Thursday, November 30, 2006
FAVE FOTO FRIDAY! Ok, this time I went from the sublime to the ridiculous. Now, tell me the truth; is this not the scariest photo you've EVER seen in your LIFE?!?!?! You KNOW it is! No film by George A Romero has caused me quite the amount of shivers as this demonic daguerrotype. We're now only awaiting the arrival of the FOURTH horseman of the apocalypse (I wonder if that back seat will hold all 4 of 'em). Seriously though, it IS a good idea to have airbags in the back seat but 3 seems to be a little excessive!
DECEMBER'S EYE CANDY (with apologies to Ms. Henri for stealing her idea again but, like I said, we're married so it's community property): This month it's the sublime JOAN ARMATRADING! She's been making beautiful music since the 70's and she's still going strong! Everyone may now commence to groveling at her feet. . .
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
THANKS FOR THE BOOGIE RIDE! Another sad loss to the world of music occurred on Thanksgiving morning when the great jazz vocalist Anita O'Day died on November 23rd at the age of 87. Anita was what can only be described as a "pistol". She was known as the "Jezebel of Jazz" who started out with Gene Krupa's band before going out on her own for a long career as a vocalist. Never a voice as polished as Ella Fitzgerald or as accomplished as Sarah Vaughan, O'Day sold a song on pure balls and chutzpah! In the very first concert film ever made (and a personal favourite) "Jazz On A Summer's Day", Anita appeared at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and managed to make such tired old songs as "Tea For Two" sound thrilling with her rapid-fire singing. She would later recount unapologetically that she was high as a kite during that performance and all through her life she struggled with alcohol and drug addiction (she almost died from a heroin overdose in 1969). However, she managed to last and last (as well as kicking her habits). In fact, this very year of 2006 she even released a new album entitled "Indestructible". And you know what, that's exactly what she seemed to be until she at last succumbed to the fate which awaits us all. I'm not sure which of her album covers is my favourite; I always loved the "Swings Cole Porter with Billy May" cover but you've just GOTTA love her portrait on the cover of "Incomparable". . .just look at her "take no prisoners" attitude as well as that faboo metallic green eyeliner. Her official website advises us to pay our respects by playing a song by Anita and making a toast to her. I think I'll do that. Sleep well, Anita. . . you were a hell of a broad!
Friday, November 24, 2006
BEWARE BLACK FRIDAY!!!! Yep, it's the day after Thanksgiving and I certainly hope none of my frenzied friends are dumb enough to venture out shopping today. Mama Cerpts likes to think he's raised you smarter than that. But if, for some reason, you feel that you absolutely HAVE to venture forth and consume, just be careful and watch your heinies! And for those poor souls who have to work at the Hellmouth I say, "Go ahead and snap those ear piece thingies in half and live a little!"
THE WORLD NOW HAS A TEAR IN IT'S VOICE. Just wanted to take a (belated) moment to mark the passing of an R&B great. The legendary Ruth Brown died Nov. 17th at the age of 78. Often called "Miss Rhythm" and "The Girl with the Tear in Her Voice", Ruth Brown practically MADE Atlantic Records; in fact, Atlantic Records was often known in the 50's as "The House That Ruth Built" because of the lady's amazing string of hits including the towering "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean". After her particular type of R&B went out of fashion, Ruth Brown was criminally reduced to taking menial jobs until THANKFULLY in the last couple decades she was able to record once again (as well as justly being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame). Sadly, Ruth Brown's voice has now been silenced but she has left us an incredible legacy of recordings.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I was very sad to hear the news that Marian Marsh, who will forever be known to cinema buffs as Trilby, died November 9th. Marian Marsh appeared in the first sound horror film after 1931's Dracula: Svengali starring John Barrymore. Seen here as she appeared in the film, Marian Marsh was only a youngster and was mentored by the "Great Profile" John Barrymore. Shockingly, the neophyte actress not only held her own with the distinguished Broadway and film star, but she also managed to turn in a magnificent performance in her own right. Marsh as Trilby is vivacious, flirtatious, impish and full of life at the beginning of the film but, as the evil mesmerist Svengali takes control of her mind, Trilby begins to become sullen and literally wastes away. The effort to keep Trilby under a constant state of hypnosis also causes Svengali himself to waste away. One fantastic scene (in pre-Code Hollywood) has Svengali exert his hypnotic influence to cause Trilby to suddenly fall in love with him; the lust in Marsh's eyes as she reaches for Svengali is an amazing performance. Svengali then lets his hypnotic influence fade and Trilby falls back into unconsciousness. "Ah no," sighs the mesmerist, "It is only Svengali talking to himself again." The evil Maestro realized he cannot REALLY have Trilby and his heart is broken. Brilliant. The film was justly