Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all get to enjoy the festivities this evening! Alas, I'll be stuck bartending tonight in the ever enduring struggle to make my mortgage payment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yesterday's bad weather did have one bright spot here on campus, we got a double rainbow for enduring all the rain.


The pianist Marvin Maazel, uncle of conductor Lorin Maazel, circa 1921 in New York. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

The Honeymoon Killers

The Honeymoon Killers (1969) is the result of Leonard Kastle's reaction to Bonnie & Clyde. Have you seen pictures of the real Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker? These were not beautiful people. They certainly looked nothing like Warren Beatty or Faye Dunaway. Kastle wanted to craft a crime movie that avoided ties to Hollywood glamour. So he researched one of the most infamous crime cases of the '40s: the "Lonely Hearts" murders.

Martha Beck and Ray Fernandez killed as many as 20 people in a scheme to bilk lonely women out of their savings. Martha and Ray were finally convicted of murder in three cases and sentenced to the electric chair. Martha was overweight and unmarried and destined to remain that way — until she communicated with Ray through a "Friendship Club." After trading letters with him for several weeks, they finally met, and it was love at first sight. She gave up her job as a head nurse at a hospital in order to be Ray's constant companion. But Ray's only source of income was in bilking lonely women out of their savings. So with Martha posing as his sister, Ray continued to ply his trade. Martha even watched as Ray married some of these women so that he could get closer to their bank accounts. But Martha's deep insecurity about her looks and her suspicions about Ray's philandering ways sowed deep conflicts, leading to arguments and eventually murder. In the most carefully documented case, Martha took a hammer and crushed the skull of a Florida woman who had drawn her entire savings out of the bank and accompanied Ray and Martha back to New York. Ray then finished the job by strangling the woman and burying her body in the basement of his house. Ray and Martha went to the electric chair while continuing to profess their love.

Kastle wrote a screenplay based on this story and then went shopping for a director. He found a young Martin Scorsese, who had recently scored with his debut feature film Who's That Knocking At My Door? However, with a total budget of only $250,000, Kastle became concerned as he watched Scorsese spend several hours trying to film a tin can in a bush — "It'll create mood," he told Kastle. Eventually Kastle decided they'd quickly run out of funds with Scorsese as director. So he fired Scorsese (!) and began looking for a replacement. He found no one. With the project poised to founder, stars Tony Lo Bianco and Shirley Stoler urged Kastle to take over the direction, and with no immediate alternative, he did. Never mind he had no directing experience whatsoever. He was a composer. He knew opera. But Kastle had a vision of what he wanted to see on film and he had the determination to see the project through to its completion.
The resulting movie is one of the most astonishing independent films of the past 40 years. It's uncompromising and brutal. It's stark and unsettling. Filmed in documentary-style in black and white, The Honeymoon Killers looks terrifyingly real. You feel guilty while you're watching it, as if you're peeking through a keyhole and seeing things you were never meant to see. True to his intentions, Kastle did not glamorize crime. He created a perverse and ugly love story that fascinates precisely because it's so perverse and ugly. Shirley Stoler soars in this movie. She gives one of the great unselfish, unglamorous performances in cinema history. (Her subsequent roles were few in number. Most people probably know her as "Mrs. Steve" on Pee Wee's Playhouse.) And Tony Lo Biano is excellent as Ray. (Soon after The Honeymoon Killers, he would star in The French Connection and The Seven Ups, and he would star in one of the best TV crime shows of the '70s, Police Story. But since then almost all of his performances have been in supporting roles.)

Stoler and Lo Bianco are surrounded by several fine supporting performances. Doris Roberts (who now stars in Everybody Loves Raymond) plays Martha's friend Bunny (looking very thin!), who urges her friend to begin writing letters to the Friendship Club. Mary Ann Higby plays a woman 30 years Ray's senior. She's so eager to be with Ray that she does whatever Martha and Ray request. And Kip McArdle plays a pleasant but insufferably upbeat middle-aged woman with a young daughter. She marries Ray and even remains upbeat with Martha prowling the halls of her uncluttered suburban home. In one the movie's most chilling scenes, McArdle confesses to Martha that she is now pregnant with Ray's child, hoping for Martha's advice and fearing that Ray won't want the baby: he was terrified that Martha would even find out the marriage had been consummated. We see Martha's face stiffen and we know things will soon get very ugly.

