Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And on that note ...

The Velvet Blog will be going on hiatus for a bit.

If sock monkeys entered teen beauty pageants

I personally believe that U.S. Monkey-Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps bananas, and, uh, I believe that our education banana trees like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education bananas over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for.

Now, give me that banana liqueur.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yeah, I'd like a large pizza, half sausage, half consecrated hosts

Domino's Pizza founder converts Florida wilderness to "Ave Maria," an 11,000-home community

I simply don't get the urge to self-segregate like that, though I guess it's pretty much like the NY towns that are mostly Orthodox. And some of the towns that built near those megachurches out west that are mostly fundamentalist. But I can't help but think this is a bad idea. (And yes, Sunnis and Shias, I'm also looking at you.)

Aside from that, I also wanted to point out this truly bizarre bit of writing on the second page of the story:

The boy who once had holes in his socks could now afford diamonds on the soles of his shoes.

Wha?? Other than the writer being a big fan of Paul Simon's Graceland album, that's just inexplicable, and it really shouldn't have gotten by an editor.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

If sock monkeys posted random 10 lists from their iPods

"Mellow Yellow," Donovan

"Vem a Baiana/Boogie Woogi," Milton Banana Trio

"Feel Good Inc.," Gorillaz

"I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," Arctic Monkeys

"Theme from the Banana Splits," The Banana Splits

"Todo el Mundo Come Banana!" Charlotte Diamond

"(Theme from) The Monkees," The Monkees

"Digging Your Scene," Blow Monkeys

"Danananana," Rainbow Butt Monkeys

"Gorilla," James Taylor

"Bananas," Deep Purple

Now, give me that iPod.

(Editor's Note: Sock monkeys are lousy at counting. And I cannot vouch for their musical taste.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Improving the World's "Funniest" Joke

Concerned reader God Is My Codependent points out this CNN story from 2002:

In an experiment conducted in Britain, people around the world were invited to judge jokes on an Internet site as well as contribute their own.

The LaughLab research, carried out by psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, attracted more than 40,000 jokes and almost two million ratings.

And here it is...

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"

Wiseman said the joke worked across many different countries and appealed to men and women and young and old alike.

Well, that didn't make me laugh.

Let's try some different punchlines:

"No soap, radio!"

"Yes, but it's pronounced 'Throat-Warbler Mangrove!'"

"If I could walk that way, I wouldn't need the talcum powder!"

"I know, and such small portions!"

"Mom's on the roof, and we can't get her down!"

"I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while!"

Nope, it's hopeless.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007


As I've mentioned before, I often dream of celebrities. Last night, they were Michael Cera and Jonah Hill from the movie Superbad. They gave me tickets to the film, but the screening was in New York City so I said to myself, "I'm not going all the way into New York just to see a free movie!" (Don't worry, though--I was polite to them. I mean, it was the No. 1 movie over the weekend, so it was a nice gesture on their part.)

No, I don't know what this means, either, especially as I don't intend to see Superbad.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The one about the odd Google searches that stranded visitors on The Velvet Blog (with commentary)

why does 9 year old throw poop in closet
--Because he can.

baseball hot dogs apple pie chevrolet piano
--Leave out the Chevy, and you've got a deal.

cookie puss accessories
--Does Cookie Puss really need accessories?

two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed blog
--Surprisingly, TVB would appear to be the only place this phrase appears. Well, maybe not that surprisingly. (Stranger still, two people searched with the phrase minutes apart, on opposite sides of the country.)

mallard fillmore isn't funny
--Amen, brother.

are sock monkeys racist

things to frighten cats
--Um... large dogs? Catnip blight? Nancy Grace? (Works for me.)

become a male escort in santa clarita
--Is there a shortage? Definitely go where the market is.

pickle stepping into history
--Oh, we've all felt that way from time to time.

I've protested the use of the ubiquitous phrase "I threw up in my mouth a little." But sometimes, really, it's just pure reportage.

Closing words between Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove, from Rush's radio show (quoted by The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin today):

RUSH: I received a bunch of e-mails from people when I said you were going to be on, who wanted me to pass on to you that they love you.

KARL ROVE: Oh, thanks, Rush.

RUSH: We all do.

KARL ROVE: Thanks, buddy.

Geez, you two. Get a room.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Great (and/or popular) movies I've never seen

I've long considered myself a bit of a movie geek. But looking at the American Film Institute's 100 Films ... 100 Movies list makes me realize how many notable films I've never seen. (Note: These are all American films. I'm probably even more behind on foreign releases.)

2. The Godfather. Yes, The Godfather. I was too young for it when it first came out, and ... I dunno, I never got around to renting it. I have, however, seen a good chunk of that re-edited-for-TV cut that puts Godfather and Godfather II scenes in chronological order. But not the whole thing, and, purist that I am, that just doesn't count. It's been on AMC lately, but I hate watching serious films with commercials these days.

