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Everything posted by tctruffin

  1. Old Cleveland Municipal Stadium was the home of Stadium Mustard which is now supposedly found in many, many stadiums. I've had Stadium Mustard at the old Stadium and at the new Jacob's Field. Somehow it isn't the same. Maybe it was the sushi bar nearby that was messing things up.
  2. Just saw the pilot. Love the art. It took me about 1/2 the episode to buy into the humor of the thing, but once I decided to play along it was great. Favorite lines: "What's good for America, and by America I mean the world." "Look out America, we're coming for you!" So,here's the question. Screw-on head is a machine. Does this mean that even though the story is set with Abe Lincoln, it's possible that Screw could still be working for George W.? (Or could even BE George W.?) Just thinking out loud here.
  3. Last year my wife and I went searching for our first new sofa. After gasping and choking at the exorbitant costs at the local furniture store, we found what we were looking for at an Ashley Furniture Store. They don't offer the kind of customization available at other furniture stores, but the price was right. Can't tell you much about longevity since we've only had it a year, but after a year, it still looks new.
  4. Thanks Ken. sorry I wasn't clearer. I meant replayability. How often do you play it/How often can you play it without getting sick of it? I find that even some games that are different every time can get old faster than others. Thought I'd jump in here. Ken introduced my wife and I to Dr. Lucky earlier this summer. We've since played it with some family members, and it's becoming one of our favorites. There's something wonderful about the director's commentary in the rules of the latest edition. At any rate, once folks caught on to the dynamics of play, even with 4 people we were ending up with very different games and the results were not terribly predictable. One well played card or move and the balance of power shifts dramatically. In addition to the inherent joys of the game, I've been impressed with the WIDE selection of rules variants that are included in the instructions and also available online. For instance, if you get tired of killing Dr. Lucky, you can turn your ire on each other ::fencing:: Or Dr. Lucky can grow a brain and evade you more effectively. One I haven't tried yet, but want to, involves "spite" tokens. At any rate, it seems like a very replayable game to me. And even if it isn't, it cost less than $10.
  5. While I found a few mentions of Frank Herbert's Dune here and there, I couldn't find any discussion topics on that great book or on the prequels that son Brian is co-writing with a Kevin J. Anderson. So, here it is. While the two prequel trilogies [perhaps sometime we'll have to discuss the fetishisation of the trilogy if it hasn't been done already] are finished, the official Dune website announces that two new novels are in the pipeline. These are supposedly "based on Frank Herbert's outline for 'Dune 7'." Hunters of Dune is due out in August, and Sandworms of Dune is being edited. Here, you can read my thoughts on Dune: The Battle of Corrin.
  6. PSST! There may be a spoiler or two. Where? Why, down there! ::napoleon:: Ahoy there mateys ahoy! I've just returned from that pirate's nest dung hill Tortuga where I heard a tale that will shiver ye timbers and blow you right down. Aye! I said blow ye right down, and I meant it you watery dogfish of a sqiudheaded master. What's that you say? You've already heard this tale? You've already sung this song? You doubt the power of this here yarn to darn your socks much less blow a small, sickly child down? Well, then there's no sense in hearin' it told with skill by one that knows then is there? Sure, we've all seen fine (perhaps finer) buckles swashed and yardarms swung, but the panache, I tell you, the panache. What's life without a bit o' swagger in your step and fire in your belly? T'aint no one else tellin' any worthier tales this season anyways. But who am I to argue with that blunt headed parrot on your shoulder? No, no, I'll not be tellin' you no tales now. You just said you done heard it all before. Who am I to bother you with twice-told tales and thrice-learned lessons? Old dusty myths and lore and legend have no meaning to you, I suppose, even if they be long ago and far away and dealing with striking empires. Nope, you'll not want to be knowing how our fearless band is now going to have to go to the butt-end of the universe, face down a big slimy overlord, free our lonesome hero, and wrest the power from an evil colonial power. You'll just want to jump right to the end--not that I blame ya', I'm wagerin' that in the final telling of this tale there's going to be a scantily clad lady slingin' a chain round the fleshy neck of