Thursday, September 30, 2004

Let the Subterfuge Endure!

Just a quick note to those politically-inclined. Tonight marks the debut of this year's presidential debate. Carried on most major networks (thank God for cable, huh?), the debate will be held at The University of Miami at 8:00PM (CST. Check local listings for time and channel)

And on a lighter note, Comedy Central's The Daily Show will be hosting a post-debate show. Join The Daily Show for LIVE in-depth analysis of the Bush/Kerry presidential debate tonight at 10PM. (CST. Check local listings for time and channel)

Self-Induced Birthdaying

Tuesday was my birthday. Hooray! (*insert sarcastic orangutan fart noise here) Eh, actually it wasn't that bad, I'm just being dramatic. The day started out when I woke up with a hairstyle resembling a lopsided shark fin. Note to self: do not go to bed with wet hair. You know, that hairstyle I refer to as the Josh Hartnett (circa Halloween H20). This "style" has evolved over the years into this pointy-headed style whereas the wearee gets some gel and sculpts his hair into this sort of wild, pointy peak in the center of his head. I think it's called a Fin or Modified-Mohawk. Think Good Charlotte, or see Monday's blog with the pic of The Benjamin Gate's bassist Costa Balamatsias. Normally, this is a kinda hip, kinda now, kinda wow!-look. On me, it's kinda retarded.

Tired from staying up late the previous night, I put some pomade in my hair and said "fuck it. it's my birthday." And with this award-winning attitude, my birthday was off to a rousing start! To be honest, I never really have high expectations about things like birthdays, holidays, etc. Unless, of course, I am throwing a party for one of these occasions. Birthdays don't really make me sad about the whole "getting older" thing, but more disappointed that I'm not out having some Friends-episode-style-moment, complete with wacky party memories that induce joyful flashbacks. Eh, I watch too much TV. Anyway, I digress. My first stop was to get me some bling for my birfday. My initial plan was to go to some used bookstores and then out to lunch and maybe a movie. But instead, I decided to go DVD shoppin' and to some stores I haven't been to in a while and to rent my free video at Hollywood Video (you get a free rental on your birthday).

I go to get in the car and as I'm about to back out of the driveway, I notice that there is a million dollar bill stuck under my windshield wiper. My first reaction is "this is the best birthday ever!" ('cause finding a million dollar bill is so plausible... not.) So, I get out, snag the bill and get back in the car to take a good look at it, figuring some it's some local business gimmick/coupon. But oh nooo. This isn't just any gimmick. It's a Jehovah's Witness gimmick! HOORAY! Not only do I have a birthday to contend with, but now I have to find time to repent and trust in Jesus. Neat. Soooo, I get the DVDs and some misc. bling. Now it's time for food! I opted to make lunch in lieu of going out to eat, this way I could stay home and watch some of my new DVDs. So, I stopped by the grocery store. I got some Plantation black peppered turkey breast (my favorite!), a loaf of freshly-baked sourdough bread, some lettuce, some provolone, black olives and Woeber's Sweet & Spicy Mustard. Oh yeah!

While I'm still in the store, it dawns on me: no birthday cake. We can't have that! So, I swing by the bakery to see what's already made up. I pick out a cool cake with white and lime green frosting, but first asking the all important question: "Is this the real buttercream-style frosting or that new whipped shit?" Oh good. It's buttercream. I ask the woman in the bakery to please write "Happy Birthday Kirk" on it, while I finished shoppin'. Flashback moment: One year I asked them to do the same thing (re: write "Happy Birthday Kirk" on a cake) and then when they found out I was buying my own birthday cake (you gotta let them know your name in order to pick the cake up), I got all these pouty-lipped, puppy dog eyes, cumulating with an "awwwwwww" It was like I'd just gotten divorced and they saw me eating beans out of a can. WTF? I don't have to justify my once-a-year bakery purchases. Fuck them. I like cake. So, THIS year I'm feelin' pretty confident about the whole self-bought cake thing and make it all the way to the checkout where the checkout girl says something about the cake ("Aw, you got me a cake" or something equally retarded) and just as I'm about to make a clean getaway, she sees my name on my license (I wrote a check) and exclaims loudly "Ohhh! Your Kirk! That's your cake! Happy Birthday!" At which point I look back (envision that whole tunnel vision effect they use in movies) and all the people behind me in line are giving me Pity-Pouty faces. Aaaaiiggh!

So, anyway, here's some images of some of the things I bought me for my birthday, since apparently all my friends were oblivious (with the exception of Terri), even though I somehow manage to remember their fuckin' birthdays. Go friendship! Actually, I'm just kidding. I don't have any friends.

Left to right:

Strangers With Candy: Season 3
Walking Tall (Johnny Knoxville.....rowr)
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (been meaning to buy this one forever)
The Brady Bunch Movie (ditto)
• Kickass Leifheit insulated carafe (keeps coffee warm for 20 hours! Plus, great design!)
• Two cool chrome-lidded jars for the bathroom
• Bought some new PEZ dispensers (Spongebob, Glow-in-the-dark witch)
• Bought some Atomic City comics
• My sammich
• The bling watch my mom gave me. And last, but not least,
• The million dollar bill

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

80's Saturday Morning

Ah, the Eighties. I knew thee well. The Eighties brought lots of fun things: music, movies, video games, clothes, pop culture. But, my most favorite things about the Eighties were the Saturday Morning cartoons! Man, it was a great time for cartoons! I LIVED for [A] Getting the new Fall TV Guide to see the pictures of what the new Saturday Morning lineup was gonna look like. And [B] Saturday Morning! I was one of those weird kids who liked to tear the pages out of the TV Guide and color them with map pencils or markers. Remember those Bic Banana markers? Those were my favorite, 'cause I liked the way the caps were shaped AND they came with a B&W sheet of cartoons to color (usually Bugs Bunny or Captain Caveman) right in the pack!

