Friday, October 29, 2010

High School of the Week- Oxford High School (Mississippi)

Since Oxford High School in Oxford, Ms., goes by the nickname of The Chargers, we thought we'd post an entry with an image of Captain Marvel (aka 'Shaazam!') to be cheeky (nothing new for us!).

The school, which is located in the same town as the University of Mississippi where author John Grisham hails from, plays Gentry High School at home tonight.

Michael Martin is the principal of Oxford High School, and on the school's web site he quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The secret of education is in respecting the pupil."

We are also featuring an entry devouted to Ithaca High School in Ithaca, NY, on our other blog (it is also in a collegetown as Cornell University is located there).

I came up with the idea to post entries for schools from Mississipi and New York because I recently quoted playwrights Tennessee Williams and Neil Simon on the same day. (Williams is deceased, Simon is alive and well in his eighties). They are from those two states respectively.

Happy Republic's Day (Turkey)

Today is the 87th anniversary of the founding of The Republic of Turkey. I once participated in a Republic's Day parade as a child back in 1978 in the industrial town of Zonguldak Eregli on the western Black Sea coast. (I was actually born in Roanoke, Va., but I lived in Turkey-my late father's country for two years as a child).

The scene above is likely from one of the four Princess Islands near Istanbul. They include Kinali, Burgaz, Heybeli and Buyukada.

The Turkish author made Heybeli Island more famous since some of his stories have taken place there. The island was the subject of controversy due to a propsed closing of an ehtnic Greek papal school. Heybeli is also home to one of Turkey's largest naval academies.

My family has long resided on Buyukada, the largest of the islands (there is also the tiny island of Sedefadasi adjacent to Buyukada, which is primarily a hangout for seagulls). Buyukada was, at last report, home to the Lale Sinemasi (Cinema), which is one of the last remaining outdoor cinemas in Turkey.

I believe I watched several action films starring Turkish movie idol Cuneyt Arkin there as a child (There was another outdoor cinema on Buyukada which closed some 10-15 years ago). In 2008, I saw a screening of "The Other Boleyn Girl" with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson there.

No cars are allowed with the exception of police and emergency vehicles on any of the islands.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Things We Learned on Twitter Today- Johnny Weir Overslept

Yikes! We know the feeling, but since I have to be at work by 7:45 a.m., oversleeping is now a weekend thing though it can prevent one from going to the Alamance County Farmer's Market!

Alas, Johnny Weir, the openly gay American figure skater who competed at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, tweeted that he overslept today:

"Overslept. I hate doing that. So much to do today."

We certainly hope our friend Cong. Tom Perriello (D-Va) who has the distinction of being a moderate progressive in what is primarily a 'Dukes of Hazard' Fifth District got up when the roosters crowed at a barn in South Hill, Va. (which is in his district). He faces Republican challenger Robert Hurt, a state senator in the Virginia General Assembly who is hopefully still in his pajamas.

We are also hoping that some of my former Facebook friends who haven't 'refriended me' since I rejoined Facebook after my fiasco with a hacker from Istanbul, Turkey, of all places! So far, mostly attractive women are snubbing me. So, how exactly is cyberspace different from the real world?!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Silly Photo to Fill Space- Darth Vader Dogs

We thought we'd post an entry with this vintage photo of a dog dressed like Darth Vader. Some friends and co-workers are urging to keep my promise of dressing up like the Star Wars for Halloween as I jokingly promised a few weeks ago, but costumes are going for (yikes!) $90 online. My friend Chris Knight of Reidsville, NC, might be inclined to buy it though since he loves Star Wars, so much so that he once used in a local political campaign when he ran for school board offie in 2006.

The Asheville Humane Society in Asheville, NC, is sponsoring a special event aimed at increasing adoptions over the upcoming Halloween weekend. The event called The Halloween Dog Festival will be held on Sat. from 1-5 p.m., and it will include costume categories for both large and small dogs.

Among the mutts that are up for adoption in Asheville are Cassandara, an 11-month-old spayed retriever lab, Anchoive, a five-year-old terrier/chihuahua and Honeycomb, a nine-month-old female lab beagle.

For more info, one can call 828-761-2001.

Monday, October 25, 2010

50 Beers From Around the World- Lasko Pivo (Slovenia)

Ahh, if only we could get away from it all and go to the Kluze fortress in northwest Slovenia.

