It's..... The happiest blog on earth


NaNoWriMo 2005 Winner

I've completed my fourth novel.

All four of which were completed shortly before midnight on November 30 of their respective years...

11:59 PM


I checked in on some old friends this Thankgiving.

The Monkees.

While packing for my holiday trip, I put on the DVD of their 2002 reunion tour. They look much older - yet still the same. Peter is humble, Mickey is charming, and Davy is really high-strung.

And Davy delights the crowd with a story about the Brady Bunch episode where he sings at Marcia's prom.

"I got hate letters from every other girl in America.

"Because I wouldn't go to their bloody prom...."

11:18 AM


The Monkees couldn't play their instruments? Actually, there's more to the story. They were furious at this criticism, and learned how to play instruments. They performed live on stage, and two decades later Rhino records even released a live album of one 1967 concert.

The studio still preferred using hired musicians, but let the Monkees perform on their third album, Headquarters. On the back of the album, the four Monkees put the following note.

We aren't the only musicians on this album, but the occasional extra bass or horn player played under our direction, so that this is all ours.

Each one of us has some musical thing, from Manchester to Texas, from the East Coast to the West, and when four people just go with their thing, what comes out is a whole. Don't ask "a whole what?", just listen. If only the smallest part of how much fun it was to make this record gets heard, it was all worthwhile.

Mike, Davy, Mickey, Peter

The controversy still haunts them. A 2002 reunion tour made one Amazon reviewer note that "it's mainly a Monkee sing-along to the sounds of a large generic backup band."

But even then, he concedes that "Peter really does play a variety of instruments here (and quite well)," and "There is one song where Mickey plays the drums... And Mickey's drumming is great on that song, for me it's one of the highlights of this DVD.

1:21 PM


50 Cent's movie gets a fascinating review from Roger Ebert.
Billboards for the movie have been protested by citizens' groups -- not do-gooders or killjoys but people who have seen the bodies on the streets and attended the funerals and seen drugs taking a deadly tax of young manhood. Hustle & Flow is about a man...who wants to escape the drug world and become a musical artist. Get Rich is about a man who hangs on in the drug world as long as possible, and becomes a musician because he is talented and very lucky. There is a difference between these two life strategies.

Still, I must review the movie, not offer counseling to Curtis Jackson. Get Rich is a film with a rich and convincing texture, a drama with power and anger...

The best thing that happens to Jackson is that he is sent to prison. This probably saves his life...

Ebert jokes that Get Rich or Die Tryin' "offers a limited range of choices, but we'll probably never see a film titled 'Get By and Don't Die.'"

3:34 PM


"In 1853, at the Calaveras grove, five Americans spent twenty-five days cutting down a 3000-year-old sequoia, 302 feet high and 96 feet in circumference.

"They polished the stump into a dance floor and hollowed out the fallen trunk into a bowling alley."

Americans and the California Dream: 1850-1915
by Kevin Starr

Link courtesy of

8:06 PM


This link is:
  • a comic by Goopymart
  • commentary on internet memes
  • an absurdist re-cap of this blog's last week
Trick question. It's all of the above!

My pal from reminds me there's also Michael Kupperman's comic strip collection Snake 'n' Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret.

12:05 PM


I've found my muse.

Presenting an original Destiny-land composition...

Snakes on a Plane.

Lyrics here.

12:01 AM


It'll be almost a year from now. But when the movie comes out, you'll want to have...

...a Snakes on a Plane t-shirt.

UPDATE: Or -- the other t-shirt.

6:31 PM

"no no seriously what is the movie called?"

"I love that title. All movies should be called Snakes on a Plane."

All across the web, fans are celebrating their discovery of this upcoming summer blockbuster with home-made images and home-grown songs.
Sneakin' up my pantleg,
rubbin' on my luggage,
cloggin' the drain -
snakes on a plane...

Everyone's searching for just the right twist. ("The lavatory is occupied... with snakes!") There's even a caption contest. ("What the hell?!? I ordered pythons!")

This meme is here to stay....

12:01 AM


If you are like most Americans, you are probably asking yourself, "How can I educate myself about the important issue of snakes on a plane?" Fortunately, New Line Cinema has prepared an educational film on this very subject, starring Samuel L. Jackson...

I'm finding web pages all over the net sharing my enthusiasm for the upcoming summer blockbuster.

VOICE OVER: In a world where snakes can get on a plane...

TICKET LADY: Enjoy the flight, Mr...(CHECKING THE NAME ON THE TICKET) Snakerson.

Even the screenplay writer behind "War of the Worlds" is weighing in.

"There are snakes on the plane. End of fucking story."

Apparently there was some controversy when New Line Pictures considered switching the title to Pacific Air 121. But in an interview, Samuel L. Jackson set them straight.

Samuel L. Jackson: Snakes on a Plane, man!

Interviewer: Exactly.

Samuel L. Jackson: We're totally changing that back. That's the only reason I took the job: I read the title.

Interviewer: Snakes on a Plane! That's everything!

Samuel L. Jackson: You either want to see that, or you don't.

This was a relief to comic strip characters everywhere.

See actual photos from the film!

12:15 AM


Samuel L. Jackson's next movie is called:
Snakes on a Plane.

Let that sink in for a minute. We live in a world where a movie exists called, simply:
Snakes on a Plane.

Already a message board for the movie has lit up with sheer joy over this wonderful madness. You can sense the buzz just by reading its subject lines...
  • 'we just can't figure out why the box office is down...'

  • My sequel: Snakes on a Boat

  • Not Possible! Never Would Happen! [by spoilerpunk7]

On the message boards at, SpoilerPunk7 notes that "There are no damn snakes in Hawaii and even if the bad guy brought them from some other country or whatever, he still wouldn't have made it onto that plane because Hawaii is so incredibly strict about having snakes...."

At which point someone makes the obvious counter-observation. "You're nitpicking a movie called Snakes On A Plane..."

