May You Live Long And Prosper, A Leonard Nimoy tribute

Leonard Nimoy was not just an actor, he was also a director, a writer, a poet, a photographe, a singer and an advocate. This is my tribute to him:

Did I have a crush on

 Spock? Hell yeah I did!

He was the perfect man...errr...life-form...ummm...humanoid...fine, ok, he was an alien! But he was my alien and he was still the perfect catch. Here's why:

 
  • Tall, olive and handsome due to being a "green blooded Vulcan!" (as Bones would say)
  • Smart, analytical, precise, logical, he was the Science Officer after all
  • Stronger, Faster, Better 
  • Longer Lifespan, disease resistant
  • Cool names like; Spock, T'Pau, Surak, Saavik, Tuvok, T'Pol, Sarek, Kuvak, T'Pring and the ever watchful Stonn
  • Great at hand-to-hand combat, secret moves like the Vulcan Nerve Pinch
  • Three words - Vulcan Mind Meld 
  • He's a Legend among Vulcans even
  • Vegetarian, like ME!
  • That snarky, Know-It-All look with the cocked up eyebrow
  • Cool, Calm and Collected -emotionally controlled except once every seven years when...
  • Pon Farr turns him into a hormonally charged, wild animal!

And let's not forget about the parallel-universe, goatee-sporting Spock, or Vulcan lute playing Spock! Still sexy!

Spock playing Vulcan lute Leonard Nimoy
Mirror Mirror Spock with goatee

I therefore conclude that my attraction to Spock is totally logical and I love Leonard Nimoy for breathing life into him.

 

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Leonard Nimoy reprises his role as Spock in the rebooted version of Star Trek (2009)

Leonard Nimoy reprises his role as Spock in the rebooted version of Star Trek (2009)

 

Nimoy co-starred in the original six motions pictures of the Star Trek franchise, then came back to make cameo appearances in the latest two.

Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Nimoy acted in numerous television and film roles. Some of the more notable ones are his roles in Kid  Monk Baroni, Night Gallerty, as Paris on Mission Impossible, Mustapha Mond from Brave New World and Dr. William Bell from Fringe.

His writing credits include not one but two biographies. The first, I Am Not Spock, written in 1975, was written before the full impact of Star Trek was realized.  The second, I Am Spock, was written in 1995 as a reflection of his life living with the iconic character he helped to create.

Leonard Nimoy was also a poet, publishing seven books of poetry. His final tweet is both poetic and prophetic.

Come Be With Me by Leonard Nimoy poetry
Leonard Nimoy's final tweet is poetic and prophetic.jpg
A Lifetime of Love Poesm on the Passages of Life by Leonard Nimoy

A photographer since a child, the most notable of Nimoy's work is The Full Body Project. A Peter Paul Ruben-esque collection of nude photos are full bodied women.

I recommend that you take a look at his gallery of work located at Leonard Nimoy Photagraphy. You can also shop for Leonard Nimoy art and apparel at his offical website store, ShopLLAP

Leonard Nimoy photo gallery
Leonard Nimoy director and photographer

The list of Leonard Nimoy's accomplishments can go on and on and on. From singing on albums, writing screenplays, directing films and being a voice actor on video games, to appearing in music videos and cartoons. Suffice it to say that he excelled in a diverse range of careers. 

Leonard Nimoy's tweet about smoking and COPD

In February 2015, Nimoy publically revealed that he had been suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD is a degenerative disease  where damaged lung tissue loses elasticity and therefore the ability to expand and contract. This causes reduced airflow and increased mucas build-up. Nimoy attributed the disease to smoking, although he quit over 30 years ago. He has been an advocate for quitting, often posting tweets urging others to quit. His last smoking related tweet, from January 10th, was the somber statement, "Don't smoke. Id did. Wish I never had. LLAP". Leonard Simon Nimoy passed away on February 27, 2015, due to complications related to COPD. The world will miss his spirit.

 

ive Long and Prosper. RIP

Live long and prosper Leonard Nimoy

Boardwalk Empire Comes To An End

There are no Boardwalk Empire spoilers in this post. 

