Howard Hughes and his Kleenex box shoes?

OK, so the night before last we finally watched “The Aviator”. And afterward I went around the net reading up a little more on him, most all of which turned out to be the same few facts repeated over and over again. Seems no one could give an account of his four plane crashes in one article, which I thought was curious. If they talked about the 1946 crash, they didn’t talk about the 1943 crash into Lake Mead, or the “Hell’s Angels” crash. If they talked about the “Hell’s Angels” crash they didn’t talk about the others.

One of the main facts given was he later wore Kleenex boxes as shoes because of his germ phobia.

I was in the bathroom just now and there in front of me was a Kleenex box, nearly empty. I wondered, “What does it feel like to walk around in Kleenex box shoes? I bet it’s not very comfortable.” So I took out the last few Kleenex and slipped the box on my foot.

Did the man have munchkin feet or something? I have a size 8 to 8 and 1/2 foot in women’s shoes. Wear a 6 in men’s boots. That Kleenex box hurt! It was too short, jamming my toes. Unexpectedly, the opening grated against my ankle and hurt it. I took only two steps in the box and took it back off. No way possible I could walk with that Kleenex box as a shoe. Jammed toes and grated ankle were not “I can ignore” this unpleasantries. The box was painful.

What? Did he have specially made Kleenex boxes? Did Kleenex make special size blank Kleenex boxes for him? Did he have assistants in white gloves cutting up Kleenex boxes and duct taping two boxes together for shoes?

I’m puzzled. I don’t know how Howard Hughes could have worn Kleenex boxes for shoes.

The Show Must Go On (not, but seems to be)

“Pinocchio, you’ve returned!” And here am I, the first decent morning I’ve had in a while, the whale’s mouth opening a crack. H.o.p. is running in to yell, “The garbage truck is here! The garbage truck is here!” Bang, boom, crash. He sits back down at the computer to draw some more of the marvelous pictures of robots he’s been sketching. And guess what he’s listening to over and over again. I know everyone out there in Progressiveland hates Lileks (I’m not blogging for Progressiveland however, I’m just blogging), and Lileks weirds me out as well and his politics–in fact I’ve thought of, in a sense, the Hanford paintings as being rather anti-Lileks, not him personally but that nostalgia for the 50’s, when the atom bomb ruled the earth (he leaves out that part). Anyway, Alicublog had a link to a Lileks post the other day, one he deplored, and I visited and returned for some reason today. I was thinking of the posts that Lileks wrote on the death of his mother, just like I’d thought of them–his mention of his mother’s hospital bed in the living room–when my father-in-law apologized for the hospital bed in his family room our last visit before he died. Anyway, I read his Bleat and because he mentioned his knowledge of the use of the theramin in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and that it was in his podcast, I chose to listen to his podcast for a first time…

Which H.o.p. loved. He loved the theramin from “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. He wanted me to play it over and over. The podcast, which was mostly sci-fi music and commentary on it, ended (almost) with the movie theme from the 1996 movie, “Star Trek: First Contact”, which I don’t think I’ve even seen. Lots of horns. Something I wouldn’t usually like, I don’t believe, except it has vague touches of Ennio Morricone touching down in those horns and I love Ennio Morricone. I’m crazy about Morricone’s music. I need to get a CD to replace the tape I used to have of Morricone.

H.o.p. liked the music. He wanted to know what it was about. I said it was from Star Trek. He wanted to know what Star Trek was.

Oh m’god. H.o.p. doesn’t know what Star Trek is. I’m not a television sci-fi fan because I’m not a television fan and I just don’t care that much for television faces and stories. But I was raised on the original Star Trek and watched reruns of it throughout my twenties. For all its flaws and though a western vehicle shot into space, it was an important show. And H.o.p. didn’t know what Star Trek was. Knows Star Wars but not Star Trek. Damn.

Marty and I were talking before he headed out the door with our old vacuum cleaner (which is one of H.o.p.’s puppet friends and he didn’t want to see it go but we convinced it would be fine at the Singing Store where it might even be fixed, and he liked the idea of it being fixed). H.o.p. was playing the Lileks podcast over and over and over again, going from the theramin to the Star Trek music to the theramin. Marty left and I introduced H.o.p. to Star Trek through Dr. Spock, he liking the idea of aliens. H.o.p. gave me back my computer so I could finish the Hanford pic I have been working on. He wanted me to bring up the podcast on his computer. Which I did.

