Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Hot Club

Someone painted the doors to the HC men's stall purple. Purple! Royal Flush!

Wendy's is running an ad for its hamburgers with a version of the Stones' Satisfaction. It sounds like Benny Benassi's version. Obasie sent me the video clip. Benassi's video has women in bikini tops and Daisy Duke shorts powering various men's tools.

Jim McCabe of the Globe (11/250 must be reading Sportzine and especially the Hot Club section. He did a story on Patriot kicker Adam Vinatieri entitled 'Foot joy'. Do I get royalties?
Does Foot Joy get to sue for nickname infringement?

Joking Joe said he was watching Stacked with Pamela Anderson. A woman was talking about how it used to be much easier - meet an old guy with bucks, stay with him a while, he dies and then you inherit his money. But now that there is Viagra, you actually have to work for your money.

Peter, the Marketing Man, said corporations are complaining to him about today's young workers. Seems that they lack 'critical thinking'. Peter says the bottom line is that they don't read enough.

Peter was saying how much he dislikes the writing of Jim Donaldson in the Pro Jo. I told Pete that I consider Donaldson the Buddy Hackett of sports writing. Donaldson isn't happy unless he's attacking someone and ridiculing him or her. Peter said he prefers to read about the human condition. I said Donaldson makes fun of the humans and their human condition.

Foot Joy said he has a cousin who weighs 400 pounds. He has told the cousin that he doesn't want to be a pallbearer for him. Foot Joy said that's what cranes are for.

FJ said he watched Sunday's Sports Reporters on ESPN and all the reporters, who were black, defended Terrell Owens. I said Owens' actions are indefensible.

We were talking about great multi-talents. Foot Joy mentioned Jackie Gleason. I brought up Steve Allen, the man who started the Tonight show. Foot Joy said it was interesting that we brought up those two men. Jackie Gleason's wife in The Honeymooners was played by Audrey Meadows. And in real life, Steve Allen was married to Jayne Meadows, Audrey's sister.


Sin City is an enticing entry from director Robert Rodriguez and writer Frank Miller who is generously given a co-director credit. Miller wrote the graphic novels (actually they are comics available thru Dark Horse Comics) on which Sin City is based. And somehow Quentin Tarantino got a 'special guest director' credit. Whatever that means. Did Quentin direct one scene? Or did he supply some other input?

Sin City is really a place called Basin City, a fictional place that is not of this earth. The tales told of that city try to emulate Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Like that movie, Sin City is episodic, violent and quirky. But where Pulp Fiction's locale and characters had substance, Sin City has only style. It has the look down but not the flesh and blood that made us like the Pulp characters and their settings.

Both movies have quite a cast of characters and share having Bruce Willis. But it is there that the similarity ends. While Sin City also has Michael Madsen (another Tarantino favorite), Mickey Rourke, Benicio Del Toro, Rutger Hauer, Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson (not related to me), Jessica Alba and Brittany Murphy, none of them is human. They are all just props in episodes that usually involve acting out some form of revenge.

And while I've never read any of Frank Miller's 'graphic novels', the visuals here come off more like cartoon cels, the characters overblown and overwrought. These creatures come from a strange city that is more alien universe than the slick streets of Pulp Fiction. As a result, it's hard to get interested in the denizens of Sin City. They don't mean anything to us. After all the special effects and the digital enhancements are done, we are left with celluloid ciphers that signify nothing. Too bad, as Victoria said, it could have been so much more.


This is a French movie by Alexandre Aja who directed and wrote it with Gregory Levasseur. Early word of mouth on it was quite good. Aja and Levasseur must have seen a lot of slasher movies because this entry fills its quotient of blood and grisly deaths. And the picture stays interesting for a while.

It's about two college girlfriends, Marie and Alexia who go to the French countryside home of Alexia's parents. They need to get away to the quiet rural surroundings to study for college exams. What goes on after they arrive will be left untold, as I don't like to give away plot elements. But what occurs is typical of many slice and dice films.

And then things change when a strange twist is introduced. At first you go along with it, but then you start to question the use of this conceit. It reminded me of The Life and Death of David Gale. That movie also had a plot twist that eventually undermines the whole structure of the movie.

So it is here in High Tension. The twist provokes questions that have no good answers. Like a house with unstable underpinnings, the movie collapses. The plot ramifications have not been well thought out by Aja and Levasseur. As a result, we're left with a movie that fails because of itself.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Hot Club

Mr. D. said he hates the saying "It couldn't get any better." Of course it could get better. Like if a woman was… Never mind.

We were talking about Dwight Brewington quitting the PC Friars basketball team. It doesn't make any sense. I said that I was at a loss to explain it. Foot Joy chimed in, "He just doesn’t listen." Brewington is deaf. Not PC. Well, PC but not PC.

Sean was in the Zine for the first time last week. He wanted to know why he didn't have a nickname. I told him that the people who have nicknames usually have them because they've done something bad. So if you want a nickname Sean…

Brendan was talking to me when Sean warned him to be careful what he said or it would end up in the Zine. He told Brendan to say it was off the record. Brendan told Sean, "Oh no, I want to be quoted."