But in the mean time, we can blog about Lasko Pivo, the Slovenian brew that was founded by gingerbread baker Franz Geyer in 1825.

Lasko Pivo participates in the famed Festival of Beer and Flowers in the city of Lasko, Slovenia.

Other interest destinations in the Slovenia, a former Yugoslav Republic which borders Austria and Croatia, is the Emerald Route which takes tourists by waterfalls and forests......must be nice!

SIDEBAR: It is so nice to wrap up an evening to a very hectic day with a refreshing Blue Moon with the company of my favorite Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell of Delaware (yeah, I guess you know by now that politically, of course, I can't stand her!) who is vying for Vice President Joe Biden's old U.S. Senate seat. Of course, this is one 'beer summit' that Biden would probably want to miss! The Republican witchy woman has joined me for beer and laughs at The Washington Street Ale House in Wilmington, Del.*, where she is making fun of President Barack Obama and I am taking shots at America's favorite unemployed mama grizzly Sarah Palin. Who says: "Why can't we all get along?!"

*-An actual place which does indeed serve teh trendy brew Blue Moon.

Quote of the Week- Brian DePalma

For those of us who watch the Showtime series "Dexter" (since I just started watching last season I'm a late convert), this quote from "Carrie" director Brian DePalma does seem quite appropriate. For those not familiar with the show, it has a bit of an edgy premise in that Dexter, a serial killer who 'goes after the bad guys,' is the protagonist. (Yeah, I wonder what Charles Dickens would've thought too):

"Yeah, I had an idea to make a very scary movie, based on some kind of serial murderer that preys on tourists."

SIDEBAR: I don't like to divulge info about my personal life on this blog, but I thought this once I would mention that while his wife is busy calling his former female acquaitances' answering machines, I am indeed having a Stella Artois with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at The Barking Dog Bar in Bethesda, Md.* Thomas apparently really likes jokes about honky rebel flag-waving rednecks, but he didn't want me to let that out because it would be (ironically) politically incorrect and even though he is not an elected official, that is in fact his consistuency!

*- An actual place where happy hours are from Monday-Friday from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Of course, I am kidding around as I don't know if Justice Thomas hangs out in suburban Maryland or if he likes to make fun of white people.But, The Barking Dog does serve Stella Artois!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

High School of the Week- Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City

Greetings from the Waffle House in Staunton, Va., (well we are not actually there at the moment!), where we profile Northwest Classen High School from Oklahoma City as our High School of the Week.

The high school, which is the alma mater of country singer Vince Gill, is nicknamed The Knights. The school principal is Tamie Sanders. And, the school's demographics are 38.5 % Latino, 25.8 % White, 22.4 % Black, and .00000000009 % Pashtun (forgive the humorous reference to an Afghan ethnic group).

Alas, folks in Oklahoma are not likely to be happy tonight as their beloved Oklahoma Sooners, the top-ranked team in college football, fell to the University of Missouri by a 36-27 margin. But, then again we can't feel too sorry for Oklahoma since it is a red state and it now approaching 3:30 a.m. here at The Waffle House in Harrisonburg, Va.,.......oh, I mean Staunton, Va., of course!

Things We Learned on Twitter Today- Movie Critic Talks Politics

One may assume that legendary Chicago film critic Roger Ebert might be tweeting about how much he hates "Jackass 3-D," but instead he was talking politics tonight.

Ebert has made headlines for his groundbreaking surgery which allows a new artificial voice-box to speak for him since he lost his real voice to cancer as well as criticism of California high school students who were wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco De Mayo. Of course, those t-shirts were probably made in Honduras (hmm...., we probably lost some members of the Tulsa Tea Party for that remark!).

Here was the tweet from Ebert which was in reference to (he provided a link) a column from Frank Rich of "The New York Times" about how President Barack Obama is perceived by many Americans to be subservient to elitists even though he provided a tax break for 95 percent of all Americans. This was the exact tweet from Ebert:

"Obama won't go after Wall Street thieves: GOP should be applauding. Ordinary people get screwed."

Perhaps, tomorrow Ebert will tell us who will win the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants. I suppose I am a bit of a fervent center-left political person because I'll be rooting for the Giants merely because the Rangers were once owned by George W. Bush!

Pardon the Interuption...

Yes, it was one of those weeks. I was trying to contact the local travel agent in Omaha, Nebraska (now where I actually reside, not even close!) and arrange a getaway-from-it-all trip to La Paz, Bolivia, but then a call came through call-waiting. Actually, there were two of them. One was from my mom, and the other from boss. So much for sneaking away to the Andes!

