Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Goats and intrigue

I fully intended to update about my weekend yesterday (as is fitting on a Monday), but sometimes the best laid plans turn into making lasagna out of an enormous farm share squash instead. And so begin the zucchini days of summer! I did have a lovely weekend though, mostly spent lounging around New Jersey and grilling (or rather eating the food that others grilled, which is itself an important contribution to any BBQ).

When not engaging in summertime gluttony, we journeyed to Governors Island (for the second time in as many weeks). This time there were no old-fashioned parties to attend, but there were some baby goats. A friend of mine has been working for Earth Matters, a compost initiative on Governors Island. They have a great little section of the island set up to educate people about different methods of composting. They also have about 60 chickens and two goats that contribute to the scrap-eating and manure-making process. My friend has been bottle-feeding the goats (that are on loan from somewhere upstate), since they were wee things, but now at 12 1/2 weeks they rather resemble adult goats. Probably because they devote every waking moment of their goat lives to increasing their body weight. While we were there the more devoted (to food, at least) of the two goats bent over a tiny tree until he could get every last leaf from it's spindly branches. I'm not describing it well, but trust me, it was an impressive display of goat dexterity.

Patches. The more food-frenzied of the pair of Patches and Cream.

Some of the impressive biodiversity of Governors Island!
After our little jaunt to the island (also after our little jaunt to the mainland of New Jersey), we also ventured to Brooklyn on Sunday. Last October, I won a facebook contest giving me a year membership to the Brooklyn Academy of Music that puts on a number of movies, plays, and lectures throughout the year. To my chagrin, I haven't used it at all, and it will expire this October. In an effort to remedy this, I finally started reading their emails. Thus our first BAM visit (well, post-membership anyway, I have seen shows there before), was to see a Hitchcock silent film called The Lodger. BAM is currently showing all nine of the remastered Hitchcock directed silent films accompanied by live orchestras. I've always wanted to see a silent film with live accompaniment, and I like many of Hitchcock's films, so it seemed like a good first member experience.

Would you let this guy live with your blond daughter?

Our seats were a bit too close to the front for my taste, but it really was a fun show. It was so easy to forget the musicians were even there because the music fit so perfectly with the film. The basic plot of The Lodger is that a Jack the Ripper type killer is killing blonds every Tuesday night in London. Meanwhile, a creepy man rents a room from a man and his wife who happen to have a daughter who's a blond model. It sounds like it could be a classic Hitchcock suspense movie, but in reality it's mostly played for laughs. There are some innovative shots, such as one showing a man's footsteps pacing filmed through a glass floor, but the story if very simple. I think it's interesting to watch early movies and particularly someone's early work through the lens of a modern movie watcher having seen much of their later stuff. I kept expecting there to be some major twist, and had two theories in mind as to what it could be. But in reality the mystery itself didn't really matter, and in the end the story was more about the characters and how people react to suspicion and paranoia. Which are fairly common Hitchcock themes, I suppose, and definitely dealt with more deeply in later films. But at any rate, it was a fun 90 minutes and worth a watch if you find it in a theater near you (provided there's live music, of course). Bonus fun fact (according to IMDB): this film was the first to feature the iconic Alfred Hitchcock cameo (appearing with decidedly more hair than the usual). Apparently, he was low on extras and decided to fill in the shot himself. The rest is history!


  1. Busy weekend!Did you notice the Hitchcock cameo while watching?

  2. No, but Sam did. He's the more successful movie watcher.

  3. Come to Governors Island then! Patches was fairly indifferent to being petted, so she would probably tolerate a hug, provided you weren't standing between her and food.