Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Options To Concluding Your Correspondence

More examples for you to use in concluding letters/emails/etc.

01. With A Hint Of Sasparilla,
02. May Monkeys Not Infest Your Home,
03. Most Of This Was Sincere,
04. Busty,
05. Lou Reed's Hair,
06. Don't Even Fucking Think About It,
07. Atlanta, Georgia,
08. I Am Now A Practitioner Of Sufism,
09. Rainbows To Your Bastard Children,
10. Buh-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-bye,



(pt. 1)

Unconnected Tuesdays



The Rumors Are True

I bought a combo lock today.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Richard Ashcroft Is A Dick

The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

Friday, September 26, 2008

May I Borrow Your Gorilla Costume?

So, MizSplotchy already has her costume picked out for this coming Halloween.

She'll be going for a 1950's housewifey vibe, her costume to be topped off by this little mound of heaven.

After some soul searching, I came up with a perfect companion costume to hers -- the robot monster from Robot Monster!

My problem is that gorilla costumes are pretty damned expensive. I can't afford to spend a couple hundred bucks on a gorilla body, folks. I can't afford to rent a gorilla costume for seventy bucks, either.

I look to you, blogosphere, for any assistance in my pursuit of 1950's schlock! Let me borrow your gorilla costume, okay? I promise not to sweat in it too much.

Instead Of Having A Nervous, Depressed Post About The Economy, I Am Instead Going To List A Series Of Rhyming Words

01. drats (the economy is tanking)
02. (how is the ongoing financial meltdown affecting) Minnesota Fats
03. (will the collapse of the US financial system somehow spur an uptick in the sale of) spats
04. (an alternative to sleeping on cardboard is using discarded exercise) mats
05. (what is the nutritional value of) rats
06. (for that matter, what is the nutritional value of) cats
07. (I'm a dummy, could someone please just explain to me all these depressing) stats
08. (in addition to economic turmoil, I don't like) gnats
09. bats (are okay, though, and good for the economy)
10. (a warning to rich people, during these troubled times, refrain from wearing your customary silk) cravats

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get Smeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah

Hmm. When was the last time I... Holy crap! I haven't seen a movie at the LaGrange since late June!

I need to stoke the schmuck fires! What were my choices?

Swing Vote - This is the one where Kevin Costner is a porn star with an enormous penis, right?
Step Brothers - If its "funny" trailer fills me with sadness, I can't imagine what an entire movie's worth of this hijinx would do to me.
The Mummy: Tomb of Dragon Emperor - Nah, I am not feeling it.

Get Smart -- Okay!

As I was making my way to the theater, I realized I was a little tired. That's not a good state to be in to see a cheap movie. One must be fully alert, ready to navigate the shitty narratives of a second-run cinema.

I was welcomed back to the LaGrange into the largest and curviest of theaters, number one. As I sat there in the dim houselights, squinting at the latest Chicago Reader, I realized I was the only one there. A few minutes later I turned my head to see an employee close the theater door. For some unknown reason, I flashed them an "okay" sign.

I got a few trailers as a treat before the movie. One was for the Rainn Wilson vehicle The Rocker, which looked improbably horrible, and loaded with cheap physical gags that are supposed to be funny but never are. Look, he slipped! Look, he slipped again!

I also got the trailer for the newish X-Files movie, which if the trailer is any indication, consists solely of comedian Billy Connolly talking in an agitated, high-pitched voice and compulsively pawing at a snowy, frozen-over lake. GOOD TIMES!

Anyways, as I'm watching the trailers, a few more people straggle in, disrupting my private moviewatching experience. It's not like I was picking my toes or was stripped down to my underwear, but I *had* gotten a little comfortable. Two girls sat down in the same row as me, just across the aisle.

Get Smart begins, and the girls immediately start chuckling. Now I realize I am really tired, and probably more susceptible to being annoyed by small things. Still, if there's the barest hint of a joke, the girls start laughing. While these girls might be wonderful to have in a test market audience, it only took a few more "jokes" and "gags" for your friendly asshole curmudgeon to stand and move several rows forward.

There, that's better. Now I can enjoy this unfunny comedy untroubled by the laughter of happy people.

Phew, I know I was tired and not in top moviewatching form, but this movie was stinky. I had watched the Get Smart TV show in reruns, and didn't have any memories of it. Could it be that this movie was a hacky, unfunny remake of a show that itself was hacky and unfunny? The answer is "Probably yes!"

