30 July 2008

Natalie Carried That Show


Recently I discovered that episodes of The Facts of Life are available "on demand" along with other (bad) classics like One Day at a Time, Silver Spoons, Fantasy Island and others. After watching a few episodes of TFOL I was struck by how bad the show is. The writing, the plots, the acting are all awful. Was everyone brain dead in the 80s? Don't get me wrong, I loved TFOL when it was on the air. I guess my excuse had to do with being a closeted 7th grader who wanted to go to a private school in Peekskill where boys (aka the bullies who made my adolesence hell) were nowhere to be seen. But I would assume that actual adults were responsible for the content and execution of TFOL. I am not sure what their excuse was for making such a bad show.


Having said that, Natalie, played by the ever-perky Mindy Cohn, was the only thing that gave the show any kind of humor or intelligence. She was heads and shoulders above the rest of the cast in terms of acting ability as well. I think what worked for Natalie was that she had some sense of comedic timing and verbal slapstick. It is kind of like Happy Days vs Laverne and Shirley. Decades later Happy Days is boring, preachy, overly sweet, and not funny. L&S on the other hand still has some real gut laughs thanks to the slapstick skills of Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams.


I don't really have a point other than to say Natalie was my favorite and still is 25 years later.

12 July 2008

All of the Womenfolk on iTunes

At long last all of the Womenfolk's LPs are availabe on iTunes. I am happy that I was able to help get these recordings back in circulation. But bigger thanks go to the Womenfolk themselves and particularly to Babs Cooper, the feisty blond Womanfolk who really put the leg work into getting their recordings online.

And on the Womenfolk's MySpace page they have written a short history of the group and have included their own Bios.

You can read about The Womenfolk and WF related items here, here, here, and here.

I am REALLY sad to report that the fabulous video I have a link to elsewhere on this site has been deleted from the MySpace page where I found it. This is hugely disappointing. That makes the second video of the WF that have disappeared into the ether. Sigh.

Best Book Ever!



I stumbled across Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader while browsing the fiction section of the lovely but run down Mt. Pleasant Library here in DC. A novella of 120 pages it only took me about an hour to ready this little lovely. The story imagines the current Queen of England chasing after her corgis as they climb into a mobile library parked near Windsor Castle. Once inside to retrieve the dogs she feels obligated to check out a book. The result is that she ends up actually reading the it and going back for others. After a lifetime of meeting and knighting famous authors of all kinds, HM finds herself actually reading books for the first time in her life. For anyone who loves reading and/or is a bit of an Anglophile this book is a must. I hate to sound cliche or trite but this book really is a delightful romp. I wish it could have gone on forever.

I made my dontation. Have you?

Bermuda Part III: The Beaches






The pink beaches and brilliant waters in Bermuda are truly stunning. I have never seen that many colors of blue in one place. Turquoise, cobalt, and navy up against the brilliant blue and puffy clouds of the sky.

Bermuda Part II: Get Lost Bertha!






I am beginning to feel like I am bringing bad luck to my vacation destinations. Since we visited Northern California in May the wildfires there have wreaked havoc including one that is doing untold damage to Big Sur. We have our fingers crossed that Deetjen's Big Sur Inn will survive.

And now, just a week after our trip to Bermuda, Hurricane Bertha is bearing down on the island. What people do in a location like that when a Hurricane shows up I have no idea. It didn't really seem like there was anywhere for residents to flee to.

These pictures were taken in the Southern part of the island where the majority of the best beaches are. Also the scene of a disappointing snorkeling expedition. First, there wasn't really much to see underwater. I think I saw maybe four fish. Apparently Bermuda is better for divers who like exploring shipwrecks, but being so far north in the Atlantic the reef life was pretty boring. But perhaps the worst part of the expedition was a vomitous boat ride out to the reef. The combination of being in the sun in a wet suit and the rocking of the boat made this snorkeler more than a little queasy. The embarrassment of hurling over the side of the boat in front 20 other people was mitigated by the physical relief in doing so.

Bermuda Part I: St. George






We had a wonderful long holiday weekend in Bermuda. Neither of us had been there before and were really bowled over by how beautiful it is--and only 2.5 hours from DC by air. Right smack in the middle of the Atlantic this fish-hook shaped country is an amazingly picturesque place to spend four days. The re-insurance capital of the world, the island has plenty of money flying around with financial services outpacing a somewhat stagnant tourist industry. No doubt not everyone benefits from the prosperity. How can the middle or working classes afford housing in a country where the average home price is about $1.3 million? Although the island is starting to feel the pains of (over)development the style of the housing fits so pleasantly into the landscape it doesn't feel overdeveloped.

Unfortunately Bermuda has a spotty record on welcoming gay and lesbian travellers. Rosie O'Donnell's R-Family cruises dropped Bermuda as a stop when island churches threatened to protest the gay and lesbian cruise. Similarly a Bermudian was recently sentenced to 7 years in prison for attaching a gay resident with a machete to the face. However if you are not a gay traveler, but just a traveler who happens to be gay (i.e., you aren't looking for gay clubs, beaches, etc.), then you shouldn't miss out on this jewel of a destination.

The pictures here are of St. George on the eastern most tip of the island. It is a pretty little town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.