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Category Archives: Mishmash

Inbox ‘o Stuff

Things have been a little weird around here. For one, I’ve been crazy busy with several projects floating around at once. For two, we’ve had a cold snap recently which changed the ficus trees in the neigborhood from a healthy green to a dead brown. I enjoyed the rain it brought, but the bitter cold can be overwhelming (not to mention the fact that it gave me a bad cold). But I do have a couple of things to share here.

For several weeks I’ve been getting emails from the makers of something called Supermarket of the Stars, a series of short comedy bits with Illeana Douglas playing an actress who is forced to take a menial grocery store job. Illeana is one of those people who can do no wrong, especially since her turn in Grace of My Heart as a singer-songwriter closely modeled on Carole King. Love her. I finally checked out the fifth and final chapter, just uploaded at YouTube. These are cute and funny, leisurely paced and somewhat reminiscent of Christopher Guest’s films (it helps that that wonderful Guest regular Jane Lynch has a supporting role here). Apparently the show isn’t that new at all and the whole thing’s really a big marketing ploy, but that’s okay.

I also got an email from Marty Weil, who operates the simply titled ephemera weblog. Coincidentally, I’ve had this one bookmarked for several weeks now. Weil interviews ephemera collectors and dealers here, along with sharing plenty of weird old printed crap. Just what I love!

Smokey Bear, You’re Next!

Little Pieces Of My Childhood Disappearing Dept.: Boing Boing posted on the U.S. Forest Service’s newly redesigned Woodsy Owl costume. The formerly rotund, cartoony spokesbird now sports a slimmer, more “active” look. And a shirt. Then B.B. followed up with a post on the government’s weird guidelines for disposing of the old costumes. Seriously, did you see the new costume? L-A-M-E lame.

Election Day

Now that election day is almost over, it’s time for a few hopes. Firstly, I’m hoping people in my home state of Arizona actually vote and not sit on their collective butts watching Dancing with the Stars or whatever — action is always better than inaction. Secondly, I’m hoping that AZ gets a big dose of common sense and votes no on Proposition 107. This is our version those “marriage is between a man and a woman” bullcrap amendment proposals which have already gone through several states (and passed unfortunately). Thirdly, a hope for less confusion in the future. My state has two anti-public smoking propositions which cancel each other out — don’t make the same mistake we did and vote the wrong way (it should be yes on 201 and no on 206). Fourthly, I’m hoping that Maricopa County residents are good animal lovers and voted yes on prop 204. This one, if passed, would ban veal crates and other inhumane treatments at meat farms in the valley. Never mind that this prop only affects the one pig farm in our county — it’s the message that counts.

Onward to the candidates. We love our governor, Janet Napolitano, and voted for her to continue on for another term. Yeah, she’s likely a big dyke who needs to come out of the closet, but I’m hoping a more secure second term will encourage her to join the family. The other candidates were also no-brainers. Normally I vote from my head and not my gut, weighing the individual candidates’ merits and not toeing the party line. Not so this year. I voted straight Democrat, and hopefully others across the U.S. who are infuriated with the Republicans feel the same way. The Brady Bunch said it best: “When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange.” So true.

Yellowed, Stained, Might Be Worth Something

Another phase of my stuff reduction program has begun at eBay. You’ll recall that for the past several months I have been selling off my collection of excess Russel Wright American Modern dinnerware. Disappointingly, most of the pieces sold for 25-50% less than how much I bought them for in the ’90s (and I bought them cheap!). Plus, packing them for shipment and schlepping these huge boxes to the post office wound up being a total headache. Now that that’s over, we’ve started selling miscellaneous smaller items — mostly paper ephemera courtesy of our generous friend Julie. Among the items I have up for sale this week is my vintage pair of red leather Converse high tops that I’ve saved since 1986. Those might be profitable, unlike the Russel Wright.

That out of the way, I want to write about some of the neater retro-weblogs seen lately. I found Waffle Whiffer Zone via Bubblegum Fink. WWZ posts on semi-forgotten advertising characters of the past, such as Pizza Hut Pete. He recently did a writeup on Big Yella, who adorned boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Pops in the late ’70s in between Generic Cowboy and Poppy Porcupine (An aside on Poppy, surely one of the stranger cereal mascots ever: we were watching Mysterious Skin, and I was gratified that the film, partially set in 1983, showed a Corn Pops box with the porcupine. A little detail, I know, but little details really count.) Through WWZ I found Tiki Ranch, another worthwhile retro-themed weblog. Finally, there’s Swapatorium — which has been around for awhile, but oddly I never came across it until performing a Google search for Jim Palmer’s old Jockey underwear ads a few weeks ago (don’t ask). The resulting entry epitomizes what they do: explore forgotton junk of the past with witty commentary. Perfect!

Effluvia for the Masses

Random jottings on a Thursday afternoon:

  • I’m late on this one, but Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 4 cartoons and bonus features were announced on Cartoon Brew. Give Warner Bros. props for devoting an entire disc to Frank Tashlin (yay!) … and another disc for Speedy Gonzales (boo-ring). Oh well. I still need to get Vol. 3 — maybe I’m still scared off by that set’s bizarre cover art.
  • Here’s a pair of lists I can really get behind: 10 Best and Worst Sci-Fi TV Show Openings (via Hit Or Miss). Actually, the Bionic Woman credits were kinda cool.
  • Chuck Klosterman of Esquire on The Snakes on a Plane phenomenon. For some reason, my email address was placed on the SOAP publicity mailing list. Those people are workin’ it. Anyway, Klosterman makes some very astute, depressignly true observations on the newspaper biz in there.
  • Joel Stein’s hilarious Elmo Is an Evildoer column addresses the frustrations of many an old-school Sesame Street fan. Like, how did a baby-talking, annoying simpleton of a muppet end up with so much screen time? And why doesn’t the red menace have his own show, preferably at 3 a.m.?
  • Also good for a laugh: Entertainment Weekly’s Project Runway recap. Don’t read if you haven’t seen last night’s episode!

Thursday Miscellany

Because it’s too hot to go into detail:

  • TV Squad: Remembering Toonheads. Sad fact — Cartoon Network no longer has Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, or anything pre-Scooby Doo on its schedule. Cartoon Alley on TCM is a good alternative, but they’ve been in repeats since January (new episodes resume in September).
  • New York magazine: In Defense of Star Jones Reynolds. Hmm, even during her fat years she was pretty freaky. The upside to all this is how “star jones” has taken hold as a verb, i.e. “I heard that she star jonesed the catering and gown at her lavish wedding.”
  • Interviews with super-cool bloggers Eye of the Goof and Exclamation Mark. Congratulations to both!
  • IFC will be premiering a new documentary this Sunday, Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema. Looks promising.
  • 1,500 of Your Favorite ’80s Videos, via William at Robot Action Boy. I heartily recommend the two awesomely awesome Electric Dreams clips — Philip Oakey’s “Together In Electric Dreams” and “The Duel” by Giorgio Moroder.