ol' Davy Jones. Gotta love the wenches, aye! But, avast there! We can't be goin on about what might have been and what might be. We'll just have to content ourselves with a might bit less verbal wit--and I dare say much less fun--even with a bit o' tired scenes with sidekicks who don't really mean anything to the plot. We'll have to make do with fathers 'n sons, and men in love with women in love with men, and uncomprehensible allusions to phantasmic operas. But, a bit o' rum and you'll be smilin. Why, I heard the calamari's good and every dog gets his day. And if you're very good, there may even be an apple in it for ya. So, if ya can see your way clear to stepping into the ride and keeping your arms and legs in the car at all times, keeping your trap shut until the ride has come to a full and complete stop, and not being fooled by the possible slow downs in the midst of the ride that might lull you into a false sense of security, come aboard and join me in a glorious song: yo ho! yo ho! A pirate's life for me!
  7. Thanks for the quote MrZoom. I hadn't seen that particular interview, and it does help a (very small) bit. Although, even in that quote, he's saying the release of the original versions isn't going to happen due to the financial costs. Guess his accountant slapped him upside the head and said, "Doh!"
  8. Maybe it was my evangelical/fundie upbringing (it's ONLY A SYMBOL!), or maybe I'm just weird, but I really can't remember a time when I wasn't at least sensitive to the possibility of visual symbolism in films. Perhaps seeing Purple Rose of Cairo was the first time I recognized it. (At the age of 12 or so, the hamfistedness of the symbolism was perhaps necessary.) However, for films in recent memory, I'm a bit enamored of the food symbolism in Big Night. The moments of purist and simplest human interaction in the film are accompanied by simple, straightforward foods. When Primo visits the barber, he brings some risotto still in the pot, and they eat it right out of the pot. When Primo finally makes a connection with Ann, it's while he's making the simplest of pasta sauces with just some tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. And, of course, the final scene of the film, the reconciliation of the brothers, is marked by the simplest of foods, scrambled eggs and bread. In contrast, the most ornate, elaborate, and flashy foods are present in situations that end up being false, empty, or traitorous. Yes, the people the enjoy the feast, enjoy it to the hilt, but in the end the Big Night is the ruination of the business. Pascal's repackaging of Italian cuisine, though popular, is a betrayal of the true Italian roots of the immigrants. Or, as Primo so energetically proclaims, it is "Rape! The Rape of Cuisine!" At any rate, the symbolism of the glorious timpani and humble omlet are quite powerful to me.
  9. I had a wonderfully wry response to this issue all worked up, and then Blogger ate it. Last time I try to be spontaneous. At any rate, I am absolutely filled to the brim with ambivalence. One the one hand, I'm with you Jeffrey; the original versions of the films are what impacted our culture, and posterity deserves to have that preserved (like your/my widescreen VHS tapes). On the other hand, having purchased, let's see, 5 different editions of these blasted movies (original P&S VHS, remastered P&S VHS, remastered widescreen VHS, widescreen special edition VHS, and DVD) I must cry foul (for I cannot control my own purchasing decisions) at the quintiple dipping. It's especially galling when, during the ramp-up to the DVD release, Lucasfilm's position was not only that the original versions wouldn't be forthcoming but that they didn't even exist any more. Grr. Well, what this all means is that I'll be there on Sept 12 with my $50, and I'll be grumpy about it! =;
  10. Criminey. When I went to a Christian camp as a child, we just learned to do stuff like hike in the woods, shoot guns and bows, and fly airplanes (really!). Evidently that's the difference between Christian Camp and Jesus Camp.
  11. Right now I'm not writing a response to Overstreet's thread about symbolism in film. EDIT: Ok, ok, I got around to it. Actually this post made me feel guilty.
  12. What a wonderful idea for a thread! I mean, really, this is the acme of procrastination. I am in awe. Currently, I am not writing my sample for the Glen Workshop in August. I'm not revising my writing sample for grad school applications. I'm not revising a story about my grandmother's wedding. And I'm certainly not starting anything new. Furthermore, I'm not revising the stories I've workshopped the last two years at the Glen. So there. I am spending inordinate amounts of time helping my wife wade through the morass of an online course system called Jenzabar and playing a computerized Suduko game.
  13. tctruffin

