Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bad movie that was good for the soul, bad for the brain!

Skidoo (1968)



There are bad films in this world. Ones that are meant to “die” and go away, but my friends and I refuse to let them. There are films of such god-awful despair that we search them out, share them with each other, typically on Monday nights. We call it “Boys Nite”.

We have been slacking lately in our “bad” film choices of late (too many good movies have been available) so I thought I would reenergize us with the worst possible film I could find. It’s called Skidoo. The film is a musical comedy from 1968. It is quite possibly the worst Hollywood studio film I have ever seen. Funny thing is, I can’t get it out of my mind.

The film is a trippy-hippie comedy starring people who have no business being near this movie: Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, Groucho Marx, Peter Lawford, Frankie Avalon, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, George Raft, Mickey Rooney and directed by the great Otto Preminger. If you don’t know who these folks are, simply Wikipedia and then come back with a sense of awe and despair at this film. I guess that was the point. Taking the fishes out of the water and making an old fashioned comedy of errors in the hippie era…. with musical numbers that include singing and dancing trash cans. It is mind boggling.

The plot, such as it is, deals with Gleason playing a former mob guy forced for the sake of his family, to do one more job for God (Groucho Marx in his final film role). His wife (Channing) and his hippie loving daughter attempt to trackGod down and find their missing husband/father. Tagging along are an assorted cast of characters and Gleason’s character trapped in prison trying to make an escape. Even writing this gives me a headache, you should see what happens when drug scenes and musical numbers (particularly Channing’s painfully earworm rendition of the title song) are added.

The film is famous for the “first five minutes” that involves nothing more than a flipping television screen and several bad commercial parodies. While actually pretty innovative at the time, the parodies themselves are travesties involving fat jokes and gun violence. When Slim Pickens shows up as a LSD fed phone operator it all just becomes too much to take.


Interesting Notes:

It has been reported that Jackie Gleason’s performance in this film cost him the starring role in The French Connection.
Frank Gorshin, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith and director Otto Preminger would receive accolades within the year as playing The Riddler, The Joker, The Penguin and Mister Freeze in the TV show: Batman.


Skidoo is not a very good musical comedy, or comedy, orreally a very good movie. It is just a nightmare of a movie that must be seen to be believed.  Also stick around for the end credits that are not only shown, but put to song. Beware of this one kids!

Friday, March 21, 2014


This week went by much too quick. My usual St. Patrick’s Day debauchery was definitely my last go-around at the level I have been trying to keep for the last several years. I am just too old and feel like I am missing out on a lot of the festivities with my family because I am too busy pounding down beers. I won’t do that again.

I did see the trashy good time that was 300: Rise of an Empire. Eva Green is tremendously over-the-top and the movie was made for her to steal. You can read my review here:


I love COSMOS and think it is the best show currently on network TV. It is enlightening and sometimes very funny.

Reading and writing are my first loves and are becoming my primary focus. So if I am going to read, why not start with the “good” book. I have made several attempts to go from start to finish, but have been unsuccessful. It is now on my Kindle and I have set a goal for July 18th, my 40th birthday. When I get done with Genesis, I will put down some thoughts.

The other goal I have is concerning health and weight loss. I have a goal of 220 lbs by next St. Patrick’s Day, which is only approximately 20 lbs, but I also plan on getting in all around better shape by running in the Shamrock Shuffle 3K. I know I am surrounded by support in this effort.  Wish me luck!

Actually, more than anything today, I am looking forward to spending time with my family this week. My sister-in-law turned 30 this week; my father-in-law celebrates a 70th this weekend. The best part is that I am still not 40! HA! I am fighting it tooth and nail as you can plainly read.

This post is kind of a holding pattern. I have several pieces for www.kyforward.com I am working on and I like my new job. They are meshing together pretty well. I still hope someday I can leave the 9-5 behind for full time writing. I still suffer from “big dream syndrome”.  Maybe someday soon I push the right button and everything will fall into place. If not, well I still love typing my thoughts out. It is a groovy hobby.


Piece and hair grease….


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday February 27, 2014


This life offers so many little frustrations; those are generally the ones that get under my skin. Work dramas, when none is really necessary, family dramas and the little things: a cold, a minor injury, my coffee is cold or, the newest, the weight I lost is piling back on and the shirt that disappeared, reappeared and had to be driven to me, doesn’t fit (I truly did let this ruin my early morning this week.)

