Big Weekend

Big weekend, having my second date with The Giant Gila Monster!

No tongues.

My first encounter with "The Giant Gila Monster" took place when I was seven.

I recall observing The Giant (Human-Hongry) Gila Monster terrorize Texas and thinking aloud, "Man, this movie is really crummy."

Flash-forward 50-odd years. (I'm an eclectic kind of mix-and-matcher on my years.) The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta revived the dubious rodent's dubious achievement. Curses, you Plaza!

With grave reluctance, I decided to revisit the film to ascertain if The Giant Gila Monster had aged gracefully.

It had not.

That wizened lizard needs to be put in a beady Hoodie-Footie™ and a Lazy Lizzy™ recliner and go gum some orthopedic mammals.

A treasury of "The Giant Gila Monster" revelations became newly apparent, when sifted through my half century of amassed, value-added cinematic wisdom.

  • The star power: Shug Fisher (Old Man Harris), Fred Graham (Sheriff Jeff), Gay McLendon (Mom Winstead), Ken Knox (Horatio Alger "Steamroller" Smith), and Angus G. Wynne III (Dumb Teen, uncredited) to name a too many.

  • Don Sullivan (Chase Winstead: Spunky Hunky) is the hero of the piece, wrecker service mechanic by day, giant reptile avenger by night, and teen singing sensation by He Never Close.

    Chase is always open to a wannabe Ricky Nelson-lite tune and screw-the-mayhem musical interlude. Even The Giant Gila Monster gets his four claw-feets a-tapping and people-munching a-bopping when our boy pulls out his miniature toy banjo to strum and rock out on "The Mushroom Song (Laugh, Children, Laugh)." The kids love it each time he croons the feel-good hit of the giant sluggish venomous lizard gnaw-fest. Yes, EACH time. Heck, even I got hot.

  • "The Giant Gila Monster" was produced by Ken Curtis, best known in the role of Festus on TV's "Gunsmoke," following his award-winning-yeah-sure epic, "The Killer Shrews."

    Curtis, as you may be aware, sang with the Sons of the Pioneers and popularized "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." The Giant Gila Monster ate sons of the pioneers and liked rumbling, tumbleweedy.

  • Donna and I gots to gets us a roadster!

  • Why isn't the lead actor of this flick given billing? I find the outrageous oversight to be disgraceful. Why isn't proper credit acknowledged? Unless the name is Benji or Ern or something silly, the titles should read:


    What is Hollywood's phone number?...

  • The running time of "The Giant Gila Monster" is 74 minutes. Seventy-three of those are padding. Four days and 12 seconds are audience perception.

  • I paid 25 cents to see this film in 1959, and 28 times that amount in 2011. Plus, another seven bucks for my wife's ticket. At $14.25, grand total investment, I have exceeded the picture's budget and I have no giant carnivorous beast to show for it. What has happened to our country?

  • The Giant Gila Monster is big, yes, but he's -- I assume it's a he. I was wearing blinders. He is actually larger than giant. That would be my assessment. A fair assessment, considering I arrived at the crime scene without a tape measure. Slide rules are useless in these situations and, besides, mine was in the car. I did have a protractor, but the pencil point was broken. I've got no gila monster in this fight. I'd say The Giant Gila Monster is more The Gargantuan Gila Monster or The Behemoth Gila Monster or The Jumbo, Enormous, Super-Colossal, Excessive, Chubby Chub Chub Gila Monster. Shoot, people, he's, at least, an MMDCCLXXX-L.

"The Giant Gila Monster" Trailer via YouTube

There is one positive point I can make about "The Giant Gila Monster." The coming attractions trailer has provided me with an apt personal slogan and epitaph: "DEVOURING PEOPLE AS IF THEY WERE FLIES!"

That's me. I carry a bib.


