Monday, June 26, 2017

Independence Day: A Celebration of Grady

Whitman Mayo ((November 15, 1930 – May 22, 2001) is best known for playing "Grady Demond Wilson" on the classic sit com, "Sanford and Son." Grady is one of Fred Sanford's (Redd Foxx) best friends. 



On this blog ,I have previously referred to Grady. (Don's Basement, September 3, 2014). As db fans no doubt recall, that post is entitled "When Jerry met Hef, " and refers to the Grateful Dead appearing on Playboy After Dark.

When describing the habitu├ęs on the Playboy After Dark set, I wrote the following. 

The Dead playing Playboy after Dark is one of those Don Shearn paradoxes. Like the Buddy Love versus Grady personality divide. 

Buddy Love wants to be the center of attention. The most charming and yet in many ways the most obnoxious guy in the room. 

Grady likes peaceful things. Like watching television. Hanging around with Fred Sanford. 

Jerry Lewis as "Buddy Love."


Whitman Mayo as "Grady"











Prior to retirement (AKA, being laid off, sacked, fired or liberated), I often said to Peggy that Grady would be met retirement role model. Hanging out with friends, doing a little drinking, watching TV and then hanging out some more.

After my last post failed to bring down President Trump, I decided to retreat into my inner Grady. And being so close to Independence Day, I am exercising my new found freedom to do pretty much what I want.

Here are some Grady quotations.

"Sanford and Son: The Family Man (#4.25)" (1975)
Mr. DeVoord: [Looking at the painting, a black professor turns to his white wife] It's tasteless. It's the worst combination of colors I've ever seen. 
Grady Wilson: You should be used to that. 



"Sanford and Son: The Defiant One (#6.15)" (1977)
Grady Wilson: [Serving supper to the Sanfords] We'll start the evening off with my famous Russian cocktail. Vodka and prune juice. 
Lamont Sanford: [Spits out drink] Vodka and prune juice? 
Grady Wilson: Yeah, yeah. I call that my Trotsky. 


Lamont Sanford: [Lamont and Grady in the kitchen. Lamont explaining why the policemen can't stop eating so much of Grady's salad) Now just about everybody knows that one of the main side effects of using marijuana is the hungries or the munchies. 
Grady Wilson: Weren't they in "The Wizard of Oz"? 
Lamont Sanford: That was the Munchkins! 
Grady Wilson: Oooh, yeah. Didn't you just love that picture? 
Lamont Sanford: Grady, would you knock it off? This is no time for that. 
Grady Wilson: There was Dorothy and Toto and the Wicked Witch of the Watts. 

I have created a tribute video to Grady. It is taken from youtube clips and is copyright protected. In the very off hand chance that this post makes any money, I will contribute it to something appropriate. 
Before watching video, ask yourself "WWGD."



Monday, June 19, 2017

Flag Day 2017: A Day (nearly without Trump)

June 14 was Donald Trump's 71st birthday. It was also the 240 birthday of the United State adoption of the Stars and Stripes. I celebrated by "tuning out" any coverage of the President.

The "tune him out" concept did not begin with me.

2011: GLAAD  posted a story about Rosie O'Donnell NOT staying at Trump Chicago.

From 2011 GlAAD POST
Jeffrey Roberts Balloon Pigs over Trump Chicago
2016: Maria NYC started on online petition aimed at CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC to "Tune Out Trump."  Her call to action: Let's commit, from now on, to turn off our TVs, or change the channel every time any of the news media, begins to broadcast Donald Trump. 

Despite the excellent analysis (albeit questionable syntax)  regarding then candidate Trump , "It is dangerous because this man is running for the most powerful job in the world, and only by poisoning minds, by dividing us, is how he'll conquer, come election day, the petition only garnered 78 signatures.

2017: Author/Blogger Cyndi MacMillan suggested 50 movies to watch instead of the Inauguration.
My favorite of her choices. The Birdcage.



My twist to the campaign was to contrast Flag Day with Donald Trump's birthday.

While I had the concept several months ago, I did not have a very advanced campaign to ignore the President and honor the flag.

The campaign consisted of the following:

A Twitter Hashtag on December 5, 2016
A FACEBOOK Post on June 13, 2013

FACEBOOK friends. Tomorrow is June 14. Flag Day and the birthday of Donald Trump. I am going to tune him out tomorrow. No New York Times. No NPR. No MSNBC. Or Rush or Hannity. My fondest wish is that next year at this time he will not be the president.
I am sorry for the late warning but anyone who posts something about the President may possibly get a demerit.
Good luck and Happy Flag Day. By the way, the which we are commemorating was adopted by the fledgling United States in 1777. 240 years ago on June 14.

I did not issue any demerits for Trump  FACEBOOK postings because of the last minute nature of my request. 
However, I did get a push notification  (Washington Post report on possible obstruction case) on my phone from a certain actor/playwright in Michigan. But she gets a pass because she went to kindergarten with me.

Here is what I had to do avoid in order to accomplish "tune him out" day:

The Gym: Their TVs are set to CNN, Morning Joe, and CNBC (but not Fox News)
The Chicago Tribune or the New York Times (online).
NPR
Chris Mathews on MSNBC
FACEBOOK.
Talking to any of my friends or relatives.