For those of you who haven't seen the last episode or haven't seen any episodes, but still plan to watch the entire series, I will not reveal any plot points. This is more of a tribute to some of my favorite characters on the show. If you haven't watched the series but have a bit of knowledge on 1920s-1930s criminals, the pictures may reveal some personalities that are depicted on the show. But the list  is not all inclusive, it's just some of my favorites, so there is still plenty of mystery.

James Darmody 

James Darmody 

Ironically, most of my favorites are not even based on real people. If they are, they're so far removed from their namesake to make the comparison negligible. I do reveal whether the characters are real or not, but I won't go into their fate or how long they will last in the series.

The last time I did research on the show was at the beginning of season two. I resisted as long as I could (due to fear of spoilers) but curiosity got the best of me. I had to know who was real, I mean, how can these people really be real? I just had to know if all of the events I watched happened in real life. And if I glanced at some information about their untimely death or incarceration, so be it. 

Charles Lucky Luciano

Charles Lucky Luciano

Of course, I wound up slipping all the way down the slope into an ocean of spoilers. I read about the characters', where they were born, their ancestors, their future, their lineage, and what they were doing. I read it all. But luckily this was way at the beginning of Season 2 and I was pretty sure that I'd forget all the names, which I did. And there really are a lot of characters that don't exist in history, we'll call them the wild card factor. So my slip didn't turn out to be as bad as I thought at the time. I just swore off looking up any character's until after the series ended. I'm proud to say I  made it, the final episode aired Sunday, October 26, 2014.

Chalky White

Chalky White

So today is Tuesday, October 28, 2014 and I've spent the last day reading about Everyone! Were the real or fictional? Were they at least based on a real person? How did their real-life story differ from Boardwalk Empire? And of course the most satisfying part, digging up pictures of all of the real people. 

And that is what I will share with you now. Just some pictures of some of my personal favorite characters. Just me, sitting here reminiscing about them because they are so bad-ass!

Enoch "Nucky" Thompson is based on his real life counterpart Enoch "Nucky" Johnson

Albert "Chalky" White a well developed but fictional character *although a boxer shares his name. 

James "Jimmy" Darmody is unfortunately a fictional character. 

Charles "Lucky" Luciano

Alphonse "Scarface" Capone

Richard Harrow - fictional character

Margaret Thompson - fictional

Gillian Darmody - fictional 

Fortunately Gyp Rosetti is a completely fictional character, because he's crazy...(good)!!!

Agent Nelson Van Alden - fictional

Agent Nelson Van Alden - fictional

Sheriff Elias "Eli" Thompson is based on Nucky's actual brother Alfred "Alf" Johnson

Sheriff Elias "Eli" Thompson is based on Nucky's actual brother Alfred "Alf" Johnson

Owen Sleater - fictional

Owen Sleater - fictional

Mickey Doyle = Micky Duffy

Arnold Rothstein

Meyer Lansky

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel

The character of Dr. Valentin Narcisse is based on Casper Holsteine

Dean O'Banion

Mrs. McGarry and real life counterpart Susan B Anthony

Sophie Tucker

Esther Randoph is based on Mabel Walker Willebrandt

The D'Alessio Brothers are cool. I like the idea that there were six of them; Ignatius, Leo, Lucien, Matteo,  Pius and Sixtus. Based on the Lanzetta brothers (Ignatius, Leo, Lucien, Pius, Teo and Willie), four of them really were named after popes.

Bye Gillian 

Bye Gillian 

The Ladies of Boardwalk Empire

Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge

I watched CMT (Country Music Television) for the first time. It was a Saturday afternoon, I was bored and browsing the tv guide.  I saw Steve Austin's Skull Buster Challenge, I remembered  him from his WWE days, back when he was Stone Cold. If he was going to be busting some skulls, that might be worth watching.

Eight contestants were hand picked by Steve Austin to come to Broken Skull Ranch and compete in three head-to-head challenges. In order to move on to each sequential challenge you have to beat your opponent. One loss and you're sent "Down the road". This is not easy. 

