After bitter cold in early December, the hind quarters of the month warmed up, with highs above freezing every day up to and including today. All the snow is gone. The front yard reminds me, and everyone, again that I shirked a complete raking in the fall. I don’t care. This suits me. Still, spring is as distant as a subtropical shore.
My head and throat bothered me almost until New Year’s Eve. I kept to bed as much as I could, reading when I felt up to it, a copy of Brave New World I picked recently for a quarter. Being sick while reading it somehow augmented the malaise of the dystopia. The 30 years that have passed since I last read it added color as well, though I’m not quite sure yet what I think of the book as an adult.
On New Year’s Eve, The Godfather was on TV, edited for language, I noted, but not for what was considered ultraviolence back in 1972, notably the horse’s head. Lilly really wasn’t paying attention, and I managed to distract her at that moment anyway. She did comment, on seeing Brando as Vito Corleone, that she’d seen him before. She had, only it was Belushi as Vito Corleone, a distinction she has no reason to make yet.
It stands as a great movie, of course, but it’s also special for me as the first movie I ever saw on video. In the spring of 1981 I visited my college friend Rich in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and we visited a friend of his one day and went to his basement to watch the tape. They had some expensive equipment: a Beta machine. (They also had a device in another room the likes of which I’d never seen before or since, a machine that played LPs by holding them vertically and running a laser across the groves.)
I’m glad I saw The Godfather then, but I’m also glad that at no point in my time in college did anyone suggest, in a social situation, “Let’s go rent a video.” We missed that by a few years, fortunately.
Obsessive readers—no one, I hope—might remember that I introduced Lilly to the game Monopoly around Christmas of 2004. In the year since then, she’s gotten good. I know this because on New Year’s Day ’06 she held her own playing with my nephew Dees, a college student, and two of his friends, who visited for a few hours. It didn’t seem like they trying to be too easy on her, either.