But I digress. My point is, the Eighties gave birth to some great cartoons. I think my favorite channel was ABC, since they seemed to have the most number of new cartoons each fall. Plus, they had those cool "informative" cartoons during the commercial intermissions between shows, that taught the evils of things like The Munchies ("they'll make you munch when you're not hungry"..."before you know it, you're not just bored, you're fat!") or my personal favorite Sunshine on a Stick ("anytime is funtime with Sunshine on a Stick"), where some odd-looking talking avocado-thing wearing a tophat, would teach you how to make these frozen snacks by pouring orange ("...or grape juice or whatever turns you on") into an ice cube tray, covering with Saran Wrap and then slowly inserting toothpicks into each compartment, then putting it in the freezer to freeze. Long live the 80's!

So, just for the heck of it, here's a list of the most memorable cartoons I remember watching on Saturday Morning. And on a side note, if some of these cartoons technically were cartoons from the late 70's or so, don't lynch me. I know some of them may have originated in the 70's, but I was still watching them in the 80's, so in my mind, it's all 80's. Oh, and with all this mentioning of the ABC Saturday Morning lineup, for those wondering whether I remember the Menudo intermissions. Yes. Yes I do. And let us never speak of this again. ::shiver:: Anyhoo, here's my cartoon favorites:

The ABC Weekend Special (esp. loved Bunnicula)
Alf Tales
• Beetlejuice
• The Bug Bunny/Road Runner Show
(a perennial favorite)
Captain Caveman & The Teen Angels
• Crazy Claws
• The Drak Pack
• Dungeons & Dragons
(I totally reserved this game for the realm of the nerd and the avid renaissance festivaler (still do), but for some reason embraced the cartoon. I think it was partly due to hunky Eric the Cavalier, with his Farrah Fawcett hair)
Fangface (part of the Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show and one of my all-time favorites!)
Galaxy High
• The Get Along Gang
• He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Here Comes Garfield
• It's Punky Brewster!
(and don't forget her magical friend Glomer!)
Jabber Jaws
• Kids Are People Too
(as a last resort on Sunday mornings, to make the drudgery of going to church tolerable)
Kids Incorporated (oy! the headbands! The child's version of Solid Gold)(I remember liking "Ryan" AKA Ryan Lambert. He was the my age equivalent of Duran Duran's drummer Roger Taylor. OW!)
Kwicky Koala
• The Littles
• Pac-Man
• Pink Panther and Sons
• The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
• Saturday Superade: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Q-Bert, Space Ace, Kangaroo & The Monkey Biz Gang
• Rubiks The Amazing Cube
(Menudo sang the theme song...ACK!)
Scooby-Doo (another perennial favorite)
Shirt Tales
• Speed Buggy
• Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
(thought Ice-Man was SO hot)
Teen Wolf and SO many more!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Johnny Knoxville & Ryan Dunn

It's late at night and I'm in a Disco/Horror kinda mood as I write this blog: I'm listening to the digital cable music channel "Classic Disco," while simultaneously watching Night of The Living Dead. Thriller has nothing on these zombies! Today's blog entry is purely to get this outta my system, since I am starting to get paranoid that I'm dedicating too much blog space to "dreamy guys." It's like my very own cyber issue of Tiger Beat! On second thought, what if I am? Eh, deal with it.

Today's blog was inspired by today's DVD release of the remake of Walking Tall, co-starring my man Johnny Knoxville. This blog is also about Ryan Dunn. I decided to combine them both into this blog entry since they both are related through the now defunct MTV reality show Jackass. It's weird, but sometimes I am ahead of fads and then sometimes (like in this case) I don't really have much interest in what's "hot" but eventually get around to seeing what all the hype is about and jump on the band wagon (or not). Better late than never! So anyway, Jackass was one of these phenoms that I kept hearing about and meant to catch, but it just didn't happen. Jackass began in 2000, but I didn't catch onto it until a year later when I saw a movie (I think I was the only one who saw it) called Life Without Dick. The movie starred Sarah Jessica Parker, Harry Connick Jr. and some God named Johnny Knoxville. It was lust at first site. I couldn't get enough of him (still can't) and have since bought all of his movies on DVD. Though, I must admit, some are AWFUL. i.e. Men In Black II and Big Trouble spring to mind. Thank God I found them cheap at pawn shops. Though the movies were awful, Johnny always looks good.

Even though I may really like a celebrity (i.e. Johnny Knoxville, Ryan Dunn, Vince Vaughn, Elijah Wood, Ben Affleck, Antonio Banderas, etc.) I'm not oblivious to their ability to do bad movies, make bad choices, etc. So, don't think I don't realize that, say Ben Affleck's Gigli was a total cineturd, 'cause I do. I mean I like these people, but you won't find me pasting a picture of my head over their wedding photos or calling my loofah "Johnny." I'm a visuals person, pure and simple. So, I'm speaking strictly from an eyecandy viewpoint. With that said, I feel better about proceeding.

Back to Johnny Knoxville. What can I say? I loved Jackass. I own both volumes of the series' DVDs and the movie. I'm no stranger to potty humor and some of the stunts made me laugh so hard I cried. Anyone who can make me laugh can't be bad.

Things I like about Johnny: His laid back style, his face (fantastic nose and mouth), his build, his hands and best of all... when he wears his big black-rimmed glasses. MAN! Love that! Again, I don't know what it is about guys with glasses, but it's an affinity I have. Maybe it's some overtly obvious association. i.e. glasses=smart. Though, if you've seen some of Johnny's stunts on Jackass, you may be thinking to yourself "Smart? Well, there goes that theory." Lol!

And then there's Ryan Dunn. I liked him from the first time I saw him on Jackass. Unfortunately, if you've seen him lately on Viva Bam, he's grown some goofy ZZ Top-style beard and all the drinking/partying seems to have taken a toll on his face, which is sad since he's so cute and normally a pretty handsome guy. Don't get me wrong, I dig the facial hair, but the Rip Van Winkle look he's been sporting lately just says "homeless." Not a good look.

