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January 16, 2016

Best Lists

I know, because I know, that you've been waiting all year for this:

Best films seen in 2015 (I watch most films on Sky television, so some are from past years):
The Great Gatsby (Luhrman version)
La Notte
The End of the Tour
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Railway Man
I Origins
The Normal Heart
The Imitation Game

Best TV: (besides last year's list continued)
Les Revenants (French)
Fortitude (British-Norwegian)
The Honourable Woman
The Fall
Borgen (Danish)
The Killing (Danish)
Olive Kitteridge
Mozart in the Jungle
The Brink
Bron / Broen (Swedish/Danish original of The Bridge)
Deutschland 83
[For your information: I am not admitting and will not admit to having watched and enjoyed the first two seasons of Z Nation.]

Best 2015 books: (excepting research)
Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg
Genesis: A Living Conversation, Bill Moyers
The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku, William J. Higginson with Penny Harter
Moloch: or This Gentile World, Henry Miller
A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller
A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut
Haiku: Poetry Ancient & Modern, ed. Jackie Hardy
A Sense of Style, Steven Pinker
Anaïs Nin: A Woman Speaks
Henry Miller on Writing
The Air-conditioned Nightmare, Henry Miller
The Illuminated Rumi, Coleman Barks and Michael Green
Highway 17, Richard Beal
Locked Rooms, Laurie R. King
The Big Red Book, Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks
Dreaming Spies, Laurie R. King
Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin, Noël Riley Fitch
Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
Mutt and Jeff’s Greatest Hits, by Mutt and Jeff

Happy Trials, Martin

Mutt:  Let me tell you a story, my friend.
Jeff:  I'd rather you didn't.
Mutt:  There was a new driver for the bus on Sesame Street. His first day on the job, he awoke bright and early, went to the garage, got the bus, and set off on his route. At the first stop there was a chubby little girl waiting for the bus. She climbed the step and got on, and said, "Hi. My name is Patty."
The driver replied, "Hi, Patty. Please take a seat."
At the second stop there was a second little girl, even chubbier than the first. She got on and said,
"Good morning! My name's Patty."
The driver answered, "Good morning. Please sit down."
At the third stop there was a little boy waiting. He was dressed in a white shirt and tie, and a suit with a vest, and he had a calculator holster on his belt. He said, "Hi. My name is Ross, and I'm special!"
The driver wasn't impressed, but he managed a smile and said, "Please sit down, Ross."
The fourth stop rewarded the driver with a grubby little boy with dirty jeans and torn sneakers. He got on the bus and said, "My name is Lester Cheese."
The driver replied, "Please take a seat, Lester."
Well, he's driving along and he looks in his rear-view mirror and sees that Lester Cheese has taken off his sneakers and is scratching at his foot. The driver pulls the bus over to the side of the rode, stops it, and says, "I can't take this any longer! I've got two obese Patties, special Ross, Lester Cheese picking bunions on a Sesame Street bus!
Jeff:  This is worse than waterboarding.
Mutt:  I got another one.
Jeff:  No, no, a thousand times NO!
Mutt:  Okay, here goes: There was a Russian man named Rudolph, a high ranking member of the KGB. One evening Rudolph and his wife, Helga, were walking along, and it begins to snow. "My, my, look at the lovely snow," said Helga.
"No, that is not snow, that is rain!" replied Rudolph.
"No, no, no, this is snow," she said.
"Look, there is a palace guard, we will ask him."
Rudolph went to the palace guard and said "Is it raining or snowing?" The guard was no dummy, so he said "What do you think it is doing, Rudolph?"
Rudolph replied, "raining." And the guard said "Yes comrade, I was going to say raining, also!" So Rudolph and Helga went walking off. The guard could just barely hear the KGB official say:
"Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear."
Jeff:  Oh mercy. They're getting badder.
Mutt:  Just one more.
Jeff:  I'm leaving.
Mutt:  During the invasion of Sicily in World War II, General George ("Blood 'n' Guts") Patton was preparing to take the city of Palermo. He checked with his meteorologists and learned the day he had chosen would be incredibly rainy. So he issued an order to place copies of the New York "Times" immediately beneath the tailgates of the transports carrying his troops. In this way the men could keep their feet dry.
His staff was mystified. Why the "Times"? Why not the New York "Daily News"? Patton was adamant; and one did not argue with the General. As five tons of old copies of the "Times" were being loaded, the General issued one of his greatest quotes to the assembled war correspondents:
"These are the Times that dry men's soles." 
Jeff:  I am going to kill myself.
Mutt:  Oh yeah, how?
Jeff:  With a poison pun.
Mutt:  Okay. See you tomorrow.
Jeff:  Yeah, see you.