Friday, March 31, 2006

Quips From Vip

Growing up, I was weaned on all those great comics that were more for adults than kids. Not necessarily "dirty," but adult oriented. They were always in the "women's magazines" or Esquire. Also, my parents had plenty of them in paperback too, so I got a steady dose of them. In addition to B. Kliban and the late Stan Berenstain's early series It's All in the Family, I love the artwork and style of Virgil Franklin Partch (AKA Vip). His style is like Dali meets Picasso. I'd include some links to buy his books online, but unfortunately his early adult works are hard-to-find and therefore kiiinda pricey ($40-$150). A good investment perhaps.

Here are some of my favorites from his books Man The Beast and Wild, Wild Women:

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

I Want Your Sex...and Yours...and Yours...

A few weeks ago I touched on the subject of open-relationships, as they pertain to gay men. One of my readers requested I elaborate. Here's my opinion:

First off, I know there are a lot of gay men out there that don't like to hear/read anything negative when it pertains to the gay subculture. I can understand that to an extent because there's already plenty of negative stigmas surrounding homosexuality. However, just because homosexuals are an ostracized minority doesn't mean that they're beyond reproach.

I'm sure those who are in favor of so-called "open relationships" would argue that what constitutes a relationship is open to interpretation. And I'm sure some would even argue that there are such vast differences between the gay and the straight "lifestyle" that it's like comparing apples to oranges. To those people I say "That's a crock." Fundamentally a relationship is two people who share a mutual interdependence. Whether bound by a legal document or that of a common set of scruples. When I refer to a relationship, I'm referring to the male/female equivalent of a marriage. I'm not referring to people who are casually dating. I mean people who have a long history together and an unspoken understanding that they are exclusively monogamous. i.e having only one mate.

I'm of the opinion that an "open relationship" is nothing more than a red herring. An open relationships is Denial-ese for: two fuckbuddies sharing the rent. No matter how you slice it, an "open" relationship is an oxymoron. A relationship implies a certain level of commitment. The use of the word relationship in an open relationship is nothing more than a way for gay men to gloss over the fact that they're promiscuous (a nice way of saying "whore"). Naturally, the word "promiscuous" comes with negative connotations, primarily AIDS (or as I refer to it, radioactive). So, with all the bad implications that AIDS brings to the table, gay men opt to toss in the word "relationship" in order to give their lack of sexual restraint some credibility.

In short, do I believe in so-called "open relationships?" No, I don't. I think relationships are reserved for those who are emotionally and psychologically ready for an actual commitment. However, if you're of the mindset that feels "Open relationships aren't for everyone," well neither is chlamydia. Call it what you want, those of us grounded in reality know exactly what an open relationship implies and the kind of people who have them.

To read some not-so-surprising statistics about so-called gay couples and monogamy, click here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

With Six, You Get Wang

I found this so disgusting, I just had to share. Thanks goes out to my friend Terri for the pun intended.

News.telegraph — The menu at Beijing's latest venue for its growing army of gourmets is eye-watering rather than mouth-watering.

China's cuisine is renowned for being "in your face" - from the skinned dogs displayed at food markets to the kebabbed scorpions sold on street stalls - and there is no polite way of describing Guo-li-zhuang.

Situated in an elegantly restored house beside Beijing's West Lake, it is China's first speciality penis restaurant. Here, businessmen and government officials can sample the organs of yaks, donkeys, oxen and even seals. In fact, they have to, since they form part of every dish - except for those containing testicles. "This is my third visit," said one customer, Liu Qiang. "Of course, there are other restaurants that serve the bian of individual animals. But this is the first that brings them all together."

Guolizhuang's owner, who set it up in November, is proud to combine his own surname (Guo), his wife's (Li) and his son's nickname (Zhuang) into its title.

A booking comes with a trained waitress and a nutritionist in attendance, to explain the menu and to boast its medicinal virtues.

In China, you are what you eat, and The Daily Telegraph's nutritionist, Zhu Yan, said the clients were mainly men eager to improve their yang, or virility. Women could benefit, too, she added, although she told the Telegraph's female photographer: "I wouldn't recommend the testicles. The testosterone might interfere in fertility. But many women say bian is good for the skin."

Some dishes appear unexceptional, such as the simple goat penis, sliced, dipped in flour, fried, and served skewered with soy sauce. But Guolizhuang also has its showpieces, such as the elegantly named "Head crowned with a Jade Bracelet" (provided by horses from the western Muslim region of Xin-jiang), for £20 a portion, or "Dragon in the Flame of Desire" (yak, steamed whole, fried and flambéed) for £35.

For beginners, Miss Zhu recommended the hotpot, which offers a sampling of what the restaurant has to offer - six types of penis, and four of testicle, boiled in chicken stock by the waitress, Liu Yunyang, 22.