11. City Lights. I have seen quite a bit of Charlie Chaplin, but never got to this one.

12. The Searchers. I'm not big on Westerns.

32. The Godfather, Part II. But here's the odd thing. I have seen Godfather III, I think because I was working through a crush on Andy Garcia.

36. Bridge on the River Kwai. Though I could hum the "Col. Bogie March" for you.

37. The Best Years of Our Lives. I probably saw pieces of this on TV when I was a kid, but not the whole thing, and I don't remember it at all.

38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Same as above.

49. Intolerance. Oh, I get why it's important, but does anyone really want to sit through this?

59. Nashville. In general, I don't like Altman. But I did enjoy the first half of this. Still, I didn't have time to watch the whole thing and it was due back at Blockbuster, so I can't count it.

67. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? But I've read the play.

79. The Wild Bunch.

82. Sunrise. Another silent film--one I'd really like to see.

90. Swingtime. Musicals don't do much for me, even of the Rogers/Astaire variety.

98. Yankee Doodle Dandy.

There are a few others--In the Heat of the Night, The French Connection, The Apartment--that I'm pretty sure I saw all of, but a long time ago, and I really don't remember them. And if I don't remember them, do they count?

So, what haven't you seen? TVB regular God Is My Codependent has never seen Star Wars or any--that's right any--Bond film.

And for the record, of all the ones on the list that I've seen, the only one I've taken an active dislike to is Pulp Fiction. I hereby nominate it as most overrated of all time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Besides spending time with family, three reasons Karl Rove is resigning

--President's nickname for him, "Turdblossom,"* eventually rankled
--Frustration with the agonizingly slow pace at which everything is going to hell in a handbasket
--Plenty of evil to do in the private sector

*Yes, really.

Put your pants on, Spartacus

I've been rotating quotes from Billy Wilder films at the top of the page lately (just one of the many 'value adds" you get with The Velvet Blog!). The one there now is from his Cold War comedy, One, Two, Three--notable not only as a funny film but for the last role Jimmy Cagney would have for 20 years (till Ragtime).

Here's the trailer:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Some Velvet Morning

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning

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Singer-songwriter Lee Hazlewood died earlier this week. He's best known for the songs he wrote for Nancy Sinatra, including a number of duets, such as "Some Velvet Morning." (Here's who the mythological Phaedra was, BTW.)

It's probably easy to dismiss this as kitsch, and on a certain level, I'd be forced to agree. But somehow ... there's something about these songs (others include "Sand," "Summer Wine," "Sundown, Sundown"--and yes, "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'") I find fascinating and oddly beautiful.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It must be five o'clock somewhere

There's something about this headline that cracks me up:

Adult binge drinkers prefer beer

It's like: "Choosy mothers choose Jif" or "Four out of five dentists recommend Dentyne for their patients who chew gum."

Perhaps it could be the new slogan for Budweiser.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Monkey business

Rented the Christopher Guest comedy For Your Consideration this weekend. Funny, if not quite up to the standard set by the Waiting for Guffman et al.

Some of the out-and-out funniest bits come from a British comedian/actress/ventriloquist I'd never seen before, Nina Conti. Here are some scenes and a long outtake I found on YouTube:

I've never seen a ventriloquist react so naturally with a puppet before--she seems genuinely surprised by what comes out of his mouth.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Oh, Hopsy!

Moving into a busy time at the magazine, so expect lots of cheap postings of things I found on YouTube.

Here's one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, The Lady Eve. You may need to crank the volume, as it's rather low:

Sadly, I think they clipped off the last line of the scene, at least as I remember it. I stand corrected--it's intact.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

How I would get to work if I were the mayor of New York

--Segway to hovercar
--Hovercar to helicopter
--Helicopter to jet pack
--Jet pack to monster truck
--Monster truck to dogsled
--Dogsled to City Hall

The current mayor simply takes an SUV guarded by a police convoy 20-something blocks to the express stop of the subway, bypassing the two locals along the way.


UPDATE: Transporter beam! I forgot transporter beam!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Forget about as an intelligent person. What about as a minion of the Forces of Darkness?

Quotation of the Day:
Larry King: Do you ever, as an intelligent person, look in the mirror and say, maybe I'm wrong?

Dick Cheney: No.

And more here, from Grampa Cheney. Yikes.

And now, mellow out

The Long Cut reviews the new Josh Rouse CD here. I haven't heard it yet, but I'm a big fan of his songwriting, arrangements, and voice.

Here are a few videos I found on YouTube.

"Quiet Town," from last year's Subtitulo:

This video quality on this concert appearance is extremely dark, but the sound is fine and the performance is a good one. Live string quartet--yay!

From 2005's Nashville, my fave album of his so far. The video's not great, but I really like this song, "Winter in the Hamptons":