'Cute' in the 'House'

During this week's "House M.D." episode, imagine my surprise when the grumpy doctor mentioned he had been watching Jerry Lewis' lighthearted "CinderFella" on
television. That motion picture struck me as incongruous to House's temperament, but there it was in a flashback, minutes later. We saw a bit of pantomime and listened to Count Basie and His World Renowned Band's classic "Cute" throughout the TV sequence. The original 1960 movie scene is posted below with Fella actively enjoying his radio.

Full disclosure: One of my cats is named Fella, after Lewis and this film. My love for Count Basie and swing jazz is also rooted in the following footage.

"CinderFella: Cute" via YouTube


'True Grit' With Subtitles

A subtitled version of Jeff Bridges' "True Grit" has become available. Here's the video in a follow-up to the recently featured article, "Trailer Reel: 'True, True, Toy Grit.'"

"'True Grit' (2010) With Subtitles" via YouTube



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Gnomeo and Juliet Poster - Stack Flyer - 11 X 17 Teaser Movie
Thanks, Hollywood. My wife has taken to calling me Gnomeo. That's not so bad, but she's making me stand on the lawn under the mailbox.

Why I Like TV's RED EYE: Where else can I hear about "a barrel of hobo nipples"? My continuing education is of utmost importance!...

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son [Blu-ray]
All things considered, I'm grateful my mother didn't live to see 9/11 or BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON.

Why do people say "mouth-watering"? Isn't that obvious? Would we really be discussing food with other body parts? Mmmm, butt-watering tacos.

Watching: I'm one hour into TCM's 24-hour OUR GANG / LITTLE RASCALS fest, hoping to learn some nuances on the word, "Swell!"

The Little Rascals: The Complete CollectionOUR GANG COLLECTION (52 Shorts 1938-1942)
Revisiting OUR GANG, surprised at the danger. In TWO TOO YOUNG (1936), 7-year-old Spanky cuts off Alfalfa's cowlick with a huge sickle. Eek!

Saw: FREE EATS (1932) 1st OUR GANG by 3-year-old Spanky in a tam, hugging a monkey & aiming a revolver at midget crooks. My childhood, too!!

Ran out of cold water. Yodeling class dismissed. My bathtub is available for your next party.

Love my satellite radio, although the small screen display is too limited. Right now, Bobby Darin sings "IF I WERE A CARP."

The limited display screen on my radio offers "Louis Armstrong: IT TAKES TWO TO TAN."

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'Rubber' Bloom

Living in my own li'l world, yesterday, when I learned of a new movie. I shared the one-sentence synopsis on Facebook.

Flick sounds insane!: RUBBER (2010) "An abandoned tire develops telepathic powers and wreaks havoc on a remote desert town." Do tread on me.

Friend Frank Thompson
So, it's a documentary?

No, more of a biography of a deflated ego blowout getting in touch with its inner tube. Listening to the soundtrack now.... Frank Sinatra: "It Was a Very Goodyear."


Well, you pumped me.

The movie sounds good but I'm looking forward to the sequel, "Son of Rubber" starring Fred MacMurray Jr.

Sounds like a retread.

I went looking for footage from the film and found the non-vehicular trailer.

To my surprise, "Rubber" could be special. It certainly rides to the top on the hydraulic lift of my must-see list!

"Rubber" (2010) Trailer via YouTube


Big Weekend

Ansel Adams The Tetons and the Snake River (19...Ansel Adams: "The Tetons and the Snake River" (1942), public domain image via Wikipedia

Big weekend, moseying on over to the cowboy museum.

They had a large retrospective from acclaimed photographer Ansel Adams, including western landscapes and objects in black-and-white Gelatin Silver prints.

As it so happens, coincidence of coinkydinks, I am a photographer, too, although I work in color and cell phone.

And the 21st century.

My images on paper are rendered in brown chocolate fingerprints.

Here is my most recent western exposure of a must-have artifact, currently on exhibit at the museum. I call this photo journalism, "The Little Napkin Dispenser on the Prayerful Cantina" (2011).

Authenticity pending, but I can vouch for the subject, which appears to be keenly to scale, and not a reproduction -- definitely, one of a kind, from my lips.


