As I am sure many of you know, this past Tuesday was Fat Tuesday, the last blow out before Lent and the end of Carnivale. February 20th also marked another special day, the anniversary of the birth of Robert Altman. Thus, a memorial service was held in New York City’s Majestic Theater for the great filmmaker who lost a long battle with cancer late last year.
I was lucky enough to have attended and it was truly an inspiring event. As an auteur and as a human being, Robert Altman was a force to be reckoned with, something the speakers and guests at his memorial made sure to point out. A true iconoclast, Altman “never met a status quo he didn’t hate,” according to speaker Bob Balaban, Altman’s producer and story collaborator on Gosford Park.
In Praise of Calvin Trillin
I urge you all to read Calvin Trillin’s Op-Ed piece in Friday’s New York Times entitled “Park, He Said.” At the very LEAST, it will give you a few minutes of laughter in a world disturbingly bereft of such (automatic meatloaf carver, anyone?). If, however, you’re not familiar with Mr. Trillin’s work, you’ll be introduced to one of the shining lights of modern literature. A thoughtful, incisive and often laugh out loud funny chronicler of, well, things that suit his fancy. A satirist, as well as a top-notch food and travel writer and self-proclaimed doggerelist, “Bud,” as he is known by friends (I name drop on behalf of my parents, not me) is a true original and should not be missed.
Airline Toilets and the General Public
Am I the only one who finds it disturbing that there’s a sign in airplane lavatories that reads something like:
Disposing of anything other than toilet paper in the toilet can cause external leaks and poses a safety hazard.
Is it just me or does that read something like “If you try to flush a load of solid objects down this loo, you might just bring this plane down.” Sounds like an invitation to a deranged (or simply determined) passenger. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer that the idea not even be hinted at. How about a little lie? Something like: “Using anything other than toilet paper in this lavatory risks damaging the toilet and causing the entire plane to smell like poo?” That would sure stop me from pouring a load of ball bearings down the bog and might not give some nutty nut bar any bad ideas.
Just a thought.