Archive for September, 2020

The Acting Corps: Chris Mulkey

September 30, 2020

Watching Charlie’s Angels S4 E10 “Angels on Skates” (from 11/21/79) this morning — there’s only so much news and commentary I can cope with in a day, so I retreat to lightweight stuff to keep my sanity — I caught a very familiar actor face, looking impossibly young. This turned out to be Chris Mulkey, whose name you might not know, but (if you’re American) whose face wil be extraordinarily familiar, because he’s appeared in an unbelievable number of tv series, and at the age of 72 is still at it.

A premier member of what I’ve called the Acting Corps, reliable, versatile, and hard-working actors who make the whole business work (there’s a Page on this blog on the Acting Corps).

Mulkey as Hank Jennings — Henry “Hank” Jennings, the criminal husband of Norma Jennings, a man who often acted as a henchman for several of Twin Peaks’ more shady citizens, such as Ben Horne and Josie Packard; photo from the Twin Peaks Wiki, from 1990-91


An offer of the body

September 30, 2020

(References to sex between men in plain language, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The image from a steamy Daily Jocks ad on 9/28, with (under the fold) my caption.



Warren Zwicky, pianist

September 30, 2020

Thanks again to Google Alerts, I learned of the pianist Warren Zwicky,  half of the team of Harlie Sponaugle (soprano) and Warren Z (piano), on their album Longing: American Art Songs (released 1/1/08):

(#1) From the Musicstax site

The program of art songs looks intriguing, but I haven’t been able to sample it (without buying the album, and I don’t have a budget that allows me just to buy things to check them out).

Vexingly, I’ve been unable to find out anything about Warren Zwicky. He’s clearly American, but I can’t find out what age he is (except that he was alive in 2008) or anything at all about his life history. So he’s a Mystery Zwicky.


Sliced bread

September 29, 2020

Today’s Zippy is an exercise in food history:

(#1) A hymn to sliced bread — from Chilicothe

Here, Bill Griffth makes an uncharacteristic mistake. If you say “Chillicothe” to most Americans, they will probably think of Chillicothe OH, as Griffith did (or they’ll just be baffled). But in fact the famed home of sliced bread is Chillicothe MO. The Ohio town is fairly small, but it was the first capital of Ohio, and it’s twice the size of the Missouri town.



September 29, 2020

Today’s morning name. Briefly, from NOAD:

noun wazooUS informal the anus. PHRASES up (or outthe wazoo US informal very much; in great quantity; to a great degree: he’s insured out the wazoo | Jack and I have got work up the wazoo already. ORIGIN 1960s: of unknown origin.

The phrases are straightforwardly idioms — the fact that they are degree adverbials is unpredictable from the meanings of the parts — though they can be varied a bit: by extension with the modifying adjective old (up/out the old/ol’ wazoo), or the with the noun ass ‘asshole’ instead of wazoo (to have problems up/out the ass); it’s likely that wazoo in these phrases is, historically, an ornamental replacement for ass in them (see below).

But wazoo, on its own, has no parts, so it can’t literally be an idiom. However, it’s restricted in its collocations — formally non-compositional, if not semantically non-compositional.


Deconstructed hamburgers, exploding in layers

September 28, 2020

Another spinoff from my recent postings on still lifes, leading to photographs of food, in particular an earlier posting today, “Breakfast with Francesco Tonelli” (the food photographer). And that led me to a genre of food photography I hadn’t known about: the exploded view, deconstructed, flying, or food-layer hamburger. (Any sort of sandwich or layered food could be treated this way, but hamburgers tend to have more parts than most, and they’ve spread as everyday food through much of the world, so they’re especially well suited to this photographic treatment.)

An introductory example: a photo by David Fedulov (Дэвид Федулов) in Moscow:

(#1) Managing to get the dressing separated like that is the real trick here

Here I guess I should remind you that the stuff in lots of wonderful food photography isn’t food at all, but some simulacrum that will stand up under hot lights and long exposure times. Tricks of the trade. Making actual food gorgeous in still shots (as Tonelli does) is quite an accomplishment.

Five more examples, from all over the world.(We’ve already got Russia.)


straight men’s jeans

September 28, 2020

From Steven Levine on Facebook yesterday, some astonishment at getting a targeted ad for

Levi’s® Premium 501® ’93 STRAIGHT MEN’S JEANS

Well, yes, it’s just a familiar sort of structural ambiguity: X Y Z as

 [X + Y] + Z ( [straight men’s] [jeans] ‘jeans for straight men’) (A)

or X + [Y + Z] ( [straight] [men’s jeans] ‘men’s jeans that are straight’ (B)

(where the Adj  straight in (B) is a truncation of straight-fitstraight-leg ‘straight-legged’, while the Adj straight in (A) is a rough synonym of heterosexual)

The Levis people had (B) in mind, But Steven and I, as gay men, immediately perceived (A), straight being especialy salient for us, so we found the ad hilarious, wondering just what sort of purity test would be applied before guys were allowed ro buy the jeans.


Breakfast with Francesco Tonelli

September 28, 2020

Having posted recently several times on still lifes involving foodstuffs, I’ve been getting lots of suggestions from Pinterest of food photography in general (and when I post this, I’ll get even more). Striking among these suggestions: Francesco Tonelli’s album of breakfast photos (on his website, here).

These turn out to have an informal snapshot quality, as if we’re just catching these foods in the act, combined with an extraordinarily sensuous presentation. For example, breakfast PJ&B (peanut butter and jelly — or in this case, jam, which is much more intense than mere jelly):

(#1) Peanut butter and jam, aroused and about to hook up

Now, more from his breakfast album (and then the About page from his website, about who  Tonelli is and what he does).


The No Tell Motel

September 27, 2020

(References to sex between men, with an image that’s right on the line, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

It’s out of the way, buddy
And you’ll soon get to know it well
The afternoon trick shift
At the No Tell Motel

— with apologies to Ned Sublette and his “Cheaters’ Motel”

The occasion for this posting is the 9/4 release of the Raging Stallion gay porn video No Tell Motel.

A small unassuming motel sits just off the interstate from Los Angeles to Vegas, the ‘No Tell Motel’. Twenty miles from a town in either direction, this quiet roadside motel is frequented by weary travelers and by hot guys who want to hook-up where nobody will know their business: a place where no one is watching.


Giovanna Garzoni

September 27, 2020

In a Facebook posting on Animals in Art through History this morning, a charming still life from about 400 years ago by Giovanna Garzoni, with food, flowers, and an insect:

(#1) Plate of Asparagus with Carnations and a Grasshopper, undated, gouache on vellum (in a private collection in Italy)

On the artist, from Wikipedia:

Giovanna Garzoni (1600–1670) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period. She began her career painting religious, mythological, and allegorical subjects but gained fame for her botanical subjects painted in tempera and watercolour. Her works were praised for their precision and balance and for the exactitude of the objects depicted.

New to me, and a delightful find. Three more examples from a large body of work: