With Josh out of town, I had to swing this interview solo. Tony is a wonderfully affable dude with fun stories about Liza Minnelli, Veep, and the Arrested Development thang he be shooting today it seems. Though mildly thwarted by the coalmine-esque heat, the BuckRat running around behind, and the BuckCricket chirping in the rafters, we were able to bang out some really solid pod. Cheers to Tony and everyone who made this episode possibly (like me, and Josh… and my wife who was watching my children… and my children who were eating spaghetti and soy sauce).
Jim Turner popped by for a chat and a laugh. Jim was a good talker. We only got through about the first twenty years of his career, so we’ll probably have him on again sometime in the nearish future. It was fun talking about comedy and whatnot in the seventies. It was also fun talking about Randy Newman. Comedians seem to really like Randy Newman, what with him being an unreliable narrator and such.
I have three cups of coffee sitting next to me. Two of the cups of coffee were gifts. I am deciding which cup of coffee I should drink right now. I hope I make the right choice.
Kate Micucci came by the BuckLair last night for a chat and a laugh. She is quite funny. It was a really fun talking with her about many different things. We forgot to get a picture. Next time we’ll get a picture. Next time things will be different. I swear. I promise.
Davy Jones died today. I got to play guitar with John Stewart one time. John Stewart wrote “Daydream Believer.” He died a few years ago. Whenever I tell people I played guitar with John Stewart they get way excited. I think they get way excited because they get their John Stewarts confused.
Davy replaced a line in “Daydream Believer.” What once was Now you know how funky I can be became Now you know how happy I can be. This is all.
Will Leitch is a fantastic talker. It was fun pontificating a bit about movies and sport. I remember hearing Will for the first time on The Baseball Prospectus Podcast. It was 2005. I had just started listening to podcasts. We all had. I was working at the Hollywood Athletic Club, scraping old dried plaster and paint off the ceiling. We were restoring the Hollywood Athletic Club back to its original glory. The work was pretty monotonous, but the monotony was eased by the discovery of the podcast.
The Oscars are tonight… so is the NBA All Star Game. Neil Hamburger also has his show at The Satellite. I might try and go see Neil Hamburger if I’m not still at urgent care with the baby who was crying in the middle of the podcast. My baby who was crying in the middle of the podcast might have an ear infection. They say that children who have ear infections have a difficult time sleeping, what with the mess of sick rolling around inside of their ears. I’m definitely not positive this is the case as he can’t talk yet. He can’t tell us there’s a mess of sick rolling around up inside of his ears. He can cry, though. He can cry very loudly.
I have been staring at my Easy Lite Dirt Devil for the past four minutes trying to think of something to write. I have this script open, but I’d like to hit it from beginning to end and I just don’t have the time. I also have some articles that I need to put together, but I just seem to sometimes get overwhelmed by the supreme nature of the fleeting moment. There are all these things happening that need to be written about, but it seems that everyone else is writing about them better and with more precision. Good, famous writers are crafty. They get the idea of busting in and concocting some grand assertion in the moment. Good, famous, cool writers are good at picking apart moments in the moment. I wish I had this ability. I wish I was better at picking apart things in the moment as opposed to reflecting mindlessly.
The Easy Lite Dirt Devil looks better than it works. It has trouble sucking. This is a bad problem for a device of its nature. Sucking is its life blood. Sucking, the little sucking that it still does, is the thing that is keeping it from the trash. When the time comes we’ll probably put it by the curb. It’s electronic. I have a hard time just throwing electronic things away. I’m not sure why. Electronic things are just as worthless as anything else when they stop being useful. I assume it has something to do with the nature of its existence. I assume, deep down, the primal thing in me feels that for a short time the pinnacle of human thought and development lived in the essence of the mechanics and design of the Easy Lite Dirt Devil. For a short time, it was the best.
It never was though; it never was the best. I know this. I really ought take it out to the curb. The metal people will come by and pick it up at some point. The metal people come by and take everything I put out there. I tip my hat to the metal people and their dirty trucks. They make my life easier. They make me feel better about discarding mildly useful things. They make me feel as if my wastefulness is something of a benefit to humanity.
We have a few fun podcasts coming up. Will Leitch is calling in tomorrow. The great Daniel Songer is also going to ring us up at some point. I think this is all for now. I’m sort of running on fumes. I might finish watching something or I might just continue looking at the Easy Lite Dirt Devil until my children wake up. We looked at trains today. Trains will take it out of you in a big way. Trains will chew you up and spit you out.
Josh Fadem came in to the BuckLair for a chat and a laugh last night. It was fat Tuesday. We celebrated by talking for a very long time. Josh was wildly fun guest. He also did some impressions. He might have been our first real impressionist. He wasn’t Rich Little, but he was groovy and good. Impressionists are fantastic. They’re like magicians. They pull verbal rabbits out of metaphorical hats.
Because of the length, we decided to break the podcast up into two parts. It was fun and good. Watch Josh do things. It will make you smile a happy smile. This is all for now. More coming soon. Will Leitch calling in on Sunday. Hopefully the phones work.
Josh also does a groovy Harrison Ford. A very groovy Harrison Ford.
I am listening to the Whitney Houston memorial on the Sirius Whitney Houston memorial channel. We have Sirius free for six months. I am not sure if we will get the subscription. We probably won’t. Clive Davis is speaking now. He sounds like a member of a secret society. He sounds like a preacher for the illuminati. He sounds frightening. He sounds like a man who secretly rules the world. I imagine he has a hand in ruling the world at some point in his life. I imagine he meets once a week in a secret room with Robert Evans and seven other old men with whiskey voices. I imagine the room looks like something from Dr. Strangelove. I imagine they order in food from Denny’s. I imagine Bob Evans usually sends his back. Clive probably rolls his eyes. It’s probably a ritualistic thing.
Now Clive is talking about Waiting to Exhale. Now he’s talking about hanging out with Whitney in a hotel bungalow. Now he’s talking about her eating a hamburger. I assume Kevin Costner is sitting confused. I assume Kevin Costner has some idea of the secret society, of Clive Davis and Bob Evans. I once heard a story about how Bob Evans kept a woman captive in his house. I know it was probably assumed she was held captive for some pseudo consensual adult activity, but I can’t help but assume he just kept her around so he could have someone listen to him complain about his breakfast.
As Clive wraps up his speech, I can’t help but wonder if he’ll choose this pivotal moment to unzip his face to reveal his true lizard person self. I can’t help but wonder if everyone will stand in unison and applaud his imminent zipper induced transformation. I imagine they will, as I know I would.
Now Dionne Warwick is slurring jokes, which is the second best way to tell a joke. I met Dionne Warwick once—at The Night of 1000 Stars. The Night of 1000 Stars was an Oscar night event at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I snuck into it with a few friends and my uncle. I met her and Vivian Leigh that night. Dionne Warwick, Vivian Leigh, and Weird Al were all there. They were just three of the thousand.
I just finished watching Wendy and Lucy. I was thinking about making some joke about how Wendy and Lucy would be way better if it was Wendy and Lucy and Free Meatball Sandwiches or something, but I decided against. I really liked it. It kept popping up as a thing the computer thought I would like. The computer was right.
We also interviewed Jordan Morris last night. Ryan Patterson sat in with us for the evening. I thought it would be good to have him run our version of the board. Our the board isn’t much of a board though. All said, it was fun nonetheless.
Jordan has the gift of gab. He is a true gabthronologist. It was fun waxing poetic with someone who understands that the long form interviewish thing is a marathon and a sprint. It was fun having him do his thing.
I have the following things on my mind: Yoenis Cespedes, Otis Redding, and John Cheever. I am listening to Otis Blue and thinking about reading something from The Stories of John Cheever. I have some time to burn. I never really take true advantage of the time, the precious little time I have to burn. I really don’t have too much time now. I really should probably be reading something from the book. Thinking about reading something from the book is often almost as rewarding as actually reading. Reading takes time. I usually don’t have time. I wish I did. I do now and I’m wasting it.