But, for those who can sneak away to the DC Improv Comedy Club in Washington, DC, there will be a performance from former "Saturday Night Live" news anchor Norman Macdonald from Oct. 28-31, which interferes with both Turkish Republic's Day (Oct. 29) and Halloween (for those in Adana--Turkey's fourth largest city--that day in Oct. 31). Are the rumors that Macdonald actually, somehow went out on a date with supermodel/actress Elle MacPherson true?! It's hard to believe she is 47 years old now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Silly Photo to Fill Space- Jack-O-Lantern

Of course, October is a great time of the year to visit a nice country town like Abingdon, Va., where the Barter Theatre is currently performing the stage version of "The Full Monty" (admitedly not my cup of tea, but my 70-year-old mom would probably enjoy it).

However, if one is staying home because they are overwhelmed with cleaning house, grading papers or awaiting a call from an All-State agent, they can watch lots of horror films.

Even many fellow film fanatics are a bit surprised when I tell them there is a Turkish version of "The Exorcist!"

The film called "Seytan/Satan/The Devil" was made in 1974 a year after Linda Blair shocked cinema audiences around the world. The director Metin Erksan was actually one of Turkey's most accomplished filmmakers at the time!

The plotline from the film which is available from Netflix (which is how I saw it on dvd) revolves around a troubled girl named Gul, played by Canan Perver, who becomes possessed by the devil.

Perhaps, the most singular cultural difference between the two versions is that Gul is saved by a shrink rather than a priest which seems appropriate given that Turkey is a Muslim country!

50 Beers Around the World- Baviera (Paraguay)

Today we are focusing on the landlocked nation of Paraguay where one can find Baviera Beer, which admitedly might be hard to find at Corn Beef and Company in Roanoke, Va,(my hometown).

According to one Internet reviewer, the brew is popular in the capital city of Asuncion and it is best served in an ice bucket and drunk by glass.

We will keep that in mind should we find a good travel package for Paraguay!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quote of the Week- Quentin Tarantino

Having once worked as a teacher in a North Carolina prison (I was NOT an inmate there, oh btw!), I am not sure I would share this view from filmmaker Quentin Tarantino:

"I was kind of excited about going to jail the first time and I learnt some great dialogue."

North Carolina High School Football Roundup

The Western Alamance Warriors (pictured here) were among the victors in high school football action on Friday night in the Greensboro, NC, region. While, the mighty Reidsville High School Rams who had a very impressive 57 games in a row fell at home to Cummings High School by a 28-7 score.

Kudos once again to our beloved Ragsdale High School Flying Tigers who beat rival Northwestern Guilford High School 24-21.

This list of North Carolina scores includes schools that are mostly within a one-hour radius of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point:

Cummings 28 Reidsville 7
Smith 27 Page 18
North Davidson 24 Reagan 14
Ragsdale 24 NW Guilford 21
Western Alamance 25 Williams 21
Mount Tabor 39 Reynolds 7
Mount Airy 37 Northern Surry 7
Dudley 24 Southeastern Guilford 10
Rockingham County 18 Eastern Guilford 14
Forsyth 14 Asheboro 0
Northwood 35 Carrboro 34
Salisbury 56 Central Davidson 37 (wow!)
High Point 41 Parkland 20

SIDEBAR: In ACC football action, UNC won a rare victory over UVA as the Tarheels spanked the Cavs' 44-10. North Carolina State lost an out-of-conference game to state rival ECU 33-27 and hapless Duke gave their best, but fell to Miami (Fla) by a 28-13 score.

SIDEBAR TWO: Happy 50th wedding anniversary to Fred and Wilma Flintstone of Bedrock, Pa. (There is actually a Bedford, Pa; I ate a Denny's there once! By the way, I hate semicolons!). "The Flintstones" are indeed 50 years old this week as the ainmated series first aired in 1960.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Top Ten Horror Films of All Time

Since it is October, we thought we'd post an entry about the supposed Greatest Horror Films of All-Time. The Internet Movie Database in Seattle came up with this list based on member voting.

It's an interesting list (actually included 50 films with "Saw" taking the last spot), and we do agree with the Number One selection of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," though I was surprised that solid horror films like "Carrie" (well, ok it's a bit kitschy) and "Poltergeist" didn't make the full list.

