03
May 18

Now here’s something of a different time

I had lunch with this guy today. It was, as you might imagine, very cool.

Dean Martin died when I was a freshman in college. And I wasn’t yet hip to who or what could bring about a lasting cool. I suppose he was always the guy that played drunk, or did the occasional telethon. He was one of the old guys that ran around with Sinatra and was old. I’m sure I knew he had done movies, but I didn’t know much about the Rat Pack and I certainly didn’t know much of his music. It was too far removed for me to be anything but too far removed myself, I suppose. (“Little Ole Wine Drinker Me” was a Charlie Walker song that Martin covered. It stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks. It peaked at fifth on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and was also a hit in Australia that year.)

I really discovered him after college. His music. His cool. His sound. Dean Martin had the best sound of the Rat Pack.

And, man, he was funny. Just look who is on the stage with him here:

There’s a great Christmas-themed Pillsbury Flour spot and a too-artsy for 1975 America Revlon promo in the middle of the video, too.

And even when he was playing a song for laughs he could sing and sing:

I love that song.

One of our hallways at work has a lot of historic photos from the program. This lady is a part of one of the pictures:

She’s a copy editor in the 1940s at the IDS. But she’s given up her seat in the slot for Ernie Pyle, who has returned to Indiana to visit family and friends. And when he was home he was never far from campus, so here he’s back and reading the paper. The front page story that he’s reading is about the Romanian armistice, so she is looking over his shoulder as he reads a late-August, early-September paper from 1944.

I wonder what she was thinking about, sitting there, posing with the great Ernie Pyle in her seat. He’s a legend now, and he was well-venerated then. I wonder where those lamps got off too.

I looked her up. She might have become a school teacher. The woman I found online passed away just a few years ago. But I’m not 100 percent convinced I have the right person.

Tonight I’m hanging out with Allie, The Black Cat:

No better way to wind down an evening.


02
May 18

What’s your super power?

I think we all have super powers. They vary, and some are more useful than others. I have two super powers. One has no practical benefit. The other is that I can always determine the right container for leftovers. It’s a small thing, this super power, but it’s useful.

But it occurs to me that a great super power would be able to see, in the smallest moment that this little moment is special.

I don’t have that one. I’d like it, but instead I just look back on a moment many hours later and realize there was a sweet little perfection today.

The Yankee and I went out for lunch. We walked down two blocks to the local fast food fake burrito shop and then we walked back up toward our building on campus. Just across the street we stopped at that flowerbed and I took a few pictures and a little sliver of video and this was a delightful moment to be with someone important. I’d like to be able to more often realize that sort of thing during, rather than after.

Everybody has one, or two or more. Everyone should have that one, I think. What’s your super power?


01
May 18

Welcome to May

We hold onto it for as long as we can, and that makes the days more fleeting somehow.

The sun is getting higher and the skies are growing warmer and those things will keep changing until they reach their own stasis that is its own status quo.

The signs are all there.

But we’ll hold onto this for just a little while.

I actually, finally, got on my bicycle yesterday. I just cruised around the neighborhood, trying to figure out if I still know how to do this.

So far this “spring” I have found free time on days with bad weather and every warm day I was indoors. It’s been almost comical. I somehow get a little more of my time back in the summer. It’s a curious mystery, but it is what it is. This is thing I figured out on my bike today: those things flow right off the back when you’re in the right gear.

Maybe I’ll find a way to get a lot more rides in.


30
Apr 18

What I did at work on Saturday

We are going to finally, officially say it:

Spring is here, at last:

It was late, but is not here to last. We’ll probably move directly into summer in a week or two. But for the moment, you revel in it. This is what I was doing on Saturday. Outside, dancing between the daylight and the shade, enjoying the breeze and the temperature and my sunglasses and the sun, waiting on a donor to show up to our building on campus.

A gentleman wanted to give something to the Media School. It fell to me to help get the thing in the building. The gentleman chose Saturday, so there we were. And he was on his way, late, but on his way.

He hopes out of his SUV, his two middle school children and a film student, and they all start offloading chunks of cast iron. I knew what it was, or what it would be again when he had it indoors and reassembled, but in its constituent parts it didn’t look like much. And then you started looking at details. It’s an old car:

It has great tags, and easy-to-use controls:

The thing still worked, the donor said.

And this particular tag gave you the timeline. This is from about 1937. Still in working conditioning. Mechanically mint.

It was all made in the US. The East Coast and the Midwest. Do you know what it is yet?

The only problems are a few scratches on the finish, like this one:

And some peeling 80-year-old paint:

It has a glass piece on top, still original, still pristine:

And if you’re still trying to figure it out, this piece should look a bit familiar:

Here’s the top part, beneath is the big heavy cast iron setup:

And here’s the full machine:

This is a movie projector.
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It was donated by a locally-based actor, James Lee Guy, who is very successful in Chinese cinema. He donated it to The Media School because he is a passionate, passionate film fan. He’s owned it for several years, having picked it up from a man who was running a private screening room in his home a few towns away. Before that this had been in a drive-in theater. Guy estimates it was made in about 1937. It still works and now is a fine display piece.
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A most generous donation, indeed.


27
Apr 18

Last shows of the year

IUSTV is winding down today. Their last five studio shows of the semester were produced this week and the last one this very afternoon. Now everyone is getting ready for finals and internships or finals and graduation and their first jobs. And I’m ready for a nap.

So here are this week’s shows.

Two seniors anchored the news show. One is headed north, to work up near the lakes, and one is headed to Georgia. Everyone else on the news shows should be back in the fall:

The pop culture show, also recorded on Tuesday nights, features another impressive senior we’re happy-sad to lose. Alex is going to be working at the local public television station over the summer. And we’ll probably all be working for her one day:

On Thursday, of course, we talked sports:

One sports director is graduating. Almost everyone else should be back.

On the sports talk show, there’s a lot of youth, and they’ve progressed nicely:

And then there’s the funny ha-ha show:

The show host gets “fired” at the end. It’s part of a large multimedia story arc they are planning. (They wanted me to do the “firing,” but my presence was required elsewhere during the shoot.) It’s pretty intense.