The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Friday, June 22, 2007

You Damn Kids!

You don't know how good you've got it compared to us growing up in the 80's. Cute nostalgia aside, it kinda sucked. You'll never realize how much easier it is to do those time honored rites of don't-tell-your-parents or freak-them-out adolescence. Don't think because I'm mentioning this stuff, I'm encouraging kids to do these things, but I'm not to old to realize that there is no encouraging necessary for kids to do it, either.

In our day, our elders would regale us with tales like having to walk 5 mines in the snow to go to school, this is my version.

Alcohol- For every generation of underage drinkers, the key to enjoyment is for it to taste as little like alcohol as possible. In my day, this role was best filled by wine coolers. Now, you have stuff like the Smirnoff Twisted Vs that taste like you're drinking a Jolly Rancher; they make the 80's coolers taste like Johnnie Walker Black.

Porn- We had, if we were lucky, a dad that had a healthy stash (but not too many and none of the fetish ones that would make it hard for us to look them in the eye). With the vast pornographic possibilities of the internet coupled with clueless parents, it's never been so easy.

When I was a kid, I'd watch the Benny Hill Show praying to see a bare breast, only to be so surprised when it happened that I couldn't enjoy it. Now you have the "Girls Gone Wild" videos; the warning at the beginning that the videos aren't suitable for kids, when the fucking commercial isn't suitable for kids! It's easy to imagine what's going on behind the "Girls Gone Wild" explosions on the coed's breasts when there's whipped cream and tongues framing them.

Clothes- Oh, the days before Hot Topic brought the proper parent-concerning wardrobe within the grasp of alienated teens everywhere! When you had to actually go to a band's show to buy their T-shirts!

Music- Even though most modern music sucks like mad, it's exponentially easier to get than it was when I had to drive an hour to get to a decent record store, where purchasing was limited to what ever I had left after working an entire summer at $4 an hour. With all the ways to get free music, it's easy to get spoiled. Why in my day,we'd tape them off the radio that rare time that they'd play something decent. Audiophiles often complain about the lower fidelity of mp3s, but that's nothing compared to holding up a separate tape recorder to the radio speaker and staying quiet as it recorded, as I often had to do.

The one thing that'll remain true is that things will always change; today's timely is tomorrow's dated. Someday Fallout Boy will look as silly to their teenage fans as they do to us grown ups and Peppermint Patty hair and guyliner will be ironic affectations of the inevitable nostalgia of the '00s. At least I hope so.
But Vanilla Fudge used to think they were the shit, too!

I just wanted an excuse to use that video.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A True Tale of Retail Survival!

As much as I post excerpts from my book, "Surviving Retail", it is only fraction of the actual content that it contains. This is one from when I worked at a catalog based gadget store.

When I worked there I learned that the more contentious retail interactions are referred to as, "customer issues." One was set in motion at the gadget store when Will, the store manager got a call from a guy who wanted to return a booklight, he surmised it was the last one that we had sold the last one of four months before and this would be two months after our return policy. He was incoming and Bill wanted me to handle it to hone my "issue" handling skills.

He gave me a couple of quick basics; he was normally huge on sports metaphors and similes, but for this he switched to card ones. "It's like poker, you know what you have, but you don't want anyone else to know. You can take it and give him his money back, but you want to see what he wants, you want to bluff. You want to explain first that it's past our return policy. If he doesn't go for it, give him store credit. and so on."

When he finally arrived in an odd shuffling walk he came straight to me, "I talked to Will on the phone.." I took it from there. I said, "I can help you," full of newly granted authority.
"I bought this light some time ago and I need to return it, I still have the receipt," he said.

Even though Will told me the situation beforehand, I feigned ignorance and looked over the receipt. I said, "Well, this was bought a while ago and we do have a two month return policy."

"I understand," he said pausing slightly to wince, "you see, I've been in the hospital. I got an infection, and one of my balls swelled to the size of a grapefruit..."
"Let me give your money back," I said. That it, no bluffing, I fold.

But he continued with his story, causing my own bout of wincing, following me as I went to ring the return through, "You know, it's now egg sized, so it's better, but..."
Christ on a bike, I'm giving you your money back, ENOUGH!

Luckily for me, Will drew the T.M.I. fire when he popped in to ask what ended up happening and the guy spotted his name tag and aimed towards him instead.
"Will, there you are. I was telling your employee, I was in the hospital, one of my balls..."