Catch the mania. ("This is the best thing to happen to cinema since sound.") Catch the madness. ("I came on this plane specifically to get away from snakes yet here they are! ON A PLANE!") Catch the message board's heartfelt petition, in which 50 posters have already participated. ("If you want this movie to be titled SNAKES ON A PLANE, post here...")

But if you follow one link - just one - you simply must see the home-made movie poster created specifically for....

Snakes on a Plane.

12:43 AM


I watched the Emmy's tonight.

Random notes I jotted throughout the night...

  • Paul Newman didn't show up. Snap! What a snub!

  • Geoffrey Rush is so cool!

  • I got a little misty during the Carson tribute. Especially when he sang "Here's that Rainy Day" with Bette Midler.

  • Wow - Tarantino showed up. I didn't know he made his debut as an Elvis performer on "The Golden Girls."

  • They really hit George Bush pretty hard. They showed Jon Stewart following a clip of Bush by saying "You know I love you, that's why I hit you." And Blythe Danner thanked "our kids in Iraq. Let's get the hell out!"

  • I'll just note that William Shatner didn't sing the lyrics to the Star Trek theme.

  • "Don't push me. Take your hands off me unless you plan to arrest me."
    - - Dan Rather in 1968. I've always wanted to see that clip....

  • In Memoriam: Jerry Orbach, Bob Denver.

  • Pretty classy, bringing out Charlie, the little boy from New Orleans.

  • I was glad Lost finally won something. And that they brought the whole cast onto the stage for it -- Charlie, Sawyer, Sayeed, Locke, Jin, Hurley, Jack...

12:38 AM

One last thought while watching the Emmys...

Ooo - "Martha Behind Bars" looks good.

It's CBS's made-for-TV movie next week.

12:34 AM

I was surprised Letterman showed up. But for a tribute to Carson, that makes sense. He loved Carson.

Letterman said today's viewers would miss seeing TV with that much "wit, charm, intelligence and grace."

"With all respects to the laws of astrophysics, Johnny Carson's star never cooled."

He also offered a good re-use of the ancient Greek saying that "One must wait until the evening to see how the day has been." And in homage to Art Fern, Letterman added...

"Whenever I'm driving on the freeways of Southern California, I still think about cutting off my Slauson."

12:31 AM


In Beverly Hills, California, they gathered at the Museum of Television and Radio to commemorate the career of Bob Denver with a special screening.

A 1963 episode from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis titled "Call of the, Like, Wild." ("Maynard suddenly becomes a magnet for girls -- unaware that he has accidentally switched his hair tonic with a bottle of musk designed to attract members of the opposite sex.")

7:35 PM


The Professor weighs in...
"To his friends/fans the world over, we share our tears with you," Johnson wrote Tuesday on his fan Web site. "Frankly, Bob Denver would adore your laughter most of all. That's more than likely why God created him."

6:00 PM


"As silly as it seems to all of us, it has made a difference in a lot of children's lives. Gilligan is a buffoon that makes mistakes, and I cannot tell you how many kids come up and say, 'But you loved him anyway.'"

-- the actress who played Mary-Ann

10:11 PM


Yesterday I was blown away by the music video from Miami Latin artist J.D. Natasha.

Her song Plástico rocks so hard...

I wake, turn off the alarm, at 7:30.
I call you, you don't answer, so much fury.
I hope for you, I don't see you, it's driving me crazy.
You abandon me, lie to me, I love you.
No, no, no, no more with these games!
I am not a Barbie made of plastic!
I have a soul!
I have a soul!
I am at home, reading your letters, oh what shit.
I'm stupid for loving you.
It's hurting me.
No, no, no, no more with these games!
I am not a Barbie made of plastic!
I have a soul!
I have a soul!
I have a soul!

Lyric translation from the Spanish original.
Profiles here.

1:17 PM


The song "Iko Iko" was a New Orleans song written in the 1950s. Its mysterious words -- "Jockamo, fee-no ai" - are thought to be Cajun, a mixture of Creole, French and English.

After 50 years of folk singers, the original author of the song was tracked down by offBeat magazine. They asked him what does "Jock-a-Mo" mean? Is it Mardi Gras Indian lingo? Does it mean court jester? "What does it mean?"

His answer?

"I really don't know. (Laughs)"

Stolen from Torrez

10:03 PM


Mark Evanier makes a nice observation about celebrity web sites...
"I think it's kinda neat that people are often survived by their websites. Buddy Hackett's is still up, happily proclaiming -- as it did before he left us -- that Buddy is retired and taking a nap. And at Rodney Dangerfield's site, you can still e-mail him. Maybe we should all bombard him with insults. I think Rodney would appreciate being heckled in the afterlife."

8:20 AM


The 75th anniversary of Blondie is being celebrated with cool cross-overs from other comic strips.

Blondie (and Dagwood) have been visited by Beetle Baily, the Family Cirus, the Wizard of Id, Hi and Lois, Gasoline Alley, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible, and even the pets from Mutts!

Links courtesy of News from ME

10:55 PM


Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro have been tapped to promote the Utah State Fair. Now you can watch their funny TV ads on YouTube.

NAPOLEON: Horses are magnificent. They can be ridden on, and they can pull a sled.

But did you know that the first horses were invented by a Utah State Fair scientist to defend pioneer farms of old from wild Sasquatch attacks?

[Napoleon holds up a pencil drawing of
a horse fighting a Sasquatch.]

PEDRO: Who won?


PEDRO: Who won the battle?

NAPOLEON: Do you see any flipping Sasquatches around here?

The Utah State Fair. All your wildest dreams will come true.

7:00 PM


Herbie: Fully Loaded opens with a poignant montage showing the last 25 years in the volkswagen's life. It used the perfect song - the Beach Boys' wistful "Getcha Back."

The other night they were playing our song
Hadn't heard it for oh so long
Took me back darlin' to that time in my car
When you cried all night cause we'd gone too far.

But if you buy the soundtrack, Disney swapped in a cover of the song by Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath -- and, changed the lyrics.

Took me back darlin' to that time in my car
When you cried all night cause we drove too far.

1:06 PM


Who changed the lyrics for "Born to Be Wild?"