Strangely enough Kastle never made another movie — but not for trying. However, no subsequent projects ever came to fruition. That's our loss because he shows amazing skill in The Honeymoon Killers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Furniture hopping

I’ve spent this past weekend playing musical chest of drawers, Having been looking for a perfect 36”w by 36”h mahogany chest of drawers to it into the last available but of free space in my bedroom, I resignedly purchased a slightly larger piece in need of MUCH T.L.C. at our School’s rummage sale (solely due to the price tag of $30.00!)

I then spent Saturday shopping for a similar piece with a friend of mine for his child’s room after turning him green with envy showing off my. new purchase.

On Sunday I visited a new antique co-op I’d heard of but never been to, only to find the PERFECTLY sized chest in PERFECT condition marked down to only $200 AND I was fortunate enough to have another friend with a S.U.V. along to cart it home. Thus avoiding delivery charges

Long story short, three days of shopping, two purchases, many phone calls, two deliveries and one swap out later I find that I am now furnishing my friends home as well as my own. I should be getting a commission for this.

Edson Stroll

Attractive, dark-haired leading man Edson Stroll was born in Chicago in the mid-'30s and arrived in Hollywood just in time for television to have eaten away at most of the opportunities he might otherwise have had. Possessed of a deep voice to go with his good looks, he appeared in Westerns and adventure shows such as Tombstone Territory and Sea Hunt, plus a pair of Twilight Zone episodes, "The Eye of the Beholder" and "The Trade-ins," and the Elvis Presley vehicle G.I. Blues, in an uncredited role. He finally started getting leading parts in films in 1961, but those were in a pair of Three Stooges features, the too-opulent-for-its-own-good Snow White and the Three Stooges (playing Prince Charming) and The Three Stooges in Orbit. From there, his being cast as Gunner's Mate Virgil Edwards in the sitcom McHale's Navy -- playing the resident lothario of Ernest Borgnine's motley crew .
And BTW, YES I would.......

Louis L'Amour, then and now

Would you or wouldn't you?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You know you've been cataloging waaaay too long when...

...all the numbers you see in the marc record are repeated in your head by the voice of the Count from Sesame Street.

Guess who bought a new Televison......

As well as $200 in throw pillows(yes how far from butch can you get) Consumerism is alive and well within my soul as the construction begins to wind down and my credit cards still have some wiggle room before hitting their limits.....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Now , how many of us have had relationships end in just this way????

YES! Even shaved bald with a brain transplant scar......

Born Earl Craver in Kansas in 1931, Cal Bolder appeared in several films and a number of TV shows from 1960 to 1968,. After attending college and doing a stint in the Marines, Bolder relocated to Los Angeles and became a policeman. A chance meeting with notorious agent Henry Willson (he gave Willson a ticket, but Willson was too enamored with the size of Mr. Craver’s biceps to care) got him into acting. Mr. Wilson came up with the name “Cal” short for California and “Bolder” to emphasize Mr. Cravers build.

Today, Cal Bolder is perhaps best known for his role in the campy 1966 horror film "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter". from which the picture above is taken. In the late 1960s, Bolder retired from acting and moved his family to Washington. In 2001, he published a novel, Last "Reunion", under his real name E. C. Craver,

Sadly, Cal Bolder passed away on January 19, 2005, from cancer at age 74.

The wicked Stepmother, Would you or wouldn't you?

I must admit to a strange fascination with the wicked stepmother from Walt Disney's "Snow White" I always found her much more attractive than the heroine. I always found Snow white to be much too childlike, causing me to look on her marriage to Prince Charming as something bordering on pedophilia......

Burt's literary endeavors........

Miss Emma R. seems to have some issues, as does the educational program of the state of Georgia, if this letter is any result of their training. Still putting all that aside. it is a novel approach, even if it is aimed (but seemingly not wasted) on "Burt Reynolds Sweet Reynolds"
One can only hope that Mr Reynolds was in fact kind enough to send her some candy or "jules".....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why yes, it is coming out my ears.....

Two more days to go of non-stop chicken soup. This round hasn't been as bad as those in the past as I haven't suffered too much from carb cravings. Of course it doesn't help much that the dinning hall at school has suddenly gotten creative with their menus and seemingly increased the quality of their food during the week I was not allowed to partake. Oh well I'll just think of it as a "different" kind of dry spell.
At the very least I think I've dropped another percentage of body fat, not that anyone is testing those waters.........

