Extremely excited for my mom’s visit in just over two weeks now. I’m also extremely excited about the road trip coming up in just under two months. If anybody wants to meet up on a leg of this trip, let me know. I’d hate to have all this fun by myself. The weather has been pretty good…though it always is here…even when it’s a blizzard (just a pain to get around town if needed). Even when it snows, the next few days are sunny (though chilly) and gorgeous. Yeah, I like it out here. I don’t have to worry about inversions and pollution making it difficult to breath, just scenery that takes my breath away (the altitude helps). So yeah, really nothing new…or new stories or dreams or whatever so…here’s the news…
$10,000 to Watch a Movie? It Must Be Horrible - A Bollywood filmmaker has issued a lucrative challenge to horror movie fans: a $10,000 reward for anyone who can watch his latest supernatural thriller, alone, in a cinema until the closing credits. Ram Gopal Varma's "Phoonk 2," a sequel to his 2008 film of the same name, is about an evil spirit that traumatizes a family. "Anyone who says the movie cannot scare him is going to be put in a theater by himself," Varma told reporters in Mumbai at an event to promote the movie. Varma said the film fan who steps up to the challenge will be wired up to a heart monitoring machine as well as a camera that ensures they keep their eyes open during the whole movie. Readings from the machines will be shown live on a screen outside the cinema, Varma said, and if the contestant succeeds, they will win 500,000 rupees (approximately $10,850). Varma issued a similar challenge ahead of the release of the original "Phoonk" but the promotional contest was withdrawn after allegations the selection process was rigged. Varma said the contest winner ran out 30 minutes after the film started, but newspaper reports said a film fan in the southern Indian city of Bangalore booked an entire cinema to prove the director wrong and watched the film alone with a doctor on call and security personnel stationed outside. So there you go, shameless promotions at work. Of course the selection process is rigged. It’s a rip-off of that “Paranormal Activity” marketing ploy that worked to perfection this last fall…and you fell for it. Well, not YOU probably…but enough of you out there in the blogosphere fell for it. The movie made bank…and it sucked. I don’t have to watch it to know that it sucked. How do I know that it sucked? Has any movie filmed completely in night vision ever been any good? “A Night In Paris”? Exactly…and that was the best thus far…and it’s like a National Geographic documentary of the Great White Whore. It almost merits narration by Morgan Freeman. “Here, the female seems completely uninterested and unaware in the male’s attempts at intercourse. She makes several calls to other females using a complex form of communication known as cellular messaging. The male is done. No time for romance…when you’re in the wild. Successful appropriation is the only true goal.” What was my point? Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure that I’m desensitized to the point that I could be locked in a theatre watching something like the smut that was implied on “8MM” for about two hours…with the runs (I’d just go on the floor) surrounded by farm animals with the runs for $10,000. Anyway, just thought that was an interesting ploy. Isn’t “Phoonk” like the sound a bowling ball makes when it gets sucked through a garden hose?
The Taken Experience – Do you really like to get into your movies? Did you watch “Taken” and think “Man, that would be awesome to be the kidnapped girl & have Liam Neeson come save me”? Really? That’s a little weird (and consider the source of that statement). Thrill-seekers in France tired of the usual array of white-knuckle sports are turning to a bizarre new service to get their adrenaline rush -- designer abduction. For 900 euros (about $1,226), clients of Ultime Realite ("Ultimate Reality"), a firm in eastern France, can buy a basic kidnap package where they're bundled away, bound and gagged, and kept incarcerated for four hours. Alternatively, they can opt for a more elaborate tailor-made psychodrama, involving an escape or helicopter chase for example, where costs can quickly escalate (“Give us one million euros in small unmarked bills…or else”). "Basically, anything is possible. I identify what the customer wants and then try to put it into action," said Georges Cexus, 28, who set up the company in the middle of January. Once the scenario has been established, clients sign a contract and liability waiver, but have no idea when the kidnappers will strike in order to maximize the surprise (while they’re on the can). But Cexus said the maximum incarceration time is 11 hours, beyond which clients might find the novelty tends to wear off (“My wrists hurt. I’ve gotta pee.” “SHUT UP!!!” SLAP!!!). After just a few weeks in business, Ultime Realite says it is already getting up to two requests a day, the majority from top-level executives seeking an extreme alternative to bungee jumping or skydiving (or flying to Bratislava to kill somebody). Others are hoping to confront deep-rooted phobias, such as one potential client who says he wants to be buried alive. For those searching for the ultimate nightmare, the company is also hoping to branch out beyond kidnappings and is looking into options such as spending a night in a morgue, or attending your own funeral. "Let's say it will really be about bringing to life the client's worst fear, the thing that's lurking in the back of his mind and he's never dared talk about," said Cexus. While paying "victims" might find the experience cathartic, however, there's little guarantee of how innocent bystanders might react to witnessing a kidnapping in broad daylight. A spokesperson for the French police said they had no legal objections to the service, but the company would need to warn local authorities beforehand so they were prepared for any emergency calls (or run the risk of getting sniped by a hero). "With regard to the police and penal code, there's no reason for us to ban this service, as the victim is consenting which means there's no crime," the spokesperson said. It’s an intriguing idea. I like it. You know how I feel about facing your fears and wanting to rob a bank and all that stuff. Sure, there are some possible road blocks (your liability waiver wouldn’t mean sh*t if something were to go wrong) but hey, this may just be ahead of its time. Like I’ve said, maybe a company like this will allow me the chance to rob a bank without getting shot and/or sent to prison for twenty years. Then again…it’s only a matter of time before things get murky and things go horribly wrong. If there’s one thing that “Dollhouse” has taught me…even with the best intentions, things’ll get f**ked up real quick. Anyway, best of luck to you Ultime Realite. I hope it works out for you.
