e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


By The Numbers

Two weeks until my summer class begins, and I'm trying to get in as much work on my scholarly writing as I possibly can.  I write in my basement office.  It's cool down here, which is a blessing on days like today that are in the high '90s.  My dog sleeps on the room's futon.  My desk is an over-sized old library table.  What else is in the room?  A University of Michigan welcome mat.  A laminated "Clergy" sign (meant to put on the dashboard of a car parked illegally) that was in the glove compartment of the first car I ever bought (from a priest).  A framed front page of the Youngstown Vindicator from August 14, 1945 ("Japanese Surrender; WWII Ends"). 

What else?

Number of pictures of dogs playing poker...3
Number of images of St. Anthony...2
Number of images of Mary...2 (little knic knac of Pieta; pic of Our Lady of Barea)
Number of records and CDs...hundreds and hundreds
Number of images of dogs...29 (about half of them are playing poker)
Number of things that used to belong to any of my four grandparents...7

I've gotta hang up the flags we bought in the Middle East.  There's not enough stuff on the walls yet.



Good evening.

Cable's been running Alfred Hitchcock films in heavy rotation and I've managed to see several for the first time and several I haven't seen for years.  I caught "Family Plot" and "The Trouble with Harry" this weekend.  They prove that he not only can do dark humor but also outright parody.  The former in particular is every bit as funny a Hitchcock homage as fellow 1970s comedies like "Silver Streak" and "Foul Play."  Great cast too: Babara Harris, Karen Black, Bruce Dern, and lots of very familiar character actors.  I guess this is a drop-off for a guy who directed Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart a bunch of times, but, still, pretty cool.  Meanwhile, "The Trouble with Harry" is absurd and whimsical.  Both are fun and generate real laughs.

Also managed to DVR and watch "Rear Window" and "Vertigo," two of his most famous.  Both are so stylish and cool-looking, it's easy to forget that they are also very very suspenseful.

A bunch more on the DVR, so I've got lot of reason to put off some schoolwork.