Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Restoration


We have discovered by accident that we do indeed have C-Span 2 on the "cable," despite the dire prophecies of our live "internet" chum, who informed us to the contrary. For those living in the vicinity of the Pendarvis Building, you will be pleased to know that the channel has simply moved on down the dial, from 31 to 104. That's a long way to go for such a little channel! But well within character for the plucky spirit of C-Span 2 and its enigmatic progenitor, Mr. Brian Lamb.

Friday, March 30, 2007

We Have Company

Not only are we not the first to "blog" about Woody Woodbury this month (this fellow was trying to "sample" him into a "dance groove" or some such thing [!])... we are not even the first to mention his film FOR THOSE WHO THINK YOUNG this month. Woody Woodbury! We just found out about you today and now you have a place in our hearts forever.

Doing You Wrong

I fear I am doing you wrong by citing only one paragraph of the Woody Woodbury interview. I can't emphasize enough that it is chock full of sparkling gems from beginning to end. I suspect you will find your own "fave" moments, such as when Mr. Woodbury gets "riled up" at the TV show 60 Minutes. Secondly, the new photo of Lizabeth Scott has only been up for a scant few hours, and I have already buried it under an avalanche of Woody Woodbury references. I'm slipping, people. Slipping!

Specific Citation

If you'd like to understand exactly why we feel such a warm kinship with the prose stylings of Woody Woodbury, I would direct your attention, as a perfect example, to the paragraph in the interview beginning "In my case, I sort of 'caught on' in St. Paul" and ending "Talk about plush! This place had it all!"

The Elements of Style

The "blog" can't help but notice Woody Woodbury's stylish deployments of exclamation points and quotation marks in the aforementioned interview. Though we only today became aware of him, we must acknowledge him forthwith as a progenitor of the "blog."

Woody Woodbury

For more information on Woody Woodbury, please see the interview to which you will be taken by "clicking" on this "link." Thank you for stopping by the "blog" for all your Woody Woodbury needs.

McNeil's Movie Korner: The Glorious Return

Reports of its demise having been greatly exaggerated, we find ourselves graced with another installment of McNeil's Movie Korner. Today Mr. McNeil would like to call our attention to FOR THOSE WHO THINK YOUNG, the film from which that beloved YouTube clip was culled. Mr. McNeil points out that the cast boasts the daughters of both Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. We would add, with Mr. McNeil's indulgence, that it also contains not one but TWO Gilligan's Island castaways as well as highbrow cinema darling Ellen Burstyn... and perhaps most intriguingly, Woody Woodbury as Uncle Woody. We are not familiar with Mr. Woodbury or his work, though we notice he was a policeman in the Jerry Lewis film HARDLY WORKING during the same year he appeared as "himself" on HEE HAW. Who else can say that? Not many, wagers the "blog"!

Shoes

I'm tired of tying my shoes. I want some of those shoes you don't have to tie.

Aquaman Donut Bonanza

You know we like our donuts. And we like our favorite Aquaman "blog." So you know we're going to like it when our favorite Aquaman "blog" endorses a Seattle donut shop.

This Week's Picture of Lizabeth Scott


I see that once again it is time to "post" a new picture of Lizabeth Scott. Here you go.

Dr. "M.'s" TV Korner: Wiry!

Good morning and welcome to Dr. "M.'s" TV Korner, formerly known as Agent "M.'s" TV Korner. Who was spotted last night indulging in her favorite chicken salad but the elusive Dr. "M."? And yet bright and early this morning she had already gathered herself and submitted a fascinating tidbit to the "blog," all about the best show ever on television, a little something-something we like to call THE WIRE. Here, then, we present a "link" upon which you may "click," courtesy of the eagle-eyed Dr. "M."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Today's Weather: Hot & Cold

Welcome to another edition of "Today's Weather," our popular weather-related feature. Jeff McNeil and I were just marveling over the fact that though we live only four hours apart, it is hot where I am and cold where he is. Weather!

Jim Whorton on the Moon


Another bulletin just in from Jim Whorton: "Don't you imagine that the US has a secret base on the moon?" he asks. "It has to be true!" he then recklessly asserts. "Think about it! We went there in 1969, when engineers were still using slide rules! It is inconceivable that people have not gone back. There could be a military or scientific base up there and who would know? There are some ducks flying around outside my window."

Gang of Four Query

Jim Whorton writes the "blog": "The 'parablendeum' business reminds me of a line in a Gang of Four song which sounds like 'Or a paracitimo.' What is a paracitimo?" We would be more inclined to take his question seriously if he had not already "burned" us - perhaps intentionally! - by getting us all worked up over parablendeum. But, giving Mr. Whorton the benefit of the doubt, we put it out there for all to consider. If only there were some way that people could comment directly on a "blog"! But alas, from my understanding, there is not. However, we do believe that our old "Blog" Buddies Jon Langford and Sally Timms actually know, in a personal way, the Gang of Four. So perhaps we can go directly to the source.

Important Parablendeum Bulletin

So yesterday I ran across my copy of THE STORIES OF JOHN CHEEVER and decided to read the one that Jim Whorton had been raving about. Afterward, I agreed with Whorton's assessment, yet differed with him on the subject of parablendeum. Whereas Whorton described it as (I'm paraphrasing) "something bread sacks were made of," it seemed to me from the story that it would be a bad idea to wrap bread in parablendeum. The narrator has a surreal dream in which bread is wrapped in parablendeum but upon wakening he seems to consider it a load of nonsense. So of course I got up this morning and did the "google" on it. Here I found a "link" explaining that John Cheever made up the word parablendeum, and indeed the entire parablendeum industry! This seems to be supported by the fact that there are only eight "google" matches for parablendeum, each dealing with the Cheever story. Well, Mr. Cheever, you sure had us going, you old rascal. Parablendeum!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

James Whorton, Jr.'s C-Spandemonium!

Welcome back to an all-new installment of James Whorton, Jr.'s C-Spandemonium! Whorton, who has been watching C-Span 2 for me ever since my "cable" company took it away and laughed in my face, files this report: "I am trying to watch Dana Perino on C-Span 2 but the cats are fighting on the couch next to me." Anyway, thanks for trying, Jim!

Correction

Looking back at Kent's email, he says that he is "11,000 feet above sea level," NOT "11,000 feet up the mountain." That's a big difference! At second glance, I suppose he was only indicating his arrival in Nepal. We at the "blog" regret the mistake. The intern who reads my emails to me as I recline in a hot bath of goat's milk and rose petals has been "let go."

