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Forgotten Doctor Who Incarnations

(repost from October 2012)

This week two of my friends posted their Doctor Who rankings:

http://reversingthepolarity.blogspot.com/2012/10/lets-play-rank-doctors.html

and

http://where-there-had-been-darkness.blogspot.com/2012/10/ranking-doctors-right-way.html

I really enjoyed both of their lists, despite Josh being completely wrong about Matt Smith.  In return I thought I’d remind them about a few of the Doctors they missed.  It’s inevitable, I suppose, when you’re dealing with a TV series spanning decades, that folks are going to forget about some of the various eras.  Let’s take a look at how the forgotten Doctors rank in my humble opinion:

8.) Chester Ringbladder

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I don’t hate Chester as an actor, per se.  You just have to see him as a wise-cracking D.I. in the UK crime drama Investigative Scenario to appreciate the depth of his craft.  The problem is that the Who writers didn’t know what to do with him.  For the entirety of his 3-year run in the 1980s, he only left the Tardis TWICE.  Once was to combat the Kwylar menace in “Energy Brand” and the final time was just before his tenure ended in the fan favorite episode “The Fox, The Leaf, and the Inkwell.”  It was in this later episode that he nearly came into his own against Viceroy Miseron and his army of Pygmy Digitars.  The rest of the time this version of the Doctor was inside the Tardis tinkering with the mechanics of the craft, insisting that he “could overclock the megaprocessors to get three more centuries on the upswing,” whatever that means.  Those years have their share of fans, however, due to the adventures of Ringbladder’s wolfgirl companion, Forge McKay.  Forge’s pluck and intellect carried the series as she was forced to defeat foes without the Doctor’s help.  Who can forget all the times she stalked out of the Tardis in a fury with the Doctor’s voice trailing after her:  “I can’t leave now, the quantum injector’s just arrived in the post!”

7.) Martin Unctuous

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The cherubic Unctuous has always gotten a bad rap and I have to agree with consensus on this one.  Lord knows what the producers were thinking when they signed off on this 1994 two-parter.  Perhaps the Stateside success of the John Hughes-penned “Baby’s Day Out” convinced them that skewing younger was the next logical step?  The piss-poor explanation of this incarnation — something to do with the remnants of the Master scattering across the universe at the end of “Survival” and poisoning the Doctor, thereby necessitating a regeneration?? — was bad enough but fans rebelled when the Doctor came back as a toddler with the infamous line “I’m vewwy sweepy. May I take a time nap, pwease?”  He later traveled to the toy planet Funn-17 and bested the robotic demon Santa to free the planet’s timid elven race, who rewarded him with a new sonic screwdriver that squealed “Hooraayy” when he used it.  The less said, the better.

6.) Jason Barrons

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In the early 2000s the BBC began talks that would eventually lead to Christopher Eccleston’s stint as Doctor Who, but before that was this abortive series in 2003 that saw the introduction of the painfully trendy “Emo Who” (as the fans have deemed him) played by Barrons.  Smug and morose, this version of Doctor Who lacked any of the good humor or wit for which the best Doctors are known.  In the first episode he toys with the idea of taking on a raven-haired beauty named Denise as his companion after meeting her at a concert on Earth, but leaves without her when he discovers she’s “never even heard of the 100-string guitars of Sarris Prime.”  The best episode is “Malachai Depths” where the Doctor appears on a freighter in deep space crewed by an ancient race known as the H’pothren who refuse to acknowledge the Doctor’s presence.  As he explores the ship and finds out more information via the ships’ computer (played with surprising subtlety by Brian Blessed), he discovers almost too late that the H’pothren make their planet’s money by piloting old ships into a black hole to dispose of them, and since the race becomes more suicidal with age, the entire crew have volunteered for the flight and are calmly awaiting their demise.  Quarantine droids have built walls around the Tardis and The Doctor narrowly escapes after freeing his craft, but is left with a feeling of guilt that he failed to convince even a single crew member to leave with him.

5.) Ryuichi Kitano

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One of the more unusual outings for the Doctor was this non-canon film version licensed by Toei in 1984.  This rarely seen movie involves a bright light falling from the sky into a forest near Tokyo, out of which walks the Doctor.  Unaccustomed to Earth, he wanders into a school where he ends up accidentally walking into the girls’ locker room and being branded a pervert.  He becomes a student at the school, taking on the companion Kohei, a likeable nerd who confides his belief that the teachers are being taken over by duplicates.  Together they uncover a plot by the Cybermen (different from their UK versions) to replace each teacher with a robotic clone and then spread to the outside world.  As they defeat each teacher they get different colored gems.  Battling their way to the principal’s office, the Doctor confronts the leader of the Cybermen, Cybra, who grows to over 50 feet tall.  The Doctor and Kohei join the gems together and the Doctor becomes the giant MegaDoctor.  After a fierce battle, it looks like The Doctor is on the ropes, when at last Kohei can’t control his emotions and he involuntarily fires a psychic energy blast that destroys Cybra once and for all.  The Doctor says he must leave Earth, but he gives Kohei his sonic screwdriver and tells him to harness his ESPer powers and become the Earth’s protector, Doctor 2.  I might have ranked this higher except for the unnecessary lechery and the strangely dissociated personality of the Doctor himself.

4.) Carmen Dilling

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When Ms. Dilling tried out for a role in 1979, she so impressed the producers that they gave her a spinoff series of her own as the first female Doctor, based in the 1940s.  It’s never fully explained how the Doctor regenerated into this form but hints are given that she may be from a different timeline and could, in fact, be a young relative of the Doctor, or perhaps an anomaly caused by some incident on a planet referred to only as The Planet of Rage.  She herself has only spotty recall of past events but knows that she likes the Earth and comes back to it again and again.  Over the course of three series, this Doctor gets a companion in the form of Michael Grey, a dashing inspector with Scotland Yard.  Standout episodes include “The Dragon’s Scale,” in which the Doctor travels to 1860s Hong Kong and outwits the alien Skweg who is disguised as an opium trader, and the 3-part “Garnet Star Trials.”  In the popular trilogy of episodes, The Doctor and Grey are thrown off course and find themselves on a space station near the red supergiant star Mu Cephei, where the last surviving Cepheians are on trial for war crimes against the Relipadians.  Grey agrees with the death sentence for the Cepheians while The Doctor is against it; however, the station’s stasis field begins to fail and The Doctor is occupied with fixing it before they fall into the star, giving the Cepheians a chance to escape using Grey as a hostage.  When Grey is killed in the ensuing firefight before The Doctor can intervene, the Relipadians manage to capture his consciousness using the only technology available for the job, the machinery used for carrying out the death sentence against the Cepheians.  After a tearful farewell, The Doctor turns her back on the Cepheians in a surprise ending, leaving them to be sentenced and killed by the machine that now houses Grey’s mind, and presumably Grey remains in the machine forever after.