Erica was talking about someone she knows who was at a party when someone put a 'roofie' in her drink. Apparently this is the name for the latest date rape drug.

A guy was leaving the Hot Club. He looked at me and said "Time to go home. Time to be real. I don't want to be real."

We understand that some of the bartenders have nicknames for some regulars - Mr. Magoo, the Dirty Librarian, Rim Job. Not sure if Mr. D. or I have any names.

Sean and his female friend were leaving the HC. Erica said, "Don't stay out late."

Mr. D. was talking to a guy who met Frankie Valli while at LAX. The guy said Valli's hand had gold rings on every finger. Contraire was listening in and added, "You need someone to cut off his hand."

Erica chastised Obasie for answering his cell phone while talking to us. She said she has told people on cells in restaurants to have some phone etiquette and take it outside.

Who were the foursome that thought it'd be fun to get black and blue together?

Our best to Jessica Van Damme who is back briefly from Amsterdam.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Hot Club

RR (Roving Reporter) informed me that Bags feels Foot Joy has been getting a little too close to Bags' girlfriend Susan. Well to her lips, that is. RR says Foot Joy has a fondness for kissing Sue hello and good bye. However, lately he's been getting a little TOO close to her lips. So Bags has invoked a "3-inch rule". Foot Joy can't get closer to her lips (off the cheek) than 3-inches.

Sean, the Hot Club doorman/bouncer, believes in brains over brawn and prides himself on stopping fights, not fueling them. He seems to have a very persuasive manner.

And while Sean speaks softly and carries a big stick, he isn't shy about sharing some of his past hobbies. CJ and I were talking about George Orwell's 1984 and Winston Smith having his head stuck in a cage full of rats. Sean said he raised 'feed rats' for his snakes. Sean had a reticulating python (bigger than an anaconda), boa python and some rosy-tailed boas. Sean bought a Ma and Pa Rat to provide young'uns for the snakes instead of paying for mice to feed them.

Sean told us Pa Rat wouldn't leave Ma Rat alone. Even after she had just delivered 13-14 ratlets. One day Sean found Pa Rat spread-eagled in the cage. Pa was dead from desire.

CJ said she used to hunt and fish. She knows that rabbit tastes like chicken. I had rabbit once when I went out with a farm girl from Belleville, Illinois. I felt like I was eating Thumper.

A friend of CJ's has a pet rabbit Tyler that is small but round. CJ calls it 'Appetizer' much to the chagrin of her girlfriend. Her friend's son told CJ that the rabbit is bigger now and is an 'Entrée'.

Tom Bates stopped by on the night of our fraternity reunion with Joe Machowski who flew in from Japan. So I asked if Tom were ever in a fraternity. Not at RISD, Tom told me. But he and some friends were in a fraternity in high school (NY). They started their own sports fraternity.

Speaking of Joe Machowski, he told our small gathering of Kappa Delta Phi brothers that he once was a waiter on the SS Victoria, a boat/restaurant that docked where the Hot Club now sits. Congratulations to Russ and to Chris (Capo of Caps) who are getting married (not to each other).

Hooks was complaining about some aspect of his upcoming trip to the Dominican. He asked Mr. D. about it. So the Travel and Tourism professor asked Hooks who booked the trip. When Hooks informed him he went thru GWV, Mr. D said, "That was your first mistake. Use a travel agent." The Warden told Hooks "I could have gotten you a deal."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Hot Club

Hooks told me he's heading to the Dominican Republic for a week. He's taking his girlfriend Sue. Hooks said he's going to the DR to "recruit Pedro back." Nice to see that Hooks is actually going to leave the Hot Club and spend some of his long green.

We were discussing the Theo press conference and the real reason that Theo decided not to re-sign with the Red Sox. The Warden said, "It's just Theo being Theo."

Brendan told me his older brother's name is Chris. He told me his parents named them for great explorers. I guessed that his brother was named for Chris Columbus but was stymied by Brendan. He said, "Brendan the Great."

After another of Brendan's rants, he walked away and added, "I gotta play some music and drown out my voice."

Told Car Crash Kevin that I went to a Halloween party dressed as a zombie. He said, "You should have gone as the Wise Man."

Foot Joy and I were talking about Chris Schenkel and his on-air mistake of saying "Shofner faked him out of his jock." Foot Joy recalled how Ned ('Mercy') Martin got in trouble in 1979 after Yaz got his 3000th hit and Martin proclaimed, "All hell is breaking loose."

FJ also pointed out to me that Chris Schenkel got his start calling Brown University football on the radio.

Buff Steve said that he was a Seabee in the Navy but while stationed in Newfoundland got to be a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. I told Steve that when I was with the AF in Turkey, there was no TV only Armed Forces Radio. I got to hear but not see two of the greatest upsets in sports history in 1969 - the Mets' World Series win over the Orioles and the Jets Super Bowl victory over the Colts. Two NY teams over two from Baltimore.

5 Angels was in the Hot Club with his friends Leo and Ursula. Ursula offered to buy 5 Angels a drink. Mr. D. said, "A woman that buys drinks. Don't let her go!"

