Felix the Cat, the character, came to be in 1919, although his bag of tricks wasn’t a thing until the 1950s. Felix was created by the Australian animation studio run by Pat Sullivan. It’s also possible Felix was actually created by Otto Mesmer, Sullivan’s lead animator.

The 1988 movie was widely criticized for, well… being poorly-drawn nonsense. And boy is it ever!

Felix the Cat by Amanda Wood

Come with us, on a journey through… Felix the Cat: The Movie.

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Sometimes, while listening to old, obscure music, you happen upon some fine gems. Just because a tune wasn’t on the Top 40 station within the past five years doesn’t mean it’s unlistenable, whippersnappers!

However, as with all journeys, one risks running into perils involving distasteful subjects, awkward moments, or even human emotions. On the day that I discovered Baby, How Can It Be? I was not expecting to also discover a piece of recording history that would change my mood. I had gone from cheerful to unsettled in the time that it took to simply read the track titles. My good friend, Billy Holiday, was there to comfort me in my hour of confusion and slight need.

Then I drew this comic of our conversation.

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I’ve probably just concluded a record amount of backspacing and deleting in a single document as far as my writing career goes. It was brought up that I was more than welcomed, and in fact encouraged, to write up a few or as many words as I wanted on the subject of the passing of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Yes, this is an article that involves a professional wrestler, and if that fact has caused you to scoff, roll your eyes, or do that annoying heavy sniff that people do, then I offer my sincere apologies. It’s very unfortunate that an accident or birth defect caused your head to be firmly planted so deeply into your ass. This is a write-up about a pro “wrassler,” but it’s also about a legend, a hero, and by all accounts an all around good man.

Now I said I had a lot typed up that I deleted, and that’s true. I purposefully waited a bit after the news broke to write anything on this subject, as I wanted to let it all sink in and approach the writing process with a calm head and at least my usual half-assed sort of organization. There have been a lot of matter-of-fact, respectful-yet-emotionless pieces written on Big Dust, and the more I read my “calm, cool-headed” draft, the more I realized I was writing just another fluff piece. While not disparaging in any way, it failed to express my true feelings over this legend and over our tremendous loss. So whatever follows after this sentence is simply one man spewing forth whatever comes to his mind as rapidly as it can possibly be expressed, without a care for whether or not it really makes any sense at all. In other words this is in a fashion befitting Dusty, a man who never experienced a moment of second guessing if something he said made any earthly sense.

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Fred Astaire, American dancing gentleman, is a well-known figure of classic cinema. His films are comfortingly formulaic; you can expect light humor, charming romance, catchy music, and impressive dance routines no matter which of his offerings you happen to be watching. He kept a dedicated team of writers on hand to create hit after hit throughout the 1930s. And indeed, he and his buddy Ginger Rogers starred in these hits, winning awards and creating an on-screen LEGACY.

However, not all of the scripts that came to the table were accepted.

Fred Astaire Plague Doctor

In the year 1935, it was proposed to Astaire and Rogers that they should work together once again in another musical romantic comedy following the patterns of their prior successes. However, this time it would be an historical musical romantic comedy! Plague Year.

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From time to time, I lose my mind and become convinced that I drink too much coffee. I know people are always doing some sort of martyred brag-lamentation about the truly colossal amounts of coffee that they drink in a day, but I’m not one of those. I drink very small amounts of coffee, only two to four cups a day, but I drink it EVERY day. Sometimes I notice that if my coffeedrink routine gets messed up, my personality takes a turn for the worse. Sometimes when I notice that, I become indignant! How dare coffee treat me like that! So then I resolve to show it a thing or two about dependency and I quit it.

I have heard of people quitting all of caffeine, but I have never done that. I just sometimes quit drinking coffee but then switch off to heroic amounts of tea. As great as tea is, it never seems to be a good replacement for the coffee caffeine that my body apparently has grown to need. Tea is there for drinking after the coffee has been finished for the day. Therefore, I have probably not even experienced actual caffeine withdrawal to the fullest extent. Even so, once when I quit only-coffee for two weeks, I had a seven day long headache that did not respond to medication, as well as feelings of impending death that lasted for the same length of time.

Maybe you have been thinking that you could use a break from coffee? Perhaps you are like me, and resent that you are apparently HOOKED. Perhaps you would like to prove to yourself and your coffee that you can stop any time you want. As a seasoned veteran of quitting the bitter bean, I am here to help you. Quick! Take my tremoring hand as I take you down the dark and frightening path to potentially healthier living!

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Shopping for groceries is one of those annoying tasks you have to do once or twice a week, depending on your habits and needs. Maybe there are some people out there who enjoy the act. Perhaps for them, creating a list for a week, perhaps a carefully planned menu, all of that stuff, perhaps all of that is a pleasure for these people. It might fulfill an instinctual need to hunt and gather. God, who knows. What I DO know is that I am not one of those people. Grocery shopping is a boring old activity that involves many things I despise: making decisions, forethought, crowds, and being out in public.

I believe grocery store managers realize that there are all sorts of customers, and they try to make their stores as pleasant as possible to encourage repeat purchasing experiences. All of the items are arranged systematically, for ease of locating them. The workers are made to be friendly and happy. And they have installed a little sound system in most stores because someone somewhere must have done a study that says that people are more likely to shop happily if they can do so to a mild, inoffensive beat in the background.

I think it is a good idea, all of this playing music in the backgrounds of places. I do enjoy music, and even when they play songs that I would never hear on my own free time, such as, say, any song by Gwen Stefani ever (she and No Doubt in general seem to be a staple of grocery stores everywhere – it causes me to laugh in a way that is unkind), I can still say that I am glad that I am not left to shop in silence. That unwieldy sentence deserves a summary: I would rather listen to crap like Gwen Stefani’s annoying voice than eavesdrop on the often-bewildering drone of fellow shoppers punctuated by the shrill cries of their horrible infants. The songs played are often easily forgettable and mildly pleasant, or at the very least not at all distracting from the shop process. I might notice that Gwen Stefani is imploring me to “don’t speak” for the umpteen billionth time in the Pasta Aisle, but I can still select a pasta suited to my tastes.

grocerystefani1

But this article isn’t REALLY about how much I don’t like that ridiculous singer, no matter how many snarky observations I have on hand, or outright insults if we dare speak of the Hollaback Girl Fiasco. This is about the handful of times when I have been out shopping for food items, and the speakers in the store have played a song that was so noteworthy for its soul-sucking depression, its sheer catchiness, or its just plain old out-of-placedness, that I had to stop shopping until it was over.

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