Jan 29, 2008

Tony Bennett, new puppy and some signs

Nothing too earth-shattering today, but I thought I would share with you the last four photos I took with my cell phone. Coming from a cell phone, obviously, the resolution/quality of these pictures are a little primitive. Good enough for government work, so to speak.

This first photo is a portrait of Gia's uncle. He's a world-class jazz drummer with a list of credits that reads like a Who's Who of American popular music in the last 50 years. He, at various times in his career, has been the regular drummer for the likes of Bobby Darin, Paul Anka and Barry Manilow. He's also worked with Tony Bennett on occasion. Mr. Bennett recently published a book containing oil paintings, watercolors and lithographs. He drew this one of Gia's uncle, and it made it to the book. Very cool! By the way, that's my thumb way down there on the bottom of the pic. Sexy, eh?

This next one is Gia's sister's new puppy. Her name is Layla and she is about 4 months old. She's a rescue dog, part Labrador Retriever and part something else. I've been trying to figure out what that something else is, but she's mostly Lab. Cutie, isn't she?

I've seen a ton of vintage Guinness signs over the years. A lot of time spent in Irish pubs will get you that kind of experience. That and an achy liver. But I've never seen the sign below. Apparently, lobsters love Guinness. Go figure.

Not going to tell you where I snapped the following pic. It's a little on the distasteful side, and certainly not something currently in fashion. I still can't help but smile when I look it at. And if you look real close in the reflection coming from the overhead light, you might be able to catch a glimpse of me. Nah, just kidding! But I made ya look....hah!

PS - Crazy zombie creaminess over at MovieGrenade! Read it or die!

Jan 28, 2008

Stand up, sit down, wipe wipe wipe!!!

Don't know why I remembered this the other day, but it sure made me laugh when I did. It's a college story, so college humor is involved. College humor is often disgusting, so if you would like to ignore the rest of this post I will understand.


Here we go. My senior year, I lived in a townhouse with six other guys. We weren't the rowdiest bunch. We weren't the most disgusting bunch. But any time you get seven guys living together in a house, shit is gonna happen.

This one time, two of my housemates were fighting about something stupid. Had to do with something in the kitchen, but it actually got physical. Punches were thrown, somebody got tackled into a wall, and they finally wound up busting through the bathroom door. Where I had been taking a shit.

Not much happened after that. The fight got broken up somehow and everybody kinda forgot about it. Until later that week.

I was telling the story to a friend while we were out drinking, and I got up to the part where they busted through the bathroom door and interrupted my private moment.

Me: "So, I'm standing there, you know, wiping my ass, when..."
Friend: "Wait a minute! You stand up when you wipe your ass?"
Me: "Um, yeah. Why? How do you wipe your ass?"
Friend: "I sit and lean to one side while I wipe. You stand up? Who the fuck stands up?"
Me: "I stand up. How the hell do you take care of business by sitting and leaning to one side? There's no way that you can clean the works that way."
Friend: "Hang on. We gotta ask some people. I'm gonna prove you're a freak!"

Guess how we spent the rest of the night? That's right. Asking everyone we knew and just about anyone else if they stand or sit when they wipe. I wonder if any of the ladies we asked thought it was a pick-up line? "Hey, ladies! Let me ask you a question. After a big crap, do you wipe your ass while sitting on the toilet or do you stand up to take care of business? Correct answer gets you a kamikaze shot!"

I didn't get laid a lot in college, if you were wondering.

Turned out to be about a 50-50 split. I guess it's all based upon how you were initially taught when potty training. But until that time, I had never really thought about it. I had never witnessed anyone else wiping their ass so I assumed that everyone wiped the way I wiped. Same thing with my friend. We just couldn't conceive that there was more than one way to wipe an ass.

On a related note, last year I hurt my right thumb while playing a game of video golf. Don't ask. Whenever I had to do anything with my right hand other than point, I experienced a great deal of pain. Wiping my ass was one of these painful activities. So I tried using my left hand. Gotta tell you, I have never felt like more of a retard than when I was trying to wipe my ass with my left hand. I just couldn't get it done. So I sucked it up and dealt with the pain. I guess, for me, there isn't more than one way to wipe an ass.

Whaddya think? Too much information?

PS - Gonna keep reminding you about MovieGrendade! It's what I do.