The Russian dog was first. It was julienned, and rather gamey.

The ox was, of all six, the most recognisable for what it was, even though it had been diced. In texture seemed identical to gristle.

The deer and the Mongolian goat were surprisingly similar: a little stringy, they had the appearance and feel of overcooked squid tentacles. The Xinjiang horse and the donkey, on the other hand, were quite different. Though both came sliced lengthwise, and looked like bacon, the horse was light and fatty, while the donkey had a firm colour and taste. The testicles were slightly crumbly, and tasted better with lashings of the sesame, soy and chilli dips thoughtfully provided.

One speciality, Canadian seal penis, costs a hefty £220, and requires ordering in advance. Miss Liu confessed that Guo-li-zhuang was an unusual place to work, partly because of her training - she has to recite tales proving the vigour of the animals in question as they are being eaten - and partly because of the interaction with the clientele. "I did find it embarrassing at first," she said. "And sometimes the customers take advantage of me by asking rude questions."

As for the supposed health benefits, Mr Liu, the most regular customer, was uncertain but hopeful. "I can't say I've noticed any difference yet," he said. "But it's a long-term thing."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fruity Puffs and Monkey Logs

[1] I saw this GINORMOUS can of hair spray at Walgreen's and it cracked me up. I HAD to take a picture. Love the name: Big Sexy Hair.
[2] I spotted these sponge cloths at Big Lots. Thought the packaging was cute.
[3] I love the name of these wash cloths: Wippity Wipes. Fun!
[4] I literally laughed outloud when I saw this box of fruit snacks at Walgreen's: Fruit Parade. LOL!
[5] Chocolate-y, delicious monkey milk! From Kroger.
[6] I originally thought this product was made by Starbucks and had to do a double take. I guess it was just the green color that made me think that. Either way, I thought it was interesting. Makes me wish I had a fireplace and wonder if it smells like fresh-brewed coffee when it burns.
[7] Hurray for Lucky Puffs!
[8] Mmmmm olives-a-plenty! Courtesy of the Tom Thumb deli department.
[9] It's that time of year again! Peeps!
[10] Saw these cute rabbits at the local Target. They have the best design people.
[11] I almost bought these. They were on sale 2 for 1 at Kroger. However, not being a big fan of yogurt, I wasn't sure if I'd like them. Maybe Marv will test drive them for me.
[12] This picture didn't turn out as great as I had hoped. These little plastic candy toppers in the shape of soccer players, had some REALLY bad faces. I'm talking burn victim-bad.
[13] Yet another picture that didn't quite translate as well as I'd hoped. This is the snack counter at the local Super Target. It made me smile because it looks just like the frosting on a Pop Tart.
[14] These are the latest thing from the makers of Pop Tarts. They're whimsically called Go-Tarts and they are Pop Tarts in bar form! What a great idea. My only complaint is that the pastry part isn't as delicious as the original Pop Tart. The texture/taste reminds me of a Fig Newton. On the plus side, for those watching calories, they are actually lower in almost every way: Fat, cholesterol, carbs, sugar, etc.
[15] I had no idea that Polly Pocket was even still around. I thought she died back in the mid to late 80's. Strange the things that survive.
[16] The most delicious all white chicken strips and fries (and the honey mustard is awesome). Courtesy of Target. $5
[17] This is the hand dryer at the local Dairy Queen. I SO want it. It's just the coolest thing ever.
[18] The interior of one of my new favorite places to eat: Burger Basket & Grill. You can't help but love a place that still grills their hamburger and hot dog buns. So nice, clean and affordable.
[19] General Tso's chicken courtesy of my favorite Chinese restaurant: Ho Ho Kitchen.
[20] Check it out! We now have a drive-thru Subway location! The downside: No Creamy Italian dressing. :( What's that about?
[21] This was parked behind the local Hooters restaurant, which faces the Barnes & Noble bookstore. You know I had to take a picture of it. I still say someone should open a chain of male-oriented restaurants called Dingers. The guys could wear bicycle shorts and tank tops. Anyone? Anyone? Remember, I get a commission if it sells.

Monday, March 27, 2006

What I'm Listening to: Vol. 8

One of the local pawn shops recently had a sale on all their CDs: $1 each! So, you know I had to take advantage of that. The rest I ordered from either or bought at Half Priced Books. LOTS of good stuff this time around. Very few duds (with the exception of the Curtis Mayfield CD. It's not even him singing on most of the songs!).

