Monthly Archives: November 2007

Firefighters to Fight Terrorism Because:

They don’t need warrants to enter homes. Yum!

Firefighters in major cities are being trained to take on a new role as lookouts for terrorism, raising concerns of eroding their standing as American icons and infringing on people’s privacy. Unlike police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel don’t need warrants to access hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings each year, putting them in a position to spot behavior that could indicate terrorist activity or planning.

Meet Your New Nazi

Catching up on the news:

Mulkasey got through.

After much raging. The Democrats finally drop telecom immunity from the bill. Fucking idiots. It should have been ‘off the table’ from the beginning.

Colorado Supreme Court affirms fertilized egg as person: “In a terse 7-0 decision today, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the state Title Board’s approval of a 2008 proposed ballot measure to bestow constitutional rights on fertilized human eggs.”

CNN braces for more blowback from their super-shitty debate. Carville as analyst? Whoops. He’s an advisor to the Clinton campaign.

SNL fires 90% of their staff over writer’s strike.

Tasering in Chicago: “According to the lawsuit, about 9 p.m. June 15, Vega came to Guardi’s and ordered pasta salad. When Mendez walked into the cooler to get the food, Vega asked Mendez’s wife if she wanted to see Vega scare her husband. She said “no,” according to court documents. Then, Vega allegedly pointed the gun at Mendez’s head and fired, causing the prongs to stick to Mendez’s right temple and collarbone. Mendez went into convulsions and later became unconscious. He also bit off a piece of his tongue, the lawsuit said.”

Newsweek hires Karl Rove.

“Rapture is not an exit strategy.”

Death Proof (2007)

I can’t remember if I posted my review of Planet Terror or not.

Death Proof is the second part of the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino homage to the exploitation grindhouse movies of the 1970s.

Kurt Russel plays Stuntman Mike, a Hollywood stunt man with a penchant for killing pretty young women – with his car. A death proofed car. That’s a car configured for Hollywood stunts where the driver’s side is protected from any collision or crash. Of course, the pretty young women are in the passenger seat.

This movie takes forever to get going. Much foreshadowing and crackling dialogue (that I guess Tarantino just couldn’t bear to cut). A quartet of bodacious babes meets up with Stuntman Mike at a dive bar in Austin, Texas. Much dialogue and metaphor mixing – sometimes it seems like Tarantino adds unnecessary background detail to his characters in some kind of attempt at a later analog to The Silmarillon. Many trim, wet female legs writhing in the film frame and a lusty, lip-engorged lapdance featuring Rosario Dawson. Eventually the girls meet a fate that I won’t disclose here. Needless to say Stuntman Mike strikes again. A long pointless scene with the local fuzz manages to go nowhere. I mean really, you could have edited the scene out of the movie and it would have removed nothing. Later on, Stuntman Mike is out cruising the mean streets of Lebanon, Tennessee when he runs into another quartet of women. Unfortunately for him they are on break from a local film shoot, one of them is a stunt girl and another is a stunt driver.

You can guess what happens next.

There is an absolutely fantastic stunt sequence where a daredevil joyride is interrupted by Stuntman Mike and one of the girls is holding on to the hood of their car – great stunt work – I watched it twice.

After Stuntman Mike thinks he’s killed one of the girls – the gals decide to turn the tables. My favorite image of the movie is when the stunt girl grabs a discarded metal pipe off the side of the rood and then jumps onto the car as it drives away, straddling the car door in jousting style.

This movie is more an idea than anything – a sentiment – a ‘what if?’ than a fully developed film. It could have been cooked down to about 40 minutes.

Tracie Thoms is the standout as the stunt driver with a motorhead deathwish and a trashmouth to match. You’ll remmeber her as one of the silver-tongue powerhouse diva lesbians from the movie (and Broadway production) of ‘Rent’.

Death Proof does much less of the ‘used, scratched’ celluloid treatment that gave Planet Terror an extra layer of grit. When I like Tarantino, it is when he is at his exploitive and lurid best – but when that is driving a plot. These are the kinds of pieces actors love – they can swim in caked blood and wreak violence and vengeance on themselves, each-other and the world around them. Death Proof made me start wondering what I could fester up if my crazy actor buddies and I got together and decided to push ourselves to the edge.