I finished working on the Hanford pic while Lileks had a “word from our sponsor” moment which was a 1950s Edsel commercial, and I was thinking about those plutonium radiated people at Hanford who had great faith in plutonium and thought they were protected from it, who went home and looked at ads for cars with rocketship tail lights and envisioned a future that was Cadillac Fantasia.

But H.o.p., who knows nothing of the 50s and the 60s and the 70s and the 80s and the 90s, kept going to the theramin and then the Star Trek music, appreciating it with his Today ears, and somewhere between the 10th and 20th listen it drew me in, and H.o.p. too, having given me some big hugs. I sat and looked at his intent self, listening to the Star Trek music, which has all the starry-eyed hope of “Once Upon a Time in the West” and nothing of the heart-busting pathos, for which reason it’s not at all of the same caliber, and it was suddenly a good morning. The Star Trek music had sucked me in, its broad, sailing, warm french horns (a good friend of mine is a french horn player), and for the first time in a long while I didn’t feel like the show ended gazillions of years ago when the universe splattered itself all over the cosmic kitchen floor, it’s all for naught, a Big Zero instead of a Magnificient Circle of Life, so what the fuck am I still doing here. Not a recent development, and something I plan on milking for all its worth with the new novel I’m working on, which has been incubating a while (old one up in the left hand corner there, one of the old ones at least). I felt happy. I was looking at H.o.p. and thinking this really is fine and I asked him for another hug.

I felt happy and didn’t know if I might have been still feeling miserable if H.o.p. and I hadn’t listened to the Lileks podcast and that felt odd.

I started making coffee and H.o.p. wanted a H.o.p. moment with me. He hugged and hugged me and had me sit with him on the bed so we could look at each other and talk. He was playing the Star Trek music again and talking about how much he loved it, that it made him think of robots and he told me all about the robot movie he’s going to make.

He suddenly said, “What’s the other world like?”

I said no one knows.

He said, “Is life like a field trip and death is home?”

I don’t talk about “It’s All For Naught, a Big Zero” around H.o.p. I talk about the Circle of Life. And this was a new one, the comparing death to “home” and life as an excursion. Where did he come up with that, I wondered, since, he has so struggled with the idea of death, doesn’t like it, doesn’t like to think about death. I thought how certainly many people think of life and death in that manner but I thought it best to expand it a little.

I said, well, I don’t know but that some people thought that. I said no matter what that he is life and that life of which he is made, that is everything he is, will live on, perhaps not as he understands it now, but it will live on.

This I know is so. Despite my own angst over the worthiness of personal ventures in the face of the great sea.

I heard my computer signing off after a Windows update and jumped up to try to catch it as I had unsaved material, but it was too late.

“Oh, it’s lost,” I said.

“Don’t worry. That’s the Circle of Life,” H.o.p. said brightly. “You haven’t lost it. Nothing’s lost.”

“Oh, really,” I said, pouring coffee.

Which was the wrap-up of “Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World in Search of The Great Penguin” (up there in the left corner).

As he gazed up at me, smiling, reassuring, I tried to remember if I’d phrased this sentiment in that way for him in the past. I wasn’t sure that I had. Maybe. Maybe not. It’s funny what he picks up and keeps and what he tosses. Because he tosses a lot. He’s his own person. Which is what the nickname, H.o.p., stands for. “His Own Person.” Which I want him to be and he certainly is because we have profoundly different opinions and thoughts on things. He’s not a “yes” kid. He’s not an “Oh, you like that, then I like that too” kid.

“You know, that’s the Circle of Life,” he said, smiling. “You lose something and you find it again later!”

Blogging Santa Conquers the Martians

I’ve not pulled together my blog of “Santa vs. Satan” but plan to. Here’s one I did last year of “Santa Conquers the Martians” which stars a child Pia Zadora. It’s actually an anti-war film that had me clearly thinking way too hard, being as overwhelmed as I was. A fascinating bauble from the 60s.

Santa Conquers the Martians

Directed by Nicholas Webster
Story by Paul L. Jackson, Glenville Mareth

John Call – Santa Claus
Leonard Hicks – Kimar
Vincent Beck – Voldar
Bill McCutcheon – Dropo

Released 1964
Rates: Too good. Way too good.