Soon he was fleeing from the scene, stopping to whisper to me, "get this weirdo out of the store."

But at least the guy with the egg-sized nuts left happy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"God help me, I'll administer corporal punishment!"

The customers at the toy store were big "time out" people when it came to punishing their kids, but that doesn't mean no one spared getting hit. In my seven year tenure I remember exactly one parent spanking their child at the store; but kids, and I mean old enough to know better kids, used to hit their parents all the time.
It's easy for me to play off the antics of unruly kids because there were few things that I hadn't seen, but I never got used to kids giving their parent a full-on face slap, then still getting the kid what they want. There are a lot of things that not having kids gives me the luxury to predict, but if my child ever hits me: GAME OVER. I'm not saying I'd spank them, but I wouldn't let THEM know that I wouldn't. The Goddamn Lego stays on the shelf.
This story, sadly, didn't happen to me, but it did happen (My Lizzie-pie told this to me) :
In the store a child waiting in line with his mom announced to the other customers in that endearing candid way that children are prone to, "I caught mommy shaving her who-ha!"
As the mother tried to save face and explain to her child why you don't say thing like that, a woman in line announced, "If my kid said something like that, I'd knock his ass out !"
The embarassed mother said, "Well, we don't believe in corporal punishment."
The other woman said,"Oh yeah, I believe it. That kid's polite as shit!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reaching the "WTF" Line

Trends and fads are funny things, they are all anybody seems to talk about while they're hot. The general practice of marketing in America is if you want it, we'll give you as much as you can stand. But some fads go beyond any rational reason to exist, going from being worthy of satire to being a parody of itself; hastening the eventual backlash. This is what I refer to as the "WTF line" This is a subjective line and this was where I thought it crossed it.

During the "clear" craze it was Crystal Pepsi, but it did make me what kind of shit was in cola to begin with if you can make a black opaque liquid and make it completely clear.

During the "Grunge" era it was a Rolling Stone photo shoot where none of the flannel shirts modeled were under $100. A couple years earlier (and after) you could get one with a bowl of soup.

During the "no-carbs" era I saw a bag of pork rinds that had a proud hot pink sticker that said,"0 carbs!" I don't want to live in a world where fried pork skins are considered better for you than bread.

We are still firmly in the "EXTREME!" era and for me started at the "What The Fuck!" line and gone deeper in, especially when people started spelling it "X-treme". It's the newest modifier that you can use to market any product; it started with "from hell", then moved to "on crack" then "on steroids" now it's "to the extreme". Who'd of thought that a Vanilla Ice album title would have such a lasting cultural impact.

Which brings me to "Reality" shows, which I have long called "amateur" shows since they're not real enough to deserve the title; just about every animal acts differently when it knows it's being watched. I will admit that I have watched and enjoyed a few myself but have kept it to a minimum, lately I've caught myself watching "Celebrity Fit Club"(Man, Dustin "Screech" Diamond, is a complete hemorrhoid-inflamed asshole!). But when a new crop of shows comes down the pike a brand new "WTF" level is reached. "Sunset Tan" is the newest, the "real" adventures of a spray-on tan salon? Cracker, please! I hope some one from the EPA is watching because it's obvious from what I've seen of the show (what they show on "The Soup") repeated exposure to the tanning chemicals makes you stupid. Chris Kattan, formerly of Saturday Night Live, came in with his girlfriend while she was getting sprayed and one of the leads said, oh I'll let her say it herself at about 1:10

I've got an idea for my own reality show, I'll call it "My Dinner with Lonnie" where my good friend Lonnie Bruner and I discuss music, politics, drinking, whatever over food and the best parts get edited together into a half hour show. We can always sit in a booth so we can be joined by two equally interesting friends, I would probably get my ex-roommates Ed and Futureman for a couple episodes. Jeez, our thoughts on The Chronicles of Riddick could be at least one episode.
I guarantee it'll be better than "Miami Ink".

Monday, June 18, 2007

More Gosh Darn Music Fun Facts!

Although the song is credited to drummer Dennis Wilson, the song "Never Learn Not To love" on the Beach Boys album 20/20 is actually a re-written version of his buddy Charles Manson's "Cease To Exist".

The early anti-drug rap "White Lines (Don't Do It)" was originally written as a pro cocaine song, since it was the favorite drug of Melle Mel and the Furious Five. Realizing a pro drug song might not fly, they put in the "Don't Do It" and a couple of less glamorizing verses in the second half of the song.

Neil Young, then completely unknown, in 1966 was driving down Sunset Boulevard one last time before moving to San Francisco. He came down to LA from Canada to try to start a band with some of the many musicians he had met playing around Canada that he knew had moved there, but hadn't found any one. Luckily for him, the hearse he drove in was instantly recognizable to Steven Stills, who was riding in the opposite side of the street. Nine days later, they were Buffalo Springfield,opening for The Byrds.

Seals and Crofts, who were responsible for the soft rock classic "Summer Breeze" got their start playing in the Champs ("Tequila!")

The late comedic actor Phil Hartman was also an accomplished graphic designer who created album covers for the bands America and Crosby,Stills and Nash among others.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fun Music Facts:Who, What, Really? Edition

I've titled this as such because this was my reaction when I first heard these facts for myself and might be your reaction as well: Who, What, Really? Exactly.

1. This band offered Brian May the guitarist position in their band when Queen opened for them on tour, saying that Queen were going nowhere. The Band? Sparks.

2. This band was so popular in the early '70's that they sold out Shea Stadium faster than the Beatles, a record that still stands. The Band? Grand Funk Railroad.

3. He toured with Nirvana as a guitarist and Soundgarden as a bass player(but never actually played on either band's albums) before quiting music and joining the special forces and serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan? The dude? Jason Everman

4. She was the drummer in an early version of LA punk legends the Germs before achieving true 80's rock stardom. Who? Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Go's

5. It's a common problem with musicians: you play in two bands, but one becomes so popular you have to choose between them. A drummer and guitarist playing in the same two bands was faced with this dilemma in the early 80's, but the decision was easier to make considering that one was considered more of a joke band than the one that was being offered a record deal with MCA. so off they went to what they thought were greener pastures. The "joke" band? The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The "real" band? What Is This? They were luckier than most people who make decisions like that and got to rejoin the Chili Peppers later.

6. This band sold more records in America in the late 60's than anyone else, even the Beatles. Their appeal was so wide spread that their fifth album was one of the first by an all-white group to chart on Billboard's Soul chart. The band? Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

15 years of "Baby's Got Back" celebrated with social discourse;rump shakin'

Any resemblance to people, things, or events are purely satirical.

(Seattle, Washington)
When Sir Mix-A-Lot's landmark hit "Baby's Got Back" became the ubiquitous hit of the summer of '92, it achieved a life beyond the average pop hit.
A conference was held at the Mix-A-Lot compound this past Saturday that featured a panel of speakers ranging from Princeton professor Cornel West and journalist Christopher Hitchens to Hip-Hop stars Lil' Jon, Ludacris and Mix-A-Lot himself addressing the impact his musical celebration to the female posterior has had on American society.
In his closing speech, Sir Mix-A-Lot (who contrary to popular belief holds no official royal title)spoke of the message behind his earth-shattering hit.
"A lot of the injustices I rapped of then are even more true now, it's like the lessons 'Baby got Back' taught have been forgotten. Cosmo is still saying you're fat and now more than ever, I ain't down with that."
"Regardless of conventional wisdom or popular opinion, I have stayed true to myself in this regard: give me a sister, I can't resist her, red beans and rice didn't miss her. My policy of a triple X throwdown to ladies with generous amounts of booty is still in effect."
To this, Hitches interjected, "I am proud to number among the white boys who have to shout in agreement."
Mix-A-Lot continued,"I will admit, along the way I have lost focus. I tried to follow up 'Baby's' with the lackluster 'Put 'em On The Glass'(where Mix-A-Lot extolled the virtues of women pressing their breasts against glass), but it was obvious what my heart and anaconda favors. My imagination is captured, my affection reserved, then, now and always in that big, beautiful badonkadonk, can I get a 'Hell ya?"
The conference goers, most moved by his obvious passion, wiped the tears out of their eyes before lustily affirming,"Hell Yeah!"
"Now shake those healthy butts!" Mix-A-Lot exclaimed. With this, the conference ended with both the speakers and scantally clad young women shaking their respective "moneymakers" with varying degrees of proficiency.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Today in Intentional Unintentional Humor

I just found this and wanted to share. It is fucking hilarious and so spot-on, it seemed real the first couple of viewings, but alas, it's fake. It's still worth watching. It's the angsty musings of a "teenager" named Hope about all sorts of random shit, check out hope is emo for more.
"I usually go to the park everyday, because nature doesn't judge me."-Hope

The Sopranos-(spoiler alert, or is it?)

I had the same reactions as millions of people did at the very ("Don't Stop")end of The Sopranos last night, "What's wrong with my cable?" Then what? The last 5 minutes of the show seemed to be leading up to something. The guy in the Member's Only jacket going to the can, the shifty guy in the USA cap, what's his deal? They spent as much time having Meadow park the car as they did on the Phil Leotardo killing. Then nothing, the anti-climax to end all anti-climaxes.

Or was it?

Even longtime fans forget that Soprano season finales have almost always been anticlimactic, so why should the series finale be any different? The last one, where everyone shares a holiday meal with it looking like Phil and Tony might be able to work things out and everything suspiciously tied up had a lot of people up in arms.
It's only on TV shows where major events happen at the end of a season, real life never works that way. If we were to learn anything from the way David Chase has put this landmark TV show is to not assume anything. For me, the real finale was last week, with Sil wounded and Bobby got wacked in an overtly symbolic way. It was a strangely sentimental killing in a famously unsentimental show.

So much of this season was an obliteration of any sympathy most of the main characters,even Bobby killed his first guy. Tony, after years of therapy, did things that would have been unthinkable in seasons past, most significantly the remorseless killing of Christopher. When Dr. Melfi read the report about talk therapy helping criminals become better at crime, and came to the part that described Tony to a T, She and I came to the startling realization at the same time, we've been supporting a sociopath. We were both in denial, but now we see him for what he is.

That's why, for me, the series ended last week. Sil's in a coma, Bobby's dead and the most significant relationship on the show, between Tony and Dr Melfi, ended. I knew that if Tony wasn't dead by then that it would be Phil shuffling off this mortal coil. It was either Phil or Tony, that was the only prediction I allowed myself to make. Don't you think it's telling that he hid out when he knew that Phil was after him, but lives his life as normal when he knows the feds are going to come calling?

Not being able to sleep yet again, I watched the "Early Show" on CBS. Harry Smith was talking about the show with Dalton Ross, a writer for Entertainment Weekly. It was basically a good natured sparring between the two types of Soprano fans: ones who love it's gritty nature (Harry) and ones who appreciate the story being told (Ross). I, without a doubt am in the latter category.

Maybe I'm just tired of the way movies and TV shows tell me how I'm suppose to feel and not assuming that I'm a reasonably intelligent person that when a show comes out like that it feels like such a breath of fresh air. David Chase has used few of the traditional elements most often employed in contemporary pop culture to let us make up our own minds, which is why this show, more than any other, inspire such dialog. This is what I will always love this show and David Chase for creating it.

So for Tony? Regardless of his attitude, he still has the inditements looming. Carlo's talking to the feds and if Paulie flips (which was strongly implied) it would be real trouble for our anti-hero. The term "knows where the bodies are buried" was inspired by guys like Paulie Walnuts.

Dalton Ross put it together for me on "The Early Show": with all the build-up and implication in the last 5 minutes we feel like Tony does every second. Paying too much attention to his surroundings, distracted by every ring of the front door bell to see whose coming in. Momentary diversions like Journey songs and onion rings never superseding the survival instinct. We felt it too for 8 years, but no longer.

But seriously, "Don't Stop Believin'?"

Friday, June 08, 2007

Why I Let Music Destroy My Life: The Set-up

This is the first in a series of posts illustrating the complicated relationship music has had on my life. I say it's been ruined for dramatic effect, it has also saved it too.

The scenario has unfolded itself hundreds of times, in dozens of clubs and concert halls all across this great country of ours: A band that I have never heard before sets up to play. Those 15 or so minutes provide many clues for the 30 minutes to hour and a half that follows.

I'm going to use the standard guitar-bass-drums combo set up for illustrative purposes since that comprises the lion's share of the bands that I've seen. Keyboard and horn player will forgive me hopefully for their absence.

Drums are essential, but also provides the fewest clues. Drums are usually just drums: one bass drum, snare, a couple tom-toms a smattering of cymbals. Electronic drums and double bass drum sets have both, for the most part at shows that I go to, gone the way of Kagagoogoo; a curious relic of a time gone by. Two drum sets used to always get me excited, until I realized most bands don't know what to do with them. But a percussion set up, congas, blocks, miscellaneous wood and metal things to rhythmically slap, hit or shake, send a shiver up my spine.

The bass is another almost essential instrument in most bands, people have attempted to have two bass players in bands, but you don't see it very much. It tend to not add much musically except to cause the concert goer to say, "Look they've got two bass players!" (I wrote a post about my relationship with the instrument here). Bass players can give at least some clue of how much I'll like the band: The more strings it has and the higher it sits on the bass player's body, the less likely I'll like them. Which doesn't mean I won't give them a chance. This is probably the least reliable formula I have.

The guitar set up tends to give the most clues. One of the surest formulas for band suckage are the magical combo of PRS guitars and Soldano amps; no offense to those manufacturers, it's not that they don't make good stuff.

They are crazy expensive with flawless finishes they are the mark of a "serious" musician, but not an "interesting"one. They certainly don't want to "rock out" and risk scuffing it. The more worn an instrument is the harder it's been played, but then again they might have bought it from a hard gigging dude. The more effects petals they have the more they'll probably sound like Radiohead. There is a specific threat if they use a wah-wah petal, a lot of guitarist think if they have it, they have to use it all the time. But the wah is like musical ketchup, a little bit is fine, too much will make you sick. If they play through Marshall amps they will certainly be loud, but they won't necessarily be good.

In fact nothing truly guarantees quality or lack thereof. The set-up will be over soon enough and you'll finally have your answer.

There are times when a band will rock your world, good songs and good performance come together to fulfill all the promise that music made to you when you were a kid and make you truly happy that you went through the trouble of showing up. The lousy parking, warm beer and surly doorman all fade from the memory of the event, there will only be, "I went to this awesome show the other night!" Thank fate or what ever force was responsible.

But most of the time (90 percent at least, I'm being generous) expectation turns into disappointment, compounded by the fact that you have to wade through about 40 more minutes of musical mediocrity for the whole process to start all over again.

Many times I've been accused of being a "musical snob" to which I say, "When you let something destroy your life, you're allowed to be picky about it."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

When Innovation Gets Taken For Granted.

What were new and exciting 5 years ago are so common today we for get how things used to be before these wonderful things entered our lives.
Mp3 players- When I got an 512k Ipod shuffle two years ago, one of my co-workers said,"But those only hold 10 CDs worth of music, right." Yes, ONLY, not that long ago we had to use CD players that only held ONE CD, and we were happy. But not too happy, we didn't want it to skip. You can choose to read those last two sentences in an old man voice if you'd like.

Cell Phones-I'm sure you've seen these Cingular commercials:

Some are funny, most are dumb, but they all forget one universal truth: When we use cell phones and we don't hear the other person talking, don't we assume that the call has been dropped first? Doesn't that happen ALL THE TIME? We forget the age of the beeper when that was the standard in mobile-type communication, and they were useless if there wasn't a land line phone nearby.
I was one of the last people I knew to get a cell phone, and I got mine 5 years ago. Even back then so many people had cell phones that when a customer would use the store's cordless land-line phone they'd ask, "where's the send button?" I think it's telling that I have to use the qualifier "land-line" to begin with.

The Internet- The technology has been for a while, the possibilities have been stretched to the point where all of the songs, movies and TV shows that were lost to time or grabby roommates or only found on 12th generation dubbed VHS cassettes. We're to the point were something like dial-up internet access seems as archaic as rubbing sticks together to make fire. Even phones themselves have broadband internet access. I once downloaded a song I owned because it was faster than going downstairs to get the CD from my car. I realized once how dependent I was recently when I was without the internet for a week and a half when I moved to Iowa. Once I was connected again I may as well have been in DC. Except I couldn't make it to the happy hour my friends were planning.
I hate Iowa.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pain, the Great Educator!

I saw something on the TV a few years ago about a 2 year old girl that was born without a pain impulse. I lost the specifics, but less than a dozen kids suffer from this affliction. Pain exists as a universal instinctual teacher, it means the same thing species wide “don’t do that.” Without this simple chemical electrical impulse, this girl was lost. She had to wear swimming goggles to keep her fingers out of her eyes. At that tender age she was about to lose an eye to glaucoma. She had to constantly be guided when she walked to keep from slamming into the nearest wall. She had even ground away her baby teeth. It was heartbreaking stuff, but looking at this girl it got me thinking about the role of pain in human life.