Each of the events have names that only give a hint as to how grueling they actually are: 

Trench Warfare - Simple, a trench 45 ft long, 3 1/2 ft deep with two contestants on either side. The challenge? Get to the other side of the trench and ring your competitors bell. (I'm pretty sure the pun was intentional)

Pain Train - "300 lbs of US steel" divided between 3 plates and are chained together. The competitors pick up the chain and drag it across 120 ft of dirt to the finish line

Barreled - 20, 30 and 50 lb barrels are lifted or dragged to 3 platforms that are spaced along a 120 ft stretch. After this is completed, the competitor goes directly to The Pit to wait for the other competitor to finish.

The Pit - Always the final event to determine the overall winner. Just a 15 ft standard wrestling pit, get you opponent to step out of the pit and you win. 

After pushing themselves to the limit, one person will be victorious but the challenge is not over. They simply earned the chance to come back the next day and face the Skullbuster, which is a 1/2 mile gauntlet of even more excruciating challenges hatched from Austin's sadistic mind. The Skullbuster Events are named; Backbreaker, Shredder, Mudbath, Spiderweb, Nutcracker, Commando Crawl, Wallbusters, Deep Freeze, Heartbreak Hill and Ropeburn. If the contestant successfully completes the course with the fastest time (compared to the winners of previous episodes) they will win $10,000. If they don't beat the time of the standing champion the money goes to the champion. 

Breakin down his back, Breakin down his lungs & Breakin down his mind!
— Steve Austin
Don’t get your ass tangled up in my web!
— Steve Austin

I watched the final contestant, run, climb, lift, balance and torture himself on this course. And yes, he would bleed before it was over. All while Steve Austin followed behind cheering and pushing him to keep moving. That part was actually quite beautiful, especially since the dazed look on the contestant's face led me to believe that he was lost in a fog of physical exhaustion and pain. But like a single minded, terminator he continued to plow through the course, risking loss of life and limb. 

Heartbreak Hill - 100 ft high, 40 degree incline

My most feared event was Heartbreak Hill; a 100 foot hill on a 40 degree incline. Mainly due to my fear of heights. But also because even if I was somehow able to endure the back breaking, leg burning ascent, after circling a pole, you have to make your way back down without falling and sliding  in dirt to your doom.

I have to admit that I really liked the show, even with the hammy, testosterone gorged, smack talking that went on before and after each event. (This is Steve Austin's show after all.) There were also weird wrestling style slow-mo takes. Like when one guy did a flip out of the trench. Or when another guy with long, Thor-esque, wet hair swung it around like he was in a Pantene commercial. Mostly, I enjoyed watching these ordinary guys with professions that ranged from MMA fighter to a Special Needs Worker take off there shirts and get to work. (Don't worry men, there are all female episodes.)

So, to watch some of the most muscular people you'll ever see, perform in some of the the dirtiest physical challenges you'll ever see, check out Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge!

The Contestants:

Amazing, Blessed & Destroyed at the same time.
— Contestant, when asked how he felt after the Skullbuster
Catch ya down the road.
— Steve Austin to a losing contestant

My Favorite James Bond Villian - Jaws (Richard Kiel)

Richard Keil September 13, 1939 September 10, 2014

Richard Kiel passed away from a heart attack on September 10,2014, three days before his 75th birthday.

Known for his 7' 1.5" towering stature, which were due to the affects of acromegaly, a disease that causes the pituitary glad to produce too much growth hormone. His distinctive looks led to many memorable roles in film and television.

Richard Kiel as my favorite Bond villian, Jaws who was known for having steel teeth.

Other notable roles:

Richard Kiel as Kanamit in Twilight Zone: To Serve Man 1959

Richard Kiel in the pilot episode of The Incredible Hulk 1977

Richard Kiel as Reace in Silver Streak 1976

Richard Kiel as Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore 1996

Richard Kiel as Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore 1996

Provided the voice for Vlad in Disney's Tangled.

RIP

Jaws' Famous Steel Teeth

Richard Kiel

Richard Kiel

Unleash The Carlton!

