Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stay Tuned...

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately, but things have been so crazy between work and submitting articles that shamefully I haven't had much time to attend to my blog lately. I hope to rectify that soon later this week, when I have some time off.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Still Unforgettable

It behooves me how Jessica Simpson supposedly has the number-one selling album in the country right now. The lady (and I don't use that term lightly) who should be ruling our music charts is Natalie Cole. She just released a new album of her take on old standards, "Still Unforgettable", which includes a new duet with her late dad, to the tune "Walkin' My Baby Back Home." Now if you're rolling your eyes and saying to yourself, "Oh no, not again...duets with dead people are so 1990s" let me tell you that Ms. Cole rocked the house with a performance of the song on The View earlier this week. What made it all the more remarkable is that her breathing was noticeably labored during the pre-interview with the View women - the result, she says, of treatment for Hepatitis B. Cole is currently undergoing chemotherapy and admits to taking oxygen tanks on the road with her (not unlike a musical hero of mine, Bobby Darin) and yet she belted out "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" as if she had merely a mild headache (all while looking like a movie star.)

I haven't had the chance to sample the album yet, but it includes "Come Rain Or Come Shine", "Lollipops And Roses", and "The Best Is Yet To Come." I think it's safe to say our girl Nat is still making our man Nat quite proud.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hot Dog Killer!

From the 1960s and the wonders of YouTube comes a bizarre propaganda video that was meant to scare people into not taking LSD. Note the ominous music when she orders a hot dog. I believe that the only thing it did succeed in doing was making people laugh so hard they split their guts (well, if they weren't already stuffed with hot dogs.) Boys and girls, what can we learn from watching this video?

1. Hot dogs can talk.
2. Hot dogs look like troll dolls.
3. Hot dogs have a wife and seven children at home.
4. Hot dogs scream like a woman when you bite into them.

Mmmmmm...anyone hungry?

Separated by a Past Life Retro Couple(s) #3

I love this wedding photo of the Obamas:



And then I remembered why I love it so much:

Friday, September 05, 2008

Julian Lennon: Too Late for Goodbyes?

What has Julian Lennon been up to lately? I had to do some research because it’s been ten years since he released his last album (Photograph Smile) and because I’ve been listening to songs from his first one, Valotte, which was so darn good (my favorite track is Say You’re Wrong.) Julian was a babyfaced cutie when we got a taste of his talent in the mid-80s. Remember the music video for Too Late For Goodbyes, which featured a leaping hippie figure suggested by many to represent his late and famous father John Lennon? I watched it on YouTube recently and had forgotten how young Julian was. His voice, looks, and songwriting ability, so uncannily like his dad’s, are still as disarming as the first time we were introduced to him just a few short years after his father was killed.



His story is one for the “where are they now?” specials. The media instantly latched onto Julian’s strong resemblance and famous last name but I seem to remember that throughout the interviews he gave to teen magazines at the time, he handled it all with class and tried to distance himself from his musical predecessor. Who could blame him, given the fact that of both Lennon sons, Julian was unfairly given the short end of the sibling stick. Julian was an unplanned baby and John was all but forced into marrying his mother Cynthia. He recalls that John once told him he “came out of a whiskey bottle on a Saturday night” and that Paul McCartney was the Beatle who spent the most time playing with him. When Beatlemania swept the world by storm, the public didn’t know that Julian and Cynthia even existed, as it was believed the knowledge that one of the Beatles had a wife and child would be detrimental to their image. He was treated badly by Yoko Ono – even after John’s death - and was pretty much left standing in the shadows after Sean was born. Photograph Smile was dedicated to Julian’s late stepfather, the man that Julian says was more of a father towards him then his real dad.

Valotte was a huge hit for Julian, and three hits songs came from the album. His follow-up album flopped however, and Julian soon sought solace in alcohol. He had a tiny role playing, ironically, a bartender in the movie Leaving Las Vegas.

The good news is Julian has a new album coming out this year, and his website will be relaunched to coincide with the release. He got married a few years ago (ironically, to a woman named Lucy) and seems to have turned his life around, away from the spotlight.

And if you ask me, of the two Lennon sons, he runs rings around the whiny, weird, effeminate-voiced Sean – a kid who once proclaimed that he didn’t even like Beatles fans. I’m totally psyched for a Julian Lennon comeback.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fortune Cookie Says: Cute Chinese-Inspired Retro Toys in Your Future

My local newspaper featured these kits recently and I dare say, I don't think all of them are just for little girls. A British company called Wu & Wu makes these brightly colored, Chinese-inspired toys and accessories. The pigtail kit, featuring real wool pom-poms, is adorable, as well as the baking and sewing kits, and they hover around a $14.95 retail price.





You can order them directly from the Wu&Wu site or find a list of retailers in the U.S. that carry them. I found a U.S. company called FridgeDoor that allows for online ordering and carries even more trinkets including a coin purse and pencil box.

