Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sure, I Might Be Gay, What Of It?

"Just An Illusion", a song by the UK band Imagination, was used in the end credits of F/X. I have loved it ever since.

The only thing I have to say about this video is, "Wow."

I think the next music I'll be uploading to the local jukebox will be dedicated to "The Gay Side Of Splotchy."

See you in July!

Friday, June 29, 2007

An Ever-Expanding Universe

Music is very, very important to me.

In my life thus far, there have been several instances where my musical tastes have broadened, hit a plateau, then broadened again.

By plateau, I mean that I was enjoying music still, but I wouldn't be listening to any unfamiliar music. Maybe I would come to the rather silly conclusion that there was nothing more out there, no more music that I could find to like, or no music that was worth the effort in searching out.

The last plateau happened when our eldest kids were born back in January of 2003.

This was a little different kinda plateau. It was more like all the sudden I had kids. I couldn't necessarily play just any of the music I wanted. I couldn't play Song X because its dissonance would make one of the kids cry, or couldn't play Song Y because it had the word "motherfudger" in it -- stuff like that.

Don't get me wrong, I have played and still play a helluva lot of good music for the kids, but there *was* a limit to what I could play.

As I think about it, just the sheer upheaval that having children causes is probably the core reason why my musical tastes were put on pause. Yes, that last sentence rhymed. No, it wasn't intentional.

So, my tastes languished a bit, until I started getting into music online. I feel that my exposure to unfamiliar music has grown exponentially with the use of the computer, and the use of a portable MP3 player.

In this post, I thought it would fun to share some of the songs I have only recently been exposed to with you, gentle reader.

Many of these songs are not new. You might know them, you might like them already, you might enjoy them if you give a listen. That's the music player, over on the right. Pipe up and say something, dammit. Let's talk about music, alright?

Long live music. Without further ado, here are some songs from my most recent taste-broadening. The links are just to the bands' respective Wikipedia entries -- the song "jukebox" is on the upper-right of the blog.

The Raincoats - Fairytale In The Supermarket
-- from The Raincoats (1979)
Wow, this song is so damned snotty. I love it.

Boubacar Traoré - Duna Ma Yelema
-- from Macire (2000)
It's not in English. I have no idea what he's talking about. It's still incredibly powerful, even without knowing the words. Amazing guitar-playing, an amazing voice. It is the musical equivalent of melancholy, I think.

The Clean - Twist Top
-- from Unknown Country (1996)
If I could be in any band, I'd be in The Clean. A pop band, but a pop band with great sensibilities, inventive musical playing, and the undeniable power of THE HOOK. "Three million people can be wrong, three million people can be wrong."

Pugh Rogefeldt - Colinda
-- from Ja dä ä dä (1969)
You won't find this guy on the English version of Wikipedia. You haveta go on the Swedish one. This is such a pretty song, with a nice dissonant freakout at the end. Finding this artist was the equivalent of running into a movie theater to get out of the rain, only to discover a foreign film that affects you on a deeply personal level. And no, the foreign film isn't dubbed in English, and it doesn't have subtitles.

Can - Moonshake
-- from Future Days (1973)
I had listened to German experimental bands like Faust and Neu!, but for some reason never gave these guys a try. Which was a mistake. Moonshake is a shorter, poppy song of theirs, but it's all good, people. It's all good.

We Look Like Girls - whap
Well, what the hell, I might as well as put a song recently done by Tim and myself, right? Tim and I have about ten or songs in progress, which are actually nothing like this one. But I like it, and I hope you do, too. No warbly vocals from either Tim or myself in this one! w00t, as the kids say.

Hello, Russia! I Have An Automobile Of Gold!

Check out the map of this site's visitors at the bottom.

What the? Do people in Russia not *care* about my random thoughts? Or is it that they are unaware of them?

Perhaps a greeting to them in their native language, courtesy of Altavista's Babel Fish translator is required to get me on the map there, literally.

Hello! Rainbows are pretty! I have a gold car. You are my friend, and will increase my hit counter. Thank you.

1st English-to-Russian Translation
Здравствулте!! Радуги милы! Я имею автомобиль золота. Вы будете моим другом, и увеличите мой счетчика ударов. Вы.

Translating the Russian back to English
To zdravstvulte!! Rainbows are dear! I have an automobile of gold. You will be my friend, and you will increase my of the counter of impacts. You.

Back to Russian
К zdravstvulte!! Радуги дорог! Я имею автомобиль золота. Вы будете моим другом, и вы увеличите мое счетчика ударов. Вы.

Back To English
To zdravstvulte!! Rainbows of roads! I have an automobile of gold. You will be my friend, and you will increase my of the counter of impacts. You.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Message In A Washer

The Police were my favorite band back in 7th and 8th grade.

On a nightly basis, I would sing along with the songs on Outlandos d'Amour, Reggatta De Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta, etc. During my 7th grade year, they played in the Assembly Hall at the University of Illinois as part of their Synchronicity tour, about 80 miles east of my hometown of Springfield.

I sooooooooooo wanted to go, but I was not allowed. My brother *did* end up going, and brought me back a shirt.

It was nice, but you can imagine how it wasn't quite the same as being there.

Earlier this year, there were rumblings that The Police were reuniting for a tour, and were going to roll into Chicago at some point in the summer, playing the best ballpark in the world, Wrigley Field.

As you are probably already aware, sure enough, the rumors were true.

I didn't get around to purchasing tickets for the show, and figured they were sold out.

But yesterday, a coworker came up to me and said, "Hey, do you need tickets for The Police?"

"F*ck you!" I enthusiastically replied. "Are you serious?"

He was serious. He had four tickets he was willing to sell to me for four hundred and fifty bucks. Now, that sounds like a lot, but he was selling them to me for what he had paid for them.

I called my wife all excited about it, then she got all excited about it. As I was riding home on the train, the excitement kind of wore off.

$450.00. That's a lot of cash. Plus, who were we going to get to babysit our three younguns? The show is at 7:00pm on a Thursday night, and we would probably have to leave Brookfield at least a couple hours earlier than that to make sure we could get there, park, all that crap.

We have had babysitters before, but it's a big deal trying to get someone to feed your three under-fives and put them to bed.

After briefly discussing it, we both decided to call my coworker and regretfully decline his tickets.

My wife calls me today, finally at wit's end with all the dirty dishes produced over the course of a kid-filled day (our dishwasher broke about six months ago), especially since she is busy taking a summer statistics class in preparation for her starting grad school in the fall.

So, we're getting a dishwasher, which will probably cost about the price of the four Police tickets. I'm thinking a Synchronicity sticker would bring some color to our new, drab white appliance.

January 22nd, January 22nd, January 22nd

My wife was looking at my blog tonight, and saw my post about David Patrick Kelly's birthday of January 23rd, and how it was strange that he had the same birthday as my eldest son and daughter.

She said to me, "You know the kids' birthday is on January 22nd, not the 23rd, right?" After a short, informal ceremony I was then awarded the following certificate:

Beyonce Loves Fritz Lang!

So, briefly glancing at a local newspaper I happen upon a picture of Beyonce from the recent BET Awards, dressed as a robot from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Might I suggest for her next performance, that she dress as the whistling, tormented child serial killer from Fritz Lang's masterpiece M?

'Cause that's a really good movie too.

It's A Post Office, It's A Bank, It's A Police Station, It's Batman

This apparently happened yesterday, but I just realized today that the folks of Rory's First Kiss, (aka The Dark Knight) have once again set up shop in the old Chicago Post Office by where I work.