Things I like about Ryan: His hair, his face (great nose and mouth), his tattoos and his personality. With Ryan, I always get the impression he's the quiet one that just goes along for the ride. He seems like a nice guy who in turn gets taken advantage of a lot. I could be completely wrong, but that's the impression I get. And for those who have seen the Jackass movie and are thinking they know why I like Ryan Dunn, trust me when I say it has nothing to do with the fact that he stuck a toy car up his ass. Lol! Though hilarious ("I'm spackling" ROTFL!), it didn't make me swoon.

To digress for a minute, I've noticed that when the subject of Jackass has come up in the past and mention that I like Johnny and Ryan in particular, EVERYONE is always surprised, assuming I would dig Chris Pontius instead. I think it's just a case of stereotyping. Because I'm gay I'm automatically drawn to the guy who's perpetually humping the air and wearing a thong? Hardly. Yeah, he has his moments (on the show), but overall, he doesn't do it for me. But then I've never been one to be drawn to the outlandish. I don't like the attention they seem to incite. Then they wonder why they get the shit kicked outta them. Gee, I can't imagine. Derr. No thanks. I like my guys (and friends) to be restrained but self assured, if that makes any sense.

Monday, September 27, 2004

What I'm Listening to: Vol. III

The Benjamin Gate: Contact. © 2002
Favorite tracks include: Lift Me Up, Do What You Say, Overkill, Light, Fall Away
Comments: I bought this enhanced CD at a pawn shop at the same time I bought the Jazz Cats CD. The CD caught my eye because the band looked cool. I'm not a fan of Christian music since I don't dig "message" music. I bought the CD and was jokingly telling a friend how I hoped it wasn't another Christian music band, since I have been burned in the past, unknowingly buying a CD at a pawn shop by a band that considers themselves a "Christian Band." I popped the CD in and it was great. As it turns out... they ARE a Christian band! Lol! However, since I didn't detect an overtly preachy message or references to "the Lord,", etc. I had no idea. So don't be turned off my the Christian angle. A great CD. Comparative to The Cranberries. They do a great cover of Men At Work's song Overkill. PLUS the bass player, Costa Balamatsias is HOT.

Garden State: Music From The Motion Picture. © 2004
Favorite tracks include: Caring is Creepy, In The Waiting Line, I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You, Lebanese Blonde, Let Go
Comments: Ever since I heard the music in this movie's trailer, I knew I would like it. I wasn't disappointed.

Chillout 04: The Ultimate Chillout. © 2003
Favorite tracks include: As The Rush Comes (Gabriel & Dresden Chillout Mix), The Great Escape (Carmen Rizzo Mix), Butterfly Caught (Paul Daley Remix), Rabbit In Your Headlights (3D Mix), At The End (Sat & Lee Howler Reprise), Weak Become Heroes (Royksopp's Memory Lane Mix), It's In Our Hands (Arcade Mix)
Comments: One of THE best "Chillout" CDs that I have bought. Overall great CD. Artists include Motorcycle, Radiohead, BT, Massive Attack, N*E*R*D, Delerium, The Chemical Brothers, iio, Björk.

Radio 4: Party Crashers [Single]. © 2004
Favorite tracks include: Party Crashers (Edit), Party Crashers (Headman Voc Remix)
Comments: I heard this song one night on our local dance radio station and I fell in love with it immediately. SUCH a great song. CD maxi single contains 5 mixes. Guaranteed to get you dancin'!

Herb Alpert: Keep Your Eye on Me. © 1987
Favorite tracks include: Keep Your Eye On Me, Diamonds, Making Love In The Rain, Rocket To The Moon

Comments: Hot on the tracks of her breakthrough album Control, Janet Jackson contributes lyrics to two of the biggest hits on this album: Diamonds & Making Love In The Rain. The CD had a string of hits, the majority of which were produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. One of the best Herb Alpert CDs around. Great for those Calgon moments or mellow parties with friends.

Luke Vibert/BJ Cole: Stop The Panis. © 2000
Favorite tracks include: Hipalong Hop, Fly Hawaii, Party Animal, Nice Cave
Comments: I heard the song "Fly Hawaii" on online radio station Limbik Frequencies and instantly fell in love with it's unique, Electro Lounge, Ambient sound. Hawaiian music meets Electronica. Lots of fun. Reviews have described it as "totally infectious and totally unique." I couldn't have said it better.

Jazz Cats: Three Martini Jazz. © 2000
Favorite tracks include: Stringin' The Blues, Georgia On My Mind, My Blue Heaven, That's What I Like About You, 'Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That Cha Do It), Blue Skies, Call The Police, My Heart Belongs To Daddy, Blow Mr. Dexter
Comments: I was lucky enough to find this compilation CD at a pawn shop for just $2! What a bargain! You can't beat the artists: Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Nat King Cole and so many more Jazz legends. A great collection of rare songs and artists. When looking up information on this CD, I found out it is part of a series. I will definitely be on the look out for more. If you're a fan of 20's-40's early Jazz & Blues, this one is a must-have! Gooood stuff!

Motorcycle: As The Rush Comes [Single]. © 2003
Favorite tracks include: As The Rush Comes (Radio Edit), As The Rush Comes (Armin Van Buuren's Universal Religion Remix), As The Rush Comes (Above & Beyond's Dynaglide Remix), As The Rush Comes (Gabriel & Dresden Chillout Mix)
Comments: Four words: I LOVE THIS SONG. I originally heard the dance mix of this song on the radio, but there is also a "chillout" mix on the Chillout 04 CD I just bought. This enhanced maxi single contains 5 mixes and a music video. VERY cool.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Between a Wok and a Dark Place

Here are a few photos I took this week. The first 3 are various places around town that have gotten in the spirit of Halloween. I love Halloween! The last ones are of my favorite local place to get Chinese food, Ho Ho Kitchen. I've been going there for what seems like a lifetime. THE best Special Chicken (spicy chicken and stir fried sprouts) ever! I met my friend Derik there this afternoon for lunch. I also included the fortune from my fortune cookie. I dunno about you, but I like to tack on the phrase "...between the sheets" to the end of all my fortune cookie fortunes, so feel free to do the same with this one!


