We’ve had some unseasonably cool weather this week in New Orleans. It’s been a relief after last week’s constant rain. We’ve even had some sun, which was initially disorienting but I’m down with it.
It’s special election run-off day in the Louisiana-Second. An ugly and mendacious campaign was waged by the runner-up in the primary, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson. She wants a promotion after a disastrous tenure as state party chair and missing 85% of state senate votes last year. Talk about failing upward. I also happen to think that comparing another Democrat to Donald Trump is punching below the belt. I look forward to voting against her and for Troy Carter.
This week’s theme song was written in 1990 by Canadian singer-songwriter Shirley Elkhard and recorded by Bonnie Raitt for her 1991 album, Luck Of The Draw. It was a big hit for the Bonster. It was later used in the Julia Roberts-Dennis Quaid movie of the same title in 1995.
We have two versions of Something To Talk About for your listening pleasure: the Bonnie Raitt original and a 2016 version by Blood Sweat & Tears frontman David Clayton Thomas.
Was that bloody, sweaty, and teary enough for you lot? While we’re still wet, let’s jump to the break.
One more talk tune before launching into our second act:
We begin our second act in earnest with trash teevee, Bravo style. Not that anything on Bravo is all that earnest. or important for that matter. Having said that, it’s easy to imagine Oscar Wilde popping up on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as someone’s flamboyant and famous gay friend. Wilde loved hanging out with the rich and famous, after all.
Reality Show Reckoning: Things have been different on Bravo reality shows in the last year. Between the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, they’ve been obliged to deal with real world issues of mortality and race.
In fact, glamorous Atlanta “housewife” Porscha Williams has emerged as a BLM activist. Activism runs in her family: Civil Rights legend Hosea Williams was her grandfather.
Mama Speaker: It’s book excerpt time. It comes from Susan Page’s new Nancy Smash biography. This segment stresses Pelosi’s belief that her days as the stern but fair mother of five were what prepared her for Congressional leadership.
I got a huge kick out of this paragraph:
“Some days I didn’t even have time to wash my face,” Pelosi said of the era dominated by the demands of babies and toddlers. When she was carpooling her children to school in the morning, she would occasionally just throw a coat over her nightgown for the drive. There was the time that California’s young governor Jerry Brown came down from using an upstairs bathroom and asked, “What’s the name of your cat?” Until that moment, Nancy Pelosi had been unaware that her children were keeping a cat in the attic.
Kids and cats do the darndest things.
The Book Report:
I’m on the record as a Giants fans who hates the Dodgers, #FTD. But I practice a different kind of sports hate: I don’t automatically demean those who play for the Dodgers. I’ve never said that the following ballplayers suck: Dons Drysdale and Sutton, Ron Cey, Orel Hershiser, Clayton Kershaw, and certainly not Sandy Koufax. I make an exception, however, for Steve Garvey.
Jane Leavy’s wonderful book about the greatest Jewish player in MLB history was published in 2002. I’ve been wanting to read it for years and finally have.
It’s as much a cultural history of the 1950’s and ’60’s as it is a baseball book.
For five years, Sandy Koufax was the greatest pitcher in the universe. He led the Dodgers to three pennants and two world championships before retiring at the age of 30. Sports medicine was primitive back then and Koufax pitched his arm off. Dodger manager Walt Alston also abused Koufax’s arm in a way that no modern manager would. Ouch.
Koufax entered the realm of folk herodom when he declined to pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins and Fritz Mondale’s buddy Mudcat Grant. It was Yom Kippur and Koufax is Jewish. Case closed. The Dodgers won the series anyway.
Sportswriters had a hard time figuring Sandy Koufax out. He was reserved and read books. That led to them calling him reclusive and strange. Leavy makes a strong case that they were full of shit. I concur.
It’s grading time. I give Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy an Adrastos Grade of A-.
This song has nothing to do with baseball or Koufax, but I like it. Bruce Springsteen and the Hollies get the last word of our second act.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I didn’t care for the Oliver Stone biopic, Nixon. But casting Joan Allen as Pat Nixon was a masterstroke.
Movie List: After featuring A Twist Of Lemmon on Wednesday, it was inevitable that I’d do a Jack Lemmon list. This was another tough one as he did so many good films. He was a terrific dramatic actor, but perhaps the best comic actors ever so I leaned in that direction.
My Top Ten Favorite Jack Lemmon Movies
- Some Like It Hot
- The Apartment
- The Odd Couple
- Glengarry Glen Ross
- The Fortune Cookie
- Days Of Wine and Roses
- Grumpy Old Men
- It Should Happen To You
- Mister Roberts
Trivia Time: My high school buddy, Darlene Chan was one of the producers of Grumpy Old Men.
I’ll let Wes Montgomery lead us to the next segment:
TCM Clip Of The Week: Three of the Lemmon top ten list were directed and co-written by Billy Wilder. Here’s Jack on Billy:
Saturday GIF Horse: We kicked things off with a Bravo segment, so I’m featuring GIFs from the Real Housewives shows that Dr. A and I watch. One has to limit one’s trash intake. I’m probably going to hell for knowing who Juicy Joe is.
New Jersey: Jackie, Melissa, and Margaret with some Tre talk.
Atlanta: See Kandi Burruss roll her eyes. Roll Kandi roll.
Beverly Hills: Blond bombshells Dorit and Erika Jayne share a moment.
The last word of the segment goes to the aforementioned Kandi Burruss with a song that she debuted on The Real Housewives Of Atlanta:
Saturday Soundie: This is not technically a soundie, but how could I resist Duke and Billie together?
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.
Saturday Classic: Tapestry was one of the most successful albums of the 1970’s. Carole King was a veteran songwriter who finally decided to move out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
What’s not to love about an album cover with a cat on it?
That’s all for this week. The last word goes to the stars of Billy Wilder’s The Apartment: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. I hope that’s not too many macs for your taste.