Burned off some PTO today. Used to call them “days off,” but everything needs a code, and DO would not be accurate, since you do not do, at least for the employer. DONT would be more like it. DAY OFF NO TROUBLE might work. If you don’t take them, they evaporate at the end of the year. Home all day; no car. Cold: wind chills pushing it down around zero. Housebound and grumpy and somewhat tired of everything. The main acomplishment was a 18-page site coming on Friday, part of the parade of Christmas ephemera. One of those days where you say “hmm. This is a 1958 magazine with a special Disney insert, later made into a spoken-word album that recites the interminable poem. Wonder if anyone posted it on the internet.” Took about two minutes, but I found it on a site that appears to have been dormant for a long while. There’s something sad about those abandoned sites, sitting on a spinning platter, ignored by the world except for the occasional spider or google-result. The latter must be like Norma Desmond getting a phone call from Cecil B. DeMille. Ah! My time has come again.

Another box from Amazon today; this time it was something I ordered for myself while Christmas shopping. That happens occasionally. Purely by accident. It was the first volume of the projected 12-volume set of “Pogo” cartoons. I’ll probably skip the last four. The foreword is by Jimmy Breslin, and it’s mostly incomprehensible; there’s a section about Walt Kelly drunk and raving in Saigon, which could be true, I suppose. Breslin says he lost his leg because he drank too much, not diabetes. If I’d edited the book, I would have cut the entire piece. No one’s going to pass on a Pogo anthology because it doesn’t have a Breslin foreword.

It’s an old childhood interest. Loved that strip. Read it in the Fargo Forum on the floor with my elbows on the paper. (They got black from the ink, still fresh.) It’s still charming and funny and beautifully drawn - but, as I said, I’ll probably skill the last few volumes, when the misanthropy seemed to poison the swamp.


Watched “The Green Lantern” over the last few nights. What a waste. You can sense everyone saying, at every step of the way, “well, that’s good enough.” Tweak everything just a little, try a little harder, believe in the material - and yes, I know, I know, I’m talking about a comic book - and it could have been interesting, but in the end you got a guy who uses his ring to create the most literal objects possible. Throwing a tanker truck full of gasoline into the maw of a big cloud-based Evil Plot Device, so the truck will blow up and make the EPD say Ow? Don’t throw a bolt of energy at it. Oh my no: use the ring to summon up a four-barrel anti-aircraft gun and shoot the truck. In another scene he saves a runaway helicopter by conjuring up some Hot Wheels tracks. In the end - and I hope I’m not ruining anything for you here - he punches the EPD into the sun by summoning up AN ENORMOUS FIST. It’s all that literal. It’s not the disaster critics said it was - there’s nothing that’s horribly bad, and it’s competent throughout. It’s just good enough so you’re aware of a big missed opportunity.

My general facial expression while watching it? Let’s just say I was pretty much straight LG Cherry Laundry Pair.



Let us now begin the Christmas Kitsch! Meet devious Soaky Santa:



Soakys were bottles of soap; you twisted off the head and poured out the cleansing fluids. The expression on Santa’s face seems to say: don’t even think about it.

Well, I’m bored. With everything. Today, at least. But I have one more thing you’ll enjoy, even if the subject matter has no appeal whatsoever. At least it didn’t for me, as you’ll see. It’s a Black and White World entry, and a character walked into the movie and started talking and I thought: holy crow. Holy Jeezum Crow, it’s that guy. It’s that voice. One of those ppppzzzzap! connections that makes you realize something you’d never in a million years suspected: when people heard him there, they probably knew him from that.

It’s HERE. If you’re not interested in the subject, scroll down to the second video excerpt (not including the YouTube vid; it's the one with the fellow with the glasses looking nerdy) - and perhaps you, too, will have the same reaction. Unless you knew already, which is entirely possible; I’m always amazed at how much you know that I’m just discovering. See you tomorrow!


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