Monday, November 30, 2009

Riddle Me This, Stritchy-style

So, on Friday my friend Brian and I attemped to go to the MoMA for their Free Friday Night Fun-fest. I was a little tardy on account of not being a good person, but it didn't matter anyway, as the line to get in literally (that's a popular mis-used adjective these days, second only to irony) wrapped around the block - it looked like Election Day 1994 in Johannesburg.

Clearly even if we did wait in the line the experience would have been a bad one - the hordes of tourists with Black Friday shopping bags would have crammed themselves between us and the Tim Burtons, with children's grubby paws fingering all of the "art."

Instead, we wandered over to the "Museum" of Television & Radio. Brian had never been, and since we're both corporate members, it seemed like a lovely and free option.

One of the programs we ordered up in the viewing carrel was an episode of The Dick Cavett Show with Elaine Stritch, which was from about 1979. It was a fascinating half hour of TV, prompting Brian to say "They don't make shows like this anymore. I wish Dick Cavett were still alive." Well, some wishes come true anyway.

One wish I had was to find this clip on the youtube, but no such luck.

The point of this tale is not that Elaine talked about her experiences with alcohol, or diabetes, or did impressions of a native Chinese speaker (almost as bad as Rosie's) and a Black maid at the Hotel Carlyle, or even her Christopher Walken-like recitation of "Anyone Can Whistle."

What I found most interesting is she was telling Cavett about some trait or other that she had, which emulated her parents, and she said "I didn't lick that off the ground."

Neither Cavett nor anyone in the audience got the line, and she explained that it was something she picked up in England. I guess the closest cliche I can think of is "the apple didn't fall far from the tree." I did a google for the term, and the only non-dirty result I had was on a blog dedicated to that gay British boy band member who died earlier this year, but it didn't shed much light for me.Anyway, if I had a point in mind I've certainly misplaced it by now.

In Conclusion, Robert Redford didn't lick Stritchy up off the ground. Or something like that.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks, Past-Style

I have done a lot of things on Thanksgiving, but one time I did stuff with Colleen.

In what must have been 1999, I went to visit her in her first Grown-Up Apartment, in Philadelphia. We made a massive feast together, and photo-documented it for our friend Timmy, who at the time was in Mali, in the Peace Corps, and had only eaten some sort of corn gruel for six months and had probably only gone to the bathroom once in that time.

Here's Colleen putting the finishing touches on our candied yams:

And here's me, in a shirt I had stolen from Timmy back in college, proudly displaying some sort of delicious looking dessert.
God Bless America, and all our Feasts and Friends. I sure am Thankful for these things.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Wedding List(s)

Hooray! More photos from Dory's wedding are up for browsing and ordering.

I like this one, because you can see The Bride and The Man-Bride and me and Sarah and everyone is very happy. Plus, this was after the official part so they are now no longer living in sin.

This one may be my favorite. I'm not sure what's happening, but this is when I met Dave for the first time.
The mysterious thing? That's almost the same face I made at a DIFFERENT wedding. Here's me with Amber, reacting to my mother dancing to Usher at my sister's nuptials.

I guess Open Mouth Gape Face is my Signature Style at weddings. Congrats again DD!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Picnic, Lightning

Now, the truth of the matter is that while I work in BOOKS, I'm not the biggest reader of fiction. Nonfiction is more my game, with memoirs from and histories of Hollywood's 'Golden Age' being one of my favorite BISAC codes.

Oh, sure, I just finished An American Wife and liked it very much - it was an excellent romance novel set in the White House (and I'm mildly jealous since I took an English Comp class with the author in college), and just yesterday I finally bought a copy of Lush Life, at the soon to be extinct Biography Bookshop a few blocks south of me - Irony Alert! It's NOT a biography!

Speaking of Irony, nobody did it better than Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, who is no doubt my favorite writer. His genius positively staggers me, and I can read and re-read my favorites by him multiple times with new rewards with each flip of the page. One of my most prized possessions is a first edition of Pale Fire, perhaps my favorite book of all time.

(It's worth noting, in the great CRD Venn Diagram, that Miss Shelley Winters starred in a rather Kubrickian (very Kubrickian, I guess) production of his most famous novel).

