Archive for November, 2011


November 30, 2011

•  I haven’t been to a Staples recently to check this out, but I wonder if a memorable part of my childhood is gone forever.  Sometime in the sixth grade, I bought my first 3-ring binder.  I filled it with three-holed, lined  looseleaf paper. Before that, I used the standard bound notebook.  I remember Mrs. Singer going from desk to desk checking the homework in my notebook.  But later, when each subject was taught by a different teacher, you needed divisions of the subjects because you handed in your homework sheets and re-inserted them when they were returned. The problem was that the holes would rip after you did this a few times. The solution? Those little lifesaver-shaped stamps you would paste over the holes to prevent ripping.  They were called “reinforcements”, and I spent a couple of hours each school year licking and pasting them, usually while watching a TV western. Do school kids still do that? 

•  I watch “Morning Joe” every weekday, and I’m going to do something despicable now.  I’m going to suggest a cast replacement.  I’ve never done it before, and it sickens me…well, maybe not. But I think it would improve the show. 

   Get rid of Mika.  Let her read the news or get her own talk show, but it’s a drag to see her so squirmy and stick-up-her-ass about Joe when he plays to his gang of stooges.  He eats it up, especially since he knows she can’t land a glove on him.  The solution? Get Joy Behar.  She showed on her now cancelled show that she can ad lib zingers, and she’s more informed than some of the GOP debaters.  More important, she can pierce through the grunts of that pen of hogs and go toe-to-toe with the host.  Test her out!

•  It’s holiday season, and you know what that means…another Weinstein Oscar attack!  Harvey will be pushing for a Best Actress for Michelle Williams as MM for My Week With Marilyn.  Not a chance.  Michelle Williams is sexier as herself than as Marilyn, who was unique.  Oh, she does the voice and the poses OK, but whenever she moves, you can see the difference.  Marilyn trained each body part to move in a separate direction, and the effect, especially when sheathed, was electric.  Sorry, Michelle, but you don’t pass the Flatbush garage calendar test.

   But the bigger disaster is Kenneth Branagh as Olivier.  With that pasty complexion and John C. Reilly schnozz?  Come off it!  Still, the only witty scene in the movie is when Branaugh does his eye makeup.  Each of Olivier’s eyebrows deserved a special Oscar of its own, and it was good to see them honored at last.   



Ticket Exchange

November 13, 2011

As a babyboomer, I am still in awe at the speed with which normal everyday life has been changed by the internet.  Here’s the latest jaw-dropper.

This entire transaction took 20 minutes!  I had tickets to the NY Philharmonic last night but the Gem Queen, Susan, had a headache.  I called the boxoffice (first a recording but – amazingly! – a real person within two minutes), and I was told I could handle an exchange over the phone.  But what was the schedule?

Before going to it, I logged on to MOMA because of the “Contenders” film series; I didn’t want a conflict.  I saw the complete schedule, and wrote down the dates.  Then I went to the Philharmonic site and perused the schedule for the concerts.  I picked three alternate dates, and called the boxoffice again.  I selected a date in January – for Bruckner’s 8th under Zubin Mehta – and completed the exchange.  It was a pure swap, at no cost.

When I think about how I would have done this – a mere thirty years ago! – I am speechless.  I can say honestly that I would never have believed that I could have had such detailed information available to me  – within minutes! – by using a small electronic device.

Can we place this in context?  Looking at the arc of human history, I mean.  Roughly speaking, the change in plain everyday experience in the past fifty years is greater than the leap from the 18th to the 20th century. I don’t think that people my daughter’s age can appreciate that.  Not yet, perhaps, but possibly when she looks at the innovative leaps that will transform her own world, and that leave her as awestruck as I am today.

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