This is not an informative blog regarding the hagfish. It is, instead, an autobiographical work by me, Ann Murray. I am not a fish. Sorry. This in one form or other, is the story of my mishaps, and also, some of my haps. Fair and Balanced and all that.



Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Midnight Cop - A Hagfish/Hyacinth Review

I love this movie.

It's funny, cynical, and a nifty spine-tingler. It's also very European with good reason, it was made in Germany. It doesn't reflect an American sense of humor. Its wit is lost on many.

It’s got nice a gritty quality, with moody evocative night filming making a fine point from which to view it. It isn’t a lighthearted comedic venture, but it has its moments.

Speaking of visuals, the cop shop workplace is pretty good too.

The core of the story has to do with the horrifying accidental wounding/disabling of a young child during an attempt to arrest a major drug dealer by the lead character, Inspector Alex Glass, played brilliantly by Armin Mueller-Stahl, a man in wretched condition as the story opens.

He is sleepless, rumpled, irritable, and lacking in any kind of hope. All his life is sour, and he is being beaten down by the one terrible event of his existence, that has caused him to nearly lose himself.

Music is one of his few outlets.

Then, there's the job.

He has a new assistant, Shirley May, played wonderfully by Julia Kent, and a concerned friend, the District Attorney, played by Michael York.

Alex is a man quietly thinking out the case, as it escalates into a surreal nightmare, with nude bodies being found, abandoned, and smeared with grease; a profoundly obscure touch, which because of its very oddness causes a chill of disgust and discomfort. We know we’re not in Kansas anymore. A dark thinker is afoot, and his victims are giving no clue as to his identity.

Concurrently, Inspector Glass is also engaged in impossible attempts to break through the wall erected by his vengeful ex wife, between him and his daughter. He begins to unfold, and display himself for us: A sleepless man who spends nights tossing in bed while the neighbor on the other side of the wall has gleefully noisy sex. His answer is to pound futilely on the wall until he is called a pervert. It brings out the sneaky voyeur in me, making me wish I could see through plaster and paint to watch the couple wallow in sybaritic splendor. (see note*)
In trying to hold himself together, he finds more strings of himself unraveling until eventually he becomes involved with Lisa, played by Morgan Fairchild, an apparent bimbo, who manages to become another drop of the glue of life that keeps him from disintegrating entirely.

I was not impressed by Morgan Fairchild the first time I watched the movie. Like most others making hard comments, I thought she was an absurd choice. That is, until I thought it over for a while.

It dawned on me, she was perfect for the role; when she threw her head back and laughed in one scene with Mr. Mueller-Stahl, I fell in love with the character, and with the actress. She was funny, sexy and pretty as Lisa; and she was brave. Good for her!

Alex is older than she. So what? We should all be so magnetic and well-preserved as we grow older. They're a rather odd couple. This does nothing but lend a spicy, amusing and rather sweet atmosphere to a very gruesome and sometimes terribly sad tale.

Frank Stallone as the villain, makes me wonder how on earth the kid brother got so famous, and eclipsed him. I loved Frank as Eddie, the pugilistic, hot pistol ladies-man bartender in Barfly. Sly couldn’t have done that part with Frank’s panache. Sly gets kudos, Frank gets too short a role in Midnight Cop.

The way the cookie crumbles I guess. There ain’t no justice.

This is a movie that cries to be viewed with a sense of humor, and a little stretch of the mind, because it isn't for dummies.

It's a spoof on American cop pictures, where the hero never misses, and sex as audience bait, takes the place of acting.

Yes, there's sex in it, and most of it is hilarious. However, there's never a glimpse of action on-screen. That's a nice change from all the sweating and heaving that goes on here in the U.S. for the purpose of keeping our limited attention on the movie.

There is nudity, but unless you're into necrophilia, it's not going to tweak you.

While the story deals with a serial killer doing his thing, it isn't full of gore and splattered brains. In fact it's an excellent flick, in part, due to what you don't see.

