Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blog Casserole: Nobody Likes Stinky Ham

Opening a post with Binky The Clown can only mean one thing: it's Blog Casserole time! That's right, folks; anything that doesn't match up with something else just gets thrown into a slum-gull'yun of randomness -- rather like a casserole (hence the term Blog Casserole). A recent Google search for the term "blog casserole" mentioned the fact that readers don't actually like to read random jibberish, but that's the only mention of "blog casserole" I could find. Either that blogger ran across this here little blog (hiya, folks!), or someone else thinks it's a better idea to call it blog casserole than, say, blog cottage pie.
Besides, y'all like blog casserole, right?
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

So, how are we all liking Paul's new album?
Oh, come on; a standards compilation from the greatest living songwriter on this entire planet doesn't excite you? You aren't ready to see a musical genius give us a cover of Paper Moon before he releases another all-original studio album (which, by the way, he has not done in five years)? Will a full preview of my favorite song from the album change your mind?

Only Paul could get away with saying that The Beatles should have done an album like this, but were too busy writing Sgt. Pepper, or The White Album to do so. I laughed.
Ringo didn't laugh 'cause his new album is getting lousy reviews.

Yes, yes, it sounds lovely, very well done, all that and a bag of chips; but surely he could have put this material into the McCartney Vault for a much later release (don't look at me that way, deary, we all know he's got enough material socked away for Beatrice to release well into her twilight years). Or, more to the point, why on earth does it sound so ruddy serious? When Paul has attempted to do this sort of thing in the past, it still has that signature Paul stamp on it. For example, the fabulous "Did We Meet Somewhere Before?" bootleg...

Why is this copy better than mine?

...or with the fuller version of "Suicide" (not the outtake from the McCartney remaster, even though that one is hilarious)...

They both have those standards-type elements, but with that signature McCartney flare. Another good example is "Baby's Request" from Back to the Egg...

That version was wonderful! It had Linda and Denny in it. It screams "PAUL!" It's just damn cute. Why did he cover it? Why? Was he suddenly transported back to the 80's and decided covering himself was a good idea (again)?

Paul, my darling, my sweet little Paulie-pants: why?

Personally, I still think there should have been an official version of "Baby Face", but I guess we'll just take what we can get.

A more adorable human you will never find.

And now, it's time for "Hey! He looks just like!..."
Have I ever mentioned that I loved "Upstairs, Downstairs"? The original, not the new version. Yes, alright, I watched the entire first season of the new version, and keep looking for a ruddy air date for the second season (as in, it's-been-over-a-year-why-are-you-making-us-wait-this-long-we've-already-had-eight-episodes-of-Downton-Abbey-since-we-last-saw-Upstairs-Downstairs), but that isn't the point. I'm talking about the original series, with the Bellamy family upstairs, and Mr. Hudson running everything downstairs. Sure, the series had its weird moments (like that whole Mrs. Bridges stealing a baby thing, which I never quite understood), but was so full of opportunities to create a spin off, I'm surprised it took them four years to do it after Up-Down went off the air. We've finally gotten round to watching Thomas and Sarah, though, and let me tell you, it's been a real treat. Not because the story is as intriguing as Up-Down, but because John Alderton's Thomas character looks remarkably like Paul, circa the Strawberry Fields Forever video shoot.
Believe it.


John Alderton as Thomas Watkins...

Is this as entertaining as the point in the day where Miles Kane...

...also looks like a young Paul?
Alas, there is only one Paul.

Who wants to hear a real life anecdote?
Come on now, show of hands.
I don't generally make a habit of talking about college, or my major; the minute people find out I'm training to be an American Sign Language interpreter, they ask me to demonstrate; if pushed into this dreadful situation, I generally sign something rudely inappropriate that I think they should do, then translate it to something innocent in spoken English. Unfortunately for me, all of my ASL classes are traditional ones. I haven't been in a traditional class since the Clinton administration, so I don't especially like it; I work best alone, thank you. That being said, with the 74% of my degree I have earned at a distance, plus my homeschooling past, I obviously developed interests other people of my generation may not have. The best example I can think of is my fascination with the British Isles; well, Tuesday night, that quirk of my personality shone like the crown jewels (see what I did there?).
It all started when a discussion of the differences in ASL and British Sign Language turned into a YouTube excursion, in which this video was shown.