3.) Felix Ash

Felix Ash

I love Ash’s tenure as The Doctor for several reasons.  One, his relaxed and gentle demeanor stands out amongst so many manic, action-oriented Doctors.  Secondly, he has a more casual manner of dress that perfectly matches his patient approach to things.  One of the more intellectual phases of The Doctor’s life, Ash’s time on the show was marked with more Earthbound storylines and some of the best companion interaction in the Mantis-headed alien Daniel.  Together they take on the Daleks underground in “Below,” machines run amok in the future in “Dreams Of the Fallen,” and my personal favorite, “The Man of Doom.” In the end of the prior episode, The Doctor and Daniel meet Henry Cowle, a disheveled man who says he’s been watching them for some time.  He says he’s being driven insane by an alien presence from the past that phased his grandfather out of existence when he was young.  The trio take the Tardis back in time only to discover that the man’s grandfather is an older version of himself seduced by the alien Queen Pylithia who raised the boy and planted a mechanized seed in his brain that would grow when The Doctor was near, drawing them back in time to a trap while the Queen destroys the present.  The three men escape and return to the present to find the Earth is a scorched wasteland.  Incensed, The Doctor tracks the Queen to another timeline, nearly destroying the Tardis in the process.  Henry attacks her and is killed when she triggers a self-destruct device, removing his presence from all timelines and preventing the destruction of the Earth. Daniel’s psychic powers shield himself and The Doctor while they fix the Tardis and make their narrow escape.

2.) The Faceless Doctor

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The Faceless Doctor actually only appears in one episode of Jason Barrons’ time as The Doctor, a background presence in “Diamonds” that warns him of impending catastrophe.  As the episode goes on, he returns again and again, each time blurrier, his voice and appearance more terrifying and bizarre.  His origins were never explained except for hints that he may have been a product of The Doctor’s imagination as he was battling illness throughout the episode.

1.) George Northrop

Beating out William Hartnell as the oldest Doctor, George Northrop appeared in 1998 to universal acclaim, and it’s not hard to see why.  With his fedora, weathered jacket and bowtie, sword-cane and easygoing humor, he seemed like the crazy older relative everyone always wished they had at family gatherings.  Funny and quick-witted, this Doctor loved wordplay and was always ready with a bon mot, a pun, or a ridiculous portmanteau at the right moment and I love him for it.  He rambles through his three series of adventures like some sort of Mr. Wizard-In-a-Police-Box.  I could name highlights for miles, like his swordfight on the bow of a starship in “Shadow Vertices” or the time he cut The Master down to size with the word “plastic” in the BAFTA-winning “Moonlight”.  But I think I might like “Onward Ho and Up We Go” the best.

In this ep, The Doctor and his companion Maizy end up on an alien planet in a deadly labyrinth — “never before has your name seemed so apt,” he tells Maizy — full of traps thanks to the machinations of a giant eye calling itself The Other.  The eye tells the pair that they can have the Tardis back if they can survive the maze and get to its end.  Some people live there in small groups, scavenging what they can and staying put, others attempt to reach the far-off “Easy City” which supposedly marks the end of the maze.  Nobody has ever returned but that doesn’t stop our heroes as they progress from one part to the next, somehow managing to avoid the traps without even trying.  When a scythe swings out to cut The Doctor down, he’s tying his shoe; when a pit opens up to swallow him, he trips and misses it completely.  Word spreads far and wide, and soon an army of followers stretches out behind The Doctor and Maizy.  Meanwhile they’re having this ridiculous discussion about the best way to eat a carrot, punctuated by some of the silliest lines ever.  A sample from The Doctor, “The human tendency to cook a carrot is perpetuated by seventeen falsehoods, thirteen of which were put forth by the carrots themselves.  Have you asked the carrots themselves what state of being is most conducive to essential carrot-ine vivacity?  I have.  Liars, every one of them!  Carrot crunch creates a culinary confluence of cuspid curiosity and convivial craving.  As the Terrapetitians say, ‘Let not the carrot lead the way’.”

It’s completely stupid stuff and Maizy remarks that they’re not just going in actual circles, they’re arguing in circles too.  By the time they reach the end of the maze and find their way through the gate, their numbers are in the thousands.  But it turns out they’ve only managed to find the beginning, according to a small sign.  There isn’t a city, just a dense jungle.  But as the crestfallen crowd looks around, someone spots berries.  Another spots…carrots.  There is much jubilation.  Maizy looks tired and annoyed.  “It took us ages to get here!  Do you have any idea how long it’ll be, going back the way we came?!” she cries.  The Doctor winks and holds his cane up, pointing the way back into the maze.  “Each end is a beginning, each beginning an end.  A maze to amaze Maizy!  Onward ho and up we go!”

And so ends the tenure of my #1 forgotten Doctor.  And so ends this list.

Japanese Fans of American Movies

(repost from 17 Nov. 2012)

Just out of curiousity, I went to Amazon.co.jp recently and took a peek at what fans over there think about classic American movies.  The comments are an interesting mix of nostalgia and poetry, thanks to the drawbacks inherent in using an online translator. I did do a very small amount of editing when sentences almost made sense but not quite. I think it speaks for itself.  Here’s a sampling.

Goonies:

“Watching in the theater at the time of real-time, this became one of my favorite movies ever since.
It makes me remember such fun childhood secret base, the make-believe adventures.
Struggling actor, this may be weighed heavily on the power of production.
It is not a masterpiece, it is not a smash hit for sure.
Itself will be seen as one of the memories.”

“The presence of the girl, a pure heart and adventure boys! I saw for the first time decades ago and with two daughters by the age of 37, I realized that ‘You’re still a good movie.’ This movie has a good feeling irresistibly handmade. This movie is a work that remains in the heart forever! Masterpiece arranged with “ET” “Stand By Me” as a movie sister!”

Back To the Future:

“Blu-Ray is so too clear, and you know the face, such as makeup and lipstick Michael J. Fox! During filming at the time, it was that actors are like this makeup style. · · ·  Investigation of time period has been carefully considered; set, also costumes, interesting way of life of local cities that American Dream of 1955 at full speed is glimpsed.
The sound is not a narrow range, such as dance and party scene of scampering Delorean. Feel powerful enough and turn up the volume.
The contents of the work will be in the classic masterpiece now.”

“I was glad most, to hear a colorful subtitled voice! (it was dubbed in my first view of this movie.) Marty and Doc interaction dubbed mono tears! No matter how many times I do not get tired of watching people try color!
Viewing last scene after two hours, we instinctively clapped quickly in a row of the theater. Of course I love.”

Star Wars

“Speaking of why “Star Wars” is interesting…
There is a theory on that.
They have followed in setting the stage for a sci-fi, poetic view of the world that humanity has inherited Lush cotton.
Yes.
A universal narrative flow that, in the underlying, attracts the viewer.
That’s right, too.
But do you yourself say you were stunned.  It was a production that does not show the full extent of its hull, suddenly at the beginning of forever, even after the giant spaceship.
All began here, a watershed of any SF movie,
Monumental work. You lose the history of movies if you don’t watch at least once in a lifetime.
Come.”

