Sunday Afternoon Videos - Acapella Madness

Sorry for the slack in blogging, I've been busy preparing for our trip to Austin, Texas this week. It's a scouting mission of sorts for a possible move. Jake has an internship interview at a production company. I tried to weasel my way into some meet and greets with some film critic big-wigs. I've had lots of, "call me when you're in towns", so we'll just have to see how it goes. Either way, we're getting out of town for a few days, which always seems to offer some fresh perspective.

I missed the Friday Night Videos this week again, so I'm making up for it today. This week's theme? Acapella. Here's a little 80's Billy Joel.

Then there is the song that always brings an instant smile to my face...the Carmen Sandiego theme song.

Who knew that underneath that trench was a snappy unitard? Next, there's this dandy little compilation of the acapella group regularly featured on, "Scrubs", which is a show that I quite enjoy.

Here's John Michael Higgins in, "The Break Up"

This last one takes the geek cake.

You should always let the Wookie win. Speaking of Wookies, how much did you LOVE the "Empire Strikes Back" references in last week's LOST? Okay, I'm getting off topic, which is usually my signal that it's time to go.

Have a great week! Wish me luck in Texas. I'm sorry, I just can't resist referencing this a million times this week. Be grateful if you don't get a call from me trying this very experiment once I'm over state lines.


I Survived The Ten Commandments! Or, "How I learned to stop worrying and avoid cutting bangs."

I love the movie, "The Ten Commandments". I also love, "Ben Hur". I love them in the same way that I love the Indiana Jones movies, only not nearly at the same intensity. Why? Well, because they're quite good on their own merits. But I also get a kick out of watching movies that treat Biblical material with some dignity.

It's also one of the reasons why I'm such a fan of Westerns, outside of the fact that Westerns are just outstanding in every possible way. (I love it all, the sounds, the imagery, the archetypes...)They just take place in a world where it seems easy to talk about God and Jesus and Biblical things in general. Set in modern times, movies with religious or spiritual characters, or even mentions of the Bible can seem so...smarmy. But set back in the day, they just seem, easier to watch without all the baggage of modern society. But I digress...big time.

That's not why I'm so happy. I have overcome a major seasonal flaw. You see, every SINGLE year when they show, "The Ten Commandments" on TV, I want to cut bangs because of this woman...
Her name is Anne Baxter and she plays Nefertiri in the movie. I LOVE this hairstyle and it's partially because of her. I've just love that Egyptian look, probably due to all those old Mummy movies I grew up watching. I also always wanted to look like Virginia Christine from, "The Mummy's Curse". It's tough to find a good picture of her, but here are a couple...
But you see, when I cut bangs, I do not look like either of these women. Or Betty Page or Liz Taylor or any other women with succesful retro bangs. I look like Mr. Spock. Or one of the Beatles. So for the first time this year, I reminded myself of these differences and actually managed to resist temptation. I did NOT cut bangs. I did, however, dye my hair black. I love the color, it's flattering on me, and now the challenge is preventing myself from looking goth.
The plan of action? To learn some old-timey hairstyles such as finger waves and victory rolls and incorporate them into my everyday life. A little old Hollywood glamour never hurt anyone, right? Right.
By the way, this is how I looked with bangs, it just came off as Mid-Western early 90's.

Which, by the way, has always reminded me of this girl...

So rejoice for me! I learned to stop cutting my own hair this Easter! Maybe next year I'll actually learn a little more about how to apply makeup. Until next time...


Haka and Hula

As a kid I used to watch my Mom perform hula dances for her singing telegram business, and I really loved it back then. It was so fluid and everything meant something.

Then when the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King DVD box set came out, I was introduced to the "Haka", which is another tribal dance. It's so immensely cool.

Well, I got to see it again tonight, or something like it, when Filipe and Sione from, "The Biggest Loser" had to say goodbye. Ther performed one by themselves just as a sort of ritual.

I also saw an episode of, "Independant Lens" about a men's hula troupe once, and it was amazing. I have this thing for Pacific Islanders and New Zealand culture, it's just amazing to me. I even wrote a tribe of Hawaiian warriors into my now defunct Tiki Room script. (Jake and I are reworking it and entering it in a scriptwriting contest this May.)

