Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blue Velvet was only the beginning, apparently

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd read:
"Isabella Rossellini has made a series of short films in which she dresses up like insects (always the males, for some reason) and acts out bug sex."
There are images that go with it, of course, but seeing it once was enough for me.

All's fair in Love and LEGO

One thing you have to say for Boing Boing is that, in the midst of the love-fest marking the LEGO brick's 50th anniversary, they were balanced enough to do posts on the best sets ever sold ...

... and also the worst sets ever sold.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sanitized for your protection and his erec... uh, nevermind.

Submitted without comment*:

Operator of "Clean Flix" Store Arrested for Statutory Rape
The operator of the Utah-based Flix Club, which, as part of the Clean Flix chain, drew fire from major studios for removing scenes depicting sex and violence from home videos, has been arrested in Orem, Utah on charges of having sex with underaged girls. According to Orem police, Daniel Thompson also told the girls that his business was actually a cover for a pornography studio and asked them to participate in making a porn movie. The police report also said that they uncovered a "large quantity" of pornography at Thompson's business. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Thompson told the arresting officers that he was unaware that the girls were not of legal age and that the porn movies were for his "personal use."

* Aside from the post title, of course

"He Bravely Ran Away Away!"

I don't give a rat's ass for American Idol. My main exposure to it in recent years is sitting through the final three minutes while waiting for House to start.

And I can't say I know much about or really care to know about Clay Aiken. Yet I have to say, from what I've read just now, this is inspired casting:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008


I was wondering why Google's logo was done in LEGO brickstyle this morning until I saw on Boing Boing that LEGO celebrates its fiftieth birthday today! It makes me proud that I've been a collector for just over half of their existence. Cheers!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hey! Who turned out the lights?

Yeah, I changed the blog skin again. I wanted something darker and muted this time. Easier on the eyes. Plus blue has always been my favorite color.

In addition, You'll notice that the blog description has changed in a most Pythonesque way to match the Milky Way design (courtesy of a fella named ebedgert over at the BlogSkins website). Also, the sidebar is far less cluttered now. The Chicken Caesar reviews have gone bye-bye. This doesn't mean I won't do anymore, I just won't have them indexed here. The links for the Quote of the Month entries are also gone, but the Quotes themselves will most definitely continue. Finally, I did some link weeding and added a few that were long overdue in arriving (Welcome Goo Goo Muck and Need Coffee).

So enjoy the new look, cause I won't get off my lazy ass to change it for another year at least. Bye!

(You'll also notice that the template is going through some growing pains right now. It's becoming a pain in the ass to fine tune, but I'll get there. Stay tuned.)

He don't know Art and he don't know what it means, either.

This anecdote has definitely been making the rounds, but it's too good to not post. From Slate:

According to The Bush Tragedy, a new book by Slate's Jacob Weisberg, Bush suffers from a similar inability to distinguish between what he wants to see and what is there to be seen. This is nicely captured in an anecdote about a painting that Bush put up in his office when he was governor of Texas. Weisberg writes:

"In an April 1995 memo, Bush invited his staff to come to his office to look at a painting. … The picture is a Western scene of a cowboy riding up a craggy hill, with two other riders following behind him. Bush told visitors—who often noted his resemblance to the rider in front—that it was called A Charge To Keep and that it was based on his favorite Methodist hymn of that title, written in the eighteenth century by Charles Wesley. As Bush noted in the memo, which he quoted in his autobiography of the same title: 'I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission. When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves.' Bush identified with the lead rider, whom he took to be a kind of Christian cowboy, an embodiment of indomitable vigor, courage, and moral clarity."

Bush subsequently took the painting to Washington, hung it in the Oval Office, and continued to tell the painting's inspiring story, adding embellishments:

"He came to believe that the picture depicted the circuit-riders who spread Methodism across the Alleghenies in the nineteenth century. In other words, the cowboy who looked like Bush was a missionary of his own denomination."

"Only that is not the title, message, or meaning of the painting. The artist, W.H.D. Koerner, executed it to illustrate a Western short story entitled 'The Slipper Tongue,' published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. The story is about a smooth-talking horse thief who is caught, and then escapes a lynch mob in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The illustration depicts the thief fleeing his captors. In the magazine, the illustration bears the caption: 'Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught.'"

