Saturday, July 8, 2017

July is Ronald Colman Month on Turner Classic Movies. Woo-hoo!

Yo, shalom, and howdy-do from hot and sweaty north Texas! It’s 80° at 8 a.m. with an expected high of 95° by mid-afternoon and humidity in the range of 60%. The air will feel like a SWAMP. I can’t recall what this intense heat feels like nor do I want to open the front door to experience this shit for myself, as I’m perfectly content at my desk in an air-conditioned house, without shoes or a brassiere, drinking Crystal Light Peach-Mango tea. I FUCKING LOVE RETIREMENT.

Every now and then I pester Sam to bring home an exciting frozen food from Costco that we’ve never tried before, usually with an Asian flavor profile because: 1) Asian is my favorite; and 2) Costco usually does a fucking wonderful job with this. I have fond memories of their Tempura Shrimp and Shrimp Toast, both of which we bought weekly for more than two years until Costco stopped carrying them unexpectedly and I had a nervous breakdown.
So … yesterday Sam brought home a bag of BibiGo’s frozen Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons, suitable for pan-frying, microwaving or throwing a few into soup. I decided to heat mine in the microwave … one dozen teeny wontons on a foam plate, wrapped in a wet paper towel. The first observation came from Sam: “Eeww! They turned GREEN!” The second observation was mine: “I don’t care what color they are … THEY SUCK!” And it’s true, they sucked indeed. 

I love cilantro, I love wontons and I love Asian food … but these little green fuckers were completely inedible. I’m glad I decided to try them in the microwave first because flinging them into soup would have ruined an entire pot of perfectly good soup.

Sam will return these to Costco after his afternoon nap.

Today the Howdygram continues to focus on the British royals with an up-close look at the Duke of Edinburgh, who’s been hanging out with Queen Elizabeth for a very long time but was actually a “royal” long before that. He was born in Corfu, Greece, in June 1921, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, so he was born with the title Prince of Greece and Denmark. At 18 months old Philip and his family had to scram from Greece when his uncle (King Constantine) was forced to abdicate, so Philip, at age 18 months, was stuffed into an orange crate and whisked out of the country by the British Royal Navy. During World War I, Philip’s grandfather — Prince Louis of Battenberg — changed the family name to Mountbatten. Sounds like the plot of a Danny Kaye movie, doesn’t it?
When Philip married Princess Elizabeth he was bestowed with the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. This is so fucking impressive I almost can’t stand it! Here’s a nice photo of Prince Philip at eight years old riding a bicycle at school in France. He has very large feet.
Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Prince Louis, who was Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord. Philip was a big hoo-hah in the Navy throughout World War II but had to end his career in 1952 when his father-in-law (King George VI) died and Elizabeth ascended to the throne.
Prince Philip is particularly interested in science, industry and engineering. He has visited research stations and laboratories, coal mines, factories, engineering works and industrial plants in order to understand and contribute to improving British industrial life, and he’s so excited about the environment and conservation that he began using an electric car back in the 1960s. After visiting Antarctica and the South Atlantic in 1956 and 1957, Philip devoted himself to raising public awareness about the relationship of humanity with the environment. (Somebody should ask him to talk to Donald Trump, who’s a total ignoramus on these subjects.)

The Duke is an avid sportsman who enjoys polo, carriage driving and sailing. He is also a qualified pilot and was the first member of the royal family ever to fly out of Buckingham Palace Garden in a helicopter. To this we say ... NO SHIT and YEE-HAW!
IN OUR NEXT ISSUE: The Howdygram will take a look at Charles — the Prince of Wales — the Queen’s eldest son, who’s 68 years old and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history (since 1952) because his mother, at 91, refuses to give up her garden parties and ribbon-cutting ceremonies.  

I’ve got a nice assortment of FREE FONTS for you today! They include an old standard like “Cinematografica,” hand-lettering (“Waiting for You” and “Sweet Pineapple”), a nice script (“Discobaby”), display fonts (”Chesan” and “Creword”) and “Vintage Wedding,” a clipart font that’s jam-packed with decent wedding-themed illustrations. You’ll find download links after the graphic in case you want any of these fonts for your personal collection.

In addition to today’s useful free fonts I’ve also got two packages of FREE HIGH-RESOLUTION ILLUSTRATIONS to share with y’all. First is a package of pink and gray watercolor floral elements to arrange and layer any way you like; second is a large collection of very pretty (but inedible) vintage fruits. Please let me know via email if you want either of these collections, okay?

The Howdygram is thrilled to announce that July is RONALD COLMAN MONTH on Turner Classic Movies, and on the 27th you’ll get to enjoy a string of his most unforgettable and juiciest films, including the world’s #1 best sleeping movie, The Late George Apley (1947). A watch list appears below. (Times shown are Central time.)
7 p.m., A Double Life (1947) with Signe Hasso
9 p.m., Random Harvest (1942) with Greer Garson
12:15 a.m., The Talk of the Town (1942) with Jean Arthur and Cary Grant
1:30 a.m., The Late George Apley (1947) with Vanessa Brown and Richard Haydn

Random Harvest is probably the most romantic movie in the history of forever and The Talk of the Town is first runner-up. As for The Late George Apley, this is one of my favorite movies, and it’s a winner on every level. The story is poignant, funny, fabulously-written and unforgettable with brilliant performances by EVERYBODY. Ronald Colman is the title character … a stuffy, wealthy Boston patriarch, circa 1912, who’s fighting a hopeless battle with his son and daughter, both of whom actually believe they have the right to fall in love and marry anybody they want, even if the future son-in-law went to school at — OH NO! — Yale instead of Harvard. Please don’t miss it and let me know your thoughts after you watch it.

As soon as I wrap up this post I want to lobby TCM about changing the screwy movie listing format on their monthly Now Playing PDF guide. TCM has always considered 5 a.m. to be the start of a new calendar day, which is really stupid because everybody knows a new calendar day starts at MIDNIGHT. Therefore two of the movies I’ve listed above — The Talk of the Town and The Late George Apley — actually run early in the morning on Friday, July 28, NOT on Thursday, July 27. I apologize if I’m confusing you. Grab yourself a slab of cold watermelon and unwind a little, okay?

Thank you for reading this. Go floss.

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