Not only has the "Gotham National Bank" lettering gone up to replace the chiseled "United States Post Office" on the front of the building, there is also a sign on the opposite side of the building reading "Gotham Police". Apparently they are using the post office's exterior for more than one set.

The windows to the large lobby of the US Post Office has been blacked out by large "flags" (essentially large swaths of black fabric on a frame). This was the same lobby that contained a yellow school bus during the previous filming that occurred there.

Here's some linkage from Superherohype:

Crew coming back to the Post Office

On set pics, including the back of the Post Office, with the Gotham Police sign

Cheeseburger In Paradise Isolation

Tried to amend my carnivorous habits.
Made it nearly seventy days,
Losin' weight without speed, eatin' sunflower seeds,
Drinkin' lots of carrot juice and soakin' up rays.

In fear every day, every evening,
He calls her aloud from above,
Carefully watched for a reason,
Painstaking devotion and love

But at night I'd have these wonderful dreams
Some kind of sensuous treat.
Not zucchini, fettuccini, or bulghar wheat,
But a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat.

Surrendered to self preservation,
From others who care for themselves.
A blindness that touches perfection,
But hurts just like anything else.

Cheeseburger in paradise (paradise)
Heaven on earth with an onion slice (paradise)
Not too particular not too precise (paradise)
I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise


Heard about the old time sailor men
They eat the same thing again and again
Warm beer and bread they said could raise the dead
Well it reminds me of the menu at a holiday inn

Times have changed for sailors these days
When I'm in port I get what I need
Not just Havanas or bananas or daiquiris
But that American creation on which I feed

Mother I tried please believe me,
I'm doing the best that I can.
I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through,
I'm ashamed of the person I am.

Cheeseburger in paradise, medium rare with muenster'd be nice
Heaven on earth with an onion slice.
I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise.


I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well, good god Almighty which way do I steer

But if you could just see the beauty,
These things I could never describe,
These pleasures a wayward distraction,
This is my one lucky prize.

For my cheeseburger in paradise
Makin' the best of every virtue and vice.
Worth every damn bit of sacrifice
To get a cheeseburger in paradise;
To be a cheeseburger in paradise.
I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise.

I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well, good god Almighty which way do I steer


Please, Snail Mail, Don't Let Me Down

I have written a letter to David Patrick Kelly care of his talent agency representation, containing a small series of questions I hope he will answer.

I included my website URL for him to review, as well.

Here's hoping:

1. He gets the letter
2. He likes my questions
3. He likes my website
4. He responds
5. He keeps on acting in movies

The Disabled Versus The Disabled

Observed today on the walk back from lunch.

A man in a motorized wheelchair crosses against the light, as another man driving a car with a disabled parking card nearly hits him, not slowing down a smidgen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Did I Have Triplets?

Is David Patrick Kelly my adopted son, or is he... my biological son?!

He shares his birthday with my twins, born on January 23.

Granted, he was born fifty two years before them, and twenty years before me, but still, you never know, especially with wily character actors.

I noticed his birthday on a page containing a nice summary of DPK's theatre experience.

I'm Spartacus!

(not pictured - Spartacus)

From Dr. Zaius via Samurai Frog:

Shakesville is under attack! A denial-of-service attack! In a show of support for Shakesville, Blue Gal is invoking the ancient ritualistic tradition of "I Am Spartacus!" (You have to do it people, it's in your contract, page 62, paragraph 3.)

This all started as a reaction to an announcement from Shakespeare's Sister that she was bowing out of the Edwards campaign to protect him from the hateful spew from the right-wing troglodytes. Driftglass started an "I'm Spartacus" dance craze that swept the nation. Still don't get it? YouTube to the rescue. Long live concertive control!






Ann Who?

So, it appears that Ann Coulter is bubbling up all over the place again. I'm assuming you already know the details. Even if you don't, the details aren't really related to the point I'm trying to make.

People get angry -- people get very angry at the things she says.

Okay, sure, she says some heinous things. But isn't that her purpose, to provoke outrage?

What else does she have?

Ann is like the sensationalist news stories we obsessively follow and decry. In the media soup, Ann Coulter is the equivalent of a cop shooting his wife and children.

She keeps popping up in our culture because of a need for people to feel outrage.

Do any conservatives actually think she is any kind of worthwhile advocate for their views and values? If a conservative does like Coulter, is it for any reason other than she makes people (or as Ann would say, "liberals") angry?

So what do you do? How do you respond?

Probably the first step is to not get angry. That's really her only power over you and I. In her particular case, I believe ignoring her is the best course of action.

But before you get to the ignoring, check out this post of mine. She sounds pretty funny with a James Brown backbeat.

I Answer The Questions Of Our Next President

When Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein, the befezzed, potential future president of the United States offers his interviewing services, you jump on it like a monkey jumping on another monkey, right?

Here are his interview questions, and my answers.

1) Who were your childhood heroes? And why did you look up to them?

I used to read lots of comics when I was a kid and loved Spider-Man, but I don't think I ever got into the mindset where I would find the heroes in comics to be heroes to look up to.

I liked various music, television and movies, but really didn't have any heroes there, either. I loved Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, but didn't really associate them with Jim Henson at the time (who I'd probably consider a hero of mine now, at least).

I was also relatively oblivious to the events of the day as well, so no heroes on the national or world stage existed for me, either.

I guess my brother would probably be, for me, the person most fitting the words 'childhood hero'.

He's seven years older than me. I always looked up to him. Whether it was reading his old comics or listening to an old mixtape he made, things that were in some way connected to him carried a greater meaning, and emotional impact.

I still remember when I was about seven or eight, he let me tag along on a walk to a convenience store with him and his friends. The store was probably no more than a mile from our house, but it seemed like a hundred to me. It probably wasn't that big a deal to him, but to me it was like a big adventure that I felt happy to be part of.

I can't really pin down why I looked up to him so much. That's just the way it was, I guess.

2) What is one film and one book you would recommend that everyone see and read and why?

Book: Interventions, by Noam Chomsky
I'm picking the most recent political book by linguist and activist, Noam Chomsky. I'm honestly not that familiar with his work in linguistics, but I have read virtually all his political books. In my opinion, Chomsky is a profoundly thoughtful and articulate critic of the United States, focusing primarily on its role in world affairs. I first read one of his books, Towards A New Cold War, about ten years ago, and it completely shook me to my core. Some people feel his writings are pessimistic, or overly critical of the US. I don't really feel that way. I think he is doing something he believes in, and is trying to effect positive change in the best way he knows how. He's trying to make the world a better place. I think the more people (particularly, Americans) are aware of his writings, the less likely wars like Iraq and Vietnam will be started and perpetuated.

Movie: Defending Your Life, by Albert Brooks
Something about this movie and its portrayal of an afterlife really clicked with me. There's no concept of a hell, or really even an omnipresent supreme being. It's all about fear. Did fear rule your life on Earth? Fear is seen as the cause of the majority of our worldly problems. Fear is what keeps people from moving on into their next stage of existence (I like this concept more than one of some kind of lazy-ass heavenly paradise). Fear is what keeps people from using the full potential of their brains (people on Earth use only 3% of their brains).

All my life I have struggled with fear and uncertainty, as I'm sure many people do. This movie does a lot of great things. Among them, it de-religifies spirituality and encourages one to take chances and work through doubt. Plus, you can eat all you want of the finest foods in the afterlife without gaining a pound.

3) Which, if any, countries outside the USA have you visited?

I've been to a resort in Cozumel, which perhaps technically can't be considered Mexico due to how insular the environment was designed to be. We were there in mid-September, and no one in the resort mentioned that it was Independence Day (September 16th) the week we were staying (of course, we could have not been the ignorant gringos that didn't already know this fact). A cab driver mentioned the following day was Independence Day when we were riding from our resort to the main town. So, the following night we decided to skip the resort's musical salute to international something-or-other and went into town during a celebration by the locals. It was one of the highlights of our trip. At around the time we were in Cozumel, Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs and Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals were having their racing streak of home runs in the Major League back home. I met a man in town who was a fan of Sosa's. I asked him if he would like me to send him a Sosa t-shirt when I got back to Chicago, to which he enthusiastically agreed. I never sent him a shirt, though, and have lost his address.

For our honeymoon (which actually was more than a year after we had married), my wife and I traded in a timeshare of my brother's and stayed at a small town, Bad Gastein, in the Austrian Alps. It was offseason, so there was no skiing involved, but we did plenty of hiking (though my wife was five months pregnant with twins at the time, and probably would have liked to have gone a little lighter on the walking). One of the coolest things we saw in Austria was Eisriesenwelt, an ice cave in the side of a mountain. A guide that worked there, Gerhard, gave us a tour of the cavern. I mentioned to him that I had done some caving back in the States, and said that I had used a carbide lamp for illumination. Gerhard stated that he would love to get his hands on one of those lamps, but that they were prohibitively expensive locally. I said I could probably dig one up for him for cheap, and asked him if he would like me to send him one when I got back to Chicago, to which he enthusiastically agreed. I thought I had a lamp back home, but then I couldn't find it. Then, I lost Gerhard's address. Actually, I just recently found my carbide lamp at my folks' house. Gerhard, if you find this blog and give me your address again, I'll send the lamp to you, I promise.

A couple years earlier, my wife and I did an El Italia package where we saw three cities (Rome, Florence, Venice) in ten days. We weren't part of a tour group, but we did have reservations in the different cities on certain nights, enforcing how long we stayed at each place. Florence was a blur, though I did propose to my wife there, and bought her an engagement ring on the famous Ponte Vecchio. We had a fantastic time in both Rome and Venice. I'm not a big drinker, but every dinner we ate was accompanied by a decanter of house wine. The ruins of Rome were incredible, particularly the Colosseum. I was so in awe of this building that when a couple of dudes dressed up as Roman Centurions came up and asked to take our picture, I said, "Sure." I thought they were just being kind and were going to take a picture of my wife and I, but they instead started hamming it up, pretending to threaten my wife and I with a sword as another Centurion snapped a photo. I was chuckling as one of the Roman Centurions muttered to me "..[unintelligible] lira". "Huh?" I asked. It dawned on me. These guys weren't out here dressed for kicks, they were charging tourists to take their pictures. So, I fumbled for my wallet, still a little confused. "TWO OF THE BLUE ONES," he spit out.


In case you don't know, that's 20,000 lira (about US $10). vaffanculo!

I guess the lesson to be learned is that if you want something from me while I am traveling in your fair country, you have to trick me.

4) What do you do for a living? Do you like it? And do you see yourself doing it until you retire?

I'm doing mostly Java programming at a bank. Some days it's more fun than others. A lot of it involves creative problemsolving, but there are stretches of drudgery. I honestly don't know if I'll do it all my life. I sort of fell into it. It pays pretty well, and that's important to me as I'm now supporting a wife and three kids.

My college degree is actually in film production. I halfheartedly pursued a career in the film industry when I first moved to Chicago ten years ago, but as it worked out I was mostly temping.

A guy I work with just recently wrote a script, which I helped him make into a movie just these past two weekends. I recently got an idea in my head for a short film, which I think I might develop into a script, and, hopefully, a movie.

I think as long as I can have some sort of creative outlet, I can be satisfied with most kinds of work.

5) What traits should we pass on to future generations?

If anything, I'd like to see the world be a more humane place. I guess the most important thing to pass on would be the feeling of being a part of something larger than one's self, a recognition of a greater good. Stuff that makes you think twice before inflicting harm on another.

Thanks so much for these questions, good doctor.

Now, you, reader of this post... Do YOU want to be interviewed?

Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Two Buck Schmuck Gets A Hairline Fracture

Tonight at the 9-ish shows at the LaGrange Theatre, here were my choices:

Wild Hogs -- Seen it!
Georgia Rule -- A Garry Marshall comedy, starring Jane Fonda and Lindsay Lohan. I'd be afraid to attend because my heart would explode with warmth and laughter.
Blades Of Glory -- Like Talladega Nights on ice. Though I would probably enjoy Will Arnett and Amy Poehler's supporting roles as a vicious ice-skating couple in this movie, I didn't feel like seeing a comedy tonight.

Which leaves us with:

Fracture -- a "suspense" "drama" starring Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins.

I don't believe I have noted it previously, but all the movies I have seen up to this point at the LaGrange have been in Theater 1, the curvy seated room with dim lighting and no drink holders.

Tonight, I saw the majesty of Theater 2. It was a perfectly acceptable theatre, a little on the smallish side, with the screen not quite big enough for the projected images. But it had bright enough lighting for me to read my cherished Movie Fun Facts prior to the movie, and cup holders as far as the eye could see (which isn't terribly far in Theater 2). One kind of disturbing thing about Theater 2 -- you have to walk down a very long, blood-red corridor to get to it. Zoiks!

Hey, have you ever heard of the well-respected film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum? He's actually turned me onto many interesting films -- for example, the works of the great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Apart from periodically providing capsule reviews of recent releases, Rosenbaum also writes weekly columns in the Chicago Reader that are articulate and often thought-provoking.

Now that I have gotten *that* out of the way, here's his review of Fracture in its entirety (taken from here):

An engineer (Anthony Hopkins) goes on trial in Los Angeles for trying to murder his wife (Embeth Davidtz), and the prosecutor (Ryan Gosling) attempts to push through what appears to be an open-and-shut case but isn't. With its lavish architecture and Spielbergian lighting, this absorbing thriller has a high-toned look, but director Gregory Hoblit and writers Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers got much of their training in TV cop shows, which shows in the adroit way they semaphorically abbreviate certain characters and plot developments to slide us past various incongruities. The main interest here is the juxtaposing of Gosling's Method acting with Hopkins's more classical style, a spectacle even more mesmerizing than the settings.

Rosenbaum actually gave this movie a "Reader Recommend" (the equivalent of a "thumbs up"). One thing that I have noted in particular with regards to the more "intellectual" film critics, is that occasionally when reviewing a piece-of-shit mainstream movie, they focus on some dumbass component that makes them think the film is somehow watchable. This film wasn't just a turd, it had teeth, too. Seriously, "semaphorically abbreviate"? The juxtaposition of Gosling's and Hopkin's acting styles, a mesmerizing spectacle? Are you fucking kidding me?

This movie was not just boring, it was relentlessly boring. I am not exaggerating in saying that I looked at my watch *at least* ten times during this movie.

The one bright spot in this movie was that in a few scenes Ryan Gosling was wearing a shirt for Camp Ki-Shau-Wau, apparently an old Boy Scout Camp once owned by the Starved Rock Area Council.

My bleary, reddened eyes opened briefly at the sight of the words Starved Rock on his shirt, because that's a lovely northern Illinois state park I have had the pleasure of hiking. From what I can tell, Camp Ki-Shau-Wau is not located in the park, but a little ways down the Vermillion River. It appears that the camp has been converted to a resort.

Why not learn more about Starved Rock? On the Starved Rock page, do you see those background images of the park drifting behind the happy, active, middle-agish seated couple? Watch those pictures for about two hours, and you'll get a sense of how it felt to watch Fracture (except the couple was Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins, and they were spectacularly mesmerizing in their contrasting acting styles).

