8.31.15 “That is your real name, is it? Not just advertising?”

Welcome, classic August New York heat wave!

Welcome my husband back home from several days spent stewing in his own juices in the backwoods of upstate New York! He’ll be doing his own laundry.

♦ Stuff I got up to at work today:

RIP Wes Craven. I’m not a huge horror movie fan, but he made the ones that were worth watching: Funny, self-reflexive, and in their own way, progressive. (Plus, great tag lines: “They wanted to see something different, but something different saw them first.”)

Thing I couldn’t include in the article: My pal Lynda won the night on Jeopardy! because she knew Craven’s name. True story.


They wouldn’t let me include a clip of the John Cleese scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, though clearly it was warranted.

President Obama hits the trail again! Isn’t this a national security threat, though, mouse-soaked-urine or not?

♦ On a different note: I can’t be the only one who perceives a correlation in the apparent rise of sexual assaults on campus, plus signs like these from this year’s incoming batch, and the effort/budget put behind abstinence-only sex ed. Setting free a lot of inexperienced, hormonal, completely (or nearly so) uneducated (in matters of sexual education) young men into the world (and the similarly inexperienced, hormonal, uneducated young women they will encounter) to bumble around and figure it out for themselves is, and will continue to be, a recipe for disaster. The ones who don’t know what’s going on will be led by the true predators in the group. Young people need to be educated first about the bodies and minds they own, then about the bodies and minds they will encounter. This won’t stop sexual assaults on campus, but it will reduce them, I’m certain. Teach your children.

♦ Random email rejections of both short stories and the novel land like toothpicks in the heart. You notice they’re there, and they hurt, then you pull them out and try to go swashbuckling again.

♦ “Jesus, Hans, if you don’t come to the meetings how are we ever going to fully develop our cultural sensitivity?” What happens when someone doesn’t think a thing through the whole way. Or even a little way.

♦ That which doesn’t make me crazy, means I’m too old to be bothered any more, I guess: A video tape I made in 1988 of me and my friends goofing around with a fake newscast is something I’ve always wanted to transfer over to digital; it’s astounding the VHS tape has survived all these years. So I finally got around to doing the dub on my VHS/DVD player on Sunday (it’s been in the works for at least two years now) and failed to save it to disc once the dub was made. Ah well, rewind and do it again. Except the leader came off of the reel in the process. Ah well … look on YouTube, figure out how to re-thread it (which means opening up the VHS tape case and doing it manually). Done. Popped it back in and the reels turn … but there’s just colored snow. If I was still in my 20s, I would be obsessing over this. As it is, I’m sad but I think it can be saved (professionally) and there may be one or two other copies out there, if my buds are as good at retaining old crap as I am. What surprised me most, though, was that I didn’t have a meltdown. I would very much have melted down years ago. So is my heart harder or wiser?

♦ I’ll post one or two of the homemade music videos I made in the days to come, but meanwhile, this is a clip I rescued showing what happened when I asked a question while in the audience at a British game show in 1992. (Man, my hair was long.)

My fate to be an anglophile named “Randee.” We all have our burdens to bear.




  1. Anne Louise Bannon on 9/02/15 at 4:16 am

    Loved the game show clip. Reminds me a bit of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on this side of the pond. Glad to hear you’re not melting down as much anymore. Nothing like the wisdom of age, such as it is. BTW, Michael just told me that if you can’t find someone near you who can fix your VHS and get it converted to digital for a reasonable amount of money, to send the tape to him/us and he’ll see what he can do. He used to be in that biz and frequently uses those same skills as an archivist.

    • Randee on 9/02/15 at 6:25 pm

      Yeah, that whole “you get a point” type “game show” format in which they have comedians riff on the news has been around for yonks. (Stephen Fry’s “Qi” was one of those, and it recently aired on BBC America). It was kind of a surreal experience; they asked us all to write a question on a card when we first entered the studio, then some of us were given cards to ask the question — I don’t know what I wanted to ask, but they gave me a pre-arranged answer! Maybe some eagle-eyed producer saw my name and said “this is too good to pass up.”

      VHS: That’s awesome, thank you! There is a place in the city here that I think can do whatever needs doing for around $12 but if they fail I will totally let you know. Always helpful to know where you can find an archivist….!