Friday, November 23, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 11/23/07

1. Post-Xmas is coming! The holiday season is upon us, but the good news is it won't last.

No, not quite really a 'bah, humbug' attitude - - Xmas season can be great, but it seldom comes without difficulties and expectations and degrees of stressful preparations.

My FAVORITE time of year has long been the Post-X-Day Lull. The period between Xmas and New Year's when the pressure eases off and things get peaceful.

However, The Lull can be elusive during that one week - - maybe there's still family obligations and clean-up and ramp-up for New Years - - so even MORE precious and delightful is the very brief Post-New-Year's Lull.

If you're very lucky, that Lull might last until about the 3rd or 4th of January. It's a re-grouping.
Festivities are over, decorations have at least begun to disappear, at work maybe there's a bit of catch-up (or mop-up), but for most folks the job is pretty quiet.

Even if there's much to be done, the pressure's off to get it finished by Xmas.

It's a restart, maybe with a bit of afterglow.
A new year, but for a day or two you're still changing calendars, yawning and saying 'okay then, where was I?', and maybe waiting a few more days before you commence dieting again.

As the countdown begins, from me to you, here's wishing us all a long and Happy Lull !!

2. With the stresses of the Holidaze Season in mind, here's a darkly funny little tidbit from The Firesign Theatre...

Listen to: Ben Bland's Holiday Message (click for audio)

(from 'Just Folks . . . A Firesign Chat', Butterfly Records LP, 1977)

This is a doctored excerpt (music added) from a 'Ben Bland's All-Day Matinee' track.
Similar edits have run for years back at KALX in Berkeley, where I used to deejay.

(thanks to Joe Sixpack and Sex14s)


3.Bob Truby's Brand Name Pencils! (Click for link!!)

Bob's done a beautiful job of displaying his huge collection of pencils from all over the world.
137 different brands and counting!

"This site has been designed to visually introduce to you the incredibly diverse world of brand name pencils. I trust that you will be amazed at the sheer number of pencil brands once produced in the USA and abroad. Sadly those days are over and the craftsmanship, skill and pride once put into the ordinary pencil is but a thing of the past."

(Via Things Magazine)



4. Have you visited the Tick Tock Toys Archives & Galleries? You really should.

I've long had
Dan Goodsell's
'a sampler of things' included in my blogroll over in the sidebar, but I just want to make sure you don't miss his affiliated site.

The images I chose here are all breakfast cereal-related, but there's also other 1950's - 1970's food-centric pop culture galleries devoted to packaging, fast food, candy, advertising characters, as well as vintage supermarket photos, gum cards, cartoon characters, a vintage Disneyland photo tour and much more.

The fond memories from your childhood (and perhaps some of the repressed ones) are waiting for you.

5. Coming to DVD in March, it's the 'Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 2', with five pre-code flicks from 1930 - 1933 - -
Norma Shearer in 'The Divorcee' and 'A Free Soul', Barbara Stanwyck in William Wellman's 'Night Nurse', Bette Davis, Joan Blondell and Ann Dvorak in 'Three on a Match', and Michael Curtiz's romantic comedy 'Female'.

Sounds like good clean fun to me...

6. Whether as Mel Cooley, Fred Rutherford, or countless other pains-in-the-neck, actor Richard Deacon's character roles were always memorable.

I thought it was hysterical to seem him as a deadpan villain in 'Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy', and I love spotting him in the background of fifties sci-fi movies and dramas.

This week I happily discovered MelCooley.Com, A Tribute Site to Richard Deacon (via Generation Exploitation).

Check it out!

7. Also nosing about the web this past week I found a great blog devoted to The Colorblind James Experience.

They're a fondly remembered band that released a nice string of quirky and rockin' rootsy albums in the '80's and '90's.

Band leader "Colorblind" James Charles Cuminale passed away far too young in 2001.

The good news is there's great stuff to be found at the blogsite - - The Colorblind James Experience: Absolutely More!

Archived articles, remembrances from former band members, and best of all, several podcasts of rare live and unreleased tracks. Hurray, sez I!

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