That was nice how I tied that all together, wasn't it? You didn't think I could pull it off, did you.

That's why they pay me the big bucks, ladies and gents.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It Struck Their Tiny Raft Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh

Land Of The Lost. Just 'cause.

Alternative Fashion Choices For The White Stripes

For better or worse, when I think about Target, I think about The White Stripes.

Here's some alternative fashion choices that could potentially break this connection in my mind.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hello, Yourself

SamuraiFrog has posted a song of the week, Hello, It's Me by Todd Rundgren.

I guess I'm pretty Rundgren-deficient or something. I don't really know any of his work -- I only know that he occasionally wears crazy sunglasses.

I liked the song.

Its title is the same as the last song of Lou Reed and John Cale's Songs For Drella.

The Songs For Drella version is more of a song about saying goodbye.

Here's a video of it. I believe that with the hair helmet Lou Reed is sporting in this performance, I have now satisfied the mullet quota for my blog for the remainder of the year.

An End To Another Cicadian Rhythm

Not much going on lately in Brookfield, cicada-related at least.

The noise has settled down to what one might hear on a normal summer day. The bugs that used to be flying around are now corpses on the ground.

All in all, this emergence was (for me) unexpected, kind of gross, and pretty cool. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Oh, a side note -- my post is punning on Circadian rhythms, a term I learned in a converation a while back with Bubs, in regards to how he had lost his due to working crazy hours.

Here's some other Rhythms that haven't entered the common lexicon as of yet.

Chicletian Rhythm - The amount of time it takes to chew a piece of Chiclets gum before it becomes stale and you have to add another piece.

Cardassian Rhythm - Some Star Trek backstory alien race mating-ritual nonsense that I presume exists, and that probably already has a series of fan websites devoted to it (but I am not willing to look for).

Serjtankian Rhythm - The amount of time elapsing between the hearing of a song by System of a Down.

L'il Train Vignette

This morning on my train car, the guitar intro to ACDC's "Back In Black" kicked in.

A late-middle-aged woman reached into her purse to pull out the cell phone that was producing the music.

As she sipped a box of juice (the kind normally seen in the hands of a toddler), she admonished her son over the phone for forgetting his basketball shoes.

I'm Exmausted

I think I may have lost some zazz at some point.

I can't work 16 sweaty hours per day so easily anymore. I'll survive, but I'll be exmausted (that's when you're so tired you use the letter 'm' instead of 'h' because it takes less breath).

I was working all weekend on a friend of mine's movie (as my two year old calls him, "friend Andy, friend Andy?").

30 or so hours of strenuous filmmaking later, I'm sore and achy, and jittery at hearing a fan in our bedroom while I'm falling asleep (I keep on thinking, we should probably shut that thing off, it's going to be bad for recording dialogue).

Still, a really fun weekend.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Have Shopping Faux Pas, Too

Just to prove to you I'm not some wiseass who never exhibits less-than-savvy shopping behavior, I present this humble post.

First, please note that part of this post has been encoded because my mother reads this blog.

Mom, there is nothing really that awful in this little vignette, but I felt I should at least protect your eyes from seeing it without readying yourself.

To read the message below, copy the text and paste it into the "Input" box on the top right of my blog, hit the "En/Decode input" button and read the text that displays in the "Output" box.


Lbh xabj jung'f jbefr guna tbvat gb Gnetrg sbe bayl gjb vgrzf, pbaqbzf naq znffntr bvy?

Ergheavat gur pbaqbzf ng Phfgbzre Freivpr yngre orpnhfr lbh zvfgnxrayl tbg gur jebat xvaq.


Friday, June 22, 2007

A Hopefully Obvious Shopping Faux Pas

I can safely say, that without doing even the slightest bit of research, the Internet contains the following advice from at least a handful of people:

If you're shopping at Target, don't wear a red shirt.

Now, I realize that not everyone has a connection to the Internet, but surely these sage words have also been transmitted through our culture's rich and vibrant oral tradition.

Yet still, when I visit our local Super Target, which one would assume is only populated by superintelligent supershoppers, I swear that half the customers are wearing red.

To these people, I implore you:

Note: There is one exception to this rule. If you intentionally wear red so you can hover around a busy aisle, sporadically adjusting items on their shelves and looking somewhat busy, for the sole purpose of saying, "I don't work here" when shoppers come to you asking for help, by all means wear red.


Is it Elvises or Elvii?

Elvis #1 - "That's All Right"

Elvis #2 - "Radio, Radio"

To My 3000th Visitor, The Internet, And New Friends

The 3000th visitor to "I, Splotchy" was only here briefly, only stopping for 0 (zero) seconds.

Here are the details regarding their location:

Continent: Europe
Country : United Kingdom
State/Region: Slough
City: Perivale
Lat/Long: 51.5333, -0.3167

Here's that location on Google Maps (click on the image to see something more humanly readable):

I could be wrong, but I believe Slough is the same Slough where the UK version of The Office was supposedly set. Another useless fact from me (someone who has zero concept of geography in England), you'll see "Hammersmith" near the bottom of the map, which is referenced in a song lyric I posted here.

The thing I found most interesting was where the user was hitting my site from:

A Head Full Of Wishes

A Head Full Of Wishes is a fansite for the bands Galaxie 500, Luna and their offshoots. It's run by a very nice guy in the UK, Andy Aldrige. Andy (or someone at his site) apparently found my description of a Luna show I saw in St. Louis. They posted a link to this posting of mine, and a few people have clicked through it to see what I have to say about Luna.

The strange thing is, that it was this very same website through which I first made an attempt to interact with people over the Internet whom I did not already know. In the mid-90's, I signed up for Andy's Galaxie 500 mailing list, and carried on the geeky kind of conversations one does when obsessed with a subject.

Tonight, I did a bit of research, and was able to dig up messages from me in the newsgroup from 1997, ten(!) years ago.

Some really positive things happened as a result of reaching out to these people. I was able to share in something that I cared about with others -- and it so happened that many of these people were pretty damned wonderful.

Andy was gracious, funny, and a fan I would imagine any band would kill for. He worked it out with Luna that he issued a vinyl single for the band, with money out of his own pocket. I think I bought 6 or 7 copies out of the 1000 copies he made, just to give him the support he richly deserved.

Andy's "Dear Paulina" single:

I don't doubt that if my wife and I made it out to London that Andy would play the gracious host. I could just sense his goodness and decency from reading his thoughts and observations, and reactions to my own observations.

Through Andy's Galaxie 500 list, I also met the drummer for Wild Carnation, the band of Brenda Sauter (ex-bass player for The Feelies). He was also a really sweet, good-hearted person. My wife and I went to New York City for the first time in the late 90's, and he and his wife met us and gave us a whirlwind tour of the city. They took us out to eat at a favorite Mexican restaurant of theirs in Greenwich Village. I still can't get over how it's possible to make a connection with people through webpages and email. It's pretty amazing. Humbling, even.

I sort of lost interest in Luna late in their career, and eventually unsubscribed from Andy's list, but I still remember the people I met there. It's so odd that now I am meeting a whole host of new people, whom I'm never met, but on occasion there is still some sort of profound connection when sharing my thoughts with them, and reading the thoughts they share with me.

And now it seems to have come full circle.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

3000th Visitor to I, Splotchy To Receive An Honorary Blog Post

As I write this, there have been 2,996 visitors to this site.

Could you be the 3,000 visitor?

No, not you.

