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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, July 31, 2006

LOTR Convention..


Well, I talked to David more on Thursday night about if I should go to the con or not because my brother might have to go into the hospital, and we left it that I would call him with my room number and he would call and leave a message for me if he went to the hospital or needed me back for any other reason.... and so, at 10:30 am on Friday I called a taxi and headed out for the "Elf Convention".

When I arrived I was too early to check in, they told me to check back with them about 12:30. I knew I couldn't check right in but a small (???) detail about the convention had happened to me and I thought I could use that time to find Gary (one of the two owners that run Creation Convention) and straighten it out.. you see.. my VERY EXPENSIVE ticket.. never arrived!! But I had talked to him in emails and he said to print his email out and bring it with me along with my charge bill and there would be no problem. (one of two boo boo's the convention made with me that in the long run paid off!! heh)

I did find Gary and was told to bring it to the table about.. 12:30. Hmmm, check in time at two places for the same time.. why did that not surprise me?

So I sat in an area which became a meeting place later... The Starbucks/ snack area. I wasn't seated more then a few minutes when a lady sat next to me and started up a conversation. "Of course" she was there for the convention also. Her name was Marcia, and as i soon found out she had a really neat gift to give to one of the guests of the convention... Sean Astin. It seems she had met Rudy... the "real Rudy" of the same fame that Sean Astin did in the movie. She had a photo of the real Rudy autographed to Sean Astin!! How cool was that!!! After some chatting I finally went to check in the hotel... I was going to be on the 9th floor.. so up I went to drop off my luggage. Being this was only the second time in 6 1/2 yrs that I would be away from "my room" and helping my brother, it nearly took my breath away to see this very good sized bedroom.. which had TWO (count them! 1, Two!!) full sized beds!!... the air was on (I don't have air in my bedroom here at the house) and it felt wonderful! I put the suitcase on the bench provided for it and WALKED AROUND THIS LARGE ROOM!.. for no reason! Just because I could walk around in a room that was ALL MINE for the next 3 days! I nearly cried, and then sat on the bed and wondered if I wanted to see the convention at all or just stay in this wonderful room and pretend this was what life was really like. and then I tore myself away and headed back down to take care of my ticket (or lack of) problem.

I had purchased what they called an Elve'n Weekend Package. What that included was a numbered seat for the entire weekend that no one could use but me, and the right to get all the guests autographs, free of charge (in turn) that were there. (If you wanted more then 1 then you paid for them..pretty high prices too... like 50 or 60 dollars each). Anyway, I got in a line, that surprisingly wasn't all that long, and when I reached the table I met Gary and told him the problem and showed him the email. He immediately got me the ticket that would hang around my neck for the weekend and wrote the seat number on it.. H 14. Then I showed him the second email from him that, because 2 of the 3 main guests had cancelled allowed me a free autographed photo of John Rhys Davies.

Now I had my ticket ...and my first autographed photo. Though I was happy with it, I was somewhat disappointed because I had wanted his signature in the book that I have, that already contains Ian McKellens signature on the photo of Gandalf, But I was happy that they made such a nice effort to make things right for many... because MANY tickets did not get to the customers due to one of their workers that was supposed to mail them out... and mailed them later they they were intended to be. I will say right here and now that Gary handled any and all problems not only immediately, but with gracious apologies from the convention. I can't say enough at how nice he was to everyone with any sort of problem. (but I will also say that they are THE "most expensive" convention anyone will ever go to!)

Now that I was set for the weekend I returned to the Starbucks area to read the schedule for the rest of the day. Shortly after arriving I met yet another lady who was also there for the convention named Laura. As we talked, I mentioned Marcia and the photo of Rudy she had for Sean Astin, and that she was going to give it to him at a "photo op" session. I told her I wish she would give it to him when he was on stage so everyone could see his expression. No sooner had we agreed on this than Marcia showed up... and we told her "our idea".. and she agreed it might be more fun.

Before we knew it the 3 of us were off to the dealers room for a look see, and then to the main room, where Daniel Reeve was going to speak. He is the man that made all the maps for the LOTR movies and all of the Elve'n writing that would be seen. He had a very nice talk and Q&A session.. very talented man indeed! (he also did a lot of work for the movie Narnia)

Time went by fast, when it was time for the first guest of the weekend to appear. John Noble. He played Denethor in the movie. With his cute Aussie accent he took on all questions that were asked of him, and it was a pleasant hour. Then it was time for autographs.. by row... It took about 2 hrs before my row was called and I got up to him with the photo to sign. (this was were the disappointment was, it wasn't that it wasn't very nice meeting Mr Noble, but the book I had for the signatures did not have his photo in it.. he never appeared until the second movie..sigh) Thankfully creations table had many photos and had a two poses of John so I had purchase a photo for the signing. Considering that Mr Noble only had 8 days of notice to appear at the convention, I thought that was very gracious of him.

