Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Kate Hit, Remembered

The death of Katharine Hepburn, for most of us, meant a day of quiet reflection and mourning. For Pulitzer Prize winner A. Scott Berg, however, it meant a day to crook his arm and pull his fist back while making a noise like that of a cash register. His book Kate Remembered, which was finished in 1999 and sat in a vault counting the days until Berg's "friend" of 20 years Katharine Hepburn died, has just come out and is revealing quite a lot about the private life of this movie icon.

This article at CBS News gives the lowdown on the book and includes the following passage, which caught my eye for reasons that will become plainly obvious to you after you read it:

    Berg writes that there was one big reason why Tracy and Hepburn never married besides Tracy's Catholicism, his guilt over his son's deafness and his wife's refusal to divorce him:

    "I never wanted to marry Spencer Tracy," she told Berg...

Berg should have included the whole quote, however, and I'm hoping that the misquote-catching folks over at Spinsanity give him what for. Here's the quote in its entirety:

    "I never wanted to marry Spencer Tracy because of his Catholicism, his guilt over his son's deafness and his wife's refusal to divorce him. Also, he was an abusive drunk who liked to backhand me in public. Plus, I have vaginal warts. Please don't tell anyone any of this, A. Scott Berg."

There are two things that I found incredibly interesting about Berg's book:

    1) Hearing Berg on NPR was how I found out that Hepburn died like two weeks ago.

    2) In researching this piece, I was reminded that Gregory Peck just died.

After I continued to dig, I found out that a book similar to Berg's Kate Remembered, but about Gregory Peck, had been released shortly after his death. It's called Greg: Finally Dead, So Here's The Book, and it was written by none other than famous movie actor Gregory Peck.

There were a few Katharine-Hepburn-level revelations in the Peck book. Among them:

    Gregory Peck, toward the end of his life, used to go to the grocery store sometimes as often as twice a week, just to have something to do.

    On the set of How the West Was Won, Spencer Tracy once gave Gregory Peck a dirty look, but it turned out that Tracy had just eaten something very sour.

    Peck used to mow A. Scott Berg's a. front yard in an effort to convince Berg to write a book about him. It didn't work, but Berg had the worst looking yard on the whole block.

    Peck originally died in 1998, but decided to try it again when his first death failed to make a splash.

    Gregory Peck was not gay or anything.

    On the set of To Kill A Mockingbird, Robert Duvall and Gregory Peck became close friends.

Whoa! Let's keep it clean, Peck!

Thursday, October 2, 2003

rock 'n' roll & news parody: both found dead. nation mourns, does not actually mourn.

Sorry for the light week this week. Two friends of mine both moved away this week (today specifically) which has meant a lot of staying-out-too-late and drinking-too-much. I've gone to more bars this week than I otherwise would have. Let's just put it that way, okay?

Also, I don't want to burn myself out before I take over blogging duties at Neal Pollack's site next week while he's on tour.

That all said, I've just got a few things to mention.

Rolling Stone takes on Canada's poor math skills.
Rock and roll apparently already successfully destroyed.

Thanks to Paul Serilla (currently piloting Whatevs) for mentioning a contest whereby some lucky person can win a trip to New York to see the Strokes appear on Conan O'Brien's program. I entered the contest, partly because I do - no matter how uncool it is or how full of it they are - like the Strokes. Also I really like Conan O'Brien (now finally on at 12:30 in Detroit!), and I've seen his show before and it was a blast.

Anyway, as I was clicking through the rules, I found an interesting passage. It turns out that if a Canadian wins, things get a little more complicated:

    Canadian residents selected as winners will be required to successfully answer a time-limited, unaided, mathematical skill-based question prior to being awarded a prize, and failure to successfully answer the question will cause the prize to be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner.

That's no-fooling straight from the rules. Can anyone explain this to me? I mean, I know as much as the next guy that Canadians have been getting a free ride for far too long and have simply relied on their American neighbors for arithmetic help, but why is this the proper venue for setting things straight? Do you think the Strokes added this rule? It would be so like them.

Or maybe this is a really common thing and I'm just an idiot. Someone set me straight.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

happy birthday us

Two years ago, four brave men set out on a journey so daring, so grand and so wonderful that words can express neither the heroism of these wonderful men nor our debt to them.

I'm of course talking about myself and the other Editors (Matthew Tobey, Dennis Proctor, and Sam Forsyth) of

On October 1, 2001, the world got its first look at a Haypenny Feature. My Feature from that very first Issue, though not as good as something I might write today, still fills me with sorrow and regret - just like it did lo those many years ago.

I know I keep repeating it, but I think it's necessary that people understand since we started having Dailies (on October 15, 2001 - Daily Archive), we have never missed a weekday. Ever! Can any other site say that? No!

Here's a little-known fact about Haypenny: It was supposed to go live on September 1, 2001, but we Editors decided that we'd better wait, what with 9/11 about to happen and all. It's a fact!

Anyway, to honor myself and to justify some light blogging this week, I've penned a letter to the readers of Haypenny that you all can read too.

Also, don't forget that next week I'll be guest-blogging for Neal Pollack while he's on tour. Donnie Boman (from Left Pedal) is over there now doing a fine job. After me it'll be Monks, Popp, and then Tobey. Rock on.