February 2nd, 2018

storyteller doll

Poetry and Food

Celebrity Death Watch: John Bindernagel was a cryptozoologist, who researched Bigfoot. Stansfield Turner directed the CIA in the late 1970’s. Peter Mayle wrote about living in Provence. John Barton cofounded the Royal Shakespeare Company. Dorothy Malone was an actress, best known for Peyton Place. Jim Rodford played Bass for Argent, The Kinks, and the Zombies. Naomi Parker Fraley was the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter. John Coleman cofounded The Weather Channel. Paul Bocuse popularized nouvelle cuisine. Connie Sawyer was an actress, who continued working in film comedies into her 100s. Ursula K. LeGuin was a science fiction writer. Lari White was a country singer. John Morris was a film composer. Isaiah Zeldin founded the Stephen S. Wise Temple, a major Reform synagogue in Los Angeles. Jerry Butler was a porn actor who was married for several years to Lisa Loring, known for playing Wednesday Addams on The Addams Family. Rick McKay made documentaries about Broadway. Mark Salling was an actor on Glee. Victor Sidel cofounded Physicians for Social Responsibility and was active in opposing nuclear warfare. Nicholas von Hoffman was a journalist, whose career included writing a column for the Washington Post. Dennis Edwards sang with The Temptations.

Hugh Masekela was a South African jazz trumpeter and one of the finest musicians anywhere. His song "Bring Him Back Home," considered an anthem to free Nelson Mandela, is probably his best known. He played a wide variety of music, collaborating with people ranging from Herb Alpert to Paul Simon. It was a privilege to have heard his music.

Mort Walker was a cartoonist, known for Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. He also had a major influence on Hallmark Cards.

Ingvar Kamprad founded Ikea. I can’t count how many people have been joking about assembling his coffin.

Louis Zorich was an actor who was best known for his role on Mad About You. Among other roles, he played the Russian Constable in the film version of Fiddler on the Roof, played Mr. Maraczek in one of the revivals of She Loves Me, and recorded selections from the novel Moby Dick for Folkways Records. He was also married to Olympia Dukakis.

Obit Poems: What all of the above-mentioned have in common is that they weren’t on my ghoul pool list. I checked and didn’t score last year until February 6th, so I am not particularly disheartened. And only 6 out of the 20 players have scored so far this year.

But, speaking of competitions, I entered several obit poems in the Washington Post Style Invitational and none of them inked. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I can’t inflict them on you. I think the best of these is the one for J. Geils, but it does assume a familiarity with "Love Stinks."

Clifford Irving wrote a bio
Claimed to be of Howard Hughes
Now his bio is completed -
Cliff’s real bio, not fake news.

G is for Grafton, the mystery writer
Exploring the crime world, from A to Y
Too bad she never finished the alphabet
Instead of for Zero, her Z’s for good-bye.

Polish-born diplomat
Zbiggy Brzezinski
Advised Jimmy Carter
Committed no crimes.
Still he was hated
By doggerel poets
For having a surname
Permitting no rhymes.

And so it goes
To J. Geils goodbye
This thing they call death
It’s gonna make you cry
Death stinks, yeah yeah
(Death stinks)
Death stinks, yeah yeah

Three Shakers lived at Sabbathday Lake -
Frances Carr was one of those few.
Their practice of complete chastity
Means that there’s now only two.

Restaurant Week Dinner at Cedar: I went out to dinner at Cedar to take advantage of restaurant week. It started out with four people, but one cancelled and another no-showed (and still hasn’t gotten back to me, so I hope he’s okay). I felt slightly guilty about two of us occupying a four-top, but so it goes. Anyway, I had a smoked salmon appetizer, which was quite good. My main course was elk and pheasant sausages, which were tasty. The accompanying vegetables were, however, too salty. For dessert, I chose the chocolate mousse. That was fine, but their coffee was not very good. Still, overall, the food was good enough that I’d go there again. It appears that they have a pre-theatre menu, which could be convenient.

Unscheduled Time: Last weekend was unscheduled. Well, other than a friend coming over to get some things she’d been storing at my place. I did get some household things done, but I am still very far behind. I didn’t go out during the week, but I am still nowhere near caught up. And it doesn’t look like I will have another free weekend until at least May.

Month of Letters: Of course, I have inevitably made myself busier by taking on another project. The Month of Letters is something I’ve done before and involves writing an actual physical letter every postal day of February. That is, one doesn’t have to do weekends or Presidents’ Day. I’m mentioning it here because there may be somebody who is interested in seeing if my handwriting is really as bad as I claim it is. (Actually, I do aim for both legibility and wit in these.) If so, you can send me a message with your address and I’ll add you to my list.

My paternal grandfather was a shoemaker. Shouldn’t that make me entitled to have elves?

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