Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Hot Club

It was Teachers Night Out. All the area teachers were celebrating the last day of school and CC Rider was amongst them. CC joined the regulars, and they observed that her physical attributes had grown since her last visit. So Wise asked her an up front question: "Did you get a boob job?" CC laughed and said, "No. It happens every decade. I go up a size. Triple D's. They're still perky and they're real."

Some of 5 Angels' teacher friends were present. There was talk of whether 5 Angels uses hair color. The Wise Man said, "Oh yeah, he dips his hair." Added Bags, "He works for Sherwin-Williams part-time."

A cigarette boat started up and it sounded worse than when some bikers used to rev up before leaving the Hot Club lot. It was loud and obnoxious. The Jack of Fire said, "That's aggravating!" Jack railed against the cost of gas for such a boat. I told him that fast cigarette boats were often used to transport drugs. Then as the boat man and his galpal swung the boat around to leave, Puckhead yelled, I hope you run out of gas!" The female responded with a middle finger salute. FootJoy told me that about the same time the Warden had given the boat's occupants a thumbs-down sign. So was the boat woman's response to the Warden or to Puckhead? Happy boating! Don't run out of gas!

WEEI was doing a promotion along with 4 Patriots' cheerleaders. The cheerleaders were very pretty. There were two with raven hair, a brunette and a blonde. The cheerleaders sat at a table on the deck signing autographs. Flanking them were their bodyguards, Sean and Grant, providing them protection. A hard job but someone had to do it.

So Jack of Fire opined that only two of the cheerleaders were beautiful. When I told Bags of Jack's opinion, the Bag One said, "I only liked one." Wild Bill asked Bags, "Would you throw any of them out of bed?" Bags replied, "No. That’s a reality check!"

Mr. Contraire was holding court and trying to bust Wild Bill. Bill, of course, likes to tell jokes. So he told one and right after Wild Bill finished it, Contraire said to the Warden, "Will you listen to his jokes for me?"

Wild Bill and I were talking about having children. Bill said a friend of his told him, "If you have a boy you only have one prick to worry about. But if you have a girl, you have to worry about all the pricks."

A guy was celebrating his 53rd birthday. His name was Paul and he was a Red Sox fan. Paul said a friend of his is such a Sox fan that he named his kid Fenway Parker Powers.
Thursday (the 21st) seemed like a Friday. A Friday before Friday.

Contraire observed me socializing with different members of the crowd. He said to me. "You're like the Patriarch of this place."

With WEEI staff at the Club, The Lou was there too. He introduced me to Mike Lyons who now works for WEEI. Mike had a nice career doing sports for several years on Ch. 6. He finally got his big break and got a high profile job in Chicago (his hometown). But after a while, he moved back to this area because of his family. Mike has a son named Mickey (for Mantle), who isn't into baseball and two daughters who are sports nuts.

There were 3 women in white selling Heineken Lights. They had white fedoras, white trench coats and white heels. I called them the White Hat Mafia. They corrected me that they were detectives. Wild Bill impressed them so much that they gave him a free Heineken. They wouldn't do the same for me and one said to Bill, "You look like someone who would promote our beer. You're a rare breed." I quickly agreed. "Yes, he's a rare breed." As they left, Bill told them, " If you get bored, come back later."

The enterprising HC staff, well Sean I think, used the leftover Heineken ice sculpture for a novel purpose. Tipping it to a 45° angle and using an ice pick, Sean created an 'ice luge'. The luge was used for sliding drinks down the 'luge' into the welcoming mouths of the faithful. Shots of various liquors (even beer) were funneled to the waiting lips of the thirsty. Prudence does not permit me to mention the many partakers but I abstained.

A tall stranger observed me taking notes. He said, "That's some chicken scratching." I told him, "Yeah, no one knows what I'm writing."

Frank Sinatra's Strangers in the Night was playing on the jukebox. I said, "Either someone perverse or a Frank Sinatra fan played that." "Both" added FootJoy. Kiddingly I asked Grant, "Did you play that?" Said Grant, "Not with a gun to my head."

Contraire noticed the Warden's car in the lot and the Warden's dog sitting in the driver's seat. Contraire said to the Warden, "I'll bet he drives better than you. Does he have a license?" I said, "Yeah, a dog license." Contraire added, "He needs a collar." I said to Contraire, "We need a collar for you."

A woman with large breasts-a-siss walked by. Were they real or Memorex? Mr. D. said, "Mammarex."

Hooks said he was 'smooth' with a woman. The Warden said, "Smooth as a busted bottle."

Brian, the leprechaun bartender, asked Mr. D. and me what Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Pink Floyd have in common. Answer: "The last Big Hit was The Wall."


