Watching Cecil B. Demille's GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

I can totally see how this film housed HIGH NOON's monkey ass at the Oscars that year. Yep.

Actually, this is a remarkably enjoyable chunk of hullaballoo -- especially, I would think, if you have children. It's weird how rarely Charlton Heston sounds like Charlton Heston -- the heavy smoking and drinking to come explain the timbre of his voice, but where did the actorly accent come from, and did he develop it before or after this movie?

The 1834th step on the last road home.

Joe's funeral lunch

I shouldn't be eating pasta or fruit right now, but Doc woulda wanted it that way. Dunno if he would have encouraged me to have a no-bake cookie, however. It damages your teeth, but brings you joy, what to do what to do. Vaya con Dios, Joe.

The 1826th step on the last road home.

Klitschoko vs. Chagaev

I like Vladmir K., even though he's the ultimate safety-first-last-always fighter. With no information, I guess that he wins by decision, probably by winning the first few rounds and then lulling the judges to sleep with his unending pawing jabs and jumping backward whenever Chagaev moves forward. Zzzzzzz

The 1825th step on the last road home.

José Mojica Marins has officially flipped my shit.

The Independent Film Channel is currently airing Marins' 1977 clumsy mindfuck HELLISH FLESH, which has the snap of a particularly solid training film and the polish of a snuff film. It has been disturbing me for almost an hour now -- the unbearably random, heavily echoed screaming is enough to unnerve anyone in the dark, but every time I look up from what I'm working on I see something creepy enough to not look up for another reel. Marins starts this cycle off strong with long takes of a scalpel hovering and poking around a red, tore-up eyeball. The fuck? Coffin Joe, we salute you; this movie would keep me awake longer than meth would.

It's a shame that IFC is only showing it once. [Keep your "Once is enough" comments to yourselves, please.] I admire that whoever's in charge of programming at IFC regularly takes a few risks and airs stuff outside of the indy-film/Janus-classic rut so common to IFC/Sundance/old-school Bravo/repertory arthouse circuit. It would be nice if FLESH had aired, say, twice this month, however.

Leaving philly

If I could -- and had to fly more often -- I would fly in prop jets everywhere. The seats are so nice, I wouldn't care too much if we crashed.

I'm alive

And in Philly. Contain your collective delight, please.

The 1820th step on the last road home.

you take the feh, you take the bad

I guess I should just accept that having a beard guarantees that you will be fucked with at airports. This time around, depending on which TSA flunky we believe, I was pulled out of the main screening line at the first checkpoint because A) I don't look like my drivers license photo, B) the signatures on my license, social-security card, debit card, library card, credit card, backup credit card and Kohls card don't match, C) I didn't have two photo IDs, which one guard said passengers are supposed to have and another guard said we didn't, or D) because I checked in online, US Airways put me on a shortlist of shady characters to be checked extra closely. in other words, the 10 minutes you save by not standing in line to check in at the airline are spent on a dog & pony show about the potential threat you pose while you wait for a pat-down by a TSA guy who clearly knows it's bullshit.

I obviously lean toward D, as flunky nos. 1-5 seemed far more interested in the home-computer-printed boarding pass than their fistful of my IDs. Plus, porn stars are more convincing at pretending to be gravely concerned about what they have in their hands. Once I was let out of the glass booth and into the pat-down/bag-check area, the guard temperature rose dramatically. I guess the guards up front can't just say "sir, you've been flagged for extra-security checks, please come with me" without the chance that the schmuck will give them static. Their act is enough to convince the passenger that they have a good reason for what's an assinine, abitrary piece of legal ass-covering in case the dirty laundry in my carry-on is rank enough that I can attack the plane with it. (It is, BTW.)


A mostly very good time was had by all for most of the time.

Grilling hot dogs out on the stoop.

A quick round of my famous factly emaciated, probably wrong boxing predictions while I wait for the coals to heat up: Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon wins by decision, and Miguel Cotto gets a (T)KO on Joshua Clottey before the 11th round.


H.G. Wells' LITTLE WARS is surprisingly engaging and funny book.

Lunch from Freddy's Pizza

In Cicero. I can see why they're world-famous in some quarters.

my guest room; plus Binny's!

This place must be like a wino's supermarket in heaven. They even have funyons!

The 1818th step on the last road home.

The Score.

All this and a pink sugar cookie not pictured can be yours for less than six bucks. I had forgotten how much I loved Mexican bakeries.

(note to self: fix the last photo in previous post)

Looks like it will be one less night in suburbia than planned.

Back from a very long walk to the nearest gas station to score a 2-liter of Diet Pepsi. The locals, they don't care for the DP.

Hunan chicken from Taste of Chinatown

When in need of some decent Chinese in Pilsen, call Suhan for an order. Tell her My Low sent you. Who would have guessed that I would have an easier time communicating in self-taught pidgeon Cantonese than in five-years-of-classes Spanish? It's appalling; I've been torturing my memory trying to recall what "butter" (needed for a loaf of banana bread that I made days ago) es en Español. I mean, really, "butter." Anyway, I wish my Chinese was good enough to have asked her if the "M*A*S*H* 4077th" T-shirt she was wearing was supposed to be ironic or not.

That order of chicken by the way, was supposed to be a small/pint order; this is what happens when you learn how to charm old Asian ladies.