Saturday, February 25, 2012

Michael Berry In a Bit of a Hot Bath (House)

Houston talk show host Michael Berry seems to be in a bit of hot water. ( No that is not him above. Just thought I would add some rule 5 in the spirit of the subject.) Anyway, allegedly he (Berry) ran into someone's vehicle in front of a well known gay bar and then fled the scene. Wonder what is up with that?

At any rate, the whole "wreck at the gay bar" thing is rather interesting and I must admit, somewhat amusing. Berry says he will be vindicated of course and the truth will come out.

Incidentally, the area in question is in the Montrose area of Houston and there are a plethora of establishments that cater to the gay community. It was often quite profitable to "cruise" the area while driving a taxi. What one does is begin at one end and basically drive around (and around) in a sort of circular pattern. Of course we cabbies called it "cruising (or working) the "fruit loop." Not my words. It was known as that long before I began to drive. I am sure it is called that still. I think some sensitivity training should be mandated.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Had A Green Job Once

This was first posted in Notes From the Cab about the time all the talk of "green jobs" was in vogue. I Still don't have a clue what a "green job" is. Do you?

I have been wondering lately what a "Green Job" is. It finally occurred to me that I once worked on a project that may well be what the government has in mind.

A few years ago I was bartending for a St Patrick's day event at a venue in downtown Houston and had to wear a silly green leprechaun hat. Of course we were serving green beer and Irish Whiskey. It must not have been that interesting as I had almost forgotten all about it. Apparently there were no "beaver shots" or anything of interest - that is the kind of thing that sort of helps one remember such events. It was not near as interesting as the event that I worked where I had to dress up as a cat. I have very little shame when it comes to making a buck. At any rate at that event I had to go to the back room to replenish my stock and walked in on a fellow employee (also dressed as a cat) being fellated by some bimbo. You see, that sort of thing sticks out in your mind. My "Green Job" paled in comparison to that.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Gay Male Vampire Comments on My Vampire Analysis

First published in Notes From The Cab 7/10. My original commentary on vampires caused quite a stir in the gay community apparently.

Not so long ago I wrote a small piece comparing the "modern" screen vampires with the original stated intent of trying to determine which vampire is indeed the best of the modern film era. This piece was written rather "tongue in cheek" (no pun intended toward any reader who happens to be gay), with the purpose being more to take a shot at Henry Waxman (D-CA) then to make a true honest comparison of screen vampires. Rather immature I know, but my immaturity runs deep. It helps me to see the humor in things I believe. Be that as it may, one must admit that Waxman does indeed look like one of the vampire/zombie beings in the Will Smith film I Am Legend. I defy anyone to say otherwise.
Now as my writing progressed I did indeed begin to think about the vampires of the recent screen era and did make a comparison. According to Sebastien of Gay Male Vampire, my analysis was rather poor and left out quite a good many vampires such as the ones featured on Buffy and Blade. I plead guilty. I am no expert on vampires, screen or otherwise, but I do enjoy a good vampire movie. One can not deny that Gary Oldman did an excellent job in Dracula and Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were exceptional in Interview. Antonio Banderas did a great job also in that film. I also pointed out that the film could not have been more gay, and I stand by that statement. Sebastien (what a great name for a vampire) points out that all vampires are gay and I would have to agree with that. It does appear that vampires are very sexual beings and pretty flexible in their tastes. Now Sebastien does note that vampires are not evil in his piece and I would have to disagree with that. Vampires are evil and they are supposed to be evil. It is annoying to me personally to see a vampire have the human traits of conscience and empathy. It destroys the mystique, in my humble opinion. Louis of Interview and Bill in True Blood have just a bit too much humanity left in them to be effective. Now Bill regained his humanity through effort, but Louis' humanity is ingrained. Either way it is unbecoming a vampire. I suspect that is why I don't particularly care for Twighlight. I stand by my statement that Vampires should be both evil and beautiful to behold.
On a rather interesting note, Sebastien points out that there is an "adult" film that goes by the name of Twinklight. That is hilarious and follows the time honored tradition in which the adult film industry produces "take offs" of films from the "legitimate" film industry. Who can forget such names as Romancing the Bone, The Sopornos, the Rambone series, and others too numerous to mention.
Now I checked out and it is not my thing to be sure, but to each his own. If one is so inclined as to have an interest in "gay male vampires" then I would suspect that this site is the place to go.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Which Screen Vampire is Best

First published in July 2010 in Notes from the Cab.