This movie takes up where 28 Days Later left off. However where Danny Boyle directed the first, he's only the producer here.* The director is Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who co-wrote the script with Rowan Joffe.

As sequels go, it isn't bad. A rage virus has spread and those affected have become hungry, fast-moving zombies. Hell, these zombies run after you like they're on meth amphetamine. And Speed Kills!

Robert Carlyle (Ravenous) is the only 'star' as Don, the father of two youngsters whose mother died in a zombie attack. They have been reunited after the US Army provides support and security for London after it has recovered from the infection. Or so they think. Ah, if there were just someone who was immune or who had an antidote.

Fresnadillo's film uses a frenetic, jerky camera style, which captures the panicky confusion and all-out assault but it also becomes quite distracting and irritating at times.

There are some amazing scenes of London where there are no people and no traffic, including on a bridge. Many of the shots bring a chill just for that deserted, post-nuclear like quality. A scene in an empty Wembley Stadium* also provides a certain creepiness.

Rose Byrne is good as an Army doctor named Scarlet and Jeremy Renner does well as Sgt. Doyle. The kids, Mackintosh Muggleton (Andy) and his sister Tammy (Imogen Poots), do a good job, too.

Rated R for strong violence and gore, language and some sexuality/nudity. It's 99 mins.

* According to IMDb, Danny Boyle directed some of the 2nd unit filming. And it is Milennium Stadium in Cardiff that doubles for the interior of Wembley Stadium.


It's been a while since I last saw Toots (Fred Hibbert) and the Maytals. It was circa mid-'80's at the Lupo's that was in the old Shepard's building.

This was only the second concert that I've attended at the 'new ' Lupo's, the old Strand Theatre. Rich Lupo (there was a sighting) has gone upscale with the place. There are chandeliers, banquettes, some tables and chairs and 3 bars. My brother Brad subbed for Victoria who had to cancel out at the last minute. The only other time I was at the new Lupo's was with Victoria for BB King.

Toots had the crowd with him right from the start, and security was kept busy 5 times as 3 guys and 2 women wanted to share the stage with Toots. Fred was in good voice and did almost all the songs I wanted to hear including Pressure Drop, Funky Kingston, Country Roads, Reggae Got Soul and Time Tough. The only song I didn't hear was Sweet & Dandy (from The Harder They Come). Toots came on at 10:55. Brad and I stayed until 12:20. Grill Man Josh of the Hot Club said Toots played until 1 AM. Great music.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Hot Club

The Cisco Kid was in from San Francisco, so there was a Sisto Fest. Cisco was holding court and said "Conduit" as a woman walked by. She stopped and repeated it "Conduit." Cisco then told her, "Conduit. Get me one in the Ladies' Room."

Cisco's friend and Yankees fan Richard (aka RA7 for Mickey Mantle) wouldn't go along with our hitting each other's glasses while toasting Cisco. Richard has a 'No clicking' rule.

Mr. D. and I met Brian who tends bar locally. Brian said that kids like shots and exotic drinks like an Irish Car Bomb (Guinness with a shot of Bailey's and Jameson's together) or a Mind Eraser (vodka, Kahlua and soda) drunk with a power straw.

So Mr. D. recalled high balls and 7 and 7's. I remembered boilermakers - a beer and a shot of whiskey. Brian said he has an elderly woman for a customer and she comes in and orders one drink a night - 'a 14'. That's a 7 and 7 once.

Turns out Brian is a Red Sox fan. He saw Matt Damon on Letterman. Letterman reminded Damon that the Yankees had beaten the BoSox that day. Damon responded, "Yes and 10 more and you'll be in 2nd place." Letterman persisted, "And we have Roger Clemens." Damon said, "We had him when he was 20 forty years ago."

According to Mr. D., Alice Cooper owns a bar/restaurant in Cleveland called Cooperstown.

We also thought of Narragansett beer (when it was good) and those great commercials. I always thought Elaine May and Mike Nichols had something to do with the ads. That was back before pop tops. You had to use a can opener to puncture a hole in the beer can top. My grandfather Jim Cullen opened a beer on the wing of my dad's '59 Chevy. My Dad was outraged. My grandfather said, "Oh George, it's only a car."

When I asked Adam if he had seen 28 Weeks Later or Hostel Part II, he told me that he doesn't like torture movies. Many people don't. It's horror for me though and I like horror.

Congratulations to Chuck D Computer who has lost a lot of weight. Chuck told me "Not everything gets smaller."

Alexander the Great is back. I understand he was away conquering the world.

An old guy was wearing a T-shirt that read 'Old Guys Rule'. Then a young thing bent over to pick up a quarter and I thought "Youth rules." Or the 'Utes' of the country rule.


Having seen all the other films based on Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter character, I figured I should check this out. It's OK. But only diehards and completists need bother.