The other one.


Ten Mysterious Movie Quotes

Okay, if it's not too obvious, this is a variation on the lyrics quiz I recently posted. In this case, you just need to figure out what movie each quote is from. Feel free to comment on the movie as well, if you have a hankerin'.

We love talking of the movies 'round these parts.

All of the movies I'm quoting from have a place in my heart for one reason or another.

As you probably can imagine, searching for the quote is considered cheating.


Okay, since nobody got #3 and #9, I'm going to just answer them and be done with it.


1. "Are you waving the flag at me?"
    -- Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark), Pickup on South Street (identified by bubs)

Oh, man, this movie. One of my favorites by Samuel Fuller, who has really done some wonderful movies. This quote's greatness is only amplified by the fact that it was a delivered in the 1950's, when the US was knee-deep in patriotism, blacklisting and the Cold War. The line just drips with cynicism, as Richard Widmark's character snarls it at an FBI agent, who tries pushing his "You're an American, not a Commie" button to recover some microfilm Widmark unwittingly pickpocketed off a Soviet agent.


Some people like to say, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," but I'll stick with this quote.

2. "An intellectual carrot? The mind boggles!"
    -- Ned "Scotty" Scott (Douglas Spencer), The Thing From Another World (identified by bubs)

I have only seen this movie once or twice, and honestly my memory of it has faded. The John Carpenter remake is one of my favorite movies -- it's actually much closer to the source material, Joseph Campbell's short story "Who Goes There?".

Still, I shot up when this line was delivered. An intellectual carrot? A mind boggling? I am so there.

3. "How does it feel? Getting paid for it? Getting paid to sit back and hire your killings... with the law's arms around you? How does it feel to be so goddamn right?"
    -- Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan), The Wild Bunch (never identified)

One of my favorite lines, delivered by one of my favorite character actors, in one of my favorite movies. The answer to Deke Thornton's question -- "Good. It feels good." -- to which Deke then replies, "You sonuvabitch!" Man, I love this movie.

4. "Death to the demoness Allegra Geller!"
    -- Noel Dichter (Kris Lemche), eXistenZ (identified by mob)

I'm not sure how many people actually caught this David Cronenberg movie, but it's one of my favorites of his. It's got a lot of great acting talent, some notably being Willem Dafoe and Ian Holm. Jude Law gives a great performance, before all of his ridiculous overexposure where he seemed legally required to appear in 80% of all movies in a given year. Jennifer Jason Leigh has a great role as game designer Allegra Geller.

This quote is actually repeated by several characters in the film, but the Noel Dichter character says it first, right before shooting her with an organic gun that has teeth for bullets. Cool!

5. "Nothing is more reliable than a man whose loyalties can be bought with hard cash."
    -- Boris Balkan (Frank Langella), The Ninth Gate (identified by samuraifrog)

I love pretty much every movie by Roman Polanski I have ever seen. I have probably seen The Ninth Gate more than any other. I'm not exactly sure why, I just find the need to rewatch it from time to time.

Frank Langella's Boris Balkan character is one of my favorite parts of the film, whether he makes an appearance as a politely sinister phone voice urging Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) to continue his mission despite the growing pile of dead bodies, or is scaring away a group of amateur devil worshippers with a loud "BOO!" after strangling their leader.

Balkan desribes his faith in Dean Corso in the quote cited, but turns out to be mistaken. Corso wants more than the money.

6. "I said I wanna see a Plaster of Paris bagel and cream cheese paperweight, now cough it up."
    -- Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne), After Hours (identified by becca)

This is one my favorite Martin Scorsese films, possibly only being outdone by The King Of Comedy.

Who knew that a simple bagel paperweight could spark such an agonizing night?

7. "The enormous flies flapping slowly away into the sunset, small brown babies clutched in their beaks."
    -- Vince Ricardo (Peter Falk), The In-Laws (identified by bubs)

It has dated a bit, but I still think the original In-Laws is incredibly funny. The interplay between Alan Arkin and Peter Falk is fantastic, especially in the scene where their characters first meet at a dinner. That scene contains the above quote, as well as the equally classic, "Sadly, there is very little you can do because of the tremendous red tape in the bush."

8. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    -- Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), The Princess Bride (identified by becca)

One of my favorite parts of this movie is the dialogue between the kidnappers of the Princess Bride - Inigo, Fezzik (Andre the Giant) and Vizzini (Wallace Shawn).

Inigo is filled with hate towards the six-fingered man that killed his father, but is a pussycat to everyone else, including the verbally abusive Vizzini.

It's probably my favorite line in the movie, for reasons I can't or don't really want to explain. It's just nice.

9. "The commander's dead. Everybody in the mine has gone insane."
    -- Sgt. Jericho Butler (Jason Statham), Ghosts Of Mars (never identified)

It should be acknowledged that I really have an unhealthy soft spot for the films of John Carpenter. This movie was the first time I saw Jason Statham, a pasty-faced British action hero. I like the way he talks, his accent and phrasing, and I especially liked the way he delivered the above lines.

10. "Do you realize I haven't kissed you in over an hour?"
    -- Ramon Miguel 'Mike' Vargas (Charlton Heston), Touch Of Evil (identified by samuraifrog)

Oh man, one of my all-time favorite movies. This is my favorite Orson Welles movie -- better than Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Lady From Shanghai. This is the one.

So many fantastic performances -- Welles himself delivers the best acting performance of his career. Then there's Marlene Dietrich, Akim Tamiroff as 'Uncle Joe' Grandi, Dennis Weaver as a motel manager (a definite precursor of Norman Bates, and perhaps even a little creepier than Bates), Mercedes McCambridge as a leather-clad butch biker chick(!) -- goddammit, there is some wonderful acting in evidence. Wonderful story, wonderful cinematography, music, *everything*.

There are many quotable lines from this movie, but my favorite is the one above, a kind of a clunker piece of dialogue badly delivered by Charlton Heston near the beginning of the movie. It's one of the few pieces of cheesiness in the movie, but a piece of cheesiness I have infinite love of.

I'll actually say this line to my wife from time to time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Comedy Is Easy, Lyrics Are Hard

UPDATE: As to not make people go insane looking for the answers to the lyrics that have not been identified, I thought I would add the answers, but encoded by ROT13.

This will do a couple things -- first, give you a hint as to what the unidentified song is, and second, give you the ability to decode the song/artist if you really want to know what it is.

There's a ROT13 decoder at the top right of my blog now.


samuraifrog posted a boatload of lyrics to guess, and I got one.

I was unable to get any on the quiz of becca's (who answered an impossible number of the questions on le frog's quiz).

So, I thought I would give this a whirl.

The Rules
Put your iTunes (or whatever) on random. Post lyrics from the first songs that play. Post it on your blog & let everyone guess the song & artist. Looking the lyrics up on any search engine is cheating!

1) Gur Cvkvrf - Avzebq'f Fba
One night upon my motorcycle through the desert sped
And smashed my body so that all my friends thought I was dead
My sister held me close and whispered to my bleeding head
"You are the son of a mother fucker"

2) Ybhqba Jnvajevtug VVV - Crbcyr Va Ybir
Movie stars smooching in an old movie
Kid turns away, and says it's yucky
The kid knows something that the grownups don't
When the kid grows up after that, the kid won't

3) Donovan - There Is A Mountain (johnny yen)
Caterpillar sheds his skin
To find the butterfly within

4) Ebola Uvgpupbpx - Genzf Bs Byq Ybaqba
On a clear night you can see
Where the rails used to be
Oh it seems like ancient myth
They once ran to Hammersmith

5) Pnegre Snzvyl - Lbh Qravrq Lbhe Ybir
That was the day when you went away
You broke my heart in the month of May
That little ring I gave to you
Was to show you dear my love was true

6) Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah (samuraifrog)
Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?