If you aren't familiar with the Hotel Costes CD series, I highly recommend you check them out. They may be a little pricier than the average CD, but they are a sure thing e-v-e-r-y time (that includes all the tracks as well). Guaranteed smooth, chill out music. Think: Ambient meets New Age Lounge with a hint of Electronica. Not dance music, but music for when you want to chill out and drift away. I recommend volumes 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7. Those are the ones I've heard and own. Sooooo good. Also, my most recent purchases (the last 3 CD titles) are all really good. Especially if you like Samba, Lounge and Dance Remixes. Four stars!

Anita O'Day- I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out
The Gorillaz- Demon Days (With Limited-Edition DVD)
Hotel Costes: Vol. 7- Various Artists
Dolphin Boy- Gateaux Youth
Second Sun- Inside Out
Black Box- Strike It Up (Single: Promo Only Remixes)
Eartha Kitt- Purr-Fect: Greatest Hits
Judy Garland- I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Pretty Poison- Catch Me I'm Falling
Ace of Base- All That She Wants (Single: Remixes)
Rob Dougan- Furious Angels
Smart E's- Sesame's Treet
Mayfield Remixed (*Don't bother with this one. What a lemon.)
Bill Evans Trio- Trio '65
Anita O'Day Swings Cole Porter With Billy May
Culture Club- Kissing to Be Clever
Kill Bill Vol. 1 Soundtrack- Various Artists
Kill Bill Vol. 2 Soundtrack- Various Artists
Electro Kills: This is Just a Fad- Various Artists
N-Trance- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy (Single: Remixes)
Some Kind of Wonderful- Movie Soundtrack
Clubber's Guide: Vol. 1- Various Artists
Café Samba: A Brazilian Lounge Experience- Various Artists
Café Lounge- Various Artists

Friday, March 24, 2006

You Can Dance

For those of you who grew up in the 70's, you're probably familiar with Deney Terrio. Deney's claim to fame was that he was the one who taught John Travolta all his moves for the 1977 Discolicious hit Saturday Night Fever.

Deney went on to host one of my 2 favorite cheeze fests of the 70's and 80's: Dance Fever (1979-1985...Adrian Zmed replaced him as host for seasons '85-'87). BTW, my other favorite was Solid Gold (1980-1989). Deney was also had minor roles in the films The Idolmaker and One Night in Heaven.

A fellow Texan shared some Dance Fever memories via IMDB, and I couldn't have said it better:

Two things about the show I remember vividly:

1) At some point in just about every number the female member of the dancing duo would do a twirl while her male counterpart would hold onto her skirt, hence creating the "disrobe-a-swirl" leaving her dancing in nothing but a leotard.

2) The other thing I remember most about the show was the number in which a couple danced to the disco version of the "Star Wars" theme while wearing gold and silver polyester suits with matching gold and silver afro wigs.

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Once if by Land, 2 if by Sea and 3 if by Bulldozer

I saw this in the comics section of the newspaper a few days ago and it made me laugh. Thought I would share:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

You Know You Want It

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I have fond memories of Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific. It smelled soooo clean and fresh. The last time I actually saw it on a store shelf was at a now defunct Food Lion. I assumed it was widely available and neglected to buy any. Now I wish I had. However, I recently found a site online that still sells it! Ranging from $10-14 (depending on whether you want a medium or large bottle), you can own a bottle of Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo or conditioner! I realize that the price may seem a little steep, but I've seen other sites who only offer it in bulk of 2-5 bottles ranging in price from $24-50!! Whatever!

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Not My Fault!

This article (written by clinical psychologist, Patricia Dalton) appeared in The Dallas Morning News a few days ago. I found it very interesting and thought I would share it with you:

Nobody's to blame for anything these days, says PATRICIA DALTON, particularly not the parents who are raising a generation of little victims

I once got a call from a couple whose son, a student at an elite college, had run up a huge credit card debt. His parents realized they had a problem and called to make a therapy appointment. I told them I wanted to see all three of them, but the son refused to come. "Tell me," I said halfway through our discussion. "If you had insisted, would your child be here?" The mother answered quickly, "Well, yes." The dad paused, then said, "That's a very good question."

These parents weren't requiring their son to take responsibility for his actions. And he didn't respect them enough to shoulder it.

The tendency to shirk the burden of responsibility permeates our family rooms and our boardrooms. I saw it in Vice President Dick Cheney's belated response to the shooting incident last month. And it has characterized former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay's public statements since his company's debacle: "Of anything and everything that I could imagine might happen to me in my lifetime," Mr. Lay said in Houston in December, "the one thing I would have never even remotely speculated about was that someday I would become entangled in our country's criminal justice system."

Mr. Lay sounds like the spokesman for our culture of victimhood, which reflects a studiously nonjudgmental attitude toward one's own behavior while ignoring its effects on others. And it is based on this belief system: I am more important than most people; I am good; therefore, I am incapable of doing bad things.

The upshot?

Excuses, excuses, excuses ...

