Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sighted on Drydock Avenue in (Romantic) South Boston

The liner "Norwegian Dawn" in in drydock at the moment, gettin' painted & polished and generally spruced up.
The topmost deck, some five stories up all told, has an open air basketball court where yesterday morning sundry persons were blissfully & actively shooting hoops about 8:15am.
Nothing like a fast pick up game of b-ball before a tedious day of vacuuming and bathroom scrubbing or whatever the hell they do over there.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Notes on a short weekend getaway to Barnstead New Hampshire

I passed by a boot-n-tack shop on Route 28 in Allentown that was tarted up in garish frontiersman regalia looking all the world like the Ponderosa's guest house.
I came to the conclusion that New Hampshire is never more ridiculous than when it tries to pass itself off as cowboy country. This is a bizarre long standing theme in the otherwise sensible Granite State.
Anyone out there ever gone to "Six Gun City" in Jefferson N.H?
This is an inane but fun theme park dedicated to the notion that Big Sky Country commences a hour or so west of Rumford Maine.
Okay all kidding aside, Sparky's Sub Shop in Rochester NH makes a hearty Italian grinder and the vistor's center on Route 93 North in Rockinghams NH us staffed by the nicest most helpful people west of the Vistula.
Massachusetts drives though, are still classic massholes in extremis.
I watched with fascinated horror as the remains of a backyard grill with propane tank slid off the back of a truck speeding north on Route 93 in North Reading. The driver in question slowed down long enough to assure himself that his debris did not kill me and was now merely littering the breakdown lane before speeding up and shooting over the horizon.
Mike Dukakis and Deval Patrick are right!
We all need more rail travel in Massachusetts, we'll never learn how to drive!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cardullo's in Harvard Square

keeps a flat screen television in it's show window and shows the Red Sox game some evenings to passers-by complete with audio piped in via discreet speakers.
The crowd watching last night's loss was pretty sparse and is indicative of Harvard Square's cruel decline as a destination...a few bums, a couple of boulevardiers, the usual long haired old ladies and a pair of EMT's lounging next to their ambulance without a care in the world.
Didn't quite know what to make of that, guess there wasn't much happening in Cambridge by way of pain and misery last night.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-Man III

Serious comic book fans will note that despite being one of Marvel's A-List super heroes that the proverbial webspinner suffers from a decidedly second rate rogue's gallery. From Electro to The Vulture and on to the The Lizard they are, by and large a shopworn collection of one-note freaks.
So when it came to write Spider-Man III, clearly Sam Raimi threw caution to the winds and dug right down to the bottom of the barrel to dredge up MORE if not better antagonists for the title character. This is how we end up with such tedious hacks as "The Sandman" (Thomas Haden Chuch channeling Jim Nabors), "Venom" (an entirely superfluous Topher Grace) and James Franco's "Goblin Junior" or whatever the hell they called unpromising bunch to be sure.
Local pundit Jon Haber has sensibly opined that when screenwriters start shoe-horning multiple supervillains into a script it is a time to worry as easily written excess has now supplanted mere creativity.
To me though, the real villain here, the one Spider-Man cannot beat, is hubris, that firm belief that with a cast this good producers can indulge anything sans reproof.
Sadly, this is not the case, at two hours and twenty minutes Spider-Man III feels like a ponderous three and a half hours as we wearily trudge from villain backstory to villain backstory and on to the completely joyless action climax.
This is disquieting to watch, generally the Spider-Man franchise has been impeccably cast from the git-go with strong thematic notions to underscore the and move the action. Here though, the vague notion that poor Peter Parker has been seduced by Spider-Man's popularity is burried under tons of treacly dialogue, witless brawls and bizarre continuity errors. I won't even try to discuss Spidey's new black uniform it's origin or it's ultimate fate...I don't have all night and it wouldn't make a lick of sense the second time around anyway.
Personally I think McGuire and Dunst should take a hint, cash their checks and move on, the franchise has nowhere to go but down.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Insult to Injury

Gordon Scott, my favorite "obscure" Tarzan actor has died in Baltimore Maryland. He was the biggest Tarzan (biceps like granite), also the first to speak normal English and the first Apeman to film one of his films in Africa.
He will be missed.

Joseph Zamparelli Sr. R.I.P.

It is my sad duty to report that our artist-in-residence's father died last week after a long illness.
If "Mister Zee" was angry or unduly fussy in life, he had a right to be as he was caring for a profoundly ill wife for over thirty years. His devotion to duty set the standard for the rest of us. He was no breaker of proverbs, he will do well in the life after this one, he was passionate he was steadfast and we will not see his like on this breathing Earth again.
So g'bye Mister Zee...kiss Peggy for us and put in a good word for the boys in the back room, we are gonna need it.