Jan 25, 2008

Blog love

Decided to give a little love for all those on my blogroll today. Tell you how I found them or how they found me. Say a little something nice about them. Just spread a little love. So here goes:

  • MovieGrenade - (via badgerdaddy) A cute, little blog that I contribute to. We try to review bad movies so that you can avoid them. Actually, I kinda like bad movies. Sometimes they can be more fun than quality films, but ya have to be in the mood for it. Try us out sometime!
  • Slyde's Blog - (via, um, Slyde) My first experience with blogging. Slyde started his site a few years back and I offered to help him out by contributing posts. This led to my own excursion out into the blog world, so you can thank him for that. Or not, if you are so inclined.
  • Kat's Accounts - (via Slyde) She's changed the name of her blog over the years (it's now "Spit It Out"), but nothing can change that humorous, dry wit and sharp tongue. Well, except giving birth. And that didn't really change anything...we just have to wait a bit longer between posts now. HA!
  • Who Said Life Wasn't Funny? - (via Slyde) This would be Liz, and she is another one of the original Slydesbloggers. Always there with a funny story and a cheeky comment. Another Canadian, but that will be a theme in this blogroll for some reason. Earl Trivia - whenever I click on her link I say in my head "I said life isn't funny". Don't know why.
  • Spinning Girl - (via Anna, I believe) Funny, prolific blog (although you've been writing a bit less lately there, missy!) that, along with Slyde's Blog, got me to want to start my own blog. Once again, you can send her your thanks or death threats based on how you feel about that.
  • Anna Land - (via Slyde) Another in a long line of funny, self-deprecating blogs. Wish she would post more often, but that's life on the West Side, dawg. Also, people bug her. But she is a big fan of Snatch, so we dig her. The movie people. Get yo minds outta da gutter.
  • Violet Blue - (via Fleshbot) Great, no-nonsense sex site. Way more than just a blog. Violet Blue is an editor, writer, reader of everything and anything to do with the magical world of sex. And she's a hottie to boot. Remember kids, this one is NSFW at times.
  • bad bad girl - (via TK via somebody else) Not much to say about this one because its pretty new to my blogroll. Sexy stuff in there, though. Another NSFW site, if you please.
  • Madge - (via Spinning Girl, I think) Our friend from South Florida. She has the cutest pets in the world and she takes great pics of them. Plus she's a librarian, and librarians are hot! Great old-school name, too. Woot!
  • Melanie - (via Slyde?) - Artist, Mom and wordsmith. She's also got a handful of other sites where her talents really shine. This one is more personal and personable, if I do say so. And her avatar will make foot fetishists blush. Right, Slyde?
  • Badger is back - (via me, from an IMDB bulletin board) Another prolific, funny and intelligent blog from our buddy in the UK. If nothing else, badger helps me remember that "twat" rhymes with "cat" and not "cot". Who knew?
  • Jiggs Casey - (via Spinning Girl) Jiggs and the rest of his kooky gang of misfits are just about the funniest thing on the Internets. Of course, I don't have much of a sense of humor so you can take that compliment with a huge grain of salt. I'm not a strong swimmer.
  • ajooja - (via Spinning Girl, I think) One of the few men on my blogroll. Oh, except for Slyde, badger and the Jiggs gang. But I rarely think of those guys as men. I can relate to a lot of what ajooja writes about. We are about the same age, married with kids and grand kids. Oh wait, I'm not married nor do I have kids or grand kids. Why the hell do I go there again?
  • I am the Diva - (via Liz or Kat) Our newly pregnant friend from up North (yeah, one of those). Just like Liz's site, whenever I click on her link I say to myself "No, I am the Diva!". It's silly, but I do it every time. She's just a little ray o' sunshine on my normally cloudy days. Fix that masthead already, woman!
  • Eat, Bitch and Whine - (via Diva) Three things that I really love to do. Are bitching and whining two separate things? Well, Paige seems to think so. Even if she doesn't really bitch or whine that often. More Canadian goodness for your perusal!
  • Sailor Clover - (via Diva) Her and her Bat-hubs (or Bath-tubs, not sure) are artists, comic-book fans/geeks and they seem like all-around good eggs. Still kinda getting to know them, but any friend of Diva's is a link of mine. Does the title of your blog have anything to do with Sailor Moon?
  • Bat-hubs - (via FourLeafClover) The aforementioned hubby of FourLeafClover. He's just starting out in blog world so we should all give him our support. Because Batman is way cooler than Superman could ever hope to be. Superman...fah! Don't even get me started.
  • Elise's Diary - (via Lotus07) Wickedly funny and intelligent blog with a slight voyeuristic feel to it. Then again, I guess all blogs are out there for the voyeur in us all. Anyway, her life seems so much more interesting than mine, and not just because it is. It's because she writes so damn well. I want to be her when I grow up.
  • TK Kerouac - (via Lotus07) She's got a few sites on my blogroll, but I'll link to the open one because her original one has now gone private. Lots of great pics and observations from, wait for it, another Canadian. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Great stuff!
  • Lotus07 - (via badgerdaddy?) Movie reviews, deep thoughts and hey...another male presence on my blogroll. And an American to boot. What the hell is he doing here? Oh yeah, he's a frequent commenter on our movie site. Plus, he's smarter than me. So there.
  • The Green Parrot - (via me) Not only is The Green Parrot Bar in Key West one of my favorite bars in the world, it's one of my favorite places as well. There are a few vestiges of the magical world left in ours, and a good hunk of it resides on the corner of Whitehead and Southard in Key West. Check it out.
  • Kissing Suzy Kolber - (via me) One of the many, many sports info-tainment blogs out there, but currently my favorite. Especially because I love that clip of Namath wanting to kiss Suzy Kolber. And because I dig sarcasm. There's lots of that on the site.
  • O.T.I.S. - (via IMDB) Not really a blog, per se. He generally just writes about some odd things that he has seen, hence the title. I'm a-thinking that he's planning a compilation book, e-book or something along those lines, but I can't be sure. He sure writes well, though. It's all very amusing and light-hearted.