Evasive attitudes are learned, refined and reinforced in the home. Ultimately, people become so divorced from the impact of their actions that they freely take advantage of others.

My clients have included parents who shrug when they realize their child has been stealing. One even said, "I have bigger fish to fry," referring to his true priority – which was his child's all-important transcript for college applications.

What is striking today is the number of parents who seem uncomfortable with teaching their children. They let culture do it and hope for the best. Some even side with their children against authorities.

Take one disturbing example I heard from a friend who teaches middle school. A girl, caught drawing in her notebook during class and asked to stop, kept going. The teacher confiscated the notebook. After class, the teacher tossed the girl her notebook. She reported to the school office that her teacher threw the notebook at her, intending to hurt her. A report (mandated in cases of alleged abuse) was written up; child protective services was called in to investigate. Only after fellow students refused to go along with the girl's story was the case dismissed. All along, the parents supported their daughter and her far-fetched version of events.

A generation ago, this kind of behavior would have been almost inconceivable. Parents' tougher approach taught us lessons critical for later life: that lying doesn't pay, for example, and that you must respect your boss even if you don't like him or her. Today's adults who coddle youths don't see that they are handicapping them.

Parents have two serious responsibilities. The first is to love their children without worshipping them. The second is to discipline them. Parents must be able to tolerate the distress that real discipline causes their offspring.

To do so, they must quit worrying so much about damaging their children's self-esteem. When I asked one set of parents why they let their daughter call them obscene names, they looked at me blankly. Later the father told me: "We want to understand her. And we don't want her to feel worse about herself than she already does." Incredible. Especially since it's behavior like gratuitous disrespect toward parents that actually makes kids feel bad.

Allowing children to evade responsibility may cost parents a lot. But it's nothing compared with the cost to their kids: misery that lasts a lifetime.

It's Your Thing, Do What Ya Wanna Do

My friend Sara recently blogged about a great new online resource for all us bibliophiles, called LibraryThing. LibraryThing is an easy way to catalog your books online or just to share your library with friends. You can enter up to 200 books for free, after that it's a mere $10 for a one year membership or $25 for a lifetime membership. I chose the lifetime membership, since I easily surpassed 200 in a matter of hours (don't be impressed, I'm a packrat!). If you'd like to see my collection (so far), click here.

Though I still have a lot more books to go, so far I've had success with finding the majority of my books, even some of the older ones (1912-50's). Unfortunately, I'm going to have to enter a handful of books manually and not all books have images, but when I get some time, I may submit images of my own. I've already added a few for my pulp paperbacks, and it couldn't be easier!

So, if you'd like an easy way to catalogue your book library, it doesn't get much better than this! Go check it out.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Clothes DO Make the Boy

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Love to Love You, Baby

All this week is going to be Back to the Seventies week. Chock full of authentic articles from the 70's that highlight:
• Roller Disco
• Crafts
• Retro Advertisements
• Illustrated Disco Dancing Lessons
• Roller Disco Fashion Must-Haves
And more!

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Barnes & (Not So) Noble

So, my parents came to visit this weekend and I actually offered to make lunch (what?!). It all went very well. It was actually a joy to have them here (No, I'm not on medication). No fighting. No "suggestions." No "accidental" snooping. No drama. It was great, yet somewhat alien.

After they left, I was in such an upbeat mood I decided to take myself out to dinner and shopping...RETAIL (I must've been in a good mood!). What-the-heck was in those chicken enchiladas anyway?!

So, I went to eat at some little dive near my house (everything around here has the word "Grill", "Skillet" or a combination of the both, in the title). It's a fairly new place and it was nice. The employees were really nice and it had that small town atmosphere that I enjoy.

Afterwards, I head over to Barnes & Noble, which I haven't been to since my last post about them. I love browsing around the store, but I generally avoid it like the plague because it's so infested with the mochachino crowd, especially on weekends. Plus, I always have the urge to strangle the freeloaders sitting around reading the books like they're at the fuckin' library. But I digress.

I browsed the magazine section and picked up a copy of the latest issue of Details, with Vin Diesel on the cover. ROWR! He looks good. Apparently there are multiple covers available. I opted for the one where he's wearing a white shirt and black tie (shown). YUM.

I finally see a copy of the short story on which the movie Brokeback Mountain is based. I've been looking for it since before the movie was even released, assuming it would be at the grocery store with the rest of the movie tie-in paperbacks for lesser films like King Kong, Daredevil, etc. No such luck. So, here it is, a whopping 1/32 inches thick. Eh, that's okay, just means it can't be that expensive. How much is it? $10? For a book the size of a pamphlet with an inflated ego? That's retarded. I'll pass.

Then after checking out the "bargain" area, I hit a few more sections before going to check out the DVD/CD area in the back of the store.

