Friday, October 31, 2008
..........Most (but not all) are Democrats. I am marking incumbents with an (I) and Republicans with a star (*).
Kay Hagan in NC (pictured)
Mark Warner in Va.
Al Franken in Minn.
Susan Collins in Maine* (I)
Mark Begich in Alaska (his opponent is Sen. Ted Stevens, now a felon)
Jim Martin in Georgia
Bruce Lunsford in Kentucky
There are also senate races in New Hampshire, Mississippi, Colorado and New Mexico among other states.
In North Carolina:
Brad Miller (I)
Heath Shuler (I) (pictured)
David Price (I)
Howard Coble (I)*
Frank Wolf (I)*
There are obviously other Congressional races in both states, and many more around the country. But, I figured if I didn't draw the line somewhere I might need to endorse my picks for the Alamance County (Burlington, NC) County Commissioners race.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Larry Shue's "The Foreigner," the play pictured here, will be performed by Theatre Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa, Ala., from Dec. 5-14 with Glen Johnson as Froggy, Gary Wise as Charlie and Jacob Houghaboon as the irreverent Rev. Lee.
The play is among my personal favorites. I saw it performed at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke, Va., earlier this year.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Image is of vegan cucumber soap.
SIDEBAR: We thought he was dead, but standup comedian Jackie Mason will be appearing at the historic Birchmere Theatre in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday night. Perhaps, Joe Biden will make a surprise cameo........We need the votes!
Monday, October 27, 2008
I returned to chess after a long absence a few years ago. But, I decided to quit after losing to a 9-year-old girl. However, in hind sight, I think I walked away from chess a bit prematurely. She was after all the Virginia state champion (in her division), but it was still a 9-year-old girl!
My good friend Nicole Johnston who lives in the Washington D.C. metro area is a huge fan of the Norwegian pop band A-ha even though she was just an infant when "Take on Me" was busting the Billboard charts in 1985. Of course, those of us who were teenagers at the time loved the song and the dazzling video of the song. Recently, the NPR music show "Sound Opinions" declared that A-ha's theme song to the James Bond film "The Living Daylights" was the worst one in the series' history. I beg to differ!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Yes, this is a bit over-the-top, but we can still claim to maintain more objectivity than the evening news from your local Fox-TV affiliate and have a straight face.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
SIDEBAR: There will be a midnight screening of the modern classic horror/comedy flick "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, Va., on Halloween night. Even if you live in Nome, Alaska, you should try to be there!
Friday, October 24, 2008
My Republican friends should send me a bouquet of fresh roses because my original choice was Dick Cheney, but I couldn't find any good photos of him. So, we settled for Pinhead!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I couldn't resist using this photo for one simple reason........Tom and his wife Cece Bell also happen be children's authors!
The avocado happens to be my favorite fruit these days because it's supposedly very high in potassium, and I am told I need more of that. But, admittedly, it is a bit of an acquired taste which I am desperately trying to acquire. I'm also in need of a female sex partner (hey, I'm single), but I've heard bad things can happen to you if you advertise that on Craig's List.
One should also check out Tom and Cece's report on the Obama rally in Roanoke which they attended while I was reading a back issue of "Time" in a doctor's office just down the street from where the rally was......!
We are in the process of moving this blog to Blogger or some other internet service. If anyone has any boxes...........
I am also interested in what name to call the new blog.
Here are my top 10 choices. Let me know what you think by sending an email to email@example.com
1. The Daily Vampire
2. The Ottoman Empire
3. Political Unrest
4. Turtle Sex
5. This Can't Kill U
6. The Gokbudak Blog
7. Seagull Crap (A reference to my favorite band A Flock of Seagulls....I am serious about that!)
8. Gizmo the Cat's Blog
9. The Radical Center Left (A reference to how I see myself politically)
10. Zippy for President (A reference to Bill Griffith's comic strip "Zippy the Pinhead")
Of course, I could simply maintain the current name Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time....
(where the photo was found)
The film will be the subject of a retro screening at The Film Forum in New York starting on, appropriately enough, Oct. 31.
