Monday, April 30, 2007

Perks Of The Job

Even though I'm going to college to change careers, there is one thing about radio that I still love: THE FREE STUFF. Concert and movie tickets, cd's, clothes and of course, not having to pay for food. Yes, gift cerificates can be good when you're broke. Give a restaurant a plug and they'll be happy to send some grub your way.

For example, I was at work Friday night doing some production stuff when one of my co-workers came up to me and said that we had some chicken wings in the conference room. "Sure," I said. "I'll grab some when I'm done." About two minutes later, one of the girls from promotions came in and said, "Sam, come get some of these damn wings. NOW." I haven't heard an order like that since i was married. I figured I'd better find out what's going on with the wings.

As it turns out, there was a promotion for a concert featuring Kenny Chesney or Brad Paisley or Boxcar Willie earlier that night that one of the country stations hosted. I dunno who was the star. I don't listen to country and that's the reason why it's the only station in the building I don't have a show on. Nonetheless, the station held a reception for fans, serving up hot wings. It seems that had soem left over for the show. At least fifty pound of hot wings left over and promotions didn't know what to do with them, so they brought 'em to the station in a huge beach cooler. They're lucky; they started out with one hundred pounds of wings.

Anyway, it was a good thing there were folks at work that night to eat. I gotta say that it was a hot wing paradise. A competiting food eater would have been in heaven and they still wouldn't have made a dent in it. There were at least five jocks on the air at that moment, so they got their fill. As for me...Well, let's just say I now have a freezer full of yardbird to last me though Memorial Day. At least if I have friends over then, I won't have to cook out now.

Yeah, sometimes I still love my job.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Only We?

Finally, there's one good thing about global warming that we can all be happy about. It's brought Spinal Tap together again. All Hail The Tap!

Saturday, April 28, 2007


I've got dialysis today and I'll be busy on Sunday getting caught up with class work, so I'll let you see one of the videos for my You TUbe project. It's a short film showing the virtues of Lucky Strike cigarettres, featuring Kay Kyser and his band, loud tobbacco autioneers and Frank Sinatra at his skinniest. Light 'em up and enjoy...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Droppin' It Like It's Hot

Have you ever been to, say an office gathering at a bar and there's that one stupid guy you work with who get's a little too drunk on the punch, so he decides to get up on stage with the band and tries to get his dance on, only to embarrass no only his wife, but everyone he works with, while you knew already how huch of a jackass he is? And you pray to Baby Jesus that you could film in in action so you can post it on You Tube to show the world just how dumb the guy is?

Yeah, it's kinda like that.


I'll admit that I watched American Idol last night for all the hype. Sadly, I wasn't able to donate for what was generally a good cause. I know their hearts where in the right place when they decided to do a telethon. After all the ell they put us through every week, they should give back. One of the moments I missed however while I flipped over to watch real television (thank you, Keith Olberman), this popped up on the show. How did they get Elvis? He hasn't done tv forever and now he'd doing Idol? I had so much repect for him and now it's gone. I am done with you, Presley. Good day to you sir.


You Are Worthless, Alec Baldwin

Oh yeah, real good, Baldwin. I'm not gonna get on to you about the phone call. Everybody else has, but I won't. That little tiff of your was nothing compared to what I heard as a kid. Believe me, Black people are used to parents going off the chain ( white kids will never hear a father say, "I will beat the Black off of your ass"). No, I'm talking about you wanting off 30 Rock so you can get your life back together and move to France. You sir are now officially a pussy in my book.

I can't believe you want to just drop it all and just run away. Dude, you're a great actor. this is why folks are watching the show. Tina Fey knew what she was doing when she asked you to be a part of it. You just want to throw it all away now and go run off to to some stupid country to go lick your wounds. Well, I say walk it off, you puss. How dare you deny me Jack Doneghy, one of the smartest written characters on TV today. How dare you leave Tina Fey in lurch like that, forced to hire a subpar actor to replace you. My God, if you leave and she hires Rob Schnider, I will find you and kick your Irish ass.

Look, you are the most normal of your brothers. Why ruin that reputation by living with the French. We've been good to you this far and now you want to tuck your tail between your legs and whimper off. Only a whimp does that. Do you want to be a whimp, Alec. Do you? The Shadow wasn't a whimp. That's right, I said THE SHADOW. Now, you get your crap together. Get in that court and apologize for your rant and be a good dad. Then, go off to Martha's Vinyard and a few weeks to relax. When it's over, carry your sorry ass back to NBC and go back to work, you thoughtless pig. I'm not gonna put up with this any more. Now you get your get your crap straight and learn responsibility or I will fly to where you are and straighten your ass out, you hear me? Good day, Alec.


(If he can talk to his daughter like that, then I can definitly talk to him the same way.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Too Much TV For Me

I've got a heads up for all those classic TV heads out there, especially Brent and Ivan. I just found out about a site called TV4U that streams full length public domain programs. It's great for broadband users and the streams seem to work well without any burps so far. They seem to have loads of programming available. I found episodes of Sgt. Preston, The Colgate Variety Hour, The Hollywood Palace, Rango with Tim Conway (!) and lots of others. I think I'm going to highly recommened this site if for anything to frivolously pass the time away at work or just to do something else while "Lost" is on. Trust me...I'm so over that show now.

Everything's Rosie

This just in: Rosie O' Donnell announced that she's leaving "The View" after only a year. You can read the details here. Man, I was just getting used to her there in the lead seat. What am I supposed to watch when I'm in dialysis. Who am I gonna get my gossip fix from now?

Not that I really watch "The View" or anything. I mean, even though there's nothing else on for me to watch during the day. It's either that or "Divorce Court", people.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Run Down and Worn Out

I've had a busy few days and I'm a little beat down, so forgive me if this is a little short. I know some folks will be happy about that. However, my normal Tuesday routine of going to dialysis, coming home and passing out on the couch had a very interesting ending today. As I was on my way home, I noticed that there was a very slow taxi cab in front of me on the road. It wouldn't have been so bad, but once I'm done on the machine, I need to lie down. I mapped the route from the house to the clinic and figured it would only take me five minutes to get home. The cab however prohibited that time, as he had a fare in the backseat and wanted to milk this as miuch as possible for the money. The more he drove, the slower he got and I was starting to wilt. I tried to get his attention in his rear view mirror to speed up, but no such luck. Also, the horn in my crappy car is busted as well. By this time, I was cursing up a storm for this bum to speed up while trying to keep my strength up. I knew nothing else to do. I then noticed that I had an half eaten apple I had taken with me for lunch. By now, I would suppose that one wouldd have firugred out what happened next.

