Payin’ dues.

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.

Posted at 8:52 am in Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

39 responses to “Payin’ dues.”

  1. brian stouder said on June 13, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Grant (our 15 year old, who has driver’s education looming just ahead) allowed me to persuade him to get his hair trimmed last week, in exchange for “a goodie to be named later”. He selected going to see the latest Johnnie Depp pirate movie, after a pleasant lunch at Flannigan’s. I had never actually watched a Johnnie Depp pirate movie from start to finish, and it was a pleasant surprise to see the guy from The King’s Speech in a leading role in the movie, as a rival pirate commander.

    It was not entirely my cup of tea*, but Grant liked it, so it was a success. The cool part? All those rock ‘em, sock ‘em summertime previews? We missed them. At 1:40 PM – the appointed hour for our movie – the Coke commercials and so on stopped, and the screen went dark, and remained dark. For the next 10 minutes, we enjoyed a contemplative silence (other than the crunch-crunch-crunch of popcorn). Then – upper curtains lowered a bit, and the screen lit up. Being a digital projection system, what followed was a minute or so of DVR-like fast-forwarding. It was pretty funny – silent still shots of mayhem, explosions, dramatic scowls, careening cars, and the like; followed by – the beginning of our movie.

    I believe I’d sooner pay extra for a ‘fast forward’ button than for those hokey 3-D glasses.

    *There is a mermaid character in the movie, who interacts with an overtly Christian fellow on the pirate crew (or who is held by the pirates; his status on the ship is a bit murky); and they actually raise and examine a few interesting questions about wrong and right and morality and faith…before veering off into incoherence!

    1659 chars

  2. Julie Robinson said on June 13, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Roger Ebert has the right idea: “Before seeing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I had already reached my capacity for Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and with this fourth installment, my cup runneth over.” ’nuff said

    The volume of Super 8 was good for covering the numerous screeches I made–do *not* take this girl to a horror movie. It did feel derivative but the actors were marvelous and I also enjoyed telling our son that it was set in the same year as Mom & Dad got married. The other movie we saw on vacation was the the new XMen and it was meh at best. I haven’t seen the others in the series so it was hard to care about the characters and the special effects looked cheap. The models lacked the perspective to make them look anything better than teeny little boats and buildings.

    Oh how I have missed the internet. At my aunt and uncle’s it was dial-up, and we had to ask permission every day before he would hook it up for us, after which he would hover around asking if we were done every five minutes. We felt about 15, which I’m pretty sure was his intention. Iowa + Missouri Synod + money = controlling, paternalistic, Focus on the Family, everything-was-better-in-the-fifties attitudes.

    However, the memorial service which was the reason for the trip was lovely. Mom’s cousin had become an alcoholic like his own father, then repeated the family pattern of deserting his wife and kids. Yet to a one they forgave him and recognized that he had a disease, not a character flaw. Their compassion was truly admirable, and showed me that not all Iowans are rigidly judgmental.

    1620 chars

  3. MarkH said on June 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

    All this time I thought I was alone in not really liking ET.

    60 chars

  4. coozledad said on June 13, 2011 at 10:43 am

    That Roseanne piece was instructive. It goes a long way toward explaining why her show got to be so good. I always thought they had some of the best ensemble work going, a lot better than any of the other shows of its day.
    OT, but an article in Harper’s pointed me toward Charles Lauhgton’s Night of The Hunter, a movie that was panned and failed at the box office.
    Not only is the movie good, but there are clips on Youtube of some of the rushes, and you can hear Laughton directing. I’d love to own a copy, along with the remains of his unfinished I, Claudius.

    608 chars

  5. Dorothy said on June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I believe Mr. Clooney played Roseanne’s boss. But I’m not positive. [edit: I’m in the middle of reading the essay and see that he was, indeed, her boss in the first season.]

    My daughter saw Woody’s new film on Friday night and loved it. (Moe gave it a glowing recommendation over the weekend, too.) Daughter also is all happy-happy/joy-joy this morning because her boyfriend surprised her with tickets to see “The Book of Mormon” in November when they are in NYC for one of her college pal’s wedding.