Walt Disney changed the lyrics for "Born to Be Wild."

For Herbie: Fully Loaded, they used classic rock songs covered by modern bands - like Caleigh Peters singing the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun", the Donnas singing BTO's "Roll on Down the Highway", and the Mooney Suzuki singing Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild."

But if you listen closely, the motorcycle anthem's lyrics have been changed to eliminate a reference to firearms. Yeah, gonna make it happen...

"...Take the world in a love embrace.
Fire all your en-gines at once, and
explode into space."

It used to be "Fire all of your guns at once."

UPDATE: Amazon reviewers are alleging that Disney used the original version of "Born to Be Wild" in the movie, as well as the Beach Boys' "Getcha Back" and Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend" - but then swapped in covers for their soundtrack album.

File this one under "Born to be Mild."

6:47 PM


The former lead singer of Creed is almost kicked out of the Gainesville Denny's.

A woman he tried to pick up had lured him there, just so her cruel friends could enjoy an evening of saying "Hey, aren't you the former lead singer of Creed?"

P.S. This is a cool blog.

9:08 AM


I've made up a new word.


It's that state where your movie-going habits start to conflict with your inherent indecisiveness.

Specifically, when you're not even sure you want to watch the movies that you yourself ordered with your NetFlix account....

A NetFlix executive, looking over the renting habits of a new customer, says...
"Uh-oh. Five weeks in, and he's already getting flickle."

This may be the best new word since "Obloggerated".

12:01 AM


Before he played the bearded mountain man "Grizzly Adams," Dan Haggerty was a bare-chested body-builder.

Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon walk past him in Muscle Beach Party. (He was "Riff", the body-builder who jiggles his chest muscles and whistles "Shave and a Haircut, Six Cents.")

He also appeared in the commune scene in Easy Rider - and built the film's motorcycles!

Haggerty has the distinction of being the only person to have his star removed from Hollywood's "Walk of Fame." The selection committee made a mistake when awarding their star to 40s B-movie actor Don Haggerty.

Although Dan Haggerty did win a a 90-day prison sentence in 1984 for selling cocaine.

12:19 AM


I loved the Oompah Loompah songs Danny Elfman wrote for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Today I found an interview where Elfman reveals that the Augustus Gloop song "was inspired by big brassy Bollywood production pieces!"

And the controversy about trimming Roald Dahl's original words, like for the Augustus Gloop lyrics?

"In the book, they were written more like extended chants than songs, but his lyrics already had a wonderful rhythm to them. In the end, I had to do a lot of editing, but I think I was 95% true to the book, with just a bit of tweaking here and there."

He remembers that Tim Burton "kept throwing me off center by suggesting different styles of music that I wasn't expecting." But...

"...we had worked together enough times so that I knew I could do a lot of crazy things without shocking him!"

"I can't remember when I've had more fun working at all. It was truly and wonderfully nuts!"

The web page even offers mp3s with sound clips from all the songs. But it's really better if you let the movie surprise you.

10:52 AM


In 7 weeks, they'll release a DVD with the first season of Lost.

It'll be 7 discs.

They'll fill it with the 24 hour-long episodes, plus deleted scenes showing more flashbacks of the characters' lives. Along with the usual interviews with the creators, designers, and the cast, they'll throw in a feature on the making of the (Emmy-nominated) first episode, and the actors' original audition tapes.

Plus "an island of secrets still to be revealed."

11:18 PM


The Oompah Loompahs were even scarier in the original book.

In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they sing their stern judgments with extensive and gleeful details about the fates of the bad children.

For example, Augustus Gloop.

A hundred knives go slice, slice, slice;
We add some sugar, cream, and spice;
We boil him for a minute more,
Until we're absolutely sure....

For Tim Burton's movie, Danny Elfman changed that lyric to "We boil it for a minute more..."

Elfman sang, produced, and wrote music for all the songs. But Dahl's lyrics were apparently so vicious, that Elfman had to trim out most of them.

As an example, here's Roald Dahl's original lyrics for the Augustus Gloop song. Italics show the only lines that Danny Elfman kept.

Augustus Gloop! Augustus Gloop!
The great big greedy nincompoop!

How long could we allow this beast
To gorge and guzzle, feed and feast
On everything he wanted to?
Great Scott! It simply wouldn't do!

However long this pig might live,
We're positive he'd never give
Even the smallest bit of fun
Or happiness to anyone.

So what we do in cases such
As this, we use the gentle touch,
And carefully we take the brat
And turn him into something that

Will give great pleasure to us all --
A doll, for instance, or a ball,
Or marbles or a rocking horse.
But this revolting boy, of course,

Was so unutterably vile,
So greedy, foul, and infantile

He left a most disgusting taste
Inside our mouths, and so in haste

We chose a thing that, come what may,
Would take the nasty taste away.

'Come on!' we cried, 'The time is ripe
To send him shooting up the pipe!

He has to go! It has to be!'
And very soon, he's going to see
Inside the room to which he's gone
Some funny things are going on.

But don't, dear children, be alarmed;
Augustus Gloop will not be harmed,
Although, of course, we must admit
He will be altered quite a bit.

He'll be quite changed from what he's been,
When he goes through the fudge machine:

Slowly, wheels go round and round,
and cogs begin to grind and pound;

A hundred knives go slice, slice, slice;
We add some sugar, cream, and spice;

We boil [it] for a minute more,
Until we're absolutely sure

That all the greed and all the gall
Is boiled away for once and all.

Then out he comes! And now! By grace!
A miracle has taken place!

This boy, who only just before
Was loathed by men from shore to shore,

This greedy brute, this louse's ear,
Is loved by people everywhere!
For who could hate or bear a grudge
Against a luscious bit of fudge?"

But to be fair, 34 years ago, I remember a kid on the playground talking about Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He'd read the book - "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - and through the entire movie he'd waited to hear the Oompah Loompahs sing...
"Augustus Gloop, Augustus Gloop, The great big greedy nincompoop!"
But they didn't.