It hit the centerof the trunk while turned the corner. I didn't even think I had enough power to do it, but it hit. He and the fare never knew what hit them. I, on the other hand, made it home safe and sound. Thus endeth the day for me.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sowing The Seeds Of Love

Happy Earth Day everyone. It's kind of a melancholy day here at the radio station for me as yesterday was the death of Blue Angels pilot during an air show that happened just down the road from Savannah. With the world in a disarray as it has been this week, it just gives one the feeling of how important life can be and how it should be enjoyed now, because it can be taken away as quickly as it's given. By the way, the air show will continue today, as pilots will fly in the missing man formation to honor the pilot.

Back to Earth Day, I looked to find sort of a good tune for today and I hoe this one works. It's Tears For Fears' "Sowing The Seeds Of Love". I hope you like it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Does Whatever Tommy Tune Can

This doesn't bode well for our freindly neighborhood webslinger. It's been confirmed that there will be a new Broadway musical based on Spider-Man, directed by "The Lion King"'s Julie Taymor and music by Bono and The Edge.

My Spider-sense is tingling and it's telling me either The Skunk Master is around or this thing could stink to high heaven.

Face it: It could look like either this...

Or this.

How come the Japanese version looks so much better than the American? GIant robots, maybe?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Music Snob

Today is a great day in America, as Craig Ferguson says at the top of his show every night. It's a great day because we no longer have to deal with the threat of Sanjaya Malakar. It's over. Children no longer have to hide in fear. Grown men and women can now stand in the light. Ladies and gentlemen, our long national nightmare is over.

Here's the thing: The guy had no talent. But somehow, he's been featured for weeks on Idol doing what he does best, which is absolutly nothing. He was perfect for the show, as it proves that pop music doesn't care these days about the artists. As long as they look cute and move funny, then it sells. With Sanjaya, it went a step further for if he'd have actually won the competition, producers would have no choice but make this guy a star. Of course, they would have had to use a lot of processing on his voice to the point that the music would have to drown out the boy's voice. Fortunatly, it won't come down to that now since he's no longer in favor of America.

I want to thank Howard Stern, Vote For the Worst, Zack Braff and all the others out there who helped me to remember that there's much better msuic out there and how much American Idol had not become a nationwide joke. I want to thank Idol for every week they've tortured us with overwraught vocals while trying to make a buck. Most of all, I'd like to thank Sanjaya for bringing us the ponyhawk and his hot sister.

I'm gonna listen to some Spike Jones and his City Slickers now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In Memory...

"VPI Victory March"
You have seen the Hoyas tumble, You have made the Indians cry, And you know the Army mule Once took a kick at V. P. I. Worthy teams from Lexington Have fought with all their might; But now it's time to show the world That VPI can fight. Interlude: GO, TECH! GO, TECH! H! O! K! I! E! S! HOKIES! Chorus: Clear the way, so that team from Tech Can roll to Victory! No foe can stand the test, So fight your best, and we will do the rest. Strength and speed keep you in the lead; You'll never go astray. Our banner high shall ever fly For victory is ours today.

Free Comic Book Day!

I'd better mention this now, as last year I got complaints that I didn't tell everyone soon enough. I'm censoring myself right now, as I'm not the one who's in charge of information for this event and it's all over the freakin' web and they could have looked for it themselves and if you don't like it.....

sigh. Sorry, it's a dialysis day and I'm out of sorts. I'm not mad at anyone. I'm just tired, but I wanted to get this out now before I forget.

Anyway, the day of May 5th has been designated Free Comic Book Day this year and if anyone hasn't gone to their local comic book store, they should now. Listen, if the local Dodge dealership had a Free Car Day, the lots would be empty in seconds. It's just that simple: If someone is giving free stuff away, take advantage of it. Stop by your nearby comic book store and get some free books. There's some great reading for the entire family, especially for younger kids this year. Here in Savannah, I'll be going to my hangout/Fortress of Solitude, The Comic Box, which I'm finally getting around to puitting a link in the blogroll. Forgive me, Fred. Of course, you can go to the FCBD's website to find the sotre near you. This year, there's no bickering about how you missed it last year becauseI didn't tell you.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Some Quick Notes

I've taken down the Will Ferrell video "The Landlord" as it would start up on it's own and take up too much time for the page to load up. However, if you want it check it out on you're own, here's a link to the original site, Laugh or Die. If you're gonna put up vids, you should be able to start and stop it on your own. Hopefully, they'll figure that soon enough.

So, I did my radio show this afternoon and it was the hardest I've done in a long time. Do you know how hard it was to even talk about the death of Hawaiian singer/legend Don Ho today and not have to look over my back every few seconds?

I hope you all thought about that for a moment. Talk about irony.

Finally, I did a revision on my essay, "Sam and The Hanuted Mansion" so I can turn it into class tomorrow. If you get a chance and you haven't read it yet, give it a shot and let me know what you thought. It would make me feel good it you did. I'm go and put a couple of finishing touches on it for the teacher, then pray that HBO doesn't milk out another episode of "The Sopranos" like they did last week.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

One Last Imus Mention...

I have one last thing I wanted to say about Don Imus. Earlier this week, I talked about how I thought the whole thing reminded me of one of my favorite movies "A Face in the Crowd". I wondered how long before anyone else would catch up. I just checked and found out TV writer Ken Levine just picked up on it on his own over at the Huffington Post. As for Imus himself, firing him just made him go away for just a bit. I just know it bveing in radio for a good while. CBS and MSNBC did what they had to do and I understand. But someone like the I-man will not be too gone for long from the airwaves. After all the bluster and all the noise, the man did make money for the networks. So don't think he's gone forever, sadly. The whole scenario reminds me of the end of "A Face in the Crowd" after Andy Griffith's Lonesome Rhoades lost his viewership after making a verbal mistake on the air and the only person left talking to him is Walter Matthau as his former writer, Mel Miller.

