Monday, May 25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day

Wishing everyone a nice Memorial Day, as we salute the men and women who have died serving our country. The occasion got me searching for information about my first cousin William M. Lindes (Billy Lindes to those in the family), who perished in 1953 during the Korean War. Because of my father's Irish Catholic family, At 17, Billy was nearly the same age as my dad and Dad's twin, Kenny, so lied about his age so he could enlist to serve alongside his uncles. My cousin apparently made his decision rather hastily and wound up not being vaccinated properly -- are you reading this, anti-vaxxers? -- and tragically contracted acute encephalomyelitis and dying on the island prefecture of Okinawa at just 19 years of age. My mom says my father carried deep guilt over "letting" his nephew tag along ... to fight a faraway war. (What do young men feel guilty about these days, not liking their friends’ and relatives’ Instagram posts?) Above is Billy’s tombstone in Havre de Grace, Maryland, where he's buried with his mother and father -- my Aunt Margaret (Dad's eldest sister) and Uncle Bill. And below is a testament to the incredible things you might find online these days -- contemporaneous articles about his death and his return to the States that appeared in the Pottsville (Pa.) Republican, 

(Aug. 6, 1953)

(Sept. 5, 1953, which happened to be my dad's 21st birthday)

Kenny Get Your Gun: Uncle "Maybe Gay" Kenny, Betty Hutton and my dad in Okinawa

Sunday, May 24, 2020

All Aboard!

I don’t think I’ve watched TV by flipping the channel since the advent of the DVR. But might need to rethink this strategy after stumbling on an episode of “The Love Boat” featuring Nellie Oleson, Miss Jane Hathaway, Father John Mulcahy, Ann Marie’s agent and Toni Tennille!


Here’s what’s next ...

Ken and Beth are newlyweds but Ken’s adult daughters hate their new stepmother and don’t hide it one bit.

Ethel as Gopher’s over-the-top mother!

And Mary Richards’s TV mom falls pregnant ... at age 59!

Speedo Sunday

Sunday Not Funnies

Vote in November like your life depends on it.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Saturday 'Stache

Lots more HERE.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Rating the Gronk

Oh, is there a room in this image? I'm still thinking about Sunday.

An Early Closing

I'm not the biggest drama queen in the world, but just bear with me. After learning a friend with whom I spent regular time before the lockdown had tested positive without ever experiencing any symptoms and that my sister-in-law and her brood had easily gotten tested here in the city, I decided to go (at the friend's suggestion and without mentioning it to a napping Damian) to CityMD myself. Their website is completely up to date with information on the two types of tests available (one for the virus, one for the antibodies) and said they do not take appointments -- just walk in.

The site says they're OPEN NOW in all caps and states they're open until 10 p.m. So I hike over there -- keep in mind I have essentially not left the apartment in two months except to get food a handful of times, per the governor's orders -- and there are people inside the clinic but the door is locked. It's 7:45 p.m. Seconds after pulling on the virus-coated handle, I absentmindedly put a mint in my mouth with the same hand -- a perfect conduit for communal transmission.

Even if you blame me for not verifying the hours before going over there, how angry and perhaps more importantly how worried would you be now? I feel like I let Damian down, like Aidan Quinn's lover in "An Early Frost."

P.S. This is hardly a lawsuit issue, but if I end up getting sick it will be difficult for me to not blame them for their part. If any of you are on Twitter I would appreciate a retweet of my inquiry to CityMD.

On the Rag, Vol. 607

A weekly look at what's making news in the gay magazines:

Song of the Day: 'Goodbye Yesterday" by Nick Heyward

Here's wishing Nick Heyward a very happy birthday. The former Haircut 100 crooner was born in 1961 -- and is still looking very good -- which means my brother Bill also would have turned 59 this year had cancer not come along. (That's kind of crazy to think about.) 

Nick just announced a Patreon, which if I understand correctly is sort of like an OnlyFans except you're allowed to keep your clothes on. Learn more HERE.

Hard to pick just one, but this seemed fitting ...

... along with this "timely" instrumental.

Page 1 Roundup (05/22)

Hot Cat of the Day: Kumar went shopping while brother Harold looked on!

Morning Wood

That's dreamy repeat offender Tim Rogan.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

25 Facts About 'Square Pegs'

Few shows meant more to me growing up than "Square Pegs," which like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" debuted just as I was starting Dobson High ... as a sophomore.

Because 'tween years aren't excruciating enough, I had the misfortune of attending sixth grade in Michigan, where that was served in middle school, and ninth grade in Arizona, where that was still junior high school -- arguably the worst time in anybody's life, so why not add another year? -- and certainly not an ideal time to be the new kid.

The series resonated with me not just because I was a sarcastic wimp and a faggot, but also because of its music. And being the new wave geek that I was, I thought I had a special "connection" to the show because the radio booth at Weemawee High -- where Marshall and Johnny spun records -- had a Killer Pussy "Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage" poster hanging on the wall, which was Phoenix's local cult band that I thought I was the only other one cool enough to also know about! (Please don't tell my 14-year-old self I wasn't.)

