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The Short Stack: March 28

Every Friday, I share  the pop culture, fashion, lit and random blips that crossed my radar during the week. Enjoy along with some crackers and cheese and a beverage!

Don't worry be happy in Jamaica

It’s been quite some time since we had a good, inspirational saying we could embrace as a nation, like “Don’t worry, be happy!” or “Life’s a beach!” or “You go, girl!”  Or even “TGIF!” said without irony but with a smile and genuine enthusiasm for the green light to start drinking beer on a Friday afternoon.

Whenever I hear “TGIF!,” I imagine a bunch of co-workers at a 1980s corporation that sells… dot matrix printers… or maybe the paper for dot matrix printers?… high-fiving each other and heading over to the Fuddruckers or Bennigan’s or… TGI Friday’s that’s just down the interstate from their office building and getting drinks that are served in enormous, fun chalices that can be purchased to take home, and feasting on potato skins with a side of ranch dressing. Everything came with a side of ranch.

One of the women in the group is named Debbie and one is Brandy and there’s a guy named Brad. Always a guy named Brad. Their wants are simple and their needs are met because they work at the corporation and one of them, probably Brad, got the Saab convertible he wanted.

Good times.

Looking At
So, it might be hard to explain exactly how and why I ended up on the blog Face Detective. OK, it had to do with Googling the director Michael Cimino, who directed the 1980s flop Heaven’s Gate, only to find out that he no longer looks anything like his 1970s/80s self and now more closely resembles Yoko Ono. Or Sir Paul McCartney.


Michael Cimino then and now

Anyway, what is a “Face Detective?” Apparently: “One who possesses a particular knack for discovering unlikely “twins” and various other breeds of look-alike both celebrity and mortal.”

First I thought, “Who can devote an entire blog to this pursuit?” but then I kept reading and reading and now, well, it’s on regular rotation. Who knew this detecting could be so addicting…

Final Cut by Steven Bach, which is an account of the making of the movie Heaven’s Gate, directed by Michael Cimino, thus the Googling. Bach was senior vice-president and head of worldwide productions for United Artists when Heaven’s Gate was made in the late 1970s (it was such a bloated flop that it brought down the entire studio). So far, it’s a book for people who really, really like the details about production and executive life, but I’m hoping that it’s the old “dope-a-rope” tactic Muhammed Ali used with George Foreman during the Rumble in the Jungle – hang back, let the reader get tired, then come out swinging with full force.

Bach went on to be a professor, lecturer and writer of biographies, including one about Leni Riefenstahl that seems to be a must-read.

Are you that special kind of person who has always promised yourself that one day you will conquer Moby Dick? This summer there’s a Twin Cities-based group of Twitterers leading that charge and all doing it together in a read-along. Doesn’t matter where you are, you can join in by following the hashtag #TCMoby. Reading starts May 1. If you want to read more, check out the details on Beth Babbles About Books.

I got these vintage house slippers, never worn! They have hard-soled bottoms, so that’s cool. I’m going to rock mine with jeans.

Freja the dog posing with vintage 1960s gold house slippers

The Grand Budapest Hotel – twice. I admit to never being a huge Wes Anderson fan but this movie won me over. Everything is seamless, it’s funny, the actors are great. The story is fantastic. It’s a joy to look at. It’s like it’s 1944 – you can go to a movie and forget all your troubles, if only for a little while. Then you can go home and add some tin foil to your tin foil ball. (That’s a rationing joke) Go see it.

The Mpls/St. Paul International Film Fest gets underway next week, running from April 3-19. I used to make a point of getting the guide to all the films, reading through it pen-in-hand in order to circle the ones I wanted to see. This was more an exercise in being obsessive than because I’m a rabid fan. The most movies I ever saw during one fest was two. Here’s my new approach: look at the documentaries. Which I did today and here are my top three recommendations:
We Don’t Wanna Make You Dance
Wicker Kittens

Done and done. I always wonder about the fest parties, too. I wish they would have a hot tub party or a roller skating party. Anything other than standing around with a drink in your hand. That being said, check out the photo on the top of this page for the closing night party. One blond woman is giving the bartender a stare that says, “Where’s my frickin’ drink?!” and the other is yammering away to her date/husband, saying something like, “You know you bid too low on that lake house. We’ll never get it!”

I think closing night party should be at TGI Fridays. Chalices of frozen daiquiris for all!

P.S. Mad Men is back April 13!

Cover of Time Magazine featuring Mad Men

P.S.S. Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche
“Real Men do not relate to anything. They do not have meaningful dialogues…. They don’t go for it, catch rays, crash, party, boogie, get down, or kick out the jams.” Besides quiche, they don’t eat bean curd, tofu, pâté or yogurt; they don’t drink light beer. In clothes, they shun “pith helmets, yachting caps, bikini underwear, Sansabelt slacks, gold chains…or anything with more than three zippers.”

P.S.S.S. Dogs in Cars