Wednesday, July 29, 2015

But they're cousins


Brain-dead because it's summer, deeply unhappy over the state of the world and the people in it (for my jolly satire is mostly a pose to cheer myself up), I nevertheless discover I can still make a damn good gif. Anyone who ever watched The Patty Duke Show (meaning anyone over 100 years old) remembers her insane boogaloo in the opening credits, which is unlike any dance ever seen before or since. "Our Patty loves the rock-n'-roll, a hotdog makes her lose control," went the lyrics. You will lose your mind.

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Oh my God - it's a waterfall!" Laughing on the edge of death

I might have posted this before - in fact, I probably HAVE posted this before - but if I want to see it again, I might as well see it here. This is a much better quality version from YouTube than the grainy, distorted thing going the rounds on Facebook. I know nothing about these guys or if there is more to the video than this, or, more importantly, WHO is shooting the video (which nobody thinks about). It seems impossible, unless some other vehicle is trailing them. Even more importantly, I want to know if they survived. But if they didn't, at least they went down laughing.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

One of the best gifs I've ever seen

Trippy cat gifs: kaleidoscope kitties!

What could be better than a cat gif, you may ask? A cat gif that pulsates with trippy, kaleidoscopic colour! A cat gif that practically gives you a migraine, it's so intense! A cat gif that's - meow. Meow. MEOW! You are in my power!

A cat with death rays coming out of its eyes!

A cat that looks like it could blow up the universe!

Oh yeah man! Now THIS is a cat gif. None of that cute falling-off-the-table shit. This cat doesn't need to do NOTHIN'.

Tie-dye cat, perhaps done with radioactive dye.

We'd better. . . prey.


Strobe cat. Known to cause seizures in the vulnerable.

VERY trippy cat gif! We don't know what it means, but it's trippy.

Mew! Mew! Mew! I'm lookin' at you!

Flying hamburgers in space!

Peanut butter jelly cat!

Tuna Quest: My body is floating through space

Kitty in the sky with pizza

You lookin' at me?

Rock on.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Ages ago I found this charming still for the early Lloyd movie, I Do, a domestic comedy about a couple who are looking after someone else'e bratty children over a weekend. It was one of the first Lloyd comedies that made me laugh out loud.

And then I found. . . this! A charming and colorful poster for the French version, entitled Un Heureux Mari (A Lucky Husband). With small exceptions, the pose is almost identical to the still. The main difference is that Harold, who is known here by his French name "Lui" (loosely translated as "that fellow")  looks oh-so-very-Franch.

But was there any way to bring the two together?

This is as close as I could get. 

It's toasted

Thursday, July 23, 2015

And the clock on the wall is a bore: take 2 and 56

Father of my morning,
Once my child to the night
I see that you have minds to cop
And I can only watch the sickened sorrow

Little do you know
Of the progressions that you teach
The people that you reach are tired
Of livin' in a world of elastic towers

Dance with them and sing a song of changes
And talk with them of life and all its dangers
Surround yourself with now familiar strangers
Who kiss and who hug and eventually mug you of your time
And the clock on the wall is a bore
As you wander past the door
And find him lying on the floor
As he begs you for some more, you frozen smile

You cannot ever picture me
You know me by my thoughts
A file for your travelogue
Oblivious to the night, the fog around you
The germs they are ridiculous
They bother you at night
The blood that rushes to your brain
The ticket on the plane you're never catching

The price you pay exclusive of your taxes
To chop you up inside with tiny axes
The girl looks up to you from floors she waxes
And speaks to your belt with tears among her eyes
And the clock on the wall is a bore
As you wander past the door
And find him lying on the floor
As he begs you for some more, you frozen smile

The metaphysic wrinkles in the face of what you face
Are hidden by the fake-up man
Who lives inside the sterno can beside you
Now climb ye to the mountains
As the sun is almost gone
Escaping from your other selves
Your brothers hide among the shelves inside you

The games that people play can only bore you
But only those that know you don't ignore you
How many times have I come there to restore you
And caught you lying on the couch with father time

And the clock on the wall is a bore
As you wander past the door
And find him lying on the floor
As he begs you for some more, you frozen smile

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Really creepy, but interesting

The things you see on Pinterest! To my mind, it's virtually useless, a way of sticking up pictures of kittens and movie stars and food and crafts for no purpose at all, except for looking at them. There are no links to the original item, so you can't, for example, click on a link to a knitting pattern you've been looking for for 6 or 7 years. No, but you can look at a picture of it.