    504 chars

  6. 4dbirds said on June 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I liked Roseanne and I like the person Roseanne. She isn’t afraid to share her demons and failings and I think bringing emotional and mental issues out of the closet helps everyone. George Clooney played her first line boss in the plastic fork factory where she worked.

    271 chars

  7. prospero said on June 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Scorsese movie: Get DeNiro to pork out and say Fuck about a million times, as every part of speech. Best movies, The Grifters and Last Waltz (a long fucking time ago). Nadir: Raging Bull, revoltingly bad, moronic drivel.

    Claudius is Derek Jacobi. “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.” Derek Jacobi as Claw-claw and Charles Laughton, kindred spirits. I read Night of the Hunter decades ago, a novel by Davis Grubb. Very good, and the movie is even better, but I’m a sucker for anything with Robert Mitchum. James Agee worked on the adaptation of the novel to screenplay.

    I thought Martin Mull was Roseanne’s boss. And Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert were the class of that show, as it were. Best DeNiro movie: Midnight Run, Brazil (Harry Tuttle).

    768 chars

  8. alex said on June 13, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I was never a huge Roseanne fan but found the show watchable and the characters sympathetic, much more so than was the case with most TV sitcoms then or now. It was a good ensemble cast. (Although after she started having all the plastic surgery and lipo, she became a little less believable as a lower middle-class housefrau.)

    I see she has a blog these days. It could benefit from her great comedic gifts if she’d just make an effort to apply them.

    518 chars

  9. Linda said on June 13, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I loved Roseanne’s show till the last couple of seasons, when it got way over the top. But it was subversive in some wonderful ways: it showed smart blue-collar people, and smart fat people–hell, it showed VISIBLE fat people whose fat was not a walking punchline. It showed working-class aspirations and realities as the norm, also not as a punchline. Also, the adults weren’t clueless dolts and the kids unchecked smartasses.

    BTW–Martin Mull was Roseanne’s boss at a later job. Like real pink-collar people, she shifted jobs a lot. And she had a knack for collecting talented people, like John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and a young Johnny Galecki, who is now in Big Bang Theory.

    690 chars

  10. Dexter said on June 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    My wife and her sisters and friends loved Roseanne Barr, and I would watch sporadically just because it was on, but I was not a huge fan, and didn’t read the tabloids or keep up with the inner-Roseanne. That said, I was surprised by what a lovely person she is today, and maybe always was. I learn the damndest things from Ron Bennington Interviews.

    My Firefox browser has a real hard-on for non-encrypted sites, so if you use Firefox, just switch over to IE if you want to hear this interview. It really is a good one.

    590 chars

  11. John G. Wallace said on June 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I very rarely go to a movie. The last film I saw in the theatre before Super 8 this weekend was Ratatouie, and I only went to that because I had the friday night newsroom duty – waiting to write a last minute obit or go see what a drunk driver hit right at presstime.
    Since I developed a total hearing loss in my left ear – and yes being deaf to the right would be better, as well as my typing while talking on the phone easier – but I wanted a night out and after a really great dinner at a Jamaican inspired place, my wife an I saw Super 8.

    The nostalgia factor was great – the attention to details in the gas station and other locations, the late ’70’s tech like the Walkman, etc. I especially loved the moviemaking element as I used to make Super 8 films. The technical side of things was harder back then for young people, but the modern editing tools and slick work many young people today can produce manys expectations higher for them.

    I filmed a post-apocolypse short film using models, odd camera angles, and holiday afternoons to make little Glen Rock, NJ seem abandoned. My friends and I found an old abandoned road grid in a nearby town that had been left to be reclaimed by nature. The atomic blast – more flash powder and dumped out firecrackers than you can imagine – and that had to be a one shot take.

    I also did claymation with a single frame lens trigger – the police at the time were happy to run over Mr. Bill.

    Super 8 came too close to JJ Abrams CLoverfield – I was sure it was the monster in the box car, and it had a slightly better attempt at an ending – unlike Lost where the writers drove off a cliff, and Cloverfield. It seems too many films today deliberatly lack an ending – I still blame Lost in Translation for that.

