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Sunday
Mar162014

Let's ponder these pesky unanswered questions, shall we?

Well, here goes - a list of musical questions that have been left unanswered for far too long. More mysterious than ? and the Mysterians, I will attempt to answer these these timeless queries with my best smartass answers. Feel free to chime in with your own solutions below.

Before we get started, anybody else bored senseless today? lol

1. The Pixies ask, "Where is my mind?"

So, not an easy question... maybe check in with Terence Stamp and MindHead... he can point you on the right track. Hell, you might run into Eddie Murphy along the way. 

 

 

2. Patti Page wants to know, "How much IS that doggie in the window?"

Ms. Page poses her popular question dressed to please the pooch (whatever that means) in a quaint little pet emporium reminiscent of exactly nowhere in the world. I'm afraid if Patti really wants the information, thatPatti is her own worst enemy. Perhaps if she would've stopped singing for a moment before running out of the shop,  maybe the shop owner could have passed her the price.

Sheesh! Well since Ms. Patti is perpetually petulant, I suppose I can propose a proper puppy price instead... I believe this dog cost exactly $3000. A bit pricey, but it fits in an overhead compartment. So, there's that... (read more about this weird bag) 

Perhaps inspired by Vuitton's nineteenth-century origins as a maker of upscale traveling cases, Meryl Smith combined leather, papier-mache, gold paint, and a (fake?) LV zipper to create Excessory Baggage.

 

3. Dionne Warwick was wondering, "Do you know the way to San Jose?"

 This one is a trick question, you see... it really depends on where you're coming from. I know sweet Dionne is not always coming from anywhere I recognize, so I'll just answer based on my own location. The best way to get to San Jose from Houston, Texas is as follows: 1) get in car and drive to airport  2) fly to San Jose  3) done! See how easy it is, Dionne? And I might add that when I travel, I insist on looking fabulous, but, hey, that's just me...

 

4. Camper Van Beethoven is still in the dark asking "Where the Hell is Bill?"

Camper Van Beethoven was one of those bands that had a different lineup every time they made an appearance - according to wikipedia there have been a total of 19 different band members, it's no wonder they lost track of Bill! Suppose he's the long lost unaccounted-for band member accidently left behind on a trippy bus tour back in the day - abandoned at a backwoods rest stop with no memory of his punk-folk glory days. 

Bill could've gone just about anywhere in the past twenty years, so I've rounded up some suspects. Camper Van Beethoven - if you're reading this - take a look at the lineup - any of them YOUR Bill? No? My money's on Macy...

 Bill Shatner, Bill Paxton, Bill Murray, Bill Nighy, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Bill O' Reilly, Bill Nye, Bill Macy

 

5. The Monotones ponder, "Who wrote the Book of Love?"

Still of Josie Bissett, Beau Dremann, Tricia Leigh Fisher and Chris Young in Book of Love (1990)

Don't worry guys, nobody thinks you did it. Sheesh, paranoid much?

This one is actually kind of easy.. although, I'm not sure how those clairvoyant crooners knew way back in 1957 that we would be blessed with the cinematic classic "Book of Love" in 1990 starring Chris Young and Josie Bissett. According to imdb.com it was written by that old household name William Kotzwinkle.  Now you know.

 

6. BONUS QUESTION: The Beatles inquire, "Why don't we do it in the road?"

Duh, Beatles, you'll get run over. 

Thursday
Aug162012

My favorite Google....


I was perusing my website, pretending that I wanted to care about updating this blog... so naturally, I got distracted and started browsing the search terms that brought visitors to ye olde Bellybuzz... I've decided to pride myself in the diversity of curiosity from whence they all came. Here's my favorite 10 from the last 1000 or so folks that stopped by:

"modern grave stones"

"dick clark corn fritters"

"should wear my eye patch"

"manly chest hair cartoon"

"matthew mcconaghey t-rex arms"

"mule party"

"brass lady baltimore"

"can you still buy the mary lou retton pony sneakers"

"puff pastry pork pie"

"tooth tattoos"

Well, alrighty then... did we learn anything kiddoes? No? Well, here's one for the road, "was dr. ruth a sniper? ". Search for yourself and see where these terms may take you - I'm too lazy to link 'em up for you. It's late... and I don't feel like making any excuses.