By the time I saw Mr Noble it was 8:30 pm. There was a "Desert and Cocktail time with Mr Noble due to begin at 9 but that was another extra ticket that I just couldn't afford, so after talking once more with Marcia and Laura I retired to my wonderful room and savored the time alone on the bed watching television. (I say savored because our Cable had been cut when the tree cutters took the tree down and still wasn't fixed when I left for the convention.. so I was happy to have television) Before I hit the bed though I took a look out of my 9th story room and grabbed my camera to catch this sight.

When I woke, way too early the next morning I took another picture from my window. The buildings waaaaay out there is NY City.

I made myself my cafe vienna using the coffee pot in my room and then took a bath, got dressed and went downstairs. And there sitting in the same seat I left her in last night (but with clean clothes on) was Laura. Good lord woman... did you sleep???? She had stayed up until 3 yet was sitting there at 8:30 am!! (there was a time I could do that!.. not anymore! )

Eventually, I treated myself to breakfast in the restaurant.. of course it was waaaay overpriced, but at least it was good!

After more chatting with both Marcia and Laura I did a really DUMB thing.. I went to the dealers room.. a second time. (like putting candy in front of a little kid! argh~) I found this Viggo Mortenson autograph, and knowing HE would NEVER do anything like a convention.. I bought it! Another thing I can say nice about Creations is that they work thru the movie studios and all their signatures are REAL. If I had any doubt, trust me, I wouldn't purchase it.

Before we knew it, it was time for Sean Astin's photo op (which once again I did not pay for) but I kept the ladies company in line just to keep talking, since nothing else I wanted to see was going on. It wound up that she had purchased 2 photo op tickets.. one was to be a "group shot" with her roommates..who never showed up. So Marcia and I each gave 20.00 and we made up the "group shot" and I got to meet Sean for the first time. I cannot begin to tell you what a really down to earth kind man he has turned into. If nothing else Patty Duke and John Astin made not only a talented son... but a really nice human being.

When that was over we were all headed down to the main room to listen to Daniel Reeve again. When I went to go to my seat... low and behold someone was sitting in it. 'umm excuse me? That's my 230.00 seat you are in".. she shows me her ticket... same row... same seat... ohhhh, great. I went out to find Gary. Without so much as a heart beat (but with a look that could possibly kill to the person at the desk helping him) he said to me... well.. I guess we'll have to upgrade you then... and out came a WIZARD ticket that was 3 rows closer to the stage (and came with more benefits). Thanks again Gary, for taking care of others mistakes! With the Wizard ticket I was allowed a free Elijah Wood autograph! And later in the evening I would be able to go hear the band that would entertain the WIZARD ticket holders called The Emerald Rose. (4 men in kilts!! oh yeah! thanks Gary!) I may be OLD and need glasses, but I'm not blind yet!!

After Daniel spoke it was time for Sean Astin to be center stage.... Sean was really very personable. One of the things he did was to receive that photo of Rudy from Marcia, and I'm sure she enjoyed the one on one things he said while receiving it. He also mentioned others who had given him things during his photo op, including a flag from Marcia's husband from one of his missions over in Iraq.

(receiving the photo)

When it came time for the autographs, I had been moved up a few rows so it didn't take as long.. which was very nice! He was the second autograph this weekend to finally get in that book that already had Ian McKellens signature! At the time of the signing I was able to ask him if he thought I'd EVER be able to watch "Rudy" without crying.. he smiled a really friendly smile at me and sorta shrugged his shoulders and said, "maybe when you get to that part you could turn it off?" I laughed and just said. "Yeah right!" He chuckled, and then thanked me for letting him know he did such a good job in Rudy that he made me cry.

There were a number of people dressed in costumes walking around. I did try to take one of this gentleman dressed as Gandalf the Grey... thought he looked pretty darn good! There was another, a trio of elves.. two ladies and a guy dressed up.. they were fantastic costumes and if i can get a photo for one of the gals I met I'll post it... the guy even had Orlando Blooms hair! (and it was real!) They really looked great. They had driven down to Jersey for the convention from Boston Mass.

After the costumes came the Concert by a group called The Emerald Rose. OOokkay.. live music... something I haven't heard in years!! And all the guys in the band wore Kilts!! Hello?!! Oh yeah... I can deal with this! "Real Men Wear Kilts!" hahaha... they were fabulous! They played Irish music like I've not heard before and it was a real treat! I wish they were from around here but they are from Atlanta Georgia area, so anyone down there.. GO SEE THEM!! They are really enjoyable!!.. Just tell them an old lady from Jersey sent you that saw them at the Elf Convention!!