I wonder if he'd even remember that conversation. But I did. Saturday, watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When the Oompah Loompahs finally sang...

"Augustus Gloop, Augustus Gloop, The great big greedy nincompoop!"

8:41 PM


William Shatner got an Emmy nomination.

He's up against two supporting actors from Lost - Terry O'Quinn ("Locke") and Naveen Andrews ("Sayid").

Lost was also nominated as best drama, best director (for its first episode), and twice for best writing for a drama - the pilot episode, plus "Walkabout. It's the episode where Locke, in a wheelchair, shouts "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

  • Of the 5 nominees for "best writing in a comedy series" - 3 are for episodes of "Arrested Development"

  • Of the 5 nominees for "best actress in a comedy series" - 3 are from Desperate Housewives.

  • They're up against Jane Kaczmarek, the mom on Malcolm in the Middle, who's been nominated six times now, but never won.

  • Quentin Tarantino was nominated for directing an episode of CSI

Yahoo readers were asked which Lost actors should have also received nominations. They chose:
Matthew Fox ("Jack") - 51%
Dominic Monaghan ("Charlie") - 15%
Evangeline Lilly ("Kate") - 15%
Josh Holloway ("Sawyer") - 10%
Jorge Garcia ("Hurley") - 7%
Maggie Grace ("Shannon") - 3%

10:50 AM


Dear NetFlix:

Your page for the 1960 movie "Stop, Look and Laugh" says it stars "ventriloquist Joe Winchell."

It was PAUL Winchell!!! He played the voice of Tigger, and (believe it or not) designed the first artificial heart! (Which works alot like the mouth on a ventriloquist's dummy.) It even says "Paul Winchell" on the picture your page is showing of the movie's cover!

He died this weekend at the age of 82. On this day when we're remembering PAUL Winchell, your movie page should probably identify him AS Paul Winchell.


NetFlix subscriber #100012

The Associated Press found a good quote from Paul Winchell from a 1988 interview.
"I first met Walt Disney 25 or 30 years ago. He said, 'We're both in the same business. I use cartoons and you use dummies and we both entertain children.' That was long before I started working here. Walt gave me a VIP tour of the studio. I remember people doing voices.

"I said, 'Gee, that must be fun.' And here I am."

Mark Evanier remembers the time they worked together on an episode of the Saturday Morning cartoon Garfield. Evanier includes as one of the stupidest things he's ever said in his life the time he said to the ventriloquist:

"I'm sorry, Paul, but I've got you talking to yourself here on page three. You think you can handle it?"

"I always felt a little in awe of Paul, and unable to properly communicate to him what his presence on TV had meant to me as a child. I told him how I'd treasured my Jerry Mahoney ventriloquist figure and practiced endlessly to try and do what he did...

"I'm not sure he understood how valuable his example had been to so many in my generation, even though most of us Winchell fans hadn't grown up to become voice-tossers or even performers."

Read Paul Winchell's amazing story about his rough childhood on the lower East Side that led him into ventriloquism...

4:28 PM


I decided to check in on the internet's homegrown experimental animation scene.

That's how I discovered this classic work of outsider art, entitled:

French erotic film or Colin Mochrie versus Jesus H. Christ.

7:32 PM


There's something quaint about a magazine called "Modern Man" from 1955. But if you want to frame a copy and hang it in your new apartment, Magazine can help.

And they've also got a pretty impressive collection of vintage cheesecake magazine covers, too.

9:22 PM


A San Francisco oldies station may have been sending a message this afternoon, playing the 1970 song "I Want You Back" by - the Jackson 5.
Oh baby, give me one more chance.
Won't you please let me
back in your heart...

Tryin' to live without your love
is one long sleepless night.
Let me show you, girl,
that I know wrong from right...

Oh baby, all I need is one more chance.
Won't you please let me
back in your heart.

7:18 PM


A sweet story about young people in Los Angeles.

It ends up with a USC web designer getting engaged.

9:35 PM


Remember Jessica Cutler, the sex-blogging intern who worked for Senator Mike DeWine? (R-Ohio)

USA Today reports that she's "already moved beyond her infamous blog. 'I don't even remember doing that stuff. I don't even remember what those guys looked like.'"

But they remember her.

On May 16, Robert Steinbuch, a staff attorney for DeWine, filed a federal invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Cutler...citing her written references to his "spanking and hair pulling" during their bedroom antics and claiming to be a victim of her writerly ambition, resulting in "humiliation and anguish beyond that which any reasonable person should be expected to bear in a decent and civilized society..."

4:58 PM


Maybe they should've called it "Herbie: Unloaded".

Teen actress Lindsay Lohan's breasts have been digitally reduced for the forthcoming Disney film Herbie: Fully Loaded, to avoid offending family audiences.

Test screenings for the new movie... indicated that some parents felt Lohan's character Maggie Peyton was too raunchy for a children's film.

Disney technicians were forced to plough through numerous scenes - especially those showing the busty actress jumping up and down at a motor racing track, reducing her breasts by two cup sizes and raising revealing necklines on her T-shirts...

That's the rumor online. But the movie's (female) director told Zap 2 that it isn't true.
Asked directly if computer wizardry had been used to obscure cleavage or eliminate unwanted prurient implications, Robinson responds tersely.


...the actress spends much of the film in a racing suit that reveals less skin than your typical Amish casual wear.

UPDATE: I'm now Yahoo's #4 match for the phrase:
"herbie fully loaded digitally altered"

8:34 PM

Downey Records isn't actually in Downey...

Well, it's 25 feet from the "Now Entering Downey" sign. But if you look at a map, that sign is just in the wrong place....
Apparently Downey Records was in the back of Wenzel's Music Town, a record store serving Southern California's music lovers for 40 years.

Now it's a hub cap store.

Downey is also home to the world's oldest (still functioning) McDonalds on Lakewood Boulevard, north of Firestone Boulevard. The locals want to preserve it as a historic place - though ironically, McDonalds itself wants to tear it down. (There's four other McDonalds outlets in the city...)

Some suspect it's a cover-up. Ray Kroc learned the fast food business from Dick and Mac McDonald in Downey, and later bought their restaurants. McDonalds likes to claim the first McDonald's restaurant was the one opened later by Ray Kroc in Illinois...

See also: the first McDonald's commercials - which starred Willard Scott!

4:23 PM


Before their classic surfing song "Pipeline," here's how the Chantays got their recording contract. They were high-school aged kids near Santa Ana, and...
"In 1962 during summer vacation we travelled to Big Bear, California, to jam at a club where one of our friends was appearing. We could not find the club, so we asked around and found this outdoor stage where a record party was to take place in Lake Arrowhead.

"We sat up our equipment near a refreshment stand and before we knew it a large crowd formed, and we were happy to hear that executives from the record industry were present. The band was offered a recording session and Downey Records signed The Chantays."

The song's original name was "44 Magnum".

Pal Records producer Paul Buff claims the Chantays also took his recording and arrangement of "Pipeline" to Downey Records, where it was re-recorded and released.

More surfing pop song stories...

12:47 PM


Spammers sneak past email filters by writing a few extra sentences that sound like a genuine email. Sometimes it's zen-like nonsense....

Today's spammer wisdom?

Character is the result of two things: Mental attitude and the way we spend our time.

Without Elvis, none of us could have made it.

5:58 AM


Whoa. The web site for Oceanic Airlines has some unexpected surprises.

We regret to announce that Oceanic Airlines has ceased all operations effective immediately.

Michael Orteig, President of Oceanic Airlines, released this statement: "...Due to the financial difficulties in the wake of the Flight 815 tragedy, we are no longer able to sustain service."

But if you hold your mouse over the text, you see another message.

Robert D. West, of Santa Barbara, California, USA survived a horrific plane crash and is stranded on an island somewhere Northeast of Australia and Southwest of Hawaii. In the event that I am never found, please forward word of my fate to my parents, Mr. and Mrs. John West, of Tucson Arizona. Thank you.

The comments on the "Travellers" page also contains a similar message, hidden in the web page's source code.

But if you enter a specific set of seat numbers, you'll be shown a trailer for the next season of Lost.

"They're not the survivors they thought they were."

See also: the Driveshaft site

3:34 PM


So I just watched the episode of "Yes, Dear" where John Hiatt sings the song Jimmy wrote.
"Another morning in my security box.
Every stage has free bagels and lox.
I just noticed I'm wearing two different-colored socks.
Man, this Vanilla Coke really rocks.

My second-favorite actor
has gotta be Captain Kirk.
These are things I think about at work....

I think Mr. T can take Russell Crowe in a fight.
I'd like to be Mr. Britney Spears for just one night.
I've always thought that guinea pigs were odd.
The man who invented NutRageous is a god.

If I were Hercules, all my best friends could just call me Herc.
These are things I think about at work."

6:50 PM

What's the best way to celebrate the release of the new Star Wars movie? How about foot-long Pez dispensers that play music.

"The force be with you as you munch yummy PEZ candy dispensed from these giant space heroes and villains!"

"Authentic Star Wars music plays when candy is dispensed."

The Jedi Council has been conqured by Sportsline Distributors.

6:22 AM


Pet sounds is an album that everyone should own, study, cherish, and enjoy. "Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds" is an open-ended experiment conducted out of reverence, curiosity, and awareness of the sobering fact that you can't improve upon perfection.
A group of electronic music fans re-mixes tracks from classic Beach Boys album.

The weird project taught them many things - that "the recognizable elements of Pet Sounds are still beautiful when presented in a drastically altered form." And, that "Great music never dies."

9:50 AM


They launched the raft!!!

9:04 PM


I just re-watched the first ten episodes of Lost. I really like the way some of them end with songs that underscore the moods and the characters' stories.

Episode 4
Hurley dumping sand out of his shoe, as the survivors settle in.

I've got troubles,
Oh, but not today,
Cause they're gonna wash away,
They're gonna wash away.

Episode 6
After the survivors relocate to a cave with running water, the camera pans the sad faces of those staying behind on the beach. Kate, Sawyer, Sayeed, Michael and Walt.

Look around you,
Look down the bar from you,
The lonely faces that you see.
Are you sure that this is where you want to be?

Episode 8
Sayeed leaves the others behind to wander the shore alone.

When my legs no longer carry,
and the warm wind chills my bones,
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone.

Joe Purdy, "Wash Away"
Willie Nelson, "Are You Sure"
Blind Boys of Alabama, "I Shall Not Walk Alone"

10:27 PM


Star Trek New Voyages appeared online - and 22 million people watched it.

It's a fan's home-made episode, in which Captain Kirk is played by Elvis impersonator James Cawley. But with 22 million viewers, it's more popular than the Star Trek Enterprise series currently being broadcast!

For his next episode, Cawley has hired the actor who played Ensign Chekov (Walter Koenig).

It reminds me of Starship Exeter.

6:23 AM



The robot cat!

Japan's consumer robots expand into the pet market....

9:08 AM


Los Simpsons?

San Francisco TV station KBHK re-runs The Simpsons three times a day. For variety, Thursday they're re-broadcasting an entire episode in Spanish.

"It's your chance to hear Homer's marriage proposal to Marge in Español. Listen to Bart and Lisa scream at each other in Español. And wait 'till you hear Patti and Selma criticize Homer in Español."

¡ Happy Cinco de Mayo!

6:28 AM


Beer Floats.

I use "pralines & cream" ice cream (sweet, yet tangy), and drop it into a stein of Negra Modelo - a dark-yet-mellow beer.

I'm not the only one. The Times Square Brewery in New York apparently makes their stout into a chocolate milkshake.

Inspired in part by this scene from John Steinbeck's Cannery Row (1945).

The waitress, a blonde beauty with just a hint of a goiter, smiled at him. "What'll it be?"

"Beer milk shake" said Doc.


Well here it was and what the hell. Might just as well get it over with now as some time later...

7:40 AM


TV on your cellphone.

