Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thieves on the Walk of Fame

There was a famous episode of "I Love Lucy" where Lucy and Ethyl go to Grauman's Chinese theater and attempt to steal John Wayne's handprints.

They actually get the slab of cement out of the ground, but I think they put it back at the end. Then Lucy meets John Wayne, Ethyl call Fred "fat," he calls her "old," Ricky shouts in Spanish and Lucy begs him to let her be in the show. At least that's what I remember.

In real life, stealing John Wayne’s handprints (or any of the Chinese Theater slabs) would be pretty hard to do. The theater forecourt is lit up through the night with pretty adequate security.

This hasn't always been the case.

Both Charlie Chaplin's and Edward Purdom's squares have vanished from the Chinese Forecourt. It is assumed that management removed both, but others theorize that (at least) Chaplin's was stolen.

First let’s discuss Edward Purdom. He was a minor star who was awarded the honor of placing his hand and foot prints in the cement with the opening of his film The Egyptian. Many felt that he was undeserving of the honor, a fact compounded by his scandalous affair with Tyrone Power's wife. At some point after his hand prints and foot prints were placed they were removed by management. Yul Brenner's prints occupy the space today. In fact, the theater briefly toyed with marketing the slogan "Yul never miss the Power."

Chaplin is a little more interesting. Many believed him to be a communist and during the height of the McCarthy hearings his square was routinely defaced. Then one day his square disappeared or was cemented over.

Today security is so tight that even if these slabs WERE stolen it is very unlikely that this could happen again.

The Walk of Fame is a different story. Running almost 3 miles up Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street the Walk is a lot harder to protect. Most of it is been covered with security cameras, but not every block. Like any side walk, it occasionally chips and cracks and it is not rare to find a small piece of one of the stars dislodged. In fact, very often that you pass a star with the center emblem missing. The emblems represent film, TV, radio, etc and are taken out by vandals with a chisel.

Chisel Toting Vandals would be a good name for a rock band. Feel free to steal that, too ya hooligans.

So, some pieces of the Walk of Fame are lifted on an almost daily basis. But an ENTIRE STAR?? This is a pretty difficult thing to steal. After all, it's one of the busiest pedestrian areas in Los Angeles giving a thief little time to pry up and some how walk away with a few hundred pounds of sidewalk.

It seems really, really hard to do.

But, it has been done.

Gregory Peck's star vanished sometime around November 22, 2005. This was the 4th star to ENTIRELY disappear. Two of the others (Kirk Douglas and Jimmy Stewart) were both stolen during a construction project and later recovered. One of Gene Autry's five stars was stolen and NEVER found.

Peck's star has already been replaced and a photo has been released of the new star, Honorary Mayor Johnny Grant and 2 LAPD officers.

I love this photo. Johnny is gesturing "I dunno" as the two cops look like my dentist (left) and Ray Romano (center.)

I wish you all had seen my dentist. You would probably have laughed more. I also wish you had never seen Ray Romano. You would have probably laughed exactly the same amount.

The Walk of Fame stars are not as "personal" as the Chinese Theater slabs. No handprints or footprints and they can even be awarded to those who have passed away.

They get worn over time and are often replaced when they get damaged. For example, recently Rod Stewart and many other notable stars were replaced with brand new stars in the high traffic area of Hollywood and Highland.

In conclusion, I would like to state that I was not in Hollywood on November 22, 2005, I was not ALIVE for the Charlie Chaplin controversy and I had never heard of Edward Purdom. Please rule me out as a suspect.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Watch Pocket

We have all seen one. Every single pair of jeans seems to have one. But NO ONE needs one.

It's the watch pocket. A tiny little flap of denim right over our left jeans pocket.

Seems odd that they still include these in the design of the jeans. In fact, I can't fathom a time where fancy pocket watches and dungarees would ever have been a match made in heaven.

But they must have been. Some time in the old west cowboys must have got off their horse, spit into a spittoon and looked at their pocket watches.

COWBOY ONE: Time for a spot of tea?
COWBOY TWO: Your jeans don't match your watch. Or your petticoat.