“I met Star Wars for the first time when I saw it in the theater, a special edition in 1997. I was nine years old at the time, had been clinging to the armrest of the seat. In the rush of the Death Star scene I likely fell into the illusion of infinite space. Made me feel even more widely the universe and the dark theater big screen. Considering now, I think we were able to watch this movie at the theater and I was really happy. I wonder if it is not a great success as a remake of Kurosawa’s “Hidden Fortress.”
I wept to figure out trying to make a movie interesting and obedient! Lucas Bonus and the splendor of the documentary. Do not miss the hot talk of the coaches that have been attracted to Star Wars!”

“When this series is still in theaters, SF things were not interesting at all to me. I was totally addicted to this world, very interesting and I watched with a light heart. I think “The Empire Strikes Back” was particularly well done. The second film of the trilogy is a role model so that it is difficult to make “Back to the future2″ very good. In the scene where Luke’s arm is cut, my voice has become almost involuntarily leave. It was leaving in the middle of the H · Ford scene also. It is something that is now unthinkable.  Unfortunate wee bit is Toshiro Mifune is almost casted as Obiwan-Kenobi during fabrication of the first work. I did not realize that he has also turned down offers as the face of Dazu Vader in the third film.”

“[George Lucas] has not limited changes to STAR WARS, the masterpiece, over and over again, changing the version, he changed, the goods change hands-
Yea, Yea do Godfather too. · · · if you do things like that [won’t it] become pandemonium to resell the fan with it?
Old version is important so that everyone in the theater at that time as fans can always enjoy cheaper version later.
I think that I am angry, I think I’m a little different.
I do not have [the Special Edition version of Star Wars]. It is not a good DVD because I enjoyed the old unprocessed material,,,
Although I think that somehow I also wish that I bought [the Special Edition version] there is no way I would like it.”

Blade Runner

“From this movie I was able to understand “revenge” the first time in my life. It may seem unreasonable for Roy (Rutger Hauer). From the perspective of a Replicant, killing President Tyrell was a legitimate action. The “Blade Runner” uses “biological violent harm”, rather than normal methods, such as “detention, arrest” of a “man who has committed a crime.” The replicant Roy was the subject of the “kill-capture”. When he shed tears like a human being, like any one of the characters, in a moment, then the audience lived with him in the movie. Never have I seen a movie like this!”

“I went to the cinema in Namba, Osaka when the film was first produced. I was a junior high school student and I thought I knew the synopsis in magazines in Japan.
(Advertising rattle alert! → Ads lie to the customer!)
I was very impressed that the lights of Dotonbori are the same as the Blade Runner landscape, because it was like being in the movie after leaving the theater! There was also a nice uncle who sell the chestnut next to the exit.
Impression at the time was of a movie that makes you feel to be adult somehow. I do not know the meaning of that.
Time to watch the DVD only, please I want you to stop the wet work momma.”

“It is a masterpiece of SF movie filled with a lot of imagination.
Combination of Syd Mead and Ridley Scott.
The show is reproduced beautifully with a decadent air in the near future
A presence of Rutger Hauer’s replicant is overwhelming.
With intelligence, “Rebel Machine”, many masterpieces
Maybe it is the royal road of SF that it has created.

Rutger Hauer acts beautifully.
And the words of Harrison Ford are good.
“Say Kiss Me” is something I want to say once.
It is tantalizing words.
In [the Director’s Cut] narration is turned off. And therefore you’ll be able to concentrate on the video. It has become something more impressive.
It’s also good music of Vangelis.

When the end theme is flowing, I reached a time of bliss.”

Jurassic Park

“Since the story is very solid, a fantasy world is in front of your eyes. It seems to be what is happening in reality. In a scene they are attacked by Dinosaurs Zaurus. Raptor is looming. It is as impressive as you might want, such scenes many times your eyes can see.”

“This work was released in theaters in 1993, and became a hot topic for the realistic dinosaurs. I think it is a matter of course, because the movements and facial expressions of the dinosaurs are too great. And the difference is full of humor and emotion, the masterpiece I enjoy with my family. Steven Spielberg makes work that gives the excitement to the viewer always. I think it will not change in the future. First of all do not kill the children. The best meaning of Spielberg’s work is to be with each other. I want you to make a variety of work in the future also. Apparently there is also a plan of part “4”, I want to achieve by all means. I want to experience the excitement of that.”

“While said movie is a dinosaur movie, there is very little CG time of the dinosaurs appeared. Spielberg has made it very effective with limited usage of CG. It does not put out the dinosaurs suddenly from the beginning. In the darkness thin, I bring a human scream at the beginning in the first attack by a Velociraptor because of the “eating sounds”, and the cry of the dinosaur. It does not show the dinosaur. It still does not show. . Velociraptor’s actually reveal is the middle of the story.  Technique of this is tantalizing. Stagecraft to fear becoming arrogant. It has been successful for the advantage of the fact that the poor usage of CG can be used in cost issues, creating a more enjoyable entertainment.
There are a lot of animal disaster films. Watch this movie for Spielberg techniques, and the subject matter of the ultimate class that dinosaurs became foul.”

A Post For Grammy

(Repost from August 24, 2013)

I got a phone call from my Mom this morning around 9:45 AM, letting me know that my grandmother, Eleene McCann, had died.  Grammy had been getting steadily weaker the past couple years, ever since her eyesight really started to fail.  Last week she fell and broke her hip and humerus.  After that, her health declined very rapidly and we’ve all been taking turns visiting with her.  She couldn’t swallow very well and could only take a little liquid.  Then she stopped taking in anything a couple of days ago and fell asleep in a painless morphine haze.

Today was warm and the sky was perfect blue as I headed over to the nursing home where she’d been staying this year.  I took the elevator up to the third floor and met the family at her room.  Grandad and my Aunt were by her side.  I went to the other side of the bed, kissed her cooling cheek and said as much of a goodbye as I could manage without breaking down.  Then I had to go out in the hallway.

When loved ones die from an illness, it’s often best to remember them at their most vibrant rather than the last days, and Gram was extraordinarily vibrant.

Grammy (left) with school friends in the 1940s, Bethesda, Ohio

I’m still learning about her early days in Ohio but I do know that she married young to a man named Joseph Coleman and gave birth to my mother just a few days after turning 19 years old.  After divorcing Joe, Grammy was a single mother for awhile, raising my Mom on her own before meeting and marrying Edward McCann.  For my entire life Grammy was the undisputed matriarch of our family.  She was widely acknowledged to be the best cook and she loved hosting holiday dinners with Grandad at their house.  My first decade was spent growing up in New Jersey and I have wonderful memories of their farmhouse in Mountainville, a small country town with immense charm.  During the summer my brother and I would fish in the creek behind the house, swim in their pool and explore the rest of the property.

