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Nearly a poop disaster

Cranky Old Man #70

Decades later, an animator's complaint discovered in Akira.

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We’re just saying the cops’ own statistics don’t match their narrative.”

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She starred in The Avengers, the 1960s brilliant British spy TV show (loved it when I was a kid, and still do). Then she co-starred in a James Bond movie, and then came an odd career choice — Diana Rigg made two low-budget 8mm silent movies, both of which are included at the link. 

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A few days ago, I received my Covid booster shot inside a mid-size basketball arena. I checked in, waited a few minutes, got poked, and then I was supposed to sit and wait for fifteen minutes — that's a safety precaution, in case my arm explodes with a fatal allergic reaction where they'd needled me. 

I want to follow doctor's orders and wait, but I'm old and had to poop. Old + poop, especially if you're taking laxatives, means now.

"Where's the men's room?" I asked, but the answer was, the restrooms are all closed. Seems to me that's a stupid oversight, so as I left I 'splained, "I'm here for a shot, not to poop my pants."

Somebody shouted after me, but I shuffled out to the parking lot and drove straightaway to Bob's Diner, only a few blocks north, where I popped in and pooped out.

"Hi, Doug," says Kirstin.

"Howdy, ma'am," says I. "No time for talking or breakfast, though. I'm just here to poop."

Fortunately, my arm did not explode with a fatal allergic reaction where they needled me, but seriously — no restrooms, where hundreds of people are being boostered and vaccinated and told to wait? 

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A national network of election deniers will oversee the 2024 election.

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When Virginia and Miguel were the building supers at my apartment, even with my blinds lowered I knew if it had snowed, because Miguel would be outside with the snowblower at 4AM, clearing the sidewalk. He'd be out again, re-clearing the snow from the sidewalk, every two hours, for as long as the snow kept falling. 

Virginia and Miguel are gone, though. When it (finally) snowed here a few days ago, the walkways were unshoveled when I stepped outside at 10AM. That's crunchy walking, and precarious for a few folks living here who are even older and frailer than me.

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One-word newscast:

China
climate
climate
Insurrection

Dead:
Harry Reid 

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Here's Don Knotts on the daytime soap Search for Tomorrow, with a comatose and noirish dream sequence. Knotts later claimed this was the only serious role he ever played. (1953)

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Like all good people, I hated Celine Dion's theme from Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On." Turns out, though, it's actually a pretty good song, when it's sung by a pretty good singer.

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Cancel New Year’s plans, U.S. leaders urge:
‘Omicron and delta are coming to your party’

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Trust Dr Wachter

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Ask a Mortician 

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Goth house: I want to go to there.

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Looming mass extinction could be biggest 'since the dinosaurs,' says WWF 

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Retailers are blaming the internet for a retail theft surge that might not be happening; media is helping them out 

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The movies Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, and Newman liked.

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:

—①—
     —②—
          —③—

 Sing along with Douggles:
Blue Rondo à la Turk, by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
 
 

Tip 'o the hat:
Linden Arden • BoingBoing
Captain HampocketsFollow Me Here
The Honest Courtesan • John the Basket
LiarTownUSAMessy Nessy Chick
National ZeroRan Prieur
Vintage EverydayVoenix Rising

Extra special thanks:
Becky Jo • Name Withheld • Dave S.

12/30/2021  

Cranky Old Man 

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itsdougholland.com 

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26 comments:

  1. Doug,

    Thanks for making Blue Rondo à la Turk the Douggles Singalong of the Week. Thanks also for getting that little doop over the "a" to work properly. I couldn't make it work. I got this one right by borrowing yours. Apparently there's an infinite number of doops in the sense that I could continue to borrow the one above as long as my heart goes on and the supply would never run out.

