In his first novel, Look Homeward Angel, 29-year-old Thomas Wolfe remembered a turn-of-the-century Thanksgiving from his boyhood in Asheville, North Carolina. In his nostalgic fictionalized memoir, Wolfe calls himself young Eugene -- the toddler son of a couple named Eliza and a wildly prodigal stone-cutter named Gant.
Seated before a roast or a fowl, Gant began a heavy clangor on his steel and carving knife, distributing thereafter Gargantuan portions to each plate. Eugene feasted from a high chair by his father's side, filled his distending belly until it was drum-tight, and was permitted to stop eating by his watchful sire only when his stomach was impregnable to the heavy prod of Gant's big finger.
"There's a soft place there," he would roar, and he would cover the scoured plate of his infant son with another heavy slab of beef. That their machinery withstood this hammer-handed treatment was a tribute to their vitality and Eliza's cookery.
I love The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And I'm fascinated by
this song from its soundtrack. Its title is "Step Out," but the lyrics
are a little darker. I could've sworn they were singing "House on fire.
Leave it all behind you..."
So I launched a quest to learn what the real lyrics are...
I discovered there's a "last episode" of Route 66. Tod gets married
his bride is played
by Barbara Eden -- but in the last scene,
scheming relatives immediately have him murdered in order to claim his
inheritance. The episode actually ends with them throwing his body off a
high bridge, while his bride weeps.
It turns out that's just part one of a two-part episode...
I was walking around a
beach town when I suddenly remembered the movie "Summer of '42." (A
teenaged boy in a summer resort town has a crush on a woman whose
husband is serving in the war...) Remembering the movie, I felt like I
had to know: was the movie really based on a true story?
obsessed with the great music that Ben Folds wrote for "Over the Hedge."
William Shatner was on his (new!) version of "Rocking the
Suburbs" - and
there's a gentle ballad called "Still" that's
I love the sweet (and satirical) '60s euphoria he sneaks
into songs like
"(I've Always Got My) Family
of Me" and even a cover of The Clash's "Lost
in the Supermarket"
. The melody itself is almost a
commentary on middle-class suburban life.
Here's an inspiring story. A part-time cameraman for the news (and
commercials) at a local TV station in Texas was hired in the 1970s to
start filming NCAA football games. Eventually he was filming NFL games
and even part of the Olympics in Mexico City. But Steve Rash had a
dream. And he spent the next five years raising money to make it come
Edgar Allan Poe described walking to a tomb in a brilliant but
forgotten poem called "Ulalume".
("Perhaps befitting the
Ulalume has a
secret history," writes Moe Zilla). After his death, Poe's
literary executor deleted
the last stanza -- though the poem's even spookier without it.
And somehow, YouTube has a video of the poem being recited by Nico of
The Velvet Underground.
"You have to distinguish between two things - the Swedish economy and
the Swedish stock market. The Swedish economy is the sum of all the
goods and services that are produced in this country every day. There
are telephones from Ericsson, cars from Volvo, chickens from Scan, and
shipments from Kiruna to Skovde. That's the Swedish economy, and it's