Ruby Slippers

This gif is so severely awesome that I just had to post it.

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Dear Movies – Please Stop Making Me Cry

I try not to be a big baby and cry at movies. It’s quite embarrassing when it happens. I can pretty much figure out which ones are going to be tearjerkers and I try to prepare myself. Most of the time, however, it doesn’t work.

If it’s in a movie theater, it’s not so bad. It’s dark and people can’t really see you. Also, I have a trick that I use to disguise the sobs. If I have a feeling that the movie is going to induce tears, then I take some kleenex with me (or a concession stand napkin if I forget), and sniffle, dab my eyes, and occasionally do a fake sneeze throughout the movie – BEFORE the sad part happens. Then, when the sad part does come and I do start to tear up, people will say, “Oh, he’s not crying. He has a cold or something. He’s been doing that sniffling throughout the entire movie”.

Sometimes, however, it doesn’t work. I start making those ‘trying to suppress a cry’ noises. You know, like the ones that little kids make after they’ve cried their eyes out and then try to catch their breath afterwards.

The worst and most embarrasing time that it happened was when I went to see Mr. Holland’s Opus. OMG, I was so unprepared!
I sniffled a little during the clarinet scene. But, at the end, when they were having his surprise retirement party for him in the school auditorium, and 30 years worth of past students had come back to premiere the composition that he had been working on THE ENTIRE MOVIE, I kind of lost it.

Mr. Hollands Opus clarinet scene
Mr. Holland’s Opus tearjerker finale

I'm sorry I was such an ungrateful child, mama

The other movie that makes me boo hoo every single time that I see it is Imitation of Life (Lana Turner version). Especially the part with Annie and Sarah Jane in the hotel room.

Get out the kleenex
Imitation of Life – Sarah Jane, the ungrateful child scene

Other movies that make me cry:
Dark Victory with Bette Davis – the part where she goes blind right before she dies.
Searching For Bobby Fischer – ending scene
Madame X – Lana Turner’s death scene – the end
Old Yeller – the rabies scene

I also cry at tv shows. That’s why I won’t watch Undercover Boss or any reality or talk show where they make poor, unfortunate people’s wishes and dreams come true.

The Not-So-Amazing World of 3D

I read an article the other day about how moviegoers are losing interest in 3D movies. The article cited various reasons as to why. For me, the reason is simple. It’s such an obnoxious chore to watch them.

I suppose that if you had 20/20 vision, it wouldn’t be so bad. But, since I don’t have that 20/20 vision, I don’t know what the experience is really like.

Here is what people with good vision see:

Without my glasses, this is what I see:

3D is a movie gimmick. Bwana Devil, released in 1952, is considered the first feature length 3D movie. Apparently, movie sales were dropping off because of the culprit known as television. So, to get people back into the movie theaters they needed a gimmick. 3D was it.

3D enhances the illusion of depth perception. It’s like a giant Viewmaster, only the pictures move.

I have never seen a 3D movie, where afterwards, I didn’t leave the theater feeling completely frustrated.

First of all, you have to wear those glasses. I already wear glasses, so I have to put the 3D glasses over them.

Second, I have astigmatism and horrible depth perception. Astigmatism is a defect in the eye or in a lens caused by a deviation from spherical curvature, which results in distorted images, as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus. Add the 3d effect to that and things get really confusing.

The very first 3D movie I saw was House of Wax with Vincent Price. Even though I was only 14, and my head probably wasn’t as big as it is now, I still got paper cuts behind my ears because the stems on the cardboard glasses weren’t long enough.

Whenever I watch a 3D movie, and stuff goes all freaky, I can’t tell if it’s because of me or the movie. I’ve tried all kinds of techniques to try to keep the movie in focus. I’ve tried;

  • Watching without the 3D glasses
  • Putting my regular glasses OVER the 3D glasses
  • Watching with one eye closed
  • Continually re-adjusting the 3D glasses (therefore causing paper cuts behind my ears)
  • Wearing the 3D glasses upside down

The only thing that seems to work is watching the movie with the 3D glasses on and one eye covered. I don’t get to see the 3D effect, but at least the movie stays somewhat in focus.