Today, we have little use for the little pocket. Sometimes I throw a few quarters in it, maybe a ticket stub. But I bet few use the pocket for a pocket watch today.

I don't rule out a comeback, though. The pocket continues to be produced. With cell phones getting smaller maybe soon we can fit them into that pocket.

By the way, why do we say cell phone? I thought "cell" was short for cellular. Aren't phones digital now? Why don't we say "digi phone?" Why don't they make Spaghettios with sausage?

So many questions, so many Google results.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade

When most people think of a Thanksgiving Day Parade they think of Macy's and New York.

Of course, most people are stupid.

Why think of ONLY one parade when there is another equally important parade just a stone's throw away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Yes, I like the Philadelphia parade and yes, I think I could throw a stone from New York City to Philadelphia if the weather was right.

Sure, the Macy's parade was mentioned in the film Miracle on 34th Street and yes, it has some of the biggest stars.

But, the Philadelphia parade is older and has some stars of its own.

For starters there is Kelly Ripa:

I love Kelly. I have written a haiku about her:

Kelly (a haiku)

We met when it was cold
Your hair smelled nice
Kathy Lee Gifford?
I don't know how to write a haiku

Kelly is one of the hosts of the program and possibly the hardest working woman in show business (not counting that lady that works for NBC, waxing Matt Lauer's back.)

In addition to Kelly the parade featured Tony Danza as its Grand Marshall.

Take a look at this photo of a woman with red hair taking a picture of Tony Danza.


Upon close review it looks like Mr. Danza is making a move on the carriage driver.

The carriage drive does not seem to reciprocate the advance. I'm still not sure ‘who’s the boss.’ But I am curious.

In addition the parade featured Aaron Carter, Kelly Monaco and every ham and egger who ever appeared on 'American Idol.'

But none of these stars (or reality show contestants) could match the star power of Donald Duck:

Walt Disney World sponsored three floats. This one featured Donald and Daisy Duck, as well as Timon and Rafiki and the Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life.

Cinderella and her castle both appeared on floats, but not the same one.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto stood by her castle and SHE stood on a float with everyone else that Disney could afford to fly from Orlando to Pennsylvania.

In the section on the left are Chicken Little and Abby Mallard. The right features Chip & Dale and Stitch. The Middle section features Cinderella and... uh... Prince Charming? Not sure of his name. Belle was also there from Beauty and the Beast. She was standing with The Beast. But, not as 'The Beast.' He was in human form. Also Snow White and... uh... her husband.

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible were also on hand, riding in a white car. Before I saw them, I heard someone incorrectly refer to them as "The Wonderfuls."

I almost broke my neck turning around to see. I was saddened when I realized it WASN'T Paul Orndorff and his wife in the car.

Also, the parade has giant balloons just like Macy's Parade does.
My favorite was cow with a stomachache lying on top of the moon:

I also liked Felix the Cat as Ving Rhames as Kingpin from the Daredevil movie... based on the Marvel comic book.

I think that was the look he was going for.

So, what’s a parade without Shriners in little cars?

I have no idea. This parade was loaded with 'em.

So, what’s a pointless rhetorical question without a link to an old article?

I don't know that either.

The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders were on hand as well. Sadly I was not able to get them to do a re-take of this photo. They seemed sad. Probably because they have about as much chance of going to the Superbowl as the Shiners do of going to the NASCAR Cup (assuming that that is a specific race and not some kind of award given to a racer for the end result of a whole season. I don't watch NASCAR. But I do love Shriners in little cars. I bet I have violated multiple grammar rules within the confines of this parenthesis. And I am not sorry. Not one bit.)

As usual, Santa Claus ended the parade.

Santa also appears at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and countless other local parades and shows.

But he won't end this article.

I shall give that honor to the Goldfish Cracker.

Take that, ya big glory hound.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Coloring Book: Thanksgiving

"Stuffed Turkey."

Get it?

He's stuffed! But not with stuffing. Well, maybe stuffing. The only thing we can be sure he ate is a jar of mustard.

However, he SEEMS to have emptied the entire Westinghouse.

Now he's westing. Get it? Like how a cartoon turkey might say "resting." Oh, and Westinghouse is a company that sells refrigerators.