Lonesome Rhodes: Listen, I'm not through yet. You know what's gonna to happen to me?

Mel Miller: Suppose I tell you exactly what's gonna happen to you. You're gonna be back in television. Only it won't be quite the same as it was before. There'll be a reasonable cooling-off period and then somebody will say: 'Why don't we try him again in a inexpensive format. People's memories aren't too long.' And you know, in a way, he'll be right. Some of the people will forget, and some of them won't. Oh, you'll have a show. Maybe not the best hour or, you know, top 10. Maybe not even in the top 35. But you'll have a show. It just won't be quite the same as it was before. Then a couple of new fellas will come along. And pretty soon, a lot of your fans will be flocking around them. And then one day, somebody'll ask: 'Whatever happened to, a, whatshisname? You know, the one who was so big. The number-one fella a couple of years ago. He was famous. How can we forget a name like that? Oh by the way, have you seen, a, Barry Mills? I think he's the greatest thing since Will Rogers.'

[Mel turns and starts to leave. Then, he turns back towards Lonesome]

Mel Miller: Beanie!

[Beanie, who is manning the automatic appalause machine, instinctively pulls the switch, unleashing a massive abundance of cheers. The machanical jubilation continues as Mel joins Marcia in the waiting elevator, leaving Lonesome alone in the empty penthouse with his broken dreams]

I cna see that happening at the Imus household now, if it already hasn't. So long, Don. We'll see you on the satellite in a couple of years. Me, I'm going back to watch the rest of the fictional version on Turner Classic Movies.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sam and The Haunted Mansion-an essay for Comp 101

I wish that I had those Jean Shepard stories of growing up. They were heartwarming and enjoyable. And although there were troubles abound as life brings, there was a satisfying happy ending. Well, not every one's life gets to be so lucky. Mine was a world of freakishness, sadness, and anger, which all went by me like a blur. Thanks to having ADD and being diagnosed as hyperactive from my teachers, life moved quickly. But when things slowed down and I could understand what was going on, they got downright ridiculous.

Case in point: The year is 1979,it's early August and I'm twelve years old. My mother had gotten in contact with some family members and we were set to go off to a reunion in New York. What made it interesting was the fact that we never knew of these people until three years previously after one of them came up with the idea to trace his family. So, my mom, my younger brother Rocky and myself all piled in a large conversion van along with our other cousins on a Thursday night and we made the trek to see the rest of the relations. The trip was long, the van was hot and the rest of the family was a pain in the butt, figuratively and literally. Even though there were at least four rows of seats in this monster van, four adults and five children in one van is never comfortable. I did my best to keep myself occupied by bringing as many comic books as I thought I'd needed. While the rest of this crowd would wonder at the site of a cow in the meadow, I stuck my head in the lastest issue of Marvel Two-In-One. It's not all the time I get to read about The Thing.

By Friday afternoon, the van pulled into Yonkers and we all checked into the Holiday Inn. I was so happy to finally get out of that van and to get away from all these strangers called cousins. My own family checked into a large room with two big beds and we got comfortable. At least I got comfortable. I immediately turned on the TV and flopped down on one bed, coveting it for myself while Rocky bunked with Mom on the king sized sleepers. That's when I saw what would be the most coolest thing ever.

The television had been flickering on and off when an ad for The Long Branch Haunted Mansion appeared. I remembered that the ad showed monsters, ghouls and more and I clearly remember a voice saying it's the most frightening excitement EVER. For thirty seconds, I was hooked. "Mom, I gotta see that! Can we go to the Haunted Mansion while we're here, Mom?", I asked with glee.

"Boy, you get scared when you see a cockroach", Mom said. "There ain't no way in the world I'm letting you go there." I knew then if I wanted to go to the coolest place ever, I would have to pour it on as thick and rich as a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's.

"Mama, please! I wanna go bad! I won't be scared! It'll be cool and all! Please, Mama, pleeease!" I thought if I could suck up just enough, I'd know she'd concede just so she wouldn't hear me whine about it.

"Alright, alright. Let me talk to your cousins. Since they live in Long Branch, maybe we can all go in. But you're taking your brother and you'll do what I say the whole time you're here, got it? Everything." I knew that "everything" was going to be tough to pull off, but if I wanted to see The Haunted Mansion, I had to seal the deal. I gave her a big hug and assured her that I would be on my best behavior all weekend long at the reunion.

The next day would be when we got to see all the family. Other than the people I came with, everyone else was strangers. There were folks coming up to me I'd never seen before in my life. They would walk up and say, "Ohh, you must be Sara Gordon's boy, the smart one. I've heard so much about you!" Old women who smelled like mothballs and mentholated rub squeezed the life out of me. Old men who wore over sized leisure suits and smoked stinky cigars rubbed me on top of my head till it hurt. But I took it all because I had to. I had no choice if I wanted to go to The Haunted Mansion and my mama knew it. She got me good and probably had a good laugh out of seeing me getting the life sucked out of my body by all this boredom. But, I took it like the little man the senior citizens called me. For I would be going to the coolest place ever the next day.

Later that night, we were all back in the hotel room after a day of hugs and strange people I would never see again. I turned on the TV and caught up with "Saturday Night Live". Once again, the ad for The Haunted Mansion appeared. This time around, the ad seemed darker. The monsters and ghouls seemed bloodier. I thought for a moment, what the heck did I get myself into? But I knew it couldn't be this scary. Nope, I'm gonna go and I'm gonna have a good time. I'm not let any ol' monster get me. No sirree.

That night, I slept with the lights on until daylight.

The next day, all the cousins piled in the van to drive to Long Branch to meet with the rest of the strangers/family for a cookout. I had never been to New Jersey before, so the entire place seemed foreign to me. For one, here it was early August and the temperature was cool, in the low seventies. Down south around this time, it was in the low nineties and hot. Also, there was fog in the middle of the day. I had never seen fog like that before in my life. Something like that should have been my sign that things would definitely be different this day.