This horrible blackened thing is supposedly one of Harold Lloyd's prostheses, which he used inside a glove to replace his missing right thumb and forefinger, blown off in a freak explosion. It looks so creepy because it's a reverse cast of his left hand. Now, whether this is a REAL Harold Lloyd prosthesis or not is anyone's guess. Where did it come from, who would keep such a thing? Certain Tea Party Republicans come to mind, but we won't go there.

To me it looks like one of those bog mummies, perfectly preserved in peat bogs for hundreds of years, or a woolly mammoth carcass emerging from the permafrost due to global warming. When you think about it, it's only a matter of time until Ice Man emerges, maybe walking and talking and appearing on eTalk Daily. This is too real for comfort. Unless it's a total hoax, which is entirely possible.

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Why do I do this to myself?

Long ago, oh-so-long-ago, when I didn't yet completely appreciate the whir and blur of time rocketing forwards, or rather backwards, I discovered that my daughter and I both loved the same song. I still do. And to see Sir Elton, not Sir yet, not touched by life yet, the richness and the agony. His first hit, and his best, I think (though I have to say, Bennie and the Jets is right up there).

Would I go back and fix what I did wrong then? Oh, would I. But I can't, and besides, I didn't really know what I was doing that was so wrong. Some of it I truly could not help, but I was treated as if I could, if I only pulled my socks up and tried a little bit. The fallout was immense, but when I finally got better, there was no acknowledgement of that mammoth task, the task that nearly broke me. As usual, people only seem to notice when you're getting it wrong. I never should have done those things to begin with.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My life in glasses


This is one of those rare (rare, RARE) photos from Facebook that provoked an almost visceral response in me. 

For nothing but a photo could sum up what it is really like to lie down with your glasses on.

And how's this for AWK-ward: having to wear two pairs of glasses at the movies, the 3D ones on top of your regular pair? Double your nerdness, double your fun.

It's hard for me to even find illustrations for the next few points: getting your hair caught in the hinges of your glasses. Trying to put makeup on when you can't see a bloody thing.

Trying to read a magazine at the stylist's when I have all that colorizing goop on my hair and can't wear my glasses. Shoving the magazine two inches away from my eyes and moving it around.

Worst of all, trying to find a new pair of glasses that flatter you, when you HAVE TO TAKE YOUR GLASSES OFF to try them on!

This hasn't happened to me for a while, but it did in high school for some reason, back when lenses were actually made of glass and weighed as much as an average schooner. People would snatch them off my face and try them on and bleat, "Gawd, are you ever BLIND!" I even had a clerk at Pearle Vision look at my prescription once, and exclaim, "Whoaaaa!" Needless to say, I never went back there.

This is a mighty shiny couple, and it's easy to imagine our glasses clinking together. When I met Bill his glasses were held together with a paper clip and tape. Practically love at first sight.

It's hard to see the thickness of these, but it's nearly the same as the width of the frame. In those days glasses used to leave a bleeding trench on the bridge of my nose that never quite healed.

Cute babies, though!

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What am I doing wrong?

No less a Hollywood legend than Kirk Douglas once had a pet project that didn't get off the ground.


He had read an obscure novel by an eccentric writer named Ken Kesey, formerly known for writing a stoner road trip story called The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. This one was set in a state mental hospital, extracted black humor out of desperate circumstances, and was treated like rat poison by every major movie studio in Hollywood.

It was called One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Yes. That one.

Coming up empty again and again - movie executives were appalled at the very idea of making a comedy about mental illness - Douglas finally arm-twisted a playwright into adapting the book for the Broadway stage. He starred as the hell-raising rebel who crashes the doors of the hospital, Randall P. McMurphy. As Douglas writes in his memoir, The Ragman's Son:

"The reviews were murderous.Walter Kerr in the Herald-Tribune said, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is such a preposterous proposition for the theatre that it could be dismissed very briefly if it weren't for the extraordinary tastelessness with which it has been conceived.' Howard Taubman of The New York Times wrote, 'Do you find the quips, pranks and wiles of the inmates of a mental hospital amusing? If you do, you should have a merry old time at One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

And so on, and so on. Do you hear the sound of a chainsaw in the background?

