This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Short Shorts

1. I was reminiscing about the Smothers Brothers tonight, and it occurs to me that "Dick Smothers" sounds like the alias used by the star of a pornographic snuff film.

2. The easiest service -- for me, that is -- which I offer as a writer is "ghost-writing." I mean, how freakin' hard is it to write "Booooooooo?"

3. Speaking of being -- or at least calling myself -- a "writer," if the economy doesn't improve soon, I'm going to have to start calling myself something else. The other night I caught myself re-playing Robert DeNiro's "mirror" scene from Taxi Driver, but instead of saying "Are you talkin' to me?" my line was "Do you want fries with that?"

4. Do the Math!

5. Morbid obesity may be legitimately life-threatening, but we Americans really need to stop idealizing that borderline anorexic "Heroin Chic" look.

I mean, which do you prefer? Lara Flynn Boyle?

Or [shudders] Lara Flynn Boyle?

And they say that the camera adds ten pounds?
She hardly even weighs ten pounds!

Anyway, as you've probably surmised, I'm referring to all the fuss about Jessica Simpson's "new look."

It reminds me of all the comments made about Britney Spears' appearance on the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards broadcast. A lot of people -- including Britney herself -- said she looked "fat."
I thought she looked kinda hot!

Well, except for the hair, maybe.

Anyway, back to Jessica Simpson. Our little Jess has been defended by everyone from bubble-butt Kim Kardashian to Jessica's own sister, Owen Wilson look-alike Ashlee Simpson.

I mean, come on! Is this really a problem? If Ms. Simpson were to offer to... umm... spend a little time with me, looking as she does today, I'd be hard-pressed (so to speak) to turn her down based on her looks.

Just don't force me to have to talk with the celebrated little airhead for any great length of time.

6. And speaking of "time," since there is no #6...

Thanks for your time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

So Sorry, Sofia!


I tend to date younger women. And the older I get, the more of them there seem to be! Funny how that works, innit?

It won't be long before what I call "George Burns Syndrome" sets in.

"Why don't you date women your age?"

"There are no women my age."

Be that as it may, I hate to limit my options, so I'm not unwilling to date women my age, or even older.

Hold that thought in the back of your mind. The "why" of that will become apparent shortly.

Yesterday, I read a New York Times article about the upcoming digital changeover, the one which is currently scheduled to take place on February 17th. There are millions of people in this country -- more than 6.5 million, according to the article -- who are unprepared for the change.

One of those 6,500,000+ is a 77-year-old Houston woman named Vesta Clemmons. That's Vesta in the photo above. She considers her old Zenith to be a friend. And she is a bit confused by the upcoming changeover, but...

Check out the photo! See that little stereo unit? Our little Ms. Clemmons is no technological dunce! That stereo has a CD player attached, not a freakin' Victrola!

And here's what grabbed me: Vesta's musical favorites are Pink Floyd, Ozzy Osbourne, and Nine Inch Nails!

In other words, fellow babies... Vesta Clemmons rocks!

77 years old or not... I wonder if her number's listed? Cuz I think I'm in love.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Truth, Justice, and... Name That Tune?!?

I loved Wayne Boring's quirky way of illustrating the Man of Steel
in all those cool old stories reprinted in DC's Giant Superman comics!
However, I grew up with Curt Swan's version, so it's Curt Swan's Superman
(as shown above) that will forevermore be "my" Superman! Sorry, Mr. Boring!

(And before you begin reading this post: Here is the BEST actor who ever played Superman!)

Ever see a little kid pretending to be Superman? Chances are, he (It's almost always a "he"; a little girl would probably pretend to be Supergirl.) will be charging back and forth across a backyard, or a living room, or down a hallway, etc., with one fist in the air and a towel (or another, similar rectangular piece of fabric) attached at the neck, singing one word:

"Supe - er - maaannnnn!"

Okay, now. I just wrote that. I certainly didn't sing it for you, right? Right.

But I'll still bet that you "heard" the tune that kids always sing whenever they sing the word "Superman."

I've been reading comic books (and comic strips) since I was about three or four years old. That's almost half a century, folks. I've collected comics as well. I've bought them new, off the rack. I've bought countless back issues that were even older than I am. (They still are; funny how that works, innit?) I've bought and sold comics as a business (variously employed by others, or self-employed). I've done extensive reading -- one could really say research -- on the subject. I've met quite a few comic book writers and artists. I've even written quite a few comic book scripts myself, some of them eventually published.

In other words, while my knowledge of and familiarity with the subject is not comprehensive by any means, I can safely say that I know a hell of a lot more about comic books and their history than the average person would ever care to.

