Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Of Masonry, crockery and other odds and ends…

You may have already read about this elsewhere, but in case you haven’t has announced that CBS/Paramount will be releasing Perry Mason: 50th Anniversary Edition this April 8th. It’s a nifty little four-disc package containing some of the series’ most offbeat and guest star-laden episodes, including The Case of the Deadly Verdict (where Perry loses a case), The Case of the Twice-Told Twist (the only episode in color) and The Case of the Final Fade-Out (in which Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner plays a judge). The 1985 TV-movie reunion, Perry Mason Returns, is also being included, as well as screen tests, interviews, promos, etc. I’m optimistic that this release is a positive sign that more Mason sets are coming in the future…though the price tag on this one is a little heftier than it should be; it practically costs the same as those wretched split-season sets they’re selling now. (Also, Perry Mason premiered on CBS in the fall of 1957, so they’re a bit behind with the anniversary celebration.)

I don’t have as much free time as I normally do because of the de-cluttering, packing, eBay activities, etc. but I did get an opportunity to see a pair of movies of recent vintage via the good people at Columbia House (some sort of bogo sale, if memory serves me correct). The first, which I enjoyed very much, was Hollywoodland (2006)—a fictionalized detective drama about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of TV’s Superman, George Reeves. Very well made film, and the acting is astoundingly good; particularly Ben Affleck (who has a tendency to phone in a lot of his performances in films) as the tragic Reeves, Diane Lane as his mistress, and Bob Hoskins as the mistress’ husband, MGM mogul Eddie Mannix. I also caught a glance at Zodiac (2007), a film based on the notorious California serial killer in the 1960s/1970s; I didn’t care much for the film’s over length (though I realize it was necessary to tell the story) or the “heroics” of Jake Gyllenhaal (as newspaper cartoonist Robert Graysmith) but the performances by Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox (as attorney Melvin Belli) and especially Robert Downey, Jr. were all splendid (and it’s always good to see Candy Clark in a movie, even if it was a teensy role).

Two weeks ago, I put an ad in the local Tell ‘n’ Sell advertising approximately five acres of LPs that I’ve managed to collect over the years, mostly old-time radio but some comedy (Richard Pryor, George Carlin, etc.), and the ad basically said: “Haul it away for $175 or best offer.” Since then, I had two people call: one who got frustrated because he couldn’t follow the directions to our house that my father gave him over the phone (so he just never showed up) and the other who told me he’d give me a call back but…well, I don’t need to finish this, do I? So it became readily apparent that the demand for these albums was going to be relatively nil.

As it happens, I’m sitting on the living room couch one Saturday night, watching the Republican/Democratic debates, and staring at the albums, which I gathered up and stashed in the living room so that individuals interested in them wouldn’t trip over the other mounds of crap I have in our back room (which we have dubbed “the shipping department”). As I sit and stare, I say to myself: “I should just go ahead and try to unload these on eBay”…and that’s what I went ahead and did. Most of these old-time radio albums are from Radiola, Mark 56, Nostalgia Lane, Golden Age, etc.—various labels devoted to putting OTR on vinyl in the 1970s and 80s—and if you’re interested, I’m sure you find some rare goody or two that starts out with an unbeatable starting bid.

Someone e-mailed me about some items I’ve had listed on eBay for two or three weeks now, and I feel compelled to reveal that the Pfaltzgraff Arborwood Aspen dinnerware isn’t actually mine but my Sister Kat’s. Since posting these dishes, we’ve sold one…a coffee mug. Anything the vast readership of TDOY can do to put a few shekels in her pocket would be most appreciated, particularly since she had to purchase a new car over the holidays after her truck said “F**k it!” in the Lowe’s parking lot at the Deerfield Shopping Plaza.

I realize that posting here has become most infrequent, and for that I’m truly sorry; I’m going to try to have something else up this week but it’s another busy one (got another First Generation Radio Archive project due shortly) and I never seem to have any time to sit down and hunt and peck. As always, if you took the time to relieve me of some of the excess crap I have around here I’m most appreciative: Stacia at She Blogged by Night is building her library with some recent acquisitions she purchased from yours truly, as is my pal Chandu from In the Balcony, and a dedicated OTR collector in New York now has possession of about 80% of my OTR collection…which is reassuring, since now I can call and check on it whenever the need arises. (Oh, and I can’t forget P.M., a newcomer to the blog who bought some stuff, too…) In the meantime, write if you get work and hang by your thumbs…and remember, it’s milder…much milder.

1 comment:

Stacia said...

I love these books! The books are still sitting neatly in the kitchen, waiting for me to clear a shelf for them. They'll be waiting a while, it's extremely cold around here and I'm fighting my natural instinct to go into hibernation.