WEDNESDAY READER | FEBRUARY 15
Greetings Happy Readers –
I present today’s Wednesday Reader for your enjoyment.
Leslie Elman’s trivia is always so fun for learning stuff about stuff we never would have even thought about.
Stephanie Hayes’ column about jeans is awesome. Pretty sure most of us can relate! Ha
Behind the Scenes Film Crew article should be of interest to all who are movie fans.
Chateaubriand marinade recipe … It’s. That. Good.
As always, I am grateful you’re here. I wish you a wonderful Wednesday!
- “FENCES” AND “THE PIANO LESSON” ARE PART OF A CYCLE OF PLAYS BY AUGUST WILSON SET IN WHAT CITY?
c) Kansas City
- WHAT MAKES CLAUDE THE ALLIGATOR AT THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES UNIQUE?
a) He’s albino.
b) He can do math.
c) He’s a clone.
d) He’s the world’s oldest alligator.
- WHO WON THE HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION’S FIRST CECIL B. DeMILLE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO ENTERTAINMENT?
a) Cecil B. DeMille
b) Alfred Hitchcock
c) Louis B. Mayer
d) Shirley Temple
- WHAT IS A PALADIN?
a) A medieval French knight
b) A religious headdress
c) A spotted sheep
d) A type of pancake
- WHICH U.S. STATE WAS ADMITTED TO THE UNION ON VALENTINE’S DAY 1912?
c) New Mexico
- WHICH OF THESE WOULD MOST INTEREST SOMEONE STUDYING PHENOLOGY?
a) Effects of climate change
b) Food allergies
c) Sports and athletic performance
d) Workplace safety
~ TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.”
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR WHAT CONSPIRACY THEORY DO YOU SECRETLY HOLD BELIEFS?
POP QUIZ ANSWERS
- “Fences” and “The Piano Lesson” are part of August Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle.”
- Claude the alligator at the California Academy of Sciences is albino.
- In 1952, Cecil B. DeMille received the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s first Cecil B. DeMille Award.
- A paladin is a medieval French knight from the court of Charlemagne.
- Arizona’s statehood was granted on Feb. 14, 1912.
- Phenology is the study of how climate change affects plant and animal life.
WHO’S WHO ON THE FILM CREW AND WHAT THEY DO
** photo courtesy Troy Anderson, Rigging Gaffer, True Grit **
That’s Troy in the picture. Hi, Troy!
Troy said there were a total of 103 “big gun” lamps a.k.a. 18ks. In addition to the lamps on the ground, see the line up on top of the ridge?
- It took Troy and his crew one month to rig and position the lamps + power + accessories.
- Main Unit shot the scripted scenes for 5 days at this particular location/rig.
- 2 – weeks to take it all down – de-rig
Production calls this department Electric. However, the correct title is Set Lighting and Film Electricians are Lighting Technicians. Many hands make Lights work. Here are the hands …
CHIEF LIGHTING TECHNICIAN (ALSO KNOWN AS GAFFER)
… is the one who has figured out the mystique of Lighting a Set. It’s not Rocket Science, but it does take a skilled eye to excel. A confident CLT is calm and comfortable in his environment, realizes the DP is not likely to mention him at the Academy Awards, and is patient because he remembers when he was a third. Besides running a Crew, his responsibilities include:
- Tech Scouting locations
- Ordering the Lighting package for a project
- Hiring a crew
- Determining extra man days and equipment add-ons
- Working closely with the DP lighting the Set
- Delegating tasks to Lighting Technicians
- Selecting lamps and places them
- Taking Light Readings
- Focusing lamps
- Working with the Key Grip shaping light
- Collaborating with the 1st AC on lens settings
- Lighting night exteriors / Musco lights, condors, etc …
- Maintaining lighting continuity from scene to scene