Before I go any further, let me preface this by saying I do 95% of my shopping for music/books/movies online. This is mainly because: [A] I don't want to deal with driving somewhere only to find that they don't have the item in stock, don't carry it, or deal with an empty-headed employee whose idea of great cinema is whatever's playing at the theater right now. And [B] 99% of the time, I can get it considerably cheaper online, used or otherwise.

So, I head into No Man's Land and begin looking around at the DVD titles. Ooh, they have the new Johnny Cash movie, Walk the Line, and it's a mere $29!! WTF? Heh, that must be a pricing error. Let's see what else they have. Ooh, Johnny Knoxville, but I already own that DVD (The Dukes of Hazzard). What the hell, let's see how much they are selling it for...$29! That's TWICE as much as they're being sold everywhere else! Three times if you wait 3 weeks and buy them used at Hollywood Video. Whoever is pricing these things is on some serious crack... I continue to look around. ALL the goddamn DVDs, with the exception of the "bargain" DVDs, are thirty fuckin' DOLLARS! (and you don't even wanna know how much they want for DVD boxsets! Loan applications are at the entrance.) The bargain DVDs being $10...that you can buy for $5 at the grocery store. Goddamn. How does this place stay in business? Who shops here? People with a history of head injuries?

So, avoiding the DVDs like the plague, I head over to the CDs, which are actually priced relatively normally. I have to admit though, I have a hard time paying nearly $20 for a CD anymore, though. I guess has spoiled me. And even though I enjoy the occasional download from Limewire, I'm one of those people who'd rather actually own the CD, case et al.

Against my better judgement, but fearing I may not be able to find them anywhere else, I purchase 3 CDs. Still mentally grumbling over how much I spent on CDs, I had the foresight (for once) to check for the titles BEFORE opening them...on the off chance that they might be cheaper there. So, I get home, type in the titles of the 3 CDs I bought. Here's what I found:

CD 1- B&N Price: $22.98 (double disk) Price: $8.00
CD 2- B&N Price: $17.99 • Price: $6.00
CD 3- B&N Price: $16.99 • Price: $4.95

I'll give you three guesses where I'm going tomorrow. Receipt in hand.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Hills Are Alive...With Remakes

Last Friday I went to go see the big-budget remake of The Hills Have Eyes. For those who haven't seen the 1977 original, here's a brief plot synopsis: A family going to California accidentally goes through an Air Testing range closed to the public. They crash and are stranded in the middle of the desert. Miles from nowhere, the family soon realizes the seemingly uninhabited wasteland is actually the breeding ground of a blood-thirsty mutant family...and they are the prey.

In order to prep for seeing the remake, I watched the original again since it'd been so long since I'd watched it. Long story short: It stressed me out. Though it may have been what has now come to be termed as "low budget," it still managed to pack a wallop when it came to delivering suspense, atmosphere and skilled actors. Plus, on a purely superficial note, I found the actor Robert Houston (in the role of "Bobby") to be super-dreamy. As it turns out, he went on to become a documentary film maker, receiving multiple Oscar nominations, as well as winning an Oscar in 1995. AND...he's gay. Can I pick 'em or what? Unfortunately, his dreaminess has wained somewhat. Oh well, that's life. But I digress.

I show up at the theater for the "Early Bird Special" and pay a mere $3 to see the remake. Regardless of how the movie turns out to be, I've spent the equivalent of a rental price! Sweet!

For the most part, the movie's plot remains fairly loyal to the original's. Only the back story (instead of an Air Testing range, it is now a Nuclear Testing Range) and a few minor scenes were altered or removed altogether, while both the gore and the "freak" factor (all the mutants got the F/X treatment) got upped, as well as some tacked on extensions to scenes as well as an open-ended conclusion (I smell sequellllllllll!).

The remake starts out with a new scene: A group of men in hazmat uniforms are collecting samples in the desert. Naturally, one wanders off and before you can say Industrial Light & Magic! they're all brutally killed, feet bound with chains, attached to the back of their own vehicle and hauled away by the sinister mountain folk!

Though I enjoyed the opening sequence (one of the only times I was genuinely startled during the film), the opening credits had that all-too-familiar jerky editing (the obligatory flashing of washed up sepia-toned imagery: medical photos...newspaper clippings...archived footage) "technique" that seems to be the current trend in horror movies these days.

Fast forward to what I liked about the remake:
• The casting was pretty decent, though I have to admit I didn't feel as much of a "connection" to the characters as I did in the original. i.e. I didn't care who lived or died.
• I loved that nowhere in the movie was there a single sign of in-your-face-check out our eXtreme soundtrack!-music. From beginning to when the credits rolled, not a single note. NICE!
• The mutant that reprised Michael Berryman's role of "Pluto" was very creepy. I found him to be a lot more menacing and volatile than the original.

