Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 - The Year in Sci-Fi Movies

Well, at least the year in Sci-Fi movies which have piqued my interest, anyway. There are plenty of tentpole movies coming up that have me pitching a cinematic tent, starting in no particular order with director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) reboot of Godzilla starring "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston; Aaron Kickass Taylor-Johnson and the not-a-twin Elizabeth Olsen. 

Disaster maven Roland Emmerich failed miserably with his over-inflated 1998 attempt to reboot the Toho Studios franchise which started the Kaiju genre. Edwards' Monsters was quite good, though it was more of a character-study set inside a Sci-Fi story. The newly released trailer looks amazing. I didn't get to see del Toro's Kaiju movie Pacific Rim. I won't be missing Godzilla:

Andy and Lana Wachowski, who gave us The Matrix and 2012's wildly underrated Cloud Atlas, are back this year with Jupiter Ascending, a seemingly Jungian tale of a seemingly ordinary young woman who discovers she is the key to the fate of the entire Universe. Mila Kunis (Ted; "Family Guy") and a pointy-eared Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) star.

Christopher Nolan's (more on him in a moment) cinematographer Wally Pfister makes his directing debut with Transcendence, about a terminally ill A.I. scientist whose consciousness is uploaded to a mainframe and sets about to destroy life as we know it. Johnny Depp (thankfully not in a Burton or Verbinski film) stars alongside Kate Mara and Nolan favs Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy.

Marvel has four major films coming out this year, further cementing their dominance in the Superhero genre. Of course, Uncle P has never been a fan of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, so I will be skipping that movie. But I have every intention of seeing X-Men: Days of Future Past; Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the weirdest of the "Avengers"-related movies. Guardians of  the Galaxy.

Then there's the sequel to the Planets of the Apes franchise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The creator of Gollum and the most recent incarnation of King Kong, Andy Sirkus reprises his CGMC role as the sentient chimpanzee Caesar. Gary Oldman; Keri Russell; Judi Greer and Kody Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) co-star.

Then there's the "Found Footage" movie, Earth to Echo, about a group of boys who discover an alien in a very Spielbergian film from first-time feature director Dave Green:

Last, though hardly least, is Christopher Nolan's belated semi-annual birthday gift to me, Interstellar. Shrouded, as all of Nolan's movies are in secrecy, Featuring a huge cast of major stars, including Matthew McConhaughy; Anne Hathaway; Jessica Chastain; Michael Caine; John Lithgow; Ellen Burstyn and Matt Damon, Interstellar is about a space crew using a wormhole top traverse the galaxy.

As the Brits might say, I am chuffed for the upcoming movie year!  How about you?

More, anon.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Penny Dreadful" is NOT a Drag Queen

Photo via
I guess I lied. Or rather, changed my mind. I'll talk about upcoming Sci-Fi movies soon, though. I promise.

And I while know I have talked a little bit about "Penny Dreadful," a new trailer has recently been released, distracting me once again with it's style and tone and very interesting (if not exactly original) concept, as well as a rather fascinating cast.

A little background...

In 1999, graphic novelist Alan Moore ("Watchmen") created "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," in which several Victorian-era literary characters (Mina Harker, Captain Nemo, Alan Quatermain and others) work together for British Intelligence to 'Protect the Empire.' The series was turned into an infamously terrible movie with Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend and Shane West.

Building on that concept, while adding a decidedly dark supernatural element, Showtime's up-coming series "Penny Dreadful" takes that central premise and goes "American Horror Story" on it. Josh Hartnett (wasn't he supposed to be a 'Next Big Thing' once upon a time?); former James Bond Timothy Dalton; Eva Green and Broadway's Spider-Man, Reeve Carney head up the cast of this creepy, spooky, sexy series created by John Logan (screenwriter of Skyfall; Hugo and Gladiator).

My current favorite cable drama, "Shameless," is also on Showtime and will end it's (exceptionally gut-wrenching and hilarious) season soon. I can only imagine how much I'm going to love their steroid-infused version of TLEG via AHS.

I'm very pleased to see genre TV having such a renaissance. 

More, anon.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Hottest Cellists You'll See This Week

Stepjan Hauser and Luka Sulic, AKA: "2Cellos"
Yes, I went a little AWOL this week. So many things had me down... the horrific weather; the diagnosis of gout in my knee (and the pain that went along with it); the never-ending mess that is my mother's estate... Of course, you don't really care about any of that. I will say though, that three things picked up quite a bit today (well technically yesterday, but I'm still up). 

