Monday, June 26, 2006

Viewer Mail

Dear Daddy,

I’m writing to you today to express my concern over several areas that, I think, warrant improvement.

First, I notice on your blog you have used my photograph without, as my attorney Mr. Poof-Poof puts it, “my express written consent”. You may consider this missive a demand to cease and desist. Furthermore, I have outlined a number of areas that are unacceptable and the way in which you and mother (hereafter referred to as ma-ma) can rectify said infractions.

My demands are as follows:

  1. I want better “num-nums”... milk and oatmeal is fine, but how about the occasional “nanner”? Also, I hear steak is nice.
  2. A stricter adherence to the “warm wet-wipes only” rule after I have done my - how can I put this delicately – business.
  3. Speaking of waste disposal, no more cries of “Lord have mercy” or gagging sounds when removing my diaper. Seriously, you people act as if your shuey-poo doesn’t stink.
  4. There appears to be some communication problem with the both of you. Just last night when I clearly indicated my need to unwind with a vintage bottle of Similac ’06 you mistook my cries for a request for snuggle time.
  5. Finally, for the love of all that's holy, please, no more bi-lingual flash cards. Should I require the need to speak Esperanto at some point I'll deal with it then.

In conclusion, if my demands are not met there will be severe repercussions. I’ve spoken with some of the other babies in our area and we’re considering unionizing. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we have a charter and we’re tossing around ideas for cool uniforms.

Assuming that we infants are afforded the same rights as any other toothless, bladder-incontinent citizen of this country, and I submit to you that we are, then something is not right around here and needs to change, as the French say, tout-de-suit.




Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Close-Minded Movie Reviewer

Once again it’s time for another episode of Close-Minded Movie Reviews. I will be critically analyzing movies I haven’t seen and giving either my blessing or the full wrath of my extreme disapproval, which if seen in its entirety is truly something to behold. I will use whatever information I have at hand - be it trailers, articles, blind supposition or wild speculation. I know some of you are saying, “Larry, since you haven’t seen it, it’s not technically a review”. To which I answer, “Do I need to come over there? Do I? Because oh, I will…alright, that’s better.”

Did you know in 1968 there was a book written by Paul R. Ehrlich called The Population Bomb predicting disaster for the world due to overpopulation? It predicted that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death", and "that nothing can be done to avoid mass famine greater than any in the history, and radical action is needed to limit the overpopulation. Predicting by the turn of the century England would no longer exist" Fortunately these types of wacky doomsday predictions have ceased to exist. Now, on to the movies…

An Inconvenient Truth

genre: boring

Directed by Davis Guggenheim, it opened on May 24th. I gather this movie is about how we’re all going to die if we don’t stop abusing the earth. Well, if mother-earth wouldn’t sass us, we wouldn’t have to abuse her, now would we? At any rate, 100 minutes of Al Gore talking about anything, even Twinkies (and I loves me some Twinkies) and I’d be ready to douse myself in gasoline and light a match. Soon to be available in the "Science That Requires a PR Campaign" section of your local video store. No thanks and no stars.

Who Killed the Electric Car?

genre: crazy

I’m going to go with Colonel Mustard in the Library with the lead pipe. This film opens June 28th in limited release, with movie stars such as Tom Hanks, Ed Begly, Jr. and Mel Gibson as themselves praising their electric cars. Hopefully this will start a new trend where celebrities tell us about other things they’re into, that nobody cares about, like Scientology or experimental aircraft. Martin Sheen, stopping by earth on his way back from Planet Crazy, narrates this film. You can get 2 gallons of gas instead of seeing this movie, half a star.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

genre: stupid

This movie opened on June 16th and stars that guy from Friday Night Lights and Jarhead. I recently watched an interview with master thespian, and co-star of "Tokyo Drift", Lil’ Bow Wow. He said there’s never been a movie about “drifting” before. Other subjects there has never been a movie about: narcoleptic insurance salesman, bladder-incontinent truck drivers, and near-sighted cooks employed by the Waffle House. Perhaps because they’re dumb ideas…although admittedly not as dumb as calling yourself Lil’ Bow Wow. 1 star.

Lady in the Water

genre: strange

Opening on July 21st. Let’s see, it stars Paul Giamotti and when have you seen a bad movie with him? Ok, "Big Momma’s House", but besides that, the man is gold. The female lead is Bryce Howard, Ron Howard’s daughter who made her major acting debut in another Shaymalan movie, "The Village". While that movie wasn’t so hot, most everything else he’s done is solid. So basing my judgement off of purely anecdotal evidence (my personal favorite of all the kinds of evidences) I’ll recommend this movie and give it 3 stars.


genre: dramedy-romance

Opening July 28th. Written and Directed by Woody Allen, and starring Scarlet Johansen, Woody Allen and Hugh Jackman. Johansen’s character meets a ghost played by Ian McShane (from HBO’s Deadwood) who I think is supposed to be a journalist from the past. It appears she meets him inside some sort of magician’s contraption and he warns her of the Tarot Card Murderer who may or may not be Jackman’s character. A Johansen-Jackman romance no doubt ensues, but don’t count out a Johansen-Allen hookup as well. I can’t get a firm read on this picture, so I’m going to tentatively recommend it with the caveat that I may revoke said recommendation if further “evidence” presents itself. 2 and a half stars.

