Archive for September, 2011

A few thoughts on the Playboy club

When I was in college, my big brother (longtime Bible comedian, George) in my fraternity (it’s not an effing frat. Would you call your country a vulgar euphemism for female genitalia? Only, maybe, if you were Michael Moore.) gave me the gift of Playboy for Christmas. I used to love the articles and, especially, the interviews (also the fact that a centerfold once wore penny loafers with pennies in them. That was pretty sexy. Iirc, my attention to Hef’s attention to detail resulted in the gift of Playboy mentioned earlier.). The Peter Sellers interview from the early years was one of the most heartbreaking interviews evar and I remember smuggling the one with the Jerry Seinfeld interview into the school library to make a photocopy to mail to a buddy who thought Seinfeld was a genius. (By that last sentence, I meant making a photostatic copy on paper, folding that paper, inserting it in an envelope, affixing a stamp and then entrusting the US Postal service with it’s remote delivery.)

Several years after college, a friend let me have a couple of 1970s issues from an old wooden box where his uncle had hidden them. They are among my prized possessions. I own a Playboy Club key, but don’t know where it is at the moment. However, an ashtray from the club adorns the cabinet by my front door. (please no smoking. It’s just for show.)

Being an intellectual fan of the magazine and a lifelong adherent to the Playboy Philosophy, you might think I would hate NBC’s The Playboy Club as a ham-handed, not-very-sexy, wildly-implausible, soap opera that could be so much better. While all those things are true, I don’t hate it. I’m maybe a little disappointed, but I’ve been kind of on the outs with Mad Men because it is a show about not just flawed but actively bad people, and The Playboy Club is a bit refreshing.

I choose not to focus on the ridiculous idea that a Playboy Bunny killed a Chicago crime boss and the guy who helped her clean it up was a former fixer for the mob getting ready to run for state’s attorney (UPDATE: I wrote that, then found out it’s actually true.), but on the way the main chick, Amber Heard, looks kind of like Scarlett Johansson, only pretty, and the way the main dude, Eddie Cibrian sounds just like Jon Hamm, not in the things he says (he doesn’t), but in the tone and inflection. Uncanny.

Newsflash, Amber Heard was the chick in Drive Angry. I knew she looked familiar and I loved that movie. I must have been so distracted by the awesomeness of the 3-D and the performances of David Fichtner and Billy Burke (not to mention the wonderfully subdued performance by one of America’s finest actors in Nic Cage), that I forgot about her. That kind of makes me totally embarrassed down in the subcockles region. And Drive Angry moves to number two on the Netflix queue after Batman & Robin, which I’m getting for the Rifftrax and the Alicia Silverstone in black latex. Was Anne Hathaway ever in an Aerosmith video about Catholic School girls bungee jumping off a bridge? Yeah? Really? Well what about one with Liv Tyler? I rest my case.

I also really like the very self conscious way that Carol Lynn/Carolyn is modeled after Joan from Mad Men. Classic.

I just watched the Drive Angry trailer. If you haven’t seen that movie, you need to. It was awesome in so many ways.

Animation cel project

For the animation cels, I’m toying with two ideas for the nineteenth century novel adaptation. The first is the Scarlett Avenger (the A on her chest stands for Avenger), and her trusty sidekick Pearl, who may or may not wear a white helmet shaped like a pearl. They will fight Chillingworth, who has mr. Freeze powers.

The second is a post Moby Dick Ishmael. His lair is Queequeg’s coffin, bigger on the inside, but maybe not a TARDIS. His sidekick is Queequeg’s ghost. I don’t quite know what he does as a super hero, but it would be awesome. Also, the idea of the cels is not meant to present a fully formed show. In fact, it’s meant to present something that could never be a show.

I’m also thinking of Seinfeld: The Cartoon. Also, the This Old House Fun Hour is looking awesomer all the time.

Paw Paws

I’ve been fascinated with PawPaws ever since I worked at Appalshop and the secretary/most competent person in the officed brought in a big bunch of the fruit the autumn I was there and gave me a bunch of them. A few years ago, JT, my brother Nevin and I went to a Paw Paw seminar at a state park in Ohio. They had tons of Paw Paw food, including barbecue. Great story on NPR today about the prospects for Paw Paws.

Strangely enough, a while back, I bought an Israeli movie by Avi Nesher (who also directed She and Doppelganger: The Evil Within) called Shovrim about a bungled film musical adaptation of the story of David and Goliath. That got me to thinking about another guy I knew at Appalshop, though just on the phone. George Fischoff wrote “Lazy Day” and “98.6,” and, while I was at Appalshop, he had written a musical based on David and Goliath. (He’s currently doing Gaugin: The Musical, though it’s a one man show, so there are no nude ladies, which is apropo, because Gaugin imagined most of his naked ladies.) At the time, the internet was young and pron was mostly free, but there was no youtube and I couldn’t get a copy of the David musical. I rectified that today. The deal was that we pay his airfare and hotel and he’d do several concerts at churches. Never could drum up any interest among the churches of Eastern Kentucky. I assure you it will be reviewed here, maybe at the same time I review Terra Nova.