(band pictures aren't very good.. the room was dimmed to make it feel more like a nightclub)

The evening ended on a high note with everyone enjoying the band!

I woke Sunday morning and immediately felt the pending "doom" of the weekend ending. I had to pack my luggage and have it downstairs before noon. I really wished it was longer. As much as I was enjoying the "celebs" I was also enjoying the company of two very nice ladies who in turn were having a blast! And... I had to leave this wondrous room... nuff said.

There wasn't very much going to be happening that I wanted to attend until it was time for Billy Boyd (Pippin) I did go watch a Trivia contest.. I absolutely love the movies but Trivia? Ahhhh .. no. Of course those in the contest knew everything so they had a good long time having them drop out.

Finally it was time for Billy Boyd. I hadn't heard much about him except that a "brunch" thing he did in the morning was for a charity he helps back in Scotland for kids to be able to have a nice place to have some theater teaching.

Out he walked and from the moment he opened his mouth until he closed it to leave the stage he was Hysterical! For a time I forgot I was down that this was the end of the convention, I forgot for an hour to worry about things back home, I laughed for nearly an hour straight! He won over this old lady.. I'll follow his career more closely.

I so much wanted to tell him, or rather say to him what he did for me... but other then thanking him, telling him he did good .. I became word less, I was about to loose it because the words to tell him that he did more for me in that hour then anyone has in a long long time... the words couldn't come out or i'd cry right in front of this very nice young man. I've had the thought in my head that if I can find out who his agent is, maybe I could write what I couldn't say. But it's not easy finding out their agents anymore. There was a time anyone could call the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and find out.. I don't think it's possible anymore.

Anyway.. Billy signed in the book which gave me 4 signatures in it.. along with all of that I now owned Elijah, Davies, Noble and Mortensen on photo's. I never set out to get LOTR autographs before that book was sent to me.. but it looks good to me now. Maybe it will be worth something years from now when my son "inherits" it.. because no one is getting it any other way!

(Billy on stage)

I have to give credit where credit is due to Peter Jackson.. If this man didn't have such wonderful visions of how this Fantasy should look, it never would have been such a hit and win many awards. It was told to the audience that Peter did as much as he could WITHOUT using special effects. Now of course you know special effects were used, but in many cases where he could have used them he chose to try to make everything as "real" as possible.. re: the Hobbit homes were "real".. holes were dug and grass was planted over them many months before the filming began. It didn't go without notice that he did just as good a job on King Kong as he did with LOTR.... he's a man with a vision that's for sure.

Peter Jackson.. one extraodinary director!

Well, the closing of the convention was a pretty sad moment for me, but I collected my luggage from the hotel and had them call my taxi then I went outside to wait. The taxi took waaaay longer then it should have and I had to have them call them a second time. (found out when they got there the taxi broke down and they had to get another to come and get me) During the wait I exchanged some email addresses with Marcia and Laura, I suspect we will keep in touch.

While I waited I noticed a young Japanese girl standing and waiting also. I began to talk to her and found out that she learned what English she knew from CD's so she could come to this country and meet some of her favorite celebs. Wow.. from Japan! She spoke well enough for us to talk for some time when she asked me "who is your favorite in LOTR?" I said, "Gandalf".. her face broke into a huge smile and she threw her arms around me jumping up and down, "me too! me too!"... then she asked "which Gandalf? Gandalf the Grey or Gandalf the White?" I responded: "Ohhh Gandalf the Grey!!".. again she threw her arms around me and jumped up and down, "Me too! Me too!" hahahaha.. she was so cute I couldn't help but smile. Then her taxi came and she sadly pulled her luggage over to the taxi, but she didn't leave without one more big smile and a wave good-by.

The convention had officially ended.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I feel like the yawning cat on the post below!... Being old and staying up late should never be used in the same sentence!

I forced myself to stay awake until midnight last night so that I could go on line to listen to The Gregg Hunter Show. He's the man I mentioned in other posts who has a call in-radio show and talks about old movies and old stars and or does interviews concerning the Hollywood industry.

Last night he happened to be doing a very interesting interview with the author of "Exiles in Hollywood. His name is David Wallace. Names began to fly as I tried to keep awake enough to listen..

Otto Preminger / Alfred Hitchcock / Charles Laughton and Ellsa Lanchester / Greta Garbo / Heddy Lamar ..and on and on! The likes of these names will never be forgotten by many, but many others will never hear of them. And that is really sad.

Big name directors and actors of a time gone by... it was a time before "special effects" so the actors had to portray it all. (don't get me wrong.. i love, love, love, special effects! But only where they are really needed to enhance a story) It was a time when actors were owned by the studios, and directors ruled the production. It was a time when many actors made a "salary"..not the sort of money they make today!

