Just Giblets

Happy Holidays from Dayton, Ohio!

25th December 2007
by Michael

Happy Holidays from Dayton, Ohio!

Merry Christmas everyone! Scot and I are visiting Scot’s family in Dayton, OH, where it’s a green Christmas. We left the snow back home in Boston. We did our Christmas gift exchange last night and have been enjoying a lazy Christmas morning sipping mimosas and watching the cats get a little crazy on catnip.

I am mystified by the Dayton-area; so incredibly built up commercially with huge malls and endless chain restaurants. Who is doing the shopping and eating out here? I can’t imagine the economy of Dayton can support all this commercialism, yet every two years when we come out here for Christmas there are more new malls… and they’re enormous! Check out The Greene, where we had dinner on Sunday night. It’s set up like a little downtown area, where various musical events and other outdoor activities go on during the nicer weather. Scot actually found it to be a bit more like Disney World than a downtown area. We had dinner at Dayton’s first Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant Scot’s mother quite enjoyed when she visited Boston. It was pretty busy, and again, all I could think of was how many people does it take to support all these restaurants? Could the Hooters down the street actually be busy too?

posted in Family | at 1:14 pm | 1 Comment
20th December 2007
by Scot

Carol Channing Reincarnated Early

My dear friend Hilary sent me this post from the Go Fug Yourself blog comparing Janine Turner, previously of Northern Exposure looking uncannily like my role model Carol Channing. First, check out the pic.

Janine as Carol

Jessica of GFY ponders whether Ms. Turner is playing Channing in a biopic, a theory I cannot substantiate, thank goodness. It may, in fact, be time for the Channing biopic and Turner is about the right age (45), since Carol originally played Hello, Dolly! at about the same age. But I’m not too sure about the casting if it turns out to be true. More likely, Turner is suffering a mid-life crisis and decided she “needed a little softness around her face” (ala The Merm) in light of her recent birthday on December 6.

Besides, don’t we need a Bea Lillie biopic (starring Kathy Najimy or Molly Shannon) first?

But if you really want to compare that hairdo with the real thing … well, you can do that yourself. It’s more fun to compare it with my Channing ventriloquist doll!

Carol Doll

posted in Movies, Scary Stuff, Theatre, Whacky People | at 8:51 am | 1 Comment
19th December 2007
by Michael

When your nephews and nieces grow up

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and the other blogs I read, and how various blogs will occasionally irritate me, while others make me pause and think I should be writing more personal stuff in my own blog. All that is just a preface to the discovery that my nephews and niece are growing up.

I went to my MySpace profile (to delete it, actually) when I naturally started to take a look at my friends profiles before leaving. During this perusal, I discovered that my nephew has a blog. I think I’d noticed that in the past, but I took a look at his last couple of posts and was mildly surprised to find out that he’s a really funny guy! I thoroughly enjoyed his dry, matter-of-fact humor; something I’d never really had the chance to notice before never having any access to his writing style, and basically spending most of my time with him at family gatherings where there isn’t a huge amount of time to converse meaningfully.

Now, my nephew was born the summer between my high school graduation and my first year of college. A time when you’re just starting to feel like an adult. The fact that my nephew is now 27 years old, and he didn’t even exist until after I was already an adult (well, at age 18, I could vote at least) is a curious sensation. He was a child for such a long time in my adult life, it’s an interesting experience to now keep reminding myself that he’s an adult. In fact, I have friends who are younger than him! I need to hang out with my nephew more. By the way, his myspace profile with that amusing blog are over here.

Then there’s my niece, and she really shook things up in the child/adult continuum earlier this year by getting married. The first of that generation to do so. Huh? I was just babysitting for her the other day! And coaching her middle-school basketball team! Now she’s married? And teaching developmentally disable kids? Okay, I knew she was going to turn out pretty special one day… she was a pretty special little kid… but to have that day here, a beautiful young woman getting married to a beautiful young man… well, it’s a little surreal. Next thing you know, there’s going to be another generation of Colfords showing up, and that will be a real adjustment.

There are a couple more nephews in the family… and thank god, they’re still in school. Of course the older of the two is now in high school, and he’s my godson, so that’s a little odd. And he’s one of those interesting and cool high schoolers, pulling out of that sullen, leave-me-alone middle school phases. The younger… the youngest in our extended family, just entered middle school, and thank god he still acts like a kid. At least the whole world hasn’t shifted yet.