But, here is the Top Ten.....perhaps not surprisingly, most of these films have been remade- some several times over:

1. "Psycho" (pictured with Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates) (1960 version)
2. "Alien" (1979)
3. "The Shining" (1980 film version)
4. "Diabolique" (France, 1955 version)
5. "The Thing" (1982 version)
6. "King Kong" (1933 version)
7. "Rosemary's Baby" (1968)
8. "The Exorcist" (1973, there was actually a remake in Turkey!)
9. "The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari" (Germany, 1920)
10. "Frankenstein" (1931 version)

Joe Scott will be presenting "Silence of the Lambs" as part of the horror film segment of his Mixed Tape Series at the Carousel Luxury Cinemas in Greensboro, NC, on Oct. 21. At last report, showtimes were 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.

In Roanoke, Va., my friend Jason Garnett screens "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (of course we known the 1975 campy muscial cult classic with Susan Sarandon is not a horror movie!) on Oct. 30th at the Shadowbox Cinema at 10 p.m.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

High School of the Week- Central High School (Little Rock, Ark)

I must profess to enjoying the irony that we are featuring a photograph of former president Bill Clinton that was posted on a right-wing blog (of all places!) with our High School of Week which is the famous Central High School in the state capital of Little Rock.

It should be pointed out that Clinton actually graduated from Hot Springs High School in Hot Springs, Ark., but Central is actually the most recognized high school in the state, if not the nation, because it was the site of a major desegregation incident in 1957 that is considered to be a cornerstone in the Civil Rights movement.

One of the first black students involved with the desesgregation (also called "The Little Rock Nine") Jefferson Thomas recently died in Ohio at age 68 on Sept. 5.
Thomas was cited by President Barack Obama for his civic courage.

Clinton, who was then in office as president, celebrated the 40th anniversary of Central's desegregation with then Republican governor Mike Huckabee, who unsucessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination for 2008, in 1997.

Central HS has been cited nationally for academic excellence, and it has an enrollment of circa 2,422 students. Nancy Rousseau is principal of the school whose famous alumnus in recent years includes Green Day guitarist Jason White.

The school nickname is The Tigers, and in recent years they had the dubious distinction of losing 23 football games in a row.

But that certainly does not change the school's place in American history.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Things We Learned on Twitter Today- Greece and Israel Are in a Relationship

Greetings from the Starbucks in Front Royal, Va., a town where actor Robert Duvall once resided in a horse farm (we are not actually in Front Royal but there is a Starbucks there), where today we are posting about a new pact between Greece and Israel.

I suppose the headline does indicate a slight Turkish-American bias (for those of you in Welch, WVa, where in all probability no Greek-American or Jewish person resides, Turkey and Greece were enemies but are now friends. Conversely, Turkey and Israel were friends, but well things have changed!).

According to a tweet from The Jerusalem Post, Greek and Israeli relations have improved since the infamous flotilla raids. While the pirate-style invasions of the relief vessels meant to give food and aid to Palestinians made international headlines because of the raid aboard the Turkish ship The Marmara which killed nine people all of whom were Turkish, several Greek ships were targeted in the same dubious effort as well.

But, this week eight Israeli choppers are taking part in search and rescue efforts in southern Greece, according to the Israeli newspaper.

Conversely, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Athens in August, and the Jersualem Post reports he has no such plans to dine with the Erdogans in Ankara (Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom a friend of mine in Bursa, Turkey, calls The Turkish Bush is the PM of Turkey).

SIDEBAR_ Today, we add Mercy High School in Omaha, Neb., to our long list of High Schools of the Week. We were wondering why the school, nicknamed The Monarchs, had no football team until we found out they were an all-girls' Catholic school. Carolyn Jaworski is the principal of the school, which has its own Facebook and Twitter pages.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Silly Photo to Fill Space- Celeb Couples

Hooray for celebrity couples; what would we do without them??! Today, for our Silly Photo to Fill Space feature we focus on the celebrity couple of Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal who are known more for independent films, like "Shattered Glass" and "Secretary," which are shown in Auditorium 14 at the local multiplex in Bethesda, Md.

Amazingly enough, I saw that "Secretary" was playing at an outdoor cinema in Buukada, an island off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, a few years ago. I wonder if Maggie or her agent is aware of that? Yeah. I agree. Probably not.

SIDEBAR: This week's semi-official High School of the Week is Galena High School in Reno, Nev., where the school nickname is The Grizzlies.

