Stratoblather

"I've always come back to the Fender Stratocaster because there was already a lot of me in it. Fender gave me access to me, an instrument that I could put my personality into and it would stay there. The thing about [Strats] is that they're like blank canvases." -- Eric Clapton, in CURVES, CONTOURS AND BODY HORNS: THE HISTORY OF THE FENDER STRATOCASTER

It's difficult to ignore how thoroughly this British documentary [presumably a complement to the book of the same name] is dominated by footage of rock/blues/pop guitarists -- even archival footage of Frank Zappa -- playing nearly identical blues-rock cliches on their Strats. Clapton is one of many in the film who accurately praise the guitar for its versatility, which makes the blues-rockin' bungholiolioling all the more irritating.

The Strat is the instrument of choice for a wide range of guitarists, like Richard Thompson:



Eldon Shamblin:



Yngwie Malmsteen:



Dick Dale:



and Albert Lee:



Thompson aside, it's almost crazymaking to imagine any grouping of the above trying to find a song they all know, much less sharing a stage to jam with each other -- "Hey, Eldon, do you know any Deep Purple or Hendrix?" -- but to watch CURVES, CONTOURS AND BODY HORNS, you would think that the guitar only produced sound in pentatonic scales.

Fred Steiner, RIP

Not Steiner's most impressive bit of music for a television program -- he's best known for scoring a ton of episodes of the original STAR TREK and almost all of PERRY MASON -- but it's one of my favorites; here's John Frankenheimer & Rod Serling's slightly a bit too on-the-nose but still hard-hitting teleplay from from PLAYHOUSE 90, "The Comedian." Enjoy:



Also RIP, Peter Falk and Gene Colan. The reports of jazz trumpeter/SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK voice Jack Sheldon's death, however, have been thankfully exaggerated.

Babí Bañana en el wrap del Dorado

¡Ay!

Quick dinner at Rolling Etta

The mushroom & swiss burger barely beat out its bacony sibling, the tuffle fries were an end-of-the-shift disappoint and the the orange-cream soda tasted like a Creamsicle, or those chewable children's Tylenol, depending on ones point of view. A bit pricey at $20 from a foodcart, but I've paid worse for less.

Stuck bus.

Here's something you don't see every day -- the 75 to town got its handicapped ramp stuck on a concrete pylon at St Johns center. An inch farther ahead and the ramp would have cleared the pylon, an inch back and it would have landed on top of the pylon and lifted back with no problem. This is the sort of vehicular needle-threading clusterfuck that, yes, only a blonde woman could achieve. You know it, I know it, dogs know it, because it's true. After some hemming, hawing and a useless call to headquarters, we just tugged on the damn thing until it came loose.

Sometimes there are no words. Except GET ON THE SCENE LIKE AN MSG MACHINE.



I think I'm more charmed by how wacky U.S. celebrities act in these Japanese commercials than I am by how clearly confident they are that no one over here will ever ever ever see them. MACEO-SAN! WATASHI BURIJI NI TORU!!!

Dinner at Apizza Scholls, Part Two

The aPizza: an unkosher-but-OK bacon-strip pie, a delicious and probably also unkosher sausage & peppers pie and a surprisingly flavorful ricotta & jalepeño pie. My Jews simply can't eat enough pork. Taken and eaten last night.

Dinner at Apizza Scholls, Part One.

Took an hour and change to get a table, but the Boylans Black Cherry was cold, the Ceasar salad was surpisingly tasty and everyone enjoys a good pair of John Gilroy posters in the toilet.

Brunch at the Screen Door

First time we ever made it there before they ran out of the rhubarb-ricotta cream cheese blinzes.

A night at the (basketball arena) opera

Dinner with the lady's parents at the Red Star downtown -- the beets & feta and carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing were tasty, the chicken & tomato-veggie sauce was more work than it was worth.

Cirque Du Soleil: Dralion was fine, about as world-beaty and fruity as you would expect, although the trampoline act was amazing and I was impressed by how convincing a job the ringer clown did. It's tragic how many people in the crowd were more focused on surreptitiously taking pictures and videos of the acts instead of watching them, then showing what they took to their seatmate(s) ... while the act was still going. It's pathetic. Taken Wednesday (after the second curtain call).

