Friday, May 21, 2010

Who said that?

There are hundreds of famous movie quotes, i.e.,

"Fasten your seat belt: it's going to be a bumpy night."

"I coulda been somebody ... I coulda been a contender."

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

"What a dump."

Herein, a contest begins and a prize for correctly identifying each of the following movies and actors will be awarded by a panel of impartial judges.

In which movies do the following not so familiar quotes appear and who speaks the lines?


"Where were you say ten years ago?"
"Ten years ago ...let's see. Yes, I was having a brace put on my teeth. Where were you?
"Looking for a job."

Hint: 1942 B&W, One-word title.


"If I'm wearing something Stephen doesn't like, I take it off."

Hint: 1939 B&W, Two-word title; unique cast


"What? This old thing? I only wear this when I don't care how I look."

Hint: 1946, B&W, Four-word title


"C'mon kids! This is better than goofy golf."

Hint: 1977 Color, Six-Word title


Client to hairdresser:
"Is that a book you're reading?"
"My husband's got a lot of books like that".
"What? Somerset Maugham books?"
"No. Bondage books".

Hint: 1983 Color, Two-word title.

Submit answers by clicking THE TIME OF THE POSTING, and good luck to all. As you can tell, this is just stuff and nonsense, but might be a bit of fun. You can also easily discern that I am a b&w movie fan, preferring films of the late 1930's and 1940's. I'll keep this going until I can acknowledge a winner.

Have a great weekend and GO CELTICS! GO SOX!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The World's Greatest Invention

I'm lucky. I have one of those new-fangled gadgets called a television remote control. I'm sure you've seen them? Had it for a long time, actually. Long ago, I mastered the art of "mute" control and can successfully "zap" commercials filled with acidic clanging guitars and images of a band whose members appear not to have seen the inside of a shower stall for months as they all vaporize into silent grotesque mad men gyrating in an asylum. How sweet it is.

The high decibel count of most movie sound tracks also seems to reflect a significant erosion of the audio-intake capacity of today's sound engineers who most probably spent their idylic youth and entertainment dollars standing as close as possible to the Greyhound Bus-sized speakers de rigueur for any rock concert.

I was in the Mets' dugout for a Rolling Stones' Concert at New York's Shea Stadium. (That's a nice but long story I will happily relate at some other time.) I only mention it as a reference to the near-fatal assault on my fragile sense of hearing by quoting this insane statistic from The New York Daily News:

" .... the band almost erased the sound of the jets from nearby LaGuardia Airport, thanks to their 2.4 million watts of amplification." [Emphasis added] I'm sure some Staten Island residents and a few unfortunate New Jerseyites also heard the band from the comfort of their own front yards.

But why, I hear you plaintively ask, choose this as a focus for today's Blog? Good question. I was thinking about one of Mel Brooks' most famous characters, The 2,000 Year-Old Man. During his historic interview with Carl Reiner, he was asked if he would name mankind's greatest discovery. Quickly came the reply: "Saran Wrap! You can make a sandwich and it clings ... you can look right through it. The greatest thing that mankind ever devised. Saran Wrap." I dispute this claim. The greatest thing that mankind ever devised is The Mute Button!

Tomorrow, a Blog reprint of a famous meeting with Mel in my Greenwich Village apartment. You'll love it. I did.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

About last night ...

Last night's spirited game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees produced one long, loud, and very painful "Oh S@*%T@!!!!!" shriek in this house. For those of you who don't give baseball so much as a passing nod of recognition, the game provided many tense moments, but at a hard-fought lead of 9-7, I thought the Sox had it wrapped up. Grrrrrrrr. One should not anticipate victory in such a cavalier fashion, especially when facing the daunting Yankee bench. What did Yogi say? Oh yeah: It's not over until Carol Sloane sings.

