Saturday, January 31, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Eddie Cantor!

AKA Edward Israel Iskowitz.

Born January 31, 1892. Died October 10, 1964.

He was a popular singer, actor and comedian who was one of the first major comedy stars of the 1930s. His musicals like Palmy Days and The Kid from Spain gave budding choreographer Busby Berkeley a chance to practice and perfect his craft before he achieved fame with such films as 42nd Street and Footlight Parade.

Though much of Cantor's humor is admittedly dated, he still managed to express the mentality of the early 1930s in a way that has yet to be equalled by more serious celebrities. Even his lamentable forays into blackface lacked the usual sting of such efforts, perhaps because Cantor never bothered to even attempt a stereotypical black accent when doing such work and thus basically sounded the same way that he did when he sang without cork makeup.

His work is still hard to find on DVD -- even harder to find than such dubious works as Amos 'n' Andy -- but that might change some day. If nothing else, it would be interesting to compare his type of humor to more modern examples of comedy, even if some of it is a tad politically incorrect.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Cristina Saralegui!

AKA Cristina Maria Saralegui de Ávila.

Born January 29, 1948.

She is a Cuban-born journalist and talk show host of Spanish descent who is most famous for her Spanish-language talk show El Show de Cristina. She is also known as the "Hispanic Oprah", the "Spanish Oprah" or la Oprah Latina.

If you watched Spanish language television during the 1990s or the 2000s, you are probably very familiar with her face, even if you do not want to be. If you didn't, well, them's the breaks.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Anton Chekhov!

AKA Antón Pávlovich Chéjov and Anton Pavlovich Chekhov.

Born January 29, 1860. Died July 15, 1904.

He was a famous Russian physician, writer and playwright who was most famous for such plays as The Seagull, The Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. At least one of those plays has been a big influence on my life if for no other reason that it taught me how often life does imitate art even when it does not intend to.

Anyway, Chekhov's work is still worth reading even though most of his current fame seems to be derived from having inspired the name of a certain Star Trek character. Oh, well. There are worse legacies.

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Movie Quote of the Week

You get paid what I say. You do what I say, I run you, there is no discussion. I want, you work, until you are burned-out, you are busted, or you're dead... You get it? You got responsibilities -- tighten up n' do it. Clean this mess up, get 'im outta here. Back to work, Frank.
--Robert Prosky, Thief (1981)

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TV Quote of the Week

I rate something more than I've got! Where does it say that every morning of a man's life he's got to Indian wrestle with every hot young contender off the sidewalk who has an itch to go up one rung? McDermont, I've put in my time, do you understand that? I've paid my dues! I shouldn't be hustled to death in the daytime and then die of loneliness every night. That's not the dream! That's not what it's about!
--William Windom, Night Gallery, "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar"

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Iconos de Cine (Readers III)

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Colette!

AKA Sidonie Gabrielle Colette.

Born January 28, 1873. Died August 3, 1954.

She was an internationally famous writer whose literary work was once cited by one of my college teachers as proof that the very French are very different from us in the same way that the very rich were very different from us. She is most famous for her novel Gigi -- which inspired the play and movie of the same name -- but my world literature teacher would probably prefer that I also acknowledge her two novels Cheri and The Last of Cheri.

In any event, I have always found her work to be very interesting and I wish that more people were aware of it.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Mimi Rogers!

AKA Miriam Spickler.

Born January 27, 1956.

She is an American actress best known for her roles in such movies as Gung Ho, Top Gun, The Rapture and Lost in Space. She is also famous for her recurring role as Agent Diana Fowley on seven episodes of the Fox TV series The X-Files and for her recurring role as Robin Schmidt on the CBS TV series Two and a Half Men.

Of course, she is also famous for being a former spouse of actor Tom Cruise but the less said about that, the better.

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Thoughts on Re-Entering the Workplace

I have forgotten how tiring it is to work in a retail store.

For that matter, I have forgotten how tiring it is to work any full-time job.