I am quick with the jokes. I can make funnier jokes than "stuffed turkey."

I wouldn't joke about this turkey, he's hardcore. He ate everything in the FREEZER!!! The FREEZER! Without letting it sit and defrost, I bet.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Adam Sandler

One of the newer stars in the forecourt is Adam Sandler. The star of such flicks as Airheads and Bullet Proof is enshrined at Graumans alongside such names as Charlton Heston and Marilyn Monroe.

Sandler probably spent all night trying to find a way to WRITE in a wacky voice. He couldn't so the cement simply says "Hi to everyone! Love #23 Adam Sandler."

I don't know the significance of the number #23. Perhaps it was his number in the film. I know some websites mention it appearing in his other films, and being his favorite number.

My favorite number is eleventeen fiftakeyorhandsofme.

I bet I would be the only one to write THAT at Graumans.

I better go work on my wacky voice.

The Sears-Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art

October 1962 was an important month for many reasons.

For starters, in 1963 that month would be called Rocktober. But 1962 was not about rock. It was about roll. Rolling to Sears to get a painting.

Man that was a good segue. I think I may print it out and frame it.

Since the beginning of time (actually 1895) Sears has sold art to the masses. Still, in 1962 they noticed that most of the general public did not own any fine art.

So they decided to scare the hell out of the American public.

Vincent Price was selected by the board of trusties to 'seek out little old ladies and suck the blood from their necks... then sell them art.'

Price later explained to them that he was actually only an actor, not Dracula. He also explained that he had never played Dracula. He also apologized (in advance) for his work on Michael Jackson's Thriller album.

Luckily for Sears, Price was a connoisseur of fine art and had collected art and lectured on the subject.

Price picked out the paintings for the collection. Sears originally wanted to put his name in the corner. Vincent balked at this suggestion and the executive said "I guess we can put a price on this painting."
Vincent corrected him "My first initial is 'V' not 'A.' You can't put V. Price on this painting."
Moments later he realized that was supposed to be a joke and he laughed and laughed. They later put a price on the painting.

Prices ranged from $10 to $3,000. Each painting came with the same quality guarantee that Sears puts on its other products.

The program ended in 1971. In the years between Sears customers bought over 50,000 pieces of fine art and celebrated 9 Rocktobers.

Luke and Butch

The WWF in the late 1980s and early 1990s was a very strange place. Each wrestler would be given a "gimmick." This was his costume, his back story etc.

They had some strange gimmicks. One guy was a repo man who would repossess things from his opponents. I am pretty sure he repo-ed a pair of boots from Outlaw Ron Bass at one point. Does that mean Bass had a mortgage at Foot Locker? I hope he did.

One of the best gimmicks was The Bushwackers: Luke and Butch.

They would come to the ring thrusting their bellies forward and waving their arms like a one of those toy monkeys. You know the kind that you press a button and then they wave their arms? Kinda like that.

They would also lick their fans. They bit their opponents. Perhaps they have retired. Or, like a lot of old wrestlers, they are still working on a smaller circuit. Maybe they licked one too many fans and ended up with dysentery and died.

Fare the well, Luke and Butch, wherever you are!


Furbys look like Gremlins. Or actually Mogwai. They look cute and cuddly. But, what if they truly are more like Spike? What if they are evil?
What if they hated that scene in Gremlins 2 when Hulk Hogan yelled at the projection booth telling the Gremlins to turn the movie back on or... uh... something about his "24 inch pythons."
And what if they told people about this scene, but then they bought the VHS tape and it wasn't there, and people claimed they imagined it. Then they put the scene on the DVD, but it was too late because I didn't know the people that made fun of me. I mean 'made fun of the Furby.'

Not me.

I'm fine.

I won't connect these dots; however, I think Furby is kicking the turf outta a box turtle and I don't want to see that.

The Coloring Book Main Page

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


It's time for some camping fun with two Boy Scouts. I assume this because they are wearing neckerchiefs. Of course the top guy could be Fred from Scooby Doo, but that still doesn't explain his... uh... friend.
I think the guy on the bottom is trying to start a fire. I think the guy on top is trying to start another fire... in his pants.
Maybe it's a young Leonardo DiCaprio. He was "king of the world" even then. Still, his Napoleon Dynamite... uh... friend is no Kate Winslet.