The painting was subsequently recycled by the Saturday Evening Post to illustrate a nonfiction story. The caption that time was, "Bandits Move About From Town to Town, Pillaging Whatever They Can Find." Koerner published the illustration a third and final time in a magazine called the Country Gentleman. On this go-round, it was indeed used to illustrate a short story that related to Wesley's hymn. But the story's moral was a little off-message. According to Weisberg, it was "about a son who receives a legacy from his father—a beautiful forest in the Northeast and a plea to protect it from rapacious timber barons." Apparently nobody ever got around to notifying Bush's Interior Department.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Back in 2005, I did a post on my memories of the Incredible Hulk TV show from my youth. Specifically, I wrote about how sadistic the show was to the lead character because he needed to transform at least twice during every episode.

Well, somebody has gone and listed all 117 different ways that Dr. David Bruce Banner was "made angry" and it is priceless. It was created by Kenneth Johnson, who wrote and directed a handful of Hulk episodes. Here's just the first twenty:
1. Problems with flat tire
2. Nightmare
3. Thinking about either of his wives
4. Cut off from somebody in danger who needs his help
5. Being hit over the head repeatedly with a metal object
6. Having his cure destroyed
7. Quicksand
8. Being mauled by a bear
9. Being bit by a dog
10. Being placed in a car compactor
11. Being punched out and thrown down a flight of stairs
12. Being punched out and thrown over a balcony
13. Being punched out, period
14. Being buried in a sand pit
15. Having a row of computers fall on him
16. Being hit with a blast of steam in the face while trying to turn off the nuclear reactor that is melting down
17. Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, "Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David."
18. Dropping a C02 cannister on his foot after being insulted
19. Being pushed down a mountainside by a bigfoot impersonator
20. Dealing with a pesky operator in a phone booth ("I DON'T HAVE TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!!!")

Oh, and if some of them sound made up to you, they're not. I think I actually remember number twenty. Kudos, Kenneth Johnson. You made my day.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

But where's the popcorn machine?

The following bookmark is for future reference after I win the lottery.

As for which of the ten I would like most, I'd have to go with the Nautilus:

Though, in deference to Mrs. Mosley's tastes, I might be persuaded to go with the Titanic design instead:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Oozing Skull ... now with handy carrying case!

As promised:

It's a plain, no-frills affair, much like the envelope it was mailed in. I simply grabbed some of the images from the Cinematic Titanic site and pasted it onto a template that would fit your standard empty DVD cover. To anyone who happens upon this and finds it useful: Enjoy!


What do you get when you cross an old cliche like "So interesting I'd watch them just read from the phone book" with a Writer's Strike? This:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Maybe they'll make an Iron Eagles V just for you, Fred

Poor Fred. Not only did he get nowhere near the Presidency before dropping out, his previous job is now filled by a guy who's spent more times as President than he ever will.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Helping the MST3K community

So I finally broke down and ordered The Oozing Skull from Cinematic Titanic (the next incarnation of Mystery Science Theater 3000). I had read great reviews of it, and at $15 (including shipping), I figured it was a safe gamble sight unseen. Unfortunately, that low price doesn't include a case of any sort. So I went looking to see if anyone had created one online, given that MST3K fans are a crafty and resourceful bunch.

In the midst of my searching I came across a Fan Made DVD Covers website for episodes which have been released by Rhino and also (cough) those that haven't. The website hasn't been updated in three years, but the art is still available as are the tools for making your own. My copy of Shorts Volume 3 was a limited special offer from Rhino and came only in a paper sleeve, so I decided to try my hand at making a cover for it. And here it is:

I may also do one for Oozing Skull if I don't find one online to my liking. If I do, I'll post it here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Brad Renfroe: 1982 - 2008

I can't say I was a huge fan of the guy, but he held his own goosestepping alongside Ian McKellen. Besides, no one deserves to die at 25. Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jawbone of an Ass

A pair of Dubya quotes courtesy of the Democratic party website:

Bush In 2000: U.S. Simply Needs To Tell OPEC To "Open The Spigots." "I would hope the [Clinton] administration would convince our friends in OPEC to open the spigots." [Los Angeles Times, 6/22/00]

Bush in 2000: U.S. Needs To "Jawbone" OPEC Members. "What I think the president ought to do [when gas prices spike] is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots...And the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price." [President Bush, 1/26/00]
And now today: Bush: OPEC nations should pump more oil

For the record: During Clinton's presidency (1993-2000), the average price for a gallon of gas ranged between $1.22 to $1.66. The average as of 2006 was $2.80 and it's only gotten higher since then.

And Bush is just now deciding to speak to OPEC about this problem? Whether it's reacting to a terrorist attack or dealing with gas prices, Bush sure as hell loves to take his time, don't he?

Update: Saudi Arabia listens to his request ... and tells him no.

So, now what? Will Bush take charge of the situation, tell them their answer is unaceptable, and that they need to "open the spigots" for the good of the United States? Or will he meekly accept their answer and turn tail back to the White House without mentioning another blessed word about it?