Why do we let the little things get to us so badly? I have read that scientists believe it is something held over from our old “fight or flight response), that we don’t have tigers and bears to look out for anymore, so we have all this pent up anxiety with no way to direct it. So we suppress this ingrained anxiety and either deal with it with things like exercise or meditation, or we let it blow up at the little things in life (like a stubbed toe).

We also deal with this by using and sometimes abusing drugs, alcohol or other even more destructive behaviors to deal with pent up energy. It sometimes just seems easier to deal with it that way than actually being positive. Like when you get a wrong number and it is obviously a collection agency looking for someone, don’t you just want to jump through your phone and choke them? Two things: that is just what happened during my writing of this paragraph, second, I used to be a collections manager for the branch of a finance company… I used to do that for a living and instead of being understanding, my knee jerk reaction is to be rude to the person (I wasn’t by the way, but I wanted to be).

That is what I need to work on, that is what I need to change. Those initial, snap judgment thoughts are what part of what are holding me back. I can blame it on genetics or having an “Irish” temper, but in reality it is simply just me. Part of who I am; that drives me crazy, drives my wife crazy and something I don’t want my son to see in me.

My steps to correct it long term is exercise and meditation and prayer for focus, but the short term, breathe!!! Before I let that “fight or flight” response kick in, take a breath let rational and calm thoughts enter first. I won’t play work politics. Every job has them, I won’t be a part. I will do my job and be kind and friendly. No matter how much this will drive some of my co-workers crazy. I almost fell into this trap this week; I felt my pulse and anxiety rise. Why bring this on myself, when it is totally unwelcome and unneeded in my life.

​Life successes and victories don’t lie in Facebook worthy occasions, but in the little battles within us. Taking those battles and taking the fight out of them, one deep breath at a time.

Pop Culture Happiness for me this week:

    My favorite TV show Dallas is back for another season… and with it JR Ewing bourbon:http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2014/02/j-r-ewing-bourbon-created-in-honour-of-dallas-return/







     Finally, a book recommendation: “Safe Area Gorazde” is a journalistic graphic novel about the Bosnian War that was published in 2000. If you ever want to get an understanding the helplessness people can feel while war is raging around them, this is a powerful look.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_Area_Gora%C5%BEde




Peace and hair grease….


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dang, it's cold!

So an entire post I had been working on since around 8am this morning was deleted. Then I realized that was kind of a good thing. It kind of cleared out the foolishness from my brain and allowed for more genuine less trivial thoughts in. 

1.The Peppa Pig Takeover was the 18th.  The boy turned four. The wife pulled off a great family event. I hope the boy grows up knowing how grateful he should be to have a mom like her. I know how grateful I am to have her as a wife. 

2. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver is a powerful collection of short stories from the 80's. The stories are ugly and harsh, opening up and showing the rawness of contemporary relationships. It is tough read and not for everyone, but Carver was an amazing talent and I reccomend it. 

3. Unvarnished is the new album by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and I really enjoyed it. It is a loud, raucous and very juvenile piece of work that best enjoyed with the volume turned up to 11. Less than that you may give the very silly lyrics some thought and that would be bad for all involved. 

Life is solid right now. Please stay warm. I hope that there are no more reports of deaths related from the cold here in Lexington. Please keep your loved ones and pets safe in the coming weeks.

Peace and Hair Grease!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back In The Saddle

It has been way too long. My fitness level hasn't improved very much, but I went to the gym today. So I guess that is something. HA! 

I have been writing for kyforward.com discussing films and TV. It continues to be a blast. I always wanted an outlet to express myself where I felt like people were actually reading. I love it a lot.

Just started the new job this week and it feels to be a great fit. Becoming a day shift "desk jockey" I think is going to wonders for the home life. 

Random thoughts:
. I have never identified more with Homer Simspson than in the recent episode where he pirated movies to escape the madness of the theaters. It's one of the reasons I love matinee's, escaping the texting and talking wonderful. 

. The Norah Jones CD from 2012 called, "Little Broken Hearts" is not for me. It was just a bit too pop sounding. I listened to it one time through and put it down. 

Anyhow, Peace and Hair Grease to all!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Been awhile and angrier than ever.....

     Hi, readers. Been awhile. Still overweight, still not handling stress well and still frustrated by our societies lack of grace or decorum. This disconnect between our country's professed values and it's behavior is huge. We even now base our daily information gathering on those values, not simply the quality of the news itself. I find more and more people living under the expectation of being misguided and mistrusting one another. Cynicism reigns supreme with no good deed going unpunished. So what do we do, how do we fight back?