For many months, I had woken up early in the morning to take a neighbor to work and I believed that because I was waking up as early as the guy I was driving to work, that that alone constituted a big sacrifice. Now I'm working again and when I get off work -- even if I work only five hours -- I feel so beat that I can barely make it to my car. And once there, I have to rest a few minutes before I can summon up the energy to drive home.

Maybe it's my age catching up with me.

Or my health.

I don't really need to be working in a stressful job like the one I recently obtained but then it's not like I have much choice. Most of the jobs that seemed like better fits for my personality were under the control of people who did not believe me to be all that qualified for those positions. And quite frankly, I'd rather be working an imperfect job right now than be waiting forever for a perfect job.

At least, this way I still have a chance of getting out of debt. And I don't have to beg for money from my friends and relatives in order to pay my bills. And it feels so good to finally have money coming in again.

I just hope I make it through probation. I don't think I could stand to go through the whole job search process any time soon.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Quote of the Week

There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Ana Ortiz!

Born January 25, 1971.

She is the daughter of a Puerto Rican father and an Irish American mother. She is also an American actress who is best known for her role as Hilda Ortiz on the ABC TV series Ugly Betty. She has also appeared on such shows as ER, Everybody Loves Raymond, Commander in Chief and Boston Legal. Her first regular role was in the 2001 NBC sitcom Kristin, opposite Kristin Chenoweth. She is currently appearing as Marisol Suarez in the otherwise dubious Lifetime TV series Devious Maids.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Nastassja Kinski!

AKA Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski.

Born January 24, 1961.

She is a German actress and former model who is famous for such movies as Tess -- for which she won a Golden Globe -- and Paris, Texas. She is also noted for being the daughter of actor Klaus Kinski and his wife, Ruth Brigitte Tocki.

Back in 1981, she also appeared in the above poster Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent by American fashion photographer Richard Avedon.

For that matter, she is equally famous -- or infamous -- for appearing in the 1982 remake of the classic Val Lewton film Cat People, a film that was not quite as well-regarded as the original. All in all, she has appeared in more than sixty films in both Europe and the United States, which is not bad for someone still unknown to many people nowadays.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, C. L. Moore!

AKA Catherine Lucille Moore.

Born January 24, 1911. Died April 4, 1987.

She was one of the most imaginative writers of her era, specializing mostly in fantasy and science fiction but managing to make a name for herself despite being married to famous science fiction writer Henry Kuttner, who was quite a name in his own right. She invented sword-and-sorcery heroine Jirel of Joiry and sci-fi hero Northwest Smith and possibly co-wrote half her husband's short stories for all I know.

She deserves to be better known than she is. Perhaps some day she will be.

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Buscando Trabajo de Nuevo: Parte XXIX

I think my search finally ended this week.

I am keeping my fingers crossed just in case.

If nothing else, this past week has reminded me all too well about how exhausting some "simple" jobs can be.

If my blogging seems especially light in the weeks ahead, please consider it a sign that my work schedule is keeping me busier than usual. And in this case, "busy" is good.

Of course, part of me would rather be blogging but since I have yet to find a way to make my writing help pay my bills, I am forced to earn my daily bread in other ways.

Please wish me luck.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Édouard Manet!

Born January 23, 1832. Died April 30, 1883.

He was a famous French painter responsible for such famous works as Le déjeuner sur l'herbe. One of his paintings even managed to shock the normally unshockable Mark Twain.

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Movie Quote of the Week

Well I haven't seen any giant snakes, or big buxom naked women frolicking through the Texas hills lately.
--Renée Zellweger, The Whole Wide World (1996)

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TV Quote of the Week

Most days, I get by fine. I blend with the crowd. Just another one of the huddled masses yearning to get by unnoticed. Problemo is, I'm not as like them as I'd like to be. I got made, not born, and because it was humans made me, somewhere along the line couple of wires got crossed in my head. Someone botched the job. So some days, that's how I feel - a botched job.
--Jessica Alba, Dark Angel, "Flushed"

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Robert E. Howard!

