Yes, it's that time again. Time to sit back, kick your shoes off, put your dogs up, put aside work, and listen to me ramble on for a while.
10/12 - Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been talking about the Silent Movie Theater as much as before. Well, I'm still a big fan, but I haven't been able to go as often as I had been earlier. However, this weekend I made an exception. You may recall me mentioning Bob Mitchell, the organist who plays accompaniment to the silent pictures. Well, he had his 90th birthday party, which was celebrated at a classic old theater downtown. It was quite the event. The theater itself was beautiful. It was one of the original Orpheum theaters, built to showcase vaudeville acts. Harry Houdini, W.C. Fields, and the Marx Brothers had actually played there. The place was a little worn for wear, but it had just been purchased with the intention of being fully restored, and this was the first event hosted there since the purchase. There were people there dressed for the occasion, either by wearing a tux, or dressing in period costume. The whole show was hosted by Bill Pullman, which was kind of a neat surprise, not that he's a huge star or anything. Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys played, as well as an exhibition by some jitterbug dancers (side note: I'm pretty sure one pair of dancers actually appeared in the jitterbug contest on Ed last week). After that, Bill Pullman came back on stage and proceeded to do a sort of "This is Your Life" narrative for Mr. Mitchell. I say sort of because much of this presentation consisted of audio clips from an *actual* "This is Your Life" done for Mr. Mitchell in 1949! This guy's really been around! At one point during the presentation, they continued playing an old radio ad, as Mr. Pullman acted it out. "Ah, Philip Morris, the cigarette that doesn't give you a cigarette hangover." After all the accolades, they showed Buster Keaton's "Seven Chances" (another classic from Keaton, with scenes that were directly heisted by Lucas for some of the shots in The Phantom Menace), and Mr. Mitchell actually played for the movie. What's even more amazing, it was his *fourth* gig for the day! If you'd like to read a very short little piece on Mr. Mitchell, here's a bio I found.
Also from this particular evening, I had my first celebrity sighting, although it hardly even counts as such and I was hesitant as to whether I should mention it at all, especially since I don't even know the guy's name. Do you by any weird chance remember a show on Comedy Central called "Viva Variety?" It was a variety/comedy show that didn't last very long. It was hosted by a guy pretending to be Monsieur Laupin. Well, that was the guy. More recognizable, maybe, if you've seen any of the recent Snickers commercials where someone daydreams or makes a bad decision because of hunger. The game show host-like guy who comes on and says, "This wouldn't have happened if he had had a Snickers bar." That's the guy. (Editor's note: I've since discovered the man's name is Thomas Lennon, of recent fame from Reno 911.) The funny part about the sighting is that I saw him as I was just wandering around the theater looking and admiring it. I was up on the balcony, and he was there making an ungainly, somewhat rude climb over a railing to get to his seat with some friends. He looked really awkward, and I couldn't help but look at him. Of course, in my mind I'm just thinking, hey, is that the guy that...? And I keep looking at him trying to be sure. What's funny is, he saw me looking at him, and I'm *sure* he thought I was giving him a disparaging look because of the awkward move he had just made (side note: In another strange connection to the show Ed, another character from this guy's show "Viva Variety" was Johnny Bluejeans. The actor who plays him now plays Phil Stubbs, the goofy bowling alley employee on Ed).
10/16 - Went to see a film compilation of short animated features called "Spike and Mike's Festival of Sick and Twisted Animation." It was terrible. Terrible! But, you say, "sick and twisted?" Surely that would make it interesting? No. Out of the hour and a half I was there, I was amused for maybe six minutes. I could go into needless detail of the completely worthless things I saw, but that's not my point. I mention this only to impart two bits of knowledge I gained to you, my hapless reader. First, if you make something offensive enough, someone will show it, and second, offensive *can* be funny, but offensive doesn't *equal* funny. Save your money, steer far away from this gem.
10/17 - Depending on which way I drive home from work, I often pass by this tiny, hole-in-the-wall chili restaurant. Finally, I could stand it no more and stopped in. It was the coolest. It's this tiny little room with big horseshoe-shaped bar in the middle. Everyone sits around it like at a diner, and as soon as you sit down they plop bowls of oyster crackers, onions, and peppers in front of you. It's almost like you don't even have a choice. I didn't even see a menu anywhere until after I had ordered. No problem though, 'cause obviously I was there for the chili. One weird thing, though, is about a third of the people there had their chili over spaghetti, which I'd never seen before. Anyway, this was the best chili I'd ever had, so next time any of you come to visit, we're going there for sure. Chili John's. Oh, and speaking of work, I actually have another entertaining mis-translation. They've gone down considerably the longer I've worked there, as the computer is getting used to my voice. However, I'm still fighting a cold I picked up in Germany (gee, really? After standing around in the cold rain without a jacket and sleeping in an airport? That's odd.), so my voice isn't exactly the same. Anyway, of the many I've had, the good one I remember was ABC's news correspondent Barry Mitchell becoming "very mental."
10/20 - Well, like the fool I am, I got a table at the L.A. Comic Convention again, to try and sell my wares to the public. This time was better and worse, though. It was better because I shared the table with my friend who made a movie, and he tried to sell it there as well. This cut down on the expense. It was worse because we didn't sell anything. Well, I sold a few, and he sold one, but still, that's like nothing. I don't really have any good stories about the feaks and nut jobs that attend these things. Why do I mention it? Well, for astute readers that may remember my last excursion to the show, way back in Issue #8, I received a videotape that threatened I would die in seven days if I watched it. Sound familiar? That is the premise of a new movie called "The Ring." Apparently, my tape was a very early promotional gimmick to get people curious, and then have a resounding impact when the movie came out. Pretty clever, I guess. It definitely explains how someone could afford to give away all those videotapes.
Well, that's about all for now. I'm still really depressed about not being a pirate, but oh well. I had thought there was a strong chance of me getting back into the project due to some changes that had been made (hence my little tease at the end of the last update), but alas it appears I have missed the pirate boat for good. Arrgh. I knew I should have amputated one of my legs.
So that about wraps it up for me this time. Hope everyone is having a great time, and I want you all to have a fantastic Halloween, my all-time favorite holiday!
Movie Quote Challenge:
Number One: "Oh God, Mother, blood! Blood!"
Number Two: "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
Movie Quote Answers:
Congratulations! Dale Prasek was the first to correctly identify today's quotes:
Number One: Psycho, by Joseph Stefano
Number Two: Dracula, by John Balderston & Hamilton Deane
Better luck next time, and have a great Halloween!