ASSISTANT CHIEF LIGHTING TECHNICIAN (ALSO KNOWN AS BEST BOY)
… was at one time known as the elite On-Set lighting tech, the most talented of the lighting crew in operating lamps and stealth set-etiquette. Modern day’s Best Boy Lighting is better described as Best Boy Clerical and power shopper. The 2nd-in-command individual is seldom on Set as this person’s duties are demanding. They include, but are not limited to:
- Mountains of paperwork / time cards, gear lists, production notes
- Scouts locations in Chief Lighting Tech absence (i.e. Episodic shows)
- Prepping the truck before a show and wrapping the truck after a show
- Loading and unloading the truck on Location
- Inventory patrol
- Organizing additional crew and gear
- Running power to the Set and metering the distro boxes
- Often oversees Rigging Crew and Splinter Unit
- Liason between Production and Set Lighting department
- Responsible for lost and/or damaged equipment
- In charge of expendables and keeps all stocked
- Power shops with petty cash
LIGHTING TECHNICIANS (ALSO KNOWN AS 3rds and JUICERS)
… the backbone of the Set Lighting Department. Here are some of their tasks:
- Running and wrapping lots of cable (4/0 and 2/0 and banded)
- Laying out power distribution points
- Setting lamps and their accessories
- Providing other departments with courtesy power
- adding color correction gel, diffusion, scrims, lenses to lamps
- Working with Grips rigging lamps and scene set up
- Taking carts and gear to Set and wrapping same to truck
ADDITIONAL LIGHTING CREW
… depending on the size and nature of a film project, there may be other technicians working with or apart from Main Unit:
- DIMMER BOARD OPERATOR
- SECOND UNIT CREW
- RIGGING CREW
- THEATRICAL LIGHTING TECHNICIANS
- SPECIALTY LIGHTING OPERATORS / FISHER LIGHT, BALLOON LIGHTS, MUSCO LIGHTS, etc …
CREATIVITY IS SEEING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS SEEN, AND THINKING WHAT NO ONE ELSE THOUGHT
~ Albert Einstein
(( Starve the Landfills. Recycle. ))
RIDDLE ME THIS
A PET SHOP OWNER HAD A PARROT WITH A SIGN ON ITS CAGE THAT SAID, “PARROT REPEATS EVERYTHING IT HEARS.”
DAVID BOUGHT THE PARROT AND FOR TWO WEEKS HE SPOKE TO IT AND IT DIDN’T SAY A WORD. HE RETURNED THE PARROT. THE SHOP KEEPER SAID HE NEVER LIED ABOUT THE PARROT.
How can this be?
My great-uncle Glenn Baum used this recipe for years for special occasions. I use it for special occasions or – frankly – any occasion. It’s incredibly delicious. This recipe has been a go-to for 50+ years in our family.
3 simple ingredients that are a trifecta for marinating red meat.
If you’re doing sirloin – selecting a fine piece of meat is pretty important. A 4 – 5 lb piece of sirloin about 1 1/2″ to 1 3/4″ thick.
Same goes for if you’re going to marinate a less expensive cut of meat.
Ask the butcher at your grocery store to help with selecting if you’re unsure. I have always found these Daymakers to be super helpful in finding the best cut. It’s what they do, ya know?
- 1 cup CATSUP
- 1 cup inexpensive BURGUNDY WINE
- 1 cup SOY SAUCE
Place the magic 3 in a giant zipper bag or vessel of choice for marinating and add meat. Marinate all day or overnight – giving it a shake or a turn every now and then.
Fire up the grill to medium (ish) and cook meat to preferred doneness. Keep a squirt bottle nearby to spray at any flames that want to be aggressive.
Remove meat when done to your likeness and let rest about 5 minutes before slicing or serving.
THE PARROT WAS DEAF
IS THIS THE END OF JEANS?
I stood in the dressing room staring down a six-button labyrinth, wondering what had happened to jeans as a concept. Had we come this far, and yet, not far at all? Was this 2022? 1992? Or, more accurately, 1942? Were we caught in a denim feedback loop?
