Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quote of the Day- Werner Herzog

Today we are pressed for time....hmm- I've been saying that a lot lately!

First I want to apologize to the North Carolina State women's gymnastics team as I've been meaning to profile some of their star gymnasts.

But, we do have this great quote from German film director Werner Herzog, who now lives in L.A.- of all places. The quote was said as he was making his epic film "Fitzcarraldo" in the Peruvian jungle some 25 years ago:

"I shouldn't make movies anymore. I should go into a lunatic asylum."

I highly recommend seeing my friend Les Blank's documentary "Burden of Dreams" which looks at the making of "Fitzcarraldo." It will make one think twice about making a film or venturing into the Amazon River basin.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quote of the Week-Meryl Streep

This picture of Meryl Streep may be a few years old, but she is still one of the best actressed in Hollywood today.

I think her Oscar-nomination for "Doubt" as a stern nun is well-deserved. But, Anne Hathaway or Kate Winslet might actually walk away with the prize this time around.

On our sister blog "The Daily Vampire," we have a quote from Sean Penn.

Here is the quote from Streep:

"All an actor has is their blind faith that they are who they say they are today, in any scene."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Songs of Our Youth (Entry 5 of 11)

Union of the Snake by Duran Duran

Note: When one sees me post very, very short entries, it does indeed mean I am pressed for time and/or I have wasted lots of time during the day as it is!

Note Two: This series has previously run on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire."

Monday, January 26, 2009

At the Cat's Cradle- Toubab Krewe

The Asheville, NC instrumental band Toubab Krewe will be playing at the ever-hip Cat's Cradle night club in Carrboro, NC (Chapel Hill) on Friday, Feb. 6.

The band fuses the music of Mali with southern roots music. They obviously don't have a lead singer, but Teal Brown does a really swell job on drums.

I saw the band perform at the Sun Hall in Floyd, Va., on Dec. 1, 2007. It was a night I will never forget as the show was cut short because a truck had hit a powerline in the small town near Roanoke, and created a fuse shortage throughout Floyd.

Toubab Krewe will also be performing at The Blind Tiger in Greensboro on Jan. 30 and at The Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte on Feb. 7.

This Friday, at Cat's Cradle, there will be a performance by The Last Waltz Ensemble- a group that performs songs by Bob Dylan and The Band.

Cat's Cradle is located at 300 East Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510. Phone: 919-967-9053.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Line of a Novel (5 of 11)

Since the Super Bore is next weekend (Does anyone outside of Phoenix care about the freaking Arizona Cardinals? Though, I'd still love to see them beat the Pittsburgh Steelers!), we thought we'd go with the first lines of Thomas Harris' 1975 terror novel "Black Sunday" which was made into a film that was essentially a "Towering Inferno" rip-off:

"Night fell as the airport taxi rattled along the six miles of coastal road into Beirut. From the back seat, Dahlia Iyad watched the Mediterranean surf fade from white to gray in the last light. She was thinking about the American. She would have to answer questions about him."

Hmmm....a paperback version of this novel has been on my mom's bookshelf for some 30 years, and I have yet to read it! Maybe, it is because it has that old paperback book smell.........

NOTICE: We were going to write seven blog entries today both here and on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire," but there are fish to feed in the aquarium. So to speak!

Six Degrees of Separation_ Imogene Coca (6 of 11)

Today, we continue our series which looks at how many degrees of separation a given movie star is from actor Kevin Bacon.

Since we looked at the late comedian/actor Rodney Dangerfield the last time around, we thought we'd go with another late star who acted in a movie with Chevy Chase, who was entry number four in this series (Chase is reportedly still alive.)

Imogene Coca (1908-2001) was a television star who appeared with Chase in the 1983 comedy hit "National Lampoon's Vacation." Dangerfield co-starred with Chase in "Caddyshack" (1980).

Here are the degrees of separation between Coca and Bacon.

Coca was in "National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983) with Dana Barron who was in "Saving Angelo" (2007) with Bacon.

They are thus two degrees apart.......!

Ooooops! This series was on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire" which is a zillion times more popular.........check it out on our links section!

Celebrity Birthday- Tobe Hooper is 66

The director of the demented 1973 horror classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (not an image from the film as we did not want to scare the kids!) turns 66 today.

Hooper also directed the 1982 film "Poltergeist," which featured a very hot Jobeth Williams. I understand she does some stage work with L.A. Theatre Works now, but we don't have any interns at this blog to research such things, yet alone confirm them!

I also have a fascination with chainsaw jugglers, but it is not a hobby I intend to pursue anytime soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cereals of Our Youth_ Boo Berry (Entry 4 of 11)

My friend Nancy Drew (pseudonym) who is a licensed dietitian in Athens, Ga. (not actual town where she works) would probably NOT recommend eating this cereal brand, even if you are eight-years old. But, one does have to love the mascot!

With this entry, our blogathon is now underway.......but the next entry won't be posted until I get some zzzs.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coming Sunday.......Blogathon

Since I am running behind with blog posts both here and on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire," we've decided to have a 14 entry blogathon on Sunday! This is going to take planning, fortitude and organization- three skils I don't possess.

We're looking for sponsors, but we may go with the left-leaning publication "The Nation" and the right-leaning "National Review" since subscriptions to both magazines are reportedly being cancelled by my community college of employment!

Since I am now a subscriper to the center-left publication "New Republic," I should getting my fill of politics at home, if only the first issue would arrive!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quote of the Week Special Edition- Hubert H. Humphrey

I heard a great radio documentary on NPR last night about the 1968 election, so I thought I'd post quotes from Hubert H. Humphrey and Richard Nixon on my two respective blogs.