Sunday
May272012

Random Facts #5: Vincent Price

 

The Mark of Vincent - Vincent Price TattoosYou know him first and foremost as the creepy, sinister, campy B-movie actor, but the real Vincent Price developed deep and diverse passions that fueled that very over-the-top personality displayed in many of his infamous characterizations. His friends knew he had three true passions - art, food and films. An accomplished art collector, gourmet cook, writer, actor, philanthropist and all-around badass, Vincent Price would have turned 101 today.

I think now is as good of a time as any to delve a little deeper and discover some little-known facts about this Renaissance man. Vincent was born St. Louis Missouri and raised in a very affluent household. I find it hard to imagine him being from the midwest as his persona seems so worldly and exotic. He certainly played his share of exotic characters in movies like The Tingler, The Abominable Dr. Phibes and The Fly.

Even though he's known as the master of the macabre, the man had a well-developed sense of humor and of having fun - as demonstrated in this classic 1976 Muppet Show clip where a befangled Kermit turns the spooky tables on VP. Take a minute (literally, that's all it takes) and watch it. I'll wait for you....

Alrighty then... enjoy that? I thought so. Well let's get on with these random facts, shall we? I've got ten of them all lined up for you, in no particular order of importance or chronology. It's called "Random" facts, people... let's allow a little chaos in this list, Vince would like it that way. Loosen up!

10 Random Vincent Price Factoids - in no particular order of chronology or importance

1. Vincent Price's father was a childhood friend of Orson Welles' father. Evidently, the two were school chums together. It seems that Vince's father was a bit of a ham like his son. Can you figure out that amazing floating head trick from their school play? Pretty tricky special effects for 1889. Inevitably, the younger Price and Welles briefly found themselves working together at Orson's Mercury Theater.

In 1978, the two thespians reunited and reminisced on The Tonight Show about their father's previous provenance as friends. Price recalled his father serving up Orson's father's head on a platter and the startling (and unfamiliar) story left the usually quick Welles a wee bit speechless. Score one for Vince.

2. In the 1970s, Vincent had his own mail order book business. It specialized in mysteries and thrillers. Big surprise! It also has the awesome distinction as being "as seen on tv", the true connoisseur's mark of quality! Price, a writer himself, also endorsed other literary works including the Enchanted World Series of Time-Life Books and this collection of works by Agatha Christie.

3. Vincent shares a birthday (May 27) with Dolores Hope, Sam Snead, Siousie Sioux, Christopher Lee, Paul Bettany, Peri Gilpin, Todd Bridges, Andre 3000, Chris Colfer, Jamie Oliver, Joseph Fiennes, Henry Kissinger, and Louis Gossett Jr.

4. Vincent Price has continued to inspire artists to express themselves in all types of media, including music. For decades, a wide variety of musicians have been writings songs about the iconic Mr. Price or his memorable characters. "Vincent Price" by Faust'o Rossi (1979), "Return of the Fly" (1995) and "Dr. Phibes Rises Again" by The Misfits (2001), and "Vincent Price Blues" by ZZ Top (1996) are just a few examples. In addition, his voice was featured in Michael Jackson's iconic anthem "Thriller" (1983) where he recited the poem featured at the end. He also narrated the opening to Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" (1982).

Come Into The Kitchen Cookbook, Vincent & Mary Price5. Vincent was a gourmet cook and the author of several cookbooks. In 1971 he hosted 6 episodes of a British television cooking show called "Cooking Price-Wise". According to Vincent Price in the introduction to his corresponding cookbook, the producers took a lot of trouble to devise a series of exotic recipes based on ingredients that could be bought in any local UK supermarket.