Eggnog’s in the fridg. Must be Christmas. Hooray for Santa Claus! That’s the theme song that greets with the intro credits of the too delicious “Santa Conquers the Martians” starring John Call as Santa Claus. My husband was out picking up paper at the office supply store and I called to remind we needed canned chili for H.o.p. and during that phone pause he saw the DVD “Santa Conquers the Martians” which he confused with “Santa Claus” (a.k.a “Santa Vs. Satan”) and brought home. We put it on while supper cooked. I got laryngitis and inspired. It’s been a long time since I’ve completely forgotten my surroundings and troubles and cares and the mind’s basement not echoed with some sub angst, but “Santa Conquers the Martians” put that voice to rest. That’s how full of question marks this freaky Babes in Martianville movie is.

Wham. I start the movie several times over because it’s like ramming into a wall, no preparatory lubing, wonderland with no warning. The title backdrops remind of 60s glitter-strewn television variety show curtains laced with 50s seaweed art inclinations (I want these in fabric on my bedroom window) and as the bright horns for the “Hooray for Santee Claus” theme blast not quite Tijuana Brass style, sleigh bells jingling, one waits for Dean Martin to enter the screen to croon about the moon and pizza pies, but instead it is all titles slid in by a white-outline illustrated St. Nick. “On Christmas Day you’ll wake up and you’ll say, hooray for Santa Claus”. Invisible singing kiddies spell his name out M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E style, cheery and bright. “Conquers” is a good-times kid flick, happy are we and so shall you be after your visit with Santa Claus.

Continue reading Blogging Santa Conquers the Martians

Yeah, I know most people don't, but I like Albert Finney's Scrooge

Last week H.o.p. said, “Childhood is a lot like a long field trip.”

He wasn’t saying that this week.

We have had colds. H.o.p. had a bit of a fever with his the first couple of days and then was left with with nose misery and a cough. This is the best he’s done with a cold, endeavoring to be brave throughout. Until Wednesday morning when the nose misery hit him and he broke down in tears. He fussed at me for a while and every few minutes would say he was sorry, he really didn’t want to fuss at me. Then he’d fuss again after a bit and say he wanted his daddy, not me. Then he’d cry again and say he wanted his mommy. Eventually I got him to take Tylenol and promised him he’d feel better soon. I was doing those mom things that one days with a child who’s feeling bad and keeps crying. Or maybe other moms don’t turn into sorry ass clowns. “Fifteen minutes and you’ll be feeling better,” I said, clowning in place and hoped what I was promising would turn out to be the truth.

“I want something to cheer me up,” H.o.p. cried, my clowning obviously not doing the trick.

No ideas I could muster were cheery enough. So I said, “Why don’t you call your daddy and have him tell you a joke.”

Wandering the floor with tissue hanging three feet out his nose, H.o.p. wailed, “No! My daddy always tells bad jokes!”

That got a laugh out of me. A little tiny, between my pained, sinus-embittered teeth snicker. I’ve always told Marty he tells bad jokes. It’s an endearing trait. But it was some satisfaction to hear our son give confirmation.

But then H.o.p. decides he wants to talk to his dad (again, plaintive calls having been made earlier). We call. H.o.p. promptly hands me the phone and runs off. “What’re you up to?” I call to H.o.p., his dad on the line, waiting. I turn as H.o.p. enters the room again and…

He has a blue bandaid stuck on his nose over his cherry red nostrils.

He did this with a cold last year.

I start laughing one of those small laughs.

“What’s up?” Marty asks.

“I can’t tell you,” I say. “He’ll get upset with me for laughing.”

Then I look at H.o.p. again and the laugh gets bigger. I try to stop it because he’s not appreciating it, and I manage to silence it a second, then I start snickering again, and then laughing. One of those laughs that you think well now you’re done laughing and wham it hits afresh and you’re helpless.

“Do not laugh at me crying!” H.o.p. says, which surprises me as we’ve never laughed at his crying. He just turned eight last week. Maybe it’s an eight-year-old thing.

“I’m not laughing at you crying,” I manage to reply.

“What are you laughing at?”

“The bandaid on your nose.”

“Do not laugh at the bandaid on my nose!” A fresh bout of wailing followed and more fussing.

Then it had been fifteen minutes since he’d taken the Tylenol and suddenly he was smiling and no longer fussing.

