Friday, October 30, 2009

Doorway into Nightmare

Warning: Clicking this link will probably send you crying to Dr. Strange. Or whoever the Sorcerer Supreme is these days.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happiness is a Secured Kangaroo

So the song in my head today is "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport." I learned the chorus of it in elementary school, and somehow got the impression that it was an old Australian folk song. (It was actually written by Rolf Harris in 1957 and became popular in the early 60s.) Anyway, the chorus goes:

Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down!
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down!

Which is innocuous enough, and a fun song to get a bunch of elementary school children to sing.

The thing is, when I was just a wee one I didn't quite grasp that "tie me kangaroo" was dialect for "tie my kangaroo." I just thought the "kangaroo" was added to the song just to make it Australian. Perhaps it was a verbal tic Australians had, adding the word "kangaroo" to their sentences without even knowing it. "Pass the kangaroo sugar, please." "What's kangaroo on the telly tonight?"

Problem is, that frame of mind changes the lyrics from someone stressing that you don't want a loose kangaroo on your hands to someone saying, "Tie me down, sport... Tie me down."

As an elementary school kid, I had no idea why someone would want to be restrained in such a fashion. While "Tie me down, sport," takes on a whole new meaning to my adult ears, as I kid I could only think of one explanation:

He was asking to be tied down because he was worried about turning into a werewolf. And if he were a werewolf, he'd probably eat the kangaroo.

Who really should have been tied down, don't ya think?


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Internet Update

Google Images isn't the only game in town. Undaunted by my earlier failure to track these two guys down, I tried Bing, and I came up with these two images of Jingle and Jangle on the first page of results.

And having settled that matter in my mind, I hope to forget about Christmas for another 50 days or so.


Shifting Sands

This is pretty amazing... an artist makes a circus in the sand. Enjoy.


So I guess this is a recurring dream. How 'bout that.

My impression is that recurring dreams are ways the subconscious addresses issues that the conscious mind is unable to face. But, having had this dream twice now, I have to say I'm at a loss for the deeper meaning.

A colorful, do-gooder style ocean vessel (like a Greenpeace ship) pulls up next to a U.S. battleship. Two young men--a gangly blond man and his stocky, curly-headed friend, are escorted from the hippie ship onto the military vessel. They're led far into the depths of the battleship, where there is a room with sound baffles on the walls, and all the equipment of a mobile recording studio. And there, under executive order of the President, they will record the vocal tracks for a recently uncovered "lost" scene from The Year Without a Santa Claus. These two guys were the closest to the hapless elves, Jingle and Jangle, both physically and vocally, and the project could not be delayed.

I have had this dream twice, under two different Presidents. Both want more Year Without a Santa Claus.

(And as an aside, a Google search turned up only one, thumbnail-size, photo of Jingle and Jangle. The Internet has failed us on this most basic of things.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Dreaded "Still Alive" Post.

I'm still alive.

I'm not sure why I haven't been blogging since I returned from Vegas (oh, yeah, I went to Vegas. It was a birthday surprise to my friend Chris, who reads this blog, or else I would have mentioned it beforehand), even though, well, I went to Vegas and had a great time.

And heck, there's still one or two things I'd like to say about Folk Fest, and that was back in August.

But anyway, I'm still alive, and regular blogging will resume shortly. Well, as regular as it gets around here, anyway.

(Meanwhile, out of the blue, a 3-year-old guest post I did on Sharon's blog saw some action today.)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Stop Your Parents' Car...I Just Saw a Shooting Star

One of my favorite bands, The Avett Brothers, was on one of my favorite talk shows the other night. They performed "Laundry Room," and did a real nice job of it, I think.

So give it a listen, while I ponder why a newly 40-year-old dude responds so strongly to a song so young.

I am a breathing time machine.

Rob's Couch vs. The Wages of Fear

For the past week or so, I've been watching an excellent movie called The Wages of Fear. Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, The Wages of Fear is about four men living in a South American hellhole of a town. It's an awful, poverty-stricken place surrounded by desert; the only way out is a plane ticket no one there can afford. But when an accident sets an oil rig ablaze, the oil company that runs the town decides to hire these drifters to haul an terrifying amount of nitroglycerin out to the rig, where it can be used explode the well closed and stop the blaze. They'll pay $2,000 a man for the trip, enough for any of them to get out. But is that enough to carry a bomb on your back?

The first hour sets up the mens' lives in the town, and how they relate to each other, and why they (or anyone) would be so desperate to get out. It's slowly paced, like life in the town itself. And since this is subtitled (from both Spanish and French into English, although sometimes English is spoken, too) it took a little more attention than I was able to give it the first night we watched it, and I fell asleep on the love seat, some 45 minutes in. (It's a two-and-a-half-hour movie.)

After that night, Kathy had seen enough, so I set about to finish it on me own, after she'd gone to bed. Problem was, I'd lie down on our couch and watch this movie in the dark. The first night, I got fifteen minutes further, and realized I'd dozed off around 45 minutes after i turned off the tv, and, too paralyzed by the couch to move, stayed there until 5:30 in the morning, when I crawled into bed.

Two nights ago, I got a little farther. The ride had begun, but I drifted off again, forgetting I needed my eyes to read the subtitles. The couch wins again.

But last night, I backed up to the first treacherous part of the journey, a long, grooved part of the road (called "the Washboard") where there were only two safe ways to drive it: going 40 mph, or crawling along under 6. This is followed by other hazards -- a tight turn onto a rickety wooden platform, a boulder in the path of the road, and worse. And Clouzot twists and twists until he finds every bit of tension in the scene. None of these things sound like they'd be terrifying to watch. But make no mistake, they are.

By the time the film reaches one of the most disturbing death scenes I've ever seen, I realized that, no matter how many nights it took for me to watch the whole thing, this had become one of my favorite suspense movies. It's a slow starter, but when it hits the road, it never lets up.


Sunday, October 04, 2009


I saw a sweet country girl reveal her biker-chick side, and a donut-munching cop turn into a crook. A woman turned into an angel, and girls defied gravity. I learned there's more than one way to make lemonade. And I saw Goldfinger, which isn't something you soon forget.

The New York Burlesque Festival's Saturday Spectacular was eye-popping, jaw-dropping fun.. and a hell of a way to turn almost forty. Thanks to my pals, and my glorious wife, for coming out and having this kind of a crazy good time with me. And thanks to everyone involved in making this amazing show happen!


Friday, October 02, 2009

Screw that, then.

I'm not flying all the way to Rio just to break a long-jump record. The Olympics will just have to go on without me.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Big Bird: Birther

From Conan O'Brien: Too funny to miss.