Sunday, September 28, 2008

So Long, Paul.

Dear Paul,

I can call you Paul, right? I mean, it only seems fair, since I've been in love with you for the past 40 years. The first time I saw you was on television, in a movie called What A Way To Go, with Shirley MacLaine. I originally wanted to see the movie because my previous love, Gene Kelly, was in it. But then I saw you, and I had to break Gene's heart and dump him for you. I was ten. I do realize I'm not alone. I'm just one of the legion of women (and men -- not that there's anything wrong with that) who fell in love with you and never fell out.

So, before you go on to wherever it is you're destined to go, I'd just like to list a few reasons why I... why we... why we all... loved you.

We love that you were so incredibly beautiful, and yet, according to everyone who knew you, you had no idea, and when the topic was brought up, it merely annoyed you.

We love that you were more interested in being true to a character and turning in a good performance then you ever were about the way you looked or the likability of your characters.

We love that you were married to the same woman for fifty years, which has got to be some kind of movie star record as far as we're concerned. And we love that the two of you seemed to genuinely still love each other after all those years together, and that you grew old together, and that you were the example that it can be done.

We love that you were able to look at the blessings you received and be gracious enough to give back when you could, and that you found a way to do it in a way that will continue to generate charitable income (hopefully) for years to come.

We love that, no matter your age, your eyes stayed every bit as blue as ever, and that there was always a bit of the demon twinkle in them, even if you weren't smiling at that moment. And we loved that you were almost always smiling.

We love that you were here, that you were one of us for a while and that you worked hard and played hard and loved your family. We love that you gave us your performing self, but kept your personal self private. It preserved our mystery.

We love that we were able to love you for a time and we are a little melancholy that we must now love you from an ever greater distance than before. But we will go on loving you, because it's what we do, regardless of the people we love in real life.

So, safe journey. Peace be with you. And thanks again for all the great good fun.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Black Ops Cat

Seriously. Why are we wasting time and endangering human operatives?

This guy's good.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My New Favorite Champion Swimmer (Not Michael Phelps, Smarties.)

Meet Christopher Marino, age 13. He's the one on the left in the picture. Christopher and his father, Walter, (pictured with him) had a teensy-tinesy little adventure not long ago. They were swimming off of Florida's Atlantic coast when they got caught in a powerful rip current and were swept apart. Nearly three miles apart. For 12 hours, Walter and Christopher treaded water, growing further and further apart with each passing minute. To gauge distance, Walter continued to call to Christopher, using lines from Disney movies back and forth.

"To infinity," Walter would call.

"And beyond!" Christopher responded.

Eventually, there was no response. Walter was sure Christopher was gone. When he was rescued by fisherman and transferred to a Coast Guard cutter, he went down below because he couldn't bear to watch them come across Christopher's lifeless body. When the Coast Guard called him up from below, he was sure the news would be the worst. Instead, they pointed to a Coast Guard helicopter flying overhead.

"See that helicopter?" they told Marino. "It has your son on board, and he's fine."

Christopher beat Walter back to shore, though he was nearly a quarter mile farther out to sea. Both Marinos suffered from mild exposure and dehydration, and jellyfish stings, but were otherwise fine. The Coast Guard rescue unit was pretty gob-smacked. They had been looking for the pair for nearly as long as they'd been gone, and were sure after the first ten or so hours, they'd find bodies.

How did these two survive? Walter survived by refusing to panic, even after he thought he'd lost his son. He remained calm, thought of his daughter and how he couldn't let her suffer two deaths in the family, and alternated between floating on his back, and dog-paddling with the rip current until he was rescued.

As for Christopher, we'll never know how he survived after he lost contact with his father. Christopher is severly autistic and is almost entirely non-verbal, save for vocalizations and lines from movies and t.v. shows. Marino believes it was autism that saved his son.

Christopher has no fear of death, Marino explains. "And the water is one of his favorite things." Christopher is soothed by water, so managed to avoid panicking himself. When they wafted through a jellyfish school and began getting stung, Christopher did start to freak out, but Walter talked him through it. Shortly thereafter, the boy drifted out of his father's earshot.

We will never know what happened to Christopher once he was separated from his father. We only know he kept on swimming and treading water, until he was picked up by Coast Guard helicopter. It was the rescue of the father that led to the rescue of the son, as the Coast Guard was able to reorient their search for Christopher once Walter had been picked up with the fishing boat. If Walter had given up, as he considered doing for a moment when he thought his son was lost, then his son would have been lost.

So, move over Michael Phelps. Christopher Marino is my new favorite championship swimmer.


Where's Caylee?

I can't imagine why police and the FBI think this crackpot killed her child and disposed of the body. What with her sterling character and her upstanding, forthright demeanor.

Ummm... Casey? If you can find some free time in your busy schedule of being perpetually arrested and arraigned on child neglect charges, petty theft, check forgery and identity fraud, do you think you might take a moment to tell law enforcement what the hell you did WITH YOUR FREAKIN' KID?

Somebody give me a rolled up newspaper. Someone needs to be hit upside the head.


Monday, September 15, 2008

SNL's Fey as Sarah Palin

There's just one thing to say about Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live this past weekend.


Okay, really funny would be a couple of other words. But Fey's resemblance to Palin (which people have been discussing for days now in anticipation of just this sketch) is truly eerie. It also give me ideas.

Anybody ever see the movie "DAVE"?

Just sayin'....


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Here's Something You Don't See Every Day.

It's not unusual to see huge feature credits in the middle of a trailer for a movie that has an "all-star" cast. But the trailer for Gus Van Sant's "Milk," the biographical account of the political ascendancy of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay candidate to be elected to public office, includes an absolutely ENORMOUS single-card credit for writer Dustin Lance Black. (The image at right really doesn't do it justice -- it's HUGE in the trailer.)

Black, who has but a few credits to his name, has written several episodes of one of our favorite, favorite HBO series, Big Love. It's very rare that a relatively unknown screenwriter is given that kind of nod, particularly in a trailer. His agent must be Jesus Christ, I swear. But it's nice to see anyway.

Here is the trailer:

Personal favorite moment:
Dan White (as played by Josh Brolin): America can't survive without the family.
Milk (as played by Sean Penn): We're not against that.
White: Can two men reproduce?
Milk: No, but God knows we keep trying.
Penn's performance looks (as usual) amazing. I have so resisted him, on principle more than anything (I think it was the whole Madonna nightmare that soured me), but I think I'm finally coming to the point where I can come out of the closet and admit the truth.

Yes, America, it's a fact. I'm a Sean Penn fan.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Billy Joe Don Bob's What Not To Wear

Here's a credibility fashion tip. If you're from south of the Mason-Dixon line and you're on a show called "MonsterQuest," talking about the night you went out squirrel hunting with a relative named Earl, and you and he came across Big Foot, you probably don't want to wear a trucker hat and a pair of overalls during the on-camera interview.

Just sayin'.