It tells the tale of how Hannibal came to be Hannibal. We are shown young Hannibal in Lithuania ('44) during the 2nd World War. After that it becomes your basic revenge flick.

Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal has the look but he speaks with an accent that is hard to understand at times. They've thrown in Gong Li (Miami Vice, Memoirs of a Geisha) as Lady Murasaki, but there's no chemistry between the two. Peter Webber directed.

Supposedly this is based on a screenplay by Thomas Harris. If so it's pretty weak,

IMDb says Hayden Christensen and Macauley Culkin screen tested for Hannibal. And trivia: latex gloves are used in the film. It's supposed to be the '50's. Such gloves weren't invented until much later.

Red Dragon, the Thomas Harris book from whence Hannibal sprang, has also generated Manhunter (1986), Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002). Hannibal is based on Harris' book Hannibal.

According to Michael Weldon (The Psychotronic Video Guide), Harris' Hannibal Lector is based in part on real-life killer Gary Heidnik.

Manhunter by Miami Vice's Michael Mann has William Peterson, Brian Cox as Hannibal and Tom Noonan as the 'Tooth Fairy'. Noonan was Rodney Dangerfield's buddy in Easy Money. This is almost as good as Silence of the Lambs. In fact Victoria liked it better. I think Lambs is a more complete picture, but I was not happy with Jonathan Demme's ending. The killer is wearing night vision goggles in the cellar. Jodie Foster can't see him.

However Anthony Hopkins made the character of Hannibal Lector. A sneering, leering killer who is intelligent, cultured and a gourmand with a taste for the human ('fava beans and a fine Chianti').

Hannibal, directed by Ridley Scott (Alien), has its moments and I liked Julianne Moore in the Clarice Starling role. There is a savage comeuppance to wise guy Ray Liotta (one of the great horror moments in cinema). David Mamet co-wrote the script (per Leonard Maltin's 2004 Movie and Video Guide).

Red Dragon is basically a remake of Manhunter. This time Edward Norton is the FBI agent. Brett Ratner directed. He has Harvey Keitel, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson, Bill Duke (Predator) and Ralph Fiennes. Yet I remember Hannibal more vividly than I do Red Dragon.

So the rankings are Manhunter and Silence of the Lambs in a tie, then Hannibal, Red Dragon and Hannibal Uprising.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Hot Club

There was an interesting dilemma faced by the Regulars Sunday. Watch the Red Sox-Yankees game at the HC or go to Moe's to watch this week's episode of the Sopranos? Patti even gave them a good suggestion: tape the show, watch the Red Sox-Yanks and then view the video before Monday's 10 PM Oakland start. They went to watch the Sopranos. Patti said that after food, some of the Regulars wouldn't see either the Sopranos or the game.

Patti also reminded me that Ginny Dunleavy, in last week's Hot Club section, was at the HC to celebrate Patti's birthday and 20th Hot Club anniversary. Patti's cake said Happy Annibirthsary.

Contraire and I were talking about A-Rod and the blonde stripper. Contraire said that when he went to Montreal all the married men wanted to go to the strip clubs while their wives shopped. I told him that I've never known a woman who thought it was OK for a guy to go to a strip club.

Mike Sears, who has the fine bar Lili Marlene's on Atwells Ave, just opened a restaurant called Joie Fuller's. It's on Westminster Street. Business is thriving so pick an off night like Sunday or Monday (they're closed Tuesdays). Good luck to Mike on his new effort.

Inside sources (well, Jesse) tell me that the Hot Club has received a permit for the long-delayed bathroom expansion. Saunas, showers and communal stalls will soon be introduced.

Well Pauly Walnuts never made it to that 3rd date. She cancelled out. So he was right about taking the Under. I asked if he won any money. No, everyone else took the Under too.

Bo was on the grill. He had to ask a customer if a hamburger roll was OK because they were out of buns. Bags said, "You didn't ask me. I'm fussy about my buns." Bo said, "That's what I heard."

Hooks had a sign someone left on his car windshield. We didn't see it so ORric asked if it said, "Can I have my pants back?"

ORric was talking about big players like Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn and Lee Smith. I told him about the Sox '60's reliever John Wyatt, who was a large specimen and an excellent closer. Except one day his catcher Bob Tillman tried to nail a base stealer. Wyatt didn't duck and Tillman's throw hit him right in the forehead. Wyatt was never the same pitcher after that ala Bryce Florie and even Matt Clement.

Advice from The Silencer to Bags: Don't date young 20-year olds with powder blue dresses.

And to the noble soul who bought the 'left my wallet at home 'and gave a guy $20. The guy told him he was a chef and provided a phone #. Mr. Noble could have called it on his cell right there.