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I had a nice break from work and a very very nice birthday. My sister came into town and as usual spent waaaay too much on gifts (plural!). She got me the Sam Peckinpah Western box set I have been drooling over since it was released a few months ago, and some books.

I watched a lot of the box set this weekend. I watched Pat Garret and Billy The Kid as well as The Ballad Of Cable Hogue. There is also a long documentary about the life and work of Peckinpah on one of them, which I watched.

I watched Cable Hogue twice, once with the commentary and once without. It is a wonderful movie, a sweet and lyrical movie. Words people usually don't associate with Peckinpah. It is a great love story, a great comedy, a great western, a great tragedy. One of the commentators said "you would have to be churlish not to respond". Indeed.

On the documentary, a critic says that Peckinpah treats the Stella Stevens character with such affection that you forgive him for spending so much of the movie looking down her blouse.

I would have forgiven him anyway, but I see his point.

It has Strother Martin in it. He and LQ JOnes play Hogues nemeses. (What is the plural of Nemesis, anyway?). One of the commentators called them a "demonic Laurel and Hardy". I wish I had made that observation myself...it is certainly spot on.

There's just something great about watching a movie with Strother Martin in it. It makes you feel like you're returning to something from your past that you've left neglected for way too long. Like Don Knotts, he's an actor you think of as a friend, even when he's half of a demonic Laurel and Hardy.

Other cool birthday stuff is that QJ baked me brownies and read a poem about me at the poetry reading. That was cool. In a later entry, I will show you the poem. Selma (not her real name) got me a balloon and a card. She came in JJ with it right as I was reading.

The power had gone out in the parking lot and a policewoman asked me to make an announcement about it before I read. This contributed to my feeling much more important than I actually am. Not that I object to that.

I am writing this in a hurry and am not doing justice to Sam Peckinpah, Strother Martin, or the generosity and love friends and family showed to me last week. But it's been a while since I made an entry and I wanted to get at least some of these thoughts in my livejournal. Perhaps I will have more to say later.


nemeses! : )