Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wild Thing

Just when you think MySpace is a waste of time, you get a friend request like this from Tina/Linda, a gal who looks very healthy physically despite an apparent mental identity crisis (under Tina's "About me" profile, she writes, " name is Linda and I'm originally from So Cal. I take pride in my figure and I work pretty hard for it.") Who would want to be enemies with someone like this? Tina/Linda is a testament to the collective power of merging genetics and technology with All-American free-market commerce.

Case in point, here Tina/Linda demonstrates how a simple Webcam can help a girl finance her college education:

As she puts it:
"Gee, where do I start. I spend just about all my free time on my computer. My webcam is always on. There's something about knowing I'm being watched that really turns me on. When guys instant message me and say that they're watching me, I always give them a show. I love getting wild and erotic. So register today and you'll get to see and hear me moan on cam."

Ah, commerce and coeds, a match made in MySpace!

Related Links:
Tina/Linda's MySpace Page

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Living Large

Good old MySpace, home of "social networking" (i.e., sex tourists, fame-whore bands and soulless telemarketers-on-the-Net). No wonder I rue the day I decided to create a MySpace profile and jump on this fast-fading bandwagon. Today I received a new friend request from someone named Regina. The attached photo looked hot, so I clicked on it expecting to see yet another Web sex scam site with free pix of young nubiles. There are worse ways to start your day than gawking at free girly pix.

But instead, I was surprised to see that Regina was selling me a penis enlargement device! Here's her whole spiel about the FastSize Extender, "The only medically-backed and proven enlargement device in the world":
Regina's Blurb

Sorry, Regina, but I don't need your device to enlarge my procreative hydraulics. Gazing at your photo did the trick for me, and for free!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Public Television Gets ASSS-inine

Yay! The Awkward Sounds of Scott and Skizz (ASSS) uploaded their recent appearance on Maryland Public Televisions's Artworks This Week to YouTube. The boys are playing the Velvet Underground's "After Hours" the way it was meant to be played: on ukelele and melodica! Can a national recording contract be far behind?


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rotundo on The Simpsons

Soy un perdidor! I could bicycle kick myself for missing last night's soccer-themed episode of The Simpsons that featured the rotund one himself, Brazil and AC Milan superstar Rotundo - er, I mean, Ronaldo - giving soccer tips to Lisa Simpson. I was off at Target dealing with the Brain Trust known as the Electronics Department in a most vexing and time-consuming attempt to get the $88 Polaroid camera and portable DVD player sales advertised in the Sunday paper. Mission accomplished, but at what a pop cultural cost!

Rumor has it that Ronaldo's appearance was an attempt to pacify Brazilians who took umbrage at an episode a few years back in which the Simpsons went to the country and experienced all kinds of crimes that reflected poorly on the country. But though I missed Homer's knuckle-headed take on the world's most popular sport, there is this previous episode in which Springfield learned to embrace the low-scoring, tie-prone Beautiful Game's most appealing (to Americans) aspect: fan violence and rioting. Now see why Homer vowed "I'll kill myself if Portugal doesn't win!"

Mexico - Portugal Nos Simpsons (3:28)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Twitch Twitch

There's a town I know where the hep cats go called Bedrock, twitch twitch
- Rock Van Cool, "Twitch Twitch," The Flintstones

The Itch, I got it!
- Kix, "The Itch"

My right eye has been twitching constantly, even in my
sleep, like Inspector Clouseau's beleagured boss Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom, pictured left in pre
-twitch mode). I made an appointment to see an eye doctor about it, but
after all the money I spent related to my hot-water heater bursting and
the resultant bizarre toe injury (Reynauld's Syndrome), I figured I'd
bag it. Little did I know that eye twitching is "hot" as far as
Internet inquiries go. Always a trend-setter, moi. The author of The Blog From
Another Dimension
wrote a post about his eye twitching
incident and almost immediately received 250 hits on his site, which
suddenly became the Mecca for EyelidTwitchers; he even invented a term for his malady: myokymia, from "Myo-" the Greek root for "eye" and "-kymia" from "I'm making up this etymology."

