Kate’s band, Po, had a gig this weekend. No one starts at Carnegie Hall, so they played at an elementary-school ice cream social. These are end-of-year events avidly looked forward to by one and all, put on by the PTOs, the last party before school dismisses for the year. And what did it do Friday but rain, pushing every activity inside. Po got a space about the area of a king-size bed in the corner of the gym and was but one entertainment option for the K-5 audience:
If you are reminded of Spinal Tap’s gig for At Ease Weekend at the Air Force base, you’re not the only one. The traffic cones were Alan’s idea, and pure genius. Still, we got a few rugrats bolting across the “stage.” Thankfully, none tripped on any cords or toppled speakers.
It was a success. They sounded tight, the technical problems were fairly minor, and Liz, the singer, remembered to introduce the band before the final song. She didn’t call Kate “the Bootsy Collins of Brownell Middle School,” but you can’t have everything. They kept their cool in trying conditions. As Marty, the guitarist’s father, says, every show is worth 10 lessons. Someday they will look back on this and laugh. Because this is funny:
When Kate showed up at jazz-band practice with that guitar strap, one of her fellow middle-school musical smartasses asked if it came with free pot. Truth be told, I didn’t associate it with rasta colors when we bought it; we were only looking for a light enough color that it could be signed by her idols; she sometimes takes it along to concerts for autographs, and the ones in black leather with fake bullets on them won’t show a Sharpie stroke. Oh, well — everyone needs some signifiers that will allow others to leap to erroneous conclusions about them. This is hers.
The other thing we did this weekend was see “Super 8.” Up front, may I stipulate that I’m not a fan of Steven Spielberg, nor of J.J. Abrams, nor of all the movies I’ve seen it compared to, from “Stand By Me” to “The Goonies” and whatever. I’ve avoided everything since “E.T.,” which — hello — I didn’t like. Sue me, I’m a Scorsese girl.
But one should see more films without knowing fact one about them. Given my druthers, I’d have gone for “Midnight in Paris,” but Alan said let’s pick a family movie for once, and all three of us haven’t seen one together since “True Grit” back at Christmastime, so “Super 8” it was. I’m happy to say I enjoyed it quite a bit, while acknowledging its flaws and calculations. Maybe this is adulthood.
Flaws: Jeez, it was loud. We got there early, and sat through the expected slate of previews, which meant summer blockbuster hopefuls. “The Green Lantern,” “Real Steel,” “Captain Marvel,” etc. Those were loud, too. Loud and explode-y and louder still. I understand the appeal of a summer popcorn movie, but criminy. It was fun seeing the glimpses of Detroit in “Real Steel,” which was shot here last summer — the empty parking lot at the Pontiac Silverdome, and Cobo Hall, where the robot fights happen. The special effects in all these films are astonishing, of course, and were as well in “Super 8,” which featured a train derailment that seemed to go on for five minutes and defied the laws of physics, but oh well.
The marketing strategy for this thing seems to be not to reveal too much, to rely on Spielberg + Abrams = Magic, so I won’t reveal too much, either, except to note the pure calculation of setting the story in 1979, which allows parents of today to tell their children on the walk back to the car that yes, men really did wear their hair like that, with sideburns that looked like moss growing across their face. Yes, “My Sharona” really was a hit on the radio way back when, and a rush job on getting film developed was three days. And what is film? Well, it’s uses a chemical reaction to light to… never mind. We have cell phone cameras now, and iMovie. And digital effects.
Because it’s Monday, on to the bloggage:
Someone posted this long-ish essay by Roseanne Barr on Facebook over the weekend, and while I’m not a huge fan of hers, it’s definitely worth a read, if the antics of crazy people in showbiz are your cup of tea. I watched a couple seasons of “Roseanne” when it was on, but evidently not the one(s) featuring George Clooney. He was on this show? What did he play? And this shows that whatever her crazy-bitch faults, Barr at least retains her sense of humor:
The end of my addiction to fame happened at the exact moment Roseanne dropped out of the top 10, in the seventh of our nine seasons. It was mysteriously instantaneous! I clearly remember that blackest of days, when I had my office call the Palm restaurant for reservations on a Saturday night, at the last second as per usual. My assistant, Hilary, who is still working for me, said – while clutching the phone to her chest with a look of horror, a look I can recall now as though it were only yesterday: “The Palm said they are full!” Knowing what that really meant sent me over the edge. It was a gut shot with a buckshot-loaded pellet gun. I made Hil call the Palm back, disguise her voice, and say she was calling from the offices of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Instantly, Hil was given the big 10-4 by the Palm management team. I became enraged, and though she was uncomfortable doing it (Hil is a professional woman), I forced her to call back at 7.55pm and cancel the 8pm reservation, saying that Roseanne – who had joined Tom and Nicole’s party of seven – had persuaded them to join her at Denny’s on Sunset Boulevard.
As though living through a tornado wasn’t enough, now it can follow up maiming injury with rare infection:
Several people who were injured when a tornado devastated Joplin, Mo., last month have become sickened by an uncommon, deadly fungal infection and at least three have died, although public health officials said Friday that a link between the infection and the deaths was not certain. …The fungus that causes the infection, which is believed to be mucormycosis, is most commonly found in soil and wood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is studying samples from the eight Joplin patients. “It is a very aggressive and severe infection,” said Dr. Benjamin Park, chief of the epidemiology team in the C.D.C.’s Mycotic Diseases Branch. “It is also very rare.”
Actually, despite the human suffering, I find this interesting. Soybean rust, a crop disease, was making its slow way north from South America until we had an active hurricane season a few years back, and the storms picked up the spores and deposited them in the U.S. Presumably this is what happened here. Not much can resist a 180-mile-per-hour wind.
With that, I take my leave. Lovely day in progress, time to join it.