Well, that took a lot longer than I thought it would. Phew! Maybe some of you will check out a site that you normally wouldn't. Maybe you won't. I ain't your momma.

Tell you what. Why don't you comment with one blog that I'm not currently reading that you believe I should be visiting on a semi-regular basis. You might have 10 or 100, but please narrow it down to just one. Have them draw straws or something. I promise to check 'em all out. Thanks!

PS - Weekend movie trashiness over at MovieGrenade, party people! Drop in for a shot and a beer.

Jan 23, 2008


And I'm not tallking Spartans here. But as King Leonidas would say:


Yeah, so I went bowling last night. It was a birthday party for a good friend of ours. The bowling alley we went to was purchased by a chain called 300 aimed at making bowling fun again. It's a great idea. They don't have very many leagues allowed at the lane. Their demographic is the young, fun crowd or families to keep them afloat. Lots of music, video screens and assistants to help with the scoring computers. We had a private room with nine lanes and our own bar for the evening. And we had a blast.

It was the first time I had bowled in 8 or 9 years. I used to be in a bowling league with some work colleagues and friends. For about 7 years.

You can stop laughing now.

Anyway, I was into it more for the night out than I was in the actual bowling. That was reflected in my average, which in the 7 years hovered between 134 and 136. Seriously. I never got any better. The rest of the league thought that I was a statistical anomaly. I mean you have to get better at something if you keep doing it over and over again. Right?

Don't ask any of my ex-girlfriends that last question, okay?

So after 8 or 9 years of inaction on the lanes, what do I throw in my first game in that time period? That's right. 135.

Some things never change.

PS - Not to brag, but my high game of all time was 268. I was really drunk.

PPS - Unfortunate newness over at MovieGrenade! This one hurt, kids. Sigh.

Jan 22, 2008

The Devil's Hour

A few days ago, our good Blogger friend Kat posted about some possible paranormal activity in her home. Was it the cat? Was it da debbill? Who knows, but she mentions that it happened between 3AM and 4AM which she referred to as "dead time"...the hour in which paranormal activity is at it's highest.

I had really never heard of this hour and it's sinister meaning. Witching hour, at least from my readings on the matter, occurred at Midnight. Midnight makes the most sense to me. The middle of the night. When things go bumpity-bump.

Then I watched the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and they spoke of the 3AM hour as the true Witching hour...the Devil's hour...dead time. According to the film, 3AM is when evil spirits mock the Holy Trinity because it is the exact opposite of 3PM - supposedly the time when Christ died. All the freaky happenings in the movie occurred at 3AM.

Guess when I watched this film?

That's right. I started to watch it around 1:45AM and I soon realized that I would be approaching the last act of the film right around 3AM, and it really freaked me out. Let me state here that, normally, scary movies don't freak me out. Or at least they haven't since I've grown pubic hair. But this movie really freaked me out. The story was so-so, but the concept of court-room drama centered around demonic possession was fairly novel. It was the performance of Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), however, that truly raised one's hackles while watching the film.

She is really a sight to see in this film. The director wanted to do most of her contorted possession scenes with a good dose of CGI to maximize the horror, but Ms. Carpenter suggested that she could do most of the contortions herself. And she did. And it really freaked out the crew of the film as well as the audiences. Myself, in particular.

Anyway, so I'm watching this film with one eye on the TV and one eye on the clock as it ticks inevitably towards 3AM. It was bugging me so much that I eventually propped a pillow on my chest to block my sight line to the clock. This didn't really help because I kept having to check to see if it was 3AM yet. And it always seemed as if only a minute had passed since I last checked. It was excruciating.

Then 3AM came and nothing happened. Phew!

Except that at 3:02AM a fucking bird flew directly into a closed window in the living room with a tremendous "BANG!!!" Scared the shit out of me! I jumped up to see what had happened, because I obviously couldn't tell what it was just by the sound and when I looked out the window I saw a small dazed bird hopping away from the window before flying away. Do birds even fly around at night? What the fuck?!?!

I watched the rest of the film with my heart rate going about double what it normally runs and didn't really get a good night of sleep after that. For the next week, no matter what time I went to sleep, I seemed to wake up right before 3AM. Just so I could re-live the nightmare of that stupid bird flying against the window. Thanks!

Anyway, that's my "dead time" story, Kat. Hope you enjoyed!

