Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I defy you to be grouchy when faced with...


two of these fearsome creatures wrestling....


Click the photo for sugary sweetness.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Good Deed, Good Vocabulary.

Go here.
Get smarter.
Feed hungry people.
'nuff said.

www.freerice.com


(credit to Dana and NPR)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Movie Review Haiku: Rescue Dawn


Rescue Dawn

No schadenfreude here
A Herzog escape drama
Propelled by Method



***1/2 Stars (out of 5)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back tonight, and maybe for more...


Led Zeppelin is hands-down my favorite all time band. For me, nothing comes close.
They are back tonight in London.

My favorite song is "The Rover", off of Physical Graffiti.

What's your favorite Band, and favorite song?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

There's no mistletoe, but...


Judah Hasmonean, later named Maccabee, or "Hammer", led a resistance against the Greeks in 167 BCE. Antiochus Epiphanes, the Greco-Syrian King, forbade the Jews from practicing their religion, placed a statue of Zeus in the Jews' holiest Temple, and massacred them on a daily basis. Judah formed a small band of fighters - The Maccabees - and after three years of fighting, they overthrew the Greeks, reclaiming the Temple.

So, here is a recipe for Latkes:

Makes approximately 12 palm-sized latkes

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup matzah meal (flour or bread crumbs can be substituted)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil

Shred the potatoes and onion into a large bowl. Press out all excess liquid.(if using a food processor, use the chopping blade for 2 or 3 seconds after pressing out liquid to avoid stringy fly-aways). Add eggs and mix well. Add matzah meal gradually while mixing until the batter is doughy, not too dry. (you may not need the whole amount, depending on how well you drained the veggies). Add a few dashes of salt and black pepper. (don't taste the batter -- it's really gross!). Don't worry if the batter turns a little orange; that will go away when it fries.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil to medium-high heat. Form the batter into thin patties about the size of your palm. Fry batter in oil. Be patient: this takes time, and too much flipping will burn the outside without cooking the inside. Flip when the bottom is golden brown.

Place finished latkes on paper towels to drain. Eat hot with sour cream or applesauce.

Happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Movie Review Haiku : "Brick"



Brick

High School murder-yarn
Super-serious film noir
Turns the genre out


**** Stars (out of 5)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007



PISCES [Feb. 19–March 20]
"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at," said poet W.H. Auden. Make that your motto in the coming weeks, Pisces. Your motivation for doing the useful work you love to do shouldn't come from you alone. We, the rest of the world, want to be there inside you so that we can root you on and encourage you to give us your very best gifts. Tap into and refine and explore your talents for your own sake, yes—but do it for us, too.

-- my Horoscope via The Village Voice

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pay the Writer!


Harlan Ellison, Science Fiction writer (original writer for The Outer Limits and Star Trek), has always been outspoken. Before becoming a "paid" writer, he held jobs as, by his account: "tuna fisherman, itinerant crop-picker, hired gun for a wealthy neurotic, dynamite truck driver, short order cook, cab driver, book salesman, floorwalker in a department store, and door to door brush salesman".
Some aspects of the story for The Terminator were sufficiently similar to two episodes ("Soldier" and "Demon with a Glass Hand") of the TV series The Outer Limits — both written by Ellison — that Ellison sued James Cameron. Ellison settled for several hundred thousand dollars, and the film's credits now include the simple statement: "Acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison."
He is a fascinating man, and so --

Click on his photo above for his short rant on why writers should be paid, which includes the charming line "I don't take a piss without getting paid for it..."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

For those of you who swear by "24"...

"Are we nuts thinking Hillary Clinton could be president of this country? Honest to God, just stand back and think about it".
-- Joel Surnow, Executive Producer of FOX's "24"

Monday, November 5, 2007

So Why are the Writers' Striking?


HERE is a succinct video explaining the reasons for the strike:


Here is a letter from a Writer's Guild Strike Captain
, George Hickenlooper...

Dear family, friends and colleagues,

As most of you know the Writer's Guild of America (of which I am a proud member) is set to go on strike at one minute after midnight tomorrow. There has been a lot of negative and false information fed to the press lately about how the average WGA member makes over 200K per year and that the guild is being unreasonable in its contract negotiations and that basically we're all a bunch of left leaning, privileged, silver-spoon fed, pinko cry babies.

