Monday, November 24, 2014

Coming Soon

Highlights from Musical Movies

Oh, this is the night,
it's a beautiful night
And we call it "Bella Notte."

Who can forget this immortal movie song from Lady and the Tramp? It's truly one of my all-time favorite movie tunes. It brightens a particularly romantic scene with its unforgettable melody, and the lyrics charm with their warm simplicity. If you don't speak Italian, here's a translation that doesn't lose any of the magic:

Oh, this is the night,
it's a beautiful night
And we call it "Nice Night."

I mean, what hard-hearted person could do anything but sigh when they hear that poetry? Of course we all know the songwriters, Frank Sandler and Jerry Wiebler, went on to pen a long string of hits after this. I'm sure every filmgoer can remember their Theme from Cabaret:

Oh, this is a man,
A really strange man
And we call him "Bizarro Muchacho."

Then there's their immortal Love Theme from Man of La Mancha:

Oh, that is a windmill,
A really big windmill
And we call it "Humungo Windmillo."

Sadly, the pair's popularity plummeted with the advent of rap music. They tried to join the trend in 2004 but most agree that even with Vanilla Ice performing it their swan song isn't their most popular work.

Oh, those are some buns,
Some fabulous buns
And we call them "Lotsa Buttockos."

Friday, November 7, 2014

Would you like to try my drink? [PAUSE] YOU BASTARD! SPIT IT OUT!

The Bad Manners cocktail at Nitecap, $14

Thursday, November 6, 2014

[T]he semi-naked waiters returned with phallic branches of Brussels sprouts, sprouting from you-know-where. They handed you a knife, and you had to shear your own.... The possibility of accidentally slicing off a waiter’s private parts—was purposeful, felt [billionaire Russian oligargh Maria] Baibakova.

“Art is supposed to challenge us,” she said. “It’s not supposed to be comfortable.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hi. My name is Roman, and I'm the president of PWUTRASOUPANHCCBSHGAPOS ("People Who Used To Report All Sorts Of Inexplicable Phenomena And Now Have Cellphone Cameras But Still Haven't Gotten A Photo Of Shit"). Our group has gotten a lot of attention recently, and not in a positive light. If the angry mob would shut up for a second, I'd like to explain our side of the story.

Yes, it's true: in my lifetime I've seen some unnatural sights. In my lifetime, I've seen sixteen ghosts, eight UFOs, three werewolves, nine Yetis, and Jesus' face on four different types of toast (rye, whole wheat, challah, and raisin). Every one of these sightings has been publicized. "The Flying Cigars of Northern Vancouver" was actually made into a miniseries, "Space Alien Bar Mitzvah" was a special on Bravo TV, and #ChallahBreadJesus became a trending tweet. In my prime, I was averaging fourteen unexplained sightings a week, and that was before I started drinking Hpnotiq.

"Surely you've had a cellphone for the last ten or twelve years," you say. "So why haven't you gotten a photo of anything strange yet?" You roll your eyes and act like this odd lapse is conclusive proof that nothing paranormal exists, but I'm here to tell you that unlike the midget clown that hovered over me for most of 1972, there's a rational explanation for this.

First, you're probably aware of the biggest problem. A yeti runs out of the woods, I grab for my camera, and before I've even typed in half my password it's broken into my Fiero and then run off. It just isn't quick enough! My fingers shake and I'm typing, like, "1, 2, 3 -- " and before I see all the little app widgets he's gone back into the abandoned coal mine again.

"Roman," you say, "according to your eyewitness reports, every UFO you've ever seen either danced or hovered or hung in the air. Surely that would give you time to type in your passcode."

Well, in a perfect world, yes. But -- call me stupid -- I always make some kind of mistake. I actually did get video of Amelia Earhart's ghost eating nopales tacos at Machu Picchu, but just out of habit I turned my phone sideways to film it. It was crisp and perfect but I had to delete it. I knew that for every person who saw it and said "WOW! That's absolutely AMAZING!!!" I'd get a hundred going, "DON'T FILM IN PORTRAIT MODE, ASSHOLE!"