As a post-script, I would like to add that I have never really experienced any paranormal activity that I can categorize as such. One time I stayed at a friend's house outside of Boston, and they put me up in a loft bedroom that used to be an attic or something. Right before going to bed, they warned "Oh, by the way...there's a ghost of a Revolutionary War officer living in that loft, but he's harmless. Have a good night!" Who does that? I didn't see or hear anything that night, but I also didn't sleep very well. Thanks again!

Jan 20, 2008

Jeff Jones, Wonder Woman and a little snip here and there

This is one of my favorite comic-book covers of all time and it's certainly the favorite of my collection. The cover was done by Jeff Jones, a phenomonally talented artist in the fantasy field whose popularity was at its highest in the funky 60's and 70's. His contemporaries in the comic-book field were Bernie Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith and Michael Kaluta. All legends in the industry. Somehow, however, Jones has missed out on his own legendary status. Except to his legion of fans, I guess. He didn't do nearly as much work for the comic industry as the rest of those guys, but the stuff he did was top-notch.

I've talked about this comic book cover before, but it's not going to stop me from talking about it again. I wasn't a fan of Wonder Woman, except for the obvious. She had big cans. But I was a fan of some of Jones' artwork and when I saw this issue at a comic-book convention, I knew that I just had to have it. It's so great. The not-so-subtle bondage references, the incredible shadow work and that wonderful title. Tribunal of Fear! I didn't even give the inside of the book more than a cursory glance, but the cover...wow!

I've been doing Jones a disservice throughout this posting, by the way. I keep referring to Jones as a man, when if fact "he" had a successful sex change operation back in the late 1990's. "Jeffrey" is now known as Jeffrey Catherine. She's gone through a lot since then. A nervous breakdown, financial ruin, but she has persevered and is painting again.

Anyway, if you are interested in her work please take a look at the link I provided above. Frank Frazetta (no slouch himself) once called Jones "...the greatest living painter." Certainly one of my favorites.

PS - This Jeffrey Jones is not related at all to douchebag actor and registered sex offender Jeffrey Jones. Ferris Bueller was right not to trust that guy. He's a kid toucher.

PPS - Wonderful nougat-y deliciousness over at MovieGrenade for you to ignore. Hey, some of you will eventually wander over there if I keep bugging you like this. Right?

PPPS - OK, so I've tried uploading that image from 4 different sites as well as my own computer and Blogger keeps fucking it up! If there is no picture at the top of this entry then just go here to look at it. AAARGGGGHHH!!!

Jan 18, 2008

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Well, not anymore I guess. He passed away at home in Iceland yesterday due to an unknown illness.

I don't possess any more than a casual knowledge of the man and the game/obsession that he helped make famous in the early 70's. I did like the film Searching for Bobby Fischer. Surprisingly engaging, given the subject matter. A handful of excellent performances will do that. But it wasn't about the man himself in any way except for referencing him. It was more about searching for the NEXT Bobby Fischer.

I also got a chance to see the ESPN interview with him back in 2005 when he was going to be extradited from Japan to the US to face some kind of charges. He wound up in Iceland and at the press conference he had a nutty moment with reporter Jeremy Schaap. Jeremy's father, Dick Schaap, had been a "friend" and chronicler of Fischer, but the two had a falling out many years ago after Schaap declared that Fischer "didn't have a sane bone left in his body".

Over the years, Fischer had become a raging Anti-Semite even though his own mother had been Jewish. He seemed fixated on the topic, and when spotted Jeremy Schaap at the press conference, the following exchange took place:

Fischer says - Who are you? (Jeremy) Jeremy who?
Schaap - Jeremy Schaap

Fischer - Dick's son?
Schaap Yes

Fischer He was Jewish?
Schaap Yes.......... pause............. as are you.

Fischer (angrily) No I am not. I wrote a letter to the Judaica library in Jerusalem 20 years ago and told them that I am not nor have I ever been a Jew. And they gave me a 'clean bill of health' Did you read that letter? Did you read that?
Schaap What does that mean Bobby?

Fischer It means that they will no
longer list my name in the library as being a Jew.

Fischer You know the US is controlled by the Jews.. They say there's only 6 million Jews in the US but I know its more like 25-30 million.
Schaap How do you know this?
Fischer Well, I've researched and studied it.
Schaap How would you study this?
Fischer Well you know from all of the reading I've done. I've read a lot of books.

Fischer later You know your father banged me pretty hard saying I didn't have a sane bone in my body.. I didn't forget that.
Schaap He said a lot of things about you (Fischer interrupts) I didn't read the statement but I am aware he said it and I don't think he meant it literally.


Fischer I hate to keep 'banging on a guy' but I'd like to go back to this............ what's your name again? (Jeremy) Yeah, his father took me in at one time and was nice to me.... (Jeremy - he took you to Knick games, you were 12) and became a father figure to me and then like a typical Jewish snake he wrote vicious things about me.
I have to object to that...
Fischer Well he said it.
Schaap Yes Bobby and you've done nothing today to disprove anything my father ever said about you.