 

I remember being introduced to Alfonso Ribeiro in the Broadway Show,

The Tapped Dance Kid. 

He was also in that iconic Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial.

But it wasn't until

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

that

The Carlton Dance 

was created!


The Carlton

 And the world was forever changed!

JB Carlton.gif

I don't usually watch Dancing With The Starts where Alfonso Ribeiro was a contestant but fans have been asking him to do The Carlton for weeks, and last night he unleashed the beast...

I voted for him 10 times!!!

Geoffrey Holder - A Tribute

Geoffrey Holder passed away October 5, 2014.

Holder was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad on August 1, 1930. 

I first remember him as the villain, Baron Samedi in my favorite James Bond movie Live and Let Die. (I think my brother is still too scared to watch the end of this movie.)

Was 6'6" and a very accomplished dancer and choreographer.

In  1975 Geoffrey Holder won two Tonys (Directing and Costume Design) for his work on The Wiz.

In  1975 Geoffrey Holder won two Tonys (Directing and Costume Design) for his work on The Wiz.

Geoffrey Holder as Punjab in the musical Annie

Geoffrey Holder as Punjab in the musical Annie

Holder saves the day as Punjab  in Annie

Holder saves the day as Punjab  in Annie

In his role as the eccentric director Nelson,  in Boomerang. My favorite scene from a movie that had many  great comedic actors. (Warning: This commercial for Strange' perfume is NSFW!)

Narrator - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The narrator for the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was none other than, Geoffrey Holder.

Finally, who can forget all of the 7-UP commercials? This is where my 7-UP loyalty was born and I would feel guilty drinking a Sprite to this day.

Maaavelous!
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
These are Un-cola Nuts...
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
The Un-cola! Ha, Ha, Ha!
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
Light and refreshing! Ha, Ha, Ha, Haaa!
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
No artificial flavor, no artificial color, no caffeine; never had it, never will.
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
Dontcha Feel Good About 7Up?
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
The uns the one! Ha, Ha, Ha!
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
The smell of success is never too sweet.
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
Crisp & Clean with no caffeine! Ha, Ha, Ha!
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
The More the Merrier Ha, Ha, Ha Ha!
— Geoffrey Holder 7-UP
Geoffrey Holder

Geoffrey Holder

RIP

The Dawn of the Home Box Office

I recently went down to my cable provider's office to trade-in the cable boxes from the house for new ones. We are now equipped with the newest, fastest, digital, HD boxes  they make. We have the sleekest remotes with controls and buttons that I'm sure aren't really used for anything but just in case technology catches up to these remotes, we have them.

        Current HBO guide

        Current HBO guide

While I was at the office I picked up some of the monthly cable guides they had sitting around. The guides are similar to the type you may find in any hotel. During my former career which entailed living out of hotels, I actually become an aficionado of these tiny, thin, slivers of a magazine. As I distributed my prized guides at each tv throughout the house, my daughter asked me the obvious question, "Why Mom? I could just look at the online guide if I want to know what's on."

Her questions was what initiated my nostalgic history lesson on the early days of cable and the Home Box Office.

Cablevision_Logo.jpg

I was pretty fortunate to be raised on Long Island back in the late 70's and 80's. HBO was founded in New York City by Charles Nolan who then sold that company before moving out to Long Island to create, Cablevision. So we were among the first in the country to have cable television and HBO. We were some of the first to watch movies that were somewhat current at home. Back then you rarely saw theater movies on network television, if you did it the movie was at least 5 years old. If the movie was of questionable content, you would never see that movie again.

The original cable box controller was full of sliding switches, an upgraded box only one switch and a bunch of punch buttons. These boxes were attached to the tv by a wire. You dragged the box over to the couch or coffee table if it reached, or maybe a tray if it didn't. This box brought in a new age where you were able to change the channel from the comfort of a couch. Everyone walking by just had to be careful not to trip on the wire. This box was probably the origin of all remote control wars.

