Waking Up, Neutral Television, and the Toast-O-Lator

We took a museum trip to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. The above photo was taken there, as part of my ongoing series, Evelyn Posing with Large Statues.

I’ve been watching several classic movies from the library, listed in worst-to-best order: 42nd street, An American in Paris, Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Citizen Kane, and Singin’ in the Rain.

My weekday morning routine is like the 5 stages of grief, as I mentally engage with the advent of the waking hour:
Denial: "No, it can’t be time to get up yet!"
Anger: "Stop that infernal noise! Stupid !@#$ alarm clock."
Bargaining: "Just 20 more minutes, then I’ll get up."
Depression: "I’m tired, I’m aching… this sucks…"
Acceptance: "Fine… guess I’ll take a shower then."

Two things that have amused me at different times unexpectedly came together during a recent going-away party. The first is a unique short film that I caught the last part of while in a hotel. The movie was made circa 1970, and was entirely stop motion animation, a series of snapshots at the speed of a movie, of people sitting on the road pretending to have a car chase. Anybody know what that could be? (Stop, Look, and Listen, perhaps?)

The other was at the party, when some channel on one of the bar televisions (this was the first time I’ve been in a bar in three years) was showing stock footage of guys doing amateur skateboarding on local roads in the 1980s. With the sound drowned out by the music system, the effectively silent footage, with no commercials, made for great Neutral Television. The graceful swoops and glides of silent sunbronzed ‘boarders in the suburban hills of Southern California was relaxing, pleasant, peaceful, and it reminded me of the Winter Olympics. This was the highlight of the party for me. (Later on, the channel disappointingly switched to X-Games stuff, which was indoors, harshly lit, and far more aggresive.)

Well, I explained all this to my friend Kurt, and he found this stop motion skateboarding video. It’s really hyper, but a cool coincidence, the meshing of two related thoughts that collided haphazardly that very Friday evening.

Fatal Antique Alert!… the shiny yet deadly Toast-o-lator. (Fluxx fans… this IS the goal for The Toaster plus Death.) This whole site is dangerously engrossing, covering the history of many kinds of appliances and life in the Swing Era. You can even ride the Wayback Express to 1947.

Don’t know what to get that Lord of the Rings fan in your life who has everything? Try some of these coins. They sell stamps, too.

Mark Steere has made a very cunning maze that will make you suffer.

Have you taken the Fluxx Customer Survey yet?

Nifty Wikipedia Thing: Nelson’s Pillar

What I’m Reading:
"Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson


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