    But there's important stuff to talk about in addition to infinite doops. There's Dave Brubeck, for example, who wrote the piece highlighted above and played the piano part. There's Paul Desmond who wrote the Cool Jazz classic Take Five and was one of the best Alto Sax players of his time. There's Eugene Wright, a world class double bass player who held down the bottom end for the top jazz players of his day and was said to have NEVER hit a wrong note. And there's Joe Morello who was one of the best jazz drummers to ever hold a stick or brush; Mr. Morello made possible the album that Blue Rondo à la Turk premiered on, Time Out. Released in 1959, Time Out was the first jazz record in history to sell over a million copies. Mr. Brubeck, after consulting the other three players, decided to release an album on which every song had a different time signature. Some of the time signatures used on Time Out included 9/8, 5/4, 3/4, and 6/4. To make it more complicated, many of the songs were written and played in multiple time signatures. Watch Mr. Brubeck's hands in some of the closeup shots, and you'll see the right hand playing in one time and the left hand playing in another. I said Mr. Morello made the album possible and you thought I got lost in my own tangled prose and forgot about that. Well, it wouldn't be a first, but I did remember. It's one thing for a piano player to play different times with his two hands, and quite another for a drummer to play in one time with his left hand, one with his right, and a third with a foot on the kick drum pedal to hold the piece together. I don't know what to compare it to; humans haven't evolved to be able to do that. I suppose it's a little like typing an email in French, thumbing a text in Spanish, and carrying on a telephone call in English all at the same time, but not quite. At least those three languages share some common roots. Most of the time signatures on Time Out don't have common divisors (like playing a song in 2/4 and 4/4 simultaneously).

    Another commonality the Dave Brubeck Quartet didn't possess was race. The Soviet Union and its captive states that together formed the Soviet Empire had little in common with one another -- certainly not language. But when the United States State Department sent the Brubeck Quartet on an extended tour of the Soviet Empire as part of their "People-to-People" program, it became obvious that what all the Soviet states shared was a love of jazz. For example, the Quartet was in Poland for fifteen days. In that time, traveling around Poland, they played thirteen concerts and every concert sold out.

    The Quartet were loyal Americans, and they omitted to tell the Soviets or their captive states that there was about a third of American cities in which the Quartet couldn't even book a public concert because they were a "mixed" musical group: Mr. Wright was Black, the other three were white. The world is complicated and sometimes ugly.

    If you happen to have an old-time top-of-the-line sound system in your house, Time Out is a good record to buy to test the fidelity of your system. This song doesn't have a lot of improvisation, but there is some, and you can actually here how quickly the other three players respond when somebody throws in a quick chord change or a couple bars of time signature change. It's one of the cleanest albums in jazz.

    I hope you are able to take time to enjoy it.

    John

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    1. I'm ambivalent about droops and twigs and umlauts, and with a few exceptions words never get them from me unless I've cut-and-pasted the text. "Blue Rondo à la Turk" came straight from YouTube's text, so some other schmuck deserves the droop credit, but I mos def enjoyed the tune.

      My pop left the radio on whenever he was awake and wherever he was, and it was always the same station, playing 1950s pop music (in the 1970s) and symphonic or just-barely jazzy covers of more recent pop hits. I still remember the call letters — KIXI — and holy crap, they still exist and they're still the same (though they're playing Christmas tunes at the moment). https://kixi.com/

      To me KIXI was background noise interrupted by commercials all the time, and I could handle the music but not the commercials. I'd never listen voluntarily. The music I wanted was rock'n'roll, on other stations but also always interrupted by commercials.

      Anyway, that's how I heard Dave Brubeck's Take Five for the first thousand times I heard it. Hourly, I think, whenever Dad was home until I was 18, and whenever I visited 18+. It immunized me. I can listen to "Take 5" now and respect it, enjoy it, but to me it's triple-stitch intertwined with old people wearing pocket-protectors and telling me to take out the trash.

      As for Brubeck the man and Brubeck the quartet, everything I know about either is what you've eloquently taught me above, plus some extra tidbits absorbed from skimming this article I stumbled across while looking for a recording of "Take 5".

      Also, just being anal, since it's "Take 5" I wish it was five minutes or so instead of 7½. Or call it "Take 7½." But I can't argue that it's snappy, and I intend to keep it looking for a while. Dad would approve.