Grammy loved antiques and she ran a little shop out of one of the barns.  My memories of those summers include visits from all kinds of cousins, aunts, and uncles.  It seemed like the center of our family universe.  Mom has told me about growing up with Grammy for a mother and I know that despite all the good times, it wasn’t always perfect.  I won’t deny she could be a bit irascible at times but she always showed me and my brother surprising patience and I always felt loved.  She took great delight in spoiling her grandchildren.

When I say Grammy was a great cook, I mean it.  She would present these grand feasts for the family; dish after delicious dish, from vegetables to meats to desserts.  Things I never got anywhere else like spaetzle and saurbraten.  She had a passion for potato salad.  She made fantastic corned beef and cabbage and soda bread.  She made the greatest pies I’ve ever tasted.  I learned a lot about food from her, things like: Never worrying about fattening ingredients, worry about taste.  The only worthwhile pie crust is homemade and you need to fold it properly to get it flaky.  If I live 1,000 years, I will never forget family holidays spent with my grandparents.

I think I loved her jams and jellies the best.  Concord grape, apple jelly, red raspberry, peach, pear cinnamon, and sometimes my favorite, strawberry rhubarb.  All you had to do was mention a flavor in passing and Gram would open up her jam cupboard to reveal dozens, if not hundreds, of delicious jars.  “Go ahead,” she’d urge.  “Take some home!”  Yes, please.

Grammy selling her jams and jellies with her famous white van behind her
Grammy selling her jams and jellies with her famous white van behind her

With my grandfather retired, my grandparents looked around for a new home and found the ideal place here in New Hampshire in the 1980s.  It was a very old home in the rural town of Sullivan, just right for all of Gram’s antiques and with plenty of room for Grandad to keep busy on the property.  My Dad was leaving his previous job and my grandparents happened to find the perfect chemist job in the local newspaper, so we headed up to NH not long after they did.  We’ve been here ever since.  Both my Uncle and Aunt ended up here with their own families, and how many parents can say their kids loved them enough to “follow” them hundreds of miles just to live nearby?  That tells you how great it was to be around them.

Grammy and Grandad McCann's house in Sullivan, New Hampshire
Grammy and Grandad McCann’s house in Sullivan, New Hampshire

In addition to her passions for antiques and food, Grammy loved travel, especially to Europe.  During the year she’d make extra money selling pies, preserves and other delectables at local flea markets and church events.  Then she’d head overseas to sail down the Danube, explore Ireland, or find a little cafe in Paris to sit with a croissant, soaking up the atmosphere.  I’d go off to Japan or Australia, and we would swap stories from our travels.  “You got that from me, you know,” she’d say with a smile.  “We both have that wanderlust.”  I believe that’s true and I thank you for it, Grammy.

At age 38, I feel extremely lucky that I’ve had my grandparents around for so long.  I wasn’t the most patient or thoughtful kid, so throughout the 2000s I had the pleasure of getting to know them both as people instead of a child’s view of older relatives.  I would go up to the house and mow their lawn, pick blueberries in the summer, or just sit in the kitchen chatting.  I’m very interested in history and people’s personal stories.   They’d tell me tales from their life and inevitably, Grammy would send me home with a bunch of homemade food.

Grammy's other great love, gardening
Grammy’s other great love, gardening

Of all the amazing memories I have of my grandparents — and Grammy in particular — I think my favorite one might be from the mid-late 1980s.  I recall one December day when my Mom brought me over there for the afternoon and I spent the day in the kitchen with Grammy.  There was Christmas music on the radio, Peanuts cartoons on TV, and snow falling outside.  I stood next to her in that amazing kitchen, antiques literally hanging from the rafters, and we made cookies together.  I couldn’t ask for a more perfect Christmastime memory.

Grammy in her kitchen in Sullivan, NH
Grammy in her kitchen in Sullivan, NH

A few years back, my grandparents knew they couldn’t handle the house on their own anymore.  It was time to sell and move to a place in nearby Keene, the small city where most of the rest of us in the family live.  They had to downsize drastically to fit into their new apartment.  We helped them move and said goodbye to the house in which we’d all spent so many holidays celebrating.  It felt like the end of an era.

The last jam I ever got from Grammy before she stopped cooking around 2010. I made this one last as long as possible
The last jam I ever got from Grammy before she stopped cooking around 2010. I made this one last as long as possible

Depending on my work schedule, I often had time during the week when I could pick them up and drive them around town.  We’d stop for a bite at the diner and maybe do some grocery shopping if they needed anything.  Sometimes, knowing that Grammy and I share a sweet tooth, I’d take her to some candy shop or bakery she hadn’t tried.  She was slowing down but she still loved those adventures.  Over the course of the next couple years they needed a bit more help and we moved them again, this time to a sort of assisted living apartment building called Bentley Commons.  Finally Gram’s deteriorating eyesight meant she needed to go into a nursing home for more care.  Now Grandad, 90, lives at Bentley in an apartment on his own.

Grammy, you gave me so many great memories that I can’t ever fully thank you, even though you probably remember me trying.  You always shrugged it off.  “That’s what grandparents are for!”

After we said goodbye at the nursing home today, I told Grandad how sorry I am and he was wise as always.  “I’d take another 60 years with her if I could.  But we were lucky to have that time.  Nobody ever guaranteed us anything when we were born.  You’ve got to enjoy the happy things while they last and make it through the rest.  One thing’s for sure: meeting her was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Don’t worry Grammy, we’re going to watch out for Grandad now and make sure he’s not alone.  You’ve more than earned your rest.

Goodbye.  I love you.

Cora Eleene Flood

04 April, 1926 to 24 August, 2013

How To Tweet Funny (But Not Original)

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When the website Twitter opened its doors in 2006, few could have guessed how popular it would become.  In case you’re somehow unaware, tweets are now widely quoted in news stories around the globe, and various news agencies and websites annually post lists like “The Funniest People On Twitter” and “25 Twitter Accounts Worth Following.”  Twitter accounts have been licensed for books, television shows, and films.

Twitter celebrity now has actual cache in our society, for better or worse.  On Twitter, Popularity is the currency that buys Celebrity, and Funny is one of the fastest ways to popularity.  Life sucks and people want to forget it for five seconds by laughing at a tweet.  It isn’t right, it isn’t wrong, it simply IS.

So you’ve got a Twitter account and you want to be funny.  But how do you do it?  You look at all those popular accounts and you think, “There’s a secret code I can’t break.  How do I step into the velvet shoes worn by the likes of Patton Oswalt and @dogboner?”  I’ll tell you how.

