Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Great Interview Snippet from a 2009 Michael Caine Interview

Thanks to my brother and my wife for making me aware of this 2009 New York magazine interview with Michael Caine. Here’s a great snippet.

Right after I got there, I was staying in the Beverly Hills Hotel. I saw John Wayne in the lobby, and I was gawking at him. He said, “What’s your name?” He’d just seen Alfie. Wayne became a friend. He gave me advice, like: “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too fucking much,” and “Never wear suede shoes, because one day, Michael, you’ll be taking a piss, and the guy next to you will recognize you, and he’ll turn toward you and say, ‘Michael Caine!’ and piss all over your shoes.” I couldn’t make this shit up.

I Rarely Do Baseball Here

But today’s Atlanta Braves win (which was more of a Miami Marlins loss), can best be summed up with this tweet.

It amazes me, that as documented here, “Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson … allowed a career-high seven walks and seven stolen bases in five innings, but gave up just one run in a 7-1 win Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park.”

Aurora, Colorado: Remember the Dead

I am not going to ever name the Aurora, Colorado, evil personified ever, if I can help it.

But we should never forget the names of those who died.

  • Jonathan Blunk, 26
  • Alexander J. Boik, 18
  • Jesse Childress, 29
  • Gordon Cowden, 51
  • Jessica Ghawi, 24
  • John Larimer, 27
  • Matt McQuinn, 27
  • Micayla Medek, 23
  • Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6
  • Alex Sullivan, 27
  • Alexander C. Teves, 24
  • Rebecca Wingo, 32

These are the names that should be dominating the news coverage, not the evil one.

Josh Mertz on Batz

Tomorrow will mark the final performance of Batz at 11:30pm in Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan). As noted by the release announcing the performances (Batz’s first 2012 performance was last Friday, June 13, at Joe’s Pub): “Batz takes the premise of Elevator Repair Service’s theatrical event Gatz and substitutes classic Batman stories for The Great Gatsby, resulting in a fast-paced, hilarious take on Batman, Robin, and their Rogues Gallery that celebrates the imaginative, social and transformative power of comics…Created, written and directed by downtown comedy and theater veterans Josh Mertz and Erik Bowie, Batz features an all-star cast of indie theater stalwarts and up-and-comers, including Lynn Berg, Melissa Delancey, Kathleen Foster, Matthew Foster, Matt Gray, Bob Laine, Dan Maccarone, Josh Mertz, and Harrison Unger.” To find out more about the project, Josh Mertz was kind enough to do an email interview. Interested in seeing the show? As noted in the release: “Tickets ($15) can be purchased online at, where customers are able to select their seat from an interactive seat map when purchasing, by phone at 212-967-7555, or in person at The Public Theater Box Office (1 PM to 6 PM) located at 425 Lafayette Street, NYC.” my thanks to Mertz for his time. [Please note the above video clip is from the Summer 2011 Comic Book Theater Festival]

Tim O’Shea: For the uninformed like myself, what is Gatz (which served as the inspiration for Batz)?

Josh Mertz: Gatz is a show by NY Theater Company Elevator Repair Service, in which an office worker finds a copy of the The Great Gatsby and begins reading it aloud. His co-workers join him in acting out the characters from the novel, and every word of it is read over the course of a 6-hour theatrical experience. It’s one of the most inventive and engrossing things I’ve ever seen onstage, and has played two sold-out runs at the Public. It’s both an intense exploration of a great American novel and a metaphor for the experience getting lost in a book.

Continue reading Josh Mertz on Batz

Larry King Joins Hulu

So it would appear that Larry King has come back to the interview show format. He will be providing four shows a week (Monday-Thursday) for Hulu. And King is as wacky as ever with the new show, Larry King Now.

Only King would say (discussing the prospect of being brought back from death in a new body): “What if you had Alzheimer’s?” and then laugh.

Man, imagine what it would be like if he interviewed Robert Blake.

Still Impressed by Donald Sobol

Encyclopedia Brown

Apparently last week the world lost children literature author and Encyclopedia Brown creator, Donald Sobol.

Most kids my age grew up reading the books. I tried to get my son interested in the series more recently, but could not get him hooked on it. I may need to try a harder sell.

Reading the obituary, I was impressed to learn that Sobol wrote almost until the end of his life. In fact, this October will see the release of the 28th book in the series, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme.

In the wake of his death, I went looking for an interview with Sobol. I was fortunate enough to discover  Just My Show: The Retro Pop Culture Podcast. Back in 2007, the show interviewed him and he shared how he kept the books ageless. He noted that he once referred to an expensive car in one of the earlier books and quoted the cost of the car ($5,000). Of course, by today’s standards, that’s not a substantial amount for a car–and Sobol expressed his appreciation that in revised releases of the book the cost had been edited.

Also in the interview, Sobol referenced newspaper column of his, the Two-Minute Mystery, that lead to him pursuing Encyclopedia Brown. Thanks to Google News’ archives, I was able to find one of the columns from 1967.

Sobol’s impact on writers and readers is far reaching, as evidenced by this tribute by crime novelist Jonathan Hayes on NPR.

Thanks for enriching a lot of folks’ childhood reading, Mr. Sobol.

Kaya Oakes on Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church

Radical Reinvention

Earlier this evening Kaya Oakes celebrated the launch of her new book, Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church, at Moe’s Books in Berkeley, California. I tip my hat to Oakes (a friend of this blog, who I interviewed for the first time in late 2009 regarding her book, Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture) for writing a great book and giving it a great title that perfectly informs the reader what they are about to read. As a fellow Catholic, I could not pass up the chance to interview her about the new book.

Tim O’Shea: Do you think you would have come back to Catholicism if you had attended a more traditional conservative Catholic parish in another part of the country?

Kaya Oakes: That’s a good question, because I am Bay Area to the bone. I’ve only briefly lived in other parts of the country/world, and those were fairly liberal urban areas. My family parish in childhood was ultra progressive, and the Catholic schools I attended were run by liberal/progressive religious orders. So it’s very hard to imagine what my faith life would be like had I come from a more conservative place or set of circumstances. Frankly, I would probably not be back in a pew. In researching the book I did visit some more conservative local churches, including our local cathedral Mass, and I even went to a Latin Mass, and let’s just say that the urge to return is… nonexistent. The Catholicism I grew up with was social justice oriented, not just about sex and birth control. And after some searching, I did find that that kind of Catholicism is alive and well.

Continue reading Kaya Oakes on Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church