So now he’s left with the cough and some congestion and was frustrated enough with the cough he has taken cough medicine a couple of times.

This week was a blur of cough drops, kleenex, Tylenol and not much else. Except for every day something going wrong with the putting together of the new computer. Have been working on this since before Thanksgiving, and the first thing that went wrong was the computer place from which we’d ordered the components accidentally cancelling our order and not letting us know for a week. Then after that the trend of going wrong continued with one thing after another. The new computer finally, as of Saturday evening, sits in the corner, not yet hooked up. And my new monitor. And a new mouse sits in its box on the floor next to me as mine started failing this week and requires me fighting with it to get it to do anything. I guess Sunday evening we do it and I start copying things over. Then I’ve got a couple of websites I do for people that I need to do catch-up on.

H.o.p. was feeling better Saturday afternoon finally and was back to drawing. He didn’t draw much at all this week, didn’t feel up to it. But Saturday afternoon he was drawing people as noses. Imagining what it would be like if people were just about nothing but nose.

An infant niece has the same cold but it developed into pneumonia. She was better Saturday. Last spring she was born about six weeks prematurely. And has grown into the most convivial, easy-going baby.

This afternoon we go to see one of H.o.p.’s cousins (same family as the niece) in a homeschool production of “A Christmas Carol”. They are RC and homeschool RC while, as everyone knows, we’re heathen, but it’s nice to share bits and pieces of what’s going on and to hear about how H.o.p.’s cousin, who is six months younger than him, responds to math exactly as H.o.p. does, no difference, may as well be the same person when it comes to math.

We may be heathen and Marty and I may be total slackers when it comes to the idea of celebrating anything, but this week H.o.p. and I were cheered when there was a knock on the window and there was a UPS person with a box generously containing a “living tree” from said sister. H.o.p. was as excited as could be. “It’s a delight!” he enthused. Things like that sound odd coming out of the mouth of an eight-year-old. Marty’s been down at the studio all day and night all week and when I informed him on the phone of the tree he said, “Let me guess, H.o.p. said, ‘It’s adorable!'” Because that’s what H.o.p. usually says to all things he considers cute, even ugly things he has decided are cute. “It’s adorable!” But this time, after some initial raving about how lucky we were to have UPS drop a tree in our laps, after we got it out of its box and up on the table, he let me know, “It’s a delight!”

It doesn’t smell. The needles aren’t dropping and it is green but it doesn’t smell. I do hope it is alive. I started worrying about that day before yesterday, when I realized the tree, a dwarf Alberta Spruce, doesn’t smell. We didn’t transplant it immediately to a new pot as we didn’t want to stress it too much after its ride to us in the box. Maybe tomorrow. Last year a brother and his wife gave us a Juniper bonsai which died (I still feel bad about that). But we have two grow lights up now and hopefully this tree will have a fighting chance.

Again, we may be heathen but this afternoon will find us watching an RC homeschool group presentation of “A Christmas Carol” and I’ll be rooting for my niece in her many roles and eagerly waiting for Scrooge to learn his lessons from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. I’m a sucker for “A Christmas Carol”. I used to watch the Albert Finney version every year. I like it when Scrooge gets tipsy on the milk of human kindness. Like the giant spirit of Christmas Present who believes in hearty living. Like it when Scrooge gets up in the morning and rushes out to purchase a big goose, glad he’s not missed Christmas, eager to make amends, and scaring everyone in sight and delighting in it because Scrooge is, after all, somewhat perverse, and if he scared people before with his meanness now he will shock them with his generosity. Some find Albert Finney’s gnarled Scrooge obnoxious and hate the fact it’s a musical, and I could do without some of the lispy singing of cute kids, but Finney does a pretty good job of making believable Scrooge’s reformation in one night. Alastair Sim, in the 1951 film, is too eager to be out of his box, too ready, and can leap too high. The dissolution of Finney’s misanthropy is slightly more complex and is less through his being challenged morally, than being reminded of how he can still feel, that the capacity for joy is still there, which he can only experience after wading the grief of the past. The film doesn’t do a good job with explaining how Scrooge goes from a dancing young man in love to an isolated miser (I read the book to H.o.p. a couple of years ago and can’t recollect how it fares on making this believable) but never mind. The Spirit of Christmas Present sits on Scrooge and tricks him into participating for a change and seems Scrooge is ready to be tricked. He is less inspired by fear than he is released from gray cynicism. And fear.