But why those pesky three words at the end of the article title, “But Not Original”?  We’ll get to the subject of originality eventually, but it simply comes down to this:  funny isn’t just an algorithm.  You can’t fake the funk or the funny, and people will know when you try and fail.  However, if you use some of these ideas, at least you’ll have a starting point.  Put tab A into slot B and see what happens.  Why not?  Come on, it’s only fucking Twitter.

Hashtag Riffs / “That Awkward moment When…” / Anti-Pickup Lines / RT If…

  • @THEKarlaPacheco: Shit grits on Tuesday, buy a baby coffin on Thursday. #newfolksayings
  • @ShittingtonUK: Imagine a small hammer. Something a pigeon could use. Now ask yourself: Why does your character fear change? #confusingwritingadvice
  • @IamEnidColeslaw: That awkward moment when I tried starting a slow clap in the hospital after my uncle died.
  • @mattytalks: Girl did it hurt when you fell from heaven? No, cool. Then let’s talk about who’s going to pay for my fucking roof
  • @MarloMeekins: RT if you admire the restraint people have around you because of your insurmountable sexiness

These are the bread and butter of funny tweeting, the most basic level.  If you’ve been nervous about making your humor move, try these on for size and see how it feels.  They are the comfort food of funny tweets, like mom’s macaroni & cheese.  They won’t challenge you or your readers too much, everyone’s familiar with them.  They’ll take you back to those halcyon days of 2009, when funny tweets still seemed original and the world felt full of promise to you instead of walking around looking up all the time for that casket lid that’s slowly covering you in darkness.

Twitter-Specific:

  • @MarloMeekins: someone un-retweeted me. I’m going to take a walk, skip some stones on a lake, stare at the lake and reflect on this grim experience
  • @tartpop: No more applications or resumes, just tell your prospective employer your twitter account & go back to bed.
  • @RexHuppke: Guys, stop “friending” me: Twitter is for people I like but don’t know. Facebook is for people I know but don’t like.
  • @LarryBlanken: My parents didn’t retweet me enough.
  • @HoneyUnhinged: Hey, elite Tweeters: Please be sure to rotate your body’s lying position on the couch every few hours to avoid bed sores.

Once you’ve been on Twitter for awhile, you’ll really start to see the patterns, the generic tropes, and the things that make Twitter what it is.  That’s what led me to write this stuff in the first place.  You may want to address some of these things in tweet form, like the people above.  The difficulty ramps up every year, however, as more and more people become jaded to the system and they’ve probably seen dozens of Twitter-specific gags over the years.  I’m not saying this comedy well is dry, but the water level is dangerously low.  If you’re going to tweet this kind of thing, really polish that joke until it shines.

Toying With Corporations:

  • @NeilHamburger: Intermittent Explosive Disorder. RX: mood stabilizers @Aeropostale: Hitting something that’s broken and expecting it to work again.
  • @fart: some people have prosthetics you ass “@BurtsBees: Our lip balm is 100% natural, just like the people who use it! How are you 100% natural?”

Some of you reading this may be corporate drones hoping to “spice up” your Twitter account to get more followers who will spread the word about your product, blah blah synergy blah.  This article isn’t really for you because of a very important truth:  Corporate accounts are neutered.  They can’t swear, they can’t tweet controversial opinions, and they can’t attack other accounts without raising the ire of the hive-mind.  You can hurl abuse at McDonald’s on Twitter and they’re not going to bite back because it means bad publicity.

As you can see from the tweets above, corporate accounts want to interact with consumers but they’re so afraid of offending people that they frequently just post some inane question in an attempt to foster a “dialogue” (by which I mean, someone will answer the question and naturally have to re-tweet it with their answer, which means getting the brand into other people’s consciousness).

So I guess you could argue that @NeilHamburger and @fart have technically helped the corporations by reminding their own followers that the companies exist.  But so what?  It’s fun to rattle the cage and run.  Anytime you can make corporate Twitter accounts look stupid, there’s no reason not to.  There really isn’t a downside and if your retort is even vaguely humorous, you’ll give your followers a chuckle.

Fake Facts / Fake News:

  • @nedroid: Geography Fun Fact: Canada was founded by John Candy
  • @FREE_FACTS: Fish never sleep because they are so full of rage
  • @barfcaptain: science finds birds to be dickheads. “fuck them” a scientist exclaimed
  • @ChaseMit: Scientists say men who drink beer daily reduce their risk of heart attack. As for livers, scientists said “fuck livers” and then high-fived.

As you can see from these false facts and from Karla Pacheco’s hashtag riff above, you’re going to need to let your hair down a little bit and get silly.  Well, not completely silly, exactly.  People are going to hate you if you just tweet in Baby Talk.  “Wisten evewyone, I just wuv to hug wadishes and womaine wettuce!”  When I say silly, I mean non sequiturs.  I know we’re jumping into the advanced stuff pretty quickly here, but you’ll have to master it eventually if you really want to turn heads in the crowded nightmare hellscape called Twitter.

Pro Tip: Try tweeting drunk.  Did it come out funny or just super sad?  If you wake up the next morning and discover that you got a bunch of retweets and likes because you tweeted funny observations about the people around you at the bar, or you hurled foul-mouthed insults at your houseplants, cool.  Alcohol seems to be your friend on Twitter.  But if you wake up and see that you just sent tweets to your various exes, pleading for another chance and included pics of your sobbing face?  Then you may want to avoid the drunk tweeting.

Fake Advice (Giving or Requesting):

  • @sixthformpoet: If you trip over in public, a cool thing to do is break into a jog, leave the country, have plastic surgery and change your name.
  • @dril: if anyone knows what to do if you accidentally swallow an entire cigar while running on the treadmill please contact StogieLad@Yahoo.com
  • @markleggett: Write the name of someone you hate on your body every day in permanent marker, so no matter how you die they’ll become a suspect.
  • @BoobsRadley: To scare off a mountain lion, try to make yourself appear larger with your clothing, or just shout “I LOVE YOU MOUNTAIN LION!” way too soon.
  • @bortflancrest: Is it normal for your right testicle to be larger than your other two?
  • @amosvernon: Any tips for how to get a pesky carpet out of my blood vat?
  • @virgiltexas: Teens often hide computer pornography in a folder called C:\Windows\System32. Delete this folder if you see it #ChristianParenting #Teaparty

Few things give me the satisfying laughter of a good parody.  Fake advice is a great form of humor to use on Twitter because everyone is familiar with how advice columns work, so subverting it for comedic reasons will resonate strongly.  If you need help getting started with this, just look at a real advice column somewhere and mimic the questions or the answers.  I just looked at a couple questions from a Sex Advice column and this one sprung to mind: “I brought home a one night stand & he panicked when I pulled out the blowtorch so I had to knock him out. Do I have to pay for breakfast?”