The reality is NONE of this is true.
What is true is that the average Guild member makes 5K per year from his or her writing services, the average Guild member is middle class, and the average Guild member has been financially taken advantage of for the past two decades to the point of embarrassment.

The other big reality is that the future of ALL film and television is INTERNET bound, a paid advertising medium for which each and every Guild member currently has ZERO financial participation.
MORE

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The horror. The horror...

I love Halloween, and so, here are TWO movies that I find to be freakin' terrifying.


AUDITION

Where do I begin? This is unbelievably disturbing, and very good quality cinema. Written and Directed by Takashi Miike, this is totally over the top and genuinely horrifying. You shouldn't see this alone. Perhaps you shouldn't even see this. Intrigued? God help you.

AND, my favorite horror movie of all time,

The Exorcist III: Legion

Superb acting from George C. Scott (Patton, 12 Angry Men), and Brad Dourif (LOTR's Wormtongue and Deadwood's Doc Cochran). Very artful direction from William Peter Blatty, who is the original author of The Exorcist. Cameo by Patrick Ewing as The Angel Of Death.
The film picks up 15 years from where the original 1973 Exorcist film left off, discounting the events of the first 1977 sequel entirely. Awesome awesome awesome. I watch this all the time, it's like manna to me.


Happy Halloween, all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Awesome Album Covers


Click on the Freddie Gage laugh-a-thon for more albums to get you through the day...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Now THIS is the life...


A close friend of mine up North posted the following on his Blog, The Cold, Hard Facts Of A Cold, Hard Man:

I'm doing a little project that requires outside help.

I'd like to know what it would take for you to speak the words "Now, this is the life" aloud, and really mean it. Where would you have to be? What would you have to be doing? What person, place, thing, taste, or moment in life could you make you feel that way?

What's YOUR answer? Mine was this:

I would be surveying my woodland home, my children playing in the open field that lies just beyond a barn that had been converted into a music studio/production facility. They sky would be gray, a meerschaum pipe hanging limply from my lips. My wife waves to me from her circle of friends who lounge by the Koi pond. I can just make out the very edge of my property,the waist-high wire surrounding the perimeter gives off a faint crackle of implied electricity. "This is the life..."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Two Amazing Films You Haven't Seen...

TAMPOPO
This movie is a wonderful look at the world. Through food. And the enjoying of food. And the overwhelming importance -- and eroticism -- of food.

Lighthearted, bawdy, and totally sublime, it refers to itself as "The first Japanese noodle western".
This is one of my favorite films, and I screen it every once and awhile to remember what good movies look like.

ZATOICHI
Based on one of Japan's longest running series' about a peaceful, wandering blind masseur. But also a Hero-Swordsman, master of Iaijutsu.
I am in love with the Takeshi Kitano version of this movie. So much heart, so quirky. Tears and laughter, sprinkled with tension. And a tap dancing finale, of course.

Click on the photos for more, but these are SO worth your time.
Let me know what you think of them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Clive Barker, Demon-Maker


I received this in my inbox today -- a letter from one of my favorite artists and people, Clive Barker.

I’ve always wanted to write a book that will play with the reader in a way that has never been tried before.

Enter Jakabok, a vicious, demented and blood-thirsty demon. He was an occupant of hell for many years, and he knows how to cause every kind of mischief; grief, anguish and agony are his food and drink. But Mister B., as Jakabok likes to be called, is no longer an occupant of the underworld. He’s in this book.

Let me be clear: Mister B. is not in this book as Scarlett O’Hara is in Gone with the Wind. The terrifying Mister B. will be possessing this book, watching you from its words. He can feel the pressure of your fingers on the pages, he can hear your breath and your mutterings, he can also hear your heart quicken. That’s what he loves most: the quickening heart, the clammy hands. Any proof that the terrifying tales which he tells are working their dark magic.

You see, Mister B. has ambitions, and he’ll use every trick he knows to get what he wants from you. He’ll entertain you with his stories of the war between heaven and hell that is going on around us all the time; he’ll threaten you with horrors only those who’ve seen the depths of the underworld could possibly know. He’ll even throw in some gallows humor when he’s in the mood.