What's up with The WB lately and where are they finding all these beautiful people? Jesus Christ! I admit, I don't faithfully watch a lot of TV shows other than The Daily Show. I usually end up having some movie I've already seen, that happens to be playing on TV at the time, playing in the background while I do other things. Lately though, I've been inundated with images from their new fall line up: Veronica Mars, Jack and Bobby, The Mountains (gimme a break with that title), etc. Everywhere I go online there seems to be a banner, pop up or some WB-related article, accompanied by a picture of the cast or main character. The only thing I really ever watch on occasion on the WB is Charmed (love Rose McGowan!), but with all these new shows with all these mutantly beautiful people, I may be forced to tune in more often, for the eyecandy, if nothing else. Damn!

Now, onto UPN. The other evening, as I recorded reruns of That 70's Show, apparently the new season of the reality show America's Next Top Model began and after that the premiere of Veronica Mars. I didn't get around to turning the VCR off, after recording That 70's Show, so I also recorded the two shows that followed it. What I'm about to admit is kinda painful, so please, don't judge me too harshly. BUT... I watch America's Next Top Model (hangs head in shame). I know. It's REALLY cheesy, but I kinda got sucked in last year, off and on, and caught a few episodes. The few that I saw were fun and very dramalicious. I mainly tuned in to see the one model chick who was so goddamn uptight, she technically had no buttcheekS. She was mondo religious and managed to have a traumatic "issue" with whatever photo shoot scenario they had that week. i.e. posing with a reptile, nudity, sexiness, inhaling, exhaling. It was RIDICULOUS. So, anyway, I caught a few episodes and STILL don't know who won that one. Lol. Pretty sad, huh? That's kinda the whole point of the show. So, anyway, I watched the premiere of the new season and it's sucked me in again. Since I'm so bad at keeping up with TV shows, I'll probably just tune in when I remember it's on. Oh, and this year, the lineup includes: A diva with a heart of gold (she's been hurt so much in the past, that's why she's such a bitch. Awwwww. ~teardrop.), a + size model (she's so history) and a (legally) blind mom with a baby that we never fuckin' forget she has 'cause that's all she talks about, flashes pictures of, etc. Dandy!

So, after America's Next Top Model, was the premiere of Veronica Mars, which to me, kinda looks like the WB version of Nancy Drew. The show has a couple of new "hotties," as the kids call em' (I used to HATE that fuckin' word. I can't believe I just used it. Along with "fave" and "'rents" (parents) Aiiggh!) One plays Veronica's ex-boyfriend, Teddy Dunn and the other plays some gang trash, Francis Capra (any relation to Frank?). So cute, it sickens me. And speaking of sicken, did I mention that Paris Hilton has a role on the show? I don't know if it's a recurring role or not, but she plays a rich, snobby girl who's hollow inside. What?! This show is autobiographical? So, if you, like myself, have no life, tune in tonight at 8 (check local listings for time/channel) on UPN. If the show sticks around, let's hope it gets more spooktacular.

My Recent Test Results Conclude That...

I AM 20% GOTH!
20% GOTH
I wanna be a GOTH. But I'm not. Smoking cloves and too much eyeliner a goth does not make. I'll go home and take your Cure CD's with me.

I need some advice. I need to STOP BUYING MY CLOTHS AT WAL-MART!!!! I will never land a decent woman unless I shave this nasty facial hair, and spend more then $5 on a haircut.

I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. . I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.

I need to step away from the tie-dye. I smell too good to be a hippie and my dad is probably a cop. Being a hippie is not a fashion craze, man. It was a way of life, in the 60’s, man.

I am abrasive, some people really hate me, but there may be a group of other tight knit assholes and bitches that I can hang out with and get me. Everybody else? Fuck ‘em.

Evil courses through my blood. Lies and deceit motivate my evil deeds. Crushing the weaklings and idiots that do nothing but interfere in my doings.

I AM 23% GEEK!
23% GEEK
I wanna be a geek. But I'm not. Why would I even want to be one. Do I think it's fun? I should try writting an online test application at 1 am in my underwear

I could go either way. Deep into the madness of nights filled with coding CGI-Scripts and online role playing games, or I could become a normal user. Good luck!

And Last, But Not Least

I have some artistic ability, but it is probably a hobby and doesn't drive my life into a dark abysmal hole were I am alone and against the world.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Guilty Pleasures

We all have them in whatever guise they may take on: Books, music, movies or comfort food, guilty pleasures are a part of our collective psyche. In particular, I'm talking about those guilty cinematic pleasures that you enjoy behind closed doors. Those movies you'd never admit to liking (but secretly do). Most of the movies that follow can be found quite cheaply (natch) at or eBay for under $6. So, draw the curtains, put the Jiffy Pop on the stove, get that comfy blanket out and be prepared to embrace these movies. I promise I won't tell.

Stewardess School (1986)

This is one flight you'll never forget.

Synopsis: Philo and George test their wings at stewardess school when their dreams of piloting the friendly skies fail due to poor eyesight. But the skies remain unfriendly to these two hooligans when all the high class airlines reject these rejects, and they have to contend with a skid row airline to prove their equality, fraternity and liberty.

Comments: Rule of thumb: If Wendie Jo Sperber is in it, I'll watch it. For those not familiar with the name, you're undoubtedly familiar with the face: Amy Cassidy from the TV show Bosom Buddies. Dr. Tina Gassko from Bachelor Party, who gets jiggy with one of the strippers at a bachelorette party, to the tune of Ally Oop. And so many more memorable performances. This is one of my favorite movies from the 80's. I fell in love with one of the minor characters played by Mark Neely (the FAA Inspector). He's my idea of perfection. I'll post a picture of him on the blog sometime, providing I can find one. H-O-T.