The Coloring Book Main Page

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lining up

A while back we talked about the opening night of the Star Wars prequels.

Madness. Simply madness.

I saw Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in the theater. But I didn't wait in line for weeks to see them. Did you?

Well, with the purchase of a couple DVD's (Starwoids & Star Wait) you can experience the magic of waiting in line IN YOUR OWN HOME!

Easily the better of the two films in all aspects EXCEPT TITLE. According to the flick, Starwoids is the name for obsessive Star Wars fans. Kinda like Trekkies for Star Trek fans, Ringers for Lord of the Rings fans and Stulutoos for Stuart Little 2 fans.
Either way, Starwoids is hard to say. You sound like a retarded New Yorker trying to say "Star Wars."
The film starts opens with narration by director Kevin Smith. When I say director, I am referring to the fact that his occupation is that of director on films such as Clerks and Mallrats. He didn't direct this film. Too bad.
Starwoids covers two different lines (for Phantom Menace): one at the Mann Village theater and one at Grauman's Chinese. The Village is a BEAUTIFUL theater. In fact, many people think it is NICER than the Chinese.
The film jumps back between each line and many other Star Wars fan activities. You see a high school with a Star Wars musical, an obsessive toy collector and a bunch of people that stalk George Lucas.
The line is the best part of the film, however. You really get into the mind of a nerd. One nerd proclaims "I think God must be ashamed as a creator once he saw the preview for this movie and realized he hasn't created anything this good."
Enjoy eternal damnation, kid; it is probably easier than having to see Greedo shoot first.

This was shot entirely at Grauman's Chinese as the fans lined up for Attack of the Clones.
This flick is a bit more like a reality show than a true documentary. Unfortunately no one gets voted off. One guy is offered $10,000 by DJ Rick Dees to leave the line. He refuses. That's would be sticking it to the man, if you consider Rick Dees to be "the man." I hardly consider him a man.
Some of the Starwoids return for this one. Many don't age well.
One of the bonus features is a partial commentary track by Joel, Trace and Josh from 'Mystery Science Theater 3000.' It was worth the sticker price all by itself.

STAR WAIT AGAIN:This isn't really a sequel, it's a 15 minute bonus on the DVD. It shows most of the same crew that waited at the Chinese for the last two years. This time they are waiting at the Chinese for Revenge of the Sith. Unfortunately it WASN'T SHOWING at the Chinese.

This mattered little since the whole point of the line is to hang out with other nerds and pretend to be homeless. Even in Attack of the Clones the folks lined up did not even exceed 1/4 of the seats in the theater.

Lining up is just pointless fun... and so are these DVDs.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I stumbled across one of the greatest DVD sets ever produced the other day:
The Beethoven Pooch Pack.

For under $20 I got ALL FIVE films from the Beethoven series. Mind you, I didn't know they ever made a 3, 4 or 5, but I NEEDED to have a complete Beethoven collection.

Upon coming home I sat down to watch the DVD. To keep me sane I kept some essentials near the couch. A six pack of beer, some chips, beef jerky and my crochet stuff.

Over the next 8 hours I laughed, cried and knitted a tissue box cozy. It was the greatest night of my life.

This is the original and features Charles Grodin. Grodin and his family own a large dog named Beethoven. Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt are trying to steal Beethoven so that Dean Jones can shoot it in the head. Dean Jones was the star of many Disney films including The Love Bug. He is a creepy villain and a joy to watch.
Platt and Tucci are great and Grodin is... uh... Grodin.
I tried to pretend that Tucci and Platt were playing a live action Bert and Ernie. That made me laugh and laugh.

