Friday, June 28, 2013

Movie Song of the Week: "Let the River Run"

In honor of recent birthday girl Carly Simon, I post one of her most famous movie songs. I hope you all enjoy it.

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Quote of the Week

Twenty years later I began working as an editor for Mandalay Publications in LA at a bilingual magazine called Estylo. One day I told the staff about my trip to Ensenada and the story I had written. They thought I was joking. Ensenada is not dark. It is not even the real Mexico, they explained, only the Baja Peninsula -- a safe, benign destination for gringos. For them, the real Dark Country is the U.S., which they had found so strange and frightening when they arrived here. And of course they were right. It all depends on your point of view.
--Dennis Etchison, Introduction to his short story "The Dark Country" in the anthology Summer Chills

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Carly Simon!


AKA Carly Elisabeth Simon.

Born June 25, 1945.

She is the former spouse of singer James Taylor and a successful singer-songwriter in her own right. I used to listen to her songs endlessly when I was a teenager. She is most famous for such songs as "Anticipation", "You're So Vain", "That's the Way I Always Heard It Should Be" and the Bond film classic "Nobody Does It Better". Her 1988 song "Let the River Run" was the first song in history to win a Grammy, an Oscar and a Golden Globe for a song written and performed by a single artist. Ms. Simon is also noted for the modest way she posed for her early album covers.


Her father was co-founder of the publishing firm Simon & Schuster. Her mother was a singer and a civil rights activist. Her maternal father was Jewish and her maternal grandmother was of German, French, and Afro-Cuban descent. I know that Ms. Simon makes an unlikely Latina but then that could be said about a lot of Latin women.

Edited to add:

Heh. Irony. Apparently my talent for recognizing fellow Latins is not as accurate as I would prefer.

Mea culpa.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pop Song of the Week: "Summer in the City"

But at night, it's a different world...

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Movie Song of the Week: "Super Heroes"

Yet more proof that the 1970s were all about the happy tunes.

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Trailer of the Week: Superman (1978)

The original trailer that almost every Superman fan of a certain age still remembers.

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Movie Quote of the Week

They wouldn't drop the bomb on the weekend, would they?
--Julia McNeal, The Unbelievable Truth (1989)

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TV Quote of the Week

Here I’ve been talking with the most intelligent people in the world and I never even noticed.
--Peter Falk, Columbo, "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case"

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quote of the Week

Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.
--Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Comic Book Image of the Week


What I would really like to see in the new Superman movie. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen unless it ends up being re-released in 1985.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Linda Chavez!



AKA Linda Lou Chavez.

Born June 17, 1947.

She is a conservative Hispanic woman who was the highest-ranking woman in President Ronald Reagan's White House. She also became the first Latina ever nominated to the U.S. Cabinet, when President George W. Bush nominated her as his Secretary of Labor. She later had to withdraw from consideration when it was discovered that she had employed an illegal alien.

Her father was descended from Spanish immigrants to New Mexico. Her mother was of English and Irish ancestry.

She also wrote a book in 1991 called Out of the Barrio: Towards a New Politics of Assimilation, which appears to have been read more by her ideological opponents than by anyone else.

She was also an executive director of the organization U.S. English back in the 1980s but quit after the release of the notorious Tanton memo.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, M. C. Escher!





AKA Maurits Cornelis Escher.

Born June 17, 1898. Died March 27, 1972.

He was a Dutch graphic artist who inspired hundreds of would-be art fans who would normally venture nowhere near an art book. I used to see quite a number of blacklight posters inspired by his work in my teenage years but nowadays I suspect such work is no longer popular with today's teens. Still, as you can tell from the above drawings, Escher did have a knack for drawing memorable images.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pop Song of the Week: "Somebody's Watching Me"

Ladies and gentlemen, the most prophetic music video of the 1980s.

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Hey, I Remember This Show: Adventures of Superman

Well, I'm not old enough to remember its original run but I remember seeing it in syndication.

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Hey, I Don't Remember This Show: Superman (1988)

Wait! There was a Superman cartoon series in the 1980s? Why doesn't anyone tell me these things?