Polls Closed

The results are in on our recent poll. According to 100% of the 1 people who responded, I am right and Jeff McNeil is wrong. To be fair, it must be noted that the respondent, "Blog" Buddy Barry B., while claiming to agree with me, is much closer, in his actual day-to-day telephone answering practices, to my nemesis in this matter, Jeff McNeil. Barry B. tends to answer the phone with a firm, not to say gruff, almost challenging declarative: "Hello." Anyway, it's moot, because I win.

Friendliness At 11,000 Feet

Hey, everybody, I just got an email from Kent, who seems to be close to two-thirds of the way up to base camp at Mt. Everest. Hooray for Kent! And of course, hooray for the "internet," which is everywhere and can do anything! Hooray! Speaking of which, Jeff McNeil has been doing an equally impressive kind of exploring... exploring the "internet," that is! He has moved on from the EBay, and turns his weary face toward the YouTube. Here is the gem he has discovered, the fruit of his labors, starring "blog" "fave" Bob Denver.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Canada Dry


Hey, what if I were from Canada? Then I might have entitled that previous "post" "Hello Poll, Eh?" And that would have been a palindrome! "Hello Poll, Eh?" Get it? Because Canadians say "eh?" all the time, or so goes my understanding of their culture. Wow. I wish I had been born in Canada so that could have happened. The "dry" in my current title refers to the wit involved with palindromes and such. Palindromes!

The Hello Poll


Hey, Jeff McNeil was on my case today, man. He says I answer the phone like this: "Hello?" What I ought to do, McNeil claims, is answer the phone like this: "Hello!" I contend that answering a phone is like hearing someone come in the front door while you're upstairs. You say, "Hello?" You want to know who's there, if anyone. Friend or foe? You're not committing. Likewise, "Hello?" is a searching, intellectual way to answer the phone. The fact that we do not have "caller ID" may play into this. McNeil prefers the forceful, jocular greeting: "Hello!" In fact, he demands it. Demands it! We need the "blog" readers to decide who's right. I know I am right. And no amount of "blog"-gathered evidence will convince McNeil he is wrong. Like so much in life, this "post" is futile. Yet here it is.

Access Forbidden

I hear from various "blog" fans that one cannot see the photo purporting to be Dr. "M." I recently "posted." In fact, when one "clicks" on the spot where Dr. "M.'s" photo should be, it is said, one sees this notice: ACCESS FORBIDDEN. Strange, because we can see it clear as day here in the Pendarvis Building. This sounds like the work of the diabolical Dr. "M." herself. We can only hope that the "blog" has not offended! We did not mean to "pull a Robert Novak" on her, as the kids call it these days.

"Blog" Proves Itself Force For Good in an Amoral Universe

We are ecstatic to report that johntedge.com is back on its feet and running smoothly again. We were horrified recently when it seemed as if all our "web" pictures of Mr. Edge had been replaced by strange stock photos of traffic at night. The original pictures are now happily displayed once more, as you can confirm for yourself by "clicking" on the appropriate "links." We can only assume that it was the "blog's" determined focus on the issue that has resulted in this blessed outcome. I do feel bad for blaming the interns and indeed firing most of them without notice or explanation, but my ungovernable pride prevents me from hiring them back.

Introducing Dr. "M."


An anonymous troublemaker has slipped the accompanying photo over the Pendarvis Building transom, along with a note comprised of letters clipped out of various magazines. This cowardly person, who doesn't even have the guts to sign his name, claims that the woman on the right is in fact our undercover operative Agent "M." According to the "tipster," Agent "M." is shown here turning in her dissertation. We have been able to ascertain a few facts. It is true that Agent "M." turned in her final, approved dissertation today, and that she has officially earned the much more sinister sounding name "Dr. 'M.'," by which she will be referred to henceforth. We were also able to confirm that the woman on the left is Queen Watson, who works, we believe, for Emory University. We do take great exception to this feeble attempt to compromise the identity of our agent in the field, but we wanted to "put it out there" before the tabloids get hold of the story and blow it out of proportion. Also, we wish to congratulate Dr. "M." on her impressive achievement. If reports are correct, she plans to spend most of her time now watching DANCING WITH THE STARS on abc.com. We salute her in this new endeavor, and hope that she will file many, many reports on the subject.

The Subject That Won't Go Away

I am queasy about reporting this next bit. Though it is tied to one of Theresa's main scholarly interests, it's a little too dark for the "blog." But oh well! The always alert Agent "M." has stumbled upon The Lizzie Borden Gift Shop. She asks us to take particular note of the "Silver Tone Pierced Earrings with Dangling Hatchets." And we do! We do take particular note! Goodness help us, we do.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lunch

Today while I was having a glass of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and some other luncheon items at Belly, some people sat down next to me (everyone sits rather communally at a long table on a long bench there) and began making out and rocking back and forth. A German man at the end of the table shouted to me "SPOILS YOUR LUNCH!" I wish I had a font big enough to express how loudly this German fellow shouted at me. Then he yelled, "NAAAAAH! COME ON!" but I don't think I got his meaning exactly. The couple continued to smooch and rock. Not much of a story, but I feel bad if I don't "blog" a little every day.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

PW

The folks at Publishers Weekly decided to give me a good review for a change! They are tough birds to please. But apparently, in YOUR BODY IS CHANGING, my upcoming collection, I "hit the heart as often as the funny bone"! (Exclamation point mine.)

Pictures of John T. Edge Replaced With Time-Lapse Photography of Traffic: Heads Roll at "Blog"


Wow! It has been so long since we have talked about donuts that, looking back in the archives, we find that our "posted" photos of John T. Edge and his definitive work on the subject have been mysteriously replaced by time-lapse photography of a busy interstate. And johntedge.com seems to have dropped off the "internet." Well, perhaps one day those pictures will be restored and the world will make sense to me again. In the meantime I will try "posting" a new, more reliable photo of Mr. Edge, as well as a new "link" to his book about donuts. This is what happens when we lose sight of our true purpose! I blame the interns.

The Whorton Report on Canadian Donut Holes

How long ago we have been sidetracked from the one purpose of this "blog": to foster a productive discussion of donuts and donut-related treats. Leave it to novelist James Whorton, Jr., who first brought the fry cakes of upstate New York to our attention, to get us back on track, with the following report on his family's recent trip to Canada: "We bought some lucky bamboo and a light fixture, and I ate some Canadian nachos. Not so good, but I also had some donut holes at Tim Horton’s, which if you don’t know it is a Canadian fast food chain. They call them 'Timbits' instead of donut holes, which bothers me a little—this impulse to rename things after oneself that already have names of their own! But the 'Old Fashioned Plain Timbits' were delicious." Thanks for the tip, Jim! Did you happen to notice that "Tim Horton" rhymes with "Jim Whorton"? Felicitous!

