Tuesday, April 25, 2006

can you handle this?

Beautiful Ava...
Yes, Shelfers. It's that time once again when we take out our dart and throw it upon the big circled target that is the media. Did we hit the bullseye? I'm not sure... I don't even really play darts, I just play a dart player on TV. That of course makes me uniquely qualified to present to you today's media roundup. And if you don't mind- today's roundup focuses a little more on the ladies. Do you mind? We don't.


Top Shelf Pick of the Week
All the Roadrunning- Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris
Years ago, during the early days of MTV (which I did not get at home, but friends did) they played the Dire Straits song Money For Nothing all the time. It was, back then, a very cool and innovative music video. I got the album, and really enjoyed it. Then, a couple of years later, I went to see The Princess Bride (another Top Shelf Classic). I loved the movie and thought one of its strengths was the music- especially the theme song "Storybook Love." It was a haunting, romantic, and down to earth song that truly evoked not only the romance of the movie, but the spirit and the scenery of the film as well. I rushed out to buy the soundtrack and discovered that the music was created and produced by Mr. Dire Straits himself, Mark Knopfler. Wow. That was unexpected.

Since then, I've been pleasantly surprised to see that the number of "rock and roll" artists who work in film score music has grown. To musicians like Knopfler, Stewart Copeland, and Danny Elfman (who really started out with film scores), the chance to record is more than a rock and roll MTV lifestyle- it is about exploring and expanding their music. Imagine my recent surprise when I discovered that Mark has released an album with fellow artist, Emmylou Harris. Created and recorded over the past six years, this album is a collection of songs that have Mark's signature style but combines easily with Emmylou Harris' melodic bluegrassy, almost Irish-folk singing. You would think that this was an odd pairing- but once you hear some tracks, you'll find yourself just enjoying the music. I've only heard some tracks-(Beyond My Wildest Dreams in particular is really good) but the album has definately moved up on my "must have" list, so I'll be enjoying the whole thing soon. Maybe you will find that this is an album best heard sitting on a porch swing or rocker, while sipping you favorite beverage and watching the sun go down. Lilting, wistful, and unpretentious - All the Roadrunning is worth picking up.

UPDATE! (4-27-06)

Just need to add to our list the That's Entertainment Box Set from Rhino Records. This 6 CD set explores the music from the MGM musicals from the years 1929 to 1957. If you've ever seen the That's Entertainment films, or if you are a fan of musicals, you need to do yourself a favor and pick up this box set. All the music from the clips are here and the breadth and depth of the MGM library is well represented. Rhino does a great job with remastering and bringing back movie soundtracks (I have the Seven Brides For Seven Brothers Soundtrack among others and the quality is excellent) and the Box sets are no exception. We thought the release date on this was in May- but it actually debuted this week. If you have the previous set produced about 10 years ago- it still might be worth your time as there is the new sixth disc bring the track count to 135, and all of the music has been remastered. As Fred and Cyd sang in Band Wagon, "The stage is a world, the world is a stage of entertainment!"


Ava Gardner, by Lee Server
Ava was a beautiful glamourous movie star who wringed every drop she could out of life. (By the way, John McElwee over at Greenbrier Picture Shows has Norma Shearer part II for this week's Glamour Starter. Hey John- how about a Glamour Starter for the lovely, and fellow North Carolinian, Ava?) Married three times before she was 35 (Sinatra, Artie Shaw, and Mickey Rooney), I think Ava is being introduced to a newer generation of classic film fans through the story of the men in her life, rather than through her films. That is a shame. She wasn't a fantastic actress as much as she was a fantastic beauty, but that doesn't mean she didn't hold her own on the screen. She was vivacious and her work in several films, like Showboat, Mogambo, The Killers, and The Barefoot Contessa was good - especially Contessa. Three of her films were movies based on Hemingway books. I've always wondered what the result would've been had she done more Film Noir. Her last really good film role was in the soon-to-be released on DVD, Night of the Iguana. I think her talent was always taking a backseat to her beauty- much like Marylin. Ava lived hard, and it showed as she got older. Maybe Server, who previous biographic subject was the equally hard living Robert Mitchum, will deliver a biography that is less judgemental of its subject as other previous biographies have been. Otherwise- we still have Ava's own words in her autobiography, Ava: My Story.

A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation by Catherine Allgor.
Dolley Madison is a very unique figure in many ways, one of which was her unflappable style of being able to be both diplomat and First Lady all in the same evening. Her charm and skill wasn't lost on those who knew her. Senator Henry Clay, no slouch himself, referred to her as a "master politician." She was by the time of her death in 1849 one the most celebrated first ladies to have hit Washington, DC. Today, it almost seems somewhat trite to look back at her, other than to mention she saved portraits from the White House when the British attacked and burned DC. It may be time for us to reaquaint ourselves with such a wonderful and strong person from a time in our nation's history when we needed such people.

Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty by William Hogeland.
Wow- and you thought the whole tax day thing was rough. Try being a tax collector back in the day before e-file! One of the first national Federal taxes did not sit well with citizens, particularly those accustomed to homebrews. The Whiskey tax elicited a strong response as armed men attack tax collectors and sent them back home empty handed, if they were lucky. Those attacks became more organized and the men grew into a small scale rebellion. The frontier men saw the tax as a threat to their economy, and Washington saw it as a threat to the nation's burgeoning sovereignty. These things were serious, people... it wasn't too far removed from Pre-constitution days when that sovereign paper to alot of people was still paper. The young nation had to exert itself and an army was sent to the frontier. The roots of our national military, tax laws, and even processes of the Federal government all have relevence and roots with this story.