Here is how I honor the Flag:




Here is how I started my day:

Monday, June 12, 2017

"This is never easy." Why Don is always in the basement.

Thursday, May 11 turned out to be a momentous day.  For me anyway. Around 11:00, the HR person came to my office and asked me to come with her. That in itself seemed a little weird in that normally, she called or sent me an e-mail. Normally it pertained to someone's tardiness (not mine) or some issue with annual leave or sick time (sometimes mine).

This time it ended a 16 year association with my employer. I walked into the back conference room which has a long table with seating for at least 20 people. The president and CFO of the company sat together across from me and asked me to sit down. The HR person sat at the head of the table.

Clearly this did not look good.

The president said, "this is never easy."

That is the corporate equivalent of a parent saying, "this is going to hurt me, more than it's going to hurt you."

The HR person handed me a document which is confidential so I can't tell you anything about it. I will tell you that the title of the document is "General Release and Separation Agreement." In other words, scram.

I suggested that there could be a better way to sever this long standing relationship other than loading my personal possessions into a Banker's Box® and leaving forever.
These are the personal items that I took. 

This suggestion did not carry any weight whatsoever. This meeting did not include negotiation. Take the paper. See a lawyer if you'd like and get back to us with a signed agreement or don't.

Just don't come back. And give your phone to the IT person who will reset to its original setting and thereby deleting all contacts, pictures, notes or whatever else I had stored on that.

Confidentially and all.

I did insist on taking these paintings by Peggy Shearn. 


"So What"

"So What" is a painting based on phrase used by therapist that I saw 4 years ago. I was dreading the 2013 Housewares Show. Never a big fan of McCormick Place.

"Homage to Miro" (Currently on loan)




It has now been a month since the events of May 11. Long enough so that my friends and family have heard enough about it but not so long that I don't harbor a nagging question.

How did I not see it coming?

Several days after the event, I received a package with the balance of my "personal effects." Here is a video of what I had left behind.




Friday, May 26, 2017

Things I found while editing a Nanowrimo novel.

Nanowrimo is an organization that promotes writing a novel during the month of November. I have written four of these Nanowrimos.

"Chicago Sundries"

"Untitled Book about China" (Not to be confused with my unproduced screenplay, "Beijing Driving Academy.")

"EE"

"The Five Books of Krinsky" (which is available on Amazon.)

The Five Books is not doing all that well statistically.



On the other hand, it has an average 5 star review and sells for 2.99.


I am revising EE which I hope will be a cross between Kurt Vonnegut and "The Hunger Games." Especially "The Hunger Games." So remind me not to kill off my main characters in Book 1.

In the course of editing, I found a poem by Ben Jonson.  He was a contemporary of Shakespeare and probably hated Shakespeare's guts.

Here is a quote attributed to him. "I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honor to Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, "Would he had blotted a thousand".

While majoring in Comparative Literature of the University of California, I studied Ben Jonson. If Shakespeare is Michael Jordan than who is Ben Jonson.  Maybe Clyde Drexler. A Hall of Fame player, NBA and Olympian champion (on the Dream Team) no one talks about Clyde the Glide any more. 

So to, with Ben Jonson.                            
Ben Jonson
Clyde Drexler
This is the Ben Jonson poem I found in "EE."

My Picture Left in Scotland

I now think Love is rather deaf than blind,
    For else it could not be
               That she,
    Whom I adore so much, should so slight me
And cast my love behind.
I'm sure my language to her was as sweet,
       And every close did meet
       In sentence of as subtle feet,
       As hath the youngest He
That sits in shadow of Apollo's tree.

       O, but my conscious fears,
               That fly my thoughts between,
               Tell me that she hath seen
       My hundred of gray hairs,
       Told seven and forty years
    Read so much waste, as she cannot embrace
    My mountain belly and my rocky face;
And all these through her eyes have stopp'd her ears.

What my character concluded from this poem, "Or in other words, I was too fat and old for her."









Wednesday, May 24, 2017

No Matter Where You Go, There You Go.

While trying to explain my current state of mind, quite naturally I did a google search and found this image.
Peggy is not down on her luck. And neither am I. But I did like the image but felt it was too confusing for FACEBOOK.

I also thought there would be an an R. Crumb image but alas.

It turns out this pic is from the Marvel Comic, "Buckaroo Banzai." The comic book adaptation of the Peter Weller classic. ( I never saw it but I like Peter Weller and the cast is pretty awesome).



And here's the clip....



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Semi-Retired

From one of my Nanowrimo novels....

I am semi- retired. Which is an odd word. Are you tired again? Or have you gotten new tires? It's a yin and yang thing. I am somewhere in between. Somewhat tired, less endurance, more head shaking and other kinds of shaking.

More to come on that one. 

I filed for unemployment today and find that this clip is hysterical. Or maybe it's just me.




Sunday, March 26, 2017

So that happened.

Just the other day, I told Peggy about a brilliant theory I had about something. When she asked me to clarify, I could not elaborate/ Some might it attribute this to failing memory or substance abuse. I just think there are too many random thoughts just floating around in there.
It's from too much early TV. I did a study on myself at the time. The non-TV watching me is much smarter and more successful economically. However, random and discursive seems to play well in my house.
Blogs I think began as journals or other observations like ancient Egyptians at a market place 3000 years ago. You can't help but observe things. Or when things get slow, make things up like conspiracies.