Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Conversation with Kate (age 6) About Canine Footwear

HER: I don't think we should get a dog.
JILL: Why not?
HER: I think it would ruin my shoes.
ME: What? How would it do that?
HER: I like my shoes.
JILL: Are you scared the dog would chew the shoes?
HER: No. Just with the claws.
ME: Wait. Are you afraid the dog would put your shoes on and walk around in them all the time and damage the shoes as a result?
HER: Yeah. So that's why we shouldn't get a dog.
ME: Well Kate, dogs don't wear shoes. They don't like putting shoes on and besides I don't think they could put them on even if they wanted to.
HER: Oh! Okay! Let's get a dog!


Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm Proud of All the Stories on Weekend America

They are all my children. But some children you love an extra bit.

Two stories I'm really excited about this week:
1. Our second annual 30 Second Tales of Terror. As with last year we asked some fave writers to come up with scary stories that last 30 seconds or less. Because who has the time these days, am I right people? We have Dana Gould, David Rakoff, horror writers, children's writers, comic book writers. Check it out. IT WON'T TAKE LONG!

2. I wrote a couple of days ago about scary childhood movie moments. I ended up tracking down one of the original flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz. I mean, an actor who played one. He was 13 then, 83 now and doesn't think they were so scary. My story also features the horrifying Bigfoot documentary, Willie Wonka, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Don't Know...

It seems like the ad team on the Obama campaign might have lost its focus just a bit.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scarred For Life

I'm working on a story/essay for this week's show about kids and scary movies. I'm coming to believe that it's not the scary movie that really does the damage to the kids since most adults have sense enough not to show truly scary movies to kids under, say, ten years old. And some of those very suspenseful films wouldn't make much sense to younger kids anyway.

But everyone I talk to has memories of movies they saw as kids that maybe weren't MEANT to be scary but freaked the crap out of them regardless. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't point to something along these lines. The clubhouse leader is the winged monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. Other candidates include some bad guys on wheels from Return to Oz, anyone from The Dark Crystal, and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

For me? Bigfoot. For years I've told people about this one documentary w/reenactments I saw when I was very young. Never knew it's name, I just knew there was one scene where a woman is home, it's nighttime, there's a Bigfoot outside but she doesn't know it, Bigfoot starts smashing up her house for no real demonstrable reason, and she runs to the door, opens it, AND THERE HE IS!!!


Here's the world we live in today: I found the clip on YouTube. It's one minute and forty-four seconds that changed my life forever.

I am STILL SCARED. Laughing about it a little, sure, but STILL SCARED!

What movie scene do you remember from childhood that still freaks you out?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A few things

1. Marvin Gaye, a capella, to show you that you live in a world of beauty.

2. Wow!

3. This morning as Charlie (age 7) was getting ready for a routine day at school he said, out of the blue, "You know, I think it's true. The universe really does have a balance of dark and light." There's cute, there's precocious, and then there's unnerving.

4. The other day I was picking the kids up from school and saw a minivan parked out front with two bumper stickers. "McCain" and "Work Harder, Millions on welfare are counting on you!" The driver was inside sleeping at 3:30 pm on a Monday. He must have weighed 320 pounds.

5. If you don't regularly spend time at and, well, I just don't know what to say to you.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Minnesota Politics

In 1998 Minnesota elected Jesse Ventura as governor. I couldn't believe it at the time. But a friend who lived here then explained that the guys he was running against were just terrible and, well, you had to be here.

Now I'm here. One of those guys Ventura beat was Norm Coleman, now a US Senator running for re-election. His campaign is presently being derailed by charges that a wealthy contributor bought him some suits and that he gets a really ridiculously screaming deal on a DC apartment.

Here's Coleman spokesman Cullen Sheehan addressing reporters and being left to die. I hope you never see a more painful press conference than this one.

He's running against Al Franken.

Ventura almost ran again this year.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Baseball Playoffs As I Would Like To See It

This round:

Cubs vs. Dodgers - Root for the Cubs because come on. Also, Weekend America carried in both cities so that's a wash.
Phillies vs. Brewers - Hard one. Moyer plays for the Phillies and he's a Mariner favorite as well as the stepfather of President Taft and he was present at the Big Bang. Brewers were owned by Bud Selig who is no good. But it's great that a small market team made it this far and on my book tour Milwaukee and the folks at Harry Schwarz bookstores were great. They don't carry Weekend America in either city presently but we're working on both. Hmm. Phillies.

Red Sox vs. Angels - Red Sox. Angels are a Mariners' rival. In the same way that a beef stick is a dog's rival but still. Red Sox should not win it all, though. It's getting silly and the Sox fans were too smug before. Weekend America in both cities.
Rays vs. White Sox - Toughest one in the bunch. Rays dropped the "Devil" from their names, thus angering the Dark Lord Satan. The White Sox have AJ Pierzicyzzskizc who IS the Dark Lord Satan. Sox also have Ken Griffey, Jr. but sometimes a man just needs to accept that Tiffany broke up with you and she's never coming back. Rays, even though only Chicago carries Weekend America and even though the media relations lady was horrible and condescending to me when I did a story about the team and how can you be condescending when you work for the Rays, like who do you think you are?

Next Round:
Cubs vs. Phillies - It's a real showdown of the doomed. Two teams that just don't win big. But okay. Cubs. Fine.
Red Sox vs. Rays - Rays. Of course. Rays.

World Series:
Cubs vs. Rays - Universe collapses under the weight of improbability.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hi Blogaversasphere

Sorry for my neglect. As always, full refunds for all.

1. I realized tonight, while loading the dishwasher, that the song "Anchorage" by Michelle Shocked was one of the reasons why, at age 21, I decided to move to New Jersey for grad school. Rutgers University was near New York and actors from that program (I used to be an actor) became New York actors. There's a part in that song where Michelle is living in New York and reading a postcard from a friend in Anchorage who says, "New York City, imagine that." And so I imagined that and imagined people imagining that of me. And I wanted that. Then after being there for not very long I realized, Whoops, I don't want that any longer. Good song, though.

2. This Sarah Palin thing. Oh my. You know what's interesting? You feel whatever you want to feel about Palin but watch Katie Couric and her sorrow and confusion. Meryl Streep plays Couric in the movie. Palin is played by Joan Cusack.

3. Thanks for all the jokes! Keep 'em coming.

4. I went to Hollywood recently for a big fancy public radio conference. Among pub radio glitterati, I met Melissa Block and I met Stewart McLean of Vinyl Cafe and he was really nice.

5. I'm doing an essay on CB radios for this week's show. Why? Because Saturday is October 4th. Figger that one out!