Wisdom on the Recent Shootings

Andrew Klavan and Michael Loftus soberly speak on the weekend’s horrible violence without their usual humor.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I just finished watching Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders. I was charmed by the innocence captured in some scenes and appalled by the soulless actions of some characters. All in all, it’s a film that captured my attention and was beautiful in many respects. It sure was original and I wish today’s films were half as creative.

I’d tell you that I continued my Census job training. It’s a short term position and quite interesting. Part of our training was to go out into the field and verify the addresses the Census Bureau has. Most people were very nice; one was very suspicious. One of our assignments was in a part of my area I’d driven by thousands of times, a trailer park down the road from my high school. It was vast, much bigger than I thought and it was cool to see how many people decorated their porches and put flowers around their homes.

I think the Census still needs workers and for this assignment the hours are flexible once you get your training done. Apply here.

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I’d tell you that yesterday I decided to visit another church on the list of Eleven Churches You Must See in Chicago. I went to St. Mary’s of the Angels in Bucktown, a Chicago neighborhood. I wasn’t prepared for the glorious interior. It just blew me away. I’ll share more photos when I get my computer to cooperate with my memory card.

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Yesterday I had dinner at my brother’s house and heard about my nieces’ summers. One was in NYC for an internship and the other was in Nashville for an internship and to volunteer for a scientific study of the environment. My nephews were there as was my sister-in-law, but I’ve seen them throughout the summer since they’ve been home.

The Band of Outsiders

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Jean-Luc Goddard’s 1964  Band of Outsiders has gotten under my skin. It’s full of powerful imagery and perplexing characters. Beautiful and naive Odile meets two friends, Arthur and Franz in an adult ed English class. The young men are smitten with Odile, though the Alpha male of the pair Arthur pursues her and leads the trio in a robbery of a man who lives with Odile in her aunt’s home.

I kept hoping that Odile would stop Arthur’s pursuit and look for a better man. She saw that Arthur’s plan was both wrong and foolish, but she continually went against good sense. Arthur isn’t kind to Odile and Franz occasionally stands up for her, but throughout the film Arthur, who comes from a family of boorish gangsters, treats Odile poorly. He’s too selfish to be kind to anyone. He’s a ruined person.

I often winced at the psychology of the relationships on screen. I did understand and feel sorry for Arthur, whose relatives beat him so he’d get them the loot faster. I wondered why Franz couldn’t find a better friend and I understood that Odile was a weak person easily influenced by flattery and attention, but all that was hard to watch.

What saved the film for me was its magical moments. In one scene the trio decides to try to beat American tourist Jimmy Johnson’s record of racing through the Louvre in 9 minutes 45 seconds. Probably my favorite scene was in a café when Odile gets the boys to dance. You see the trio of needy people entangled in an ambivalent love triangle dancing. I can watch this again and again.

Godard’s narration is full drôle commentary. The black and white images are compelling. So despite my quibbles with the relationships, this heist film that’s full of ennui is well worth seeing.

Which Way Challenge

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Lake Trail, Glenview

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets, exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

See more Which Way photos by clicking here.