The thing about Dickens’ Scrooge is that, as a miser, he deprived himself of base and sundry comforts. He ate gruel. He lived in the cold, keeping his fires low. Dickens didn’t make him a person who lived well, denying himself nothing. Maybe Dickens felt it would take more than one night and three spirits to alter the thinking of that sort of person.

I should watch Finney’s “Scrooge” again but I don’t know if I still have it on tape.

H.o.p. comes running up with his toy figure of Aku. “See, Aku’s skin is dark as night, and his mouth is green as the grass, and his beard is red as fire and his nose is bright as a cloud.”

Saturday night, H.o.p. described Aku’s nose, comparing it to something else, I don’t recall what. Then he said, no, that was not good enough, too ordinary, he needed to think of something else, which is when he decided to compare it to a bright white cloud.

And with that little bit of information, I’ll end this post about nothing much.

The grandparents of the Power Puff Girls

The grandparents of the Power Puff Girls are those big-eyed waif pictures from the 60s and 70s that went so well with Tang, the space-age powdered orange drink choice of astronauts. The prototype were those painted by Margaret Keane, and despite the cutesy factor, the world looked cold for those parentless children.

When I was a kid in the suburbs (age of 10 on) there were houses that always felt cold and looked cold in a way peculiarly suburban. In the past few decades, I’ve lived in ice cold mill houses and other old houses with inadequate heat. But the 70’s suburban chilly was an aesthetic almost of petrified disinterest. Something about the architecture (whether ranch or modern) and the big plate glass windows and a certain minimalism in decoration that bespoke a lack of imagination and epidemic confusion as to what “taste” meant and whether it directed or reflected lifestyle or had anything to do with one’s life at all. And, looking back, I can’t begin to tell you much about the lifestyle as the predominate characteristic was treading time’s water. All the rooms in most all these houses were like aquariums and we the fish floating, passing time until the box top opened at about 6:30 and dinner floated out of dehydrated packets onto the table. Didn’t help that monotony was a popular color for walls, sofas, chairs and curtains. I babysat quite a bit and it was this way at almost all the homes and at the homes of friends.

As far as the literal cold, it was energy crisis time which had something to do with it, I suppose. There was an afghan over the back of every sofa and everyone was turning down the temp.

Continue reading The grandparents of the Power Puff Girls

Edward Scissorhands

I rewrote a number of fairy tales for H.o.p. when he was little.

Last night we watched “Edward Scissorhands” with him for the first time. I’d held off on watching it because I remembered best the last half of the film and worried it would be a bit intense for him, despite his love of Tim Burton and this tale being one of Tim Burton’s claymation movies done with human actors. But then we were looking for a film to watch, we’d had “Edward Scissorhands” for quite some time and hadn’t opened it, and I recollected the fairy tale quality of it and thought maybe the ending wasn’t as intense as I remembered it.

“Edward Scissorhands” was released in 1990 and despite my love for Tim Burton films I opted out on seeing this one for several years. I don’t remember exactly why now. I had been through the Punk revolution of the mid to late 70s, what I viewed as the crash and burn of the hippie culture of an older generation into the cynical, corporate and money and power focus of Disco. I was part of a discontented generation who had watched the late 60s, too young at the time to participate in what seemed the fairy tale as well as politically and socially significant journey of the older boomers, a world which had disintegrated by the time we became old enough to drive our cars into that horizon quest. Instead of a ticket for the freedom bus, we were handed the keys to “Taxi Driver” (1976) finishing off “Vanishing Point” (1971). Punk had availed our discontent with what felt a gritty, honest voice, and it had been hard to watch that political desperation and rage against the cynical status quo crash and burn into just another fashion option, a way for young teens to annoy their parents.

Which is one reason I didn’t see “Edward Scissorhands” for several years. Johnny Depp was dolled up in post punk make-up, hair and fashion leather punk fashion garb, make-up and hair. Yeah, I know, the costume was more goth but I looked on it as bastardized punk and wanted nothing to do with it. Punk was dead. Quit feeding on it.

When I did eventually see “Edward Scissorhands” I enjoyed it. But only saw it once. Then Marty picked up the DVD for me a year ago but I’d not opened it

Though I remember having liked “Edward Scissorhands” (up to a point), I don’t recollect what I picked up from the story. I don’t know if I thought of the suburban neighborhand blending at its end into the drive up to the castle-type mansion on the hill as surreal or if I thought, “Ah, yeah, we all grew up on fairy tales, most of us have that castle sitting at the edge of our collective suburban childhood. It is a real internal geography for many of us.”

Tim Burton is about my age and that’s how I saw the first half this time, the alienation of that mid to late 70s punk generation already present in late 60s suburbia, only this time we were given a kindly Avon lady who wouldn’t shrink from the scars, who’d try and help us cover them while still introducing us as fully lovable for what we were. And what a brave Avon lady too, in her Jackie O. pill box hat, venturing up the mansion stairs calling for whoever lives there to not be afraid of her, ignoring the desolation of the mansion after the beauty of its garden. She is the father of Beauty in the original tale combined with a little of Beauty herself. But here the Beast, who is also a Frankenstein’s monster, an Adam fashioned by a benevolent god who teaches him feelings over the etiquette acting job, must leave the security of his home and venture into the outside world and human society.

Give me one good reason why futons aren’t legitimate furniture

Boy am I feeling lucky. I found “Atom Age Vampire.”

I could only watch the first several Italian minutes of it right now, but that was enough to get me giddy, stomach fluttering with happy butterflies over the awesome seedy badness of equilibrium-blowing, tin can dialogue and bleached blondes in flight (literally). I’d feel guilty for neglecting to mention the serious postings I just finished reading over there–and I do, feel terribly guilty–but you don’t know…you don’t know what a spotless wonderful wreck the opening minutes of “Atom Age Vampire” are. And how much I’m looking forward to watching the rest. Not to mention it was a serendipitous conjunction of finds as the other night I was watching 50s atomic bomb preparedness films for the kindergarden set, and one which was developed especially for Hanfordites in order to reassure them that radiation really wasn’t too bad after a day or so, streetsweepers followed by a splash from a firehose cleans a radiated city quite nicely, plus radiation is easy to wash off your vegetables and down the drain, and one of the films opened with a beautiful atomic eye that I saved down to my computer. Then this AM I go straight from a link to “Soul Sight” to “Atom Age Vampire”. Yes! I had no clue how badly I needed “Atom Age Vampire” until after the first uhm twelve seconds.

A good night’s sleep wouldn’t hurt either. But you were probably aware of that half-way through the above.

Here follows the IMDB plot summary for “Atom Age Vampire”:

A stripper is horribly disfigured in a car accident. A brilliant scientist develops a treatment that restores her beauty and falls in love with her. To preserve her appearance the doctor must give her additional treatments using glands taken from murdered women. His unexplained ability to turn into a hideous monster helps with this problem but does nothing to win her love. The doctor’s woes multiply as the police and the girl’s boyfriend begin to close in on him.

Someone named Glenn has given it a bad review, failing to appreciate the bad dubbing. He thinks the film ought to be remade, preserving its haunting and disturbing qualities. But those flaws which he holds in contempt are indispensable building blocks for a quality disjointing of mind.

Now I’m all eager to watch “Zabriskie’s Point” again. Wonder if the used-to-be-great-now-stocks-Hollywood video place still has it. I imagine not.

I was going to post something on how the New York Times picks on those of us who consider futons to be legitimate furniture for which one need not apologize, but joy hath dissolved my desultory nitpickiness.


A little cheesecake with that A-Bomb

A Little Cheesecake with that A-Bomb, Declassified, 2005 tinted photo
Film poster held by Jean Nelson, from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

Don’t miss this vital film! “You can beat the A-bomb.” Free showings. Columbia High School, Feb. 19 thru 22. Get tickets for yourself and family from your supervisor today.

That’s what the promo reads. The woman smiling makes one feel hopeful about the bomb, and the movie’s title makes nuclear arms seem as manageable as a bad stain set in the porcelain of a sink.

One shake of cleanser and some elbow grease should do the job!

A review at PicPal’s reads:

Continue reading A little cheesecake with that A-Bomb

Theaters of war

Hanford Talent Show Dancer, Declassified
Hanford Tap Dancer, Declassified
Digital painting

Original photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

The woman in the photo is a participant in a WWII talent show at the Hanford Theater. My assumption is she is tap dancing. Tap dancing was popular then and remained popular into my childhood. There was always a tap dancer on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 60s. Whether she’s concentrating or uncomfortable is difficult to tell. Either she is focused on and straining to push out those beats and has forgotten to smile or she’s not the first act and knew before taking the stage she didn’t have a chance, that it was a senseless exercise , but the show must go on and while it runs her legs begin to feel too long, too naked, too short, too heavy, her feet sweat, her hands sweat, her shoulders chill, they prickle with goosebumps. She’d wanted to be Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers, Ann Miller, but her time is up and she’s on a stage sponsored by the atomic bomb rather than in Hollywood.

Or the photo could have been taken at a wrong moment and a couple seconds in the future she had blasted a hole in the floor with her mighty shoes.

Continue reading Theaters of war

I vote we tie Rove in a chair, force him to watch "Oliver" 40 times in a row, and see what truths of soul commence to happen

I am drinking the worst coffee in the world. That came out of my very own French press. Hours ago. It was this bad hours ago. It was this bad when fresh. Tasted like the proverbial 20 year old Converse sneakers that climbed up on the counter and said look I’ve got holes in my soles I really am a pot, try me. What is this, certainly not coffee, I thought. But it was made out of the same beans as any other time so I drank it, because it should have tasted the same. Same beans, should be same taste. Every time I picked up my cup and had a sip, same “Eeeeeewwwww gross” reaction on my part and still I drank the nastiness. I woke up a couple of hours after bedding down (not unusual for me) and came in and poured myself a little of what was left and the pucker up eeewww gross reaction was still there, it was still as bad, it was never going to transform into coffee. I don’t know what it is. And I suppose it says something about me that today I stubbornly stuck with drinking the nasty brew when I should have tossed it. And am only now brewing a fresh pot, like, “Ok, you had your full day in which to get into shape and you didn’t so out you go.”

While I’m sitting here with the nasty rotted sneaker taste of that coffee lingering in my mouth some fifteen minutes after my last sip of it, I’m thinking how everyone is crawling all over Rove and how it seems like I should be, really should be interested in this whole Rove thing. I should be using his effigy as a trampoline. “Hey, look how high I can jump!” Should be bounding, should be touching the ceiling. Except, I dunno, I figure with someone like Rove, he may look like he’s down for the count and I’d end up whacking my head good on the ceiling, coming down in a passed-out crumple and waking up to find the effigy gone. Like somehow one of those anti-murder mysteries, the kind where Jane Fonda goes to bed with someone and wakes up and they’re lying dead by her side? Only instead Jane had done the guy in via some lethal means that is too much trouble for me to figure out and she passes out and wakes up and wanders into the kitchen to find the guy making flippin’ pancakes.

Not that I believe Rove will squeegie his way through this mess. I haven’t even given it enough serious thought to consider if he may.

Or might.

To me it’s bad Roman theatrics that briefly mistakes itself for Greek tragedy, goes to the oracle and the oracle simply says go away, don’t bother me.

Because that’s what my oracular innards keep telling me. They said it the first time, “Go away,” and I every so often go back and knock on the door and say, “Hey?” and again I get the turned-up nose, go away, quit bothering me. And kind of taking their cue, Rove has wandered by with my slinging nary a line in his direction.

Making my coffee just now, taking out the bag of beans, grinding, dumping them in the French Press, I did a little prayer, “Please, be good this time and don’t come out tasting like sneakers”.

I’m afraid that when it’s done brewing, I’ll take a sip and find myself again going Eeewww gross.

And from now on all my pots of coffee will taste like, “Eeeewwww gross.”

Am I that much a pessimist?

Ok. Ready? I just poured myself a new cup from the new fresh pot. Even traded out my Marvin the Martian cup for my Tazmanian Devil cup. It’s hot. I take a sniff. I guess it smells better. Maybe. I’m thinking I can’t remember the last time I had a cup of coffee that made my taste buds tingle, don’t know why that is.

Ok, ok. Much better. That tastes like coffee. Like plain old Columbian French Roast.

I suddenly want a really really really good cup of coffee and this isn’t doing it for me.

Something’s up with my computer. When it goes into idle, when I move the mouse the monitor isn’t coming back. It stays black. I have to cut it off and on several times before it will respond. This has been happening the past few days.

People are having all kinds of fun with Rove, tossing him about, and his effigy sits on my shelf wondering why I’m not flinging him about and maybe I’m wondering a little too.