Anyway, just last week his son took a break from opera singing and race-car driving to publish The Original of Laura, the novel VN was working on when he died. It is unfinished, and was supposed to be burned, and yet now, for the price of almost two Andrew Jacksons, we can flip through the master's note[card]s.

I'll get to that in good time and perhaps will even report back, but today I'm enjoying flipping through this slideshow from the Wall Street Journal. These are re-designed jackets for some of his classics.

Mr. Chip Kidd tackles Ada, something I personally have tackled multiple times in my life (from memory: in 1998 in Austin, TX, 2005 in the Catskills, NY, and 2009 in the Chelsea River Park), never getting much further than page 100, but loving the battle.
Stephen Doyle re-does Pale Fire, which thrilled me both in 1996 in Poughkeepsie, NY and 1997 in Miami Beach.
I can't even remember how many times I've read Pnin - at least a dozen. Carin Goldberg takes this one on, and while I prefer my banged up mass market edition, seeing this makes me want to break my heart all over again with this tale of viscous and sawdust.

Mr. Nabokov, my hat tips to you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

These Old Cats Have TEETH

Is it Genius? Nope. Is it funny enough? Heck yes.

Friday, November 20, 2009


From my mom. She loved the card.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Also? Sweet Jesus!

One more animal post for the day.

Also? Animal Friendship

So it didn't end so well when the Hippos met the Croc. HOWEVER, here's a touching tale.

The quote:

"I slipped into the water, terrified of what might happen, and I swam up to this leopard seal. My legs were shaking and I had dry mouth. Right away she dropped the penguin. She came up to me and she opened her mouth … and her head is twice as wide as a grizzly bear’s head. She’s huge. She took my whole head and my camera inside her head and did this threat display. But then the most remarkable thing happen. She went off and got me a live penguin. She came up and she started to feed me a penguin. She kept letting these live penguins go and the penguin would shoot past me and she’d look disgusted as she go by me. She did this over and over."

The video:

It's kinda like when Zach drops Crinkle Mouse on my pillow. Kinda.

In Which A Crocodile Gets It Right In the Peppercorns

Here's life in the Animal Kingdom. They always say, Hippos kill more than all the other animals combined.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Goodnight, Kiwi!

So last night I got home and was a bit blue, as Zach has packed up his toys and snaggletooth and is off on a little trip.

But then! I checked the mail! What's this package, I said?

A Novelty-T all the way from New Zealand, via Charleston, featuring The Goodnight Kiwi!

Now, when I went to Charleston back in September, I got to meet David's new buddy, a lovely antipodean named Elena. We talked about all sorts of New Zealand culture, like Kiri Te Kanawa, Flight of the Conchords, my friend Shelley, and the Goodnight Kiwi.

What is the Goodnight Kiwi, you ask? Well, up until 1994, there were only two terrestrial TV stations in New Zealand (That number has since doubled!), and at midnight, they would go off the air. The Goodnight Kiwi was the little cartoon promo they ran, of a sweet lil' Kiwi and his kitty tucking in for the night because there were no more programs to watch.

Here's the wee buddy in all his glory:

Night night little man! I love Foreign Culture, especially as it regards Programs and Novelty Ts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

NOW I Have Seen It All

I thought I had nothing to say today, and then I saw this.

Would love someone to come up with a good caption.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Are Sons For?

My mom is having a bad day. I got her this card.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Kitty He Wrote Me A Letter

So you know that picture of Zach from yesterday? It turns out he printed it out, stamped it, and sent it to Baby Zach as a postcard.

Here's Baby after checking the mail.

He was so excited to see this picture of his little buddy he ran and shared it with his pooch.

It seems in this one he is telling Pooch a story about Zach and how much he likes him.

And here he is showing all of us how much he likes him by attempting to eat him. Really, sometimes Zach is so cute *I* want to eat him up, so I guess I understand.
Babies, cats. More like oil & vinegar than chocolate & peanut butter, but still a delightful mix.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I got too busy to post today. Therefore, here's some cuteness.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire; or, Adventures In The Spice Trade

Remember when Zach got famous?

Well I get to rub his nose in it, since I'm famous now too. Click here to go read the tale of Irony, Spices, and Fire.

