Monday, October 29, 2007

Childrens Librarian Amy Buntz Wins Angela Lookalike Contest at The Office Convention

Congratulations to one of our own, Amy Buntz from the Lackawanna County Children's Library, for winning the Angela Lookalike contest at this past weekend's The Office Convention in Scranton.

Thanks to Amy Buntz for giving me her permission to post this awesome pic of her and The Office's Angela Kinsey in my blog.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Saturday Night Live: Season 25, Episode 6 (November 20, 1999)

The kickin' John F. Monahan from Wilkes-Barre -- who is also the Assistant Sports Information Director at Goucher College in Towson, MD -- sent me an email on Sunday about a 1999 episode of NBC's long-running Saturday Night Live (hosted by Friends star and Brangelina victim Jennifer Aniston):


I love your blog. There's a Saturday Night Live reference about Scranton that I think you've missed. It's from a Nov. 20, 1999 episode featuring Jennifer Aniston as a guest host. The skit is called 'Roberta's Thanksgiving.'

John from Wilkes-Barre"

"Roberta's Thanksgiving" was the final segment of the November 20th, 1999 episode of SNL hosted by Jennifer Aniston (whose long-running sitcom Friends included a Scranton reference in its first season) and (featuring Sting as that week's musical performer). It featured Aniston as Sarah, Cheri Oteri as Roberta and Ana Gasteyer as Mother. In the segment, a family (Aniston, Gasteyer & Darrell Hammond) are made uncomfortable during their Thanksgiving dinner when the father (Chris Parnell) is bullied into inviting a socially inept and annoying coworker (Oteri) to spend the holiday with them.

The segment below features the Scranton reference (from Cheri Oteri's Roberta):

Mother: Oh, that's so exciting! Our Sarah jetting off to Paris!

Roberta: Have ya ever been to Scranton?

Sarah: Nope.

Roberta: Don't count it out. The beauty of the skyline alone made me do a double take. (demonstrates) I stayed, I stayed at the airport Ramada.

Sarah: (sarcastic) Oooh, Ramada.

Roberta: It's funny, because they hadn't washed the sheets.

Sarah: I'm sorry, how was that funny?

Roberta: You didn't let me complete the tale. Apparently the previous guest shot himself in the head.

To read the transcript for Roberta's Thanksgiving, click here.

To read the transcript for the entire November 20th, 1999 episode, click here.

To view transcripts from every episode of every season on SNL from 1975 to the present, click here.

A great big ol' Thank You again to Mr. John F. Monahan of Wilkes-Barre for this fantastic Scranton reference.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Halfway to Scranton" by Kneebody (2005)

While browsing the Jazz CDs in the library collection, I unexpectedly came across a CD with a song titled "Halfway to Scranton." The song comes from the 2005 debut CD of the critically acclaimed group Kneebody.

Based in both New York and Los Angeles, Kneebody consists of five friends (Adam Benjamin, Shane Endsley, Karah Rastegar, Ben Wendel and Nate Wood) who share a love of music and improvisation, mixing genres such as jazz, hip-hop and rock to create a style and sound all their own.

After signing with the Green Leaf Music label in 2005, Kneebody released their debut self-titled CD to critical acclaim, some comparing their original style to Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. Track 9 on the instrumental CD is titled Halfway To Scranton. For six minutes and thirty-one seconds (the longest track on the CD), the track takes listeners on a musical journey that is sometimes fast, sometimes slow, and very unpredictable in its sound. Halfway to Scranton has a feel of a enjoyable roadtrip.

I emailed the band and asked them what inspired the use of Scranton in the title of the song. Trumpet player Shane Endsley, who wrote Halfway to Scranton, generously sent me the following reply (thanks, Shane, for permitting me to reproduce your response in the blog):

"Hi Bill,

I am the trumpet player in the band and "Halfway to Scranton" is my piece. It's titled after a romantic rendezvous with my then girlfriend, now wife and mother of our daughter. We both went to school at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester NY but I graduated a year earlier than she. I had moved to NYC and Scranton was a 1/2 way point that we chose to meet one weekend.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks for asking,


Kneebody released their follow-up CD, Low Electric Worker, in April of 2007.

To place a hold on Kneebody's 2005 debut CD, which features Halfway to Scranton, click here.

To purchase a copy of Kneebody's 2005 debut CD, click here.

You can also purchase the MP3 track of Halfway to Scranton at, iTunes or Musicstem.

I can't recommend their CD highly enough!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

The eagle-eyed groovy gal Barb Williams from Memphis, Tennessee (who is becoming one of our regular contributors to the blog) recently sent me the following email:

I was just looking over the site to see if you had the Scranton reference in 'Atlas Shrugged' accounted for. I'm rereading it now to find it. I'm pretty sure it's in the last third of the book, so it may take me a while to get there. My best recollection is that it comes in a quote fom heroine Dagny Taggert saying something about how important it was to get coal moving from Scranton."

First published in 1957, the classic novel Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's last work of fiction before concentrating her writings exclusively on philosophy and politics. It tells the story of a powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, who struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her. According to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club, Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible.

Scranton is mentioned on page 836 (the book totals 1168 pages):

"Miss Taggart," said Eddie, in a resonant tone of severity, the tone of slapping the man into the manners of a drawing room he had never entered, "may I present Mr. Meigs?"
"How d' do," said the man without interest, then turned to Eddie and proceeded, as if she were not present: "You just take the Comet off the schedule for tomorrow and Tuesday, and shoot the engines to Arizona for the grapefruit special, with the rolling stock from the Scranton coal run I mentioned. Send the orders out at once."

A film version of Atlas Shrugged is in preproduction and is slated for release sometime in 2008, with Angelina Jolie currently in talks to play the role of Dagny Taggart. Only a year to wait and see if Scranton will be mentioned in passing in the film.

To place a hold on the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, click here.

Much thanks again to the incandescent Barb Williams for this Scranton reference. Keep 'em comin'!