Sunday, April 13, 2008

Night of the Lepus

My niece and nephew enjoy a recent visit with the Easter Bunny ....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cool Books You Won't Find At Wal-Mart #1

'Life Of The Party'
A Visual History of S.S. Adams
Makers of Pranks & Magic For 100 Years

And here, I present to you a pop culture tome of essential reading fun for kids of all ages.

Here are all of the mondo-keen goodies from the back pages of the comics of our pasts ... goodies that we either sent away for and were disappointed with upon arrival ... or wish we had sent away for, never did, and were still disappointed over, because we always wondered what we had missed!

Featured in full color are the actual items themselves, as gazed upon in dime stores and truck stops by a multitude of children. Gags, jokes, tricks and novelities .., along with rarities, original store branding and ads, letters, trivia, company history and much much more.

Hardcover, 200 pages, and oversized at a generous 9" by 12" ... just from the sample pages alone, this is a sumptous treat that will bring back a calvacade of memories. Author Kirk Demarais has created an amazing piece of printed shared memory.

Why such an undertaking of love seems to be a well-kept secret is beyond me, but I am delighted to have discovered it all the same.

Click on the GLOP to be swept away to where you can order a copy!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Soylent Green Is Made Out Of Heston ...

I have a love/hate relationship with Big Chuck ... his politics in recent decades were appalling, but I loved watching him gnash his teeth in Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green and that eternal touchstone of my youthful CBS Late Night Movie viewing days, The Omega Man.

Don't forget, Charlton Heston is also the guy who gave Orson Welles his last chance to make a Hollywood financed movie resulting in the late noir masterpiece Touch of Evil, feuded with, and yet backed Sam Peckinpah against the studio in regards to Major Dundee and was still gracious enough in his declining health to give an interview to Michael Moore in Bowling For Columbine that was as uncomfortable to watch as you might imagine (and I like Moore).

So, like I say ... love/hate. The thing to remember, as always, is to reflect upon and relish the work and not the actor (or writer, or director).

Horrible way for such a virile actor to die however, that's for damn sure.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Whoopie Once! Whoopie Twice!

Today, I'm flashing back to 1975.

I was eight years old, and if memory serves, was exposed to the animated "Really Rosie" as a syndicated special. The half hour video adapted the poetry and artwork of Maurice Sendak, best known then and now for Where The Wild Things Are. In less than 30 minutes, a short series of books called The Nutshell Library was set to music and performed by the legendary Carole King.

For decades afterwards, songs such as "One Was Johnny" and Chicken Soup With Rice," were lodged in my head.

Flash forward to last year on a trip to Massachusetts, when I was able to pick up a copy of the special on VHS in a used book store. Said video was filed away, with my thinking I would enjoy it again when the time was right.

Today, the time was right. I had a half-hour hole in my lesson plan on poetry, so I screened the video for my eighth grade middle school classes (I teach English, by the way) to reinforce the concepts of alliteration and rhyme.

I wasn't sure the admittedly dated animation would hold some of the attention of today's kids ... but, amazingly enough, all of my blocks were well-behaved, and seemed to really enjoy the special! There was no sleeping, and talking was non-existant. A pleasant surprise, and one that helped me to remember that even today's jaded teens are still children in so many ways....