November 12th, 2006

Tom Lehrer is Smug

several for early Sunday

It was a beautiful day yesterday. Clem and I enjoyed way too much brunchy food at The Neighborhood and decided to spend the afternoon a-walking. We eventually made our way to Cambridge.

Cambridge City Hall Old Concrete Mary
City Hall Concrete Mary
Earlier this weekend, I found some graffiti helpfully added to one of those Lavalife ads. You know, the ones on the T that show stylized beautiful people meeting other stylized beautiful people by setting loose swarms of butterflies or rose petals around them or something. I am willing to believe that the person who wrote this graffiti had run out of "I Threw Up" stickers so he or she made do with a ballpoint pen and some creative license.
Lavalife Ad 'n Graffiti Lavalife Ad 'n Graffiti
"You're too thin"
There was also a garage at one point this week, and a hand-painted building directory hidden underneath the faux-marble panels of the Steinway building foyer.
Garage Building Directory
G a r a g e Building Directory
And finally I took a nice little set all about the dimly-lit wonders of the Porter Square T Station.
Porter Square SetPorter Square T Station
Wonky escalators, nautical theming and the deepest station in the entire MBTA.

Take care, and don't eat anything you shouldn't.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

pits and bieces

000. It appears that a certain Scarlett Johansson will be releasing an album of Tom Waits covers next year.

Frankly I am shocked, nay, shocked and appalled that such a concept could have come about, much less begun its rocky road to fruition, given the butchering Miss Johansson gave "Brass In Pocket" during the karaoke scene in Lost In Translation. However, I am pretty certain I could put my support, either emotionally or financially, behind this product if Miss Johansson gets to sing any or all of the following phrases:
  1. I'm getting harder than Chinese algebra
  2. It's colder than a well-digger's ass
  3. I'm so horny, the crack of dawn better watch out
There you go, the offer's on the table. The ball's in your court, cookie Scarlett.

001. I enjoyed watching The Wizard of Oz last night on TBS, but there were way too many commercial breaks and it was hard to keep pausing and unpausing Dark Side of the Moon.

010. Watched Xanadu with Clementine over the weekend. We both came to the realization that the film really is the Moulin Rouge! of the 80s. Struggling young artist, magical woman who acts as his muse, extravagantly random musical numbers from out of freakin' nowhere, yeah. All it needed was Jim Broadbent and a jealous suitor, and even then we don't need the Jealous Suitor subplot when we're faced with the heartbreaking prospect of Olivia Newton-John stuck living in Muse Land while Swan from The Warriors is left, all alone, to run his brand-new roller disco with Gene Kelly.

Afterwards I realized I'd probably have to give the "Moulin Rouge! of the 70s" award to Can't Stop The Music.

011. Big book day in Harvard Square yesterday! Found a collection of R. Crumb placemat drawings. They're excellent sketches, dating from around 1992 to 2002. Once he moves to France, there's more gallic profiles than anything else (my favorite so far was the drawing of two twins, one labelled "Dominant" and the other "Recessive.") Crumb's gleeful introduction in the book runs along the lines of "I used to just draw these for no reason. But not anymore! Now, I'm getting paid to draw these while I wait for my food! Some of these doodles recently sold for thousands of dollars! In fact, the gallery told me the foodstains on the doodles actually enhanced the value! And to think, I used to just leave these around or give them to someone! Those days are over! Whoopee!" And, of course, it's not a Crumb collection without a brief thick-thighed character sketch of a girl he had a crush on in high school, and this book is no exception. ("Her ass was a force of nature!")

I also found, at the "EVERY BOOK $2.00" table outside Tosci's, the paperback novelization of V. (Actually, Clem found it first, but her eyes didn't light up as much as mine did, apparently, cos I ended up with it.) Now this isn't V for Vendetta, no, V the quintessential 1980s mini-series, starring ... uh, starring some people, I guess. I think the person who went on to do the most afterwards was Robert Englund, who was already making a name for himself in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Remember, kids, you can tell who the bad guys in V are because they're constantly going around eating mice.

Actually, the mice-eating thing is something that sticks out in my head as a seminal moment of childhood and the decay of one's willing suspension of disbelief. Every episode of V had at least one gross-out scene involving one of the evil aliens picking up a live mouse by its tail, letting it dangle and squirm for a while, and then --gulp!-- right down the gullet.

I was only 8, a real TV junkie already, and I knew the people couldn't really be eating mice (could they?) and then, all of a sudden, I realized how they did it. One shot of Bad Alien dangling the mouse around, cut to somebody else's reaction shot, cut back to Bad Alien with mouse tail dangling from its mouth. Sure, it's the oldest trick in the book, but when you're 8 years old and have figured it out yourself, you certainly feel damn smart for a bit. Suddenly TV isn't so magical anymore. Suddenly you get the desire to look behind it all, question everything, see all the smoke and mirrors... so you can do it yourself.

Anyway, I got a couple of pages into the novel last night before bed and boy howdy there's a lot of S-bombs bein dropped left and right. That's the sign of a good novel, folks.