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Betty please

An old episode that lives on forever in the fact that my circle cannot sit in a restaurant without someone moaning "Betty Please" "Betty Pick up your hash blacks" at least once.

I love a a running gag

I would kill for this wallpaper at the moment!

If I'm stuck with a 1950's pink tiled bathroom I might as well run with it.

When did Little Gloria get so happy that she 'designed" these?

Four Pepito Bismal Pink Vinyl placemats with Gloria's moniker added for only $245.45?

Quick buy me three sets as I only entertain dinner parties of 12!

Joining the Parade of Men who are marching up the highway of happier living with the COMMANDER.

The COMMANDER presents the exclusively designed “INTERLOCKING HANDS” principle for extra support where you need it most. It flattens the burdensome sagging “corporation” and restores to the body the zestful invigorating feeling that comes with firm, sure “bay window” control. Order this new belt today and begin enjoying the pleasure of feeling “in shape” at once.
Corporation? Bay window control?
They had me with "interlocking hands" and then I read:

"The absence of gouging steel ribs, dangling buckles and bothersome laces will prove a joy. COMMANDER has a real man’s jock type pouch. IT GIVES GENUINE MALE PROTECTION. "
And I am puzzled as to how a manly virile fisherman with such fine manscaped pecs allowed his abs to go to seed thus a girdle...

Judy Holliday - It's a Perfect Relationship

Judy Holliday testing the proto-type of personal ads.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just what exactly are their careers?

While I may have asked for quite many things, here on this blog and elsewhere: dates, money, elusive answers to the questions that plague my soul, I am quite sure that I never, ever, asked for "BEACH-PARTY ACTION and "SURFING GALORE" I think I would have remembered asking for that.......

Another bride, another June....

In light of all the housework piling up around my construction zone of a residence I am beginning to see the benefits of acquiring a beard........


Not that I am even remotely thinking about redoing my kitchen, after all I am still immersed in the great Bathroom addition-basement renovation-property landscaping project. But I would so NOT say no to this sink or the colors pictured for my kitchen. I might even start doing dishes...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Margaret Dumont

As far as I'm concerned, the high point of any Marx Brothers movie!

1911. Washington, D.C. "Football. Georgetown University Game." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress
While the image was taken over 97 years ago, he still looks better than what I'm being offered at present........

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow....

If it's 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, I must be off to the gym! After prepping food all weekend I start a new diet phase today. Let see how long it is before I get sick of what I'm eating now.

P.S. Yes, it's STILL chicken.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lost In Space

Posted just because the folks at Fabulon have the show on my mind....

I'm not sure how much of a nerd this makes me but I have the above photo signed by the entire cast hanging on the wall in my study.....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn in New York...

1933. A view across New York's Central Park Lake framed by the Sherry-Netherland and Plaza hotels. 5x7 safety negative by the noted architectural photographer Samuel Gottscho.

....Its good to live it again
*Sigh* another long weekend and no cash or time go away! Oh well maybe next year after all the construction is done and (barely) paid for.

Jethro Bodine

Would you or wouldn't you?

Small steps

I am finally able to keep a bedside lamp, alarm clock and reading material at arms reach/eye level by my bed! The new bedroom space, while large, houses several pieces of antique furniture, the proportions of which left very little space for a night stand of any kind. Not having any free time to comb though every antique store in the city, nor the budget to do so, luckily I located a nightstand tall and narrow enough with matching mahogany finish that would fit the bill on After much searching and even more trepidation I finally ordered a piece of furniture, physical sight unseen, over the internet

After some shipping delays, the package getting lost and some mis-communication form’s customer service the package finally came about six weeks late (which seems to be the schedule for the bathroom and basement reconstruction as well!)

My contractor promised me yesterday that my new bathroom would be done today (5 weeks delay) I think I’ll hold on to the nightstand as my current tangible achievement

He’s informed me that two clients have cancelled kitchen renovations due to the economy tanking. I’m only half way though all my work and it’s getting damn scary right all those large checks. If he’s smart he’ll finish the basement and back porch quickly before I have a chance to change my mind.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ten tiny turtles on the telephone

Any other children of Sesame Street remember this song? While not as erudite as "Too Darn Hot" I find it running though my head now and then apropos of nothing. Today is one of those days.....

My "mind" is up here fella!