The first was the completion of the professional painting of my kitchen, living room and front hall, which were all in very desperate need of it. I hired a friend and fellow actor, who did the entire job alone; in one day; without using an inch of tape or spilling a drop of paint. I managed to hang my new drapes and put up a number of family photos before calling it on the redecorating of what is finally starting to feel like my house. 

While Pat was hard at work, I ran a few errands where I found my second pick-me-up in the warm, sunny weather, something that's been sorely missing around here of late. It also helped that what I was looking for in my travels was both easily available and on sale, in both of the stores I needed to visit. 

When I returned, I found myself confined to the office while Pat wove his magic with a brush, turning to the Internet for distraction (not that I didn't and still don't have enough real-life things to distract me for quite a while), where I came across the third thing that brightened my day - the video posted below.

I first posted about the gorgeous, Croatian cellists Stepjan Hauser and Luka Sulic back in 2011 when they released their cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." They've gone on to cover some outrageous stuff, but none quite as well as this version of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck:"

Damn! And since the link the "Smooth Criminal" vid no longer works on my old post, here is again:

And here's a few more of the hotties' amazing covers:

I would love to see these two in concert. Hopefully, they'll tour the US, soon. 

I'm so pleased to be sharing a good day, for a change! Tomorrow (well, later today, I suppose), I'll be talking about some movies I'm looking forward to seeing. The world is slowly starting to seem right again.

More, anon.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Werewolves Are NOT the New Zombies

Tyler Hoechlin of MTV's "Teen Wolf"
In the pantheon of Horror archetypes,Werewolf used to rank just below Vampire. Since a little black and white horror movie in 1968, werewolves have been knocked down a peg or two. Obviously, all three are insanely popular in genre TV. MTV's "Teen Wolf" (which I gave up on last season) and SyFy's "Being Human" and their new series "Bitten" prove that. They have been less successful on the big screen, of late. I don't know anyone who actually likes the Underworld movies and don't understand why they keep getting made and Benicio Del Toro's 2010 effort to reinvigorate yet another Universal Monsters franchise (The Wolfman) failed miserably and season one of producer/director Eli Roth's "Hemlock Grove" for Netflicks was a total bore. 

Personally, I can name only two werewolf movies in the last 30 years that were actually up to snuff. The first is director Joe Dante's (Mad Max; Gremlins) almost brilliantly realized 1981 version of Gary Brandner's novel The Howling. Featuring the first real physical werewolf transformation on film (thanks to Rob Bottin) and a very funny script by John Sayles, the movie ultimately fails when Dee Wallace (as a TV reporter) has an on-camera transformation, resulting in something that looks more like an over-sized Pekingese than a vicious killer.

Of course, probably the best werewolf movie ever made is John Landis' An American Werewolf in London. Scary, funny and romantic, Landis' movie set a bar which has yet to be met.

Runners up: Neil Jordan's very dark re-telling of 'Little Red Riding Hood,' The Company of Wolves and Christoph Gans' 2001 Brotherhood of the Wolf

Unfortunately, despite the presence of the eye-candy that is Jason Momoa, the upcoming French-made Wolves doesn't look likely to bring the subgenre back.

Personally... Cats are way scarier (and sexier):

More, anon.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Missing My Real Life 'Big Chill' Reunion

Last February, I learned of the passing of a friend and college classmate with whom I and a group of other Theatre friends had shared some rather ridiculous, outrageous and very fun adventures in the 1980's. Of course, as many college friends do, we drifted apart after graduation. Some of us stayed in touch through an annual Christmas card or the occasional meeting. Then along came Facebook and we started finding each other again. And then Chris passed and we vowed to get together in Florida over this holiday weekend. 

Then a whole bunch of other crappy stuff happened and my mother passed, causing a major shift in my personal paradigm. I didn't want to be home alone for the holidays, so I opted to spend Christmas in Florida with my sister, making a second trip so soon after financially infeasible, much to my disappointment. These 12 or so folks and I spent a whole lot of time together doing theatre, camping and traveling and just hanging out. There was a particular rental house nearby where we tended to gather and inevitably, we'd end up around the piano, belting out show tunes, out-of-season Christmas carols and always, this song:

Of course the other song I so closely associate with this particular Band of Brothers and Sisters wasn't in our repertoire at 'The House,' but was often the last song of the night at special events:

Cheery, eh? But we were a cheery group of misfits and artists trying to figure crap out and having a hell of a time doing it! I have several very close friends from the same era, whom I see regularly. These folks I don't get to see nearly enough. These are the people with whom I shared 'escapades.' I was lucky enough to visit with the weekend's hostess at her farm while down in December. We tried Skyping earlier tonight, but I can't seem to make it work, also much to my disappointment. I shall try again, tomorrow. Honestly, I'm lucky I figured how to post this blog...

