Nobody Puts Gidget In The Corner

A young girl in summer. She is introduced to a new world. She is an oddity in this world, naiive when all the others seem more worldly. She is initially perceived as immature looking, overly-eager, and as an outsider. Even her nickname brandishes her immaturity. Soon, though, despite this underworld’s attempts to send her home, she becomes more ubiquitous as days go by. Her parents approve before they know more but later disapprove. She develops a friendship though with this scene’s mentor, who begins helping her master the group’s essential cultural activity. Indeed, she is invited to a nighttime party that is of the hush-hush variety and is witness to a scene most outsiders do not see, with music and bonfires and dancing. And she is pulled away suddenly. There is conflict and hurt, and she is forbidden by her parents from rejoining this crew. Yet, through happier circumstances, she rejoins her old friends, and the result is surprising.

Is this “Dirty Dancing,” or is it “Gidget?”

Meanwhile, in other funny…

84 days

It was March 19 when I started working from the home office and have been on essentially necessity-only excursions, which means trips to the grocery and booze stores. I walk around sometimes, and I try to get the car around the block once in a while to make sure it still goes. That’s 84 days between now and then.

The first week of June was paid time off for me. Had to take it, it’s use-before-July-1-or-lose time. The normal plan would be to drive three hours west of here and enjoy the small, spring-fed lake that is my life’s touchstone. Such a trip would mean trusting the state of New York to manage its rest areas reasonably enough so I could stop to pee without contracting the SARS-CoV-2, this risk taken for a few measly days away. I opted to stay in Rochester.

It was a good staycation. Aspects of the apartment have not been working, and I worked to improve some of this. I watched some good movies, most specifically a six-hour block of Marx Brothers movies on Friday.

The first line of Monkey Business is what struck me most hilarious this time around. It’s always something new with a Marx Brothers film. The line:

Officer: Sorry to report there are four stowaways in the forward hatch!
Captain: Stowaways! How do you know there are four of ’em?
Officer: Why, they were singing “Sweet Adeline.”

Be careful when you wear novelty comic mustache glasses. They can leave Groucho marks.

I attended an online panel discussion proctored by Sinbad … wait, easier to copy and paste: “Featuring Brent Fischer, Dr. Clare Fischer’s son and Grammy award winning Producer; St. Paul Peterson of The Family/ Fdeluxe; #1 Hit Song Producer David Z; and Arne Frager, owner of the legendary @ThePlantStudio that produced over 50 #1 hit songs during his tenure.” Five bucks was admission. For that I guess I could not have expected to get to ask a question, which would have been that I notice that Jill Jones’ album benefits from a few Clare Fischer tracks, and did any other ingenue projects get the same benefit?

It was a fine presentation, and Brent has many stories.

I think I fell asleep.

So I started doing an Internet radio station again. That’s how bored I’ve been. I felt the need again to make a vanity radio station nobody will ever listen to for a blog nobody reads. It’s at , by the way. I am still learning the software and building the playlists. It is currently weighted toward 80s tunes, but that is likely to change.

I went on an Obama nostalgia tour on YouTube. That can sure be devastating.

I sorted through old newspaper clips and memories and also had days where I just sat for an hour. I dreamed and plotted my increasingly feckless, long-standing dream to move closer to that little lake, and turned up to the fact that even if I had the means, the logistics, the will to try to finally claim a placid lake life, I could not. It took me some time to translate that to the actual reality in front of me.

I am doing the best that I can. And I mean that quite in every sense of the word, to the extent that every word in that sentence buckles out and shines. I am doing the best that I can. I have maintained my income and my health. So far for 84 days. I don’t think I’ve ever typed “I am doing the best that I can” and ever meant it so nakedly.

Also, Maria DeCotis did another thing. Laugh now.

Is it raining with you

Another thunderstorm just passed through. I enjoyed watching it. Most days, I would be fighting my co-workers for tickets this time of night. Instead, I’m off this week, so the only thing that got done in my home office today was to move some more stuff around and to once again regorganize the 2 Tone Collection ska comp in my iTunes. Many of those tracks had as many as four tracks on my Mac. This for a two-disc comp whence I only really like the first disc.