For anyone interested in movies.. it was a time you should find some books and read about it!

That being said.. I could only stay awake about 40 minutes when I knew I was no longer really hearing what was being said, so I went to bed. Ohhhh, how I miss hearing that show! But I know as long as some sort of repeat of the show isn't put on at an earlier time for the East Coast, it will be seldom I manage to stay awake to hear it. And that makes me sad because hearing others speak of names that just don't come up everyday is interesting, and brings back memories of the old movies.

Just the mention of Charles Laughton, after remembering he was married to Ellsa Lanchester ( Bride of Frankenstein 1935 and she was in the movie I mentioned not long ago of "Murder By Death" 1976. Her list of credits reads 96 movies!) I then thought of Laughton's : Mutiny On the Bounty 1935 (Capt. Bligh), The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1935 ( Quasimodo ), and he was also in Spartacus in 1960 as Sempronius Gracchus. (among his movie list of 62 movies).

The stars of yesteryear worked at their craft!!

Though I will never have an opportunity to meet the likes of these sort of creative talents, I'm happy when I do get to meet or hear some that are still with us like Kevin McCarthy.

Which brings me to the fact that as of Friday I will be gone for the entire weekend to a Lord Of The Rings convention, so I will not be posting those days.. ya'll get a break!

I am happy that I will have a chance to meet and hear Sean Astin speak at this convention. I guess, without really considering it, I am a fan of his. He happened to have made a few other movies that I absolutely love. (Including LOTR of course).. and they would be Goonies, and yet another movie I've mentioned before: Rudy. I'm not much of a hand raiser to ask questions but I hope someone asks about those movies so that he will talk about them. I realize it's a LOTR convention, so it will remain the top subject of the weekend.. but dang...he sure was good in those other movies too!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot

How funny is this? Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot is of YAWNING... he put up a photo of his cat (Lopsided Cat) yawning... well Winkey at this house looks an awful lot like John's cat...and yep, I happened to have a photo of her yawning!

So, that's my Monday Photo Shoot John!! Are you really sure that's YOUR cat in the photo and not Winkey?!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ahh, to be 17...

O'MyGosh!!... Daniel Radcliffe is 17 years old today!

Harry Potter turned 17! I suppose that means the rest of the kids have grown too! Argh!.. of course it can't possibly mean that Maggie Smith or Robbie Coltrane or Alan Rickman is a day older then when they began the movies!! No way! No way! No way!! agggggggg!

Not that you haven't heard me say it before but.... I do own all the books and all the dvd's! These kids (and the surrounding, ultra fantastic, actors that surround them) have given me many hours of entertainment. I loved reading the books (can't wait for the last book!) and have enjoyed the movies more times then I care to admit. But then... Maggie Smith is my all time favorite female actress, and I love Robbie as Hagrid (love the character!) and Alan Rickman.. well, if you ever saw him in Sense and Sensibility you'd know he isn't always the dark guy he is as Professor Snape!

I think I like actors and movies so much because they do so much for me. They help me escape when I need it (which is most of the time), they give me enjoyment, and many times I even learn from them.

I know I probably watch a lot more movies then most people , but they all help me in one way or another... that includes the very young Daniel Radcliffe and everyone in the Harry Potter series of movies. And it includes the many fantasy fiction writers that I enjoy so much..

I'm glad these people made movies and wrote the books I love so much...

I really would have hated to miss them .

They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them.

Movies that made me laugh?

Argh!.. since I talked about movies that make me cry, I was going to try to mention movies that make me laugh... so I turned on the television today and what's on? One of Haley Joel Osment's movies! "Pay it Forward"... dumbly, I watched! And dumbly I cried!

Well that put me in a great fix to try to write about movies that make me laugh! Instead it brought to mind another movie I should have mentioned that I always cry at.. The Color Purple!! Such a good movie!! And such a good cry at the end!!! But at least it's a "happy cry"..versus the "sad cry" like I just had in Pay it Forward! Oh, and one other movie I cried a lot at, but most people I know don't even know the movie, which surprises the heck out of me, it's called: What Dreams May Come. This is a Robin Williams movie, and he's made me cry more then once in more of his movies. He may be best known as a stand up comic, but he's a much better actor then he gets credit for. (even though he did get an award for The Fisherking.)

So.. there is crying over something that's a happy moment, and crying over the sad moments, and then...... there's the cry that goes from a few tears to a full, blown out "now I can't stop crying" cry!! (I really have to thank Kyitoe for bringing up this subject! Since he did I've cried more then laughed! Like my own depression doesn't make me cry enough! gimme a break!) I'm almost afraid to turn on the tv guide channel and see what else is on today!