Truth be told there's an official fancy medical term for involuntary eye twitching: Blepharospasm. It is also referred to as an eye muscle spasm. (Great, now I'm an eye spazz.) The term blepharospasm
really applies to any abnormal blinking or involuntary eye twitching of
the eyelids caused by uncontrolled contractions of the muscles around
the eyelids. Bottom line cause is the obvious: stress, fatigue, lack of
sleep and too much caffeine. All the things I love and cherish.

God, I'm getting as many maladies these days as chronic medical moper Morrissey, a notorious hypochondriac. When I mentioned my latest affliction to my co-worker Michelle, I asked, "Do you think I'm a hypochondriac?"

"Do you really want me to answer that?" she countered.

OK, 'nuff said!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gomez Gala

The coolest part of last Saturday night's Borrow Borrowers Bash at the Enoch Pratt Central Library was the guest appearance by John Astin, the Johns Hopkins grad and acting teacher best known to a generation of Baby Boomers as Gomez Addams on ABC's The Addams Family sitcom (1964-1966). (He's probably best known to today's generation as father of Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin! By the way, both John and Sean have been in pictures given the Best Picture Oscar, John being in 1961's West Side Story and Sean being in 2004's Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King ; John also received an Oscar bid for his own film, 1968's short subject Prelude. And, like, Sean, John was also in a Peter Jackson film: 1996's The Frighteners). My girlfriend Amy brought her "Gomez Takes Morticia" card from The Addams Family Game to get autographed and Gomez was kind enough to pose for a photo with her and I.

Though best known as Gomez Addams, John Astin also portrayed The Riddler on two episodes of ABC's Batman TV series while Frank Gorshin was on a leave of absence. In fact, I was talking to a guy named Derrick at the BBB who was amazed that anyone else knew this. I told Derrick I saw John Astin's one-man Edgar Allen Poe performance at Johns Hopkins University several years ago and that afterwards at the Q&A someone asked him about his brief stint as The Riddler. Astin recalled how embarrassed his was that the one glossy photo still of him as The Riddler featured a big B.O. stain under his armpit. (You can look it up - the soiled pic is in The Official Batman Batbook, an essential tome by Joel Eisner.)

Interestingly, Astin was not the only Addams Family star to later appear on Batman; Carolyn "Morticia" Jones turned up as "Marcia The Queen of Diamonds" and Ted "Lurch" Cassidy made a cameo on a Bat Climb.

Blood, Boobs and Beast

Scouring the program schedule for the upcoming 2007 Maryland Film Festival (May 3-6), I made my picks and Blood, Boobs and Beast is at the top of my list. For one thing, it's got local connections, being a documentary about B-movie horror director and Perry Hall-native Don Dohler (who passed away last December at age 60), it's made by a MICA film grad (John Paul Kinhart), and it even features my pal, former City Paper editor and perpetual Marc Bolan lookalike Michael Yockel on camera commenting on Dohler. And who better to comment? After all, Yockel wrote the definitive profile of Dohler and his work in a beautifully-illustrated front cover story for the City Paper four years ago ("Fast, Cheap & Out of This World," April 23, 2003). The credits also list MFF programmer honcho Skizz Cyzyk as an interviewee, so that will be interesting as well.

I really don't know much about Don Dohler beyond the basics. He was the creator/editor of Cinemagic magazine, which he later sold to the Starlog Group. He also created and edited the magazines Amazing Cinema and Movie Club. He later edited Baltimore's Times-Herald newspaper. His son Greg is a talented photographer and all-around nice guy. Beyond that, I know not, so I'm looking forward to seeing the documentary and learning all I can about a film buff who tried to make his passions come true by creating his own horror flicks.

Word has it that the Maryland Film Festival will also be screening two of Dohler's films in the Filmmaker's Tent in the parking lot across the street from the Charles Theatre.

From what I could find out, Washington, DC-based filmmaker John Paul Kinhart started out as a painter at the Maryland Institute College of Art, but developed an interest in documentary filmmaking during his junior year. His films Non-Player Character (Best Documentary and Audience Pick Award at the Dusk Till Dawn Film Festival in Texas) and Futonmaker have been shown at several film festivals throughout the United States and he even made a documentary about Baltimore's CAmm Slam 48-hour film project. Kinhart currently runs Video Kitchen, a video and film production company. Here's his bio from that site.

