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Found 11 results

  1. It's ridiculous that we don't have a thread for Mark Slater, a personal friend of mine, and donrockwell.com Member #14. Aside from Mark being exceptionally gifted as a a fine-dining sommelier - both in terms of maintaining a wine list, and in establishing a rapport with customers - I have had the pleasure of dining with him on many occasions, and he has an excellent palate. In 2007, he won the James Beard Foundation's national award for "Outstanding Wine Service" while he was sommelier at Citronelle. One thing many people don't know about Mark is that he studied harpsichord in Vienna, Austria, and is an accomplished harpsichordist. Having seen him play many times, I can verify that he is an outstanding sight reader, which is an incredibly difficult and underrated skill to develop and possess. His sub-specialty is early Rennaissance music, but he can handle most any work for harpsichord, and is a good enough sight reader to "fool" the listener into thinking he knows a piece, when it's actually the first time he's ever looked at it. Mark doesn't know I'm writing this, and may ask me to take it down, but I'm not going to - he deserves widespread recognition as one of the most important, influential figures in Washington, DC restaurant history - certainly when it comes to wine. At this point, he is truly the Patriarch of all area sommeliers, and should be recognized as such by all those who follow in his footsteps, both now and in the future.
  2. I think what you say is perfectly reasonable. Ironically, I remember, or at least think I remember (visually remember), Walton better from college than I do the pros - I have this film in my mind of him running in to receive an alley-oop pass, jumping up, catching it in mid-air, and laying it in off the board. (At some point, weren't alley-oop passes illegal somewhere?) Also ironically, it was Walton who first gave LeBron James so much hype - he was the on-court commentator for James' nationally televised high-school game, and I distinctly remember him saying, "[LeBron James] is the best high school player I have ever seen." Perhaps most interesting of all: I bet that if you asked self-described "NBA fans" which team(s) Bill Walton played for, the majority of them - perhaps the vast majority of them - would say "Portland" (where he won his championship) "Boston" (where he played with Bird and won his second championship, and how do we not have a thread on Larry Legend?) or "Portland and Boston." In reality, the team he spent the most time with was the Clippers which is doubly amazing because they ended up being right there, in Los Angeles, where he rose to stardom. Bill Walton's NBA stats are incredibly mediocre: 13.3 points per game, 10.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 blocks. He *never* averaged more than 18.9 ppg. But man, did he come out (forgive me) Blazing, averaging 13.5 rebounds per game over his first four seasons, and winning it all in 1976-1977. That's when he began suffering from chronic injuries so severe that he couldn't overcome them - this is a good article: "The Ecstasy and the Agony" by Shaun Powell on sportsonearth.com I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for his college career, Bill Walton would not be in the Hall of Fame - what he did in college was so extreme that it sort-of "carried over" into the pros, and his reputation tagged along with it. He was great in the NBA, but it was for such a preciously brief period that few remember, but man oh man was he good in college - first-team all-time college player for sure (you'd have to move him to power forward to let Alcindor play center). This would make a great thread - who else would be on it? Maravich for sure. Christian Laettner? Oscar Robertson? Adrian Dantley? This would be one heck of a tough team to fill based *exclusively* on the players' college record, and completely ignoring what they did in the pros. Dave, you should start a thread and see what you come up with. "When Healthy, How Good was Bill Walton?" on basketballforum.com
