Category Archives: Media

Camp Baskerville

As many of you know, I am fond of Sherlock Holmes stories. Not the first fictional detective, he is the most popular and has the honor (sometimes dubious) of having been written as a character more times by authors NOT his original author than any other character.  Sherlock also holds the Guinness World Record as the “most portrayed movie character” – more than 70 actors in more than 200 films!

 

So I was intrigued when I learned that Park Square Theatre was doing The Hound of the Baskervilles this summer.  From looking at the website I could see that Holmes and Watson would be played by women and it didn’t look like it was being billed as a serious production.  A woman playing Sherlock didn’t bother me; if Ghostbusters and Dr. Who can be women, why not the most famous fictional detective.

Park Square is known for occasionally messing with your expectations but I was really unprepared for the audacity of the production, the sheer silliness. There were just five actors; if you’ve ever read or seen Baskerville, you know there are many more characters than that.  Normally this bugs me a little when actors play multiple roles, but I quickly got over it and in fact, they used it for comic fodder.  At one point towards the end, the actor playing Lestrade and Henry Baskerville did a “half and half”, turning from one side to the other – hysterical.

There was a lot of laughter; a few times so much so that I needed to wipe my eyes. Of all the different ways that I have seen or read Holmes, I have never experienced him as “camp” and I loved it.

If you have the chance, the production is playing for another week or so and I highly recommend it.. ESPECIALLY if you’re a Holmes fan.

When have you ever laughed until you’ve cried?

 

Wasp Woman

There are lots of retro tv stations these days and they do seem to occasionally be scraping the bottom of the barrel to fill their programming slots.  Yesterday afternoon I found an old movie that I had never heard of – The Wasp Woman.  And now I know why.  It was truly dreadful – a poor premise, scenes that didn’t connect to each other, sad special effects and outrageously bad acting.  It was one of those movies that is so bad that you can’t look away.

The head of a cosmetics company finds a bizarre scientist who is using wasp royal jelly to create a fountain of youth.  After testing it for just a few days on one cat, they start testing it on the company head. She also secretly injects herself with more serum late at night.  Of course, the cat turns into a wasp and then the woman intermittently turns into a waspish creature, but only at night.  She doesn’t remember these episodes (although you’d think she’s be tipped off by the blood that ought to be all over her clothing) and is eventually killed by being shoved off the balcony of the tall cosmetics company building.

I’m still not sure why I kept watching, perhaps a fascination with the reality that something so terrible actually made its way onto film.

If you turned into an animal/human hybrid at night, what animal would you be?  Or what is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

Who’s Gonna Patronize the Big Box Store Any More?

My riff on the weekend topic.

With humble gratitude for Meredith Wilson’s en-chant-ing opening to The Music Man.

PROGRAMMER 1:
Plastic for the orders.
Plastic for the downloads.
PROGRAMMER 2:
Visa for online.
Visa on the phone.
PROGRAMMER 1:
Credit for the software.
Credit for the hardware.
PROGRAMMER 2:
Credit for the needs, and the wants, and the bibelots.
PROGRAMMER 3:
Amazon for the hogs feet, cakes and longjohns.
Amazon for the crackers, and the pickles, and the computer paper.
PROGRAMMER 4:
Look, what do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
PROGRAMMER 5:
Where do you get it?
PROGRAMMER 4:
What do you twitter?
PROGRAMMER 2:
You can script, you can program, you can script,
You can chat. You can twitter, twitter, twitter, you can chat.
You can chat. You can chat, chat, chat, chat, twitter, twitter, twitter.
You can twitter all you wanna, but it’s different than it was.
ANALYST:
No it ain’t, no it ain’t, but you gotta know the database!
PROGRAMMER 3:
Well, it’s Jeff Bezos made the trouble,
Made the people wanna buy, wanna get, wanna get, wanna get it in a box.
7,8,9,10,12,14, 22, 23 orders to the front porch.
PROGRAMMER 1:
Yes, sir, yes, sir!
PROGRAMMER 3:
Who’s gonna patronize a big box store anymore?
PROGRAMMER 4:
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
NEWSPAPER READER 1:
Where do you get it?
ANALYST:
It’s not Amazon alone.
Take a gander at big box stores,
At the postmodern store,
At the out-of-date store
At the passe, postmodern,
Departmentalized big box store.
PROGRAMMER 4:
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
CONSULTANT:
Where do you get it?
PROGRAMMER 4:
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
What do you twitter?
CONSULTANT:
Where do you get it?
PROGRAMMER 1:
You can chat, you can twitter.
You can chat, you can twitter.
You can twitter, twitter, twitter
You can chat, chat, chat.
You can twitter all you wanna,
But it’s different than it was.
ANALYST:
No, it ain’t, but you gotta know the database.
PROGRAMMER 3:
Why, it’s I-need-it-easy thinking
Made the trouble
Need it easy, need it easy.
Put the order in a box, in a box,
What I-need-easy
In a box with a smile
Made the big box store obsolete.
ANALYST:
Obsolete, obsolete, obsolete
SALESMAN 4:
Malls out the window.
The smiling box
Takes the job of the sales clerk.
Closing all the stores.
ANALYST:
Who’s gonna patronize the big box store any more?
PROGRAMMER 3:
Gone, Gone
PROGRAMMER 1:
Gone with the mall and the outlet and the discount store.
Gone with the chain and the retail store with clothes on a rack.
ALL
Who’s gonna patronize a bog box store any more.
Big box store.