So this post is dedicated to my (mostly, slightly younger) TSC 80's Theatre Friends! I miss you guys and wish I was there with you. And while it's really apropos of nothing other than the 80's, here's a silly video that made me laugh. I hope they see it and laugh, too.

Love you guys! Missing you all so very much!

More, anon.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Retro Review: "Mama"

Jessica Chastain had a very interesting 2013. After being nominated for an Oscar for Zero Dark Thirty, she showed up looking very different as the rocker girlfriend of a man whose brother murdered his wife and kidnapped their daughters in the Guillermo del Toro produced thriller, Mama. Written by the brother and sister team of Andres and Barbara Muschietti from their original short and directed by Andres, Mama turns out to be a rather standard ghost story, despite it's promising premise, creepy effects and some of the creepiest performances by children since the original Village of the Damned.

Lucas (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau)  has spent the last five years searching for his missing twin brother Jeffrey and his nieces, Victoria and Lily. When the girls are found, feral and half-starved, Lucas and his girlfriend Annabel (Chastain) find themselves their guardians, in housing provided by the psychologist (played by Aliens Pvt. Spunkmeyer, Daniel Kash) who wants to bring the girls back to humanity. Resistant at first, Annabel soon finds herself bonding with Victoria (pretty Megan Charpentier) and eventually, even Lily (so creepily played by young Isabelle Nelisse) finds comfort in her arms. Of course, the girls were not alone all that time and they bring with them an entity they call "Mama," a vengeful spirit with a penchant for moths and over-protection. 

The scares in Mama are pretty standard, though the effects used to deliver them are pretty good, if a bit indistinct at times. And there is some very clever camera work - the scene where we see Lily playing tug-of-war with an unseen Mama as Annabel carries laundry down the hall is reminiscent of both DePalma and Polanski. Chastain once again proves her versatility as the badass rocker with hidden maternal instincts, while Coster-Waldau is fine as an obsessive man who spends 1/3 of the movie in a coma. The real treat here is watching Charpentier and Nelisse go to town. I can't imagine an actor as young as Nelisee was able to plumb the depths of weird she manages to attain and must attribute her performance to both good direction and great editing. So, so creepy.

The main problem with Mama is it's script. Filled with gaping plot holes and an ending that was both surprisingly dark and completely unsatisfying, Mama would have better been served by making a choice, instead of a compromise. And the exceptionally cheesy last moment didn't help in the least. Mama wants to be The Others. It ends up being a poor man's version of The Woman in White. Mama joins Don't Be Afraid of the Dark among del Toro's lesser projects. 

** (Two Out of Four Stars)

And here's the short that inspired the film:

Love and Death

Saint Valentine?
It's been a very long time since Uncle P has had a Valentine. In fact, I think I've mentioned before that the last Valentine's Day I celebrated, my date dumped me (the night after we saw Shakespeare in Love).

The photo to your right is of a supposed 'Holy Relic' of what may have been any number of Christian martyrs by the Roman name of Valentinus. Having directed what should have been a wonderful production of Michael Hollinger's play Incorruptible (a theatre story for another post), I doubt the veracity of any and all such 'relics.'

Nonetheless, Hallmark; Hershey's; Nestle's; Godiva; American Greetings; Zales; Jarrod's and the SAF (among any other number of retailers) have all managed to turn the legend of a Christian martyr who either died because he professed his love to a Roman woman or performed Christian marriages despite prohibitive Roman law (sound familiar?) into a money-making opportunity. There's no definitive story for this particular 'saint' and much like St. Christopher, Valentine's actual existence is often called into question. Like most modern Western holidays, I regard Valentine's Day as a shameless grab at consumers' money. If you are lucky enough to have a special person in your life, it shouldn't take a special day for you to do or buy something to show how much you love them. And the possibly horrific murder of a 3rd Century priest really shouldn't make one bit of difference.