"American public opinion is like an ocean, it can not be stirred with a teaspoon," Hubert H. Humphrey.

In other news, my good friend folk singer Bruce Piephoff will be performing at the Flat Irons Bar in Greensboro, NC, on Saturday night. There is a $5 cover charge.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quote of the Week- Joe Biden

Today, we honor our new vice president Joe Biden with one of his quotes:

"The Middle East is hopeful. There is hope there."

We have a quote from Barack Obama on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Zip Code USA_ Provincetown, Mass. 02657

Today, we continue our series "Zip Code USA" with the town that is percieved to be the most liberal community in the nation, Provincetown, Mass. 02657.

Next week, we hope to post about Provo, Utah, the percieved most conservative zip code in the USA.

This is the fourth entry in our series. The previous profiles included Burlington, Vt., Bethlehem, Pa. and Bethesda, Md.

Located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown has a population of close to 3,500 residents. According to Wikipedia, the community is known for its beaches, harbors, artists, tourists and reputation as a gay village.

The town manager is Sharon Lynn.

One can find a Portugese Festival during the summer as well as jazz and film festivals, and Provincetown boasts a Shakespearean acting company.

The zip code was the setting the late novelist Norman Mailer's "Tough Guys Don't Dance." Mailer also resided at 02657.

Other past residents include the late playwrights Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill.

Today, resident include novelist Michael Cunnigham ("The Hours") and film director John Waters, who splits his time with his native Baltimore.

Ironically, Provincetown is also the residence of conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan, who undoubtedly irked The "National Review" crowd when he endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain due to the infamous selection of Sarah Palin as running mate.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things Have Been a Bit Insane Lately

Since fewer people read this blog than The Daily Vampire, I can perhaps open up.......hmm, on second note, I better not-LOL!

But, I can disclose that I have my sights set on teaching four classes this semester at a community college in Bethesda, Md. (which is a psedonymn for somewhere else!).

Interestingly enough, our pictured film "A Clockwork Orange" is actually showing at a multiplex in Orlando, Fla.

Road trip, anyone?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Film Comment Names "Wendy and Lucy" Best Film

My favorite cinema magazine "Film Comment" has named its top 50 films of 2008. The voters included my good friend Bilge Ebiri and many other respected film critics, including Amy Taubin, Nathan Lee, Godfrey Chesire, Wesley Morris and Mark Olsen among many others.

Here are the top ten films as chosen by "Film Comment." The critics chose "Wendy and Lucy" (pictured) as the best film. Needless to say many of these films, with the exception of "Wall-E" have not played in towns like Burlington, NC, or Danville, Va. The *s indicate films I have seen:

1. "Wendy and Lucy" (dir. Kelly Reichardt)

2. "Flight of the Red Balloon" (Taiwan/France, dir. Hou Hsia-hsien)

3. "A Christmas Tale" (France- Arnaud Desplechin)

4. "Happy-Go-Lucky" (dir. Mike Leigh)*

5. "WALL-E" (dir. Andrew Stanton)*

6. "Still Life" (China, dir. Jia Zhiang-ke)

7. "Paranoid Park" (dir. Gus Van Sant)

8. "Waltz with Bashir" (Israel, dir. Ari Folman)

9. "My Winnipeg" (Guy Maddin)

10. "Milk" (Gus Van Sant)

Cereals of Our Youth- Captain Crunch

Your dentist's personal favorite (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cereals of Our Youth- Post Honey Comb

I haven't had this cereal in a good 25 years, but I presume it's still on the shelf!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Celebrity Birthday- Rowan Atkinson is 54

Our first celebrity birhtday of the year is Rowan Atkinson, best known for being "Mr. Bean" and for that role as a quirky minister in "Four Weddings and a Funeral."

He is 54 today.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quote of the Week- David Bowie

"I've always had a repulsive need to be something more than human."

David Bowie's 1986 film "Labyrinth" will be shown at the Carousel Cinema in Greensboro, NC, on Wed., Jan.7 (coincidentally, a day before Bowie's birthday). For more details, check out the blog

My friend Joe Scott arranged the special screening.

We have a quote from Bowie's "Dancing in the Street" co-star Mick Jagger on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire."

Friday, January 2, 2009

First Line of a Novel (4 of 11) from Nick Hornby

Since the electric bills for those front-yard Christmas lights come in January, this month is reportedly notorious for higher suicide rates.

Hence, we are including the first line of Nick Hornby's 2005 novel "A Long Way Down," which consists of character who each want to 'exit stage left,' as our latest entry in this series:

"Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block?"

In order to avoid a lawsuit from Mr. Hornby, which might lead to me standing on a ledge, I advise you to read the other 333 pages yourself.

And, if you are actually considering suicide, there is always

Hopefully, someone there can help you more than I could!

Lastly, the image used in this entry is from the classic Harold Lloyd film "Safety Last." It is quite funny, and perhaps if you are very depresses, you should consider adding it to your Netflix que!

Hmmm....that reminds me a dvd of the Nazi Holocaust drama "Sophie Scholl" is awaiting me when I get home.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Know Your Mayors (Entry 3 of 12)

Today we turn our attention to the mayor of my hometown, Roanoke, Va., known as the Star City of the South.

He is David Bowers, 56, pictured here on the left with people who I believe are members of Roanoke City Council (sorry, no fact checkers here!).

Bowers defeated former mayor Nelson Harris last year. Bowers was previously mayor from 1992-2000, and he has also served on city council.

The mayor's day job is a lawyer. He is also a member St. Andrew's Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the Kiwanis Club.

Bowers lost a congressional election to Cong. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) in 1998. He graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1970 (the year I was born).

Mayor Bowers' hobbies include reading James Lee Burke novels and hiking.