There is a good deal of controversy on which of the modern era film vampires are the best, or the most cool as it were. Let us discuss this and attempt to lay this issue to rest once and for all.
I truly doubt that we will come to any agreeable conclusion however. I am sure there will be no consensus. but we must try.

The "Twilight" series of movies are pretty good with beautiful scenery, cinematography, and soundtrack. The story lines are fairly compelling and they are just plain good movies. The Cullen family of vampires are good looking, intelligent and dangerous - as vampires must be, but there is an issue that may keep them from earning the title of best film vampires. The are just not evil. In addition to the above characteristics a vampire must above all be vicious and evil. The Cullen's do not fit the bill unfortunately. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), the male lead, is just not evil and in fact seems to have a problem with the creature that he is. There is self loathing and a disturbing "human conscience" apparent that detracts somewhat from the film. One exception is the "hunter" James, played to perfection by the young actor Cam Gigandet. His character is evil, vicious and frighteningly malicious. The way a vampire should be. These vampires score high on looks and intelligence but low on the fear factor. One good thing about these movies though is that there are werewolves running about which brings up a very important question. Would you rather be a werewolf or a vampire? A question to explore another time perhaps.

The HBO series "True Blood" is also a very good set of films. Most of the vampires are as vicious and evil as they should be. Perhaps the best the best may be the vampire Eric played to perfection by Alexander Skarsgard. He is good looking, although he looked better with long hair, vicious, utterly without conscience, and exceptionally intelligent. Kristin Bauer does an excellent job with her character, the vampire Pam. A bit player Zeljko Ivanek, plays "The Magister," a vampire that is truly frightening. These characters are so compellingly evil that one gets the feeling that if they were real creatures, they would need to be exterminated with extreme prejudice. Now with that being said, there is a flaw. The Vampire Bill in the series has the same type of self loathing that is noticed in the Edward Cullen character in "Twilight." Now Bill, in an earlier incarnation, was as vicious and evil as they come. We are treated to this in some of his memories that are vicious to the extreme. His current lack of sociopathology however is unbecoming a vampire. The vampires in this series score extremely high on looks, intelligence and viciousness but Vampire Bill's soft side does bring them down somewhat. One thing that is interesting in these films is that the people of northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas tend to call them "vampurs." I like that. Are these the best screen vampires? A case can certainly be made.

The film "An Interview with the Vampire," based on the Anne Rice novel by the same name is an excellent movie. It has an all star cast including Tom Cruise (Lestat) Brad Pitt (Louis), Kirsten Dunst (Claudia), and Antonio Banderas (Armand). These vampires are intelligent to the point of being intellectual (with the exception of Lestat), beautiful, and vicious in the cases of Lestat and the Machiavellian Claudia. Louis, however is lacking the evil gene apparently. There is something missing there that works in the film, but is disturbing none the less. It is hard to pinpoint Armand. Is he hiding his vicious nature in order to win the affection of Louis (that is what it is, let us be honest)? One gets the impression that he is indeed holding back. A clue to his evil nature is in the fact that he allowed the "background" vampires to kill Claudia and her new immortal "mother." (The "mother" was made by Louis much to his agony. Pathetic attitude for a perfect predator don't you think?) Another clue to Armand's true nature is that he let Louis burn the other vampires "alive" without warning them. Intuitive Louis knows this and leaves Armand, at the alter if you will. This film could not have been more gay, but that beside the point. The question is are these vampires the best in the modern film era? A case can be made for this, but also a case can certainly be made to the contrary. These vampires score medium to high on intelligence, high on good looks and the fear factor is moderate to high.

"Dracula (1992) is another vampire story with an all star cast. The extremely talented and also highly under rated Gary Oldman plays the role of Dracula. Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Carey Elwes, and Winona Ryder round out the best known players. The only vampire in the film is of course Oldman (Dracula) and he is an extremely talented actor. (One of his best films was "State of Grace" with Sean Penn, Ed Harris and a then up and coming John C Reilly). Of course Anthony Hopkins is a preeminent actor and Winona Ryder and Carey Elwes can hold there own. Now Keanu Reeves does a commendable job with his part as it is mostly done in a monotone. Any part with more emotion or realism than that certainly stretches Reeves' ability. He near ruined the otherwise exceptional "Devil's Advocate." Be that as it may, the film is quite good and well worth watching. But that is not the question is it? The answer to the real question is hard to gauge. Oldman does a wonderful job with his part, but his character has some human emotion that of course works in the movie, but is still unbecoming a vampire. There is no doubt that he is vicious and evil but his infatuation with Winona Ryder is somehow "unvampirelike." This vampire scores high on the looks (at least in the young Dracula incarnation), and intelligence but falls off somewhat on the vicious scale. However a case can still be made for Dracula being the best film vampire.