After doing the meet and greet with everyone for a couple of hours, it was decided that the teenagers of the family would take the younger kids down to the boardwalk were we could all go to The Haunted Mansion. It turns out that I wasn't the only one who wanted to check out the coolest place ever. So the other kids who lived there would be our guide to the pier. So we all banded together, about ten of us. Before we left, Mom stopped me and said, "So, were you planning on taking your brother?" I knew I made her a promise and if I wanted to go with the others, I had no choice but to drag Rocky with me. Reluctantly, I said yes and took his hand. I felt so dumb around all the older kids. I wanted to show those Yankees that us Southern boys were tougher and cooler than they could ever be, yet here I was holding the hand of a seven year old boy. Wonderful.

As we all walked towards the pier, I noticed that the fog got thicker and thicker as we went along. When we got near the shore, one of the cousins told us about the many sharks that inhabited the waters of Long Branch and of the many attacks recently. One guy had gone in to surf the beach, but great whites had jumped out of the waters and torn him apart, leaving only his broken board as a reminder of who controls the Jersey waters around the town. I suddenly began to get an uneasy feeling as he went into detail of how the sharks took the man piece by piece. Soon, my feeling of excitement turned to a slow fear. I still held on to Rocky's hand, but now there was a heavy amount of moisture coming from my palms. I looked down at the kid brother and asked was he scared. Old Rocky looked at me and laughed. "You're a big chicken. You're a big chicken", he began to sing-song. I held my head high and took a deep breath. "I'm not afraid, Rocky", I said to him. "You just hold my hand and don't let go for anything or I'm telling Mom, got it?" I then grabbed his hand tighter and walked faster with him in tow as we made our way to the front of the crew. I was going to The Haunted Mansion and nothing was going to scare me. Not one thing, not no how. Until we came up to it .

When we got to the building, it was ominous. It was dark and foreboding. Sounds came out of speakers that shouldn't be coming from houses, especially in the daytime. I had finally come face to face with what at first was the coolest place ever that somehow turned into the scariest place ever: The Haunted Mansion. The entire house was painted dark. The windows were shuttered and nailed down so no light could go in or out. It was five stories of black on the New Jersey pier and it had dozens ready to enter. You know, it's funny. It looked much smaller on television. Yet, I said I was going to go in and I was going to do it, scary or not. I held on to Rocky's hand tighter now and I said to him not to let go. We got in the long line with the rest of the family and others who were there and paid our dues to be frightened. Soon, the entire family was at the doorway waiting to be let in. Soon, the wooden door creaked and a robed ghoul in red stood in front of us. Her voice creaked out, "Welcome to The Haunted Mansion. We hope you enjoy your stay here. Because once you go in, you may never want to leave." The ghoul then cackled an evil laugh as we began to walk inside. The first thing I noticed was a deer head on the wall with blood on it's mouth. I then looked to my right and saw a coffin in the corner. One of my older cousins looked at me and asked was I okay. I looked at him and with all the bravery I could muster up at the moment, I said, "I'm fine, man." Rocky then piped up,"He's a big chicken." I then slugged Rocky in the arm to keep him quiet.

To get rid of the image of seeing a coffin in the first room, we moved on the the next room. It was a Victorian sitting room that was dark and barely lit, except for a few lights shining down on the couch. There, we saw a body without it's head, with blood dripping where the skull should be. We all looked over at the center of the room and saw the head, sitting on a platter in the middle of a table. It looked in mid shock, as if it was in the midst of a beheading. Soon, I began to piece together who this room belonged to and remembered the infamous rhyme...

"Lizzie Borden took an ax,
Gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
gave her father forty-one."

I knew as a kid that this was a true story after reading about it in books and seeing stories on it on TV, so I knew that this could really happen. I began to catch my breath, when all of a sudden, who should step out of the darkness but a woman in Victorian dress, covered in blood, wielding an ax. We all screamed when she jumped out. "Looks like I'll be chopping up more tonight!", she yelled. We all quickly ran out of the room to get away for the sight of our own blood. I held on to Rocky's hand as tight as I could and never let go as I hauled butt.

We all then got to a rope bridge. I had seen that one in the commercials. It didn't look as scary as it did in the ads, with a roomful of stalactites above and stalagmites below, but I knew we had to get across. I looked at the kid brother and said, "whatever you do, don't let go my hand." He looked angry at me and loosened his grip, running off with the other kids. Here I was trying to be as brave as the heroes in the comic books I was so fond of and now I was all alone in a haunted house. I had to find Rocky and fast or else the biggest horror would be my mama giving forty-two whacks. By this time, fear was the only thing that kept me moving and I knew that I had to keep going on. I had no choice at this point.

I saw him up ahead as he stood by the older kids. They were trapped in what looked like a jail with what looked like a man who had been there for centuries in tattered clothing dancing about. But by the time I could catch up with them, they had already gone on ahead to the next room and disappeared from my site. Rocky was gone, but I knew I had to stay with him somehow. But how could I? At this point, there were noise and people coming from out of nowhere. My senses were on overdrive. The place I had seen on TV that I wanted to go to so bad that I had to beg my mama to go see had become my living hell. This was no longer a Scooby Doo episode. Soon, every bad thing I had done all those years had caught up to me and asking me down. Every time I said a bad word, every test I cheated on, every time I hit my little brother. This was it. I was going to die for never listening to my mother. Tears came rolling down my cheeks in floods. I was shaking like an over loaded washing machine. Sam Johnson would forevermore be gone from this realm.

As I got to the jail cell to try as I could to catch up to the rest, I couldn't see the madman. I ran as quickly as I could to meet them. Suddenly, my exit was blocked off by the cell door. I then heard a voice behind me that yelled out, "Lizzie, look what I found!" It was the madman! He's trapped me and I was doomed as doom could be! I then began to freak out as I had never freaked before. I grabbed the madman by the collar of his prison suit and yelled at him, " Stop! I can't take this anymore! I gotta get out of here now!" The madman's look then changed to concern. The freaks in the mansion couldn't touch the visitors lest they could get a lawsuit of any of them got hurt.
"Calm down, kid. Calm down. It's okay. We're just actors here. Just calm down, alright?", spoke the madman in a normal tone. I must have been really freaked out of my freak at this point, as other visitors around me began to stare and wonder how this kid ever got into this place. Soon it got worse as Lizzie Borden ran into the room and I began to panic even more. She soon dropped character when she saw the madman trying to calm a frightened kid and asked me where were the others I came with and I began to babble that they had gone on ahead without me and I was all alone and I was going to have a heart attack and I was from Savannah and I came with my brother and he's run away from me and my mama was gonna kill me and I was scared out of my wits end and I need to get out here now!