Anne Hathaway was cute, Alan Arkin was tolerable as the chief, and... that's all I can say about it. I can't give it anymore praise. There was an actor who was the equivalent of Richard Kiel's Jaws character from the James Bond films (they even used him in a scene that was a ripoff of the airplane jump opener from Moonraker), there was Terence Stamp wasted, there was blah blah blah. BLAH.

As each gag and joke limped into view, I thought to myself, I should just walk out and go home. But I stuck it out, because I am a professional, even for shitty comedies.

Oh, shitty comedies. Why do you fill me with such despair?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

John Henry Was A Giant Cheese Pizza

With apologies to Woody Guthrie, I have been finding myself making up verses to John Henry, sung passionately in the style of Mr. Guthrie.

Yeah, I do this singing in public. It helps pass the time, and scares passersby.

If you would like to make your own verse to John Henry, please feel free to add it in the comments. I'll update with more verses as they pop up unannounced in my brain.

Verse #1
John Henry was a giant cheese pizza
A giant cheese pizza was he
He didn't like to return any of his calls
And he claimed to have invented TV (oh Lord)
He claimed to have invented TV.

Verse #2
John Henry had an outboard motor
And a masters in philosophy
He would spend all day in his tub full of pudding
Badmouthing manatees (oh Lord)
Badmouthing manatees.

Verse #3
John Henry was a perfumed waitress
Who'd bring you extra marmalade
But if you didn't tip, he'd a-hit you with his wig
And throw you in the cold stockade (oh Lord)
He'd throw you in the cold stockade

Verse #4
John Henry had a plastic raven
He washed it with powdered soap
He would walk down the street with that raven on his arm
Filling all the people with hope (oh Lord)
Filling all those people with hope.

Verse #5
John Henry's pa was a garbanzo
His ma was a rehydrated pea
They met on the floor of a diner
And were joined in holy matrimony (oh Lord)
Joined in holy matrimony

Unconnected Tuesdays


Jai Alai

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Woo-Woo Girls, Finally

The woo-woo girls have done their scene! Hip hip hooray for the woo-woo girls!

We finished the final few shots for Streaking For The Shy on Saturday, including the woo-woo girls and some cutaways of the deserted industrial location.

I transferred all of the new footage to my sexy external HD and will continue piecing the movie together.

I am going to try and upload a bit of the footage we shot on Saturday to the YouTube tonight.

Stay frosty!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Reemergence Of The Green Monkey

Lately, I just feel like making a mix tape. Is there anyone else who wants to play?

Let's go for Volume 11 of the Green Monkey Music Project!

The theme for this project is going to be POWER POP. If you need a refresher/tutorial/clue, please feel free to peruse this Wikipedia entry to get a basic sense of what constitutes power pop.

I am not looking to be extremely stringent about what falls into the category. For me, it's up-front drums playing a mid-tempo beat, the guitars are loud and cutting, and the melody is catchy, even pretty.

For example, Cheap Trick's "Surrender" is an absolutely perfect power pop song. And that's going to be what kicks off this edition of the GMMP.

How about we have five participants, each allotted eight songs to play with? With me participating, that leaves four other people to sign up!

Please note: There is one minor though important change to this volume of the GMMP. Participants should be prepared to supply every song they submit to this mix (if I don't have the song or am unable to obtain it, I'm going to be asking you for it).

Okay. I feel better now.

LET'S ROCK!!!!!!!!!!


Alright, alright, since the monkey has been gone for so long, I will let all people that have requested participation into the mix (besides, you can't have too much power pop).

So, here are the participants:

Allen L.
Tenacious S
Westcoast Walker

Just post your selections as a comment on this post, fellow monkeyers. Remember, if I can't find the song, you'll be expected to come up with it.

And The Pigs Are Eating Popcorn, Selling Tickets To The Show

MizSplotchy has caused this song to be permanently lodged in my cerebellum.

The Bird And The Bee - La La La

Blog Anagrams

Yuck Me Monk
Marinated Me Grill
Bicycle Erector Come Rent
A Byproduct In Stir
Lob Lens
Bending Orbiting
A Scratched Owl Morn Spun
A Clothesline Moving Skunk
Belch Hugs Toy
Herculean Brutes
Ebb Gentler Sloth Your Tot
Bogus Ole Gyms
Fitted Pigsty
A Crackhead Slumming Plows Porn
Pee Yet Hop
Be He Nitwits Mono Tux
A Meager Vein Hit Wiry
A Headstone Of Lips
A Rending Is Just Wow
Dug Plunge

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Non-English Expression Rollcall!

sotto voce!

