Happy 132nd birthday to Edward Hopper. An important American realist painter and printmaker, Hopper worked primarily from the 1920s to the 1950s and may be best known for his painting “Nighthawks.” Enjoy his watercolor “Corn Hill” from our collection.
“Corn Hill,” c. 1930, by Edward Hopper
h/t to amomenttothink for retweeting this.Boost!
I went to an Arab-American comedy night and there was a Muslim guy making a joke about being in high school football.
"I was hit so hard, I saw Jesus. Do you know how hard you have to be hit to see somebody else’s god?"
This is what jokes about religion are supposed to look like.
Like when Donna’s temp work saved the world in Journey’s End. Fastest typer in her town. 100 words per minute. Seemingly useless but not in Journey’s End. Once again, she proved to be the most important woman in the universe. Where are those story lines Moffat?
“I grew up in the South Pacific, in Fiji. I came here after high school, and had to get used to a lot of things. I experienced culture shock: a new environment with different people, expectations and assumptions.
It made me want to hang on to the culture of the country where I had spent my formative years. Instead of wanting to assimilate, I decided to stay true to my accent and the things I grew up with. Basically, I was hanging on to the familiar in a world of the unfamiliar.”
“What’s an example of the cultural differences between Fiji and the U.S.?”
“In the culture I grew up in, men wear a sulu, which is similar to a sarong and looks like a skirt. But here? Not so much, unless it’s a kilt. In Fiji, it’s a masculine thing—men wear it all the time and no one bats an eye. Here, if you wear a sulu or a sarong people will ask you, ‘Why are you wearing a skirt?’ You have to explain that it’s not a skirt, but they’ll still insist that it is. It makes you realize how things are perceived in different environments and societies. In one place, they have assumptions that something is masculine while something else is feminine. When you go somewhere else, it could be completely different, or even the exact opposite. People become confused if you use the same scheme as before—they find it jarring.”
Today we’re playing an excerpt of Terry’s interview with Elaine Stritch, a performer lucky enough to have debuted songs by Noel Coward and Stephen Sondheim, and to have been coached by each of them. She died last Thursday at the age of 89.
Stritch used to describe herself as “a Catholic, diabetic, alcoholic, pain in the ass.” Her Broadway career began in 1946. She was Ethel Merman’s understudy in the Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam in the early 50s, and starred in Noel Coward’s 1961 Broadway musical Sail Away, in a role that he expanded to suit her large talent. In 1970 she co-starred in the Sondheim musical Company, where she sang what became one of her signature songs, The Ladies Who Lunch. In 2002, she was on Broadway in her autobiographical one woman show Elaine Stritch At Liberty. In 2010, she replaced Angela Lansbury in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. TV audiences knew her from 30 Rock playing Alec Baldwin’s mother.
Terry spoke with Stritch in 1999, when she was starring in a revival of Sail Away, in honor of Noel Coward’s centennial.
Speaking of books, this was delivered to our office today.
I didn’t know it was adapted into an opera:
As far as I know, all the authors of adaptations of The Dybbuk have been Jewish. Italian Ludovico Rocca (1895 - 1986) is an exception, although he lived for a few years in Palestine before composing this, his most successful work. It premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on March 7, 1934. There was such a widespread interest that Polish radio beamed the opera’s premiere from La Scala to Warsaw. Later it was performed in Genoa, Turin, Rome, Warsaw, Budapest and Barcelona. The opera was part of the regular repertoire of La Scala until the 1980s. (Page163)
This is my favourite bookstore and bookseller in the world. Bar none.
I used to get to Seattle every six months or so, and whenever I visited I always made it a priority to stop in BLMF and ask its keeper what he’d been reading lately. He possessed an inexhaustible memory, a comfortable lack of snobbery, and impeccable taste. The first book he recommended to me, upon listening gravely to my litany of at-the-moment authors (Barbara Kingsolver, James Clavell, Maeve Binchy, Neil Gaiman, Charles DeLint, Anthony Bourdain) was Tipping the Velvet. He also later landed me with Geek Love, Anno Dracula, half the Aubreyad, and more modern Literature-with-a-capital-L than I could carry home.
The next-to-last time I dropped in, I asked if he had any P. G. Wodehouse.
"I have zero Wodehouse," he said, "and here’s why…"
Turned out that some fiend had taken to creeping in every month or so expressly to inquire of any Wodehouse and, once led to the volumes, to buy it all. ALL. Didn’t matter the condition, the edition, or whether he had another just like it in his possession; the villain bought every single P. G. Wodehouse in stock, every single time.
Was he a fan more comprehensive, more truly fanatical than any other I’d heard of, let alone known? Was he virulently anti-Wodehouse, only purchasing the books to keep their wry poison from infecting the impressionable masses? The world may never know.
I didn’t get any Wodehouse then, and I didn’t really feel the lack. I found plenty of other treasures that trip. But here’s one reason why BLMF and its proprietor are my favourite of their kind: that was two years ago, you see. Maybe three. In all that interim, I never planted foot in that bookshop. Never called. Never wrote. And I’m one face out of hundreds of thousands, dear reader; one reader he saw twice a year for three years, then not again for another three.
But I walked in the shop last Friday. Nodded hello.
"Can I help you find anything?" he asked, lifting his head from the phone.
"No, I’m good," I said.
"Wait—hold on a second." He set the phone down, walked ‘round the towers of books balanced precariously on the desk, on the floor, and atop other, only slightly less precarious towers. He jerked his head conspiratorially toward the far end of the shop, led me carefully to a shelf way in the back, removed a tattered stack of mass market paperbacks and motioned me closer to see what they’d been hiding.
Fifteen pristine Wodehouses: crisp, heavy, and—
“Hardcover,” he said, and waggled his eyebrows.
Reader, I bought them all.