Sunday, March 30, 2008

Things we like: The Evens

From their own site: “The Evens are a band from Washington, D.C. Ian MacKaye plays baritone guitar and Amy Farina plays drums. They both sing. Their debut album was recorded at Inner Ear Studios in the summer of 2004 and released in March 2005.”

I only have the first, self-titled album, but hear they’re both great.

If you loved MacKaye in Fugazi or Minor might not like this at all. But you probably will. Love seeing guys my age still shaking it up. Kind of...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More good McCarthyism.

“Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it’s important.”
Eugene McCarthy, politician and poet (now, how often do you see those two items together in somebody’s title?)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On perspective, etc.

When she was five, Flannery O’Connor became famous for teaching a chicken to walk backward; a national news company came to town to film the feat and then broadcast it all around the country. She said, “That was the most exciting thing that ever happened to me. It’s all been downhill from there.”

She also said, “The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.”

And also this:
“I doubt if the texture of Southern life is any more grotesque than that of the rest of the nation, but it does seem evident that the Southern writer is particularly adept at recognizing the grotesque.”

Monday, March 24, 2008

Born in Latrobe PA.

Fred “Mr.” Rogers (b. March 20th, 1928)—whose middle name was actually “McFeeley,” which you might remember as the name of one of his recurring characters. And Rolling Rock beer “Old 33”—the 33 was apparently a typo that indicated the number of words at the end of the original slogan (“Rolling Rock, from glass lined tanks in the Laurel Highlands. We tender this premium beer for your enjoyment, as a tribute to your good taste. It comes from the mountain springs to you.”) and was left on when the bottles were printed. Or so it goes...some claim it has something to do with the Masons, which sounds juicier...

Monday, March 17, 2008

We represent the Lollipop Guild.

My buddy Roger Clayton sent me this, attached to a St. Patrick’s Day email. Forgot how snappy these guys’ outfits and hairstyles were!

Couldn't resist a little Google-fest.

Was reminded that when I was out in LA, my friend Kim told me that a lot of the munchkins had stayed at this hotel in Culver City. The Culver Hotel. Understand it’s worth a trip to the bar, though we didn't make one.

BTW...if in Culver City, don't miss Tender Greens. Went several times.

Also, munchkin related, this blog.

“I played elves all my life,” boasts Jerry Maren, 87, who was one of Munchkin Land’s Lollipop Guild kids before playing a space alien on The Beverly Hillbillies, a Halloween gremlin on Bewitched and an elf in the 1984 Mickey Rooney holiday TV movie It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. “I played elves in numerous commercials—and also St. Patrick's Day leprechauns.”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Open the door, Homer...

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
—Alexander Graham Bell

[[Always thought this was just some generic pap that people repeated when bad things happened. Funny—knowing this was attributed to him—that Bell actually invented the telephone as an accident while trying to perfect the telegraph.]]

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Washington had a dog named Sweet Lips.

[[The second in a series on American Presidents who, among other things, had oddly named pets. As is often the case, this lovely tidbit is from Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac]]

Ten Things You May Not Know About George Washington

His dentures were carved from a hippopotamus tusk. They were drilled with a hole to fit over Washington’s one remaining tooth, and they rubbed against his natural tooth in such a way that Washington was in constant pain, and so he used an alcoholic solution infused with opium.

By the time he reached 30, he had survived malaria, smallpox, pleurisy, dysentery. He was fired at on two separate occasions — and in one of them, his horse was shot out from under him and four bullets punctured his coat. He also fell off a raft into an icy river and nearly drowned.

During the last night of his life, a doctor friend came over to perform an emergency tracheotomy on Washington. Arriving too late, the doctor tried to resurrect Washington by thawing him in cold water, then wrapping him in blankets and rubbing him in order to activate blood vessels, then opening his trachea to inflate his lungs with air, and then transfusing blood from a lamb into him.

He enjoyed playing cards, hunting foxes and ducks, fishing, cockfighting, horse racing, boat racing, and dancing. He bred hound dogs and gave them names like “Sweet Lips” and “Tarter.”

His favorite foods included mashed potatoes with coconut, string beans with mushrooms, cream of peanut soup, salt cod, and pineapples.

He snored very loudly.

He did not wear a powdered wig, as was fashionable at the time. Instead, he powdered his own red-brown hair.

Washington had a speech impediment and was not good at spelling. He would often mix up i’s and e’s when speaking and in writing.

There are 33 counties, seven mountains, nine colleges, and 121 post offices named after Washington.

He delivered the shortest inaugural address ever. It was only 133 words long and took 90 seconds to deliver.