We lived in the UK in the early 70s and it was hard to come by much variety in grocery ingredients. My dad begged the local shopkeeper to import Dr. Pepper and Doritos for him - he paid an arm and a leg for it, but didn't care. That was the gourmet reality in England circa 1974.

I have a beautiful hardbound copy of Vincent and (his second wife) Mary's iconic A Treasury of Great Recipes, a collection of recipes from the most famous restaurants around the world. I can only imagine how inspirational this book was in the days before the 24-hour food channel and endless food blogs on the internet. Where else could you sample delicacies by world-renown chefs far and wide? It was when I found my copy at a Half-price Books in my local suburban strip-center, that I discovered this whole other side of Vincent Price. Well worth the $18.50 I paid for it. A bargain if you ask me. A mega-awesome-bargain, really.

6. Vincent had two children, Vince and Victoria. In 1940, his first wife Edith Barrett gave birth to Vincent Barrett Price, the fourth Vincent in a row - named after his father, grandfather and great grandfather. 22 years later, his second wife Mary gave birth to a little girl, Mary Victoria Price. She was named after (her mother, of course, and) the title character in the play Victoria Regina. Price played Prince Albert opposite Helen Hayes as Queen Victoria in the part that essentially launched his acting career.

7. Vincent Jr, our actor, was the son of Vincent, a business man and candymaker. His father used his wealthy lot-in-life as a launch pad to purchase a successful St. Louis candy company, the National Candy Company, where he subsequently served as the President. Their famous confection was the "Bobcat Bar". His grandfather, yet ANOTHER Vincent, attended medical school in 1958 and ultimately invented Dr. Price's Baking Powder. He secured the family fortune long enough to fund another successful generation before losing the bulk of it to bad investments.

It's interesting that all three generations of Vincents all had a passion that revolved around food. If nothing else, they certainly had a knack at exploiting that passion for a profit!

8. Vincent graduated from Yale University with a degree in art history. After his graduation from prep school, Vincent toured Europe and fell in love with the arts. This trip sparked a life long obsession with collecting and discovering new and ancient works of art. He famously did sub-par schlocky films to nobly fund his incredible personal art collection. A portion of his eclectic collection was donated to the Vincent Price Museum at the East Los Angeles College.

The mission of the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College is to serve as a unique educational resource for the diverse audiences of the college and the community through the exhibition, interpretation, collection, and preservation of works in all media of the visual arts.

In the 1950s, Vincent Price was a frequent visitor, a speaker at graduation ceremonies and a classroom guest who eagerly engaged with our students and faculty. As he got to know ELAC, Mr. Price noticed a lack of opportunity for students on this campus–and in East LA in general–to have first-hand experiences with art. Vincent, together with his wife Mary Grant, took the initiative to remedy this shortcoming and donated 90 pieces from their personal collection in 1957 to establish the first “teaching art collection” housed at a community college. In recognition of this extravagant gift, ELAC renamed the art gallery in the Prices’ honor.

9. Vincent Price converted to Catholicism shortly after marrying his third wife, Australian actress Coral Browne, herself a devout Catholic. In turn, Coral became an American citizen.

CLICK ON PIC TO ENLARGE - Sears Catalog Page, 1962 Vincent Price Collection10. In 1962, Vincent Price was approached by Sears & Roebuck Co. to curate a collection of original artwork to be offered to the general public down at their very own neighborhood department store. As an avid collector himself, Price jumped at the chance to put this project of ultimately 50,000 pieces together and launch his "Vincent Price Collection" for Sears.

Did you know there was actually a time when you could buy a real Rembrandt from Sears? A Picasso? Mondrian? Seriously! The prices in the collection ranged from $10 to $3000 - including layaway options - with literally something for everyone. Man, now all you can get is some Kardashian lingerie at Sears. What happened to our world??