Before the box, you had to show some initiative by getting up to change the channel. If you were a hyperactive kid like me you were a shoe-in for the official job of 'Channel Switcher'. The perk of being the Channel Switcher was that you could  slowly surf past your channel  and see what was on, on the way to whatever channel your parental superiors requested. But the box turned normal order on its ear. Whoever had the box now had the power. My lazy, big brother saw his chance for ascension.

Time for damage control, I quickly and easily memorized every channel (all 36 if I remember correctly), so that my parents would see the value in letting me retain my former channel switching duties over my brother. My amazing memory may have saved me had it not been for my aforementioned habit of jumping up and running around. This pesky but unavoidable habit would be my downfall. You see, if you left your post at the box, say to run around in glee because Fame was coming on and you love Fame, it would often result in the collateral loss of possession of said box and then you'd be forced to watch Battlestar Galactica.  A most unfortunate Catch-22 occurrence. My big brother also had the superpower of inhuman stamina when it came to the art of box squatting. The tables had turned and he now had the advantage.

HBO feature presentation.jpg

But there was never any discord on what to watch for movie night. That was because there was only one, single HBO channel.  We were all watching the same thing. If you're wondering how we were able to even plan such and event, where everyone would be together to watch the premiere of a new HBO movie. Well, first of all HBO wasn't 24 hours. There was the single HBO channel and it was only on in the evening.

Old HBO Guide

Old HBO Guide

Second, along the cable service and wonderful semi-portable box, we would also get a monthly subscription to the HBO tv guide. This guide listed every program on every cable channel for the entire month!!! It also had an entertainment based crossword puzzle and some articles about actors and movies and such. Actually, it was a pretty interesting, Parade Magazine style read. The movie guides that I steal from hotel rooms are just a shadow of this former incarnation.

So when I was young, we would all watch HBO on our living room television together. Movie time was family time. Before the movie started, HBO played a long introduction, which was fine because you needed time to get your snacks together. Originally it was marketed that HBO would basically turn your home into a movie theater, so of course you needed snacks. 

Making some Jiffy Pop popcorn was a show in itself, or maybe you had one of those popcorn makers with the little reservoir at the top. You could melt butter while it popped for perfect synchronized snack making. Although as I remember it was never really was that synchronized but it was still a neat idea. So we had our popcorn, we had chips and onion dip. We put away the Kool-Aid so we could have a Coke and a smile! 

Now let's all get excited, because the music is starting and it's family movie night!

The Scandal Drinking Game: Get Drunk Faster Than They Speak!

Just because a television show is wildly popular doesn’t mean that you won’t feel some sense of guilt for watching it. That is how I feel about Scandal. I’m ashamed of myself for watching this ridiculous nighttime soap opera, filled with ridiculous people, saying ridiculous things. But I can't stop, I love it!

One of the major reasons I thought I liked the show is because of the fast paced, talking style of the gladiators. Recently I noticed a disturbing fact. It wasn’t just the gladiators that were speaking fast, it was everyone.  It didn't take long to realize why. Every episode is bloated with an inexhaustible amount of speechifying. Since the program is only on for one hour, the characters have no choice, they have to hurry.  

The main characters are not the only ones who have supremely witty things to say in such a short time.  The standby characters also seem long winded in a Speedy Gonzalez type of way. There is only 3,600 seconds to get it all in, so they all better keep those lips moving. 

Now that I know the inner workings of Scandal, I can enjoy it even more! I can get as drunk as Olivia on any given evening at home, every Thursday night. Let the drinking games begin!

Here’s how you play:

  • Every time you see an actor’s eyes glaze over, as time ticks away, and they listen intently to another actor who...keeps...on...speaking:  Have an Olivia sized glass of wine.
  • Whenever any of these soliloquies result in a gem of a quote that you can't wait to repeat to friends and co-workers:  Drink the whole damn bottle.
  • If a B-613 operative (present or former) does anything that makes you wonder why none of the "sane" people around them don't have them committed:  Have a shot (of alcohol)
  • Any time a White House employee commits a felony for the good of the country:  You deserve a swig of moonshine, for 'Merica!
  • Millie being underappreciated, as usual: Cordials and chocolates for everyone
  • If Olivia blows off the undeserving but loyal Jake:  Chug a bottle of imported beer

Bonus round:

  • If Olivia kisses the completely undeserving Fitz:  Break Bottles! Yell drunkenly at the tv and throw popcorn

To get you started, here are some of my favorite extended quotes from season 3, along with the blank faces of the actors stuck doing a close up reaction shot, while someone else drones on and on about; being a monster, or being white hat, or moving into the sun, or making jam, or whatever.

