Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Slippery Jeans

Hey, James Franco was in town the other night, showing off his new movie of THE SOUND AND THE FURY. I missed the whole thing. Ace Atkins saw the movie and kind of liked it! You know, sometimes I think this town is divided between the people who like James Franco and the people who don't. I like James Franco! Many of my friends and neighbors do not share my opinion. I don't get it. James Franco is just trying to make a living like everybody else! Ace acted out a whole scene from the movie and it was pretty hilarious. Dr. Theresa and I met him at Snackbar. Then guess who showed up? John Currence, who owns the joint! He was talking about some bespoke denim pants he bought, and how slippery they are. Ace knew all about the makers of the bespoke jeans. Maybe Ace and John are the only two guys in town who can have a serious discussion about the relative slipperiness of bespoke jeans. It was fun to listen to! Then Bill Boyle showed up, so the night was complete.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Skipped Owls

I forgot to tell you that there is an owl in THE LORE AND LANGUAGE OF SCHOOLCHILDREN. Also, I have been so urgently racing through Laura Lippman's latest nailbiter HUSH HUSH that I neglected to inform you when Tess Monaghan's young daughter was referred to as a "night owl," which, as I am sick of reminding you, COUNTS. Last night I dreamed I had figured out the mystery in HUSH HUSH, and now that I am awake my "solution" still seems viable... but this is not the first time my dreams may have fooled me about a Tess Monaghan story.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

No Sun Partisan He

Our friend Mark Baker was in town to install some rare old photographs of Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood over at the Powerhouse. Why did he do that? I am happy to tell you! The Isom Center, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and others are hosting a Cabbagetown retrospective at 7 PM on March 19. You should attend! Among the other treats will be live performances from Bill Taft and Caroline Young, who will read her poetry about that place. There will be a rare screening of BENJAMIN SMOKE, Jem Cohen's lauded documentary about Bill's old band. Also: food! We walked up with Mr. Baker last night to see Jonathan Richman perform in the intimate setting of Proud Larry's. Many familiar faces in the crowd: Dent May is visiting from his new home in Los Angeles. Jimmy came up from New Orleans for the show. Mary Miller! Bill Boyle! A respectable crowd, but small enough that you could get to know every face in it. Jonathan Richman just walked in off the street and through the front door with his guitar case, stepped onto the stage and started playing with zero fuss. His stone-faced drummer hopped up from the bar and joined him. He sang a song thanking the sun for allowing us to grow peas and corn. Then, as if to prove he's not strictly a sun worshipper, he reminded us that sometimes (I think I have this right) "we want to paddle our own canoe into the sinister darkness." He sang a song about it. "He's a mesmerist!" said Dr. Theresa, trying to describe Jonathan Richman's crazy dance moves after the show. "It's like he's looking THROUGH us!" Will McIntosh reportedly whispered to Dr. Theresa during the performance. Jonathan Richman bridged each song with fancy guitar licks so that there were no pauses, no places to clap. We clapped anyway, when we could.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pitcher Story

Here's a story Mom just told me on the telephone. So, 30 years ago there was this friend of Dad's at the house and he saw this pewter pitcher with a broken lid. He told Mom, "I have a friend who's a jeweler and he can fix this pitcher." So Mom said "Great!" and gave him the pitcher to take to his friend. So today, the same guy ran into Dad at the Waffle House. He said, "Hey, I have something for you." And he went out to his car and retrieved that pewter pitcher, which he had taken away 30 years ago and no one had spoken of since. It still wasn't fixed!

The Spock + Jerry Love Connection

McNeil reports that Leonard Nimoy's widow is Susan Bay, who portrayed Jerry Lewis's love interest in THE BIG MOUTH! Am I going to "fact-check" McNeil? I am not! And now I can "post" this picture of Leonard Nimoy holding a kitten that one of The Rock*A*Teens put on twitter.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Here's part of a paragraph from the "Cry-Babies" section of that book: "Other local terms for crying are: babbling (Whitehaven), blabbing (Lydney), blabbling (Derby), blabbering (Isle of Ely), blahing or blarting (Birmingham, Hanley, Wolverhampton), blaring (Norwich), bleating (Birmingham), moaning (the general term in Liverpool), and slobbering (Rochdale)." The paragraph continues for quite a while. I'll pick it up at the end: "In Scotland, as well as 'bubblin,' they speak of 'girnin' and, of course, 'greetin,' hence epithets like 'girnie bubbler,' 'girnie gowk,' and 'greetin-faced teenie.'" There's even more after that, but I just wanted to get "greetin-faced teenie" in there. I wonder what they thought of Paul Blart in Wolverhampton, ha ha ha, oh boy, are you with me?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Here's a sentence I like from that book I'm reading: "Popeye is still very much alive in oral tradition, but for some reason he chiefly features in verses which are obscene."


I got that 1959 book about the lore and language of schoolchildren I was telling you about. It's called THE LORE AND LANGUAGE OF SCHOOLCHILDREN. Chapter 10 is "Unpopular Children: Jeers and Torments." The "unpopular children" are divided into categories for discussion: Spoil-Sports, Sourpusses, Spitfires - Clever-Dicks - Dafties, Fools, and Dunces - Swankpots - Nosey Parkers - Stare-Cats - Cowards - Cry-Babies - Sneaks - Crawlers. The entry on swankpots begins, "Swankpots come in for stern disapproval."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love

I was in that used book stall I like today. I saw a book called GREAT PHILOSOPHERS WHO FAILED AT LOVE. Ha ha ha! I don't know why that made me laugh. And then I saw a book called THE HEAVENLY CITY OF THE 18TH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHERS but at first I thought it said THE HEAVYSET 18TH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHERS. Whew! Anyway, that was some day I had.