My Greatest Influence


I was watching BARTON FINK on the "cable" last night and I realized that Chet, the character played by Steve Buscemi, is my greatest influence as a writer. There's a scene in which he has left Mr. Fink some thumbtacks as a remedy for peeling wallpaper. Chet has written on the package, "HOPE THESE DO THE TRICK -- CHET!" Although I came into the film late, I believe I recall from earlier viewings that he always signs his name with that exclamation point. Chet!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Look What "Computers" Can Do!


Hey, here I am on my recent trip to Hollywood, with the lovely Kimb Osborne whom (who?) you may recall from a previous "post." I love the "internet" and its many advantages!

"Blog"trospective Update

The "blog"trospective of Phil Oppenheim has now been updated to include his knowledge of penny-farthings. Just keeping you "posted"!

Derby II


Speaking of derbies and their influence on my work, I suppose it is a coincidence that my forthcoming novel, titled AWESOME, was initially inspired by the sight of yet another young person wearing a derby in the Little Five Points area, where Savage Pizza is located. In fact, an excerpt from the novel (which will appear in the next issue of AMERICAN SHORT FICTION) is called "My Derby." Over the past two years, I have seen three persons wearing derbies in Little Five Points, and a fourth person pedaling around on one of those old-timey bicycles with the big huge wheel in front and the tiny wheel in back. I thought they were called velocipedes, but Phil Oppenheim informed me that they are more properly referred to as penny-farthings.

Young Man in a Derby

Oh, this may be of no interest: As I was eating my submarine sandwich yesterday, there was, seated across the aisle from me, a young white male, a teenager I believe, sporting a walking stick and derby. Two young female friends of his were seated on the other side of his booth. Also, the young man was wearing makeup of the kind that I believe is called "clownwhite." His lips seemed to be painted with lipstick. His eyeliner was heavy. I do not believe that A CLOCKWORK ORANGE was his primary inspiration, though that was my first thought. He had, for example, no fake eyelashes. I overheard one snippet of conversation, from one of the young man's friends to him: "Grandma says you look like a black cat, which is weird, because your face is white." Now this is the kind of thing I might try to work into a short story, if I weren't so busy with my "blogging."

Now Is the Winter of Our Discontent Made Glorious Summer


I walked into Savage Pizza yesterday, ready to once again face the crushing disappointment of the discontinued submarine sandwich that I erstwhile held so very dear. It was with a heavy heart, dear reader, that I ordered the "Hot Portobello Sub," which had assumed, profanely, the place on the "specials" menu where my beloved marinated chicken used to be. Reader, I ate that sub. And by gosh if it wasn't the best sub I have ever eaten. I had another one today. In a way I feel as if I am a turncoat. In another way, who cares? The only problem is the way I quake in constant terror, wondering when they will strike my new "fave" off the menu. Sweet torture!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Golly!


I see that I've let the "blog" go about an hour and a half without a picture of Lizabeth Scott on it. It won't happen again. If everything is working correctly, you should see a new one accompanying this "post." Let me know if you have any Lizabeth-Scott-related problems!

A Famous Mountain


Hey, Kent's leaving today to climb to base camp at Mt. Everest. "JUST base camp?" you sneer. Well, what if I told you that "base camp" is 18,000 ft. in the air? I guess you'd feel sorry for sneering then! Goodbye, Kent! Come back soon! Be careful on the mountain! Look out for yetis!

Jack's Tips For Webern Lovers


You know how sometimes you'll be listening to Webern on your "iPod" and all of a sudden you'll think, "Hey! Is anything playing?" You know? And then you have to check your "iPod" to make sure it's working? That's because Webern can be so darn quiet sometimes! And if you're walking down a sidewalk with roaring traffic nearby, forget it! But DON'T turn your "iPod" all the way up, because sometimes Webern likes to throw in a couple of loud notes just to keep you on your toes. You might bust your eardrums, and then you couldn't listen to your "iPod" at all! And besides, what if Webern does stay quiet the whole time, and then the next piece on your "iPod" is "Love Me" by that 50s singer known only as "The Phantom"? Have you heard that soul-chilling yelp he gives at the beginning of that song? He really wants someone to love him! In a scary way! It'll wreck your nerves even at a regular volume. So watch out! That's my tip. Watch out! (Pictured, the comic-strip and move-serial character The Phantom, who, as far as I know, has absolutely nothing to do with the 1950s singer of the same name.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stockpiling Seen As Balm for Chicken Salad Anxiety

Just when things seemed bleakest for chicken salad lovers, here's Agent "M." to the rescue with a handy tip about your future chicken-salad-buying practices: "I suggest that you purchase a TUB of said salad next time and hoard it in your fridge." Roger wilco, Agent "M."!

Nation Breathes Sigh of Relief as Fork Loosened

Theresa freed Forky! When asked how, the terse beauty replied, "Hard work," refusing to elaborate. Once again we are called upon to ask ourselves about the nature of love. Forky and I celebrated by having some coleslaw.

Purdy

Hey, I just remembered the other book I bought at Skylight Books in Silver Lake. It was MOE'S VILLA by James Purdy. Say, here's a "tidbit" for you music "buffs"! James Purdy happens to be a favorite author of at least one member of the rocking band Hubcap City. How's that for "dish"? Pretty good, that's how it is for "dish"!