Roman Polanski's gem of a horror film was based on a novel by the late Ira Levin.
"Rosemary's Baby" is quite Hitchcockian in nature because the true horror of what has happened to Rosemary gradually occurs over the pace of the film. And, had it not been directed by a detail-oriented craftsman like Polanski, the film could have been disastrous, especially give the over-the-top elements of the storyline.
The soundtrack by Fantomas is also quite splendid.
Hmmm....it appears we are having technical difficulties downloading a trailer, so we'll just leave you with a photo from the film's family album:)
Saturday, October 18, 2008
El Presidente, of course, mixed up former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn), who was an actor on "Law and Order," with Bush administration cabinet member Tommy Thompson.
Both Thompsons ran for president, and both lost though they did fare better than former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, who is getting pummeled by former Democratic governor Mark Warner in the race to fill a soon to be vacated U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. John Warner (R-Va)
I originally saw the line about Tommy Thompson in a "Doonesbury" comic strip that ran a few years ago.
"W" opened in theaters nationwide yesterday. My movie-blogging friends have reviews posted already. I saw it myself today at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke. I'll simply say: "Thumbs Up!," but you can check out those extended reviews at the links down below.
I will simply add that Thandi Newton should get an Oscar-nomination for her brilliant take on Condi Rice.
I can't imagine that anyone could be as beneficial to a stand-up comedian as Bush, should they become the new el presidente. Oh right! I forgot about Sarah Palin.
Our entry today is the historic Byrd Theater in downtown Richmond, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The cinema has a round chandelier and an old organ, known as The Mighty Wurlitzer, which is played on special occasions by John Baratta.
The Byrd will screen the Lon Chaney horror classic "Phantom of the Opera," with an organ performance, on Oct. 24.
Tomorrow night at midnight, there will be a screening of "The Big Lebowski" and on Oct. 25, they will have a midnight showing of the Japanese anime classic "Akira."
I had the chance to see the '70s black exploitation flick "Superfly" there for a midnight screening during the summer of 1997, when I lived in the Richmond area. The Curtis Mayfield soundtrack, which you can witness on this trailer, was worth the price of admission alone as was the stellar acting job by the late Ron O"Neal.
WORD TO YOUNG FOLKS: In case it's not obvious, I would not recommend "Superfly" for a date movie.
The Byrd Theatre is located at 2908 West Cary Street, Richmond, Va., 23221. Phone: (804) 252-9911
Tags: Byrd Theatre, Richmond, Virginia, Superfly, The Big Lebowski, Phantom of the Opera, Lon Chaney, old cinemas
Friday, October 17, 2008
This may be my oddest entry yet as I am alive- in spite of suffering from an obscene number of mental and physical ailments for a person of my age. I am just 38 for god's sake.! I was born after both "Star Trek" and "Underdog" went on the air. What the eff is wrong with me? (Excuse me for thinking out loud!)
But, I thought this would be a clever way to make a to-do list and hold myself to it. I am back in my hometown of Roanoke, Va., and I am somehow never able to do anything of any significance while I am here.
That is also true of my life in North Carolina, but with the price of gas, one must try to achieve something tangible before driving back down Rte. 220, which should be adopted by the pro-life lobby for the six fetus billboards in Franklin County alone (each one is about 2.4 miles away from the other one).
After all, if going public with a to-do list can't help one get things done, then perhaps nothing can.
1. Let Gizmo (the cat) back in.....now!*+
2. Go see "W" at the Grandin Theatre+
3. Return library books+
4. Finish reading "Making Money" by Terry Pratchett
5. Watch the "MASH" extras dvd you got from Netflix
6. Possibly see tv version of "Crash" on Starz!, tonight!+
7. Drinks lots of water and orange juice+
8. Go see Best of No Shame+
9. See Doctor ______ on Tues.
10. Try to hang out with Laverne (not real name)
11. Perhaps call Shirley (not real name)
12. Possibly canvass for Obama if the weather doesn't suck tomorrow.X
12b (I don't like the number 13) GRADE PAPERS!
14. GRADE TESTS!
15. Make lesson plans
16. Write a short story which actually makes sense
17. Call my cousin in SC
18. Get the Sunday Wash. Post
19. Go to the Roanoke Farmer's Market X
20. Time permitting, also take in "The Duchess" at the Grandin, especially if you can get a woman to go with you!
21. Get the new cd from The Cold War Kids since you won't be in NC to see them perform at Cat's Cradle! +
22. Take in a lunch at Arzu........
23. Possibly go to the Unitarian Church if you get your ___ up by 10:30 a.m. X
24. Take at least one hot bath
25. Change Gizmo's liter box
26. Transfer blog entries to Blogger
27. Take the Glassbooth.org quiz to confirm that you agree with Obama 88 percent of the time (as opposed to 64 percent for McCain)
28. Apologize to anyone in the cast of "The Spitfire Grill" at Mill Mountain, there is no effing way you can do that.+
29. Watch "Californication" on Showtime+
30. Make sure you don't leave anything behind (THIS TIME!) on your way back to NC.
31. Continue planning trip to Philly
32. Don't spend too much time on the internet, but do be sure to download the latest edition of "Sound Opinions" on NPR and/or listen to this Turkish music show on WUVT/FM out of Virginia Tech.
33-40 Yes, you probably forgot at least eight other things, but if you do one-quarter of the things mentioned, you should treat yourself to a latte at Starbucks......oh, that's right, the doctor said: "NO CAFFEINE!"
*- The cat is in. One down, 39 to go.
+-Denotes the things I have actually done as of Sunday, Oct. 19
X-Marks the things I was not able to do this weekend. For those of you who might be fellow Unitarians, I got up at 11:51 a.m., on Sunday. The service started at 11:01 a.m.
Google Mill Mountain, The Grandin Theatre and Sound Opinions for their links, if you like!
The change of heart is due to what Hopper rightfully perceives as the corruption of the Bush-Cheney administration which he voted for.
Ironically, Hopper played a Democratic candidate in the vein of Howard Dean in the Kevin Costner vehicle "Swing Voter" this summer.
He is currently appearing in the Michael Moore-bashing film "American Carol," but I have a feeling that his co-stars like Jon Voight and James Woods will vote him off the island for this!
I think this merits an Oscar-nomination for Hopper's performance in "Elegy," which is one of my five favorite films of the year.
We have also amended our walls of support (see below), and moved Hopper from the McCain supporters to the Obama wall, perhaps we can do the same for the entire state of Indiana, now reportedly a swing state, which we would be fitting since Hopper was in the 1987 basketball movie "Hoosiers."
To my friends at Screengrab, which I have proudly ripped off more than any other blog in cyberspace history!
THIS JUST IN: Apparently, conservative novelist/essayist Christopher Buckley is supporting Obama as well. Wow! Momentum seems to be on our side. I just hope it holds up 18 days from now.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Amazingly enough, I couldn't find a single Draino commercial in the entire Youtube library, but I found his interesting ad for a Big Mac which I may have actually seen when I was watching "Bewitched" reruns as a kids.
We post this with apologies to one Chrissie Hynde of Akron, Ohio*, who is in some garage band called The Pretenders (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
I was also struck by how girl in the red coat in this ad looks like 2000 Canadian Olympic gymnast Yvonne Tousek, a Facebook friend of mine. Hmmm.... most of you might not know what Yvonne looks like. Well, it's effing 1:30 in the morning here, but, ok, whatthehell, here is a video of her on the balance beam, taken from a competition in 1996:
And, while we're at here's a song from The Pretenders, as sung by Scarlett Johansson**, who is alas not a Facebook friend of mine:
*- Earlier entry on Ms. Hynde last week here on this blog
**-Subject of blog entry from April (I think) in which I said that I wanted her to be my date for my 20th high school reunion, which was held three weeks ago, in Roanoke, Va. I ending up going stag, and Scarlett married some dorky actor.