I also got my DreamCast today. It doesn’t look great on the projector, I’m either going to move it to my TV or make the screen smaller. There’s no sound and one of the controllers doesn’t work. However, the system came with about 30 bootleg games. Bless you, preferred eBay seller!

Speaking of warburton

Caricatures of Patrick Warburton are nearly indistinguishable from caricatures of Jon Hamm:



iPod dock

I am now slightly obsessed with filling all the inputs on my stereo receiver. Judging by a lost auction on eBay, others have a similar obsession. I foolishly bid more for the Game Cube game Pikmin 2 than it was for sale on buy it now by another seller, who also had free shipping vs $3 for my auction. Luckily, someone was even stupider than me and I was outbid. Yay! I still curse my foolishness.

To celebrate, I bought an iPod dock for the Universal Port on my stereo receiver. (ok, so i bought it before i was outbid. Sue me. And what is a universal port, anyways?) The description says the remote for the receiver will work on my iPhone, but I don’t believe it. I will, however be able to watch the season premiere of Archer, yes, the one that features characters voiced by Jon Benjamin and Patrick Warburton in the same plane (total sploosh), and the one I’ve watched 3 times already, on my home theatre. Go me!


The mashup generator kind of predicted

I just don’t like Star Trek.



Purple cows are my constant

Terra Nova review is forthcoming, trust me. This evening, I want to talk about purple cows. Long ago, in the flats of northeast Arkansas, I was turned on to purple cows, a delectable mixture of grape syrup and soft serve mixed like a milkshake (you can mix the syrup in, but not out. Isn’t that odd?). Over the ensuing years, I’ve gone to great lengths to get one, several times foregoing the delicious flavors at Graeter’s and instructing the ice cream-ista (like a barista, get it?) to mix if like a milkshake (“not,” I noted, “like a Polaroid picture.”. Shaking would do nothing.)

Later, Sonic served purple cows under the forced whimsy of the more clinical term “grape cream/slush treat.”. The name belied it’s faux grapey goodness.

Over the weekend, i began to cra a GCST. As I am embroiled in a semi permanent lifestyle change until I lose 30 pounds, I have no room for the 370 calories Sonic’s website (not, FYI) told me were in one. As an alternative, I decided to make my own purple cow. I got some lite (that’s the way it’s spelt when the calories are reduced) vanilla yoghurt and some diet grape soda. I poured the yoghurt into plastic Zip-Loc baggies and flattened them out in the freezer. After an overnight stay, I broke up one of the bags and mixed it in the magic bullet with the diet grapeade. It was a pretty tasty failure. I set aside 370 calories (and a couple hundred for a corn dog from the Sonic zoo) for this weekend.

Pictures below.



Totally Geeking out over here

Today has been a pretty banner day.

I won an ebay auction for a DreamCast, a game system I once owned, but which eventually ended up in the hands of JT’s Mother’s Step mom’s grandkids (which I suppose would make the owners JT’s step-cousins, a moniker which really doesn’t tell much of a pretty interesting story). I am pretty excited about the triumphant return of my DC, albeit the original’s identical sibling.

Then, in the mail, I received SVK, a comic book by Warren Ellis and D’Israeli which comes with a portable blacklight to read the hidden messages inside. It looks like it’s a spy thriller with a sense of humor and heart (in the right place? IDK) with some secrets and some pithy asides hidden in the white space.

And then, I watched Terra Nova, which, apart from some iffy green screens and cg dinos (JT announced, “I’m DNA!”) and some clunky exposition (this is the probe they sent back which told them that…), totally didn’t suck and was actually quite good for much of the time. (the review will follow tomorrow, I think)

And then, a buddy who once worked at Sega brought by some of his favorite DreamCast games from his personal collection. He feels confident the DreamCast will look good on the home theatre, which is where I will debut it.


The second half of Thor

Even though Thor is made up of equal parts Sword in the Stone, Enchanted, and Jesus Christ (Superstar), along with a much heftier portion of The Lion King, I liked it in spite of myself. In tone, it actually reminded me somewhat of Flash Gordon. It’s campy, but also intentionally quite funny. The scene in the diner where Thor demands, “More!” and throws his coffee mug to the ground is pretty awesome. I declared that I will do that every time I drink coffee, but I chickened out both Saturday and this morning.

In addition to all this, Thor boasts one of the greatest villains in recent memory. Loki is at once smarmy, entitled, aggrieved, and a little bit sympathetic. He definitely has a little Uriah Heep in him. I can’t wait to see him in the new Avengers movie.

Turbo Encabulator redux

I’ve had this marked unread on my RSS for the last week. It reminded me of my discovery of the turbo encabulator. The story of this video is not nearly as interesting as mine (sort of cliched), but worth a few minutes of your time: