Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Patrick Swayze, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar

For years my mother has shipped to me via Media Mail the magazines that she reads on a weekly basis. Because of that I have a pile high of magazines like In Style, Hello, US, and OK in the bathroom because I only read the gossip rags when I'm on the can so I can wash my hands afterwards. (In her defense, she also sends Time, Newsweek, The Nation, and other magazines for the intelligentsia which I read out in the living room in front of a roaring fire. I did ask her to stop sending Reader's Digest.)

Patrick Swayze in Donnie Darko

Having said that, I just caught up with Patrick Swayze's death. I always liked him. I didn't LOVE him. I liked him. He was very good as the motivational speaker with pedophiliac tendencies in Donnie Darko. He also played a drag queen in 1995's To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. The movie was ostensibly groundbreaking as major Hollywood stars (including a muscular Wesley Snipes and a manic John Leguizamo) took the lead as drag queens for the first time. The movie is not believable by any stretch of the imagination. It's not even that great (certainly when compared to the earlier and much better Australian effort The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) but it does boast good performances by Stockard Channing and a host of A-list supporting actors.

As I wandered in and out of consciousness waiting for the film to end I wondered how they contacted Julie Newmar to tell her they were naming a movie after her. I imagine it went something like this.

Julie we're naming a movie after you.

You're kidding me. You're naming a movie after me. What's it called?

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

That's wonderful. I don't know what to say. I don't know what it means but it's wonderful. You are the sweetest, nicest guys. Thank you for naming a movie after me. Can I get something for it?

What do you mean?

Well, you're naming a movie after me; people are going to come and see it because my name is in the title. How about a point off the top. And 75 % of the gross? Something. Anything because my name's on it.

A point? 75% of the gross? That's a lot Julie. Especially when compared to the amount of people that will come and see it because your name is in the title. How about if we pay you a one time fee?

One time fee? And you get to use my name whenever, whenever?

Yea, we don't have a lot of money.


We'll even give you a cameo.

A one time fee and a small yet pivotal role?


A million dollars.

Um, that's alot. Patrick Swayze isn't even making that much. 50,000?

OK. 50,000 and I'll do it.

You drive a hard bargain.

I'm Julie Newmar.

RIP Patrick Swayze.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More than 3 Lines About the Film 2012

I ventured to a public movie theater to see 2012, hoping for a throwback to classics of the genre like The Poseidon Adventure and Earthquake. The closest they got was a story line concerning the classic Mona Lisa painting that left me hanging about the ultimate fate of the hallowed piece of art. But more so than that - the movie is really terrible. Some points I thought about during the time it took me to finish this three hour snooze fest. Spoilers below but it's not rocket science.

  • President Danny Glover called a presidential summit that looked like Hollywood Squares.

  • The geologist's phone call saying goodbye to his Dad was treacly and cringe-inducing.

  • The digital fire was VERY red.

  • John Cusack fell into a crack in the earth and was hanging on by his hands. The edit went from his fingers on the top of the cliff to his feet jumping back on soil like we should imagine how he made it back up and move on.

  • The Sex Guru from the extremely funny The Guru creates havoc as a geologist.

The most exciting part of the movie was trying to make my box of Raisinettes last the entire three hours. I didn't - so I went to the bathroom, got a drink of water, bought a New York pretzel, looked at the New Movies posters, walked back into the theatre and STILL the earth was being destroyed. OMG, there's more?

  • The special effects are really sucky. You can feel the line around the actors who were filmed on green screen while a flat CGI image is placed behind them.

  • Amanda Peet was in a horrifying natural disaster and asked the Danish girl to do something but still, as the world was falling around them, Amanda remembered to say please; that was nice.

  • If I heard can't start the engine until we lower the gate one more time I was really going to vomit.

  • Towards the end, those in the ark were watching the disaster occurrences on TV as we were in the theatre watching them on a screen watching the disaster occurrences on TV. We paid but they got paid.

  • I found it odd that we were following the little girl's incontinence issues throughout the movie. But still and all, at the end (SPOILER) when the little girl said, 'No more Pull-Ups' I was pleased she had gotten over her issues. Think of it though, the world is destroyed and I'm living on an ark from which I might never be able to leave? I might choose this time to START pissing my pants rather than to remove my Pull-Ups.

The Palin 2012 movie trailer recently on Saturday Night Live was much more enjoyable. And at 1:54 much less of an infringement on your time.

In a Clothing-Optional Hot Springs

WARNING: This entry contains puerile words some might consider offensive.
During a stay at Wilbur Hot Springs you spend the bulk of your time traversing the path between a beautifully restored hotel built in 1865 and a bathing area that contains six temperature controlled pools filled with fresh mountain mineral water: 75, 98, 102, 106, 110 and a cold plunge of 55.

Right click image in a new tab to enlarge.

The hotel and spa grounds are located deep in the foothills of the Northern California Coastal Range (no cell phones allowed). In the hotel, the kitchen and baths are communal, organized and clean. The rooms have no locks, and everyone follows the rules of the commune (as it were). But there's always someone and, of course, someone was using a cell phone.

I was in the Top Chef-style kitchen quietly preparing an almond butter, blueberry conserves and pumpernickel bread sandwich with a tall glass of cold vanilla rice milk (sinfully delicious). One other guest was doing something while making inconsistent and inexplicable chatter with me.

Girl: (laughing) I'm cleaning the kitchen.

Me (quizzically looking around): Uh. Yea. Cool.

Girl: Gotta. Gotta keep it clean.

Me: Yea. Gotta. (laughing nervously as I wondered WTF?)

Not you! she said, glaring at me.

Not me? Huh? I took my plate and hightailed it out to the dining room where I noticed the person with whom she arrived (you know these things at a clothing-optional hot springs) speaking into a cell phone. I then realized that the girl in the kitchen was talking to her friend in the dining room using a Bluetooth-enabled ear bud. Now I get it.

Clothing-optional hot springs bitch, you're breaking the rules.

Although Wilbur Hot Springs is a place for reflection and serenity, you also see a lot of ta-ta's and schlongs by the hot spring pools (the only place on the grounds where clothing is NOT required). It's equal opportunity gazing for all so I took advantage of it - with stealth, of course. After all, when am I ever going to see the female body this unencumbered again?

I made chit-chat with two exquisitely sculpted women who were a couple. These women were real and they were spectacular. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. But aside from an attempt at humor (that they enjoyed), I held no interest to them.

Who am I again?

There were a number of straight couples and I wondered what schlong gazing meant to the straight men. Were they looking at the other schlongs for the same reason I was looking at the ta-ta's? Like when am I ever going to see the male body this unencumbered again? Was it arousing to them? Even a little? If I pretended I was a straight man staying at Wilbur Hot Springs, I would find it arousing.

I remember who I am now.

Lest you think that going to a clothing-optional hot springs is all tata's and schlongs, it's also a natural sanctuary with foot trails, hot and healing mineral baths, and a quiet, introspective place to read and relax. The tata's and schlongs are just stuff to take your mind off your introspection; too much introspection makes Jack (sic) a dull boy. Check out their web site.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grandma Moses is Not Whistler's Mother

I used to get my Grandma Moses and my Whistler's Mother mixed up. True one was a self-taught artist and one was an old lady in a painting but they both sit in a chair.

Then I read Otto Kallir's Grandma Moses.

I know who is who now.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Walking Max: Blook 1

For years I've had this idea of writing a book called I'm Walking Max. For years I've been collecting objects d'Max for a Max Museum blog. Finally, I got the bright idea of walking Max online. I took the book, married it with a blog and decided to write a blook.

Blook 1: I Am Max's Manciple