She took a deep breath and told me there was only one way to get out of here since there were no exit doors nearby and I would have to go the way I came in. Lizzie said softly to relax me, "Now I know it's scary, but you have to stay calm, alright? Just run as fast as you can the way you came in and don't look at anything. Whatever you do, don't stop running, okay?" I took a deep breath of as much oxygen as I could and hauled ass out of that room. I knocked down as many people who were in my way just so I could get out. I could hear the haunted laughter of the visitors who could see me make my way over the rope bridge, but I quickly blocked them from my mind. I could sense the eyes upon me as I made my way back to Lizzie's parlor, but I knew that if I wanted to live, I needed to run faster than I ever could. I soon got back to the front entrance and closer to freedom. But as I made my way back to the door, my exit was once again blocked by the opening ghoul in red and a caped vampire.

"Hey kid," the ghoul in red said in a Jersey girl accent. "Where do you think you're going?" I looked at her and in the middle of fear and defiance, I screamed, "I'm getting out of this house now!".

She looked and laughed out loud along with the vampire. "You know you can't get you're money back." I could have freaking cared less at this point. "I just want to get out of here, lady!", I said in between the heaving sobs.

The vampire said, "You're gonna be famous, kid. No one has ever left the house from the front door. You are the very first." It didn't matter to me now, as long as I was out of there. They then made a spectacle of me, letting me out of the door. I could hear them in the background as I made made my way through the line. Folks were staring at me while I was on the way out. "There he is folks! He's the first person ever to leave The Haunted Mansion alive and walking out of the front door!," they bellowed behind me. That day, I'll bet the kids in line became more scared as ever to go in, but I didn't care. I was free of that place and I never wanted to return. I just wanted my mama at this point.

I began to walk down the Long Branch Pier and I was crying and talking to myself the entire time. I was having a nervous breakdown in New Jersey and I had never been there before. But I knew I had to get back home as quickly as I could and get away from this place. Adults had seen me and tried to stop me asking, "Young man, are you alright? Is everything okay?" But I never paid attention to them. I kept having my nervous breakdown and continued to walk back to my family where my mother waited for me. I knew she would be there her arms wide open to let her little boy know that everything was okay. The ghouls and monsters where all gone. Mama was here for her twelve year old boy.

I had remembered every step I had taken from the house of the reunion to the pier and now I would take them all backwards to get home. I wandered for what seemed like days, but only took a half hour. I could see the house in my blurred horizon and I knew that Mom would be there for me. As I grew closer, I ran faster and faster when finally I could see my mama and all the older cousins in the backyard cooking out, when they noticed that I was all alone and having a nervous breakdown of the senses. I then collapsed on to my Mom when I got close enough to he and I could hear her say to me,"Boy, what in the Hell is wrong with you?"

I then began to explain the entire story of how evil The Haunted Mansion was and how Rocky ran away from me and how I escaped the mansion's clutches and I to loose it even more in front of my mother and the rest of the grown folks.

"Lord, Jesus." She just looked at me and shook her head in embarrassment as the rest of the adults began to laugh at me. "You left your brother with the other kids?", she yelled at me. I tried to explain how he got away from me, but all that could come out of my mouth was unexplainable speaking in tongue that I would never do anything bad ever again.

I could hear one of the grownups say, "I told y'all that place wasn't no good. All them folks up in there scaring all them people like that. That place'll give a strong man a coronary!"

My mama just looked at her now clinically insane son and said to me, "Boy, carry your Black behind in that house and go lay down. I don't want to see you no more until we leave, understood?" I babbled "yes, ma'am" and one of my adult cousins brought me into the house and lead me into a bedroom and told me to lie for a while. I flopped on the bed, going into shock, talking to myself the whole time like I was Renfield from those scary movies for the thirties, saying over and over the monsters where gone, the monster were gone, the monster were gone. After an hour and a half of this, I began to calm down a bit. But what of my little brother? Was he safe? I looked out of the window and I could see the others had returned safely. They had related the story of how I cracked up to the rest of the family and I could hear them laugh out loud of my adventure. It turns out that Rocky was okay, too. They never got through the entire house, either. The others had gotten too scared as well and made it out through an exit door on the third floor. But they had heard the legend of the kid that left out of the front. That would be a milestone for every family reunion they'll ever have. I would never hear peace from that day on from the rest of the cousins in the way as we made our way back to Savannah. I was just glad to get back home at that point and kept my head in my comics.

Mom has passed on since that day. I've gotten older and so has Rocky. I've gotten a bit braver now, but that day in Long Branch, New Jersey still gives me chills every time I think about how it grabbed hold to my inner fiber and wouldn't let go. I'd since found out that the Haunted mansion no longer exists. After a few years, the place went from being the scarest place ever to a family friendly amusment area. Then in 1987, a gas leak started a fire that would burn the entire pier, including The Haunted Mansion. There wasn't enough insurance money to repair the damage, so the area was sold and now there stands a hotel where once was the mansion. My childhood fear is now gone and in ashes now. To that, I say "thank goodness." I'm glad I never saw those other cousins again or that freaky old mansion.
If you'd like to see photos of what scared the living Hell out of me and possibly still could if it were still standing, go here. Just keep saying to yourself, "It's only a picture. It's only a picture. It's only a picture..."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Look, up in the sky!"

Oaky, say someone had footage of the Christopher Reeve Superman films. Then, let's say they also had the theme to the 1966 series The New Adventures of Superman, which is coming to DVD in June, then that person mashed them together. You'd get something pretty badass.

What Makes A Great Party?

My little You Tube project is up and running now as we speak. I'm loading videos when I can and some of them are just too funny. There's some great commercials up now for Old Virginia preserves, Newport Cigarettes, Sweeta Sugar and more. Plus, a short instructional film called "What Makes A Good Party". Mind you, these ideas still kind of work today. If you don't have beer at the party, then it's a completly different champange jam. Anyway, have a look and a laugh!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Big Mouth

In a few days, Don Imus wil be off the air for saying something dumb. As we used to say in the old neighborhood, "Goody for you, stupid."

I'm not gonna take this from the Black perspective, though I could. The term "nappy headed ho" has been tossed around by so many rappers these days, it's nothing, sadly. Mind you they say worse, but unless you threaten to take all the bling away, it won't stop and it should. We should go after the all the rappers who sterotype other Blacks, but I digress for the moment.

No, I'm going after Imus for just being a jerk. I've been in radio now for twenty three years and I've bumped into folks in the business who've told me stories about Imus and they way he treats folks off the air. No races in whole, but individuals. Allegedy, his treatment of fellow employees is horrible. If you've ever seen Howard Stern's "Private Parts" movie, with a meeting between Stern and Imus, it's about right. Stern, by the way, has been fined for curse words and protested constantly for sexual content. Not for race. So, he's more a shock jock than Imus is. Imus is just plain crabby. I've done some outragous things on the air. God knows how lucky I am not to be busted by the FCC, but I've never been desperate for a laugh by calling a woman any kind of "ho" on the air. It's wrong and I know that.

By the way, the word "nappy" is almost acceptable. It was announced that Halle Berry will star in a film called "Nappily Ever After", so at this point the word is pretty much okay to use at this point. Unless of course, after all of this, Hollywood changes it's mind and the title. We'll see.

The point I'm trying to make is firing Imus won't do anything. One of my favorite films is "A Face In The Crowd", about a homespun boy form the South who becomes a media sensation in the fifties who let's power go to his head. At one point, the character, played wonderfully by Andy Griffith, gets caught on the air after a show blasting his audience by calling them stupid and other words. As quick as it happens, he bcomes persona non grata to everyone he knows. At the end of the film, Walter Matheau makes a speech about how he'll lose the job, but someday he'll be back on the air, doing what he's known for, but not as popular as he once was. That's how it would be for Imus. I've seen it myself loads of times in this business. Opie and Anthony are a recent example. So, no matter what happens to the man, he'll always be around. Whether we want to listen to him or not.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Hornet's Sting

My fellow blogger from the good state of Montana, David of Better Living Through Blogging and I have a few things in common. We both get hyped for good movies ( We both saw "Grindhouse", so how the frick wasn't the movie number one at the box office over the weekend? Because the youth audience has the attention span of fleas, but I digress), and we both love The Green Hornet. We've both found some great items online about the Hornet, but I usually find the videos. As it turns out, David just stated that he's not a fan of You Tube videos on his blog today. Well, you're gonna be a fan today, pal.

First up is a commercial for Lays Potato chips with a Free Green Hornet ring inside. Remember when they put free stuff inside of food products that wasn't, like rats and fingers?

Now, this one is a rare treat. Here's a pilot version that was meant only for ABC executives on how the show would look. All the actors other than Bruce Lee were dropped and replaced, including Jay Murray who played Britt/Green Hornet.
This guy made Adam West look like DeNiro and was thankfully removed for Van Williams to take over. Trust me, this is not good. Just listen to him say "subliminal" behind that horrible mask and you'll wish Kato would have given him a flying kick to the head. But at least you know that the producers were working on it to make it better. You better like these, David. Don't Jimmy me on these, man. He knows what that means.

Onward And Upwards

Well, today was my first day of Spring quarter and am I glad. I don't think I could have taken another day of being off from school. As funny as it sounds, I love going to college. I mean, for the first time in a long time, I'm doing something important that makes me feel good. Plus after last week, I realize that just sitting around the house can be a dangerous thing for me. I wind up posting You Tube videos all day here and drivng most of you crazy with them. So, I htink the best thing for me to do is get me an education so I can stop with the looniness.

So this time around, the classes I'm taking are Intoduction to Paralegal and Composition 101. Both classes are very entertaining and I should do well, if not better than last quarter. So, ofr the next ten weeks, at least for a little while, posting here will be light as I try to catch up. The plus side to this is that due to Comp 101, there's going to be some interesting things here, thanks to me talking to my instructor, who told me that I could post them here as well as bring them in for class. From what I can tell from her, my teacher wants us to be as creative as possible. Which mean finally, you'll be able to understand just what the hell I'm writing. Thank her later if I pass.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I Gotta "Chick Habit"

This may be the last time I'll talk aboout "Grindhouse" until the Ultra Delux Super Spectacular 2 Disc Set With Authentic Poster gets released. Right now, I'm obessed with the closing song of the film. It's a bouncy little tune called "Chick Habit" and I can't get the damn thing out of my head.

"Death Proof" as I mentioned in the review has the QT touch, all the way down to the soundtrack. Each song was handpicked and conveys the feeling of the film. In the beginning of the movie, you hear Smith's cover of The Shirelles' "Baby It's You" and it sets the mood of the film. By the end of the movie, you are hooked all the way into the credits. That's when you hear "Chick Habit" by April March. I had never heard of her before, but Tarantino has, which is great for the listener. The hard part about the song is once you hear it, it's stuck in your brain for a while. A good while. It's the same with every QT film. You hear "Misirlou" by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones, you think Pulp Fiction. Everytime I hear "Whoo Hoo" by The 5,6,7,8's, not only do I think of how much I don't want Vontage, I refer back to "Kill Bill". And now, I refer "Chick Habit" to "Death Proof". As it turns out, the song is actually a cover of a 60's French Pop tune written by Serge Gainsbourogh. Only Tarantino could do that kind of damage. Anyway, here's the link to a site called Gorilla vs. Bear that has MP3 of the April March version. Now you'll be stuck with it, too.

Also, here's the video to the original version, sung by France Gaull. As much as I've listened to Rap today, I still can't get it out of my head. I start classes again tomorrow and I don't need this looming.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The obligatiry "Grindhouse" review

Let me start this by saying that for the first time ever, I'm glad that I have end stage renal failure. Because of this life threatning ailment, I was unable to go to the bathroom during the nearly three hour joyride called "Grindhouse". Not one did I move, nor did I want to. There were others who could stand the heat, so they got out of the kitchen and went to the loo, only to come back and miss something very cool. Poor weak bladders.

