Sunday, January 31, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Whale Done

Might I suggest following this link to see some awesome pictures of Beluga whales and a short piece about their underwater photographers?

The Dwell of Loneliness

Some people sure are smart.

This site here, Unhappy Hipsters, is all photos from Dwell magazine, with clever captions about the lives of the folks from the magazine. The folks, and one Octopus.

My favorites:

The Octopus Was Full of Judgement! Hee hee. Thanks, Internet!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Viscous and Sawdust

The novels we know best have an architecture. Not only a door going in and another leading out, but rooms, hallways, stairs, little gardens front and back, trapdoors, hidden passageways, et cetera. It's a fortunate reader who knows half a dozen novels this way in their lifetime. I know one, Pnin, having read it half a dozen times. When you enter a beloved novel many times, you can come to feel that you possess it, that nobody else has ever lived there. You try not to notice the party of impatient tourists trooping through the kitchen (Pnin a minor scenic attraction en route to the canyon Lolita), or that shuffling academic army, moving in perfect phalanx, as they stalk a squirrel around the backyard (or a series of squirrels, depending on their methodology). Even the architect's claim on his creation seems secondary to your wonderful way of living in it.

Zadie Smith on my favorite Nabokov novel, one that I too have read a half dozen times, and given away at least that many.

(And yes I realize in the photo that it is literally Nabokov on Zadie Smith, rather than Zadie Smith on Nabokov. And I didn't have a squirrel but the little buddy I used otter be close enough.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad because iCarr

Oh David Carr, you poo-poo everything.

A Few Observations from David Carr
Update 1:58 p.m.
This update is from my colleague David Carr:
“Isn’t this awesome?” Jobs says. It is, but everything looks good on stage. Nothing ages faster than the future when you get it in your hands.

Oh, and someone made this.

Maybe there aren't any ladies at Apple?

What Is This, Alice In Wonderland?

9th Floor Pantry users, beware.

Things I Saw On The Subway

Even though it is A Crime, I like it when graffitos mark up the posters I stare at during my commute.

This one is funny because it's true.

This one is funny because it's MEAN.

Also? I had no idea Allison Janney was doing Halls ads.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Someone Won $1M for This?

Alas, poor Netflix, you know me so well.

Why, I do love critically-acclaimed Witty Movies from the 1950s...
I also like Dark Movies starring Bette Davis
The Gay & Lesbian Movies, sure, but it's the criteria for Suspenseful Crime TV Shows that I love best.
Anyway, I went to this website and learned out to do this:

My apartment sure is gonna be well decorated after I watch a bunch more Suspenseful TV Crime Dramas!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Including Him Out; or, A Farley Good Read

Guess what? Shorty finished a new book.
It's embarrassing for him, because he started this one before Christmas, and only finished it about a week ago. The holidays are busy times!

Anyway, it's a highly enjoyable memoir by Hollywood's Farley Granger, called Include Me Out. The title comes from one of Sam Goldwyn's famous malapropisms, but it has a DOUBLE MEANING on account of how Farley, you know, liked to swing both ways.

My favorite way that Farley swung was down Shelley Winters way, but I digress.

Granger was one of the pretty boy contract players in the MGM stable, and would alternate between serious, actorly roles and teen fluff, basically whatever Sam Goldwyn told him to do. He was loaned out for two Hitchcock movies - Rope and Strangers on a Train. Rope of course has been discussed elsewhere, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Strangers on a Train was remade as one of my favorite movies of my childhood, Throw Momma From The Train, starring Mama Fratelli from Goonies.

Farley tells us that Hitchcock had originally wanted the cast of Rope to be himself and Montgomery Clift as the two murderous lovers, and Cary Grant as their teacher / father figure / third point in their love triangle. Neither Clift nor Grant would take the roles though, as even heavily censored the gayness struck too close to the bone (hee hee) - or in Grant's case, too close to the lady underpants he liked to wear. Theatre actor John Dall ended up playing Granger's lover/co-conspirator, and Jimmy Stewart took the teacher role. Stewart played the role as a straight man - in both senses of the word (and according to a Stewart bio I read he was able to force Warners to up his salary to the amount which had been offered to Grant - a big step for him). I'm sure Mr. Hitchcock would have enjoyed having three men with secrets about their sexuality play three men with secrets about their sexuality...and murder.

Well, most people are probably skimming this post by now, but one thing I really liked about Rope watching it in the 21st century is the double constraints Hitchcock made it under (something he would maybe appreciate? He sure liked doubling). The technological constraints of shooting the film in real time, on ten minute reels, with heavy cumbersome equipment, and the constraint of making a movie loosely based on real life gay lovers who killed someone, without completely hiding their sexuality (they shared a bedroom in the movie, amongst other hints) in the culture of the late 1940s.

Of course, we can't get too liberal arts college-y on the whole thing. As Farley writes,

"To this day, reporters and film aficionados still ask about the actors' discussions with Hitchcock about the implied homosexual relationship between the two young men in Rope, and how Jimmy Stewart fit into those discussions. My answer is always disappointing to them: 'What discussions? It was 1948.' "

My favorite story about Rope was that after meeting Hitch, as he called him, Granger went to a friend's house to cat-sit only to discover that some guy named Arthur was also cat-sitting. Now, I don't only like this story because it involves cats. A few days later Granger discovered that Arthur was Arthur Laurents, who wrote the screenplay for Rope. They ended up having an affair that lasted the length of the movie....until Farley dumped him for Shelley Winters.

