Saturday, March 31, 2007

Footy Rules!

The AFL is back.

For Aussies it's been back for a few weeks, as they got to watch the NAB Cup. But we 'Merkins don't get those feeds.

Look to to your right. Yes, right there. See the little emblem? Collingwood FC?

Them's my boys, adopted years back. My buddy Zen thinks I'm a wanker for liking them, because they're the Yankees, the Man U, of Australian Football.

Eh, who cares. I love 'em.

The opening game at the heart of the league, the MCG, was a ripper, to be sure.

For the first three quarters Collingwood never led; down 9 points at quarter time, 17 at the half, and 25 at the end of the third quarter. Suddenly, in the fourth, the boys remembered how to play footy and roared back in one of the better comebacks in recent memory, outscoring the 'Roos 7 goals to 2 to eke out a three point win.


The officiating was horrifying, and early on the myriad mistakes favored the Kangaroos. Yet in the final term Collingwood finally got the better end of a blunder, which while it might be discussed is rendered pretty meaningless in that the player completely shanked his kick from 20 out that might have been the winner for the Roos. Not to mention that a missed high tackle led effectively to a 12 point swing in the Roos favor. The North Melbournites won't want to talk about those decisions, though.

Let 'em squeak. I picked my Pies to finish in the top four this season, against all sense and reason. Maybe they can get 21 more games of luck and heart?

Good Old Collingwood Forever!

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

What are YOU Lookin' at?

Hey, I'm still here. I'm just busier than a three-legged cat burying turds on a frozen pond...

Watch this space eagerly in anticipation, if you will...


Friday, March 23, 2007

Movie MeMe

In the current spirit of March Movie Madness and all around cinemaness, I copped this from Joe the Troll.

1. Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times.

Searching for Bobby Fischer

2. Name a movie you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.

The Rescuers (The summer I turned 10!)

3. Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie.

I can't name just one, so I'll name three. Liam Neeson, William H. Macy, and Kate Winslet.

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie.

Steven Seagall. No, you don't need a link! He's a schmuck.

5.Name a movie you can and do quote from.

Pulp Fiction, "I'm sorry, did I break your concentration?"

6. Name a movie musical in which you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

Hmmmm, Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera, Westside Story, and now Godspell (LOL).

7. Name a movie you have been known to sing along with.

The aforementioned Jesus Christ Superstar

8. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.

OMG, let me see. I'll have to name five. On the Waterfront, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, Chinatown, and Searching for Bobby Fischer.

9. Name a movie you own.

What? I own like 150... Okay, Casablanca.

10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

I've got to go with Joe on this one, Wil Smith.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?

Yes, quite a few. How about Titanic.

12. Ever made out in a movie?

Of course!

13. Name a movie you keep meaning to see but you just haven’t gotten around to yet.

Scarface, believe it or not.

14. Ever walked out of a movie?

No, but came close a couple of times.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

Ordinary People, Kramer vs. Kramer, a few others.

16. Popcorn?

Oh, you betcha!

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?

Three or four times a year. Tough to do with little kids in the house.

18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?

LOL, I think it was the Curious George movie a year or so ago!

19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?

I'm kind of stuck on Film Noir right now, but I like indie style dramas and detective stories, and I'm a sucker for really good Fantasy and SciFi flicks.

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

Jaws. I had just turned eight and talked grandma into it :-)

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?

I can't think of one, really. I've seen some that are pretty poor, but I can usually smell a stinker from a mile away. If I had to pick one, I'd have to say Batman and Robin. That sucked!

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

Pink Floyd, The Wall

23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?

Night of the Living Dead (original Romero version.)

24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?

Hmmmm, there've been a few. I liked Dumb & Dumber, History of the World, Spaceballs, among others.

Friday, March 16, 2007

March Movie Madness Sideshow

What? You're already done with your picks for Kos's March Movie Madness and you're sitting about twiddling your thumbs awaiting 6PM Eastern?

Well, I've got something here to pass the time: It's Looney's Triple-M Sideshow!

Following are 64 movie quotes. They're not just any quotes, though, each is from one of the movies in the original bracket. So you've got a list to go with. Some of these are easier than others, certainly. Some quotes are just too precious to pass up, even if they are relative freebies.

Only two rules. If your name is Jeff, you can only answer 10 at the most, at least until peeps have given up on the rest. (Actually, that rule applies to anyone!) The second is, come on, say it with me: NO GOOGLING!

UPDATE: Okay, the answers are filled in, along with the person who posted the correct answer first! Thanks for playing along!