Breaking News: People Enjoy Chicken Salad

Not since our whimsical speculations upon the subject of Mr. Peter Bogdanovich has there been such a passionate response to the "blog." We are referring, of course, to Agent "M.'s" chicken salad report. Early today, a Vice President at Cartoon Network called the Pendarvis Building hotline expressly to say that she, too, found the Brickstore Pub to have Atlanta's best chicken salad, if not the world's. Later, Theresa brought home lunch... from Shields Meat Market. But not chicken salad! They were sold out of chicken salad! We can only assume that the shortage was due to the popularity of the "blog," coupled with Agent "M.'s" stirring rhetoric. We congratulate ourselves!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Blog" Celebrates 500th "Post"


It is with great pride that we recognize "What's Next For Forky?" as our "blog's" 500th "post." It seems like only 100 "posts" ago that we were celebrating our 400th "post." Why, we've discussed everything from super-apes to spider plants... though not, curiously, spider monkeys (pictured), which are a genetic hybrid, as we understand it, of super-apes and spider plants. We honestly couldn't have reached 500 "posts" without the tireless labor of our many correspondents, who trustingly send in emails that I then "cut-and-paste" for the entertainment of the world, grabbing all the credit and glory for myself. But these are the true heroes of the "blog," the men and women without whose willingness to do all the work we would not be celebrating our 500th "post" today. There's Jon Host and his legendary burger problem... Pia Z. Ehrhardt, with a tenderer burger reminiscence... Jim Whorton, known to children everywhere as the "C-Span Man"... and who can forget the windswept Amanda Stern? Yes, whether it's Agent "M." eating breakfast in Hawaii, Tom Bissell playing video games in Rome, Jeff McNeil "surfing" the "internet" for "Orgy at Madame Dracula's," or Tom Franklin simply sitting in the dark somewhere, having secret thoughts about Plastic Man, one thing is for sure... I have abused their kindness miserably. Oh, I have stolen from so many! Far too many to list here. Because I tire easily. But if someone wants to send me a list, I shall gladly "cut-and-paste" it.

What's Next For Forky?

Well, we're going to try smearing her with something oleaginous, and if that doesn't work I may gently tap the end of her with a hammer until she emerges safely from the dish drainer. Thanks for caring!

June


Everything is shaping up for some kind of crazy book tour in June. That's when my second story collection is coming out! I know it's early... but I also know that people who read books tend to be hermits and angry recluses and need about three months to work themselves up to a mental state in which they can leave the apartment. So here's an early heads up! A Cappella Books, right here in my own neighborhood, on June 2! Rock Point Books in Chattanooga on June 8! In the middle of June, there's the Happy Ending Reading Series, as I've mentioned before, and a New York City store appearance as well (details later). On the 22nd, I'll be at Skylight Books, in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. This is a bookstore I fell in love with on my recent visit to Hollywood! I bought several things there, including VERNACULAR DRAWINGS by the Canadian cartoonist known only as "Seth." They also sell books by the FC2 publishing company! I bought an FC2 book by Michael Martone. Also, A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES by Robert Coover, and LADY INTO FOX, a novel from the 1920s (I think) in which a lady turns into a fox! That will give you an idea of what a great bookstore Skylight Books is. And I know I'm forgetting some of the other stuff I picked up. At the end of June, Pia Z. Ehrhardt and I embark on a tour of Mississippi, going to three of the best independent bookstores in the nation... Lemuria in Jackson, Turnrow in Greenwood, and Square Books in Oxford. We're going to drive around like Thelma and Louise, except without any of the bad stuff, I hope, and also I'm a man. (Illustrating this "post," one of the "vernacular drawings" I picked up at Skylight.)

The Four Button

Hey, want to know something funny about the four button on our phone? Sometimes when you hit the four button, you get two or three fours instead of one! So if you are trying to dial "404," for example (which must be dialed before almost any number in Atlanta, where the Pendarvis Building is located), you may end up dialing 440444. This happens about 60% of the time. On rare occasions, the four thinks it is the pound key, too! Rarer still, the four functions as the redial button, unbidden. Oh, four! You rascal!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Agent "M.'s" TV Korner: "Ain't Going Out Like That" and Other Words of Inspiration


Wow! Agent "M." has been busier than ever... by which we mean she has been doing laundry and reading TV Guide. It was in the midst of these twin activities that she took a notion to favor us with another edition of Agent "M.'s" TV Korner... her second in just two or three days, unless our memory is faulty, and a new personal best for Agent "M."! So what was it that got her dander up? We will allow her to speak for herself, to wit: "Did you know that [TV Guide] is now a magazine-like periodical?" Agent "M." asks. "Anyway," she continues, "on one page it said that Rob Thomas said he was writing the season finale [of VERONICA MARS] as a season finale, NOT a series finale, and that if the CW tried to send them packing, they would put up a fight. You go, Rob Thomas! But on the next page, TV Guide made some quip about it being the end of the road for ol' Veronica. So who knows. But I did want Veronica lovers out there to know that they ain't going out like that." Strong words, Agent "M." Strong words.

Forky


My favorite fork, whose name is Forky, has become caught in the dish drainer - hopelessly, perhaps! Forky is jammed in there at an odd angle indeed, though she (SHE? I just found out, by writing this, that Forky is a she!) does not appear to be bent or otherwise damaged. No one could bend Forky! Not even Uri Geller! Forky is strong. The "blog" may shut down for awhile as we try to save Forky. (Okay, for the kids, this "link" will explain my no-longer-topical reference to Uri Geller [pictured].)

Urgent Jeff

Several urgent communiques from Jeff McNeil today. He seems to believe that he has applied for a grant from the "blog." We may have lost his paperwork. In any case, McNeil is off to buy a lottery ticket now, so everything should be fine.

You Know


You know, we should mention that despite Agent "M.'s" modest protestations to the contrary, she has always provided the "blog" with more than just her television expertise. Need we mention the time she had breakfast in Hawaii? Or her appreciation of ham and eggs (pictured)?

L.'s Birthday Asthma Treat


You remember our corporate spy known only as "L," don't you? Well, today is her birthday! She came into the office to face a big crisis perpetuated by her feckless co-workers. Anyway, "L" tells us she's going to the asthma doctor today. "L" says that believe it or not, it's more fun than being in the office! Happy birthday, "L"! Have fun at the asthma doctor!

As Promised

Agent "M." doesn't mess around! Just hours after her original vow, we have her report--a report that she claims with believable urgency was seven years in the making, and which we proudly present forthwith, I quote (and you know I am quoting accurately, because I retain her non-use of quotation marks around the word "blogger"): "With permission from the blogger, I have decided to expand my observational repertoire and offer thoughts on local food as well as television. My first commentary will concern the Best Chicken Salad in Atlanta. The bronze medal goes to Shield's Meat Market in Emory Village. I love this place--locally owned butcher shop and deli where you can get a sandwich, chips and pickle for about $6. They make their chicken salad from scratch each day. It's what I consider a perfect consistency--more pasty than creamy, with lots of chunks of chicken and bits of celery. The silver medal goes to Belly at the corner of No. Highland and St. Charles Ave. While their chicken salad is on the pricey side, it is worth the splurge. It too avoids the common problem facing so many chicken salads these days--too much mayo--opting instead for more chicken, less sauce. I believe they also put secret ingredients into it--perhaps sun dried tomatoes? Don't take my word for it --check it out for yourselves. Finally, the gold medal goes to...the Brickstore Pub. Their chicken salad comes as a scoop atop their delicious side salad (one of the best green salads in Atlanta with parmesan and yellow raisins and delicious tomatoes), and it is a delicious blend of chicken, mayo...and here's the secret touch...yogurt! While this may sound odd to connoisseurs of traditional chicken salad, trust me--you've never had chicken salad this good. Bon appetit, y'all!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Three Best Places To Get Chicken Salad In Atlanta

I have no idea where they are! But Agent "M." has tantalized us with promises of a revelation. Coming soon!

