15 August: mid-month musings — Drudge, gumbo, Debra Winger? & more

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

Mockingbirdcover Mockingbird, by Chuck Wendig. I don’t know what to think of a novel that begins with the word “boop” –     but I think I like it. I downloaded a sample of this book after reading this hysterical blog post by Wendig. Bonus: it mentions Die Hard.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check Wendig out, give it a shot. Granted, it’s NSFW, but he’s usually good for a shot in the arm when your day, or week, is going straight to hell. Or maybe that’s just me.

I’m also reading yet another J.D. Rhoades thriller, this one titled Broken Shield.

Los_Angeles_Dodgers_Team_Logo_Poster_la27_small_4222Baseball: the Dodgers keep winning, and I keep smiling. It’s still a long way to the World Series, but I’m enjoying the Dodgers like I haven’t since I lived in Long Beach and “dem bums” won it all. To wit: over last weekend, LA manhandled the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the better teams in the majors, outscoring them 20-8 over three games. And scoring 20 of the last 22 runs in the series. And, as of this writing, have taken two in a row from the Mets. Think Blue.

It’s good for what ails you: Gumbo. That is all.

Drudge_siren_offMatt Drudge sucks. This is probably not news, since there is a multitude of reasons to utter this sentiment. Just one (more): Earlier this week, Drudge ran the headline, “Americans renouncing citizenship at record levels,” as his lead shocker. This has to be Obama’s fault, right? Well, yeah, it kinda is. The link led to a Wall Street Journal story, which carried the original headline, “U.S. Expats Balk at Tax Law, Reconsider Citizenship.” A different thing entirely, unless you’re a fringe lunatic. Turns out overseas Americans who are getting by without paying taxes are worried about new measures by the government to tighten up some of the tax loopholes that let the rich get richer.

TheWarriors_30x40-4The Warriors: Caught this on IFC this week. This cult flick is still a fun movie to watch. The version I watched was the original theatrical release, but I have Walter Hill’s director’s cut on my shelf. That version realizes his original vision for the film. Hill, a comic book fan, intended to shoot the film as a series of “chapters,” with comics-style “splash panels” separating the chapters. He was unable to do this due to the low budget, but the movie still comes across as a series of chapters. The director’s cut has those panels, along with a whole lot of other “extras.” More trivia:

  • David Patrick Kelly plays “Luther,” the Rogue who shoots Cyrus then blames the Warriors. He also played a character named Luther in 48 Hours, also directed by Walter Hill and also starring James Remar (who plays “Ajax” in The Warriors).
  • Thomas G. Waites, who plays “Fox,” was such a pain in the ass that Hill fired him early on in the shooting. Hence, Fox’s demise in the movie. Also, the rift between Waites and Hill was so deep that Waites was uncredited when the movie was released in 1979.
  • The movie has grossed more than $22 million in the United States.
  • Hill loosely based the screenplay on Xenophon’s “Anabasis.” Really.
  • Robert de Niro turned down the role of “Cowboy,” played by Tom McKitterick (whose entire movie resume consists of this movie. He became a successful tennis photographer, beginning in 1981).
  • Likewise, Tony Danza was asked to play the lead eventually taken by Michael Beck (“Swan”), but turned it down, due to his commitment to the TV show, “Taxi.”
  • Hill originally planned to have the movie narrated by Orson Welles.
  • A very young Samuel L. Jackson has an uncredited cameo as a gang member. See for yourself.
  • Legend has it a very young Debra Winger also has a cameo as a passenger on the subway near the end of the movie. I’ve watched that scene numerous times, and it’s too close to call.
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