Express Lane Meals: What to Keep on Hand, What to Buy Fresh for the Easiest-Ever 30-Minute Meals by Rachael Ray
Alright, I know what you are thinking- yes, she is very cute, but the lady can cook. Some people love her and some people...don't, but I can't think of ever hearing anyone say they hate her. Not like I've heard people say they hate Martha (you know of whom I speak). Why this cookbook? Well, if you have seen her show, you know Rachael is all about efficiency and time management in the kitchen. Her show is called 30-Minute Meals, after all. This book is aimed at not only giving you easy recipes, but planning and process, but also how to stock your kitchen with essentials that will allow you to only have to buy a couple of items in the 10-item or less lane every so often to make that night's dinner. (Get it- Express Lane Meals? Shelfers are sharp!) Also included is information on what to keep fresh in the fridge, as well as what needs to be in the pantry. Quick dinner doesn't have to mean casserole in a box or soup in a can. It can be good. And Rachael is cute as a button to boot. Did I say that already? Anyway, I like cooking shows and cookbooks that teach and instruct and make you a better cook, instead of a collection of recipes that are too hard, too expensive, and too elaborate to consider trying on your family. When time is of the essence, health and taste doesn't always have to be secondary.


Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory.
It used to be that MGM was the king of the musical. Elaborate sets and costumes, wonderful composers and directors, and of course the top musical stars- its no wonder it was called the dream factory. This five disc set contains the musicals Summer Stock, It's Always Fair Weather, Three Little Words, Til the Clouds Roll By, and Ziegfeld Follies. Ziegfeld Follies is an all-star review of some of the acts and songs that were part of Flo Ziegfeld's legendary Broadway shows. Three Little Words and Til the Clouds Roll By are biopics of some famous composers, Jerome Kern and Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. It's Always Fair Weather stars Gene Kelly and the lovely Cyd Charisse and serves as a sequel of sorts to the musical On the Town, which starred Kelly and Frank Sinatra. The three serviceman buddies from that flick have now been discharged from the Navy and gone their separate ways. Cyd Charisse works out a way to reunite them. Summer Stock stars Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Gloria DeHaven. Kelly is trying to convert Judy Garland's barn into a summer theater (isn't somebody always?). Kelly enlists the aid of Judy's sister, played by DeHaven, who is well aware of the farm's financial difficulties. This musical proved to be Judy's last.


Tonight- NCIS and The Unit packs a wallop. Seems like Abbey is being stalked at the NCIS and it seems as if The Unit will find itself in a POW situation. Check it out.
Tomorrow night is the night for The Amazing Race. The Mighty Phil K. has the teams headed Down Under, which is his neck of the woods. We shall see if B.J. and Tyler can pull back into contention from last weeks non-elemination round setback.
On South Park, Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny stumble into a cave and are trapped inside. Cartman discovers a treasure and tries to find out a way to get him and the treasure out, without the other guys finding out of course. After last weeks disappointing and sort of dull Towlie episode (the lamest character ever, as described by Cartman) lets hope the guys are back in form.

Shelf Picks on TCM
April 25th: Bell, Book and Candle (1959) Witch Kim Novak enchants James Stewart in this film made shortly after the two did Vertigo.
April 26th: Sullivan's Travels (1941) Veronica Lake and Joel McRae stars in this Preston Sturgess comedy classic. Later check out Myrna Loy and Cary Grant in two films, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) and The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer (1947).
April 27th: Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr star in two adventure packed films- The Prisoner Of Zenda (1952) and King Solomon's Mines (1950).
April 28th: A valentine to classic film fans in this 1990 film by Giuseppe Tornatore, Cinema Paradiso (1990)
April 29th: Richard Burton stars in the Cold War Spy classic, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965). Later, Marilyn Monroe gets mixed up with modern cowboys Clark Gable and Montgomery Cliff in The Misfits (1961).
April 30th: The king of Radio Comedy, Jack Benny stars alongside the wonderful Carole Lombard in her last film, the classic To Be or Not To Be. Next, be sure to check out this classic film of all screwball comedies, Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby (1938).

Well that's all for this week. How about go outside for a change and play some ball with your kid? The movies and other stuff will wait, trust me.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

They named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck, and the Fuhrer is going to end up as a piece of cheese!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

another fine roundup

It's a belated media roundup today, Shelfers. A day late, but not necessarily a dollar short. Who has an extra dollar lying around anyway? Have you bought gas lately?

Top Shelf Pick of the Week
The TCM Archives: The Laurel and Hardy Collection
I remember watching my first Stan and Ollie short on a Saturday morning PBS show that ran old comedy shorts when I was a kid. It was The Music Box. I remember laughing my head off at the funny man who took his bowler off and whimpered and struggled to get out his words while the chubby guy, with such a faux dignified and precise air and manner of speaking and moving, just stood at him and glared. Immediately after, the show ran a Three Stooges short, called An Ache in Every Stake, that had a somewhat similar gag with a long staircase in the beginning. That was enough to start me on the delinquent path rife with classic film and shorts. I could provide anecdotal evidence that many a classic film fan (especially of the male persuasion) cut their teeth on Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy or The Three Stooges, or in my case both.
The TCM Archives is a delightful series that needs to be encouraged to do more of the same- which is why the link provided is to the TCM online store. This set includes two full length features, Bonnie Scotland and The Devil's Brother, some clips of the duo from other films, and the wonderful TCM documentary about short subjects Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story. TCM recently reran the doc, written by Leonard Maltin and narrated by Chevy Chase, and I found it to be wonderful and informative- very much worth watching again and having as part of your film library.
Bonnie Scotland and The Devil's Brother are excellent films, which I haven't seen in years, but aren't necessarily the best they ever made. No complaints here, however, for while some other Laurel and Hardy films are available on DVD, more often or not they are poor prints or cheaply contrived DVDs. This is perhaps the first DVD of the duo that really packs the DVD punch that they deserve. Leonard Maltin and Richard Bann provide commentary on the films. To us, commentary is a 50-50 thing. Sometimes it's great, other times it's a waste of time. Most of the commentary I have heard Leonard Maltin provide is informative and always interesting - so give it a whirl.
Here's to hoping there is more first rate Stan and Ollie on the way. They built such a loyal following in many incarnations- during their original run with Hal Roach and when their films began appearing during the early days of television. Their work has influenced many a comedian and actor- so introducing them to a new generation kind of keeps the influence alive. Fox has also recently released a DVD set of the Stan and Ollie films made while at Fox in their later years. These films are not as great as the stuff made during their heyday, but still worth seeing. John McElwee has a great post on the Fox set and the films over at Greenbrier Picture Shows, and another post in honor of Ollie's birthday.

