Truly Bad Films

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Hi folks - I don't know if anyone still stops by here, but for those who may still care: I've given notice to the landlord. I'm moving.

The name of my new estate is:
Chai's Truly Bad Films

On Easter Sunday it'll be a year since my brother died, and I finally feel some urge to write sidewinding around under my skin again. Posts may be light for awhile . . . but I think I may be coming back into this world again.

See ya there!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Helping Out a Bud

Before Leslie left town she gave me a set of keys and asked me to turn on the lights and bring in the mail while she was gone. I've posted a review of Spamalot over at her place, just to keep the pipes from freezing.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hey Bus Driver!

Leslie was so kind to drop a sweet comment on my site yesterday, thinking that I had started posting again. What really happened was that I used my Blogger account to teach the Girl Scouts how to start their own blogs and one of them posted on Truly Bad Films by mistake.

Leslie said, " Hah! I knew you'd be back sooner or later. You've been sorely missed, my friend." And her comment started me thinking. She is the second person to ask in the last couple of months if I will start blogging again. I really want to take an art class in the spring and if nothing else I could talk about my etchings. LOL!!!

So, I'm thinking about it.

Thanks for the encouragement, Leslie!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Moving soon . . .

Well, folks - I'm moving. But shutting down TBF doesn't mean there won't be anymore Truly Bad Film reviews and other silly news.

The kind gents over at LlamaButcher Palace have offered me a basement key where I can plug in my wood burner and scorch messages in pine planks until the smoke makes me dizzy and the guys yell at me to open a window. So I'm packing up my Etch-A-Sketch, my Spirograph, my Wheel-O, and my Super-Elastic Bubble Plastic and taking it over to their house to play.

You may not see any evidence of my handiwork propped against the porch or sitting on the curb over there this week, but keep checking back and something I hammered out (like a five-sided bird house) will show up sooner or later.

Thanks again for all your love and support!
--Liz (aka Chai-Rista)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thank Yous

Thank you to all who sent prayers, phone calls, comments, email and other support. You've helped me more than I can describe. I'm past the worst, thanks to my friends.

God bless you!

Friday, May 05, 2006

What's Up

Dear Faithful Readers:

On April 8th my younger brother died of a catastrophic stroke. Since that day I've walked around with a hole the size of a vollyball in my chest. I'm on drugs, and they are keeping me from going after him. But that's the only good thing I can say.

I'm pretty sure I'll be closing down TBF. It's been a goof-bomb riot and I thank you all from the place where my heart used to be for reading, and commenting, and coming by regularly. God bless you and keep you hip deep in Truly Bad Films and buttered popcorn. It's been fun.


Saturday, April 08, 2006


TBF is going on hiatus until mid-May. See ya'll then!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Politically Corrected Team Names

There ought to be more techno-related teams since it's now "wrong" to be an Indian, Warrior or whatever. Teams names of the future will be of this ilk: the Danville Datastreams, the Burlington Binaries, and the Atlanta ATMs.

It couldn't be worse than the Flames or the Wahoos and it's way better than the "Fighting Christians." (An actual former team name of Elon College, now Elon University and also now the . . . Phoenix? How is that in any way germane to their location or histor . . . Whatever!)

The Salisbury Safety Deposit Boxes? The Jacksonville Jump Drives!

What will the mascots look like?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gettin' Old

It must be the hag in me sittin' up on back legs, but I hate it when students come to ask me something and they talk in this teeny, tiny Sally Struthers voice. I want to say, "Ask in your Big Girl Voice or I'm not helping ya'!"

I know there is an ingrained behaviour here trying to come across as wittle and helpless . . . but it rubs my fur wrong.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hand Toys

First, I found this little gem yesterday - a well-known "raw food" specialist in New York City was arrested for exposing himself on the subway. Russell Scott Smith of the New York Times wrote a mischevious article about the troubles of nut milk-maker extraordinaire, Dan Hoyt.
According to Hoyt, “There have been situations in a bar or nightclub where you’re fooling around with somebody and yeah, you’re exposed. It’s nothing really accessible. Just sort of hidden, but risky. If someone looked closely, they could see what’s going on.” Without skiing or bike racing as an outlet [in New York City], he took to exposing himself in public. He is very matter-of-fact about it. “It’s the possibility of being caught or discovered, the thrill of doing something crazy,” Hoyt says.
Excuse me, Mr. Hoyt, but did you say "You're exposed!?" Like lil Mr. Peepee jumped out of your zipper all by himself? And you like the "thrill of doing something crazy"?
Hoyt believes that if he and [his target of exposure] had only met under different circumstances, she might really like him. “You know, she’d go, ‘That guy’s pretty cool. He’s got this restaurant, and he’s fun,’ ” Hoyt says. “She’d probably want to go out with me.”
"Fun" in Hoyt-World is code for "public masturbator." It's creeps like this who break into a woman's house so they can experience "thrill of doing something crazy" like rape. I'm just sorry he didn't get any prison time so he could experience the thrill of a prison tossed salad - after all, it's raw food!