Oh! I forgot one.. have you ever started laughing at something and then you can't stop laughing?... and then you laugh so hard you start to cry?!.. and then you can't stop crying??!! I have!.. I never can figure out how I go from laughing to a full blown cry! Yeah, yeah, I know.. it must be afemale thing!

I was more then happy that the HBO movie this week was War of The Worlds. No crying! But that has to be because I'm not a Tom Cruise fan. I am however a big Dakota Fanning fan, and she was fantastic in it. This kid is already a great actress, I hope it continues for her.

So now, here I sit trying to think of movies that make me laugh..yeah right. Well I know there are some, just trying to think of them now that I've had my cry for the day isn't the easiest thing to do! I know I've chuckled at Shrek and Ice Age, but those are cartoon movies.

I can come up with a few old movies that I know I had laughs through out the movie but I honestly can't remember one, right now, that made me laugh really really hard. Hmmm, oh well, I can remember laughing during the original Pink Panther movie, with Peter Sellers, and during Blazing Saddles with Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little, and in one black and white movie that I still find funny and sooooo well done, called: Murder By Death, which besides being funny, had one of the biggest "all star casts" I can ever remember seeing together! Eileen Brennan - Truman Capote - James Coco - Peter Falk - Alec Guinness- Elsa Lanchester- David Niven- Peter Sellers- Maggie Smith - Nancy Walker - Estelle Winwood - James Cromwell , if you ever tried to get that many stars in one move today, it would be impossible because of the salaries they require now. But it is a really fun movie (a spoof of old time detectives trying to solve a mystery) and holds up today as well as it did in 1976 when it was released.

On this note, I will end this post... but first, a few lines of script from Murder By Death... enjoy... and then tell me what movies you found funny.

Jessica Marbles: I smell gas!
Miss Withers: I can't help it, I'm old.
Jessica Marbles: No, not that kind of gas. The kind that kills!
Miss Withers: Well, sometimes my gas...

Milo Perrier: He's gone!
Jessica Marbles: Who's gone?
Milo Perrier: The butler. Here's the key.
Sidney Wang: If butler gone, where you find key?
Milo Perrier: In his pocket.
Jessica Marbles: What pocket?
Milo Perrier: The butler's pocket.
Sidney Wang: Butler gone but pocket still there?

Sidney Wang: No pulse, no heartbeat. If condition does not change, this man is dead.

Sidney Wang: What meaning of this, Mr. Twain?
Lionel Twain: I will tell you, Mr. Wang, if YOU can tell ME why a man who possesses one of the most brilliant minds of this century can't say his *prepositions* or *articles!* "What IS THE," Mr. Wang! "What IS THE meaning of this?"
Sidney Wang: That what I said! "What meaning of this?"

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Things always seem to happen in 3's..

And so it goes...the third celebrity we have lost in a matter of days. His name: Jack Warden, born in 1920, he was 85 yrs old.

I don't doubt that everyone has seen him at one time or another, either in a movie or on television, for he was a very in demand character actor and once you saw and heard him you remembered him.....and like the others before him.. he will be missed greatly.

Here is a link to the AOL News story about him.. Jack Warden Dies at age 85.

And here is the IMDb link so that you can read his many credits: IMDb

I hope this is the last we loose for a while anyway. We need a Gregg Hunter on the east coast so that we may listen and learn more about the creative people that have brought us so much entertainment.

Feline Friday

Whelp.. I know it's actually Saturday not Friday... but still it's "Feline Friday"!! There's a really great shot of Pickles over at Steven's today.. but then again.. there's a really great shot over there all the time!

This is Booboo Kitties Kingly pose... he does this right in front of a door to the next room and won't move... one has to step over his highness to get passed.

..and this is his "dang it's hot in here" pose on my bed.. (hey, you want MY bed you have to suffer like the rest of us, king or not!)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Haley, and then some movies..

I became sad yesterday when I heard on the news that Haley Joel Osment was in a car accident. So I went looking for an article to see if he was ok from it, and it seems he will be... thankfully.

I really enjoy this young mans performances and would hated to see it come to an end in such a way.

Of course his most popular movie was when he was very young.. The Sixth Sense, where he "saw dead people". It also starred Bruce Willis, they were both great in it.

He was also terrific in Artificial Intelligence: AI, where he was a "robotic child" who wanted to become real. (a futuristic Pinnochio). And a movie called "Pay It Forward" with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, which was about doing something good for someone but having them pay it forward to three more people, and those three people each had to pay forward to three more, and on and on.. great premise for a story.

Another I enjoyed but "bombed at the box office" is Secondhand Lions. He played with some "bigwigs" in that one! Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. It also had Kyra Sedgwick in it.. (I love her t.v. series: The Closer, thank you very much!)

