Posts

Trawling Through The Thrift Stores With Joseph Finn

Image
Happy Thursday!  For all of our USA readers, happy Thanksgiving and I hope it's a good one for you.   Before we get to the thrift stores, let's all do my Thanksgiving tradition and listen to the best holiday song ever! Now, on to the random nonsense I picked up this last week. Linda Holmes is an NPR writer and podcaster who I've been reading and listening to for nigh-on close to 20 years now, ever since she was recapping TV for Television Without Pity.  So I was quite excited when I found out that she was writing her first novel, and hoo boy I was happy to run across another copy of this last week.   It's a lovely novel about a woman dealing with the recent death of her husband who falls for a major league pitcher who's come to town to get away from the media after he fell prey to a case of the yips (a weird malady that occasionally strikes pitchers who simply lose their skills, sometimes in the middle of a game; Steve Blass, for instance, has talked about how insan

A is for Alive - by Nan Brooks

Image
  Each light, a memory of kindness I remember making Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family. I remember that they all went out for a walk and I stayed to clean the apartment kitchen. I remember lying down, so tired that I said goodbye to my guests through thick fog.  From there, it was a long journey back to health. This Thanksgiving of pandemic virus and loss and unexpected gifts in quarantine, I remember those who saw me through it all. There was the nurse from my doc’s office who called to say I had mono and offered this advice for my care: “You will be sick until you don’t need to be sick anymore. Why do you need to be sick?”  I found this less than helpful.  But my friend, Ann , a no-nonsense woman and registered nurse came to see me and said, “Listen to me. Mono is dangerous for you because you are middle aged. Don’t mess with it. Do not go to work, do not push yourself. Rest and eat well and drink a lot of water.”  She looked me in the eye and said it all again. Then she ope

Three good movies not based on books -- Garbo

Image
  Movie trailers in the Golden Age of Hollywood often touted the bestsellers from which their scripts were drawn.  Of course, just because a book was the source of a film, the movie itself didn't have to follow the author's storyline closely.  For example, "The King & I" is very different from its source.  This is also true for The New Prometheus and "Frankenstein." The book the monster is eloquent, and in the film, he can only moan and snarl.  On the other hand, if a film's script was written by the director, quality may suffer.  Even worse, the director may dispense with the script almost entirely and just have the actors improvise. You ever seen this stinker? Skilled scriptwriters, of course, can use sources other than a book to create scenes and dialogue. Here is a list of three very different flicks, each from a different genre. None were sourced mainly from the written page.  1. Dark Victory This tale of a spoiled socialite learning the hard le

The Baton Twirler & The Red Army

Image
 by whiteray  One of the things about music that fascinates me is my reactions to pieces I’ve long loved. When one of those songs cycles randomly through the iPod or shows up on the radio while I’m driving down Division Street, what are the first thoughts, the first images that come to mind?  Mostly, those long-loved records bring back people, times and places that are also cherished. Sometimes, the connections between the record and the images of memory are harder to figure out. “Desiderata,” the spoken-word record that was a hit for Les Crane in 1971, takes me back for just a moment to 1971 and a corridor outside the bookstore at a college in St. Cloud, Minnesota, my home town. I’m not sure why.  Another record, one I like much more than I like “Desiderata,” presents me with an odd collage of images. Whenever I hear its percussive introduction and its swelling harmonies, I see in my mind – jarringly – Soviet tanks and troops entering Prague, Czechoslovakia, in August 1968, crus

Florida, Oddly Enough

Image
 A gray, Florida morning walk. Then a Sandy feature, Walking the dog, Who’s a good girl?  Can you tell?   One thing I love is how, while trotting, Sandy manages to wag her tail in pride and happiness when I tell her she is a good girl. I never get tired of that. ~Dorothy Dolores  H

Artwork Analysis: "Far Far Away" by Lachlan Goudie - Esther

Image
Once upon a time several years ago we first encountered Lachlan Goudie on TV. We like a great art presenter in our household. Someone with knowledge, enthusiasm & good communication skills, someone that can teach us something new, or at least give us a new perspective. Someone like Lachlan. He’s an artist first & foremost but also an art expert & writer. He has appeared as writer & presenter of several wonderful TV programmes, notably The Story of Scottish Art, Mackintosh: Glasgow’s Neglected Genius, Painting the Holy Land, Stanley Spencer: The Colours of the Clyde, Inside Museums & even Life Drawing Live! which was exactly what it sounds like. But on TV. It’s my firm belief that you can never have enough Lachlan – his ebullience is infectious & his words & ideas easy to listen to. He’s convincing, he knows his stuff & he covers things no-one else seems to bother with. For me it was catastrophic when publication of his brilliant book The Story of Scotti

And then...?! - Friday Video Distractions with Mike Norton

Image
      While it's almost always sad to see a show one's enjoyed end, at least if it gets to go out on its own terms, where the writers and cast knew it was to be the final episode, there's a sense of completion. Where this has been done, and especially where it's been done right, I'm going to leave for another piece.       But this is still 2020, and bitterness is in the air.       The frustration of episodic shows that were unceremoniously canceled, sometimes on a cliff-hanging season-ender, often where the showrunners were making a Hail Mary pass in hopes of being picked up for a new season, is something I'm reasonably sure we've each faced at least once.       I'm not going to try to make a list, but instead to just mention several of the ones that came quickly to mind as the topic came up again. By all means, please, feel free to chime in with your own unresolved losses in the Comments below.       One of the ones that's funny to me