You know the button fly I’m talking about. Before the proliferation of zippers, a row of buttons was simply a functional necessity. Still, despite mankind’s many technological advances, the fashion Gargamels periodically revert to button-fly jeans as a trend.
Button-fly jeans are a special kind of hell, with tiny, covert crevices sliced into an inch-wide channel of denim. Securing the bottom button is like winning “American Ninja Warrior.” The buttons must slide perfectly into the hidden pockets at the exact right angle, chin pressed to chest, shirt all bunched around the armpits, a line of four impatient ladies waiting outside the stall. I am telling you: this is not the kind of manual dexterity test I need at a Red Robin!
So, those were out.
I was in Old Navy, America’s most deranged carnival of denim. The sheer variety of jeans in Old Navy is staggering, overwhelming, sometimes disheartening. It’s like the designers are trying to see what they can get away with. On this trip, I witnessed a style called Extra High-Rise Balloon Ankle jeans, which look exactly as described.
Are we supposed to look good anymore? What is good? Have I simply conflated the notion of “good” with “skinny” because I was raised by my mother, Paris Hilton? Am I getting hives?
A few months ago, I endeavored to do the impossible: UPDATE MY JEANS STYLE due to societal pressure. I ordered a pair of Old Navy Mid-Rise Boyfriend Straight jeans online. They had a higher waist, a lighter wash and a baggier shape than my geriatric millennial skinny jeans. Because of, I guess, body dysmorphia, I ordered them way too large.
My stepdaughter assured me they were extremely cool. My husband politely suggested I tie a shoestring around the two black belt loops, which … I mean … I haven’t worked this hard in life to become someone loping around in strange, pear-shaped, ripped-knee jeans with a shoelace holding up the backside.
However, these giant jeans were comfortable. Really comfortable. More comfortable than any jeans I’ve ever worn, which is the intent of jeans? They have “boyfriend” in the name, after all, a subliminal signifier of looseness, ease, respite from the shrink-wrapped torture devices many women have squeezed into since the dawn of the sun. Boyfriends: they get to be comfortable and no one else.
The giant boyfriend jeans quickly became a stand-in for sweatpants around the house. I wore them in public on a few occasions, tugging at the waistband the entire time and feeling, well, hideous.
It’s hard to welcome anything new when toxic fashion is ingrained in your amygdala. I graduated high school in 2001, a perilous time for jeans. We’re talking painted on, shoe-gobbling, too low-rise to sit. It was a sick time to be a girl, really, the tabloid era. The emergence of dark, high-rise skinny jeans in the 2010s felt like a gentle hug for both our self-loathing and lower abdomens.
A looser jeans aesthetic should be a welcome trend for those of us still mentally imprisoned inside a Perez Hilton blog post, no? Why is the journey so loaded?
Last week I shared a tweet from Carlye Wisel that made me laugh: “Elder millennials: brace yourselves for what’s about to come.”
Wide-leg, zip-off jeans with cargo pockets! I was SWEATING.
My colleague Christopher Spata chimed in with something I’d never even considered: the idea of giving up.
“This is why I’ve made the difficult but empowering choice of opting out of jeans,” he said. “The garment that is supposed to be the most casual is with each passing cycle more a high-wire act of ‘pulling it off’.”
He pointed to a 2021 Dave Schilling piece in the Los Angeles Times, positioning denim as a time capsule, a marker of personality and social station. Schilling found Northeast LA residents who won’t give up skinny jeans and other “accoutrements of the bygone Obama era.”
“Maybe that’s why I haven’t bothered with jeans in so long,” he writes. “They’re too tied up in generational angst. The minute I commit to a pair, I’ve committed to an idea.”
That feels true, and because it feels true, it stings. Who are we now? Who am I? After living through a pandemic, after changing nearly everything about my routine and how I live, how do I want to look and dress? Is comfort and practicality more important than a pretense of being alluring? And just who am I luring, anyway? My dog loves me as I am.