     First, let us accept the fact that politics is not the answer. As George Carlin said, "the fix is in". We have no real voice or representation, they are strictly beholden to the money men and lobbyists. They throw us a crumb, but on the whole you cannot give any genuine hope or expectation of getting anything done there. Most of our country's ugliness comes from political discourse anyway. So, where does this leave us? 

     If our leaders are out, it is left up to individual discretion now. That's right kiddos, we have to get off our sorry arses and create our one change. Create and change our personal "country". 

Look at your budget, find the waste and Cut It Out. Kids, we don't need cable anymore. Stop that drive-thru mess (goes along with our health) and start putting away for retirement. No beer, cigars or Spike TV. Get yourself out of your hole first and foremost. 

You are gonna die of something, but the battle of the bulge should not be the way. Let's stop eating crap, stop lying around and let's start taking care or ourselves, and each other. Take a walk, play some ball, run in circles. Let's all just stay active. "The Man" wants you sedentary, pull together as a unit and make it happen. This leads to family.

I do an OK job as a Dad. I do tend to get lazy push the TV as a babysitter, but I accept it as a flaw and will try to do better. Let's put the iPhones down and communicate. This is a huge admitted weakness for me and plan on working on it. Need to play with him more, need to educate more. Need to look the boy and the wife in the eye more.

Party More:
All that grown up stuff I listed? Ever once in awhile you gotta throw it out the window. If you don't you will burn out and give up. When it is ugly and rainy, get a pint of ice cream, turn on a movie and plop your butt at the TV. Go out with friends and have a few to many and catch a cab home. Live it up, but live it with the knowledge of the responsibilities at home. 

     My final piece of advice we all need to take is to live more, pray (meditate or just listen to peaceful music for 10 mins) more and love more. The bible says a lot of things but without quoting scripture there is often some talk about how we should witness not only by words but through our outward behaviors. That should also apply as to how we should create real change in our country. We need to start creating our own countries at home. Make our personal life a light for others to follow. Now I will try if you will. I am going to make mistakes, gonna mess up. Feel free to call me out when I do. But realize the borders are up. We have rules here and when you are in Halcomb country we play by a certain set of rules. Love my country or leave it, but from now on, it's mine.

Peace and Hair grease.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Netflix-o-rama Episode 1: Season 1 of "Red Dwarf" and the 2010 remake of "Clash of the Titans"

     No prefacing needed; let's dig in.

     "Red Dwarf" is a sci-fi sitcom that has a cult following in Britain and has been off and on in short series since the late 1980's. Warnings: to sci-fi nerds, this is a low-fi 1980's sitcom on par with the likes of Alf or later episodes of Mork and Mindy. Don't look for science fact, don't even look for science fiction; this is a buddy comedy set in space, simple as that. Now as I understand it, about season 4 or so they delve into an over-arching mythology and actually become a "real" sci-fi show as time progressed. It is now considered a classic series, but I tell you there is no promise of that in the first six episodes of this season. It is silliness that should have aired after a very special episode of "Herman's Head." If you didn't get that joke please don't waste your time on this show, it is not meant for you.

     Remember when you used to get that little folded guide from The Movie Channel each month. I used to scour that thing for three movies: "Superman", "For Your Eyes Only" (was my favorite James Bond movie for a long time) and "Clash of The Titans". The gods, the monsters, that stupid owl: all of it made me giddy. Through this movie I learn to love Sir Lawrence Olivier, Maggie Smith (Dowton Abbey rocks) and the stop motion work of Ray Harryhausen. The only reason I watched LA Law was because of Harry Hamlin! So bias exists, but I didn't hate this new movie. I just don't think it had anything original to say.

     I won't bore you with plot details or actor and director resumes, but I did think the cast,direction and effects were great. I see how it made a mint at the box office, but to me it seemed a glossy do-over and sequel-setter-upper for me. Plus, they dissed the owl! I loved the owl! I will be much more interested in its sequel "Wrath of the Titans" when I watch it later this week, to see where the story (hopefully the writers took some time to think about it) goes. Also, it needed more Liam Neeson as Zeus. Hearing him say "RELEASE THE KRAKEN" was a highlight for me....

Peace and hair grease to all.....