If we're talking murder and mayhem, this is more my style:

More, anon.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Somebody Stop This Beyotch!

I have not seen the latest Disney musical Frozen. I have heard the songs and the parodies of the songs and I think I have a basic understanding of it's plot. And while I love Idina Menzel and the fact that Disney is still able to produce quality films in the digital age... enough, already!

If like Uncle P,  you live along the PA/NJ/NY portion of the infamous I-95 Corridor, then you know exactly what I am talking about. For the past hour, snow has been falling as part of the fourth major snow storm here in as many weeks. Some models project as much as 20 or more inches for the region. Snow here has passed beyond 'magical' and 'beautiful' and long moved on to "I F*CKING HATE WINTER!!"  Of course, it was weather like this which prompted my Sister and the BIL to move to Florida (a state mostly populated by retirees, lunatics, meth-heads and cannibal face-eaters). 

The days are slowly but surely getting longer and I go off of middle shift at the end of this month, which means I'll be going home during daylight once again. Both of these things give me hope, though I still remember the blizzard of March, 1996 and the multiple ice storms of 1998. I was then, as now, convinced winter would never end. I did then and still do, know better. This too, shall pass. Spring will arrive and summer in the Delaware Valley will be excruciatingly humid and we'll all be bitching about that, come mid-July. Still... Taos looks better and better with each passing storm...

If you are trapped in your house today, take some time to enjoy these hilariously (if only slightly) related videos:

This was just last week:

And just to make you feel a little better about this seemingly endless winter, the boys from MST3K have it covered:

Feeling a little warmer already...

More, anon.

UPDATE: Uncle P has just learned that the Day Job is closed today! Woo-hoo! Sleeping in!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Is This Prospero's Gayest Week, Ever?

Michael Sam and lusty boxers aside, it seems the most interesting stuff (don't start on Shirley Temple - she gets her own post tomorrow) happening these days seems to be gay stuff. 

There's news that a bisexual skier (or something) who won a Winter Olympics medal, was later photographed 'cuddling' with RasPUTIN. Ugh. Still... maybe she was just caught up in the moment. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Winning an Olympic Medal is a big deal and emotions can cloud reason. If I won an Oscar, I'd hug and cuddle with every person in reach (except maybe Mel Gibson; Kirk Cameron and Vladimir effing RasPUTIN!). 

Hmmm... Ra's al Ghul.. Rasputin... RasPUTIN... lots of crazy going on in Uncle P's comics-addled brain tonight! Funny? Maybe. But what's not funny is the failure of the IOC and several of it's major corporate sponsors to address the Human Rights issues plaguing Putin's Russia, today. 

#CheersToSochi member Scott Wooledge, created the video below to draw attention to the horrors being inflicted on Russian LGBTs (via):


But I wanted to end on a more upbeat note, so I was pleased to also find the trailer for the upcoming documentary Fagbug Nation. Director Erin Davies spent six years traveling through the U.S. in her rainbow-painted VW, finding both support and hate along the way (also via):

Now let's hope the predicted Nor'easter headed my way isn't the monster storm the news demons are projecting. This winter has been rather relentless here in the Mid-Atlantic States... Stay warm. Stay safe. And while I wouldn't actually hate having another day off on Thursday, the mess and expense hardly make it worth having...

More, anon.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Gayest Sports Things You'll See This Week

Michael Sam
University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, almost assuredly a draft pick for the NFL next season, has come out. It is my fervent hope that Michael Sam is the gay Jackie Robinson. What a scary position to put oneself in. And how courageous and loved Mr. Sam must be. And the great thing is, if he's not drafted, then the NFL proves itself the bastion of homophobia that Chris Kluwe claims (undoubtedly so), it is.

Regardless of whether or not Sam is drafted, the good news is that more and more high-profile LGBT people are coming forward, refusing to be silent and refusing to deny who they are. The world over,  athleticism and physical prowess are celebrated far more than scientific. literary or artistic achievements. And while that hardly makes me happy, it's good to know so many high-profile athletes are stepping up for young fans to know that being gay is not a bad thing. Sam joins my personal list of sports heroes, which includes Greg Louganis; Orlando Cruz; Jason Collins; Martina Navratilova; Chris Kluwe; Brendon Ayanbedjo and British Rugby Bear Ben Cohen, among others. 

