WEDNESDAY READER | JANUARY 11
Hey, hey! Happy Wednesday!
Thanks for being here. I appreciate one and all.
- BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HELD WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING FEDERAL OFFICES?
a) Postmaster general
b) Secretary of state
c) Secretary of the treasury
d) Surgeon general
- WHAT TYPE OF WOOD IS MOST COMMONLY USED TO MAKE WINE BARRELS?
- J.S. BACH’S “GOLDBERG VARIATIONS” WERE WRITTEN TO BE PERFORMED ON WHAT MUSICAL INSTRUMENT?
- IN THE VIDEO GAME UNIVERSE, WHICH CHARACTER BATTLES THE EVIL DR. NEO CORTEX?
a) Conker the Squirrel
b) Crash Bandicoot
c) Donkey Kong
d) Sonic the Hedgehog
- WHAT DO JAPANESE MATCH AND CHINESE LONGJING TEAS HAVE IN COMMON?
a) They’re both green teas.
b) They’re naturally caffeine-free.
c) They’re only served cold.
d) They’re toxic to humans.
- WHICH CURRENT U.S. TERRITORY DID THE UNITED STATES PURCHASE FROM DENMARK IN 1917?
a) American Samoa
b) Northern Mariana Islands
c) Puerto Rico
d) U.S. Virgin Islands
WHO IS THE STRONGEST PERSON YOU KNOW?
POP QUIZ ANSWERS
- Benjamin Franklin was the first U.S. postmaster general.
- Most wine barrels are made from oak.
- Named for harpsichordist Johann Goldberg, the “Goldberg Variations” were written for the harpsichord.
- Evil Dr. Neo Cortex is a foe of Crash Bandicoot.
- Japanese match and Chinese Longjing are both green teas.
- The United States purchased the territory now called the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917.
~ COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
WHO’S WHO ON THE FILM CREW AND WHAT THEY DO
A lot of people wonder as the credits roll at the end of a movie, What in the heck is a Grip? It’s also one of the first questions curious onlookers ask when stumbling on a film shoot in progress.
As children Grips quickly popped Legos together building super cool things. None of these things, mind you, fashioned from a picture or an instruction manual. Their creations came straight out of the wild, creative imaginations. They were also the kids who took Tinker Toys to a whole new level, constructing sophisticated structures that actually had working parts and purpose.
And somewhere along the way they learned to tie knots. Lots of them. Knots that would make a pirate proud.
So what do Grips do? In the process of setting up a Shot, the Camera, Lighting and Grip departments work in unison. While the Camera crew is rehearsing moves, Set Lighting positions lamps to light the Scene. Grips finish off the process, modeling light with their flags, scrims and silks.
The name GRIP is most likely derived from the fact that their craft is entirely manual. They lift, lug, carry and construct.
In the film world, Grips more often than not give their team colorful names. Some of my personal favorites are: Grips from Hell, Black Sheep Grips, Guerrilla Grips, Grip This, and Mercenary Grips (when the money’s gone, so are we).
What can I say? The Grips are the roustabouts of our circus … without them nothing gets done. Their craft blends into all other departments that need something leveled, secured, shaded, made safe or elevated.
THE GRIP DEPARTMENT IS CREWED WITH:
- in charge of the entire Grip department (Set, Rigging & 2nd Unit)
- works closely with the DP and Gaffer lighting the Set
- oversees the Company Grips in setting flags, frames, etc …
- orders Grip equipment for the show/project based on Tech Scout
- selects the Grip Crew
- coordinates the Dolly or Camera Crane
- rigs Condors and other manlifts as lighting or camera platforms
- hangs and safeties lighting equipment on Stage
- operates as the unofficial Safety Officer for all Crew members
- rigs vehicle mounts, insert car and process trailer
BEST BOY GRIP
- 2nd in command
- preps and wraps the Grip truck on shows
- orders and returns additional Grip gear
- books Day players as needed
- scouts locations for next episode when working on an episodic production (meaning TV series) while Key Grip is working on Set on current episode. Brings notes taken on Scout back to Key Grip. Eyes and ears sort of thing to keep Key Grip up to speed on what is upcoming on next episode.