A while back there was a Will Smith film called "I Am Legend" This was a very good movie and "vampires" were in abundance. Now the problem is that these are not classic vampires. In the Anne Rice novel "An Interview with the Vampire" there were some vampire like creatures that Louis and Claudia encountered in eastern Europe in their quest to find "others of their kind." This was not part of the movie but in Rice's novel only. These were not true vampires but something related that were more akin to zombie's. Sort of a vampire/zombie combination if you will. The vampires in the Will Smith film were of this type it seems. Funny thing about this though, some of these vampire/zombie creatures have a distinct likeness to Handsome Henry Waxman(D-CA.). Now that is indeed disturbing.

Oh Vey Circumcision to be Outlawed

Posted in Notes from the Cab in Dec 2010.

Well I had to go into Houston after work this afternoon to tend to a bit of business and came upon an interesting billboard. Now I did not have time to sit and look at the entire message as I was in brutal traffic moving at a quick pace, but the gist seems to be that circumcision hurts and is cruel. This may be true but I don't remember it. Do you? You see I am sure this is some advertisement from a group of "do gooders" that would love nothing more than to mandate that all males be anteaters instead of helmets. I have spoken of the problems that "do gooders" can (and have) caused society in the past. Nothing and I mean nothing can convince a "do gooder" to leave things well enough alone. They are on a mission. They are convinced of their righteousness, and of course, most are stark raving mad. I think the whole circumcision thing should be left to up to the family of the child. The whole thing reminds of something funny. Quite a few years back, while serving in the USCG, I knew of a guy who apparently kept having some kind of wing wong problem. He was not circumcised and apparently the Naval medical staff decided that a circumcision was in order. Well the procedure was performed and when he got back to the ship he swore up and down that part of his dong had been amputated. True story. Scouts honor. I don't know for sure if he was playing it up or really and truly believed such, but the long and short of the matter is that he had to be discharged from service. Probably he was running a scam but perhaps, just perhaps, they did lop off a bit of his wang. It was the early 80's after all and we are talking about military medicine.....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Live Blogging From the Location of the Real Weather Story

This was published in Notes From The Cab in August 2011. It was so hot it was almost unbelievable.

Let me preface this little rant by saying that they dodged a bullet up there in the NE. Very lucky indeed they are. There is some damage and unfortunately a few people lost their lives and this is indeed a tragedy. It could have been a heck of a lot worse. Can you imagine a Cat 3 or 4 running through the region? That would have been devastating. Thankfully the "scientists" were wrong again and this will not turn out to be the "storm of the century." At least they got the track right. This usually does not happen. It was also well that the political leadership in the region advised people to leave the immediate impact areas. One of these storms can go from a minor tropical event to a major storm in a relatively short time period and vice versa. Thankfully the "vice versa" was the order of the day here.

Yesterday I was at a grocery store and came back to a temp reading on the car thermometer of 116 degrees. Have not seen that one before. Of course the temp dropped as I left the lot and got on the road to a very comfortable 105. It is hot here in the Republic and that is the real story. Just the loss of agricultural products alone is a huge cost. It would be nice if Irene had come ashore along the Texas shore somewhere. We could use the rain while the NE is over saturated.

You know, come to think of it, that Dumbass Sheila Jackson Lee said we need to name some storms that sound a bit more ethnic. I have always thought that Aquanetta has a nice ring to it.

Yep it is hot here. Hot as a bastard as they say. I have often wondered just who this bastard is. Do I want to meet him or not? It seems he is always hot or cold and always seems to be in some sort of pain. The other day I dropped a snare drum on my foot and it sure hurt like a bastard I can tell you. One thing this bastard is not though is fine. I have never heard someone say "she is fine as a bastard." Usually they refer to the mofo when discussing this type thing. Apparently this mofo is also in pain quite often though. I guess I am not sure really if the pain in my foot hurt more like a mofo or a bastard. Just can't say for certain. I can also remember being drunk as a mofo a number of times. Apparently a mofo likes to tie one on. Here and there as the case may be.