Personally speaking, if they're attractive enough I don't care if they drink Pabst's Blue Ribbon!
And having tried the love me for my mind route for years to no avail I am eagerly awaiting when all the hours logged in at the gym pay and all people see is a slab of beef. (yes, it's vain I know but crunches are boring and I've got to have some fantasy running through my mind to keep me motivated)
Maybe I should start jogging in my underwear as these two exemplified by these to sport enthusiasts?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hemorrhoids? Cramps? Contractions? Syphilis? Adolescent acne? Your guess is a s good as mine.......
I suffered in a box.
I suffered with a fox.
I suffered in the rain.
I suffered on a train....

Construction dreams and nightmares

Last night's odd dream consisted of my discovering/remembering that I already had a third bathroom and fourth bedroom in my home, thus rendering all the construction I've undertaken during the last two months extraneous. Not only a master bedroom and fourth bath but a luxury suite and luxury bath complete with sunken whirlpool tub all that the top of the staircase to the mysterious third floor which I had previously never noticed and/or forgotten about. It was much nicer than the small space my magician contractor managed to carve out of the hall closet off the real master bedroom!

In my dream I resigned myself to having been so forgetful and accepted the fact that I had spent unnecessary money and I know had three and a half baths. Upon awakening I had to resign myself to the fact that it was all a dream and now I was stuck with a master bath small enough to make me take measurement's in order to bring both a bottle of shampoo AND conditioner into the shower with me! OK, maybe it's not THAT small but Lordy it ain't is big as the one in my dreams.

I can't waist until construction ends and I can go back to dreaming about relationship problems or lack there of......

Ann Miller - 'Too darn Hot' from 'Kiss me Kate'

This song, in particular this version has been running though my head since last night, along the mile walk from campus to my trolley stop, though my morning shower as well and then back along the walk from the trolley stop back to campus.

Not that I mind! I rather like both the song and this version, as well as Ann MIller. I only wish the sentiment were true, we're starting to experience the first nips of autumn weather.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mad TV- Can I have ur number?

I cannot tell you how many times I have had to sit next to this exact scenario while riding the bus to and from work. Today, alas, was no exception

On an upbeat note!

The landscapers are coming this week to "finish"my front yard. Besides the fact that the firm is gay owned and offers a bit of eye candy, this also means I will have a lot less environmentally unfriendly lawn to tend to. God bless ground covers, perennials and mulch........and cute gardeners!

To shave or not to shave?

It's Tuesday night and as I'm working late and facing an already doomed evening I thought I'd set aside some time upon arriving home to manscape. A dull and dreaded chore in my existence!

I wouldn't even mention it except in the last few days unsolicited votes have started coming in. One from my masseuse (against). One from my contractor (for, and in his case in particular around the forearms, an odd fact he felt necessary to share). From my trainer (for) and from one of my workout buddies(against). It's not like I haven't body groomed before but it's just never been so talked about!

The economy tanks, Sara Palin exists and yet my circle is debating the pros and cons of shaving my chest?????

Saturday, October 4, 2008

S.A. T. Angst

So I am spending the morning on campus, proctoring the S.A.T.s for extra cash . So far we've had two students who may have inadvertently voided their scores by not following directions. NOT FUN! Not on four hours of sleep. Especially not fun explaining the fact to them that the entire test taking experience this morning may have been a waste of time as a result of their not following directions.

I think I'd have been better off foregoing the extra cash and sleeping in...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Michigan J. Frog

I cannot get this damn song out of my head this afternoon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Apropos of nothing,......

Let me just whine a bit and say that I am so so so sick of eating chicken.
I am over two years into this weight training diet and even estimating at a conservative 30 pounds per week(No that's not a mistake, 8 0z of low fat protein 6 times a day) that totals over 3120lbs of chicken breast, bought cooked and consumed in every conceivable recipe.
At this point I'm considering blenderizing everything and drinking it just to get it over with as actually recommended by another lifter.
Then again I cold switch back to Oreos.

Matango (1963) trailer

Also know as "Island of the Mushroom People" or "Attack of the Mushroom People" this movie just absolutely fascinated me as a child. It was common fodder for a Saturday afternoon program called "Creature Double Feature" and I always considered myself lucky when I caught yet another airing of it.

Having just bought a new DVD/VCR combo unit I now know what I am going to christen it with once I locate a copy through inter-library-loan!