- time cards
- shopping for expendable items (Home Depot loves this person)
- responsible for and keeps track of all the Grip equipment
- often oversees Rigging and Splinter Units
- liaison between Production and the Grip department
- preps rigs to be used on Set
- in charge of loading and unloading the truck every day
- paperwork and petty cash genius
- responsible for lost/damaged gear
- assembles Dolly
- supervises laying of track
- levels track
- builds dance floor
- pushes, pulls and booms the Dolly with amazing finesse
- operates basic Camera cranes
- works closely with the Camera Operator
COMPANY GRIPS (aka 3rds / hammers)
- build and disassemble Grip rigs
- create weather cover
- use C-stands to position flags, scrims, silks, etc
- operate Condors and other lifts
- load and unload carts of Grip gear
- skin gel frames
- make hanging lamps safe
- set up huge rags for day and night shoots
- support other departments with their needs
- erect scaffolding
- rig and de-rig insert cars and process trailers
TALK TO YOURSELF LIKE YOU WOULD TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE.
~ Brene Brown
(( Starve the Landfills. Recycle. ))
RIDDLE ME THIS
ADD ME TO MYSELF AND MULTIPLY BY 4.
DIVIDE ME BY 8 AND YOU WILL HAVE ME ONCE MORE.
What number am I?
PUG MAHONE CHIPS
There was a charming, cool Pub in Billings, Montana, called Pug Mahone’s. Their sandwiches were as big as your foot – ha – and so very, very delish. And they served fabulous chips with the sandwiches. It was a favorite lunch spot for downtown workers and shoppers. This is the home-version I came up with and it’s super close to how I remember them to be.
- 4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- salt and pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 250*
Line 2 baking sheets with a couple layers of paper towels
In a medium size sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Thinly slice potatoes with a sharp knife or mandolin (score if you have a mandolin)
When oil is hot, drop a portion of the potato slices into the hot oil. Think single layer not a crowd.
Fry slices for about 15 minutes, moving them around with a slotted spoon or tongs until golden brown.
Carefully remove golden brown potato slices with slotted spoon or tongs to prepared baking sheet with paper towels. Single layer.
Salt and pepper potatoes and then sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Place in warm oven.
Continue frying remaining slices until all potato slices are chips. And all have been dressed with salt and pepper and Parmesan.
Serve with whatever strikes your fancy.
** Add additional oil to saucepan as necessary. Make sure to allow oil to come up to frying temperature before adding potatoes to fry or your chips will be soggy and greasy **
THINGS I AM LEAVING IN 2022
Does your back hurt? Is it from carrying the weight of 2022, as the joke goes? Or is it a structural problem involving ligaments and discs? Either way, we are heading into a new year, and as such, it is time to lighten the proverbial load.
Here are some things I am choosing to leave in 2022.
Negativity. Well, not all negativity. I’m definitely taking some negativity into the new year, but it seems healthy to leave a little behind. Like, 20%. Maybe 12%? I already feel lighter! Wait, can I have, like 5% back? It’s just that I’m giving up a lot of equity here. STOP TRYING TO TAKE MY NEGATIVITY, I NEED THAT FOR LATER.
Fear. But only fear of stupid things, like inviting the wrong mix of people to a party or being seen in the bra department at Kohl’s. I maintain a certain amount of fear is productive, an evolutionary asset that exists to keep us alive and functioning in society. I shall carry fear of deadly illness, bodily injury and total democratic collapse boldly into 2023.
Denim trends. Friends age 35 and beyond, I say to you, the time to stop trying has come and gone. The jeans are going to look wrong no matter what, so just buy the ones that fit and make you feel good. Because while you may head into the dressing room striving for relaxed, modern and trendy, in the end you will look like an extra from the 1992 music video for Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee.”
Names of the famous young people. Sorry! Yung Gravy took the last slot! There’s no more room in this hippocampus!
