13 Mar

Rest in peace, George Latsios.

I remember when Scarecrow Video was in the tiny, tiny Latona storefront location. Though it was small, I was always surprised by the amazing obscure movies that were there. So one day, I went in wondering if they would have a copy of my favorite obscure movie that was never released on video in the US, and barely even played in US theaters. I went up to the counter and George asked me what I was looking for. I started to describe the movie, figuring that, like every other video store clerk in the world, he would shake his head and tell me they didn’t have it and had never heard of it. But his face lit up in a wide smile and he interrupted me — “YES! I love that movie!” — and ran to a shelf and picked up a copy in PAL format. “It’s never been released in the US, but we can rent you a PAL VCR/TV so you can watch it.” And so I got to see a movie I thought I might never see again.

A couple of years later, in the huge new Roosevelt store, we talked about the movie again. It seems that he talked to the film’s director (a Seattle native), and got personal permission to make an NTSC copy of the film to rent at Scarecrow, because “this is a great movie and it should be accessible to everyone.” Now, this is a movie that almost no one in the US knows or cares about, though it’s a wonderful film. But George Latsios knew it was worth seeing, and he made sure that Scarecrow had it.

Goodbye, George — you will be missed.

(See also the P-I and Times obituaries.)

08 Mar

The thing about having a TiVo is that sometimes we record shows and then don’t get around to watching them until weeks or even months later. Friday night Jason and I watched The 1940s House, which was broadcast on PBS back in November. In this show, a modern family is “sent back in time” to live as a British family would have lived in World War II — air raids, rationing, bomb shelters, and all. It was excellent and really did give me a better idea of the hardships that the average family endured. Much better than the Frontier House show (with its whiny kids and women running around in just their corsets). If PBS shows this again, watch it.

24 Feb

Where have I been? Well, multiple jobs and grad school do that to ya. Not to mention, whenever I tried to update the page Blogger always seemed to be down. Always. I’m serious. Either it’s down a hell of a lot or I just have the worst luck ever. Anyway, after a while I just gave up trying. But the page just looked too darned pathetic, so here I am again.

Here are a few pages I’ve been looking at lately (most found via MetaFilter, oh well):

  • Caring for your introvert
    Because I am one. Why do you think I do all my ranting online?

  • BBC Radio
    Because I like to listen to interesting accents, and I get a better signal via the computer than I do via my shortwave radio.

  • Is it time to move to Canada?
    A little shrill, but still interesting. Speaking of Canada, why can’t we get Aero bars here? And were the orange Aeros just a temporary thing, or can I still get some? Because they were goooooooooood.

  • Also speaking of Canada, did you know they play the awful Sleep Country USA jingle up there, too? Only it’s “Sleep Country Canada! Why buy a mattress anywhere else? (ding!)” Now that I’ve given you that earworm, check out this neat Seattle P-I article about ad jingles. (Warning — most of the ones mentioned are specific to the Pacific Northwest.)

28 Sep

I am just way behind in my blogging. I have two papers to write and a bunch of reading yet to do. But here goes a comment or two. This is what Subway stores are about to look like. No more yellow and white with old subway maps! I dunno, it’s hard to tell in this tiny picture, but it looks awfully bland.

Speaking of fast-food restaurant remodels, the Queen Anne Dick’s Drive In is finally remodeling. It was a Herfy’s location with indoor seating in the 70s, and when Dick’s took it over, they never changed anything — it kept its atrocious 70s look until now, and it was the only Dick’s location with seating. The new version is still unfinished, but it has one genius touch: the ordering counter is being made to look like one of the other Dick’s locations — that is, they are trying to make it look like one of the outdoor ones with a walk-up counter. It’s got the neon sign at the top and everything.

Of course, it won’t really look like an old-fashioned Dick’s Drive-In unless they fill it with crows trying to filch your fries. And that probably wouldn’t be sanitary.

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