In somewhat related news, my pal Mr. Keysunset sent this one. A Homeland Security official was arrested last night in a child sex sting. Department of Homeland Security deputy press secretary Brian J. Doyle faces extradition to Florida after he was arrested in his home while chatting on-line with a Florida computer-crimes detective posing as a 14-year old girl. The 55-year old Doyle offered to send the girl nude photos of himself and sent text to her that could make a sheriff blush. (Why not just masturbate on a train, I ask? Some guys find that's best way to meet women!)

The thing that I find particularly ironic is that Brian J. Doyle gave the "girl" his full name and told her he worked for Homeland Security. He also gave her his real office, home and cell phone numbers. Doesn't the Department of Homleand Security do any kind of in-house training on the meaning of the word "Security"?

Radical Islamacists are really missing out on exploiting a secuity loophole here, peeps. Apparently all they need to do is hop on HughesNet, do a convincing slutty teen, and they'd have the codes to the football before Friday prayers. I guess it's a good thing that when they think "slutty teen," a girl in a black dress wearing white socks comes to mind.

Pep's Thought's on Katie

In a related announcement to Katie Couric's takeover of the CBS
Evening News, sources say that the intro music for the newscast will
now be "Hag," by The Breeders:

"Hag! Coastal cut-throat!
You dirty switch,
You're on again

All night, all night, all night..."

--Posted by Pep

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm Agog

Did you see this on the news last night? They're growing functional, human, internal organs in a lab in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

OMG! The Chinese will have to dump prisoner organs on the market at cut-rate prices to undermine this development. (I had to say something stupid because I'm practically speechless.)

This must be the way my grandfather felt when he saw a Model T clattering down the road.

Hatin' on Katie

As anyone who reads here often knows, I hate Katie Couric. It isn't because she's a successful woman. It's because she is a moron.

Rarely have I seen stupider questions asked in featherweight interviews, than those posed by Katie PerkPerk. She's cultivated a singular talent of asking a question and then turning stone deaf while her blood meal offers up an answer, which often, humorously leads her to ask about something that was just explained, in detail, had she only been listening.

She is a brainless infotain-bot. Rantingprofs lists even more reasons Katie is wrong! Wrong! WRONG! for CBS news. Bringing her in there is like bedding the zombie bite victim in the ammo room of your stronghold. Pretty soon she's gonna rare up, hungry for guts, and all the weapons will be behind her.

Mark my words.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Character Actor of the Month

My April Character Actor of the Month is Jane Lynch.

Wow - does this lady work? Allll the time. You'll remember Jane from Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and most recently, as Andy's boss Paula in The 40 Year Old Virgin.

She's also, less famously, appeared in Married... with Children, Judging Amy, Monk, CSI, The L Word, and Two and a Half Men.

Jane is six feet tall. I'll never forget the way she was described by one of the gay dog handlers in Best in Show. He said about her, "She looks like a cocktail waitress on an oil rig." And she does.

But her literally huge screen presence is not why she always steals the scene. There is something so real and human about the way she comes across on film that she is just irresistible. No matter who she plays, you believe that her character has a full and busy life outside the confines of the story you're watching.

Jane Lynch is just a fabulous actress we love to watch. Salute from TBF!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Brit Boys

Let's do this Jeopordy-style:

Alcoholic osteopathy and feed the daisies.

The Question - What do British child actors Mark Lester and Jack Wild do these days?

I was seven years old when Oliver! hit the movie theaters. It starred nine year old Mark Lester as Oliver Twist and fifteen year old Jack Wild as the Artful Dodger. Back then, whenever I saw Mark Lester, my lil heart went thunk-a-thunk. Just take a look at him, and you'll see how he could turn a young girl's head:

I must have seen every film or television show he did - except, Fahrenheit 451. But I recognized him instantly when he came loping in camera for a very brief uncredited scene last week. I hadn't seen any of his films at all since some time in the early 70's. It was a weird sensation to see this Tigerbeat posterboy I used to swoon about, (remember - he's two years older than me!) pop on screen in the form of a . . . little boy. OMG - he was just a BABY!

Well, the baby quit the entertainment industry at the advanced age of 19 in 1977. As far as I can tell, he then turned to drink and osteopathy. Somewhere in England today, you can make an appointment with Dr. Lester - wait, do they call osteopaths "doctors?" Anyway, you can see Mark Lester professionally and then maybe go down to the pub with him afterwards and sing a few Oliver! songs.

Jack Wild went from Oliver! to an American Saturday children's show called H.R. Pufnstuf. I watched it every Saturday just to hear his British accent. The show was probably aimed at first graders, but watching it beat dusting the dining room chair rungs, so I was a tremendous fan of the potato-faced boy:

I'm not sure how many years he did that show, but when it ended, I never heard of him again. Even though he lacked leading man features, his photos were regular fodder for the boy-crazy rags. (I wish I still had all those issues of Tigerbeat from the late 60's and early 70's. Donny Osmond! Michael Jackson! Shaun Cassidy! Leif Erickson! . . . o Lord!)

