Monday, October 04, 2004

"A policeman's job is only easy in a police state."

The Movie: Touch of Evil, 1958 (Orson Welles, screenwriter and director)
Who says it: Charlton Heston as Mike Vargas, a bilingual cop on the Mexican side of the border
The context: Vargas is the honest cop trying to save his wife (Janet Leigh), betrayed by the corrupt but effective police captain on the other side of the border (Orson Welles).
How to use it: It’s a fundamental political principle that no one should forget, now or ever.

Here's to Janet Leigh, a great and gracious lady who was also an author and an avid reader. I met her one night at The Mystery Bookstore when she came to a signing by her old editor, Laura Van Wormer, another great lady (who gets a lot of credit for my current profession). Miss Leigh was charming, funny, completely-down-to-earth, and still very beautiful in an almost translucent way.

I planned to do so much this weekend, and accomplished almost none of it. It's likely that I do this to myself on purpose -- stack up tasks to give myself an artificial sense of urgency that becomes real. My friend Jim Wells and I talked about this a long time ago; he's a good bit older than I am, so it made me feel better to know that older and more successful people procrastinate too.

At least I spent quality time with the dogs. When I walk them together, people stop their cars and ask, "What kind of dogs are those?" I am sorely tempted to make up a fancy, obscure-sounding breed name... it would be so easy to invent something and then see how many people started calling to look for them. Instead, I just smile and say, "Pointer mixes -- mixed with what, we don't know." Then the people say, "They're so beautiful," and I say, "Thanks," as if I had anything to do with it.

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