The dog is back for this theatrical sequel. In this one Grodin takes the family to the woods. There was a subplot involving Grodin's character's daughter.
Her boy friend takes her to his room to show her "the view."
When I say he wanted to show her "the view," I don't mean the TV show where a bunch of broads babble about what kind soap they use and who Brad Pitt is dating. He claimed to want to show her the view of the lake.
But, what is his motive?
Meanwhile, Beethoven is being harassed by a bunch of teens. They pour beer on him as the boyfriend is trying to make is move. The two combine to give him his comeuppance!
As she demands to know WHY he locked the door, Beethoven starts to run pulling on one of the struts that holds up the balcony. The strut gives way and the house is ripped apart, half of it falling into the lake.
A horrifying scene ensues. Dozens of minors are dumped painfully into the lake with hundreds of thousand of dollars of lakeside property falling atop them.
The daughter makes a quip: "Thanks for showing me the view!"
The event or its consequences are never mentioned again.

Grodin's family has loaned the dog to Judge Reinhold's family for a road trip. Hilarity attempts to ensue.
The film ends with Frank Gorshin telling Reinhold's family that get to keep the dog for two more years as they tour Europe. This seemed really out of character for Grodin's family. It also seems stupid for me to refer to them as "Grodin's family" but I am too lazy to look up what the family name was.

Beethoven is accidentally switched with fancy, well behaved dog. Rich people are mocked and (once again) someone wants to kidnap a St. Bernard.

A small girl who claims to be the daughter of the Reinhold bunch arrives at her uncle's house with Beethoven. She looks nothing like the girl in the previous film, but I was more puzzled by the fact that she STILL has the dog.
I assume that Grodin and company were killed by the French. Those bastard French.
Uncle Freddie is played by Dave Thomas, but not the one from the Wendy's commercials. Still it has a brief appearance by Mary Jo Catlett who played Pearl on "Diff'rent Strokes" and Faith Ford AND John Laroquette.
The plot involves a hidden treasure of stolen bank loot, but I was too distracted by Daveigh Chase.
She played the lead, but I know her better as the voice of Lilo in Disney's Lilo and Stitch. Listening to her was just surreal. Not as surreal as when I heard the voice of Lisa Simpson say the "F" word in The Legend of Billie Jean, but it was still surreal.

Overall, it was worth the sawbuck I paid for it (I don't really know what a sawbuck is.) It sure was more entertaining than the next night when I just played with the tissue box cozy and looked up “sawbuck” in the dictionary.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Children of Heaven

A few years ago I was a member of some kind of the New York Film Symposium. That probably isn't the real name, but it wasn't memorable.

All we did was watch movies. We would see films a few weeks before they were released and then discuss them. SOME of them were really cool, but most were as bizarre and unnecessary as that song about "Herbert Hoover" in the musical Annie.

99% if the people in the symposium were stuck up, self righteous fans of anything unusual.

They loved Children of Heaven.

Children of Heaven told the story of two children growing up in Iran. Their family was very poor. I think they had a house with walls made of cloth. So did their neighbors. Whenever they showed the village they lived in it looked like a big laundry hamper.

The story was about two kids Zahre and Ali. Ali was the older brother and Zahre was a wisecracking robot.

I wish.

No, Zahre was a little girl. Not even a cameo by The Iron Sheik could have saved this film.

Zahre and Ali lived with their parents and a chicken in this odd laundry tent. They had an old black and white TV that seemed to be painted red. They had no walls, but they had TV.

Good for them.

At some point towards the beginning of the film Ali looses Zahre's shoes.

In any other film this would just be a wardrobe problem. In Children of Heaven it's THE central conflict of the story.

Yup, it’s a film about lost shoes. A plot so thin that "Sesame Street" would have rejected it. And THEY once did an episode where Elmo and Baby Bear took turns trying on a hat. Still, I bet THEY would pass on "A girl needs shoes."

Because they are poor, the children are afraid to tell dad that they lost the shoes. See, even poor kids in Iran often are unable to speak openly and honestly with their parents. It's a small world, after all. It’s the circle of life. We are the world. Do they know its Christmas time? I'm not gonna pay a lot for this muffler. Blah blah blah.

So, they shared the shoes.

The next 2 hours consisted of kids switching shoes.

Ali would wear the shoes someplace and then run home to give them to Zahre to wear to someplace else.

None of these places are interesting.

Also the kids seem to spend a bunch of time jumping over puddles. They didn't want to get the shoes wet.