Food waste. Every year, I vow with all sincerity to throw away less food, and every year I end up scraping old Tupperware containers free of mold rigatoni and extracting wet, black cilantro from the back 40 of the fridge. But this. This will be my year! You see, I have watched countless hours of TikTok influencers chopping, washing, spin-drying and properly storing produce so that it gets used throughout the week instead of languishing forgotten in a drawer like an herbaceous, diseased Jabberwocky. I am fully prepared to ASMR my way into responsible food deployment and reasonable portion control. I will not cook for a family of teenage sextuplet linebackers when only two people are home. I will not! I will be a healthy steward of the planet bathed in pure ring light.
Crypto. This is easy because I never possessed any cryptocurrency to begin with. But all signs point to the era of lubed-up celebrities telling us to buy Dogecoin during the Super Bowl coming to a merciful end. This bodes well for those of us still saving the old-fashioned way: In a paper bag under the (redacted) in the third (redacted) of the (redacted).
Further opinions on the Will Smith/Chris Rock slap. Oh, they will try. Will Smith will tearfully apologize for the 23rd time and go into more detail about his personal spiritual journey, probably right before the Oscars in the spring. I expect an entire commemorative “Red Table Talk” episode. Chris Rock will release a new standup special with 16 minutes devoted to the incident, wrapping in concepts of celebrity cancellation and more Cthulhu-esque sociopolitical tentacles. Then he will say something cancel-worthy, and a new cycle will begin. The think pieces will emerge like Critters from an alien transport vessel. Despite these very words, this promise to form no more opinions on the matter with my limited brain space (see: Yung Gravy), I will read every essay and spiral further into self-loathing. Which leads me to the last action item to leave behind this year.
Self-loathing. Maybe. I don’t know. Probably not.
~ Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram.
COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM
- The image of Benjamin Franklin on the U.S. $100 bill from 1929 to 1996 was based on the so-called “fur-collar portrait” painted by French artist Joseph Duplessis in 1778. In it, Franklin is wearing a red coat with a fur collar. The 1996 redesign of the $100 bill features a different portrait of Franklin based on another painting by Duplessis. That one is known as “gray coat portrait.” Guess why.
- Can you achieve world peace with a bottle of wine? That’s been the symbolic intention on Vino Della Pace — Wine of Peace — since the 1980s. The members of Cantina Produttori Cormons, a wine-growing collective in Italy’s Friuli Benezia Giulia region, had the idea to blend hundreds of varieties of grapes representing every continent into a single wine that would symbolize international harmony. The first production was bottled in 1985 and commemorative bottles sent to heads of state around the world. The tradition has continued ever since.
- John Sebastian Bach was a prolific composer, writing more than a thousand known works starting when he was a teenager and continuing until his death in 1750 at age 65. They’re all cataloged in the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, or the Bach Works Catalog, commonly known as BWV. Bach was prolific in another way as well: He fathered 20 children in his lifetime — seven with his first wife, Maria Barbara, and 13 with his second wife, Anna Magdalena. Ten of them survived to adulthood, and four became composers.
- Virginia opossums are the only marsupials native to North America, but that wasn’t always the case. Paleontologists know that a larger, more aggressive marsupial they call didelphodon vorax lived in North America during the Cretaceous Period, more than 65 million years ago. It had bone-grinding teeth and powerful jaws, and would have put up a good fight against any threat — even a dinosaur!
- Rooibos tea (from the Afrikaans for”red bush”) comes from the plant Aspalathus linearis, whose needle-like leaves redden during processing to give the tea its natural amber color. The plant only grows in the Cape Floral Region of southwestern South Africa. Because its plant life is so diverse and unique, the Cape Floral Region is environmentally protected. Nevertheless, more than 1,700 of its indigenous species are considered threatened by climate change, human intervention and invasive plant and animal species.
- Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is an accomplished artist who paints realistic landscapes and abstract artworks, and has designed stage sets and costumes for the ballet. Though she usually signs her work with her own name, the illustrations she did for the 1977 Danish language edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” were published under the name Ingahild Grathmer.
~ Leslie Elman COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS. COM