Now enjoy this killer list, written by the great TV historian David Davis ...

25 Facts About "Square Pegs"

1. A single-camera sitcom (with a laugh track) that aired on CBS during the 1982–83 season.

2. Cast — Sarah Jessica Parker as Patty Greene / Amy Linker as Lauren Hutchinson / Merritt Butrick as Johnny Slash / John Femia as Marshall Blechtman / Tracy Nelson as Jennifer DiNuccio / Jami Gertz as Muffy Tepperman / Claudette Wells as LaDonna Fredericks / Jon Caliri as Vinnie Pasetta / Catlin Adams as Ms. Loomis / Basil Hoffman as Principal Dingleman / Steven Peterman as Mr. Rob Donovan / Richard Nelson as Mr. Spacek

3. Premise — The series followed two awkward teenage girls desperate to fit in at Weemawee High School.

4. Creator Anne Beatts, a writer for Saturday Night Live in the ‘70s, based the sitcom on her own personal experience.

5. The show debuted on CBS September 27, 1982 in the 8 P.M. Monday slot, and remained there throughout its one-season run.

6. Amy Linker had to wear fake braces and a fat suit for her role as Lauren Hutchinson.

7. Sarah Jessica Parker originally wasn't going to get the part of Patty because the producers thought she was too pretty. Luckily, the casting director was wearing sunglasses that day and the producers took out the lenses, asked Sarah to put them on, and gave her the part.

8. When the series was canceled in 1983, CBS intended to air another teen comedy in its place, The Best of Times, but the network pulled the plug on it after only one episode due to lukewarm response.

9. The show was filmed at the abandoned Excelsior High School in Norwalk, California. This was the same shooting location used for Grease 2 (1982). The cast said the school was in an industrial area and the factories surrounding it produced a pungent stench, making outdoor shoots rather unpleasant.

10. Amy Linker and Sarah Jessica Parker were actually fighting during the filming of the episode “It's All How You See Things,” wherein their characters are at odds as well. When Patty throws the lunch tray at Lauren, Amy Linker was so enraged that she threw the milk at her. This was not directed or planned. The two actresses later made amends.

11. To accurately reflect high schoolers' tastes of the moment, new wave music was an important facet of the show's style. The show's opening and closing theme songs, “Square Pegs,” and an untitled instrumental reminiscent of “Chopsticks” composed by Tom Scott, are performed by The Waitresses. In some episodes, "Chopsticks" is the opening theme and "Square Pegs" the closing theme, and in others these are reversed.

12. The Waitresses appeared in the premiere episode as a band performing at the school dance. They sing "I Know What Boys Like" in one scene and "Square Pegs" during the closing credits, with the characters dancing along. Their song "Christmas Wrapping" is playing in the popular hangout diner ("The Grease") during the Christmas episode. They are mentioned by Jennifer in the episode in which she works at the diner.

13. John Densmore, original drummer for The Doors, plays himself as a member of Johnny Slash's new wave band. Devo also made a guest appearance.

14. Other guest actors included William Bogert, Dena Dietrich, Tony Dow, Marj Dusay, Hugh Gillin, Martin Mull, Don Novello, Allan Rich, and Jerry Seinfeld, who was uncredited as a Bar Mitzvah guest in a 1982 episode.

15. Ratings — 📉 The show struggled against That's Incredible on ABC, prompting CBS not to renew the show for a second season.

16. Reruns — The series was rebroadcast on USA Network during the 1990s, and later on Nickelodeon, TV Land, and MeTV.

17. A year after Square Pegs’ May 1983 cancellation, TV Guide ran a story on the show titled “Anatomy Of A Failure: How Drugs, Ego, And Chaos Helped Kill A Promising Series.” Based on a six-month investigation, the article explored the specific reasons for the once-promising show’s quick demise. Part of the problem, according to the article, involved putting the inexperienced Beatts in charge of the entire production. Youthful and hip, she was also volatile, making friends with some cast and crew members and alienating others. Even she admitted, “I snapped people’s heads off. But I usually regretted it afterwards.”

18. After the show’s cancellation in 1983, Jami Gertz, who played Muffy Tepperman, went on to play an almost identical character, Boots St. Clair, on several episodes of The Facts of Life.

19. Amy Linker left acting after this series and began working as an office temp for many years. She was featured in a segment on Entertainment Tonight in 1990 about actors who gave up their careers to work “regular” jobs.

20. Tracy Nelson, who played Jennifer diNuccio, was the daughter of Ricky Nelson and the granddaughter of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. She would later co-star with Tom Bosley on NBC’s Father Dowling Mysteries.

21. Awards & Nominations — 🔲 Square Pegs was nominated for an Emmy in 1984 for Outstanding Individual Achievement, Graphic Design and Title Sequences. 🏆 In 2007, Amy Linker won a TV Land Award for Most Beautiful Braces.

22. Home Media — 📀 The complete series was released on DVD. • Billy Idol's song “Dancing with Myself,” featured in the episode with Bill Murray, is replaced with generic music in the DVD release.