Okay, so it’s not going to win the internet.  But it took me all of 3 seconds to come up with it.  Imagine the re-tweetable hilarity you’ll come up with if you give it a few minutes’ thought.  Take note of how many of these tweets started out talking about one thing and ended up taking you in a different direction entirely.  The more unexpected the punchline is, the more people will laugh.  That brings me to the next section…

Illogical Conclusions & Misdirects:

  • @gavinspeiller: The thing I love most about my children is that they don’t exist yet.
  • @thepatrickwalsh: I throw you onto the bed and rip your blouse open. You’re mad. The blouse was a gift, and rather expensive. We quietly split a Coke.
  • @Mickey_McCauley: Slipped something in a girl’s drink last night. It was a little note that said “You’re awesome and I respect you!”
  • @Kendragarden: Still haven’t gotten over the fact that Pluto and Goofy are both dogs and that the babysitter showed me his penis.
  • @cakemittens: I’ll give you something to cry about! *dies holding your hand 41 years later*

Boom!  You were reading along and the ending came out of nowhere.  If you didn’t find any of those funny, it’s okay.  Humor is subjective and we’re not all going to laugh at the same tweets.  But I have to say that those are some damned fine gags and deserving of their many retweets.  In your quest to Tweet Funny, you need to at least find grudging respect for the craft those tweets displayed.  The more open you are to different forms of humor, the better your luck will be at snatching those thought crumbs from the invisible sky loaf hovering just above your head.

Puns & Wordplay:

  • @sixthformpoet: Short women hate being patronised, a little bird tells me.
  • @Boco_T: James Dean is in movies. Jimmy Dean makes sausage. James Deen uses his sausage in movies.
  • @tommchenry: Most egregious misuse of an organ: the music of The Doors or my penis?
  • @Andy_Dutton: If only there was a modern technique for removing the h from the word “hairbrush”.
  • @BrianFukushima: Sexy Kraft Singles are waiting to talk to YOU!
  • @gavinspeiller: “All abhorred!”- Bitter Train Conductor
  • @gerryboy67: there was a fight during the Far East table tennis karaoke after party. It was a Hong Kong Sing Song Ping Pong Ding Dong.

Uh oh, we’ve reached this part, have we?  People seem to either love or hate puns.  But even the ones that make you groan in exasperation can still elicit grudging respect from your Twitter peers.  Besides, you probably have a dozen puns pop into your head every day, why not tweet the best of them?  If you think you’re a punster and want to get into tweeting them, check out some of the above accounts. Take @BrianFukushima, for example.  His account is a master class in how to make witty puns, portmanteaus, and other types of wordplay.

WARNING:  If you start making puns and your follower count drops sharply, that probably means your puns are more corny than clever.  Corny puns are the ones that give punnery a bad name.  Get a second opinion if you need to.  Corny will kill your Twitter Humor Reputation faster than that “hilarious” joke you’ve got about this morning’s natural disaster in the Caribbean.

Live-tweeting:

  • @BenariLee: “There’s Iron Man. She’s Catwoman. He’s Batman. There’s Daredevil & Elektra. Wolverine just won an award…”- me, watching the #GoldenGlobes
  • @hodgman: Bradley Cooper wearing a moustache is like the first time you heard a frat dude singing a Pixies song. #Oscars
  • @theleanover: “Being a millionaire isn’t enough. I want to read off a TelePrompTer during a show that preempts the Simpsons.” – #GoldenGlobes presenters
  • @Richter_Andy: Was on a plane during the Oscars, but I still want to wish everyone self-congratulations.

This is another touchy subject along with puns.  There are people who strongly endorse live-tweeting (watching a televised event and simultaneously tweeting funny things about it) and there are those who condemn it.  If you’re already famous, this is a no-brainer, go ahead and live-tweet.  Half of your followers are probably sycophants who will eat up any tidbit of “insider gossip” or any tweet that sounds like it.  But if you’re an average Joe or Jane like me, tread lightly.  One of my friends has a policy of unfollowing accounts that live-tweet because he doesn’t want to read 35 tweets about that awards ceremony you’re watching.  Know your audience, know your skill level.  Patton Oswalt can usually pull off a bunch of funny tweets during an episode of Downton Abbey.  You may not be able to do the same.

Pop Culture Tweets:

  • @peteec: If you really think about it, 9/11 was the Wright brothers fault.
  • @juliussharpe: The advice “The Gambler” gives Kenny Rogers is at best really basic and at worst completely useless.
  • @BrianFukushima: Are you there God? It’s a me, Mario.
  • @EliBraden: Burger King’s full name was Burger Luther King Jr.
  • @meganamram: WHY was Mario Kart not called “Mario Speedwagon”
  • @lanyardtwerk: “If you can’t handle me at my Durst, you don’t deserve me at my Fredst.” –Fred Durst

Do you follow the news?  Do you read books and magazines?  Do you watch television and movies?  Do you play video games or read comics?  If you answered yes to any of the above, congratulations.  You are amongst the elite 100% of people who are qualified to tweet about famous people and cultural properties.  The more famous the thing is that you’re tweeting about, the better the chance that your audience has heard of it and they may even be fans.  Commonality is a strong element of comedy and should not be underestimated.  Do you have any idea how many Star Wars jokes have spawned popular webcomics, movie and song parodies, and gotten followers for Twitter accounts?  Sit down and think about something you like.  Maybe you have a witty Game of Thrones observation in your head.  Maybe your love (or hate!) of a particular video game series will inspire a tweet so big that Favstar can’t contain it.  Sky’s the limit, my friend.

Quotes (Real or Fake):

  • @MarloMeekins: “love is like a fart: if you have to force it, it’s probably crap” -my great aunt
  • @ShitMyDadSays: “There won’t be humans in 500 years. Enough people choke themselves when they jerk off we gave it a name. We ain’t a species made to last.”
  • @vladchoc: Your first instinct is gonna be to spell “leopard” and “deaf” correctly. You’re going to want to resist that. — Best band manager ever.

Remember our friend the Fake Advice Tweet?  Here is its sibling, the Quote Tweet.  This may be something you overheard on the ‘L’ in Chicago.  It may be some off-color thing your zany grandma said over breakfast.  It may be something Napoleon never actually said but you think he should have.  If it makes you laugh, tweet it.  I’m not recommending opening a book of pithy quotes and just tweeting them all.  The more obscure or unexpected the quote is, the better.  And heaven knows, you don’t want to be known as That Twitter Account That Only Tweets Quotes They Found Somewhere.  Unless that’s the entire point of your account, like Overheard In New York.  But obviously, if that’s the case then the rest of this essay is pointless to you.