Anyway, I was just really happy to see it on tv, because it reminded me of how much I want to research more of this culture. I always seem to perk up to it, so I guess it's time to dive in and geek out over it. Where the heck to begin???


Hannibal Lecter, Pavarotti, and the Marx Brothers

Speaking of being mesmerized by music upon its first hearing at the movie theater, this one really really got me. I actually cried just for the sake of the music. The rest of the movie...eh, but still, you get the idea.

Who knew a handful of years later I would interview Gary Oldman's body double from this film? (Doug Jones.) But isn't it incredible? Then again, I've always had a soft spot for opera. Some songs in particular push this invisible button I have marked "cry instantly" when I hear them, it's the weirdest thing. Especially this, even though I know it's cliche of me. Right from the 2:10 mark on, to quote Scrooged, "Niagara Falls".

That made me all teary...quick, I need to recover. Here, it's still opera centric. It's a little montage from the Marx Brothers', "A Night At The Opera". Another one of my ALL TIME FAVES!

The Flaming Lips

My friend Jen posted a link to The Flaming Lips cover of Madonna's song, "Borderline".

Here it is.

I love the Flaming Lips. The first time I ever heard them was sitting in the Royal theater in Daville as a pre-teen and watching, "Batman Forever". They had a song on the soundtrack called, "Bad Days" that mesmerized me. It was the first song I ever made my parents listen to. They loved it. I distinctly remember it making my Dad smile. (Of course, this is also the man who bought me my first Beastie Boys album, "License to Ill". So he was pretty supportive of me expanding my musical horizons. Who knows why he was smiling?) Pardon the commercial, this one was tough to find and this is the only way I could post it.

<a href="http://www.joost.com/08203dv/t/The-Flaming-Lips-Bad-Days-Video">The Flaming Lips - Bad Days (Video)</a>

Then there is my favorite song of theirs, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots", which I love for it's deicidedly action-heroine centric plot, and for the fact that when Jake and I first met, he used to make up stories to tell me all about what my life would be like if I was Yoshimi. He even made up a bad guy named, "Tetzao".

Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

So thank you Jen, for reminding me of how much I love the Flaming Lips.

The Wilhelm Scream

Because I can NEVER get enough of this old editor's joke, and because I have nothing to do while I'm waiting for Medium and Jake is watching basketball. (He's been SO excited since baseball started and the Final Four has been on, "like a kid in some kind of store".)

So now here's the history of the Wilhelm scream, it's actually really really interesting, I can never get enough of this behind the scenes info.

Easter Eggs in Television Credits

Every week I've been noticing that after The Big Bang Theory, there's some kind of long written title card after the credits. Apparently, this is something that Chuck Lorre does with all the shows he's created every week. You can find an archive of the ones he's written for BBT here...


It reminds me of the way that there used to be a joke in the credits of every episode of Animaniacs and Tiny Toons. They were small, but I waited for them every day. Sometimes it would say, "Back Hoe Operator" or other such nonsense. I like little touches like that, reminds me that succesful creators of media are, in fact, humans. Except for Seth McFarlane. (I kid, I kid!) Here's one that credits a hamster trainer at the 0:24 mark...


Remember the Smurf Ride at Paramount's King's Island?

I decided to google the Smurf Ride today because I'm writing a review of the ride that now occupies the former Smurf Ride, which is Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle. In my opinion, the current ride is the weakest of any of the incarnations of that dark ride. Tops in my book was the amazing, Phantom Theater.

But maybe that's the nostalgia talking.

Anyway, I got a sensory blast from the past when I finally stumbled upon some video of the Smurfs ride. It's a theme park geek's dream, and it's probably at the root of why I'm so obsessed with dark rides today. This and the Haunted Mansion had me mesmerized as a kid. I would absolutely LOVE to ride this again. Since we can't, here's the next best thing.

"Look at all the smurfs, Ryan!"

I couldn't find any quality footage of the Phantom Theater, but I did find some great audio. Sidenote, I don't remember the Phantom sounding so much like the Mad Hatter or the guy who sings, "Wipeout".

The two guys at the end of the ride manning the furnace always reminded me of the positively traumatizing Scoleri brothers. Anyone remember this ride? And I know it's vastly off-topic, but check out this great behind-the-scenes video of a Scoleri brothers costume-fitting.

