Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Quicker-Picker Uppers as Funny Napkin Week Continues
Day Three!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More Mis-adventures of My Napkin Friends.

Day Two.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sexual Misbehavior in the Human Male (Napkin Style)
Day One

This box fell out of a cabinet the other day, and as Shirley MacClaine would say, I took it as a sign. I've done the napkin joke thing before, but this box is the mother lode of stupid cartoons mixed with rotting paper products -- To quote the box: "36 cartoons "All Different"!!! Cartoons by Reamer Keller, Sex-Tistics by Percy Barker." The premise being some lame attempt to satirize the Kinsey Report.

I bought these about eight years ago at a sale that was filled with tons of booze related bric-a-brac. The house was on Clark Street and has since been torn down. It was a dust-filled, two flat with dark wood paneling, lots of WW2 memorabilia and a FULL bar in the living room; It looked like a lifetime of fun parties happened there. In fact, a lot of the booze was for sale. One of my favorite things from the sale is a bottle with a wind-up dancing ballerina encased in a gold speckled liqour . See video:

Somewhere among the dusty liquor bottles I found this dusty box of napkins.

I'm posting them all regardless of their mirth giving properties; and if only for the sake of ephemera. Enjoy... (I'll post the remainder over the next few days) :

Monday, May 28, 2007

R.I.P - C.N.R

Another person from my TV teenage memories died today, Charles Nelson Reilly. Of course, I remember him mostly from Match Game, but in the 1970s Mr. Reilly was ubiquitous. As quoted in his obit today:

He recalled being dismissed early in his career by a network executive, who told him that “they don’t let queers on television.” Paul Linke, who directed [Reilly's] one-man show, said Mr. Reilly later had the last laugh when he would page through TV Guide and count how many times he was on the air that week.

There wasn't a variety show, game show, kid's show, commercial that he wasn't popping up on. He was regular guest on the Tonight Show where he and Johnny would skate around his queerness. I recall Johnny asking him if he ever dated women, and CNR said, "I only date women who are over 80 years old, they never ask anything of you except to walk their dogs."

Charles Nelson Reilly was the last of the royal dandies, such as Edward Everett Horton, Clifton Webb, Franklin Pangborn, and on television Paul Lynde, James Coco. Dozens of books have been written about these men who were well know as homosexuals, and played asexual characters such as, prissy clerks, henpecked husbands, and ineffective, non-threatening villains. Then the 80's came and with it AIDS and suddenly homosexuals were no longer funny. Gone were men with goofy laughs and bitchy snears; And at the same time Charles Nelson Reilly seemed to disappear.

There was a time before downloading songs from the Internet that I'd have to take the bus downtown to the Cultural Center and go to their listening center where I would spend hours playing recordings of Broadway cast recordings. It was where I found out that CNR was a Broadway actor before he ever wore a big hat in Lidsville. His version of "Coffee Break" from "How to Succeed in Business With Out Really Trying", still rings in my ears. I thought I had a copy of it to share, but I don't...

I do however have a fairly rare album of Charles and his HTSIBWORT co-star Robert Morse doing show-stopping comedy songs...

Click to hear: A Jolly Theatrical Season
and the very weird: Lolita
Luckily someone filmed his last theatrical outing, "Save it for the Stage". Here's the Preview.

RIP Charles, there aren't many like you left...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Favorite BlogI need to draw your attention to Jesus Christ's Cool Blog. It's how I've been starting my day for about a month now, and I'm hooked. Jesus is just alright with me, but he's becoming my favorite blogger with such posts on his love for his lamb Karen who he dresses in Dora the Explorer t-shirts, his fondness for Quiznos and Beechnut Gum, and how he explains how he doesn't control the weather.

The Jesus blog answers the age old question, "What if God Where one of us"... and went on dates with his lady dentist who wanted to go to a poetry slam. And Jesus spoke: "Frankly, if given the choice? I'll take the cross." Or thoughts on depictions of himself in paintings " Take this guy's dumb painting for example. It's by some guy in Tennessee named Spencer Williams—WHOM I'VE NEVER MET—and it doesn't look anything like me! And who's that kid on my shoulder? I don't know him! I kind of don't like kids very much, and I certainly don't walk around hoisting them up on my shoulder."