That's the prediction of a research group called Informa.

130,000 TV phones are expected to be sold this year. Within five years, Informa predicts, the number of cellphone/TV watchers will leap to 125 million.

10:02 PM


My friend Laura watched her first episode of Lost last night. She writes that "It was really exciting...and suspenseful.

"I just wonder what hijinks Gilligan will get into next....."

10:43 PM


"Firefox is the gayest browser ever."

For some reason, this web page (that you're reading now) is Google's #1 match for that phrase.

But then again, it's also Google's #7 match for the phrase:

pics of Lois from Malcolm in the Middle naked

10:22 PM


Al Jean, a writer for The Simpsons, always remembered this famous moment of TV executive zen.

"An executive once said to me, 'When you take a comedy and remove the humor, what remains should still be funny.'"

12:47 AM


A song whose lyrics have never appeared on the web.

Until now.....

6:39 PM

Gilligan got a special treat from Mary Ann in 1998.

30 grams of marijuana.

At least, that's what police sources claimed - after spending two hours searching the home of Gilligan's Island star Bob Denver. Police Detective Keith Compton told E! Online they'd found old check stubs for $6000 worth of pot purchases made from Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann, over three years.

According to other news reports, "prosecutors were pressuring him to name Wells as his supplier." But instead, "Denver testified that 'some crazy fan must have sent it.' His punishment was six months probation."

2:17 PM


"Click Here to go to the FCC Complaint Form!"

Sure, if you want to narc out That 70s Show. The nice folks at the Parents Television Council issued an Action Alert about possible offensive material in its March 24, 2004 episode, "Happy Jack."

They watched it over and over again, transcribed it, then published their transcript on the web. So that you could read it, and then protect your kids (and anyone else's) from ever having to watch it for themselves.

And - HA HA HA HA!!!! Some of these jokes are REALLY FUNNY! Er, uh, I mean...

"WARNING: The following content summary is explicit and will be EXTREMELY offensive to many."

"This is Donna's fault with all her 'No more sex 'till we're married' crap. You guys have no idea how hard it's been to have no sex at all...."

The Parents Television Council was responsible for 99.9 percent of indecency complaints to the FCC.

10:44 PM


WHEREAS, Napoleon's tetherball dexterity emphasizes the importance of physical education in Idaho public schools....

WHEREAS, any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote "Nay" on this concurrent resolution are "FREAKIN' IDIOTS!"

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session of the Fifty-eighth Idaho Legislature...that we commend Jared and Jerusha Hess and the City of Preston [Idaho] for showcasing the positive aspects of Idaho's youth, rural culture, education system, athletics, economic prosperity and diversity.

Amazingly, the Senate and House of the Idaho State legislature both passed this concurrent resolution last Thursday honoring the creators of the film Napoleon Dynamite.

9:23 PM


Satellite photos of any address in America? It's what Google's new map service is offering. (Just click the word "Satellite" in the peach-colored bar below the search button.)

New technology is supposed to be fun - so as a public service, I tested it out with the addresses of various amusement parks. Here's Google's satellite photos of Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and Universal Studios.

Use your arrow keys for a fly-over!

Thanks to Andy!

5:26 PM


Right now I'm listening to Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space. It's "one of the greatest party records of all time," according to one site.

"In lieu of a theremin or similar electronic instrument, the Star Trek instrumentals feature a screaming reverb-laden combo organ with all vibrato switches 'set to stun'.

"Musical accompaniment is provided by a Ventures style surf group with a liberal supply of amphetamine sulphate."

Besides offering many sound clips, the web page singles out one particular instrumental track with for its classy title - "Music to Watch Space Girls By."

And it notes that this is just one of Leonard Nimoy's many musical gems.

I busted up laughing when Nimoy said "catch a falling earth and put it in your pocket." Whoa, far out, man....

9:31 PM


Composer Hank Levine arranged and conducted the songs on Ann-Margret's sultry 1963 album "Bachelor's Paradise."

In its quaint liner notes, he offers a thoughtful appraisal of the resulting artistry.

"They tell me women don't like other women with too much sex appeal. Let me tell you ladies you're missing a bet if you don't keep this recording on your phonograph every night because if all husbands feel the way I do, then, believe me, you'll see us staying home more! Oooooooh, man, yes-sireeeeee."

That's just embarrassing...

12:30 AM


Ha! Someone at work predicted I was going to have bad luck today.

And I'm like, oooh, I'm so scared. Is it the end of the world? Are meteors going to strike my web page? BWA HA HA!

So I'm daring bad luck to strike me. It just goes to show you that stupid people will believe anything. Especially today - April 1.

If you catch my meaning...

Click here to see the special enhanced edition of this post which appeared on April 1.

Click here for more. Link via Waxy.

6:13 AM


Don't miss Part II...

A discussion thread Monday, some questions about her real name, and then it ended "in a rather bittersweet way. Lots of tears, lots of phones, lots of moms."

"Nobody call Laura or her school anymore. Everybody knows now. Laura K. Krishna is Just a Dumb Kid With a Nice Mom."

5:02 PM

So Laura K. Krishna asks a stranger online to write a college term paper for her about the Hindu religion.
Nate Kushner: Yeah, that;s something we can talk about... As long as you understand that plagiarism is not going to free you from the painful cycle of death and rebirth any quicker.

Laura K. Krishna: ok
Laura K. Krishna: so can u help me

In her final paper, there's a caste called "the Shudahelupta"

4:50 PM


H.P. Lovecraft + The Family Circus =

The Nameless Dread.

"The clean cartoon lines are a semblance of order waiting to be violated by intimations of the fearfully glimpsed...."

8:09 PM


Amazon displays additional links next to the products it sells, like "buy it used" and "add to wedding registry".

It turns out that isn't always appropriate.

"What could be funnier than watching your mother-in-law unwrap an anal douche on Christmas morning? Based on my experience in December 1998, nothing."

