Saturday, January 29, 2005

“Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool.”

The Movie: The Hustler, 1961 (Sydney Carroll and Robert Rossen, screenwriters, from the novel by Walter Tevis; Robert Rossen, dir.)
Who says it: Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felsen, a pool hustler
The context: Fast Eddie has just lost a marathon game of pool to Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason), the champion.
How to use it: To acknowledge that you’ve been outplayed by a master.

Late posting today, because I'm overscheduled; I have a phone interview in about half an hour, and needed to get to the gym before it closed at 11:30. But the temperature's all the way up to 19, which feels so warm I didn't even need to wear the earmuffs on my way back home.

Happy birthday today to my friend Cara King, who's living it up this weekend in New Orleans.

And happy birthday in absentia to my Grandma Lamb, who would have been 91 today. I did the math this morning -- she was born in 1914 -- and thought, "No, that can't be right. She was only 84 when she died, that's not that long ago." But it is, and this spring will make it seven years she's been gone.

It would annoy her to know I was mentioning her birthday in this blog. She was the least sentimental person I've ever known, and she never wanted people to know how old she was. When she turned 80, her children threw her a big party, and she objected, because her cronies didn't need to know her age. (In fact, I heard one of her friends say to another at the party: "Did you know Margaret was 80? I had no idea she was that old." This, from someone who was at least 75 herself.)

She worked hard, she expected much, she took no lip from anyone, and she was a really terrible cook. But she was fierce in her affection for those she considered her own, and she had a dry, unexpected sense of humor. I miss her.

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