Archive for the ‘Morning names’ Category

On the boulevard of broken dreams with Kip Noll

March 26, 2017

(There will be plain-talking discussion of men’s bodies and sexual practices of several kinds, so this is not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The boulevard in question is Sepulveda Boulevard (my morning name for Friday), part of which is a piece of the Pacific Coast Highway, the locus of William Higgins’s 1981 gay porn flick of that name (PCH), starring Kip Noll. Meanwhile, what we know of Noll’s life involves a substantial career in all kinds of sex work, including a lot of work as a dance hall boy, that is, a male stripper for men, and almost surely work as an escort for men, that is, as a male prostitute or stud hustler — two occupations that fit senses of the label gigolo (originally the masculine version of a French term for ‘dance hall girl’, and then ‘prostitute’). Which brings us to “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, a song that refers to “gigolos and gigolettes” — male and female prostitutes — strolling on a Parisian boulevard. (This is in France, and in a pop culture fantasy, two places where hustlers and hookers are regularly construed as picturesque rather than socially dysfunctional; a similar example, the movie Gigolette, is to come below.)

These investigations wil eventually take us to picturesque locations in Spain (where the Sepulvedas come from) and also to “the dark, underground world of a New York City gigolo”, as presented in Michael Lucas’s penis-heavy gay porn flick Gigolos (2007). A long distance from the sunny surfer beaches of southern California, but Noll eventually danced his dick off (and probably sold it as well) on the mean streets of New York.


Today’s morning name: Topher Grace

February 27, 2017

Who drags Ashton Kutcher along with him. Since I have my shallow moments, there will also be shirtless photos, of Grace, of young Kutcher, and of more recent Kutcher. But first, about the actors and the tv show that made them famous.


Morning: La Salade Imaginaire

February 24, 2017

A deeply silly morning name today, a play on the title Le Malade Imaginaire. Which then led me to some ethereal culinary musings.


Morning: spanakopita

February 23, 2017

Spanakopita was the morning name some weeks ago, and then this morning the bon appétit site offered instructions on how to “make spanakopita pie”, with a yummy photo:


The full instructions, which are pretty complex, amount to:

make the spinach filling (using frozen spinach), prepare the phyllo pastry (using frozen phyllo), assemble, bake

The result, seen above, is spanakopita:

(in Greek cooking) a phyllo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. ORIGIN modern Greek, literally ‘spinach pie.’ (NOAD2)


Two character actors in the morning

January 14, 2017

Yesterday’s morning names, of two accomplished character actors, one who first made a name in the golden days of radio (Gale Gordon), one in the public eye these days on television (Tamara Tunie). Gordon displaying a characteristic facial expression and Tunie in character as a medical examiner:




Dolores del Rio and Erno Piffle

January 12, 2017

Yesterday’s morning names: the stage name of a fabulous actress and a fictional young man who started life as a catchphrase.


Morning names for the new year

January 1, 2017

Two morning names for today, totally unrelated to one another: the nickname Ozzie or Ozzy; and the adjective puerperal.


In the middle of things

December 30, 2016

A riddle leading to yesterday’s morning name: What do you get when you cross someone who has a compact, muscular build with a huge thick-skinned semi-aquatic African mammal?


Pharmaceutical morning names

December 24, 2016

Today’s morning name, an AZ name: AstraZeneca. Which of course led me quickly to the singer Astrud Zeneca.


Morning name: April Dembosky

December 1, 2016

Well, it’s clear (to me, now) where the name came from, but on rising this morning, it was a mystery (and it’s still a mystery why it came to me at that particular moment). Most readers of this blog will still be puzzled — unless they’re from the San Francisco Bay area and belong to the class of latte-drinking, sushi-eating, New York Times-reading — and, crucially, NPR-listening — folks alluded to in the wonderful subtitle of Geoff Nunberg’s 2006 book Talking Right (Geoff unaccountably left out NPR-listening, but maybe the publishers just couldn’t fit it onto the cover):

How Conservatives Turned Liberalism Into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show

(or you can call us cheese-eating surrender monkeys, for short; for the record, I adore cheese and I opposed American military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan).

April Dembosky is a reporter for KQED (public tv and radio) in San Francisco.