Well, until that news came out about Haley Joel I was going to talk about movies but not in this way.

Not long ago I discovered yet another journal to keep up with (*groan*)sometimes it gets really hard to read them all, let alone find a new one you like! Anyway his journal is called The Dragon:050376 and he wrote a post about men crying at a movie or television show. Of course I had to leave a comment ..not that I am a man.. but there are some movies, that no matter how often I see them, I still cry at them. (sap) I am not sure what it is, and it's probably more than just one reason a person cries when they find their self deeply involved in a movie or show that makes them cry.

For instance, let's take Oprah.. she hasn't done it lately, but when she does her "dreams come true" programs, I wind up bawling my eyes out the entire show. There's just something about someone having a dream come true that really gets to me. I think partly it's envy (sigh, wish that were me) but mostly, it's the old.. "well, it's not me, but dreams CAN come true dammit!" I think it leaves me with renewed hope, that has all but gone long, long ago.

The perfect movie to go with this particular thought is RUDY. Gosh, if anyone out there hasn't seen it..find it! Watch it! If you don't get emotional over it I will be surprised! There are key spots in the movie where I can guarantee the tears will start to flow for me.. and i've seen the movie dozens of times. Yet I still cry! (and yet I can't NOT watch it!! )

Another movie that there is a key place in it to break me down is : Cry the Beloved Country. In this movie James Earl Jones does what he does best which is quality acting. Many may recognize the name of the movie from the book of the same name. This movie is a bit of history of South Africa in the 1940's. Basically, its the story of a black preacher and his family and a wealthy white man and his family. Without telling the whole story there's a scene in the movie where James Earl "unexpectedly" meets up with Richard Harris. He is so overwhelmed with emotion over what he knows has occurred that he nearly passes out.. the scene is so well done that after many times seeing this movie I finally had to ask someone else to watch it and tell me what is said during the scene because i am bawling my eyes out so hard!.. gosh, but I love James Earl Jones!!! (that's one autographed photo I would dearly love to have!!)

So, anyway.. it got me to wondering... are there any movies that you cry at?? Tell me the name of the movie or show in comments .. oh and by the way, I sure don't think it takes anything "manly" away from a guy who can get emotional over a movie.. it just means that the actors and story are so good that it really got you involved in it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I do believe! I do, I do, I do!

I was reading Bill's journal today,The Wildcats Lair (and on Blogspot), Bill was responding to Jess's Writers Question The question was: What is your experience with characters? Do they come to you "full grown out of oblivion" or do they come in pieces and only share a bit of what you need to know them? Do you hear their voices, or do you develop them? What makes them real for you?

...and in his response he wrote this: Characters really do take on a life of their own. Many of the ones that run around the inside of my head have enjoyed that space for more than a decade. Some are probably going on two, but just how many of them are really alive to me? More than I care to admit!

Now, sometimes I respond to Jess's questions myself, only because I've attempted to write a Fantasy Fiction story, that most who read my journal know about. (Kesterwood Forest). But never having any real writing training and having no hope what-so-ever of writing well enough to be published, I don't always respond to her questions. (then again, sometimes I do, just because it strikes me so strong, that i feel qualified to respond.)

Anyway... I came close to trying to respond to Jess but I didn't. But, that certain something I just mentioned about "striking me"... well, it struck in the sentence that Bill wrote... the part where he asks himself "just how many are really alive to me? More than I care to admit!"

Boy howdy! Ain't that the truth!! To anyone who has never made up characters to tell a story, I realize they wouldn't really "get" it, but anyone who has.. well, if most (if not all) of your characters don't become borderline real to you... then you probably don't even like your own writing!

In Fantasy, of course there are characters who one might think, "how can they seem real to you?".. maybe a giant or a dwarf character. But, ummm, dwarves are real people, and so are giants. Giants are people born with acromegaly, a disease that results in an over abundance of growth hormones, also known as Giantism. So right there a piece of the character is "real". Others such as a Wizard type character may not be totally real, but where most of the "reality" begins (for me) is with the personalities you give them, no matter what sort of character it is.

Among my characters I have a Giant named Kien, who could well be labeled "the gentle giant", a dwarf named Laika, who wants nothing more then to have good friends and a life different from others, and an old man named Abbercorn, who could be the father I never had, or a mentor that most anyone would want.

So.. oh yeah, I agree with Bill about characters being alive and very real. And not just in my head, but in my heart also. Sometimes hearing that "it's just Fiction" can be cruel words when it means "they aren't real". I know I can no longer look at a forest without wishing I could walk into it and meet some of the very characters I wrote about. I've laughed with them, and cried with them... no one can tell me they aren't real.