But what does he really want? And what is he prepared to do to you to achieve his ends? The book has plenty of answers. But to the get to them, you’ll need to read, and with every page you turn Jakabok comes closer to you. Closer, ever closer. Tasting the sweat in your fingertips as it sinks into the page where he waits.

Welcome to the world of Mister B. He is delighted to meet you. Really he is.

-- Clive

When I was 16 and worked for Blockbuster Video, Clive came to our store to promote his then new movie, "Nightbreed" (based on his book "Cabal", and co-starring David Cronenberg). He gave me a Nightbreed Crew Jacket, and drew a completely inappropriate picture on the back. Sold for life.

I think he may have one of the most fertile and creative minds ever used...

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Story up 'till now...


Click the cover, but do promise to come back...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

“Look, I really don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively.”
-- Mel Brooks

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Movie Review Haiku


Cronenberg thriller
Characters deep as oceans
The scene of the year

****1/2 Stars
Click on Viggo's photo for the Trailer.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dead: The 2007 NY Mets


To say that I'm disgusted would be an understatement. What makes it easier for me, though, is that they don't deserve my tears. I have no sympathy for a team that does not have the heart and superior will to achieve their destiny. And so, all I can hope for is a quick an demoralizing exit for the GOP-like Yankees (although I don't know how they will top their legendary choke-job vs. Boston a few years back) and a resurgent Jets team.
In short, I am clearly reaching, and am safely in the pillowly arms of Lady Denial.
Damn you, Mets, for once again breaking my heart.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I (Heart) NY

Click on the map above to see the latest reports of the Foliage Spotters of NY.
Get out there!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Marcel Marceau: Survivor-Mime






It's good to shut up sometimes.

-- Marcel Marceau (4/22/23 - 9/22/07)












Born Marcel Mangel,
when the Nazis marched into eastern France, he fled with family members to the southwest and changed his last name to Marceau to hide his Jewish origins.

Marceau became active in the French Resistance, altering children's identity cards by changing birth dates to trick the Nazis into thinking they were too young to be deported. Because he spoke English, he was recruited to be a liaison officer with Gen. George S. Patton's army.
His father was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944, and died there.
"Yes, I cried for him," Marceau said. But he said he also thought of the others killed.
"Among those kids was maybe an Einstein, a Mozart, somebody who (would have) found a cancer drug," he told reporters in 2000. "That is why we have a great responsibility. Let us love one another."

HERE, a wonderful short scene from Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie", where Marceau speaks for the first time on film.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Far better than my amazon.com Wish List...


All I want for Christmas/Hanukkah this year is this:


STEYR-PUCH PINZGAUER
"The Swiss Army knife of military and off-road vehicles"
1973. 21,112 miles on the odometer.
Everything is in excellent condition. It runs and drives well.



Am I being silly? The clear answer is no. And if you love me, you'll find a way to make sure I'm driving this soon.
More specs and pictures HERE.

P.S. ...
as if i weren't already so deeply in love, the site shows the following photo/caption:

"Don't try this with any other type of vehicle. You'll need a Pinzgauer to pull it out!"

Sigh.
Thanks to Mark at Virtulaw.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Book Review Haiku

Hannibal Rising

Little Hannibal
Tries to repress heinous past
Yet cheeks taste too good

***1/2 Stars (out of 5)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Party like it's 5768.



It seems like just yesterday it was 5762.
Click on the braided dough for a primer on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Or, click here for a early photo of Rush
Or here, for a retrospective on Geoffrey Rush.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Since it's Tuesday, and my 10 year anniversary,

here is video footage of a kitten eating a melon.



Friday, September 7, 2007

A Rental Worth Your Time, or, ARWYT: "Azumi"




Azumi is the movie version of the popular Japanese Manga series of the same name. It is the story of children trained from tender young ages to be assassins. Azumi and the other "kids" are taught to be indestructible warriors; killing machines. It has a mind-blowingly harsh twist in the first 15 minutes which I cannot in good conscience give away...
Azumi was directed by visionary Ryuhei Kitamura (Verses). Ryuhei wanted to make sure the action sequences were realistic, so he used no stunt doubles, and had all the youngsters learning their intricate martial arts moves on the fly. The on-set squabbles between he and the film's Producer are well known, and documented in the DVD extras. It ain't easy to get what you want...
The apex of the film -- and this is a film -- is the climactic fight scene between our young Japanese pop star and an evil village of 200 lunatics.



I really enjoyed the performances -- the young actors are excellent, and I dig the whole "Japanese Oliver Twist" thing, wherein a "Fagin-like" character trains orphans to kill...
Bloody, heavy, very quirky and worth your time - a new kind of Samurai Film.


3 1/4 out of 5 Stars.
Let me know what you think...
AZUMI TRAILER

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Saturday Night's alright for fighting...

It’s just something I believe in and believe in strongly. I’m always going to do that. We ask our fans to buy a lot of pay-per-view and so I believe they deserve this. And I’m not going to be greedy and give them all of the good stuff on pay-per-view and put dog (expletive) on (basic cable) TV. I’m going to put our best guys on for them.
-- UFC President Dana White on Saturday's
free Fight Night

UFC 75

Date: Sept. 8, 2007
Location: London, England
Broadcast: Spike TV, 9pm (tape delay)

MAIN CARD

  • PRIDE champion Dan Henderson vs. UFC champion Quinton Jackson
  • Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Cheick Kongo
  • Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill
  • Houston Alexander vs. Alessio Sakara
Free, baby! For those of you who have never seen a night of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), Saturday would be a fine time to check it out... a GREAT card, with two Champions fighting each other, great personal drama, and Cro Cop: Croatia's head of their counter-terrorism unit (and Democratic Parliament Member).
Need a primer for Saturday (and why you should watch)? Email me. I will pitch you and sell you...

Fight Card: A-
UFC's overall packaging: D-

Friday, August 31, 2007

In celebration of a long week behind us...

Click on the good Captain to see a trinity of Shatner in "Seven"...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Glaring Spotlight on: "The Proposition"

The Proposition, or, This Land Will Be Civilized

"Australia. What fresh hell is this?"
-- Ray Winstone as Captain Stanley

The Proposition is an "extreme" Australian Western with a staggering cast of actors.
Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, and John Hurt make this an intriguing movie. A Screenplay and Score by Nick Cave put this over the top.
The backdrop to this film is the Australian Outback, and it plays a character all its own...
The music is beautiful, melancholy, and haunting.

Captain Stanley: Now, suppose I told you there was a way to save your little brother Mikey from the noose. Suppose I gave you a horse and a gun. Suppose, Mr. Burns, I was to give both you and your young brother Mikey, here, a pardon. Suppose I said that I could give you the chance to expunge the guilt beneath which you so clearly labor. Suppose I gave you till Christmas. Now, suppose you tell me what it is I want from you.
Charlie Burns: You want me to kill me brother.
Captain Stanley: I want you to kill your brother.

See it, and tell me what you think.





Monday, August 27, 2007

Movie Review Haiku: Superbad


Superb performance
trumps all juvenile humor.
Permission to laugh.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Spotlight on "Weegie", legendary photographer.

"Usher Felling" moved from Poland in 1909 to America, fleeing anti-semitism, and changed his name to Arthur. Haunting NYC, he was the only NY newspaper reporter with a permit to carry a portable police-band shortwave radio, and had a complete darkroom in the trunk of his car. He became known as "Weegie" (a play on Ouija) for his uncanny knack of arriving at crime scenes and emergencies...


Weegie had no training, but was known as a relentless self-promoter. His iconic images are widely regarded as classics of 20th century photography.



In 1958, he was credited as a Consultant and Still Photographer for Stanley Kubrick's "
Dr. Stangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb". Kubrick modeled the voice of the evil doctor after Felling's thick accent.



He published his book, Naked City, in 1945, to critical acclaim.

"He will take his camera and ride off in search of new evidence that his city, even in her most drunken and disorderly and pathetic moments, is beautiful."
- William McCleery in Naked City

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Frozen Smoke will save us all...