nominated for 2 Oscars and remains one of the finest of 1930's horror films. Sadly, Marian Marsh's sudden stardom didn't last since her career simply couldn't compete with her own performance as Trilby. Her star quickly faded and she retired from acting. However, she did make a few notable horror genre appearances including a re-teaming with John Barrymore in "The Mad Genius" as well as co-starring with Boris Karloff in "The Black Room". Marian also played Sonya in Peter Lorre's acclaimed film version of "Crime and Punishment". Another personal favourite of mine is the 1940's poverty row old dark house chiller called "Murder By Invitation" which found Marian Marsh towards the end of her career but still wonderful alongside a host of well-beloved horror genre character actors including Wallace "The Mummy's Hand" Ford, Gavin "Bride of Frankenstein"Gordon, Minerva "The Devil Doll" Urecal and others. The actress retired from filmmaking in the 40's but returned one final time in 1957 to appear in a one-episode television pilot before retiring for good. Marian Marsh's career blazed like a comet over 1930's Hollywood and then rapidly faded to black. However, those of us who love movies as well as those of us who love horror will always remember Marian Marsh as the incandescent artist's model Trilby who fell under the claw of the evil Svengali and entered into cinema history.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Groundbreaking ceremonies took place today for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hopes are that the memorial will be completed by 2008. Isn't it nice that this nation is choosing to commemorate a man who stood for the principals on which this country was founded. And isn't it a shame this country still doesn't follow those principals in the world at large or here at home.
"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. "
THIS MONTH'S EYE CANDY! That's right, Ms. Henri, I stole your idea. But there's absolutely nothing you can do about it because we're married and the copyright on monthly eye candy is community property so I get to use the idea as well! So there! But anyway, TANIA SAULNIER is my eye candy for the month. She's super duper in the wonderful film "Slither" and if you haven't seen it you owe it to yourself to run right out and shoplift it because it's hilarious! In the film, Tania does a wonderful job taking a bath while an alien zombie slug swims directly at her and tries to take over her body. Of course, personality is a huge factor with me so besides being beautiful Tania has a helluvan attractive attitude and can act like crazy! I hear she's also in that remake of The Wicker Man thing but we won't hold that against her. Yes, she's definitely my type as those who know me will no doubt attest. Yep, those eyes definitely look hazel to me! Dark hair light eyes I'm all yours. And that's YOUR tough luck! There's just one thing, Tania -- your hair's brown so stop trying to lighten it. You're beginning to piss me off. This month's eye candy could change at a moment's notice!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
WALKING TALL! There is a phenomenon in Officeland (Hi Pax!) which also holds true in every other walk of life -- and that's the walker. Or different types of walker one has to endure while trying to get thru this life. I'm not talking the regular walker here -- I'm referring to the incompetent walker. You know the ones I mean. These are people who, for one reason or another, have not managed to get the hang of walking -- even though they have reached the age of adulthood and apparently have managed to feed themselves and hold down a job.
Now there are several types of walkers whom I encounter on a daily basis; let's see if you recognize any of them, shall we?
Firstly we have the basic rules of walking which most people follow (unless of course you're English -- Hi Ernest! -- and drive on the left) and that is that one should walk like they drive. The general rule is "Keep right! Keep right!" You know, just like George W. Anyway, this is not THAT essential until we come to the subject of corners -- of which there are a LOT in the office where I work. Now, this first incompetent walker is the person who keeps to the left when they're walking around a corner -- result being that you, who are walking correctly on the right hand side, will collide or nearly collide with the person barrelling around the corner on the left. This type of incompetent walker I call "The Mini Cooper" because they not only keep to the left but also careening around corners like Michael Caine with a shipment of gold! This person is also the same person who usually looks at you like YOU should excuse yourself.
The second incompetent walker I call "The Linda Blair". Why. Because this is the guy who is walking towards you at full speed while facing the other direction. Usually it's a good idea to look in the direction which you are walking but this fella is walking forwards while he has his head turned around to see where he's been. He's invariably holding a conversation with someone behind him but doesn't think enough of this person to actually stop and listen to them. Needless to say, this guy is barrelling towards YOU while looking behind him resulting either in a collision (which he will look at you as if YOU should excuse YOURSELF) or causes you to have to jump wildly out of this nitwit's way.