The teacher proceeds to tell the class that the British have a "weird" sense of humor, "like that one show", as she obviously tried to grasp the name of a Britcom she knows. A voice in the back of the room said "the one where they work in a shop, and they're all old people?"
My eyes may have rolled, simply because I know the pattern. Generally speaking, there is only one British show Americans are somewhat familiar with.
"Not 'Are You Being Served?'," I thought to myself...

"...she's looking for 'Monty Python'"...

Because the two shows are so easily confused, right?

With the appropriate answer coming from elsewhere in the room, the discussion continued. My internal monologue was just one giant laugh, really; a show where they work in a shop, and they're all old? I would have loved to have told that person that a good portion of the cast were in their twenties when the show started in 1972.
"What do they know of it?" I thought to myself, "They just see the British as strange people with bad teeth." For a moment, I sat and reveled in the secret of knowing what Britain truly has to offer, and I probably outwardly grinned a little bit. After all, "weird" though their sense of humor may be, I simply cannot understand American humor (I watched Saturday Night Live when Dan Radcliffe hosted, and I didn't laugh once. Americans just aren't funny to me [I've also gotten to the point where I have trouble understanding American accents; I refer to my mother on several occasions. I can translate Scouse for her, but she translates certain American accents for me now. Make of that what you will]).
As I sat there, thrilled with having a grasp on a concept those narrow minded classmates that surrounded me will probably never understand, I heard the teacher say the words that just sent my internal giggle scale over the edge: "There are a lot of differences between American English, and British English, too. Like... I can't remember what they call sweaters..." The pauses while I waited for someone -- anyone -- to answer her were long, and difficult. I finally couldn't take any more, and told her they were jumpers. I felt like going over a brief introduction to British slang, right there from the front row. Or talking about how The Mighty Boosh is far better than Monty Python ever could have been (there, I said it)...

...or that Rowan Atkinson has done more than Mr. Bean...

I actually expected people to start saying "they talk funny" as the discussion progressed; if that had been the case, I would probably have felt the need to establish myself as the resident Anglophile, and tell them where they are so very wrong.

This scene from High Fidelity (another British creation, from the brilliant mind of Nick Hornby) kept flashing through my head; how many different ways could I tell these folks they had wandered right into an area I could really tell them about?

The moral of the story is that, if you are talking about Britain, I will want to bombard you with facts; also, don't ask me to sign for you.
And I really don't, either.

I trust that everyone has been watching The Bachelor this season, yes?
If not, this is what you've missed.

And, if I may channel my inner Frank Luntz, how many of you have been watching The Bachelor with Chris Harrison?

And to think that ten years ago, he was just "that guy on Designer's Challenge" (this biography from HGTV probably hasn't been updated in ten years, either).
Speaking of folks in the not-so-distant past, and the fact that I have brought up some of my favorite films in this post, let's talk about "The Sixth Sense" for a minute.
When I first saw this film (I believe it was in 2000, since my family has never been big on actually going out to the pictures), I just loved Cole, played by Haley Joel Osment. (Yes, I was eight, but you have to work with me, here.) He was such a fantastic character (and, for me, one I related easily to [I was the weird kid then, too, remember?]), and the film itself was simply genius. The birthday party scene has stuck with me from the very first time I saw it, if that tells you the impression this film had on little me. Incidentally, I was also locked in a closet against my will at a birthday party once, but that's a story for another time. Several viewings helped to solidify this film as a major influence in my "growing up years" (here's one for the kids: it was a special VHS with twenty minutes of "bonus footage", because we didn't have DVDs back then). Here we are, thirteen years later, and it occurred to me that I never wondered what became of the actor that portrayed one of my favorite film characters. Actually, it never dawned on me to even consider the notion, until my mother said to me last Friday night "that kid from The Sixth Sense sure has changed".
With my curiosity piqued, she showed me this photograph.
I don't care if it's for a role (by the way, who knew he was still acting?), I was shocked.
Let's just say, it was almost as bad as the time she showed me a recent picture of Danny Tamberelli. I'm told the look on my face suggested I could have been knocked over with a feather, or some such affair. One good thing has come of this experience: I realized that it's been a while since I've seen The Sixth Sense.

Now, where's my VHS?

With that, I leave you with a song that remains unreleased. I don't know why, it just is.

My copy is better than this. YAY!

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)