Nevada is a state where a very competitive U.S. Senate race is taking place between a Tea party Mama Grizzly Sharron Angle, who like Linda Blair is assuredly possesed by Satan (hey, we may not be as liberal or as funny as Michael Moore, but we still hate right-wing quacks) and Sen. Harry Reid, who is the sentate majority leader.

Among the famous alum of Galena HS is actress Shannyn Sossaman who starred in the thriller "One Missed Call," which probably played in Auditorium 7 at the local multiplex in Bethesda, Md.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quote of the Week- Martin Scorsese

We thought it might actually be cooled to link this week's Quote of the Week to last week's Quote of the Week, especially since this blog is moving very slower (we should blame Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but he seems to have other concerns at the moment) than normal.

So, here is our quote from Martin Scorsese, whose brilliant cinematic letter to the late iconic film director Elia Kazan was broadcast on PBS last week:

"The term 'giant' is used too often to describe artists. But, in the case of Akira Kurosawa, we have one of the rare instances where the term fits."

SIDEBAR: For those of you following us in Armenia, Bulgaria and Paraguay, who may have been wondering, it appears we did misspell actress/Revlon spokeswoman Halle Berry's name in our previous entry. We will blame that on Mark Zuckerberg* too, regardless if we spelled his name right or not!

*- Hey, it appears we got it right. Maybe, we can go ahead and fire our interns now....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things We Learned From Twitter Today- Pee Wee Herman is Shopping

My personal favorite narcissictic celeb Pee Wee Herman (well, Paris Hilton is a close second) has tweeted that he was shopping in The Big Apple this afternoon:

"Heading to try on some jewels at Jacob the jeweler! 48 e and 57th near madison. Be there in 10 mins!"

It is sort of refreshing to see a famous person who is tottally comfortable providing info that would-be stalkers might find useful over the Internet.

Assuredly, we expect the like of Halle Berry will never let us know such things about herself.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top 10 Riskiest Neckties to Wear to Work...

The "Tom and Jerry" necktie pictured above probably would NOT cause problems at work unless you had a very uptight boss, however even in hip, liberal places like Berkeley, Calif., or Boulder, Colo., many of these neckties would not be cool. Conversely, rebel flag and Stop Abortion neckties would not work well in an office environment in Lynchburg, Va., (actually we're not certain about that!).

Incidentally, all of these listed ties are available from or other Internet outlets!

Here is our list:

1. Che Guevara necktie (pictured)
2. Marijuana leaf necktie (pictured)
3. Old Soviet Union flag necktie
4. Chairman Mao neckties
5. Stop Abortion neckties
6. Koranic scripture neckties (definitely not a good idea on the Liberty University campus!)
7. Confederate Flag necktie
8. Playboy emblem necktie
9. Two Grooms with Brown Hair necktie (or any other overt gay neckties, not in the fashion sense)
10. Nude Woman Drinking Beer necktie

Other ties that were considered:

Palestinian Flag neckties (really bad idea if you're going to meet with Sen. Joe Lieberman on The Hill).
Rush Limbuagh neckties
Josef Stalin neckties
No Condom neckties
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk neckties (bad idea if you're in Glendale, Calif., which is home to America's largest Armenian population!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

50 Beers From Around the World- Malta Gold (Nigeria)

Malta Gold, which is not a product of Malta but the west African nation of Nigeria, is brewed by Benue breweries in Nigeria.

The country is curently celebrating its 50th anniversary as of Oct. 1 since the day it declared independence from the United Kingdom.

Nigeria is the second most populated country in Africa behind South Africa.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Quote of the Week_ Akira Kurosawa

This month we are featuring quotes from famous film directors, and we start with the late Japanese master Akira Kurosawa:

"Man is a genius when he is dreaming."

SIDEBAR: We will miss Tony Curtis. As mentioned in my last entry, I had just seen his 1958 film "The Vikings" earlier in the week. I did not mention that I had also seen his 1968 film "The Boston Strangler," both films were directed by the late Richard Fleischer, in which Curtis played the dubious title role. He gave an excellent performance in the later film, which also featured Henry Fonda, which surprisingly did not garner Curtis an Oscar nomination. We are certainly sad that he had died, and our thoughts go out to Jamie Lee Curtis.

SIDEBAR TWO: Our favorite high school in North Carolina, Ragsdale HS from Jamestown, NC, once again won a big game last night as they triumphed over Eastern Forsyth 10-7.