Friday Rundown: Halloween, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Duran Duran


Happy October! It’s still a little warmer here than I’d like, but leaves are changing, and the air is getting a bit crisper and clammier. Here’s our annual Halloween table, an idea we’ve cheerfully pillaged from the always-entertaining Dinosaur Dracula

Festive! The ceramic gold skull is from Z Gallerie; I ordered it for Ingrid a couple years ago, because it was described as a paperweight and thus I was, erroneously, expecting it to be roughly softball-sized. Nope, it’s the size of a real human skull. It creeps me out, honestly, but it’s appropriate for this time of year. Years and years ago, our late mother hand-stitched the stuffed fabric pumpkins for us. 

We’re still mulling over the perfect theme cocktail to serve out of the bone-and-skull-festooned goblets. Something the color of fresh blood, probably. Campari might have to be involved. Suggestions welcomed.


This is the only important thing that happened in my week:


Mind. Blown.

Rob Sheffield is, of course, the smart and funny Rolling Stone journalist and best-selling author of Love is a Mixtape, Turn Around Bright Eyes, and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. I’m beyond flabbergasted that he knows who I am. Here’s a link to his clever, sparkling review of Duran’s 2011 Madison Square Garden concert, in which, along with countless other bon mots, he observes that John’s cheekbones “…are still just begging to be used as a citrus juicer press for apres-show cocktails”.

I’ve finished watching all seasons of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Much as I adore that show, this is probably a good thing; all my other viewing has been on hold while I’ve let my U.N.C.L.E. obsession run its course. I’m now three episodes behind on the new season of Doctor Who; I haven’t even tuned in at all to the new season of Empire, or of Gotham. Sadly, U.N.C.L.E. ended with a whimper, not a bang; the shortened fourth season was listless and dull. Plotlines that should’ve been a lurid and cheerfully exploitative good time (Illya is brainwashed by THRUSH into trying to kill Napoleon! While undercover as a Nazi, Illya is forced to torture Napoleon to save his cover! Illya is captured by a vengeance-bent former adversary who uses him as bait to trap Napoleon!) were instead draggy and incomprehensible. Maddening! Anyway, weekly recaps of choice episodes will continue at least through the end of the year. Even though it didn’t stick the landing, the show is still priceless.

This is pretty much how I felt at the end of Season Four, guys.
Song of the week: Duran Duran’s “Northern Lights”, one of the bonus tracks off the Paper Gods album:



Have a great weekend, all.

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