Anyway - it so happens that Jack Wild's career fell apart in the 70's due to his exceptional drinking and drugging. He didn't do much but that, and smoke, for a few decades and then in 2000 he was diagnosed with cancer in his throat and tongue. He died, aged 53, on March 1st of this year. You can read news articles about his life in the London Times and USA Today. He looked like a 78 year old woman.

So ends the sad tale of my childhood crushes on Brit boys.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Movie Review

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

Last night on TCM I watched François Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451. I'd never seen it before and it was really quite something. I laughed. I cried - not really. I hit my head on the futon frame.

First, the Good. Even though much of it's obviously dated, Truffaut managed to make a film that still has pull. It's a very quiet film, and you have to relax into a mental state that doesn't expect graphic scenes to appreciate it, but there is a lot here worth absorbing. It's funny in unexpected ways and it's also funny in unintentional ways - but maybe that last observation should fall under "the Bad." It obviously influenced Terry Gilliam in his making of Brazil. The two pleather-clad British medics who come to Montag's house to revive his over-dosed wife must be the antecedents for the two Cockney plumbers who come to Sam's apartment in Brazil. And when Montag's chief shows him a photo of the woman who escaped arrest, the photograph is a dead-ringer for Jill's fugitive-photo in Brazil.

I'd always envisioned the television walls described in the book as complete walls - floor to ceiling. But the television walls in this film are flat panel screens in attractive recessed alcoves. Pretty prescient, Franc!

And then, there's the Bad. The guy who played Montag, Oskar Werner, could barely speak English. When he got excited, I couldn't understand him at all. He read a section of a forbidden book to his wife's tea party and when he got done I said, "Again! This time in English." It's like he invented his own bridge language that connected German and English but had the clarity of neither. In other Bad news, the firemen's uniforms look like they put Nazi fashion in a blender with Star Fleet's couture. They even wear Star Fleetish-looking pins upon their breasts and do the first half of the sieg heil gesture to greet each other. The firetruck they rode in reminded me of the Keystone Kops. It was ludicrous. And then there was a "futuristic" handshake so stupid that I laughed until I hit my head.

The dialog is dull, dull, dull. But who needs exciting dialog when we have a full-screen view of Montag's finger moving from word to word on a printed page, with him reading each word aloud as if dictating a tombstone? Now that's cinematic drama. I thought I'd weep with relief when it was over! The foreplay scene was spirited, but came across as a middle school smooch session. And when we got a pan of books, tragically going up in flames, and among them we see . . . Spanish Crossword Puzzles?! I'm not kidding.

I was gratified to recognize Mark Lester, about eight years old, charging down the hall in short pants. What a cutie! I'll have to do a post on him later this weekend.

In some respect this film makes the cut for Truly Bad. It is cataclysmically bad in many ways. But then, beneath that, you can see that a lot of the bad was intentional. It certainly entertained me and I'm sure that when I see it listed on TCM, I'll watch it again.

Adam Sandler

I tell ya kids, I hate almost everyting I've ever seen Adam Sandler do, but he just keeps getting work and getting his name out there in the public eye more all the time, so I've come to the conclusion that he must be the Nicest Man In the World.

Seriously - I think this guy has networking down to an art where he charms the crap out of people on a personal basis. This is his only talent . . . I'm convinced.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Movie Review

Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time (2001)

Andy Goldsworthy is a Scottish sculptor and photographer who creates emphemeral works using only natural elements. (Click here to see some of his gorgeous work.) Rivers and Tides is a documentary about Goldsworthy's work by German filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer.

I was already a huge fan of Goldsworthy's work, but I fell in love with Andy as I watched this film. It's a slow hour and a half meditation on place, rootedness, and cycles in the environment. As I watched an igloo of driftwood he'd created spin slowly away on the rising tide of the ocean's current, it brought to mind the words of William Blake, "Eternity is in love with the productions of time." Timbers of the igloo floated away from the structure at an almost glacial speed. "It doesn't feel at all like destruction," Andy said as he watched it breaking apart in a graceful spiral.

Andy said that his works are gifts to the flow (of time or of water) and that flow makes more of them than what he, as an artist, is able to accomplish. He spoke of stories that are written in the landscape and how you cannot read those stories unless you spend a significant amount of time in one place. "Five years isn't enough to know a place," he said, and I knew exactly what he meant.

Andy said that when he travels he feels uprooted and he doesn't like this disturbing feeling. "Rooted" was a word he used often. Roots and place are central to his work and his vision of the world. His work explores and expresses his connection to the earth and, in particular, to his small village in Scotland. He expressed this idea particularly well in an installation he did in France. He created a wall from clay which was dug in Scotland. To bind the clay he used human hair collected from hairdressers in his village. He said he liked the idea of the human being bound up in the clay, and it was particularly meaningful for him because it was his village that was bound into the medium.