So, here we go:

1. When a man says no to champagne, he says no to life.
The Deer Hunter - Kos

2. I think I shall have to hang you twice.
The African Queen - Kos

3. I can't rewrite what's perfect!
Amadeus - Kos

4. What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end.
All About Eve - Kos

5. A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.
The Wizard of Oz - Kos

6. How's everything in the pimp business?
Taxi Driver - O'Tim

7. How could I have known that murder could sometimes smell like honeysuckle?
Double Indemnity - Kos

8. Well, apparently, we're both suffering from a deplorable lack of curiosity.
Sound of Music - O'Tim

9. What do you call assassins who accuse assassins?
Apocalypse Now - Kos

10. Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.
Dr. Strangelove - Mark

11. With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.
Gone with the Wind - Eden

12. And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death.
All Quiet on the Western Front

13. I don't care what the reasons are: I forbid you to fight.
To Kill a Mockingbird - Kos

14. You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life.
Star Wars - Eden

15. In the world of advertising, there's no such thing as a lie. There's only expedient exaggeration.
North by Northwest - Kos

16. Oh, Frank, my lips are hot. Kiss my hot lips.
MASH - Mark

17. Who's an animal? Your mother's an animal, ya son of a bitch.
Raging Bull - Eden

18. A man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth. But a man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it.
Lawrence of Arabia

19. How do you explain school to a higher intelligence?
E.T.: The Extraterrestrial - Kos

20. We'll tell you anything you want to hear, we lie like hell.
Network - Kos

21. I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows till you come home.
Duck Soup - Paula

22. My, we seem to be a little short on brotherly love round here.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Kos

23. Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.
A Clockwork Orange - Joe

24. Never let anyone outside the family know what you're thinking.
The Godfather - Mark

25. Who are you to refuse my sugar? Who are you to refuse me anything?
Doctor Zhivago

26. You can't buy a bag of peanuts in this town without someone writing a song about you.
Citizen Kane - Kos

27. It only took me one night to realize if brains were dynamite you couldn't blow your nose.
American Graffiti - O'Tim

28. According to you, people should be born, live, and die in the same place.
Rear Window - Kos

29. There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five.
Sunset Boulevard - Nat

30. Pay attention, we're gonna ask questions later!
The French Connection

31. Either I'm dead right, or I'm crazy!
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

32. My grammy never gave gifts. She was too busy getting raped by Cossacks.
Annie Hall - Kos

33. There are two kinds of people in this world: Those that enter a room and turn the television set on, and those that enter a room and turn the television set off.
The Manchurian Candidate - Kos

34. Do not speak to me of rules. This is war! This is not a game of cricket!
Bridge Over the River Kwai - O'Tim

35. 'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.
Chinatown - Kos

36. Frankly, you're beginning to smell and for a stud in New York, that's a handicap.
Midnight Cowboy - O'Tim

37. I been savin' this money for a divorce, if ever I got a husband.
It's a Wonderful Life - O'Tim

38. Deliberate cruelty is unforgivable, and the one thing of which I have never, ever been guilty of.
A Streetcar Named Desire - Eden

39. Well, uh, it doesn't make much sense for a guy who hates the water to live on an island either.
Jaws - Eden

40. Don't be alarmed, ladies and gentlemen. Those chains are made of chrome steel.
King Kong - Paula

41. Look, All you have to do is tell me what it's worth to you. What's a person worth to you?
Schindler's List - Kos

42. We've been waiting here an hour. He's peed three times already.
Fargo - Kos

43. Real diamonds! They must be worth their weight in gold!
Some Like it Hot - Eden

44. He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Kos

45. I'm the only cause I'm interested in.
Casablanca - O'Tim

46. Are you here for an affair, sir?
The Graduate - Paula

47. Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. Well, they better wise up!
On the Waterfront - Kos

48. You know something? You read too many comic books.
Rebel Without a Cause - O'Tim

49. All I can say is, they did right by me - and I'm bringin' me and a mess of flowers to their funeral.
Bonnie & Clyde - Kos

50. If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.
The Godfather II - Nat

51. What do they think I am? Dumb or something? Why, I make more money than - than - than Calvin Coolidge! Put together!
Singin' in the Rain - Kos

52. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you.
2001: A Space Odyssey - Don

53. This is the Voice of Doom calling. Your days are numbered, to the seventh son of the seventh son.
Philadelphia Story - O'Tim

54. Get out of my way son, you're usin' my oxygen.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Kos

55. Let's go to a phone booth or something, huh? Where I will unveil a fifth of whiskey, I have hidden here under my loose, flowing sports shirt.
From Here to Eternity - Kos

56. Sure, mom, I settle down with a nice girl every night, then I'm free the next morning.
Goodfellas - Joe

57. This is just a dirty little village in the middle of nowhere. Nothing that happens here is really important.
High Noon

58. She might have fooled me, but she didn't fool my mother.
Psycho - Paula

59. Seems like the government's got more interest in a dead man than a live one.
Grapes of Wrath

60. I come from a long line of stubborn idiots!
It Happened One Night - Kos

61. I distrust a man who says "when." If he's got to be careful not to drink too much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does.
The Maltese Falcon - Kos

62. Come in, come in! We won't bite you until we know you better.
West Side Story - Kos

63. I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace.
Easy Rider - Kos

64. You know, the worst ain't so bad when it finally happens. Not half as bad as you figure it'll be before it's happened.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Kos

All right! Get to it!

