Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For the BIRDS

Ironically, one of last night's many Family Guy reruns was the one Lopex told me about, where Peter is on the news announcing what "Grinds My Gears"! Add to my own list: movies that are treated as classics when really they cry out for a Mystery Science Theater running commentary. The film I'm gonna gripe about here is Hitchcock's legendary "The Birds," which I had never seen until last night.

Family Guy sidebar: Did you know that Adam West's birth name was William West Anderson!

Back to the Birds:

Turns out my cable company includes a channel called Chiller. I only found it recently, as it is well-hidden as # 299 ! At first I thought the channel's sole mission was to run things with the word Poltergeist in the title, such as "Poltergeist: the Legacy"; however, last night I had a chance to finally see "The Birds." SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT! If you have never seen it, and possibly plan to, don't keep reading and say I spoiled it for you.

I only knew that Tippi Hedren was famous for this film. (Did you know her first husband was a Peter Griffith! OK, it's not Griffin, but it ALMOST ties in with my Family Guy opening!) I applaud her for her work saving big cats. In fact, her sanctuary is not too far from where I live! Tours are $40, and now I kick myself for not having even thought about going before now! Back to Tippi: I do NOT applaud her for giving us Melanie Griffith, but now I know where her last name comes from (the ALMOST Family Guy father!)

Was it my imagination, or was every close-up of Ms. Hedren in soft focus? I loved stepping back in time to the early 60s and a very "American" (says I) world. The cars, the clothes... cool! Also, I had never seen Jessica Tandy in anything. I'd never even heard of her before the non-stop barrage of "Driving Miss Daisy." She was very pretty! She is older in the film, yet still very pretty. Ruth McDevitt was always old, wasn't she? Wow, just learned she is buried in the same cemetery where my father resides!

The initial flirting part with MITCH MITCH MITCH (nearly as irritating as JOE JOE JOE --this is an in-joke, sorry--but if you ever see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, you will understand!) was just plain stupid. And I was horrified to see a shop selling birds. Do not sell live creatures! And the shop had so many. SOOOOO many. I found Ms. Hedren's character to be mega obnoxious, stalking that Mitch fella. He was UGLY. Just UGLY. Who played Mitch? Ahh.. I just learned lots of things about him that I don't like! Sure glad he did NOT get the Apes role!!!
So she drives in her open-top car with those poor birds all the way up to his family home, and this being the early 60s, etc., somehow she comes into town as a stranger, is asking about his little sister (bug-eyed Veronica Cartright, who came back to continue her bug-eyedness in the X- Files years later; I did not know that she and her sister of Lost In Space fame were from England!)-and she doesn't give her own name or why she's there, but the locals gladly tell her how to sneak up to his house and even arrange the boat for her! Suzanne Pleshette (didn't know she was in this film!) gives info about a CHILD to a STRANGER... And they share cigarettes! Way too much smoking and drinking in this film, especially between those two rival females! And Tippi is wearing FUR !!!!!!! Despite her high heels, she rows a boat out and just walks into his house... And she only had that one outfit, so I began to worry about her stale smell.

OK, now I have questions: Why are the women so obsessed with ugly Mitch? Why does OLD Mitch have a YOUNG little sister? I thought he might turn out to be the father! How is it that Suzanne is the ONLY school teacher and all the kids are the same age? When the woman in the diner with the kids wants to follow that guy back to the road, why does he finish off his alcohol, and then go get in his car--drunk driving, anyone? Why does this diner that serves children also serve hard liquor?? When the birds are about to attack the school, why do they lead the children OUTSIDE into the full-on attack?? When they are attacking the diner, why does Tippi run OUTSIDE? Why didn't smoking man SMELL all the gasoline at his feet? What was the point of the fire scene anyway? Was I supposed to think that the tension among the three female leads was causing the bird attacks? When Tippi is in Mitch's family house and hears the flapping upstairs, WHY does she open the door and walk into the bird-filled room??? How do you fit four people and a cage of birds into a tiny car? What the hell kinda ENDING was that?

I suspect one day there will be a remake. And it will be the government testing some noise, and the military noise weapon will be the cause of the birds' troubles. The ONE scene that upset me was the dead man with his eyes pecked out. THAT was disturbing. I trust no birds were harmed in the making of this film?

I suppose it was quite original and interesting at the time, but Tippi's character wasn't likable, and Mitch was just ugly, and the smoking-drinking women were a turn-off, and the people did some stupid things. Plus they never explained what made the birds do that.

No, I do not plan on making film reviews a regular feature. Whew!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

End of the Year as we know it PLUS Martin Sheen

Maybe in the New Year I will be a better blogger? I'm always rattling off the ever-growing list of things I hate to Lopex, and she tells me to put it on my blog! But that takes work... And people don't wanna read that any more than she wants to hear it. In local travel news:

