Friday, January 15, 2016

Fawlty Stories


I was really anticipating reading the now in paperback version of the autobiography of splendid comedian John Cleese entitled So, Anyway.

Cleese you may remember is part of some comedy that is firmly in the fabric of  the life of baby boomers worldwide--Fawlty Towers, Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda to name a few iconic favorites.  I still howl with laughter thinking about sketches and scenes from these shows and films.

As can be the case however,  the personal stories and "real life" of a comedy star or personality may not measure up in interest to their body of work on the big and small screen.  I think it was Rita Heyworth who said, "Every man went to bed with Gilda and woke up with me."  So, Anyway did not deliver.

If the reader is expecting a book full of great stories surrounding the making of these iconic films and television shows, you will be disappointed.  The book reads more like the notes of a lifetime of psychiatric visits of a man trying to get to the bottom of why he is who he is and how he could pin blame on people who messed him up.  I really don't mean multiple people--as the focus of his angst is his mother.  A more accurate book title would be "Let's Beat Up on Mummy."  Mummy was emotionally distant.  Mummy was a dimwit.  Mummy made me have fractured relationships with women, etc. etc.  Particularly disturbing  to me was a lengthy story in which he verbally baited his mother and answered her questions with responses he must have thought Oh So  Clever.  These jokes at his mother's expense were made in the company of friends and made her look uneducated and stupid. How nice.

The book is practically at the conclusion before he sort of mentions Fawlty Towers and Monte Python and practically nothing on A Fish Called Wanda.  The only wife he mentions is the fabulous Connie Booth--and nothing about their professional collaboration.  The majority of the book concerns memories of his while still in a pram,  English boy's school stories, and the fits and starts of his work at the BBC under the guidance of David Frost.  The book races along at break neck speed--sort of like a Basil Fawlty comedy routine--and the multiple tangent trains of thought are brought back on point with the phrase,  So Anyway.

If you are interested in Cleese's frenetic writing style and information about his life before the iconic creativity, this one is for you.   If you want to read a book penned by a man in his mid 70s who is still blaming is mother for his troubles--grab yourself a copy.  If you want to see this fabulous comedian in some timeless comedy--you might be better served by viewing some DVD's.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, January 11, 2016

When Messy Is Good

I do believe that sometimes messy is a very good thing.  Especially when it comes to resetting (reorganizing) an antique dealer's selling space.

Dear One and I know that in 2016 we need to make many more frequent trips to our selling space at Odana Antiques in Madison Wisconsin.  Sales have been great--and when that happens--we know we will find the booth in a shambles.  We love shambles.

Shoppers can be careless.  Our booth is large--and we try not to cram it full of inventory--we want our customers to be able to walk around and look at items more closely.  But the nature of that means the both gets very messy.  Messy can signal to  customers that the dealer is not attentive, or that the items left in the disarray are stale or overpriced.

We choose to believe that messy means people like our inventory and shoppers are paying attention and pouring over it.  Thank you customers for the extra work!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Tired of New Year's Resolutions Yet??

Everyplace you look, read, watch or listen there are stories about new year resolutions of one kind or another.  I just got an email from a blog I read--and in ONE MONTH they will help me get my house in order and clutter free and full of good vibes and it will become an oasis of calm living.  The first assignment?  Vacuum, mop or sweep all floors in your house.  Seriously?  Around the piles of clutter?

Chill out!! Post holiday entertaining and commotion means that the house is not neat, no longer clean and needs some work.  But there is something about this time of year that I get "antsie" to purge and clean.  And after this weekend--the Christmas holidays are over. (Epiphany is January 6 so one COULD stretch the mess out a bit!)

Readers of this blog will remember a couple of years ago I recommended and followed the "get rid of five things a day" plan.  I followed it then--and it has modified to five items a week in this house.  Remember--old magazines do not count--nor do catalogues.  But all other stuff is fair game.  Even small things--hangers? deli plastic containers? No item is too small.

This is where being an antique dealer becomes so practical.  My pile of "must go" has just become a pile a "must sell."  I have listed a couple of items on ebay.  Must sell does not necessarily mean that I  personally must sell it.  I work at Twice Is Nice resale in Wheaton Illinois--and some of my treasure is becoming things THEY must sell.

The decluttering process feels so fabulous!  Don't stress out over it.  Start in one little spot.  A drawer.  A shelf.  A closet if you have more time.  One thing is for sure--you don't start--it won't get done.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...