  3. If you've any inkling to watch "Singin' in the Rain," rent it on Amazon Prime - clearly, this film has not only been "digitized," but also significantly enhanced from its original self - the color and clarity looks like it was filmed with a digital camera this year - it's remarkable. I had never before seen this most glorified of Hollywood musicals, so I really had no idea what to expect. I am not a huge fan of musicals (thank you, "Doctor Dolittle" for helping to eliminate the genre), but went in with an open mind. The song and dance numbers were, surprisingly, all from about 25-years before (except for two), as the film (from 1952) takes place around 1927, in the transition period between silent and talking films, with nods toward "The Jazz Singer." I hate to keep bringing this up in film reviews, and should probably just accept it as a sad part of recent American history, but I honestly did not see one, single person in this entire movie who wasn't white. I watched this in part to honor Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds - Debbie Reynolds was just wonderful in this film, Donald O'Connor was a fine dancer (who looks a lot like the remarkably talented Danny Kaye), and both Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse were perhaps the two best dancers not named Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers ever to grace the Hollywood stage (of the four, the only two who never danced together were Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers). Charisse, a Texan named Tula Finklea (!), had some of the longest and strongest legs I've seen on a classically trained dancer. The eponymous dance number is wonderful, of course, but surpassed in grandeur by the extended "Broadway Melody" sequence which was probably the most involved dance scene I've ever watched. "Singin' in the Rain" is a lot like Venice, Italy - it's something you should see, once - but I know of some older folks who think it is the high point in Hollywood history, and in a sense, they're right - it's magical without needing any computerized special effects, and that era is now gone - forever, I'm afraid, although I'm sure there will be individual films in the future that make do without electronic wizardry. And for the record, I think I prefer both "West Side Story" and perhaps even "The Sound of Music," but both of those had "Singin' in the Rain" to draw on, and 10+ years to think about it. Actually, in terms of "story," "Sweeney Todd" was far superior even though there was nary a dance to be found. If anyone knows where to find the "Broadway Melody of 1929," would you please write me? I've been looking for it, and cannot find it anywhere on the internet. A genuinely funny scene, where Gene Kelly is recalling his "sophisticated" past, and how the audiences were thrilled by his work:
  4. This guy is OG. "The Last Film Poster Painter of Taiwan" by Eliot Stein on bbc.com Feb 5, 2017 - "Casting a Spell" by Mengju Liu on atimes.com Sep 12, 2013 - "Yan Jhen-Fa Is the Last Practitioner of Movie-Poster Painting, a Once-Popular Art Form in Taiwan" by Wally Santana on ottawacitizen.com
  5. When I was a young adult, Pee-Wee Herman was everywhere - nearly as ubiquitous as Barney.This, until it all came crashing down one evening in a movie theater, where Rubens was arrested for lewd behavior, indecent exposure, etc. Yes, he was gay. Which is is precisely why I believe a Presidential pardon is a legitimate option (albeit not anytime soon) - times have changed, and while, on the surface, getting caught yanking it in a movie theater may seem like an "oops," back then it was a career-ending transgression. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but I pretty much give carte blanche on the "transgressions" of gay people, pre-acceptance: bathhouses, casual sex, The Follies, glory holes - hey, these people have sex drives like the rest of us, and even though, in reality, some of this behavior was extraordinarily risky (cf: "Dallas Buyers Club") it is *all* understandable, completely forgivable, and quite honestly, had I known the shame and humiliation gay and lesbian people were going through - all because they were *perfectly normal* and needed sex, as surely as someone needs a glass of water - I would have given them the keys to my house, gone out to dinner, and said, "Here, have fun - back in a couple of hours." Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm certainly open-minded to reading other opinions (no matter what your opinions, your viewpoints and perspectives will absolutely be tolerated here, as long as they don't involve politics, religion, or mean comments about other people. I realize the "Presidential pardon" comment is political, so you should feel free to ignore that, and simply discuss the issue in general - or anything else you wish to discuss about Reubens.) I do know that there were some issues down the road, regarding underage pornography, and sure, the line must be drawn somewhere - but I don't know any specifics regarding Mr. Reubens' situation; only about the career-ending incident in the movie theater, which I believe to be the height of intolerance and cruelty.
  6. I find Christopher Langan to be an intriguing character. I'm curious whether or not anyone sees a fundamental flaw in his theory of 'What I Would Do as Ruler of the World' - I'll tell you what *I* think it is, but I'll wait until others answer.
