Monthly Archives: April 2019

Frank Stella! Hey, Frank Stella!

At 82, National Medal of Arts recipient Frank Stella is creating some of his best work. The Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York is hosting an exhibition of some of his recent sculptures.

Here are some pictures from the exhibition, all found on the Gallery’s website:

“Frank Stella: Recent Work” opened on 25 April 2019 and will be on view until 22 June 2019.


I’d love to go, but, unfortunately, I’ve been barred for life from attending any Stella exhibitions, all because of a minor misunderstanding at an earlier show. I don’t think I did anything wrong, but they claimed I was causing a disruption.

You can judge for yourself. Here’s the Security footage of The Incident:

North Bergen High School’s Alien. The Story Just Keeps Getting Better

Remember the North Bergen (New Jersey) High School production of Alien that went viral last month? After audience members posted a few key scenes from the play to YouTube, it was praised by everyone from Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey, to Ridley Scott, director of the original film, and Sigourney Weaver, who starred as Ripley in the Aliens movies. Scott was so impressed that he donated $5,000 so that the North Bergen kids could stage it again for a limited run. The encore production opened Friday night.

Guess who showed up to surprise the cast and crew, and to introduce the performance.


Redditor Gato1980 posted this video of Friday’s full performance:

Gato1980 also posted the timestamps for key scenes: The Face-hugger scene is at 29:00, the Chest-burster scene is at 48:30, the alien reveal is at 54:08, the alien attack scene is at 1:10:45, and Sigourney outro is at 1:24:50.

2019 Cookery Project — Easter Lunch

Easter Lunch

Easter Lunch

A full plate. It’s a holiday!

Clockwise from the top, we have rosemary roasted onions, made with garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and rosemary, then sliced leg of lamb, with more garlic and more rosemary. There’s a dab of store-bought mint jelly at six o’clock.

The star of the show was the serving of Brussels sprouts with onion and crumbled bacon.

Rating

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something. for the onions.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file. for the Brussels sprouts.


Lamb to the Slaughter

This seems an appropriate place for a certain memorable video.

From 1955 through 1962, Alfred Hitchcock hosted a television anthology series called Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Hitchcock only directed 17 of the 268 episodes—in those days, a television season could run to 40 weekly episodes—but he hosted all of them, displaying the famous Hitchcock dark humour during his introduction and closing comments to each show, and mildly trolling his advertisers before the mid-show commercials. His appearances were sometimes the best part of the episodes.

Here’s one of the classic Alfred Hitchcock Presents stories, written by Roald Dahl, starring an absolutely-perfect-in-the-part Barbara Bel Geddes, and directed by A. Hitchcock himself. It’s called Lamb to the Slaughter.

Florence + the Machine — “Jenny of Oldstones”

Here’s Florence + the Machine’s full-length version of “Jenny of Oldstones”, the song that played during the end credits of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, Sunday night’s somber episode of Game of Thrones. The opening lyrics are by George R. R. Martin.

Spoilers, if you haven’t yet seen S08 E02. But of course you have, by now.

Brienne of Tarth

Brienne of Tarth

The Further Adventures of Florida Man Rabbit

A headline that starts with the words “Florida Man” is almost guaranteed to be followed by a trip down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole to a strange, exotic kingdom where the laws of logic and physics as we know them simply don’t exist. Things get curiouser and curiouser, as Alice herself once said.

So naturally, this happened in Orlando last weekend.

According to Click Orlando, “Apparently, the fight began when a man bumped into a woman and the duo began fighting. The video, posted by Instagram user Workfth, shows the Easter Bunny joining into the fight and throwing rabbit punches and haymakers.”

There were no arrests reported, this being Florida and all.


I’ve posted in the past about the Adventures of Florida Man and the Twitter account dedicated to immortalizing them.

Definitely worth revisiting.

2019 Cookery Project — Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Every now and then, a fella just wants some good ole comfort food, and nothing says “Comfort” like a good ole Pot Roast, made in a good ole crock pot.  (I’m trying for folksy here. Just go with it.)