The LooneyBracket

Thanks to Jeff, I have a piccie too!!! It is so KEWL that I want to just stare at it for awhile. Okay, all done. Now I'm posting it up.

It's the winner, so don't actually pay attention until the deadline is past :-)


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Sung as to Bring a Tear to My Eye

I'm a sentimental fool. I'm a bundle of emotions. I wear most of them on my sleeve. This often has very negative effects (i.e.: mw + looney = icky soup.)

Sometimes it's very good. I like to let my emotions run, like a horse that needs to stretch his legs to keep healthy and in shape. I think being able to let loose with a tear or two keeps you healthy and able to let it out during the tough times. I think stuffing your emotions, holding them in, is bad for you.

All that said, sometimes I find my emotional release in a song. Driving about yesterday I listened to a couple of discs I hadn't heard in a good while, and on them were a couple songs that made me choke up. It made me think of the songs in my life that bring tears whenever I hear them. Some of these will probably be obvious, some you won't have heard of, and some might surprise you. Whatever the case, I would love my visitors to list a song in the comments that turns on your waterworks.

1. Georgia Lee - as performed by Solas on The Edge of Silence (orig. by Tom Waits): A lament by a mother mourning the daughter she lost to drugs, it's a soul-tearing ballad of sad beauty.

2. Danny Boy - traditional: The Celtic Woman album has a gorgeous version of this. This is probably on any Irishman's list anyway, but it has a poignant hope-in-despair center that it never ceases to get to me.

3. The Parting Glass - traditional: This is My Funeral song #1. There'll be a few of these. Goodbyes among the Irish were often for a lifetime, especially during the dark years of the 1840's. You'll actually find a few songs with this "Goodbye Forever" or "See you on the other side" theme on my list, as that concept of our transience on Earth speaks to me.

4. The Green, Green Grass of Home - by Claude "Curly" Putman, Jr., sung by various artists: A song of a man who has been away from home for a long time and returns home to see his family, but upon arriving home, he awakes in his jail cell, where he awaits execution, and will only go home once he is dead to be buried. A poignant lament of a life wasted.

5. The Shores of the Swilly - by Phil Coulter, sung by Sinead O'Connor: Written for Coulter's sister who drowned in Lough Swilly, it's tragedy is certainly not subtle, but the words convey the love of family lost beautifully.

6. Cat's in the Cradle - by Harry Chapin: Of course, this has to be on there. As a father who struggles to make time for his kids, and often fails to the pressures of all the other things that need doing, this one tugs hard at me every time I hear it.

7. The Wind Beneath My Wings - as sung by Bette Midler: Maybe another obvious one, maybe even overplayed, but that's not the fault of the song. Written in the early 80's, it came to prominence in the movie "Beaches," which is a guilty pleasure of mine (Hmmm, probably a GPoW about that one coming up!) I can't listen to the song without seeing the women on the beach, awaiting the end, and I can't get through it when I try and sing it (as my mama always tries to get me to do at our karaoke parties! [eye roll])

8. No More Night - by Walt Harrah, various artists: This is funeral song #2. It is very much a Christian song, somewhat in the tradition of the older 19th century hymns, but with a more modern flavor. It speaks of the hope of Heaven beyond the boundaries of death.

9. Tears in Heaven - by Eric Clapton: Written for his four-year-old son who died in a horrific fall from the 53rd floor of a condominium tower, you can just feel his ache and despair. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child, and I hope I never find out, but I can hear his pain in here.

10. Lift the Wings - by Sarah Clancy, as arranged by Bill Whelan performed in Riverdance: Another song of the Irish diaspora. The singer pines for love lost and likely not to be seen again. In the show it is paired with the dance tune "American Wake." An American Wake was sometimes had when someone was heading off to America from Eire. It was understood that they might never see each other again, so a wake was held to celebrate the final parting of friends and loved ones.

11. Paddy's Lament - as performed by Sinead O'Connor on Sean-Nos Nua: A searing anti-war song from the point of view of an Irishman who escapes the Irish wars and flees to America only to be pressed into the service of Lincoln's army. It's not about North and South but about the human cost of war, and it's beautifully sung.