I'd love for Republicans to show me this brave, brave president they keep crowing about, because I sure as hell haven't seen him.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Replacing cheese with ... cheese.

We love Luis Guzman! We love cheese!

We love that Luis Guzman loves cheese!

Backstory here.

But now they can't graduate to John Ritter sex comedies.

I haven't commented on it yet here, but I continue to be astounded by the resurrection of one notorious show from my youth: American Gladiators.

My wife commented the other night that it was inevitable (what with the Writer's Strike still dragging on) that some of these old unscripted chestnuts get resurrected, but still ... American friggin Gladiators?

And they haven't even changed it all that much in the twenty years since the original. They've added some new games, but most of the old ones have been brought back (except for the "Atlasphere", which I find odd given that it was the game unique enough to be referenced in The Simpsons). But otherwise, we're still getting beefy guys gals in spandex firing tennis ball cannons and wielding over sized Qtips.

And to think that this incredible hunk of cheese that was once relegated to syndication on Saturday mornings is now on NBC in primetime!

Well, whatever the results of the strike, both sides will have a lot to answer for in what it wrought. I envision them in gigantic metal-mesh spheres ...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Talk about "Fast Paced Drama"

I, who remain with only a pair of rabbit ears and a half dozen channels (though we are edging closer to changing that and laying out a big chunk of money every month), have never seen a single episode of The Wire. And though I am intrigued after watching this brilliant four minute video, I am even more impressed at the folks from HBO who put it together. This is some brilliant marketing for the fifth and final season, guys. Kudos.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Skippy of the Day: George W. Bush

For today's post, we should first look back at the second "Skippy" post I ever did on July 21, 2004:

"After four years more in this office I want people to look back and say, 'The world is a more peaceful place,"' Bush told supporters at a community college in Iowa. "Four more years and America will be safe and the world will be at peace."

Even those of us not in the "cynical and jaded" category knows that most campaign promises are BS. Still, it's astounding to see how high Dubya can shovel it. He didn't say the exact phrase, but the words are close enough together: World Peace. So, how did this happen? Did all of the Miss America contestants say their wishes simultaneously on stage, God heard them, and then told Dubya to get on the stick with this thing?

He sees World Peace in four years? One of the themes of his campaign commercials is that the difference between himself and Kerry is the difference of optimism vs. pessimism. Well, I'm all for optimism, but I think that Dubya's finally gone off his nut if he thinks he can achieve World Peace in his second four years after seeing the "progress" made in the first four. Hell, he'll be damn lucky to see Iraq at peace in four years time much less the entire world. George, a little pragmatism is not a bad thing.

Well, it's four years later and there's no World Peace that I can see. And despite the eagerness of some Conservatives to pronounce it so, there isn't peace in Iraq, either.

Of course, he made this statement in July of 2004, which means he still has six months to go in achieving his goal. Surely that's not too short a time for a man that his die-hard supporters consider the Second Coming.

Back then, it was a promise made during a contentious political campaign, which means it was worth its weight in helium. Bush is now in a very different time: The lame duck conclusion to his presidency. But this duck doesn't want to appear to be quacking, so he's set some damned lofty goals for his final year that tie in to his pronouncements four years ago:

"In order for there to be lasting peace, President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert have to come together and make tough choices," Bush said. "And I'm convinced they will. And I believe it's possible — not only possible, I believe it's going to happen — that there be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office."
Granted, a lower bar than World Peace, but an impressive goal none the less. One, I'm sure, he's hoping will salvage his tarnished legacy. But it, like himself, is doomed for failure. You said it yourself, George: You are a "War President". It's a lot easier for a man to make war than peace. And given your limited abilities, you're clearly meant to take the easy path in your Presidency.

Fortunately, for all of us, that path has only one blessed year to go.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bandwagon: Boarded

I'm tired of waiting. I'm ready to see it already!

With all the great critical reception, it's in danger of receiving a serious backlash. As wonderful as No Country For Old Men was, some modern movie goers have been disappointed by it, particular at the lack of a guns-and-glory ending. Blood appears to be even further from modern expectations as Country, but this has not discouraged me in the least. I'm too stoked at the gorgeous cinematography, the bleakness of setting, the ruthlessness of characters and Daniel Day-Lewis's uncanny channeling of John Huston.

It needs to get here already!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Enzian

Plans for the Florida Film Festival continues.

Tickets are already in hand thanks to my lovely wife and, as of yesterday, I have now secured lodgings at the Best Western in Winter Park. It has served as the festival's headquarters in the past and will do so again this year, so I thought it the best choice. It also is only a block away from the Regal theater where many of the films will be playing, so it's definitely convenient.