Apparently, since its inception, there have been all kinds of advances made in 3D technology. Yeah, whatever. For someone like me, who has Mr. Magoo vision, that technology will always be in its inchoate stage.

Now they have 3D television. About 6 months ago, when I was a Best Buy to get a new TV, the salesman tried every trick in the book to get me to buy one.
I was like, “Look dude, I’ve been around 3D a lot longer than you. I don’t care how many advances that the experts say have been made in the technology, it still sucks”.

“Oh no, he said, “It’s so much better than it used to be”.

I was thinking, “How in the crap do you know? You’re like 12.”

He tried to get me to put on those new and improved big ass ‘I just had my pupils dilated old person glasses’  and watch the demo 3D TV. Pass! Just put the new TV in the car and let me be on my merry way.

Illusion-O glasses

As far as movie gimmicks go (yes, 3D is a gimmick), I much prefer vibrating seats, hypnovista (which TOTALLY does not work), illusion-o, blood dripping from the ceiling, sensurround and smell-o-rama. At least those gimmicks involve senses in which I have full capacity.

Hey, let me put on these groovy glasses and watch a movie all screwed up and out of focus. YAY!

All the Cool Stuff

I love Perry Mason. It’s my favorite TV show of all time.  Park Avenue Beat, which is the name on the Perry Mason theme song, is the ring tone on my phone.

I like all of that noir, detective, crime, pulp and courtroom drama stuff. I think that I’ve read just about every Perry Mason novel there is. Erle Stanley Gardner is my favorite author.

I have all of the Perry Mason DVDs that have come out so far. But, I want them all…NOW! I hate when they take forever to come out with TV shows on DVD. Especially the ones that I like.

Dear Classic TV DVD People,
Please release everything at once. Spreading it out over months, and even years drives me crazy. I might die before the last season is released.

Sincerely Yours,
A disgruntled classic tv DVD watcher person who impatiently wants everything NOW

That was Bob. He wanted to know where the rest of the frickin Perry Mason DVDs were.

 I also like all of that old music that is associated with the crime and courtroom genre. I found a site a while back where you can listen to all that type of music. One of my favorite composers who did that kind of stuff was Syd Dale. He was an absolute musical genius. One of his best is The Hellraisers. If you click on the link below, it should take you to the KPM site, where you can listen to some of his tunes. Hellraisers is the second song. All you have to do is click on the music note (If you click on it and it says that your session has timed out or asks you to sign in, just back click, and try it again. It should work).

 
Syd Dale Music

Here are some other links that will take you to some of the various genres on the KPM site. All you have to do is click on the music notes to hear the songs.

 
Crime Scene
Close to the Edge
Conspiracy and Crime
The Action Machine

Another absolutely awesome site is the Prelinger Archives. They have old movies, tv shows, ephemera. classic radio shows, commercials, documents, music, etc. It’s all free to download, or you can just watch or listen from the site. It might take a few minutes to find certain things, but it’s well worth it.

They even have those old Coronet Instructional Films from the 40s and 50s. Here is one of my favorites.
Dating: Do’s and Don’ts (1949)

If you like vintage and retro advertising, like I do, then Plan59 is a cool site. They have colorful and high quality retro ads that are quite amusing. The old ads section is my favorite.

If you like vintage historical pics, then Shorpys is the site to go to.

Another site with old pictures of historical events and famous people is Old Pictures.

Here is some other cool stuff to do and sites to go to.

U.S. States Quiz

MyFonts

Illustrators

Soma FM

Project Gutenberg

You Can’t Go Home Again

Last week I drove through the town that I grew up in. Jacksonville, Arkansas. It was depressing. The city just looked dead.

I stopped at the Bayou Meto cemetery to visit the graves of my grandparents. My grandmother’s headstone STILL doesn’t have the date of death on it. It just says

Lois A. Wilson
1917-

I don’t know who is in charge of that sort of thing, but they need to fix it. I mean, it’s like she’s a zombie or something. IDK.
I know when she died, though. It was Feb. 8, 2007. The exact same day as Anna Nicole Smith. That’s how I remember it. If I ever forget, I just go to the Anna Nicole wikipedia page.