Love Happy
This is not first rate Marx Brothers material, but it is the last movie that really featured the three brothers together in top billing. While they had several other projects after this, this film was the last for the Marx Brothers. So if you have the two previous box sets, there is no excuse to not own this film and complete the collection. The brothers had already "retired" before and this originally was written and concieved by Harpo as a solo project, but he asked his brothers to come on board-partly to help continue the financial backing. That being said, its not truly a bad film, and can stand on it's own merits. Harpo has some good moments, and it's classic to see Groucho with Marylin Monroe. Despite what the cover would have you believe, Marylin has a very small part in the film, and the always delightful Margaret Dumont is missed. Marylin Monroe is no Margaret Dumont, and Margaret Dumont is no Marylin Monroe- for obvious reasons. As the wise sage once said, "Don't cross the streams. Crossing the streams is very bad." Go out and pick it up for the final bookend of your Marxian collection. It is slated to be out this week- but for some reason most online retailers are not showing this week's release as available. If any sharp-eyed Shelfers can tell us why- or locate a copy- let us know in the comments section.

The Complete Mr. Arkadin (Criterion Collection)
This is one of Orson Well's most mysterious films. With a structure similar to Citizen Kane and based in part on Welles' character from The Third Man and a the same-named radio series, Harry Lime. Mr. Arkadin is a wealthy amnesiac living in Spain who hires an American smuggler to investigate his past, to discover any skeletons that might come back to haunt him. We haven't seen this one yet, but we hope to soon.

Last night's NCIS and The Unit was a great one-two punch of television, with The Unit being probably one of the best episodes to date. It still kind of wierds me out to see that David Mamet not only created it, but has written several episodes and directed at least one that I know of. Sure, I normally think of Glengerry Glen Ross when I think of Mamet, but a closer look shows several other things that I didn't realize he had worked on The Untouchables and episodes of The Sheild and Hill Street Blues. Anyway, last night's episode really underlined the sacrifice of the soldiers and their families, and how that sacrifice is not always a temporary thing. Very powerful TV.

Tonight is the night for The Amazing Race and South Park with some familiar favorites. On The Amazing Race the camels are back. The teams are in Oman, and as always the challenges that involve the camels are difficult for the teams and humorous for viewers. The competition is perhaps fiercer in this season than in season's past. The most annoying teams (in my estimation) have all fallen- with Lake and Michelle being the final one that got on my nerves. And there hasn't been a non-elim round yet. This season is shaping up to be one of my favorites.
Towlie is back on South Park in the new episode entitled, A Million Little Fibers. From Southparkstudios.com's description: "Towelie gets over his drug addition and writes a moving book about his experiences. Thanks to Oprah’s support, the book becomes a best seller and his story inspires millions to turn their lives around. However, when he’s caught in a lie by the grand dame of daytime television, Towelie’s old habits start to look might appealing."
This is the first episode of South Park that has really been not-so self referrential, so it should be interesting. Nice to see Towlie back too.

The Shelf's TCM highlights for the week:
April 20th: Harold Lloyd dominates the line-up with Safety Last (1923), The Freshman (1925), Welcome Danger (1929) , and The Milky Way (1936). Also don't miss the little seen It's a Wonderful World (1939) starring Claudette Colbert and James Stewart.
April 21st: Bing Crosby and Bob Hope travel The Road to Utopia (1946) while family man Cary Grant and lovable wife Myrna Loy try to live the American dream in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
April 22nd: John Wayne puts the exclamation point in Hatari! (1962)
April 23rd: TCM has some great adventure films with The African Queen(1951) , Gunga Din (1939) , and The Four Feathers (1939).
April 24th: Don't miss Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in a Top Shelf favorite: Ball Of Fire (1941)

Finally- just for kicks and your entertainment pleasure.... Watching the last Top Shelf Pick of the Week DVD The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother made me look for some more Marty Feldman hilarity. Courtesy of You Tube a classic sketch from the British show, At Last the 1948 Show which starred Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and pre-python John Cleese and Graham Chapman. Enjoy...

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

He doesn't want me! He wants the other monkey!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

the easter beagle is comin' to town

Dang, Linus was right.
It's winding up Easter week - take a look a Maggie's Farm for some -as always- great commentary and immigration and other news items, but also for some interesting comments on some of the different religious significance of Easter week.

Even though it was a very slow media release week and we had no media roundup - that doesn't mean we don't have a Top Shelf Pick of the Week. Au Contraire, mon frere.
Top Shelf Pick of the Week
The Imaginary World/Tick Tock Toys
Image copyright to Don Goodsell. More at his site.Dan Goodsell provides a wonderful trip down nostalgia lane. We chronicle and comment on many things here at The Shelf, but pop culture is always a recurring topic. I discovered Mr. Goodsell's site a couple of years ago and was fascinated by what I saw. What he has done for several years is to document the material culture of the late 20th Century. Pictures of old cereal boxes, candy, other food products, theme parks, Halloween makeup kits, etc. are all there. Including this 70s Paas Easter coloring kit. (Some Easter images are located at his site here.) The image at the left belongs to Dan and his site and it is just one of many wonderful images you can view. He maintains not only the pictures - a sort of virtual museum of kid's popculture from the 50s thru the 70s - but he also has artwork and a one panel comic strip as well as a great blog. In fact, if you played Mad Libs as a kid, the blog has some great Mad Lib images up- check it out. Be careful - if you go, you could spend hours just checking everything out. Heck, if you were a kid in the 80s, you might even remember some of this stuff- some of it was still around. He also has a book, co-authored with Steven Roden, titled Krazy Kids Food that looks fantastic. It's available thru Amazon. Hopefully I will be able to get one soon and post a full review here at The Shelf. Thanks, Dan for all the work and the visual preservation of our material culture. If you were a kid during the 50s, 60s, or 70s- go take a look, and tell Mr. Toast we sent ya.

In the meantime - we know what you Shelfers have been asking for- and we intend to deliver. It's time for a look at Animated Easter Specials.