Maybe the boyfriend jeans are a form of opting out, in the end. Maybe the younger generation has found a way to express a casual point of view without oversexualizing everything, without sacrificing comfort, without needing three friends to extract them at the night’s end.
Yeah! Good theory! Back to Old Navy we go. The boyfriend jeans fit, no shoestring needed. Still comfortable! Still ugly! I added a black and white cropped flannel shirt, because flannels are in style for fall along with their 1990s brethren, cursed button-fly jeans.
I appeared … spoiler alert for the “Dexter” series finale from 2013 … I looked like a woodsman. I looked like Dexter after he fakes his death and vanishes to a snowy hill in Oregon. These two items must never be worn together, no matter how much TikTok tells me otherwise.
Still, I liked both pieces separately, so I got them. I will figure it out. And I picked up a pair of Mid-Rise Power Slim Straight jeans, which the sign billed as a cross between a skinny and straight leg. this sign was specifically for me, folks. this sign was for 39-year-olds staring down a vibe shift and looking back wistfully toward Tara Reid, toward a party for Belvedere vodka, toward a swag bag with a Nokia flip phone inside.
Compromise? No time like now. Nix on the button fly, though. On that, I’m standing firm.
~ Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram. COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM
**this column was originally published October 8, 2022**
- Leroy “Satchel” Paige was the first Negro Leagues player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. After a full career pitching for teams that included the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Kansas City Monarchs, Paige became a Major League Baseball rookie with the Cleveland Indians in 1948. He was 42 years old at the time. The announcement of his Hall of Fame induction in 1971 called Paige the “ageless patriarch of the pitching mound.” That wasn’t hyperbole. He pitched his final MLB game on Sept. 25, 1965, at age 59.
- You never heard of a talking horse? Well, listen to this: “Mister Ed,” the sitcom about a talking horse, ran on network television from 1961 to 1966. It attracted millions of fans and quite a few celebrity guest stars, including Mae West, Clint Eastwood, Abigail “Dear Abby” Van Buren, and baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who pitched to Mister Ed while legendary Dodgers manager Leo Durocher looked on in amazement.
- From 1947 through 1964, the Golden Globe Awards included a category for the best film promoting international understanding. The first winner was director Leopold Lindtberg for “The Last Chance,” a Swiss film about refugees during World War II. Several winners are well-known films: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “The Diary of Anne Frank,” for example. Others, such as “The Happy Road,” starring and directed by Gene Kelly, are known today mainly by film buffs and trivia fans.
- Sheep’s eyes are set wide on their heads, and their pupils are rectangular, which gives them expansive peripheral vision: 270 to 320 degrees. That means a sheep can see most of the way behind itself without turning its head. Sheep are naturally farsighted, and they can distinguish colors, but their depth perception tends to be poor. So, they’re good at spotting a threat from far away but less adept at seeing what’s right in front of their noses.
- Virginia Clemm Poe wrote an acrostic Valentine poem for her husband in 1846. “Ever with thee I wish to roam,” said the first line. “Dearest my life is thine,” said the second. And so on, with the first letter of each line spelling out her husband’s name: E-D-G-A-R-A-L-L-A-N-P-O-E. Befitting a Poe romance, the sentiment was heartfelt yet ominous. For the second L, she writes, “Love shall heal my weakened lungs.” But it didn’t. She died from tuberculosis the following year. (Virginia’s handwritten manuscript resides at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.)
- After the Civil War, members of the all-black regiments of the U.S. cavalry — nicknamed buffalo soldiers — were assigned duties, guarding against poaching, fighting fires and building infrastructure. At what is now Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, they built a road to the Giant Forest and a road to the base of Moro Rock under the direction of Col. Charles Young, who is considered to be the first black superintendent of a U.S. national park.