Now for what I didn't like:
• The kid they got to reprise the role of "Bobby" (Dan Byrd) was a total puss. Unlike Robert Houston, who makes the transition from boy to man over the duration of the film. Byrd gave the kind of performance I'd expect from someone who co-starred in a movie with Hilary Duff.
• Three things stood out like a sore thumb to me, not to say that it "ruined" the movie for me and which the casual viewer probably wouldn't think twice about, but I did: [1] A herky jerky CGI crow working double duty in the same scene...once flying east then flipped and flying west. Wow, it was so bad. Is it that hard to find birds? [2] The protagonist's baby, "Catherine" was wearing a really bad baby toupee in one scene. And [3] The horribly CGI'ed fish swimming upstream in the opening sequence.
• I thought the addition of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake-like portion of the film, where one of the main characters has a showdown in a ghost town left intact from the days of atomic testing, was a little too cliched. Have you ever seen the footage from one of those atom bomb testing films? The houses were annihilated, yet an entire town managed to miraculously be left intact for the sake of this movie.
• Whereas the original was relentless once it took hold, I found the remake to be lacking in suspense. Not unlike Saw, I went in prepared to be stressed out because of the trailer and the reviews I'd read. Unfortunately, the director opted for gratuitous gore & teen appeal instead of subtlety and tension.

Overall, I didn't hate the movie, but then I wouldn't buy it on DVD either. It's rental-worthy but if you want psychological scares in lieu of gore, skip the remake and watch the original.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


A friend and I were recently comparing notes on some of our most embarrassing moments. I thought I'd share a few of mine with you, in hopes of giving you some solace the next time you think you're gonna die of embarrassment.

Some of these stories may fall under the "Too Much Information" heading, but then if you were that fragile you wouldn't be reading my blog to begin with, so I'm fairly certain that, not unlike myself, you're not easily phased.

One situation took place some years back, while the other was relatively recently. I'll start with the past and work my way up to the present:

[1] About 10 years ago, I used to rent at a small video store chain near my house. There was a guy who worked there that I thought was just about the cutest thing ever. He looked like a blonde Elvis Presley (BTW, Elvis actually was originally a blonde. He dyed his hair).

Not overly familiar with the whole skin care regime, I'd recently been seduced by a cucumber peel masque and was trying it out earlier that day, peeling it off shortly before rushing to the video store to return videos.

I drop my videos off at the counter, making small talk to "Elvis" before browsing and eventually renting a few movies. As "Elvis" went to get my movies from the back, he commented "Looks like you've been out in the sun." Knowing that I'm no sunbather, I assumed that I had somehow achieved some sort of tan that I wasn't aware of. I replied "Oh yeah? What makes you say that?" "Elvis" comes back with my movies in hand and gestures towards my forehead and says "'Cause your forehead is peeling." I instantly knew what had happened and wanted to die. As it turned out, instead of removing the face peel in front of a mirror, I'd simply removed it by feel and had neglected to get it all off my forehead. I asked to use their bathroom and discovered to my horror that that's exactly what had happened!

[2] Prologue: On occasion I get what is medically referred to as Miliaria Rubra, more commonly known as "Prickly Heat." For those not familiar with this common ailment, it's simply a minor rash caused by high heat and or humidity. It's not painful as it is uncomfortable. I use Gold Bond Medicated Powder to treat it on the rare occasion that I get it. The location, for me anyway, is the crevice between my upper thigh and my groin. A little powder and it's gone in a matter of hours. No big deal.

A few weeks ago I got a late start on running errands, so after taking a quick shower, I applied a few generous puffs of powder, got dressed and ran out the door.

Shortly thereafter, I'm at the post office, getting packages ready to ship and decide to take advantage of the complimentary Priority Mail boxes provided on a display near where you wait in line to be checked out.

I gather about 3 or 4 boxes, holding them against my body, because I'm trying to balance packages. I'm wearing navy and notice that the boxes are leaving this paper sawdust-like debris all over the front of my clothing (think of the dust that always accompanies a new puzzle). After I get in line and sit my packages down on the counter, I furiously begin to pat myself down to rid myself of the sawdust-like debris. In the process, I inadvertently pat my crotch area and a puff of "smoke" errupts from my pants. There I am in front of a line full of waiting customers, performing "pants magic." I had to fight back the urge to exclaim "Voila!" while snatching a pigeon from mid-air. I wanted to die! Evidentally I'd been a little too liberal with the powder and neglected to "shake it like a Polaroid picture" before getting dressed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Recent DVD Purchases

Daltry Calhoun. 2005
Comments: Like you need an explanation for this one: Johnny Knoxville! He's so damn gorgeous in this movie. AND it's actually a really good movie. Johnny's more than just a pretty face...nice chest...big hands...