Anyways, below is a 15 minute video of Price introducing the Collection to Sears employees. He highlights some of the original artwork  and explains his philosophy when pulling the project together. The Vincent Price Exhibit has a catalog of the original collection for download as well. Original Daumiers and Toulouse Latrec's? Amazing. Those were the glory days, eh?

Source1:Source2

Sunday
May202012

It's not better to see you with my sweet...

The first time I remember encountering some one with an eye patch - I was about 9 years old. A kid on our block had been stung in the eyeball by a bee and had to wear a patch for several days. And you thought it couldn't happen to you folks... believe me it can. And it is gruesome!

Years ago I had my own unwanted experience with this first aid fashion accessory. About fifteen years ago I had a bout of bells palsy (major suckage) and for about a month I had to wear an eyepatch. If you're not familiar with bp - it's basically when the chicken pox virus goes haywire in your system and mutates into a strain that attacks your facial nerves rendering half of your face paralyzed. Dead sexy is what I call it. lol. Anyhoo... I couldn't close my eye without using my finger so wearing a patch day and night was imperative.

Surprisingly, there's not a huge market for adorable eye patches that don't make you look like Captain Bly's chambermaid. I found a few at the drug store, in the requisite black and white. I couldn't stand the thought of donning this device straight off the CVS rack so I doctored mine up with decorations including an old STP patch and a pink sequined star. My favorite was one had a giant button sewn on it. I'm sure it was ridiculous trying to carry on a conversation with me when I looked like a deranged Mel Brooks character. To think of the meetings I sat in on and conducted. That's hilarity in the workplace folks. Anyways - I wish shops like Snapping Dragon Leather on Etsy were around back then - I would have totally rocked that Octopus eyepatch. I wonder if it qualifies for business casual?

The other night, I was watching Spies Like Us and while cracking up at Chevy Chase cheating on his spy exam, my mind started to wander. It wandered away to peruse the vast interwebs for pictures celebrities wearing eye patches... some movie characters came to mind, along with a few fashion icons. Because I have nothing better to do - I quickly collected quite a group of one-eyed visages. So go get your Visine, pop a few drops and sit down to scroll through the gallery of celebs in eyepatches, complete with appearances by the patched AND monocle'd John Ford, the Days of our Lives heartthrob Patch Johnson and a couple of extra shots of the princess of patches - Rihanna. Leave it to the stars to sport this swashbuckling style with such savoir faire. 

Celebrities in Eyepatches

If I missed any (and I'm sure I did so lay off already!), leave a comment and add to the list. I'll give you a gold star for participation!

Alexander SkarsgardAlyson Hanigan Andrew Dice Clay

Angelina JolieAnthony Hopkins Bette Davis

 

Boris KarloffChevy Chase Christina Aguilera

 

Christopher PlummerCrispin Glover Danny Glover

 

Darren CrissDaryl Hannah David Bowie

 

David HasselhoffDennis Hopper Frank Sinatra

 

Fritz LangGeorge Harrison Heidi Klum

 

James JoyceJames Remar Janice Dickinson

 

Jared LetoJeff Bridges John Ford

 

John GoodmanJohn Wayne Julia Ormand

 

Karl LagerfeldKurt Russell Lady Gaga

 

Larry KingLawrence Olivier Leona Lewis

 

Lindsay LohanMadonna Marilyn Manson

 

Martin KoveMichael Hogan Nicholas Ray

 

Olivia DeHavillandPete Burns Rihanna

 

Robert DuvallRobert Wagner Rob Lowe

 

Sammy Davis Jr.Samuel L Jackson Solange Knowles

 

Stephen NicholsSwoozie Kurtz Tom Cruise

 

Will FerrellZsa Zsa Gabor

Sunday
May062012

Reasons I love the internet - Google Street View edition. 

