeBlue for dinner. We had been to IndeBlue before for brunch and snacks at the bar, but this was the first time we had gone for dinner which was as enjoyable as our other visits.

We also took a Schuylkill Banks River Tour which is something we had been wanting to do for a while.

Books Read

1! After getting way ahead of my reading goals the rest of the year, things slowed down in September. Mostly because I again have multiple books started. One reason for that is not managing my library holds effectively and getting new books delivered to my Kindle before I finished the previous book. Although I read only one book in September, I’m anticipating finishing quite a few in October since I have so many partly read.

The one book I did finish was Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. I had read the occasional essay by Smith and always found them interesting. I had long wanted to read one of her novels and was glad I finally got around to one. I thoroughly enjoyed Swing Time. This was a title I originally received as a Kindle book from the Free Library. I got off to a slow start and eventually checked out the print version from my library.

Books Read in September

  • Swing Time

Books Read in 2017

  • A Gambler’s Anatomy (library book)
  • The Princess Diarist (library book)
  • The Best American Essays 2016
  • Moonglow (library book)
  • Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (ebook)
  • Ploughshares Winter 2017-2018
  • The Good Soldier (ebook)
  • Lost Stars (ebook)
  • Binti (ebook)
  • In Farleigh Field (ebook)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Thrawn Trilogy (ebook)
  • Ploughshares Spring 2017
  • Every Day Is for the Thief (library book)
  • Star Wars, Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes (ebook)
  • Madame Bovary (library book)
  • Saga, Volume 7
  • Henry and June (ebook)
  • Star Wars, Vol. 2: Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (ebook)
  • The Golden Secrets of Lettering
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 1: Vader (ebook)
  • Lost Horizon (ebook)
  • Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel (ebook)
  • A Confederacy of Dunces (ebook)
  • The Razor’s Edge (ebook)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (ebook)
  • Exit West (ebook)
  • Swing Time (library book)

Movies Watched

My September movie watching was an eclectic mix as usual. I continued trying to watch some classic movies I hadn’t seen before, including F. W. Murnau’s The Last Laugh, Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr., and Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman. The Last Laugh is notable as a silent film that avoids using intertitles except for one instance, relying on the images to tell the story of a hotel doorman who loses his job. It is a visually fascinating and effective film, although I found the suddenly upbeat ending undermined the emotional impact of the rest of the film.

Prior to Sherlock Jr., I had seen only one other Keaton film, The General. Both films are inventive and entertaining. Similarly, I had seen only one other Lloyd film prior to The Freshman, Safety Last. Although Safety Last approaches Keaton’s comedic ability, I found The Freshman enjoyable but not in the same league with Keaton or Chaplin.

A few other films (The In-Laws, Tabloid, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle) caught my attention as new additions to the FilmStruck catalog. I had not seen Errol Morris’s Tabloid before, but it ranks up there with many of his other documentaries. I had seen The In-Laws at least once before and enjoyed it this time as well.

Although The Friends of Eddie Coyle was a recent addition to FilmStruck, it was also discussed on a recent Film Comment podcast that featured a discussion about Robert Mitchum. Peter Yates’s 1973 film about a small time criminal (Mitchum) who tries to make a deal with the police to avoid jail time. The Friends of Eddie Coyle presents a rather unglamorous view of the crime world. For the most part, the stakes are low. No one seems to be getting particularly rich from their activities. The jail time Mitchum is trying to avoid is short. It’s a fascinating portrait of a desperate life.

A couple of the other films I saw were also inspired by the Film Comment podcast: The Lost City of Z and The Phenix City Story.

Movies Watched in September

  • Catch Me if You Can
  • The In-Laws
  • The Trip to Spain (in theater)
  • The Last Laugh
  • Rogue One
  • The Lost City of Z
  • Sherlock Jr.
  • The Freshman
  • Get Out
  • Tabloid
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • The Phenix City Story

Movies Watched in 2017

  • Hell or High Water
  • 13th
  • Mountains May Depart
  • Hitchcock/Truffaut
  • The Long Good Friday
  • The Witch
  • Patterson (in theater)
  • Swiss Army Man
  • The World of Jacques Demy
  • A Bigger Splash
  • Decline of Western Civilization
  • In the Mood for Love
  • La La Land (in theater)
  • Wayne’s World (in theater)
  • Hail, Caesar
  • Stranger than Paradise
  • Down by Law
  • Mystery Train
  • Night on Earth
  • The World of Henry Orient
  • The Heartbreak Kid
  • Hidden Figures (in theater)
  • Girlfriends
  • I Am Not Your Negro (in theater)
  • Embrace of the Serpent
  • Arrival
  • Something Wild
  • Stop Making Sense (in theater)
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Singles (in theater)
  • The Fits
  • Toni Erdmann
  • Paterson
  • Swingers
  • Elle
  • The Trip
  • The Trip to Italy
  • Puzzle of a Downfall Child
  • Cemetery of Splendor
  • A Woman Under the Influence
  • Right Now Wrong Then
  • The Handmaiden
  • Good Neighbor Sam
  • Things to Come
  • Wonder Woman (in theater)
  • Most Dangerous Game
  • I Vitteloni
  • Cameraperson
  • A Face in the Crowd
  • 3-Iron
  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring
  • Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
  • A United Kingdom
  • Safety Last
  • Blow Out
  • Frieda
  • It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • Okja
  • Wanda
  • Something Wild
  • The Razor’s Edge (1946)
  • Nosferatu
  • The Kid
  • The Idle Class
  • Catch Me if You Can
  • The In-Laws
  • The Trip to Spain (in theater)
  • The Last Laugh
  • Rogue One
  • The Lost City of Z
  • Sherlock Jr.
  • The Freshman
  • Get Out
  • Tabloid
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • The Phenix City Story

Blog Posts

On Being and Formulating in September

On Being and Formulating in 2017

On Educational Media Reviews Online in 2017

On SuperPlus Eats in 2017

On This Creative Midlife in September

On This Creative Midlife in 2017


Photos in the Wild

Photos in the Wild in September

I haven’t had as many of my photos being used recently for the simple reason that I changed my rights on Flickr from Creative Commons to All Rights Reserved. I forget the exact date when I made that change, but Flickr makes the change from that date forward. It does not retroactively change the older photos so some of those occasionally still get used.

One of the reasons I decided to go with All Rights Reserved was that I was not always happy with the context in which my photos were being used. Yes, it was rewarded when some local blog picked up one of my food pics or when some legit big name site used one. But more often than not, there was a disconnect between my sensibilities and the site that used my photos. Such a moment happened this month when some crazy religious site used one of my pictures of the Liberty Bell.

I’m not sure if it would be worth the effort to go back and change all the photos that have a Creative Commons license. I’m hoping as those photos get older, people will be less likely to find and use them.

Photos in the Wild in 2017