Brunch at James John cafe

The lady at the counter was extremly nice, the bluberry muffin and lemonade were OK and the sweet-potato hash was delicious, although I dunno why these places always serve it with poached eggs.

The Studebaker calzone from Signal Station Pizza.

This hit the spot over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. The best $9.95 plus tip I've spent in a week or two. (I haven't the heart to wash the dirty cookware I need to make the only hot meal I can make at the moment: tilapia or salmon on brown rice, with or without black or kidney beans. Let's see how long before I make it.)

No comment.

..

I guess if THE ROCKFORD FILES has such a creative fanbase ...

... it only makes sense that MAGNUM P.I. would have one almost as big.

That Tom Selleck was the first choice to play Indiana Jones, makes the use of Harrison Ford's other signature role a just-right amount of ironic backspin. Even now, I would watch a HAN SOLO, P.I. series:



Side-by-side of the original title scene and the above video:



There was a lot of drinking on MAGNUM, as it turns out:

"I swore I would return"X3

I interviewed Craig Thompson about comicmaking craft & creative for the first issue of STUDYGROUP magazine, but first we had meatly tacos at Los Gorditos. So .... yeah, I'm back in comics, sorta.

After the interview, I went back to the A La Cart pod on SE 50th to realize my recurring dream of being a mountain lion and downing and eating an elk. It was an elk burger from one of the carts, but it tasted exactly like elk do in my dreams. The only thing holding that cart back, aside from not having a name a feller recalls just a few hours after eating there, is that they need to play up the eat-an-actual-prey-animal anger and hire a runner to flee whil holding your meal so you can stalk him/her and eventually down your waiter and at your elk or rabbit or whatever you ordered.

I saw a kid playing on the blue board and his mom yelled at him to "get offa it, that's not what it's for!" I was too fuzzyminded to ask her what it was for before they were gone. Even after spiking my blood sugar with this Fred Meyer brownie (killing time before the lady returns from the great North some time soon, I hope), I still can't figure out what those boards are for. Someone here know?

Post-Graduation

The campus of Lewis & Clark really is extraordinary -- rolling, palatial hills, deep ravines and deep greens every place you look -- plus the men's locker rooms have a curious machine apparently can dry your wet shorts. Afterward, we had a celebratory group brunch at the Screen Door, again. The lady and I shared a spicy-pecan salad (my pick; I can't take this concentrated a carb-load anymore) and she ordered the always-dynamite chicken & waffle. Independent of us, her dad and mom ordered the same dishes: Almost a week later, I still don't know what, if anything, I should make of this. The salad was OK and my half of the chicken was rather rubbery but didn't make me ill later so huzzah.

The Lady Graduates.

Hazy morning, raspberry waffle from the Waffle Window and interesting chrome in the men's locker room & L&C's trophy cases. Sunday.

Dinner for a night at the fights.

Fish burrito, with some of the new (to me?) hot sauces and a big Mexican-made Coke. Glen Johnson came up short on the scorecards, but made him and Carl Froch look like real fighters and true champions, and sometimes that's more than a boxing fan can ask for. Speaking of which, I missed the epilogue episode of FIGHTCAMP360 covering the fight & denumont (sp I know; tired) of the Pacquiao-Mosley slow-dance, which I hope to catch online sometime. I also missed (but not missed-missed) the replay of the fight itself, which only makes me wonder how the ratings changed from airing that stinking old fish to the sizzle of Froch-Johnson. Froch moves on to face Andre Ward this Fall, a fight that sounds more and more exciting the more I consider it. (Deeply sick of boxing journalists drooling over Froch's girlfriend, however. Once is sorta amusing, twice is creepy, three is exploitative, etc. They're somewhere in the hundreds by now.)

Post-brunch

The A La Cart foodcart pod on SE Division & 50th looks promising, especially the cart that sells burgers made of farm-sanctuary exotics like elk, boar, rabbit and bison. I SHALL RETURN! Just as soon as I decide if I hate any of those animals enough to want to eat one (as I hate turkeys but like geese so I'll eat lots of the former and none of the latter). Still last Saturday.

Brunch at Petite Porvence

The lady's poached eggs & hash was OK, my French-bread turkey club was good, the easpberry-jam & crossiant (sp) was superb and the Ls looked like Ss to me. Taken and eaten on Saturday.