This includes my having sat through movies, tv shows, documentaries, a reality show -- thanks, Stan! -- and even one freakin' musical about the subject.

That musical, by the way, was about Superman. So were some of the aforementioned movies and tv shows, and more damned comic books than I could ever count.

And you wanna know something?

I have absolutely no freakin' idea where the hell that sung version of "Supe - er - maaannnn" comes from.

Do you?

If you do, please tell me. Just be damned sure of what you're talking about before you gushingly offer an answer, such as "Oh, it must be from the old George Reeves television series. That had a great theme song!"

Well, yeah, it certainly did. But that theme song was comprised of dramatic -- dare I say inspiring? -- music played in the background, sans lyrics, while announcer Bill Kennedy practically went nuts extolling the virtues of the man comic readers in that Mort Weisinger era were used to thinking of as "Clark (Superman) Kent." Nobody sang the word "Supe - er - maaannnnn."

I've given this a lot of thought, obviously. (Characteristically, maybe enough thought to make some of you worry.) And the closest answer I've been able to come up with isn't "Superman."

It's "Hercules."

As in "The Mighty Hercules," an animated cartoon series produced in 1962, and broadcast from 1963-1966. (And just for a reference point here, I turned six years old near the end of 1962, placing the airing of "The Mighty Hercules" right smack in the middle of my so-called formative years.)

Its dynamic theme song was sung by Johnny Nash -- not the same Johnny Nash who had several Top 40 hits in the 1970s, by the way.

And the way Nash opens the song is by singing "Hercules" in that
"Supe - er - maaannnnn" style.

Note for note.

So, is it possible? Did some nameless kid -- approximately my age -- appropriate the opening bars of the theme from "The Mighty Hercules" and apply it instead to DC Comics' Man of Steel as a soundtrack for his playtime? And did it somehow catch on and spread, to the point where it ultimately became universal?

I hope it's true. Stranger things have happened. There are a lot of people out there who, when receiving change from a cashier, say "Just like McDonald's," but these same people are far too young to have ever seen the commercial that inspired that line.

I've never actually asked anyone my age or younger if he or she knew where the "Supe - er - maaannnnn" thing originated. Nor, more importantly, have I ever asked anyone older than I if he knew. So I don't even know if it goes back to the 1940s or 1950s...

Which would kinda/sorta suck, in a way, because it'd blow the crap out of my own hypothesis if I were to discover that:

1) The "Supe - er - maaannnnn" musical sound bite did originate back in the 1940s or 1950s, and....

2) The producers of "The Mighty Hercules" ripped it off for their theme song!


Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ Oh, you recognized this one? Crap. Yup, I stole it from myself! Its original location was February 17th of last year (since deleted, for those of you who worry about such things). I'd just begun my blog on Blogger, y'see, and figured that almost nobody saw it the first time anyway, and... But you did, huh? And the very slight re-write, and my "padding" it with photos doesn't count? Oops. Oh, well, at least it gives me an excuse to add the following photo of Lucy Pinder...



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Separated at Birth?

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

Actor Adam Arkin

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Cool Drunk

video

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

News from Iraq

And "Video Week" continues, giving me time to catch up on my other blog and my life... although not necessarily in that order.

video

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Post Is for Everybody in the World!

I'll bet you thought this was going to be some pompous, wordy message about the USA's new president, huh?

Wronnnnnnnnnnggggggg!

This is, instead, a link to a page which tells you some fun ways to prevent and/or annoy telemarketers and junk mailers! And I think everybody -- or almost everybody -- in the whole damned world can benefit from it!

So, have fun! I did.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ Oh, okay... I do want to say, from one left-handed Irishman to another... Congratulations, President O'Bama!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CRIMES Committed on Vinyl, Vol. I

Dion (That's Dion DiMucci, FYI.) Gotta love 'im, with or without The Belmonts. "Runaround Sue." "I Wonder Why." "Where or When" (which is not only my all-time favorite by Dion and the Belmonts, but it was their biggest hit). "A Teenager in Love." "The Wanderer." "Donna the Prima Donna." "Lonely Teenager." "I Was Born to Cry." And, of course, later on in his career came "Abraham, Martin, and John."

And now, something completely different for your consideration:

"Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix! A psychedelic masterpiece, right? Heavy metal before there was heavy metal.

So, if you mix the two... ?

Oil on freakin' water! See... well, hear... for yourself.



Supposedly -- I'm quoting a writer named Dave Marsh, here -- "even Jimi [Hendrix] himself admired [it] when Dion played it for him," but... somehow, I don't freakin' think so, unless Mr. Hendrix had dropped an extra tab or two that day.