Of course, the other major venue for the festival is the Enzian Theater; a quirky independent non-profit that shows art house cinema. When I first read about it, I imagined something similar to the San Marco here in Jax, which is a great restored Art Deco theater built in 1938. Imagine my surprise when I went looking for a picture.

Uh, that's a house.

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't mean to criticize it, but it's a bit of a shock. Also, I have to wonder what the Festival is going to be like here. It's not a high-capacity venue (at 230 seats, it's half the size of the modest San Marco), and it might take some serious queuing. Still, it would worth the wait if I could see a nice film in an environment like this:


Friday, January 04, 2008

Doing our profession proud

I can't begrudge him the prizes, though. Pretty sweet:

NEW YORK - A Manhattan librarian emerged as a champion couch potato after three rivals gave in to sleep deprivation or nature's call.

Stan Friedman won the ESPN Zone Ultimate Couch Potato Competition, which began Tuesday morning at the ESPN Zone restaurant in Times Square. The event ended Wednesday afternoon after more than 29 grueling hours of continuous sports viewing — mainly college football bowl games and endless highlights loops.

The four participants, sitting in recliners in front of a dozen 42-inch high-definition plasma televisions and a couple of 14-foot HD projection TVs, could order unlimited food and drinks, but they weren't allowed to go to sleep or leave their recliners except for restroom breaks once every eight hours.

Friedman, a research librarian whose favorite sport is baseball, was declared the victor when runner-up Nate Lopez ran to the bathroom before the allotted break time.

He won a $5,000 prize package including a huge TV, a cozy recliner and a trophy with a potato on it.

"I have a 350-square-foot apartment, so I don't know what I'll do with the TV," he said Thursday. "But I'll make room for the recliner."

Hey! Comrade in arms! Send that big-ass TV down here!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Never Again ... again

I'm looking through hotel reviews today, which is always a dicey prospect. The great thing about the Internet and sites like TripAdvisor is the feedback you can get from past guests. The bad thing is how often many of them will vary greatly on just one hotel. You're forced decide whether the good reviewers were just extremely forgiving or if the bad reviewers have a major stick up their ass about everything.

One hotel I came across had an even split of three outstanding reviews and three hell-on-earth reviews. But I had to laugh at the last one, as perhaps this guy simply does just love to complain. How else to explain his going there twice.

He'll be your Huckleberry

I'm just lovin' the GOP race. All these suburban, insulated rich Republicans freaking out over the backwoods background of Huckabee. This bit from the NYT pretty much sums it all up:
It’s okay to have faux rubes, a la Bush senior and his pork rinds, or George W. and his Midland malapropisms. But when something that looks like the real thing comes along, the Republican royalists get apoplectic. They were appalled at the recent YouTube debate because it looked like a parody of one faction of their party – complete with Bible-waving wackos, trigger-happy gun nuts and Confederate-flag enthusiasts.
It puts me in mind of some conservatives like political cartoonist Ed Gamble who love to portray the Democratic party as consisting of nothing but Hollywood celebrities, hippies and anarchists. Truth be told, not only are there plenty of mainstream Democrats, but there are also plenty of wackos in the Republican party that folks like Gamble never touch.

As much as conservatives bitch about "Political Correctness", it cuts both ways. And in that sense, it's more politically correct to take swipes at environmentalists than evangelists.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Giancarlo Esposito Quote of the Month: January 2008

What an interesting cat you are, Giancarlo Esposito.

Last year, with Delroy Lindo, I started and finished with Spike Lee films. And so it would appear I'm about to repeat that trend. Do the Right Thing was my first exposure to Giancarlo. I saw a clip on TV of him getting freaked out over a scuffed Nike (which seemed aporpriate, give that his character's name was "Buggin' Out"). The scuffer-in-question is a white bicyclist named Clifton (John Savage), who has recently moved into the neighborhood.

Buggin' Out: You almost knocked me down, man. the word is "excuse me."

Clifton: Ah, excuse me, I'm sorry.

Buggin' Out: Not only did ya knock me down, you stepped on my brand-new white Air Jordan's I just bought, and that's all you can say is "excuse me"?

Clifton: What, are you serious?

Buggin' Out: Yeah, I'm serious, I'll f*ck you up quick two times.

Punchy: Two times.

Buggin' Out: Who told you to step on my sneakers, who told you to walk on my side of the block, who told you to be in my neighborhood?

Clifton: I own this brownstone.

Buggin' Out: Who told you to buy a brownstone on my block, in my neighborhood, on my side of the street? Yo, what you wanna live in a Black neighborhood for, anyway? Man, motherf*ck gentrification.