    None of the trailers appealed to me – CGI – Meh. Just because you can make cars and trucks transform into robots never meant any of those movies should have been made. I thought the fighting robot flick was going to be Rock Em Sock Em robots. Why not? They are making a Battleship film! Deep dialog there, B5, miss. Risk? no thanks.

    Apparently no one writes anything new anymore…

    I’m holding hope that “Take Shelter” is remotely as good as it looks in the trailers. Until then I’ll be in front of my computer watching downloaded content – getting caught up on Treme, the entire air crash investigation catalog, and yes, my beloved Battlestar Galactica. I do see almost every film nominated for the Academy Awards – it’s a happy time in bittorent world when those screeners are flying fast and free.

    2575 chars

  12. LAMary said on June 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    John did you go to public school in Glen Rock? Did you know a girl named Marybeth Frank?

    88 chars

  13. Joe Kobiela said on June 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Check out Ken Levins blog about Roseanne, might give you a different perspective. Tom Arnold was asked about a statment roseanne made about his manhood being small. His reply was even a 747 looks small in the grand canyon!!
    Pilot Joe

    234 chars

  14. Rana said on June 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I’m always struck by the loudness of films – and music, even more so – to the point that I wonder about the hearing of most of the people around me. I’ve got earplugs in most of my bags, and they go in before even the trailers and commercials get started.

    (And here’s where I rant “Commercials! Commercials! Back in my day…” Hell, I remember when DVDs didn’t come with anything except the film. That certainly didn’t last very long, did it?)

    452 chars

  15. John G. Wallace said on June 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Mary – it sounds familar but I graduated in ’85 and served from 3rd through 8th grade in the St. Catherines Youth Correctional Facility, then another two at Bergen Catholic, before going back to public school.

    Amazing that the geometry class that vexed me to summer school twice at Bergen Catholic wasn’t required at GRHS. I’m glad because the sadistic teacher would spend the last 6 weeks of school remarking about how the A/C is turned off during summer school and he would walk around singing a terrible version of Sly and the Family Stone’s “hot fun in the summertime.” That was far more cruel than the nun at St. Catherine’s who would hit us with an old car antenna. I’m still convinced some parishner emerged from mass one Sunday to find his antenna had been swiped.

    775 chars

  16. Bob said on June 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    New entrance exam for those commenting on your blog: Did you like “E.T.”? I’m with you in the grouchy minority. Saw it with a sf/action-loving pal; we were nauseated. A teenager in front of us actually started to cry. We groaned in misery.

    239 chars

  17. 4dbirds said on June 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Although I didn’t have strong feelings one way or another about ET, I disliked “Close Encounters”. Why did the aliens kidnap all those people and keep them for years yet we’re supposed to believe they’re friendly? Also, how am I supposed to like a man (Dreyfus) who will leave his wife and three young children to go off on a great adventure on a spaceship? It didn’t make sense to me.

    390 chars

  18. LAMary said on June 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Marybeth would be in the class of 84 I think. She was the adopted daughter of my second grade teacher and she was named after me. My mom died when I was in the second grade and my teacher sort of looked out for me after that. When she left to adopt her daughter at the end of the school year she named her after me. My namesake died in her forties from cancer. Through the internet and its wonders I tracked down my teacher about 6 years ago by looking up Marybeth Frank/Glen Rock.I found her high school reunion website and connected with someone there who then connected me to Mrs. Frank, the second grade teacher. We spoke once for a long time, mostly crying. I think all our connections were too sad to keep in touch with each other.

    I just looked at the Glen Rock website and she was class of 79. I was off by a lot.

    824 chars

  19. moe99 said on June 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    There are huge holes in my television/movie/pop music viewing and listening histories courtesy of having 3 kids and working full time. Most of the 80’s and a good bit of the 90’s remain for me to discover in my retirement, should I ever have one.

    That being said, I cannot tell you how very very much I am enjoying Game of Thrones. I’ve read the books, so know what’s coming, yet I am still in shock from last night’s episode. GRR Martin turned all the fantasy tropes on their heads when he wrote the first volume and it was a very good thing. But tough. Kind of like life.

