Insult Like Shake-spear, Thou Spleeny Tardy-Gaited Flirt-Gill



On Characters : Charlie Schulz

“I have always believed that you not only cast a strip to enable the characters to do things you want them to, but that the characters themselves, by their very nature and personality, should provide you with ideas. These are the characters who remain in the feature and are seen most often. The more distinct the personalities are, the better the feature will be. Readers can then respond to the character as though they were real.”

 -Charles M. Schulz

Little Tornado : Aimee Mann

Little tornado
Bane of the trailer park
Lifting houses
To leave your mark

Little tornado
Noah can build his ark
But he will never

Make it go faster
Baby go faster
Make it go twice the speed
Of you and me

Litter tornado
You and the hurricane
Close your eyes and
go campaign

Make it go faster
Baby go faster
Make it go twice the speed
Of you and me

Oh, no, no we don’t
No, we don’t know
Oh, no, no we don’tNo, we don’t knowOh, no, no we don’t
No, we don’t know

Little tornado
Blew out the window pane
Left the inside
To the rain

Make it go faster
Baby go faster
Make it go twice the speed
Of you and me

“Her heart was beating through him.”

Married 72 years, Norma, 90, and Gordon Yeager, 94, died in the hospital holding hands last week, one hour apart.

The couple was hospitalized after a car accident just outside of Marshalltown, Iowa. They were given a shared room in the ICU where they held hands in adjacent beds.

At 3:38 pm, Gordon’s breathing stopped. Though he was no longer alive, his heart monitor continued to register a beat.

The nurse told their son Dennis that the monitor was beeping “because they’re holding hands, and Norma’s heart beat is going through them,”

Norma died at 4:38 pm, exactly one hour later.


Pixar Films Ranked

12. Cars 2

Easily the worst of the Pixar family, who was once a company that made sophisticated kid movies that avoided the blaise be-yourself babble. I remember the time when John Lasseter said that Pixar was not in the “sequel business”; then it became “If we have a great story, we’ll do a sequel” to what it is now, which is I guess “If we have a great opportunity to write a two hour advertisement for our merchandise tie-ins, we’ll do a sequel”.

Ironic that a movie about cars didn’t go anywhere.

11. Cars

Also, Larry the Cable Guy is no Robin Williams.

10. Toy Story 2

I get why people like this sequel, easy jokes, a plethora of pop-culture references, new toy selling opportunities, but it was a far cry from the original. Fairly heartless and forgettable.

9. Ratatouille

Though Ratatouille is a movie that really falls apart under a second viewing, it offers one of those rare lessons of actual value that Pixar used to be so good at. Remy’s passion for food and of learning, yea, developing the ability of appreciation was well worth its thematic drumbeat, but it was sadly drowned out by an offensively stupid romance and halfboiled fatherhood issues. Despite my coolness toward the movie it does claim some of my affections since it gave me one of my favorite Pixar characters in Anton Ego.

Easily the best scene in the movie and one of Pixar’s finest of all time.

8. A Bug’s Life

While A Bug’s Life doesn’t measure up to the great Pixar films it is a well constructed film with an entertaining array of characters. No where is Pixar’s ability to balance voice actors within a movie is more masterfully orchestrated than in A Bug’s Life. It isn’t very ambitious and thus its triumphs weigh less than more daring movies however flawed.

7. Up

While the rest of the movie is a cute trifle the first fifteen minutes of the film are like a million balloons that lift it up the rankings.

Here’s where I started blubbering like an idiot.

6. Toy Story 3

In this age of thoughtless consumerism and the pendulum’s predictable backlash to capitalism, a movie that calls for caution in our wasteful lives, but still beckons the audience to love things deeply is so sensibly human that it’s a shame that agenda-driven films get the headlines.

5. Monster’s Inc.

On the level of pure imagination this one would rank highest. It is not a movie that brightens through repeat viewings, which is the chief reason its star has in my opinion waned. People forget that Boo is the best part of the film.

4. Wall-E

I have a thing for robots and so of all the Pixar films this was the most anticipated release for me. In the first thirty minutes I was ecstatic, as Eve and Wall-E entered into space I was in awe. I was killed by the zero-g dance, but my interest flagged during the fat baby human drama, but the “death” of Wall-E slayed me. Few movies drove me into sweaty relief as the conclusion of Wall-E did.

3. Finding Nemo

I enjoyed Finding Nemo when I first saw it, but I didn’t rank it very high. However, as my boys cycled through it over the course of several months I found it continually gripping. Part of it is I love Andrew Stanton’s world, it’s always fun to return.

2. Toy Story

I wave the flag for Pixar’s debut feature film. Flawlessly executed, imaginative, humorous, full of heart and excitement. I rank it high for how game changing it was. Other studios may be catching up (Rango, Kung-Fu Panda), but Woody and Buzz are the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck of a new age.

1. The Incredibles

I can’t help but love this movie. It is everything you could ever want. It ranks up there goosebumpwise with Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator 2 and Die Hard. The action sequence on the island is beyond superlatives and all of this with marital discord and a dismantling of egalitarianism thrown in. Not bad for a kids comic book movie.

