11/29/2010

item 1 >>> I love old sayings…”In for a penny, in for a pound” is one of my favorites…and not just to say them, but try to live them, too. Which is not to say brand new old sayings aren’t being invented all the time, because they are. They just lack the hoary gravitas that centuries can bestow, but decades cannot. Like: “I love you, you’re perfect, now change.” Which in the broader sense makes fun of the urge to take that which you love and abandon it for newer versions. Or older versions, even. I’m thinking of potato pancakes. One of the joys of my youth was my Grandma Sophie’s potato pancakes, which in those days we called…”potato pancakes.” Not plackis, not latkes, not even the hybrid mish-mash platkes. (No, not mish-mosh…we said what we said, sorry.) And we ate them with maple syrup, which seems to disgust most of the people I mention it to, worse than lima beans. Well, pancakes were pancakes, that’s how we looked at it. And it was so good! OK, I did ask her once if they had maple syrup in Poland, she smiled and averred that they didn’t. Don’t recall if she said what they did use, sour cream maybe? I have since discovered some people top them powdered sugar. Yuck!

item 2 >>> But the point of story is this: there is a movement afoot to return to…what would you call it today?…”heritage” platkes. Because remember, potatoes came from the New World, and before the Old World had ’em, they used something else: usually buckwheat or root vegetables, like carrots, beets, parsnips. Other variations making the rounds today include yam, butternut squash, celery root, even apple. Which would make sense if we didn’t have potatoes, but we do…now change…no, I don’t want fries with that…

item 3 >>> But that gives me a great idea: french fries with maple syrup! Well, I do like oatmeal topped with grated cheese. No? More for me then…

item 4 >>> And another thing…another pet peeve, I guess. I am Old School, and when I hear the word “please,” I take it to mean that the speaker is urging me to do something, as opposed to its opposite. But implicit in this is that I have a choice. I can do what they want, or not. Which is why I bristle when I find “please” used in situations where there is no choice. For example, a store special that’s asterisked “One per customer, please!” In fact, what they clearly mean is everybody only gets just one, and it’s not up to you…please has nothing to do with it. But then it’s the same with those signs that say “Thank You For Not Smoking!” What they really mean is “Don’t Smoke!” But I always assume the sign isn’t addressed to me, since I am smoking…why would they thank me for not doing what I am doing? That makes no sense. BTW, this is why a computer cannot in any meaningful way say please or thank you…well, it can try, but it doesn’t wash with me. What I want to click is a “Not OK” button…

item 5 >>> What good is Deep-Fried Hoodsie Cups? Well for me personally, very good…I went snooping thru Life Magazine at Google Books for references to Danvers, and found this letter in the Oct, 17, 1949 issue. And thanks to DFHC, I knew immediately that this letter was from the man who would start Putnam Pantry in 1951, a descendant of Gen. Israel Putnam, known for his famous quote: “…and then aim low.”

item 6 >>> A while back, you might have seen an item in the paper announcing that in the near future, Archie Andrews was getting married…but to whom? Betty Cooper or Veronica Lodge? Now even for the sake of nostalgia, you probably find it hard to buy a comic book these days. For one thing, they aren’t available everywhere like they used to be. Then there’s sticker-shock…last time I checked, what, 2.99, 3.99?  You probably lost your mind when then went from 10¢ to 12¢. So I’ll tell you what happened…he married BOTH, in 2 separate and ongoing series of stories. There’s even a mysterious stranger who travels between the 2 alternate Riverdales. Shades of Back to the Future, eh?

item 7 >>> And since I brought it up, the other last names of the characters are: Jughead Jones, Reggie Mantle, Moose Mason, and his girlfriend Midge Klump. Who am I leaving out…oh yeah, egghead Dilton Doiley. Thing is, when I was young, I read the Little Archie’s, so to me, that was Archie. Remember his side-kick with the cap always over his eyes and the big nose…Little Ambrose Pipps.

item 8 >>> “The only way to win an argument with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.” Good advise from James Russell Lowell, one of  the Fireside Poets…a group of New Englanders whose popularity rivaled that of the British poets. Sort of the British Invasion in reverse. You recognize these names, I betcha…Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Byrant, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

item 9 >>> Hey Baby Boomers, where are you on this scale: 1st Plateau: Cops are younger than you. 2nd Plateau: Your doctor is younger than you. 3rd Plateau: The President is younger than you. 4th Plateau: The Pope is younger than you.

item 10 >>> Traveling south from New Hampshire into Massachusetts? Don’t miss, on your right, the spot by the sign where motorcyclists stop to have a smoke and put on their helmets…”Welcome to Massachusetts”…well, there are welcomes and there are welcomes…

Wicked Ballsy


A “beanie” is a skull-cap, sometimes accessorized with a propeller on top as with Beanie & Cecil. The hat that Jughead wears I guess might be properly called a “crown beanie,” altho I had one as a very young child, and just called it a beanie. It’s traditionally fashioned from an old fedora, the brim folded up and cut in that zig-zag pattern. Buttons, pins or even bottle-caps traditionally adorned a beanie…on mine, my Mom sewed on charms from gumball machines & Crackerjacks.

shameless plugditarod…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com and  https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com

More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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