Derik Badman's Journal

2021-08-09 08:31

Yesterday morning I took walk around the neighborhood. When I first went out I could see it had rained at some point, the pavement was still wet the grass still shining a bit. Passing under a bunch of large trees around the corner, it suddenly started raining. I felt the rain, I heard the rain, it fell around me, but as I looked out to the street, I could see there was none falling on the road, none on the yard across the way. Enough water had stayed on the leaves above me so that some breeze or moving animal or something caused a few seconds of steady rain on 10 or so feet of sidewalk just as I was walking under it.

Finished up Kawabata's Dandelions yesterday, his last and unifinished novel. It's a little unclear how unfinished it is. It was serialized in a magazine for awhile, but I'm not sure whether it was unfinished it that he planned on more parts to it or that he just never finished editing/rewriting it for collected publication. The ending it has feels a bit abrupt but also not totally cut off. The novel does not have a traditional plot, so I didn't expect a traditional ending. The novel is mostly a long conversation between "Ineko's mother" and "Mr. Kuno" who have dropped off Ineko (the latter's girlfriend/fiancée) at a mental institution. She has a rare condition where she will stop seeing people. More particularly, some of the time she stops being able to see Kuno when they make love. We also later in the novel, via flashback, learn that at one point when she was young she stopped seeing a ping-pong ball during a game at school. Other than two flashbacks (one from the mother about the ping pong ball, one from Kuno remembering a time Ineko stopped seeing him), the whole book is just the two talking as they leave the institution, walk to an inn, and stay overnight there. There is very little action, very few characters, I couldn't help seeing it as a play, so much is drawn out from the dialogue alone. In a way, both in format and the theme of mental health it reminded me of In Treatment, except here we are hearing from the people around the patient rather than the patient herself. Probably one I'll read again.

Watched the last of the "Ranown Cycle", Comanche Station yesterday afternoon. I think it was my least favorite of them. Much of the plot (and I swear even some dialogue) felt like a repeat of 7 Men From Now the first in the cycle. This time around I was also noticing the recycled settings and scenery. The stage coach switch station seems to appear in a few of the movies (definitely the last two). The "hanging tree" that is in a clearing at the climax of Ride Lonesome appears in Comanche Station this time with the clearing filled with water to be a pond. And I'm almost definite the characters ride through the same path between tall rounded rocks in a few of the films. Not something you'd general notice, I guess, unless you are really looking or watching them in rapid succession like I was. All in all I really enjoyed watching them. There's another movie Westbound that has the same director/actor combo but different writing/production I'm going to look into. It's apparently not part of the cycle and not as well regarded, but it's another town based western, so I'm curious about it. After watching all these, I added a few more ideas to my western RPG, which I still hope to play someday (and still have work to do on the webapp).