The recipe comes from Classy Cooking, and it differs from the last few recipes I’ve tried in that it’s not a rethinking of a classic dish, or a 21st-century version of an old favourite. It’s just really good pot roast, composed of the traditional beef roast, yellow onions, carrots, and Yukon gold potatoes. It’s seasoned with minced garlic cloves, Worcestershire sauce, minced fresh thyme, minced fresh rosemary, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. The whole thing goes into a crock pot, gets doused with beef broth* and red wine,** and cooked on low heat for eight or nine hours.

Everyone knows that soups and stews taste better the second day. Since I slow cooked this overnight, it was technically the second day before I had my first taste of it, which was part of the reason it tasted so good.


Rating

★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.


* When I was young and poor, I thought you could get away with substituting beef bouillon cubes for beef broth. You can’t.

** I’d also advise against substituting grape juice for the red wine.

Beach Blanket Babylon Closing in San Francisco After a 45-Year Run

Those hats! Those huge, wonderful, silly hats, each larger than the last.

Beach Blanket Babylon, the world’s longest-running musical review, is as much a part of the San Francisco mythos as cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, and beautifully painted Victorian houses. But after 45 years and 17,216 performances, the show will close with 2019’s New Year’s Eve finale.

The ever-evolving show uses modified lyrics from popular songs to poke mildly racy fun at celebrities and politicians, many of whom, like Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in the picture below, turn up in the audience sooner or later. (Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had already seen an abbreviated performance of the review in 1983.)

The show could probably have run forever, since it had become a sure-fire way for San Franciscans to entertain out-of-town visitors.

Every performance ended with the audience joining the cast in singing a rousing and joyous rendition of “San Francisco”—the real, Jeanette MacDonald “San Francisco”, from the 1936 movie of the same name.


New Year’s Eve at Beach Blanket Babylon

The Beach Blanket Babylon website has an excellent collection of pictures from the show, including one gallery dedicated exclusively to those giant hats. It also includes videos of selections from the show’s New Year’s Eve performances. Here’s the one from 2018:

(All photos found on the Web.)

Jared Leto Is 47 Years Old

He posted this picture to his Instagram account last week.

And somewhere in a locked room, a portrait of Jordan Catalano has aged terribly.


My So-Called Life
It Gets My Vote as the Best Pre-Golden Age Television Drama Series

My So-Called Life was the Skam of its day. It ran for one 19-episode season way back in 1994-1995, and it was one of the first television shows to develop a passionate online following in those early years of the Internet. Claire Danes starred as Angela Chase and Jared Leto played Jordan Catalano.

The Game‘s Afoot, and It’s Almost Too Much of a Great Thing

In case you haven’t heard, Game of Thrones returned to HBO last night with another awe-inducing episode, after an absence of almost two years. The first of the six episodes that make up the final season moved most of the human (and other) chess pieces to their correct places on the board.

Here’s the new Game of Thrones opener, which has already been analysed to death by easy-to-find online fanboys:

So once again, with Killing Eve at 8 PM followed by Game of Thrones an hour later, Sunday in the US has become Must See TV night, as it was during the reigns of Deadwood and Mad Men and Breaking Bad and The Wire and The Sopranos.*

But it’s too much.

Killing Eve, the best new show of 2018, returned for a second season just as quirky and delightful as it was last year. Game of Thrones, the most popular television series in the world, is simply unmissable. The problem is that the two great shows are painfully incompatible. In theme, tone, writing, acting styles, and general sensibility, they share nothing.

I watched them both in their regular time slots last night, and realized almost at once that it was a mistake. You can’t make the jump from contemporary London and Paris to quasi-Tudor Britain-with-Dragons without dislocating something vital. Difficult though it is, from now on I’ll watch one of them when it airs, and the other a day or two later.

Now I only have to decide which to watch first.


*Loved Deadwood, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men. Thought The Wire and The Sopranos were both overrated.