Christmas night I went outside to shoot the lights and the snow, and discovered that the lens was smeared with something. I like what happened.

Putting Christmas in the middle of the month discombobulates everything, and it’s made worse by the fact that next week will be equally uncombobed. Monday feels like Friday; Tuesday feels like Friday; Wednesday feels like Sunday; Thursday feels like Sunday, Friday feels like some strange day you’ve never known before, where the week that never was is now at an end, and the weekend you just had twice in a row is about to be repeated.

I don’t think I accomplished anything. Well, the work blog, and some fruitless searches for an interview subject, if you can call “fruitless” an accomplishment, which you can’t. Mother-in-law appeared from the skies; wife and M-i-L went to a movie, niece is over here now watching a movie with daughter, and I’m just going through end-of-the-year archiving and file winnowing. Nothing but holiday spirit last night, and now? Please, let me get back to normal.

I suppose I should have joined the numberless throngs that streamed into the malls and exchanged one set of goods for another, but I would rather take a high-quality potato peeler to my my shins.

By the way, I got my wife a high-quality pototo peeler for Christmas, and she promptly cut herself on it, so I know what I'm talking about. I also broke a wine glass and cut my hand, a wound which goes nicely with the hideous gash on my other hand, which happened when I tripped going up the stairs because my house-shoes are too big.

My wife got me smaller house-shoes for Christmas. I was grateful. And she was grateful for the peeler, too. Oh, there was a bauble gift and a garment portion, but the big gift was a complete upgrade of her kitchen utensils, complete with a crock in which they can be displayed on the counter. Drawer dividers for clarity. No more pawing through a tangle of tools when she wants to cook. I was warned against this by those who said this was like giving her a vacuum cleaner or a waste basket. I knew better! Success!

I told her I liked the shoes, and she nodded. In fact she's nodded a lot today. Come to think of it, she hasn't said a word.


JUST KIDDING. She loved them. Also the bauble. Anyway: While poking around for work-blog fodder I came across a YouTube peculiarity: color footage of New York used for a failed 1992 sitcom.

This shot must have been glorious, but the tape’s all muddy. We were used to that in the 90s anyway; the best videotape, in retrospect, looks like you’d sprayed the screen with Pam.

Times Square:

Fifth Avenue, Saks and St. Pat’s:

Note the green cabs. They weren’t all Yellow. The Green cabs were Checker cabs. The yellow cabs may have been Yellow, or Checker, depending on the era. It’s complex. These don’t seem to be the classic Marathon cabs, so it might be pre-56.

And Times Square again:

Blue cabs. This fixes the date as pre-55. Why? Sigh. C’mon. The clues are all right there!

No, well, I don’t blame you. I know because I recently concluded a stem-to-stern overhaul of the NYC site for the 2014 upgrade, including a beautiful spiffification of the Times Square site. All will be explained.

Anyway.. It’s the first episode of this sitcom. Yes. These guys.

The Twin Peaks team. Either the network thought “people seemed to love those funny parts in that dark, twisted murder story; let’s apply that sensibility to a situation comedy and let the hiijinks ensue,” or the duo was on the hook for another show and dropped this thing to ensure a hasty exit from their contract. The reviews on imdb are ecstatic: funniest thing ever. Laffs from start to finish, but tooooo weird for The Man, man! Only one review seems to have grasped the essence of the thing, which the sort of horrifying awfulness you only get when people at the peak of their talents are unable to see what they just did. I mean, anyone with just a few remnant craps of self-awareness would kick down doors and hold knives to throats to make sure the master and all copies were burned.

Here’s the thing: because this is the Japanese-subtitled version, you don’t know if the flatulence in the theme song was inserted for a foreign audience. It seems unlikely that the theme and opening credits would be punctuated with that sort of ripe wet hinderblurten, no? Yet there it is.

Ah: found another version without the subtitles, and yes indeed. It’s there. The theme, of course, is by Angelo Badalemnti, and would be a great noir theme if there hadn’t been deliberate passages of incompetence followed by farting. I’m trying to imagine that conversation: No, Angelo, I want it to be soulful and heartfelt. Not a pastiche or an ironic copy of a bygone era’s most mournful lament. I want you to inhabit this style and I want the saxophone player to think he’s writing for the moment in 1953 when Rick catches sight of Ilsa in New York or the first time since Casablanca, okay? Older and wiser, but still so very human, still so much in love. That’s the mood. Then right there, a fart. Okay, get back to me in a day.

How bad? Like this.

The second episode seems better than the first. Less desperate. Then it gets desperate. The third seems better, but they'd been canceled by then, and I cannot imagine it came as a surprise to anyone involved.

There's a restaurant interior update, as depopulated as all the others. See you Monday.

Which will feel like Thursday.









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