Moving Violations (1985)

A crash course in traffic school

Synopsis: A group of careless and unlucky drivers are sentenced to attend traffic school to keep their records clean. Mistreated by inept and cruel police instructors, a smart-alecky teen leads the group in revenge against their tormentors.

Comments: One name says it all: Wendie Jo Sperber. 'nuff said.

Mac and Me (1988)

Out of this world and into your heart.

Synopsis: A Mysterious Alien Creature (MAC) trying to escape from NASA is befriended by a young boy in a wheel chair.

Comments: Warning: This has got to be one of the all-time worst movies ever. This is the poor man's E.T. That's why I love it so. For example: [1] The huge dance number at a McDonald's birthday party (complete with Ronald!). [2] The blatant McDonald's product placement. [3] The high octane wheelchair chase! And SO much MORE! Three words for you: Rent it now.

No Holds Barred (1989)

No Ring. No Ref. No Rules.

Synopsis: Rip is the World Wrestling Federation champion who is faithful to his fans and the network he wrestles for. Brell, the new head of the World Television Network, wants Rip to wrestle for his network. Rip refuses and goes back to his normal life. Still looking for a way to raise ratings, Brell initiates a show called "The Battle of the Tough Guys", a violent brawling competition.

Comments: Okay, I'll admit it. Once upon a time I had a crush on Hulk Hogan. Okay, not so much Hulk Hogan the person, but Hulk Hogan the possessor of pecs and "pythons" of steel! Woo hoo! Hold on tight, baby! I pretty much forward wound through this movie for 2 scenes: [1] The chauffeur getting picked up by his lapels by an angry "Rip" (Hulk Hogan) and asking him, while sniffing the air: "What's that smell?!" To which the chauffeur, voice quivering, answers "Doo...doo...doooookie!" Yep, it's official. I am a red-blooded American male. I like potty humor. And [2] The scene where Rip gets shirtless with the ladies. Oh yeaaaah. Break out the Courvoisier and Malt Duck! Pecalicious!

Hello Again (1987)

Her life just hasn't been the same since her death.

Synopsis: A suburban housewife chokes to death and is brought back to life by a spell cast by her wacky sister.

Comments: Remember Shelley Long? She's probably best known for her role as "Diane" on the TV show Cheers. However, she'll always be Shelley Long SUPA-STAR to me. She's in three of my guilty pleasure favorites: Hello Again, Troop Beverly Hills and Outrageous Fortune. All are B (C?) movie classics. Check em' out if you feel the need for cheez.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

Getting into trouble is easy but getting out of it is all the fun!

Synopsis: Janey is new in town, and soon meets Lynne, who shares her passion for dancing in general, and "Dance TV" in particular. When a competition is announced to find a new Dance TV regular couple, Janey and Lynne are determined to audition. The only problem is that Janey's father doesn't approve of that kind of thing.

Comments: I've always loved Sarah Jessica Parker. Whether it was Footloose, or one of my all-time favorite TV shows: Square Pegs. Add a dash of Helen Hunt, hunkalicious Lee Montgomery (whatever happened to him anyway?), a snotty teen princess, a ruined debutante ball and a kick-ass dance showdown-80's-style (You just got served, beeotch!), and what do you get? Cheese-coated fun wrapped in more cheese, served with a side of cheese sticks. Yummy! "Totally" fun!

The Pirate Movie (1982)

Buckle Your Swash and Jolly Your Roger for the Funniest Rock 'N Rollickin' Adventure Ever!

Synopsis: A parody/homage to Pirates of Penzance. A musical comedy utilizing both new songs and parodies from the original, as well as references to popular films of the time, including Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. In your typical boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy fights girl with swords plot, the story revolves around Mabel, the youngest of Maj. Gen. Stanley's many daughters, and Frederic, an ex-Pirate of Penzance. They fall in love and proceed to retrieve the Stanley's fortune from the Pirates (stolen 20 years ago). The Pirate King informs Frederic that due to him being born on Feb. 29th (during a leap year), Frederic is still technically the King's apprentice. Frederic must then decide between duty and honor, the only good qualities the King taught him, and true love.

Comments: I pretty much covered how much I loved this movie when it first came out, in yesterday's ode to Kristy McNichol blog. However, this is one of those movies that I proudly file under "Musical Cheese," alongside Can't Stop The Music, Roller Boogie and Xanadu.

Teen Witch (1989)

When you're young, boys are a mystery. And love is pure magic.

Synopsis: Louise is not very popular at her high school. Then she learns that she's descended from the witches of Salem and has inherited their powers. At first she uses them to get back at the girls and teachers who teased her and to win the heart of the handsome football captain. But soon she has doubts if it's right to 'cheat' her way to popularity.

Comments: I can't stress this enough: I LOVE THIS MOVIE! This movie is so adorably lame, I can't help but embrace it. From the random musical numbers like the "I Like Boys" scene in the girls locker room, to the driveby Rap by Louise's nerdy best friend Polly. Also, the eyecandy can't be beat: Hello Dan Gauthier! HELLO Noah Blake! Guaranteed to make you laugh. A Halloween tradition at my house.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I Get Nervous

I ran to the post office last night to check my P.O. box. While I was sitting in the car, I wrote a check for my gas bill, which was due in 2 days (postal service don'ts fail me now!). As I sat in the car writing out a check, someone drove up, riding a motorcycle. They turned off the engine and went inside. As I finished writing my check and was digging around for stamp to mail it with, the motorcycle engine started up and I almost made my car a convertible.

• My den is off the kitchen and before going to bed, I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water. While I was refilling the water pitcher (with the sprayer, 'cause it reaches to the counter and there were dirty dishes in the sink), I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye, a human form in the den. Startled, I jerked the sprayer and sprayed myself in the chest. It was like When A Stranger Calls meets Phoebe Cates (Fast Times At Ridgemont High-style), just not as sexy. The "human" turned out to be the torso mannequin/stand I use to put clothing on when I sell shirts online. I'd left it out in the middle of the floor.