Now This Art, I Understand - In the name of art, an Austrian landmark is encouraging visitors to confront their sexual inhibitions by having them walk through a swingers club to reach one of Gustav Klimt's masterpieces. The Secession — a world-renowned venue for contemporary art in downtown Vienna — has temporarily incorporated a sex club named "Element6" as part of a project by Swiss artist Christoph Buechel. The swingers are not there during the day, but their mattresses, erotic pictures, bar and whirlpool are (for your own safety, please do not touch). Secession spokeswoman Urte Schmitt-Ulms said Buechel hoped to spark a stir reminiscent of the scandal Klimt caused when his "Beethoven Frieze" was first exhibited in 1902. Now considered one of the Austrian painter's key pieces, it was once thought of as obscene and pornographic because of the way women's bodies were depicted. One section of the mural shows three mostly naked women, one with very large breasts who looks pregnant and the other two covered only by their long flowing tresses (Gasp!!!). Another includes naked mythical figures and a zombie-like, seminude female with stringy black hair (Zombie gasp!!!). While the club only opens at night long after the art hall closes, daytime visitors aged 18 and older pass through its dimly lit rooms on their way to see the Klimt wall painting located in the basement of the building (of course, so it’s safe from the elements & there’s no way out). The room where the frieze is exhibited is locked at night for security reasons. But it too has its share of mattresses, surrounded by fake tropical plants and a life-size stuffed lion. Just outside the room is a non-working sauna, complete with a towel rack and bathrobes. Buechel declined to comment on his project, but the club, normally located in another part of town, said its participation "aims to give as many people as possible the opportunity to overcome their inhibitions." Hmm, face their fears? Ultime Realite? "In the framework of this exhibition at the Secession, each individual can test for himself or herself whether this opens up new dimensions for his or her own sexuality," the club said in a statement. There's no question that Buechel has succeeded in igniting a debate. "Group sex in the Secession — has our society completely lost it?" Austria's far-right Freedom Party asked. Yet on the streets of Vienna, people appeared more amused than appalled. "I think it's perfectly OK," said Moritz Wagner, a 26-year-old medical student (with a penis). "It's not my thing but why not?" echoed a laughing Ute Wegscheider as she pushed her young daughter's stroller. "Maybe I should go check it out with my husband!" (Dang, she’s married) Gerald Adler of Britain's Kent School of Architecture, who was taking students to see the Secession, said Buechel should have chosen a different site — such as St. Stephen's Cathedral — if he wanted to make a real splash. "He's putting it in a place that's an accepted venue for avant-garde art, so it loses its effect," Adler said. The project runs until April 18. So yeah, if you’re needing to take your girlfriend or partner or whatever to an art gallery to score some points…keep in mind the one with a gang bang. “Oh my gosh, I had no idea. This is repulsive.” “If you didn’t know then why did you bring our goodie bag?” “I was just hoping to do some kinky stuff in a regular art museum. This just makes things easier.” Hmm, on that note, I wonder if Ultime Realite can make it so that I can have sex with a French maid on a nude marble Greek woman while Mona Lisa watches judgmentally. See? It’s already turning for the worst for that company.