Three great points:
Armin Mueller-Stahl stuffing a lettuce leaf into his pocket.
Armin Mueller-Stahl’s underwear.
A beautiful rendition of A Lighter Shade of Pale, which opens the film.

See this movie. And use your brain. Have no expectation, either good or bad, and you'll be pleasantly surprised!

*note: “wallow in sybaritic splendor”, swiped from the online dictionary. Thought it was overblown and funny.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Zippered Man

Once she had a dream lover. She would lay in his arms all night long, feeling safer than she had during most of her life. She thought at times, it would be nice if he had a zipper running the length of his body. There was a good deal of comfort to be derived from the idea of climbing into him, and zipping him up with her inside, hidden from the world. The world is a dangerous place in the best of times, and deadly in the worst.

Of course she was crazy.

That was a frequent judgment.

She was adjudged to be amoral a few times too, by quizzes applied through several authoritative online sites laden with expert analysts for the benefit of hungering masses in quest of an answer as to who they actually are.

Armchair psychologists and dilatants plastered to television sets, tend to enjoy these sites.

The experts gave their opinions which nothing could sway. They were based on ironclad courses taught at various universities noted for their pompous conspicuously moral wisdom-dispensing professors.

It seemed a feather in her cap to be amoral. It meant she was running against the odds, since the “average” were generally moral according to the rules.

Morality in her opinion, amounted to a collection of regulations laid down by the elite for their own convenience. Therefore, to be amoral was to shake free of them and their iron fists.

She thought there should be something for everyone...many sets of rules, without religion connected to them.

The word regulations had too militant a connotation for comfort.

She thought religion tended to complicate things unnecessarily. An entire collection of esoteric regulations plagued many religions. Far too many regulations would need to be remembered if they involved religion too. Also, people sometimes killed each other because of conflicting attitudes stemming from religion. So perhaps it was best to keep religion and guns separate from each other.

Guns would be secular in their nature.

Therefore, all rules laid down outside of religion, should never contain even a whiff of sectarianism.

There was one universally applicable rule everyone would have to obey. Just one: Only the most reasonable and responsible secular leaders could have anything to do with guns.

They would be very reluctant to kill anyone, since everyone obeyed their own rules; there was little, if any, major discord. Eventually they would realize how stupid it was to have guns, but never shoot at anything. So why bother to have them?

Of course though, she was crazy.

In thinking it out on a deeper level, if there were too many sets of rules, anarchy might ensue.

Anarchy seemed so exhausting.

The zippered man was her best idea in the long-run.

February 15, 2007
A. Murray

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bertha, Ella, Sid, and the little green apples...

a peculiar little tail.

Bertha shoved the broom across the kitchen floor, muttering to herself, "damn filthy little bastids, makes me want to squash their little heads with the heel of my boot…"

The mouse sat in the entryway of his apartment complex, whiskers twitching, eyes shining like new shoe buttons, and ears turned to the sound the giant was making.

The mouse spoke minimal English, but enough to get by on. He was hungry and tired. He'd been travelling for days to get to the place where he would spend the winter this year. The last house was drafty and immaculately clean. He'd caught a cold at Thanksgiving, and kept it until spring. And because of perverse hygiene on the part of the farmer's wife, he'd nearly starved to death during his stay there, emerging a mere shadow of his former self. He shuddered to think about it now.

A vicious swipe of the broom too close to the molding nearly knocked him off his feet. Considering this to be a portent of doom, his own in fact, he decided to crawl back into bed for a little nap. It was early, and dinner wasn't on the table until some time around five-thirty. There was plenty of time to rest before the job of harvesting from the floor, where some of his favored delicacies were generally plentiful, thanks to the smaller giants who ate there on occasion.

He understood the salient points of the conversation the giant was having with herself, and it's not so underlying rage, was enough to breed caution even within such an adventurous soul as he. So he turned, and to his undying regret, missed the most interesting thing of the day. He heard about it later, but would have given an especially fine whisker to have seen it first-hand

All in all however, at that moment, life was good again. At last….