Riedelsheimer did an outstanding job of capturing the meditative and even trance-like quality of Andy's works as they develop. At the end of this documentary I felt quieted and soothed by the process of Andy's work and by the way Riedelsheimer allowed Andy to simply talk to the camera without any intrusive questions. The film is a beautiful journey into the flow of the natural world as it enhances the work of this environmental artist.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Aural Wasabi

Another re-post from ancient ages gone before . . . or something . . .


Ever just sit there at work, tapping away on the keyboard when a ghost of Chinese hot mustard flits into awareness, teasing your sinuses with a memory of delicious pain, then vaporizes leaving you with this unbearable craving to line up at the local Chinese buffet? Yeah - it happens, but most of the hot mustard in central VA doesn't have enough horseradish in it to singe away the lethargy of a humdrum weekday.

So what then? What can you do to reproduce the head clearing effects of high quality horseradish in a low heat-tolerance world?

Go aural wasabi my friend. I know of a handful of songs that actually hurt to listen to them - but at the same time they feel good, as if they scratch an itch inside your brain. They satisfy that brain itch that's been annoying you so long because you never could get at it before.

Of the three songs I have in mind, the Pixies "Subbacultcha" is the least painful, yet it provides a fairly potent head clearing effect. With it's Peter Gunn rhythms and insanely beautiful lyrics, this is wasabi for the ears that even heat weenies can enjoy.

Taking a step up on the heat scale, the Pixies "Vamos" is a bit more of a challenge. Frank Black screams like a deaf Alzheimer's patient and then simply rocks out in his wheelchair, while Joey Santiago scrubs the scabs off your mosquitoe bites with his guitar strings. Now we're warming up!

But the perfect top-of-the-head lifting aural heat comes from the White Stripes on "There's No Home For You Here." Turn it up LOUD and let the Queen-inspired squall cut through your head like a wire saw. Ooooohh, the PAIN. The first few times you'll hardly be able to stand it. Your eyes will brim with tears. And then you'll find yourself wanting it. Playing it twice in a row to prolong the experience. Finding excuses to take short drives during the day just so you can be split open by it. Yeah - aural wasabi. It'll get its hooks in you . . . if it hasn't already.

What's your horseradish?

Geek Girl

Back, by popular demand - a re-post of a story from a yesteryear. Enjoy!


I know I'm a geek. That's no secret to me or anyone else. It was obvious in high school. In tenth grade art class my art partner and I made a life size papier mache Mr. Spock, hand lifted in the "Live Long and Prosper" gesture. As if you needed further proof, I was also in AP biology class, AP English and band. I played French horn, very badly, during spring semester concert seasons and in the fall I played the trumpet for marching band, even worse. I was too bad to even go to Band Camp. So, instead I went to Girl Scout camp.

For ten years I was a Girl Scout, and I was at scout camp every summer either as a camper or a counselor. I perfected several geek skills there such as lanyard braiding, decoupage, and making prints of mushroom spores. But I was a lazy geek. In ten years I earned only 17 badges. And at this late date I no longer have my Girl Scout handbook to tell me what the badges meant. So I'll have to guess about them:

From the looks of the things, going from top left to right, I'd say I excelled in Hitchhiking, Camping, Witchcraft, Art, Punk Style, Swimming, Walking a Straight Line, Skating (I know this was a lie), Barista Arts, Sewing (Another lie - I suck at sewing), Piratical Looting, Tsunami Preparation, Nature Studies, Basket Weaving, Pretending to Be an Indian, Megaphone Dictator and Green Peppermint Identification. Wow! What a gal!

Witchcraft, Punk Style and Megaphone Dictator truly predicted my adult personality. Barista Arts perhaps even foreshadowed my blogging career as the Chai-rista. But what did Piratical Looting, Tsunami Preparation and Green Peppermint Identification teach a geek like me? Here's a guess:

Piratical Looting Badge - Prepares girl for a future of Dumpster Diving in central Virginia. Teaches treasure spotting skills at distances up to 50 yards and speeds of 60 mph. Instructs girl in maintaining fitness levels adequate to lift a WWII vintage seven-drawer file cabinet into a station wagon. Teaches girl trash salvage preparation techniques such as bungee cord selection, and truck bed packing strategies.

Tsunami Preparation Badge - Encourages girl to plan for unlikely global disasters such as flooding caused by gigantic meteor striking the ocean, like in the movie Deep Impact. Advises girl that, in the actual event, she might want to live in the mountains of central Virginia, because it will suddenly be the beach. (Only a geek girl would worry about this.)

Green Peppermint Identification Badge - Leads girl to understand the difference between good and bad Christmas candies. Encourages girl to avoid eating green peppermints, sweet and sours, licorice jelly beans, and sticks of spearmint gum given by grandparents, doctors and elderly church members. Prepares girl to re-gift rejected sweets to younger siblings and/or to discard candies in ways that are difficult to detect. See also: Candy Heart Identification Badge and Candy Peanut Identification Badge. (Even geeks need to know good candy from bad.)