First developed in 1931, "Aerogel" is being hailed as the next big discovery.
(I am still waiting to ride on what was called the last big discovery, The Segway -- a vehicle that is so perfect -- so balanced -- no one could possibly fall off... and so, HERE).
Aerogel -- known as "frozen smoke", has so many ridges and pores that if one centimeter were unraveled, it would fill an area the size of a football field. It can insulate a spacesuit, withstand a direct blast of dynamite, and can mop up an ocean's worth of pollutants, being the world's "ultimate sponge".
Although a solid, it is actually 99% gas.

For more on the miracle which will save us all, jump HERE.

Special thanks to STAVANGER, who fixed my blog!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

My Friday 10

As inspired by Tommy at The Sticking Point, here is another installment
of "The 10", wherein you set your IPOD to Shuffle, let the Fates pick your
Top 10, and write about them. Try it and comment here.
We'll all feel better if you do...
And so, my 10:

1) Fela Kuti - Witchcraft - The '69 Los Angeles Sessions.
Frenetic and manic, and makes me move. Fela was an amazing character.
Along with being the African James Brown, he seceded from Africa
and declared his compound an independent country. And was
beaten to death for it.

2) Charcoal Blues - Wayne Shorter - Night Dreamer.
Wayne is my all time favorite musician. It is all weirdness and beauty.
This tune is so regal, so smooth. In my Lifetime Top 10.

3) Sabotage - The Beastie Boys - Ill Communication.
My favorite album from them, the one I feel has the most musicianship.
The song still fires me up.

4) Power of Love - Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys.
"With the power, of Soul, anything is possible...". Man, this blues trio
makes me feel good and filthy.

5) The Same Boy You've Always Known - The White Stripes.
I really, really like this. And it IS pretty tough to think about the
beginning of December.

6) Sometimes - James Brown - Hell.
Classic R & B. Like china silk, this tune. So much passion, character,
and tone. "Sometimes... I've got to meet you on the
dark side of the street..."

7) You Don't Know What Love Is - John Coltrane - Ballads.
Whew. This song has been with me since I was 13. It is rainy-day
perfection and brings tears and reflection to my heart in an instant.
God, I think this may be the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.

8) Friends - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III.
Wonderful use of strings on this tune!
"Mmm, I'm telling you now, The greatest thing you ever can do now,
Is trade a smile with someone who's blue now, It's very easy just...
So anytime somebody needs you, don't let them down, although it
grieves you, Some day you'll need someone like they do,
looking for what you knew."

9) The Dream of the Blue Turtles - Sting - (Album Title).
Funky Jazz thing. Fun and rang-y.

10) Quick and To The Pointless - Queens of the Stone Age - Rated R.
Awesomely awesome. I can vividly picture succubi in cheerleader
outfits singing "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah!". This tune is so much fun.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Blue Magnetic Eagle


"To be yourself, in a world that tries, night and day,
to make you just like everybody else -
is to fight the greatest battle there ever is to fight, and never stop fighting..."
~ E.E. Cummings

Friday, August 3, 2007

Movie Review Haiku

The Simpsons Movie


Not the face of God
yet happiness can be found
within Spider-Pig.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Mexican Adventure...



Indiana Heath, originally uploaded by candirufilms.

Click on the Image for more...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Movie Review Haiku

Live Free or Die Hard


How implausible
John McClane and the Mac guy
Make one's summer sweet

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Babies: Total Freakin' Liars.

I've long held the contention that babies are among the most stupid of God's creatures,
and I've taken plenty of heat for it. Now comes this...
It was always believed that babies' tiny minds could not handle the more
difficult aspects of deception until the age of 4. A few months ago,
behavioural experts at the University of Portsmouth's Psychology
Department found that babies learn to lie at 6 months old.

From the article:

Infants quickly learned that using tactics such as fake crying and
pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months,
more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing
forbidden activities or trying to distract parents' attention.

By the age of two, toddlers could use far more devious techniques,
such as bluffing when threatened with a punishment.
Dr. Vasudevi
Reddy said: "Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of
deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though
nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait
to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.


I have said it before, and I will say it again: babies are diabolical lifeforms.
The foundation of my long held belief that babies are morons received
a shocking hit today. They are not morons.
They are simply playing a horrifying game of possum with us all.
Watch your back, people...