    588 chars

  20. Dexter said on June 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Update on Clarence Clemons, as of 2:40 P.M. : Clarence suffered two strokes yesterday and had two surgical procedures last evening. As of now, he is able to squeeze someone’s finger on command, but that’s all. E Street Band members have been told to get to Florida A.S.A.P.
    This is all crushing news to millions of us who have been listening to Mr. Clemons’s wailing sax for 37 years or so.
    Keeping my fingers crossed….

    559 chars

  21. brian stouder said on June 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    non sequitur –

    File this under “Things that make you say “Yuk”” (or Yucca).

    The thing that caught my attention was the chuckle-worthy spectacle of the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission having a volatile personality and an explosive temper

    The report paints a picture of a toxic work environment at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at a time when the agency is working through whether it needs to change rules and oversee any expansion of the nuclear industry in the wake of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant.

    The gratuitous use of the phrase “toxic work environment” in the same sentence that also includes a reference to “Japan’s Fukushima plant” is almost admirably evil-spirited! It looks like what this really is, is a partisan attack on the guy who is standing in the way of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository plan; but I got a kick out of it in any case.

    1175 chars

  22. Dorothy said on June 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Moe I am still in deep distress by what happened at the end of last night’s Game of Thrones! My husband thought it might be a trick, but I asked a co-worker today (who has read the books) if it’s true and he confirmed. I am REALLY upset because that character was my favorite one!! I bought the first book for Mike for his birthday and I think we’re going to fight over who gets to read it – he hasn’t started it yet but I’m getting the itch to do so. I finished Emma Donoghue’s “Room: A Novel” yesterday in a little over 24 hours (time out to sleep Sat. night) and really enjoyed it.

    588 chars

  23. Kim said on June 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Nobody does creepster like Robert Mitchum. Night of the Hunter is classic.

    On Roseanne: When our eldest was born we used a line from her show, which we didn’t catch regularly but saw right before Kid 1 was born. She said it when upbraiding one of her kids, and defended her rant because the kid was “one of the things we own outright.” It is our favorite parenting line, even 18 years later.

    LAMary, that is a tough, distressing story.

    441 chars

  24. Dexter said on June 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Dorothy, that punk-ass kid-king Joffrey! Poor Ned Stark…I had never heard of the books or this storyline, and it sure is a grabber.
    I mean, what the hell? Ned had complied…now, I am not a revengeful man, but…I want “King” Joffrey’s head on a pike!
    Revenge for Ned Stark!
    Here’s a recap for those who missed it:

    401 chars

  25. moe99 said on June 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Dexter, the books are very well written. Lots to keep track of, but Martin is a masterful storyteller. Vol. 3 is my favorite thus far.

    ps, if Roseanne did give Joss Wheedon and Jud Apatow their starts, I am indebted to her. Firefly and Freaks and Geeks are two series (which I bought) that are my favorites.

    326 chars

  26. Dorothy said on June 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Still have 3 or 4 episodes of Freaks and Geeks on my DVR. They ran a marathon at Christmas time. Classic, terrific show!

    122 chars

  27. Suzanne said on June 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I remember being so impressed with Rosanne because the house looked like a real house! There was clutter, and stuff, and messiness. It was reality! But later, it did jump the shark…

    186 chars

  28. Bryan said on June 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm


    As a bassist myself, I was wondering what kind of rig Kate is playing. Looks like she has a Fender P-Bass copy (I have always coveted a real one). What kind of amp? I see she already has the aloofness required of all bassists who aren’t lead singers down pat.

    269 chars

  29. MaryRC said on June 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I wish Roseanne had ended her addiction to fame a little earlier than the show’s 7th season. I agree with Alex, the show lost its authentic look after Roseanne’s plastic surgery, not to mention her expensive haircuts and the only mid-winter tan in Lanford.

    Roseanne was pretty rough on a lot of people and not just her writers and producers. Her own family took a beating from her over the years. I don’t believe that family members have any right to freeload on a successful celebrity, but from what I understand, her first husband and especially her sister Geraldine (the model for Jackie) invested a lot in her career during the early years, without much thanks in the end. She accused her father of sexually molesting her, then retracted the accusation years later … sort of. She wound up being estranged from her whole family. I remember seeing her on some talk show making fun of another of her sisters who asked her for a loan. If she’s happier these days, not so bitter and angry, good for her. But I wouldn’t blame her family if they still don’t feel warmly about her.