But I couldn't be a full on geek as I write before you today, if I didn't commit myself to a fairly geeky career. So, I got myself a master's degree in Library Science and hurried to become a web librarian. These days I engage my geekitude in human/computer interaction, computer interface usability issues in libraries and by making web pages and floor plans. Holy hairbun, Batman!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Have a Guinness and a leg of lamb for me. I say "have it for me" because I think I'm getting the flu and next week, through the 25th, is booked up solid in my DayMinder. I promised to put together a flyer for a Ceilidh on campus at the end of the month. I'm hosting a catered event next week to celebrate Women's History month, I'm running a badge workshop for Girl Scouts AND I have three papers to revise and submit. ACK! Maybe the papers can wait until April . . .

The upshot of all this is - TBF is going on vacation for a week. I'd like to send my blog to Jamaica for a week to bask in the warm March sun, but instead I'll have to put it out into the back yard to play with other neighborhood blogs, where I can keep an eye on it.

See ya'll later!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Dearly beloved Twigs and Buds - I just finished giving an interview to Voice of America. My site, Gifts of Speech is a Voice of America Our World Site of the Week! (It'll be up sometime in the next 14 days.)

I talked with producer Art Chimes for about a half hour on the phone this morning. Believe me peeps, this is the guy you want to invite to your next party. He's a witty broadcast geek with more interesting stories than Reader's Digest. It was a great fun talking to him. I only hope he can paste together my incoherent ramble into something interesting for radio.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I Heart Technology

Technology comes through for us gals again in the form of a site called Don't Date Him Girl!

OMG - this site is a hoot & a holler. Take this description of a Cheater (they display the word "Cheater" above each photo) named Daniel:
We were engaged from 10/04 to 2/05. He told me he was a Psychologist and was divorced from a woman who cheated on him throughout their marriage. He told me he had two kids, and one that his wife had illegitimately while they were married. We had wedding plans pretty much set, and he disappeared. He had moved from Texas to Illinois to be with me (supposedly) and he literally left town like a thief in the night and went back to Texas. With some research, I found out he lied about being a Pschologist- he didn't even finish college. He is basically a glorified orderly at methadone clinics.

He even printed out articles he found on the internet and told me he wrote them. I found out that while we were engaged, he was looking through yahoo personals! He has FIVE children, all his, and he had filed bankruptcy less than a year before we got engaged. He didn't get anything of mine, so I don't know what the scam was. Sadly, he brought his teenage son with him when he moved here, and told me he was being home-schooled, but that was a lie. His son played video games all day and never went to school while they lived here. He had his son in on the lying about how many siblings he had! He had some minor medical problems and I think the loser got himself fired and/or couldn't work so the game was up. He lied to his landlord saying he had a rare form of stomach cancer and had to move back to TX to be with his family to avoid getting sued for breaking his lease. I met him on and he has used yahoo also with names "Prncnmsta" and "Doc". He has horrible grammar and is obsessed with Superman. He's originally from Iowa.
It's that being "originally" from Iowa part that really tears it, the bastard! Daniel's last name and photo are on the site for your perusal. If he ever read this bio on DDHG, he could write in to defend himself.

DDHG explains the site's purpose this way:
Each day, thousands of women around the world are cheated on by their boyfriends, fiancés and husbands. A man’s infidelity causes the destruction of thousands of marriages, engagements and relationships every year. What’s a woman to do? Hire expensive private detectives? Pay for costly background checks? Now, women have a new cost-effective weapon in the war on cheating men! Founded by women with women in mind, is a free service that allows sisters to share their experiences with cheating men by posting pictures and other information about them in an easy-to-use, searchable database.
Tasha Cavelle Joseph created the site. I think she is a genius. I wish I was kidding when I tell you that Miss Manners will be the speaker for our graduation this year.

It ought to be Tasha.


Artnatomy is an awesome Flash application that lets you see the muscles beneath the face, the expressions they produce, and the meanings of the expressions. Cool fine art instruction tool!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Story Corps

Story Corps is a national project to record hour-long oral histories of average people. All of the interviews will be archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The site tells you how to record a story at home, or you can visit a Story Corps booth at one of their locations.

They're in Atlanta right now, but they will be in Raliegh on April 6th. What a cool project! Grab someone you love with a story to tell and get them recorded.

Fun With Stroller Meat

hahaha!!! Pete went to Dollar General with his kid and had a wee bit o' fun with the Dingo Bait that was rampaging through the store. Funniest kid story I've read in a long time.

I've Been Rollered

I've been letting my hair grow in accordance with husbandly preferences. It's in that stage where it's out of control but there's nothing you can do because the whole point is not to cut it.

This morning, I shampooed my head, as usual, and blow dried it without looking. Then I wandered into the next room and glanced into a mirror. I saw Eric Faulkner of the Bay City Rollers looking back at me.


O, well - what can I do? Might as well make the most of it . . . put on my tartan shirt and stroll about with the top button of me trousers undone . . . C'mon - I know you know this. Sing along!

Gonna keep on dancin' to the rock and roll - a Saturday night, Saturday night
Dancin' to the rhythm in our heart and soul - a Saturday Night, Saturday night
I - I - I just can't wait, I - I - I got a date
At the good ole rock and roll road show, I gotta go
Saturday Night, Saturday Night
Gonna rock it up, Roll it up, Do it all, Have a ball,
Saturday Night, Saturday Night
It's just a Saturday Night - It's just a Saturday Night - It's just a Saturday Night
S - A - T - U - R - D - A - Y night!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Introducing Character Actor of the Month

Often as not, it's character actors that I'll remember from a movie. It'll be the guy who was the "office geek" or the peasant girl's mother. I love these guys and gals because they make the whole production believeable. They aren't the prettiest people on screen, but they are the ones who grab my attention due to a weighty presence that goes beyond the limitations of the format.

In honor of the workhorses of the cinema, the character actors, I'm starting Character Actor of the Month.

My character actor for March is Peter Stormare.

Peter played Gaear Grimsrud in Fargo but I remember him best from his role as Nihilist #1 in the The Big Lebowski. More recently he played Satan in last year's Truly Bad Film Constantine (this man can make a white turtleneck very menacing) and you can see him pretty frequently on ESPN and many other channels in Volkswagen commercials where he thoughtfully "un-pimps yoor auto."

(If you haven't seen these hilarious commercials you can see them here, here and here.)

Swedish engineering in da house! Oh, Schnaap.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Beer Belly

GaelGirl sent this one in - It's advertised as a "Removable spare tire that serves a stealth beverage." The product is called the Beer Belly.

Here, you can see the Beer Belly in full deployment:

The copy says you can take this thing on a plane, and maybe you can, if you tell security it's a urine bladder for your catheter. But I have serious doubts you'd get it on a plane, even with Wackenhut's finest on duty.

The more I study it, I'm not sure it's a real product. Take a look at the "Tips and Tricks" page. Tip #2 seems to miss not only the purpose of the product, but it also demonstrates an abysmal grasp of potential female customer motivation. It says:
We understand that girls aren’t exactly fired up to sport a gut… even for a good beverage. So we suggest wearing your Beerbelly with overalls. We guarantee that if you don’t wear anything but your Beerbelly and overalls, guys will be falling over themselves to get some.
Eh-Hem! Since no woman in history who ever wanted "some" had to wear a Beer Belly and overalls to get it, I have to assume that this text is not really aimed at women. Also, if we take "guys will be falling over themselves to get some," to mean, in at least one sense, that guys will want to share your beer, that's another reason not to wear a Beer Belly. You're wearing the Beer Belly so he doesn't have to? Right.

Any woman wearing overalls and nothing else to a ballgame will have guys falling over themselves to "get some" even if no Beer Belly whatsoever is involved. In fact, if the beer bellies are real and come attached to either the guys or the gals, this has in some cases proved an effective way to get "none" instead of "some."

Tip #6 says:
For the best look, wear a button-down shirt. For some extra realism, make sure you’ve got some exposed crack in back.
OK - now we know the company is just whistling Dixie about anybody getting "some." If this a guy wearing a Beer Belly and exhibiting his crack problem, he's going home with his foam fan-hand and an empty Beer Belly sack, alone. If it's a girl . . . well, if its a girl she might still get some - but since he drank her beer, she'd better stay on top or she's getting a shower called Suds and Spuds Revisited. Never let a Beer Belly drinker on top, ladies!

If they really want to cultivate female customers, they need to come out with Beer Bosoms. Gals would generate Pamela Anderson-levels of attention and carry twice the capacity of the Beer Belly for twice the Pick Up Power. It would be a support garmet and a beverage container all at once: sport bra meets Nalgene bladder! Just slide a pair of fiercely erect BodyPerks up front and you're good to go from the stadum bench to the F-150 bench in the time it takes to burp a jalapeno nacho. And if you sneak into a bathroom stall to pour the beers for your new friends, at final score, everyone will be so drunk they'll never notice your chest lost three cup sizes between the National Anthem and the horn. Go team!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Annual Woodie Awards

It's that time again - the Truly Bad Films Annual Woodie Awards! Break out your tuxes and your untucked shirttails. Slip into your Manolos and your Versace knockoff. Create a third personality named Sulpher (who is your personal stylist) and let her/him mousse and paint you into the next dimension - the dimension way more fabulous than this one - and come to the show.

To celebrate the March birthdays of Truly Bad Films, I distribute annual Woodie Awards. In my wholly subjective manner, I award Woodies to blogs who in the previous year have made me laugh so hard I slumped over my keyboard squirting tears. The Woodie recognizes those who have written posts that made me laugh until I was weak.

The award is named after Ed Wood, the ultimate bad film maker. This is because my blog is, more or less, about bad film and I like Ed Wood. How often do you get to put a cross-dresser on an award and give it to people? See? I had to do it. And then there was this other fun level of giving people woodies that my juvenile-impulse-controller couldn't shut down. Sorry, world!