 
So now you’ve decided that the one thing that you want is my daughter. You love that she is a door marked exit. You love that she is your way out. Because if you are with Olivia Pope, you don’t have to fulfill your father’s dream of being president. You are always going to be Senator Grant’s disappointing boy, Fitz. She is always going to be the formidable Olivia Pope! Don’t use the person that I made to make you into a man. You are a boy.
— Rowan
You took in a wild monster and you groomed me and petted me and trained me to sit at your feet. But that doesn’t mean I’m a puppy, Liv. That just makes me a very loyal monster. So I didn’t go too far. I went exactly as far as my leash allows, and you hold the leash. You ruined her life and then you made me save her and then you gave her to me to take under my wing.
— Huck

 

And one more thing...
— Jake
What?
— Olivia
Stock...your damn...fridge. If I’m going to be your fake boyfriend all day, I’m going to come home at the end of it and drink real beer and eat real food. Wine is not beer and popcorn is most definitely not food.
— Jake
Olivia.jpg
What else do you need? What service can I render for you today? Am I here to stroke your ego? Am I your cheerleader? Am I here to wipe your tears? Am I your nanny? Am I here to fight the bullies? Am I your bodyguard today? Maybe I’m here to make you feel good? Maybe I’m your dealer. Or maybe I’m here to make you feel hot and manly and ready so you’re not jealous of your wife’s boyfriend. Is that it? Am I your fluffer today Fitz? What service am I billing you for today?
— Olivia
See, I’m confused, Huck. How does this go? What are the rules? When you licked my face, when you put your tongue on my cheek, apparently that was just what you needed to get in the mood to rip out my molars, right? But you tongue in my mouth, that’s different? You upt you tongue in my mouth and now I deserve to live? That’s a thing? That’s how it goes?
— Quinn

Fall Out Boy: The whole larger than a sum of it's parts

I wrote the following in March of 2011:

Have you seen Patrick Stump’s video for Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia)?  I’ve been telling all of my friends know that he’s back but there’s much less of him.

Patrick Stump
Patrick Stump

I’ve been following, my boy Patrick, since the decimation of one of my favorite groups Fall Out Boy.  I still don’t know the reasons for their breakup but in my mind Ashley Simpson will always be the Yoko Ono of the group.  (I’m sorry but you see how far that got you Pete?) Everyone a moment of silence please for FOB, I’m still grieving.

So, Back to Patrick, he is now super slim and sans the hats and sideburns.  (Oh Nostalgia for the sideburns.)  I’ve been a major fan of his for some time and admire his musicianship and arrangements.  (To see an example of his diverse talents just click on the video below where he plays approximately 3 billion instruments in one minute.)

He also now understands the value of social networking (something often abdicated to Pete Wentz in the dear old FOB days of last year.)  I’ve been a member of www.falloutboyrock.com from the beginning and he never used to post.  It was mostly dominated by the highly interactive, extrovert Pete, with and occasional post from Joe or Andy. (The pictures on there were really swell too.) Patrick was mostly absent from the site except for Pete telling us how he doesn’t like to post messages.

Now he gets it! His performances are posted on facebook and he’s putting some videos up on YouTube and asking for feedback.  He even asked fans to help pick which version of Spotlight we preferred and I’m glad to say he picked the one I liked.