12. Motherland - by Mary McLaughlin, from The Daughter of Lir: From the point of view of an old woman who has lived, loved, and lost and from it gained wisdom, and who has been buffeted by the travails of a hard life and near the end tries to keep her perspective. The wailing refrain "Don't let my heart break with grief" can be enough to make that happen to you.

13. A Little Fall of Rain - by Boubil and Schonberg, from the musical Les Miserables: This duet between the characters of Eponine and Marius in the second act, behind the barricades. Eponine is in love with Marius and has resigned herself to never being loved in return. Out of her love she delivers a letter to Cosette, Marius's beloved, and returns to the barricades, only to be shot by soldiers as she tries to enter. As she's dies in his arms, she confesses her love to Marius who in grief returns it, albeit too late. This song is so simple and beautiful, and is a monumental tear-jerker, especially in the context of the show.

Alright, I've bared my soul. Now comment below and be honest. What tugs your heart strings?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Nothing makes a great Rock n' Roll song like a tight guitar riff. You know, that little lick you keep humming throughout the day even though you haven't heard the song in seven hours.

I couldn't find links to all of them, and some of them you have to just go to the linked page and look it up. You'll see a bunch there that I left off the list, but who cares, right?

My dearest regular visitors know that I usually put my lists in no particular order.

This list is in order, mostly because one of these is, by far, the BEST!

Here we go:

10. School's Out - Alice Cooper: In this case I don't mean the opening lick, but the riff under the chorus, ripped by KISS for Love Gun a few years later - daa-da-da-Da, daa-da-da-Da, daa-da-da-daa-da-da-daa-da-da-Da!! You don't even need to know how to play. Just one dang note, overandoverandoveragain. Genius!

9. Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne: This could land anywhere on this list. It's one of the first riffs I ever learned to play. Perfect riff for biting the heads off various birdies.

8. Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page rocks. You can just see Robert Plant strutting his stuff to this riff. The Zep had several candidates for the top ten: this song, Black Dog, Whole Lotta Love, but I still think this one has the perfect combo of balls and simplicity.

7. Satisfaction - Rolling Stones: This is my favorite Stones song anyway, and this riff has that beautiful little irony of doing so much with so little, just three simple notes.

6. Sweet Child o' Mine - Guns n' Roses: I went a little out of my way on this one, but only because I think that the opening sequence, while it's a little more complex than your standard riff, is simply one of the best damn song intros ever.

5. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana: Ah, dang it, why'd that f***er have to shoot hisself? This song's opening is two simple power chords played on two different frets, simplicity itself, then it just kicks like the Living Dead breaking through the boards on the windows.

4. Iron Man - Black Sabbath: This riff makes me think of a pack of the baddest-ass bikers you've ever seen rolling into town, kicking up the dust, and taking over the party. This is sort of cheating, because it's kinda like having Ozzy on the list twice, but you can't pass it up!

3. You Really Got Me - The Kinks: Possibly the simplest riff on the list, and one of the most timeless. Two simple power chords, one whole-step apart. That's it. Then move it up a whole step. Okay, song done! This is just kick ass rock. Oh, and BTW, Van Halen did okay with this one, but nothing like the raw power of the Kinks' original.

2. Back in Black - AC/DC: After the death of Bon Scott, AC/DC was on the ropes. Instead of rolling over and calling it a day, they pulled Brian Johnson out of relative obscurity and came roaring back to record the (tied for) fourth best selling album of all time. Place this one (in those days) on the turntable and let 'er rip.

1. Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple: Was there any doubt? So simple, yet so raw. Written after their hotel burned down overnight, the boys cannot have known how perfect this riff would be, nor how pervasive it would become.

Really there were a bunch I had to leave out to come to a top ten. There are quite a few from classic rock songs, from the Beatles, the Who, the Doors, Hendrix, Creem, and of course there's Inna-Gada-Da-Vida (baby.) I just had to pull the trigger and pick ten. Argue with me below.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Book 'Em!

This is something cool I copped from Delta Dawn. Take the list below, paste in into your own blog, put READ next to those you've read, WANT TO next to those you are interested in, AGAIN & AGAIN next to those you've read and can't stop, and leave blank those you don't care to read. I'll also give a one-word editorial after those I've read, so you'll know whether you should be interested or not!