Not to be deterred, Douglas continued to shop the film script around, only to be told the same thing, or ignored outright.

"I crawled back home to Los Angeles like a wounded animal, defeated in my last battle to become a star on Broadway. I licked my wounds and moaned to (his wife) Anne, 'I gave New York a classic and they don't even realize it.' In between movies, I was busy taking Cuckoo's Nest to every single studio. They all turned it down."

Needless to say, the film finally got made and became a classic. No one complained about the setting and characters being in poor taste. There was an underlying compassion and tense drama just beneath the dizzy surface humor that gave it substance and humanity.

And Kirk Douglas was nowhere to be seen. The man who had pushed and pushed his pet project relentlessly for ten years until it was finally realized had been shoved aside. When it came time to assume his plum role as McMurphy, they told him he was too old. The role went to a relative unknown named Jack Nicholson.

So what am I getting at here?

I am trying to figure out where I am with my novel. It has been excruciating to pursue (or try to) what I'd really like to see happen with it. Can you guess what that might be?

The Glass Character isn't a Lloyd bio, but Harold Lloyd is its centrifugal centre. It would fly apart without him. He is the magnificent obsession who returns again and again, illuminating everything and trailing stars and comets in his wake.

It's a movie.

Let's get to it, let's stop pretending: it's an embarrassing proposition for me, a nothing little Canadian author whose books don't sell, to get a movie adapted from her story. And that's exactly what I want to do, need to do, and even believe is quite possible to do, though at this point (at THIS point!), no one else seems to agree with me.

I have no contacts in the film industry, absolutely none, and even if I did, I doubt if my communications would ever hit home or create any real interest. The idea of a Lloyd bio has been tossed around for years, far back enough that Jack Lemmon was once considered to play him (since Harold admired his brilliant combination of anxious comedy and poignant drama, with leading man looks thrown in for good measure).

So I am left with an embarrassed feeling. Why embarrassed? Because everyone else is embarrassed. For me. Part of it might be my Canadian-ness, that deeply-ingrained feeling that we are not ever, ever, EVER supposed to aggressively promote ourselves. It's somehow shameful to call attention to yourself like that. So there is this feeling of, OK, Margaret, here, take your medication now and take your dream home and put it to bed for good.

I feel this deep humiliation in myself, because it is such a ludicrous, almost insane idea. At the same time, I am absolutely certain it could happen and even would happen in the right hands. But I have not found those hands yet, in spite of what seems like truckloads of books sent out and hundreds of dollars of postage paid, all in the name of total futility. They just appear to fall into an abyss, proving I never should have called attention to myself to begin with.

I am an embarrassment, that woman who won't go away, who seems to think she has something here. She won't stop bugging me so I'll ignore her, maybe after some initial interest (leaving me to wonder: just what did I do wrong? Did I care too much? Did I not show that I cared enough? Am I just a natural-born, dyed-in-the-wool failure?)

Such is my reality, on some days, but I am not even supposed to say so.

This will not happen, reality tells me I am doomed and being silly and embarrassing myself to even want it. And yet, and yet. I know it could be realized. Nothing will kill that hope, though God knows I have tried to kill it a million times.

I try to comfort myself with Kirk Douglas' ten years of slogging to get a movie made that he couldn't star in, because by the time he got someone to pay attention to him, he was "too old". Unfortunately I will be too DEAD by then, in which case it  truly will be too late.

When this world began
It was Heaven's plan
There should be a girl for ev'ry single man.
To my great regret 
Someone has upset
Heaven's pretty program for we've never met.
I'm clutching at straws, just because
I may meet him yet.

Somebody loves me, I wonder who,
I wonder who he can be.
Somebody loves me, I wish I knew,
Who can he be worries me.
For ev'ry boy who passes me I shout, "Hey, maybe
You were meant to be my loving baby. "
Somebody loves me, I wonder who,
Maybe it's you.

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