Sunday, April 24, 2005

Curmudgeon in the Wry 293

Sunday, April 24, 2005---618 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 58 seconds
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Rave: Ozzie and Harriet
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Rant: Female sports announcers would have more credibility if they did not refer to "the refs" in baseball.
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General rule of thumb: The ugliest building on a college campus is usually the School of Design.
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Hmmm: Maybe it is just me, but I have serious doubts that 3-D is going to make a comeback.
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Rant: How come it seems that the friendliest cab drivers screw you the most?
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Rave: “Swing” by Rupert Holmes is an absolute treat. It keeps you guessing from start to finish.
Mr. Holmes has won a pair of Edgars, a Grammy, three Tony Awards and his previous novel (“Where the Truth Lies”) is being made into a film starring Kevin Bacon. Mr. Holmes is no Forest Gump.
“Swing” is not a formulaic mystery…though a death transpires early on. It is a brainy, atmospheric, literate, nimble novel.
Set in 1940 during the Golden Gate International Exposition on the manmade Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, the noirish fictional historic thriller is narrated by sax player and arranger Ray Sherwood. He is part of the Jack Donovan Orchestra of Note…playing an extended gig at the upscale Claremont Hotel in Oakland.
Upon arrival, Berkeley student Gail Prentice entices Ray into helping her score her prize winning piano piece for full orchestra. Part of the prize is a performance by Japan’s Pan Pacific Orchestra.
Ray agrees and enters into a world of betrayal, deceit, double crosses, murder and political intrigue.
Nazi sympathizers, a former lover from twenty years past, Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, the Lindy Hop, Japanese diplomats, lime phosphates are just a few of the people, places and lingo that transport the reader solidly into the big band era and lifestyle. An era when what musicians loved to play was what the public loved to hear.
The book comes with a CD of original big band music composed by Mr. Holmes. Clues are contained in the music…I, myself, was far too obtuse to locate said clues. However the CD has dominated my player for the past 300 miles.
No matter…the story is about something more ominous and disturbing than a murder, but to tell more would diminish the pleasure of the denouement.
“Swing” is right on key and not to be missed.
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Quote: “Good photographs are not taken, they are given.”---Anon.
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Just asking: Do you know anyone who actually watches arena football?
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Rant: No waiter should attempt to make you feel guilty for ordering tap water instead of bottled water.
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Rave: Never underestimate how talented Buddy Holly really was.
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Translation: Anyone who says, “I am just playing the Devil’s Advocate,” is actually saying, “I really believe this, but I do not have the guts to say so.”
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Rave: On July 1st, San Francisco will ban smoking in parks, town squares, public gardens, beaches, etc. They are setting a great standard for others to follow with this legislation.
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Rave: Penguins are pretty funny.
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Hmmm: Does anyone still use shoe trees? And, why are they called that?
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Trust me: There is nothing static about static electricity.
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Rant: It is not your imagination---restaurants are getting noisier and noisier.
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Rave: If I were a drinking man, I would drink Grey Goose Vodka…just to support their spectacular print ads. Very creative, entertaining and imaginative stuff…and has a high (to me anyway) retention value.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

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