Monday, March 23, 2009

Dumpster Drama: Episode 1

I've finally moved to the back of my building, and so now I once again have a lovely view of a dumpster -- this time the next-door-building's dumpster and carport area. So instead of Scenes from a Balcony, we are back to good ol' Dumpster Dramas! How excited are you?

Our new saga brings us to Episode 1: Drunk Girl vs. Angry Dude

Last night at around 1 AM this car drove through to the end of the carport and dropped off this obviously drunk girl. She got out, then she and this guy (the driver) had some sort of a spat, and then the guy said something like "Forget it" and got back in the car. He revved up his engine and backed out of the carport, and Drunk Girl cried out, "Nick! Don't go! Wait!"

Then I heard click click click click and "Nick! NICK!" She was running in high-heeled shoes after him. "Nick!! Stop!!" She became more frantic as she ran. "NICK!! NIIIIICKK!!! STOP!!!"

He didn't stop, and this continued on until her voice and the click click click noises faded.

And I thought, Oh honey, I don't care how drunk you are or how hot he is...never -- NEVER -- run after a man in heels.


Must-See Movie: Sex and the Single Girl

Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

Starring our most recent "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day, Natalie Wood, as well as Tony Curtis, this film premiered a year before "The Great Race," that also starred the attractive duo. This 1960's sex romp is another comedic delight. Tony Curtis plays Bob Weston, a writer for paparazzi rag "Dirt." He is working on an article on research psychologist Helen Gurley Brown (Natalie Wood) and her best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl. Bob needs to interview Helen, but she refuses to see him, knowing he's questioning if she "is or is not" one to give authority on sex and could therby ruin her credibility.

Bob impersonates his neighbor, Frank Broderick (Henry Fonda), as a ruse in order to see her on the pretext of marital counseling. After several meetings, Bob attempts to seduce her. Hilarity ensues when Helen asks to meet "his" wife, and Bob mistakenly sends both his secretary, Susan (Leslie Parrish), and his ex-girlfriend Gretchen (Fran Jeffries) to see Helen -- both impersonating Sylvia. But even more confusing is that Helen finds out who the real Mrs. Broderick is (Lauren Bacall) and asks her to appear in her office.

When the real Sylvia arrives the office at the same time as the two other women, Sylvia has Frank put in jail for bigamy. By this point, Helen has realized Bob's trickery and has also discovered who he really is. She leaves town with her colleague Rudy DeMeyer (Mel Ferrer). A wild chase ensues as the bickering couples try to catch up with each other to apologize.

Helen Gurley Brown's self-help best-seller of the same name was the original source for this film, a novel that has been hailed as the predecessor to "Sex and the City." This film begins as your typical 60's sex comedy, but then takes a hysterical slapstick turn in the third act, especially each time people tell Bob he resembles Jack Lemmon. With startling cameos, quick dialogue, and gorgeous Natalie Wood, this film is a fluffy 100-plus minutes that takes a comedic peek in to the lives of the 60's single girls.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Natalie Wood
Natasha Nikolaevna Gurdin was born in July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California. Natalie got her first role at the age of 4 in a movie called Happy Land . She continued playing the roles of young girls until the age of 17, where she landed the lead female role in the legendary film Rebel Without a Cause. For this role she was nominated for her first Academy Award, showing Hollywood and the world that she had grown up into a beautiful and very talented young woman.

Natalie dated many big names in the entertainment business: James Dean, Elvis, Raymond Burr and Dennis Hopper. However, on December 28th, 1957 Natalie married the man that seemed to be the love of her life: Robert Wagner. Unfortunately they divorced in 1962.

In the 1960s Natalie's career boomed and she was nominated for two more Academy Awards (Splendor in the Grass in 1961 and Love With The Proper Stranger in 1963). In 1969 Natalie married producer Richard Gregson and had a daughter, but she divorced Gregson after finding out he was having an affair. Robert Wagner and Natalie reconnected and re-married in 1972.

Natalie had a deep fear of drowning ever since she barely survived being drowned during the filming of The Green Promise as a child. She said in interviews that she loved to be around water, just not in the water. It's ironic that the thing she feared most would ultimately be the cause of her death.