Easter Animation
Growing up as a little kid in the 1970s meant seeing Primetime animated specials in their Hey kid, go long!heyday. Old pros like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and some others had been around for a while - but even more were being produced in the 70s. So you had not only the standards, but new classics coming out almost every year. The bulk of the Easter animated specials were made during the 70s and into the early 80s.

What - no more new specials!While some contend that primetime specials fizzled out by the early 80s, the production of new specials and the promotion and airing of specials continued to be strong well into the late 80s. The mid 80s saw new specials from Garfield, some new Peanuts specials, Fat Albert, Looney Tunes, and some Disney specials (also using old cartoon footage with new bridging animation or live action). For example, Garfield's Halloween Special premiered in the 1985-86 season - and the year before Disney produced a primetime special celebrating Donald Duck's 50th Birthday. The end of the era truly came in the late 80s through the early 90s when less and less primetime slots were allocated during the holidays for animated specials. New specials were rare- networks preferring to re-air specials for which they already owned the rights to air. New specials appeared occasionally, but usually in the form of a special using either a daytime or syndicated series (such as Tiny Tunes or a "special" holiday episode of The Simpsons).

Here is a short list (minus straight-to-video titles) of Primetime animated Easter specials produced during the 70s and early 80s. There were also the occasional "special episode" of a syndicated cartoon series- but those are for another list. Here are the shows you might have seen (and seen again) on some night during the week of Easter Sunday. What follows are brief highlights of a few of the specials that are real classics:

1971: Here Comes Peter Cottontail (Rankin/Bass)

1974: It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (Lee Mendelson-Bill Melendez Productions/ Charles Schulz Creative Associates/ United Features)

1976: The First Easter Bunny (Rankin/Bass)

1977 :The Easter Bunny Is Comin' To Town (Rankin/Bass) and Bugs Bunny's Easter Special (name was changed to Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies when it appeared on VHS - Warner Brothers/ De Patie-Freeling)

1980 Daffy Duck Easter Special (WB/De-Patie-Freeling)

1982 The Smurf's Springtime Special (Hanna Barbara) and Fat Albert's Easter Special (Filmation)

1983 The Easter Chipmunk (Ruby-Spears' Alvin & The Chipmunks) and Family Circus Easter (Artisan)

Some other specials that were made for syndication and appeared on cable in Primetime: Yogi, the Easter Bear, 1994 and (believe it or not) Baby Looney Tunes' Eggs-Traordinary Adventure 2002

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Rankin Bass pretty much ran through the gate with Here Comes Peter Cottontail. Based on a book, the special tells the story of Peter's efforts to win the right to be the Chief Easter Bunny. Told through RB's stop-motion "ani-magic", Here Comes Peter Cottontail features wonderful voice work and a classic story. Danny Kaye stars as the narrator Sassafrasrass and Peter's allies, Colonel Bunny and Antoine. Casey Kasem is our hero, Peter and Vincent Price plays his rival, Irontail. Rankin Bass vets Paul Frees and Joan Gardiner are also featured. Peter races through the holicalendarnder trying to give away more Easter eggs than the nasty Irontail so that he can earn the right to be Chief Easter Bunny. This one is a little different in that it doesn't concentrate on Easter the Holiday - Peter actually cycles through everything from Halloween to the Fourth of July. Danny Kaye is great and you stop thinking - "hey, that Rabbit sounds like Casey Kasem" about 10 minutes into it and just focus on the story. Excellent special which should be on your Shelf, and it has just been reissued on DVD this year. You most likely find it being pushed with a new animated feature movie Peter Cottontail- The Movie, which is being touted as a sequel of sorts. It appears to be CGI, but I can't give any other details, because I haven't seen it. You are on your own - but let us know in the comments section if you have seen it and tell us what you think. Here Comes Peter Cottontail is very recommended.

It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown

Last week we took a brief trip to 1975. Let's go back for a brief moment shall we? The television season of 1974-75 saw the debut of several great primetime animated specials, three of them in particular were animated and produced by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelsen and premiered on CBS. They were: Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus, Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown . I love 'em all- and I wish I could find Virginia on DVD. Needless to say It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is a classic- and I'm sure you are not surprised that we would have that opinion. What really sets it apart for me is that it is a trip reverse kind of Great Pumpkin. All of the gang are worried about getting things ready for Easter, but Linus reminds them that they don't need to worry- the Easter Beagle will take care of that. You would think that having just been dealt a devastating blow by the whole Great Pumpkin fiasco that Linus would've been ostracized by the rest of the crew. But no- they tolerate him and his "quirks" as a lovable group of friends should. Were they not worried that Linus would wig out on them some day and invent some elaborate scenerio in which he invites them all to a deserted mansion at the top of a spooky hill for a reunion, in which he secretly plans to cut off all communication, block all exits and roads and then kill them off one by one for laughing at him and his "quirks" while they were kids? Did they? I don't think so- but then, this was the 70s, peace, love and whatever makes you happy man. Darn you, hippies! Guess what though- Linus turns out to be right! Sweet revenge! Speaking of Hippies, Peppermint Patty and Marcie have a great role in this special (the first to include them by the way). Patty attempts to teach her "friend" Marcie how to dye eggs - and Marcie does everything to those eggs but hardboil them. It was the first time I heard belly laughs out of my kids when they were watching a Peanuts special scene that didn't involve Snoopy. Do yourself a favor - go get the DVD. It also has a bonus special, It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown was not stupid- why did he need constant reminding of when the holidays were coming?). It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is highly recommended.

Bugs Bunny's Easter Special

Bugs Bunny's Easter Special. Believe it or not, this was the first Looney Tunes "Holiday" themed special. This pretty much set the standard for most of them, and was one of the better produced as it was primarily done by Friz Freeling and his studio. The special had Granny trying to find a replacement for an ailing Easter Bunny. Various Looney Tunes characters are recruited as Granny goes through the Warner's Studio either encountering characters working or screening their work. This is a device that bridges the footage from old cartoon shorts with new animated sequences. Fairly standard Holiday Looney Tunes fare, but when you are a kid and you love Looney Tunes anyway, you don't need much encouragement to love it. By the way, at the end it is revealed that Daffy was the Easter Bunny in disguise all along. That Daffy! It is doubtful that this show will ever see DVD, which is a shame because it would be nice to have the bridging sequences. If you can find it, Bugs Bunny's Easter Special is recommended.

