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mayonnaise-vs-miracle-whipDustbury hates mayonnaise, and managed to write a whole blog post about it. I’m not being critical. Rather, I’m impressed that he was able to engender a whole condiment conversation in the comments section. I like mayo well enough Read the rest of this entry »

jan-hooks Mark Evanier tells a story about Jan Hooks, his friend, and a member of the cast of Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1991, who died on October 9 at the age of 57 (!). The story also features some lying multimillionaire schmuck who she had tried to make nice with.

The day before I heard about her death, I had just happened to have watched a segment of Saturday Night Live featuring her and Paul Simon. I really haven’t watched the show much this century, but I watched it religiously before that. I’ve long thought the best SNL cast may not have been the original troupe (John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner, et al.) but the group of the late 1980s, with Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Nora Dunn, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and Jan Hooks.

I also watched her on shows such as Designing Women and 30 Rock.

Here are some nice recollections in the Huffington Post and the New Yorker.

Her former SNL co-star Victoria Jackson also wrote an article. Considering that Ms. Jackson has become a bit of a lunatic, I believe it was surprisingly pleasant.
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SamuraiFrog noted the passing of actress Elizabeth Peña on October 14. I thought she was older, mostly because she plays the mother of the character played by Sofia Vergura (42) on the TV show Modern Family. But he was only 55(!) herself. (The death of people younger than myself usually gets the (!) response.) Ms. Peña was in my favorite John Sayles movie, Lonestar, and she is a voice in probably my favorite animated film of the last half century, The Incredibles. But she also appeared in a number of other projects I’ve watched, going back at least to LA Law.
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I read, before I saw any confirmation in news stories, that vocalist Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer has died on October 16. I have some of their music, going back to the days on vinyt. Chuck Miller wrote a very nice piece, complete with links to MT music.
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10 Glamorous Oscar de la Renta Gowns.
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Ben Bradlee, legendary Washington Post editor, dies at 93.

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga

My friend Dan Van Riper sent me this list of all the #1 songs since August 4, 1958.

I have links only to the middle tune, the song of my birthday. You can go to the website and hear the other contenders. If I’ve heard it before, I won’t play it again. If I’ve never heard of it, I’ll play it once. But I won’t listen to the adjacent tunes. My goal: am I happy with THAT choice to celebrate my birthday? Or (as will be the case in the latter stages of the game), I have no idea?

2/21/04 Twista feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx – Slow Jamz
2/28/04 Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris – Yeah!
5/22/04 Usher -Burn

Slow Jamz has lyric content I hate. Didn’t know either Usher song, but wasn’t thrilled with Yeah, so I’ll pick Burn, unheard.

1/1/05 Mario – Let Me Love You
3/5/05 50 Cent feat. Olivia – Candy Shop
5/7/05 Gwen Stefani Hollaback Girl

I like the Mario song, but I really like the Stefani song. The 50 Cent song, which I didn’t know, I pretty much hate.

1/21/06 Nelly feat. Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp – Grillz
2/4/06 Beyonce feat. Slim Thug – Check On It
3/11/06 James Blunt – You’re Beautiful

Don’t know Grillz, though I probably heard it at some point. Didn’t know the Beyonce either, though it should be noted that she mentioned twerking much earlier than the general public was aware of it; it did not do much for me on first listen. Blunt, by default.

2/24/07 Nelly Furtado – Say It Right
3/3/07 Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around…Comes Around
3/10/07 Mims – This Is Why I’m Hot

That I really never heard ANY of these I must attribute to raising a toddler. Rather like the Timberlake song, now that I’ve listened to it. If there are songs you think I REALLY need to hear on this list, please let me know.

11/31/07 Alicia Keys – No One
1/5/08 Flo Rida feat. T-Pain – Low
3/15/08 Usher feat. Young Jeezy – Love In This Club

Another trio of songs I don’t know. I realize that I must be a real prude, because all these songs specifically about sex make me uncomfortable. So I’ll select Alicia Keys, unheard.

2/21/09 Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent – Crack A Bottle
2/28/09 Flo Rida – Right Round
4/11/09 Lady Gaga – Poker Face

Two Flo Rida songs in a row! I like this one a lot more than the other; it sounds familiar after I played it. Still, I’ll pick Gaga.

1/2/10 Ke$ha – TiK ToK
3/6/10 The Black Eyed Peas – Imma Be Rocking That Body
3/20/10 Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris – Break Your Heart

I like the idea of the Peas’ song more than its execution. Don’t know the Cruz song. I vaguely remember the Ke$ha song which has too much Autotune for my taste, but I’ll pick it anyway.

2/19/11 Wiz Khalifa – Black And Yellow
2/26/11 Lady Gaga – Born This Way
4/9/11 Katy Perry feat. Kanye West – E.T.

I’ve been reading this book about the Beatles, and note that they were struggling to figure out their own philosophy/theology. Gaga seems to have known right off; I pick that one. It STILL sounds like a Madonna tune, though. Don’t know the Khalifa song, and only barely remember the Perry song.

2/18/12 Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
3/3/12 Katy Perry – Part Of Me
3/17/12 Fun. feat. Janelle Monae – We Are Young

For the first time in years, I actually had heard all three songs before! I’ve always had affection for Kelly Clarkson from that first season of American Idol. The changing rhythms of the Fun. song intrigue me. I like the empowerment angle in the Perry song, so I’ll keep that.

2/2/13 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – Thrift Shop
3/2/13 Baauer – Harlem Shake
4/20/13 Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man

I think Thrift Shop must be a good song, because it conveys the ick factor of used merchandise. I remember when I got the video for Harlem Shuffle before it was popular, and I noted that I didn’t “get” it; it WAS a different video. That leaves the straight-ahead Bruno Mars tune that I’ll choose.

1/18/14 Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – Timber
2/8/14 Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – Dark Horse
3/29/14 Pharrell Williams – Happy

There are parts of Timber I like, mostly the sections without Pitbull. I didn’t know the Perry song, and it didn’t grab me. I read later it’s some sort of “reheated trip hop”; you know you’re getting old when the description of the music is meaningless to you.

So I’ll pick Happy. There was one of those online polls of the worst pop song, the kind of thing I usually pick the Men in My Little Girl’s Life by Mike Douglas (#6 in ’66 – sign of the devil) or We Built This City. Happy showed up several times. I think they are conflating bad songs with songs people get tired of hearing (Freebird, Stairway to Heaven, Yesterday, Piano Man); doesn’t mean the song is bad, but that it’s been heard too often.

FourEverI was, as noted, very happy that Jack Kirby, co-creator of the Marvel Universe (at worst) won his legal action with Marvel Comics. But it points out how much money must be involved, a rumored $30 million to the Kirby heirs.

It appears that Marvel Comics is cancelling the Fantastic Four comic book, one of its flagship titles, and it’s likely it’s because of too little money, not from the comic book, but from the movies.
Read the rest of this entry »

HimalayasWhen I read about wildfires in San Diego County, California or flooding in Mecklenberg County (Charlotte), North Carolina, I contact the appropriate sister to check out if she’s being affected. Usually the answer is no, though one year, a fire was uncomfortably close.

They do the same for me. Flash floods five miles from Albany made the national news, but the actual storm missed me.

I was thinking about this because Read the rest of this entry »

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