Category Archives: Jimi Hendrix

Hot Air

Hah Times

You know, it’s the little things that give me a kick sometimes.

Yesterday, for instance, a customer came in to the Book Corner and bought a pile of tomes. When I swiped her credit card, I noticed that her initials were H.A.H. Naturally, I had to tell her, “I know you know this already but I just have to say it: Your initials spell out HAH.”

“Oh, I know it,” she said. Rather than give me the stink eye, she seemed rather proud of the fact. So I pushed the envelope a tad more.

“You know what you should do,” I said, “you should sign every card, letter, and memo only with your initials. ‘Get this report back to me by 5:00pm. HAH.'”

And, again, she didn’t roll her eyes. In fact, she said, “You’re right. I have to start doing that!”

So now there may be an office somewhere in which the mood is lightened a tiny bit every time HAH sends out a memo. They’ll owe it all to me.

Another thing: Before this woman left, she noticed the new Tom Robbins fantasy-memoir, Tibetan Peach Pie, is out. Robbins, author of psychedelic fever-dream novels such as Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Another Roadside Attraction, and Jitterbug Perfume, has been a rock star in the publishing world for more than four decades. He’s hung out with the Indian mystic Osho, Timothy Leary, Joseph Campbell, and Gus Van Sant. Natch, he’s done LSD (with Leary, no less.) His legion of literary fans is devoted, if not borderline cultish.

Book Cover

As soon as Tibetan Peach Pie caught her eye, HAH began leaping up and down like a teenager at a JimiHendrix/Monkees concert (bet you didn’t know Hendrix opened for the Monkees on their 1967 tour.) HAH shrieked and bent over at the waist. She clenched her fists to her mouth. Then she shrieked some more. “Oh,” she said — needlessly, I might add, “I lo-o-o-ove Tom Robbins!” Mind you, HAH is 50 if she’s a day.

She bought the book. I hope she likes it. I hope she comes back, too. We need more such lovers of the literary arts in this world.

The New Guy & The Schmalz Bear

Speaking of the Book Corner, the new executive director of the Monroe County History Center, David Vanderstel, dropped by with his wife Sheryl yesterday. The couple’s still living in Indianapolis, from which the MCHC plucked him to run its ops. Vanderstel had been professing history for 30 years, primarily early 19th Century stuff, at IUPUI. Beginning in March, he gave up grading papers for collecting the arcana of our rectangular plot of the Hoosier state.

Monroe County, Indiana

Our Fair County

The Vanderstels have been moving, bit by bit, to these environs and expect to be settled in by July 15th. David’s been commuting daily, meaning his hot rod has prob. been rattled down to a frame with four wheels and an engine at this point.

It turns out Sheryl Vanderstel has made her daily bread as a food historian while the old man lectured about Andrew Jackson et al. Food historian, huh? Seems to me a dream gig. She did leave me with this tip: Don’t use any of the later editions of the kitchen standard, Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. Sheryl V. sez the new versions issued in 1997 and later simply don’t stand up to the original. In fact, the New York Times has characterized the edition published 17 years ago as “the New Coke of cookbooks.”

BTW: Did you know Rombauer published the first Joy back in 1930 as a way to keep her own head above water after her husband had killed himself? Life gives you lemons, you make…, well, you know.

Anyway, y’oughta drop in to the History Center to see the nine-foot-tall Schmalz bear, if nothing else. The proprietor of the long-gone legendary, eponymous Bloomington sporting goods store, Roy Schmalz, had fancied himself an outdoorsman ala Teddy Roosevelt. As such, he hunted large N. American mammals, including elk and the aforementioned towering Kodiak bear. He had the poor critters stuffed and put on display on the main floor of his store. I imagine many unfortunate Bloomington tots of an earlier era shriveled in horror the first time they saw Schmalz’s dead beasts as their dads dragged them to the Coleman lantern aisle.

Schmalz Bear

Photo: David Snodgrass/Herald Times

Schmaltz & Gray Matter

Sticking with one of the last remaining independent booksellers between Indianapolis and the Ohio River (there is the Village Lights book shop  in Madison, Indiana, in addition to the Book Corner), Bloom mag boss Malcolm Abrams paid a visit yesterday afternoon. He’s busy drumming up advertisers for his special Distinctively Bloomington guidebook, due out later this summer. It’ll feature the people, the shops, and the cultural attractions that define this bursting metrop. Abrams hopes to get it into every hotel room in the city. It’ll be an indispensable resource not only for visitors but long time residents as well.

He and I both felt expansive and commenced comparing physical ailments, as men of a certain age are wont to do. I won’t reveal Abrams’ maladies even though HIPAA regs don’t apply to gossipy bloggers but I will report that I learned he ate chicken fat sandwiches as a young lad. I didn’t have the stomach to tell him my mother used to saute calf’s brains in olive oil. I ventured to taste a forkful once; it was my last. My mother shrugged and gobbled the rest of the bovine cerebra. “You don’t know what you’re missing,” she said between forksful.