Next we have "The Center of the Universe". This is the person who is floating in the middle of a busy hallway showing no progress and either staring blankly into space or having a conversation with someone who is ALSO "The Center of the Universe" -- result being that people walking in either direction cannot get through while "The Center of the Universe" makes no effort to move out of the way OR even acknowledge your presence. Hey, this person can even be combined with Pax's favourite: The Office Popcorn-Bag-Shaker!
Now we come to "Halley's Comet" -- this is the person who seems to be walking normally on the right hand side BUT WAIT!!! That's just a ruse. Suddenly their path starts to curve inexorably towards the oncoming you -- for no reason other than Kepler's law of elliptical orbits, apparently. This person does not want to talk to you; does not even make eye contact with you. Perhaps they were born on the side of a mountain. Either way, while you are innocently walking on the right hand side this other person is slowly curving towards you on a collision course. I think that person is usually named Velikovsky.
Next we find "The Heel-Toe-It". Now this person is always in front of you. You are usually in a hurry or else carrying something heavy. And yes, this person walks so slowly that a snail would give them windburn. Now sometimes this person may have bad feet or be morbidly obese or elderly; then it's not really something they can help and one just has to grin and bear it because frankly it would be rude to make an issue out of it. However, the REAL "Heel-Toe-It" is physically fit as a fiddle and ready for love -- as long as they don't have to RUN to get it. Because they ain't gonna get there any time soon. And neither are you because you're stuck behind them. "The Heel-Toe-It" can frequently be found with other "Heel-Toe-It" carrying on a conversation while inching slowly along; does this convert them into "Center of the Universes"?!?! The controversy still rages on!
Naturally there are some incompetent walkers I've forgotten to mention. I'm sure you can come up with a few. . .
Thursday, November 09, 2006
A THUMPING WE WILL GO -- OK, so Rummy's outta here. The Prez sez that the timing means nothing and it was planned all along for Rummy to step down at this time -- Coincidentally after this huge "thumping" at the voting booth for the Republican Party and conversely the Bush Administration. Of course, that's ridiculous. We're actuallys seeing the typical behaviour of a spoiled rich kid caught doing something wrong. So he points his finger and says, "No, you don't understand! It was HIS fault! HE did it!" I'd be interested to see who else in the administration will be leaving in the weeks and months to come. Also, if it actually WAS planned for Rummy to go now when they're dumber than we thought they were because, no matter what they say, it looks to all the rest of the planet as if the guy was canned because the American public has turned on the administration and its policies. Granted, Rummy botched things from the start and should've been gone LONG ago. But hey, who hired him and agreed with him on starting a war with absolutely no plan of what to do once we were there or, in fact, how to successfully conclude it? Who was the guy's boss, after all? The buck stops where? Right here --->
So it's going to be a LONG two years for the Prez faced with a Democratic Congress. Can you say "gridlock"? Prez can either veto everything and be viewed as an obstructionist who is thwarting the will of the people (demonstrated by the results of this election) or he can allow his policies to be reversed one by one. Since he has perverted the Republican Party to his (and his ultra-right wing cronies') personal agendas, I'm hoping for the latter but I don't see that happening. I also really don't see the former happening either; unless he really IS as stupid as he looks and I don't believe he is. I think he'll probably let minor reversals through and veto the big ones; which will STILL look like obstruction if he starts vetoing too many. Of course, now we have the Democratic Party in the majority in the House and the Senate. In typical Democratic fashion, I suspect they may very probably start gloating and feeling vindicated; shouting to the skies that they were right all along and start over-taxing the American public and generally slipping into the same old behaviour that lost them control of Congress for the last 12 years. The Democratic Party needs to realize that they didn't really WIN this election so much as the Republican Party lost it; the stance of Bush Republicans has become SO reprehensible to the vast majority of American people that swing voters went around 60% for Democratic candidates in order to voice their displeasure with the status quo. As always in politics, people voted for the lesser of two evils. So if they're not very careful, the Democratic Party could hand over the next election right back to the Republican Party in two years. I guess, as always, we'll all just have to wait and see.