And to Jess... you bet I hear their voices!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Enough already!

Boy, I'm glad Tuesday is over! Yesterday evening we had more booming thunderstorms go thru our area. The biggest lasted a little over an hour. Can we say "lightening"?! Gads zooks! One thunder didn't stop rumbling and another flash of lightening would occur!! Over an hour like that! All the cats were moving around nearly on their stomachs and in slow motion if any movement at all... can we say "scared"? lol.. I was right with them after that last one we had that took down major branches and trees around here. I sat on the stairs out of my room since the room is in a direct shot for a huge tree on the lawn of David's' other house next door. It seems along with these storms can come winds of 60 mph and they always blows that tree (which a healthy large branch did break off the last storm) towards this house and the room i live in. (can we say paranoid?)

Of course the timing for the storm was about a crummy as it could get... 15 more minutes to go watching "House"(Hugh Laurie) and BOOM, it had begun and I quickly turned off the television! Dang it! So of course I don't know the ending of the kid who was burned. If anyone saw it, feel free to tell me what they discovered about the kid that made him have the accident. *sigh*

The outcome of the storm is that close by (but not us this time) had trees down and electrical lines down. I've said before that I am OLD and I can say that of all the years growing up in NJ that I've never witnessed so many severe storms here as we have had this year. That's been the real kicker for the weather reports to make my stomach churn.. they just hadda add the word SEVERE! (they weren't wrong this time). Know what i just love?.. when they say: "potentially severe"!.. duh.. so do I worry or not? heh.

However, for now, it did break the heat wave, for which I am eternally grateful! My room had been a constant 92 degrees (98 outside) even with fans going. Although, there are window air conditioners in 3 rooms of this house, the room I reside in has none. This morning the thermometer reads a "cool" 82 ! Hey, I'll take it!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot

Your Monday Photo Shoot: With photo editing tools, take a picture of yours and turn it into a negative. The idea here is not to take just any picture, mind you, but one that you think will look particularly striking with its colors inverted.

I looked thru my folders of past pictures I've used and started making them negatives.. the first two I thought were nice.. but boring.. only "blue" lions ! So I continued until I found some that showed some "color" other then just blue.. this is what I came up with.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Nice Surprise..

In my last post I mentioned a man named Gregg Hunter, who did a call in radio show out in California. The talk was all about old movie stars and movies. I also mentioned that I searched the web and found his name and email, and that he did some writing for a newspaper of some sort.

Well.. much to my surprise he responded to my email. I am posting it below because for anyone who wants to hear him.. you can! Unfortunately, for me, it's still from the west coast, so 9 pm their time is midnight here... and this old fart doesn't stay awake late!

But just the same I know a few readers are from the west coast and if they are interested in hearing his talk show all you have to do it go to, choose channel CRN1, (across the top) then choose, How to Listen (on the left) and then (on the right) under Now Playing, Listen Live, choose CRN1. That will load the cable radio and buffer it and then you will hear live radio. Remember: 9 pm Monday night WEST COAST TIME (midnight East Coast Time).

Here is the email I got from Gregg:

What a nice surprise to hear from you. Yes, the last I heard Turhan is very much alive -- and so am I. His attempt at a comeback was not very successfully as Hollywood has a very short memory. Coincidentally I just did an interview with the biography author of actress, Patricia Neal. She's alive, 80, and doing medium well.. Caught a glimpse of her on he TONY awards marking 60 years since she was the first winner. Time marches on!

Though KIEV was sold and then totally obliterated, I was only off for a week or two and am still at the microphone with the familiar format. Even on the east coast, you can catch my current CRN network show on Monday eves at 9 PCT -- midnite in your area. Just log on to channel one and there I am doing the same sort of thing I did alll those years on KIEV. No more 6 nites a week -- I had to get a life while there's some left in me. But old habits are hard to break! If you have a problem downloading CRN you can your nearest station or cable connection; for CRN by calling 818 352-7152. And if you'd like to talk Hollywood and more with me 'on the air' dial 1 800 336-2225 and just tell my producer you're an old friend of 'Gregg Hunter's World". If I'm doing an interview, either listen by phone or leave a call back number. Thanks again for getting in touch. All best -- "COUSIN GREGG"

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Times gone by..

Way back, last November, I wrote about When I was 10 Years Old, and a radio show that led me to write to "my first Hollywood love", Turhan Bey.

Gregg Hunter

If you were to hear that radio show today, one might think it would be just "old folks" calling in and talking about the "old movies and old actors", but to tell the truth there were quite a few Movie Buffs of all ages that would be regular callers.

I know I touched on the fact that I wished there was some sort of radio or television (with all the cable channels anything is possible) that still covered the older movies and especially the growing number of older actors, that seem to be leaving us left and right.