Of course, Zach was a cutie in his pic, and I'm maybe not looking my most sultry. Also, only one of us got a bellyache.

Such is life!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing Like A Dame

I was very excited to find an email from an old friend in my Inbox.

Yep, that's right, Dame Shirley Bassey emailed me herself (including the honorific!) to let me know that her new LP, The Performance, is available for sale in the UK.
I dutifully visited her website, where I was pleased to see I could download a free track, and learned more about the record. Seems like she took a play from her old chum Nancy Sinatra, who released an album a few years back with songs written for her by Morrissey, Bono, Thurston Moore, Jarvis Cocker, etc. Anyway, Dame Shirl has some new tunes by Gary Barlow, Rufus Wainwright, the Pet Shop Boys, and more.

I first discovered Dame Shirl as a wee tot with a record my parents had called Shirley Bassey Belts The Best!, which was a collection of Broadway songs.

I still associate "Everythings's Coming Up Roses" and "If Ever I Would Love You" with Shirl. It wasn't until many years later when I read an article called "Sassy Miss Bassey" that I deduced the correct pronunciation of her last name.

Now, I never forgot ol' Shirl, but I sure was glad to be in a Gentlemen's Bar a few years ago and see a video of her covering Pink. I think my jaw may have dropped, but we'll let the history books decide if that's true or not.

Some fink turned off embedding for that video proper, but here she is cutting it up live:

She sure is a fun one. I'm so excited to wait patiently for the new album to be released legally in the US in a few months!

In the meantime, here's the lady visiting our mutual friends, The Muppets, for a little Goldfinger action.

I'll be giving thanks for Dame Shirley this Thanksgiving, for sure.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Synchronicity Alert!

Jesse and I helpfully posed in front of this banner in San Francisco last month, in preparation for his birthday today!

We All Are Going To Need A Bigger Boat

Update: Kitties Still Love Blankets

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This'es And That

It's that time again - Shorty's Book Club!

So what's Shorty reading now? Why, it's This 'N That by Little Miss Bette Davis.

This 'N That is the second memoir by Miss Davis, from 1987. Her first one, The Lonely Life, came out in 1962. As Shorty explained it, the first book was a proper memoir, the second one is a cornucopia of different things. It's part memoir of her career post-1962, including a lot about her made-for-TV movies. It's part about her stroke and recuperation, and it's partly a refute to the 'Mommie Dearest' knock-off memoir her daughter wrote a few years before.

Anyway, Shorty is - no surprise - mostly interested in the pictures. So, we broke out the Scanner from the Up High Storage Space, and put it to work.

Here she is in what she calls a "cheesecake" photo. I'm confused by what the purpose of the medicine ball is in this snap. Maybe that's some sort of sexual thing I'm not aware of?

We both liked this one of her and that handsome devil (ha! entendre!) Robert J. Wagner. It was almost exactly a year ago that Shorty and I couldn't sleep and read his memoirs late one night. I think this is when she guest-starred on It Takes A Thief.

This pic though, this takes all the cakes in the world. It's Bette, Mae West, and Beverly Sills.

My greatest regret is that there's no index to the book, so we can't quickly enjoy reading about that "fascinating evening." What a dinner party!

Shorty had a few other faves, including one that's a bit morally iffy. We'll save that for the Bonus Content!

Until next time.

! This post was updated from its original content to include links to some other blog's discussion of Robert J. Wagner's classic TV program, It Takes A Thief.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Two Men, Some Eggs, Breakfast!


Here's another secret recipe from my vault. I call it Using CSA Greens To Make An Omelette With Keith. Here's how it goes.

First, you wake up and discover a dear chum sleeping on a balloon in your living room.

Then you decide to make breakfast!

You take some Greens and wash off the dirt and nature on them.

Be careful, 'cause you may end up with greens in your coffee. It's like that Carly Simon song, except not really a metaphor.

Fry them up in a pan with olive oil, and use some salt to make them give up their juice.

Stir 'em up good!

Then, crack open a coupla eggs. Maybe your experience will be like this guy's, which was pretty funny.

Whisk up the eggs then pour them onto the greens.

Mmm, stir 'em up.

Eventually they get all cooked!

Set the table. Then eat.
And eat!
Cooking is fun.