Schaap then dramatically turned away from a speechless Fischer and the moment was over. Truly odd.

So what happened to this man, this genius? He reportedly had an IQ well over 180, higher than that of Albert Einstein. He was the Grand Champion of the World in chess at a very young age. And then he started to espouse anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about how the Jews in America kept him from his fortune, or how they were planning to kill off the elephants. What the fuck?

So here is to hoping that the man has found in death the peace he seemed never to have in life.

Jan 16, 2008

The great, long, red-legged Scisssorman.

The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb

One day, Mamma said, "Conrad dear,
I must go out and leave you here.
But mind now, Conrad, what I say,
Don't suck your thumb while I'm away.
The great tall tailor always comes
To little boys that suck their thumbs.
And ere they dream what he's about
He takes his great sharp scissors
And cuts their thumbs clean off, - and then
You know, they never grow again."

Mamma had scarcely turn'd her back,
The thumb was in, alack! alack!
The door flew open, in he ran,
The great, long, red-legged scissorman.
Oh! children, see! the tailor's come
And caught our little Suck-a-Thumb.

Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last.

Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands,
And looks quite sad, and shows his hands;
"Ah!" said Mamma "I knew he'd come
To naughty little Suck-a-Thumb."

That little bit of nastiness is from an old German children's book called Der Struwwelpeter from 1845. Nice, huh? And you thought they only made weird porn. Why am I posting about it? OK, I may lose some of you here.

I first became aware of this nightmare of a children's story back in 1989 when I was nearing the height of my comic-book collecting. Grant Morrison had just taking over the creative direction of a book called The Doom Patrol. Never heard of them? Not hard to believe. They were a rag-tag bunch of misfit superheroes led by an enigmatic man in a wheelchair, and they were introduced way back in 1963. No, not the X-Men. They didn't show up for another few months that year. Coincidence? Some think not.

Anyway, Morrison was a part of the "British Invasion" in American Comics of the late 80's that came in the wake of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing. And Thank God for that! Along with Morrison's work on Animal Man and Doom Patrol we enjoyed Jamie Delano's work on Hellblazer, Peter Milligan's work on Shade, the Changing Man and Neil Gaiman's work on Sandman. I was a huge fan of all those books. Especially Doom Patrol, for some reason. It was just so insane at a time when superhero stuff (besides Batman) wasn't doing it for me.

Morrison's first story was called "Crawling From the Wreckage", and it dealt with the aftermath of some major tragedies that affected the team including the deaths of a couple of members. Cliff Steele aka Robotman, has gone crazy and been sent to an asylum to deal with his issues. He meets another patient named Jane (later Crazy Jane) who has multiple-personality disorder. Oh, and each one of her personalities has it's own meta-ability. She's 64 superheroes in one body. (My favorite is Black Annis, a creature right out of English folklore with great, big claws. When Robotman first sees "her" tear apart an opponent he exclaims "Oh, God!" She whips around and hisses "There is no God. I killed him!" Pretty freaky stuff for a comic-book if you ask me - Earl) The team is re-formed and the first villains they must tackle are the Scissormen.

Morrison references Der Struwwelpeter as the inspiration for his creation, even using the first illustration that I showed above to confirm. His Scissormen are nonsense-muttering, faceless, red and black clad monsters who "snip" people out of reality to send them to the fictional city of Orqwith. I know, heady stuff. But the Scissormen were truly terrifying. They are a variant on the classic bogeyman of yore. Appearing out of nowhere to take away all you've ever had. Not killing you, but sending you to a place so upside-down that you wish you were dead. The stuff of nightmares.

So a few weeks ago, when we all got together to watch The Big Lebowski, I got to thinking about the Scissormen again. In the second dream sequence, the Dude is being chased by the Nihilists who are all dressed up in tight red outfits wielding giant scissors. They were going to cut of his Johnson, you see. Here is the only pic I could find showing what they looked like:

Obviously, that isn't from the film. It's just a bunch of guys dressed up like characters at some festival, I guess. Anyway, I got to thinking. Had the Coen Brothers read Der Struwwelpeter? How about Doom Patrol? Neither would surprise me, frankly. Those guys are nothing if not well read. I've done some exhaustive research on the matter, but I haven't been able to find any connection. And when I say "exhaustive research" I really mean a 15-minute Google search, but anything longer than that on this topic would be exhaustive.

Still, I wonder. Is there a connection between mid 19th Century German children's books, late 20th Century comic books and The Dude? Far out, man!

Note - Got yelled at from some website for posting that first pic, so I re-posted with the same pic from a different site. But now the font size has changed in part of the post and I can't change it back. Fucking Blogger!

Jan 14, 2008

Hot, tasty bullet action!

Just a few, quick hits today. Blam-blam! Bullet-style.

