Monday, November 19, 2018

Life is Just a (Milton-Bradley) Game.

I will get to Thanksgiving (Wait, what? This week?) and all that Christmas nostalgia bullshit before too long, but I was thinking--which is always always a bad start--and just wanted to jot this down before I forget it. God forbid my half-awake, half-still-stoned-on-ZzzQuil, Monday morning musings about life go unrecorded.

Take life step-by-step. Often literally. What do you have to do right now? Do it, then find time to stop taking a step and think about the steps beyond the next step, and sometimes way beyond the next steps. To figure out those steps, first you think about what's important to you. What's important to you depends on your principles and your priorities. We always make lists about the very next steps (that reminds me, cat litter), but feel free to write the big ones down too. Sometimes it seems weird to write down the big things--you're like, "What, I need a note to remember my selfless dedication to albino manatee preservation?" I'm just saying it can't hurt.

Here's my real point: When you scribble out your plans (goals, dreams, whatever), use a plain notebook. Not some fancy fuckin' vegan pleather-bound affirmation journal tied shut with cruelty-free, single-origin hemp twine. You don't write in those. No one does, they just sit on desks, and eventually get nestled away on bookshelves. No one writes in them because the fanciness makes you feel like you should be writing about something important. Remember--you're not writing about something important, you're writing about your life. Yes, it's unique, but still everybody's got one, so get over it. Do you think it's a mistake that your life is referred to in the lower case, but the game and the cereal and even that crappy Eddie Murphy movie are capitalized? No, it's entirely appropriate.

Disclaimer: I may have heard all this somewhere and stolen it, joke for joke. Either that or I'm really tired of my own shtick, which is not only possible, it's perfectly understandable. In any case, I'm gonna stop now. I can't change the cat litter but something must be done.

(One last thing, John Cleese talks about life here and it's really good. Oh, and the last last thing: don't feed the trolls. It really is the most valid modern truism.)

Ha ha, you caught me! I made dad Gacy!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Newsday TV Book Stuff, November 13-19, 1983.

Yeah, I fucked up. Got all busy with life and shit, fell woefully behind on posting TV listings from Long Island Newsday guides of the 70's, and with a Charlie Callas-style FRRRRTTT!--there went your overly-specific nostalgia fix. And just as I was coming up on the Most Wonderful Time of the Year--the new TV season! September, Labor Day, back to school! Then October and Halloween! Then--well, you probably know how the months and holidays go from there.

I swear on Fred Silverman's untended grave that I'll get back to those 1973 issues one day. In the meantime, here's a handful of scans from the Newsday TV Book of this week, 1983. (And if you're still needing that nostalgia itch scratched, you can always check out my YouTube channel (Hugo Faces) for old video clips like commercials and whatnot, or hit up my Facebook group (same name as this blog--go figure!) for posts reflecting the randomest of my whims--you never know WHAT you'll find there! (Other than nothing that occurred after the 80's.)

The Newsday Channel was on Cablevision 24 and had very little live content. It was mostly just on-screen graphics, kinda like a newspaper, but much less convenient.
Here's a Dollar Shoe ad for Thanksgiving, with a clip art pilgrim that looks an awful lot like my tenth grade English teacher, Mr. Ettenson. He is about to annihilate a turkey in the most gruesome way imaginable.
I was no longer visiting Hicks Nurseries to see their animated Christmas displays by this time. It's just as well, as I'm sure I was too old for whatever this Santakins bullshit is.
Finally (What? I said it was just a handful!), here's the Friday afternoon listings, included only for the Baba-Booeyesque hair replacement spokesmodel in the adjacent ad. Hmm, I can't find any online references to a singer from that era named "David Novak."



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Newsday TV Books, August 1974.

I've been trying to plow through the sleepy summer listings on the way to September (when all the new shows began), and at last I offer you August! Let the snoozing begin!
Due to popular demand, I've brought back the TV Line. (My sister asked.) There's some bad Marcus Welby M.D. poetry, and Carol Burton showing tremendous restraint in not telling a smart-alecky reader to piss off and leave the research to the professionals.
Here's that Jean Stapleton info you were wondering about.
Some less-than-inspired Viskupic art this week--still better than nothing--plus some great John Cashman reviews, natch.


 Here's a rare close-up on a movie airing in the wee hours. It was also thankfully rare to find blackface in these pages.
 Whoops, I misplaced Monday. Not only do I dig that Minnesota Fats pool table ad, but seeing a special notice about televised impeachment hearings gives me a tickly tingle of anticipation...
 Here's The Odd Couple... Well, geez, you knew that, right? I'll just shut up and let the pics do the talking.
 Here's Saturday morning, mostly for the Freeport Speedway ad.
The accompanying story about The Rookies was pretty dull so I axed it. If you're that desperate to see it, let me know. I'll read your message, intend to get right on it and immediately forget.
 Finally, this Lincoln special featured a giant rubber head with Hal Holbrook underneath it.
Burton throws some serious shade at Groucho in this TV Line. 
 That's it! I made it! I hardly wrote anything, but it's over with, and that's always the goal with summer. Now I'm on to covering September, with my usual witty insights and pertinent links and all that good shit. Have a great yesterday!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Newsday TV Books, July 1974.

I promised more and, like a kid with a sackful of Grit, I'm delivering!
The cast of Ironside is strong-armed by Raymond Burr to go along with the various prevarications of his official bio, listed dutifully in the accompanying article. Dead wives, dead kid, etc. etc., no mention of a certain young fella Burr met on the set of Perry Mason...

As with June, I'm going bare bones for these dull summer months, sticking with the Gary Viskupic drawings and whatever else tickles me. This one looks pretty lame until you realize that G.V. was just being cheekily literal. The schedule is for late Sunday.
 Now it's late Monday, and Visk illustrates a horror classic made for TV.
Viskupic draws on the Amerasian blues for this Tuesday NBC News special.
Here's a page just for fans of Gilbert Gottfried's podcast: The premiere of pod guest Tony Orlando's variety show, and a John Cashman review of The Swimmer, a Gilbert favorite airing on the CBS Late Movie.
I love this meat company ad, which strangely references the JGE Appliances television commercials of the day which asked "Hey, Jerry! What's the story?" Throw in some equally puzzling cheesecake and you've got a classic, unearthed at last for the Internet Age!
 Speaking of puzzling, the inexplicably popular Mac Davis shows up on the next week's cover.
Fittingly enough, it's a ho-hum week, with just this Visk drawing of little people and an ad for the ancient Milleridge Inn capturing my interest.
John Amos and Esther Rolle roll out the Good Times.
Gary V. squeezes out a less-than-vintage piece for The Grapes of Wrath on Sunday afternoon.
His drawing for auteur Gordon Parks' The Learning Tree is more refined and elegant (and the reviews by John Cashman are, as usual, sublime).
Little Ronny Howard was bigger now, and starring on Happy Days. Forget Fonzie on water-skis--this show jumped the shark midway through season one.
Viskupic keeps the beat on (when else?) Sunday for this close-up on (what else?) a news special.
Another news special, another G.V. melding of technologies simple and complex, another case of everything-old-is-new-again...
Mary Tyler Moore graces the month's last cover, with Mare backed against a funhouse mirror for reasons only a photographer can make up.

Another busy week for Gary: An energy crisis cornucopia...
 ... a delicate portrait for A Streetcar Named Desire (unsigned, but I can't imagine what other Newsday artist it could be)...
 ...and finally, Garbo's unmistakable profile holds the key to Grand Hotel on Saturday.
More? I'm working on it, I'm working on it!