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December 06, 1996 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-06

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9 0



6B -- The Michigan Daily Weekecd Magazine - Thursday, December 5, 1996

The Michigan Daily Weekeni
2 Entertainment News

2Sound and Fury


iify Tim six feet under tulips;
Coppola to direct Grisham flick

I admit it, in recent years, this time of
year has left me as cold and as quiver-
ing as a bowl of figgy pudding. It was-
n't exams and final papers that had my
spirits low, either, but rather all this
yuletide yibyab that goes on. Every
year, I try and get into this holiday spir-

it thing, and every year I fail.
By Dec. 20, 1 make Scrooge look like
Barney the Purple Dinosaur and by
Dec. 24, I would seem to be a suitable
donor if the Grinch were to need a heart
Yes, I confess, dear reader, that the
constant good cheer and merrymaking
of the holiday season made me feel a bit
nauseous, and I would, in typical brood-
ing fashion, spend the latter part of the
year in hiding, swigging from stolen
bowls of spiked eggnog.
But note the use of the past tense
Something inside of me snapped this
year. I'm a changed man. I'm ho-ho-ho-
ing all the way home, I'm jingle-jingle-
bell-ing all the way to class. I hum car-
ols in the streets. I almost expect myself
to run through the streets of Ann Arbor,
a la Jimmy Stewart: "Merry Christmas
Accu-Copy! Merry Christmas Union!
Merry Christmas Mr. DPS Officer!"
So why the change in me this year?
I'm not really sure, but it happened
this Thanksgiving weekend. (A holiday,
which - did you know this? - was
started by a pres-
idential procla-
mation from Abe Somethin
I spent this me Snapp
weekend with year. I'm i
friends in a small
Wisconsin town man I'm
(population in g all th
about equal to ENE .
the capacity of home, I'
1600 CHEM).
Anyway, it was jinglebeli
unevent ful
enough. I ate the way ti
turkey, stuffing,
potatoes, pump-
kin pie. I went back and ate again. And
then once more. Afterwards, I lay on the
floor in a food coma, pants unbuttoned
so I could still breathe. Not much dif-
ferent than other years.
Then it was the day after, and 1, a
sworn enemy of malls, was prepared to
use my Friday after Thanksgiving to do
what I do best. Sleep. Sleep long and
hard and well. But I was roused from
the couch by my friend, whom we'll call
"Amanda." (We'll call her that because
that is her name.)
"Get up, we need to go," she said.
"Go where? I ain't going shopping,"
I said.
"To get a tree;' she said.
I got up. This is something I do every
year. I get off the couch, go into my
mother's basement and carry up a wood-
en pole and a box of plastic and metal
branches. That is how I go and get a tree.
And then I go back to the couch.
Different house this year, but I imagine
the routine is pretty much the same.
"OK,-where in the basement is the
tree?" 1 asked.
"It's not in the basement;' she said.
The next thing I knew, I am wearing
my quilted flannel and my corduroy cap
with the ear flaps and I am on my way.
She drives the station wagon as we loop
across winding two-lane routes, dotted
and dsted with new snow I look out


the window at the rolling white hills
and feel pretty good, considering the
fact that I am not at home on the couch.
Then Amanda turns on this
Christmas tape. For a moment, I shud-
der. Horrible flashbacks to the yuletide
yibyab: Honey-glazed hams, great-
aunts drinking bottles of Christian
Brothers and chain-smoking, the horri-
ble phony sales clerks wishing you a
happy holiday. My fists clenched.
Sweat beaded on my brow. My teeth
started to grind.
Then this song comes on. "Angels
We Have Heard on High" (better known
as "Glooaoaoaoaoaoa-oria. in-dabble-
dabble-doody-sis DAYO"). And I'm
singing along. Loudly, though I can't
carry a tune. I'm waving out the win-
dow at hunters with does and bucks in
their trucks.
By the time we arrive at the tree
farm, I am jumping up and down about
the firs, spruces and pines. We pick a
big white spruce, and as we strap it to
the top of the car, I feel like I am 5
again, like it's Christmas morning. The
piney smell, the feel of the needles, the
cold, snow-
scented brisk
SinsideO f air, it puts me in
an inexplicably
ecstatic mood. I
take the keys
1 c n from Amanda
and ask if I can
drive home,
because I have
W .. never driven
j ingle-anywhere with a
tree strapped on
ing all my roof.
Once the tree
r class. is in the house,
we hang the
o r n amen t s,
string the lights, place the angel on top.
We drink flavored coffee and listen to
Christmas tapes.
Amanda explains to me which orna-
ments mean what, and where they came
from, who made them. I hang them
carefully, almost tenderly.
Her father comes in. He says, "This
is the best Christmas tree we ever
had." When her mother comes home
from work a few hours later, she says
the same thing. I feel, for a second,
that I have stumbled into a "Waltons"
special or a Dickens denouement.
But this tree seems that beautiful. I
say it too, a few times. "It's the most
beautiful Christmas tree I've ever
And I can't explain it. But it comes
back. A holiday spirit I cannot
remember feeling for years, a spirit
somehow buried in a youthful cyni-
cism and other assorted baggage,
suddenly busts into the dim room and
shines forth brilliant light.
Actually, we just plugged in the tree.
But still, it felt something like that. And
no matter why it's there and what it
means, it feels good, very good, to be
excited for Christmas again.
Oh yes, and God bless us, every one.
- Bah humbugs can be e-mailed to
Dean Bakopoulas at
dean c@Awdk &

