Well, *that* was unexpected…

 Heigh-ho, an audiobook publisher has just emailed to say they want to use my article on Bob & Ray for liner notes on a CD they’re releasing this fall. I pointed them in the direction of PopMatters’ publishers (being not entirely sure who owns the thing at this point, but I’ve never been sued before and don’t intend to start now) and they have promised to keep me posted.

Then, I phoned Shoemom and reminded her that she has a daughter capable of writing [ahem] ‘well-crafted and thoughtful’ tributes. We have decided this warrants breaking out the frozen tilapia fillets. Wild chip-intensive celebrations will ensue tomorrow night here @ Shoe Central. 

This is after a buyer over in another division emailed me to say thanks, they’ll set up a meet next week in regards to the BA position. A friend of mine in the current office had interviewed for it, but got another offer she liked better, so recommended me, whereupon I got in touch. In short, I have been Networking in a manner the best recruiters would approve. And it is paying off.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go try this new idea I just had, for butter chicken pizza. 

It’s been quite a day.

But do you really care/When you’re a marmoset?

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a deep and abiding fondness for the Sesame Street song about marmosets. Out of all the thousands of songs they played on the show, repeated over and over again, this is the one whose lyrics I learned by heart. Occasionally, to this day, i break out singing them in public. I cannot explain this; apparently, I was a weird kid. This is the view Shoemom endorses anyway.

Later, as all good little weird kids did pre-Nicktoons, I graduated to The Muppet Show. I frankly had no idea who most of the guest stars were, but the worldview of Henson & co — as definitely distinct from what’s happened to his creations since his death — I grasped instinctively and wholeheartedly. Just the other day, in fact, I taught Shoesis the proper way to cavort — and she turned out to be a model student. There may be hope for our relationship yet.

The Seven Days meme: Day Seven (and one-half)

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book/ebook/fanfic
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
Day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

____________________________

Heh, oops. Got so interested in picking a new theme…

At any rate, as a fitting capper for the week, I present the following, in its entirety, from Shoemom’s old LP of The Smothers Brothers (think ethnic!). Although the album as a whole was a great inspiration, I can safely say that this is the particular track that spurred my lifelong love of 50’s/60’s comedy:

Dick (humming tunelessly): "Soap, soap, soap, soap, soap, soap, soap, soap…"
Tom: "Dick… what are you doing?"
Dick: "Oh, about eight bars."

The Seven Days meme: Day Six

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book/ebook/fanfic
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
Day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

____________________________

I don’t say I’ve got much of a soul, but, such as it is, I’m perfectly satisfied with the little chap. I don’t want people fooling about with it. ‘Leave it alone,’ I say. ‘Don’t touch it. I like it the way it is.’

Joy in the Morning (US: Jeeves in the Morning), P.G. Wodehouse

The Seven Days meme: Day Three

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
Day 03 | a book/ebook/fanfic
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

____________________________

I had originally thought of being cute with this one, and plucking out something like the most obscure or weirdest book I own. Which — at least, in context — is a tiny 1964 paperback called From the Back of the Bus. It’s a collection of one-liners from Dick Gregory’s early career, complete with forward by Hugh Hefner.
I picked it up from a laundry room, feeling a bit smug, and boy was that knocked out of me but quick. This is Chris Rock’s direct ancestor; his MO was basically to get up in front of White audiences and make jokes about how racist they were. Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I understand there are a good many Southerners in the room tonight. I know the South very well. I spent twenty years there one night. "If I get them laughing, I can get through to them."

And it worked. They laughed. They packed the Playboy Club for weeks. Then he ran for President. I realise each generation creates its own level of insanity… but only in the 60’s, it sometimes seems, did they fully grasp the possibilities inherent therein.

************

Clara Bow didn’t ever have to worry about locating the crazy. It spun around her, spun through her, spun her right over the rainbow into some of the most magnetic images ever captured on the big screen. She had no Kansas – she had no idea there was even an Emerald City. And by the time the Wizard turned out to be humbug her silver slippers had long since fallen off, and been lost in the wasteland.

…which is to say, I’ve also been re-reading David Stenn’s Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild lately. Stories of old Hollywood tend to have that effect on me. For awhile there, you start believing that it’s actually possible to redo reality in Technicolour; the only similar reading experience I can think of is a Dickens marathon.

Anyway, if you like celeb bios, this is a classic of the genre, striking the perfect balance between subject and purpose. Where Clara was real — and she was very, very real, in a Tinseltown age where it was unforgivable — so is Stenn; where things must needs get artificial, Stenn sympathises, delicately, rather like a friend who’s trying sincerely not to laugh. Because, frankly, these people were nuts. At one point, we’re introduced to a Judge Ben Lindsey, 1920’s celebrity advocate for premarital sex; he asks to meet Clara; arriving at the swank home of her producer and his family, Clara promptly unbuttons the Judge’s fly; he promptly flees in a huff. This is a minor incident at the bottom of page 98 or thereabouts.

The really wild stuff is elswhere, and it has nothing to do with orgies with football teams (as it turns out, there weren’t any of those anyhow). By  the hideously sensible logic of the studio system of the time, Clara was the studio’s top draw, its most reliable meal ticket — therefore too damn reliable to be wasted in a good film. If you threw random junk up around her and it made millions, spending money on commissioning a fine original script, decent co-stars or even an artistic-minded director was actually counter-productive. So here’s the poor little slum kid on the treadmill, patiently waiting for stardom to make it all better, and here’s her studio, using that same priceless, vivid wistfulness to ensure it’s never going to happen.

Right. Next week, it’s back to Oz for awhile. I really, really need to find those slippers again.

You don’t say…

Witness services involve frequent question-and-answer discussions. Since my ability to sit quietly and listen is on a par with an ADD toddler just post-Froot Loops, I tend to participate in these discussions a lot. Using much the same style as I do in print, in fact [insert ‘Not now Shoe, there’s a time limit’ gag here].

So after services tonight, a friend comes up to me. "I enjoyed your comments."

I smile and say thanks.

"No, really…you should write a novel. I would totally sit there enthralled for hours, reading it."

Truth in Flattery: Friend and wife are moving this Friday, meaning friend is currently exhausted, not to mention has been huffing fresh paint fumes for the past week.

But still.
 

Sometimes, you just have to give in to the glee.

It’s not so much that this strip is hilarious (although it is) as that, y’know, Rat in a teeny Edwardian topcoat and topper? Making him look like some sort of wee postmodern HG Wells-esque mad scientist? ADORABLEST FREAKING THING EVER.

(BTW, I should really start crediting my source for these! ThanksĀ jfboyd over on the Pearls LJ comm, subscription to which I highly recommend for your daily dose.)

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