THOSE WACKY ITALIANS! OK, here we go. Way back in the 70's, when gothic horror knew how to be gothic horror, there was a series of fumetti published in Italy concerning the adventures of a bi-sexual vampire named Zora La Vampira. Now, I don't claim to know anything more about her or the series since I've never actually read them (and since they're in Italian I wouldn't be able to anyway). However, the covers were particularly striking and, for no other reason than because I felt like it, I'm putting several of them up here for your perusal. They are so particularly Italian in their execution with the combination of glossy "good girl" pulp artwork and gothic horror art which looks so completely 70's. They even employ that peculiarly stubborn European tendency to disregard international copyright laws by including swipes from horror movie posters; that second cover features artwork stolen from a Peter Cushing movie poster and the third cover pictured features a likeness of German Robles from the Mexican horror movie "Il Vampiro aka The Vampire". Hey! Lookit down there -- Zora's makin' it with a Mummy! What will they think of next?!? Nevertheless, these covers combine the erotic with terror in a series of covers which are just simply groovy. . .and make sure to click on each cover to get a really good look at 'em. But, of course, you may want to bring along some garlic. . .unless you don't mind getting bitten.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
20 YEARS AGO IN RUSTLER HISTORY: When Marlton Rustler Steak House (the greatest job in this or any other universe -- and here's an arial view of the Marlton Rustler on Route 70 back in the day with the old Gino's next door) closed down in May 1986, those few, proud and faithful transferred to Cinnaminson Rustler (yeah . . . they couldn't compare in a million years). Let me set the scene. ***WARNING - THIS BLOG CONTAINS RUSTLERSPEAK*** Lil Ole Me was working the greeter box ("Party Hienyiew") and our own beloved Paulster Paul was working salad bar. Our own beloved Cheekies had already punched off and was waiting for me to get done work so we could go frolic somewhere. (I promise he wasn't going to "410" me"). I was watching the clock (as was my wont) since I had 10 minutes to go in my shift. There I was calling back the orders all these dates were placing("Uh....one yellow five, one brown two and a lunch at the Y please.") as I innocently placed those plaques down on the rabble's (read: customers) tray. One of the rabble was an old man slightly younger than the Milky Way Galaxy. Slightly. Anyway, Paulster Paul, being the dutiful and thrifty employee that he was, was dutifully and thriftily spraying down the salad bar with a spray bottle of filled with water. Suddenly, the old man squawked: "What's that you're spraying there, sonny?" "Water." replied Paulster Paul. "Hmh." snorted the oldster, "Smells like bleach to me." Annoyed at the persnicketiness of senile citizens, Paul repeated emphatically, "No. It's water!" But then Paulster smelled it. Oops. Yeah, you guessed it! Some idiot (read: Cinnaminson Rustler employee NOT originally from Marlton) left a bottle of bleach water up by the salad bar where no such bottle should ever be found. "Hurtin' for certain without a curtain like Richard Burton who's no longer flirtin'!" "Cerptsy," said Paulster, "Close down the salad bar for a while!" Cue the mad scramble to take every crock of salad bar goodness (now contaminated with bleach) off the salad bar and replace them all. Cue the ENORMOUSLY obese manager Big John to come wobbling out at a frenetic pace in full panic. Cue Cerptsy and Paulster to start giggling. That is, until Cerptsy realizes that he's going to have to stay on the clock an extra HOUR before the whole salad bar is replaced and he will have to postpone frolics with Cheekies. Major bummer, dude. The only bright spot was, of course, when Big John clobbered himself on top of his head with a rack as he was rushing the tall cart into the back room. Ah well, Cinnaminson Rustler was extremely lame anyway and, when they closed down a mere 3 months later, we weren't surprised (or that sorry).
Next time remind me to tell you about the time when a customer asked me if a potato comes with the meal and I answered, "Yeah, if they time it right!"
Saturday, November 04, 2006
If you think that I don't know about depression and emotional pain, you're insane, or you're a fool who hasn't paid attention to a word that I say. In a way, I can't help but feel responsible. I always knew that you were insane with your pain. But I never thought you'd be a junkie because heroin is so passe now-a-days.
You never thought you'd get addicted, just be cooler in an obvious way. I could say, shouldn't you have got a couple piercings and decided maybe that you were gay?
In a way I can't help but feel responsible, I always knew that you were insane with your pain
But I never thought you'd be a junkie
because heroin is so passe
Go straight to hell boys
Y'wanna join in a chorus
Of the Amerasian blues?
When it's Christmas out in Ho Chi Minh City
Kiddie say papa papa papa papa-san take me home
See me got photo photo
Photograph of you
Mamma Mamma Mamma-san
Of you and Mamma Mamma Mamma-san
Lemme tell ya 'bout your blood bamboo kid.
It ain't Coca-Cola it's rice.