    Arlo Guthrie

    Last Friday night I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Arlo Guthrie perform in wee little Tiffin, OH. He's currently on the Alice's Restaurant 40th Anniversary Tour. You can read my review here. ::butterfly::
  14. There was a local band in Cleveand that went by the moniker Jehovah's Waitresses. I always kind of liked that.
  15. Well, this might fit in with the current conversation about birth and stuff. Probably not. "Born" from Drunkard's Prayer was featured in Wednesday night's episode of the procedural Bones. The song is put to nice use at the end of the episode. More info here. It was a pleasant surprise to hear a song I actually knew on a TV show.
  16. Interesting. My general feeling on the two Matrix sequels was that they only had about 1 or maybe 1.5 films worth of story, but they felt the need to make an almighty Trilogy, so they stretched it out with meaningless 15-minute long fight scenes. The poor job of thread tying was the result, in my mind, of strecthing thin a plot that was barely there to begin with. I felt like I was reading a Stephen King novel from the middle of his career, when he desperately needed an editor to reign him in and didn't have major debilitating physical injuries to limit his activity.
  17. tctruffin

    Big Night

    Leave it to Ken to lure me out of inactivity with a poll about Big Night. Risotto and omelettes yes. I haven't had the occasion or cajones to make timpano...yet. Given that the thing feeds about 5,000, I'm not sure when I'll get the chance. I find the ending scene in the kitchen to be one of the most moving ever, and, like a good story, it requires every minute of the preceding film to build up to it. I've watched it by itself, and, while well done, is simply ok. Taken in the context, with all of the underpinning of the brotherly, artistic conflict, the simple act of making some eggs turns into an action of the deepest love. Sigh. Not to mention a good part of the film is foodie porn. 8O
  18. Ok, so on Sunday I catch a bit of some making-of EPK thing on ABC's new 10 Commandments movie where the producer (I think) is making a huge point about getting all the details right in telling the story of the Exodus, how there's no reason not to get stuff right because there's all of these easily accessible resources, etc. etc, blah, blah. So, on Monday, after suffering through the horrific acting of the first half hour or so of the blasted thing, Moses finds himself faced with a bush burning on Mt. Horeb. (We'll put aside for a moment the internal logic of his being there after he'd just been told not to even look at the mountain.). So, there's Moses and the burning bush, and he very properly is a bit astonished when a voice starts speaking to him. And then the moment passes, and the bloke is still wearin' his blessed sandals. His sandals, there they are, still laced nice and tight up his shapely calf. I mean, really, I know it's a small thing, but there's "no reason not to get it right." After making the big point in the film that Mt. Horeb is holy, after knocking us down with a burning bush that is not consumed, and after having a nicely resonant voice come out of nowhere, how in the H-E-double hockeysticks, does the voice not say "Take off your sandals, dufus, you're standing on Holy Ground" ? Sigh. The bottom of the Red Sea was nice and marine-like though. Very pretty fjords.
  19. yesterday evening received actual shipping notice for live from nowhere stop indicates usps first class shipping so will probably see it monday or tuesday stop must stop drooling stop
  20. I could certainly be persuaded to stuff my face with "strangers". Tctruffin in tiffin
  21. tctruffin


    Boy, that was depressing. I agree with Jeffrey that the film is powerfully made. The general understatement of the film made the punctuations of violence that much more shocking. I appreciated that even during scenes with lots of running and drum beats in the soundtrack, the volume was kept at a minimum. However, in the end, the whole thing is so void of hope that I don't see myself sitting through it again even though it's the kind of film that needs multiple passes. Also this weekend, my wife and I saw Good Night, and Good Luck. In that film, we also see a crusader try to change the world. Of course, coming back 'round to the main point, none of this would have mattered a whit if the whole film hadn't been so engaging.
  22. tctruffin

    Lady in the Water

    He seems to be walking in the footsteps of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" carries the subtitle "A Tale for Children" or some such. Of course, Marquez's story is not for children anymore than King of the Hill is. Given MNS's previous work, overtly aligning oneself with the magical realism of GGM isn't unexpected. Something in the naming of something a "tale" or "bed-time story" though allows auteurs to establish up front that you are stepping into a fantastical world. Sure, MNS has used the fantastic before, but he's always set them in supposedly "real" settings where the fantastical is not necessarily expected (until we remember that we're in a MNS film). In some ways, this might allow MNS to get straight into the storytelling without having to pretend everything is normal. A mermaid can show up in a swimming pool, and he doesn't really have to go that far into establishing that mermaids exist; it's bed-time story: of course they exist!
  23. Saw my second show of the Vertigo tour last night in Cleveland. It was a marked improvement over the show in May I saw in Chicago (not one of the ones used in the DVD). I'm preparing some more in-depth commentary for my site but I will say here that the highlights for me were "Gloria" and some drop-ins that didn't really make it onto the official set list, especially "Help" by the Beatles.
  24. tctruffin

    Aeon Flux

    Saw the film last night. It's the first film I've seen in quite a while in which the audience was laughing in derision at serveral points. While I did think that the were done quite nicely, most of the effects seemed to be simple shots of Theron leaping (bounding?) through concrete tunnels. The whole thing made me think "So, this is what THX-1138 would look like if Lucas made it today."
  25. Just saw the film last night, and one of the first notes I wrote in my notebook was being impressed with Robert Patrick's understated yet powerful performance. When he was on screen, you always knew that he was there and having an effect on the events, even if he didn't say a word. I appreciated the fact that he did all of this without scary Terminator eyes. So, Christian, while I'm not an industry dude or a reviewer of official credential, you can at least say that a shlub from rural western Ohio noticed Patrick's performance
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