Thursday, October 23, 2008

He's A Rock - It - Man!

Most lovers of hammy actors who also like to sing (but should never have gone near a recording studio) have heard or seen Big Bill Shatner's take on Elton John's Rocket Man, right? A combination of low-tech video special effects and a disintegrating tuxedo - who needs a malfunctioning transporter to deliver multiple Shatners?

But ... have you seen TV cult fave Chris Eliott's take on the tune (and the performance)? Chris answers the question "Can a parody of a performance that was already a parody the moment it aired still be funny?" with a resounding, "Affirmative!"

And finally, here's Stewie Griffin's attempt to out-Shatner Shatner. Talk about in-jokes most teenagers wouldn't get (which does dispel the notion that Family Guy is aimed exclusively at adolescent males). Same goes for all of those musical comedy gags and references as well!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reason Number 288 ...

...why William Shatner will always be my all-time favorite actor.

Meeting John Waters

Taken September 21, 2006 at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro, North Carolina. JW looks dapper (as always) after spending two solid hours discussing his life, career, films and other topics of interest on stage. Waters once had actor Steve Buscemi pose for his annual Christmas Card mailing as "John Waters," but I think a receding hairline that has revealed an incredibly elongated forehead puts him more into looking like a sinister Don Knotts. He also looks oh so tiny next to the lumbering mass o' moi in this photo. If I look worse for wear, it is because I had taught a middle school English class all day before making the drive into downtown G'boro for the event. Not caught by the camera is my freshly signed first edition of Waters' book of essays, Shock Value, which I discovered eons ago at a used bookstore near Mims, Florida. My love of Waters isn't driven by his legendary film career, but rather from his writing (go figure) ... an oddity that I equate with my love of the music of The Monkees, but indifference to the television show. I think both have to do with how I discovered both Waters and Papa Nez, Davy, Peter and Micky - Waters via his first book (before seeing any of the movies), and the pre-fab four via their albums (after having dismissed the series as a kid).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trek Talk

Decent enough interview with the screenplay writers for the new Trek movie, although the interviewer comes across as a total gibbering schmuck (which is typical these days with web-based interviews, I'm sorry to say). Still, sounds like Kurtzman and Orci did their homework, and one of them is actually a hardcore Star Trek fan to boot. I have high hopes for the storyline, since this is the same team who wrote some of the best episodes of Alias (another one of my past television passions).

Cute Canine Alert!

This is Sophie, a recent Surry Animal Rescue girl who has the most adorable eyebrows on a dog I have ever seen. She is blessed with two tan Andy Rooney-like tufts that gives her upper forehead and humble eyes an amazing depth of expression. She's sweet, gentle and has a peaceful soul ... and I think I'm in love. Too bad she's already been promised to my sister-in-law, and will soon be traveling up North to live in Massachusetts. Here's hoping I can negotiate for visitation rights....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cool Books You Won't Find At Wal-Mart #2

Age of TV Heroes
The Live-Action Adventures of
Your Favorite Comic Book Characters
by Jason Hofius and George Khoury

Actually, as of this writing, you can't find this book ANYWHERE (the release date isn't until December 17, 2008), but check out that line-up on the cover! George Reeves, Adam West, Lynda Carter and Jackson Bostwick in their super-hero guises that inspired comic book fans throughout the 1950s to the present day as painted by Alex Ross.

Inside are interviews with the actors, producers, writers and creators who translated both Marvel and DC heroes alike into living icons for lovers of adventure and fantasy. Thrill to the memories of Nick Hammond (a.k.a. Spider-Man), John Wesley Shipp (The Flash) and even the current voice of Brock Samson himself, Patrick Warburton (or, as he was in his live-action incarnation, The Tick)!

A friend recently asked me if I ever get excited about anything these days ... well, here's something exciting, and we're all going to have to wait until Christmas to open our present!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oddest MSN Banner Ever

This one speaks for itself. Trust me when I say it is the real deal straight to you from the homepage, and has been unaltered by yours truly in any form or fashion. I suppose clicking it took you to some strange health article, but I'm still trying to figure out the juxtaposition with the male enlarged breasts "bonus" feature.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stuff About Poe ...

... as written in a "round robin biographical recall" by my 11th graders:

  1. Poe had a very bad childhood.

  2. He was cursed.

  3. His real mother & wife died at the age of 24.

  4. His step-father didn't like him.

  5. His last name was Poe.

  6. Poe was 40 years old when he died.

  7. He wrote short stories.

  8. Poe lived in Richmond, VA.

  9. He's dead.

  10. His middle name of Allan was not used until after his death.

  11. He wrote "The Raven."

  12. Poe was most famous for his horror stories.

  13. Poe's horrible life was the reason for the horror stories.

  14. He was weird.

  15. Poe's mother and wife died of TB.

  16. He joined the military.

  17. Hooked up with his 13-year-old cousin.

  18. He had a weird looking mustache.

  19. Poe could not hold his booze.

  20. He liked writing better than I did.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What Are You Currently Reading?

Yes, I know Banned Books Week ends today ... all the more important to keep awareness of it alive for the other 51 weeks of the year.

So, with that in mind ... go here to get the basics.

Then, read a column about how "lucky" we are in this part of North Carolina not to have major issues with book banners and their ilk (ah, apathy ...).

For a good chuckle, enjoy the list of books that then-Mayor Sarah Palin supposedly wanted banned from the Wasilla Public Library (the laugh comes from imagining Palin actually reading even a tenth of these books that made the fake hit list).

And finally, in honor of Banned Books Week, here' s a quick quiz.