Reading Rarities: A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California

As the saying goes, you never really know someone until you climb in his shoes and walk around in them. Lately I've been walking with John Steinbeck, one of my favorite authors (and a fellow Californian), in Susan Shillinglaw's A Journey Into Steinbeck's California. Far from being a simple tour guide of Steinbeck haunts, Journey is a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California

The Tower By the Bay

Are you prepared? The seventies were a weird time in Hollywood. Studios were operating on tighter budgets, so the high output of a couple of decades earlier was unheard of. Instead, studios opted for fewer films with big ensemble casts and higher octane production values, and one of these was 1974's The Towering Inferno. Like … Continue reading The Tower By the Bay

Lucky Lindy

Seven years from now will be the one-hundredth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight. Isn't that amazing? It used to be that people could barely move while planes were in the air because of ballast, and now commercial flights have wifi and comfy seats with lots of legroom, not to mention weirdly catchy safety videos. … Continue reading Lucky Lindy

The Binge Goes On

Aaaaand we're still quarantined in California. I won't give my opinion of certain people in charge of my state except to say, "Question everything," and "Consider the source." We do have light at the end of the tunnel, of course, but staying inside is definitely having its effects. A couple of weeks ago my dad … Continue reading The Binge Goes On

Your Face Is Bogart’s

Nice to have you back, Ms. Bacall... Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart made five movies together. Their chemistry was so electric that no matter what the story was about, she would always smolder and he would always appraise her coolly and wordlessly. The 1947 film, Dark Passage, however thinks outside of the box due to one simple … Continue reading Your Face Is Bogart’s

Ten Hut

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli... My uncle is a Marine. Well, he's not on active service, but they say a Marine is never really out, so he's technically still a Marine. He's also a Vietnam vet, and he always flies the Marine flag outside his house. So, I have a … Continue reading Ten Hut

Shore Is Awful

Brother, can you spare a dime? I've been on a John Steinbeck kick lately. In the last couple of months I've read Travels With Charley and Cannery Row (again), plus I have Sweet Thursday and The Pastures of Heaven lined up. I think the man was an absolute genius. We're all aware of one of … Continue reading Shore Is Awful

Bird Is the Word

Here we go... One of Alfred Hitchcock's most infamous films is the 1963 chiller, The Birds. Following the strafing of a seaside town by angry, murderous birds, it's commonly attributed to Daphne du Maurier's novella of the same name. However, there's much more as to how the film came to be. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), … Continue reading Bird Is the Word

Hail, Alma Mater

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to my alma mater, Sacramento State University, for the first time since graduating in 2000. My older niece just got her computer science degree there, and my younger niece started her upper division business classes this semester. Being at Sac was kind of a weird feeling, even though I … Continue reading Hail, Alma Mater

Why I Never Say, “Drinking the Kool-Aid.”

Today's post is not going to be exactly cheery, and if anyone wants to stop reading due to sensitivities or thinks this topic is too macabre, I completely understand. History's not always a pretty sight. However, I wanted to at least touch on Jonestown because it shook a lot of people in America, and Northern … Continue reading Why I Never Say, “Drinking the Kool-Aid.”

Charlie Goes To Niles

Time for a walk down Memory Lane... Before I moved to Placer County, one of the places I lived in was the city of Fremont, California. It's a patchwork of five little towns that were incorporated into one big town in 1956, and each of those towns-turned-districts has its own distinct flavor. While they're all … Continue reading Charlie Goes To Niles

Amarillo Or Bust

Miss Bette's back, y'all... We all know how studios liked certain stars in certain roles. It streamlined the whole casting process to know who could play gangsters, or high society types, or ingenues. Every once in a while, though, studios did color outside the lines, and one example of that is 1941's The Bride Came C.O.D. A … Continue reading Amarillo Or Bust

Whales of Star Trek

The time, it must be traveled. Little side note: Because Star Trek is so well-known, I won't be including the names of the principal cast. Supporting actors are a different story, though. Although I like Star Trek, I'm not a Trekkie by any stretch of the imagination. Or maybe I am--I've seen most of the movies, and … Continue reading Whales of Star Trek

Mary’s Dilemma

And now for that surprise blogathon I told you about... San Francisco is a town of extremes. Even in its earlier days, it had both upstanding citizens and degenerates, plus everyone in between, and it wasn't always in relation to one's station in life. It is the city Emperor Norton called home, after all. The … Continue reading Mary’s Dilemma

Louis and Oscar

Out and about with one of our closest neighbors... 🙂 Of all the studio moguls except for the Warner Brothers, Louis Burt Mayer gets the most attention, and rightly so. He presided over Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which not only bore his name, but boasted it had more stars than there are in the heavens and made "art … Continue reading Louis and Oscar