Saturday, May 28, 2005

A Mel Brooks Moment

We watched Blazing Saddles (1974) Thursday night.
Movie LINK

Clevon Little is fabulous as Sheriff Bart! A classic movie that makes a bold statement against racism. Besides, the movie is a hoot! I mean, "Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!" had to come from somewhere!

When I was 11 years old and loving the hit TV series "Get Smart," I had no idea of the genious of it's creator and what was to follow -- such as "Young Frankenstein" (1974), my favorite -- "High Anxiety" (1977), "History of the World: Part I" (1981), "Spaceballs" (1987) in addition to the aforementioned "Blazing Saddles". Then there's "The Producers" (1968) starring Zero Mostel (which was not improved by Nathan Lane's 2001 reprise). Dick Shawn's performance, and the musical number "Springtime for Hitler" made the movie for me! Let's just forget the depressing stinker, Life Stinks (1991).

Just because it was a Mel Brooks movie, I rented "The Twelve Chairs" (1970). Billed as a madcap mystery set in revolutionary Russia, it's very different from the spoofy ones, but a young Frank Langella -- you know, the Dracula guy -- was in it and at thirty he was HOT! Here is the best photo I could find of him in this movie and it doesn't do him justice. (UPDATE 03-10-08: Now there is YouTube and you can watch him HERE.)

To end my tangent about Mel Brooks, I really want to see "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993) again. Haven't seen that one in a long, long time and have been thinking about it since we saw Cary Ewles in "Saw".

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Movies We've Watched Lately

Movie LINK
(2004) Sarah Steele as Bernice was my favorite in this movie. Although she is not, she looks like she could be Beau Bridges's daughter. The supporting cast was, by far, more interesting. Cloris Leachman is always great. (Although the best Cloris Leachman role remains "Institute Head Nurse Charlotte Diesel" in one of my absolute favorite movies, High Anxiety.) The stars of Spanglish -- Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, & Paz Vega were "okay-ish."

I Spy
Movie LINK
(1993) Eddie Murphy & Owen Wilson are always funny. In this reprise of that old 60's show, they get a chance to be funny again.

Falling Down
Movie LINK
(2002) Michael Douglas plays a guy that is having a really bad day. Robert Duval gets to play the cop that puts it all together and ends up in the line of fire on his last day before retirement.

"Self-Replicating Meme"

I was reading an article about the originator of flashmobs. Remember those? His intent was to make fun of the NYC scenesters and instigate them into his contrived scenes. He created a "flashmob" email address ( sent himself an email, then forwarded it to about 50 people. Someone spilled the beans on the first one and the cops were present to quash it.

The second one had a pre-mob location where they passed out fliers saying where Mob #2 would be. This defeated his purpose of it appearing leaderless and having no organizing force, but it got things started.

He was all about making it absurd and playing with the scenesters. He favored commercial spaces that are quasi-public; you're welcome as long as you are a potential customer and are shopping. For instance, a mob descended on Macy's rug department and claimed to be members of a commune in Williamsburg shopping for a "love rug." Or a mob converged on a Toys-R-Us and worshipped a dinasaur; appeared in a small shoe store and got on their phones telling friends how cool the shoes were (he couldn't even get inside for this one), etc.

His intent was to keep doing them until what he called the backlash happened and they became uncool which took about two months. He was surprised that it took off in other cities and globally. What started out as a cynical in-joke on scenesterism spread to be genuine self-expression or political statements.

So back to this phrase, a meme is the cultrual counterpart of genes -- a cultural unit such as an idea, value, pattern of behavior that is replicated and spreads kind of like a virus by repeated action or verbally.

In this interview LINK he claims that some of his friends make a living by creating memes for art projects that involve spreading ideas through the internet. Don't forget that art isn't just something you can look at or listen to -- ideas are creative, too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Castle-DeGette in da House!

The Castle-DeGette bill would lift Bush's 2001 ban on new federally funded research on embryonic stem cells. If you don't know my history, Parkinson Disease claimed my mom and two of my dad's brothers. With it haunting both sides of my family -- hey, I'm all for this research and the funding it should have! Good luck on the House vote today!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Wooly Boys

(2001) Peter Fonda, Easy Rider on a Greyhound, goes to visit daughter in the big Twin Cities. Leaves behind sidekick, Shuck (Kris Kristofferson) and Dakota, a sheepherding horse. Daughter tricks dying Stoney into the hospital, Shuck breaks him out and they head back to the North Dakota sheep ranch with grandson in tow, hijacking a hearse to get there. A heartstring tugging family movie with lovable grizzled actors. Sounds schmucky, I know, but it's worth a look.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Dr. Kim Headed to Alaska

Gene's sister, Kim, is doing her last rotation to complete all requirements. Looks like the adventerous family gene kicked in. She is doing her last month of rotation in Alaska. If this works out, she'll take a job there. In addition to the clinic in the town, she will fly out to local tribes. What a long time and lots of hard work to get there. Looks like the one bad thing about having a doctor in the family is the airfare to get to her office!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Update on the Lakehouse and More

Well, the guy that wanted the house didn't call back by noon. When I finally did get in touch with him, he gave me the update -- he was working on it. It's his first time to buy a house and his learning curve was taking some time. It was going to take a few days before he got close to approval. In the meantime, another fellow that had expressed interest said he was ready to buy. This guy had earnest money in hand so looks like we've got a deal. Or at least we're on our way.