Straight to hell
Oh Papa-san Please take me home
Everybody they wanna go home
So Mamma-san says
You wanna play mind-crazed banjo
On the druggy-drag ragtime U.S.A.?
In Parkland International
Hah! Junkiedom U.S.A.
Where procaine proves the purest rock man groove
and rat poison
The volatile Molatov says-
PSSST...HEY CHICO WE GOT A MESSAGE FOR YA...
VAMOS VAMOS MUCHACHO
FROM ALPHABET CITY ALL THE WAY A TO Z, DEAD, HEAD
Go straight to hell
Can you really cough it up loud and strong
They wanna sing all night long
It could be anywhere
Most likely could be any frontier
No man's land and there ain't no asylum here
King Solomon he never lived round here
Go straight to hell boys
Go straight to hell boys
I was half the naked distance between hell and heavens ceiling
And he almost pulled me under
Now someones on the telephone, desperate in his pain
Someones on the bathroom floor doing her cocaine
Someones got his finger on the button in some room
No one can convince me we aren't gluttons for our doom
But I tried to make this place my place
I asked for providence to smile upon me with his sweet face
But Ill tell you
My place is of the sun and this place is of the dark
And I do not feel the romance I do not catch the spark
They put their medals on the sideboards and they went back to their farms
For it was just a mere reminder that they stood beside the best
That God had saved the chosen few and the devil took the rest
On the plains above the rock face where the sculptured eagles swoop
There's a haunted yell for action among the spectres of his troops
It was silent on the coastline as the crazy angels danced
With the sound of retreating footfall from his military camp
Take it home, take it low, take responsibilities
Came the message from the front
For the captains, captains quarters must retreat
And I don’t know where it went to
Somebody caused me strife
And it’s not what I was seeking.
Didn’t you see me, didn’t you hear me
Didn’t you see me standing there
Why did you turn out the lights
Did you know that I was sleeping
Say a prayer for me
Help me to feel the strength I did
My identity has it been taken?
Is my heart breaking on me?
All my plans fell though my hands
They fell through my hands on me All my dreams it suddenly seems
Thursday, November 02, 2006
It is not only the height of arrogance but also the pinnacle of ignorance for anyone to insist they have the answers when it comes to faith or belief.
Anyone who says they know God exists and what He expects from us is mistaken. No one knows if God exists because there's no proof and there's not supposed to be. The whole definition of religious faith is to believe in something without requiring proof. If you "know" something exists then there is no need to have faith in it because you already know it's a fact. The whole point is to believe in something for which there is no proof. It's a little something called a "leap of faith". So if you believe there is a God then you do not require concrete proof; you have faith.
Consequently, those who say they know God does not exist are also mistaken. You don't know that either. You can either have faith in a God or not but you can't "know" it either way. Actually, and I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you don't know a lot of things. Neither do I. I just knew I had enough money in my bank account when I wrote that check -- until it bounced. I was mistaken when I thought I "knew" different. Scientists "knew" that the prehistoric coelocanth was extinct -- until some fisherman found one. You may think you know I'm wearing black pants -- until I turn the lights up higher and you see they are actually dark blue. Sometimes you'll be right but sometimes you'll be wrong. Just as you can't "know" that there is no other form of life on some planet far across the galaxy, you also can't "know" that there is not a God. I myself know enough to know that I don't know anything. And neither, my friend, do you. Saying that you "know" there is a God is just as arrogant and ignorant as saying that you "know" that there is not.
This is not to say that one should not have personal beliefs, religious or otherwise. Of course one should. One should keep them and hold them dear. We should all just remember that we are flawed human beings and these are "beliefs" not proven facts. So, since you can only "believe" these things are true and never really "know" it, I would advise everyone to believe whatever you want to believe but stop trying to ram your beliefs down everyone else's throats. You don't know it all and neither do I so get over yourself. If your neighbour wants to worship a head of lettuce named Howard; what's it to you? Or me? If, in your belief system, that means your neighbour is damned and will not go to heaven -- again, what's that to you or me. Who wants a crowded heaven? And, perhaps, when you and I both die, and we wake up to find ourselves in a great celestial salad bar of an afterlife presided over by Howard the Beatific Lettuce -- it might finally dawn on us that "Hey! Maybe I didn't know it all."
"I am wild, if you like; but I stayed in my burrow a long, long time -- nibbling your straws and snapping at your fingers, but always just a little out of reach. Until at last I got to trust you so much that one day I ventured out for a minute, -- and you threw rocks at me. And I will never come out again." --- Edna St. Vincent Millay