Earlier this month she and I went thru the Green Hotel in Pasadena when they were open for their December public tour. Tons of photos, but I'm never happy with the lighting in any of mine and always think they're out of focus too. It's just a $200 digital camera that I don't really know how to use. On with our story: I was pretty burnt out on it when we walked into just about the last apartment on our visit, the (unbeknownst to us) rental unit of Ramon Estevez. Surprisingly, there was his father, Martin Sheen, standing around chatting with visitors and posing for photos! Martin Sheen was my fave actor for years and years, and darned HOT too, so I was majorly nervous. Lopex gave me that shove I needed. I spoke to him about JFK's assassination. It was my rare opportunity to ask him about James Files and Wim Dankbaar's information (which Mr. Sheen quickly dismissed). I tried probably too hard to push him into doing more to publicize what we now know, but he seemed like that's all in the past. He believes the story as told in his friend James Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable. I was embarrassed as I hadn't read it yet. Lopex took a few non-flash spy pix of us talking, but I look like hell and Mr. Sheen is sideways. She did, however, get a great pic of him holding her doll. Refer all doll questions to her, please. He remarked that her head was too big for her body (the doll's!) and she replied very politely, "Her head IS disproportionate, sir." I loved that! He is now 69 years old. Wow. The aging process is so cruel to us all. He's Grandpa Sheen now. To me he will always be his hot younger self. I held onto his hand for ages. Silly, Marty! He asked me my name, and I said just Marty, and he said oh, another Marty, and stupid nervous me wondered who the first one was! Durr! Glad I didn't ask him at least! I was so giddy after that.

On those rare occasions when I meet someone famous who I admire, I seem to always latch onto their hand and refuse to let go.... I just won't leave. How embarrassing for all involved!

Of those people who I REALLY worship (or have worshiped at some point) , I did actually meet and speak to: Paul Weller, Roger Daltrey, Ray Davies, Karl Malden, David Irving, and now Martin Sheen.

Those who I "worship" but haven't met:

Still with us, so you never know: Pete Townshend, Roger Waters, and Robin Gibb (despite his bad behavior). I admire loads of others, but the ones who have seriously changed my life, you know...

Those who I will never meet, as they are gone now: Phil Ochs, Roddy McDowall, Stuart Adamson, and Patrick McGoohan.

It's Christmas Eve, and I am at the apartment, Uno's on the bed. It's just gotten dark outside after a lovely 70+ degree sunny day. Lately I've spent way too much time online searching for photos and info on old Los Angeles, the one I missed out on.

In the New Year, I hope to keep in better touch with friends, get and stay organized, lose some weight and keep it off, do more for cats, study languages with more dedication, and get around to taking all those local photos I always plan to.

Please note, I updated a bit on Uno! Click here.

Friday, September 11, 2009


It was 9-9-9, so we took some photos in my Conversation class. I tried to coordinate students by the color of their shirts!

George, Kate, Jin

Tim, Ayaka, Mohammed

Ricky, Amy, Haixing

Thomas, Emi, Evan

(Sultan, where were you! Aaron??)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marty Meets David Irving!

Had the WONDERFUL opportunity to meet Mr. Irving today. Ever since I found his book on the Destruction of Dresden in the Pierce Library nearly 20 years ago, he has been my fave historian. Despite all the propaganda against him, the man has stayed true to his calling. He has done SO MUCH hard work in the archives. THE premier historian of the Third Reich. I am in awe of him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Too many too soon

Too many good people in show business have been claimed by death in the past few days. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, the pitchman Billy Mays, Gale Storm, Fred Travalena, David Carradine, some others whose names I saw online, and now, one of my worst fears: KARL MALDEN. Oh how I have loved Karl Malden for years. I knew he was very elderly, but.... I was very fortunate to have met him that one time when he and his daughter did a book signing in Studio City. I had to go alone to that and I was so nervous. Soooooo nervous. He told me my hands were cold. He was more excited about the Serbian-speaking couple behind me, but for a brief moment I had his attention. I tried to convey how HAPPY it made me to watch him in the Streets of San Francisco. "Homicide. Stone!" Earlier this year we lost Patrick McGoohan.... and now Karl Malden within six months.

I've been really freaked out over Michael Jackson and debating about driving up to Santa Ynez for the rumored (or confirmed?) public viewing at Neverland on Friday. It would be a madhouse, I know, but.... I already persuaded a couple Saudi friends to drive us over to his family home in Encino on Friday and then on to his star on Hollywood Blvd that night--where the crowd was too heavy to see it. The vibe outside the family home on Hayvenhurst wasn't what I had expected. Cops, news crews, screaming kids running all over (but not screaming over Michael) and people taking photos of the small shrine. Irritated foreign neighbors were standing in their driveways complaining about the people coming there.

I don't know will Karl Malden be laid to rest here in SoCal or not. UPDATE: The late Mr. Malden is in the same cemetery as my dad! I haven't visited yet, as of Dec. 24, 2009. I wonder about his dear wife. All the best to her and their family. If his grave is somewhere I can get to, obviously I will go there frequently. If by some longshot it should be in Westwood Memorial where my own dad is, I'll be amazed. I wonder is his address in the Palisades correct (the one online)? I should send a sympathy card... dunno would it reach the family or maybe just annoy them, but I hope they will know how much he meant to strangers as well. UPDATE: I did send a sympathy card, and I got a thank you note back! Wow! Ouch. This hurts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Uno's first post

I have yet to upload the whole Uno story, but he's new here with me. And here he is!

UPDATED DEC 24, 2009: In brief, he came from a No-Kill shelter in NYC called Animal Haven. Yes, he only has one eye. He is about 12 years old now. He is very full of love and snot. He rode in a van and a car clear across the USA. I picked him up at Best Friends in Utah. My first-ever driving experience outside of California!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Patrick McGoohan

Patrick McGoohan has passed away here in Los Angeles. He is not a number; he IS a free man now. Very sad. He had a LONG marriage to just one lady, very respectable. Great actor. His work will live on. There is NO NEED for this Prisoner RE-MAKE I heard about. Very wrong indeed. Please take a moment to remember Patrick McGoohan, gone at age 80.