7) Jnyxre Oebguref - Avgr Syvtugf
There's no hold
The moving has come through
The danger brushing you
Turns its face into the heat and runs the tunnels
It's so cold
The dark dug up by dogs
The stitches torn and broke
The raw meat fist you choke
Has hit the bloodlite

8) The Who - Christmas (samuraifrog)
Did you ever see the faces
Of the children, they get so excited.
Waking up on Christmas morning
Hours before the winter sun's ignited.

9) The Ramones - Rock 'N Roll High School (samuraifrog)
I just wanna have some kicks
I just wanna get some chicks

10) The Human League - Don't You Want Me (tim)
I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
That much is true

11) Phegvf Znlsvryq - V Cyna Gb Fgnl N Oryvrire
I met a friend of mine the other day
He said he couldn't stay
Because the world was going to end
At the end of May
Well, May done passed
And everbody still sittin' here on their ass
With some talk
They're now waiting for The Judgment Day

12) George Jones - The Race Is On (mob)
I feel tears wellin' up cold and deep inside
Like my heart's sprung a big break
And the stab of loneliness, sharp and painful
That I may never shake
You might say that I was taking it hard
When she wrote me off with a call
But don't you wager that I'll hide in sorrow
When I may break right down and bawl

13) Fynqr - Bar Jnl Ubgry
They asked me to sleep on the floor
The people were running galore
They asked for the time to make a number of changes and I let them

14) They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul (samuraifrog)
There's a picture opposite me
Of my primitive ancestry
Which stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck free
Though I respect that a lot
I'd be fired if that were my job
After killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts

15) Zbzhf - Nqnz Terra
If my name were Howard
I'd dress up in a cumberbund and fez
If my name were Howard
I'd puff all night on funny cigarettes

If my name were Howard
I'd be terrified of getting sucked buck naked down the drain
Into a damp, dark world of flesh-eating spiders
If my name were Howard
I'd have thought of South Park and be rich as Midas

16) Gur Fuvaf - Erq Enoovgf
And I can't go into this no more,
It puts too many thorns on my mind,
And the necessary balloon lies a corpse on the floor,
We've pissed on far too many sprites,
And they're all standing up for their rights.

17) The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird (samuraifrog)
Don't you know about the bird?
Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word

18) Rick James - Superfreak (tim)
She's a very kinky girl
The kind you don't take home to mother

19) Qr Yn Fbhy - Rlr Xabj
May I cut this dance to introduce myself as
The chosen one to speak
Let me lay my hand across yours
And aim a kiss upon your cheek
The name's Plug Two
And from the soul I bring you
The daisy of your choice
May it be filled with the pleasure principle
In circumference to my voice

20) Harry Belafonte - Jamaica Farewell (samuraifrog)
But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Love 1979, Vol 1

The Specials, "Too Much Too Young" on The Old Grey Whistle Test

Five By Five

mob lobbed this meme over the fence, so's I haveta jump on it before it ess-plodes.

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1. What Greg Likes
2. A Blog of a Good Time
3. Wine When Drunk From a Mug
4. Dear Bastards...
5. I, Splotchy

Select five people to tag:

1. Tim
2. Tim
3. Tim
4. Bubs
5. Tim

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Aw, man, were that I blogged back then. What the hell was I doing? I think mostly temping, doing the odd film job, riding my bike a lot, dating the woman who I would eventually marry.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

I dunno, just being a parent, mostly. Our littlest guy just had his 1 year birthday. From reviewing some old Gmails, it looks like I was also passive-aggressively avoiding helping a coworker with a website of theirs.

Five snacks you enjoy:

1. Ben & Jerry's Half Baked Ice Cream
2. Wheat Thins Chips (not really grammatically correct, but tasty)
3. Spoonfuls of Creamy Jif peanut butter alternating with swigs of grape juice
4. 2 Chocolate Caramel Ghirardelli Squares (a habit I have at work in the afternoon)
5. Plain M&M's and Coke (movie snack)

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:

1) "Only Life" by The Feelies
2) "Dead" by The Pixies
3) "Exhuming McCarthy" by R.E.M.
4) "Three Girl Rhumba" by Wire
5) "Burn Hollywood Burn" by Public Enemy

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1) Go back to school for a degree in public interest law.
2) Make a low-budget feature film.
3) Put aside moolah for the kids' education.
4) Eat out all the damned time.
4) Stop worrying about money, fer crissakes.

Five bad habits:

1) Procrastination
2) Avoidance
3) The occasional nose-picking
4) Having good intentions with no follow-through
5) A complete lack of concern for my personal appearance

Five things you like doing:

1) Wrestling with the kids
2) Talking with the kids
3) Makin' music
4) Makin' whoopee
5) Watchin' movies

Five things you would never wear again:

This might be difficult.

1) Wool
2) Mittens
3) A ski mask
4) Speedos
5) Denim jacket

Five favorite toys:

Argh, another hard one. I'm going to expand it a bit, to include technology kinda things that aren't necessarily objects.

1) iPod
2) Bittorrent
3) DVD Player that has a USB port, and can play AVIs
4) The MAME Arcade emulator
5) Blogger [sniff] [cough]

Wow, I Have A Stopwatch Now!

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

--Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy"

How long did it take me to walk from work to my train in Union Station?
10 minutes, 26 seconds, and .71 hundredths of a second.

How long did it take me to walk from my train in Brookfield to home?
16 minutes, 23 seconds, and 64 hundredths of a second.

How long did it take me to write this post?
4 minutes, 22 seconds and 13 hundredths of a second.

I Honestly Can't Logically Explain Why I Like This Movie So Much...

...but it has Dan Hedaya, David Patrick Kelly and Vernon Wells.

Try To Detect It, It's Not Too Late

One of my favorite videos, one of my favorite songs, one of my favorite keyboard solos.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wild Hogs Couldn't Drag Me Away

Lessons learned that are unlearned must then be learned again.

My teacher? Wild Hogs.
The lesson? Unfunny comedies have little to no redeeming value.

But, wait. I get ahead of myself.

I rolled my shitty minivan into LaGrange a little early this windy, humid night. I popped over to Walgreen's for a "king"-size M&M's, dropped over to Border's to pick up a new collection of Noam Chomsky essays, then ambled down to the cinema.

I noticed that the stretch of LaGrange Road that the theater sits on has not one, not two, but three fancyish ice cream cafes. Isn't that a sign of a corrupt and decadent society prior to its imminent, violent collapse? "Let them eat Cold Stone Creamery..."

So, I lay down 2 bucks for a ticket, and 3 bucks for a large RC cola. I tried reading my book in the several minutes before the theater went dark, but the lights were just too damned dim. So, I watched the advertising slides. Many of the slides were those dumbish word puzzles by Coca-Cola, which struck me as odd since the theater has Royal Crown on tap, not Coke.

There were some local ad slides which drew my attention. I'm going to be so nice as to give these local establishments some free advertising. A realtor had what I would consider an unfortunate name and slogan for her business - "Thinking Real Estate?? Think Katrina". I'm sure she is quite a competent and lovely person, and would never be party to the destruction of a major metropolitan area. The National Weather Service hurricane names are a bitch, ain't they?

Hey, guess what else I saw a slide for? An ad for local movie reviewers Kaplan Vs. Kaplan! I checked out their review of Hot Fuzz to compare it with my own. Goddammit! They use words like 'panache' and 'madcap' and never stoop to use the word 'balls'. Oh, balls.