Maybe I’m the only one who still cares but here is his new video, featuring acrobats, contortionists, 3 legged dogs running, a boy with and abnormally long tongue, some dude on a pogo stick, that ridiculous cup game that I can’t do…oh and of course the magnificent come back of Patrick Vaughn Stump.  Here is Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia):

Now a year has passed and I’m still following and rooting for Patrick.  His comeback was not as magnificent as I would have hoped.  I liked, This City, even though he wasn’t singing about my city.  I watch the numerous guest appearances and acapella performances plastered all over YouTube starring the new slender Patrick. I saw him go down a slide in New York and even watched him doing sit-ups on YouTube.

But I have to admit, I still miss Fall Out Boy.  I’m sorry, but in this case the whole seems to have been more than the sum of its parts.  Sometimes it’s like that.  Sometimes a group breaks up and you get Paul McCartney and Wings and John Lennon and even George Harrison but  most times you don’t.  I also don’t think it was a case where there was one person carrying the  and projecting them to higher heights than they could have attained on their own ie: Michael Jackson, Sting or Beyonce. 

Patrick is talented but it was the angst in Pete’s lyrics, the goofy antics of Joe and the shirtless thunder of Andy on the drums that made this group great, that made them great.  Years have passed, circumstances have changed, hopefully whatever (or whoever) was keeping them apart is gone. 

Now, it may be only pride stands in their way.     

Modern Marvels: The Golden Gate Bridge (Happy 75th Anniversary)

Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary
Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Built by Joseph Strauss, and completed on May 27th, 1937 the 1.7 mile long suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate Strait in San Francisco, California. 

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge

This majestic structure takes it's name from the strait that it transverses and not from it's color.  (A source of confusion for me for many years.)  Luckily I found the History Channel's Documentary, Modern Marvels: The Golden Gate Bridge, that shared many interesting facts about the 75 year old bridge and it's creation.

Here are some of the facts I found most interesting:

  • The color was heavily debated.  The Navy wanted a color that would make the bridge easily distinguishable from the surrounding heavy fog.  At one point they even pushed for a black and yellow striped safety-style design.  On the other hand there were people who wanted to see the bridge painted black so that it wouldn't clash with the surrounding mountain scenery.  The answer came only after the bridge was painted with primer that was tinted in its now familiar hue.  Noticing how the bridge was both distinguishable and harmonious with the surrounding landscape the color grew on them.  The official name of the color is International Orange.  And if you like the color and have a painting project you would like to use it for, you simply have to 'Ask Sherwin Williams'. They are the official provider of the rust resistant, anti-corrosive paint for the Golden Gate Bridge.  ~ But you should just ask for "Fireweed" (color code SW 6328)
  • The people of San Francisco put their homes and properties up for collateral to cover the expense of building the bridge.  Although in 1933, it was still the middle of the Great Depression, they had enough faith in the project to risk everything to bring it to life.  As a result the bridge is not part of the U.S. or California Highway System.
  • The Half Way to Hell club was the name given to 19 men who's lives were saved by the then unprecedented safety net that ran along the bridges span during construction.  This kept the number of fatalities too a grim but industry-standard low of 11. (Compare that to the 1,500 or so fatalities from suicidal people who have jumped off the bridge since it opened.  A permanent safety net will soon be constructed at pedestrian access areas to prevent further suicides.)
  • The Golden Gate Bridge was the worlds longest suspension bridge, bridges that use suspended cables to hold the bridge up, for 37 years.  (It now ranks #9 in the world. Not bad for a 75 year old bridge.)
  • Each cable is over a yard thick and is made up of 482 wires. 
  • There is an Easter Egg on the bridge in the form of the South End Arch.  This arch was built at a greater cost to preserve the historical site of Fort Point, a preserved outpost from the Civil War Era.
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge

Additional information on The Golden Gate Bridge:

Donna Summer - I love to love you baby! 12/31/48 - 5/17/12

The Beautiful Donna Summer

The Beautiful Donna Summer

I admire many people but few people do I idolize.  Donna Summer was one of those few.  Coyly mixing sexuality into the budding disco sound, she rose to the top of the music charts during the 70's. Her extreme beauty and amazing vocals are what kept her there, earning her the title Queen of Disco. I'm said to say that the Queen has died.