V OK, so he wasn't exactly a rocker,
but ukulele strummer Tiny Tim did
know all about the "cult of personality."
The Warholian media junkie, who had
his 15 minutes first in 1968 when the
song that would become his great life's
work, a falsetto version
of "Tip-Toe Through
the Tulips," topped the
charts. Fame came
again, in 1969, when his
marriage to "Miss"
Vicki (Budinger) on
Johnny Carson's 4
"Tonight Show" attract-
ed 40 million viewers.
Tiny Tim died Sunday,
Dec. 1 in a Minneapolis
hospital at age 66.
Appropriately, accord-
ing to reports, the odd-
ball singer, who mean-
dered in and out of the
media scope for the past
30 years, expired fol- ..r
lowing a performance Britpoppers B
of his best-known work
at a benefit for the
Women's Club of Minneapolis.
~ Rumors of a mystery Blur track
that was to feature a radical Thurston
Moore remix are now answered. The
New Musical Express reports that

"Essex Dogs" is one of several songs
from the forthcoming, still-untitled,
fifth Blur album (due out in February)
that will feature a remix from an
American artist. Preceded by the single
"Beetlebum," the album, recorded earli-
er this year in Iceland, was described by
Blur leader Damon Albarn as "English
slacker." It is report-
edly a conscious big
step away from the
Britpop sound the
band, along with
Oasis, helped popu-
larize worldwide,
and which Albarn
has now declared is
V John Davis and
Lou Barlow's Folk
Implosion are gear-
ing up to release
their first single
since the unlikely hit
"Natural One" from
the "Kids" sound-
r walk a dog. track became a
__momentary radio
and dance-floor sta-
ple earlier this year. The single, "Pole
Position,' will be the first of two tracks
to prime Implosion fans for "Dare to Be
Surprised," which is slated for a late
April release. This will mark the
group's first full-length album for the

V After the Wu-Tang Clan turned
the rap world upside-down- with its
debut album, 1993's "Enter the Wu-
Tang (36 Chambers)" and then split off
to release a rash of solo albums and
start their own clothing line, the group
is ready to re-group and drop the sec-
ond chapter in their bizarre rap story.
The group, which now numbers 10
thanks to the addition of rapper
Cappuccino / Cappadonna, is expect-
ing its next, still-untitled opus some-
time in late February. For now, you can
expect them to keep showing up on
other people's albums, including
Method Man and Raekwon, who
appear on the new Mobb Deep album,
and 01' Dirty Bastard, who lent a guest
rap to the next Alkaholiks album, due
in March.
~ Quentin Tarantino won't be
directing on the small screen in the
near future. Entertainment Weekly
reported that the Directors Guild of
America refused to grant him the
opportunity to direct an episode of
"The X-Files" because he never joined
the group. Funny how those organiza-
tions work - last year he was given a
waiver to film an episode of "ER."

San Francisco-based
Communion Records.

Francis Ford Coppola, he
new Grisham thriller.
V According to Pre
Lange, Michelle Pfeiffe
Jason Leigh are collabo
chick flick under "Ho
American Quilt" din
Moorhouse. Based on a
Smiley, the movie wi
Jason Robards as a fat
erosity creates a battle b
V Tired of John Gr
ryline featuring a lowly
who attempts to defea
odds? According to Mo'
novel, "The Rainmaker
the big screen featurir
unknown Matt Dan

indie label,


Continued from Page 4B
School of Education senior.
The museum hopes to open an exhibit on whale
evolution in September, tracing the history of the
footed land animal whale to the aquatic footless
ocean-dwelling whale.
Since spring 1994, the Exhibit Museum has been
holding Discovery Days, Madaj explained, with the

desire for people to "see natural history in a differ-
ent light?' These days help to prove that natural his-
tory is "not all dull and dry" but "more hands-on
and more fun." Upcoming Discovery Days include
"The Natural History of Chocolate; "on Feb. 15, and
"For the Birds," on May 17.
Madaj claims that the museum aims to "share
what we have" with the community. It seeks the
curiosity of all age groups through various work-
shops and tours. Museum members are granted
permission to take a behind-the-scenes look at the

making of a display or identifying of a fossi
children are invited to be "dinosaur detect
venture on a "dinosaur dig" and become mer
of the "Dino Club." Trains of elementary s
students are frequently seen snaking aroun
museum. Jessica McDonald, LSA sophomor
museum docent, smiled and said the se
graders especially like the "Prehistoric Life 7
The museum isn't only popular with ek
tary-aged children. "As a student you don't
to go to the museum as an everyday activity,

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