So what does this all mean? I’m getting older? Well sure, I know that, and I’m even okay with it for the most part. It is a little unusual that I’m experiencing, albeit to a much lesser degree, what parents must feel as they watch their kids grow up. I just find it so interesting that as an an individual, I don’t really feel any different as I age compared to when I was a teenager. When I am relating to a friend who is 10 years younger than me… even 15 years younger than me, I often forget we are different ages. (Granted, when I am talking to a friend who is nearly 20 years younger than me, I do notice the difference.) So, here’s to getting older! In so many ways, people really do get more interesting the more time they spend on this planet.

Anyway, I didn’t end up deleting my MySpace profile. What do you think? I know MySpace is passe. If you’re not checking your profile anymore, should you delete it? Just ignore it? Stop by once a month or so just to see what’s going on? I’d love to hear what you think…

posted in Family, Personal | at 11:18 am | 0 Comments
7th December 2007
by Scot

Part of Your World

I’m speechless.

Update 30 minutes later:

Good God, there’s more.

posted in Theatre, Whacky People | at 10:09 am | 2 Comments
7th December 2007
by Scot

My new favorite punchline

Let me catch you up. Amazing little off-Broadway musical (about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical), [Title of Show] (featuring Susan Blackwell of Susan Blackwell fame) ran at the Vineyard Theatre July to September of 2006. Limited run. Awesome cast album. But too bad, so sad, all good things must come to an end.

Or do they? The cast have kept the little show alive via their blog and obsessive fans like moi read it … well, obsessively. But about three months ago, the cast started posting short You Tube videos that they collectively call The [Title of Show] Show. The show chronicles the cast’s efforts to transfer the musical to Broadway (or play an out of town gig) and is a serial masterpiece in it’s own right.

But they’ve really outdone themselves with episode 6. If you know and/or care nothing about the show or fancy-schmancy musical theatre stars, then at least skip to the post-end-credit coda at timecode 9:30 to see the most awesome cameo punchline ever.

Even my mom would get and appreciate the joke, I think. Michael’s mom, no. But my mom, yes.

posted in Blogging, Theatre, Web, Whacky People | at 9:24 am | 0 Comments
3rd December 2007
by Scot

Hitting pretty close to home

I knew the writer’s strike would affect me, but I never knew it would be this bad. I rely on those talking cats and committed otters for material. (Couldn’t care less about the dogs on skateboards though.) Look for a dry spell on Just Giblets for a while…

posted in TV, Web | at 11:21 pm | 1 Comment
23rd November 2007
by Scot

Why Fair Use and Web 2.0 Are Incredible

First, there was this adorable video:

Cute, right? I mean how can that be any better? Check this out:

God bless derivative works.

posted in Kitties, Web | at 8:40 am | 1 Comment
22nd November 2007
by Scot

Movie Meme – Scot Edition

Well, not to be outdone, I must give my answers to Chris’s meme.

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times. Well, THE WIZARD OF OZ is the obvious choice. But LI’L ABNER is the more interesting one.

2. Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater. LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is the best example, because it was an organized thing. One winter from December 1986 to January 1987 I must have seen it eight times in the theater.

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie. Carol Channing. No kidding.

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie. Um… Jennifer Jason Leigh gives me pause always. Ever since MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE I’ve been very careful about my JJL viewings. But there are always delightful surprises like GEORGIA and the last couple episodes of “Twitch City”. I’m still kicking myself over THE ANIVERSARY PARTY, though.

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from. There are many, but how about WITHOUT YOU, I’M NOTHING or AUNTIE MAME? Today, though, it was HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING — “I am unaccustomed to early arisal!”

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs. Most of them. But LI’L ABNER (and all the parts) or CABARET are ones I could be tested on without the aid of the film playing in the background.

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with. Again, most of them (musicals). But I’ve actually disturbed neighbors singing along with THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE.

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see. Everyone, EVERYONE?! If I take this as literally as possible, it must be THE WIZARD OF OZ. I don’t think one can function fully in most current civilizations without having seen this film.

9. Name a movie that you own. There are many of course, so I’ll mention one that I think very few others are likely to own: Anthony Newley’s CAN HIERONYMUS MERKIN EVER FORGET MERCY HUMPPE AND FIND TRUE HAPPINESS? It’s kind of (ahem) unavailable for sale.

