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Fairly full day

Wednesday 8/23/23

Yesterday I worked on seven different new stories. They are all for Become Your Own Superhero: Intrepid Exceptions to Modern Fiction.

Started an op-ed about drinking.

Prepared to do a piece on the Beatles' "Julia."

Listened to Nick Drake's Pink Moon. If I was told by a form without a face that God commissioned Drake's "Things Behind the Sun," I could believe that.

Finished reading Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh's 900-page Van Gogh: The Life for a second time.

Watched Rowland Brown's 1932 pre-Code film Hell's Highway, which is an outstanding film. You see no artistry in cinema like this now, and the picture is wholly believable, lived-in, real, and also artful. The scene where Dix waves to his brother at night from inside the "cage" is one of those shots that stays with you. The composition, the lightning, the point of the effect within the narrative. The drawing sequence, too, is perfectly calibrated to that narrative, and is a bold stylistic choice that only someone who really knew what they were doing would think of, let alone bring off. The language is fresh and undated, the humor raw and resonant, and the Matthew the Hermit character--and what a performance by Charles B. Middleton--speaks to that manner of "good weird" that I've discussed before.

Ran 3000 stairs, did my push-ups, which was more than usual because I didn't reach the mark the day before and when that happens I make up for the missing amount.

Went to the Aquarium to regather and think. That's Murray the moray eel in the background. The divers were in the big tank feeding the animals, hence the floating particles in the water. The sea turtles eat lettuce.

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