Dion... il mio amico!... what the hell were you thinking?

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You Won't Even Know I'm Gone...

Welcome to Sofiapalooza!!!

Yup. I'm "phoning it in" yet again. Sparse text, lotsa YouTube videos. But there's some justification, in that this ought to tide you over until I "return" from working on other projects, including my other blog.

I'm going to leave you with some videos and links to my #1 (current) celebrity crush, Sofia Vergara. And this isn't just aimed at the guys -- in fact, most of my readers are female -- or I would have embedded this one or this one. (Wink wink, nudge nudge. Check out the links, guys!)

Nope, by the end of today's lesson, everyone on the planet should know why I'm infatuated with this little lass. She's not only beautiful and sexy; she's also quite clever.

I, too, was initially a hard sell...


"Big and Tasty," indeed!


Okay, one bikini video! But it's a short one, and no one's actually forcing you to click on it, so skip it if you want to! (And this is actually her natural hair color!)


Here's a Jimmy Kimmel interview from last January which unfortunately is not available for embedding, but is still worth checking out! It shows her as a really entertaining person (he said defensively), as does the next clip.

And last but not least, the interview with Chelsea Handler which really made me go nuts over Ms. Vergara:


(By the way, while I don't expect any complaints from my male readers, I realize that some of my female readers -- especially those who blog on Blogger -- may think I'm stooping a bit low to devote an entire post to a current celebrity crush. (I can probably get away with yesterday's Lesley Gore post by labeling it as a childhood reminiscence.) So, to those ladies who do suggest that, I have two words to serve as a reminder of sorts for all of you: David Tennant.)

Thanks for your time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'll Cry If I Want To! (Updated)

(This is about one of my earliest celebrity crushes. As for why I'm bothering to write this at all... well... you'll kinda/sorta understand that better tomorrow, unless something really newsworthy happens in the meantime!)

Here and there in "David'Z RantZ" I've mentioned my "weakness" for green-eyed ladies. I know where and (approximately) when it started.

My sister Kathy is very slightly less than six years older than I am. I mean, we're talking under three weeks less. For better or for worse, I owe much of my early musical tastes to her. When she was about twelve, she started buying records. Her very first 45 was "Palisades Park" by Freddy Cannon. That same 45 now resides in my collection.

Her usual pattern from then until the late 1960s was to latch on to one artist or another, and buy everything available by him/her/them. In this fashion, she (and I) got to O.D. on the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Gene Pitney, and Lesley Gore. I remain a fan of all of the above to this day.

But Lesley Gore was special. She stood out from the rest of those artists whom I just named because she was a girl! Woo-hoo! And I was attracted to the opposite sex from a very early age.

Yup. Even at seven. (And even before then, truth be told.)

In fact, I'm pretty sure Miss Gore wasn't even my first celebrity crush. (I think that designation belongs to Noelle Adam.) And I know for a fact that I had "liked" (in "that way") at least two girls in my kindergarten class a couple of years earlier! (Their names were Judy and Linda, so in case they ever read this... )

Anyway, one day, the LP jacket pictured above was propped up against the living room wall -- Christmas Day or shortly thereafter, IIRC -- and I lay sprawled out... staring at the album cover... totally smitten.

Totally smitten and, I should add, completely mesmerized by those green eyes.

Thus are what I call "weaknesses" created.

Luckily for me, I'd long since gotten over my childhood infatuation before discovering purely by accident, on the web, that Miss Gore is a lesbian. I mean, it's not as if I'd ever had a chance with her anyway, ya know?

(And let's not lower ourselves by using any Lesley/"lez" jokes here, okay? We're all much too mature to "go there.")

So. I'm just showing the power a celebrity crush can have over me.

Which -- as I stated at the onset of today's lunacy -- will make a lot more sense when you read tomorrow's post.

Now, here's a veritable plethora of YouTube videos featuring Miss Gore! (And most, but not all, are personal favorites of mine from way back in the good old days -- notice I did not say "back in the day" -- lest you think I just slapped a random bunch of them up here!)

"The Old Crowd"


"Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" from Ski Party... and that's Dwayne "Dobie Gillis" Hickman she's fondling, by the way!


"I Died Inside"


"Say Goodbye"


"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," I swear to God!!! And I won't take it personally if you only listen long enough to get a "taste" of it. That's all I did!