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) READ - Sucked
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) WANT TO
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) WANT TO
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) AGAIN & AGAIN
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) AGAIN & AGAIN
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) AGAIN & AGAIN
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) WANT TO
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) AGAIN & AGAIN
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) READ / Great!
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) READ - Mediocre
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling) READ / Great!
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) WANT TO
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling) READ / Great!
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald) WANT TO
18. The Stand (Stephen King) READ / Chilling!
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling) READ / Great!
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) WANT TO
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) READ / Good
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) AGAIN & AGAIN
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) WANT TO
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) READ / Classic!
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) WANT TO
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) READ / Lovely
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) AGAIN & AGAIN / FAVORITE!!!
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert) READ / Perfect
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) WANT TO
34. 1984 (Orwell) AGAIN & AGAIN
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) TRIED
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) WANT TO
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) WANT TO
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) TRIED
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible AGAIN & AGAIN
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) WANT TO
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) WANT TO
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt) READ / Moving
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) AGAIN & AGAIN!!
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) READ / Classic
53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) READ / Sharp!
54. Great Expectations (Dickens) TRIED
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) WANT TO
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) READ / Great!
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) WANT TO
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) WANT TO
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy) WANT TO
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) READ / Beautiful
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) WANT TO
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) WANT TO
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) WANT TO
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) WANT TO
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay) AGAIN & AGAIN / Underrated!
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) TRIED
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) TRIED
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White) READ / Wonderful
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck) AGAIN & AGAIN!!
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) WANT TO
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind) READ / Ugh!
85. Emma (Jane Austen) WANT TO
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams) WANT TO
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) WANT TO
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) READ / Awesome
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) WANT TO
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum) READ / Amazing!
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) WANT TO

That was sadder than I thought! You can tell a few things, like I LOVE STEINBECK!!! But I live in Steinbeck Country, so what can I say? Also, I changed the Guy Gavriel Kay from The Summer Tree, the beginning of a mediocre trilogy, to Tigana, one of his best, beautifully conceived works. Summer Tree... Indeed!

I felt bad about how many classics (all of which I own) were on the Want To list. Oh well, too busy with movies :-)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Life List

Here and there on my blog and in my day-to-day life I've mentioned my "Life List."

First disclaimer is that it's not a list I actually have written down. It exists in my head and my heart.

There are simply things I wish to do or experience before I die. I have no idea how long I have to do these things, but as long as I'm breathing, I'll be seeking them out.

For instance, one thing that has been on my list since my teens is my desire to perform in the musical Godspell. It's happening now, and it's way too much fun.

I also thought it would be fun to actually write as much of my Life List as I could come up with and share it with y'all. Hopefully you will comment with some things that are on your list as well.

In no particular order:

1.) Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
2.) Take my children to Washington D.C.
3.) Visit the Great Wall of China
4.) Drive a Rolls Royce (at least once!)
5.) Drive an Aston Martin DB9 too
6.) Play in a simul against a top ten Grandmaster
7.) Perform in Jesus Christ Superstar
8.) Perform in Les Miserables
9.) Sell a screenplay
10.) Have a screenplay produced
11.) Write a novel
12.) Give my wife a gift so special it makes her cry
13.) Take an extended visit to Ireland
14.) Find distant relatives in Galway or Clare
15.) See Bigfoot (no I don't believe in him, but seeing him would be cool anyway.)
16.) Visit the Holocaust Museum
17.) (New!) Visit Oskar Schindler's Tree at the Yad Vashem Memorial.
18.) Swim in Loch Ness
19.) Visit Roswell during the UFO festival (no, don't believe in those either)
20.) Stay in the Presidential Suite at the Waldorf Astoria in New York
21.) See the David Letterman Show live
22.) Be on a game show, preferably Jeopardy
23.) Direct a movie
24.) Act in a movie
25.) Attend a Collingwood Magpies AFL game at the MCG
26.) Attend a Newcastle United game at St. James's Park
27.) Sing the Star Spangled Banner at a Major League ballgame (A's!)
28.) Drink a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon worth more than $500.00 (just so I can say I did)
29.) Travel into Space
30.) Live long enough to see my grandkids get old enough to know who I am.

Well, there are a few things anyway. Maybe I'll add more when I think of them. What are some of your Life Listees?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Reviewnytoons #2 - Making the List

Despite being an avid viewer of quality movies, I have one habit that sometimes prevents me from seeing a movie when everyone else is.

I don't like blood.

Blood kept me from seeing most horror films, which doesn't bother me so much.

It kept me from seeing Pulp Fiction for six years, Reservoir Dogs for longer than that.

I still haven't seen Saving Private Ryan, and before today, I still hadn't seen today's film:

Schindler's List

In the afterglow of such a viewing experience I find it very difficult to give a review like I would a "normal" movie.

Schindler's List is not a normal movie. It goes without saying that it is a very important movie.