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Movie Quote of the Week

Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.
--Gene Hackman, Superman (1978)

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TV Quote of the Week

Who needs God when you've got me?
--Ali Larter, Heroes, "Godsend"

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Movie Song of the Week: "Theme from Superman (1978)"

In honor of the most famous cinematic version of the Superman Mythos thus far.

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Quote of the Week

A really terrific guy comes along and says, "I wish you’d stay home and be my wife," and that’s the most logical thing in the world for a Latin. And I loved being a Latin wife -- you get treated very well. There’s a lot of attention in return for that sacrifice.
--Esther Williams

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Hugh Laurie!


AKA James Hugh Calum Laurie.

Born June 11, 1959.

He is an English actor best known for playing Dr. Gregory House in the Fox TV series House M.D. and the Prince Regent in the British comedy show Blackadder III. He is also well-known for his 1996 novel The Gun Seller.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Doña María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana, 13th Duchess of Alba!


AKA Doña María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva Álvarez de Toledo y Silva Bazán, décimo tercera duquesa de Alba de Tormes, décima primera duquesa de Huéscar, sexta duquesa de Montoro, octava condesa-duquesa de Olivares, décimo primera marquesa del Carpio, décimo tercera marquesa de Coria, novena marquesa de Eliche, décimo segunda marquesa de Villanueva del Río, sexta marquesa de Tarazona, marquesa de Flechilla y Jarandilla, décimo primera condesa de Monterrey, décimo cuarta condesa de Lerín, décimo tercera condesa de Oropesa, décimo cuarta Condestablesa de Navarra, décimo segunda condesa de Galve, décimo cuarta condesa de Osorno, de jure duquesa de Galisteo, décimo primera condesa de Ayala, novena condesa de Fuentes de Valdepero, condesa de Alcaudete, condesa de Deleitosa, señora del estado de Valdecorneja, señora de las baronías de Dicastillo, San Martín, Curton y Guissens.

It is the official birthday for the late Spanish aristocrat who was the alleged muse of the famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. She was born June 10, 1762, and lived until July 23, 1802. She might be missed but at least we still have the opportunity to view the paintings which she inspired.

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Saturday, June 08, 2013

Pop Song of the Week: "Vacation"

Hey! Let's all go water-skiing with the Go-Go's!

It's what the late Esther Williams would have wanted.

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Trailer of the Week: Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

In honor of the late Esther Williams, the trailer for her favorite movie.

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Movie Quote of the Week

Lo, there do I see my father. Lo, there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers. Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning. Lo, they do call to me. They bid me take place among them in the Halls of Valhalla. Where the brave may live forever...
--Vladimir Kulich, Antonio Banderas, etc., The 13th Warrior (1999)

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TV Quote of the Week

Necessity is the mother of invention. And survival, you might say, is the father of desperation.
--Henry Darrow, Night Gallery, "Cool Air"

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Friday, June 07, 2013

Movie Song of the Week: "Spring, Beautiful Spring"

From the 1953 movie Easy to Love, it is the late Esther Williams participating in the type of big finale they rarely bother to make anymore. The next time you hear someone dismissing her as just another girl in a swimsuit, just imagine doing everything she does in this one sequence -- and then imagine doing it wearing little more than a bathing suit.

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R.I.P. Esther Williams

American actress Esther Williams, one of the few actresses in Hollywood who actually become more famous for wearing a bathing suit than for not wearing a bathing suit, climbed out of the pool for the final time yesterday at age 91.

She will be missed.

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R.I.P. Alan O'Day

American singer-songwriter Alan O'Day -- also known as Alan Earle O'Day and most famous for such songs as "Angie Baby" (which he wrote for Helen Reddy) and "Undercover Angel" (which he sung himself) -- sang his last note on May 17 at age 72.

He will be missed.

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Stephanie Elizondo Griest!


Born June 6, 1974.

She is a young Mexican-American writer from South Texas whose books include the 2004 book Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana and the 2008 book Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines. She is one of the few travel writers I have ever read who is also of Mexican descent. Then again she also won the 2007 Richard Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting for her writing about Mexico so she is not exactly just another travel writer.

