Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pop Song of the Week: "Hate Me"

No, I am not an addict but I've gone through enough suicidal periods in my life that I really, really would not like to end up becoming the type of person who would have this video played at his funeral. Or for that matter, at his mother's funeral.

I must admit to having been surprised to learn quite recently that the song is not about the relationship between the protagonist and his ex-girlfriend but rather the relationship between him and his mother. But then I have had a lot of surprises in my life as of late. This one was rather pleasant by comparison.

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Movie Quote of the Week

The sorrows of life are the joys of art.
--John Barrymore, Twentieth Century (1934)

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TV Quote of the Week

But I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but, after that. Every night after that. I'd see it all again... I do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways... Every night I save you.
--James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “After Life”

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie Song of the Week: "We Go Together"

This week I post the big musical finale from the 1978 movie Grease, one of my late sister's favorite movies. I don't know what else I say about this number save what a pity it is that they don't write lyrics like that anymore.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Mi Sobrino!

My sister's only son had a birthday last Friday but for obvious reasons, we did not have the heart to celebrate it until this weekend. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

I hope he continues to make his late mother proud.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Death in the Family: Parte II

My sister's funeral was this past Monday. Apparently she died of an ulcer. I never thought it was possible to die of an ulcer but that is what my sister did. Heaven knows she has had her share of stress but I never realized until this past Monday that she had had enough to give her an ulcer. Moreover, it must have been her ulcer which was forcing her to throw up so much on the night before her death. Even though my brother-in-law had tried to persuade her to go to the hospital that night, she had refused to do so -- no doubt because she had no idea that the consequences of her decision would prove so fatal.

Two of my aunts came down from up north to attend the funeral and help out my mother. Both my aunts are mothers themselves and they have lost enough family over the years* to know full well what it's like to lose a loved one. They went back Thursday and their presence is sorely missed. But at least there is the chance that the next occasion I see them will be a happier one than this one.

I still do not know what to say to my brother-in-law or my sister's children. They seem to be holding up well but only time will show how well they are doing. More than a few of their neighbors have contributed food and other items to their household to help ease the transition since my sister's passing -- after all, it was unlikely that my brother-in-law was going to be showing much interest in grocery shopping for a while -- and for their sake, I am truly grateful. Some of my mother's friends have given her food as well and I am sure she was touched by their thoughtfulness.

My sister's son had a football game Thursday and the game began with a moment of silence for his mother. He supposedly dedicated his first victory to his mother as well. Which is how it should be.

I'm going to miss my little sister and I'm still puzzled as to why I had yet to shed as many external tears over her as I did over my late father. I suspect that either it will hit me harder during the coming holidays or else I am all dried out from all the tears that I am crying on the inside.

* However, neither of them have yet to lose any daughters, gracias a Dios.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

R.I.P. Mi Hermana

My only sister died this morning. At this point, I still don't know the exact cause of death though at this point there is nothing ruling out natural causes.

She will most definitely be missed.

I have already given my condolences to her spouse and her children but apart from that, I'm still in shock. It still doesn't feel real to me and when it does, it's going to hurt. Ironically, I always suspected that she would outlive me because she was younger than me by a year but that was not to be.

There will be very little -- if any -- blogging while I process this. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pop Song of the Week: "Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime)"

You can tell this video took place a long time ago because the girls got so much money for selling their vinyl records.

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Pensamientos Acerca de Televisión

Doctor Who (The Second Series): "The Girl Who Waited"

You say you haven't gotten enough of that Amy Pond character on this show? Well, this episode finally grants you your wish. I hope you're satisfied.

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Pensamientos Acerca de Televisión

Doctor Who (The Second Series): "Night Terrors"

A little boy in England has been getting scared at night so one evening he breaks down and calls upon the Doctor for help, inspiring the Doctor to make a "house call" -- which means he spends the rest of the episode popping Vicodin tablets, making sarcastic remarks and walking with a cane. Okay, he actually does nothing of the sort though it would have made for a neat episode if he did.

As it is, this episode appears to have borrowed most of its ideas from an old Twilight Zone episode. Not that that is a bad thing. After all, previous episodes in this series have borrowed from such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files. So why not borrow from The Twilight Zone?

Of course, the ending is a tad predictable but at least it doesn't appear to have come out of nowhere like the conclusion of the previous episode. Plus, this show did first start out as a kid's show so it's nice to see Moffat and company remembering its roots.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Movie Song of the Week: "Been a Long Day"

The ideal show tune for a Monday.