In November 29, 1981, Wood was on board their yacht Splendor with Wagner and actor Christopher Walken just off Catalina Island. There were reports that Wagner and Walken had some kind of loud argument, but it did not come to blows, according to reports.

Around midnight, Wood left the two men in the boat's main cabin and went to her stateroom. Some time later, dressed in socks, nightgown and a down jacket, she stepped out on deck. She tried to either leave the yacht or to secure a dinghy that was banging against the hull. At any rate, reports indicated that she slipped and fell overboard, bruising her left cheek.

A woman in her own boat nearby said she heard cries for help: "Help me! Somebody help me!" from the water, cries lasting for about 15 minutes. The witness also heard someone answering, "Take it easy. We'll be over to get you."

"It was laid back," the witness recalled, explaining why she didn't help herself. "There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts." Wagner, Walken, and the captain of the Splendor said they heard nothing.

By 1:30 a.m., Wagner had become worried about his wife and radioed the harbor master. A search was launched, and at 3:26 a.m., the Coast Guard was called in. Soon after dawn, a guardsman spotted Wood's body a mile down current from the yacht and 200 yards from shore. The empty dinghy, loaded with life jackets, was not far away, bobbing in the waves.

Although her death is still ruled today as an accidental drowning, it is still a mystery as to what happened that night. It was later revealed by police that Wood had drunk seven or eight glasses of wine and was therefore intoxicated when she died. Also marks and bruises were found on her body, which could have been received as a result of her fall. The coroner later wrote that had Wood not been intoxicated she likely would have realized that her heavy clothing were pulling her underwater and she would have removed them. He also wrote that he found Wood's fingernails embedded in the rubber boat's side.

She was only 43 years old.

[adapted from an article I originally wrote for and posted on Celebutaint]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bob Newhart: Superman and the Drycleaner

A classic comedy routine: Bob Newhart doing his "Superman and the Drycleaner" sketch from his album The Windmills Are Weakening on the first episode of the "Dean Martin Show" from 1965.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Perfect Combination

My birthday just passed recently -- don't ask how old I am now.

Anyway, I've gotten some good gifts in my time, but this one takes the cake. My friend seems to really know me, because she gave me the perfect combination of a few of my favorites, culminating in to a Darth Goofy bobblehead!And in his underpants, too. Classic.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leprechaun Spotted!

I don't know which is better: the 'amateur' sketch or the interview soundbites. Either way, this is hard-hitting news coverage.

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

Happy St. Patrick's Day! (How do I look as a redhead?)

Here's a special treat for you, called Emerald Isle. It's a minty gin cocktail and the perfect green drink for the day. A dash or two of bitters does help the drink considerably. While aromatic bitters are customary, mint bitters is an equally nice compliment, and if you're feeling a little wild, orange bitters are quite interesting.

* 1 oz gin
* 1 tsp crème de menthe, green
* 2 dashes bitters

1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
2. Shake well.
3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Bottoms up! (And ready for pinching!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Gloria Grahame
Grahame was born Gloria Hallward in Los Angeles, California in November of 1923. Her mother, Jean McDougal (who used the stage name Jean Grahame) was a stage actress and theater teacher who taught Gloria acting during her childhood and adolescence. While acting onstage, she was spotted by an MGM talent scout and was signed with the studio, leaving New York for Los Angeles.

Grahame was a familiar fixture in film noir crime dramas from the late 1940s through the 1950s, including Sudden Fear (1952) with Joan Crawford and Jack Palance, and Naked Alibi (1954).

Although Gloria Grahame was a talented and accomplished stage and screen actress, her acting career was often overshadowed by a scandalous private life. Grahame had a string of stormy romances and failed marriages during her time in Hollywood. Although her role in Oklahoma! was her most well-known, marital and child custody problems began to affect her life on the set.

In 1960, Grahame's fourth marriage created her biggest scandal; she married her former stepson from a previous marriage. Finding difficulty in getting film roles, she returned to the theater and continued to work as a stage actress.

Along with the demise of film noir as a film genre in the late 1950s, her scandalous marriage damaged Grahame's acting career. Retreating to the stage and doing TV guest appearances, she waited until the early 1970s to make her comeback in a series of mostly low-budget films.