Blood, Boobs and Beast's title is, of course, a reference to movie critic Joe Bob Briggs' three-fold quality standards for watching drive-in movies, a standard Joe Bob concocted after consulting with exploitation master Roger Corman. In an interview with, Briggs (the alter ego of John Bloom), recalled "I had a conversation with Roger Corman, and asked him what elements he put in all of his movies, and I've refined that into my formula for movies - it has to have the three Bs: Blood, Breasts, and Beasts. And that became the rating system, you had to have all those elements to get four stars."

Sounds reasonable to me.

Related Links:

Blood, Boobs and Beast (Official Website)

Cinema Crazed Review of BBB

Twitch Review of BBB

Timewarp Films (Don Dohler Website)

Times-Herald Obit

Blood, Boobs and Beast Trailer

Fast, Cheap & Out of This World (Michael Yockel, City Paper, 4/23/03)

Don Dohler (Wikipedia)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sex in Sinema Site

My new favorite film site...Looks to be a link from Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films at ("The Best Films of All Time - A Cimnematic Primer"). Here's their description:

Sex in Cinema: The Greatest and Most Influential Erotic/Sexual Films and Scenes

This collection, excerpted from the Mini-History of Sex in the Cinema site, lists some of the most significant milestones, and most influential and memorable sexual/erotic scenes and films on the big screen through cinematic history. Most of these films, with portrayals of sex and/or nudity, were considered quite erotic, groundbreaking, unique and/or controversial at the time.

Best and Most Memorable Film Kisses of All Time in Cinematic History

This is another site from the same folks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy 75th Birthday Cheeta!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you
You look like a monkey and you smell like one too!

Cheeta, comedic genius star of Hollywood's Tarzan movies and the world's oldest living (non-human) primate, turned 75 yesterday.

Baltimore's Cheeta Appreciation Society plans on celebrating the chimp's birthday tonight at Henninger's Tavern in Fells Point, according to CAS President Kenny Vieth. Fighting back tears, Vieth pointed to an autographed picture of Cheeta hanging in the bar and commented, "My mother and Cheeta were the only people who ever called me Kenneth."

Born on April 9, 1932, Cheeta currently resides at a primate sanctuary called Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered and Threatened Apes (or CHEETA) in Palm Springs, California, where he is cared for by animal trainer Dan Westfall. He is cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest primate. According to researchers, chimpanzees in the wild tend to live for 40 to 45 years and to the mid-50s in captivity; chimpanzees living in the wilds of Hollywood soundstages apparently last a lot longer.

According to Wikipedia, the role of Cheeta was originally played by a different chimpanzee in the first two Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films, Tarzan the Ape Man(1932) and Tarzan and His Mate (1934). The first movie appearance of the chimpanzee who just turned 75 was in the latter film, in which he appeared uncredited as a young chimpanzee riding on the back of the original Cheeta. He was cast in the role of Cheeta himself in the other Weissmuller Tarzan movies that followed. Although Cheeta provided comic relief in the series by "monkeying around" with humans and other jungle animals, he also effectively essayed the role of an action hero, either coming directly to Tarzan's rescue or scurrying off to rally Timba and the elephants to save the day for the King of the Jungle. In his most famous heroic role, 1943's Tarzan's Triumphs, Cheeta grabbed a machine gun and mowed down Nazi soldiers. The crafty chimp had no previous experience operating firearms.

Cheeta also appeared in Doctor Dolittle (1967) with Rex Harrison, the chimp's last role before retirement.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Great Moments in Projectionist History

Remember how in David Fincher's film Fight Club, Brad Pitt's character Tyler Durden got a gig as projectionist and inserted porn loops into mainstream feature films? A great subversive moment in film projectionist history.