I saw another ad indicating that one can rent a slide on a LaGrange Theater screen for as little as $8.00 per week. Is this something the Two Buck Schmuck would be wise to invest in? I'm thinking about doing it, maybe for a month. But then I'd haveta come up with an ad, maybe a slogan. Here's a few I'm considering.

Two Buck Schmuck - Like A Monkey's Ass In Your Face
Two Buck Schmuck - Belittling Movies You Might Like Because I Am Filled With Bitterness
Two Buck Schmuck - Not Affiliated With Kaplan Vs. Kaplan

Okay, okay, enough of that now. To the review.

Wild Hogs was everything you thought it was when you had the misfortune of accidentally stopping on a commercial for it as you fast-forwarded your DVR to get to the final scene of Law And Order, where Sam Watersten sputtered out a ridiculous legal argument as the strings swelled up behind him. Yes, it's pretty bad.

It's like City Slickers, but on motorcycles and without the live calf birth. I can't imagine any guys in the midst of their own midlife crisis getting any comfort from four middle-aged guys riding bikes, coming into confict and eventually triumphing over a real motorcycle gang led by a tattooed Ray Liotta. Who was this movie made for? The family of six that sat in front of me, four of which were children under nine?

Why did anyone else attend this movie? Are they writing snarky movie reviews on the Internet, too? Man, I thought I was the only one.

I literally felt the motion of plodding through the various jokes of this movie -- setup, expectation, punchline, setup, expectation, punchline.

Kyle Gass of Tenacious D was at a carnival giving a homoerotic spin on various current pop songs. Someone please give me the hormone injection that makes me think he is funny. I am Vitamin-D deficient, apparently.

John C. McGinley plays a small part as a gay motorcycle cop that comically hits on the gang. Ah, the gays. What can't they funny up? At one point McGinley pulls off his shirt, revealing a very muscular body, which kind of surprised me. I was thinking, man, did this guy get pumped up for this role? You have critically-acclaimed movies like Raging Bull where everyone goes on about how DeNiro trained to get his boxer's physique, then ate all that food to become the fat Jake LaMotta at the end. But, man, to do all that work for a piece-of-crap movie? Somehow, the silliness of it all becomes overwhelming.

There were a few bright spots in the movie. M.C. Gainey, who plays Tom Friendly, the *only* mildly good thing about Season 3 of Lost, shows up in this movie as a biker dude. He doesn't have a great performance; I was just happy to see him.

There was a kung fu biker I recognized from the only Walker Texas Ranger I have ever seen, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire. His name is Arnold Chon. I just had come upon the Walker TV movie and had to watch it, primarily due to the amazingly hammy expressions made by Mr. Chon. You catch a brief glimpse of him giving one of those goofy grins of his in this movie. I am not exaggerating -- it's truly amazing to see someone intentionally look so goofy.

Probably the most positive aspect of this film is that it's a road movie. I am a sucker for road movies. I think I could watch an hour-and-a-half of stitched together driving scenes from various godawful movies and I would say, "Y'know, it really isn't that bad."

This Australian Baby Is No Dingo

Meet Vernon Wells. No, not the baseball player.

Look at those puppy-dog eyes.

Sure, he's a unstoppable force who wants to take your oil, kidnap your daughter and plug wires into his head,(?) but those are merely cries for help. He needs you.

And he's Australian. Who doesn't love Australians?

He can be your child, for the low, low cost of nothing. All you need is love, mate.

Get Off Your Ass, Vol 1

Hi, here's an initial list of items, that, while I'll probably never have the resources, desire or inclination to follow through on, doesn't mean *you* shouldn't.

1. Candy Conspiracy Blog
Create a blog which engages in careful, ongoing analysis of the conspiracy of the candy companies to gradually shrink the size of candy bars.

I get angry whenever I pick up a Snickers or a bag of M&M's, and it's noticeably smaller than one I got several months prior.

In the back of my mind, I'm always thinking, I am going to save this goddamn wrapper, so I have concrete proof of this maneuvering by these candy-pushers. Of course, I never save the wrapper.

I know Andy Rooney has done this kind of thing with coffee, but screw him.

2. Celebrity Hand Signs - Start a blog devoted to pictures of celebrities giving hand signs -- the peace sign, the devil sign, the Latin Kings sign, etc.

3. Far From The Madding Boobs
Film a teenaged sex comedy where two horny adolescents addicted to Internet porn accidentally get sent back in time into the Victorian era, and spend most of their time trying to get a look at Victorian boobies. I mean, who doesn't love Victorian boobies?

4. Hail To The Beef
Broadcast a reality show where the members of rock 'n roll group Radiohead work at a Detroit McDonald's. Wouldn't you like Thom Yorke being harrassed about the amount of ice he put in a customer's Diet Coke?

5. pure joy
A Feelies reunion already. C'mon.

A Happy Father's Day

I hope every father had a good Father's Day yesterday (and to everyone else not into the Father's Day thing, I hope you had a good Sunday).

Yesterday was better than I could have imagined.

My family picked me up in the early afternoon -- I hadn't seen the kids since Saturday morning, because I was working on a friend of mine's short film during most of the weekend.

We went over to my father-in-law's place and had a cookout, followed by a lovely dessert - a tasty turtle ice cream pie from Oberweiss.

There was an Atari 2600 "flashback" game hooked up down in their basement -- basically a replica of the old-school Atari 2600, but with games preloaded on the system rather than cartridges you plug in. So, I got to show my twins some choice games from my youth. I played Dodge 'Em, Combat and Outlaw with them, then let the kids play each other.

It's embarrassing, but it was along the lines of a dad-showing-his-kid-how-to-fish moment. Really neat.

Then, back home for some unexpected presents. The kids all made me cards -- my daughter drew a snowman on her card! Tres cool!

I got a smoking Casio digital watch (I'm sick of looking at my cell phone for the time), and some kicking iPod speakers.

My eldest son had a little freakout when he spilled some water on his bed as he was getting ready to go to sleep. He was tired and/or unexpectedly emotionally attached to his sport sheets. After we got his bed changed to some cartoon monkey sheets, I was able to calm him down after describing sheets I had as a child, and convinced him how cool monkey sheets really are.

After we put the kids to bed, collapsed on the couch and watched a DVR'ed Mythbusters show, we called it a night.

I dunno, just a nice day. They happen from time to time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Many Kittens Still Looking For Good Home

The first actor adoptions have gone through successfully. Many actors are now settling into their new blogosphere homes.

Still, there are so many more in need. Won't you please help?

Below is a list of adoptions thus far. Keep in mind that I did not include any person that said in a comment, "Yeah, I'd adopt Actor X."

Until you make the declaration of an intent to adopt on your own blog, it will not be recognized in the eyes of the law.


Our apologies for only now noting the adoption of the delightful Michael Rappaport! A warm congratulations to Michael and his adopter, Ricky Shambles!

FINALLY! HE'S ADOPTED! Congrats to Scott for adopting character actor powerhouse David Warner!

Matty Boy has adopted the the adorable, gifted Amy Ryan!.

SamuraiFrog has unadopted the already once-unadopted Ashley Jensen!.

Pete has adopted the intensely gifted Vincent D'Onofrio!

Linda has adopted the sparkling Bradley Whitford!

Roger Owen Green has adopted the multi-talented Victor Garber!

Scott has adopted the dependably fantastic David Strathairn!

Congrats to SamuraiFrog who has adopted his FIFTH actor, the vivacious David Rappaport!