Where the Grapes of Wrath are Stored

More on the continuing saga of Jeff McNeil's missing manuscript. He called the Maryland Grape Growers Association today with two questions. First, had they ever gotten his manuscript? Answer: "Let's see... McNeil... McNeil... [rustling sounds, possibly for effect only]... Nope." Second, is it true that the Maryland Grape Growers Association publishes fine literary novels? Answer: Yes. McNeil's only observation: They sounded tired.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Joke

Kent says that in that earlier "post" when I mention "the gray lady" I should add, "Not to be confused with the lady grey!" Longtime "blog" readers will appreciate the humor of the statement. Others will be sullen and out of sorts.

Kent Osborne Can't Look Himself In the Face

Kent Osborne reports that the picture of him which accompanies the previous "post" will not "load" on his "computer." Lucky for Kent, though, all he has to do to see himself is look in the mirror! But I hope some of the rest of you will let me know if you are having similar problems seeing Kent's picture. You do not want to miss out on seeing Kent, trust me!

Sunday New York Times Hearts "Blog" Buddies!


Well, like Tom Bissell and Amanda Stern before him, Kent Osborne has been kissed by the gossamer lips of the gray lady, as my fancy metaphor I just now came up with would have it. A movie he is in (and co-wrote), HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS, gets a nice mention in today's paper! First the magazine (Amanda), then the book review (Tom), and now the Arts & Leisure section. The "Blog" Buddies are doing it for themselves (as I believe I've mentioned before)! (Pictured, some of the cast of HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS. That's Kent on the right!)

Victory!

Hey, we did "the google" on our phrase "C-Spandemonium" and for the first time ever, there were no matches! We have invented something, finally, a very useful word, we feel. And for some reason, the "spell check" already recognizes it. In like Flynn, baby! ("Spell check" does not recognize "Flynn.")

Agent "M.'s" TV Korner: Shimmy


Welcome back to Agent "M.'s" TV Korner, our special feature where Agent "M." watches television and tells us about it later. Here are Agent "M.'s" latest ruminations. We have again taken the liberty of censoring anything that might be considered a "spoiler," without, we hope, sacrificing Agent "M.'s" natural exuberance and verve. With no further ado, then, we turn things over to Agent "M.," who reports: "I have been having trouble figuring out how Kate, et al got over that ******** ****** on LOST. Were the poles not ************* ********? If not, then why couldn't they stick the ******** on the pole? Or does **** not conduct electricity? I need to read up on my physics. Regardless of science, I just want to say that I would be royally *****ed if I had to shimmy up a pole. It really is time for me to start exercising because you never know when you are gonna need to get yourself over an ********* ****** and you never know when James Bond is going to chase you around a construction site (see opening sequence of CASINO ROYALE). On a final note, there was a disappointing reference to VERONICA MARS in this week's EW (the same one you picked up in the gift shop), saying that it may be doomed esp. now that the Pussycat Dolls reality show is doing so well in its timeslot. Veronica is no doll, and no one puts Baby in a corner. All best, M" End transmission. (Pictured, Kate sees a magical horsie on the island of Lost.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Second Thought

On second thought, if our recent "post" becomes a regular feature, we're going to call it "James Whorton, Jr.'s C-Spandemonium!"

James Whorton, Jr.'s C-Span Digest!


As you know (and many of you have said you are praying for me) my "cable" provider has taken away C-Span 2. I had a "live 'internet' chat" with said provider, the upshot of which was, pretty much, "Too bad for you, sonny jim!" But this is where the "Blog" Buddies come in! Jim Whorton gives a nice recap of something he saw on C-Span 2 today: "a rerun of Brian Lamb interviewing David McCullogh from the 90s on his Truman biography. He says that Truman was the favorite of all White House servants of the era and was the first president ever to walk into the kitchen to thank the chef. Also, when Truman was overseas and a US general offered to supply a female companion for him, he told the general 'My wife doesn’t run around on me and I don’t run around on my wife.'" Whorton adds a bit of bonus description of the Valerie Plame-Wilson hearings as broadcast on regular C-Span: "Did I tell you about the man in a pink Jackie Kennedy suit and blond wig who was standing at the back of the room nodding in agreement through much of [Plame-Wilson's] testimony? I suspect he was a plant, because his suit said 'IMPEACH BUSH NOW' across the front. And he seemed to take care to be standing up, inside the TV frame, especially when the tesitimony got interesting." So that's today's C-Span recap. It doesn't exactly make up for having C-Span 2 unceremoniously yanked away from us, but it is nice to know we have friends who are looking out for us in trying times!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Movie


I was sad not to be in Austin today. But by a happy coincidence, the movie came in the mail... yes, a DVD of the short film based on a story from my book (the reason for my planned and thwarted trip to Austin). I'm happy to say everyone did a great job! The actors perfectly captured the characters and the director really understood the essence of the story. When he made cuts, I didn't miss those parts at all! I mean, I would have missed them on the page, but you don't miss them on the screen. And on the occasions when the actors sort of naturalized my stylized dialogue, once again, it made perfect sense. It WORKED! Everyone was thinking and making the movie as good as it could possibly be. I was happy with the whole thing, every scene! As I get details on how you, the "blog" reading public, can see the whole movie, I'll let you know. It was GREAT! Hey, remember when Stephen King got sad because Stanley Kubrick sneaked around and made a movie of one of his books? And then Stephen King was like, "I'll show you! I'll make my OWN movie, and I'll get the guy from WINGS! And I'll have a cameo as a ghoulish bandleader who suddenly spins around!" Well, I'm not going to do that. (Pictured, Stephen King as the ghoulish bandleader who suddenly spins around.)