"Come Softly To Me," a duet with Oliver of "Good Morning, Starshine" fame! A few notes here:
  • This video was made by an obvious Lesley Gore fan, who really needed to dig up more than one damned photo of Oliver!
  • Whoever arranged this song obviously knew Oliver was going to be doing it. It's eerily reminiscent of his version of "Good Morning, Starshine" in parts.
  • Until the night upon which I spent hours -- yes, hours, thanks to my slow-running, overloaded computer -- looking for the songs I wanted to include here, I never knew this version existed. But, I figured, I do love the Fleetwoods' version, so why not give it a shot?
  • I won't hold it against you if you don't make it all the way through this one, either.



And just to show that I wasn't the only misguided male with a crush on Miss Gore...


Thanks for your time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ricardo Montalban, 1920-2009, R.I.P.

Wow, deja vu.

I began yesterday's tribute to Patrick McGoohan by saying, "Just yesterday, I read a rather amusing anecdote concerning Patrick McGoohan on Mark Evanier's NewsFromME blog," and then went on to say that only one day later, Mr. McGoohan died... a sad fact which I discovered on Mr. Evanier's blog as well.

This probably isn't the best time or place to plug someone or something, but NewsFromME is a blog which I visit virtually every day (and usually several times, at that), barring extreme circumstances. (The capitalization I use is of my own design, as Mark himself writes it as either "news from me" or "NEWS from me," but the "me" in question is actually a reference to "M.E.," as in "Mark Evanier," and... oh, never mind!!!) He discusses pretty much every aspect of show business... including politics. I cannot recommend his blog highly enough.

Anyway, after learning of Patrick McGoohan's death, I wrote my own post about it and included a link to the story on ME's site... and one of my commenters must have followed that link, because she soon informed me of Ricardo Montalban's death, which was written about on NewsFromME! (I hadn't seen it yet.)

Hm. This really isn't anywhere near as complicated as I'm making it sound! It must be the lateness of the hour as I write this.

So, Mark Evanier told a great story about Ricardo Montalban, and I'm linking directly to that for the same reason that I shilled for Mark's site earlier.

As far as my own anecdotes about Mr. Montalban? Nothing much really, except to say that I was a longtime fan...

I enjoyed his first movie role, in MGM's 1947 flick, Fiesta, where Esther Williams was cast as his sister!

I remember his mid-1970s commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba: "I know what I like in a car," he'd begin. My friends would parody that, imitating his accent to the best of their ability, usually adding something frivolous in order to change it to "I know what I like in a car: The chiquita in the back seat!" or the like.

Of course, I knew of his lengthy stint as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, and his two portrayals of Khan in the original Star Trek series and the second Trek feature film. Everybody knows about those.

And, strangely enough... I recall being told years ago that comedian Corbett Monica was his brother! (Presumably, Monica was the one who had changed his name from something more Mexican-sounding.)

It wasn't until yesterday that I discovered that Corbett Monica was not Mr. Montalban's brother. Oops. Somebody lied to me.

Anyway, various stories about Ricardo Montalban have upheld the idea that the man was -- to use a term I find myself using constantly in these tributes -- a "class act."

And that's the biggest pity. Not just that so many stars are dying, but that they're of a breed that we seem to see in decreasing numbers among those up and coming in the entertainment fields.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Patrick McGoohan, 1928-2009, R.I.P.

Just yesterday, I read a rather amusing anecdote concerning Patrick McGoohan on Mark Evanier's NewsFromME blog.

And now, only a day later, the incredibly talented Mr. McGoohan is gone.

Most people know him from either Secret Agent (known as Danger Man in Great Britain) or The Prisoner, but after first becoming "aware" of him when I watched Secret Agent as a boy, I became -- and remained -- a fan, and saw him act in vehicles as varied as Braveheart and Silver Streak.

I put "aware" in quotes, however, because it wasn't until years later that I realized I'd actually enjoyed the man's work a few years earlier, when I was a bit too young to discern most actors from one another. McGoohan starred in three episodes of Walt Disney's The Wonderful World of Color as The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (released years later in Great Britain as a movie called Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow... And why the hell do the British versions so often have different titles, regardless of which one came first? We are speaking the same language, aren't we?), which fascinated me from the first high-pitched cackle in the theme song. They were well-written, well-acted, and moodier than a lot of the Disney classics. Watching them now shows me that they've definitely stood the test of time.

The Scarecrow episodes and movie were recently released as a collector's item DVD set, which my friend John was nice enough to buy for me as a Christmas present. Good thing for me that he did, as I doubt they'll be easy to find at a reasonable price, at least for a while.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Billy Mays, The Oxy-Moron!"

I really can't stand this guy. If I wanted someone to scream at me like that, I'd turn up the volume on my television.







Thanks for your grime time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

No-Brainer


Kate Winslet. Golden Globes.

