Thursday, September 15, 2011

As Freud would say, 'You hadda be there'

I rarely remember my dreams, but here's one from last night:

Somehow I'm meeting Johnny Carson -- he's alive and well. Maybe it's just after his last show.

He's very pleasant to me.

At some point he says something.

I can't remember what.

What I DO remember is my response:

"I'll have my girl get in touch with your girl."

Somehow this makes him double up with laughter.

Wow, I think with unbounded joy, I made Johnny Carson laugh uproariously!

And that's it.

If anyone knows what this dream means, please keep it to yourself.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A joke for Steven Wright (if he wants it)

One night when I was a kid, my father said he was going out and leaving us for good. Then he went to the store, bought a pack of cigarettes and came right back.

Today's travel tips

"If a train doesn't stop at your station, then it's not your train."

-- author Marianne Williamson, on Facebook

If it's an Amtrak train, you'd be better off at the airport.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another bright star in the blogosphere

"At what point did the transition happen? The one where the child and parent trade places?"

In her new blog, my longtime friend Judy Berman writes about (and reflects on) a visit to her father.

Judy has been a schoolteacher for some years now, but for many years she was a radio and newspaper journalist.

You have to be good to make it as a radio or newspaper journalist.

You have to be damn good to make it as both.

And though it's been a while, it's clear that Judy still has it.

I hope you'll visit her blog. I know I'll be stopping by often.

Today I fly across cyberspace ...

... and land on my friend Dan Valenti's website, Planet Valenti, where I discuss a certain recent incident involving a famed Claymation character.

I hope you'll drop by.

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's a small world (or at least a small backlot)

I've gotten into the habit of watching DVDs on my computer, and I've found that I often notice more details that way.

Tonight, for example, I watched the 1946 version of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," with John Garfield, Lana Turner and Cecil Kellaway.

At one point, the exterior of the hospital where Nick (Kellaway) is treated after Cora (Turner) tries to kill him (though Nick doesn't know that) reveals that the name of the hospital is Blair General.

Ring a bell, trivia fans?

Blair General is where Dr. Kildare and Dr. Gillespie worked. (The Kildare movies and TV shows, like "Postman," were made at MGM.)

Which leads to (not "begs") this question: Where were Kildare and Gillespie while all this was going on?

Considering that in their own movies Kildare (played by Lew Ayres) and Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore) seemed to spend half their time playing detective, couldn't they have figured out that Cora and Frank (Garfield) were up to no good and put a stop to things, thus saving Nick's life and, ultimately, Cora's and Frank's?

This, at the very least, constitutes a dereliction of duty, if not flagrant malpractice.

And I know just the man to investigate. (Does anyone out there have Dr. Christian's number at RKO?)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some housekeeping

Sorry I haven't been around much lately; I've been trying to keep a number of balls, and possibly a chain saw or two, in the air.

In the meantime, I'd like to alert you to a couple of additions to my blogroll:

Lingua Franca, an offshoot of The Chronicle of Higher Education's website, features entries by author Lucy Ferriss, professor and author Allan Metcalf, linguistics professor Geoffrey K. Pullum, veteran editor Carol Fisher Saller and author Ben Yagoda.

If you're interested in words and writing, I'm sure you'll find plenty of food for thought, and if you're annoyed that I just used a cliche, you might enjoy Mr. Yagoda's latest essay. (He's also a very nice guy -- I met him after he gave the dinner speech at a conference I attended last year.)

The other contributor whose work I'm more familiar with is Ms. Saller, whose eminently sensible book, "The Subversive Copy Editor," is a must for anyone who handles words and deals with the people who write them.

Stu's Show
is the successor to a previous link, Shokus Internet Radio. I wrote about Shokus here, but I'm sorry to report that after a long, heroic effort, proprietor Stu Shostak has had to pull the plug on this wonderful service.

However, "Stu's Show," the crown jewel of Shokus, will continue once a week, with new shows beginning Sept. 21. The first new show will feature Jay North, Gloria Henry and Jeannie Russell, and if you're of a certain age, namely mine, you won't have to be told that these three starred in the TV version of "Dennis the Menace," and you don't need to be told to tune in on that date.

But you don't have to wait until then to visit the site -- and download, for a mere 99 cents each, past episodes of "Stu's Show."

These two new links should be enough to keep you busy while I attend to other matters.

Now, where did I put those balls and chain saws....