My paternal grandmother had six sons who served in World War II. My father tried to make it seven by claiming to be older than he was, but he didn’t succeed. One of my uncles took part in the D-Day invasion. One was stationed aboard a corvette escorting fleets. The others were in Hong Kong on the day Pearl Harbour was attacked. Hawaii was only one part of an invasion that swept the Pacific that day. One of my uncles died in Hong Kong in late 1941. The others were POWs for the rest of the war. I have two middle names, but the one I use most often is Robert, the name of the uncle who died in Hong Kong. A number of years ago, I had the chance to visit Sai Wan, the Commonwealth cemetery in Hong Kong. One part of the cemetery is a memorial wall for those who have no known graves, including my uncle. I was able to find his name listed under the Royal Rifles of Canada and subsequently did a lot of reading into the reasons why there were Canadian troops in Hong Kong in 1941 and what happened after the invasion. My story “Unknown Soldier,” inspired by that research, appeared in issue 36 of All Hallows. Lest we forget.
Yesterday was my 18th wedding anniversary. Still a way to go before we catch up to my parents, who were married for over fifty years.
Here is the link for the Bitten By Books launch event for Chilling Tales 2. If you RSVP and then show up to the event, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate. There are other ways to boost your chances of winning. Starting at noon central on Wednesday, the editor and many of the contributors will be dropping in from time to time to answer any questions guests may have.
We watched a few movies this weekend. First was Before Midnight, the third in a cycle of films starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Their relationship started many years ago (Before Sunrise) after a chance encounter on a train that led to a wonderful, romantic day together. However, they didn’t meet up again until nearly a decade later (Before Sunset). Now they’re married with twins, he has a son with a hostile ex-wife, and they’re on vacation in Greece. It’s a very talky film, and it feels like they’re making it up as they go along. One scene in particular stands out because it is 14 minutes long without a cut or a break. Apparently it took them two days of filming to get it right. They’re driving, with the kids asleep in the back seat, and the kids have to “wake up” at the right moment for the scene’s final bit of dialog. It’s quite impressive. It’s an uncomfortable film at times, mainly because of an intense argument late in the game, but it has a natural, realistic feel to it, even if the characters seem to be behaving unreasonably at times. People do. They talk through it. It’s good.
Then we watched A Late Quartet starring Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Fugue is the name of their string quartet that has been going for 25 years. One of the members gets some devastating news and it leads to a near total breakdown of the group. Long-simmering tensions boil over. The central question seems to be whether the group is more important than the individuals. Is it such a delicate thing that virtually anything can upset its balance? I’d never heard of it before (it’s on Netflix) but I highly recommend it. It’s Walken like you’ve seldom seen him, and the ensemble is stellar.
The third film was comic relief, a French film called Romantics Anonymous. There’s a group sort of like AA for people who are emotionally challenged. Shy, timid people who are paralyzed by confrontation or love or any of the other things that make up living. The two main characters are a man who owns a nearly bankrupt chocolate factory and a young woman who is a brilliant chocolatier but who has worked anonymously in the past. It’s a cute film, a comedy of errors at times. I gave it three stars out of five on Netflix.
So, Jeff Strand: What do you think of Tyson’s chances of winning Survivor? He has the idol, no one else knows, and he’s thinking rationally while having fun at the same time. Provided he doesn’t implode, I think he has a good chance of making it to the end. If we use your formula of visibility, Caleb is the one contestant who stands out for not standing out. Everyone else is getting decent screen time.
Only two more episodes until Red John is revealed on The Mentalist. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be apprehended, though. The clue of the tattoo turned out to be lest helpful than it might have seemed at first. Is it an indicator of the “tyger, tyger” group? Does that mean its members are all in cahoots with Red John? Or just one of them? Or is it a Red John herring? We’ll see soon. If Red John gets away, that keeps the storyline alive. If he’s captured/killed then what happens to Patrick and CBI?