CLICKY PICCIE MAKEY BIGGIE

So... some people may spend a lazy Sunday afternoon playing fantasy baseball or daydreaming about a lusty encounter while reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but not I, dear readers, not I. I prefer to fantasize about the stuff American dreams are made of... real estate. (Sidenote - there was a pretty hilarious sketch about the book on SNL last Saturday -  watch it here go ahead... I'll wait til you're finished).

Anyways,  I have been known to wile away endless hours traipsing around the internet for fabulous and fantastically impractical places to live. My wireless wanderlust has led me far and wide - but this afternoon it dropped me off in an old Pittsburgh neighborhood. I was trolling around and stumbled upon a little hubbub outside a neighborhood grocery, Doug's Market on Arch Street.

Upon further inspection, it appeared to me that there was an unidentified person-in-costume standing along the street up against a wall. It vaguely looked like a ham. Of course, it must be a ham. Because, you know, hams always hang out smoking in the alleyway. Get it... smoked ham? I snooped around a little further doing a 180º and what piece of poultry popped up in my peripheral view? A big 'ol chicken. Yup, a chicken. A chicken? A ham? A coincidence? Methinks no. 

My in-depth Encylopedia Brown training as a youngster prepared me to spot such suspicious scenarios and equipped me with the specific skills to trace the details on this culinary conundrum. I quickly moved my mouse, opened up a new tab, googled all about it and unearthed the "Street With a View" Project that took place right there on Sampsonia Way. It appears that Doug's Market was part of a staged event purely performed for the amusement of folks like me. Folks with ENTIRELY too much time on their hands. 

In May 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley teamed up with Google Inc. to create the first ever integration of art into Google’s Street View mapping platform. Partnering with the Mattress Factory, a museum of contemporary art on Pittsburgh’s Northside, Hewlett and Kinsley invited local residents to help stage a series of scenes along Sampsonia Way. Over 100 neighbors, and other participants from around the city, gathered to create a parade, a marathon, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more. Street View technicians documented the street with the scenes in action and the project went live last week. Street with a View can be seen on-line by typing “Sampsonia Way + Pittsburgh” into Google Maps and selecting the Street View function. Information about the project can also be found on the artists’ website: www.streetwithaview.com.

It turns out that the ham is actually artist Michelle Fried in porcine disguise. The chicken is a sculpture by Nicolas Lambert and travelled all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That bird has seen a lot of road!  In it's honor, take a few minutes to check out the short documentary below on the street's artistic efforts. Perhaps my lusty land-owning yearnings will be fulfilled one day. When they are, Ihope I find myself living in a neighborhood with this kind of ambition aimed at art for art's sake. I love me some goofy creative people.  

Sunday
Apr292012

Welcome to Moscow, USA!

First United Methodist Church, Moscow ID I can see Russia from my state? No wait, that's just Moscow.  You might hear that Palinesque nonsense in any one of 17 of these united states, as there are 17 American Moscows, well actually sixteen and one Moscow Mills but who's splitting hairs? Man has migrated far and wide and named many a municipality across our motherland after the majestic metropolis, Moscow. I managed to find photographic evidence of these (mostly) tiny townships, geographical groupings and possibly a ghost town or two. Most of these are so small they don't even have a Wikipedia entry with some notable exceptions, Idaho in particular. 

Moscow, Idaho has a population of over 23,000 and a history dating back to 1871. According to wikipedia — the precise origin of the name Moscow has been disputed, but there is no proof that it was named by a Russian or for the Russian city . It was reported by early settlers that five men in the area met to choose a proper name for the town, but could not come agree on a name. The postmaster Samuel Neff completed the official papers for the town and selected the name Moscow. Interestingly, Neff was born in Moscow, Pennsylvania and later moved to Moscow, Iowa.

Anyways, time to sit back and take a tour of the Moscows of America - Счастливого пути !

1. Moscow, Alabama 

 

 

2. Moscow, Arkansas

 Click below for 15 more Moscows!

Click to read more ...