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    2. Hi Doug,

      Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's a story behind the name of Take Five. I'm sure you know that, in the 50s and 60s, when musicians, or really any kind of workers were sent on break, the supervisor would say, "OK, guys, take five" whether the break was five or fifteen minutes. But wait, there's more . . .

      Paul Desmond, the alto sax guy who wrote the song only had the famous riff the song starts with when he knew he was onto something. He named it before he finished it. I think he would have called it Take Five in any case, but by the time he included brief solos by his three compatriots, the song was longer. The "five" in "Take Five" is actually what Brubeck says AFTER they play the song. It was time for a quick cup of java and whatever else kept them going.

      John

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    3. I also remember KIXI. I think they called themselves KIXI Light because of the dearth of advanced relativistic mathematics and complex rhythms on the playlist. And with regard to your last paragraph, I guess it's OK to remain anal as long as you keep an open mind in the ongoing debate about which is more fun, anal or oral.

      I golfed with a guy who, after hitting is ball into seriously high grass would give it a whack with his golf shoe and call, "Kicksy light". It was never funny and it was always funny. Like Trump's speeches.

      jtb

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    4. OK, I should cop to the minor crime of making up the word "doop". The symbol probably has a name but the chances that the name is actually doop constitute lottery-type odds.

      I do remember in 1962, Gene Chandler singing a song about them: Doop, doop, doop, Doop of Earl, doop, doop . . .

      jtb

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    5. ① As usual, no, I didn't know that. I thought when someone said "Take five," it meant we'd be back in five minutes, so I probably would've come back to an empty room.

      And dang, Mr Brubeck says "Take five" *after* they've played the song? That makes much more sense. You've put to rest a very small, minor annoyance that's nagged at me for fifty years.

      Sucks that Mr Desmond wrote the song, but Mr Brubeck got 95% of the fame for it.

      Also, my typo might have mystified you, but I kept the song *looping* for a while, not *looking*.

      ② Ah, you're a fellow (involuntary) listener to KIXI. It's amazing the stupid things that stick in my mind all these decades later, but "KIXI Light" was a re-branding.

      The station had called itself simply K I X I forever, playing the hits of the 1930s and '40s and '50s into the 1970s. And then they went all crazy (that's my dad talking), dropped all the 1930s music, and replaced it with some (blanded-down) cover tunes from the 1960s, and suddenly they were "KIXI (pronounced 'kick-see') light. My father wrote them an angry letter, but like me and the Democrats, he had nowhere else to go.

      I didn't and couldn't stay at their website long enough to ascertain, but do they still call it Kick-See Light?

      ③ If you made it up, it's a perfect made-up word. I knew immediately what you meant. Not like shipoopi, which needed a whole song to define itself.

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    6. Doug, you might want to consider taking it easier on yourself. My cultural references are as dated as I am. In the 1950s, everybody would know that if someone said "take five", that would mean it was time to head for the coffee pot or rest room, and really meant take 15. This is a hip album, but it's a 50s album, not a 60s album.

      I always heard Take Five as cool jazz, not as KIXI music, but I really only heard KIXI at a girlfriend's house, and it was turned way down on one of those console radio pieces of shit from the sixties, which might explain why I didn't get very far, although my lack of tact, charm, and movie-star good looks might have contributed to that. Oh-oh, rambling again.

      I've learned a lot from you and other people who post here. There are limits, and nobody can know everything. You're bright and pick thinks up on the first dribble. We're all teachers and we're all students. Dats the way the system works.

      While we're here, I would love to see you write a piece on "me and the Democrats". That should be in the scope of a diarist.

      In summary, everybody (or every honest person) has multiple experiences during the day in which he/she hits their forehead with the heal of their hand and says, very quietly, "Jesus, I've heard that all my life and never understood what it meant. People learn to stop hitting themselves in public eventually, but only people who are honest with themselves about their own ignorance actually keep learning.

      That's also how the system works.