Friday Night Videos - The Saturday Morning Cartoon Edition

I had a little something special up my sleeve for you this week, and you thought I forgot, didn't you? Well, I thought you deserved a break from music videos, so I thought it was time to bring you back around to some of your favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons. Hit it boys!

I kid you not, I slept on "The Real Ghostbusters" bedsheets until I got married and had to get a different size bed.

Remember when you were little and the words, "fashion and fame" sounded so exciting? I loved her pink hair, maybe subconsciously that's why I dyed mine pink for a while back in the day. Jem was so perfectly designed for little girls that all she was missing was a pony made of candy.

Moving along...

Wow, I can't believe how much I remember about these intros, I haven't seen them for years and years. Let's end it on a happy note, shall we? I can see that this Saturday morning cartoon edition of Friday Night Videos will have to stretch on into another edition! Jake and I couldn't remember if this was ever on actual Saturday mornings though...so I'll just have to take a risk with this one.

Next time fellow geeks, enjoy your Saturday morning old school style. Got any Lucky Charms lying around?


Links aplenty

Here's a little but of what I've been up to...

Comparing & Contrasting Disney World and Disneyland
Knowing the differences can help you pick a park.

The Great Movie Ride: Is the Movie Magic Still Alive Here?
A spoiler-free ride review.

10 Ways to Redecorate on a Budget
If you're desperate for some changes in your home or apartment, but don't think you can afford it, think again.

Star Tours: One of the Best Disney Rides for Movie Geeks
Out of date or geek chic classic?

10 Ways to Save on Your Summer Road Trip
You don't have to scrap your summer road trip because of a slow economy, you just have to make some compromises.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: The Ultimate Thrill Ride
A technologically superior haunted house with roller coaster thrills.

Open Letter to Megan Joy and the departure of the Woz

Both Megan Joy and Steve Wozniak are gone from American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Both my reasons for watching those shows are now gone, so I probably won't watch consistently anymore. I literally don't understand the pull of Adam Lambert's caterwalling. Yes, he's definitely got talent. But I can't stand the emo thing and the 80's metal screaming, and I just can't seem to make myself feel otherwise. I guess you're officially old when you can't make sense of "the young kids" singing these days.

Unfortunately, I totally agree with both of them being eliminated. I loved watching Steve smiling and beaming all around the stage on Dancing. He was just too adorable. I don't feel too bad about him going though since he's a billionaire and all.

However, Megan refused to take any responsibility for consistently picking the wrong songs for her voice and it was really starting to irk me that she kept saying her, "fans" supported her and she had no regrets. You don't have fans yet honey, and it's okay take a risk and do a song that would fit your voice. It seemed like an unnecessary rebellion thing to me, but instead of making you look courageous, it just made you look stubborn. You had people who were rooting for you.
I think she was just trying to stand proud and not take any negativity from the judges, and I can understand that. I'd probably say something brilliant up there myself after taking the judges harsh words like, "Oh yeah, well...in your face." But I think Megan's refusal to admit she picked anti-climactic songs came across as being cocky, and that combined with a couple of weird performances was enough to get us to hang back on the phone lines this week.

Sorry Megan...when you're willing to try some new things or take suggestions from industry professionals, I honestly think you'll go really really far. You can lay down your pride without giving up your artistic integrity, but you can't be a diva until you have at least one successful album. Know this, you inspired me to go ahead and get the tattoos that I've been wanting to get. And I really do love your voice. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.


I'd settle for his career.

In a second. Tom Wilson acts, does comedy, voice-over, and he paints. Now granted, if I could edit it to my specifications, I'd lose the Bob and Tom stuff and add in some stunt-work and a little ukelele playing. But all in all, I find it very encouraging to see that people can "make it" in many different ways doing all of the things they love. I don't think this guy gets enough attention in the geekosphere. I'll have to do further research on this too, but it looks like he's a man of faith to boot. Seeeeee? We're not all squares. (Sorry, I guess I've still got that Family Guy shaped chip on my shoulder.)



P.S. I'm considering a Star Trek communicator tattoo. Only now I'm having some serious second thoughts, because they're trying to get the new Star Trek movie to be "cool" and appeal to hipsters, and that's just not my "thing".