I remember reading that Donna Summer got her professional start performing in the German production of the musical Hair, one of my favorites.  (No idea whether or not she participated in the notorious nude scene at the end of the first act.)

Her first international hit, "Love to Love You Baby" was released in 1975. (I got in trouble for singing that song too enthusiastically.)  Although my uncle had her hits on 45s it wasn't until 1979 that I was able to get my hands on the massive double album: On The Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes 1 &2.  That was two albums, count them 4 sides of Donna Awesomeness!

I conducted a dance class in my living room. You could learn to dance and sing to such songs as; "Hot Stuff", "Bad Girls" and "On the Radio".  Of course all lessons were conducted under the watchful eye of Donna herself perched on top the said radio.  I would unfold the cover of my massive double album and perch it on the shelves overlooking the living room at the beginning of every session.

Donna Summer
Donna Summer

As a testament of her extreme range and vocal quality listen to the marvel of the song, "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)", her duet with the legendary Barbara Streisand. (That was a good roller skating jam, worthy of being added to my workout play list.) Another song that shows off her amazing voice is "Last Dance".

Donna Summer
Donna Summer

I used to watch a movie that would come on the then budding Home Box

Office (HBO) station.  Back then they didn't have a lot of variety.  One movie that was in constant rotation was Thank God It's Friday (T.G.I.F.)  Summer played a singer who spends the entire movie, which takes place during one hectic night in a disco club, trying to get the dj to listen to her sing.  Of course she is triumphant at the end of the movie and we are treated to a performance of "Last Dance".  I used to watch that movie every time it came on, much to my brother's dismay.

Other songs from that albumn that I loved include; "Dim All the Lights", "MacAurther Park" and "Sunset People". Yes, it was full of hits.

Donna Summer
Donna Summer

I also learned some life lessons from Donna Summer:

I learned, even if I could hit one her her notes, I couldn't hold said note forever like she did.

I learned what type of occupation "Bad Girls" had and why that was probably not desirable.

After watching a performance of Donna Summer I became obsessed with her hairstyle. I learned the valuable lesson that it is very difficult and often very disappointing to try to replicate a celebrity's hairstyle.

Another live performance taught me another lesson. After watching I did my best to mimic her performance raising my dress and kicking my legs up.  My Mother quickly informed me that this type of behavior is only done by 'fast women' and I evidentially was not old enough to make the decision to be fast yet.

I wonder if I'm old enough now?

Donna Summer
Donna Summer

I love to love you baby.

R.I.P. Donna

Child Actors: Where are they now? (Before and After)

Jonathan Lipnicki from Jerry Maguire
Jonathan Lipnicki from Jerry Maguire

I was paddling around in the whirlpool of the internet when I found a slideshow of child actors, then and now.  Of course I clicked in and started the fun. 

Let’s be honest, do any of us watch ‘Where are they now?’ shows to see anything good?  If they were doing well most of them would still be making hit movies or TV shows or recording or whatever they were famous for.   At the very least they would be on one of those has-been celebrity reality shows.  But they’re not.  So we can assume that something has gone tragically wrong in their career and/or they’re life and that is what we tune in to see.  

We don’t want to see how great the cute, privileged, golden child is still doing. We want to see how they morphed into an older freakish, tarnished version of what they once were.  Sometimes this otherwise normal maturation process isn’t accepted and the former star.  They rail against nature, usually resulting in a horrible train wreck of a life that makes us feel better about never having their fame to begin with.

To see 91 of your child actors then and now!

To see 91 of your child actors then and now!

This slide show is even more fascinating because it so current. The stars aren’t so old that you can no longer tell who they are. You don’t need that picture of how they used to look.  They are all so wonderfully middle aged that you can still see the former child star fighting to get out.  

There are a lot of slides but some of my personal favorites are:

-Charlie Bucket from the original Willie Wonka movie, he looks so much more Charlie Bucket-er.

-Ralphie from A Christmas Story, his eyes are just as brilliant as when he almost shot it out

http://abc7.com/archive/7490716/
                                                                  Peter Ostrum from willy wonka

                                                                  Peter Ostrum from willy wonka