Casanova Memoirs – There’s a lot of French artsy stuff in this post. France's national library has bought the memoirs of celebrated Venetian lover Giacomo Casanova, which were initially thought to have perished at the end of World War Two. The 3,700 fading yellow pages (ah, so it’s like his “little black book”) of Casanova's "Histoire de ma Vie" (Story of my Life) were discovered packed in a dozen boxes (that’s a long story) which had been transferred to a safe just days before the allied bombing of Germany in 1945. "During the Second World War Leipzig was bombed, but the boxes were discovered in the basement of the bank where they were being kept. They were in good shape," Marie-Laure Prevost, curator of Bibliotheque Nationale de France, told Reuters TV. "Everyone at that time was touched when this manuscript was found. Even Churchill asked whether it survived the bombing." (Probably to help Winston’s luck with the ladies) France's national library paid around seven million euros for the memoirs, which Casanova started writing while working as a librarian in 1789 (Really? Geez, all librarians are freaks in the sheets). "The Casanova manuscripts are the most important purchase ever made by the library ... And of course it is a great event from a cultural and heritage point of view," said Bruno Racine, head of the library (with a mild erection). Casanova describes his amorous adventures in the script, which he modified continually until his death in 1798 (probably to make himself bigger). "It is one of the most published texts in the world with hundreds and hundreds of publications and ... they have always been corrected, simplified, falsified. So what is important for us is to find the authentic truth," added Racine. The purchase was funded by a private donor and the library hopes to exhibit the manuscript in autumn 2011. So now soon you too can read the great Italian pickup lines of the 18th century like “I don’t have the herpes” and “I have my Ferrari Gondola parked outside” and “Do you have a mirror in your pocket? Because I won’t tell the magistrate if you have sex with me.” It obviously sounds a lot better in Italian. There’s something lost in the translation.
Coke Bottle Figure Like Coke? - Watching a curvaceous woman can feel like a reward in the brain of men, much as drinking alcohol or taking drugs might, research now reveals. Scientists added these new findings might help explain the preoccupation men can have toward pornography (yeah, that’s why). Shapely hips in women are linked with fertility and overall health. As such, it makes sense evolutionarily speaking that studies across cultures have shown men typically find hourglass figures sexy. To explore the roots of this behavior, researchers had 14 men, average age 25, rate how attractive they found pictures of the naked derrieres of seven women before and after cosmetic surgery that gave them more shapely hips (sweet Jesus, how do I get into one of these focus groups?). These operations did not reduce weight but just redistributed it, by implanting fat harvested from the waists into the buttocks. Brain scans of the men revealed that seeing post-surgery women activated parts of the brain linked with rewards, including regions associated with responses to drugs and alcohol. It might not be especially surprising that evolution wired the male brain to find attractive bodies rewarding. "Hugh Hefner could have told us that by showing us how many zeroes are in his bank account," said researcher Steven Platek, an evolutionary cognitive neuroscientist at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. "But there's more to it than buying Playboy, Maxim, or FHM." For instance, "these findings could help further our understanding pornography addiction and related disorders, such as erectile dysfunction in the absence of pornography. These findings could also lend to the scientific inquiry about sexual infidelity." The scientists also found that changes in a woman's body-mass index or BMI - a common measure of body fat - only really affected brain areas linked to simple visual evaluations of size and shape. This may be evidence that body fat influences judgments of female beauty due more to societal norms than brain wiring. "The media portrays women as wholly too skinny. It's not just about body fat, or body mass index." What do women think? (Who the hell cares? Sorry, just seeing if you’re reading) Future research could also investigate the effects that attractive figures have on the female brain. "It turns out women find similar optimally attractive female bodies as attention-grabbing, albeit for different reasons. Women size up other women in an effort to determine their own relative attractiveness and to maintain mate guarding - or, in other words, keep their mate away from optimally designed females." These findings should not be construed as saying that men are solely programmed by their biology, nor that "women without optimal design should just hang up their mating towel," Platek added. No doubt. What they should do…is call me. Why? I’ve got the Casanova pickup lines down, I make any movie better, I appreciate a good healthy backside (possibly an addict), I’m always down for a good exciting adventure, I have the cutest nieces & nephew in the world, and I even enjoy going to art galleries. What more could you want? You owe it to yourself to give me a chance.
Anyway, that’ll do it for today. Hope you all enjoyed today’s rambling…or at least some of the pretty pictures. Again, let me know if any of you want to tag along on my road trip coming up soon. I could use the company…and let’s face it, you’d enjoy it too. Stops are places like San Francisco, Monterey, Pasadena, Newport Beach, Las Vegas, southern Utah, Salt Lake City, then back on home to Lake Tahoe…and a few other possibilities in between. You know me. My mind tends to wander. Have a great day everybody!!!