Storytelling:

  • @dril: “the ancient americans had over 20 words for sandwich but only 1 word for betamax.  fucked up but real” says a future man to his crystal son
  • @ShittingtonUK: “Aaand the blonde lady’s comforting herself with her fingers, bein’ her own husband for a spell.”—Old prospector narrates porn for the blind
  • @ReptileClinton: SON what did I tell you about drawing ancient runes with your Etch A Sketch? Don’t apologize to me apologize to the Elder Thing you summoned

Pure imagination is a powerful thing.  Combine it with humor and you could write Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  You might write The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  Or you might just tweet a fucking hilarious miniature tale in 140 characters or less.  There is a definite art to this.  We’re into some Advanced Level, calculus-style Twitter shit now.  You either have it or you don’t.  If your brain doesn’t work like this, don’t feel bad.  We’re finally dipping our toes into the murky depths of originality now.  No more can you simply follow a flowchart to Laugh Town and wow your followers with a clever hashtag.  From here on out, we separate the truly gifted Twitterers from the wannabes.

Conceptual Nouns:

  • @MarloMeekins: conveyor belt of grilled cheese sandwiches forever into your mouth
  • @EliTerry: A condom with a synthetic skin tip so you can still use your penis to play your favorite iPhone games.
  • @drugleaf: A chia pet that grows cooked spaghetti out of its holes instead of grass

As we move further into the territory of imagination, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Conceptual Nouns on Twitter.  These ideas may come to you when you’re lying around thinking or when you’re staring at an actual object somewhere.  I can’t begin to tell you HOW to come up with these tweets, just be aware of what your brain is doing.  Daydreaming is great, you just need to write down or type out your funniest ideas when they hit you because there’s no guarantee you’ll still remember that idea about “a car with four steering wheels so everybody gets to fight for their own destination” when you get home from work.

Complete Absurdity (“Weird Twitter”):

  • @wolfpupy: rat city isnt big enough for us regular size people [trips over cardboard rat building, destroying hundreds of rat businesses]
  • @dril: WHO SUMMONE D WRESTLERS TO MY YARD.  I DESPERATELY NEED STOMACH MEDS AND IM AFRAID TO GO LEAVE HOSUE.  MY BIRDBATH HAS ALREADY BEEN SUPLEXED
  • @drugleaf: when i die rig my coffin to blast Slayer at full blast when opened. grave robbers will be too busy headbanging to steal my sexy crystal eyes

Did I say puns are polarizing?  Weird Twitter is full of the kind of humor you get in Adult Swim cartoons on Cartoon Network.  Sometimes it’s so brilliant you feel like a new thought pathway just opened up in your brain.  Other times you’re laughing because it’s a tweet so dumb you need to be high to “get it.”  Sometimes you just have to shake your head in confusion and move on to the next thing in your Twitter feed.

The “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” nature of these tweets is such that not every tweet will be hilarious.  These accounts from the Weird side of Twitter often tweet dozens or hundreds of times a day.  Their followers are used to that and expect it.  Is this the humor you want to try?  Think hard about it and get ready to say goodbye to the “normal” folks on Twitter who probably don’t want to see your tenth tweet today about pooping razor blades.  I’ll admit that I’m old and it’s not really my type of Twitter humor, but I sure am glad somebody’s still out there being strange.

Stand-Up Comedy (including Autobiographical):

  • @joshgondelman: Birth was literally my greatest athletic achievement.
  • @RobDenBleyker: who is this Rorschach guy and why did he paint so many pictures of my parents fighting
  • @johnfreiler: if i owned a pornography store, i’d display all my dildos on a hot dog roller from 7-11
  • @wheatnik: My bucket list is just the words “afford things” written in orange crayon on a paper towel.
  • @fart: i saw an ad on craigslist once that said “free firewood, u collect it” so i wrote the guy and said “bud you just wrote an ad for the woods”
  • @DannyZuker: I’m constantly amazed at how different my twin daughters are. Lisa is so much more positive & confident than her sister Hog Face.
  • @robfee: My dad explained sex to me by putting a tape in a VCR & ejecting it over and over until he had an orgasm. It was weird.
  • @ladybirdj: If someone says they’re only human, give them a second look.  That sure does sound like something a robot would say.
  • @GreenishDuck: Crabs always look like they’re walking themselves out of an awkward situation.
  • @almightygod: “To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree’.”
  • @NotDeakins: I’m beginning to think the wireless mouse was invented just so there was one less thing to hang yourself with at work.
  • @CandyWarhole: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is an awesome phrase, but it’s a horrible way to tell your kid they’re adopted.
  • @AmberDonn: It’s weird how Alzheimer’s makes Granddad forget his pants all the time but he never forgets he’s a racist.

Well, we had to get here eventually.  Standup comedy is just as popular on Twitter as it is in real life.  The only difference is that the jokes are incredibly short, potent shots of funny, barely more than a punchline sometimes.  I consider this to be amongst the most difficult ways of being funny on Twitter because you can’t fake it.

There isn’t some funny hashtag you can riff on, some funny portmanteau you can make by jamming two words together.  You have to understand the mechanics of how comedy works: the setup, the punchline, and whatever that shit is in between.  The funny idea has to come from your own brain, it has to be somehow different from the joke everyone else is making about the same thing, and you have to know which words to put in which order to maximize the laughter potential.  It’s easy to screw up and it’s why so very few people get paid to write funny things.  There’s nothing I can say to help you with this one except to tell you the same advice new comedians get in the clubs:  keep practicing, trust your instincts, and hone your craft.

I’d like to leave you with a reminder that you don’t actually need to “choose” one of these Twitter humor styles.  You can tweet a hundred different things and have them all be from entirely different comedy disciplines.  I simply wanted to write a few of these genres down so you’ll be aware of what’s out there and why it works.  Stay ridiculous and happy tweeting.

===============

Disclaimer: Tim Hulsizer is not a professional comedian, he rarely gets retweeted, and it took him three years to crack 100 followers on Twitter.  His account is @glamcrackers.

QUIZ: 1980s Punk Song or New Wave Band?

1980s

A quiz by yours truly.

The music of the 1980s blended social awareness with raw emotion like never before, resulting in some very memorable song and band names.  Can you tell which of the following is a 1980s punk song title and which is a 1980s new wave band?

1. Weatherbox
2. Reverse Heck
3. No Sorrow
4. We Became Snakes
5. Coup D’Etat
6. Koo De Tah
7. Life’s Process
8. My Father’s Dream
9. Ack Ack Ack
10. Picnic At the Whitehouse
11. Straightline Thinking
12. Kiss the Blade
13. Riding With Mary
14. Memories Past
15. Piece de Resistance
16. This Beautiful Place
17. Classified Info
18. Roaring Boys
19. Sub-Liminal
20. Wheedle Dee
21. Serene Danker
22. No Right No Wrong
23. Kids of the Black Hole
24. Kissing the Pink
25. President Reagan Is Clever

================

ANSWERS:

1. Punk song by Mission Of Burma (1982)
2. New wave band
3. Punk song by Legal Weapon (1982)
4. Punk song by Saccharine Trust (1986)
5. Punk song by The Circle Jerks (1983)
6. New wave band
7. Punk song by Nihilistics (1983)
8. Punk song by Articles of Faith (1982)
9. Punk song by the Minutemen (1985)
10. New wave band
11. Punk song by Subhumans (1985)
12. New wave band
13. Punk song by X (1982)
14. Punk song by Government Issue (1986)
15. New wave band
16. Punk song by Flag of Democracy (1988)
17. New wave band
18. New wave band
19. Punk song by Nihilistics (1989)
20. Punk song by Articles of Faith (1985)
21. Punk song by Flag of Democracy (1985)
22. New wave band
23. Punk song by The Adolescents (1981)
24. New wave band
25. New wave band

Tim’s ‘Rock & Punk Meet Reggae’ CMP

rock & punk meet reggae

In the mid-20th century, jazz & rhythm-and-blues influenced and gave birth to many other genres.  Ska reggae and rock ‘n’ roll came into their own as they solidified a set of basic ideas in sound, look, and lyrical content.  Cross-pollination of sub-genres all over the world produced some very interesting experiments that still continue to this day.

