Wednesday, August 27

First Snow (2006)

Jimmy Starks is a stringy long haired salesman (Guy Pearce - Memento) whom at first comes off as somewhat unlikeable, fast talking, and self-centered.

On the road near Albuquerque, his car breaks down. Stranded in the middle of nowhere while his car is being repaired, he visits the trailer of fortune teller (J. K. Simmons - I remember him as the dad in Juno).

The fortune-teller makes a couple predictions (which later in the movie come true, giving him some credence as a psychic). Continuing to tell Jimmy's fortune, he then sees something bad that almost causes himself to have a seizure.

The future for Jimmy doesn't look good. - hence the title of the movie. (Let just say his demise is connected to an occurance of weather as in the title.)

Guy does a good job playing a character with that prediction over his head along with other stressful issues in his life. I liked him more and more as the movie progressed. William Fichtner (Prison Break) has a small part as a co-worker.

Nicely cast as his girl friend is the pleasing but not distractingly pretty, Piper Perabo. I knew I had seen her before but she wasn't familiar enough for me to make a connection. (By the way, she starred in Coyote Ugly.) I liked her in that movie too.


Entertainment Weeky's review here: (Owen Glieberman). EW does a good job with movies. I like to read their upcoming movie reviews and make mental notes of what to keep an eye out for.

I caught this on cable.

The ending wasn't entirely satisfying or unpredicted but overall I liked the characters and plot. I'm glad I watched it.

Tuesday, August 26

Apocalyptic bebop.

Inspiration for the title found in the lyrics of Home of the Brave by The Nails.


Oh God of Hell

I said I love the suit

That the devil gave me

To wear to Beirut

Where the whores are dancing

On the table tops

And the juke box plays

Apocalyptic bebop

Well I love Paris

I love the dizzy streets

Where the flowers of sin

Bloom in the heat

If I were a ghost I’d be pleased

Living among these French mysteries

But the place to go’s

Another latitude

Where Jesus is wearing

His blue suede shoes

And the pink neon lights

Up the thoroughfares

Between what is

And what’s not there

You know the place

It’s not too far away

Let’s take a trip

To the Home of the Brave

Forget about London

Forget about Spain

Get out of New York

Take the Train to the Plane

Hong Kong smells like dying fish

And Berlin still stinks of Auschwitz

I wanna go where the wild things play

I wanna go to the Home of the Brave

Somebody meet me at the airport

At about half past ten

Tell Jose, Nikita and all the boys

Down in the bunker

Marc Campbell is coming home again

Anyway, I had this song stuck in my head. Then thinking of it, it seemed somewhat connected and appropriate for a movie I had just seen and one I just heard about.

ROAD (the movie) and a link at Rotten Tomatoes

First, the one I just saw on cable. It is kind of like a Twilight Zone episode. Strange things happen as the couple drive from environmental disaster site to another.

In ROAD, Margaret (Catherine Kellner), a freelance photographer on her first big job, uses the latest government-supplied technology to survey environmental disaster areas.

Jay(Ebon Moss-Bachrach), her unemployed ex-boyfriend is along for the ride.

The trip does not go exactly as planned ....(I liked some the underplayed but definitely not normal world things that happen in the course of their roadtrip.)

NEXT. This is the one I heard about while searching for info on the one I saw.

The Road (previewed here at USToday - coming out this fall ??)

The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale describing a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months across a landscape blasted years before by an unnamed cataclysm that destroyed civilization

The film, which stars Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron and 11-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee, also was shot in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans and on Mount St. Helens in Washington state for scenes of devastation.

And what started all this? A song by Siouxsie Sue and the Banshees. Quite haunting in my opinion. It used to get lots of airplay around here.

"Cities in Dust" was written and recorded by English rock band Siouxsie & the Banshees.

The song obliquely describes the city of Pompeii, destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.

Water was running; children were running
You were running out of time
Under the mountain, a golden fountain
Were you praying at the lares shrine?
But oh your city lies in dust, my friend

We found you hiding we found you lying
Choking on the dirt and sand
Your former glories and all the stories
Dragged and washed with eager hands

But oh your city lies in dust, my friend

Hot and burning in your nostrils
Pouring down your gaping mouth
Your molten bodies blanket of cinders
Caught in the throes .......

And your city lies in dust

Wednesday, August 20

Running on empty.

Campaign Anthems:

Barack Obama uses U2's "Beautiful Day".

John McCain has used John Mellencamp's "Our Country" and "Pink Houses".

Mellencamp is a Democrat. He complained.

McCain's people finally picked "Johnny B Goode"by Chuck Berry.

When asked why he chose it, he quipped: "It might be because it is the only one [the artist] hasn't complained about us using."

Berry, 81, may not have complained ..... but he has made it clear he would prefer Barack Obama in the White House.

Jackson Browne is suing REPUBLICANS / McCain because of the use of his song “Running on Empty” in a recent TV commercial mocking Obama for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tire inflation.”

Guess what: He is a Democrat too. You would think at the very least, a candidate would as before using an artist's song.

(He has the best hair. I can't believe this is almost 30 years old.)

Wednesday, August 13

Brand upon the brain.

My kind of movie: different, not run of the mill.