• I was in the garage looking for an empty box to mail something in and found a few, which I stacked and held onto while I continued to look around. When I bent down to pull out some stray bubble wrap that caught my eye, I heard a hissing sound and immediately thought "Snake! Bite! Flee!" And so I did. As it turned out. The "hissing" sound was one box sliding down the side of the other box. Thank goodness too, or one of those boxes might've been turned into a makeshift bedpan!

And these are just a few of the incidents I can remember. Oh! Also, my overhead light in the bedroom burned out and I still have not gotten around to replacing it (it takes me forever to get the light fixture cover off). So, now every time I start to get into bed I see the end of the bed, where the slats are, and flash on that creepy scene from Twin Peaks, of "Bob" at the foot of the bed. I can't get it outta my head! I don't know what set this off, but I hope it ends soon before I induce a heartattack.

Retro Rummage Retrieval

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry, today I will be showing you what I purchased while on my thrifty shopping spree this last weekend. I found mostly books and records. Below I listed them all, complete with prices. Not too bad for around $10 (before tax). Also, in case you are wondering "who is that handsome man in the image to the left of this paragraph?" Well, I'll tell you. That is child prodigy Michel Legrand. From the back of the Zenith™ Around The World LP: "Having mastered the piano at an early age, Michel turned to conducting and arranging as being the most ideal outlet for his considerable musical talents. Here, he shows us the city he knows best, the city of early morning, rain-drenched streets, of bargain-filled, busy markets and of fabulous gourmet restaurants." Besides, I just thought he was too dreamy not to show off here on my blog. You know what a sucker I am for a man in glasses. Mais, oui!

Books: (clockwise)
I'm The One That I Want by Margaret Cho ($1)
Questions Children Ask by Edith and Ernest Bonhivert (50¢) (you'll be hearing more about this book later)
Better Homes and Gardens™ Junior Cook Book: For The Hostess of Tomorrow (that's me!) ($1)
Cooking With Soup: A Campbell™ Cookbook ($1) (complete with cheezy color pix!)
Heloise's Housekeeping Hints by Heloise (25¢)

Records: (clockwise)
Gisele: Gisele MacKenzie with Axel Stordahl and His Orchestra (In Living Stereo with "Miracle Surface!" the revolutionary new antistatic ingredient!) (79¢)
Fraternity Rush: America's New Dance Favorite: Boyd Raeburn and His Orchestra (79¢)
Let's Dance Dance Dance: David Carroll and His Orchestra (in Mercury Stereo!) (79¢)
Mario Lanza: Love Songs and a Neoplitan Serenade (in Italian) (79¢)
Exotica: The Sounds of Martin Denny (in Spectra-Sonic Stereo!) (79¢)
Jackie Gleason Presents Music, Martinis, and Memories (in Full Dimensional Stereo) (79¢)
Around The World: Zenith™ Presents: Ray Conniff, Michel Legrand, Andre Kostelanetz & Jerry Murad's Harmonicats (79¢) (not shown)

And last, but certainly not least, I found this lonely lil pink, plastic napkin holder for a mere 35¢. I had to get it, since I've been considering buying paper napkins in lieu of paper towels. I'll still use paper towels, but napkins will be more practical for just one person. Besides, if the whole napkin thing doesn't work out, I can always use it as a mail holder. As they say "Necessity is the Mother of Invention"

*On a side note, if there aren't any images on blog entries before the 21st, that's because the brilliant image host I use, has fucked up yet again. If anyone knows where I can get quality image hosting at a low price (I'm paying $2 for 100gb of space....I think. Whatever it is, it's a lot... WHEN IT WORKS!), please let me know. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Saturday's Alright (For Siting)

Over the weekend, the church down the street from me (not the huge monstrosity church, this is a different one. I live in an old neighborhood, lotsa churches,) had their annual Rummage Sale, so, naturally I had to stop and shop (Jesus wanted me to!). I go every year and always come away with something: Records, books, retro knick knacks, etc. One year I found this totally awesome, retro orange casserole dish, WITH lid, for like $2. That was the shiznit! This year I found a few books. No records in sight. :( You'd think church rummage sales might bite, simply because the people throwing them are, well, Christians. But 'lo! There are always plenty of old people who attend church and/or, sadly, pass away, leaving behind all kinds of stuff they consider "junk," which sometimes, translates into bargains for me. Just call me Frances! In addition, the congregation at older churches also harbor plenty of empty nesters, whose children of the 70's and 80's have moved away and left behind their retro rummage.

On my way to the ATM, the morning of the rummage sale, I passed a neighborhood that seemed to harbor garage sale signs aplenty, so I made a mental note to come back and check a few of them out. I enjoy garage sales on occasion, but more often than not, the garage sales around here fall into 3 categories:
[1] The Rugrat Extravaganza- These are the sales I drive by faster than the mall at Christmas time. You know, the ones that you can tell at a glance consist of only children's crummy old clothes and crappy leftover Happy Meal toys and those cheapo books with the strip of electronic sounds on one side that you can press, while "reading" the book. No thanks. Children will undoubtedly be present. Pass.
[2] The Craptacular Closeout- These are the garage sales that look promising (without your glasses), yet once you've parked and are on your way up the driveway, you realize that it's just some old man's misc. workshop/garage leftovers. You know, shit like: An old mayonnaise jar filled with rusty nails, a frisbee, rusted out farm utensils sans the handles, old back issues of Field and Stream, a broken Pocket Fisherman, carpet samples, boxes of misc. parts, etc. Save yourself some time and put that stuff by the curb. Pass.
[3] The Water Water Everywhere, But Not A Drop To Drink Sale- These are the WORST! They look fantastic and there are tons of interesting things to look at. I stress "look at" because once you check for a price and/or have to ASK for a price (Fuck that. The worst!), you find out that apparently this man/woman has gotta be outta their mind. I hesitate even calling these aberrations "garage sales," on the merit that you have to SELL something. Over-priced "treasures" that will all be repacked at the end of the day. Good riddance.
And last, but certainly not least, the much sought after, yet rarely found:
[4] Jackpot! Sale- These are the cool sales where you can actually find BOOKS (it's appalling how many people don't have any friggin' books in their garage sales. Always a bad omen.), old records, magazines, board games, puzzles and other misc. items. Teachers have some of the best garage sales, next to single people and elderly women. Good times! Yes, please!

After the church rummage sale, I went back to the neighborhood that had signs saying "HUGE Garage Sale!" As it turned out, there was a cul de sac in the neighborhood that was playing host to not one, but 4 garage sales! Whee! Another reason I don't go to garage sales very often: all that stopping and starting. Bleah. The first garage sale was of the #1 variety (*refer to categories above). The second sale had some old cookbooks, one of which I bought, so that wasn't a complete loss. The third sale was composed mostly of junk. And the 4th sale (pictured) had potential, but the prices were completely fucked up. I saw a small, retro kitty trio vase that I wanted: $10. Not gonna happen. Some cool old wooden spools (like thread used to come on). Okay, before I go any further, let me explain this one, 'cause I know you're thinking "Why would he want some old fuckin' wooden spools?" When I watched the R. Crumb documentary, I noticed that he had drawn faces on some wooden spools and I liked the idea. So, anyway, you had to buy the entire Folger's Coffee can full of them. No thanks. I only wanted maybe 5 or 6 to experiment with. I took a few pictures (top secret-style), 'cause I wanted you to see the all-consuming box-o-yarnballs as well as some of the other "treasures," apparently on loan from the Smithsonian Institute. Geeze, Louise. The woman was guarding this thing like it was Fort Knox. And at these prices, I guess that makes sense. Needless to say, I passed.

And last, but certainly not least, I decided to drive to a nearby town and visit their Salvation Army. They always have great prices, plenty of records and clothes, so I thought "Why not? What else have I got to do today?" The Salvation Army is located in a small old town whose retro history is still evident. I like going to this town because it's quaint and has a homey feel. I used to visit there A LOT more often when they still had a Mott's 5¢ and 10¢ store, but unfortunately the chain was run into the ground (not unlike Woolworth's) by the likes of Walmart and those cheap-ass Dollar Stores. Too bad, too, 'cause Mott's was one of those places that still had wood floors, those heavy metal and canvas shopping baskets, goldfish (that were actually taken care of, unlike the fish cemeteries they call "fishtanks" at Walmart), a glass popcorn machine where you could buy a bag of popcorn and actual Halloween candy and decorations each year. I really miss that. :( So, anyway, I digress. The Salvation Army is located in an old department store that I think is just too cool. It must have been quite swank back in its' heyday. The records, books, games, puzzles and misc. Knick knacks are all located upstairs. Downstairs consists mainly of clothing and furniture. Such a great space. Very I Know What You Did Last Summer.

On the way to the downtown area of this old town, you will pass plenty of retro signage, located on the other side of the railroad tracks. These poor old signs are works of art from a forgotten era that in contrast to today's signs, look outdated and kinda sad. Regardless, when I see these signs, I can't help but smile, thinking about what cool "hot spots" these places must have been at one time. I love these kind of retro signs and have a penchant for photographing them when I see them (and happen to have my camera with me). One of these days I will have to post some of my other favorites. They don't seem too hard to find. Just go to any older area of town and/or neighboring town and they'll be there waiting for you, ready for their closeup.

Tune in tomorrow to see the fruits of my labors!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Kristy McNichol, Kristy McNichol

Over the weekend, while doing some belated spring cleaning, I ran across my laserdisc copy of Little Darlings. This affected me in 2 ways: [1] Why do I own laserdiscs? I don't even own a laserdisc player (what's that about?) and [2] I like that Kristy McNichol girl. She's got spunk! Wonder whatever happened to her? While, I pondered Kristy's whereabouts, I began searching online for pictures of her to include in this blog and discovered a couple of interesting things I didn't know about her. For instance: Did you know there was a Kristy McNichol doll manufactured, back in the 70's? Or that she and her brother Jimmy cut an album back in 1978, complete with kick-ass pop renditions of He's So Fine, My Boyfriend's Back and everyone's Disco fave: He's A Dancer!? All I have to say is bring in 'da noise, bring in 'da FUNK!

One of my all-time favorite movies is Little Darlings (1980), which Kristy co-starred in with Tatum O'Neal, and in which a pre-Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon plays tree-hugging camper, "Sunshine." For those who haven't seen it, but love those teen summer camp movies like Meatballs or Gorp, here's the synopsis: "Two 15-year old girls from different sides of the tracks compete to see who will be first to loose their virginity while at camp." SUCH a fun movie. The movie also stars Matt Dillon and Armand Assante. Unfortunately, this movie is still not on DVD and is out-of-print on VHS. However, if your video store happens to carry it (forget trying Blockbuster) or you see it somewhere used, pick it up. You won't regret it. Oh! And be sure and watch for my favorite scene where the girls steal the camp bus, to the tune of Blondie's One Way or Another! WOO HOO!

Kristy also had roles in:

The Pirate Movie (1982): Box office poison, starring Christopher Atkins and Kristy. It was a pop musical version of The Pirates of Penzance. Normally, I'm not much of a musicals fan, but I loved this LP soundtrack. You can't help but embrace the cheese of Kool & The Gang meets Long John Silver's. I couldn't get enough of the movie at the time. I loved it for 3 reasons: [1] Kristy McNichol, [2] Two bodybuilder pirates in particular (esp. the one wearing striped pants! ROWR!) and [3] The "awesome" soundtrack! I bought the book, the soundtrack and eventually the VHS (all of which, I still have). The music was so upbeat and fun, I remember my favorite scene/song in the film was called Pumpin' & Blowin' {not too gay}: Christopher was deep sea diving in one of those old diving suits, while Kristy stayed aboard the ship and kept the air pump going, thus the title. Looking back, I can't help but cringe at just how truly fruity I must have been. One of my guilty pleasures... but that's a another blog.