Spicing Up The Coin Toss

Ah, the coin toss. Answerer of questions. Settler of disputes.

There are a variety of ways of flipping a coin, but I find the most satisfying way is achieved by flipping the coin in the air and letting it fall on the ground.

Such a simple action can get boring if you do it enough times. I have come up with a novel idea that will make each coin toss fresh and exciting.

If a coin lands on heads or tails, the usual rules apply. If the person calls heads and the coin comes up heads, they win. If it comes up tails, they lose.

However, if a coin flip results in the coin landing on its edge, the coin toss flipper and the coin toss caller must immediately engage in a fight to the death, after which the victor is entitled to consume the heart of the loser (to absorb their strength).

I'm relatively certain that the probability of a coin landing on its edge, rather than heads or tails, must be extremely minute (math nerds, help me out with the statistics if you have some time to spare). So, while there is little danger of being thrust into a horrific, bloody fight, the possibility is always there.

Did I just add a little spice to your life? You're welcome!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It Was A Wet, Wet Weekend

I am still sore from this weekend. MizSplotchy is still sore from this weekend.

MizSplotchy kicked absolute ass at the Chicago Half Marathon. Holy crap, did she kick ass. This was her first race, and she finished in the 37th percentile! It rained for the whole damned race, but that didn't stop her.

She was running with a friend of hers, but they hadn't come up with a plan for meeting up if they got separated. They got separated. She couldn't remember exactly where she parked her car. So, she walked a couple more miles having just run 13 miles, soaking wet, the rain still coming down, her lips blue, teeth chattering. She had no phone, she didn't have her glasses. A nice old lady gave her a plastic shopping bag to put on her head. She eventually found a cop and said, "I need help!!" She then used his phone to call me, I called her friend, she found her car and headed home.

So why am I sore? I didn't run a crazy-assed race.

Well, fucking Hurricane Ike is why I'm sore. MizSplotchy was gone for pretty much the whole weekend. She had a reunion she went to on Saturday in Evanston, so I was left to take care of our three chilluns, etc. Except it was raining, and raining, and raining.

When we get a large amount of rain, our basement gets a lot of seepage. Unfortunately, we have a lot of living space in the basement. Our family room, the kid's playroom, and my office are all downstairs. So, I'm scrambling around to feed the kids, set up movies for them on a laptop (our TV is downstairs) to keep them occupied while I handle the basement situation.

I first drag up a crapload of stuff up from the basement, then take all the other stuff I can and stack it off the floor. Next, I take a shopvac to the eighteen different places quickly puddling with water. I did manage to get the kids out of the house to an indoor playground for a couple hours when the rain briefly stopped and the seepage slowed, so I didn't feel like a completely shitty dad.

So, Sunday. Saturday was paradise compared to Sunday. Sunday brought more rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

There is a drain in our laundry room that leads to an ejector pump. The ejector pump is used in our house to push out waste water from our kitchen, dishwasher, washer, etc. I don't believe it handles the sewage of the Splotchy household.

I had been dumping the water from the shopvac into this drain on Saturday, and in the early hours of Sunday. By around 10:30am, with several more hours of "Heavy Rain" predicted, the drain stopped taking the water. It wasn't backing up, but it wasn't going down.


So, Plan B. I stop worrying about the seepage coming into the other parts of the house. The water is slowly but steadily rising in the laundry room, three inches, four inches, five inches. The drain is stopped and the seepage continues to come in. We have to get the water out of the basement somehow.

So.... I get all our empty buckets. I empty a couple large kitty litter containers with handles. I start scooping up the water, and take it upstairs to our side porch. I get a large black garbage can with wheels and place it just outside the side porch. And this is what I did for the rest of the day:

Fill up the buckets and the kitty litter containers
Haul them to the side porch
Dump them into the garbage can
Drag the garbage can fifty feet into our stupid unfinished alley
Dump the garbage can.
(Optional) Say, "FUCK YOU, ALLEY!"

I had to drag the water to the alley, because if I dump the water right outside the house, it's just going to seep in again. Oh, once more -- "FUCK YOU, ALLEY!"

One of our neighbors helped me for a while until his house started getting some water problems in the basement. My brother's girlfriend came over for a while. When MizSplotchy finally got home, she started helping as well. We briefly had a borrowed swimming pool pump attached to a garden hose that we also used to pull some water from the basement, until the person we borrowed it from needed it back due to their own basement issues.

I figure I must have dragged at least eighty full garbage cans of water from our house. AT LEAST.

