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Things We Like: TV Icons, Toilet Roll Covers and Victorian Ghostbusting

28 November 2009 Things We Like 5,403 views No CommentPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

Every Saturday, the editorial staff of Monkey Goggles and its friends rummages though bookshelves, toy boxes, DVDs, music collections and stacks of assorted stuff to pick out a few choice items that will make your life better.

Elliott Bay Book Company’s Suggested Reading: “Toilet Roll Covers” by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer

Now that Thanksgiving and Black Friday are behind us, the old holiday gift-giving buildup is in full swing. Every year there is that undeniable desire to give handmade gifts that are beautiful and useful, and it is nice as well if the gift is something the recipient is certain not to already have. Perhaps never before has one book so adequately addressed both of these concerns.

I am talking about a book by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer called “Toilet Roll Covers.”  This book gives detailed, easy-to-follow instructions on knitting an impressive variety of cozy slipcases for that personal tissue paper. There is certainly enough variety to fit any theme or lifestyle. Going for cuteness in the bathroom? Try out the sweet little pig featured on the cover. For the elegant w.c. check out the gold-lurex-and-sequined “All That Glitters.” There one called “Roll In The Hay” which would spruce up even the most rustic of outhouses.

But this is only just the beginning. I really encourage a good browse through the whole book. It is really nicely arranged, with full-color photos of each roll in its suggested environs — which for many of them, strangely, is outside. I had not heretofore realized how visually assaulting an unadorned roll of toilet paper can be. – Christopher Sabatini

Scarecrow Video’s Movie of the Week: “Dark Intruder” (1965), directed by Harvey Hart

This video rarity from 1965 stars Leslie Nielsen as a Victorian-era ghostbuster, complete with a mandrake plant that reacts to psychic vibrations, and the gaslit streets of San Francisco as a perfect backdrop. When Nielsen’s character is called in by the police to investigate a string of occult murders he soon discovers that demonic forces are are closing in on him. Although it had a small theatrical release, Dark Intruder was originally intended to serve as a pilot episode for a TV series, which I can only envision as “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” meets “The Wild Wild West.” I think it would’ve been one of the greats. – Rhias Hall

Archive of American Television Online Interviews

If you’re a student of the history of television, say goodbye to weeks of your life. The Archive of American Television is making all of their interviews available online and I can’t stop watching them. These are long, detailed interviews with the people that have made some of the best television ever. You can see interviews with the celebrities in other places, but here they aren’t selling a product or trying to impress the interviewer, just telling their stories. There are more than a hundred up already, here’s a tiny sampling of the featured interviews: Sid Caesar, James Burrows, George Carlin, Roy Disney, Pat Morita, Alexander Courage, Andy Griffith, William Shatner and Steven Bochco.

The best interview I’ve listened to so far was with Pat Robertson about the founding of “The 700 Club” about the business of television. He basically takes credit for founding CNN and saving network TV during an economic downturn. This is great stuff! – David Wahl

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