Locally, Baltimore's own film and art provocateur tENTATIVELY a. cONVENIENCE (Michael Tolson) had a gig working on Baltimore's Block, where he would carefully edit footage of his own grinning face into the "money shot" climaxes of the 8mm porn reels - perhaps the ultimate erotic buzz kill. Another great moment in film projectionist history.

Now word comes from Ghoul a-Go Go's hunchbacked co-host/projectionist Creighton, that a projectionist accidentally screened the horror splatter platter The Hills Have Eyes 2 in place of family film The Last Mimzy. How great is that? Here's the scoop:

Theater apologizes for horror film mixup
(April 6, 2007, 10:03 PM EDT)

The operator of the Holtsville theater that showed the graphic opening scene of a horror movie to an unwitting family audience apologized Friday and said it would work with the theater's managers to prevent a reoccurrence.

National Amusements, operator of Island 16 multiplex and 1,500 movie screens in the United States and abroad, said the R-rated "The Hills Have Eyes 2" was "started in error" at 8 p.m. Thursday instead of the scheduled PG-rated movie, "The Last Mimzy," but declined to elaborate on the nature of the error.

The Wes Craven horror flick was scheduled to play in the same theater at 10:25 p.m.

"National Amusements extends its deepest apologies to the children and families in the audience," spokeswoman Wanda Whitson said in a statement. "We are working with our theater's managers to correct this situation and ensure that it does not happen again."

Island 16 moviegoers criticized National Amusements Friday for not going into further detail and said the company had a responsibility to disclose what happened.

"That's not even something I would go see by myself," said Frank Doll, 31, of Mastic, who was in the audience with his children when the opening scene started without warning, before the film's opening credits.

The real problem, he added, was the sequence's lingering effects on his 3-year-old son, Frankie. "The Hills Have Eyes 2" opens with a shot of a nude, chained woman giving birth to what appears to be a mutant creature with clawed hands.

"My wife is eight months pregnant and he's been asking, 'Is that what mommy's going to have?'" Doll said. "We've been trying to explain that all day."

Alan Bieler, 62, of Medford, said he would excuse the theater for unexpectedly showing part of a G- or PG-rated movie to a family audience.

"But PG to R," he said, then paused. "That's too much."

The film ran for about 10 minutes before theater employees located by some parents turned it off. They gave customers movie vouchers and started the scheduled film a half hour late.

Former projectionist Brian Frankel, now a business agent for a Long Island stagehand union, said such errors were rare and that more common mistakes include scheduled movies being shown upside down or out of order.

Despite the mix-up -- and the television crews stationed outside the theater -- attendance seemed strong at Island 16 Friday. Shortly after 11 a.m., a group of small children accompanied by their parents thronged in the multiplex's main hall.

Anthony Rizzo, 38, of Holbrook, said he was concerned a similar mix-up could occur in front of his three young daughters, who waited to watch "Meet the Robinsons."

But, he said, "If it happens in the first 10 seconds, I'll be out the door."

Friday, April 06, 2007

Bad Friday

Some Like It Wet

If bad means something's really good, then I guess Good Friday really means Bad Friday. At least that's the way it worked out for me. Bad in a particularly wet way.

I had the day off, but thanks to Pacific Life Intl., I was awakened at 10 a.m. for an unsolicited telemarketer call. Someone called hours earlier and I suspect it was them, but I managed to ignore it and fall back asleep. "Look," I said, assuming this was yet another home mortgage lender, "You guys are the first call I get every morning and the last call I get at night. I never pick up because I'm tired of the solicitations. two years ago I made the mistake of answering an online survey about refinanced home mortgage rates and it's the bane of my existence now because I get non-stop calls from people like you."

"Well sir," the woman on the other end replied, "That's not what we're calling about. We're calling in response to a request you or someone in your family made about assistance with a bed wetting problem." What? A bed wetting problem?

Put It To Bed

"That's bullshit," I replied angrily. "I never called about anything like that. I've probably been pranked by someone. I'm a 50-year-old man with a strong bladder and I do not wet my bed! And why would I call the West Coast for bed wetting assistance if I live in Baltimore? Don't you think we have bed wetters out here on the East Coast and people to help them [The area code indicated this was a West Coast call] Please take me off your list forever and stop calling me!"