Sometimes I almost think there's an unnatural conspiracy to stop me from photographing this paranormal stuff. Like one afternoon a chupacabra ran by my window and I made a mad dash for my phone but at that very second it rang. I'm like "CALL BACK! I GOTTA GET A PHOTO!" and it's like, "ANSWER THIS CALL! FUCK THAT THING!"

Anyway, don't stop believing. Rest assured one day soon -- oh, shit. There's a crop circle in my back yard. Yes, a real crop circle, in my very own backyard. It's amazing, like an incredibly intricate fractal crossed with some fourth-dimensional M. C. Escher shit. Okay, I got it: type in password, don't use portrait mode, turn off flash --

Shit. Grass grows like fuck around here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ohmigod, I can't believe I almost missed an amazing landmark in history. Luckily I spotted a few proud headlines at various online news sites:

  • Rolling Stone announces that "Michael Stipe came out, identifying himself as 'queer,' two decades ago today."

  • Joe.My.God celebrates "Michael Stipe On 20 Years Of Being Out."

  • Salon blares, “Queerness is a state of mind: Michael Stipe on the anniversary of his coming-out."

Of course, it's possible these news sites might have missed this too had Mr. Stipe not reminded them. He thoughtfully recounts his groundbreaking admission in Britain's The Guardian newspaper. "It’s been 20 years since I announced to the world that I was queer," he opens, not shyly recalling his bravery.

Wow, I remember it like it was yesterday. As I recall, though, he didn't exactly say he was "queer." Or "gay." Or "homosexual." But I remember how brave we all thought he was to admit to the world that unlike 60% of America in the 1990s, he was definitely not entirely straight.

He was an "equal opportunity lech," he'd actually said, before refusing to define himself as gay, straight or bi. From that day forward it was like the world had changed. Michael Stipe had made history! Why, we'd never heard anything like it! He was the very first person ever who'd refused to define himself sexually as long as you didn't count Richard Deacon, Paul Lynde, Liberace, or any of the effeminate characters played by Edward Everett Horton or Franklin Pangborn in those 1930s films.

Mr. Stipe's announcement had such an immediate impact on my life. I was a fan of his who'd been out for years, and I'd had a crush on him. I'd heard the rumors and kept my fingers crossed. How the world spun on its axis when I realized that he'd actually kind of admitted that he'd once gotten drunk and spotted a guy that was maybe sort of hot.

I mean, put this into perspective. This was 1994, and there was a terrible danger to announcing sexual ambiguity: a performer could find himself almost too popular. Still, even the hetero singers risked it. Mr. Stipe's trailblazing came a mere twenty-two years after David Bowie came out as bi, fourteen years after Mick Jagger played an effeminate cross-dressing bisexual in Performance, and just twenty years after the New York Times declared Lou Reed to be "publicly gay." Just sixteen short years after the Tom Robinson Band sang "(Sing If You're) Glad To Be Gay," Mr. Stipe was singing, "Chicken trainwreck sombrero termites, ukulele marmalade cats."

I remember getting chills trying to imagine how things would change for the next generation! How emboldened they would be by a major star's admonition that he'd once seen a man who was kind of attractive and he told his girlfriend and she was like, "Whaaa?"

With this twentieth anniversary, Mr. Stipe cements his place in the queer history book, provided "queer" means "strange or odd." And clearly his selfless sharing hasn't been entirely altruistic. Age has brought him wisdom along with an almost poetic writing power. In The Guardian he shares how much that semi-coming-out changed his life, and it's remarkably powerful. I think we all secretly envy the man whose heart is an all-embracing, foundational tenet that accepted its own truth: that though it really, really loves women, there are maybe a couple of guys he'd kind of do.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Yup, those are definitely the symptoms for being either a terrorist assassin or an adult.

Crime Watch

A 25-year-old woman took an Australian tourist’s $25,000 Rolex and hid it in her vagina after an early morning hookup in a Manhattan hotel room, officials said.

Brenton Price was getting a massage from Shacarye Tim when he noticed his Rolex missing. Tims tried to run off but Price caught her in the lobby. He held her for police, who saw her take the Rolex “out of her vaginal cavity."

I'm thinking Rolex should start using another watchmaker's motto. I mean, this thing definitely took a licking and kept on ticking.