Creep. 2004
Comments: A fun horror movie. What's creepier than getting stranded in the subway with a demented, bloodthirsty freak?

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Unrated). 2005
Comments: I LOVE Steve Carell. Always thought he was just the cutest thing. Totally fun movie. Stars two other favorites: Paul Rudd and Catherine Keener. I also found myself strangely drawn to co-star Seth Rogan. Not sure why. I think it was a combination of his character's personality and curly hair.

Dance Hits (Import). 2005
Comments: When I spotted this DVD at Fry's Electronics I had to get it. Some of my favorite 80's songs was on it:
Afrika Bambaataa & UB40- Reckless
Judy Cheeks- Reach (big club hit)
Inner City- Good Life (LOVE that song)
Robbie Nevil- C'est La Vie
Sly Fox- Let's Go All the Way
Soul II Soul- Back to Life

I'd never seen the video for 90% of the songs, and for some (i.e. Sly Fox) I wish it'd stayed that way. LOL! OMG, that video s-u-c-k-s! The song is SO much cooler.

And even though I either wasn't a fan of or just didn't like the other songs, the videos were still hilarious to watch. I was dying! There was a tie for worst video: Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby vs. Lillo Thomas' (who?) Sexy Girl. Both worth the price of the DVD, just for the tears of laughter. I highly recommend buying it. If you grew up in the 80's, it's a guaranteed fun time! Just $2.55 at or $4.64(NEW!) at! A helluva lot cheaper than what I paid. Figures.

Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection Volume 2. 2005
Comments: I can't bring myself to shell out nearly $50 for the Looney Tunes box sets just yet, so in the meantime I opted to buy this 2-disc collection of the ones I KNOW I like. Comprised of a lot of the older episodes done by Beany & Cecil's Bob Clampett, I was always a big fan of the episodes with caricatures of the movie stars of the 40's and 50's (Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, etc.). There are also plenty of those episodes I love where they bring book titles and characters to life. Gotta love it when The Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll/Hyde, The Mummy and Frankenstein step out of their prospective books, looking vicious and menacing...then start doing the Conga. LOL! It's great!

And, one of my all-time favorite episodes, I Love to Singa, with the adorable little owl (AKA "Owl Jolson) who rebels against his stuffy parents and longs to sing that Swing!

Transporter 2. 2005
Comments: Jason Statham looking hot as ever. Enjoyed the movie for the great action and fight scenes. Not as good as the original, but a fun ride all the same.

Lords of Dogtown (Unrated). 2005
Comments: Johnny Knoxville (yes, again!) has a role in this movie, making it a must-own. Also, the movie looks great. Haven't got around to sitting down and watching it yet, but I already have a feeling I'm gonna enjoy it. Even if I don't, Knoxville is a good consolation prize.

Serenity. 2005
Comments: Adam Baldwin is in this, and he is looking sooo good, I had to buy it. Loved him ever since I first saw him in My Bodyguard and The Chocolate War (is it EVER coming out on DVD?!). Since I don't really dig the stuff that passes for Sci-Fi these days, whether or not I'm gonna like this movie is a coin toss.

Summer of Sam. 1999
Comments: I've been wanting to buy this movie for ages, so when I ran across a copy at the local used book store, I had to pick it up. I already know I am gonna LOVE this movie. I've seen the trailers and love the cast AND most importantly, Spike Lee seems to have done what others haven't: Recaptured a period of time (the 70's) successfully. Saving this one for when I have time to sit and really enjoy it.

Caddyshack. 1980
Comments: My friend Nathan bought this DVD for me, since I can never seem to find it anywhere around here. I've been wanting this movie for so long and had just caught the lackluster sequel on cable the day before he gave this to me. How's that for timing?

And no, unfortunately the cover doesn't look like the original poster art (shown: always loved that poster), but I wanted to use the image so I did.

The Horror of Party Beach/The Curse of the Living Corpse. 1964
Comments: Another movie Nathan picked up for me on a recent venture to a local Horror convention. Though it's not officially slated to be released until March 28th, they were selling copies early. Yaye me!

Wedding Crashers (Unrated). 2005
Comments: Everyone keeps telling me how hilarious this movie is, but I dunno. I got it because I LOVE me some Vince Vaughn. I have to admit that I am a little disappointed that he seems to be doing more "raunchy" comedy stuff in lieu of dramatic roles (which he is SOOO great at: Return to Paradise, The Locusts, etc.). That may be why I am hesitant about whether I'll actually find this funny or not. Oh well, Vince is one of my "must-own" guys (in addition to Johnny, Jude and Ben).