PS_This is actually the very, very last entry for our blog. As Bob Hope said at the end of his prime time specials: "Thanks for the Memories."
Yes, yes, yes.........I said the blog was over. And, it is. I really, sincerely mean that! Yes, I do.
But, after catching the last 30 minutes of the presidential debate last night and the PBS post-game commentary from David Brooks and Mark Shields, I popped in "Vampires in Havanna," an animated film which is more of a gangster movie spoof than I take on blood-sucking insomniacs.
I am curious to know if anyone else has seen this film, and what they make of it!
Anyway, we are through with this blog.
Please vote for me in November.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
With this entry, we conclude the blog known as Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time, which began on Sept. 21, 2005. I was hoping to reach the 1,000 entry plateau, but we are calling it quits at 968 entries.
SIDEBAR: Chapel Comics in Chapel Hill, NC, will have their grand reopening this Sat. Alas, I will not be there as I need to focus on other things........
Thanks for the journey!
SIDEBAR TWO: I also want to thank Chris MaGee of Toronto, Canada, for becoming my 250th friend on Facebook. We are both Japanese cinema affiiciandos.
And, lastly, check out my friend Moviezzz's live blogging of the debate for the Alamance County (NC) County Commissioner's Race. Of course, I am speaking in jest, he will be live blogging for the Obama-McCain debate from Hofstra U in New York though he will be watching it on tv.
Yes, this is my very, very last blog entry.
I mean it.
I really, really do:)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
In the interest of 'fair time,' I am posting a partial list of supporters for John McCain even though I am not supporting him. Hmmm....are dittohead blogs this civil??? We think not! The list goes from James Baker to actor James Woods, and includes images of Cong. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and country singer Toby Keith.
James Baker*Dick Cheney*Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)*Anne Coulter*Liddy Dole*David Duke (well, he is a Republican)*Robert Duvall*Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr.*Rick Flair*Gary Frink (friend of mine who ran for Congress as a Democrat and a Republican)*Cong. Virginia Foxx*Newt Gingrich*Cong. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va)*Rev. Franklin Graham*Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)*Kelsey Grammer*Sean Hannity*Toby Keith*Bill Kristol*G.Gordon Liddy*Rush Limbaugh*
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct)*Heather Locklear*Mary Matalin*Dennis Miller*Wayne Newton*Chuck Norris*Bill O'Reilly*Ted Nugent*Donny Osmond*Todd Palin*Richard Petty*Richard Roundtree*Karl Rove*Adam Sandler*Rev. Jimmy Swaggart*Jon Voight*Sen. John Warner (R-Va)*Christine Todd Whitman*Hank Williams Jr.*James Woods
PS_If you wish to add your name to the list of the candidate I am NOT supporting, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
But, John McCain was pretty good on Letterman tonight, though he didn't explain how we can fund two wars without raising taxes?!
This is the first of my 'last three entries," which I will explain later........
But, for right now, we are posting a Wall of Support for Barack Obama. These are mostly celebrities, politicians and civic officials. But, they include some 'real people.'
In the interest of objectivity, I will have a Wall of Support for John McCain tomorrow, even though I am not voting for him.
The Wall of Support includes everyone from Madeline Albright to Jay Z.