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops. A couple years ago, I would have said Jason Lee for his roles in Kevin Smith films, but “My Name Is Earl” has completely obliterated that possibility. So I’ll have to say that author Jason Miller gave the most brilliant debut performance in THE EXORCIST as Father Damien Karras.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what? Oh boy, yes. Jeesh, I grew up in the 1970’s so it was a big part of my childhood. But the most memorable lineup for me was when I was about 8 or 9. My dad took my brother and I to see the lousy but frightening (to me) Italian horror film BEYOND THE DOOR, PART II followed by CARRIE and SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS. I was too freaked out by the ending of CARRIE to stay for the sexploitation horror of SC, so we left. I still think my brother holds it against me.

12. Ever made out in a movie? I’m sure I have. But what comes to mind more is what I was doing during my first viewing of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, which strictly doesn’t count as “making out.” But Michael seems to think it was IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. Likely, it was both.

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it. Dozens, but namely PEEPING TOM, STAGEDOOR, and SLEUTH (the original).

14. Ever walked out of a movie? The first one I actually initiated was the hideous EARTHBOUND starring Burl Ives when I was 12 or 13. It’s hard to be insulted by juvenile humor at that age, but somehow this film succeeded.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater. TARNATION.

16. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater? SOUTHLAND TALES. Though that may not count because I fell asleep about 15 minutes into the incomprehensible and annoying film. Before that, it was HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE, which was quite enthralling.

17. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie? Musicals or speculative fiction. Good combinations of both are awesome.

18. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater? Either CINDERELLA or CINDERELLA LIBERTY. My mom wanted to see the latter and I was totally confused why there were no fairies or pumpkins. But I know I saw the Disney film around the same time too.

19. What movie do you wish you had never seen? INDEPENDENCE DAY. What utter crap.

20. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed? Well, most of the truly weird ones are enjoyable on some level. But let’s say LET ME DIE A WOMAN or MYRA BRECKINRIDGE.

21. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen? AUDITION. I didn’t have nightmares or anything, but the amount of nervous giggling it inspired in me is unparalleled.

22. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen? BRINGING UP BABY without a doubt. Nothing stands a chance against it, though AUNTIE MAME has a bit of sentimental value that makes it slightly favored for repeat viewings.

posted in Memes, Movies | at 11:46 pm | 3 Comments
22nd November 2007
by Michael

Movie Meme – Michael edition

So I found this movie meme way back in March at Zoom-In Online, but Chris just recently did it over at Ambitious Slacker, so I thought I’d better finish it up and post it.

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.

Well, off the top of my head:
“A Room with a View”
“Field of Dreams”
“Impromptu”
“Miss Firecracker”
“Last Night” (if not 10, then it’s getting awfully close)

2. Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.

Multiple times? That’s pretty loose. I will interpret that as more than three.
“A Room with a View”
“Donnie Darko”
“I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing”

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.

Sarah Polley
Don McKellar
Ellen Page
Tracy Wright
Judy Davis
But to be honest, it’s a director that will drive me to a movie before the actors.

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.

Okay, it’s almost a cliche, I know, but it’s Tom Cruise

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.

I pretty much know all the dialogue from “A Room with a View.” Here are a couple of my favorites, both uttered by Judy Dench’s character Eleanor Lavish.

“And I’ve divined it Charlotte, you had an adventure there. Feign to deny it!” – “A Room with a View”

“Observe my foresight: I never travel anywhere without my MacIntosh squares. One never know when one might have to sit on damp ground or cold marble.” – “A Room with a View”

“Miss Firecracker’s” got some great lines, especially those delivered by Alfre Woodard, but here’s a favorite I love to quote in a southern access delivered by Tim Robbins’ Delmont

“Land sake, she wasn’t really a monkey. She was just excessively furry for a human being.” — “Miss Firecracker

I can do a lot of Hal Hartley. “Trust” has lots of really wonderful lines, but this one delivered by Elina Lowensohn in “Amateur” I’m particularly fond of.

“I want to be a mover and a shaker.” – “Amateur”

Like Lowensohn, I’m particularly fond of odd accents, and one of the best belongs to Isabella Rosellini. I love her delivery of this line in “Siesta”

“No! We came to see the race. I want to see who wins!” — “Siesta”

And of course, anyone who knows me will be expecting to see my signature line uttered by Beth Grant as Kitty Farmer in “Donnie Darko”

“I’m beginning to doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!” — “Donnie Darko”

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

Hmmm… that’s a difficult one. I would have to say “Bye, Bye, Birdie.”

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.

I’m going to go again with “Bye, Bye, Birdie.” Oh, and I also sing along with the Delibes piece in “I’ve Heard the Mermaid Singing.”

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.