    1092 chars

  30. nancy said on June 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    The amp is a Gallien-Krueger and yes, that’s a Fender jazz bass. I leave these purchases to Alan, our household’s ninja shopper. The instrument was bought used. They shopped around for a bit and settled on that one, which they both liked because it’s a 1996 model, same as its player, and in excellent shape.

    The amp was supposed to be her end-of-school-year gift for being an honor student, but it requires a particular magnet that uses rare-earth elements, which the Chinese have lately cornered the market on. The price is rising by the half-minute, so he bought it a couple months back to save money.

    The PA we borrowed from the music school where they all take lessons. It’s fine for the practice room, but pathetic in a gym. About the same watts per channel as my first real stereo in 1980.

    804 chars

  31. MaryRC said on June 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Re Night of the Hunter: I had always heard that Robert Mitchum directed the child actors in the movie himself because Charles Laughton disliked children so much that he refused to speak to them. Now I’ve found that this was a myth and that Laughton and the boy actor Billy Chapin got along well. I’m wondering where the story about Mitchum directing the children came from.

    FWIW I have never seen ET, other than a few clips. And yet I could probably recite the entire plot.

    481 chars

  32. nancy said on June 14, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Cooz, I believe I have James Agee’s script for “Night of the Hunter” somewhere, in a Modern Library edition. I haven’t read it for a while, but if you’re interested I’d be happy to pass it along.

    195 chars

  33. Dexter said on June 14, 2011 at 1:03 am

    June 14

    96 chars

  34. coozledad said on June 14, 2011 at 6:38 am

    That’d be great, Nancy.
    At one point, the bookstore where I used to work kept all the Modern Library editions and would repurchase used copies to try and keep the entire collection. They were housed upstairs, though, and the father and son who took over the business both had bad knees and couldn’t make it up there much, so it was a shadow of its former self.
    The owner was also on the puritanical side, and he’d gone through the store and rounded up the lurid paperbacks from the forties, fifties, and sixties and kept them in a locked room. I told him he probably had a small fortune there- but he was at least ideologically consistent, especially for a guy who popped a new ‘roid every time a dollar got away. He refused to sell them, or Harry Potter books.
    A local prof had assembled his own free library of porn upstairs. The owner didn’t know about it, but on slow days the employees who weren’t stair-challenged would go up and redistribute the erotica in the stacks. It would miraculously reassemble itself in a corner somewhere, under the faint light of a greasy window, or among the broken cardboard boxes in a disused freight elevator.
    There were aspects of working there that were better than TV.

    1213 chars

  35. ROGirl said on June 14, 2011 at 6:48 am

    I remember seeing Night of the Hunter on TV as a kid and was very scared by evil Robert Mitchum with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles chasing after the kids and Lillian Gish. Didn’t like ET (mawkish and long), but I did like Close Encounters.

    Roseanne brought a family and characters to TV that hadn’t been seen before, but the show did go on for too long (not unique in the history of TV), and fame can be a strong drug.

    430 chars

  36. Scout said on June 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

    We opted for Midnight in Paris and enjoyed it thoroughly. Some great classic Woody Allen lines that Luke Olson delivered perfectly. The whole premise was totally fun. I do want to see Super 8 so I’m glad it was enjoyed by all here at the nn.c salon.

    252 chars

  37. MarkH said on June 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Owen Wilson?

    12 chars

  38. Scout said on June 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Uh, yeah. Owen Wilson. Duh. Not enough coffee when I posted!

    62 chars

  39. Halloween Jack said on June 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    My sympathy for Roseanne Barr declined significantly after reading Ken Levine’s take on her essay, and her response to him:

    He would howl like the balless little bitch that he is if that happened to him, but it wouldn’t because he is a white jewish man who has thousands of peers who would take his side with him if that happened to him.

    And then she gets on him for using the word “gypped”, which is, as she points out, racist in origin, but not everyone’s up on their etymology. (More recently, she also used her blog to defend Tracey Morgan’s homophobic rant.)

    595 chars