Victoria and I were discussing movies and I mentioned the screwball comedies of the 30's. I told her about Bringing Up Baby (1938) with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

So I did some research and found out that the movie's director, Howard Hawks, is considered the father of screwball comedies. Hawks started it with Twentieth Century (1934). He also did His Girl Friday (1940), Ball of Fire (1942), I Was A Male War Bride (1949) and Monkey Business (1952).

Cary Grant was also in His Girl Friday, I Was A Male War Bride and Monkey Business (not the Marx Brothers movie). Grant (Archibald Leach), who came out of poverty in Bristol, England, played the urbane sophisticate in many movies.

Grant had the good fortune to make Sylvia Scarlett with Katherine Hepburn in 1936, the year his contract with Paramount ended. It made him a star and he then signed non-exclusive contracts with Columbia and RKO. He even got script approval of his films.

Unlike many stars, Grant walked away from movies while still on top in the '60's. He was offered the directorship of the cosmetics company Faberge and took it. He never made another film after Walk Don't Run (1966).

The source book I used for this (The Encyclopedia of Hollywood by Scott Siegel and Barbara Siegel) told of Grant attending a charity fund-raiser and forgetting his ticket to the event. He tried to convince the ticket taker that he was Cary Grant but she said, "That's impossible. You don't look like Cary Grant." Grant responded, "Who does?"

Howard Hawks is just as well known for his westerns, Red River (1948), Rio Bravo (1959) and El Dorado (1967). According to the Siegels, Hawks was no fan of Stanley Kramer's High Noon (1952) in which sheriff Gary Cooper tries to get the townspeople to help him battle the bad guys. Hawks believed it was the lawman's job to go it alone. So when he made Rio Bravo, Hawks had his sheriff, John Wayne, turn down the help of the townsfolk.

Hawks, who discovered Lauren Bacall and Angie Dickinson, never won an Oscar.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Hot Club

Mr. D. tells his frosh that he knows a college graduate whose first job was as a janitor. The college grad told his boss, "But I have a college degree." The boss said, "OK then I'll show you how to sweep."

Mr. D. knows some students who are going to Peru. He says that they intend to eat guinea pig
while there. Mr. D. says that it's more guinea than pig. Chuck D Computer replied, "I had a girlfriend like that."

The Warden noticed the headline in the Providence Journal "Judge gives 30-year stabbing sentence". We agreed that that is a long time to be stabbed.

We were talking about George Orwells' 1984. I said it was diabolically clever to use a person's fears against him/her. I said that like Winston Smith, I didn't like rats. Chuck D wasn't sure he wanted to tell me what he feared most. Mr. D. said he feared meeting boring people at the Hot Club.

We were scoffing at the notion that the Turks didn't massacre 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. A group has filed a lawsuit trying to prevent educators from teaching that. I said that next we'd have people saying the Nazis were nice. Chuck D added, "And the 40's thing didn't happen."

Desi told Mr. D. and me that she likes to ride horses in Rehoboth. She rides a friend's 20-year old named Ferdinand and leads him thru dressage movements. She is hoping to get a bronze medal. I wished her well in getting the horse a bronze medal. Mr. D. said, "The owner gets the bronze medal."

A woman with a shoulder tattoo was talking to her daughter on a cell phone. When she closed the cell, she called her daughter a 'caza'. I asked what that meant and she said 'pig'.

The Flying Food Maven was at the ATM withdrawing money. The Wise Man said, "Hey, get me some money, too." Flyer said, "Sure. Give me your card."

Buffalo Steve was at his Citizen's Bank. The bank has a big monitor that shows the first patron in line. Steve kidded the guy who was on the monitor "Where's Oprah?" The guy had no sense of humor and asked Steve if he wanted to go outside and settle it. Foot Joy told Steve, "You should have asked him if he made a deposit or a withdrawal."

Buffalo Steve and I were discussing movies. He asked me if I remembered The Thin Man based on Dashiell Hammett's novel. I told him that I recalled the TV series with Phyllis Kirk in the Nora Charles role but couldn't remember who played Nick Charles.

Steve liked the William Powell and Myrna Loy Thin Man film series. So I checked it out and the original Thin Man was made in 1934. The movies were so successful that Powell and Loy made 6 all told, the last in 1947.

In fact the two worked together so well that they were in 13 movies together. The director of the first four Thin Man movies was W.S. Van Dyke. The TV Thin Man series was on from 1957-1959. Asta played Asta, the Charles' wire-haired fox terrier, and Peter Lawford was Nick Charles.

Buff Steve knew that The Thin Man was not Nick Charles but a victim from the first movie. The real Thin Man was an inventor whose death sparked an investigation by the husband and wife socialites who dabbled as sleuths.Buff Steve also remembered that The Thin Man also had The Fat Man, Brad Runyon, played by J. Scott Smart.

My research revealed that William Powell was married to Carole Lombard and then was romantically involved with Jean Harlow, but she died before they could marry.

[The following resource books were used in Movies: Total Television by Alex McNeil, The Encyclopedia of Hollywood by Scott Siegel and Barbara Siegel, and American Movie Classics' Classic Movie Companion (Robert Moses, Editor).]