  • More meaty goodness over at MovieGrenade! today. Enjoy, or not. Whatever. We don't get paid either way. Aha...and I see that the badgerdaddy has also posted a new review. That's 2, 2, 2 reviews for the low, low price of, eh...you know what I mean.
  • So, against my better judgement, I watched the first 2 episodes of the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox. Well, I missed the first episode on Sunday night, but I was able to watch it online. Way to go, Fox-TV! I am also slightly upset to report that I love it. Fuck! Another crappy TV show for me to get all wrapped up with. I think I would have been fine, but Summer Glau (from Serenity) stars as a good Terminator (they need to come up with a name for those) and I'm a fan. So here we go again.
  • Haven't finished my book yet, but it's getting really good. I may stay up tonight to finish it.
  • Gia remains thoroughly obsessed with The West Wing. Rather than wait a couple of days for Season 2 to start appearing in the mail via NetFlix, we went out last night to buy it on DVD because she couldn't wait. I have the rest of the seasons reserved at our library, so that foolishness will stop. UPDATE - just found out that friends of ours have all 7 seasons on DVD. Happy, happy...joy, joy!
  • Still waiting for Winter to actually occur here. It's been above freezing for quite a while. We were supposed to wake up yesterday to 3-6 inches of snow, but it never quite got cold enough. Ah, but wait...snow Saturday? Maybe?
  • I don't know why, but I was reading about the actor John Lurie yesterday, and I found the weirdest Internet related, um, things that I've seen in quite a long time. Those wacky Russians! PREVED!!!
  • And I will leave you with exactly what I promised in the title of this post. Hot, tasty bullet action!

Jan 13, 2008


There is another man in Gia's life and his name is Sal. Sal is a bit of a grumpy old man. He's got only one eye, and that one doesn't work as well as it used to. He's lost a lot of fur over the years, so that entire patches of his body (especially around his nose) have become shiny and smooth.

He sleeps with Gia every night.

I don't even sleep with Gia every night. But there are some creature comforts that I just can't provide...Sal, however, is up to the task.

It's one of my favorite bits o' Weird Girlfriend Behavior (as opposed to Weird Kitty Behavior) that Gia displays. Here's the drill: She has had this motley little stuffed animal since she was 18 years old. It replaced another stuffed animal that she had since time began that either got lost or was thrown away while she was at college, I forget that part. Every night, every nap, every time she lays down to rest she has to have Sal near so that she can rub him all over her face, neck and upper chest. That's why his fur is missing in spots. From 23 years of lightly rubbing him all over her face.

It's a comfort thing. Whenever we go away, I suggest that she brings Sal with us so that she can fall asleep comfortably. She usually responds in horror "but what if I lose him? I wouldn't know what to do!". She's serious. She needs this little hunk o' fur like I need yummy Belgian beers.

It's also truly odd. She kinda blows lightly on him, ya know...to cool him off, then she lightly brushes him all over her face. The worst is when he falls behind the bed and she has a moment of panic before we locate him. Or if he lands on the baseboard heating. Because he needs to be cold. That's part of his charm.

He's, um, a cute little fella. Right?

Jan 9, 2008

Bi-Polar Bear

Been doing a little reading since the Christmas Holiday, as the long nights of Winter dictate. And I have a lot more on my night table to get me through the next few months. Andrew Vachss (my favorite eye patch-sportin' author), Stephen Hunter (my favorite film critic turned author) and some nice non-fiction stuff as well.

My current fascination is Dan Simmons' The Terror, a fictionalized account of the real-life ordeal of the H.M.S. Erebus and the H.M.S. Terror in the Arctic Circle in the mid-1800's. He adds a supernatural element to the whole tale to make it a fun Horror read to boot. If you aren't familiar with Simmons' work, he may be the only guy out there who is equally adept at the Sci-Fi and Horror genres. Summer of Night and A Winter's Haunting are great Horror tales out of the Ghost Story and It mold. Hyperion and it's sequels are truly unique in the Sci-Fi field, with some going as far as claiming that the main concept of machine vs. Man in The Matrix was lifted from it. I dunno about that. And if someone were going to steal the story from Hyperion, I would hope that they would make a better series of films out of them. 'Nuff said.

This novel, however, is really gripping me. It's a slow read, jumping from personal diaries to third person narrative back and forth through a three-year period, but a fascinating one. It plays right into one of my other obsessions too. I love, absolutely love, reading about expeditions to the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica. Can't get enough of that shit. I have often thought about actually going to Antarctica via New Zealand just to be a part of that vast, unrelenting wasteland on the bottom of the world. Gia thinks I'm crazy, especially since I hate Winter, yet I have these crazy yearnings to go to very extreme cold weather locales. I wanna sleep in an ice hotel, drink in an ice bar, see the Aurora Borealis or Aurora Australis. Feel a cold colder than any I have ever experienced in NY State.