The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town

Along with It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown, this is my favorite. This Rankin- Bass classic follows in a similar vein to their popular Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. In fact, Fred Astaire reprises his role as The Mailman from that film to, yet again, answer kids questions about our Holiday favorites. He tells us the story of Sonny, the first Easter Bunny and how many of the Easter traditions we love today were invented. Everything from Jelly Beans to dyed eggs, Easter suits and Easter parades are explained. The story follows Sonny as he is found and raised in a town comprised of just kids, called (of course) Kidsville. Sonny tries to trade off some of the eggs (laid by singing hens with southern accents no less) in a nearby kingdom, but meets a problem in the form of a egg pinching bear named Gadzooks. With the help of a hobo named Hallelujah Jones, Sonny and kids come up with clever ways to get past Gadzooks. Do I need to stop and alert you to the fact that the only adult present in Kidsville is a hobo? I think not- I will let the obvious jokes percolate on your own brain. (Hey, you gotta help a little!) Once Sonny makes it to the the nearest town I hereby declare Easter specials to be great!called Town (the writers were very busy that year) that had no children except one, the King named Bruce. G'Day Bruce! One problem- while Bruce likes Sonny and wants him to bring all his Easter goodies, the real iron fist behind Bruce is his Aunt Lily Longtooth, who makes Bruce do everything she says and wants things just so. I think you can figure out where everything leads. We've got Easter eggs and Jelly beans after all! The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town is out on DVD andrecommendedcommened.

Well - that's it Shelfers- stay tuned- a post on Classic Easter treats is on the way!

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Some Easter Beagle! He gave me my own egg!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Don't go crazy. We're all frustrated. Besides- you'll need that hair when you get older.

With our Eyes and Ears around the World Wide Web it's time for a look at the buttons that are being pushed and prodded around the world... and it's not a pretty sight.

Don't do that- it's not worth the pain.On the whole Congresswomen thing: I promised I wouldn't say anymore, and I won't. I'll let VDH say a few words.

Speaking of racism... I have been only paying slight attention to the rape case at Duke University in N.C. That is until this weekend. You know- it was a great tragedy and crime that we have had story after story in our country's history of minorities who were victims of crimes and were not given justice- or were blamed for crimes they did not commit. A wise man once said it should be about justice - not privilege. He was right- but have we gone to far to the other extreme? That is automatically believing someone is a victim or could not have done something wrong because of cries of sexism, racism, etc.? I don't know. Gateway Pundit has some interesting thoughts on the case.

Gateway Pundit is also reporting the Surrender of France.
Yes, Ilsa. We'll always have Paris...jobs for the youth. Seems as if France surrenders to anyone who even looks slightly threatening... including their own citizens. You know the whole "Freedom Fries" thing was a fiasco, not to mention slightly silly. Maybe if we had gone over and threatened to not eat their bread while we were visiting... and then threatened to look at them a little askew and speak with a harsh tone... well, then maybe they would have been more willing to help out in Iraq. Nah... Anyway, mob rule is the order of the day in France. Hey DeVillepin- you might want to make sure you don't accidentally say something like "Let them eat cake." We all know how well that went over last time. Ha, Ha! Those wacky Frenchies!
Don't despair- we can work it out.
Ok- buckle your seatbelts - it's rant time.

Not that we don't have our own problems here. Thousands and thousands marched this week to let Congress know how much they are against provisions against illegal aliens, despite the fact that any of the provisions in the bills mention are fairly too lenient to begin with. Remember that no enforced border means no country. Rome and others went down this road throughout history with problematic results. Congress- a word, if you will. Illegals can't vote. What are you doing? Look - you just can't throw everyone out- and legal immigration is a very strong component of what makes our country progress and move forward. Illegal immigration undermines all of that. What are the arguments that have been heard?

They help build this country.
They are helping - but this is the historic argument from every disenfranchised group throughout American history from former slaves to immigrant Chinese in the west building railroads and the Irish workers in the east to women everywhere. Fact is everyone has a point- which means: NO, you didn't build this country. We all have. That's the deal and that's how it rolls here in the US. So drop it. Besides, who contributes to the well being and welfare of this country the most? Those who pay taxes (other than sales) and sign up for military service- and illegals do neither. Try again.

They are only doing jobs that other Americans won't do.
Hey, hey there...you. Don't cry, Mister Baldy Sad Face. We can pull together and make sense of the whole thing.There is a little bit of truth to this - but a whole lot of deceit as well. Fact is most employers that hire illegals do so, not because other Americans won't do the work- but because hiring an illegal means paying them under the table. That means no insurance, workmans' comp, employer taxes, retirement contributions, etc on behalf of the Employer. That also means the employer can pay a lower wage. Most people believe that illegals are coming to pick fruit or some other agricultural work. Fact is, that more and more agricultural work is being done by machines on large scale operations- and by locals on small scale operations. Illegals are increasingly coming to work in construction and contractor-related jobs. And a good bit of that is skilled labor. I disagree with the President and the majority of the politicians on this one. The problem lies not with what Americans aren't willing to do. The problem lies with what Employers aren't willing to pay or do. Which also means that part of the problem lies with all of the regulatory and fiscal constraints that we have placed on American citizens and businesses over the last 30 years; not to mention the increased tax burdens. Therefore, the government is partly to blame. The American work ethic is still there- the government has just done it's level best to suffocate it. Thanks, Government! So next time you hear that BS argument about what Americans won't do- why don't you tell them what they can do with their argument.

We can't deport all of them or realistically close the border.
Well, we sure can tighten the sucker. In fact, that is the first thing we need to do. Idiot Lib Joe Klein and other idiot libs say we just can't build a 2000 mile long wall. It's impossible, they say. No, it's not. We build vast bridges and 1000's of miles of 4-6 lane interstates. A wall would be child's play. What makes it a stupid undertaking is that it is a potential cultural and political nightmare, and the real problem is in enforcing the border - not the physical border itself. The real solution lies in attempting the tighten and enforce what we have, and work with Mexico to Hey, now - you can't hide from it. We have to work through it. Do something about it!make their country less of a hell-hole so that their own people can have a real chance at survival and progress and at building their own country.

