Monday, January 31, 2011

Adventures in Sunday Culture

If there's one thing to know about me, it's to know how big a fan I am of High Culture.

For example, where did I go yesterday after listening to a Kate Bush tribute concert? Why, the Museum of Television & Radio, of course. What did I see? Why, I'll tell you.

First of all, who knew that Gypsy Rose Lee hosted her own San Francisco-based talk show in 1958? And that one of her guests was Miss Ethel Merman, fresh off her run playing Gypsy Rose Lee's mom in Gypsy. In this pic Ethel is wearing a giant fur hat and Gypsy is putting a bunch of hot dog links around her neck like a scarf. Of course.

Then, here we have Carol Burnett and Ella Fitzgerald doing a medley of duets, including the moment where Carol screams "Harry's dead!" while Ella swings "Mack the Knife." I had seen this before, and I will see it again.

Oh this? Why it's Shelley Winters on Conan O'Brien. She's ostensibly there to talk about her stint as Rosanne's grandmother on TV, but she manages to describe what it would be like to make love to Andy Richter AND calls Gene Hackman "a little bitch" for being difficult when they made Poseidon Adventure together. And she holds her breath for a minute fifteen seconds while Conan times her. And as you can see, she is for some reason wearing a sheriff's badge.

And to end? Miss Bette Davis on the Tonight Show. This shot? She's shaking hands with Richard Pryor.

Here's a crappy taping of that moment in time. It's shaky enough to make you seasick while watching, but definitely worth it to hear Ms. Davis' incomparable reading of the word "Charming."

Charming, indeed. Culture!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This Man's Work

There are worse soundtracks to Sunday morning swiffering.

More details here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"How Many Girls Here Slept With Howard Hughes?"

How is it possible I have never blogged this? I mean, how is it possible that Debbie Reynolds did an exercise tape with Shelley Winters, Teri Garr, and Dionne Warwick, and I never blogged it? Why was Shelley invited? Why did she accept? How were the other ladies involved? Where was Carrie Fisher during this? I have so many questions, just like Shelley does.

I wish I could just "fun around" with Shelley Winters before an exercise class.

Angels, Rejoicing

Rest in Peace, Charlie Louvin. You made a lot of great music, but I'll always love you for this one album you & your brother did.

Let's hope you were a good boy, and/or the album title was wrong.

Here's an audio taste.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cats, Science, Friendships

Here are two things that happened.

Tylden emailed me this, he clearly has an alert for "Cats" and "Science" and knows to think of me.

I don't know where I found this one, but I'm glad I did.

The End.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Pirate Movie

Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing my favorite movie for the first time.

The Pirate Movie is a 1982 musical adaptation of Pirates of Penzance, starring Kirsty McNichol (Family, Empty Nest, Carpenter's Christmas Special) and Christopher Atkinson (Blue Lagoon). I had just eaten a cheeseburger with some pals when we decided to blow our minds with this lost classic.

I'm a little hazy on the plot because I feel asleep a few times, plus it was confusing, plus the director was also the lead villain, and also all I know of Gilbert & Sullivan is from that one episode of The West Wing where that lady from CSI got hazed by the handsome man from St. Elmo's Fire. In other news, it was REALLY REALLY good whenever I was awake.

Not convinced? Here's the original trailer:

Basically Kristy McNichol is a nerd who carries around a boom box and buys everyone McDonald's, and Christopher Atkinson is a hot fencing instructor. And then later she turns into a princess and he's a hot pirate orphan who wears this International Male swimsuit/diaper a lot. And they fall in love.

The music? Well, half of it was G&S songs from Penzance, with some playing around with the lyrics. The other half was original pop songs, written by Terry Britten. Britten is a name I certainly know from my high school days - he wrote for Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Lisa Stansfield, Olivia Newton-John, and others. This is the man who brought us "What's Love Got To Do With It" and that other 80s soundtrack classic, "We Don't Need Another Hero."

Also? It was really gay, those pirates.

I'm not sure what else to say, except thanks to Jimmy for introducing me to these 98 minutes of pure genius. Life is better now.

This here is the best song in the entire movie. It's worth watching maybe 5 or 6 times in a row, and then watching again.

"Pumpin' & Blowin'"? How can it get better than this.

In the immortal words of Kristy McNichol:

If you're treading water,
And romance is on the side,
You're going to have to swallow something more than water -
It's your pride.

God Bless us all, very much.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Well I Ain't Gonna Vote For You"

It's Sunday, so I must be looking for new Shelley Winters clips on YouTube.

I sure hope she & Leslie Nielsen are having a good time up in heaven right now.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Like Chocolate & Peanut Butter

OK, so last year when I drove to Maryland and back to see my nephew, I listened to Della Reese the entire way. This year? I played the new Kanye on loop back and forth.

Mashing up what might be the best song with the Muppets? An act of extreme disrespect or genius?

I mean, if you can make the Virgin Mary out of elephant poop and call it art, then this too deserves its spot in the Brooklyn Museum. And Miss Piggy oinking out the best rap in the piece? My life is complete. Right key, right hole baby.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Right Key, Wrong Hole Baby

Touched by an Angel indeed.

God Bless you to BITS, Miss Della Reese. God Bless you, to bits.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Could Be A Piano, Could Be A Fruit"

Genius. Pure, underwater, Genius.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remember How Christmas Was Last Month?

Maybe today is also like Christmas.

News Item:
Also? My favoritest of all her videos, today at least.

I mean, how can you go wrong with the skirt/hat/table/light combo? Oh, them heavy people.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This Is How We Do It, Waterfall Style

A frequent commenter on this site once said "Please explain what the hell is going on in these photos. Thank you." in reference to the last post I made on the waterfalls. Thus, a step by step on how you conquer every fear you've ever had by rappelling down a waterfall in Costa Rica.

First, you get all cinched in by the ticos.

Helmets, pads, belty things.

Then you cross a horrifying rope bridge.

Jump in and flop about in the water a bit.

Then you get to SLIDE DOWN a waterfall, like you're in an amusement park. Also, you bruise up your back a bit.

One tico scurries down the falls, then another ties you in and sorta explains to you what you're supposed to be doing (but mostly you gotta figure it out yourself).

Then? You just position yourself over the edge, lean back, and heave off.

See how far down that little man is?

Also, maybe you fall once or twice and have to pull yourself up. Confidence building!

Then you're at the bottom. Like superheroes!

God bless our brave men of Costa Rica.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And then this happened

The Naranjo River stole my zapato. I guess someone has to fall out the boat when you white-water raft.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011