I can't explain it. I don't want to drive in it, shovel it, or spend a particularly long amount of time in it. I just want to be able to experience it. Once. As much as I normally hate the Winter, I can take the cold. Better than almost anyone I know. I have ridiculous circulation...my hands and feet are never cold, and my Winter coat is usually half-again as heavy as normal folks. I know that it wouldn't matter in -30 degree temperatures or worse, but still...

So I read this book, and my adventurous heart soars. I can only take an hour or so of reading before I am on the Internets to satisfy my curiosity. Looking up obscure islands above the Arctic Circle, trying to find the Northernmost settlement (it's Alert, by the way. Way up high on Ellesmere Island in Canada), deciding that is too remote and settling for the Northernmost town I would like to visit (Longyearbyen in Norway), tracing the various routes of the Northwest Passage, reading about a couple stranded in Antarctica by a vicious storm. I love this crap!

I've gone as far, years ago, to inquire about job opportunities in Antarctica. It was right after I left a stuffy bank job, and before I started working from home. Way before I met Gia, obviously. I almost did it. Did you know that the US Military can give service medals for living/working in Antarctica with special attachments for those who winter over? Neither did I. Until reading about it on the Internets last night.

I want one!

Polar update #1 - I turned on the TV and Eight Below, the story of a scientific team and their sled dogs in the Antarctic, was airing on the channel that came on. Weird.

Polar update #2 - Looking at the suggestions on our NetFlix account, and one of the two main suggestions is Michael Palin's documentary mini-series Pole to Pole. It documents his journey from the North Pole to the South Pole. Really weird.

Jan 8, 2008

Golden Globe update - It worked!!

My tireless efforts to get rid of the Golden Globe Awards and the stupid show that they put on has finally worked. The Golden Globes have been cancelled!!!

If you are late to the show and/or you have forgotten my quest, take a gander at my post from last year (and the year before) about this ridiculous award. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Back? Well, methinks somebody has been reading my blog and taking notes. Because I just read on the Internets that they (and just who the hell are "they"), have cancelled this year's shows. I am equal parts gleaming happiness and humble pie right now.

What moronic social/entertainment issue can I tackle next? George Lucas films? David Hasselhoff? Nicolas Cage's creepy forehead? Let me know, and I will promise to do my best. Apparently, I have juice in this town, er, or Hollywood. Somewhere I got juice, that's all I'm saying.

Note 1 - OK, so it could, maybe, have something to do with the Writer's Guild strike. I'm sticking with my story, mother-fuckers!!!

Note 2 - If it's not transparent enough, this post is really just my annual excuse to post a pic of the lovely Scarlett Johansson from the 2006 Golden Globes.

Note 3 - TITS!!!

Jan 4, 2008

Movie Quote Meme

(Psst...more movie review chewiness over at MovieGrenade for you to ignore - Earl)

I'm an obsessive quoter of movies that I love. Some love it (Slyde), some fear it (my family), some begrudgingly accept it (Gia), but most don't even know that I am doing it. I once even had a brief fling with a much, much younger waitress that started on a drunken evening that, I think, had me using some of Jack Nicholson's lines to Helen Hunt from As Good as It Gets on her. I even feel a little bad about that one. Because I didn't really mean any of it. So much for being a good guy, eh?

Anyway, I thought it would be fun (after that painfully embarrassing admission above) to list out some of my favorite movie quotes from some of my current films. Do you have any that you A) use in your daily routine or B) wish you could use in your daily routine?

The Departed
Frank Costello: Who let this IRA motherfucker in my bar?
[the man looks startled]
Frank Costello: [laughs] Only kidding. How's your mother?
Man in Costello's Bar: Oh... I'm afraid she's on her way out.
Frank Costello: [walks away] We all are. Act accordingly.
[smiles and his straightens tie.]

The 40-Year Old Virgin
Cal: Wanna know how I know you're gay? Because you like Coldplay.

Will Munny: It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have.
The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess he had it coming.
Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.

Burke: It was a bad call, Ripley. It was a bad call.

After Hours
[after witnessing a murder through a window]
Paul Hackett: I'll probably get blamed for that.

The Big Lebowski
[being forced into a limousine]
The Dude: Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!

The Princess Bride

[Vizzini has just cut the rope The Dread Pirate Roberts is climbing up]
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Dazed and Confused
Slater: Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.

Field of Dreams
Shoeless Joe Jackson: Ty Cobb wanted to play, but none of us could stand the son-of-a-bitch when we were alive, so we told him to stick it!

Office Space
Peter Gibbons: Doesn't it bother you that you have to get up in the morning and you have to put on a bunch of pieces of flair?
Joanna: Yeah, but I'm not about to go in and start taking money from the register.
Peter Gibbons: Well, maybe you should. You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair that, but they made the Jews wear them.

Reservoir Dogs
Mr. Blonde: Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy, or are you gonna bite?

