Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beach Blanket Bingo!

Ever hear someone say, "I couldn't possibly choose. It would be like picking my favorite child."? Well, what's the big deal? Let us give it a try.

I never much liked Roscoe, the clown college drop-out. The twins, Chester and Lester, just don't care for them and their ability to make things spontaneously combust. Then there's Rollo, who's always whining about needing shoes to wear and wanting food to eat, and such. So that leaves Elwood, the quiet one. He's my favorite, even though he does have his mother's elephantine ears.

See? Pretty easy. Just like picking my favorite Beach movie: Beach Blanket Bingo. So much to like! First, there's that catchy title tune that once it enters your ear, will bore into your brain like a deadly earwig and never leave. Also, there's Buster Keaton, Paul Lynde, Harvey Lembeck, Don Rickles, Annette Funicello's bosoms, and the joy of watching dozens of near-naked middle-aged teenagers sucking in their pot bellies. On the debit side, there's everything else, mostly Frankie Avalon's smarm. But there's more good than bad.

Last one to the beach house is a tetanal rusty nail sticking in a bloody foot!

Check out that groovy bouffant hairdo. And Annette looks pretty cool, too.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Work in Progress

Excerpts from my latest novel, Eternal Wood; Adventures of a Teenage Vampire:

     Ethelbert loved the big, sprawling, hectic, dynamic city at night. Even on a night like tonight, with the full moon obscured by the clouds, and the sky looking like an oyster stew, the vast city seem to shimmer. Yes, thought Ethelbert, there's no other metropolis in the world quite like Stockton.

                                                             *  *  *  *  *
     Practically six hundred years to the day, Ethelbert's life changed forever, literally, after he was bitten by a vampire vole. Made drowsy by the summer sun, Ethelbert decided to rest in the shade of a sprawling elm; when he awoke, he discovered a vampire vole feasting on his delicious royal blood. He batted the accursed creature away, but the evil deed had been done: Ethelbert Mortimer Cloddington de Blessings, beloved heir and only legitimate child to the rakish Count de Blessings, became a vampire himself. He was now destined to walk the earth forever.

                                                             *  *  *  *  *
    Although Ethelbert was over six hundred years old, not including leap years, his graceful body retained the sinewy muscles of a nineteen year old. His shoulders were square and his stomach taut; his hair was full and flowing, and stayed in place with but a judicious daub of rendered hedgehog fat. But henceforth Ethelbert had to be extremely careful; his six hundred year supply of hedgehog pomade was running dangerously low, and he had yet to find an establishment in Stockton that sold hedgehog sundries.
     His lithe body was like a coiled spring, full of repressed energy, stronger than tempered steel, quicker than the mortal eye. Given the proper circumstances, he never failed to pounce on doomed, unsuspecting prey, like his blood relative, the murderous yet sympathetic vole. 

                                                              *  *  *  *  * 

      Etherbert spied his latest conquest - he preferred this to victim - in front of a nightclub called Le Club de Nuit. She was quite attractive even for mortal standards. She paced to and fro, occasionally glancing at her wristwatch, heaving a sigh. Apparently she was waiting for someone. Etherbert's finely-tuned vampiric senses alerted his splendid body; certain parts of his body quivered in anticipation.
     "Hello, pussycat," said Ethelbert. "What's cookin'?" When he turned on the charm thus, no mortal woman could resist him.
     The young woman turned toward the direction of the beautiful, virile voice. She faintly gasped, overwhelmed by his masculine beauty and by the musky scent of his hedgehog mousse. "Hello yourself, you sweet thing," she replied. After a little small talk, she told Ethelbert she had been stood up, and they should  go someplace else. "Some place dark," she suggested.
     "You read my mind," Ethelbert replied, displaying evidence of his rapier wit.

                                                             *  *  *  *  *

     There's something different about this one, thought Etherbert. She was far from Etherbert's usual conquest: her hips were narrower, her eyebrows were fuller, and when the light was cast upon her in a certain way, her eyes were golden. Etherbert never felt like this in over six hundred years. Could this be love?
     "I have to tell you this, Ethelbert. I can no longer conceal it." With great effort she tore herself away from his manly embrace. She took a deep breath, shook her plentiful tresses, and said, "I'm a werewolf."

                                                          *  *  *  *  *

Cunning and lethal vampire vole, ready to pounce.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Guest Review: Skyfall

My therapist suggests random acts of kindness might help drowning out the voices. So here's a review of Skyfall written by my twelve-year old nephew Nimrod, who prefers being called "Stinky":

Nimrod, aka "Stinky"

My mom usually doesn't let me watch grown up-type movies, but she said it would be okay if I watched Skyfall with her, so long as I kept my trap shut and didn't make any noise while someone named Daniel Craig was on the screen. Turns out Daniel Craig is this old English guy who takes off his shirt a lot, which is kinda gross, and every time he appeared my mom's legs would get all twitchy, and she'd make little noises like she was eating ice cream.

This is one super-awesome movie. Lots of explosions, and crashes, and fighting on top of speeding trains. A subway falls through a tunnel. Awesome. Lots of shooting, too, which was sometimes confusing, but that made it even more awsomer. Anything fast is good, that's my motto.

So there's this secret agent named James Bond, who's looking for another secret agent who's evil and wants to blow up the world, or something. But the question I have is, if James Bond is a secret agent, why does he keep telling people his real name? "Bond. James Bond," he says. Duh. If I were a secret agent, I'd make up a fake name. But that's okay, since he doesn't do much talking, he mostly shoots a lot of people and awesomely blows things up.

There was so much of James Bond falling in water that I thought it should have been called Waterfall. Turns out that Skyfall is the name of the place where James Bond grew up as a child, much like Gone With the Wind is the name of the plantation where Scarlett O'Hara lived.

Like I said, most of the movie is really awesome, but parts of it are kinda gross, like when James Bond takes a shower with a woman, or lets another woman shave him, practically in the dark. I mean, if you're going to let someone shave you, at least turn on the lights. Stupid.

The cast, quoting from memory, includes Craig Daniels, Judi Stench, and Javier Badass. Then there's this really, really old guy, older than James Bond even, my mom said used to be a real actor. Albert Findley, I think she said.

So even with the gross parts, I recommend this movie. Lots of action, and a good story, too. It's like it was made just for me. I just hope this isn't the only James Bond movie they make. I hope they make more.