But of course! I mean...

Say what?

Oh, it's an awards show? I thought...

Sorry.

Thanks for your time.












"Infiel!"

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Best Thing About Being White (Updated Slightly)

You wanna know what I love about being a Caucasian?

It's that there are so damned many of us in the world, no one man (or woman) really dares to try to speak for all of us. Nobody famous, that is. And nobody with any credibility.

We don't have a Spike Lee, or an Al Sharpton, or a Jesse Jackson, or a Bill Cosby saying that this is how white people should act, or that this is how white people should talk...

I don't even have a current news item to illustrate my point with, this time. But it's true, nonetheless.

Just sayin'.

Thanks for your time... honkies.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flynt and Francis

When the government decided to "bail out" the nation's financial institutions, I was one of the ones who suggested (and only half seriously) that they instead apportion the money to the taxpayers who were hurt by all of this fiscal fol-de-rol.

Once it became apparent that that was not going to happen -- which was, like, pretty close to immediately -- I (much less seriously) started telling people that I was going to seek a bail-out for myself.

(Hey, it's been a rough year.)

I never decided on an exact amount. It wouldn't have even approached the billion-dollar mark. Maybe not even half of that. I didn't want to look greedy, don'tcha know.

Well, great(?) minds swim in the same muddy waters, it seems. Larry Flynt (of Hustler fame) and lesser light Joe Francis (mastur- umm, sorry... mastermind of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos*) are seeking a five billion dollar bailout for the porn industry!

Before you get all huffy and up-in-arms about this, this is from the article itself, emphasis mine: "Flynt and Francis concede the industry itself is in no financial danger — DVD sales have slipped over the past year, but Web traffic has continued to grow."

So, maybe this is a joke? Ya think?

Too bad so many of the commenters on the CNN article I've linked to don't think so!

Yup. Hefner had the vision, Flynt had the cojones, and Guccione... Well, I'm not sure what Guccione had. Hopefully nothing contagious.

Thanks for your time.

*P.S. ~~ Gotta 'fess up, here. I stole that joke!

Sequel Sequel!

In my last two posts, I mentioned Classmates.com. (Those of you with a little extra time on your hands should really read yesterday's comments, by the way. Better than the post itself was.)

Someone sent me a private email asking (seriously, I assume) why I didn't provide my usual handy-dandy "click on this to open a new tab or window" links to the Classmates.com website.

Umm... You're kidding, right?

I mean... Dude, did you read my two posts?

*sigh*

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sequel

In my Sunday post, I stated that the phrase "once you're in, you're in for life" was not about the Mafia. It was actually meant to refer to Classmates.com!

However, after checking the Classmates site -- which I hadn't done at length for quite some time -- I discovered that it is admittedly easier now than it used to be to totally quit it and remove your information from the site. In the interests of fairness, I added a "P.S." to my post to acknowledge that. However, I also added that if you want to "stop emails, it takes about half an hour visiting different pages to opt out of several different kinds of emails!" Which is exactly what I had done before writing the "P.S." to my post.

Tuesday -- I swear to God! -- I received an email from Classmates saying that there are two new kinds of emails which they'll be sending me... unless I choose to opt out now!

Oh, I opted out, all right! And I changed my email address in their records, too... to a non-existent one!

Try to find me now, suckers!

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Once You're In, You're In for Life." (Updated)

"Once you're in, you're in for life."

Did you ever hear that expression, meaning that once you join a "certain" organization, the only way you'll ever get out is by dying, no matter what else you try? So have I. Did you think it was about the Mafia? So did I.

It's not.

It's about f**king Classmates.com.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ I first "found" Classmates a few years ago -- and not via one of their ubiquitous banner ads -- when I was searching for a girl I had a crush on in second and third grade. She moved to the next town in third grade, and nine years later, the local paper printed photos of all the graduates in our area... my town, her town, and more! And there she was, looking gorgeous... and legal...

But I digress.

Anyway, I entered my personal info on the site. I was even a Gold Member, briefly. I did manage to re-establish contact with one of the few members of my graduating class whom I deem "worthy" of such contact, so it wasn't a total loss.

I just visited the site to see if they'd improved it as far as removing your personal info -- they have -- and stopping all their blasted emails. To stop emails, it takes about half an hour visiting different pages to opt out of several different kinds of emails! So maybe my "in for life" characterization of their site isn't quite accurate, but their email notification pages still need a re-haul.

This update is grudgingly provided for the sake of fairness, although it takes the uncharacteristic brevity -- and subsequent effectiveness -- out of my original post.

Bastards.

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