This is their country anyway.
OK - if you are living in Texas, Arizona, California- really- the southwest- they have a point. But I think as far as the rest of the country is concerned The Iroquois, The Cherokee, The Catawba, The Delaware, The Illinois and other Native American nations have a prior claim. (In fact, in parts of the southwest, Native Americans have a prior claim in some spots too) Get in line. You might want to bring a book. Tell you what, you guys can have California. We'll call it even. For now, at this day and time it isn't your country. We would love to have you- legally. That would be great. Just don't sneak in, use our resources without substantially contributing, and then get mad and tell us what to do. That's like breaking into someone's house, eating the food out of their refrigerator and then leaving a note telling the homeowner to buy a different brand of Mayo next time. And by the way. If you want to start picking apart who had what first- I think you might want to think about your own European ancestors who took vast parts of Mexico from Native Americans and hobbled it together into a country through murder, genocide and slavery just like all the other Europeans we all love to complain about. They didn't call them conquistadores for nothing. If its a pissing contest you want, you'd better bring a Big Gulp with ya.

The idea of illegal is racist.
That's right- scream if you have to - just let it out.No illegal, means by means that subvert or circumvent the law. To me that applies to every person, whatever their country of origin, that comes to this country illegally. All of the problems and issues with borders, enforcement, benefits, etc. has to be applied to all illegal immigrants, no matter what the country. The fact is that we have illegals coming in from many countries, including Canada. We need to address this issue as within the constraints of the law, not as a problem with one particular nation.

It isn't right to expect illegals to assimilate or to make English the dominant language.
OK- I take particular exception to this one, because I have lived in South America for several years. When I was there I found no bilingual street signs, vendors, government agencies, newspapers, etc. If I was to live there- I was expected to speak and read their language, which I did. And it was also considered rude for me to speak English with another American in the general public. Riding a bus and speaking in English was not winning me any loving glances. I respected my at the time, newly adopted country (my second favorite and second home) and those around me, and respected their laws and their history. That taught me more than any history book ever did. If that is the case, why is it wrong to expect the same respect here? Many countries teach English as a second language- it is the language of international finance and business, but more importantly it is the language of the United States of America. Just because someone doesn't care to learn and use it, doesn't mean they shouldn't be asked to.

Moreover, America is a nation built on rights and principles, but in the end it has a unique culture. Yes- it is a culture that has derived from many sources. But that is what makes it unique- it is a whole made of many parts. Language and other parts of the culture are essentially glue for the fabric. We welcome all cultures- but we do have a bridging culture of our own. I don't believe you should check your heritage at the door, but I do believe you shouldn't come in and demand that we get rid of our own in favor of yours. It's a pot luck- bring some of your own and contribute. In the meantime- don't come here illegally and pretend that there aren't any problems in your home countries. After all- that's why you are risking life and family to get here, isn't it? To quote an anonymous comment made on another blogger's site:
"There is not one South or Central American nation that isn't hip deep in the same sort of ethnic tensions and class battles that exist in the U.S.. The difference? None of those countries have anything like our Constitution with which to fight those battles. So, is it easier, perhaps somewhat safer, to head north and try to make a buck? Sure. But North Americans don't owe rank-and-file South and Central Americans ( or ANY illegal immigrant) free healthcare, lost That's good. Now, just relax and breathe. Good.wages and exposure to illnesses that, while once rampant here as well, have since been mostly put away. Most central and south American nations are mineral rich. many have coastlines. Nearly all are chock full of people.If your home country is broken, fix it. That's what we did here and what we continue to do. But, if you think you're going to come up here and help to break ours, well, don't be suprised if some of us take issue. Indeed, don't be shocked if most of us do.I don't let homeless people wander through my house, eat my food, sleep in my bed, riffle through my medicine chest and drive up my utility bills, no matter how awful their lives may be. I might CHOOSE to help out, once given all the facts. Indeed, I might be likely to lend a hand. They have to ask first. And then I get to think about my answer. And, if I say "No," that's the end of the conversation."

Now, I don't know the solution to all of the problems. I do know that if we don't recognize that we have a problem it will get worse. Some measures need to be looked at more closely:

1.Clamp down on hiring of illegals. If they are hired- taxes must be taken out of their checks like everyone else. I don't usually like the need to make new tax laws, but I'll make an exception here. If the employer hires illegals, and doesn't take the taxes out of their check - then the employer pays the fine or tax themselves. If you are here- contribute.
I have seen first hand the drain on resources that some illegals have placed on our system. There is much more being put out in our economy than is returning. How?
Going out:
Welfare benefits. Plain and simple, some illegals are signing up for welfare and other benefits (including Child Support benefits- part or all of which is paid for with tax dollars if the absent parent can't be found or isn't working - or working under the table)
No tax dollars being paid, but local, state, and federal resources are being used. 911, Emergency rooms, Emergency care, transportation, police, fire, roads- the list goes on. Being used- no contribution made through taxes.
Wages- A lot of wages earned are being sent back to native countries, minus living expenses. Do you get what I'm saying here? Money is being sent out of the country. Sure- some rent, utilities, gas (no insurance) and food is being bought - as well as some big ticket items- but a majority of the money being earned is not being spent in our own country.
Coming in:
Social problems- gangs, crime, drugs and other similar problems do creep in. It is disingenuous and hypocritical to state that it isn't- just as it is to say that crime, etc. wouldn't be here without illegals. The problem is with lax borders- you get a porous situation that is wonderful for gangs, There now. Don't you feel better? Good, good. OK - now let's discuss the Middle East situation...drugs etc. Its here, and its getting worse.
Labor- yes, it is cheap- but we've talked about this above. I don't believe that jobs are being stolen, I just think employers are taking advantage of the situation.

