Rob e-mails: “Seen inside a restaurant supply store on the Bowery.”
My favorite Elvis Week piece so far is the Commercial Appeal’s “Memphis accordion virtuoso reveals close musical encounters with Elvis.” Yessir:
Barrasso was playing his accordion with his back to some winding stairs at that first Graceland party when he suddenly sensed Elvis was coming down the steps.
“I turned around. He was in a black Bolero tux, like a bullfighter tux. Black shiny boots. No shirt. A white silk ascot. A diamond stick pin that I promise would put your eyes out,” he said. “On his left shoulder was a chimpanzee dressed exactly like him.”
The chimpanzee was “Scatter,” who had recently been in a movie with Elvis.
The card: “Happy Birthday, Pat! Don’t worry, I don’t really think you’re a horrible person.” Inside the package: copies of Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me (edited by Ben Karlin, introduction by Nick Hornby, “Foreward by Ben’s Mom”) and You’re a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice (“With Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Fred Armisen, Judd Apatow, & many more”). Well played!
And he just bought this shirt, which again proves we are brothers.
Yesterday, Jess sent me a link to a machine that automatically spreads butter. Please. “Almost anything going on a griddle could benefit from a trip over this wheel of deliciousness.” Pictured: Buttered lobster roll.
Last week, my brother sent me a link to a transparent toaster that lets you watch your bread brown between pieces of glass. “Don’t you want to see the magic happen?” Yes, yes, I do. Whenever good folks finish inventing this device, my brother plans to give me one for Christmas.
The people’s consensus? I am a lazy cook but love bread. True.
Brother Rob, cousin Greg and boyfriend-of-cousin Matt II joined good natured strangers to catch all kinds of dolphin fish at sea this month. In a Cooper tradition of catching animals other than fish while fishing, my brother caught a bird. But the bird let go, and everyone was fine.
The Coopers were all in town last weekend and saw a Nats win, the combined odds of which are about five billion to one.
The Dunn slam was wicked, probably my favorite Nats homer since the Zimmerman walk-off against the Yankees. After the O’s intentionally walked Zimmerman to get to the big guy, the crowd wanted the come-from-behind shot bad. And everyone played well. Take the AP’s sentence on the grand slam setup, “With Washington trailing 5-4, pinch-hitter Anderson Hernandez led off the seventh with a single against Chris Ray (0-1). Willie Harris singled, Cristian Guzman sacrificed and Ryan Zimmerman was intentionally walked to load the bases.” Want to engage the fans? Be consistent.
Meanwhile, Kearns ran into everything to catch stuff, and Martis was less wild than he could’ve been and redeemed himself for giving up a hit to the opposing pitcher by getting a nice hit of his own. Hanrahan looked surprisingly confident with two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 9th.
Other highlights: Good to run into Penn Beth in the concourse. Teddy held a wide, wide early lead in the President’s Race, but he lost when he stopped to beat up the Oriole Bird. Worth it. (Update since writing but before publishing: Meghan links to the video.) Missed her National Anthem, but the ending of God Bless America from five-year-old Kaitlyn Maher was way above expectations. Bird beating, kid song pix here. No idea if the kid behind Rob is about spit up a tater tot or what.
The commercial is for the 1980 Datsun 280ZX 10th Anniversary Edition, sibling to the 1980 Datsun 210 station wagon, the heck of a car that carried me from birth (see #15, Cooper creation story) to D.C. license (see the “bitch with the big hair” story, some day to be posted here).
The ad is fantastic, from the production to the song to the lady to the mustache to the lack of doors to the kiss back to the song. Black gold! But what grabs me the most is the momentary shot of the ignition, so instantly familiar with the metal and ACC label. But what does — what did in the old Datsun, “Little Blue” to us (sometimes) — ACC stand for?
P.S. Our 1980 Datsun 210 wagon looked sort of like this, but not really. Ours was blue with wood panels, had hubcaps, had no crazy roof rack or Nissan badge or right mirror or rear wiper, and was so much cooler.
Before I began writing On Deadline*, several of my bosses told me what they expected out of the blog. The posts were not to be about what I had for breakfast, they said. Cereal was mentioned a couple times. Being a co-creator of the blog’s concept, I knew as much. But I understood where they were coming from. Aside from a half-dozen stories at CNN, my only writing of length in preceding years had come in this blog. And this blog was no stranger to cereal.
My brother understands this history, and that’s why when he reads about a new cereal restaurant beginning to franchise across the country, he promptly sends me the story. Amid the revamping of Cereality’s business model and the reported failure of the company’s Evanston branch, I’m a bit disillusioned with the entire cereal restaurant industry. The nexus of my pain? The ground floor of the condo down the street has been empty for probably a year now. There’s a “retail parking” garage, but inside is only a expensive spa. My dreams of a neighboring Cereality and Krispy Kreme have long died.
With this other cereal chain’s expansion, the article tells of 16 stores — I like to think of them as restaurants, to think otherwise cheapens the cereal experience — under development. “Looks like Cereality is going to get a run for its money,” my brother says. But the story doesn’t name the locations, and I’m a little distrustful. Until I see my city’s name on paper and next to cereal, I can’t raise my spoon.
In other news, I have a new great idea. Chocolate-covered Cheerios. The taste of my Christmas and Easter mornings! A soft pitch at Sunday night’s festivities has no doubt left the gathered Leongs and Strahotas dreaming of endless bowls. How this idea took 27 years to strike, I have no idea.