      John

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    7. Just one more thing. Credit is hard to eat. Mr Desmond wrote the sax riff, but the band all contributed to the song. However, every time KIXI played Take Five, Mr Desmond (or his heirs and assigns) got the check. Mr Brubeck presided over a meritocracy with the advice and consent of the other three guys.

      jtb

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    8. Taking it easy is the only way I like to take anything. :) I'm very serious abut trying not to take things seriously.

      Not sure what I could say about "me and the Democrats," except the same things I always say. They're almost always a doublecross, that's all. Dems don't promise much, and never deliver what little they promise. They're the party of go-along-to-get-along, and they're going to go-along-and-get-along us all the way to Armageddon. Not a fan, that's all.

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  2. >We’re just saying the cops’ own statistics don’t match their narrative.

    Wait, are you inplying that the cops might be stoking fear in order to keep their jobs secure? Surely you jest!

    >Trust Dr Wachter

    You and I are both one degree of separation from him, right? Both of our wives worked for him at UCSF, I think.

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    1. As I probably misremember, your Mrs worked for him, and my Mrs worked across the hall for a different high-powered super-doctor. I met Wachter a few times, and didn't hate him. High praise.

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  3. I love music and I admire people who can invent music, just as I love prose and a well-constructed sentence. I enjoy the way sentences can be mortared together into a well-formed paragraph with callbacks and allusions that, when read aloud can, on our best days, become a poem.

    My grandfather became a bricklayers' apprentice at age 12 just south of Glasgow, so he only made it through about five or six years of school. By the time he became a master brick mason thirty years later, the Great Depression had enveloped his adopted countries of Canada and the United States, requiring him to drive hundreds, and occasionally, thousands of miles for a job to feed his family. He ended up in Tacoma because he came here to help design and build the Great Smelter Stack of Tacoma and the brick boiler under it, and going further west would have resulted in submersion. You have to stop sooner or later. He died when I was seven, but somewhere in my memory is the imprint of an undereducated man who nonetheless managed to speak in poetry. He took best advantage of those five or six years of education and how he said what he said never stopped mattering to him. I ramble.

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    1. Beautiful, man. Love your dad, just from one paragraph. The smeltering stunk up Tacoma for a lot of years but I won't hold that against your poppa.

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    2. No big deal, but that story was about my maternal grandfather. I'll have you know that my dad and his family snuck into Green Bay, Wisconsin from French Canada fair and square to become American woodsmen. Pretty soon they were just Americans, eh?

      jtb

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    3. One of the things I like best about America is that wherever you're from, once you get here you're an American. At least to me.

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    4. Emma Lazarus had something to say about that . . .

      The New Colossus
      BY EMMA LAZARUS

      Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
      With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
      Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
      A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
      Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
      Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
      Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
      The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
      “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
      With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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    5. That's one of my favorite poems, and far better than that annoying Star-Spangled Banner.

      Trivia! The statue stood for 17 years before the poem was added.

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  4. The sidebar promises references to pee and poop and boobies and boners, but I'm not finding enough of this.

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    1. It says *occasional* references, but I'll try to find some urine and feces etc for you.

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    2. Doug, as a friend and part-time assistant poetry editor, I'd be happy to help if I could. As an old man, I haven't seen a full-fledged boner in a while, but while my bathrooms have been on the fritz I've accumulated a fair array of urine and feces in my back yard. It's mostly under snow by now so photographs wouldn't be helpful, but if you provide a street address I'd be happy to send some samples along. No P.O. boxes please.

      jtb

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    3. All pee and poop contributions are welcome and appreciated. Send 'em to MLG, please!

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    4. Thank you both for pee and poop and a boner but where's my boobies.

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  5. In WW2, our country was at war with fascism and imperialism and our people responded and did what we had to do. It was difficult, and more than 400,000 American lives were lost.

    In the 2020s, our country is being attacked by COVID-19 and about half of us respond by saying no, tough shit, my freedom to not wear a paper mask is more important than your life. Our present enemies among us have killed more than twice that many of us as did WW2.

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    Replies
    1. Damn, and your numbers check out, too. I'm going to steal this and make it a meme — thank you.

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    2. Thanks and I like the graphic you made.

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