Film Notes : Where the Wild Things Are

Movies do a poor job of revealing the lives of children. If we get anything palatable it’s a naively wise beyond years child or eerily adult Haley Joel Osment, but most times children are either flatly irritating or lobotically saccharine. The standout is Max from Spike Jonze’s eponymous adaption of the children’s book by Maurice Sendak. Max is so convincingly a child that the audience cannot help but be pulled into adolescence as he replays his abandonment issues through his furry monsters of the id. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, it has perhaps the most perfect trailer ever.

Favorite Woody Allen Titles

In light of Woody’s recent title change of Bop Decameron (which is great) to Nero Fiddled (which is not) I decided to rank my favorite Woody titles.

1. Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crime and Punishment is Woody’s ur text and I suspect title template.

2. Sweet and Lowdown

While Woody didn’t invent this play on the sugar alternative, it certainly ties the film together.

3. Small Time Crooks

This is a sentimental favorite. It’s a trifle certainly, but such a fun bauble. The title is descriptive, demeaning and punchy.

4. You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Double-entendre is at the center of this film and this title, while too clunky perhaps, the title invokes both romantic and deadly encounters.

5. Radio Days

Perfectly descriptive of the times.

6. Bullets Over Broadway


7. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask

Where YWMATDS is too much of a mouthful EYAWTKAS*BWATA enacts the shyness the subject culturally demands. Perhaps not memorable and a marketing nightmare, but effective.

8. Match Point

I’d argue that Match Point is perhaps the most sophisticated mise-en-scene in the oevre of Woody. Few of his movies carry the motif visually as well as this one. I’d love to be able to connect this to the title, but I can’t.

9. Sleeper

I just like it okay.

10. Scoop

I suppose it’s pretty obvious that I’ve run out of steam on these. I even considered listing Vicky Cristina Barcelona because I love the way that it flows off the tongue.

The Five Worst Woody Allen Titles

5. Deconstructing Harry

Perhaps people like this title. I suppose it tells you everything you need to know about the movie. A bit like Midnight in Paris. I penalize for having no flare.

4. Hollywood Endings

Bland without any layers.

3. Cassandra’s Dream

I consider it a cheat when you have a character that is what his name says. I also think it’s overly cute to put the title of your film into your film. This is an obvious attempt to shoe-horn some depth into the story.

2. Whatever Works

I’m pretty sure they asked Woody what the title to his new movie should be and this is what he said.

1. Anything Else

I’m pretty sure that some produce struck through Woody’s proposed title and wrote this along side. Despite this being a pretty dreadful movie, it does feature my favorite Woody character, David Dobel.

Winning Words from Past National Spelling Bees

1932 | knack
1933 | torsion
1934 | deteriorating
1935 | intelligible
1936 | interning
1937 | promiscuous
1938 | sanitarium
1939 | canonical
1940 | therapy
1941 | initials
1942 | sacrilegious
1946 | semaphore
1947 | chlorophyll
1948 | psychiatry


2001 | succedaneum
2002 | prospicience
2003 | pococurante
2004 | autochthonous
2005 | appoggiatura
2006 | Ursprache
2007 | serrefine
2008 | guerdon
2009 | Laodicean
2010 | stromuhr
2011 | cymotrichous
The complete list here.

Advice for Writers : Dan Harmon (creator of Community)

“First, you need a round hole in your chest that goes all the way through you.  I can never stress enough to the kids, it has to be a perfect circle, about the diameter of a drinking glass rim, it has to be in the absolute center of your chest – like where a heart would go on a plumber or a woman – and it has to go clean through you.  If you’re standing in front of me and I can’t see the wall behind you, you’re never really going to write much more than a dream journal, recipe book, or maybe one of those manuals that tells people what writing is.

A lot of people say “what about my heart, what’s going to pump my blood around,” which brings us to step two: you have to be made of something other than flesh and blood.  I prefer to be made of mud, because it keeps women and children away from me.  Other writers are made of dirt, or excrement, the choice is yours, it just can’t be anything that anyone would want in their bed and it has to be a substance that adheres to itself but nothing around it, so that you can keep a generally human shape for as long as possible.  Appearing human-like is important to the next step.

Sit or stand in front of paper or a computing device and turn your back to everything, which will incite it to attack you.  Everything preys on humanity and goes for the heart, so hold still, arch your back and it should shoot through your hole and onto your keyboard.  As it passes, it will be tainted and scattered by the inside rim of whatever you’re made of, which some would call your “voice” but which I call “filth.”  The more there is, the more people notice you’re “a writer” and the more you’re doing it wrong.  Your job is to be a heartless piece of dirt, a puppet, a necessary but largely unremarkable conduit of something better than you, something lovable, something with purpose, and your one redeeming act before it finishes with you is to find the angle at which you barely affect its path.

If none of this is possible, you could always become an assistant of some kind on Glee and I’m sure eventually you’d just get to write one.  Good luck!”