I can remember that on occasion, on Gregg's radio show, one of the actors or actresses would call in their self and talk to Gregg. ( I even tried to get DeForest to call in since he loved the show so much, but he never did. He always had a hard time talking about himself... many times he stated that the reason he didn't write a Biography was because he couldn't deal with "I, I, I" all the time. He was just a shy, very private person).

Now that we seem to be having another group of celebrities passing.. I find myself wishing there was a real radio or television show where they told some of their fabulous stories, and people could call in and ask questions, or just plain speak to someone they admired for oh so many years. I know it would excite the caller... and I feel sure the celebrity would feel really good inside knowing that they aren't forgotten.

With this in mind I have a request for anyone reading this: (make that 2 requests!)

Name one of your favorite actors or actress's that you would love to meet. Then tell me what question you would ask of them. Leave your answer in comments or do a post about them and come here and leave a link so we can all read it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Red Buttons...

Red Buttons dies, age 87.

Born: 5 February 1919
New York, New York, USA

Birth name
Aaron Chwatt

I remember many of the movies Red Appeared in.. and most of all I remember his television show "The Red Buttons Show", with him cuffing his ear and singing the "Ho Ho Ho" song!

Every time we seem to hear of our actors and actresses passing I get sad.. I also get upset. I go to autograph shows and meet many actors past the age of 60 and I look at all the wonderful photo's of them "in their prime" and I stand and listen to the fans telling them how much they meant to them during this movie or that and grinning from ear to ear to have a few precious moments to meet them. And I see the expression on the actor or actress, and what I seem to see is happiness, for being remembered, and for feeling they had purpose in their life.

The next thing I know, I blink... and they are gone.

And each time I get more upset and don't understand why there isn't some sort of television or radio shows for these people, where many more "fans" could call in and ask questions of them and meet them and have their own special moments with them. For surely it's a "win -win situation" for the actor or actress and for the people who still think of them when they see one of their old movies and wish they knew what has become of them, for without agents.. it's a hard road to find an address to be able to write to them and tell them... that they surely aren't forgotten.

From the NY Times... Red Buttons, a Borscht Belt comic who rose to instant television stardom on his own variety show in 1952, descended to obscurity three years later after his program was canceled, and then rebounded to win the Academy Award as best supporting actor in 1958 for his dramatic performance in “Sayonara,” died today at his home in Los Angeles. He was 87.The cause was vascular disease, his publicist Warren Cown told The Associated Press.

(more from the NY Times here.)

IMDb Bio... Although Red Buttons is best known as a stand-up comic, he is also a successful song writer, an Academy Award-winning actor (and has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards) and an accomplished singer. Born Aaron Chwatt in New York City's Lower East Side, Buttons (who got his name from a uniform he wore while working as a singing bellhop) started his show-business career singing on street corners as a child. At 16 he got a job as part of a comedy act playing the famed Catskills resort area in upstate New York (his partner was future actor Robert Alda). Buttons worked the burlesque circuit as a comic and even landed a role in a Broadway play, "Vicki", in 1942. He soon joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and in 1943 was picked for a role in Moss Hart's service play "Winged Victory" on Broadway, and soon afterwards journeyed to Hollywood to make the film version. After his discharge from the service he returned to Broadway, both in plays and as a comic with several big-band orchestras. He was successful enough that he got his own TV series, "The Red Buttons Show" (1952), on CBS. It lasted three years and won Buttons an Emmy for Best Comedian. He worked steadily for the next several years, and in 1957 got his big film break in the drama Sayonara (1957) with Marlon Brando, in which he played an American soldier stationed in Japan who struggled against the societal and racist pressures of both American and Japanese cultures because of his love for a Japanese woman. His performance garnered him an Academy Award, and more film roles followed. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Harlow (1965/I) and again for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). He had a part in the TV series "The Double Life of Henry Phyfe" (1966) and has done pretty much every kind of TV show there is, from variety to comedy to soap operas. He gained further renown in the 1960s for his appearances on the "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" where he performed his "Never Got a Dinner" act to great acclaim. He has played Las Vegas for years, has a star on Hollywood Boulevard (corner of Hollywood and Vine) and has appeared in numerous telethons andcharitable events, for which he has been honored by such organizations as the Friars Club and the City of Hope Hospital.

(Read this and credits at )

Feline Friday...

Hey! It's Feline Friday again! lol... I actually managed to get a picture of Stinkey.. and he's not asleep! Woo-hoo! Mark your calendars! hahaha.. Of course he was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be so he didn't stick around long.. I was lucky to get one photo... and it wasn't too bad.

And just for extra credit .. here's one of Peanutchew playing..