Not a Newsletter: 04/08/18


Well, hello! After a shaky last couple of weeks, we’re trying to get Not a Newsletter back on track here at Casselbloggy HQ. I’d like to remain as computer-free as possible on my day off, so am getting this out early for the Sunday breakfast crowd.

This story about the mastodon skeleton at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History being moved as part of the museum’s relocation put me in a wistful mood. Growing up in Ann Arbor, the museum was one of my favorite places to go.

Like a lot of kids, I was really into dinosaurs and a place with skeletons from all kinds of those prehistoric creatures seemed like one of the coolest places on Earth. A Tyrannosaurus Rex skull. A pterodactyl skeleton. And so much more. They were just a bus ride away, which meant multiple visits throughout the year — especially during the summer.


I’m not sure when I stopped going to the museum. Probably at an age where I felt like I’d outgrown it. I bet I haven’t been back in at least 20 years. I couldn’t have gone back once?

Now that I live someplace else, I’ve often thought about how lucky I was and didn’t even realize it. I could go to that museum — and others on the U-M campus — any time I wanted to. I didn’t do this nearly enough, especially as I got older. Taking the little nieces there (one of whom likes dinosaurs) would be fun. Maybe someday.

OK, here’s what we have to show for the past week.

This Week’s Reading

** Dusty Baker shouldn’t have been fired as Washington Nationals manager after last season. But he’s apparently enjoying the time off, especially when watching his son play. J.T. Snow rescuing little Darren Baker, then a San Francisco Giants bat boy, from getting run over at home plate in the 2002 World Series was a touching moment. [Washington Post]

** I was vaguely aware of how much diapers cost before my sister had children. Now, as an uncle, I’m keenly aware — especially when taking my mother to Target or Walmart to buy diapers and help my sister out. (I don’t think that’s appreciated enough.) This feature underlines just how fortunate we are, and why diapers cost what they do. [Tampa Bay Times]

** John Krasinski’s life and career are about to change with the huge success (already!) of A Quiet Place (his third film as a director, by the way). And his Jack Ryan series will premiere on Amazon later this year. He’s been building to this in the five years since The Office went off the air. [Vulture]

** Don’t look at Micheline Maynard’s interview with Milk Street’s Christopher Kimball as a cooking article. There is a lot of smart, insightful advice in here about creating a media start-up and consumer venture, and what’s necessary for success in those areas. [Forbes]


** The first time I saw Alex Ross’s art in Marvels, I thought it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. Never had comic book superheroes come to life more than with his photo-realistic art. Ross has a new book, Marvelocity, featuring his Marvel art which I hope finds its way to my coffee table. [Entertainment Weekly]

** Chappaquiddick‘s Jason Clarke was totally cool when Amy Kaufman realized her recorder wasn’t on after a 90-minute interview.  [Los Angeles Times]

** This one is for Mom. The judges on MasterChef UK pissed off a lot of people when they  criticized a contestant for making Chicken Rendang (a signature Malaysian dish) with chicken that wasn’t crispy. It’s not supposed to be crispy; it’s slow-cooked. [The Guardian]

** I was late to the party on Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree. But it’s such a great example of what comic books are capable of and a testament to the passion of independent creators. Piskor is now taking that spirit and style to Marvel’s X-Men, trying to condense all of that mythology into a short series. [NPR]

This Week’s Watching

The death of Steven Bochco last week immediately made me think of Hill Street Blues. I probably listened to the theme song a dozen times over the past few days, thinking to myself “Be careful out there.” Best TV theme song ever? It has to be in the top five.

My friend A. suggested taking a vacation to watch old episodes of Hill Street Blues, which I believe is on Hulu. (So is ER, which would require another vacation.) That sounds like a great way to spend some time off.

This Week’s Writing

** This Week in Trailers: Frightening Westworld, Kodachrome road trip, superpowered kids, white voice
** Jim Brockmire joined the ESPN broadcast booth Sunday afternoon during the Cardinals-Mets telecast

** ESPN’s Get Up won’t make you change your morning TV routine yet, but it could get there

** What is your favorite Steven Spielberg movie? (Roundtable)

** These were the coolest moments from the first week of baseball season (Roundtable)

** Remembering Steven Bochco’s attempt at sports drama, Bay City Blues
** This Week in Trailers: Purge origin story, Haddish vs. Hart, zombie daddy, deadly Upgrade

** Alliance of American Football announces first team in Orlando, coached by Steve Spurrier
** HBO’s Paterno credits former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci as co-executive producer

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