The beer refreshing

January 16, 2018

Tags: Hamm's

I grew up with Hamm's beer—after all, it's from the land of sky-blue waters, St. Paul. The tom-toms & bear of their ad are still beloved & widely remembered, even though Hamm's was long ago sold to a bigger brewer. Their jingle is in the front of my memory. If you want to watch a commercial from 1956:

Bonus. A bunch of non-PC commercials from around the same time:

Sorry, I still haven't figured out to embed links into the text itself but totally worth it to copy'n'paste.

Monday Quote

January 15, 2018

Tags: William Brodrick

There comes a time when you have to say, ‘Yes’. When life becomes a ‘Yes’, whatever the cost might be. When we have to take the word back from those who control what will and what will not happen. … We had to say ‘Yes’ to a future of our choosing, and to put words out there to wake the dead … to shatter the illusions that make oppression acceptable. —William Brodrick, The Day of the Lie (a Father Anselm thriller)

In honor of Martin Luther King

& happy 94th birthday to my mother

Lower East Side scene

January 14, 2018

Ludlow Street.
The art instinct's in all of us. Making even garbage pretty. Lawn flamingoes. Thank goodness Manhattan doesn't have—I'm not sure what they're called but—restrictions on what colors you can paint your house, what you can name your kid (they do in Italy & France & probably lots of places). Freewheeling lower Manhattan suits me.

Old old old

January 12, 2018

I really have no problem calling myself old. I read an article that suggested "perennials" for people my age, given that we Boomers don't like being "seniors," "oldsters," "sages," or even "senior citizens." Me, I'm old & thrilled: I get to ride the subway & buses for half price, & yesterday I got a 100% free membership to the Chinatown Y, 2 blocks away, which has a sauna & pool, as well as classes & all the gym equipment I need. (more…)


January 11, 2018

Tags: Biala, Ford Madox Ford, Tibor de Nagy

I first took notice of the painter Biala, first name Janice I once heard, in connection with Ford Madox Ford, but she is terrific in her own right. What a pleasure to see the well-chosen show at Tibor de Nagy yesterday. Several small paintings of bouquets, a few large landscapes, this Bonnard-esque interior-exterior. Her work is self-confident in the way of someone with nothing to prove.

Tibor de Nagy's principal, Andy Arnot, said Biala was Ford's literary executor. I wonder what happened to his daughters. Did they have any connection to his estate later in life? I wonder how I can find out more than their birth & death dates.

But that's mostly idle curiosity, (more…)

Fight fight fight

January 10, 2018

Tags: karate, kumite

Every once in a while, I am struck by the joy of kumite, the fighting part of karate. I'm not particularly good at it: I'm not quick, I can't really kick, I only have a couple of moves, I don't bother with defense. My only advantage is that I'm fearless—I'll fight anyone & figure (more…)

Art wars

January 9, 2018

Hundreds, thousands, of artworks were stolen during the Nazi era. Most have not been returned to their rightful owners. These are works by Matisse, Kirchner, Rodin, Cézanne, Dürer, Brueghel, and others, much of it what the Nazis called "degenerate" art, which didn't stop them from stealing & enjoying it. This makes me think (more…)

Monday Quote

January 8, 2018

Tags: Galileo, Ray Charles, the sun

"The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do." —Galileo

Which goes with the great Ray Charles song "Lucky Old Sun":
But that lucky old sun got nothin' to do
But roll around heaven all day.

My mother the ...

January 7, 2018

Tags: Jerry Van Dyke, Porter Motor Company

None of these is a Porter, but it's the general idea, & I liked this photo.
With the death of Jerry Van Dyke I'm reminded that he starred in My Mother the Car, the show that TV Guide called the second-worst of all time, after The Jerry Springer Show. I guess my family (or maybe just my dad) had a corny sense of humor, because I remember us watching it with some amusement, although it's highly possible that my memory is suspect. (Not a general admission!)

Almost the first conversation I had with Johnny Stanton was about that show's title. I was outraged at his claim that it was My Mother-in-Law the Car (on the grounds that (more…)

The long slide

January 5, 2018

First a wild morning walk in Prospect Park. It made me think of how empty it can be where I come from, so unlike busy Manhattan. Later, frolicking in Tompkins Square Park with 10-year-old Sylvie, who somehow cajoled me into going down a snowy slide. That reminded me of my father—younger than I am now—going down a slide in a playground in Dell Rapids. He flew off the end, injuring his tailbone & losing his cufflinks (more…)