This year's tshirt
In the last couple weeks, I made a graduation gift for a student worker, designed and did seven iron-on tshirt transfers for an annual event with friends, and designed a brochure for a friend's business. I finally got creative, but all the deadlines converged and I ended up doing it all at once. Kind of made it stressful and I had to keep reminding myself not to get lost in the details. That will really eat up the time! But that's all done. What's next?

Looking Back at Easter Sunday

Dad had been spending a few days up at the lakehouse so I went over and went to church with him. We spent the afternoon visiting and had a great time. He seems stronger and like he's feeling better than in a long time. As usual, I got to hear some great stories about family history and the world in general from his 87 years.

He said that when they'd harvest corn, they'd work three rows at a time. The wagon would go down the middle one, knocking the corn down. That was the down row. His older brothers would make him work the down row because he was shorter. They might have been a little bit taller, but since they were older they held their ground that it easier for them to pull the tall corn. Besides, all that corn that'd been run over by mule and wagon was hard to get. And that's what little brothers were for, right?

He said that when a mule would bite an ear of corn, it would make a loud POP. The mule would freeze. Wouldn't move, twitch, anything cause they knew they were in trouble! A mule that tried to eat corn in the field would just end up dropping it because of the bit in their mouth and waste it. Anyway, it was a "no no" for the mule to do that and they knew better.

So, there'd usually be about three of the boys pulling corn and whenever they heard that inevitable "POP", they'd each sail an ear or two of corn straight and true right at that mule's head. Silly mule, knew it was coming and maybe in freezing, thought themself invisible?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Big Changes in the Workaday World

We've known for a while that my office will be getting a new building and become it's own department. My supervisor and I have been making big plans about the new space and new programs we want to implement. Day before yesterday, it was announced that my supervisor will be moving up and staying in our current department, but our director will move and become Director of the new department and my immediate supervisor. The plans that were made for the new department ... who knows? New Director equals new direction.

On another note, we found someone who wants the lakehouse. Now he has to try to get financing. Supposed to visit with his banker today and call me by noon. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Looking Back at Mother's Day

That weekend, Geneva's son invited Dad to come up to the farm (Geneva's old place) with the family for the weekend. I went over on Sunday and went to church with Dad at their old church. That church feels as much my church home as any ever has. I would go more often if it were closer. I really do love the sweet spirit there. And what better way to honor my two moms than to go to their church on that day. Too bad it's so far away from where I live. After church, we went to the cemetery to see Geneva's headstone that had been put up. It was very nice.

We had a big family lunch. I headed home and since the drive takes me through a decent sized town with real stores, I did a little shopping. Just really, really did need a couple of dresses for work. The ride home was a rainy one, but I just took my time and enjoyed listening to a bluegrass show on the radio. The show featured covers of George "The Possum" Jones hits and was fun. I got in touch with Esteen to tell him Happy Birthday. So easy to remember his bday since it falls on Mother's Day.

Friday, May 13, 2005

I'm Still Here!

A lot going on and just haven't found the time to post. I will soon! Big weekend coming up. Bauer BBQ will be this weekend instead of customary Fourth of July for 2005. Will catch up on things SOON!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I'm in Love!

Yesterday, I met Lillian Grace. She is six weeks old and I think she's pretty wonderful. I'll tell you more about her soon.

05/05/05 or Cinco de Maya de Cinco

I DO love this date! I have to admit that I enjoyed 020304 more, but 050505 will do nicely. Caroline says I'm a date dork and she's right! I gladly embrace the title!

Monday, May 02, 2005

My Weekend

Sunday was kind of quiet. But Saturday, Judy was in town and we got together and had a great visit. We even got a chance to discuss the brochure I am doing for her business. I just happened to have that file with me!

I also had my camera but forgot to take her picture. So she sent me a photo from one of her outdoor adventures. She is a member of TOWN (Texas Outdoors-Woman Network) which is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife for women who want to meet like-minded-women to learn and practice outdoor skills.

Judy with her Mud Spud
MUD SPUDS -- Build a campfire that will have a deep bed of glowing coals. While the coals are getting ready, begin the mud-spud preparation. Get a pail of good clean dirt and add just enough water so that it will squish to a dough-like texture. Pierce each potato a few times with a fork. Using your hands, encase the potato with a thick shell of mud. Using tongs, carefully place the potatoes on the glowing coals. Cook for about an hour, turning a time or two. Remove the potatoes from the coals and gently tapp each one on a rock. To your amazement, the hard baked mud will crack off clean as a whistle. Let each person prepare their potato with their favorite toppings.


(1997) Tommy Lee Jones stars in this contrivo-drama. There were some great action scenes but the plot was forced and reminded me of Samantha and Friends and all those scintillating action-packed, haunted-house-exploring, Scoobie style adventure stories we all wrote in the seventh grade -- except, with a volcano.
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