Saturday, June 20, 2015

I'm Picking Out a Thermos- for YOU!

 Well, not really. Yeah I know, I'm such a jerk, leading you on like that.

But then if I'd given this post a more truthful title- like, say, I'm Not Picking Out a Thermos for you(or perhaps I'm Picking Out a Thermos- but not necessarily for you), you'd be like, "okay, this song isn't about me", and move on. 

So I had to tell a white lie to keep you here- if I haven't lost you already. Really, I am picking out a Thermos for you, but only for your viewing pleasure. When it comes to your perfect Thermos,  I can merely guide you in your quest. Only you will  know what Thermos suits you best. Hopefully you'll find your answers here. 

Picking out a thermos is a tougher job than you'd think, given the wide array of sporty models out there in the Thermos marketplace. Trying to follow a few basic criteria, if possible: 1)vinyl; 2)stripes; 3)a cup built right in. 

I was hard pressed to find one with stripes, but requirements 1 and 3 were handily met. The tough part, really: they're all good! I mean, these Thermoses(or is it Thermi?)cover the waterfront as far as matching your personality and lifestyle. From A to Z. From mild to wild.


Heads will turn as you show up to your particular social function with one of these handy models.And you can get one with an international flavor as well- such as these nifty Italian and French models.

Or you can enjoy a bit of Carnaby St in your Thermos style. This to me is somehow reminiscent of the old Austin Powers movies. Oh, behave!
As you can see, what I thought of as a simple act of picking out a Thermos is a much bigger job, given the myriad possibilities. Pardon the pun, but if you're going to pick out a Thermos, you'd better take along a lunch!
And there you have it. About as much as I care to write about Thermoses(we never did get that plural, did we?), and I'm sure at least as much as you'd care to read about them- although some of the pictures are cool.

As far as a rectal thermometer, though, you're on your own.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

That Lovable Dork from Ork

I've always been a big-time Robin Williams fan, from his stand-up comedy to the TV series, to more than a few movies over the years. Along with the rest of the world, I was saddened by his death last year- maybe even a bit more so because it was by his own hand.

Then again, his reasons were his own. Never met the guy. By all accounts, he seems like he was a decent sort. I liked the story about when Christopher Reeve had his horseback riding accident, and Williams came to his room in the hospital in scrubs posing as a Russian proctologist- and on a serious note, paid many of Reeve's medical bills. They'd been friends since college. 

I read a few things about his passing, and of course about depression. Then it was time to move on. Hadn't thought about him for a good while, and then had an experience which brought me back. A minor epiphany right there in the middle of Wal-mart!(Sha-zamm!!). Stumbled upon the first 3 seasons of Mork and Mindy- which begat a Robin Williams viewing marathon. And this post, such as it is. 

So in my viewing I revisited Boulder CO during the years 1978-82. As for most of the cast, this was Williams' first Big Gig, at age 27. A fitting place to start a viewing marathon. 

All in all, I liked it. Wellll, maybe a bit heavy on the political references, at least for my taste. But there was a sweetness to it, right down to the theme music. And it was funny! Gotta talk about the music for a minute here. 

The Mork and Mindy theme was a beautiful lush melody very similar to that of the old Newhart series. Always an enjoyable minute or two of listening. In the second season though, they added a disco beat, which made it sound just like the 'score' of an old softcore porn video I used to have- a thing called Big Bust Babes(1982). So for Season Two, in the opening credits, as you see
 Mork and Mindy bouncing around
Boulder, I would unconsciously think of Roberta Pedon, my favorite model from that fine video, doing that bed-cavorting sort of thing- speaking of bouncing boulders. Ararararar....

Okay. Back to the show. Yes, there was a niceness, a sweetness about it which was appealing, but sometimes dipped into sappiness. Just a little too nicey-nice. But then that's just TV. Or maybe I'm just an old crab-ass. So I myself might've curbed the Glucose level a bit and cut some of the many political/showbiz references. 

Then again, it probably seemed to all involved to be the hip thing to do, having all those Carter and Reagan(and Menachem Begin)jokes flying about. A 70s kind of thing to do. Among other things, Watergate was still a fresh memory. Gotta say, his Nixon was pretty spot on. 

Mork was a man--okay, humanoid--of many voices, many characters. All told, a dizzying array of them, almost a Russian novel's worth. Dostoevsky meets Mel Blanc. But then you want to bring your full panoply of power to that first Big Gig. All your artillery. And he certainly had it going on here. As an impressionist, I must give an honorable mention to his William F Buckley- complete with tapping pencil.

Much of Williams' dialogue on Mork and Mindy was supposed to have been improvised- and from the outtakes, you got the impression this was often to the chagrin of the director! There was one line about Orkans' sex organs being interchangeable- which, I'm pretty sure, was one of his adlibs. Nonetheless, it was a point where I had to skip the DVD back to catch all the ensuing dialogue I'd laughed through. 

I was impressed at age 60 just as I was in my original viewing at 24 with the quickness of his mind. The improv became even more feverish when Jonathan Winters joined the show in the 4th season. Many scenes where they teamed up, and still some great individual moments. When Winters was doing his stuff, they'd pan over to Williams on occasion, and you could see the reverence in his face. That gush evident in any performer watching his hero. 

Certainly a nice visit, my binge-weeks in late-70s Boulder. I liked the other characters as well. Exidor would have to be my favorite. I'm sure I'll be back. 

My last stop on this trek was the film What Dreams May Come. Actually I was looking around for One Hour Photo(thought I'd wallow in the creepiness), but this one was handier- and more apropos, being set principally in the afterlife. 

Since Robin Williams ended his life-or at least bodily life functions- he is no longer in this realm. Or if he is, he's here on a pass. No longer a full citizen. I hope what he's experiencing is something akin to the more pleasureable--nay, peaceful--aspects of what was depicted in the movie. Bon voyage, Mork!

Being as that I am a musician at least by training(had to work a dayjob in there)I still have a musician's sensibilities as far as what I'm viewing. I see the relationship between Williams and Jonathan Winters as much like Lester Young to Stan Getz. One begat the other.

 I also wonder what kind of jazz musician Robin Williams would've made. With his quick mind and seemingly boundless energy, it's almost scary to conceive. He'd probably have made Sun Ra look domestic.