Geesh! I mean, yes, I have some stains on my bedsheets, but they're from eating chocolate in bed (thank God I have brown bedsheets to masque some snack residue!). years earlier someone pranked me by mailing me a free Depend Adult Diaper. I remember opening my mail on the front porch while my then-neighbor Pam, a single nurse, asked, "Anything good?" As I ripped the package open, I embarrassingly muttered, "Um, it's a free sample of..."

"Is that a diaper?" Pam asked.

"Uh, yes," I muttered, knowing she knew I was a single male with no offspring (that I know of).

Apres Les Deluge

But wait, there's more moisture in the air than just bed pee innuendos. Two days earlier I went down to do my wash and noticed that there was water all over the back of my basement. I called my friend Chris the Plumber, but couldn't get through to him for a couple of days. I assumed it was just more water seeping down my back wall into the basement from clogged gutters, a problem I had had before. It didn't rain in the two-day interim, so I thought I could wait until Friday before getting the Wetvac out to clean up. Only then did I discover that the water damage had extended to my HVAC room, where I clearly saw a steady stream of water pouring out of my hot water heater like a keg-killing frat boy taking a endless beer piss.

I then proceeded to make as many bad, rash decisions as a certain recent President of the United States trying to run a country. I called every plumber I could get a hold of after a frantic Google search, but being a Holiday weekend, was only able to get Acme Plumbing to make a service call.

The stereotypical Howard Stern-worshipping, 98 Rock-listening, strip club-frequenting plumber arrived at my house, a young dude with a backward baseball cap and blue collar bling in the form of gold chains around his neck and wrist. He immediately starting laughing when he spotted a photo of The Penis Tree - a notorious piece of topiary off Woodbine Avenue in Baltimore City that is shaped like a male member - on my fridge. Somehow we got on the subject, as plumbers invariably will, of porn. Maybe he spotted some of the other photos on my fridge of me posing with adult film stars years ago when I interviewed many of them as part of my public (and sometimes pubic) access TV show, Atomic TV.

"You ever bang any of those porno stars?" the plumber asked. I answered in the negative, explaining I was strictly a video voyeur who liked to interview them. He then told me about his night out at the Gold Club and at Fantasies and how he dropped over $200 giving props to the dancers there. A plumber can drop that kind of change like you or I would drop a dime. It's about what I got charged that day for the service call. All in a day' work!

This guy must have been loaded. He said that in addition to having dated several strippers (Wait - plumbers dating strippers? Stop the presses! Next you'll tell me construction workers frequent gentlemen's clubs!), he used to sell drugs at the strip clubs. "All the dancers are drug addicts," he assured me. I told him about La Hacienda in Manchester, England, the music club run by the Joy Division/Factory Records guy and how it never made any money despite having capacity crowds to see bands there because the ravers didn't drink booze - which would have sustained the bar's operating costs - instead shelling out all their money for coke, X and Special K from the plentiful drug dealers plying their trade there.

I actually went on a date with a stripper once, this girl Brandy (yes, yes, she was "such a fine girl," just like the Looking Glass song) because I met her in an after hours club and she had really good taste in movies. We went and saw The English Patient, but after that night I realised but I couldn't afford to date a stripper. They expect you to pay for everything and their taste in music is horrible! All that hip hop shit. And yes, she was stoned out of her mind, so no fighting against typecasting there.

Anyway, the plumber was a nice guy and we negotiated a price to replace the hot water heater and the plumber dude headed off to the warehouse to get the equipment, but me, being an idiot, started to think I should get more estimates. When my Dad told me he had called BGE and that they could beat the price by $150, I panicked. I called back to cancel the installation. Then I called BGE but couldn't get through. Then I called back to make sure the original Acme quote included the house call. It did. I tried to cancel my cancellation, but couldn't. To make a long story short, I finagled and ended blowing it. The Acme guy stopped buy to charge me $200 for not installing a new hot water heater. meanwhile I had set up an appointment with BGE for a vague appointment sometime between 9 and 4 on Saturday.