I’m going to take an aspirin for a headache now.

Rove is like a dead man to me, when I think about it. I can muster up a Marilyn-Aphrodite to pursue Tom Delay and mock him. Remember the old Blackglama furm ads? Was it Blackglama? Something like that. “What becomes a legend most?” I keep thinking what road kill would best suit Rove. And I can’t come up with anything and I realize it’s because he’s like a dead man to me. I guess that means he walks through walls and doors. Funny, with Tom Delay, I would look at pics of him and think of the things he was doing and his Achilles heel was positively screaming. “I am an alcoholic with a heap of history kicking my ass to where I am today! You think it’s sitting around a corner waiting to crumple me in the future. Hell, it’s eating me live now!” But Rove? Nothing. Open the can and there’s nothing there. A true demon in that sense. A zero. Which is why he can walk through walls. No hint of a Green Goblin anywhere in his face. Empty. I’d say maybe a tad of spite is observed in his flesh but that too I’m convinced is just part of the robot facade for what is best magically self-programmed to suit the situation.

If I reach really really really really deep I can find Rove in the musical “Oliver” singing “Where is Love?”

Right then, Oliver Twist, your bed’s underneath the counter. You don’t mind sleeping
among coffins I suppose? It don’t much matter whether you do or you don’t cause you can’t sleep
nowhere else!

Where is love?
Does it fall from skies above?
Is it underneath the willow tree
That I’ve been dream of?
Where is she?
Who I close my eyes to see?
Will I ever know the sweet “hello”
That’s only meant for me?
Who can say where she may hide?
Must I travel far and wide?
‘Til I am bedside the someone who
I can mean somethin to …
Where is love?

Who can say where…she may hide?
Must I travel…far and wide?
‘Til I am beside…the someone who
I can mean…something to…
Where is love?


Only it’s not Oliver singing. It’s Rove as Nancy. Breasts bursting at the seams as much as they are able without horrifying the G rated audience. And it’s a very very long time ago, right before Oliver Reed shows up in the middle of the song and beats her skull in and that’s all there’s written for Nancy, Rove has been dragging her around at his heel for the past 50 odd years but no one can see her there because Reed, when he was done bashing her skull, ran her through a meat mincer.

And somehow out of this Rove became Rove. Because he had to deny Nancy. He had to tuck the breasts in. He couldn’t let them hang out and climb up on the table and dance and sing for the boys and let his hair run wild and free. He had to shred the red velvet gown. Bury the cute Victorian boots and corset. He even had to get rid of the shawl, which was the last straw. Because what harm was a shawl. But no, couldn’t keep Nancy’s shawl either.

Thus was born Rove.

It’s all I can muster up for him. The only vague read I can get. It’s like in the movie “Oliver”, and after Oliver Reed kills Nancy you want to see the body, you have to see the body but you’re deprived of that, she moves so completely into ghostdom that there’s nothing but a bag, clothes and a wig, Nancy’s gone, but because there was nothing at all left to mourn that wig hangs around and begins to pick up its own unresolved life. If Oliver Reed hadn’t fallen to his death he would have eventually put on that wig and dress and been forced to play Nancy out, continue strutting her stuff for her. But Oliver Reed fell to his death and somehow all that was left was Rove, neither Nancy nor Oliver Reed acting out Nancy’s ghost. Just Rove.

I haven’t figured it out yet.

Write supporting the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act

In my email:

Proposed Legislation Would Put an End to the Slaughter of Buffalo Crossing
Yellowstone’s Borders

In a bold effort to end the senseless slaughter of America’s last wild and genetically pure buffalo, U.S. Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Charles Bass (R-NH) introduced legislation on May 18th to protect the Yellowstone herd. The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act (H.R. 2428) would end years of seasonal hazing, capture, and killing of buffalo in and around Yellowstone National Park by federal and state agencies until specific, common sense conditions are met.

Please write a letter to your representative,, asking him or her to cosponsor H.R. 2428.

More information can be found here.

In the opening of Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, Depp’s hellhound train passing a herd of bison, he watches in disoriented amazement as all fly to thrust rifles out the windows and gun down the bison with gluttonous, whooping glee.

It’s impossible to accurately estimate the number of buffalo populating the area west of the Mississippi at the close of the Civil War, but it’s believed there were millions and perhaps tens of millions.

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