What are the long-term implications for America and the world, assuming  I dare worry about the world? 

What follows the Amazon era?

 

Missing the Party

I missed the “biggest shopping event ever”. Not only did I miss it, I didn’t even realize I was missing it.  I’m talking about Prime Day on Amazon.  Turns out that it’s a great big sale for those who are signed up for Prime.  I noticed a story about it the day after it was over – the first I’d heard of it.

Turns out that 100 million products were sold with the FireTV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote leading the way as the number one seller. I don’t even know what a FireTV Stick is.  The Echo Dot came in second.  I don’t know what that is either.  Apparently another big selling item was the Instant Pot multicooker.  I DO know what that is. In fact, if I had been a Prime member and if I’d known about the sale, I might have been interested.  But I don’t spend enough on Amazon in a year to justify the cost of Prime and getting a glorified pressure cooker isn’t a big enough incentive to change that.

But it makes me worry that not only did I now know that this event was happening, I also don’t even know what the top selling items were. Am I out of step with my own culture? Is the world speeding up while I’m slowing down?

Should I worry?

Life Imitates Art?

Many babooners will remember in Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacree from the late 1960s. One detail that always tickled me was that The Police located them after finding one of their names on an envelope at the bottom of the pile of garbage they’ve thrown over a cliff.

Well, laugh all we want:  I found this recently in the Police Blotter from the Winona Post (our twice-weekly rag also called “The Shopper”):

  • At 6:21 p.m. deputies received a report of garbage dumped illegally on McArthur Ravine Road. Deputies located a shipping address in the trash, and made multiple attempts to reach M___ A___ of Plainview, MN, without success. M. A. was mailed a citation for illegal dumping.”

Husband and I have been reading the Police Blotter lately, mainly for comic relief from the grim and alarming news that we encounter elsewhere. Here are some gems (italics are my own reactions):

  • At 10:07 a.m. an adult male moved furniture from a vehicle and dumped it on his lawn…  (More shades of Alice’s Restaurant)
  • At 3 p.m. an adult male reported that the key to the trunk of his vehicle had been stolen from his keyring inside the vehicle, parked on the 650 block of W. Sarnia St.  (Remind me to not leave my keyring IN the car…)
  • At 8:46 a.m. officers received a report from an adult female that her car had been scratched on the hood and door while parked near County Road 12.  (Must have been a slow day.)
  • At 7:30 p.m. deputies received a report of the theft of a goat from an adult female in Altura. The woman reported that one juvenile presented the goat to another juvenile, and when the two ended a relationship, the first juvenile requested the return of the goat, but the second party would not comply. Deputies recommended that the parties involved resolve the matter civilly. (If this solution works, maybe we can do away with courts, jails, etc.)

And my personal favorite:

  • At 5:03 p.m. an adult male on the 200 block of E. Garvin Heights Road reported that 40 goats with pink spots were in a field near his home.  The reporting party believed the goats had been fired on with a paintball pistol. (I am speechless; for the entire story: )

Anything fun or interesting in your paper’s Police Blotter report?

When have you noticed that life imitates art?

Bad News Bears

Well, the news from the Supreme court is discouraging.  #45 rallied yesterday in Fargo.  The weeds in my garden are horrendous.  On the other hand, there was a gorgeous, huge moon last night. My cats are charming, and I am a part of several communities that are supportive and comforting.  To cap it all off, in 1820, on this date, the tomato was proven to be non poisonous by a Colonel Robert Gibbon, who ate a tomato on steps of the courthouse in Salem, New Jersey.

How do you keep going in trying times?  How has scientific experimentation (a la Colonel Gibbon) improved your life?