One of my favorite lines from the classic 1974 film Chinatown comes from the monstrously inhuman Noah Cross (John Huston), who answers the claims of detective Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) that Cross is respectable with: “’Course I’m respectable—I’m old…politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last enough.” That line kind of flashed through my brain when my good friend Toby at 50 Westerns from the 50s let me know that he was bestowing upon me a Stylish Blogger Award because…really? Stylish? I associate stylish with classy, and I don’t think I’d have to pass out any paper ballots to get a consensus that classy is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of this humble scrap of the blogosphere. Let me put it this way: this is a blog who would drink right out of the milk jug, leaving a backwash of chocolate chip cookie crumbs in the container.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was tickled as all get out that Toby thinks so highly of my work here, so I want to thank him profusely for the honor…and, as is the case with all such blogging awards, there are rules to be followed. You must thank the person for the award (tell the band to shut it, I won’t take much longer) and link to their post while holding up the award for everyone to see. The hardest part comes next: you must reveal seven secrets previously unknown to the readership, thus exposing yourself in a moment of emotional vulnerability…and I think we can all agree the last thing you want is me exposing myself. So I’ll try to come up with some Tiger Beat trivia that you can brag about to your friends when the need arises:
1) For years I wore a clip-on tie to work because I can’t stand having a regular tie around my neck. And no, it has nothing to do with the time they mistook me for the guy doing all that cattle rustling; it’s because I had to wear a tie as part of my school uniform when I went to Catholic school as a kid and I loathed every single solitary minute of it.
2) I can’t eat any pasta thicker than vermicelli, thin spaghetti or angel hair. Pasta produces a gag reflex in me that’s a little unpleasant to witness.
3) I won’t put steak sauce on a steak because a) it is a sacrilege and b) I’m afraid my grandfather will come back from the dead and haunt me.
4) I’d love to be able to keep a dog here at Rancho Yesteryear since they are my favorite kind of pet. However, the $300 pet fee required by my landlord kind of tones down that favoritism a tad.
5) My favorite way to spend an evening is a splendid meal with friends and/or family…and the conversation must be rewarding and thought-provoking.
6) I knew the bride when she used to rock ‘n’ roll. (Oh, half a tick—that’s a song by Nick Lowe.)
7) People think that the lesson imparted in It’s a Wonderful Life—“No man is a failure who has friends”—is awful corny but I’ve bought into it 100%.
Now that the true confessions portion of the awards ceremony is over and done with, let’s carve up this bad boy and dole it out to some blogs that I respect and admire:
Mardecortesbaja.com – You’ve probably heard me use the term “Renaissance man” a time or two on my blog, and I use it to describe individuals who have a smattering of info on every subject under the sun but who can talk about it without being pompous or overbearing. My friend Lloyd is one of those rare people, and I really think his blog is swell.
Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Blog – Bill and I share a lot of the same interests: pulp novels, B-westerns, country music, etc. and while he has a tendency to chastise me, Tony Randall-style, on Facebook whenever I slag Gwyneth Paltrow (“Ivan, Ivan, Ivan…”) without his blog I wouldn’t know who’s passed on or in what neighborhood the giant alligators will show up next. (Just make sure you stay off his lawn.)
Cultureshark – I don’t know why more people aren’t reading this funny pop culture blog by Rick Brooks, but I really enjoy the DVD reviews (of movies I’ll never see) and features like “My wife reads People so you don’t have to…” (If the only thing he ever came up with was nicknaming TCM “The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™” he’d be a god in the blogosphere.)
Saturday Morning Archives – This offshoot of my friend hobbyfan’s The Land of Whatever is my favorite trip into the WABAC machine to those halcyon days of cold cereal and footy pajamas. He writes about my favorites…and my unfavorites, cartoons I never watched and probably wouldn’t want to but I enjoy hearing his thoughts on them.
Inner Toob – For those of you convinced that I’m a little too obsessed with classic and vintage television, I can assuredly take a back seat to Toby O’Brien, a blogger and friend known as “The Man Who Viewed Too Much.” (This man has a serious jones for the cathode ray tube.)
Silent Volume – Chris Edwards’ blog tribute to silent cinema reviews films I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and makes them come alive again…and whets my appetite to view the ones I haven’t.
She Blogged by Night – And of course, no awards ceremony would be complete without a nod to my BBFF Stacia…and what I enjoy most about her blog is how she’s able to post breathtakingly marvelous photos with very little to no commentary. (I wish I had such restraint.)
Congratulations to every lucky recipient – the first round’s on me!