11:09 AM

NBC is airing its last two episodes of the TV show LAX. The show never got off the ground, despite attempts to be controversial...
"There was a scene where a Marine and his girlfriend wanted to get married and the airport staff was able to get them married on the tarmac. When the Marine went onto the plane the new wife jumped for joy and the wedding dress fell off and revealed her breasts."

Here's something you don't see every day. A fan forum with zero messages.

I think it'd be more interesting if they made a TV show about a bus terminal.

9:59 AM


Cool. The Perry Bible Fellowship comic strip is now also available in t-shirts!

I think the t-shirt vendor has a cute name, too:

"Cure for Nudity."

11:24 PM


Japanese "anime" comic books - artsy drawings, sometimes with adult themes - are a target for small-town censors in this naturalistic drama about a comic book store owner.

Surprisingly, it's appearing in installments in the newspaper comic strip Funky Winkerbean.

It starts innocently enough - a mother goes to the comic book store. She's startled by what she sees, and warns "Don't worry. I'll be back."

And then the story escalates.

"Great! Eight previously solicited titles have had pushbacks in their publication dates... Can this day possibly get any worse?"

"You're under arrest."

"That was a rhetorical question."
Poignantly, the kids at the store don't understand. The owner of the store is escorted to the police car.

Out on bail, he's shown sadly bagging comic books...

3:39 PM

My pal at Cardhouse reminds me of a great project called the Art-o-Mat.

"Don't go 'round artless" their web site proclaims - displaying a vintage cigarette machine.

They convert them so the pull-knobs dispense: original art.

9:47 PM

Joel "We Like the Subs" Veitch has released another crazy cartoon/music video.

It's called "First Drink of the Day".

And on this one, he actually sings vocals!

8:41 PM

Leisuretown is back.

The strange, wonderful photo-cartoon disappeared from the internet 18 months ago - except for a sad, poignant donation page.

Suddenly, without warning, Leisuretown has reappeared, sporting a new front page, an updated interface -- and an online store where the cartoons' plastic, bend-able figures can be purchased.

"Join forces with the protagonist from American Masturbator and watch members of your immediate peer group stop returning emails and phone calls..."

"This commerce caravan would never exist in a million years if it weren't for the repeated, hostile requests made over time by beloved constant readers such as yourself..."

7:24 PM


Magic numbers?

Bet the lottery with 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 - and you win $156 million. At least, that's what happened to Hurley on Lost.

But then he started having bad luck, too. Injuries to relatives, unlucky backgammon rolls - even the plane crash?

It turns out he'd heard the numbers recited, over and over again, by a hospital in-patient. Who got them from a military man in Australia. Who'd heard them transmitted from a mysterious island in the middle of the ocean....

There is a pattern to the numbers. The distance between the first five numbers is 4, 7, 1, 7. (4, 4+3, 4-3, 4+3). And if you add those differences up, you get 19 - the distance between the fifth and sixth number.

After the episode aired, 215 people rushed to Michigan's "Mega Millions jackpot," and bet 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

And they lost.


4:42 PM


the shotgunned cesspool of hyperreality.
art on the edge of damage.
share, disiminate and enjoy.

"Anti-Copyright, 1994, strictly not enforced," the site adds. "Share, distribute and enjoy. All comments and suggestions are encouraged and welcomed."

9:33 AM


A 4th grader asks the mayor what he would take to a deserted island.

The mayor answers: "a bottle of gin."

Er, okay, um, but Mr. Mayor - do you have any hobbies?


Ah, Las Vegas is a wonderful city...

Link via Hit and Run

4:37 PM


"I want to thank Warner Brothers -- for casting me in this piece of shit."

Halle Berry gave a heartfelt speech last night. Across town from the Oscars, at the "Razzie" awards ceremony, Berry actually turned up to accept the mocking award for her performance in Catwoman.

Clutching the Oscar she won in 2002, Berry railed against Catwoman. She dragged her agent on the stage, and said "next time read the script first."

"The Academy would like its Oscar back," the announcer joked.

Link via Waxy.

Elsewhere, Berry says "it's actually good that I'm getting a Razzie this year because now I'm back at the bottom. The expectation has been taken off me..."

6:10 AM


"Oh crap, I'm not like that. Nobody can really be like that. I mean, if I really believed all that stuff, I'd have to be mentally retarded or something. And I'm not."

Sandra Dee was interviewed by Roger Ebert in 1967. And she railed against her public image...

"I'm 25 years old, and it so happens that I like to smoke. So out in Hollywood the studio press agents are still pulling cigarettes out of my hand and covering my drink with a napkin whenever my picture is taken. Little Sandra Dee isn't supposed to smoke, you know. Or drink. Or breathe."

Roger Ebert once complained about the lack of real access to the movie stars of today. In the the golden age of film criticism - the late 60s - Ebert performed these sit-down interviews which were candid and revealing.

"I'll never take off my clothes in the movies... Never...."

Even when the answers are evasive - the observant film critic can still capture a celebrity's special essence.

"The other day on a radio program, I really got carried away. The interviewer asked me what I thought about premarital sexual relations, and I told him."

Uh, what did you tell him?

"Never mind," said Sandra Dee.

Three years later, Sandra Dee changed her mind and appeared naked in The Dunwich Horror.

And two years after that, Ebert's film essays won him a Pulitzer Prize

8:39 PM


A British film magazine picks the 10 worst Best Picture winners at the Academy Awards.
#9. Rocky

#7. Around the World in 80 Days

More info here...

Chose your own from this list of all past Best Picture winners

4:27 PM


Sometimes Google's movie-search feature gets it right.
movie: comic book Keanu Reeves awful in

Google says: Constantine

movie:worst movie ever made

Google says: Shanghai Nights and A.I.

movie: gayest movie ever made

Google says: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

movie: best Elvis movie ever

Google says: Harum Scarum

4:45 PM

Google's introduced a new search feature. Type "movie:" before what you're looking for, and Google will find it.

movie: [your zip code] - Google finds movies now playing

movie: [description] - Google guesses which movie you want

Er, it doesn't always guess right, though.
movie: Sandra Dee naked - Google guesses "What a Girl Wants"

The correct answer? Sandra Dee was naked in The Dunwich Horror.

