Saturday, July 30, 2005
OK, so I have low taste in movies. That's not a surprise, right? After I saw Wedding Crashers, I knew there were plenty of things wrong with it, but I couldn't really put my finger on all of them. So I read Roger Ebert's review, and he spotted all the things I noticed, plus a few more, and wrote about them much better than I ever chould. For Ebert, they spoiled the movie. For me, they didn't. I laughed a lot, in spite of all the flaws, and I'd recommend it.
However, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the Surprise Guest Star didn't work nearly as well as the moviemakers must have thought he would. I just don't get the guy, I guess.
Rachel McAdams (photo at left) works just fine, however. I know it's unseemly for a geezer of my years to say so, but she's one cute chick (as we said back in the day). Now I'm going to have to watch Mean Girls.
And one other thing: You can't miss when you end a movie like this with Rod Stewart and the Faces doing "Stay with Me." Great stuff.
Friday, July 29, 2005
See, here's the deal. James Reasoner is starting to write a book this weekend. So am I. My deadline is November 1. I'll be lucky to get the book done by then. James's deadline is probably August 15. He'll finish by August 10.
But it doesn't bother me. Not in the least. No kidding.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
And it's my birthday.
I remember the first time I ever heard the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper album. I wasn't at the beach romancing a young woman or anything like that. I was sitting in the theater of the student union building at The University of Texas. Fred Williams and I were there to see whatever free movie was playing that day in the summer of 1967, and the Beatles were coming in on the speakers before the show began. For whatever reason, "When I'm 64" is the song I've always remembered from that afternoon. I was 26 years old, I'd been married two years, didn't have any kids, and couldn't even imagine that someday I'd actually be 64. It's just as well. I'd never have come close to the reality. As they said in a different context in Rolling Stone, what a long, strange trip it's been. Would I go back and do it all over? Sure. It would be worth it just to be 24 again for a while.
My father and I were both born on July 28, and my mother always tried to take a picture of the two of us together. I've posted a few of them on the photoblog.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised - a "female" android called Repliee Q1.
She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.
She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.
Roy Slater is a high school teacher in California, and he returns to Kingdom County, West Virginia, to nurse his father through his final illness. We gradually find out why he left in the first place, what happened to his brother (and why), what happened to the woman he loved, and what happened in his father's life. Cook has a nice way of foiling expectations at the same time he lets us see the inevitability of it all. The pieces fall into place and fit perfectly. A nice job, better than a lot of hardcovers. Check it out.
'When our officer caught up with him in the middle of the road, there were flower pots and house numbers in the buggy,' sheriff's spokesman John Hiscox said."
He neglected to mention the shag carpet on the wagon bed.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
I suppose you could call Earthquake Weather a crime novel, or even a mystery novel. There's a murder, and it's solved at the end of the book, but the murder and its investigation are secondary to the real subject of this book, which is Hollywood. And not just Hollywood but the people who inhabit it. Not the Big Guys, but the strugglers: the starlets who don't quite make it and turn to crack and sex, the schlock directors who just want to make money and don't give a damn about what kind of movies they make, the writers who burn out after seeing their ideas mangled one time too many, the low-level flunkies like Mark Hayes, the narrator, who's been going from job to job, waiting for the Big Break that will allow him to make movies. But who's going to hire a guy who's suspected of killing his latest boss?
If you're looking for a tour though some of the lower circles of Hell and don't want to dig out that copy of Dante's Inferno that you didn't read in college, you should grab Earthquake Weather and start reading. Nathanael West did Hollywood in the '30s about as well as it could be done. Lankford does the '90s and matches him stride for stride. Check it out.
The machines are owned by naughtyvend and their saucy contents include condoms as well as joke items.
They are doing a roaring trade, according to franchisee Keith Townley who is supplying the machines.
'Trade has been absolutely brilliant,' said Mr Townley."
Monday, July 25, 2005
The 'Desperate Housewives' actress admits she has been inviting dates back to her 'passion wagon' in the driveway of her luxury mansion.
Twice-wed Teri, 40, has only recently started seriously dating again after divorcing actor Jon Tenney more than two years ago."
My parents were big fans of Lawrence Welk and watched his show every week. I was never a fan of "Champagne Music," but even I enjoyed some of the performers, Pete Fountain in particular. I never could figure out how he and Welk got together. And of course I remember Myron Floren. I'm sorry to learn of his death.
OK, so you think you're nuts for collecting books or whatever. You're not alone. Check out these photos of plastic flamingos, G.I. Joes, Pez dispensers, and so on.
Blair Spent $3,130 on Makeup in Six Years
LONDON (AP) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has spent more than 1,800 pounds (US$3,130) of taxpayers' money on makeup and cosmetic artists over the past six years, according to the government.
In a written answer to Parliament, the government revealed Blair's Downing Street office had spent 1,050.22 pounds (US$1,826.66) on cosmetics for the prime minister's media appearances since 1999. In the past two years, a further 791.20 pounds (US$1,376.14) had been spent on makeup artists.
What I want to know is, how much does the U.S. spend on George W. Bush's make-up? We should be #1!