She’s buried next to my grandfather -Noel Forest Wilson. He was an entomologist. His headstone has the death date on it, though. Sept. 25, 2005. That’s the same day as actor Don Adams, who played Maxwell Smart, on Get Smart.

I went by the house that I lived in when I was in high school. I was there from the 9th grade until I went away to college. Here it is now:

It looks absolutely nothing like it did when I lived there. I used to have a green roof. It looked very similar to, and was the same color as. those roofs that came with Lincoln Logs.
Now, it’s brown and ugly. It used to be my grandparents house. My mom started renting it from them after she split up with my dad.

Way back in the ’60s, when my grandparents lived in the house, my grandfather would win the city’s Most Beautiful Yard award every year.
If he saw the way that it looks now, he would be turning over in his grave. As would my grandmother…I mean, if she’s actually in there.

I also went by my high school. It kind of looked the same. Only more run down and dirtier.
Here is what it looks like now:

The year that I graduated, the school was at about 600 students over capacity. It wasn’t until the next year that a new school opened up and solved the problem.

This is Dan in 2002

There were 2 kids in my graduating class that eventually became ‘famous’. One of them was Dan Hampton.
He used to play for the Chicago Bears and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
When I first met Dan he hadn’t started playing football yet. He played the saxophone in the band. It wasn’t until our junior year that he started playing football.

Dan’s wikipedia page.

During our senior year we got together with some other guys and formed a group to perform in the school talent show. He played the bass and I played auxillary percussion. We performed Fire by the Ohio Players. If you don’t know the song, it’s the song that they play at the beginning of the Hell’s Kitchen TV show.

After we graduated from high school I never saw Dan again. Well, not in person that is.

The other ‘famous’ person that I graduated with was Lisa Blount. Her dad was part owner of the Blount and George laser company, and my mom used to work for them.

After graduation, Lisa went on to become an actress. If you’re not really familiar with who she is, well, she played Lynette Pomeroy, Debra Winger’s best friend in An Officer and a Gentleman.

Lisa’s wikipedia page

One of her first movies was September 30, 1955. Most of it was filmed on the campus of the college that I attended, and I was one of the background extras in it. If you blink you’ll miss me. It had quite a few young actors in it that eventually became fairly famous.

Later, Lisa became a producer and even won an Academy Award for the Best Live Action Short Film, The Accountant.

She died suddenly last year on Oct. 25, 2010.

I never became as famous as Dan and Lisa. Well, I did appear on a few episodes of a PBS show called Melody Shop back in the 70s. And at one point, I was ranked in the top 200 for “Biggest Game Show Money Winners of All Time”. But, that’s about it.

The other place that I visited while I was out and about in Jacksonville was the Flick Twin Cinema. Only, it’s not the Flick anymore.
This is what the flick looked like a few years ago:

It used to have a big red neon sign on top that said


 If you looked at it from a certain angle, it looked like it said F*CK.

This is what it looked like last week.

It’s now the Unique Connection Center, and I have no clue as to what kind of business that is.
I do know this, though. It’s cinema blasphemy.

The very first movie that I saw at the Flick was House of Wax with Vincent Price. I was 14 and had a broken arm. I had fallen at the skating rink a few days before and busted my radius.
The last movie that I saw there was Kramer vs Kramer.

In between ’72 and ’79 I saw so many great movies there. I even worked there for a while back in ’74. It was my first job and I made $1.40 an hour.

It was at the Flick where I saw Night of the Living Dead for the first time. It was on a double bill with Gruesome Twosome, and it scared the crap out of me. I was with my cousins, Ricky and Jeff, and we had to walk home in the dark after the movie was over. I’ll never, EVER, forget how terrified I was.

Later, it would become my favorite horror film of all time.
I even used to have a movie poster of it on the wall in my old apartment in Vegas.

If I had the money, I would buy that hideous building that it has become, rip off that ugly ass facade, and restore it to the way it used to be – complete with the old and tattered burnt orange curtains that covered both screens.

Of course, that will never happen. Like they say, you can’t go home again. So, I’ll just have to appease the nostalgia by talking about it in a wordpress post.