DGuzman has adopted the scintillating Ali Larter!

Dr MVM has started out Adopt-An-Actor Day right, embracing the exceptional Sarah Polley!

Gizmorox has adopted the eerily intense Cillian Murphy!

Blueberry has adopted the wonderfully eccentric Johnny Depp! If Blueberry could ask her adoptee to answer a question I posed to him back in May of 2007, I would be most grateful!

Open up some canned peaches! Stella has adopted Ian McShane!

Agi has adopted the incomparable Harry Dean Stanton!

DivaJood has adopted the wily Chris Cooper!

Cowboy the Cat has adopted the delightful Ron Perlman!

3vil Genius insists that 1) Shirley Manson is an actor and 2) He is adopting her. I certainly won't stand in the way of someone so brilliant and evil.

Film festivals adopting actors? Why the heck not? Congrats to the Southern Appalachian International Film Festival and its new adoptee Amitabh Bachchan!

Dr. MVM has adopted the elegant Eva Birthistle!

Matty Boy has adopted the superb Chiwetel Ejiofor!

Was there any doubt that this was destined to happen? SamuraiFrog has adopted William December Williams!

Two more actors have found a home thanks to the kindness of Johann! -- the versatile John C. McGinley and the radiant Judy Reyes!

Only one blogger could handle an adoptee that is a robot/spaceship pilot/athletic pirate. Congrats to McGone and his new little bundle of actorly joy, Alan Tudyk!

Make up another bed! DGuzman has adopted the brilliant Alan Rickman!

May the Force be with Freida Bee and her new adoptee, Mark Hamill! (We all know the tragedy that befell his previous caregivers on Tatooine).

Congratulations to the folks at the ultra-mundane, who have adopted the talented (and sadly, recently deceased) Stanley DeSantis!

Here's some fried gold for you: Bluez has adopted Nick Frost and Simon Pegg!

The lovely Liberality has adopted Keanu Reeves!

Hoist the Jolly Roger for Cap'n Dyke, and her new adoptee Kathy Griffin!

Burgess Meredith Remembrance Day has pushed Beckeye over the edge. Say hello to her new adopted grandfather!

Johnny Yen has adopted the effervescent Lupe Ontiveros!

Doctor Monkey Von Monkerstein has used the auspices of his new blog to adopt the talented Adrienne Shelly and Michèle Laroque!

Blowing Sh*t Up With Gas has adopted the actor I had to look up several times in order to spell his name properly -- Colm Meaney (according to his Wikipedia entry, his Irish name is Colm Ó Maonaigh -- oh sweet merciful spelling Jesus)!

Manx has adopted a second actor, the mischievous rapscallion Bill Pullman!

Henry K. Duff has adopted Hilary Duff (no relation)!

J.D. is no stranger to adoptions -- he already has taken four actors under his wing. But, let's face it, any actor *not* adopted through the auspices of this blog can (and probably will) be challenged in court. But enough veiled legal threats, please welcome his new legally-recognized adoptee, Kelly McDonald!

SamuraiFrog is a softy at heart. He has adopted Doctor Monkey Von Monkerstein's previously discarded adoptee, Ashley Jensen.

Dguzman has stepped up and adopted her second actor, the gifted and enchanting Rachel Weisz!

Say it ain't so! Dr Monkey Von Monkerstein has unadopted two actors, Ashley Jensen and Cloris Leachman.

Reel Fanatic adopted the formerly crazed preacher from Deadwood, Ray McKinnon!While he was at the orphanage, he picked up Ellen Page as well!

Bob has adopted the immeasurably charming Richard E. Grant!

After almost two months to the day of announcing an intent to adopt, Slave to the dogs has finally waded through the enormous red tape to bring home the blue-eyed , dashing, mustache-sporting Tom Skerritt!

The Idea Of Progress has adopted the scintillating Zooey Deschanel!

FRANK-ROCK has adopted the seductive and sophisticated Thaao Penghlis!

Matty Boy has adopted a second actor, Christopher Guest! Excepting their disposable drummers, only the bassist and keyboardist of Spinal Tap remain unadopted!

pezda has adopted Wallace Shawn? Inconceivable!

bigshoulders has adopted the backwards-talking nosrednA .J leahciM!

Glückwunsch, Julius Firefly! Er hat Jonathan M. Woodward adoptiert.

Holy frijoles! Is it true? It is?!!! Doctor Monkey Von Monkerstein has adopted Shirley Henderson and Ashley Jensen, bringing up his total number of adoptees to four!

Give a tender round of applause to Matty Boy. He has adopted one of the brightest lights in the actorly constellation, Jeffrey Wright.

You said you'd like Hugo Weaving to leave you a message on your answering machine as Elrond of Rivendell? I dunno -- you better first ask his new adoptive parent, dguzman.

Flannery Alden has reached out to the sweetness that is Tony Hale.

Doc has quietly adopted the sophisticated Denholm Elliott.

Dr. Zaius has adopted another actor, and this one has got a mouth on her -- Mae West!

Jess has brought the living and the dead into her welcoming home. Give a wave and a smile to her new adoptees, Mary Wickes and Paul Reubens!

The big-hearted Johnny Yen has adopted a second actor -- B.D. Wong! With the current trend of adoption of abbreviated-name actors, could R. Lee Ermey be next?

SamuraiFrog has totally adopted another actor -- P.J. Soles!

I know, it's sometimes overwhelming how many actors there are out in the cold, uncaring world. But when big-hearted bloggers like Becca announce not only one, but an additional actor adoption, don't you feel like we're all going to get through this? Oh, and say hello to her happy new family members -- Rutger Hauer and Jason Isaacs!

If you think the only notable thing Boris Karloff did was stagger around the countryside scaring villagers, you're sorely mistaken. Why not talk to his proud new adoptive parent, Dr. Zaius?

The Urban Recluse has adopted the larger-than-life Brian Thompson.

Coaster Punchman has given the weary spirit of Kim Walker a safe, loving home.

Romius T. assuming he doesn't get struck down with a bolt of lightning for the questionable actorly vocation of his adoptee, or his intent to marry said adoptee, has adopted Kerry Howley.

SamuraiFrog has adopted Clancy motherf*cking Brown.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein wants to adopt a second actor, Cloris Leachman. Who am I to argue with our next President?

Big Orange has adopted the dreamy-eyed Bill Bixby.

Chris has adopted William Zabka. Take that, Ralph Macchio!

Deadspot has adopted the hard-working Corinne Bohrer.

After all this time, had no one snatched up Bruce Campbell yet? Well, it's too late now, as Manx has adopted him.

Grant Miller has adopted leggy South African beauty Charlize Theron.

Beckeye has adopted Joe "Joey Pants" Pantoliano.

Kim has adopted the cute, unassuming, unmistakably awesome Jeff Daniels.

Frank Sirmarco has adopted the hairy-yet-undeniably-gifted Dan Hedaya.

Dystopia has adopted the eerie-eyed Udo Kier.

Justacoolcat has adopted the adorable Albert Finney.

Kelsi has adopted the crazy insane Klaus Kinski.

Tim has adopted David St. Hubbins, aka Michael McKean.

Bubs has adopted notorious ringdinger and prolific thespian Dick Miller.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein has adopted the lovely and talented Archie Panjabi.

Johnny Yen has adopted the lovely and talented M. Emmett Walsh.

Lulu has adopted all-around nice guy Bruce Altman.

GETkristiLOVE has (when her cat doesn't divert too much attention from him) adopted Mark Harmon.

Splotchy has adopted the splendiferous David Patrick Kelly.