A Brother Power Primer


Well, I hope you don't mind, but sometimes I like to tell you about things that I see as I spend my life "clicking" on "links" at the "internet." A favorite stop: the Toonopedia. Last time I was "clicking" on things at the old Toonopedia, I learned about a '60s superhero called Brother Power the Geek. I will summarize his story for you if you are too tired to "click." He was a tailor's dummy that was brought to life by lightning. Then some hippies took him under their collective wing and taught him about life. He fought bikers, just like Werewolf By Night! According to Mr. Markstein, the author of the Toonopedia, an editor at DC comics cancelled Brother Power's comic book precipitously, because the hippies in it weren't "loathsome" enough.

Burger Slogan Brings Hermit From Hiding

The reclusive Jon Host has been sufficiently enraged by a local restaurant's TV-commercial slogan that he has emerged from his catacombs deep below the state of Alabama. "Our burgers are destined to be the stuff that legends are made of," the slogan asserts.

L. S.


And here is our weekly picture of Lizabeth Scott. You know, we're starting to run out and then I don't know what will happen. The Biblical apocalypse?

Popular Culture

So, I was in a hospital gift shop today... never mind why! It's none of your beeswax. Maybe I just like hanging out there! Anyway, I was leafing through an ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY when I found another review of ANDY BARKER, P.I., that Andy Richter program which, as avid "blog" readers know, is the fancy doppelganger to my own more lowbrow effort. And the reviewer said that the video store sidekick dispenses pop culture references! And I thought, Oh no! So does MY video store sidekick. And then the reviewer said something like (I'm paraphrasing) "pop culture references are so midaughts, and we are glad to see that they are dying out." And then I said "Midaughts?" (I am not paraphrasing that one word.) And then I said, "Oh! Midaughts! How wonderfully clever that probably is." And then I started to worry about the reviewer, who works for ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, which I believe is in fact a compendium of popular culture references. It must make that reviewer very sad and depressed to work there, now that we are out of the midaughts! But it is not unusual to have a depressing job. I suppose most of us feel that way at one time or another in these strange days of the post-midaughts.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Robbed


I had shut down the "computer" and settled in for a relaxing evening of insomnia, when to my horror I discovered that my "cable" provider (which has recently raised its rates) has taken C-Span 2 away from me... that most lulling and pleasant of all the C-Span family! C-Span 2 is the one with all the books. Why, C-Span 2 is where I once witnessed an informative lecture by the father of Agent "M."! So its sentimental attachments for the "blog" are many. The worst part was, befuddled by the blank space where C-Span 2 should have been, I accidentally turned over to Headline News, a channel that, as I recalled it, showed headline news. But instead there was a very angry and dyspeptic little white fellow who wished to shake his finger in my face and berate me for the stances he imagines me to have taken on the issues of the day. No one wishes to be talked to in such a manner, especially by a stranger. The effect on my intended lulling was disastrous. I miss you, C-Span 2! You were my decorous friend.

The Universe

From what I understood in the New York Times today, Andy Richter's new show on NBC is about an amateur detective whose sidekick has a store that rents VHS tapes. AND THIS VERY SAME WEEK McSweeney's was kind enough to "e-publish" my little "e-book" about an amateur detective whose sidekick has a store that rents VHS tapes! Now McSweeney's was sitting on this tale for several months, and obviously Mr. Richter and I have no connection, and no way of seeing one another's works in progress. This goes to show what I have mentioned before: the universe does not want anyone to have an idea that he or she can claim for his or her own. I'm on to your game, universe!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Prepare To Have Your Mind Blown

Okay, I'll try to explain it. I was on the phone with Jeff McNeil, who was looking up a particular "web" article about Bob Denver. Merely by coincidence, as McNeil was discussing this fact with me, I had my TV tuned to the Fox Movie Channel, whereon a Sandra Dee vehicle entitled TAKE HER, SHE'S MINE was in progress. Who should appear on my TV, in my living room, in a cameo role as a scruffy folk singer but the VERY SAME BOB DENVER? You heard me right, folks. AT THE EXACT SAME MOMENT, Bob Denver was the subject of an internet search, a telephone conversation, and a scene in a movie on the "cable" TV. How's your mind NOW? Blown, perhaps?

Pia's Orange Reflection

I'm not kidding when I say I'm short on "blogging" time today. But lucky for me, a recent "post" seemed to touch a soft spot in the heart of our good friend Pia Z., who offers the following reflection, perfect for cutting-and-pasting: "When I worked at Cloverleaf Mall in Hattiesburg," Pia writes, "in the shoe department at Waldoff's, I'd walk down to Orange Julius for my lunch break, sit by myself at the yellow formica table, and watch for any cute guys who might be walking around. I ordered the same thing every time: a perfect, unadorned thin grilled hamburger (was the bun buttered?) and crunchy fries. What is that mysterious powder they'd dump into the blender that made an Orange Julius taste like a frothy Dreamsicle?" The "blog" is sorry to report it was a raw egg, Pia!

Astounding Gilligan Confluence


When I was speaking with Jeff McNeil on the phone today, we both witnessed the most astonishing coincidence involving Bob Denver! It was possibly the most astonishing thing that has ever happened to anyone since the time Agent "M." saw that dog. I wish I had time to "blog" about it. But I don't. You wouldn't believe it anyway.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Austin, We Have a Problem


Circumstances at home have made it impossible for me to travel to Austin this week. Don't worry, I'm sure everything will be fine here! But I do want to apologize to the friends I expected to greet in Austin, and especially the staff of Book People, the store that was kind enough to sponsor the event. We just talked to Dan Brown, the director of the film that was the reason for the now-cancelled appearance. Dan says the opening night crowd (last night) was packed and that the audience was very responsive. So that's nice to hear. I leave you now with a "still" from the production.

In Bob and Jerry News


Arnold Drake, the man who wrote the comic books based on Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope, has passed away. Sometimes we have to tell you something sad! We learned about the unfortunate event from our favorite Aquaman "blog."

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Great Thing

The great thing about the "internet" is when you say, "Huh, I wonder if Orange Julius is still in business." And then you can find out, rather than getting some work done. "Click" here to find an Orange Julius location near you!

Eye

You know how partial I am to Donald Markstein and his knowledge of weird old superheroes. Don't you? DON'T YOU? Well, here's one who was just an eye that flew around looking at people. You're welcome!

Sometimes We Like Words

You know how sometimes we like words here at the "blog." Words such as charivari, for example. Well, our old "Blog" Buddy Jim Whorton has just read, and enjoyed immensely, a story called "The Housebreaker of Shady Hill" by John Cheever. Mr. Whorton was happy to run across the word "parablendeum," which occurred in the story "several times," according to his assessment. "Evidently that is some old-fashioned stuff that bread sacks were once made out of," Mr. Whorton would have us believe.

Gilbert & Sullivan & Insomnia


This "blog" is going out to everyone who is concerned about my sleeping habits, by which of course I mean the entire world. They don't give a "blog" to just anyone! So, last night's insomnia viewing was, largely, a movie called BRICK. It seemed to be an engaging, stylish, solemn, dark little crime drama of recent vintage. But I did not allow myself to become too involved or attached, as I entered the story thirty or forty minutes late. One day I hope to view it from the beginning. But last night I used it merely as "home base" for the "flipping around" I enjoy so. One thing to which I happened to "flip" was FOUL PLAY, which was airing on TCM at the same time BRICK was airing elsewhere. I "flipped" to FOUL PLAY just as the opening chorus of THE MIKADO was being sung, with Dudley Moore conducting. Oh, and by the way, did I mention that in BRICK I happened to catch a scene in which a young woman recites the ballad "The sun, whose rays are all ablaze with ever-living glory..."? That ballad is from... yes, THE MIKADO! As everyone in the world will no doubt recall, my last bout of sleeplessness was enlivened by Mike Leigh's TOPSY-TURVY, which is all about the very first production of THE MIKADO... and ends with the aforementioned ballad! Aforementioned, I said! The last line of that ballad: "We're very wide awake, the moon and I." Food for thought! Food for thought in the world of "blogging"! This is what I "blog" about, folks! This is what a "blog" is! (Pictured, Shirley Henderson, who sang the "The sun, whose rays..." at the close of the Leigh film.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jack No Sleep

Trying to come up with a reason why I haven't been sleeping, I heard myself say, "I'm wound up from the ground up." Then I thought, "Perhaps I have just invented this catchy phrase!" So I did the "google" on it just to be sure. Well, there were five matches for other people who have been "wound up from the ground up." So I did not invent the phrase after all. If you use the "google" properly you will soon find that you have not and cannot invent anything. It's all already on the "google." Too bad for you!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Buttery Psychic Blackout

We are depressed by the news that Agent "M.'s" psychic powers have been greatly reduced by her immodest consumption of "Buttery Nipples," an alcoholic concoction of some sort. For this reason, our popular fortunetelling feature, "Your Daily Future," has been temporarily suspended while Agent "M." enters rehab. We wish her the best of luck in conquering her buttery demons.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tradition


Well, Lizabeth Scott has fallen off the page and into the "blog" archives again. So it's time to give you a new picture of her. Really the "blog" has become a collection of arbitrary compulsions. That's just the way it is! I don't know, perhaps in some small way I'm doing a service for the community. I have noticed, for example, that if one does a "Google Image" search for Lizabeth Scott, one comes up with numerous pictures of people who are not Lizabeth Scott, people such as Mary Astor and Robert Mitchum. This is the one place on the "web" to guarantee that each picture of Lizabeth Scott is actually Lizabeth Scott! This week's photo is blurry, plus Ms. Scott looks sad and mopey. The first one is still the best. What am I doing with my life?

Insomnia!


Insomnia strikes deep in the heartland! A pleasant side effect: I got to watch a late showing of the Mike Leigh film TOPSY-TURVY on the Sundance channel. That movie has layers, people! Layers! Also, the guy who plays Arthur Sullivan uses a cigarette holder in numerous scenes. It's strange about these men-with-cigarette-holders sightings. I'll go a month without one and then there's a deluge. The man who plays the comic singer (and writer) George Grossmith in TOPSY-TURVY uses a cigarette holder as well, during a scene in which he consumes some bad oysters. For anyone interested in why I started counting men with cigarette holders: I don't know. But "click" here for an early example of the phenomenon. Oh, how innocent and amusing it all seemed then, before it ran our very lives! (Pictured, the real George Grossmith, smoking a cigarette sans holder.)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I Can't Throw Away My Oscar Ballot!


Yes, my sister brought over Oscar ballots on the night of the Oscars and we had to guess who would win. Is that embarrassing? Oh, is it? Well, what about when I tell you that I guessed correctly on the first twelve categories IN A ROW? That's everything from Art Direction all the way through Visual Effects, baby! I did a victory dance over "The Danish Poet" (best animated short) until I exhibited most of the symptoms of an actual heart attack, but I kept going! Because I had had too many special Oscar cupcakes. But that's not why I can't throw away my ballot. I can't throw it away because I drew some truly great doodles on it, including Charlie Brown, Batman, Mickey Mouse with large jowls and muttonchops (the result of messing up his lower face and trying to disguise the fact), Donald Duck in a nice pinstripe suit, a young Clint Eastwood, and best of all, a chimpanzee. My chimpanzee had his hands raised in the air, and eventually I thought of putting an Oscar in one of them. Like my chimpanzee had won an Oscar! Good for him! Oh, I can't stop looking at these magnificent doodles. I wish I could show them to you, but I am just now learning about "computers."

Texas Time


Now is the time when I should remind everyone who will be in Austin, TX, for the SXSW festival to come see me at Book People, Austin's huge, fine independent bookstore, on March 16th at 3PM. That's Friday afternoon... a week and a day from tomorrow, folks! I'll be reading from my story "The Pipe," from my book THE MYSTERIOUS SECRET OF THE VALUABLE TREASURE. As I have mentioned before, a short film has been made from that story, and it will debut at the festival. Please drop by and say hello!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

John Cusack Cigarette Holder

I guess I should mention that I just saw John Cusack smoking a cigarette with the aid of a cigarette holder. In a movie. I don't want to count cigarette holders any more! Yet I am honor bound.

The Scary Part

The scary part is that Theresa's in the shower now and I can hear her humming the Lizzie Borden song.

We Stink

What is wrong with us? Today we mentioned a "crazy old story" and yesterday it was a "crazy old lady." Are we lazy? Is that it?

Morbid Hoedown

As you know, we frown on morbidity here at the "blog." But Theresa has uncovered something strangely jaunty ("click" here) to show to her class tomorrow. It's a Technicolor song-and-dance number about a subject we have sworn never to address again. Listen for the especially cheerful chorus near the end! Our squeamishness keeps us from typing it here, but you'll know what we mean. It's the part that goes, "You can't **** your ***** ** in Massachusetts!" Odd.

