R.I.P. Adam West


The death of Adam West immediately resurrected the old argument: Who's your favorite Batman?

It's ironic that Roger Moore passed away so close to the same time: His death, of course, caused a chorus of favorite James Bond arguments. They both held similar positions in their perspective portrayals: They were the lighter, more colorful ones who weren't afraid to poke a little fun at their genres.


That being the case--especially with West--the argument becomes apples and oranges. What, I can't have both? A big navel orange, followed by a nice Red Delicious? Comparing Adam West to, say, Christian Bale is like comparing ... hm. Oh, I know: Like comparing "Battlestar Galactica" to "Battlestar Galactica". Love or hate the reboot, it just wasn't the same show as the original.


I've probably just started arguments that would rival fights among British football fans, but there you go. 



"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb." -- Batman


Look at the above quote, and picture Michael Keaton's Batman saying that. Look at the photo, and imagine Christian Bale's Batman cavorting with a purple Batgirl or a bright red and yellow Robin. Ain't gonna happen. For that matter, imagine Ben Affleck making fun of his Batman on an episode of Family Guy. (Clooney would probably do it.)


My point is, you can like them both, or all, even Val Kilmer if you want. If you're a sports fan, the analogy is that you can like both the Cubs and the Bears: They're both in the same city, but they're two different animals.


So embrace and remember the fun that was Adam West. We should all be so lucky as to bring that much joy to such a wide audience.

I got a bit of a weird feeling when I heard actress Erin Moran once stayed in (and got kicked out of) a Holiday Inn Express in Corydon, Indiana. A little research confirmed it was the same Holiday Inn that Emily and I stayed in while researching Hoosier Hysterical a couple of years ago. Corydon was the original state capital of Indiana, so naturally we spent some time in the area.

We weren't there at the same time as she was, of course. Well, not that I know of, although apparently she lived in the area then. I suppose it could have been the same room.

On the one hand, I was a little offended at the way the news media covered her move to Indiana, as if Moran had been banned to the seventh circle of Hell. (Apparently she and her husband moved here to take care of his mother, after her acting jobs dried up and they lost their California property.) I'd take southern Indiana over southern California any day.

the other hand, I suspect I'd choose wealthy in California over impoverished in Indiana. She'd hit on very hard times, and didn't make the move for the scenery; those of us trying to work our way up can't begin to imagine what it's like to be a TV star at fourteen, and considered a has-been by thirty. Her happy days were far behind her, and it sounds like she spent the last years of her life trying to drown her sorrows in alcohol. I remember the fresh faced kid on "Happy Days", and can't help thinking she was only two years older than me. It could have been any of us; and it's very sad any way you look at it.



ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Jan. 26th, 2017 05:54 am)

I’m not sure why Mary Tyler Moore’s death hit me so hard. I never saw her in a show I didn’t like, but there were lots of shows I liked. Maybe it’s because I never pictured her as being old; the last time I remember watching her on TV was “Mary” in 1985. (Over thirty years ago!)

I’m also not sure younger people realize what a big deal she was: Mary Tyler Moore invented the modern woman on TV. She was mod, and hip, and all that stuff, on “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. Then she got her own show, as a single woman making her own way in life, and blew everybody right out of the water.

There’ll never be another Mary.




ozma914: mustache Firefly (mustache)
( Jan. 1st, 2017 06:39 am)
This first appeared in the 4CountyMall online. It was written, by the way, before Carrie Fisher passed away.
It was a strange year.
In many ways 2016 was a crappy year, even if you weren’t a Democrat. The weather was so awful that even The Weather Channel had to interrupt its reality programming to report on it. So many celebrities died that it could take YouTube years to replace them all. Even the Cubs winning the World Series was a bad thing, if you’re a goat, or live in Cleveland.
(If you don’t know about the goat curse, then I despair for our education system.)
I was so upset about celebrities dying that I tried to call Doctor Bombay for a sedative, but the guy who played Doctor Bombay died! Then I had to explain to everyone that Doctor Bombay was a character from Bewitched. Then I had to explain that Bewitched was a TV show. Then I went into a week-long funk about getting old, which made the year even crappier.
But at least I survived 2016, which is more than I can say about half the famous people in the world. On January 8th the first woman to compete in a Formula One car race died, and on December 8th John Glenn passed away. Talk about pioneer bookends.
In between, the world population took a detectable dip. I mean, R2D2 died. Come on. I won’t mention the other deaths that made me gasp, because if I have to explain who they are it’ll just put me into another depression.
But mostly 2016 was … weird. Here’s an example: In early December my wife talked me into shoe shopping, which is something men hate almost as much as holding a purse while their wives goes shoe shopping. My previous size 11’s had been demoted to lawn mowing shoes, and now had so little tread that I could ice skate across the grass. Which sounds like fun, unless you’re behind a running lawn mower.
Meanwhile my “good” size 11’s had spent the summer hiking around various state parks … okay, two summers. I told you I hate shoe shopping. It was time for another demotion.
But there was a problem. We spent an hour jamming my feet into new size elevens, then 11 ½, then twelves … until I left the store with size thirteens. My feet had grown two sizes. That certainly explained my puzzling foot pain.
I can’t help thinking such a thing could have only happen to a post-adolescent in 2016—a weird, weird year.
In no way am I suggesting 2016 was all about my feet; they’re just an example. 2016 was also partially about my wife’s foot, which got broken in a car accident. Eventually she got it back, which is more than we can say for the car.
My wife found a four-leaf clover this year. It didn't help.
This led to us buying our first ever Electronic Age car, a very strange thing indeed after a nine year old Ford. The new one has a computer screen. And a camera. It tells you how many miles you can go before running out of gas, and it has two of what we used to call cigarette lighter ports, where you can plug in all your other Electronic Age stuff. The other day a voice came out of the seat and told me I needed to lose a few pounds.
The car can also tell you what the temperature is outside, something I used to accomplish by sticking my finger out the window. If it turns blue, it’s too cold; if it gets wet, it’s raining. If I pull it back in and find an icicle, I should have known better. The other day our new car told me it was zero, and also said that on a related note, I should get that garage door fixed.
Welcome to the 21st Century Teens.
I already mentioned the weather, but conversations always get back to that, anyway. Here in Indiana 2016 started with a mild winter and ended with “Ohmygosh just shoot me now”. In between we had summer in spring; fall in summer; summer in fall, and as I write this winter times three.
What do you expect from a year that started with a skyscraper in Dubai burning up while revelers rang in the New Year around it?
Or a year when a 70 year old Indian woman gave birth? When Bob Dylan gets a Nobel Prize for Literature? Or the Cubs? I mean … The Cubs!
I can’t even mention the election … half my readers would boycott me by the second paragraph.
So, yeah, 2016 was weird, and as I write this we still have a couple of more weird weeks to go.  Usually in January I come up with a list of predictions for next year, but who could have predicted this year? About all I can say about 2017 is that some people will get paid too much, some too little, everyone who cares about politics will hate everyone else, and the weather will suck.
Which, come to think of it, brings us full circle.
"Leap second year? What makes you think I want even another second of 2016?"
ozma914: (Dorothy and the Wizard)
( Dec. 28th, 2016 12:43 am)