I think this is the Jesus I've been looking for my whole life... Me and Jesus and some Popeye's Chicken; now that's what I call living holy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Don't Put It In Your Mouth...

I've been singing this song all day...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One less thing to do... This morning I finally finished transcribing my 8th grade diary. It's been a long hard slog through the misty watercolor memories of the windmills of the corners of my 13-14 year old mind. One of my favorite comments written about a typical entry, consisting of the usual 'went to school, came home watched TV, and went to bed variety was: "This is a really boring post". I couldn't have agreed more. You think was boring reading it, try living it. If you haven't read some of it, try to force yourself. You'll be a better person for it. It's the least you can do for this skinny, sad little kid pictured above...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Day of Destruction and Other Fevered Ramblings

Sorry I’ve not been posting as much lately. Last week I’ve learned that Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most; and I got sick because of constant weather changes, inside and out; my office had the heat on when it was 80 and then the air blasting when it was 50.

And I made the mistake of pushing myself when I heard the voice in my head sing the strains of “You Give me Fever”, and I went to Looptopia. Looptopia a city event where they tried to make the downtown State Street area into a giant art gallery. All the major buildings were open and hosting art exhibits; Performance art in the street, marching bands, artists in store windows, rave-like dance parties in alleys. It was all very festive and was reminiscent of the 1980s Performance art days at Randolph Street where women dressed in old wedding dresses and ate loaves of bread in Plexiglas cases. There were no wedding dresses, but lots of people moving slowly, or not at all in the case of the statute people in front of the Cultural Center.

The event was a success and was exciting if only to see hordes of beautiful Wicker Park art kids freezing their extended earlobes off in one of the coldest May nights I can remember. I left early, after we couldn’t get into the Art Institute to see a French cabaret singer. The Institute was being mobbed with people trying to get in and I half expected to see people running out with Hopper paintings under their arms. Ah, Chicago in the spring!

The next morning I woke with a fever of 101 and spent the majority of the next two days in bed watching a couple of mindless disaster mini-series I’d gotten from Netflix. I’m prone to fevers but they worry me because once I had the flu and my fever went to about 105 before it broke. When you live alone no one is really there to say, “hey, a hospital is a good idea”. It just felt like the smart thing was to shiver and stay up all night watching the Doris Day Show. At one point I fell asleep after I watched The Simpsons; Lisa’s laugh kept ringing over and over in my ears, along with the last few bars of the Beatle’s version of Beceme Mucho. I survived, just barely but Lisa Simpson’s voice has never been the same to me.

So instead of doing anything I just sat up in bed and watched six hours of Category 6: The Day of Destruction and Category 7: The End of the World. Two CBS, Canadian made mini-series movies about extreme weather disasters. In the first one Nancy McKeon of Facts of Life fame plays a reporter trying to break a big story about power plant corruption during a heat wave. It takes place in Chicago, which was why I wanted to see it; Except for that movie about the giant grasshoppers there aren’t many disaster movies set in Chicago. In this one, a giant hurricane and tornadoes hit the city. This was all pre-Katrina so the government is portrayed as doing their darned-est to avert a disaster. I think the biggest disaster is that Dianne Wiest has stooped so low from Hanna and Her Sisters to play a beleaguered government official. So Chicago is destroyed among all the personal dramas. I didn’t buy it because all through this 105 heat wave everyone kept drinking hot coffee. It was like every ten minutes a coffee pot was brewing, people were ordering hot coffee in bars, people were complaining about bad coffee. It was distracting, or it might have been my fever; it was all I could focus on.

In the second movie Category 7, New York and Buffalo are destroyed by more global warming problems while the personal problems of the only people who can solve the problem take back seat to nature’s drama. This time Gina Gershon from Showgirls plays the Director of FEMA… Do you love it! The director of FEMA wearing low rider jeans and Gap blouses. But it makes sense, I can just see that Mike Brown guy saying: There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.

And poor Shannen Doherty, played a bartender whose also an expert meteorologist/tornado chaser. To prove how low she's gone, her love interest is Randy Quaid. a poor mans Ernest Borgnine.

Both these movies answered a question I had about new disaster movies and if we still had fallen stars willing to work for a paycheck to star in them... Perhaps Gina Gershon will be our next George Kennedy in Airport 2010 or Dianne Wiest the next Jennifer Jones in a remake of The Towering Inferno.

Anyway, I’m officially rambling… but I wanted write something on here because it’s been a while. I’ll be back to my normal, scanning self soon…

P.S. New podcast coming soon...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Whole Family...

I "YouTube" stumbled across this guy... he's getting a lot of views, and rightly so... He's funny, cute, and has really good timing. I just wish his videos weren't so fuzzy... It's interesting in our cyber world that youtube has taken the place of small comedy clubs across the country for people to try out their acts.

Monday, May 07, 2007

May I Present another Issue of Women's Household...?

May is the time for the sounds of birds, the lovely sight of flowers blooming and the promise of new love. So why am I spending this beautiful evening scanning these moldy magazines... I ask you...?

Perhaps its just to spread the joy of posting this cute little old lady playing the guitar... or the wonder of Carla's hair, which looks like a flamingo has landed on her head.

Anyway, here are a few brief clips from the May issues. Spring is also the time for spring cleaning. Nothing makes me want to dust my knick-knacks more than Lila Stanley's Oddity Shop. I've been trying not to bring up the word 'despair' in connection with this publication and the women that are in it, but it's difficult not to when you read the sad story of Widow Stanley having trying to make ends meet by making Ripple Afghans.

Perhaps she could have made some extra money creating dinner plates featuring the horrific artwork of children. I should thank my parents for not preserving any of my Kindergarten Artwork on dinnerware.

and speaking of Embarrassing Moments... (click on image to make bigger). One of the women reader's embarrassing moment was when her bag of pears and apples was tipped over on the bus. Heavens! I'm assuming she's never had to do the walk of shame, trying to get a cab at nine in the morning, dressed in a ringmaster uniform from the previous night's Halloween party.

Not that ever happened to me!

I've nothing funny to say about this ad... I just thought it was weird.

And as usual, Missing Persons has some really sad stories. Parents who haven't heard from their children for years. Some are haunting; such as, my daughter and her children went on vacation in Canada and I haven't heard from them since. Click on this photo at your own risk.

And finally, this issues Problem of the Month was too depressing. A woman wanted to know what to do with her mother who no longer could see, walk, or hear! However, next month's question is amusing. You can just hear the ringing hands of the mother who doesn't know what to do with her rebellious children... Anyone care to tackle this question?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

After Dark... Shopping

The video of Lauren Bacall dancing around a gay bar in 1972 reminded me of my collection of After Dark Magazines. If you don't own least a copy, get thee to ebay and buy at least one. They are a wonderful time capsule into not only the hidden and not so hidden gay culture, but how the gay ghetto was steering the American theatre, movie, and music business. On top of that they are freakin' entertaining...

This issue had an interview with John Huston, a nude photographer's profile, and a charming interview with Michelle Lee titled "It's Not Where You Start, It's Where you Finish", that would be at home in Ladies Home Journal. When writing about movies or theatre any excuse to show a shirtless photo of an actor is taken... even with someone as beige as Richard Benjamin. After Dark never said it was a gay magazine; just a magazine for people with disposable incomes, singles, couples with out children, and bachelors of all temperaments. But who are they kidding with a reviewer called Viola Hegyi Swisher?

Where After Dark Magazine really shines and sparkles for me is in its advertisements. Even today, gay men (I mean bachelors) are concerned about keeping their looks and youth. And nothing says 'youth culture' more than hair pieces. We've gone through the everyone shaving their heads phase... it would be great if hair pieces came back... I'd be first in line to get one...
In the 70s everyone had a nude art piece My brother had a black velvet painting of a nude woman riding a tiger and a wood carving of a naked couple making out on his living table. Thankfully we are past the age when we have to pretend to be arty to look at naked people. Otherwise we'd be stuck with these pieces of crap on our walls... (Is that a naked Paul Sand?)

This is a lovely alternative to mad-inflatable furniture... Soft sack furniture!
Just fill it with feathers or garbage!

Clothes make the man; or do they? Lew Magram, shirtmaker to the stars pushes that statement to the limit.
It takes a real man to wear a 'bodyshirt'. Especially one in gingham!
And why not accessorize with a dirty joke watch. Sure to catch that special someones attention when you are out at the Sundowner after you are finished with your business at the Sea Shack.
And finally... Perhaps a revival is in order. If only so we can invite Ann Coulter.

Happy Cruising!