Miami Vice

genre: lame

Also opening July 28th, directed and produced by Michael Mann. Why must every TV series get made into a feature film? When does "Manimal" get its day in the sun? This sure-to-be-terrible movie stars Colin “I’ve never read a lousy script I didn’t love” Farrell and Jamie “I’m trying very hard to prove 'Ray' was a fluke” Fox. This film is directed by the mann (get it? mann...I kill me) who directed "The Aviator" and "Collateral". Based on the fact that there has never been an above-average film based on a television show ever, I’m going to have to say: wait for video, 1 1/2 stars.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for Closed-Minded Music Reviews where I review sight-unseen, (or sound-unheard) new music, so you don't have to.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Behind the Music: W.E.S.

As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, when not working as an arc-welder in the greater Lodi area, I do a lot of charity work with the underprivileged. However, I also like to take a little time away every now and then. So it was a couple of years ago that I started moonlighting in a local rock band. We called ourselves Wendi’s Electric Stapler and we performed every 3rd Thursday in August and November at The Salad Shooter Juice Bar & Vegan Deli. We considered ourselves a Twee pop-Gothabilly-Grebo-Jangle-pop band. And although that’s hardly original, our true claim to fame was that we only did Jim Croce cover tunes.

When I first joined the band I met the woman pictured above, and this lovely yet diabolical woman haunts my waking nightmares to this very day. Her stage name was Lori, though she also went by L-Dog, Snake, and sometimes Peaches. We soon became embroiled in a whirlwind romance and shared the kind of cosmic symmetry of spirit that you only read about in Harlequin romance novels. In the beginning I was arrogant and cruel while she was innocent and chaste and spoke with a southern accent.

I'm not sure if you can make it out in the picture, but she has a tattoo on her arm that says "Larry & Peaches Forever". Well like Prince says, forever is a mighty long time and, "when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills, you know the one, Dr. Everything'll-Be-All-right, instead of asking him how much of your time is left, ask him how much of your mind, baby". Anyway, it was at that moment, what alcoholics (and Jules Winnfield) refer to as a moment of clarity, that I realized either our relationship or my sanity was doomed.

As so often happens in the real world, everything ended in tears. My tears to be specific. She was an exacting woman, I remember a particularly nasty fight we once got into when I asked, “Where's the dog at?” and she replied, “don’t ever end a sentence in a preposition again or I’ll cut you”.

The worst was yet to come because, as with so many break-ups, politics would be our undoing. I remember the day she told me she advocated the plan for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge like it was yesterday. “You’re willing to destroy a wildlife refuge and speed up what is sure to be the coming global apocalypse for just a few months worth of oil?” I asked incredulously. She said, “I’m not planning on going to Alaska anyway, so I doubt I’ll miss it”. On the other hand she was, she assured me, against drilling in Disneyland.

I was crestfallen. I tried everything I could think of to change her. I tried Therapy (not professional therapy, rather Therapy: The board game. It's surprisingly cathartic). I tried an intervention, a seance and a Pampered Chef party...I even called her close-minded, nothing worked.

You see, Lori was the worst kind of evil: She was a Republican. You might have noticed the red eyes in the picture and assumed it was a photographic anomaly caused by light reflecting off the retina - you couldn't be more wrong. That’s her actual eye color. Her eyes burn with a fire as if from a woman possessed. Anyway, it was over for us the day she stole the keys to my Prius and tried to run me over. The band broke up a few months later, and the rest as they say, is history.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Noblesse Oblige

Perhaps I should relate a bit of history so the reader can better understand what I like to call "the big picture"...

Long time fans of the site will remember last summer when I started my own business called Crazy Larry's House of Discount Cheese. Well, I won't rehash the entire story now, but suffice it to say that there is such a thing as bad publicity and even a relatively mild dysentery epidemic will scare off the lion's share of ones clientele.
At any rate, my earlier failure was probably a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to move on to an occupation that allows me to give something back to the community. Fast forward to today where I am currently employed as an arc-welder at the medium security Men's Correctional Facility in Lodi, California. It was in the daily course of my duties that I met the man pictured above.

As usual a person's privacy is sacrosanct here at the Spatulas news desk. I'll refer to him only by the completely chosen-at-random name "Barry" or by his prison name, "Baby Buns". Barry, I soon learned, had been a semi-professional ball player that everyone expected would go on to be the next Nomar minus the OCD. His downfall began the day he fell for a woman that convinced him armed-robbery was "cool".

I've been working with Barry for a while now and I've seen some marked improvement. I told him it was ok to cry (just not around me because that kind of stuff will get you stabbed here in "the joint"). I've also taught him to redirect his passion to constructive ends by turning him on to a personal cause of mine: the environment.

Finally, I passed along a verse that has proved invaluable to me over the years. In the immortal words of Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
“It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, whether you're white, black, or Sasquatch, even. As long as you follow your dream, no matter how crazy or against the law it is... except for Sasquatch. If you're Sasquatch, the rules are different”.