Royal dreading

I know you have a pretty good head on your shoulders, Princess, and you might have already noticed this but I thought I should tell you just in case you didn’t. According to the credits, the prince is really Lord Garp. Do with that as you will.

Published in: on May 19, 2018 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Look !!!ward, angel

The first words of the first piece in Tom Wolfe’s first book of essays The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby are famously:

Hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, HERNia; hernia, HERNia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, HERNia, HERNia, HERNia; hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, eight is the point, the point is eight; hernia, hernia, HERNia; hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, all right, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hard eight, hernia, hernia, hernia, HERNia, hernia, hernia, hernia, HERNia, hernia, hernia, hernia, HERNia, hernia, hernia, hernia, hernia

and eventually it’s explained and whether you find that explanation to be a good payoff or not for all those hernias will pretty much weed out the people who will like Tom Wolfe’s New Journalism style from those who don’t. From my lack of punctuation in the previous sentence, you should consider me to be a person in the former camp.

I didn’t like Wolfe’s later novels much and I can imagine him being sort of an annoying “look at me, ain’t I the cutest li’l’ institution” presence with his spats and celluloid collars for the past few decades to those who live in New York, but I can’t let his death go without comment. His early writing contains beauty and cruelty and bravery and pathetic clawing and people just trying to find their place. Read “The Pump House Gang” or “The Put-Together Girl” or “The Life & Hard Times of a Teenage London Society Girl.” See if they don’t make you feel like screaming or punching or hugging the hell out of someone.

I was introduced to Wolfe by a very special teacher in high school, someone who taught me a lot about writing. One of the things he taught me was the judicious use of exclamation points. This might sound ironic given his love of Tom Wolfe, but I don’t think it is. Wolfe knew punctuation and rhythm and I don’t think he wasted a point in his ’60s/’70s-era writing. Why a great jazz musician decided he needed to start writing operas is a mystery to me (The Right Stuff is a mighty fine jazz opera to my ears), but I suppose it has something to do with what is considered important and weighty and serious. I wish older Tom Wolfe would have re-read his own pieces about teen culture and remembered that anything can be important and serious in the right context, and not everything has to be serious to be !!!important!!!

Whatever. Mr. Wolfe, have a nice time in the next world and go have a chat with Nick Ferentinos if you see him. Tell him I haven’t used an exclamation point in months.

Cat on a warm tile roof

If you’re friendly and approachable, you may not have much in common with Maggie the Cat, Milo, but I will still endeavor you to jump off the roof. Jump off it! Cats can jump off roofs and land on their four feet uninjured. Even that wreck Brick says so.

Published in: on May 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mad cow

I didn’t think it was possible for a cartoon to make me consider vegetarianism, but the headless cow carcass gag in this did make me a little uneasy. Maybe that’s the point. The rest of the cartoon doesn’t seem to make much sense or even have a throughline beyond “musicians are frequently hungry.” And I can attest to that. Please enjoy while I go rustle me up some breakfast.

Don’t order the custard pie

Ah, phew. We made it through May the Fourth and Cinco de Mayo without too much damage, and now it’s time for a nice cartoon about an unsanitary restaurant using child labor. Ah, the good old days…

Etiquette & superstition: leftovers

If you are an American of a certain age and from a certain region, you may recall restaurant takeout bags referred to as “doggie bags.” A current Google image search, however, will reveal that most items these days referred to as doggie bags either carry doggies or something made by doggies. This is one more reason you should keep up with your vernacular terms.

ETIQUETTE: Long ago in the US, it was considered gauche for a diner in a restaurant to ask for their uneaten food to be wrapped up so they could finish it later at home. Sometime around the early to mid-20th century, a workaround was devised in the form of “I’m quite finished, thank you, but if it’s all right I’d like to take the rest of this steak home for my pet to consume,” and the “doggie bag” was born.

This desire to not seem overly greedy has now turned around completely, and in the States it is completely normal to ask for one’s uneaten food to be wrapped up for later consumption; the “this isn’t for me; it’s for my dog” cover story is considered to be a bit absurd, and pretty much nobody calls it a doggie bag anymore. You can go to some rather well-respected dining establishments and they will not bat an eyelash if you ask them to box up the uneaten portion of your meal. A really fun place may even give you your food wrapped in a foil swan.

However, this way of thinking is not very common in the rest of the world. In Canada, go for it. In the UK and Vienna and South Africa, it seems to be fine in places that offer takeaway food. But in Australia, depending on what state you’re in, it’s either a normal practice or illegal. In most of Europe and in Japan, you are going to get a look from the waitperson at the very least, you will embarrass your dining companions, and the restaurant will probably not accommodate your request. Eat up at the table, doggie.

SUPERSTITION: In Spain, if it’s Ash Wednesday and you’re at a feast you can ask someone to box up your food. They’ll be happy to do it, but you’re going to have to carry it in a procession and then bury it with a whole lot of fanfare and I’m not sure that’s what you intended when you asked them to box your food.

But Ash Wednesday was a while ago. Let’s talk about food from this week. I sure hope you didn’t bring home any leftovers from your Walpurgisnacht feast. If you did, you should throw them out because they aren’t really leftovers anymore. Some fairies came and ate the leftovers and made some fake food out of sod and left that in place of the leftovers. I’m serious. That’s what they do. Jerks.

Photo (greaseproof!) by julia k via Flickr

Barbarous

After a few weeks of putting it off and some discussions among friends on Facebook, I finally went in for a haircut this week. I haven’t had a steady hair stylist/cutter for a long time now other than Benny; the only ones that have given me good cuts have either moved away, been too expensive if I didn’t date them or have made me self-conscious of a couple of weird lumps I have on my head. So I’ve been hopping around.

I went to a new place Thursday, and I won’t say the name of the place other than to say I didn’t get my promised-for shoulder rub. I did get a very funny fellow who kept me in stitches and made me not notice until I got in my car that he had given me a Limecat hairdo

with some Angelina Jolie from Girl, Interrupted bangs

because of course the only people who will look fabulous with those bangs are Angelina Jolie and me, a fat woman in her late forties with salt and pepper hair. So right now I look like a woman who went nuts in the country club restroom. And I have a family wedding to go to today.

But good news – I’ve found two new possible guys to try as soon as this hair grows out. Oswald and Flip. They both have similar store branding techniques, but their cutting techniques seem unique to each of them. Which one do you think?

Hooked on Bosh

I’ve been spending a lot of time during the last week or three wrestling with some ideas about communication and narcissism and sharing and broadcasting and receiving, and writing proper posts has kind of gotten tangled up in this.

Maybe if I watch this animation enough things will straighten themselves out.

For fox’s sake

This morning I learned about drag hunting, which is sort of like fox hunting without the fox. The dogs are trained to follow a trail left by a human runner, which I guess some fox hunting enthusiasts don’t think is exciting enough for the dogs or something.

I don’t know, fox hunters. Judging from this cartoon, the hounds were chasing a top hat all along.

Published in: on April 14, 2018 at 8:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Happy peace, Felix pace

I know I’m about twelve hours late with my Saturday morning cartoon post, but oh boy, this is a good one. I spent some time at work this week researching some Felix the Cat history (so I know those first two little guys are named Inky and Winky), but I didn’t come across this cartoon until later today. It’s well worth the wait, I think. I could just listen to this soundtrack and be happy.

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