Saturday, June 15, 2013

Here in my car

Greetings from Atlanta. The traffic indicator on my Android map turned a shade of red I'd never seen before.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Viva Mr. ZIP

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Today's top story

Area Man Secretly Still Thinks Big Mouth Billy Bass Is Pretty Funny

Name game

"The Applebee's chain was started by Bill and T. J. Palmer who opened their first restaurant, T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs ..."

YES!

"In 1986, the name of the concept was changed to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar ..."

Whyyyyy ...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My new pal


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How do you like it

When I was a kid, I regularly ate at chain steakhouses like Western Sizzlin and Quincy's, the kind of places where you grab a piece of lemon pie in a cafeteria line. Which is why I still say a steak ought to come with a plastic tab stuck in it indicating doneness.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hitting the road with Ray

Here's my Mountain Press profile of Paula Michelle, the Sevier County singer who toured with Ray Charles. "Charles was 'hard, difficult,' Michelle said. 'It was stressful.' Still, she notes, she learned a lot about the music business from him."

In dreams he came

Watching the "Phantom of the Opera" performance on the Tonys last night, I looked for clues to explain the musical's amazing longevity. It has been on Broadway since 1988. I enjoyed the number, but the long stint is a mystery. The show is looking shopworn -- and sounding shopworn. The synthesizer arrangements reminded me of the score for "Cats," which I once wrote sounds like a justly forgotten Styx album.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

The end of play

Last night I was reminiscing about Star Wars toys. When I was a child in the 1970s, the neighbor kids and my brother and I played with them endlessly -- the four-inch-tall action figures, the spaceships, the Death Star set. For days on end we used the toys to act out stories of adventure. I loved this.

Then I remembered something that made me sad. At some point, I forgot how to play. When I was 12 or 13, a new line of Star Wars toys came out, cast-iron spaceships and play sets that were smaller than the originals. They were lovely. I liked them and bought a few, but when I got them home I realized: I don't know what to do with these. The play that had come so easily now seemed forced. I gave up and watched TV.

And that's how kids at play turn into grown-up collectors.

Mon semblable

I gather from studying page view statistics that the most dedicated reader of my blog is me.