When you go to this movie, and this is important, remember these tips. Go to the bathroom. Take your business outside. Turn off your phone. Stock up on your goodies. Pace yourself on that drink. Bring friends. Once you sit down in the theater and you see the Dimention studios logo, everything goes from zero to sixty from there. That I promise you.

See, this is an experience that not many folks get to witness anymore, the double feature. Up until the early eightes, this was pure teen escapism. Nothing but testoterone, blood, guts, speed, wit, with just a touch of nudity. They weren't even B-list movies. They were make fast and on the cheap, but they knew to give you your money's worth when it was said and done. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino went to those same movies as kids and now are reliving it just for us.

By know, you've probably read all the reviews of "Grindhouse" and they all say the same thing, in a nutshell: that this is a great movie. I won't lie, I'm saying the same thing here. But there were some things in it that I have to point out to you, if you plan on seeing this. I'll do my best not to spoil it for you:

1: "Planet Terror" is not a zombie movie. I don't do zombie flicks. I'm so much of a pussy, I have never even seen "Night of The Living Dead". I mean, all the way back to the original film. I can't stand the thought of cannibalism. It's plain wrong. Having confessed that, there are infected people going around eating other people. Only these aren't zombies. They're just sick.

2: The characters and dialogue are straight out of every zombie ripoff of the eighties, with is what Rodriguez set out to spoof. A lot of lines are set up for sight gags. When a character asks what happens and is told "It's a no brainer", you know what's going to happen, but when you see the reason, it's also cringing. Both from the sight and the joke. The whole thing is cheesy, from the opening synth score to nearly the end of the flick. There are a few surprises though that sets this movie apart from every "living dead" movie since 1978.

3: The actors in "Planet Terror" do justice to their roles. Michael Bien and Jeff Fahey are great as bickering brothers. Marley Shelton is wonderful. But, It's Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan as the main heroes who keep\n you hooked. Rodriguez's riviting El Rey is is a mystery. So mysterious in fact, that every character in the film finds out how mysterious he is and the audience doesn't. McGowan's Cherry Darling is a spitfire. She's a woman of many talents, though she thinks she has none. It turns out that a woamn with an M-16 for a leg can do a lot of things.

4: I want to see movies made from very fake trailer here. Everyone of them enjoyable. "White meat. Dark meat. All will be carved." Even Fu Manchu shows up.

5: On to "Death Proof". Quentin Tarantino has a great knack for words. As he's said in interviews, when he writes a script, it's almost as if he's writing a novel. I'd love to see him take on a crime novel one day. It would be filled with sharp dialogue that's whip smart. That's how this film is. Along with his other movies, the words are harder than the people who say them. However there\n were some folks in the audience who I could hear whisper, "this is boring". Far from it. Although it took a bit for the action to build up, it was set perfect. This is a slasher movie without the glare of a single knife. From the start of the film, when we see the long legs of Sydney Tamia Portier, God bless her, and we meet her friends, we find out more about these smart sexy women and begin to care. In the background, we see Kurt Russell's Stuntman Mike driving his way through. When Mike and the girls finally meet up, you can feel them creeped and intrigued at the same time. But thanks to the ads, we all know what Mike is all about and when we find out what happens to Sydney and her friends, we feel shocked and angry. That leads up to:

6. A new set of women show up on the scene. Stuntman Mike is ready for them. But these women are different from the others. This set is tougher and harder. The quartet goes up from girly-girl to Zena, literally. This time the dialogue from the women is slicker and meaner. This verifies the one thing I've always known, but could never prove to any man. That women talk as much crap as men do, they just won't admit it. It's obvious that Tarantino know how to write for women in this picture.

7. As for this set of women, Rosario Dawson is the heart as Abernathy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks cute/hot in her cheerleader outfit as Lee. But the two best of this quartet is Tracie Thoms and Zoe Bell. Thoms is a hoot as Kim and is the female version of Jules from "Pulp Fiction". In fact, if she were ever to meet up with the now wandering hitman, it would be a hell of a battle, verbal and gunwise. As for Zoe Bell, this is a character who just happens to be real. She's a stuntwoman QT used in the "Kill Bill" movies as Uma's stunt double and wrote this role just for her. She's a good actress and an even better stuntwoman. When she rides the hood of the white Dodge Charger to escape Stuntman Mike, you are on the edge of your seat praying to whomever that she doesn't fall off. She's the best part of this whole movie because she is the reality that holds it together. In all, this is the best woman's empowerment movie in a long time. This is the guy's version of how a chick flick should be.

What I'm saying here is this film everything you want in cheap thrills and doubles it up for you. With the ticket price of movies these days, a good double feature makes up for one dumb two hour idea. Both directors should be thanked big time from anyone who sees this for every gross out, every laugh, every skin crawling moment "Grindhouse" gives.There are the missing reels, scenes are moved around, there's a hair caught in the projector, but it all works out in the long run. This is a ride, but not a Disney ride. It's the one at the brokedown carnival with the busted seats and the guy running the machine has a\n mullet and a huge scar on his face. You know it's looks messed up, but just gotta ride for the fun of it."

That was my intelligent review of "Grindhouse." Now, if you'll indugle me, this is the straightforward version.

This movie is the shit. Get off your ass and go see this!

Friday, April 06, 2007


Tonight, it's on like Donkey Kong! Grindhouse opens today and I am there! I'm off to get stuff for tonight, but just to let you know, the reviews have been wonderful for the movie. As for my Montana friend David, it turns out that he'll be at the theaters tonight as well with his gang. By the way, if you're near a drive in and this movie is on one of those treasured screens, you may be the luckiest person of all. No matter what, go see this movie! Alright, I've gotta run. I'l see you tonight!

You're the next host on The Price Is Right!