We as humans have the “gift” to intellectualize our pain. We make the conscious effort to recognize and “get in touch” with our pain. We can attempt to anesthetize our selves from it with all sorts of ultimately harmful activities that generate more pain from things like hangovers and regret. We can use it to judge a job well done when we “feel the burn”. How many other animals use pain for sexual satisfaction? Not me, mind you, but if you’ve gotten this far on the internet, you’re probably familiar with the concept.

I mentioned in my recent post “Childrearing Tips From A Childless Bachelor”, we don’t learn anything unless we get real consequences from our actions and that is quite often pain, both physical and mental, though one quite often feels like (and can cause) the other.

I have a few friends that are either parents or guardians of kids that are reaching that challenging teen-age where their newfound desire for adult-style independence turns them into people that they can’t recognize. It’s a age old problem, we get the desire and ability to do things long before we get the wisdom to do them correctly: dating, drinking, money, drugs, sex, the list goes on and on. And when we finally get the wisdom (if we get it, I’m still working on some of these myself) the people who could benefit from it most, the kids, could not be less interested in what you have to say.

There was nobody that was fuller of the teenage “I know everything”s than yours truly(actual quote of your pal at 15: ”I figured out the the truth, and I don’t like it.”) and no amount of my dad’s “you’re full of shit”s were going to steer me in the right direction, pain had to steer me from running into the metaphorical walls of life.

This kind of learning is a life long kind of thing, in some ways it’s worse when you’ve grown up because instead of wanting to be treated as an adult, you are one. We try to help our parents from it, but since they raised us, they can only take you so seriously. With friends and (other) family they know too much about you to not use that knowledge against you if they want to. They will take the wrong job, date the wrong person or smoke as much crack as they’re going to. The disease of humility-deficiency and denial know no boundary, we’ve all thought we were too smart to be fooled by something and we’ve all been wrong.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to give your kids, friends and family advice, far from it, just realize that some of the most important lessons are going to be taught by pain instead of you. Just do the best you can and be there to still love them after they learn “the hard way”.

And at least try to avoid saying,”I told you so!”

Monday, June 04, 2007

Your Pal Pete's Pop Culture Fun Facts

1.Blazing Saddles was originally suppose to star Richard Pryor and Gig Young. Mel Brooks wanted Pryor but couldn't get the studio to agree and Young was fired his first day on set and replaced by Gene Wilder.

2. Thora Burch's (American Beauty, Ghost World) parents were porn stars in the '70s.

3.One hit wonder Cliff Nobles had little or nothing to do with his one hit.
Instrumental classic "The Horse" was originally the vocalless b-side version of his a-side "Love is Alright". Since he just sang and didn't write or produce the song, this took him completely out of the equation.

4. Most of Bruce Lee's on-screen punches and kicks in Enter the Dragon purposefully didn't connect to protect the extras, injuring him in the process. Some accounts have Bruce's only real blow in the movie was a side kick to co-star Bob Wall that Wall insisted be real. The force was so great it broke the arm of the extra assigned to catch him. I say on-screen because he used to get challenged by extras to fights constantly (and win, of course).

5.Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein's exploits inspired Psycho, Silence of The Lambs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Massacre was advertised on it's release as "based on a true story" continuing the movie industries love affair with the ambiguousness of that phrase. Not that the real Gein's story wasn't a horror story of it's own. Check it out, if you dare!

6. Hedy Lamarr, film star of the '30s and '40s, co-created a device that helped radio controlled torpedos avoid detection. The basic idea that she came up with is used today to make cellphone and wifi transmissions more secure.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I wade through them so you don't have to.

This is a bit lazy, I'll admit. These are just some awesome videos that make me glad youtube exists. I may do another one later about the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's.
Here's Pee Wee Herman doing Sly and the Family Stone:Priceless

I found this one yesterday, too perfect. "Baby Got Back" Gilbert and Sullivan style

I don't think the Shenandoah movie theater is gonna show "Knocked Up" although many of the women here have been. Deleted scenes usually suck, but these are hilarious. Not safe for work.

Here's another one.