Secrets to a Successful 30-Year Marriage #8

Donna and I like to travel together -- some even whisper "as a couple," taking epic automobile trips around the United States.

To celebrate our anniversary, we're discussing -- my people with her people -- an excursion which could roll us to Canada and the traditional lovebirds' retreat, Niagara Falls.

I'm told my parents honeymooned at Niagara Falls, nearly 70 years ago. I wouldn't know. I wasn't invited.

I wasn't around either, but, obviously, they were thinking only of themselves.



Anyway, we'd like to visit, too, especially after seeing this exciting travelogue....

"Niagara Fools" (1956) via YouTube


Trailer Reel: 'True, True, Toy Grit'

"Attending TRUE GRIT. Since cataract ops worked, I won't wear eye patch, but will go with Plan B: Cerebral Cortex Patch. ... Oh, and Goobers."

"True Grit" (1969) Trailer via YouTube

"True Grit" (2010) Trailer via YouTube

"Toy Grit" (2010) Trailer via YouTube


Secrets to a Successful 30-Year Marriage #5-7

My wife believes my shrieking, hollering, screaming, and general epithet-laden vitriol and pouty puckers aimed at our @#$%^&*! politicians are improvised on the spot for her benefit. Nuh uh, nay, I do it all day long while she's not around. I'm a professional snark. I hone my craft and give my beloved only the sweetest of rages and loathing.

Oh. And you kitties can come out from under the bed. Daddy's better now. Daddy loves you. Daddy's softly.

Listening to and satisfying each other's whims are key.

For Valentine's, I told the missus I wanted a Dux Bed.

She forked me fresh hay.

She also flung poultry feed stamped "BEAK MINE" and "WADDLE ME."

No rest for the ducky.

Never cease with acts of kindness and romance.

As an example, the other night at the movies, we saw "The King's Speech," and I let Donna snuggle with me behind the spit guard.


Secrets to a Successful 30-Year Marriage #2-4

Although I play with my food, my spouse is not allowed to declare I'm behaving like a "child."

I prefer to be recognized as a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity Feng Shuist.

Out of love and deference, not once, not one time in three decades, have I left the toilet seat up. Not once!

A jewel, aren't I?

The cats would fall in.

I read a report that said the average married couple has 312 arguments per year.

Husbands and wives should not quarrel so much. It is not productive in any reasonable--

Gee, I'm not the bickering jerk I thought. I could do worse. What's Donna's phone number?!...


Secrets to a Successful 30-Year Marriage #1

I am often asked -- well, once -- "What are the secrets to your long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, lon--"

"That's enough. Stop it."

"Sorry, Mike. What are the secrets to your marriage?"

"Thanks for asking. Triscuit?"

"No, thank you," said the young man.

"We've got silly cheddar in a can."


"Fine. Here's a tip for you. Follow me to my bathroom."

"Huh? What?" said the inquisitive young man.

"In here. Get in here with yourself. Over the sink."

"Employees Must Wash Hands," he read aloud.

"Yes, the sign. Donna's wedding present to me. It helps me remember. I have to meet code."


Big Weekend

Big weekend, successfully completing the first 30 years of our marriage.

As of this moment, Donna and I have been wife and indentured huggy hunk / designated dimples / assorted cheeses tray carrier / hot towel-ensconced manservant / anvil caddy for 1560 consecutive big weekends.

Today, Valentine's Day, is our wedding anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, I searched far and wide for the perfect gift. The Walmart is quite a spread, but an o-no!-asis worthy to cross for m'lady.

The lass loves jewelry, so I could never go wrong there. I picked out the large hoop earrings that are all the rage.

She's to have the yellow -- and I'll be getting some lip, if ... you know ... what ... I mean. ♥



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Another heroic act of courage on my part. I managed to crawl out from the warm spot. The rest of this day is a breeze. ... Need pants...

I'm always thinking local weather on the 8's. On the 7's, it's kitty traffic. 6's, anklet tats. 5's, flapjack faux pas. Nutella on the 4's..

