Monday, July 29, 2013

Me - circa the end of the Carter era

This was taken in 1980 when I was 6 1/2 years old. It was inscribed to "Big Busha", aka my paternal Grandmother. My Mom (it's her handwriting) screwed up my age on the back of the pick, first writing "5 1/2" then correcting it in pen :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pregnant with YaYa - 2001

This is a famous photograph in our family, one that was in YaYa's room for a decade, until the frame broke and the pic wound up in a pile of dirt on the floor - such is life in the real world. 

Anyway, this was taken in 2001, when Lisa was pregnant with our firstborn, YaYa. The setting is the driveway of Lisa's Mom's house on 56th St, a house she has since sold. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Some More Reviews

Spring Breakers stars Selena Gomez and James Franco, and traces the descent of a group of young women from bored college kids to armed robbers to live in lovers of a young drug kingpin. There’s a lot of Girls-Gone-Wild type footage, but there’s never any question that there’s a darker, deeper theme to the film than gratuitous exploitation, and the director has a sure and artistic hand. I was somewhat disappointed in Gomez; this was billed as her big bad break from her Disney roots, but her character poops out before her eternal soul is in any real jeopardy. In short, it wasn’t such a break from her norm after all.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters fared much better with Lisa than it did with me, which strikes me as something as odd as the sun rising in the West.  It’s cartoonishly violent, full of anachronisms, and the plot isn’t exactly original. Gretel aka Gemma Arterton, it should be said, was disturbingly gorgeous, and that Jeremy Renner guy probably didn’t look so bad to Lisa either.

Evil Dead is a reboot/remake of the original, and as a separate work of ‘art’ it should be judged as such, or so the thought goes. To this I say “phooey”.  Everyone I know who has seen the new version likes it, but they’re fools. The original, campy film is and always will be the best. Why did they remake it? 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What a Beautiful Sight

There are very few things more beautiful than a drive along the Hoan Bridge and Lincoln Memorial Drive in Milwaukee. The skyline to your front,dozens of church steeples spreading across the landscape to your left, and the lake and the Summerfest grounds to your right. Here are some pics LuLu took from the car last week. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Movie Reviews

In the Dark is a  pretty tame thriller about a woman  [Elizabeth Rohm] who becomes the target of the man originally hired to aid her after she is blinded in a car accident. It isn't awful, and Rohm is gorgeous,

 but no one’s going to win any Oscars/Golden Globes/Good Effort Medals for this one.  It also looks to be filmed digitally, which to me always makes the film seem . . . off.

Ooga Booga is awful – quite possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen. There’s a drunk clown named Hambo that wears a pig nose and fondles himself. There’s a n African-American medical student who is, inexplicably, his greatest fan.  Said student  is killed by a racist cop named – wait for it – White, and his soul is deposited into a two foot high caricature of an African warrior Hambo created, complete with doobie dangling from his mouth. Every white person spotted after the initial ten minutes is a bigot and then killed by Ooga Booga, except for one cop spared only because he has a black spouse.

It is an awful movie, and aside from that virulently racist against Caucasians. If you reverse the color of the characters, this would be decried as Klan propaganda. So why is it ok as is?

The Last Ride is a movie about Hank Williams Sr, played by ET’s Henry Thomas, who in the last days of his life travels across the South on his way to a concert he’ll never get to play. It’s a quiet but entertaining film, somewhat spoiled by the notion that no one ever seems to pick up on who the passenger is, not even the driver that serves as his sole companion on the ride.

Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman, is a better than average sci-fi flick that  places Cruise in the role of a glorified janitor on an abandoned Earth, repairing drones damaged by alien insurgents.  There’s a big twist in the plot that’s worth waiting for, but even before that I was drawn into the world and its characters. I liked it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hostess is back!

Hostess, the snack company that went under last year, is back. That's great for the nostalgia lover in me, but Twinkies? Blech. Here's a couple pics of Junie enjoying a Hostess display at a local grocery store. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Two Quotes from Junie

Junie was goofing around on our office chair when she tripped and 

fell off, landing on her face. Lisa and I both checked for injuries (to 

date, Junie is the only kid who has yet to have stitches). Thankfully

the damage was minor. “You’re ok, but you’ll have a fat lip,” Lisa 

told her.

Immediately Junie, who had faced down numerous injuries without 

blinking,  was aghast.

“FAT??!!!,” she said. “I gonna have a fat lip!”

Junie, you see, has a wee bit of a distaste for the 

weight-challenged, despite having yours truly as a father.


Junie came home from a weekend with Lisa’s mother singing a song

 that went like this “Chock-o-lat, you drivin’ me crazy” and she 

sang it over and over. Apparently this tune was belted out by a 

mechanical monkey she saw at Grandma’s, and as far as I was 

concerned it was singing about the wonders of chocolate. Lisa 

wasn’t so sure, and translated that first line – goodness knows how – as “Jungle Love”

Sure as day, it WAS “Jungle Love” by Milwaukee’s own Steve Miller.

Another favorite of hers, this one from the cartoon “Phineas and 

Ferb”:  “My name is Doof and you do what I say, my name is doof 

and you do what I say.”

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Domes

I've posted about the Milwaukee Domes before, so I'll spare you much of the standard preamble. This past Monday we took advantage of free admission (and having only our two youngest in house) and visited the Milwaukee icon. 

It was a trip probably (and sadly) most memorable for the fact that I was nursing a bad knee injury that left me sidelined by the second dome, and by the third Lisa was forced to get a wheelchair for me to finish the circuit. :( 

Here's Smiley posing by a Sausage Fruit tree. 

On the way back, because the Domes are in our old stomping ground, we showed the kids three of the flats we once rented. This one, on Orchard, did not at all impress the kids. We rented the upper back in '97. Our last flat is still well maintained and pretty, but Smiley no longer has any recollection of it, and Junie never set foot in it - some small proof that we have moved up in the world in the last decade.