It's all about the shoes, man.

The film ends with a foot race that features a pair of shoes as first prize.

It was the Iranian version of "The Brady Bunch."

Still, as dopey as this film was THE SYMPOSIUM PEOPLE LOVED IT!

They praised the simplicity of the quest for shoes. They were clamoring for more. If any Iranian with $50 and a video camera had made a sequel about Zahre sharing a sock with Ali, these people would have loved that too.

I was bored by Children of Heaven. I'm sure this revelation will make those from the symposium think I am "uncultured swine."

So what? I think they have a foot fetish.

The Blue Bin

That kid on the left freaks me out. He freaks me out more than the floating bleach bottle. His face is too small for his head. Ugh!

No wonder the girl looks like she is going to throw that can at him.

I am not sure where this is from, but judging by the background it's Denver, Trenton New Jersey or my old apartment.

The Coloring Book Main Page

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Garden of Eden

This is from a bible based coloring book. It certainly brings to mind the end of Austin Powers, doesn't it?

Here Eve is on one knee proposing to an amazing tray of fruit. The goat seems fascinated by this. I am just fascinated to see a cartoon goat that isn't eating a tin can.

Hey! I think the plant behind Eve just gave me the finger!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Movieland Wax: The Oval Office

The oval office was the last place you walked through at Movieland Wax museum. It was a pretty impressive set with the president standing behind a desk (during Clinton’s term occasionally his statue was not behind the desk. In that situation you could wax Clinton in the corner with wax Monica Lewinski.)
I don't know if this was the way the museum ended when it first opened, but this has been the case for the last few presidents.

The wax statue of President Bush is pretty impressive. He looks very lifelike. So much so that it is rumored that Wax President Bush fills in for the real one when he vacations.

The previous presidents (including Bush's father) are not displayed in the museum for the most part. One notable exception was President Reagan. After his term in office he was re-dressed and put back on display.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Movieland Wax: Mr. T

The first time I went to Movieland it was because their website listed Mr. T as one of the statues they had. I went to the museum and after about 45 minutes of touring I got to the exit and had never seen Mr. T.
I wanted to ask the employee at the exit, but he was busy with other customers so I called on the phone after I got home.
MOVIELAND: Hello, Movieland Wax.
SWEETIE: Hi. Do you have a wax statue of Mr. T?
MOVIELAND: I don't think so. Let me check.
(on hold for 3 minutes)
MOVIELAND: No sir, we don't have a statue of Master P.
MOVIELAND: Oh sure, we have Mr. T.
SWEETIE: I went there today and I couldn't find him.
MOVIELAND: He's here. I passed him this morning. Ask an employee and they can show you.
(BTW, that was a real conversation. No joke.)

So I went back another day and asked an employee. It turns out they had Mr. T and about 100 other statues on a huge wing of the museum that I missed on my first trip. It was amazing to me that the museum was so huge that I could miss a whole 1/4 of it and still feel I got my moneys worth (well, aside from the lack of Mr. T and Master P.)

Mr. T is located in a 'warehouse' setting that is somewhat indicative of the A-Team. It's a MUCH better likeness than the OTHER wax Mr. T that is at Movieland Wax in Canada (note: the two museums are not affiliated at all.)

I have an older photo of the Mr. T statue and on THAT he is wearing a perfect match of what his 1984 gold chains looked like. Today the statue features a much more generic set of chains (featuring a dollar sign and a peace symbol.)

I don't know when this changed and why.

Mr. T stood directly across from Neo of The Matrix.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Movieland Wax: Shirley Temple

My memory is a little fuzzy about these photos. Most of them were taken a couple of years ago. Plus, Movieland was so big that every time I went I would look at a statue and say "Hey! Was that here before?"
Then I would look at my shoes and say "Answer me, shoes! I'm asking you a question!"

Then they kicked me out.

Anyway, this is the Shirley Temple "Good Ship Lollypop." It sure was adorable. I am pretty sure that she rotated as the song played. That is probably why I am looking off to the left; I am looking to see if anyone else is waiting for me to move.

Or maybe my shoes were over there and I was looking to pick a fight with 'em.