For 2006 we are honoring three hilarious bloggers for multiple posts. So, without further ado, in no particular order, I present the coveted Woodie to:

Ace of Spades for Robert Ebert Agrees With Me and Elegy for a Chief Engineer.
The Assimilated Negro for Letter To The Guy On The Train Who Was Looking At Me While Licking His Lips and Snotsicles™.
15 Minute Lunch for This Really (Un)Chafes My Ass and The Stuff I learn From My Own Blog

Congratulations guys. Thanks for the giggle-gasms and tears of joy! You may post or ignore your award as you see fit:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Made It!

Put "teacup human skull clone" (remember to use the quotes!) into Google and who do you see at the top? TBF! TBF! TBF!!!!

Woof! Woof!!!

Thanks for helping me achieve my ludicrous, demented goal Peeps!

Truly Bad Goldmine . . .

. . . or sewer full of poo? Either way, my pal, Mr. Keysunset sent me this nice, shiny link to's Twenty-Five Worst Sequels Ever Made.

You've got to see the whole list. The one paragraph reviews are very funny. If you can think of any they missed, let me know.

Director Gordon Parks Dead at 93

White critics dismissed his work as "Blaxploitation," but Gordon Parks was a pioneer of Black Cinema and the first black director to be funded by a major studio. His most famous film was 1971's Shaft.

Elvis Mitchell talks about Gordon Parks' influence. Parks was a highly regarded photographer for Life and Vogue magazines before he went on to direct films.
Perhaps his most famous portrait occurred early in his career when he was working for the Farm Security Administration. "American Gothic" in 1942 depicts cleaning lady Ella Watson posed before the American flag holding a mop and broom; it is a bitter parody of Grant Wood's famed painting "American Gothic."
In 2000, he told the Associated Press :
"I think most people can do a whole awful lot more if they just try. They just don't have the confidence that they can write a novel or they can write poetry or they can take pictures or paint or whatever, and so they don't do it, and they leave the planet dissatisfied with themselves." From Back Stage
Parks died yesterday. You can read about his diverse talents and gifted life in the Chicago Tribune.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Which Medieval Archetype are You?


The Lover (or Poet) is a rare type. (S)He has a rather contradictory nature. He is completely unselfish and generally regards others above himself, yet somehow in his effort to please, often ends up doing things that appear completely self-centered. The Lover loves people and strives for acceptance, but at the same time withdraws from the world. Lovers are authors, artists, philosophers, and musicians. They live unorthodox, unconventional, or even chaotic lives. Lovers experience the highest highs and lowest lows.

The Lover's complement is the hardened, unhesitant Warrior.

Take the The Medieval Archetype Test

To Read Before You Die

Librarians around the UK were asked which books every adult ought to read before they die. The following list resulted. I've bolded the ones I've read.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible by Various Authors
The Lord of the Rings Trilogyby JRR Tolkien
1984 by George Orwell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarchby George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn

In my defense, I've read parts of many of the books that aren't in bold. For example, I tried to read Great Expectations in college. Every single time I opened it, I'd come to my senses an hour later with sheet wrinkles embossed on my face. For me, that book was opaque and dashingly unreadable.

Oh - and don't forget what my English teacher told me in college: Everyone MUST read the Iliad and the Odyssey before they die! I've done the Iliad, but I think I'll go back and read a better translation. According to Julian Jaynes, the bones of the story were born from a bicameral mind. Having read the Jaynes book will illuminate both of these ancient volumes from an interesting angle when I visit them again.

Earl Grey and a plate of shortbread for Tinkery Tonk

Monday, March 06, 2006

Movie Review

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Went to see this one yesterday. The costumes are gorgeous; the landscapes sublime. It was a joy to dissolve into this story for a couple of hours. I didn't totally buy into Lizzie's love for Mr. Darcy (maybe Keira is just not that good an actor), but I completely believed that he loved her. Donald Sutherland was fabu, as always.

I especially appreciated that Mr. Darcy was not all manscaped and metrosexualized like Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven. He looked like a guy with 18th century grooming standards. He was kinda greasy and kinda hairy and I liked that immensely. It made me feel like what I was watching was real. And now I want to read the book. Shutup! I've had other things to read first, ya know.

Movie Review

Wilco: I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002)

Yet another documentary about a band. That's about the best that can be said for it. The filmmaker, Sam Jones, goes in for every trite convention of the genre, and manages in almost every scene, to make the sum less than than its parts. I love Wilco's music, but this film didn't capture anything interesting about five talented guys who make it happen.

In fact, there is a constant TMI quality. Sam tells us everything we don't want to know. From following Jeff Tweedy into a bathroom stall to witness the emptying of his nervous stomach to listening to band members carp with each other over differences in communication styles, Sam exhibits a tin ear for storytelling. At every turn he present us with steaming platters of trivialities. He misses the heart, entirely - so there is no chance of breaking it. Even the title of this film is badly chosen.

When you see a documentary as bad as this one it really makes you appreciate the deft touch and editing saavy of people who do know how to tell a story. Born Into Brothels is Nanook of the North by comparison. Don't bother to rent I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. You'll learn more interesting facts about Wilco from simply listening to one of their CDs.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Do I make too much of things? Yeah. Constantly. All day - every day. That's the way I operate. That's how I roll!