However, I thought our ace reliever, Jonathan Papelbon, would surely save the day. I also knew he'd probably give up at least one hit. He likes to do that now and then just for fun and to keep us on our toes in the final innings. Then, with one man on and the Yankees down 9-7, one of our favorite villains otherwise known as Alex Rodriguez ("A-Rod") stepped to the plate and was given a gift: a 94-mph fast ball right down the middle which flew into the Yankees' bullpen. Marcus Thames, a man whom one may assume is a perfect gentleman off the field, hit a two-run blast two batters later and we were left with pin-stripe markings all over our faces for a final of 11-9. I howled an oath not fit to print in this family blog, and angrily switched off the bedroom light.

The Boston Celtics face the Orlando Magic tonight, one game up. And I see that Kobe Bryant scored 40 points all by himself, even with a bad knee in the Lakers/Phoenix Suns game. Boston is salivating at the thought of yet another final with LA, but we've got to dominate the Orlando team first.

Meantime, the world of jazz lost yet another musician with impeccable musical credentials, enviable charm and style with the news that Hank Jones died on Monday, May 17 at a New York hospital. I wish we had known one another. I always dreamed of working with him, even if we only did one song together. That would have been a drop of 23k gold in my jewel box. You can hear his acutely sensitive accompaniment on many recordings, but just listen to how he plays for the exquisite Abby Lincoln on "You Gotta Pay The Band" Verve, 1991. "Bird Alone", Abby's composition, is the first track and is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Please Check Your Spam Folder

I am always glad to read your mail, and I respond to each one (unless of course you're a Yankee fan ... just kidding). But if your mail box doesn't recognize my email address, it will automaticaly throw my reply into the Spam bin. My email address contains my name so keep an eye out for it. Send a note through my web site.

The Boston Bruins are no more; the Boston Celtics won the first game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals last night, beating the tough Orlando Magic 92-88. The Boston Red Sox are flailing and it's not a pretty sight. It's a long season, however, and we have plenty of hope and Sam Adams to see us through.

I am just opening the first pages of David Remnick's book "The Bridge". Since I am a fan of the President's, I look forward to learning more about him. Ian McEwan's "Solar" is on its way. We've been fans of this British author since the publication of his immensely readable "Saturday", and subsequent books have reinforced our first impression of a literary talent of significant measure. Loved "The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo", followed by "The Girl Who Played With Fire", and eagerly anticipate the completion of the trilogy with "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest", due in stores next week.

(Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.)

I tape the daily 30-minute program featuring chef Ina Garten on The Food Network, and always print out at least one of her dishes. The lady can cook and she focuses on easy, delicious things to make. Cooking is one of life's more meaningful pleasures it seems to me.

I'm babbling. Goodbye. And check that Spam box!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, 2010

Claudia Veronica Morvan, nee Rainville
March 31, 1908 - July 11, 1995

She ran the ship, ruled the roost, called the shots, kept us on the straight and narrow, voted the straight Democratic ticket all her life, wept when FDR died, trembled with us when sirens wailed and a black-out was instigated because rumors of German submarine sightings off the New England coast brought fear and loathing.

She was the oldest of nine children and is survived by her sister Bernadette (88) and brother Joe (99). She loved movies, movie stars, the color red and big band music. She loved to write, and she maintained a prolific correspondence with dozens of service men and women during WWII. She was very proud her oldest daughter seemed to possess musical talent, and especially loved the sound of her young voice singing solo hymns during Sunday Mass.

She didn't live to see the Red Sox win the World Series but I feel certain she knew of the miracle which thrilled all long-suffering fans of the beloved team.

My father loved her and affectionately joked that "She can talk the handle off a pump." (We used well water). She didn't like to cook and passed this aversion on to my sister. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind or write her Congressman. And she loved to laugh, thank God, because I came along during the Great Depression, a time when there wasn't much to smile about.

She was very fond of the image above, a photo taken by a local newspaper to accompany her vivid account of the catastrophic 1938 hurricane which ravaged Long Island and southern New England. She said she thought it made her look "intellectual". She was one of the World's Great Moms.