Sunday, June 26, 2005

Separated at birth . . . or copyright infringement

I doubt there are few people as excited as me about the new Willy Wonka movie. Oompa-loompas aside (I have a "little" problem with dwarves in costume, especially clownish costumes), I loved the original movie.

I haven't really seen or heard much beyond the trailers for this new flick, but I have seen enough to know that Tim Burton HAD to have based Willy Wonka on THIS guy:

I mean, come ON . . . don't these two look eerily similar? Admittedly, Tim Burton is a wildly creative guy, but everyone has to get inspiration from SOMEWHERE.

I can't help but picture Tim surfing the web, sitting in some messy home office in his underwear, and stumbling on THIS guy's site . . . and voila! Willy Wonka is reborn!

You gotta love the original . . . ok, maybe you don't HAVE to, but you at LEAST have to give the guy some credit. Or some antispychotic medication.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Open letters to various entertainers . . .

I had a chance this weekend to catch some VH1 and other entertainment news, and I had a few reactions that I felt were bloggable. You know the old saying: Better to blog it out and suffer the shame than hold it in and feel the pain.

OK, maybe you DON'T know the old saying.

Anyway, without further ado:

Dear Gwen Stefani: Please, I beg of you, stop debasing your considerable talent by releasing such drivel as, "Hollaback Girl". What a craptastic audiovisual experience THAT was, watching you gyrate and sniff your finger for 3 minutes . . . and to think, you dumped your "No Doubt" band for THAT? I overlooked the pet Asian girls, but really, this is just too much. P.S. You are not black, nor are you latin . . . please stop adopting EVERY cultural affectation. It doesn't help.

Good idea. Posted by Hello

Dear Rob Thomas: In a similar vein, for the love of God, please stop releasing latin flavor music. Yeah, you had a hit with Santana, and that was great, but that was CARLOS fucking SANTANA that carried your lily-white ass all through "Smooth". Stop singing Ricky Martin/Marc Antony/Enrique Iglesias-flavored tunes like "Lonely No More". Your attempts to shake your ass on the video were just plain unwatchable, and to quite Simon Cowell, you have "about as much latin flair as a polar bear." Matchbox 20 was great, and this is so much LESS great. Just stop it.

Dear Backstreet Boys: OK, I get it that you are trying one more time, but I would rather you just hit me than make me suffer through that shitstorm song and video "Incomplete". I pray that the viewing audience isn't getting stupider, but you must think they are to film such an obvious, literal video. To see all of you grimacing and throwing dirt as you sing is just fucking laughable, and what the hell does a swelling ocean wave and a fully engaged carfire have to do with ANYTHING? You were barely tolerable anyway, but this is a whole new flavor of drivel. Please invest your money wisely this time; I don't think I can stomach another of your "comebacks". Just go away.

BS Boys showing "anguish". Posted by Hello

Dear Kelly Clarkson: What part of the soulless "American Idol" machine decided to bleach you blonde, starve you to death and force you to sing that shitty, shitty "Behind these Hazel Eyes" song? It should be a crime punishable by at least 2 years in Guantanamo Bay prison camp, eating rice pilaf and actually being forced to listen to said shitty song, and worse, watching said shitty video. Kelly, Kelly, Kelly . . . you were once a talented, curvy brunette with a bit of an edge. Now you are just a poor man's Christina Aguillera, never to know the stunning highs of her fame. But you are sure to get a front row seat to the abysmal lows. The first one took place right in the beautyshop chair where you lost your natural color. And your soul.

Dear Will Smith: Why do you feel the need to continue to "sing" (and I use that term very loosely). Don' t you and your lovely wife Jada have the monopoly on nearly every Hollywood dollar as it is? And please stop insulting my intelligence with that ridiculous "Switch" song where you appear to be "clubbin wit de homies" and espousing that after all is said and done, that you are just a regular guy that likes to go out to regular clubs with regular people. And what the fuck is up with your lovely other half touring with OZZFEST? That has to be one of the 5 signs of the apocalypse. Enjoy your money, stick to formulaic movies, have beautiful babies, and just . . . just . . . stop making music!

Dear Queens of the Stone Age (or QOTSA to us fans): You consistently kick ass. I have "In My Head" and "I Never Came" on constant rotation. All who claim to love music and don't have "Lullabyes to Paralyze" in their CD player should be treated to the Guantanamo Bay Special. Please continue to raise the bell curve of worldwide musical quality for the good of the earth. That is all.

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

And now for something completely different . . .

Just jotting things down here . . .

Latest funny kid stuff:
Scene: My bedroom, 7:00 am. Silence broken by small interloper, who scrambles up onto my bed, kneeing me a few times in the process.
4 year old: Knock Knock!
Half Asleep Me: (mumbling) who's there . . .
4YO: Feet!
HAM: . . . feet who?
4YO: Feet Dot Com! (dissolving into laughter)

4YO is having some issues with "summer camp" (just daycare, but hotter). Some of his schoolyear friends are gone for the summer, along with his beloved teacher. He was just getting used to things (he started 2 mornings a week back in March) and then summer hit. I know he needs to go to preschool - prekindergarten starts 5 days a week in the fall, so he needs to get used to being in a class with other kids.

Seeing him cry yesterday morning nearly killed me - he doesn't cry much, and is such an easygoing kid. When I went to pick him up, I peeked in, just to watch him for awhile. Some kids were drawing, some were playing with blocks, some with dolls . . . but he was alone, walking around the room, looking at pictures, staying to himself.

It's been this way for the past few weeks. I hate to say that he is shy like his dad, but I think he might have some of the same social anxiety that his dad does. Dad laments that 4YO isn't more like me, and I have always been thankful that he has his dad's quiet, logical presence.

My sweet girl, who has unfortunately worn her (aging) grandparents to a frazzle, is enjoying a 1/2 day crafting and games camp in our fair little city. Bless her heart, she has a tough time making friends, but she tries, she really does. Kids pick up the scent of anything different, or anyone that is a little different, and most kids her age wind up shying away or avoiding her. At this camp, kids from 5-12 are there, and she spent a good part of yesterday happily playing with 6 and 7 year olds who were more than happy to have a 9 year old in their playgroup. She approaches every day fresh and ready to keep trying. She always has, that girl. No matter what, no matter how hard, no matter who has been unkind, she is ready to try again. Quite a lesson there, I think.

I am praying it gets better, otherwise, I am ready to enact Plan B (sell the suburban paradise and cars, quit work, move into a hovel and homeschool the kids, relying on dried beans and government cheese for sustenance.)

And I'd do it, too.
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