Tonight's Movie: THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. We have a lot in common. I'm THE BOY WHO PLAYED WITH FIDO. (My first plush pup.)

Deleted 28 hours of unseen movies off DVR to record 16-film Andy Hardy marathon. Face it, THE HOUSE BUNNY is no ANDY HARDY'S BLONDE TROUBLE.

Watched: JUDGE HARDY'S CHILDREN (1938) - When worrying about the big dance was everything. Except for me. I sidestepped them. O, the horror.

The moo cows around here are extremely vocal tonight. That can mean only one thing. Someone used the JKB-words ... Jalapeno Ketchup Beef.

Here's something you don't see every day, Chauncey. My cat caught on fire. He's out now and fine. More importantly: Blog material.

It's been a good day. The cat hasn't caught on fire. That's one in a row!

I ate w/my projectionist pals. I like 'em, but there's always a 15-minute intermission between courses & a dozen trailers before the entree.

Again, I am always thinking local weather on the 8's, but, let us just say, it is my private alone time for the 1's and 2's.

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Optical Confusions

We had a movie event at the Atlanta Fox Theatre this week in the HDCAM video format. The special equipment created a few puzzles to solve during our projection preparations. What we saw on the source monitor test pattern did not match what was on the giant screen.

The brightness and the colors weren't the same, and the Indians were from different tribes.


Off the Wall

Saving Facebook: My Confessions: 

On Technology

Friend Claire
Just went out and got a Blackberry! I feel so modern.


I'm only now mastering the chisel and granite slabs.

How is that working for you? It explains why we never get any letters from you.


The carnage with the homing pigeons is exasperating.

On Literature

Forget Suzanne Somers' book. I take my cues from Mr. Furley: "Sexy Forever.".

Friend Yowp
Well, there *is* a striking resemblance ;)

Mostly the groovy wardrobe.

If it weren't for the nervous tics, I'd get no exercise at all.

On Groundhog Day

This is not good. Punxsutawney Phil popped out of his hole and saw the Justin Bieber movie.

Friend Claire
Did he have popcorn? Doesn't that mean a bad spring film season?

The implications may be dire. To begin with, we must go six weeks without getting our bangs trimmed.

...I never see my shadow. Luxurious, thick hair in my eyes prevents such. And those are just my lashes!

On Composer John Barry

A terrific heist sequence in "Goldfinger" made better by the pounding music of John Barry. I listen to this track and I'm ready to go knock over a liquor store....

Maybe... I'll also hit and bring Dairy Queen....

Friend Cathy
Oh, yeah, and while you're knocking over that liquor store, be a dear and grab a little half gallon of Jose Cuervo for me...

Too late. I'm on the lam. I'm drunk and the Moolattes are melting....

On Comedy

Friend Mark
I have a fond appreciation for long-running gags -- after all, this year I will be married to the same woman for 25 years.

I knew I was funnier. 30 years.

Friend Frank
Yeah, but is Donna still laughing?

She does in the lounge, but seldom during the supper show.

She doesn't like it when you work blue.


I Got Nuthin'

Consolation Video: "Joi Lansing: Web of Love" via Scopitone and YouTube

Thanks to Frank Thompson.


I Got Nuthin'

Consolation Video: "Natalie Time Lapse: Birth to 10 Years Old in 1 Minute 25 Seconds" via YouTube

Thanks to Tim Butzon


Big Weekend

Big weekend, trying to teach my cat to talk like Speedy Alka-Seltzer. We could make some important money.

Speedy Alka-Seltzer (Retro Claymation Little Boy) - 1 1/4" Button / Pin


Cartoon Carnival: Super Football Follies

Popeye the Sailor in "You've Gotta Be a Football Hero" (Dave Fleischer, 1935) via YouTube

Merrie Melodies: "Screwball Football" (Tex Avery, 1939) via YouTube

Goofy in "How to Play Football" (Jack Kinney, 1944) via YouTube


Gifts Senior Moment Santa Forgot to Bring Me: Anti Monkey Butt and Lady Anti Monkey Butt

What respectable household would not welcome the enticement of guests with an assortment of Anti Monkey Butt powders adorning the, here you go, powder room counter top, or colorful mealtime centerpiece?

Well, it ain't happening at our home, thanks to Mr. S. Claus, and, boy, is my butt chapped about it, too.

Ideal for butt busting activities such as truck driving, motorcycling, bicycling, horse back riding, and extreme sports. May also be applied inside footwear, under sports pads, and other areas prone to chafing. Indoors or outdoors, work or play, or on occasions when you sit on your butt all day, don’t let your buns get red, use Anti Monkey Butt Powder instead!

That passage of "The Gospel According to Anti Monkey Butt" may have been translated from "The Bible." I'm not sure. My childhood Sunday School was lacking. We did talk about leper butt and locust butt, I recall, and, "Don't forget the Wednesday night Spaghetti Suppers, featuring Sopping Red Sauce Stains on Palestine Toast."

I had intended to present my wife with the Lady Anti Monkey Butt, of course, as Christmas is also for us romantics.

Say Good-bye to Chafed Thighs! Lady Anti Monkey Butt Powder is specially formulated with patented satiny smooth powder to minimize the frictional discomfort that women often experience...

Great, Santa, great, you chimp.

We're in the pink, not!

Gah, rump, um, plum plum,

We and our bums.


Gifts Senior Moment Santa Forgot to Bring Me: Mr. Moo Nacho Cheese Sauce

I guess I shouldn't complain that Santa stiffed me on the sauce. I don't eat dairy products, so I am Mr. Moot.

Was that a crummy pun?

It's the cheesiest!


Gifts Senior Moment Santa Forgot to Bring Me: Attitude Bracelets

Here it is, February, and I'm still waiting for addled Claus to remember to FedEx the presents he failed to bestow my way on a certain recent holiday morn.

I tell you. I'm getting too old to traipse all over this country, visiting strange cities, just to lounge repeatedly in the jolly ol' soul's presence in order to relay my well-researched, impeccably typed, creatively alphabetized, and fruitcake-scented wish lists -- and then he doesn't deliver.

A dozen shopping mall Toylands and Cinnabons on Black Friday alone.

All I got was lap lag.

And a Peoria elfin hat to accessorize my magical quality or charm.

I had requested and coveted some attitude bracelets, the sports type that read, "YAY, TEAM!" or "GO FOR IT!" or "EAT THEIR YOUNG!"


And may I be the first to extend to you, dear reader, and yours, and up to five of theirs, heartfelt tidings for the happiest of holiday seasons.



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Headline: "Wal-Mart Partners With Homeland Security." Oh, great. Greeters on the border. ... "Welcome to Wall Not."

This made me smile. Early Saturday morning, TCM is showing NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, followed by GOOD EATING HABITS.

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE snubbed by the increasingly irrelevant Oscars. This is the most heinous slight since no kudos for PAUL BLART: MALL COP.

I've been contemplating both new school and old school. My new stage name: 'Snooki' Thalberg.

@jimmykimmel sez: "I'm not sure why I love you dryer lint, but I do." — Golly! A kindred spirit! I like it hot, Jimmy.

I have got to lose this extra Christmas cookies/candy/fruitcake/figgy p. poundage. What direction do the slimming stripes go on the caftans?

Got a satellite radio which also works like an iPod. First thing I did was to capture KOOKIE KOOKIE (LEND ME YOUR COMB). Ah, technology.

Got up at dawn, showered & drove 80 miles to my eye appointment -- which is TOMORROW! Something's wrong w/my eyes. I can't read a calendar.

Item: "Warner Bros. to Reboot LETHAL WEAPON." I'm too old for this $#@%!

Drat. I thought I'd reach retirement age B4 I heard someone say, "My pants are in the donut machine!" Nope. I heard it today. I can't go on.

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Thanks to Randy Stewart for special material. Twitter Birds by SpoonGraphics
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