Madeline Albright*Tom Angleberger (children's author/personal friend)*Alec Baldwin*CeCe Bell (Tom's wife, also writes children's lit)*Jon Bon Jovi*Cong. Rick Boucher (D-Va)*Christopher Buckley*Bill Bradley*Edgar M. Bronfman Jr. (hey, a billionaire for Obama!)*Bullwinkle the Moose*Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)*Saban Corlu (Turkish cab driver) *Chevy Chase*Chilly Willy the Penguin*Matt Damon*Larry David*Death Cab for Cutie*Gov. Mike Easley (NC)*Adrian Fenty (mayor of Washignton, DC)*Tina Fey*Carrie Finley (gymnast at Arizona State)*Bob Fingerman (cartoonist)*Foo Fighters*Al Franken*Tilly Gokbudak*Al and Tipper Gore*Andy Griffith*John Grisham*Kay Hagan*Heart*Dennis Hopper*Samuel L. Jackson*Scarlett Johansson*Yvonne Johnson (mayor of Greensboro, NC, pictured)*
Gov.Tim Kaine (Va)*Garrison Keillor*Lale and Matt Lovell (my sister and brother-in-law)*Terry McAuliffe*Bill Maher* Jerry Meek (head of NC Dem Party)*Cong. Brad Miller (D-NC)*John Cougar Mellencamp*Michael Moore*Moviezzz*Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb., the most conservative Democrat in the senate)*Hayden Panettiere from "Heroes"*Jim Patterson (San Francisco Republican)*Jane Pauley* Tom Perriello (congressional candidate in Va.)*Colin Powell*Chris Rock*Chris Shepard (Roanoke singer)*Bruce Springsteen*Dean Smith*Ralph Stanley*Andrew Sullivan (conservative commentator for Obama)*Alan Taylor (college student from South Boston, Va)*James Taylor*Cenk Uygur*Mark Warner*Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va)*Oprah Winfrey*Stevie Wonder*Jay Z
PS_ If you wish to see your name added to the wall, email me at email@example.com
If you pay close attention, you will notice that I add names daily.
Barack Obama is scheduled to be in my hometown of Roanoke, Va., for a major rally on Friday.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Name: Dennis Alexander
Occupation: School Bus Driver in Eugene, Ore.
Politics: Generally, doesn't care
Voting for: Barack Obama
Favorite Bands: Guns N' Roses, Poison and Metallica.
(Due to the fact that AOL is acting up, we will conclude this blog entry, which concludes the series, in the same format....)
Mayor of Eugene, Oregon: Kitty Piercy
Famous Residents: Ken Kesey, the late author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), Steve Perry and Danny Ainge.
(Image: Statue of Ken Kesey)
Sister City for Eugene: Kathmandu, Nepal
Voice of Otto Mann: Harry Shearer
Trivia: "Otto Mann" is a take on the Ottoman Empire, which means that of all "The Simpsons" characters, Otto might just be the one most like me! (I am a Turkish-American).
Tags: The Simpsons
Name: Raj Shankar (Image is of Apu from "The Simpsons")
Occupation: 7-11 manager/owner in Kirkland, Wash.
Politics: Independent, leans Democrat
Voting for: Barack Obama
Suburbs, like Alexandria, Va., Cary, NC, Henderson, Nev., and Gary, Ind. ( a Chicago 'burb) will matter in this election, and that was evident yesterday as John McCain stumped in the DC-suburb of Arlington, Va., where his campaign is also headquatered.
But, Kirkland, Wash., does not figure to be a swing 'burb as it leans to the left politically, as does much of the Seattle area. As NPR's John Moe, who is from Seattle, said the area is perhaps second only to Berkeley, Calif., as being the most liberal in the nation.
Kirkland has a population of 45,740 and the city's mayor is Jim Lauinger. The city is noted for its downtown with various cafes and galleries. Google, Microsoft and Amazon each have offices in Kirkland.
The city also saw it's little league team win The Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., in 1982, when I was still old enough to play little league ball (but, I played soccer instead).
"Washington Post" columnist Chris Cillizza, who is known for his stern objectivity, siad that a Barack Obama landslide is a remote possibility though he predicts that the Illinois senator will now get 311 electoral votes, which would give him a comfortable victory.
In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that's time for the Obama campaign to send someone to The White House to start measuring the drapes.
Apu from "The Simpsons" has been criticized by some in the Indian community for being too stereotypical, but the propeitor of the Kwick-E Mart is a popular character on the show.
His catch phrase is: "Thank you, come again." And, when the store was robbed, he actually said: "Thank you, steal again."
Managing convience stores is a dangerous job though as Danville, Va., a city of 60,000 on the North Carolina border had some 70 armed robberies in 2007.
SIDEBAR: PBS continues its special "American Experience" presentations of past presidents with Richard Nixon, a fascinating and disturbing figure, who still remains profilic in our pop culture, whether it be books, plays or films.