In 1981, Grahame collapsed during a rehearsal for a British stage play, and returned to New York City, where she died soon after from breast cancer at the age of 57.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pulp Muppets

This is either the weirdest thing or the coolest thing...You make the call.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Must-See Movie: Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot (1959)
Jerry (Jack Lemmon) and Joe (Tony Curtis) are two struggling musicians who witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and try to find a way out of the city before they are found and gunned down by mob boss Spats Colombo. The only job that will pay their way is an all-girl band that is fortunately heading to Florida. Desperate, the two dress up as women and hop on the train as Josephine (Curtis) and Daphne (Lemmon). There they meet Sugar (played by Marilyn Monroe), and both men are smitten by her.

In Florida, they run in to more trouble, as Joe finds himself pretending to be a millionaire to get Sugar's attention, and Jerry must fight off Osgood, a rich suitor who is bent on marrying "Daphne." This creates one of the most hilarious moments in cinematic history, when Jerry, after hours of doing the tango with Osgood, returns to tell Joe "I'm engaged." Joe is thrilled, and asks who the lucky lady is. Jerry proclaims, "I am!"

Things get even more complicated, however, when mobster Spats Colombo and his associates arrive at the very same hotel, and Jerry and Joe must scramble to keep their identity hidden from the wise guys and simultaneously keep up the charade with Sugar and the rest of the band.

This movie may not have been the first cross-dressing movie, but it is definitely the pinnacle of the genre. The many clever innuendos and double-entendres that highlight the differences between men and women make this movie a hilarious and classic comedy. There is an even mixture between lowbrow and highbrow comedy, and even some slapstick is thrown in. But the greatest part is Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon working at least two roles apiece, and playing with the different genders. Just the expression on Curtis and Lemmon's faces as they try to make their way down the train platform in heels...there is an obvious struggle as they walk, but they are both so naturally buoyant that it makes the performance even more incredible.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Art of Skiing

Following up on previous post of the Goofy holler, and the fact that I'm taking off for Big Bear this weekend to try some skiing/snowboarding myself, I thought this appropriate:

Friday, March 06, 2009

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Virginia Mayo

Her honey blonde hair and creamy, flawless face made Virginia Mayo ideal for the Technicolor musicals, westerns and adventures that were the rage in Hollywood in the 1940s and '50s.

Starting as a chorus girl, she quickly advanced to co-star status, appearing opposite Bob Hope in The Princess and the Pirate in 1944. She went on to make five films with Danny Kaye before signing a contract with Warner Bros, where she became one of the studio's biggest stars. When she signed the contract, Warner Bros stated: "At 115 pounds (51.75 kilograms) she is potentially as valuable as an acre of land in downtown Los Angeles - and at least several times more desirable".

Mayo became a hot commodity for Warner Bros, appearing in five movies in 1949 alone. She also starred opposite Ronald Reagan in the romantic comedy The Girl from Jones Beach that year and again in the 1952 musical She's Working Her Way Through College.

Mayo distinguished herself in two classic movies: the 1946 Oscar-winner The Best Years of Our Lives, and White Heat.

Mayo had been in declining health since battling pneumonia and died at a nursing home in Thousand Oaks. She was 84.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Goofy Holler

As a hah-yuge fan of Goofy, I had to fall in love with this post from Michael J. Ruocco's blog For the Birds:
Recognize that onomatopoeia? It's the famous "Goofy Holler"!

The Goofy Holler's debut was in the 1941 cartoon The Art of Skiing, originally recorded by a professional yodeler by the name of Hannes Schrolle. Since then, it has become a staple of the history of cartoon sound effects and voices.
He was kind enough to make a compilation of Goofy Hollers, a la The Wilhelm Scream Compilation. See the video and read a bit more here!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rejuvenique Serial Killer Mask™

Rejuvenate before trekking through the woods in search of over-sexed camp counselors! Be energized for lugging around that heavy chainsaw! Watch as your eyes twitch in preparation for a relaxing blood bath!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Not-So-Subliminal Message

"Hey, Bill, you wanna glass of phallic symbolism?"
"On the rocks, please."
I have the sudden urge to use the restroom...