[His girlfriend says they don't have time for sex now]
Mike McDermott: I'll be really quick. You won't feel a thing.

Say Anything
Constance: Why do you eat that stuff? There's no food in your food.

The Wicker Man
Sergeant Howie: [Upon seeing the wicker man] Oh God! Oh Jesus Christ!
(I use this one an awful lot in my daily life - Earl)

Todd Wolfhouse: Steve's got the eye of the Jew.

Big Trouble in Little China
Jack Burton: Like I told my last wife, I said, "Honey, I never drive faster than I can see, and besides... it's all in the reflexes."

The Birdcage
[Albert walks back and forth with a John Wayne swagger]
Albert: No good?
Armand: Actually, it's perfect. I just never realized John Wayne walked like that.

Bull Durham
Crash Davis: I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Dr. Gonzo: I hate to say this, but this place is getting to me. I think I'm getting the fear.
Raoul Duke: Look, there's two women fucking a polar bear!
Dr. Gonzo: Don't tell me these things. Not now man.

Get Shorty
Bo Catlett: Only this time it ain't no John Wayne and Dean Martin shooting bad guys in "El Dorado."
Chili Palmer: That was "Rio Bravo." Robert Mitchum played the drunk in "El Dorado." Dean Martin played the drunk in "Rio Bravo." Basically, it was the same part. Now John Wayne, he did the same in both. He played John Wayne.
Bo Catlett: Man, I can't wait for you to be dead.

High Fidelity
[while Marie de Salle is singing "Baby I Love Your Way"]
Rob Gordon: I used to hate this song.
Barry, Dick: Yeah.
Rob Gordon: Now I kinda like it.
Barry, Dick: Yeah.

A League of Their Own
[Jimmy has just signed a baseball for a little boy]
Little Boy: [reading] Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan.
Jimmy Dugan: Hey, that's good advice!

There are a million more that I use every day, I just can't remember them right now. I've now decided to tag everyone on my blogroll with the same task. Gimme some of your favorite movie quotes and avoid the clap! - Earl

Jan 3, 2008

The Cat post - Part II

A little kitty cat montage for y'all today. Syd is the big boy up top, looking resplendent in his pre-haircut days. I think these were taken about 4 months ago or so. It was Syd at his hairiest, I believe. He had hair growing out of his hair, it seemed. And he didn't really drink that tall glass o' milk. He just kinda jumped up on the snack table and looked into it. It was very white.

Sammi is the kitty in the second two pictures. I believe I've posted one of those before, but I can't be sure. The large black mass in front of her in the second pic is Syd, of course. They were curled up in the bed together at the time as they so rarely do.

Good news: They've stopped fighting since I last posted about them. Well, mostly. Every once in a while he still gets in her face for no apparent reason besides being a bully. About a month ago I had to separate them after a vicious sounding argument. I picked him up and noticed one of Sammi's nails embedded in his cheek. Well done, young lady! Don't back down to the big boy on the block.

They both have been displaying a massive amount of WKB lately. WKB is Weird Kitty Behavior, for those not in the know. That should be just about everyone since I just made up that acronym. Syd likes to sit his big ass down on the alarm clock by the bed...changing the time, alarm options and whatever with his...ass, I guess. I'm beginning to think that he does it on purpose. Sammi, ever the skitchy (skitchy = not readily available to pick up and snuggle with) kitty decided yesterday was the day to sleep on my chest and neck while I was trying to catch some Z's in the afternoon. I'm guessing that she was trying to assert her bedroom dominance over me in some way. Worked too! I couldn't move for like an hour and a half.

The craziest kitty behaviour (hmm...should it have been CKB?) belongs to Syd's bathroom routine in the morning. Not his bathroom, per se, but what he likes to do in our bathroom. Taking a dump? He likes to lay between your legs and purr. Taking a leak? He likes to sit between my legs and stare up at the golden arch going into the bowl. And Gia got him onto this weird kick a while back where he sits on the toilet while we are in the shower and he drinks some nice "ice-cold" water out of a pint glass until we are through with the shower. Then he likes to lick the water off of our legs after we get out. Truly bizarre! Yet there he is, every day waiting for his glass of ice-cold water on the toilet.

Anyway, I leave you with one more picture. This one is a closeup of one of the flowers on my sister's Christmas Cactus. The remarkable thing about this plant is that is over 70 years old! It was given to my Great Aunt upon the birth of her son and it was in her sun room at that house for the next 70 years until her daughter passed away last summer. We were helping out by cleaning the house up for sale when we came upon this beast. It's huge and I remember it vividly from my childhood. My brother-in-law is a wunderkind with plants of all types, so he was granted custody. This bad boy has had a lot of offspring too. My mother has one in her kitchen that is over 40 years old from a shoot from this very plant. Enjoy!

Dead Sexy update: Added an old pic of my tattoo on the sidebar. You know...for the ladies!

Jan 1, 2008

1st post of 2008

I'm drunk and happy.