To take that thought a step further, there are two types of important movies. The first is a movie that is seminal in style and content, that defines a genre or phase in moviemaking; The Maltese Falcon for American Film Noir, Star Wars for the Epic Blockbuster, Nosferatu or perhaps Dracula for Horror, Metropolis or 2001: A Space Odyssey for Science Fiction, King Kong for Monster Movies, Singin' in the Rain for the Movie Musical, Birth of a Nation for silent films, The Godfather for Gangster dramas, and Citizen Kane for, well, for movies in general. These are important films for people to see who wish to understand film, entertainment, etc.

Schindler's List is the other sort of "important." It's not just important for people who appreciate film to see (although it is masterfully crafted, which I'll get into in a moment.) It is important for people who are human.

Everyone who isn't a psychotic shitbird knows that the Shoah (lit. calamity) or "Holocaust" was possibly the most horrific event in human history, matched only rarely by the likes of Stalin and Pol Pot. Yet many people can only discuss this topic in the most basic terms. Six Million Jews, Adolf Hitler, Final Solution, Auschwitz, etc. How can any of us put a personal face on such an unimaginable tragedy? How can we ever get into the heart of the suffering and pain?

Truth is we never can. But Director Steven Spielberg gets us as close as we can possibly hope to get.

Spielberg shot the movie in black and white, a masterful choice that accomplishes two things. First, it sets the movie into the period. When we see black and white, we automatically are in the 40's. This is the color of our World War II footage, even of most of the still pictures we see. It places us in the moment.

The second thing it does is make it watchable. If it had been in color, I wonder how many of us could have watched to the end. Spielberg doesn't go with the cutaways when innocent Jews are executed by a shot to the head at close range. He shows it to you. I have seen one video of a man shot in the head in my lifetime. I wish I'd never seen it, but there was no difference, other than the color, to this.

In any other movie, it would have been gratuitous. But this is what the Jews saw as they went about their daily life.

In one scene an old one-armed man who had been protected by Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), Oskar Schindler's (Liam Neeson) Jewish plant manager, is caught on the way to the factory when the group of workers is forced to shovel snow to clear the road for German vehicles. He is taken aside and executed summarily. Graphically.

Yet the true horror of the scene was the mother and child nearby. As the man is dragged aside, the mother urges her child, "Look at the snow, look at the snow, the snow!" The child looks down (though we don't.) There is a crack of a handgun and the man goes down, his blood soaking the snow, but the rest keep shoveling, hoping to just survive the moment. Looking at the snow.

Spielberg demonstrated in this movie not only that he can make a movie look good, but that he can make a movie of power and truth.

Ralph Fiennes plays the sadistic Amon Goeth, the German officer in command of the labor camp supplying Schindler's factory with labor. To say this man was murderous would be an understatement. Yet even here Spielberg manages to show the conflicted humanity of the man. His inner conflict concerning his Jewish Maid Helen Hirsch (Embeth Davidtz) is subtle and heartbreaking, as you tug on him with your own mind to find his humanity.

Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern is, well, Kingsley. He is quite possibly the most skilled and adaptable actor in the world, despite not being the first name to come to mind when you think of great modern actors. Disclaimer: I'm a big fan. He plays Stern with stark honesty. Sten is very realistic, and dose not expect to live out the war. He is fatalistic and insecure, and Schindler spends as much time saving Stern from himself as from the Nazis.

But the star is the star, right? Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler is a masterwork, a lifetime achievement. His collaboration on this part with Spielberg (and writer Steven Zaillan) brings out Oskar Schindler as a tangible, three-dimensional person. Schindler is the stuff real heroes are made of. Movie heroes are idealistic, other-motivated, sacrificial from birth caricatures. Schindler is a selfish, womanizing, profiteering opportunist who finds he cares about these people he first employs as slaves. In the beginning this practice of protecting seemed to be instigated by Stern, with Schindler purposely turning a blind eye, but there was in him a sense of humanity that could not buy into the Nazi propaganda regarding the so-called inhumanity of Jews. Neeson portrays the gradual, stilted journey from self-service to self-sacrifice with marvelous aplomb.

This film is full of moments, moments that make you cry with horror and make you cry with quiet, joyful hope.

But nothing can prepare you for what happens at the end. In putting this little spoiler here, I'm assuming I'm the last person on earth (other than President Shithead listed above) who hadn't seen SL before today.

When the liberated Schindler Jews make their black and white exodus over the meadow to a nearby town, only to suddenly be replaced in living color by their real life counterparts, a line of them, traversing that same meadow, it brings everything you've seen, the horror and the happiness, home in a blazing, electric shock. One by one the several of the actors accompany their real-life counterparts to lay a stone upon the grave of the real-life Oskar Schindler, and your soul is overwhelmed by the gratitude of the survivors mixed with the sorrow of unspeakable tragedy.