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Well, I Suppose It Was Only a Matter of Time Before They Published a Novel with This Title


However, I still expected F. Paul Wilson to have a bit more class.

It's been two years since this novel was published and I still can't believe it.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

R.I.P. Cliff Robertson


American actor Cliff Robertson, best known for winning the 1968 Best Actor Academy Award for Charly, took his last bow yesterday at age 88.

He will be missed.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trailer of the Week: Backdraft (1991)

Ron Howard's pre-9/11 salute to firemen.

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Hey, I Remember This Show: Rescue Me

Perhaps the best TV show actor Denis Leary has done thus far and definitely one of the best shows directly inspired by 9/11.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Movie Quote of the Week

Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages submit to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a free people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a box with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, that’s power.
--James Coburn, Looker (1981)

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TV Quote of the Week

I wouldn't take Britain if I were you. There's nothing of value there and the people make terrible slaves.
--Ian Ogilvy, I, Claudius, “Waiting in the Wings”

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pop Song of the Week: "Rio"

"Rio," of course, is Spanish for "river" and it's surprising how popular that name has become for female fictional characters.

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Movie Song of the Week: "Once a Year Day"

From the 1957 musical The Pajama Game, yet more proof that people were more active in the 1950s than we generally give them credit for.

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Whatever Happened to Labor Day?

Labor Day was originally a day set aside in September so that working people could count on at least one day off each year that was not Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Day. So why are so many businesses always open on this day?

Apart from banks and government offices, it seems like almost every business from grocery stores to video rental shops is open at least part-time* on Labor Day and while this must be most convenient to those few working stiffs who actually have the day off yet still feel the need to run errands, it's not so convenient to the many working stiffs who actually have to work that day.

Ironically, the best way to assure that you won't have to work on Labor Day is to become a member of management. Because managers rarely have to work on Labor Day while laborers more often than not do.

What else can I say about all this except, "Heh. Irony"?

* Slightly less than 24 hours, at least according to the New Math.

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Trailer of the Week: Fright Night (1985)

So this is the type of movie actress Amanda Bearse starred in before she got cast as Marcy Rhodes in the long-running TV series Married... with Children. Of course, actor Roddy McDowall is no longer with us -- but not because of this movie.

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Hey, I Remember This Show: Point Pleasant

Since writer Marti Noxon is back in fashion nowadays, it only seems appropriate to post an intro from the TV series which first made her famous. However, I would rather post this intro instead.

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Hey, I Don't Remember This Show: The Vampire Diaries

What? Yet another primetime TV series about vampires? Why do I get the feeling that this one is not based on the old Robert Aickman story "Pages from a Young Girl's Journal"?

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Pensamientos Acerca de Televisión

Doctor Who (The Second Series): "Let's Kill Hitler"

We the TV audience have come back from a summer-long hiatus in time to meet yet another old friend from Amy's past -- a person who proves to be more important to Amy's life than she ever figured. The mysterious Mels -- a young black woman who was Amy's bff back in the day shows up at a rendevous between Amy, Rory and the Doctor just in time to hijack the Tardis to 1938 Berlin. "Why 1938 Berlin?" you may ask. Well, haven't you read the title? They're going to kill Hitler.

Mels never explains why it's so urgent that she kill Adolf Hitler and it is not much of a spoiler to point out that she never gets around to doing it anyway. Nor does this episode ever explain why she is not similarly obsessed with killing Joseph Stalin or Chairman Mao Tse-tung. (Offhand, I am guessing it has something to do with the fact that Stalin and Mao never ordered the bombing of London.) The rest of the episode seems like an excerpt from one of X-Men writer Chris Claremont's "Dark Phoenix" stories since we basically watch Amy's old friend turn into something a bit more destructive than the old pal she knew so well in girlhood. Worse yet, the Doctor proves to be little help because in all the excitement, he gets hit with a bullet and starts dying. Plus there's a weird alien going around duplicating the exterior of people's bodies and then getting rid of the originals.

Will things get sorted out? Well, the episode is not a two-parter so it's safe to say, "yes." However, showrunner Steven Moffat has some serious explaining to do.

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Friday, September 02, 2011

Movie Quote of the Week

Apparently your generation doesn't want to see vampire killers anymore, nor vampires either. All they want to see slashers running around in ski masks, hacking up young virgins.
--Roddy McDowall, Fright Night (1985)

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TV Quote of the Week

Now, Spike, you wanna see what a real vampire looks like?
--Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Never Leave Me”

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