Wilde Restaurant in Lakeview, Chicago

For a restaurant named after Oscar Wilde, the decor didn’t seem witty nor elegant. I think it is inspired by Irish pub design – lots of dark oak wood paneling. Very dark. Very cozy. Very loud. The interior seems very out of place compared to the restaurants in the neighborhood which have a more minimalist design – but that might be a good thing.

We put our name on the wait list and made our way to the back bar where we sipped Coke and talked about our day. An empty table sat nearby all the way in the back – a booth – I assumed it was probably reserved. We looked through the menu and they have a nice collection of entrees, some inspired by Irish pub food (bangers/mash). Ron decided to have the New York Strip and I was probably going to have one of the chicken dishes.

I think Wilde is an indicator of the encroachment of straight couples fleeing the higher rents/mortgages in Lincoln Park. I often call this the tyranny of the double-wide stroller (the SUV of the sidewalks). For being named after one of the pre-eminent men of letters of the English language and one of the most witty and flamboyant and first out/proud gay men of Western culture, Wilde is a very straight restaurant. Is that good? Bad? I dunno – just a bit surprising. Then again if I want fagged up eateries Ping Pong is just a few blocks up.

30 minutes into our supposed 20 minute wait, a couple comes in to wait next to us at the bar. A tubby waiter asks them if they are waiting for a table and they reply yes. He escorts them to the empty table next to us that I’d assumed was reserved. They sit down and are enjoying glasses of wine in due time. Ron and I grab our coats and leave, explaining to the hostess on the way out that there must be some miscommunication between the waitstaff and them.

Now we know that I can turn into a total twunt when I am 1) hungry and 2) cold. Ron was as well – plus he’d been having New York strip fantasies for half and hour now. We walked up to Jack’s on Halsted and walked right in, were seated immediately and quickly chomping on bread, butter and some yummy crab cakes. I had the filet. Ron had the NY strip. We left satisfied.

Sorry, Wilde. You didn’t get us this time around. Probably some edges to iron out – but you were packed last night so it looks like you won’t be hurting for our business. Wilde will be a great restaurant for folks wanting a Irish-pub atmosphere in a cozy setting – just get a reservation or go on a weekday. If the wait is too long and you must have steak, walk up to Jack’s on Halsted (and Belmont) and waltz right in.

Nympho Homicidal Carrion Beetles

From InsectPod:

Carrion beetles need a tiny corpse, such as a dead mouse or vole, in order reproduce. When they find one, they use pheromones to attract a mate. After mating, the male and female stay together until their young are raised. As with any healthy relationship, the first thing the young couple must do is hide the body. Over the next 24 hours, they bury the corpse and dig a crypt around it, stopping to mate, on average, about 70 times.

Hitler Took Strychnine Pills for Chronic Farts

Well this explains everything doesn’t it?

 

Spasmodic stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea, possibly the result of nervous tension, had been Hitler’s curse since childhood and only grew more severe as he aged. As a stressed-out dictator, the agonizing digestive attacks would occur after most meals: Albert Speer recalled that the F├╝hrer, ashen-faced, would leap up from the dinner table and disappear to his room.

Short, dark haired, dark eyed and had chronic farts? He dreamt of being an Aryan with a stable stomach.

Chimera Twins: 2 Sperm, 1 Egg

Ron and I had it out a few weeks ago after a tense Nova special about twins if it was possible for 2 sperm to fertilize one egg (yes, we fight about Nova – sometimes I think the things we argue about are luxuries compared to what other couples argue over). Ron took it a step further to wonder if the mom was a skank if two different men could fertilize the same egg. I remain unconvinced since she’d have to be double-teaming pretty fast before the egg secretes the hormone that blocks all other sperm after fertilization. Or using some sort of batter blaster.

The journal Nature says the twins are identical on their mother’s side, but share only half their genes on their father’s side. They are the result of two sperm cells fertilising a single egg, which then divided to form two embryos – and each sperm contributed genes to each child.

And yes the only reason I know what chimera means is from Dungeons & Dragons. Don’t be smug, you only know it from X-Files.