It is almost moot to give this movie a rating. Five Quacks, Five Stars, Five anythings makes no sense. This is one of the most important films ever made, and should be required viewing for those who are committed to facing the evil in our world that still perpetrates killing, in Darfur, in Rwanda, wherever it may happen.

I only regret having waited so long and for so silly a reason.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Inflagrante Predicto #1 - Results!

Okay, it's time for another round. But first to adjudicate:

Entry #1 Paula
The U.S. will bomb Iran.
Nope. Almost a little surprised, though.

Entry #2 Ole Blue
The US will bomb Iran causing global condemnation.
Paula beat you to it, but it's a no anyway.

The outcome: The American population will start demanding that our Military come home NOW! Congress will order troops home and Bush will declare victory.
Well, there are wavings and weavings in that direction, but since it didn't happen in February, you're out.

Iraq will become allied with Iran and be more of a threat to the United States than Sadam ever was a threat.
We're not there yet.

The democrats will win the election by a landslide in 2008 including both the congress and senate.
Dammit, Blue, in February! LOL

Historians will rate the Bush Presidency as the worst and most toxic. Bush will never be able to rehabilitate his image.
This was already happening and is ongoing. Dang it.

He will drink himself to death in twenty years from now. His wife will always maintain that he was a great man but his daughters will never talk about their dad especially his presidency.
LOL, how the fuck is he going to drink himself to death in twenty years in February? Sounds more like LBJ, anyway...

8 years after the death of Bush, who will not be given a State funeral, his Daughter Barbara will become a congressional representative from Texas as a democrat. Her Motto will be “Stop doing stupid things.”
[shaking head]
Someone has got to read the rules next time!

Entry #3 Supersnark
Sen. Biden will be outed as having an illegitimate black child. But at least it will be "clean".
Dang, I was hoping this one would come true!

Entry #4 Sour Grapes
Google will suffer a massive crash, leaving half the civilised world unable to blog, search, consult their calendars, Froggle, Picasa or do anything useful for totally hours, wiping billions off the stock market and bringing the economy to a halt so totally and so abruptly that many people will think the Rapture has come, leading to chaos when all the big-mouthed born-again Fred Phelps types realise they haven't been Taken Up. Google will be back only hours later, but people's faith will be gone.
Uh, no.

Entry #5 Mark
Gavin Newsom will crash and burn as a politician and resign as mayor of San Francisco.
Ah, so close! He crashed and burned, but in true San Francisco fashion, he's still the mayor.

Entry #6 JennyJinx
You said "easily provable"? Ok, well, I predict by the end of the month there will be massive amounts (6 inches or more) of snow fall from Montana down to Kansas and East to Maine (but not necessarily as far south as North Carolina). I also predict that some weather caster somewhere will call this one of the nastiest winters we've ever had.
Okay, for one, six inches is NOT a massive amount of snow. Six feet, maybe? Anyway, I did find several folks calling this one of the nastiest winters we've ever had, or a reasonable facsimile. So, in the interest of being fair, I'm going to put our first and very last weather guess into the win column.

Entry #7 Asbestos Dust
Prediction: Blue will continue to whine about Bush well into the second term of the next Democratic presidency, by which time the Dems will have single-handedly destroyed civilization as we know it after which maurading bands of welfare mutants finally take him (Blue) out and mash his head with a rock for the meat.
If I have to say "in February" one more time...

Oh, that's one a' them "baby crapping himself" predictions, innit? And out past Feb, too. Whoops, my bad. OK, how about this 'un:
Ah, finally...

Some Mexican high up in the DNC Hispanic Caucus says some incredibly stupid bullshit and Howard Dean has to bitch-slap him till his ears ring to get him herded back into the brown ghetto, or "la pluma en Capitol Colena" as it's known to its denizens. Yeah, I know it's already happened, in fact RECENTLY happened, but it will happen again. They just can't help it. With "English as a (distant) Second Language," they just can't grasp what dickheads they're making of themselves until one of the white field bosses like Dean explains it to 'em by way of a quick, painful visit to el almacenaje de madera (the woodshed).
Plus I know Dean didn't actually bitchslap anyone.

Entry #8 JodieK
The evening of the second Wednesday of February will see an unusual influx of single woman, sans panties, storming fine bars and restaurants nationwide to indulge in several dirty martinis and much pinot noir.
Britney does not an unusual influx make. Sorry.

Entry #9 Joe the Troll
Fox news will finally be held accountable for passing lies off as "journalism".
As if. You're out.