So, I'm sore. MizSplotchy is sore.

People had it much, much worse than us, but this is our story. We hope you found it heartwarming.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Word Combinations

There's a lot of words out there. There's a lot of words in unusual combinations out there, too.

I did a little exercise. I tried coming up with word combinations that, when surrounded with quote marks, did not produce any results in Google.

Sure, Google might come back and say, "Hey, though we didn't find 'booger puzzler', we found these pages that contain both 'booger' and 'puzzler'." In my opinion, if Google did not find "booger puzzler", that is a successful word combo.

It's actually not an easy thing to do, especially if you use only two words in a combination.

Anyways, here are my results. Feel free to try your own, you weirdos.

01. "controlled burst bidet"
02. "howling negligee"
03. "nocturnal pickaxe"
04. "penultimate flatulence"
05. "woozy hare"
06. "uranium hitchhiking"
07. "fishy earlobes"
08. "undefinable zipper"
09. "existential rollerboogie"
10. "philosophically mumbly"
11. "jerryrigged cancer"
12. "postponed gum chewing"
13. "sibilant chowder"
14. "sad wink martindale"
15. "lemon midget tree"
16. "olfactory nunchucks"
17. "no I don't like it, and I never will"
18. "umbrellas for president"
19. "go now cheesily"
20. "splotchy word train"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Go, MizSplotchy, Go!

(not pictured: MizSplotchy)

MizSplotchy has been training many weeks for the Chicago Half Marathon, which starts out in beautiful Jackson Park early Sunday morning (September 14th). Yes, MizSplotchy will be running on Lake Shore Drive during this race. Yes, she is hot-doggity cool.

There was a brief moment during her training when she was worried about a leg injury that might affect her ability to run, but that injury is now a thing of the past.


Please join the Splotchy family in wishing MizSplotchy a safe, happy and healthy race!

Where Are The Woo-Woo Girls?

So, this past weekend, I rented a "Supergrip" mount, essentially a large, powerful suction cup attached to a metal grid, that can be used to mount a camera on a variety of flat surfaces (often used on automobiles).

We put the mount on the hood of a car, and had one of my actors drive the car down the street. We had tried doing this with the Sebring convertible I had rented for the 08/01-08/03 shoot, but for some stupid reason the hood of the Sebring had 1/2" grooves running the length of the hood, making it impossible to create a vacuum to make the Supergrip stick.

This particular shot of the driver we were shooting is the very first scene in the movie, so it was important that I get it the way I wanted it.

So, after plopping down thirty or so bucks and several, attempted smooth rides down Bryn Mawr Avenue, we got the shot.

On that day I was also planning to get some cutaways of the industrial location, as well as a shot of some girls going "woo-woo" at the actors driving in the convertible.

Unfortunately, I was only able to get one woo-woo girl. You might not be aware, but one woo-woo girl is not enough woo-woo for a movie. You need at least two woo-woo girls. So, I didn't do the location cutaways or the woo-woo girls like I had planned. I'm hoping to get that taken care of in a couple weeks.

Wish me luck!

Oh, by the way, the title of this post has been trademarked, for use as the name of my bittersweet semi-autobiographical novel I will write in my late 50's.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another Doodle Opportunity Awaits You

First commenter with a doodle idea gets that idea doodled.


For SamuraiFrog: "Me stealing your brain."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Convertible Driving, Industrial Location Shots and the Woo-Woo Girls

No, the title of this post is not referencing a long lost movie from Herschell Gordon Lewis.

The title describes the remaining scenes I am shooting this Saturday for my movie Streaking For The Shy.

I am about a third way through the initial cut of the movie. There's plenty more work to be done -- voiceover, music and sound effects to be recorded, transitions to be tweaked, etc.

I'm hoping I can finish up the movie by mid-October.

Sarah Palin

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Doodling For Fun And Profit

I have been neglectful of this blog, or at least have been feeling neglectful.

SamuraiFrog seems to be ripping through the entertaining and informative posts as of late, so perhaps he has stolen my imagination and/or reasoning abilities. Give me back my imagination and/or reasoning abilities, you cad.

Anyways, if anyone wants a free 60 second doodle, first commenter with a doodle idea gets one. Yes, even if the first commenter is that brain thief, SamuraiFrog.


Phew, that was one quickly requested doodle idea!

For Randal Graves: Sarah Palin throwing McCain off the bow of the Titanic.

I Can't Get Used To This Lifestyle

Talking Heads - (Nothing but) Flowers

Tuesday, September 2, 2008