Farewell to fellow author Carrie Fisher … of course, she was much more than that, but I personally believe writing a good book is way harder than acting. She wrote four novels and memoirs; she also had a great reputation as a script doctor, working on movies such as “Hook”, “Lethal Weaon 3”, “Sister Act”, and “The Wedding Singer”. Reportedly she also worked on the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy, but no writer is perfect. I believe Fisher was the youngest cast member of the original "Star Wars" … and less than ten years older than me when she passed away.

The latest of my stories featuring the main character from "The Notorious Ian Grant" as he begins a cross country trip toward the events of the novel. My next might be delayed for about a week and a half due to a wedding and a book contract (!); I have one more fanfiction crossover done (everyone's welcome to suggest another one), and also an all original short story we'll be giving away later on my website.

 Title: A Poor Choice of Alias
Determined to drive to Indiana and make up with his family, B-list celebrity Ian Grant is barely out of L.A. when he runs into two cops in a diner--and, as is his nature, decides to mess with them. Which might not have been so bad, but this time around the Winchester Brothers chose a very unfortunate pair of fake names.

 Rating: PG
1,600 words

 A Poor Choice Of Alias

            Could he call it a road trip yet, when he hadn’t even made it out of the city?

            Ian Grant pressed his back against the outside of a diner door, desperately signing autographs, if signing autographs was something one could do desperately. He’d managed to gas up the Mustang and pee before the paparazzi found him—the pee part, especially, was a relief. Now, somewhere on the outskirts of L.A. just off the freeway, he’d been found by half a dozen bored photographers and what were probably the only dozen Ian Grant “greatest fans” on this side of the city.

            “Yes, thanks, here—love the Mohawk. Who’s it for? How do you spell … ah, Krysanthemum with a K, your mother must be very proud.”

            His new adventure had not started off well. He’d had to stop and pick up some toiletries—no way was he going back to face Bethani in that hotel room. The pop star was probably still throwing furniture around to protest the very idea that anyone would dare break up with her before she did it first.

            Nobody recognized him at the dollar store. When he realized the Mustang was down to a quarter of a tank, which would certainly not get him to Indiana, he made another stop and was again not recognized. A guy’s luck had to run out, sooner or later.

            “Gotta go, sorry—thanks!” Ian managed to squeeze through the door and, much to his surprise, no one followed. The fans were apparently content after he signed napkins, breasts, and the side of one head. The photographers were apparently disappointed that he wasn’t drunk and drag racing Justin Bieber, the cheating little bastard.





            The other night my wife asked me to hand her a bottle of water. I reached for it and said, “When I blow a dollar on a bottle of water …”


            And then I stopped. I’d just learned of the death of Robin Williams, and that’s a line stolen from him. (It ends with, “I buy Perrier.”)


            “Reality … what a concept.”


            Celebrities are people, no matter how much we’re tempted to think otherwise. They often abuse their bodies with everything from drugs and booze to working too-long hours, all of which can make that dying thing come even sooner.


            “Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.”


            Lauren Bacall, a truly legendary actress, died the day after Williams. It’s not the first time the passing of one legend was overshadowed by the passing of another, partially because the height of Bacall’s career came much earlier. We can remember the first time we saw Robin Williams. For me, and many old enough to have been watching, it was a guest appearance on “Happy Days”, playing a very strange alien named Mork.


            “Never fight with an ugly person. They’ve got nothing to lose.”


            He was off and running.


            I last saw Robin Williams in one of the best new sitcoms of last year, “The Crazy Ones”. He was in the groove, and more surprisingly the rest of the cast kept up with him. It was the funniest new show I watched in 2013, but it went up against another good series, “The Michael J. Fox Show”, and they canceled each other out.



“The Crazy Ones” had the questionable honor of being the highest rated canceled show of the season. )



ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)


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