AKA Robert Ervin Howard.

Born January 22, 1906. Died June 11, 1936.

He was the inventor of Conan the Barbarian, among other characters. Unfortunately, he chose to end his career prematurely with a bullet.

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Iconos de Cine (Readers II)

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Iconos de Televisión (Readers I)

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Macario Garcia!

Born January 20, 1920. Died December 24, 1972.

He was a staff sergeant who became the first Mexican immigrant to receive the Medal of Honor.

He was later denied service at a restaurant located just a few miles south of Houston because he was Mexican and then beaten with a bat by the owner. No one was arrested.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, George Burns!

AKA Nathan Birnbaum.

Born January 20, 1896. Died March 9, 1996.

He was the star of one of my late father's favorite TV shows: Burns and Allen. He also made quite a number of good movies as well.

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Quote of the Week

Love that is not madness is not love.
--Pedro Calderón de la Barca

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Monday, January 19, 2015

¡Feliz Día de Martin Luther King, Jr.!

A lot of things look easy once somebody else has done them.
--David Drake, The Military Dimension: Mark II

If that above quote doesn't sum up my view of the various attempts made by revisionists this past decade to dismiss King as a grandstander whose protests were unnecessary because an end to segregation would have eventually come anyway, I don't know what does.

I hope you all have a good holiday despite the existence of such foolish people.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Edgar Allan Poe!

Born January 19, 1809. Died October 7, 1849.

He, of course, was one of the most famous writers in American history. Not much else I could add to that.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

R.I.P. Anita Ekberg

Swedish actress Anita Ekberg -- best known for her role as Sylvia in the 1960 Italian movie La Dolce Vita -- entered the fountain one last time on January 11 at age 83.

She will be missed.

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R.I.P. Brian Clemens

English screenwriter and TV producer Brian Clemens -- most famous for his work on the British TV series The Avengers as well as for his work on such TV shows as The New Avengers and The Professionals -- signed off on his final script on January 10 at age 83.

He will be missed.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Calderon de la Barca!

AKA Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Pedro Calderón de la Barca y Barreda González de Henao Ruiz de Blasco y Riaño.

Born January 17, 1600. Died May 25, 1681.

He was a famous writer, poet and playwright of the Spanish Golden Age, best known for his 1635 play La Vida Es Sueño (aka Life Is a Dream). He was not as prolific as Spanish playwright Lope de Vega but was famous enough to be still remembered in Spanish literary circles. And of course, he is much remembered on this site -- for what little that is worth.

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Movie Quote of the Week

It wouldn't be the first time in history that a monster was mistaken for a god.
--David Carradine, Q (1982)

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TV Quote of the Week

The world looks like it did ten years ago, but underneath, it's become very strange indeed. An invisible struggle has begun. Most of the people who knew this are already dead. All things being equal, I prefer you didn't join them.
--Michael Emerson, Person of Interest, "Relevance"

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Friday, January 16, 2015

¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Katy Jurado!

AKA María Cristina Estela Claudia Soledad Katherina Lucía Marcela Jurado García.

Born January 16, 1924. Died July 5, 2002.

She was a Mexican actress who had a successful film career on both sides of the border. Ms. Jurado was the first Latin American actress to be nominated for an Oscar -- as Best Supporting Actress for the 1954 film Broken Lance -- and the first Latin American actress to win a Golden Globe Award.

She is most famous for her supporting role as Helen Ramírez in the 1952 film High Noon, for which she won the above mentioned Golden Globe. She also played opposite Mexican actor Pedro Infante in the 1948 film Nosotros los Pobres. All in all, she made seventy-one films during her life, with her biggest variety of roles being in the films that she made in her native Mexico. In most of her American roles, she was typecast in ethnic roles but it said something about her talent that she managed to make an impact in this country anyway.

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Iconos de Cine (Readers I)

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