“The Sweet Hereafter”
“Last Night”

9. Name a movie that you own.

Oh come on. I’ve got tons. I do own, or are in the process of owning all of the films by Hal Hartley, Atom Egoyan, Don McKellar, or starring Judy Davis.

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

I know I can come up with a better answer to this one, but for now I’m going to say I really enjoyed Reba McIntire in “Tremors.” Okay, I just remembered that Cybil Shepherd started out as a model and she’s done some great stuff. And that made me think of Famke Janssen, who really intrigues me. Of course, she was great as Jean Grey in the X-Men movies, but she’s done some nifty indie stuff as well. Barbra Streisand and Tom Waits deserve a mention here as well.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?

Yeah, a few. An early double feature that I recall was “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “The Yellow Submarine.” I also remember seeing “Meatballs,” “An American Werewolf in London,” and “Halloween 2.”

12. Ever made out in a movie?

There was a little hanky panky going on during “In the Mood for Love.” It was an inspirational film that way.

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.

The ones that have been on my Netflix cue the longest and I keep putting things above are:

“Mr. Skeffington”
“Repo Man”
“Diva”
“The Up Series”
“Ikiru”
“Hard Eight”
“Picture Claire”
“Bottle Rocket”
“Jesus’ Son”
“Cries and Whispers”
“Roadkill”

14. Ever walked out of a movie?

Only once: “An American Werewolf in London” I only walked out because I was expecting a comedy from the review I read, and I wasn’t prepared for the terrifying first 45 minutes or so of the film. I did go back and see it again at the Drive-In (see above) a couple months later.

I would have walked out on “True Lies” if I had known the people I was with wanted to leave as well.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

I cry all the time, both in sad movies and happy movies. The last movie I cried at was “Lars & the Real Girl.” I didn’t actually shed tears at “Juno,” but I did get pretty choked up.

16. Popcorn?

Nah. But I’ll eat someone else’s if they have it.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?

At least once a week.

18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?

“Southland Tales”

19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?

Character driven drama

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

I can’t remember the first movie I saw in the theatre. I’m sure it was a Disney film. The first movie I remember seeing at the theatre was definitely “Fantasia.”

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?

There are few movies that I regret seeing, and I tend to forget those films pretty quickly. I don’t mind seeing bad movies every once in a while, but there are a few films that I can remember wishing I had my two hours back. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) none are coming to mind.

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

I love weird movies. And the definition of weird is so loose. There’s “The Apple.” There’s most of David Lynch’s films which could definitely be considered weird… most recently “Inland Empire.” I would agree with Chris about “The Happiness of the Katakuris.” Actually, weird movies are among my favorites.

23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?

I saw “The Legend of Hell House” back in the 70’s on TV while sleeping over my sister’s house and I was terrified. It probably wasn’t all that frightening in retrospect, but it’s loomed terrifyingly large in my memory. I’m quite proud of the fact that I made it through “Audition” in the theatre while other theatre-goers around me bolted.

24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?

Like Chris, I’m currently working on my list of the funniest movies of all time, so I will share the answer to this one later. I think it might come down to one of these three though:

“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”
“Fargo”
“Serial Mom”

posted in Memes, Movies | at 11:19 pm | 0 Comments
10th November 2007
by Michael

Who I Listen To

The other night we were having a conversation about music and our respective relationships with it. We had just seen A.J. Schnack‘s well-made but slightly difficult new documentary, KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON, and I was saying that Kurt and Nirvana were so popular that they defined an entire era of music. Sadly for me, that era (grunge and the 1990s) more or less signaled the end of that portion of my life where I defined my interests musically and I moved to the world of film. Not that I don’t like music anymore, I just don’t live and breathe it the way I did before.

The music I do listen to tends to be dominated by female singer/songwriters, many of whom I now discover through an online community called Ecto. One in particular, has risen to the top to claim the coveted position of favorite musical act which was once held by the likes of Kate Bush and Jane Siberry. Her name is Emm Gryner, and I’ve been a great admirer of her work for several years now. She hails from Canada (surprise, surprise) and is a rocker-bassist-chick who plays gorgeous melodies on her piano that make me cry. I’ve seen her perform live a few times, and turned some friends on to her music, but since she’s not all that widely known among my circle of acquaintances, I thought I’d post her latest video here. There’s something unique about Emm’s voice, and she is a master of the pop hook. “Blackwinged Bird” is a good representation of her ballad work, but she’s not some Tori-wannabe. If you like what you hear, check her out.

posted in Favorites, Music | at 8:00 am | 0 Comments
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