Speak out. Speak up. Visibility and Familiarity are the keys to Equality. 

So, sociopolitical rant over, here's a video by The Perez Brothers called "Weigh In." It's hardly surprising or unexpected but then, that's hardly the point. Enjoy the possibly NSFW short, below (via):

Maybe I should start training for ring...

More, anon.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Funniest Gay Things You'll See This Week (NSFW Onanist Version)

J. Pee
I have never heard of rapper J. Pee. He's kind of hot though, despite his rather unfortunate (though I have no doubt deliberate) choice of Rapper Name.

His latest single and video is.. well, something artists like Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper and Billy Idol have been dancing around since the 80's. And while I am sure there are plenty of songs about self-pleasure even before "She-Bop" and "It's Just a Fantasy," I don't know of any other pop songs that are quite so blatant in their love of Onanism as the probably NSFW video below, proves:

J. Pee's previous and equally hilarious video "I'm Not Gay," has earned him a new fan.

Hmmm... wondering if there's anyone else out there who might relate? Don't ask, and I won't tell.

More, anon,.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Under Where? TGTYSW (NSFW Version)

Gay Underwear Designer, Andrew Christian
Wow, that's a lot of acronyms in one blog post title. Of course, NSFW is one we're all familiar with by now: Not Safe For Work. And if you read Caliban's Revenge with any regularity at all, you may have sussed out that TGTYSW = The Gayest Thing You'll See This Week. Field space makes for strange acronyms. And the video I am about to share is most certainly the gayest thing you'll probably see all year. The ridiculous pun goes back to an elementary school joke: "What are you eating under there?" 

Andrew Christian is well known for marketing his products to young, gay men with lots of disposable income to waste on frivolity. And believe me, I know - quality underwear is hardly frivolous. A traditional "tighty whities" boy growing up, once Uncle P discovered boxer-briefs, there was no going back. I may have experimented with the bikini brief, briefly. But that was back in the 70's and who wasn't experimenting with something in those days? 

Personally, I don't find Mr. Christian's line to my taste. I have nothing against colorful britches (my personal favorite pair of boxer-briefs is Blood Red, of course) but I just don't understand how one can be actually be comfortable in some of his more daring designs. I'm also not particularly a fan of the twinky young 'models' (i.e. porn star wannabes) he uses. Being a full-blooded Ursan, I tend to like 'em bigger and fuzzier And now that you know WAY too much about me, here is The Gayest Video You'll Ever See Which Isn't Actually Porn (NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!!!):

Now that's about as far from Magic Mormon Underwear as one can get! Coincidentally, tomorrow is laundry day at Chez Prospero

Bottom line (every pun intended), why anyone would spend the kind of money Christian wants for his skimpy drawers when Hanes does an even better job of providing support and mystique, is beyond me. I can buy 5 pair of Hanes boxer briefs at Target for less than half the cost of one pair of Andrew Christian's 'Candy Pop' drawers.

Then again, I don't have the kind of money the poor, vapid idiots this campaign is designed for have. And even if I did, I would hope that I would use it in more socially productive way. Still, I suppose the old Madison Avenue adage applies: Sex Sells. Just ask Jon Hamm.

More, anon.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Get a Kluwe

A Man Whose Hand I'd Like to Shake - Chris Kluwe
One of my personal sports heroes has struck again. Writing for The Guardian, former NFL Kicker and staunch LGBT ally Chris Kluwe implores Olympians attending the 2014 Winter Games to be outspoken advocates for civil rights. 

Personally, I'd like to say that I agree with Mr. Kluwe. "We're Here! We're Queer! Get Used to Us!" has just as much meaning today as it has throughout the LGBT Rights movement. And while the fact that straight athletes like Kluwe; Brendon Ayanbedejo and Ben Cohen have lent their voices to the cause does a world of good, there are still so many unenlightened and superstitious asshats out there. Yes, the ignorant and therefore, scared seem to be slowly but surely dying out. Straight people my age (my friends already agree and my regular readers have figured that out, long ago) and younger, know how ridiculous it is to be so stupid and backward. Of course, lots of people my parents' ages have long ago agreed, but weren't able to do so publicly, until recent events have proven them to be on the right side of history.

Still... were I a gay athlete participating in the Sochi Olympics or a gay friend and/or family member of a gay and/or straight Olympian, I would completely understand your reluctance to speak out. I may not like it (visibility is our strongest asset), but I would respect your decision to remain silent. 