What I love most about their relationship, other than the simple fact that it involves Shelley Winters, is that it lasted for decades. Shelley would have her marriages then rebound with Farley, Farley would have his straight (Barbara Stanwyck, Ava Gardner) and gay (Leonard Bernstein!, among others) romances, and rebound with Shelley.

Farley ended up in a relationship with Robert Calhoun, a producer, which started the night Kennedy was shot and ended with Calhoun's death last year. Shelley eventually moved into their building in NYC a few floors below them.

They made one movie together, Behave Yourself, a screwball comedy sold to them as being produced by Howard Hughes (which he actually had nothing to do with). Netflix is delivering that to me this week, so I'll see if it's as bad as Farley says it is.

Farley was a great date for Shelley as they would bounce around town getting her all the publicity she wanted, and he recounts a fun trip to London and Italy they took together where she spent most of the time in her hotel room afraid her freckles were cancerous, then met and left him for Vittorio Gassman.

Well, I've typed enough today and barely scratched Farley's surface. The book was really enjoyable, and not just for the gossipy bits. I liked reading about a Hollywood contract player trying to navigate the system. I liked hearing about his friendships with folks I wouldn't have guessed - like Betty Comden & Adolph Green, or Peggy Guggenheim. His role playing opposite Barbara Cook in Anna & The King on Broadway, and interacting with Rodgers & Hammerstein as they worked on the production.

In conclusion, thanks Farley, for writing your book. I'm sorry I took so long to read it and got all rambly writing about it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Photoriffic Friday

Sometimes on the internet you stumble across different things.

For example, this website of "rare" celebrity photos. Some are definitely rare, some I've seen before, but either way I enjoyed scrolling through as I sipped my coffee.

Here's a nice one of Miss Marilyn Monroe.

And here's a mother daughter pair everyone seems to like.

Like most of the snaps, this one here is undated and uncredited, but purports to be JFK & Monroe.
Hee hee. I love this one. What a pair of old broads!
Bonnie & Clyde:

And then there are some with animal friends.

Mr. Brando & a puss cat:

Dame Elizabeth Taylor and an apron puss:
Senor Salvador Dali y un rinoceronte:
And of course, Tab Hunter's boyfriend, Mr. Anthony Perkins with Audrey Hepburn and what I think might be a deer, I'm never sure.
Anyway, those are some nice pictures I choose to share with you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two Together Are Going Somewhere

Isn't this grand? It's a Kitty Zach shaped picture holder for Baby Zach!

It's like Kitty swallowed Baby, or Baby is masquerading in a Kitty costume!
Hitchock would LOVE it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holy Holies, Batman!

Wow. Some people have time.

It Takes All Kinds

Sometimes I get things in the mail. This is one of them, a cutie little wooden postcard of an Alligator and a Monkey.

I like to think it's a nice Friendship Tale, like when the lion lays down with the lamb.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stritchy! ME!

I sure got to cross something off my Bucket List last night!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

History Repeating

I will miss you, magazines.

Some buddy put together this little video of magazine covers from the past decade.

I'm surprised by how many I had a personal memory about, whether it was simply getting it in the mail or a particular story I read or, in some cases, catchphrases I picked up. Google is making us stooped.

I kinda feel bad for all the babies out there who will just read these in zeroes and ones. From where will they cut out their pictures of Candice Bergen and River Phoenix to hang on their bedroom walls?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Also? Like Uncle Like Nephew

I know, I know, What Is This? A Baby Blog?

But whatever. I emailed my nephew the picture of that poor sad trash monkey, and my sister sent me back a note saying "Zach was so sad about the sock monkey, he decided to wear this shirt to honor him today."

So, there you have it. I think he's going to grow up to be a lot like me.

Du Must Bressen um zu Strahlen

This one is maybe a little dull, but that's kinda the point.

Kudos to this buddy for trying his best.

Stepping Out With My Baby

I don't know which is more exciting, that my nephew took his first steps or that he's Batman.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Das Hope!

Not since Heisser Sommer have I been this intrigued by a German musical with a political message.

Hope!: Das Musikal is a singing & dancing & Teutonic presentation of the Obama's story and the 2008 election - mit der Jazz hands! Achtung!
Hier ist der Sarahpalindanzer, zum biespiel:

I dunno man. This has gotta be good.

Roll tape!

Live Blogging! Taking The Garbage Out

Who would throw out the Monkey?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Any Day Now

What's to say? In the 1970s in New York, The Divine Miss Bette Midler would sing in the Continental Baths (i.e. Gay Intercourse Huts), accompanied by Barry Manilow on piano.

And there we have it. Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 8, 2010

This Is Not Helping My Hangover

Double-oh-NO! (get it?)

This is Bedder Than Most Puns

My brain hurts today. It even hurts to blog.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Stritchy!

Hooray! I just bought my tix for Elaine Stritch at the Cafe Carlyle, one week from today.

This here article in today's paper sure makes it sound like this is her final hurrah. I am so glad to be donning a dinner jacket (required!) and busting my piggy bank to spend it with her.

See you soon, Stritchy!

The Japanese The Price Is Right?

I'm not clear if this is a game show or a sitcom, but I know it involves Monkeys and Cake.

Foreigners. Maybe it's all one big Haldeman reference?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Have A Question

Is there really a movie named Antichrist Mammoth? 'Cause that would be AWESOME.

Now How About That

So is the junior senator from Maine the love child of Bernice Clifton from Designing Women

and Hollywood Square's Paul Lynde?

Roll tape!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009: And There It Goes

I made this using Technology. And Friendship. (And also Pearl Bailey and Kitty Cats.)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

God Bless Us, Everyone

This is my New Year's wish for everyone. I can't imagine anything grander.