Otis Blue is really good though. “Wonderful World” just finished. It makes me sad. Whenever I listen to a Sam Cooke song, I can’t help but picture the picture of him slumped over dead. It’s a pretty rough image. I wouldn’t advise looking for it, though it can easily be found. It’s a weird and tragic image. It’s extremely rough. Because it is seared into my brain, my soul skips a beat when I hear “Cupid” and “Twistin’ the Night Away.”
Sam Cooke was shot in the stomach. He wasn’t truly able to develop as a musician. He wasn’t truly able to develop as a man. Development is key, sort of. Cheever talks about this a little in the preface to his Stories collection. “A writer can be seen clumsily learning to walk, to tie his necktie, to make love, and to eat peas off a fork. He appears much alone and determined to instruct himself. Naive, provincial in my case, sometimes drunk, sometime obtuse, almost always clumsy, even a selected display of one’s early work will be a naked history of one’s struggle to receive an education in economics and love.”
I think Yoenis Cespedes interests me because of the raw talent, the amazing video displaying the raw talent, and because of the expectation. I am also interested in it as a snapshot of Billy Beane’s development. The artistry of Billy Beane may or may not be a thing in reality, but evidence of his work is quite explicit. I like to see people I admire create cool, new things. Yoenis Cespedes playing right field for the Oakland Athletics bucks a trend and breaks a perception. Yoenis Cespedes might end up being somewhat pedestrian, but this isn’t the point. The process of his acquisition is what interests me.
I guess this is just a thing about how much I enjoy looking at the process. I guess. Sort of. I really should probably get around to reading something at some point today, be it Cheever or some good analytical response to the signing of Yoenis Cespedes. I should also spend some time listening to Sam Cooke. I should also spend some time trying to examine the process, the artistry of John Cheever’s transformation into John Cheever, because, in the end, John Cheever’s greatest contribution to the world might just be the way he looked… because when he was an old man, all educated in economics and love, he looked really, really cool.
It came so much easier back when I was writing about baseball. Then we started making podcasts and the writing dropped off, eventually disappearing altogether. The drop-off began as a trickle. I would still write about the podcast and the guest of the week. The meaningless posts about metaphorical whatnots became a whole mess of nothing. I’d like to blame the dry spell on small children, but such an assessment isn’t fair to small children.
It was also much easier to write about baseball. Writing about baseball is rich and easy. Baseball is an easy metaphorical crutch. It is incredibly rich and filled with so much meaningless meaning. It is a thing filled with memories and good times ripe for literary harvest.
WatchingThe Late Shiftthe other night helped me put things in perspective. I’m not sure how, entirely, but it made me want to write about the meaning of things whose meanings are most certainly trivial and pointless.
Patton Oswalt was onThe Treatment the other day. He talked with joy about being something of an enthusiast. On some level, the buckshot is a metaphor for unfocused enthusiasm. The buckshot gives license to revel without focus, which is why, instead of retreating, I plan on trying to write a bit more, and interview a broader spectrum of people. Hopefully. Maybe.
We’ve been able to wrangle some cool dudes into the garage. I’m not sure why they’ve come, but they have. Maybe it’s because we asked. Maybe it’s because they, too, recognize the importance of the enthusiast. I’m really not too sure, but it’s been really fun.
One of my favorite enthusiasts interviewing one of my favorite grouchy Dodger fans. If only all of our interviews could be this amazingly awkward.
The past two nights I have been watching The Late Shift in ten minute chunks on YouTube. It’s an amazing watch. The whole thing plays like a weird dream. The whole thing plays like a gumbo, like a poor man’s soup, a delicious poor man’s soup. The events of the shift come together in odd, strange ways. The whole thing is confusing and poorly assembled, but there is a certain method to the madness. The method and the madness work together in good ways. I imagine the book is a good read, but there is something beautifully horrible in the assemblage of the varying parts that makes it fun and interesting. The Late Shift is like a weird monster made of gumbo and bad impressions.
Rich Little plays Johnny Carson. This is a good thing.