2. Strengthen our borders. This is not just an immigration issue, but a security issue. We need to be more aware and diligent on our borders on all corners of the country- not just the southwest.

3. Send other countries a bill for services rendered. I sure as hell would get one in my mailbox, if I asked for services and product. Let's send one to them. Hey all you countries out there- how about taking a hard look at how you treat or mistreat your own citizens and try a little reform instead of hoisting your problems on us. We've got plenty of our own. Yes we are petulant and childish at times and we make mistakes. That doesn't mean we need more. And think about this- for all those who argue that this nation isn't great and not everyone wants freedom- why are there so many trying to escape your country to come here? It's not all economics- freedom to work is powerful, as is freedom to worship, speak, live, and breathe. Get a clue.

All right Shelfers- end of rant. No media roundup today. Not much out there. Had to get out the rant for now. The rest of this week we'll be back with popculture, Easter, and more. Stay tuned.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

I'm sorry, please forgive me. I'm just SO close to my menstrual cycle that I could SCREAM.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

what hump?

Yes, Shelfers its time for another edition of media roundup. Some very interesting selections and a few box sets that might be worth your while, and a duo release for Top Shelf Pick of the Week. Either way, if you are a Gene Wilder fan- this is your week. Hope your piggy bank is full.

Top Shelf Pick of The Week

Gene Wilder's The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother and The World's Greatest Lover.
This is the first DVD debut for both of these films, the firsts of Gene Wilder's directing efforts. In 1975, Wilder was just 1 year away from having done both Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. For little kids, like me, during that time his voice was somewhat recognizable, as he was the voice of "Letterman" on the PBS kid's show The Electric Company. And most kids knew him as Willy Wonka from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory which appeared in 1971. In the short 6 years since his co-starring turn in The Producers in 1968 to 1974's Young Frankenstein, Wilder was in the midst of a rising career and in many ways, a diverse one. He added to that diversity with directing, something which believe it or not wasn't always a popular thing for a rising star to do in those times. A flop could possibly hurt chances at future roles.
Smarter Brother wasn't exactly a box office smash- this was the year of the $260 Million giant (US box office take) known as Jaws after all- but it was successful, grossing $20 Million in US receipts. This was also the year of some other great films, Monthy Python and the Holy Grail, Return of the Pink Panther (my favorite of the series), Barry Lyndon, Dog Day Afternoon, and the last two films from John Wayne, Rooster Cogburn and The Shootist. Many of these films and some others released this year did respectably well, but in time gained cult status. (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, perhaps the most cult of cult films, also debuted in 1975.) Although not the money maker that other films were, Wilder's directing debut was a solid performer. It never really became much a feature in the Home Theater Market- a hard to find VHS and a small DVD release in Europe. But now, all is rectified. Perhaps you've never heard of this film- you should have. Gene Wilder's Smarter Brother has steadily gained more of a following as years have gone by, and with good reason.
Smarter Brother is a quirky, funny film that makes good use not only of Gene Wilder and his terrifically flawed, yet endearing comedic hero- but also of other Mel Brooks stalwarts such as the beautiful Madeline Khan, the wonderfully crazy Marty Feldman, and the lovable Dom DeLuise. Wilder plays the titular role of Sigerson Holmes- Sherlock's younger and smarter brother. Never heard of Sigerson? Well, neither had Watson- but as Sherlock tells him, You didn't know I had a brother named Mycroft until I found it necessary to tell you." Sigerson is very jealous of his older brother's fame and sets out to get some recognition of his own by solving a case aided by a strange Scotland Yard Detective, Sgt. Orville Sacker (Feldman) and an actress, Jenny Hill (Khan). An excellent comedy that has gained more fans as the years have gone by.
Wilder's second film as director and star was The World's Greatest Lover. (Lover also had alot to contend when released. By 1977, the box office records were smashed and would never be the same, because of the debut of Star Wars. Wilder was also competing with Mel Brooks' High Anxiety, which was released a week or so later.) Set during the silent film years of Hollywood, Wilder stars as a baker named Rudy Hickman who decides to pack it up and try out for a "star search" for the next Valentino in which Rudy succeeds. However Rudy's wife falls in love with the real Valentino- and Rudy's got to win her back. The film also stars Carol Kane as his wife and the always funny Dom DeLuise as movie mogul Zitz. Both films are highly recommended and earn a place your shelf. A review of both will be forthcoming.

Also on the Shelf this week:
As if that wasn't enough for you, Gene Wilder also appears in another release this week: The Mel Brooks Box Set Collection. As we've previously mentioned, some of these films have already seen DVD release and the DVD's of those films included in this set are the same disc. But, if you haven't picked up History of the World, Pt. 1, Young Frankenstein, and Blazing Saddles then this set is worthwhile. It contains most of Brook's best (standouts not included are The Producers and Spaceballs.) and I am hoping that most of them will see single issue release as well. Otherwise the box set will be the way to go, as it will be the only way to pick up High Anxiety, Robin Hood Men in Tights, Silent Movie, and To Be or Not To Be. Recommended.

Other Box sets worthy of being on your Shelf:
Mae West: The Glamour Collection
Carole Lombard: The Gamour Collection
Marlene Dietrich: The Glamour Collection.
If you are a classic movie fan these collections are very tempting. Although if I had to choose between the sets, Carole Lombard goes in the cart, hands down. These box sets are priced reasonably enough- and each set has about 5 films each.

Alligator Records 35x35.

Contemporary Blues label Alligator Records makes a 35th Anniversary present for Blues fans. In this compliation AR presents the first recordings that it's artists made for the label over the past 35 years. Celebrated blues legends like Buddy Guy to more recent artists like Corey Harris appear along with many other great Blues artists.

Television: (check local listings for times)
Some shifting schedules over at CBS. Tonight is still the action pack night with NCIS and The Unit. And moving to Wednesday at an earlier time (thank goodness) is The Amazing Race. Don't miss it.
South Park ventures into "Cartoon Wars". Southparkstudio's episode description provides an interesting teaser: "Cartman and Kyle are at war over the popular cartoon, Family Guy. Kyle loves Family Guy and hates Cartman. The two boys embark upon a mad chase across the country and the fate of Family Guy lies with the first boy to reach Hollywood." We love Family Guy and South Park here at The Shelf - so this should be interesting.