"Next time I catch them little rats thrown' food across the room, I'm gonna break an arm first, and answer questions later…spoiled little crap-heads, killin's too good fer 'em."

A disembodied voice floated near enough to halt Bertha's fury laden diatribe. "What on earth are you nattering about Bertha? Milk gone sour again? Sorry if it is, I can never get those damn incantations right."

The disembodied voice grew nearer…the house was so cavernous, it was an echo chamber. Whispered conversations could be eavesdropped upon conveniently from what seemed like miles away if one was aware of all the strategic positions for doing so. The speaker was.

Bertha managed to pull her act together with effort. She wasn't in the mood for the "lady" of the house. Last night had been terrible; and she was tired, hungry, perplexed, and crotchety.

The voice drew nearer.

"So what's wrong today Bertha?"

"Nothing special Missus, just them kids hurlin' food across the room like it was a game a that Frisbee stuff instead a supper…little savages…. At least a damn Frisbee thing is made outta plastic and it don't shed crumbs an' muck all over the damn place."

"Ah, is that all? I thought a spell I was trying out last night had backfired again."

The disembodied voice became full bodied and astonishing in it's appearance. Bertha did her best to act tactfully, and disallowed her jaw to drop in an impolite rube-like manner.

The "Lady" of the house was standing in the doorway with the usual disreputable plaid bathrobe gaping open to reveal one of a collection of the worst nightgowns Bertha had seen before coming to the Big House as a charwoman/raving lunatic/superstitious native, and half-assed friend. Floppy slippers adorned large feet, which were also encased in purple socks. The entire costume shrieked "BAD FASHION SENSE".

But that wasn't the cause of Bertha's jaw struggling with gravity. It was the hair.

It was green, and huge…like a gigantic fern that had grown from the top of the woman's head.

"Oh good lord," Bertha said to herself. "The poor thing."

"What was ya tryin' last night", she asked tentatively.


"Oh, of course, eggnog." Bertha couldn't tear her gaze away from the apparition standing in front of her.

Ella, for that was her name, reached up as though to fluff the atrocity, but instead whipped it off her head, much to Bertha's relief, and shook it like a recalcitrant fuzzy animal.

"Dynel," she said, giving it another vigorous shake. "Wash and wear! Don't you just love it?"

"Well, it's certainly differnt," Bertha stated, with as much diplomacy as she could muster on short order. "D'ye you care for a cuppa tea now? I feel the need a one myself at this very moment." With that, she turned toward the kitchen, and to the safety of sane company.

Sid sat in the Kitchen window seat, moodily staring out at the landscape stretched endlessly before him. He noted with horror that every tree within his view was full of lovely little green apples. This would have been wonderful if they had been apple trees. Alas, they were not.

"Uccccmmmpphhh", he sighed, shaking his head with a certain weariness that bespoke of long practice at it, as he wondered aloud, "What in hell did she do THIS for? I can't leave her alone for a single evening without coming back to yet another bloody fiasco. The woman needs to be kept on a leash. A short one at that!"

He bent to wash his tail, which usually restored his spirits, and increased his pleasure in contemplating the fresh bagel sitting on the table, waiting to be devoured by the she-beast, which was how he was perceiving Ella at the moment.

Dropping nimbly down from the window seat, he meandered across the kitchen, and jumped up onto the table. Ah, good…the bagel was still warm. He gripped it in his teeth, then leaped off the table, and dragged it to his favorite rug in front of the fireplace. There was never a better breakfast in any kingdom, than a fresh toasted bagel with cream cheese.

Bertha clumped into the kitchen. " 'Mornin' Mister Sid," cuppa tea?"

"Why yes Bertha, that would be nice." Sid licked cream cheese off a paw, then said with the sarcastic chuckle that had become ingrown over time when discussing Ella's fiascoes, "I assume Bertha, you are aware there are green apples growing on the blue spruce, the oak, the maple, and every other damned kind of tree for miles around this misbegotten village…that is since you did walk here from your home, and had to have noticed…"

"Oh yes Mister Sid, I noticed indeed."

