Nice snow falling at the moment. Not hard blowing snow, not thick picturesque Currier-and-farging-Ives snow, but rote snow, simple snow. Nice snow. It’s supposed to be 15 degrees Thursday, so it’s not like I’ll need my Element’s heater too much.
Yes, the heater went out again. Right after I washed the car. Apparently Mr. Car Wash has installed a new device that finds the vent in the undercarriage and jams a spear up the vent as hard as possible, destroying the filter and clogging the vent with wreckage. It was a prototype for a prostate exam robot, perhaps. So it’s back to the dealership tomorrow; they are very sorry I’m having problems and will give me a loaner. I don’t like loaners; unlike rentals, they still have the ghosts of the previous owner. If you buy the idea that people leave psychic impressions in places where they expended a great deal of emotional energy, it would make sense that a car would be full to bursting with the presence of someone else. All loaners feel like vaguely depressed versions of “Christine.”
Not much to report here. I spent the morning on the site, then headed out to do a Valentine’s Day video for buzz.mn. I shot a few things, and was headed off to the next location when I got a call from the School Nurse: (G)Nat was in the infirmary with a headache. I cut short the shoot and picked her up and took her home. She recuperated on the sofa for a few hours while I cut what I could from the footage I’d shot. By three she was up and bouncing around, the cares forgotten. And that was our day.
Speaking of infirmaries: the word was used in an episode of the “Alfred Hitchcock Hour” my TiVo offered up the other night. It was set in a nunnery, and concerned the trials of a young troubled nun who doubted her calling. Carol Lynley. She’s known to most, if at all, for the “Poseidon Adventure,” in which she played a blonde who seems a bit slow to grasp the situation. Not ditzy, but not exactly speeding along in fifth gear and redlining the gauge. This seems to have been her typical role in those days. But she's still acting; it's a sign of a good career when your first roles are Young Dewy Ingenues and your latter roles are named "Grandma." If you remember her in "The Poseidon Adventure," this may come as a surprise. But that bratty kid probably has grey hair and crow's feet by now. (IMDB says he's working as an electrical contractor.)
It’s always strange to see actors you know from 70s films in black-and-white Hitchcock episodes; even though this one came from 1962, the entire series has that grey thin-lapel men-who-smoke / women-who-drink era mood. It belongs to the era before they invented color, and turned the world into something much more obvious. But there’s only ten years between the Hitchcock episode and “Poseidon.” Only ten. Compare the two, and it looks like thirty. I’m serious: the hair, the music, the fashion, the way men behave, the abundance of hats on heads and hosiery on legs. Usually it takes a culture a couple of decades to rappel down the outhouse wall that far.
I exaggerate. Anyway: one of the nurses was in the “infirmary,” which seemed such an archaic name. It brings up images of simple beds with metal frames, charts hanging on a hook, nunnish nurses with elaborate starched origami headgear. That’s why I brought it up. Also to note that Caron Lynley supposedly had a long affair with David Lynch, and was slated to play the role of Diane, the woman to whom Agent Cooper addressed his tapes. How about that.
Speaking of a Hitchcock hour-long episode with a memorable blonde: last night the TiVo offered a teleplay (I love that word; also out of favor, alas) with Dean Stockwell as an obsessed chemist, and Charlotte Gercke as the woman he loves. I’d seen her before on TV in a famous role, but I’d never liked her. She played her role too well. She would display fear and lies and love and hope in the space of five seconds, each fluttering across her face to smother the emotion that preceded it. She was good. Later in life she became the first woman to fly a single-engine craft from New York across the Atlantic ocean. You may know her as Susan Oliver:
It occurs to me sometimes that I live my life like a cultural Merlin, working backwards. It has its pleasures.
Here’s the conclusion to last week’s Bleat Radio Theater cliffhanger. The previous installment can be found here. New Sears 1973, and new buzz.mn video. See you there!