Word is now out on who could be the new host on The Price Is Right. So far it's down to Mario Lopez, George Hamilton and Mark Steines. Please. Couldn't CBS do better than this list? Two guys from "Dancing With The Stars" and the guy who covers "Dancing WIth The Stars"? There are loads of B- and C-list folks in Hollywood who'd do a great job. USA Today brought up Arsenio Hall and Wayne Brady. How about Donny Osmond, since "The Great American Dream Vote" got recalled. By the way, where is John O'Hurley in all this? I heard that he was in the running, but his name hasn't been brought up in a while. I gues he's sticking to "Family Feud". His loss. Personally, I'd try Michael McDonald from "Mad TV" who does a great Bob Barker impression and actually looks cool holding that slender mic.

Or how about this: Let the show end. Face it. Thoughout the daytime version of the show, there has been various versions of it at night, with different hosts such as Tom Kennedy, Doug Davidson, and as of last year, Ricki Lake. But T.P.I.R. has the stamp of one man and that person is retiring. No one could make that show as good as Bob Barker has done since 1972. Bob Barker was the last of the dying breed, the game show host. Guys like Bill Cullen, Peter Tomarken, and Garry Moore are gone now. Monty Hall and Bob Eubanks have retired. It would be the same as when Leno took over for Johnny Carson for me. So I say when Bob says to spay and neuter your pets for the last time, the show goes off with him.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Marry, Boff, Kill

Thursdays usually go from bad to better for me. It starts out with dialysis, but gets better once I get home and lay down for a while. After a bit, I'm rested up to sait up and watch TV. THnak goodness for NBC's Thurday night lineup. I've been really pleased this season with the shows, but my favorite has to be 30 Rock. Tina Fey has done a wonderful job creating a show that could have been a joke itself and turned into a wonderful satire on television. Tracy Morgan is hilarious and Alec Baldwin is spot on perfect. I'm glad that NBC has decided to pick this show up for a second season. Sadly, it's dramatic sibling, Studio 60, may not be back after the summer. But at least we know which Saturday Night Live parody lasted.

Back to 30 Rock, there's an fun new game on the NBC site called "Marry, Boff, Kill" based on one of the situations in an early episode. In it, you pick which celebrity you would rather marry, boff, or kill. It's (kinda) that simple. I wound up boffing a couple of people I never expected too. To Miss Jolie, please understand that this is only a game, but you did the same thing to Jennifer Anniston.

Besides, I still have a mad crush on Liz Lemon.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Geeks In Black

Today, I embark on a new project. One I hope will bring folks together in a way never before. When I say folks, I mean Geeks. Not just any Geeks, I mean the Black Geek. Those African American fans of Sci-fi/comics/horror/pop culture. The ones who get called "nerd" by their family. There's nothing to be afriad of anymore. I have created a haven for you.

It's called Geeks In Black. I came up with it when I noticed that there wasn't a place for folks like me on My Space to get together. We're out there and I know we are. We're at the conventions, the comic book stores, at the movies and on the online forums. But we don't have our own place. Now we do. Now, I'm not limiting this only to Blacks themselves. Everyone is welcome. But I hope that Blacks Geeks embrace this as a home for their Geekdom and still have street cred. So, if you're My Space member, join us. If you're not, now's a good time to do so. Say it now! I'm a Geek and I'm proud!

Join now!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Counting Down To The Grindhouse

Okay, just days away from seeing the pop culture phenomenom known as "Grindhouse". Most of you should be used to me seeing a movie like this. I was the same way for "Snakes On A Plane" last year and I was sorely disapointed after seeing it. However, "Grindhouse" is diffent because of directors Quenton Tarintino and Robert Rodregez, whom booth I have nothing but respect for. Every clip I've seen from "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror" looks fantastic. Plus, the film itself plans giving viewers the experience of going to a dark, dank movie theater in the seventies that showed only the wildest films back to back at midnight, scratched film, missing reels and intermission extras and all. I remember going with my sister Linda on a Sunday afternoon and caught a martial arts double feature when I was seven. Kids sreaming at the screen for the hero to look out! The sound of daggers flying through the air! Bruce Lee jumping in midair! Those images stuck in my mind forever and I can't thank her enough for that. So, if you plan to relive your childhood at the movies this year, then this has to be the way to do it.

So enough of my raving. Here's a few clips from "Planet Terror". I'm going to see it this week. If you want to go with me, let me know. Just remember to tell yourself, "It's only a movie. It's only a movie. It's only a movie..."

Spring Break Day 2

It's only a week for me, but I'm making the most of Spring Break. I woke up at 9:30 this morning. I had forgotten what it was like to sleep late like that. But I can't make a habit out of it since classes are around the corner. I'm still gonna be as lazy as I can for the next few days however. I deserve it.

Anyways, here's the latest from Alanis Morrissete doing a cover of The Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps". You read that right. A lot of folks seem to forget that the woman does have a sense of humor. She had a recurring role on "Nip/Tuck" and let's not forget "You Can't Do That On Television".

Monday, April 02, 2007

Rumble, Cartoon, Rumble!

Okay, I'm not saying thatr this was the worst Saturday Morning Cartoon in the world, but "I Am The Greatest: The Adventures Of Muhhamand Ali" was up there. Ali does his own voice work for this NBC cartoon that ran in 1976 and hasn't been seen since. All I know now is you really can find anything on You Tube.

Can You Feel It?

You ever just sit in front of your computer and just You Tubed the first thing that pops into your head? Like just now, I typed in "Jacksons Can You Feel It" and lo and behold, up comes instant gratification. What makes this vid so slick is that it was made in 1980 for their album "Triumph", before Michael was really given the chance to cut loose. Say what you will about the guy, but musically he and his brothers, including Tito, were bad asses. The song itself reminds me of funk meets the Electric Light Orchestra. But most of all, the opening narration was done by the The Movie Guy himself, Don LaFontaine. I'll bet you'll be singing the hook to this one long after it's over.

It's a great day in America...

Today is the beginning of my first Spring Break in twnety years, so I'm getting caught up with house cleaning today. So much for going to the beach and doing my version of "Revenge of The Nerds II; Nerds In Paradise". But I'm gonna make the best of it anyways. Besides, it's a great day today, perhaps because it's National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. You know what that means...

Celebrate today by making some PB&J bars courtesy of Mr. Food. OOOOOH, it's so good!