I want one of these:
11/1/2001 05:52:02 PM
A NEAT TIME TO BE YOUNG!
My father recently picked up a DVD for $2.99 (sign of what's to come...) which he unfortunately unloaded on us. "The McCullochs" is the magnum opus, the chef-d'oeuvre, of Max Baer, better known as Jethro Bodine of the Beverly Hillbillies. Tim and I forced ourselves to sit through it the other night. How can I explain this movie? Well, the insert card is of the original movie poster, and here's what it says:
"1949...a neat time to be young!
-to be a McCulloch!
....especially when your Dad owned the town, the county and half the state.
When your brothers were cool as they come and your sister was the cutest chick for miles around. It was a great time!....Then it all began to happen!"
And believe me...NOTHING happens. "A big bunch of nothing" as my grandfather would have put it. It's just an awful, visually ambling work of garbage. It's kind of like a precursor to "Dallas": a large wealthy family (the father owns a trucking company??), complete with the dissenting son, the model son, the lusty daughter, the mother who can talk chop with paw when no one else can, oh, and the black housemaid, plus Confederate Flags in their home (but they're Catholic...??). And uh, well, Max Baer is a trucker in love with the daughter. Dad doesn't like it. He gets drunk a lot. They fight. Really, I'm making it sound a lot more interesting than it is.
Forrest Tucker (F Troop) plays the trucking magnate father, and the oldest son is Robbie from "My Three Son's", AND, -this is where the movie becomes slightly psychotronic- the family's consulting priest is Uncle Charlie from "My Three Son's" as well! Wha?? Huh? Try assimilating those two actors in unrelated roles. More effort than the movie is worth, really. Sniff. One more thing: ostensibly, the film takes place in 1949 when truck drivers apparently wore amber aviators and polyester leisure suits. I know that Max Baer wanted to distance himself from his TV alter-ego, much like George Lindsey (Goober), but why? I mean, get a load of Jethro in that chain-mail geddup! Instead, let's toast Max with his very own cocktail that I found on the web:
Max Baer Cocktail
2 Dashes Absinthe
2 Dashes Grenadine
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
So, to Max. And I, to bed. Good night.
10/31/2001 07:19:45 PM
"John Henry's Hammer."
(if you're here to read about the haunted house, scroll down two entries)
Otherwise, let's see now. What is Kansas City's best band? Hmmmm...well, I'd have to say to scratch my "oh my god they're geniuses and they play in filthy bars" itch it's gotta be:
(My apologies to Todd Grantham)
10/29/2001 09:30:03 PM
Okay, I was going to move on to other topics, but Halloween is approaching. I love Halloween. Usually I dress up as some bloodied, Fellini-type woman (last year I was the ghost of an alcoholic, Beverly Hills housewife with a headwound from her drunken car accident). But I've finally folded to my husband's desire to go as Hall and Oates. Uh, guess who's Oates. Anyway...I'm an extremely jumpy person. I get spooked really quite easily. One of my greatest irrational fears, since childhood, is to be in bed and have the bed start shaking. My parents just returned from a reunion in New Orleans and my mother said a friend complained about her hotel room; particularly that her bed kept shaking at night. Eeep! When I was little, I used to imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find Bert and Ernie by my bedside. The thought scared me so much, because I couldn't decide which was more frightening: the idea of sentient puppets in my room, or a man under my bed manipulating them. You had the same musings as a child, didn't you?
Like most kids, I had that one summer where I finally discovered the Time/Life series on the paranormal at the library. I'd read about Aleister Crowley, regurgitated cheesecloth ectoplasm, and ghosts. I was going through websites for ghost stories, and came across this image, which I hadn't seen for years. To this day, this picture still gives me chills. It's the combination of someone being behind you, in the backseat of your car....but definitely, the glowing eyes are what get me. Yikes! Mommy! The story is that the backseat apparition is the mother of the woman who snapped the shot. Of course, mom had died two weeks earlier, and acquired super-creepy, glowing eyes in the process. Do you get to choose what kind of ghost you're going to be? Like, the flowing, celestial type, or the bloodied, moaning type? I guess it depends on how you die. Creepy ghosts are murdered, and lovely, friendly ghosts, well, um, they went to church every Sunday or something.
The site where I found the image is nothing special, but it does have a strange collection of "Cave Creatures" and the elusive "Skunk Ape". Go see:MONSTERS!
10/28/2001 12:56:25 PM
THE GREATEST HAUNTED HOUSE IN THE WORLD!!