(It can't be stranger than David Lynch's Eraserhead. )

It is a silent film, by Canadian director Guy Maddin.

During it's film run, live accompaniment of the score was provided by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and narrators.

In June 2007 a version of the film with recorded soundtrack and narration by Rossellini opened in limited theatrical release.

It features narrative tracks performed by Isabella Rossellini, Laurie Anderson, John Ashbery,Louis Negin, Eli Wallach, and Maddin himself .

"Brand Upon the Brain!" currently has a 93% T-Meter rating and 100% Top Critic rating on (I usually agree with the ratings here, since it is more an average from reviewers).

Described in such terms as "a phantasmagoric story that could be a collaboration between Edgar Allan Poe and Salvador Dali" by Roger Ebert and "a feverishly imaginative Freudian vampire film" by Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the film is frequently described as 'experimental' due to its unusual structure and style.

Tuesday, August 12


I was playing around in the yard taking pictures.

I had a broken pitchfork / gardening fork end with no handle.

I made one with shadows. (Look closely, the handle is only a shadow.)

Then I went black and white, accentuating the fork with color.

Turn up the contrast for effect.

Last, added color to my silhouette (which is a shadow), making me green.

My favorite is the penultimate one.

Natural color shot standing on my picnic table (my neighbors don't laugh..., I think):

Added a layer in Elements, brought back color in pitchfork, (sans handle of course).

My favorite: I turned up the saturation in Picasa2.

Just playing further, since my shadow is only a shadow on green grass, I added color to me:

What skinny legs. Ha. (It's the angle.)


Friday, August 8

The Verve are back.

This is a newer song that is growing on me. I like it more each time I hear it. Love is Noise (not to be confused with Suzanne Vega's Blood makes Noise).

The Verve formed in 1989, had a hit with Bittersweet Symphony.

Interestingly, the Rolling Stones' Jagger and Richards received writing credits for it since it uses a foundation of their song, The Last Time.

The Verve broke up in 1999 and reformed in 2007.

The bottom video displays the addictive melodies of Bittersweet Symphony (definitely worth a listen.) Bittersweet might sound familiar, it was used in several commercials, including NIKE.

This is their newest, soon coming out on CD.

The Verve: Love is Noise. (2008)

The Verve (originally Verve) are an English rock band formed in Wigan, Greater Manchester in 1989 at Winstanley Sixth Form College, by vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bassist Simon Jones, and drummer Peter Salisbury. Simon Tong later became a member.

The Verve: Bittersweet Symphony. (1997)

Although the song's lyrics were written by Verve vocalist Richard Ashcroft, it has been credited to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger because the song uses the Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of The Rolling Stones' 1965 song "The Last Time" as its foundation.

Thursday, August 7

Criss Angel, Mind Freak: Nail Gun.

This was on last night on A&E (8-6-08).

I missed Weeds and Man vs Wild to watch it.

I like watching Criss when I get a chance. Rock and roll magic with a punk attitude.

This was the 4th episode of the season. (I missed the first 3). Oh well.

In this episode, Criss attempts to catch a nail traveling at 1400 feet per second.

Anthony Michael Hall (Dead Zone, Breakfast Club, Weird Science) guests. He shoots a nail gun towards Criss.
In front of Criss is a pane of glass.

The nail is sup posted to go through the glass with Criss catching it.

The glass shatters cutting Criss on the face and the nail impales itself through his hand. (He makes a point of showing between screams and gushing blood.)

The episode ended with Criss being taken by ambulance to a hospital.

No trick photography here. Ha.

Wednesday, August 6

Olympics, 2008.

I used to really be into watching the Olympics.

They are starting in a couple of days.

I hope they are able to broadcast alot of them live.

I hate delayed broadcasts.

You end up hearing the results no matter how hard you try not to.

• • David Letterman: ''Do you have Olympic fever? Everybody in the Olympics is worried about the air quality in China, a lot of smog.

I have friends over there who tell me that the air in China looks like the inside of Willie Nelson's tour bus.

They had a practice [last week] in Beijing for the Olympics. A javelin thrower -- this is the honest-to-God's truth -- he threw the javelin up into the air and it stuck.''

• • Jay Leno: ''China says they're doing everything they can to help clean up air pollution before the Olympics, and they're taking this very seriously.

In fact, they have got every 6-year-old in the country working 24 hours a day.

In fact, Beijing skies are so polluted that Chinese authorities are planning emergency measures for the Olympics.

For example, protesters will now only be run over with hybrid tanks.''

Monday, August 4

Shooting the Moon.

Beautiful day.

Everything is maturing in the garden.

Too many green beans and I'm out of freezer bags.

Supper: burger and green beans.

My neighbor gave me a cutting of a Moon Flower this spring.

I put it in next to my dahlias.

This is the Moon Flower from 2 days ago.

This was Sunday morning about 11:00 (I'm not an early riser):

Later Sunday afternoon, just before dusk (hence the name Moon Flower):

I took this for perspective - the dahlias are about 2 to 4 feet high.

(Notice the Japanese Beetle damage on the morning glory leaves in the background - they look like green swiss cheese):

I was looking for Van Morrison's Moon Dance.

Couldn't find his but I like this version and she has nice legs: