Monthly Archives: August 2006

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Welcome F.O.S. Babies

Let’s take up some space to announce two new arrivals for F.O.S. (Friends Of Scrubbles), shall we? I met Eric and Beth when they worked at The Arizona Republic, he in Editorial Features and she in Editorial Online, while I plugged away in Marketing. What struck me about them is that they were super-cool and, oddly, super-nice (newspaper Editorial people would just as soon eat their own feces than talk to Marketing folks, but I digress). We kept in touch when they moved to San Francisco, and now I’m proud that they count among my extended Viz family. Their first child, a girl named Tigerlily, was born on August 9th. I imagine that little Tigerlily already has several cool toys from the Giant Robot store in her nursery.

The other F.O.S. baby belongs to my pal Brad in Worchester (you might recognize his many pithy comments here, signed “Mass Bradley”). A few years ago out of the blue, Brad sent me an overly enthusiastic email basically saying “congratulate me, I just quit smoking!” After deducing that this gentleman was not a looney or a spammer, I emailed back — and we’ve had a long, enjoyable correspondence since. Brad’s little boy Henry came into this world just this morning. Henry’s a preemie and the labor process was intense, but it looks like baby and mom are both doing great. Happy day!

Gruesome Twosome: Secondhand Boogie Edition

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Marlena Shaw: “Touch Me in the Morning”
LP: Take a Bite, 1980 | BUY

Ralph Carter: “When You’re Young and In Love”
LP: Young and In Love, 1975

Last month we caught Broadway Damage, a strained gay romantic comedy which only succeeded on the “gay” part. In its defense, the film did have a nice soundtrack — of which I’m sharing two cuts here. Both happen to be danceable remakes of earlier songs. Jazz singer Marlena Shaw took lots of flak for succumbing to the disco bug, but her commanding prescence on “Touch Me In The Morning” revealed that she carried much more authority than the typical dance dolly. Producer-songwriter Van McCoy teamed up with Good Times star Ralph Carter by dusting off and discofying an earlier hit of his, Ruby & The Romantics’ “When You’re Young and In Love” (the tune had also scored with the Marvelettes’ 1967 cover). Though Carter was only a preteen at the time, he’d had a couple of Broadway musicals on his resume and belts out the number as if trying to reach the folks in the cheap seats. Definitely a good match of song and singer.

Idle Emmy Thoughts

Another year, another Emmy awards. I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that other awards shows get nominated for awards. Especially when one winner was the director of that very Emmys telecast, doing his acceptance speech from the control booth. A very meta moment.

Something else to think about: Barry Manilow has two Emmys; Hugh Laurie has zero. Huh?

All This and BBQ

After reading Tiki Central’s forum discussion on the Tahitian Terrace, I sorely wish my family had gone there before it closed. Many fondly remember Disneyland’s extinct restaurant with entertainment from Pacific Islander dancers and fire-eaters, apparently. Rare pieces from the eatery are displayed including a vintage ’60s employee manual (via Robot Action Boy and Eye of the Goof).

Breck or Blecch?

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The task of assembling a Housewife Ads of the ’70s flickr set is ending up a tougher job than I imagined. So far I just have hair care products and toys, with more to follow. These ads are proving difficult to scan, with every wrinkle and dot pattern magnified tenfold on the finished files. It’s as if, starting Jan. 1 1970, the collective publishers of Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Family Circle and McCall’s decided to print everything using the crappiest paper and cheapest inks they could find. I admit this stuff has limited appeal, but it’s fun to come across things like 5¢ off coupons for Hamburger Helper — so enjoy.

Swanky Banking

One of our favorite things about living in Phoenix is the daring and unusal midcentury architecture. We’re not Palm Springs with neat-o googie buildings on every corner, but occasionally Christopher and I will marvel at a gem hidden among the neighborhoods and uptown areas. Among the nicest were the banks commissioned by Valley National Bank in the ’60s. ModernPhoenix.net has compiled a series of pages showcasing some of these buildings. Not old enough to be protected under Historic designation, many of these structures have changed hands and fallen into disrepair. The Tempe location, an awe-inspiring geodesic dome, may be destroyed by evil owners ASU very soon.

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There are a lot of these buildings peppered throughout the Valley, and they all stand out in some way. Even the less showy location we use for our banking (NE corner of 7th Avenue and Thomas for you locals) has this understatedly elegant, desert version of International Style. Most locals don’t appreciate it, but we do. We also enjoy using the Christown location with its mural depicting various historial forms of money. The 44th Street and Camelback location might be the coolest of them all, having a sort of “Frank Lloyd Wright on crack” look. Hopefully it and the others will stay standing for many years to come.