To further complicate matters, Chris the Plumber finally called back, told me he could beat BGE's price by $100, but needed to know now so he could pick up the hot water heater at his warehouse and install it tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. having already cancelled one scheduled installation, I balked. I would of gone for it had I heard back sooner, but I was in a jam and realised I had spent the last six hours dealing with plumbing crap. I went for the sure thing, even though Chris the Plumber used to work for BGE and specialized in hot water heater installations. I guess I figured going with the big company meant I could count on more technicians being available for service calls the next time I had an emergency.

Talk about stress! All I wanted to do at this point was to take a shower.

A cold one, needless to say.

I probably should have skipped it, but I felt really grungy and, well, I guess I'm just a drama queen who must have constant trauma. I had a tennis match in less than 90 minutes, which logistically nixed any thoughts of heading over to my girlfriend's apartment for a hot shower.

The Big Chill

Ever take a cold shower on a day whose low temp was 30 degrees? It's probably routine down at Guantanamo, where water boarding is considered a sport. But for we mere mortals it's quite painful. Trying to wash shampoo out of my hair gave me a migraine headache effect, the kind of throbbing pain akin to snorting a pint of ice cream in one gulp.

Quickly dashing into my bedroom and turning on the room heater, I got dressed for tennis, gathered my bag and headed over to the Cross Keys Racquet Club. But while driving there I noticed my big left toe was numb and tingling, as if it was asleep. It was really numb! I had to pull over, take my shoe off and massage it. Then I got back on the road and headed to the club.

Toe-d Away

When I arrived, I went straight down to the shower facilities. There I pulled my sock off to look at my toe. It was completely white next to my otherwise fleshy brown foot. And still numb. I filled the sink with warm water and soaked it for several minutes, rubbing vigorously to restore some color to it.

I wanted to default, but my team talked me into playing and I figured running around for a couple of hours would get some blood circulating in my toe. After playing the requisite two sets over the next two hours, we were done, but my toes still didn't feel right, it still tingled like it had dead nerve endings. One of my tennis teammates said it sounded like an ailment she suffered from, Reynaud's Syndrome, a nervous system disorder in which toes and fingers go numb and turn dead white, as if all the blood has left them. Oh great, I thought. I had something similar to this years ago when my hands were exposed to sub-freezing temperatures for a prolonged period. As a result, the tip of my right hand pinky finger goes numb in cold weather.

Gnarly Marley

Then Evelyn, my losing opponent that night said, "I probably shouldn't mention this, but you know Bob Marley died right after he hurt his toe."

What the f***? I never heard that! Great, now I have to go home and Google "Bob Marley" and "toe"! I later found out that Marley injured a right toe while playing soccer in France in 1977. The injury refused to heal and instead quickly worsened - the entire nail came off and doctors recommended amputation. Citing religious beliefs, a limping Marley refused the surgery and gamely continued on tour. Later that summer, Marley finally allowed an orthopedic surgeon to perform a skin graft on the toe and the procedure was deemed a success. But in September of 1980, a weakened Marley almost fainted onstage while performing in New York. The next day, he collapsed while jogging in Central Park; he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the result of the untreated cancer in his toe! Oh boy!

I headed over to my girlfriend's place to take a hot bath and massage it some more. It was too late to make it to Patient First, but I went the next morning and it was pretty pointless. All they could do was advice me to see a specialist if I experienced further tingling in my Hallux (the anatomical term for the big toe) or if it extended to my foot. And possibly get blood work to rule out diabetes. Diabetes! Actually the doctor did hand me a left-footed compliment when she felt my footsie and commented, "You've got a great pulse there!" Hey, I do what I can.

So now, as I type this, the BGE plumber has just left with my check for over $770 dollars to install a new hot water heater and my toe is still numb. I don't know if the toe injury is related to the 2-minute duck-and-cover shower I took (and I was darting in and out of the shower for most of it!) or if I'm just lucky.

What a Good Friday it was! In the course of the last 24 hours I lost a grand and all feeling in my big toe. Easter Monday I'm praying blood will rise again from my dead toe, replacing my Reynaud's disorder with a most welcome Lazarus effect.

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