Ska comps are the shit. But they can really screw up your iTunes flow.

So I’ve pretty much torn up the apartment. I mean nothing was working. And I’m stuck in here with a mullet and some booze. I do have a new pair of thinning shears which helps with the hair, but I’m no CHICK WHO WORKS AT SPORT CLIPS.

Dinner is ready soon, a frozen seasoned chicken breast via sous vide, with rice via Zojirushi. This is one of the few things I have learned to cook consistently well. That chicken is gonna be delicious.

The Wit and Wisdom of Maria DeCotis

This is Mike Birbiglia. He tells a pretty good story.

Among his many credits, Birbiglia is a frequent contributor to This American Life. Within that framework, Birbiglia had a contest to select his “understudy.” This is a hilarious premise in and of itself as one would be understudying for his one-man show. Here he explains the contest to Jimmy Fallon.

As you may notice, this blogger has become comically besotted with a comic named Maria DeCotis, due to her presentations of outtakes from our Governor Andrew Cuomo. Before she started with the Cuomo stuff, she entered the Birbiglia understudy competition, choosing to do one of his most favored bits, “Scrambler.”

But she did it in Italian.

This performance made the cut, and she ended up performing for an audience and Ira Glass. It is hilarious.

Hey. Lorne Michaels. Are you watching this performer? Yinz should be.

We Can’t All Just Get Along

I remember it like it was only yesterday, March 1991. I was in Washington D.C. for a seemingly valuable semester-long internship experience provided by Kent State Universidad. Many of us gathered in our suite and watched a black man named Rodney King having the living shit beat out of him by officers in the Los Angeles Police Department.

When the curtain rises on George Holliday’s tape, King is struggling to his feet as one of four police officers commence to beating him with a nightstick. King stops trying to stand, and another cop seems to kick him in the head. After that, as King appears to try to commit the criminal act of “moving,” the other cops commence to treating this man like a piñata, there is kicking, there is more beating with the sticks. I’m counting like eight cops just in the frame, plus there is a helicopter noise somewhere, so you know, IF ONLY THESE GUYS HAD SOME BACKUP. Anyway, it goes on like that for a while, and King ended up suffering 11 fractures and other injuries.

That he survived this beating was rather incredible.

I was 22 when I witnessed this, the first instance I can comprehend of a citizen with a recording device capturing a horrifying instance of police brutality. It was a special event at the time. There was even a trial, you might recall. Three of the cops charged were acquitted, the fourth was a deadlock. The riots in L.A. following the verdict caused “63 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damage to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses.”

So it’s 29 years later and what’s changed? The latest outrage comes to us from Minneapolis, Monday, when 46-year-old George Floyd was killed when a cop leaned on Floyd’s neck with his knee for five to eight minutes. He did this as several other cops looked on, as onlookers took video and begged the cop to let him go, and as Floyd himself begged the cop for his life with words tragically familiar to any of us by now: “I can’t breathe.” Oh, and the alleged charge?

The cops were trying to arrest Floyd for passing a counterfeit $20. (I am a former reporter who has covered a Secret Service counterfeit investigation, and you can trust me that this is not how it works.)

Oddly, in this case, accountability seemed to be immediately dispatched. Four Minneapolis cops were immediately fired rather than being put “on leave,” and a day after announcing this, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for arrests.

It scares the living shit out of me that this mayor’s statement’s are such a notable exception. It downright pisses me off that, apparently, the only thing that has changed since Rodney King is that the format is digital rather than video.

day ten facebook ablum chlalenge

I have once again been nominated to do the whole album list thingie on Facebook, by world champion band-name mashup queen Liza Belmonte. You are supposed to post 10 album covers for 10 days that have affected your life, with “no explanation.” This is day ten.

There is no list of albums that I could possibly make without