Like yours truly, she can be also described as a Latin half-and-half since only one side of her family is of Mexican descent. However, the same thing can be said about a lot of Mexican-Americans nowadays.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Thomas Mann!


Born June 6, 1875. Died August 12, 1955.

He was a famous German writer of mixed ethnic ancestry who wrote such novels as The Magic Mountain and Buddenbrooks. He also wrote the novella "Tonio Kruger", which indirectly inspired my blog name, and in 1929, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Diego Velázquez!


AKA Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez.

Baptised June 6, 1599. Died August 6, 1660.

He was a famous Spanish painter who depicted himself as the artist within the above painting. (Said painting is known as Las Meninas or The Maids of Honour.) He is also famous for such paintings as Las Hilanderas (aka The Spinners)...


...and The Rokeby Venus (aka La Venus del Espejo aka The Venus of the Mirror).

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Federico García Lorca!


AKA Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca.

Born June 5, 1898. Died August 19, 1936.

He was a famous Spanish poet who was executed during the Spanish Civil War.

He has been missed.

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

R.I.P. Jean Stapleton

American actress Jean Stapleton -- also known by her birth name Jeanne Murray and most famous for her role of Edith Bunker in the CBS sitcom All in the Family -- ended her last role May 31 at the age of 90.

She will be missed.

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R.I.P. Andrew M. Greeley

American Catholic priest, writer and sociologist Andrew Moran Greeley -- most famous for his numerous fiction and nonfiction books about Catholicism -- finished his last prayer on May 29 at age 85.

He will be missed.

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R.I.P. Jack Vance

American science fiction author Jack Vance -- also known as John Holbrook Vance and most famous for such award-winning books as The Dragon Masters and The Last Castle -- finished his last chapter on May 26 at age 96.

He will be missed.

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Monday, June 03, 2013

Quote of the Week

Writing is not something you go to school to learn, it's something you drop out of school to do.
--Ray Garton

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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Pop Song of the Week: "Head over Feet"

For mi novia, who may not be a big Alanis Morissette fan but who definitely succeeded in winning me over in spite of me. However, I doubt that she or I would describe ourselves as being friends with benefits.

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Movie Song of the Week: "I Wanna Be Loved by You"

From the 1959 Billy Wilder classic Some Like It Hot, I post one of the songs that made Ms. Monroe famous. Of course, it made 1920s singer Helen Kane famous first but unfortunately, hardly anyone remembers Ms. Kane anymore.

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Hey, I Remember This Show: S.W.A.T.

In honor of the late Steve Forrest.

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Hey, I Don't Remember This Show: Cimarron Strip

Apparently, this was a ninety-minute Western series set in the Oklahoma Panhandle which was created by the makers of Gunsmoke and aired during the 1967-1968 TV season. Although it was produced at the height of the big TV Western craze, it did not last longer than one season.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Alanis Morissette!

AKA Alanis Nadine Morissette.

Born June 1, 1974.

She is everyone's favorite Canadian pop singer of the 1990s. More recently she found critical acclaim for her role as Dr. Audra Kitson on the cable series Weeds. She has been known at times to have one hand in her pocket as well as for having an unique way of passing the time in movie theatres.

In 2005, she managed to become an American citizen while retaining her Canadian citizenship -- which is a nice trick if you can pull it off.

She is no longer as famous as she used to be but she was one of my late sister's favorite singers so she will always be famous to somebody as far as my family is concerned.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Marilyn Monroe!


AKA Norma Jeane Mortenson and Norma Jeane Baker.

Born June 1, 1926. Died August 5, 1962.

She was an American actress who appeared in a few obscure films during her lifetime. She was most noted for indulging in the above activity. At least that is how she would be remembered if I ran the universe...

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Andy Griffith!

AKA Andy Samuel Griffith.

Born June 1, 1926. Died July 3, 2012.

He was an American actor most famous for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the old TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. He also appeared in several movies including No Time for Sergeants, A Face in the Crowd and Waitress. One of my late uncles liked him best in the title role of the TV legal series Matlock.

He has been missed.

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