Chai-rista: Making Mountains Out of Molehills Online Since 2003.

So you won't be annoyed with me when I tell you that the cane-toting character of Dr. Gregory House on the Fox show House has a mythological antecedent in the demi-god Chiron.

Yes! Chirren, I know it's a startling hand grenade o' fun, but it's true! Chiron was a centaur who was wounded in the leg by a poisoned spear. Since he was immortal it could not kill him, but the wound never healed either. So he spent his life in pain, looking for a cure and, in the meantime, healing others. (You can read Chiron's story here.)

House is in its second season and I just started watching it. Even though it has a predictable formula of exasperated-but-faithful-boss and the foil of co-doctor who questions everything House does, every episode of this show works some kind of tractor beam on me. Suddenly my ass is in the chair and I don't get up until it's over.

Since I've only seen about 4 episodes, I have no idea how Dr. House messed up his leg. But I did a bit of reading up on the actor who plays him. Hugh Laurie is a 46 year old British actor who played roles in various versions of Blackadder. Hearing him speak, you'd never guess he's British. He's been an excellent student of the mid-west accent.

Is he sexy? Well, there is something compelling about those huge blue eyes and that worn-about-the-edges physicality. I certainly see what other ladies are moist about, although I'm not sitting on the same cushions they are. He absolutely makes you love to watch him. So, I've accepted the fact that I'll be up Friday nights getting my dose of House.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Book Review

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes

Julian was a professor at Yale when he published this book back in the 70’s. In it, he claims that ancient humans did not have consciousness like you and me. Instead, Jaynes says, the people who lived before 1000 B.C. were blindly obedient to hallucinated voices which originated in their right brains. These were called the Voices of the Gods or the elohim. Julian translates “elohim” as “them.”

Julian’s broad based theory fascinated me. He says the Biblical story of the expulsion from the Garden is an allegory about mankind’s loss of the bicameral, unconscious, God-hallucinating mind and the fall into consciousness. He suggests that sexual fantasies were impossible to people who thought in an unconscious, bicameral manner, but when men became conscious they were saddled by every sexual dilemma that ride humans today. Segregation of the sexes and the social dominance of men, Julian suggests, were the long-lived solutions that newly conscious men created to restore social order.

I can’t even begin to touch on the many convincing arguments Julian uses to support his theory. Of course, it is still only a theory, but it lights up many aspects of ancient history in a new way. Why did pornographic imagery suddenly explode in Rome about 600 B.C.? Why was this about the same time that the first coliseums were built? Why do texts that date from before 1000 B.C. land on our modern ears like oversized cinderblocks? Julian’s theory encompasses all of these and more. For example, Julian says that the hypnotic state invokes a vestige of the bicameral mind. He believes that schizophrenics are the only people alive today who still exist in a bicameral mental framework.

I’m sure Julian thought he was writing in a breezy, casual style, but his prose reek of 19th century overstatement and forced drama. What I’m trying to say is that this book is a shade harder to read than Night Thunder’s Bride. It’s one of the most difficult books I’ve read in years and I finished it with a notebook page full of words to look up. I’ll probably post them tomorrow to see if anyone can match the words to the meanings better then me. I love it when writers throw words I don’t know. I eat that up with a serving spoon! If you want to read a meaty book that will change the way you read ancient sacred texts, this is your daisy.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What if Cheney was POTUS?

Well, Sunshines, ole Bush is in Pakistan. I hope he's alright, but I asked Pep this morning what would happen if the Taliban blowed him up real good and Cheney became POTUS.

He said, "If Cheney were President, there would be a lot more people gettin' shot in the face!"

So, all in fun, here's a Dick Cheney Shooting Game to play.

I hope he doesn't get promoted.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My Shop is Open

For any of you who don't already know it, I run a website which is an archive of speeches by influential, contemporary women. The site is called Gifts of Speech.

Today I opened our Cafe Press shop there. Stop by and have a look!

Final Enigma Codes Solved

The boys over in the Llamabutcher shop are talking about the Enigma codes this morning. According to Ace of Spades, there are still two codes left to break. You have to stop by his site to read hilarious suggestions of what the final two codes might say.

For example:






Crib Notes for the American Taliban

If you are planning to join the American Taliban, please remember, Osama like hugs, not kisses.

And this is older news, but of course you will also want to join Osama's book club. Peace be upon you.

Smokin' cuppa for Tinkey Tonk!

70 Year Old School Teacher Gets Sex Change

Mr. Keysunset sent me a bit yesterday from CNN. Seems a 71-year old school teacher was allowed to return to work after her male-to-female sex change.

Sadly, CNN doesn't answer the kinds of questions this raises. Here are the questions TBF asks . . .

Isn't it dangerous to have major surgery at 70? How is a 71 year old still teaching school anyway? And finally, how in the sweet Summer's Eve do you wait until you're 70 to decide that you're really a woman?!?!?

Just thinking about this story wears me out.