E-Book

Hey, guess what the McSweeney's web site did for me? They turned a crazy old story of mine into an e-book, if there is such a thing. It even has a nice cover featuring a vigilant spaceman and a woman I should hope is his wife! I wish I could figure out how to show you the cover through "internet" magic! But I guess you will have to "click" on it for yourself and get a nice surprise. Warning: the story is full of unnecessarily saucy language! I can't recall why.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Disappointing News

Well, I am sad to report that a crazy old lady does not really want Charles to burn down Edith Wharton's house. It was all part of a publicity campaign for a novel that's coming out soon, apparently. Charles could not remember the name of the novel, so I guess that part of the publicity campaign did not work. But it sure had me going! I'm sorry if I got everyone excited over nothing.

Why?

Why must I continue to notice things about cigarette holders? But I feel that I would be letting you down if I did not mention that the bakelite cigarette holder brought to my attention by Jeff McNeil appears to be the SAME cigarette holder that Phyllis Diller is using on the album cover brought to my attention by my ex-boss Lisa. At least it appears to be the same model! This cannot be confirmed, as bidding stops on the item in 30 minutes and we will never be able to get it down to Pendarvis Labs for proper examination. This way lies madness! Will everyone PLEASE stop bringing things to my attention?

Helpful Jeff

Jeff McNeil has brought to my attention that EBay bidding is almost over for an art deco bakelite cigarette holder with rhinestones and a gold bezel center. As I have tried to make clear in the past, this is precisely the sort of thing I DO NOT want brought to my attention.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bissellmania Sweeps Nation

Well, I had to work this weekend, and work is an activity that makes me very tired and sad. So I missed Sunday's paper, and it has taken a while to catch up. But man, was it worth it! "Blog" Buddy Tom Bissell got a great, great review for his new book. Let's start a book club just so we can read it! Hey, I just thought of something. Bissell is the brand name of a kind of broom or vacuum cleaner or something, I think, and if I'm right, then my headline is some sort of pun, maybe. Hilarious! Better, anyway, than "Nam and Pop," the title of the NY Times book review, and the only suspect part of a wonderful piece that will make you want to run out and buy Mr. Bissell's book. Do it, I say!

The Return of the Cigarette Holder


Oh yeah, earlier tonight we saw Cyd Charisse jam a cigarette holder into Gene Kelly's mouth. He wasn't expecting it, and it was her cigarette holder, not his, but just to be on the safe side we're going to put it in our special "blog" cigarette holder tally. Somebody's got to do it!

Today's Weather: Blizzard

Welcome back to "Today's Weather," the part of the "blog" where we talk about the weather. Today's "Today's Weather" weather comes to us from our corporate spy "L." You may remember her from previous "posts." Anyway, listen to this! She writes: "Thursday night, I had to work at the datacenter until 3:00 in the morning, and there was a blizzard outside. I had to shovel my co-worker out. (He's way overweight and was in total freakout mode, so I was afraid for his heart.) While I was working in the datacenter though, someone hit my car." Bad weather! Bad, bad weather.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

More Odd Mail


As regular readers of the "blog" will appreciate, it has been a strange week for the U.S. Postal Service. Just had a call from my friend Charles, who read to me over the phone from a letter he received yesterday, postmarked Springfield, Massachusetts. The writer, a person unknown to Charles, is by her own account an elderly woman who lives somewhere near "the Edith Wharton house," near enough, in fact, so that tourists visiting the Edith Wharton house often park in front of her (the letter writer's) mailbox. In the letter, this person requests that Charles burn down the Edith Wharton house, and offers to pay him for the service, as she is (in her words) "not without means." Charles's qualifications for such a task? Well, the letter writer seems to believe that Charles is responsible for burning down Emily Dickinson's house, for which, the letter writer assures Charles, she is "sure he had his reasons." Anyway, that's weird! (Pictured, Edith Wharton.)

Remedied

Remember how upset I was because the "previous posts" section of this "blog," even when one "clicked" on an old "post" such as "Mitigating Nixonian Reflection," showed, in actuality, the CURRENT "posts" rather than the "previous posts" (that is, "posts" PREVIOUS to the old "post" one had "clicked" on) its title promised? Do you? Do you remember that? Of course you do! You have thought of little else, I'll wager! Well, now it seems to be fixed. So get some rest.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Blondie


It has been a goodly amount of time since we have discussed writers and the favored comic strips and comic books of their tender young lives. We have held back, mainly, because of the fears and anxieties of our sensitive publisher, who finds that talk of such low matters is inappropriate when trying to ensnare readers of a certain lofty caliber and gender. To which we reply, "Huh?" In any case, we must share the fact that the novelist Ashley Warlick, as a young lady, enjoyed reading BLONDIE. She found the title character fetchingly designed and drawn. She was fascinated by the classiness of such a beautiful woman who seemed able to laugh off the foibles (Ms. Warlick used another word, indeed a saucy and unprintable one, in place of "foibles") of a husband such as Dagwood. I was able to inform Ms. Warlick, thanks to my obsessive reading and rereading, as a teenager, of the 1977 edition of THE SMITHSONIAN COLLECTION OF NEWSPAPER COMICS, that Blondie had started out in the late twenties or early thirties of the last century as a kind of showgirl or flapper, and that Dagwood had been, early on, a rich young beau whose family disowned him over his love of Blondie. Ms. Warlick appeared to absorb this news with relish! We were able to confirm the facts of Blondie's early life, upon returning home, via the always valuable Toonopedia of Mr. Don Markstein.

Novel Situation


An odd call from Jeff McNeil: It seems as if the publisher to whom he recently submitted his novel turns out to be a subsidiary of the Maryland Grape Growers Association. But the story doesn't end there! Just the other day McNeil found the original envelope in which he had mailed the novel shredded and tattered and empty, languishing in his mailbox with a note from the Atlanta postmaster offering to reimburse McNeil for postage and enquiring as to the original contents. Yes, McNeil's novel has been pilfered from the U.S. mail! The crime most likely occurred in the Atlanta area. Keep your eyes peeled for stray literature!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Personal to Jon Host

Hey Jon, next time we write a song let's rhyme "suggestible" with "vestibule."

Before I Forget


Looks like it's time for another picture of Lizabeth Scott. See, I didn't want to let you down, even though I'm busy. That's just good "blogging" etiquette (or "blog"iquette, as it's called in most "blogging" circles)!

Believer


Hi, everybody. As I mentioned, expect light "blogging" for the next few days. I did want to let you know to look for the March issue of THE BELIEVER. That interview I told you about a long time ago, with Ms. Joey Lauren Adams, is in there. So go out and buy it and console yourself about the skimpiness of the "blog."