Coneheads. 1993
Comments: I've been wanting this movie for a long time. I sold my VHS years ago, with the goal of replacing it with the DVD, but just never seemed to get around to it. Found a used copy on sale recently, so I finally picked up a copy.

MST3K: The Amazing Colossal Man. 1957
Comments: Now this and the last 4 movie titles are all DVD-Rs that my friend Nathan made for me. He's the greatest. BTW, I designed the covers for this DVD-R and the Revenge of the Stepford Wives DVD-R. I couldn't find any cover art I liked, so I got resourceful and created my own. Just think what I could do if I was getting paid! *sigh*

Final Exam. 1981
Comments: I have the paperback book for this movie, which is one of my favorite 80's slashers. I hate to say why I love it so much, since I might be spoiling the climax for some of you who might want to see it someday (good luck finding it!). Let's just say I like movies that don't always tie together with a neat little bow.

Little Darlings. 1980
Comments: One of my all-time favorite movies, I bought the laserdisc for this movie AGES ago, in hopes that someday I would actually own a laserdisc player (no such luck so far). However, Nathan DOES own one and he made me a copy on DVD-R! I've already watched it three times since I got it. Love it.

Revenge of the Stepford Wives. 1980
Comments: This made-for-TV sequel to the 1975 Stepford Wives has always been a favorite. I relish the fact that we get to see "Mrs. Roper" (AKA Audra Lindley) get homicidal! Sharon Gless and Julie Kavner make a likeable team of undercover reporters, and it doesn't hurt that Don Johnson is in it, dressed as a cop (shades of Miami Vice?), looking all cute and squinty-eyed.

Avenging Force. 1986
Comments: Michael Dudikoff is just as juicy as can be. I thought he was so cute the first time I saw him in Bachelor Party. I haven't had time to watch this yet, but it's always appealed to me. Either way, Michael's in it, so it's all good.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Miracle Whipped

I don't know if any of you caught it on TV last night, but the new reality series Miracle Workers premiered on ABC. I cried like a baby walrus with shampoo in his eyes.

I'm not a big fan of the "makeover" reality shows (i.e. Extreme Makeover Home Edition, etc.). Mainly because, I don't know, they just don't do "it" for me. And though I was skeptical of Miracle Workers being another thinly-veiled Jesuslicious incarnation of Amy Grant's Three Wishes corncobbery, Miracle Workers had a premise I could really get behind: The show helps patients with serious medical conditions receive cutting edge medical procedures in an effort to restore their health.

I'd much rather see these kind of people, people with real problems, the kind of problems you pray to God you never have to experience, benefit from these life-altering experiences than some "I'm just a single mom tryin' to make it in this crazy, mixed-up world and buy my kids the best," { yeah, welcome to planet Earth } with a sad story get the beauty shop of her dreams. Puhlease. No competition.

Last night's episode was about a 19-year-old girl named Emily, who suffers from a severe case of Tourette Syndrome. She underwent Deep Brain Stimulation surgery and it cured her tics!

The other patient was a little 4-year-old boy named Adrian who suffers from Vater's Syndrome. A condition that forces his spinal cord to curve to accommodate his fused rib cage, leaving his head always tilted and his back shaped like a question mark. He successfully received titanium spinal surgery replacement.

If you read my blog, you know I do not like children as a rule, however, this little boy was such a sweetie and his family was so nice, I crumbled like a wicker chair at Star Jones' house (Who, incidentally is not some weight-loss prodigy like the magazines love to keep touting her as. All she did was cough up the dough to get a Gastric Bypass. It's not like she broke a sweat. BTW, you gotta get a load of the "uplifting" synopsis they have over at for her new book; apparently "losing weight" brings out the author in everyone, just ask Carnie Wilson).

Annnnyway, if you get a chance, check out Miracle Workers, Mondays at 9PM on ABC.

Modern Movie Poster Design

As you know, I love good design. I'm especially a big fan of great movie poster art. Here are a handful of new movies that I'm looking forward to seeing. Click the images to enlarge them.

The films 2046, Bubble and The Memory of a Killer are all on DVD now. I haven't even seen 2046 (An Asian neo noir, saturated drama), but I already know I'm gonna love it. And since I love most of Brian De Palma's films, I'm looking forward to seeing his remake of The Black Dahlia. However, I am a little put-off by the fact that it stars two infants: Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson. I just don't think of them as De Palma material. I guess I'm used to seeing seasoned adults as the leads in his films.

And last, but not least, I love the raw brutality of the German posters for the movie Hostel (though the first one is a blatant rip-off of the 1980 slasher, Maniac). It's like a throwback to the old slasher movies, but with a new "NIN/Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake/music video meets Se7en" twist. I haven't seen the movie yet, and I'm still not sure if I want to. From what I've heard it sounds like extreme gore for gore's sake. Eh...we'll see.

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