Entry #10 Dawn
Paris hilton, lindsey lohan and britney spears will get run over by a bus. that's my prediction. and my dream.
Sadly, no.

Entry #11 Brave Sir Throckey
I predict Sir Throckey will finally break down and start writing for his blog.
Allow me to quote rule #1 "Outside of your sphere of influence." You're out.

So! We have one winner, sort of, but I'm being kind and generous. Congrats! Watch your inbox, Jenny! I'll have round 2 up shortly, and mind you, the rules are going to be a little more... specific.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Movie Quotes

Alright, springboarding off Jen's movie quotes post (which springboarded off a post of mine... geeeee, bouncy!) I'm going to list thirteen movie quotes.

You guess the movie in the comments. NO GOOGLING!!

1. We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!
Sunset Boulevard - Eden

2. Oh, George... Not the livestock.
O Brother Where Art Thou? - Fez Monkey

3. Name a shrub after me--something prickly and hard to eradicate.
Master and Commander - Kos

4. Hey, I got a social disease!
Westside Story - Jen

5. She can't act, she can't sing, she can't dance. A triple threat.
Singin' in the Rain - Kos

6. I pray that I may never see the desert again. Hear me, God.
Lawrence of Arabia - Kos

7. Honey, there's a spider in your bathroom the size of a Buick.
Annie Hall - Fez Monkey

8. By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.
All right, I'll have pity on y'all. This line is from The Devil Wears Prada.

9. Maybe it's better not to be the best. Then you can lose and it's OK.
Searching for Bobby Fischer - Kos

10. Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be!
The Maltese Falcon - Kos

11. Whether or not what we experienced was an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant.
Pulp Fiction - Fez Monkey

12. I didn't say I didn't love you. I said, "Stay away from me."
On the Waterfront - Kos

13. And the present is trivia, which I scribble down as fucking notes.
Memento - Kos


Note: #8 is from a very recent movie, less than a year old.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday MeMe

Copped from UV

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Store Manager
2. Sales Representative
3. Customer Service Rep
4. Fry cook

Four movies I would watch over and over (and have):
1. On the Waterfront
2. Searching for Bobby Fischer
3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
4. A Few Good Men

Four places I have lived:
1. San Jose, California
2. Fallon, Nevada
3. Capitola, California
4. King City, California

Four TV shows I like to watch:
1. American Idol
2. Australian Football League Game of the Week
3. English Premier League
4. National Geographic Explorer

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. San Diego
2. Anaheim (Disneyland)
3. Arizona (Grand Canyon)
4. San Francisco

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Corned Beef & Cabbage
2. Shepherd's Pie
3. Lamb Shanks
4. Grilled Salmon

Four of my favorite animals:
1. Horse
2. Snake
3. Orca
4. Tiger

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Australia
2. Ireland
3. Washington D.C.
4. Scotland

No tune to name on this one, sorry!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rewrite Right

Alright, I knew my screenplay needed a rewrite. I'm well into it now. I have my multi-colored index card plot chart up on the wall over my desk. Green for interiors, blue for exteriors, red for turning points, and yellow for changes/additions.

There is yellow all over the place, BTW, and a few at the bottom I haven't been able to place yet.

They say after you finish a manuscript, you need to put it away for awhile. Well I had put mine away for probably six months.

I'm glad I did.

When I posted about getting back to it, I hadn't even read it through again. I even sent it off to Zen unread.

When I finally read it (about ten minutes after I sent it to him) I admit I was surprised to see just how bad the thing was. I would say that of about 95 pages or so, maybe ten were decent, possibly fifteen. There is so much dead end, wooden dialogue in there... My gawd.

I haven't heard back from Zen on it. One, the dude is self-admittedly busy and, two, having taken another look at it, it's probably burning his damn eyes out.

Zen, you don't have to confirm or deny... Okay, you can confirm if you wish!

Not only that, but I've spent several hours with a detective whom I wish I'd had the opportunity to speak with before the previous draft. Based on that research I've completely trashed most of the last third of the script altogether.

There are a few scenes I like. I like my scene with the two brothers in the kitchen after the drive-by shooting that kills their little sister. I like my scene near the end where the protag squares off with one of the antags. I like the scene with that same antag and one of the gang captains. That last one I may have to lose, though. I don't think it fits anymore.

But those are all tied together with some pretty mundane crap.

While I'm rewriting, I refuse to open the old script except to recall a character's last name or somesuch. I've only had to do that once so far.

I'm watching tons of movies and I'm reading scripts with good, snappy dialogue. Like Chinatown, Fargo, Reservoir Dogs, The Maltese Falcon, Get Shorty, and others. And I'm writing. Trying to make every word count.

I hope they count.


It's about me, dummy!!!


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