"So tell me Bertha, have you a clue as to what she was up to?" Sid sat looking at Bertha as though she had all the mysteries of this complex corner of the universe, tucked under her bandana, waiting for her to whip out the answers to life's most perplexing questions, no matter what they were about.


"Ah! Eggnog. Of course I should have known. How silly of me. She's up and about I assume?"

"Yes Mister Sid, and headed this way," Bertha said, eyeing Ella's half-eaten bagel on the rug beside the scraggly long bodied cat.

Sighing in resignation at the inevitable screaming match about to begin, she set about preparing tea.

September 27, 2004

One of the worst old stoner jokes

so why am I laughing?

The Monkey and The Lizard

A monkey is sitting in a tree smoking a joint when a lizard walks past and looks up and says to the monkey, "hey! what are you doing?"

The monkey says "smoking a joint, come up and have some."

So the lizard climbs up and sits next to the monkey and they have a few hits.

After a while the lizard says his mouth is dry and is going to get a drink from the river. The lizard is so stoned that he leans too far over and falls into the river.

A Crocodile sees this and swims over to the lizard and helps him to the side, then asks the lizard, "what's the matter with you?"

The lizard explains to the crocodile that he was sitting smoking a joint with the monkey in the tree, got so stoned he fell into the riverwhile taking a drink.

The crocodile says he has to check this out and walks into the jungle, finds the tree were the monkey is sitting, finishing the joint. He looks up and says, "hey!"

The Monkey looks down and says, "man, just how damn much water did you drink?"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rivi's Dog

Rivi’s dog went missing. She was gone for two days.

Rivi was upset and sad, and also afraid that something terrible might have happened. He didn’t sleep well with her gone. When he woke up because he thought he heard her outside, he was happy for few moments until he realized she was still gone.

In the morning, his eyes burned, and she was his first thought. His heart was heavy. He felt an enormous empty place inside. She’s relatively small, how could she leave such a huge hole in him? It was a cavern.

He felt tears stinging the way they do when you first feel them, some fell, and he brushed them away. Perhaps he had alternating feelings of anger for a moment because she was so inconsiderate to leave, then desperation and worry, and guilt because he had been annoyed. Hours were days, and always, there was the listening for the familiar sounds she made. Her tags, the click of her toenails, the doggish vocalizations…

Then she was back. Pure joy and celebration. So many strokes and congratulations for having returned, and so many words telling her how loved she is. A few admonishments…she must never do that again. Not ever. All that relief, the lifting of the heart. The eyes not able to be filled with enough of her little face, her color, the shape of her ears, her tail…her self.

And her? What was her return like? Did she have good drink of water first thing? Did she flop down in a favorite spot, lying there with her tail thumping on the floor when anyone spoke to her?

Did she have that mysterious dog expression? An expression that said, “I know everything. I had an adventure. I’ve been to secret regions, and smelled things you can’t imagine. I have slept in new places. I have looked at the deep sky filled with more stars than any human could possibly count, and I was there when the sun decided to come out for me to see. I know where the sun sleeps now.”

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Litany Three

Almond eyes
Skin of ivory
River of hair
Taste of a woman
Taste of a man
Scent of heat
Curve of an arch

How beautiful
How beautiful

Eyes of earth
Black silk hair
Mahogany skin
Curve of a cheek
Voice of a bell
Voice of a gong
Scent of passion

How beautiful
How beautiful

Eyes of blue water
Hair of golden curls
Skin of snow
Dimpled elbow
Rose lips
Curve of a hip
The call of doves

How beautiful
How beautiful

Crinkled hair
Black sky skin
Eyes of night
Flashing smile
Full lips kissing
Feet of a dancer
The length of thigh

How beautiful
How beautiful

How beautiful
How beautiful

How beautiful you are

January 14, 2007
A. Murray