While most popular music fans are aware of modern ska – now a hybrid of rock, punk, and a brass section – not everyone realizes the extent to which reggae and ska influenced the punk and rock scene of the 1970s and 1980s, even outside of the “2-Tone Ska” bands like Madness and The Beat.  This collection is mainly about exploring those little musical pockets and one-off singles, where rock musicians borrowed a reggae beat or guitar upstroke here, or a ska-influenced organ riff there.

There’s very little to be found here in the way of saxophone or trumpet and that’s intentional.  I had a lot of fun poking through musical history to put this together.  You may notice some missing tracks that seem like glaring omissions (“Hey, where’s Dylan’s ‘Man Gave Names To All the Animals’?”  “What about Blondie’s “The Tide Is High’?”).  That’s just personal preference; feel free to add them yourself.  That’s half the fun of homemade music collections.  They can always keep changing as the years go by.

Hope you enjoy this compilation.

—Tim H., 2014

————————————————-

01 – Paul McCartney & Wings – C Moon (1972)

02 – Led Zeppelin – D’yer Mak’er (1973)

03 – J. Geils Band – Give It To Me (1973)

04 – Patti Smith – Redondo Beach (1975)

05 – Rolling Stones – Cherry Oh Baby (1976)

06 – Elvis Costello – Watching the Detectives (1977)

07 – The Modern Lovers – Egyptian Reggae (1977)

08 – The Stranglers – Peaches (1977)

09 – Coventry Automatics, The – Wake Up (1978)

10 – 10cc – Dreadlock Holiday (1978)

11 – Members – Offshore Banking Business; Pennies In the Pound (1979)

12 – Joe Jackson – Fools In Love (1979)

13 – Killing Joke – Turn To Red (1979)

14 – Nina Hagen – African Reggae (1979)

15 – Police, The – Walking On The Moon (Live 1979)

16 – Scorpions – Is There Anybody There (1979)

17 – The Ruts – Jah War (1979)

18 – The Terrorists – Happy Man (1980)

19 – The Plugz – Electrify Me (1979)

20 – Slits, The – Man Next Door (1980)

21 – Angelic Upstarts – I Understand (1981)

22 – The Clash – Guns of Brixton (Live 1981)

23 – D.O.A. – War In the East (1982)

24 – Nick Lowe – Heart (1982)

25 – Cutting Edge – Lonesome Cowboy (1983)

26 – Spliff – Carbonara (1982)

27 – Newtown Neurotics – Newtown People (1983)

28 – David Bowie & Tina Turner – Tonight (1984)

29 – Subhumans – When The Bomb Drops (1985)

30 – Hitlist – High Treason (1986)

31 – Beats International – Dub Be Good To Me (1990)

32 – Tim Armstrong – Hold On (2007)

——————-

GRAB THEM CAKES

“DAD-isms”

By Chris Hulsizer, with help from his bro Tim)

Our Dad said these frequently…we have fond memories of hearing many of them.
[Douglas Norwood Hulsizer, 25 September 1929 – 23 February 1997]

  • “It’s only water…it’ll dry”
  • “…krud fangles…” (used as an expletive after making a mistake)
  • “What’s all this happy horseshit?” (basically like “What’s going on here?”)
  • “…horses dipped in donkey dust” (A strange one, perhaps referring to an item or food covered in powder, glitter, etc.?)
  • “Use your head for something besides a hat rack”
  • “Tweechees own” (Dad’s pronunciation of the old adage “To each his own”)
  • “I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em”
  • “So what, sew buttons on your underwear” (response to someone saying “So what”)
  • “Baccarudas” (in reference to Plymouth Barracudas)
  • “(You just) fiddled and fooled and farted around” (when someone didn’t complete a chore or task on time)
  • “Beggars can’t be choosers”
  • “You’re a caution (or he/she’s a caution)”
  • “…cranafrazz…” (in place of “thingamajig” or “whatchamacallit”)
  • “It’s good for what ails ya”
  • “That don’t amount to a hill o’ beans”
  • “Hey there, Mr. Baggypants” (a silly greeting)
  • “That’s the Godest truth” (attributed by Dad originally to “Little Joe” Giordano, one of his coworkers)
  • “Let’s not make a big federal case out of it”
  • “It’s cockeyed”
  • “Gasarene” (referring to gasoline)
  • “His eyes are bigger than his stomach”
  • “It’ll put hair on your chest”
  • “It’s neither here nor there”
  • “There, goodasnew”
  • “…Cub Sprouts…” (referring to Cub Scouts)
  • “What do I look like, I’m made outta money?”
  • “Oh fer heaven sakes”
  • “Heavens ta Betsy”
  • “Know what I mean, jellybean?”
  • “You betcha”
  • “Hold yer horses!”
  • “…druthers…” (as in, “If I had my druthers” [choice])
  • “Stick that in your pipe and smoke it”
  • “Toodle-oo” (“See you later”)
  • “What a rigamarole”
  • “Just resting my eyes”
  • “Times a-wastin’”
  • “Takes a lotta people to make a movie like that”
  • “Darned if I know” / “Well I’ll be darned”
  • “(I think I’ll have a) little snicky-snack”
  • “Slow as molasses”
  • “Oh, hogwash”
  • “He needs a good kick in the slats, he does”
  • “sa-LAHD” (referring to salad)
  • “I’ve got an inkling…” (another way to say “I’ve got an idea”)
  • “(Looks like) it only cost a nickel ninety-eight”
  • “Doesn’t that just rot your socks?!”
  • “Drippy drop slop” (anything gross)
  • “Yell-oh” (when answering phone)
  • “Oh, bunk” (or “that’s a load of bunk”)
  • “Hay is for horses, milk is for cows” (when someone called him with “Hey Dad”)
  • “Okey-doke”
  • “Good gravyboats”
  • “It’s all going to pot…” (when things take a turn for the worse in some way)
  • “What in the sam hill?!”
  • “You betcha”
  • “Make it snappy”