Just The Way You Are (1984): Kristy costars with Michael Ontkean. ROWR! I'm saying "ROWR!" circa 80's (can you say Maid To Order?) up through Twin Peaks peak. I saw him 5 years later in the horrendous made-for-TV-movie (yet, I tuned in) The Stepford Husbands (now, I've seen it all) and he was lookin' mighty haggard. Damn you, Father Time!

Synopsis: "Susan is young, beautiful and a successful flute player, but because of her physical handicap (she's got a lame leg) she's got difficulties finding Mr. Right Guy. While on tour in France, she decides to spend a few days in a ski resort wearing a fake cast around her lame leg to make sure her handicap will go unnoticed.

Then she meets Peter...

Dream Lover (1986): I found the newspaper clipping of this movie ad in one of my old scrapbooks the other day. Synopsis: "After she's been attacked in her apartment, Cathy starts reliving the event in her dreams. Seeking help at a sleep disorder research center, she encounters some unexpected results ..." Released 2 years after the first Nightmare on Elm Street, I was hoping this would be a creepy ripoff, but wasn't. It's what I would consider to be more of a suspense/thriller, but for some reason IMDB has it labeled as a "Drama." Overall, not a bad movie and Kristy looks dynamite. Great cinematography, too.

Two Moon Junction (1988): One of the sexiest movies, if you ask me. About a Southern debutante who falls in love with a hunky carny worker, much to her family's chagrin. Both Sherilyn Fenn AND Richard Tyson are H-O-T. Kristy plays Richard's wisecracking lesbian friend, "Patti Jean."

So, if you find yourself in a Kristy McNichol kinda mood, be sure and check out one of her movies. And if you see Kristy, tell her I said "hi."

Friday, September 17, 2004

Weird Sex · Obsession · Comic Books

I mentioned last week that I bought the documentary film Crumb, which was "presented by" David Lynch. Whatever that means. You know, like the recent "Quentin Tarantino presents" Hero. For a self-proclaimed cinemaphile, I must admit I'm not sure what all this presenting really means. I'm assuming that person somehow made the movie possible, either financially or otherwise. Annnnyway, I bought this documentary because I caught the last 30 minutes of it on the STARZ! True Stories channel late, late one night. It was like some horrible car accident that I couldn't tear myself away from. I was familiar with Robert Crumb and his work, but never really knew that much about him as a person. All I knew was that he was considered "controversial" by most of his critics, particularly women, because of the way he portrayed women in his comics. By the way, before you read any further, let me lay some groundwork for what to expect in the documentary. Put quite simply, R. Crumb is racist and does have some obvious "issues" with women. If you have delicate sensibilities, then you might want to skip today's blog and/or the film altogether, 'cause trust me, it's not for the easily offended. HOWEVER, if you want to watch a fascinatingly dark memoir that's gritty, funny and sometimes hopelessly appealing, then you just might be the right audience for Crumb.

After watching the documentary, the first thing I thought was "Crumb probably wouldn't like me." I know it's a weird thought, but for some reason that's the first one that popped into my head. I say this because [A] I like a lot of the things he seemed to despise. He abhors the commercialism that defines our society: I often embrace it, in it's various pop culture guises. And [B] I could imagine the reaction if I told him I really liked his work. Utter disregard. Unless, of course, I was a woman. Ironically enough, women seemed to be the only ones who were able to penetrate that curmudgeonly shell of his. But it's true, I DO like his work. I'd describe his style as 30's/40's classic with a contemporary edge. The "edge" coming sometimes from the actual drawings, but more often from what the cartoons are saying. Funny side note, at one point during the film, Crumb is browsing in an underground comic book store and the clerk tells him what a big fan of his he is and would it be possible to get his autograph. Crumb, without skipping a beat, simply says "No. I don't believe in that." I couldn't stop laughing. I thought that was great, 'cause your first reaction is to think "What a jerk." But then when you think about it, why is he a jerk? Just because we want something doesn't mean it has to happen. There's nothing wrong with saying "no," but we've become so conditioned to the "yes" response that when something breaks that flow, we don't know how to compute that, so we automatically switch to "offended mode." Good stuff.

I found the film fascinating and repugnant at the same time, if that makes any sense. It reminded me of my experience with the film Gummo, a pseudo documentary by filmmaker Harmony Korine. As with Gummo, Crumb introduced some major league "characters," in every sense of the word. During the 119 minutes of Crumb, you (eventually) get to meet Crumb's reclusive brothers, mother, wife and ex girlfriends. A more colorful assortment of personalities, you'll not find. You find yourself watching his brothers talk about their lives (or lackthereof), all the while fascinated and saddened at the same time. A reviewer on IMDB put it most eloquently: "What you become as an adult is largely a product of the things you experienced during your formative years, and as an adult only a severe emotional experience could alter any of that. R. Crumb and his two brothers were misfits in school, rejected by girls, and spent their formative years in their shared room, imagining, drawing cartoons and having sexual fantasies. One can only wonder if a more well-rounded childhood would have produced different adults." God, it's SO true. I don't want to spoil the film for those who may actually be considering watching it, but I couldn't have put it better myself.

So, if you have an open mind and you're a fan of the eccentric and the funky, you will undoubtedly be entertained by Crumb. If nothing else, it's an insight to how we become the people we are and an interesting commentary on today's society. And for those who may have noticed the Fritz The Cat picture in the second paragraph, yes, that too comes from the imagination of R. Crumb. Though he sites the animated film as an embarrassment to him, it's one of my favorite movies. Oh, and another trivia tidbit, for those who might be familiar with the popular cartoon from the 60's and 70's of a man with a stretched front foot that said "Keep On Truckin'," yep, that's one of Crumb's too. Now you know where the concept for all those iron-ons came from.

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