You can read Kluwe's piece here (via).

And just to keep things weird, here's some Olympic Nonsense:


It's somehow comforting to know that Rednecks are Universal:

Hmmmm... Does that make Yakov Smirnoff the Russian Jeff Foxworthy? The mind boggles.

More, anon.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Very Gay Olympics Quickie

While the competitions officially start tomorrow night, the Opening Ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics aren't for two more days. 

First, I have to ask if anyone is really all that surprised by the two major stories trending on the web, right now? First, are the hilarious horror stories being tweeted from journalists about their unfinished; easily broken; water tainted; heatless accommodations. And I thought I had a bad hotel experience in Chicago, last summer! Of course, foreign war correspondents are understandibly less than sympathetic...

Then there's NBC's story about the prolific electronics hacking taking place among the tourists pouring in from all over:

Oh, dear. Not that I would have gone, but I somehow feel better knowing there is nothing on my phone I wouldn't be willing to share with my 85 year old great aunt. I don't use my smartphone for much more than pictures, calls and texts (and the occasional GPS) and have no fear of my personal and/or financial information being stolen from it.

Listen, I get it. The Olympics are the Oscars for athletes. The winners' names will be recorded for the remainder of Human History (forget about eternity... humans will most likely be extinct long before our sun goes supernova). The participants spend lifetimes preparing to compete and no one should be denied the right to do so. But no one should be afraid to be arrested, beaten or worse, just for being who they are. Thankfully, this video from the Canadian diversity group CIDI ICDI isn't about to let the Russians off the hook quite so easily (via):

As George Takei might say..."Oh, myyyyy!"

I will not be watching the Winter Olympics this year. Not that I would normally, though I occasionally stop while clicking through channels to see the medal count or watch some figure skating (I am so effing gay, I almost can't stand it). This time, though, I think it would feel... icky, to watch, knowing how bad things are for LGBT Russians. It makes me sad that what should be a Celebration of World Unity has instead become a lesson in homophobia, incompetence and an egotistical Tsarist's whims. Personally, I'd be happy to never see Putin's nipples again, for as long as I live.

More, anon.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Scotland at 17

It's Not Polite to Ask...
Does anyone else remember the mostly excellent and cancelled-too-soon 1977 - 1978 TV series "James at 16?" James (Lance Kerwin) and I were the same age, going through many of the same things. Of course there was one big difference: James was straight. I could only relate so much, you know?

Today, Scotland advanced into the 21st Century and became the 17th country to legally recognize Marriage Equality. My heart was lightened just ever so much at this news. And while I know that at my age, it is very unlikely I will find someone I actually would be willing to marry, it's good to know that those who will come after me will someday live in an enlightened society. 

And who knows? George Takei and Jim Nabors both met their husbands when they were my age. I've told several friends that I've given up looking. And I have. Still... I'd like to believe my grandmother when she said "There's a lid for every pot. But sometimes, you have to root around the cabinet to find it."

Congratulations, Scotland! Thank you for coming to your senses!

More, anon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow Day Part Deux (of Trois?)

Today was yet another rare Snow Day at Uncle P's Day Job. I got to sleep in and even found a pair of entrepreneurial teens who shoveled my walk and driveway in less than a quarter of the time it would have taken me. Of course, the township plow came along after, creating a mound of nastiness at the bottom of my driveway. I did my best to shovel away the worst of it, but relied on my SUV to clear paths in several directions. 

Of course, the weather also kept me from personal interactions. Lately, it seems most of my personal interactions have been at the Day Job, and while that's not exactly a bad thing, it's not a good thing, either.

And while another major ice/snow storm is predicted for tomorrow night, I spend another night alone in a house I may well have to give up, through no fault of my own. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining (well, maybe a little). What I am is confused, lonely and depressed. And while I imagine that applies to so many people I may or may not know, it doesn't make me feel any better about it. Trust me, if I could afford therapy, I'd so back in a heartbeat. Of course, that also means finding a therapist as good as my last one (almost 20 years ago).

Honestly, I'll probably get through this winter. And probably the next several. I have another 15 years before I can officially retire. I may lose my mind and move to the Southwest well before then.


More, anon.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Six More Weeks of Idiocy

The infamous Punxatawny Phil actually lives in a place called Gobbler's Knob, PA. As a resident of the Commonwealth, which has towns with names Like Intercourse and Blue Ball, Gobbler's Knob still elicits the kind of sophomoric giggles as Monty Python's 'Biggus Dickus' and 'Incontentia Buttocks.'

