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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2005-07-10 - 3:15 p.m.

I played swap-the-CD with Megan from the Roulette Sisters and am very glad to have done so. Their disc is 11 slices of sultry pie, including songs by Memphis Minnie, Mississippi John Hurt, and my beloved Andrews Sisters. All three Roulette Sisters possess amazing pipes suggesting dust bowl toughness with a touch of dance-hall sweetness. One of the R-sisters is the Jug Addicts' Mamie Minch, which is such an appropriately vintage-sounding name.

I promise this will not be a regular feature ("things I saw on TV at the gym!"), but today as I was all a-jog on the treadmill, M*A*S*H was on, with closed captions. Radar O'Reilly sez, "I love nurses."

Then someone w/a remote started changing channels, but the closed caption "I love nurses," lingered onscreen, under a shot of Mayor Bloomberg talking to the camera. The caption remained through several channel changes, providing my laugh-out-loud comic relief for the day.

Everybody on TV loves nurses!

Still reading Specimen Days, but I took a short break yesterday to read, in one sitting, as a sort of balm for my hangover, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, Gene Wilder's memoirs.

I will drop everything to read an entertainment bio, and all the better if it's actually touching and funny and smart. I like that Wilder has an organizing theme for his book, which is the idea of fateful encounters and serendipitous events. And while he is kind, generous, and gentlemanly (definitely not a kiss-and-tell book), he is admirably honest about the important people in his life. This means that he describes his marriage to Gilda Radner in all its weirdness, and his working relationship to Richard Pryor which was artistically fruitful but not very pleasant.

He doesn't spend much time discussing my favorite of his roles, but he does share a brief anecdote about it...Remember the scene where we first meet Willy Wonka and think for a brief moment that he's got a limp and needs a cane? Then he breaks into a somersault and stands up. That wordless bit was written by Wilder himself, as a way of indicating the character's mind-game mentality. Wilder bargained with the studio that he would only do the film if they added this self-written scene, and they agreed.

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