Schmaltz/Brains

Chicken Fat For Spreading (l) & Calf’s Brains

“Oh yes I do,” I replied, shuddering.

 

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Craziness is like heaven.” — Jimi Hendrix

GOD’S BACK

Alright, things are starting to get a little wacky around here now.

The Herald Times yesterday ran a story (paywall) on a “real life exorcist.” Okay, it’s Hallowe’en season and all that but I don’t see this city’s daily paper running a piece on a real life vampire who rises from the dead at night. Nor have I seen even a small feature on a wolfman or Frankenstein’s monster.

What gives?

This is on top of Newsweek mag bannering “Heaven Is Real” on its cover last week.

A neurosurgeon named Dr. Eben Alexander writes in the newsweekly that he fell into a coma and went to heaven. The mag and its sister online pub, The Daily Beast, are treating his assertion as, well, gospel. The Huffington Post is all gaga over Eben as well. Fox News, natch, is slobbering all over itself covering this “news.”

Now Alexander says he’s going to devote the rest of his life to the study of the afterlife.

Gawker calls it “possibly the most embarrassing cover story Newsweek has ever run.”

One question: Why do all these near-death afterlife experiencers go to heaven? Don’t sinners have near-death experiences?

What if Charles Manson came out of a coma and swore up and down he’d seen Beelzebub? And since Manson’s an unrepentant mortal sinner, might he then say, “Hey man, I dig hell. I can’t wait to go back permanently.” How would Newsweek and The Daily Beast cover that?

What About Hell?

What if…, aw, hell with it. I’m gonna go pop open “The God Delusion.”

SCARY STUFF

Get ready to have the bejesus scared out of you this coming weekend.

The Dark Carnival Film Festival will haunt Bear’s Place Friday night, the 19th, and the Buskirk Chumley Theater, Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s the lineup for the fest:

Friday at Bear’s Place

  • 8pm: “Found,” directed by Scott Schirmer, plus Bear’s Annual Costume Contest

Saturday at the Buskirk Chumley

  • 2pm: Festival Introduction
  • 2:05pm: 4 films — “Dummy,” “The Keeper,” “Vadim,” & “Zero Killed”
  • 4:50pm: Lacore Valmon Circus, Live aerial performance
  • 5pm: 6 films — “Other,” “Once Upon a Liver,” “Seamstress,” “Transmission,” “Attack of the Brainsuckers,” & “Nailbiter”
  • 8pm: Lacore Valmon Circus, Live sideshow performance
  • 8:20: 6 films — “All Men Are Called Robert,” “Bariku Light,” “The Last Day of Harold Fishman,” “Sandwich Crazy,” “Hell’s Belles,” & Video Diary of a Lost Girl”

Sunday at the Buskirk Chumley

  • 1:30pm: 5 films — “Mother Died,” “Chompers,” “Shine,” “Roman’s Ark,” & Harsh Light of Day”
  • 3:45pm: 4 films — “Lovebug,” “Weight of Emptyness,” Firelight,” Feature TBA

ESTRO-FEST

Speaking of the Buskirk Chumley, you’ve only got two weeks left to get tix for the Indigo Girls, who ought to draw just as a rabid a crowd as Richard Thompson did last month. The IGs will hit the stage on Friday, November 2nd.

You’ve got two and a half months get purchase ducats for Emmylou Harris. She’ll be here Monday, January 2, 2013.

Did I just type 2013? Sheesh!

BTW: Emmylou Harris is 65 freaking years old and she’s still hot as a pistol. What’s she eating for breakfast and can I get some of it?

Harris — Hot

HEAVEN

Yep, one of the late John Hughes‘ fave bands.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

LECTURE ◗ IU Memorial Union, State Room EastBranigan Lectures Series: “Detroit: Then & Now,” Presented by Tiya Miles; 4pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital, Douglas Olenik on tuba; 5pm

POLITICS ◗ City Hall, Showers BuildingMonroe County Schools Corporation board candidates forum, Presented by Indiana Coalition for Public Education; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallMartha Herr, soprano; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital, Nina Zhou on piano; 8pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, Room 454David Baker; 8:30pm

CLASS ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryIU Lifelong Learning Series: “On the Brink of Destruction: The Cuban Missile Crisis 50 Years Out“; 7-8:30pm

READINGS ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterNancy Shoenberger & Sam Kashner, Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Boys Don’t Cry“; 7pm

VARIETY ◗ Cafe DjangoBloomington Short List, Ten-minute acts, Hosted by Marta Jasicki; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleBarbara McGuire; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubSongwriter Showcase: ; 8pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

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