The Saphead

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Buster Keaton’s first starring role in a feature film was playing Bertie Van Alstyne in The Saphead. Saphead sure is a disparaging way to refer to someone. It refers to a weak-minded stupid person. Is Bertie Van Alstyne really a saphead? His tycoon father certainly thinks so, but Agnes, Bertie’s adopted sister disagrees. She’s smitten. When she returns home Bertie defies his wealthy father and tries to elope with Agnes. Their plans are comically foiled and Bertie shows his father that he’s no wimp or fool (well not completely either) so the wedding proceeds until Mark, Bertie’s lazy, crooked, philandering brother-in-law plants a letter from his dead mistress on Bertie.

Bertie is framed. His father stops the wedding so that sweet Agnes isn’t married to a philanderer with an illegitimate daughter. Crushed, but noble, Bertie goes to the cosy house he bought for his new bride. His solo dinner amidst the wedding decorations is a sad scene indeed.

The next day Bertie tries to lift his spirits by going to the Stock Exchange where he’s recently purchased a seat. Of course, the traders laugh at his expense and play him for a fool. Yet the tables get turned when Bertie, inadvertently saves the day when he foils his brother-in-laws plot to take over the family fortune.

The version I got from the library needs restoration. Many of the outdoor scenes looked green, while the indoor ones were black and white.

The Saphead charmed me with it’s innocence and simplicity. Keaton’s facial expressions and physical humor stole the show. The plot took turns I didn’t expect and other than forgetting all about Henrietta’s poor orphan child, the story was a delight.

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CDP Theme Day, though . . .

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New York, NY

I like the February City Daily Photo theme of white and even though this isn’t a City Daily Photo blog, I’ve got plenty of photos with white, which in the Midwest winter is a dominant color.

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China

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Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts

 

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)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had spent a long weekend in New York City, where my sister got married. On Wednesday I was in Brooklyn and was able to catch up with Michaela whom I taught with in China. Then Thursday, I got to see my good friend from China, Eva, who took me on an excellent walking tour.

Friday was the wedding and my sister looked so elegant and beautiful. We got to meet her husband’s family and they seem nice and normal. Saturday I tried to go to the Grolier’s Club, which is a rare book collector’s club on 60th Street. I was most disappointed because though their exhibits are usually open on Saturdays, on the 29th they were doing a renovation project. “We’re open Monday,” didn’t help me.

Later Saturday I went to an afternoon rooftop party for the wedding guests and after that my aunt and I saw the Ground Zero Memorial, which was very well designed. It really honors those who lost their lives.

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My egg cream

One part of my NYC bucket list was to get an egg cream. Egg creams are associated with Eastern European Jews who immigrated to New York. I’ve seen them offered in New York, L.A. and I think in Chicago. (Yep, you can get an egg cream here in Chicago.) An egg cream tastes like a chocolate soda without the ice cream.

I’ll write more about NYC and what I saw, but for now I’ll say it was great to see friends and family.

Now I’m rolling up my sleeves for this new week and hope some good jobs get posted. I also I hope I can get a lot of writing done. I got some done today, but not as much as I hoped.

Sepia Saturday

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So this week we’re prompted to share photos of wedding or stairs or people on stairs.

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State Library of New South Wales, circa 1935

How’s that for a wedding photo! It’s such a stand out that I’m only sharing one image this week. What could come close!

I hope they lived happily ever after.

If you’d like to see more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

Poem of the Week

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The Good-Morrow

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.