Why not introduce the child (as well as your inner child) in your life to some retro-inspired trinkets that don't require batteries?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Go Retro's Retro Hottie of the Month: Paul Newman!

Picture courtesy AARP Magazine.

It's more than just the azure peepers and the salad dressing; it's the fact that Paul Newman may just about be one of the few "nice guys" left in Hollywood who has remained married to the same woman for half a century - almost as long as his movie career. Take that, Jude Law! And Charlie Sheen...and just about 85% of anyone male in Hollywood today.

Putting iPhone Fans Through the Old Ringer

Hello, I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! My Mac is *almost* back. I'm just waiting for my new modem to arrive in the mail either today or tomorrow, and hopefully I can get it working to begin posting more often again. I missed having Internet access over a three-day weekend!

Now onto today's post: Steve Greenlee of the Boston Globe sounds like an old-fashioned guy after my own heart. He wrote this very funny, sarcastic editorial aimed at everyone who thinks their cell phone is the coolest thing they ever toted around in the pocket. I'm copying and pasting the whole piece here - read it when you have a moment; trust me, it's worth it.



myPhone
Think you're so cool with that tiny phone that takes pictures and gets the web? Mine's better.

I got this cool new phone. I can call anywhere in the country with it. Let's say I'm in Massachusetts and you're in Ohio. I can call you and talk, and you'll hear me just fine. Or let's say you're farther away, like in Oregon. Same deal. You can hear everything I say. Unless I'm mumbling or something or I'm eating when I'm talking. Or I hang up on you, because you're being an idiot. Then you probably won't hear me.

Or let's say you're in another country or somewhere exotic. I can call you there, too. Maybe you're in Canada, or Alaska. You'd think maybe we couldn't talk until you got back to Oregon. But it's just like you're in Ohio. I can hear you, and you can hear me. What are you doing in Alaska, anyway? How's global warming up there? Seen any polar bears? I didn't think so.

My phone has big buttons for all the numbers. Not like on your phone, where you mean to press 5 but you accidentally press 4 because the pads are small and your fingers are fat. It's not your fault you've got fat fingers; your mother probably had fat fingers, too. But I press 5 and it dials 5. Not so much a dial, really, but a beep. I mean, who has a dial phone anymore? Dial M for Murder came out more than 10 years ago. They don't even make dial phones anymore. Well, they make phones that look like dial phones but actually have push-buttons where you would stick your finger through. Why do they call it Dial M anyway? Nobody uses the letters on the buttons. Why didn't they call it Dial 6 for Murder? That would make more sense.

I don't have to carry my phone around in my pocket. Not like yours. My phone hangs on my wall, like it's a piece of art. Which it is, compared with your phone. Your phone bulges in your pocket. I'd hate the feel of a phone in my pocket. Especially if my pants were a little loose. My phone would weigh them down, and I'd have to keep hitching them up. No such hassle with my phone. I don't go carrying my phone around with me. Also, I don't want my pants to ring every time someone calls me.

I've heard your ring tones. You think they're pretty cool, don't you? Guess what: No one wants to hear the chorus of "Macho Man." Certainly not every time your mother calls you. My phone rings just like the phone in It's a Wonderful Life. And I didn't have to pay a gazillion dollars to download the sound. You know the scene, where George is in Mary's house, and her phone rings, and it's what's-his-face, and George and Mary are listening together on the phone, and Mary's mother is listening in on the other line. Can your phone sound like that phone? Don't say it can when it can't. You can be so obnoxious sometimes.

So your phone can go on the Internet. So what? If the Internet catches on, then that might come in handy. But I'm not holding my breath. Also, if I want to see things on the Internet, I'll use my computer. And I don't. Because I tried buying Tuesdays With Morrie from Amazon once, and I called them and then "logged on" to their site, or whatever you call it, and guess what? I couldn't get in. Apparently you can't be on the phone and on the Internet at the same time. So what use is that on your phone? You sure got suckered.

I saw you trying to read The New York Times on your phone. You can be so stupid sometimes. How much of the paper do you think you can see on that tiny screen? I bought a much cheaper version of the newspaper for a dollar, and look how many pages it has. There's no comparison. Besides, if I didn't have a copy of the paper with me and I wanted to know what was in it, I would just use my phone to call someone to read me whatever I needed from his paper. Or I would call The New York Times and tell them my carrier threw my paper in a puddle and it's soaked, so could they send out another copy. Now I see you're watching the Red Sox on your phone. You clown. The players all look like ants. Come to my house and watch the games on my fancy color TV. On second thought, don't.

Your phone takes pictures? Big deal. I have a camera for that kind of thing. I've had it for years, and it works just fine. I don't have to plug it into a computer to get the pictures out either. I just take the picture, and - poof - the photo comes right out of the bottom of the camera. Try that on your new phone.

Steve Greenlee is the Globe's Living editor. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.

© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company

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