Would I lie to you? Really and truly, this is the scariest haunted house I have ever been through, and mainly because this is the tour guide:
Jim Warfield (shown here with "Mr. Tuxedo") became the owner of a 5,000 square foot, three-story Italian-style mansion in the mid-western town of Mt. Carroll, Illinois. He has turned it into the largest and most dense folk art site I have ever seen (aside from Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa). And, it's a truly scary tour. Mainly because Jim is, well, a very sweet guy, but a little bent. Trusting him while in his house is an issue that runs though your mind. I was actually asking myself "Is this safe? How do I get out of here if I need to? This guy's pretty weird...is he gonna kill us?" I kid you not. After the tour, we all admitted to having the same fears. Most of the interior has been converted into narrow, maze-like hallways that prevent you from having any idea where you are in the mammoth house (the entryway to the maze is a very well done recreation of the street from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari). Jim abandons you at times, leaving you in musty, dank, dark rooms, with no hint as to what you are to do or where to go. Hidden, hydraulic lifts pop him out of the darkness. Microphones and tiny speakers are nested throughout the house and he taunts you and watches you from two-way mirrors. Every surface is covered with his scrawl, artwork, painting, sculptures- all which tend to be humorous. When walking under the "haunted", motorized swinging chandelier, a sign over the motor suggests "Ignore for complete effect". The great thing is, Jim would often stop, turn on the lights to show us how he'd done something, chuckle about it, then turn back into the man we feared would lead us into some inescapable pit.
Our tour was a little special. It began at midnight and ended around 2:30 am. He gives tours every day of the year, from 7 to midnight. Since we were the last group of the night, he'd let his handful of high school helpers go home, and often he would run ahead of us to jump behind something to act out their part. Super-corny humor, often a little sick and psycho-sexual, made the tour even scarier. And believe me, it was scary as hell, and truly impressive. He says he's constantly changing and adding on to the house. I would love to detail every bit of what I saw, but it would take too long: mechanized hamsters, false front walls, a room filled with WWII models, diaramas... There's an excellent cartoon by Heather McAdams that does a great job of describing the experience. Her cartoon is not too easy to find on his site, so click here
and scroll down to read it. If you want to visit his site, click here
where there are also detailed directions to getting there. This is his life's work, and it shows. Not everyone appreciates it unfortunately, and the locals aren't too nuts about his house, which they consider an eyesore.
10/27/2001 11:09:22 AM
I'm a Klepper, you're a Klepper, she's a Klepper, he's a Klepper......
So, don't ask me how, but I came across this webpage which is devoted entirely to the host's ravenous love of "Kleppers". What are "Kleppers"? Well, I'm unsure if it's a reference to the shoes, or the person who wears them. Apparently, a klepper is any shoe (or person who wears a shoe) that is an open-toed mule, with no heel strap of any kind, so they make the highly desirable "slap, slap, slap" sound when worn. Flip-flops, wedge slides, geta sandals, and Dr. Scholls are all perfect examples. My girlfriend Melissa has been a Klepper for years. Her boyfriend likes the fact that he never loses her in the grocery store. I could have been a Klepper, were it not for my dad who lined the soles of my wooden clogs with silencing, soft rubber so they wouldn't make such a loud "clok, clok, clok" when I was at school. That was the point! He did it the night before school, and I was mortified the next morning when I excitedly put them on. Okay, yes, this was in the third grade, but, I never bought another pair. Perhaps it's time. Click here
if you want to see the Klepper website and his outrageous photo collection of shoes. Oh, and the answer to the riddle a few entries ago: "Nothing".
10/24/2001 11:51:50 AM
I had the strangest dream last night. But, I often dream about buildings. I dreamed that my husband and I were purchasing a new house. We had settled on a big, sprawling ranch-style that had suffered a serious 70's re-do. But we were really in love with it because of some of the more eccentric add-ons the previous owners had made. It had been owned by an older couple, the husband had died, and the wife wanted to sell it. I was walking through it for the first time after the closing, as the owner. They had left everything of theirs, including the cat, with the house. It all conveyed to us: plants, clothing, full kitchen. Someone else's HOME. That was so strange, but kind of exciting. The foyer was a greenhouse that led you into the living room where I pulled back the shag carpet to see if there were wood floors underneath. I was disgusted to see that the carpet padding had a pattern of a wood floor on it. Then, I stepped into the kitchen, where our new cat was crying for food. I was worried what our cat, Minou, would think of this new one. I stepped through the side door of the kitchen into the garage, where there was a huge hot/tub fountain that opened into the yard. It was all glass tiled in blue, and very beautiful. This was the reason we bought the house- this hot tub that turned into a huge, tiered fountain, spilling out into the front yard. Then I went back inside, and down the hallway, which became endless bedrooms, each with their own full bathroom. For some reason, numerous bedrooms with their own full bathroom is a recurring theme in my dreams. After the fourth one, I was marveling at the space, and number of bathtubs. Then I stepped into one bathroom where there were double sinks, and in the corner, double bath tubs, in an "L" shape in the corner. "Cool" I thought. At least, that's what my husband said this morning when I told him about it. There wasn't much more to it than that, other than I recall my husband and I jumping into the fountain, with me worrying about how we were going to pay for it all, and what we were going to do with all the stuff in the house.
10/23/2001 09:59:46 AM