23. IMDb User Reviews — • thomandybish | August 2001: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Before FREAKS AND GEEKS there was . . . SQUARE PEGS was the hippest teen show of the time. Great writing, funny characters, tubular new-wave music and fashions--what was not to like? Something, because the show vanished after one or two seasons. An early vehicle for Sarah Jessica Parker that seems to have garnered a cult following and much acclaim at the time(ROLLING STONE did an article on the show and creator Ann Beatts), it has since slipped into oblivion. • vertigo_14 | January 2004: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I got interested in this show when I happened to catch the TV Land marathon one weekend night, and I've been a fan ever since. Square Pegs was great because it never got caught up in the oversexed life of horny teenagers (though there are some subtle remarks), so it wasn't soap opera-esque. That's quite a refreshing break from the incessant self-indulgent dramas and sitcoms targeted for today's teenager. But, nor was it commentary on the critical issues facing teens at the time. It was just a simple, light-hearted show about a bunch of goofy high school kids. And, tough the situations were sometimes dull (such as the episode where Lauren falls in love with the school handyman), Square Pegs was a pretty funny show about an odd assortment of characters. Plus, how can you go wrong with a show in which both The Waitresses (who performed the theme song) play the Freshman Dance and Devo appear at super-peppy Muffy Tepperman's Bat Mitzvah? • Twins65 | November 2012: ⭐️½ I just plowed through a few episodes of Square Pegs for the first time in 30 years, and while the nostalgia trip back to '82 was fun, and the music performances were nice (Patty Donahue RIP), the episodes were pretty bland. I watched the pilot with The Waitresses, the Devo episode, Muffy's Bat Mitzvah episode, and the ones with Bill Murray and Steve Sax. I think I laughed all of once, and that was when Dena Dietrich ("Mother Nature" from those 70's margarine commercials, who I hadn't seen or thought about in years, but she was instantly recognizable) showed up and started hitting on Johnny Slash. The show was considered somewhat hip back in its day, with Sarah Jessica Parker and Amy Linker playing freshmen geeks who really wanted to be more popular. And the SoCal "dude-speak" of the early 80's was just getting going and featured here, with Sean Penn's Spicoli from Fast Times and Moon Zappa ranting on her dad's album cut "Valley Girl" the forerunners of the Square Pegs' writers jumping in with Tracy Nelson's one-note "gag-me-with-a-spoon" character. But it was all for naught. Paul Feig's Freaks and Geeks from '99 really blew Square Pegs away with 3 freshman boys trying to survive in the early 80's, and F&G featured way more laugh-out-loud dark humor, without a creepy laugh-track to unfunny lines bringing it down. The interviews on the extras were OK (shot in 2008), but don't waste your time unless you really want to see what John Femia and/or Claudette Wells are up to these days.

24. R.I.P. — 🌼 Merritt Butrick, who played Johnny Slash, died of AIDS in 1989 at age 29. Butrick also played Admiral James T. Kirk's son in the movie Star Trek ll: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

25. Alive and Well — 👨🏻‍🦱 John Femia is 53. 👩🏻‍🦱 Amy Linker is 53. 👩🏻 Jami Gertz is 54. 👩🏼‍🦱 Sarah Jessica Parker is 55. 👱🏻‍♀️ Tracy Nelson is 56. 👩🏾 Claudette Wells is 66. 🧔🏻 John Caliri is 60. 👨🏻‍🦱 Steven Peterman is 66. 🧔🏼 Richard Nelson is 69. 👩🏻‍🦳 Catlin Adams is 69. 👴🏻 Basil Hoffman is 82.

Killer Pussy's classic song. Singer Lucy LaMode was the B-52 girls working in a sex shop. I remember several of the male band members dying of "hepatitis" in the early '80s. Although it's never been confirmed, it seems obvious now they met the same fate as Ricky Wilson.

Then ...

Now(ish) ...

Am I the only one who thinks Sarah Jessica Parker was never "too pretty" to play any role?!!!

Viral Laughs

Something good has come from this deadly pandemic -- I learned about these two hilarious videos I never came into contact with the first time around!

 Get ready to have both songs stuck in your head. 

And I'm told there's an "Eleanor Rigby" reduced to two notes!

(With thanks to Damian and Blobby.)

Thursday Ad Watch

From targeted advertising to sponsored posts, the World Wide Web is overflowing with hot men.

Song of the Day: 'Don't You Want Me' by the Human League

Today's pick is really an excuse to link to the excellent piece Pitchfork just did about "Dare," the seminal 1981 release by the Sheffield Six, "a prismatic album that all pop music would soon pass through." If all you know is the classic single "Don't You Want Me" -- a No. 1 hit in eight nations -- you're in for a real treat. Read HERE.

Did you know the album cover was inspired by this 1979 issue of British Vogue?!

And can you believe this has never been my song of the day before?!

UPDATE: If you haven't seen it, please watch "Working as a Waitress in a Cocktail Bar" right now HERE.

Page 1 Roundup (05/21)

Variety: If you live long enough, everything you love will die ... including your favorite radio station

Hot Cat of the Day: I said GIMME!!!!!

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