Here’s my personal strategy: As soon as I have a birthday, I immediately start telling myself in my head that I’m a year older than I actually am. By Christmas it’s received wisdom, by the Oscars if someone asks me my age I actually have to take a moment’s time-out to remember, and by the time the next birthday rolls around I’m so used to the idea of being a year older than I actually am that it takes what little sting there is left in the aging process completely out of the picture for me. So even though I actually only turned 48, I’m feeling like an accomplished and fairly mentally healthy 49-year-old. Let’s see how this works at the actual half-century mark, which is what, now less than a year away. (By my calculations anyway—confused yet?)
I deliberately didn't fly the flag or anything this year, but I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who dropped by either in person or on Facebook to wish the grizzled old man a happy birthday, and that means you, Matthew (Freebie and the Bean was waiting for me on my desk when I came in this morning—thanks a ton!), Ali (Seen Speed Racer yet? I await your verdict!), Ted (R.I.P., Manny), Aaron (I can’t wait to hear that Pauline Kael interview—thanks for sending it along!), Tom Sutpen (the man so good the Internet had to make room for two sites for him!), Erin (How 'bout those second-half Dodgers, huh?) and, of course, my all-time-BFF, Bruce. (Yes, I am prepared for an ass-whuppin’ for posting this link.) You are excellent friends all. And my wife and daughters certainly made this one (48th? 49th? I forget) as good as it could have been with some quality biking, swimming and general relaxing on the beach in Ventura, CA. in their precious company. I love you all very much.
Speaking of birthdays, I’m still very much in catch-up mode as I settle in on this Tuesday, so thanks to the Drive-in Dude and my friend Don Mancini for both clueing me in to an interview Don did with Ain’t-It-Cool-News’s Quint that was published today. The subject of the interview, conducted by phone with Don, producer David Kirschner and DVD producer Michelle Gold (who I've met a couple of times and who is delightful), is the upcoming (September 9) 20th-anniversary edition DVD of the original Child’s Play. The interview provides a natural segue into a discussion of what Don has in store for the upcoming “reboot” of Child’s Play, which is in development and will hopefully be in theaters no later than 2010-- see the interview for more details. In the interest of preserving the fear factor Don isn’t able or willing to give away too much about the new Chucky film, but there is much good discussion about what viewers can expect from the new DVD, including an appreciation of the contributions of cinematographer William Butler and why puppetry is still the preferred playing field for this series over the more fashionable temptations of CGI. (By the way, Don, I saw one of those Good Guys dolls in its original box in an antique shop in Ventura over the weekend—I should have bought it, shouldn’t I?) The interview itself could have used some tightening at the editorial desk—a little too much background on Quint’s Jaws obsession for my taste, and on separate occasions each of the three interviewees has to steer the talk back on course—- but it’s congenial and informative and fun, definitely worth a look on a lazy summer evening.
And to continue the birthday theme for one more short paragraph, I want to wish a very happy one to my daughter, who turns six tomorrow. She claims Chucky as her sworn "worst enemy" and cannot figure out how the nice guy who loves Speed Racer and took her to see Hairspray last summer could possibly have spawned that red-headed devil doll. Don and I look forward to that inevitable day when she suddenly finds Chucky cool.