Shelf picks on TCM:
April 4th: The Prisoner Of Zenda (1937) and a William Powell Myrna Loy double feature: First The Thin Man (1934) and Manhattan Melodrama (1934).
April 5th: Of Human Bondage (1934) and later, The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
April 6th: A gangster's girl, Myrna Loy falls for boxing champ, Max Baer in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) Walter Brennen does his prospector's jig for Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre(1948)
April 7th: Teacher's Audrey Hepburn and Shirley McClain struggle against a student's malicious accusations in The Children's Hour (1961) also the sci-fi classic, Forbidden Planet (1956)
April 8th: It's a great day for westerns on TCM with: Night Passage (1957), The Misfits (1961), Vengeance Valley (1951), Hang 'Em High (1968), Winchester '73 (1950), Tribute to a Bad Man (1956), and Devil's Canyon (1953).


Some classic film news (and some reviews of recent releases) courtesy of Barrie Maxwell at the Classic Coming Attractions page at Digital Bits. Check it out.

Also- speaking of an amazing race- take a few minutes to read about this amazing journey. 36 year old ex-paratrooper Karl Bushby is attempting to become the first person to walk around the world in a trip called the Goliath Expedition. He started at the southern-most tip of South America and has just crossed over the frozen strip of the Bering Strait (remember that thing that teachers used to teach that the Native Americans traveled over into America?) and reached Russia, where they have been detained outside of a village for not having properly registered with authorities, although they did have visas. You mean Russia has a border guard that can catch someone out in the middle of nowhere? Hmm. Anyway check out the interesting site and the blog maintained by his dad.

Well, that's all for this week Shelfers. And as always, your comments are welcome.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

The clue obviously lies in the word "cheddar." Let's see now. Seven letters. Rearranged, they come to, let me see: "Rachedd." "Dechdar." "Drechad." "Chaderd" - hello, chaderd! Unless I'm very much mistaken, chaderd is the Egyptian word meaning "to eat fat." Now we're getting somewhere!

Monday, April 03, 2006


Where else but in the current cultural climate of the United States of America can you have a US Congresswomen who needs to be flanked at a press conference with an actor and singer to give yourself credibility?
Where else but in the current cultural climate of the USA can people who are living here illegally (that means against the law, ladies and germs), or at the very least here as a "guest", can dictate to the "host" country how the laws should be made and be given deferential treatment?
No where- that's where.
I really just have one thing to say to the Honorable Representative McKinney: take a moment and really take a hard look at yourself and what you are setting into motion.
The job of the Capital Police is not to give you special treatment- that is a policy and consideration. The job of the Capitol Police is to protect your sorry ass. That means they need to prevent people from walking in and bringing in a gun, knife, or bomb- and ensuring that said weapons never enter into the building with an unauthorized individual. That means that everyone has to go through the metal detector... except authorized individuals who have proper ID and a lapel pin. You are one of those individuals which already puts you in a priviledged class. You didn't wear it the day of the incident, for whatever reason, and you not only were not recognized - but you did not properly identify yourself. Properly. The way that the Congress have set out in your rules. In other words, Rep. McKinney, the officer attempted to stop an individual who they did not recognize, who was not properly identified, nor was properly outfitted with preauthorized ID's or pins, and keep them from rudely and unlawfully bypass the metal detector. Until you were properly identified- you were, for all intents and purposes, an unauthorized individual. It was your duty and responsibility to set an example and either:
a) submit to the metal detector and thank the officer for doing his job
b) explain to the officer who you are, explain your lack of ID and await a superior to give you the go ahead- and thank the officer for doing his job trying to keep you safe.
c) go home and get your frickin' ID or pin and come to work properly like millions of Americans have to everyday.
Instead you chose to brush through, ignore the officer, and to strike him when he attempted to stop you, someone whom he thought was an unauthorized individual, from entering a secured area. Then instead of being an adult, among other things, you chose to act like a petulant child- screaming about how it wasn't your fault and it was some other kid's fault. You knew this would look bad for you in the papers. I mean, your party is trying to become the party that will be tough on terrorism. How can you truly represent being tough on terrorism when you want to bumrush past the metal detector when you don't get your way? Or when you want to have the rules bent at your will, and enforced for the rest? Despite your protestations- you are a member of the privileged few, because of your job and all the privilege that comes with it.
Now you've chosen to create a circus out of the whole affair... and usually the person who makes a circus out of something is a clown. You specifically went to a historically black university, draped yourself with civil rights attorney's and two prominent entertainers and cried racism, foul, and sexism. The dreams of those who lived and sacrificed to be treated with equality were disrespected and devalued by your actions. You are engaging in a legal arms race- up the ante and the arsenal until the other guy backs down. This isn't about being profiled or mistreated or targeted- this is about you, covering your ass for being an ass.
The sad thing is, is that American will do like it always does for the cultural elite- they will give in and give you a pass. Heck- they might even shed a tear or two and buy your book about the incident and watch the movie adaptation of the book. Hey, maybe you can get Paul Haggis to direct! America- stop rolling over and lapping this stuff up. I'm not advocating anything to or against anyone. All I am saying to America about this, and alot of other things that this story represents: grow up and grow some. It's time to put value on the real things in life- like your families and communities- once those are in better shape, then maybe you can afford to spend time worrying about what the privileged few are eating, wearing, or who is suing who.
Sorry for wasting a beautiful Spring monday on this topic and this rant. I return you now to your regularly scheduled cynicism and satire.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Either you are very smart or... Incredibly stupid.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Just a quick post today Shelfers to let you know that I have a "guest post" up over at Cinerati. Christian and Crew invited us to be a guest contributor, so please go over and check it out. They are just in the neighborhood and around the corner. And if you haven't already, please take your time to read Wolf's most recent post below. Wolf has posted an incredible article by Ben Stein. It is worth your time. Have a great weekend...and that's no April Fools.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

You make each day a special day. You know how, by just your being you.


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