Friday, August 24, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 08/24/07

We live in a strange world. Whether on a personal scale or a global one, we all do what we can to make it a better place, but war and famine and all the other little horsemen will continue to ride.

I feel that part of staying sane in our modern age is to embrace and celebrate the absurdity of the world we live in, and don't forget to share.

Here's another small batch of little 'reasons to be cheerful' for this week.
They exist in the world simultaneous with natural calamities, scandal, intolerance, pointless death and other distractions.

1. This world used to contain Ian Dury.
- - Or rather, it tried to.
He checked out in 2000, at age 58.

An amazing performer, his music still puts a smile on my face, and of course, he's the inspiration for the title of this weekly (weakly?) feature.

In case you missed it, the song was
'Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 3', first released by
Ian Dury and the Blockheads in 1979.

- Here's a link to an audio-only live recording of the song at YouTube.

- Here's a link to the text of the elusive lyrics, and another to a scholarly analysis of their meaning.

- Here's a link to actual moving video footage of
Ian Dury and the Blockheads, performing
'What a waste' under the end credits of the old British TV show, 'Revolver', as introduced by the giant video head of emcee Peter Cook.

2. I've had this bookmarked for several years now.

I only wish that when and if the day ever arrives that I've attained the proper financial and spiritual resources in my life to acquire my own 9-foot tall authorized facsimile of The Lawgiver statue from Planet of the Apes that they will still be available.

People think I'm kidding.
Nope, not kidding.

Hopefully I'd be able to have a spot for it someday that will do it justice.

I'll let you know if it ever happens...
(Don't hold your breath waiting)

Meanwhile, get the full skinny at Apemania - The Official Planet Of The Apes Tribute Website.

3a. I'm so thankful for GOOD fresh produce when I can get it, and I sure miss it when I can't.
I've been missing the variety (and caliber) of food that was available when I lived in the bay area. Which leads to...

3b. I'm happy for successful improvisation in the kitchen, on those occasions when I can pull it off.
I have a small repertoire of some good staple recipes I'm mostly satisfied with, but sometimes one is faced with few options among the leftovers in the fridge, y'know?
This evening for dinner I cobbled together a quick 'naive' Oyakodon - - naive, as in I didn't know what I was doing. So perhaps it was more of a 'O-mock-odon'.
Okay, okay, so truth be told, it was really just a soft scramble with some green onion, leftover bits of chicken, and a dash of soymilk and other stuff dumped over hot brown rice.
No proper sauce or nothin'. But it was hearty, filling, and most importantly, it did manage to put me in mind of some of my favorite Japanese food I haven't had in so long.

So maybe 'success' in the kitchen is all relative?

4. Planned for an October release, Chronicle Books is issuing the first english-language book on the life and career of Japanese special-effects pioneer Eiji Tsuburaya.

Among the hundreds of films he helped create, Tsuburaya worked on the original 1954 Godzilla movie, originating the 'suitmation' process - - puting a man in a suit and making him appear giant-sized while stomping on miniature cities and battling other Kaijū creatures.

In the mid-1960's, it was his production company that created the 'Ultraman' TV series and exported it around the world.

The new book is titled, 'Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters: Defending the Earth with Ultraman and Godzilla', and you can read a blurb about it over at Sandbox World.

Looks like the biography will also include lots of production stills, concept art, and fun behind-the-scenes photos.

Sounds like a good time to me!

No comments:

Freshly-stirred links