Google doesn't know which movie had Annette Funicello drunk, either.

4:35 PM


A North Carolina newspaper had a contest on their web site to guess: which Simpson's character would come out of the closet on the February 20 episode?

Homer's latest money-making racket was performing gay marriages - and he eventually got approached by....

Marge's sister Patty! ("You could see it from space, Marge!")

But what's more interesting is to see which characters viewers thought were going to come out as gay - according to the site's unscientific poll!

20% - Smithers
17% - Carl (and 6% for Lenny)
  8% - Ned Flanders
  8% - Barney Gumbel

  5% - Mrs. Crabapple
  5% - Moe the bartender
  4% - Groundskeeper Willie
  4% - Comic Book Guy
  3% - Disco Stu
  3% - Principal Skinner
  2% - Side-Show Bob
And the winner of their contest was......... me!

I was one of six people who correctly guessed Patty.

"We're extremely proud of you," the site's producer told me. Adding "The only person to vote for Mr. Burns was my mother."

6:38 PM


In 1988, the Stephen King horror film Carrie...

was made into a musical. Darlene Love played a gym teacher.

It's one of Broadway's uncelebrated failures, remembered on a new blog about musical theatre called Blogway Baby. Also noted is the new Beach Boys-inspired musical, "Good Vibrations" - especially this scathing review in Hollywood Reporter. insipid story about a group of restless teens who travel from their drab East Coast town in search of the fun, sun and beautiful blondes of Southern California.

Normally, more plot information would be provided here, but the coma that set in almost immediately after the opening number prevents memory of further details.


4:15 PM


Sandra Dee was 63, filmed A Summer's Place, and was married to Bobby Darin.

Hunter S. Thompson was 67, wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and was honorary night manager at the Mitchell Brother's adult theatre...

It's ironic that two such different people died on the same day. They were only four years apart - but that put them on opposite sides of the line dividing the 50s from the 60s. Ironically, I'd been thinking about Sandra Dee just recently...

Four months ago I'd wanted to rent a beach movie, and ended up with A Summer's Place. Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue fight very hard not to have sex. At one point after a chaste night on the beach, Sandra Dee returns to find her obsessive mother has even called a doctor to examine her to determine whether or not she's lost her virginity. There's lots of speeches from the kids and from the parents about the need to be honest, about the guilt of previous generations.... Not all of them are anti-sex speeches; some actually bemoan hypocrisy.

After the movie I did an obligatory web search for trivia. There's that song in Grease called "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee," with a stanza specifically addressed to Dee's co-star in "A Summer Place."

As for you, Troy Donahue,
I know what you wanna do.
You've got your crust,
I'm no object of lust.
I'm just plain Sandra Dee.
Er, so then how does she get knocked up in the last reel? (Whoops - I gave away the ending...)

And then the police are looking for them - because they're under-aged. They hide under a bridge as the sirens go by. Poor lost teen lovers....

In fact, for years I always thought the lyrics to "A Summer Place" were..

a summer place
where we can go,
we two,
be alone,
just you..."
That would've made alot more sense. But no, according to a web search, the lyrics are:
And the sweet secret of
A summer place
Is that it's anywhere
When two people share
All their hopes
All their dreams
All their love.
Reading her obituary tonight, I see a friend of the family saying Sandra Dee "didn't have a bad bone in her body." And that song in Grease? "She always had a big laugh about it. She had a great sense of humor."

There's more. "In a March 1991 interview with People magazine, Dee said she was sexually abused as a child by her stepfather and pushed into stardom by her mother. Dee, who turned to pills and alcohol, said she hit bottom after her mother died in 1988.

"'I couldn't function,'" she told People, adding that she began drinking more than a quart of scotch a day as her weight fell to 80 pounds. She said she stayed home almost constantly for three years."

I prefer to remember her as the drive-in icon she was. Apparently one of her last movies was "The Dunwich Horror" in 1970. Dee plays a librarian at the library with the only known copy of the Necronomicon. She gets drugged and kidnapped to a spooky old mansion where there's something scary in the attic....

One Amazon reviewer noted it's Sandra Dee's only movie with a nude scene.

9:27 PM

Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war....
Johnny Cash sang a song about the American Indian who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima.

As the 60th anniversary of the battle is remembered, it's sad to learn that Hayes died at the age of 32, just 10 years later, an alcoholic. Some say he was killed by the weight of fame from having been an Iwo Jima flag-raiser, and guilt over the loss of his fellow Marines...

Lee Marvin and Tony Curtis eventually played Hayes in biographical movies.

9:22 AM


"No movie is successful without my all-powerful thumb pointing up.

No movie can succeed when my all-powerful thumb points down..."

A long, surreal cartoon called "Burton and Jefferson Meet Roger Ebert at a Party." (Or "The Thumbs of Fate!! Horror beyond imagination!")

"How sad. I leave you two to your pathetic delusions of sentience..."

See also: Reminiscing about MTV

11:02 PM

The Nazi's banned the book "Bambi." It was translated into English by Whittaker Chambers (who 20 years later was a chief accuser in Nixon's part of the McCarthy hearings.) The book was ultimately brought to Walt Disney's attention by novelist Thomas Mann.

Disney's movie took five years to make. It contained just 900 spoken words, and the American Rifleman Association objected to the way hunters were depicted. By this time the book's author, Felix Salten, had already sold his rights, and made almost nothing from the film. (His book also has a sequel called "Bambi's Children", and in addition he wrote the book that Disney's "The Shaggy Dog" was based on. )

Meanwhile, the child star who provided the voice of Bambi never worked on another movie. Donnie Duggan joined the marines, taking bullets in his head, stomach, lung, and leg, much of it during the Tet offensive. The Disney studio didn't hear from him for decades, and assumed that he was dead.

It wasn't until last year that he turned up in Texas.

63 years after Bambi, he'd lost much of his life savings in the Enron debacle...

The name "Bambi" comes from the Italian word for baby. ("Bambino")

6:14 PM