So today, the Marmota momax known as 'Phil' supposedly saw his shadow, thereby forecasting six more weeks of Winter. The tradition dates back to ancient Celtic superstition, but has the first official documentation of celebration in 1841, in Morgantown. PA. I have no idea why or how this nonsense became to be widely believed. Nor do I care.

A snow storm is predicted to be the heaviest here along the -I95 Corridor during tomorrow morning's  rush hour. Most recent predictions (as of this writing) are for 6 to 8 inches of snow. If the Powers That Be at the Day Job are smart and considerate, I'll get to sleep in and hopefully correct the horrible error I made in choosing the absolutely wrong color for the bathroom trim. And while another Snow Day means more time to find deductions and clean my toilet, it adds more stress for the Day Job clients when we do get back in. And I'm really not ready to think about the second storm system out of the Midwest which has the potential to dump up to an additional 12 inches on the region. I am hating this winter so much, for so many reasons.

Honestly, with all the crap I'm going through right now, Taos is looking better and better, every day. Don't get me wrong - I really the place I work and enjoy the Change of Seasons. but to never have to worry or even think about snow and ice again, would be wonderful. And seriously, where else would I go? Sis may love Florida (and I do so love visiting), but Uncle P needs a little more 'artistic sensibility,' if you will.

Wow. How cheesy was that? Maybe I'll go to Phoenix, instead. Or Reno. Almost anywhere warm except L.A. Or Miami. Nolo would be nice, of it wasn't so humid.

How should we punish the Climate Change deniers?

More, anon.

Retro Review: "We're the Millers"

I wasn't sure if I was going to post about Groundhog Day or write this review... And I did my best to come up with a way to tie the two together, but couldn't find any rational correlation between the two other than that both Groundhog Day and We're the Millers are comedies.

Michael joined me for dinner and an OnDemand movie Friday night and since we were both in the mood for some nonsense, we watched this past summer's weirdly sentimental caper comedy which turned out to be actually much funnier than the numbers said it should have been. A preposterous plot? Most certainly. Gross-outs; sex jokes; stereotypes; outrageous coincidences and Carny trash? Of course! There is nothing particularly original or unexpected about the script from Bob Fisher and Steve Faber (The Wedding Crashers) or Rawson Marshall Thurber's (Dodgeball) direction. Luckily, Thurber managed to to pull together a cast capable of pulling off this particular brand of nonsense with ease and style. 

SNl alum Jason Sudekis is Dave Clark, a slacker pot dealer who is content with his life and has his business down to a science. Jennifer Aniston (in another surprisingly good performance) is his neighbor Rose, a stripper at the end of her financial rope. When dorky neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter) involves Dave in a dispute with a bunch of thugs and street urchin Casey (Emma Roberts) he ends up with both is stash and cash stolen and owing over $40 Grand to his supplier, the innocuously named but ruthless Brad (Ed Helms). In order or make up for it Brad sends Dave to Mexico to pick up "a smidgen and half" of pot. In order to keep under the radar, Dave enlists Rose, Kenny and Casey to pretend to be an average family on an RV trip. Throughout the outrageous road trip (which includes an exceptionally funny encounter with a sexually adventurous DEA agent and his wife - hilariously played Nick Offerman and and Katherine Hahn) and a male genitals visual involving a tarantula bite that is almost as disturbing as the zipper scene in There's Something About Mary, the four forge a very unlikely bond. It's no spoiler here to say the Millers end up together as a very real (though oddly dysfunctional) family. Stupid, ridiculous and not at all for the prudish. We're the Millers is well worth the watching, especially with the right person, under the right conditions. And I must admit, this gay man isn't afraid to say that bad actress or not, Aniston is smoking hot in this movie! It was exactly the kind of nonsense I needed after the week I've had!

We're the Millers is rated 'R' for drug references, sexual situations, adult language and violence. **1/2 (Two and a Half Out Of Four Stars).

And since it is Groundhog Day, that rotten Marmota monax had better not see it's shadow this morning. I have no problem driving out to Punxatawney to wring that rodent's neck! Not one, but two snowstorms are predicted for this region in the coming week. While I have no intention of moving any time soon, retirement in Taos is looking more and more attractive.

More, anon.