Saturday, August 12, 2006

Meanwhile, back in the metropole

Today Bookish Barbara triumphs with another brilliant entry about life in Great Britain. Thank you, Bookish Barbara.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Good word

"They took my Blistex."

-- Bill Hunstein, 39

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hand me a tissue

Lately I've been using the miracle of DVD technology to catch up with one of my guiltiest pleasures of the 1990s, the Fox series "Party of Five." That, you may recall, was the deliciously overwrought family drama about five San Francisco siblings orphaned when their folks die in a car crash.

Then as now, my appreciation for "Party of Five" is part camp, part not. The dramatic lighting and folky incidental music are self-parodic, but the characters -- flawed, desperate, grieving -- are memorable. So is the writing: in the episode we watched last night, a minor character had a line that was perfectly lovely, something like, "You make love with your fingers crossed behind your back." That's an image that is absurd and crazy and informed by the kind of bitterness that, indeed, finds its purest expression in the evening soap operas. Lines like that make "Party of Five" a treat.

For some reason, I never could abide most hour-long television dramas. Cop shows, lawyer shows, doctor shows, politician shows -- all are suffocatingly dull to me. But one genre is the exception: Hour-long family dramas, like "Family," "Eight Is Enough," "Little House on the Prairie," "Our House." Endlessly fascinating to yours truly. I was a big fan of Geena Davis' ill-starred political drama "Commander in Chief," mostly because it had strong family-drama elements.

And I'm also a fan of "Party of Five." A++++++++

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


"A little Andy Dick goes a long way."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Rock lobster

Sorry for blog silence. I just returned from Maine, where the Junkers played their final, last-ever, farewell, we-really-mean-it reunion show for a second time this year. It was a wedding reception for my friend Mel's sister, who married her fiancee in Montreal last April. Yes, two e's at the end of fiancee: It was a same-sex wedding reception, and the happy couple cutting their cake together was one of the most inspiring sights I've ever beheld.

The other inspiring sight was Maine's craggy coast itself. The party was on a tiny peninsula 50 or so miles up the coast from Portland, and it was one breathtaking setting for a country music show. To capture a sense of what I'm talking about, I stitched together some photographs of the inlet that was our backdrop. Check them out here. Late Friday night an orange moon set over the water, and I could have just wept.

I also should disclose that I ate lobster at three consecutive meals. Dare I say it? Best gig ever.