  7. That final sentence is very tough. 2011 to spring 2012, Pat Summitt was all there, visible, courageous, and still coaching. Now the impact of Alzheimer's has set in. In any case that 31 year record of excellence is mostly attributable to one courageous person. A very moving story. This is a fantastic post, and Pat Summitt deserves her own thread (as does Title IX). Every time I question humanity, I'm reminded of people like Pat Summitt, who I suppose can be compared to John Wooden in pure basketball terms, but Summitt had other obstacles that Wooden never had. Thank you for posting this - it makes you wonder what the Lady Vols would have been like without Summitt. And it also makes Mickey Dearstone sound like one heck of a great person. It should also be noted that in addition to her coaching, Summitt was an All-American player for the University of Tennessee - Martin, and played in several *major* international competitions including co-captaining the first-ever U.S. Women's National Team at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, winning a silver medal As the "Summitt summit," she was a 2012 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award there is. Even more impressive: look at the company she keeps in winning this medal due to her achievement in sports - the *only* other female on the list is Billie Jean King. although since the award is generally given to people who transcend sports, the number of females on the list will surely grow going forward - before 2000, only 9 medals total were given out to athletes, so this is a relatively new trend. Still, Pat Summitt is only the *second* female athlete in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  8. Mad Magazine was my supplement to Television for mischievous, childhood entertainment (sorry, gang, no internet back then!) I wasn't addicted to it or anything, but I really enjoyed it, to the point where I felt Cracked (1958-) was a cheesy substitute - I had no idea that Cracked dated back to the 1950s until just now; I thought it was introduced in the late 1960s (such is the mind of a child - there is no world outside their own immediate experiences). So I guess you could say I was a "fan" in the same way I was a fan of Star Trek, Twilight Zone, etc. (both of which I've only come to fully appreciate in the past couple of years). This thread about Pardoning Jack Johnson made an image pop into my head, which I found and attached to this post. I guess I kind of feel like that white hippy, and in fact my Google search was: "Mad Magazine identify with you, my black brother" because I remembered those exact words (which kind of shows you how silly I feel about myself sometimes). I thought there would be a one-in-a-million chance of finding just a comment about the issue; never in my wildest dreams did I think *the entire magazine* would be on the internet. It is *amazing* how much detail I remember about the issue - I used to read them, cover-to-cover. Anyway, while the screenshot of that one funny comic is on the Jack Johnson thread, the *whole Mar, 1972 issue* is right here! It's a monster .pdf file (almost 15 megs), so prepare yourself to do something else while it loads, and enjoy the memories. MadMagazine1972-03.pdf
  9. I was just hit with a gut punch. Randomly searching for an old friend, just in case he one day stumbled across this post, I just stumbled across this one. I am so sad right now it is unbelievable. I'm at a loss for words. I'll write this later. Bill ended the 2013 season as the #2-ranked player in the MATA (Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association) Men's 55-and-over and 60-and-over divisions. MATA runs the tournaments that players play when "ratings" (such as 4.0, 4.5, etc.) mean less than "rankings" (#2 in MATA, etc.) - playing MATA tournaments is another step up than playing in USTA leagues (although at the very highest level of USTA leagues (5.0 and 5.5), there is some overlap). The national championships (there are four in each age division each year: indoors, outdoor hard court, grass, and clay) are sanctioned by the USTA (United States Tennis Association), and MATA is a region within the USTA - this is the absolute top level that a tennis player competes in once professional careers are over. The last time I spoke with Bill was about fifteen years ago (when I moved to Virginia in the mid-90s we kind of lost touch) - I remember saying to him, "I've been following your results from a distance." He replied, "Yeah, I've been following yours too." There are some people you just don't imagine outliving - Bill Moldoch is one of those people for me. I just cannot imagine that he's no longer here. He was so fit - he didn't smoke, he didn't drink (that I know of), and he was on the tennis court for many hours each day giving lessons. Tennis was his life, and it was an honorable profession for an honorable man - not once have I ever seen Bill Moldoch angry. And there's another, equally tragic, perhaps even more tragic, player's passing I'm going to be writing about as well. Kevin, you're on-deck.
  10. We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture. Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence, popped it right in. That frog song wanting nothing but echo? We used that. Stirred it widely. Noticed the clouds while stirring. Called upon our ancient great aunts and their long slow eyes of summer. Dropped in their names. Added a mint leaf now and then to hearten the broth. Added a note of cheer and worry. Orange butterfly between the claps of thunder? Perfect. And once we had it, had smelled and tasted the fragrant syrup, placing the pan on a back burner for keeping, the sorrow lifted in small ways. We boiled down the lies in another pan till they disappeared. We washed that pan. -- Naomi Shihab Nye "Truth Serum" from You and Yours (2005)
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