Pack Brats.

I have been leading up to the 80's pinnacle of Pack-men (& women) and they are none other than: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, the Brat Pack. (Definitely click there if you want bios of the Pack, it saves me the trouble of linking.)

I'm not going to bother going on about these brats but perhaps I should clue you in on why I've gone off tangentially on these Pack-posts in the first place. Dave, Rob, Alex and I popped into this bar called St. Elmo's Place last Friday. Maynard & Blaise of Monkey Majik fame also made an appearance and jocularity ensued.

A cool little sports bar with Darts and a Foozball game (the first I've seen in Japan) AND the walls were plastered with posters of the Brat Pack (et al.) These BP movies, St Elmos Fire/ The Breakfast Club/ Pretty In Pink/ Sixteen Candles/ Weird Science/ Class/ About Last Night and The Outsiders were all represented, as well as a few Lea Thompson & Matthew Broderick posters (whom I always considered to be honourary Brat Packers, if not canonical.)

Only guys seemed to frequent the joint, but there was a lovely waitress, named Yoshie who joined us in darts and spoke a smattering of English. WooHoo! We have now found a new place to hang out!

Everyone split up and most went home, except Dave & I. Dave moved on to Shaft to listen to this infamous DJ from Germany, who just happens to be a Pron star over there. I hooked up with the gang at 305 and went bowling with them on Sunday. But that's a post for another day...

(A brief aside...According to their website, MM have sold out of their summer tour promoting their new cd. Thank goodness, Blaise's girlfriend wrangled us some tickets. Should be a blast...)


Leader of the Packs!

Since the Rat Pack was named by Lauren Bacall at Bogey's home, that alone puts them at the Top of the Heap. But there are other lesser important Packs out there. Here's a few...

The Frat Pack: core members include...Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Carell. Coined by USA TODAY a few years back, this outdated chart outlines the various criss-crossing of careers for your convenience. I've seen many of their efforts and find them more amusing than annoying, but a fine line does get tread there occasionally. The only movie of theirs that I own is Dodgeball, which I picked up for a mere fin on St. Patrick's Day at a flea market.

The one member, whose career I've followed the longest, is Ben Stiller's. I first remember him in an eponymous Fox show called The Ben Stiller Show that only lasted a short time when Fox was still in its infancy. But I was aware of his parents for decades prior to that from appearances on Ed Sullivan, Tonight Show, etc. Their marriage has lasted over 50 years...a milestone by Hollywood terms! Jerry Stiller is best remembered as George's dad, Frank Costanza on Seinfeld and I have fond memories of Anne Meara from her days on Archie Bunker's Place as the nasty waitress. If the pack can be considered a Fraternity, than these two can be considered their Den Parents for they've made several cameos in Frat Pack movies (my favourite being Zoolander! Maury Ballstein: I've got a prostate the size of a honeydew and a head full of bad memories.)
Here's the Gas Fight...

The Power Pack: cheesy kids comic from 1984 that lasted 60ish issues. I bought the first couple of dozen and enjoyed their innocence. After one two many Wolverine x-overs, I gave up on them. I understand they've been revamped a few times, but I don't know anything about that.

The Scat Pack...Head up by Mr. Hankey, it also includes Winnie the Pooh and this trio from Japan...ウンチ (unchi). I'm not serious about this last one, but it'd be cool!

Coming up next, the iconic 80's Pack (and the reason I'm posting this stuff in the first place.)


Pack Rats

First it was the Rat Pack: consisting of the quintissential quintet of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop (I liked him on password, I was too young to see him on the Tonight Show.) The first three are the only ones with musical talent, but they all contributed to the Pack (such as Lawford's connection as JFK's brother-in-law and the guy who introduced Marilyn for his birthday tune.)

Precognitively, he introduced the tardy lass as the "late" Marilyn. She died soon after.

I frequently channel Frankie during karaoke bouts and click here if you'd like to learn to talk like him. I have a couple of his cds and this one is my favourite.

As for Sammy, I only have this cd but it is really swinging, baby. I loved him on All in the Family. An all-time classic television moment:

And the only Rat Pack movie I own is this one. Bing replaced Lawford in this one (because Peter didn't hook Frank up with JFK, he was given the boot!)
I love Dean in this movie and every other movie he shows up in, especially those with out Lewis. (Though those are good too, but a bit too sober for my tastes.)

Tomorrow I'll talk about a couple of other influential packs, but for now, I can't get started!

Silky & Spicy

There's gonna be a loverly SINGLES PARTY at Ernie's bar this Thursday (and any last Thursday of the month.) Check out this Rose:

Come for the Darts Tournament, stay for the Ripping music by DJs SPONY & MIXTURE & a guest.
For more details, look at this:

You might just find that certain someone that you've been searching for...


Cine-Manga Magic!

As promised, here's the first half of the Fumetti (captioned-photo book) for Star Wars with Japanese titles! (Yippee, I went and bought a 20-meter cable so that I can hook up my modem to my pc. Why is the phone jack at the front door away from where you might possible need it? But at least I'm back on the Net!)

Be sure to click on each photo to see all its Forceful goodness!

スターウォーズ、エピソード IV = Star Wars, Episode IV:

My Japanese is sketchy at best, so I'll have to leave most of these pages comment-free.

R2-D2 says, "BLOOP, BLEEP, BLURP!" The Japanese sounds like this: "Bee-Beee-Booo!"

HRRYAA!!=Gaaay!; WAAAHH=Bee-bee-bee-bee!; OOOOOOH!!=Gyurrr!; UTTNI!!=kikii!

URGH!=Oooh!; GLACH=Gwaa!; AWKK=Whoa!

URGH! URGH! URGH!=Waa Waa Waa!

It certainly looks to me like Han shot first...

By the way, I re-watched the DVD on Friday and I misquoted myself. It's amazing how a 30-year-old memory can be incorrect. Han Solo said, "...the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs". My friend said, "parsecs are a measure of length, not time." Aren't you glad I cleared that up?

I'll finish the story one of these days for you. I'm sure you'll all want to know how it ends!


In A Galaxy Far Away...

May 25th is the 30th anniversary of Star Wars (Episode 4!?!) A New Hoax.

I was a wee lad in high school when it first came out and I remember watching it with a friend at Shopper's World in Brampton. (Back when Shopper's was the only mall in town and back when it had a theatre!) Hard to believe that Star Wars wasn't the phenomenon then that it is now, but there were so few people watching it, that we sat through it twice without being jack-booted out by the ushers.
Being a die-hard Trekker, I was ripe for the picking to have a new obsession thrust upon me, and thrust in I was! (On the other hand, my friend's only comment was concerning Han Solo's statement that "I can do the run in 2 light years!" (Or words to that effect). Good old Martin Buchholz (the smartest guy in our high school, Canadian Chess Champ and Reach For the Top winner two years running, '75-76) complained, "Light years are a measurement of distance not time!" ...Has George corrected that error in one of his innumerable revisions? I hope not. I wrote it off as Han's bravado (when we all know he was full of it.)

Anyway, I loved them all (Empire is my personal favourite), collected all the loot, but I don't have too many goodies left. I made a tidy profit on my comic books, but I made the foolish move of playing with my figures and not keeping them pristine in the original packaging.

But in doing my part for the anniversary, here are several photos of my personal Japanese collection. Some has been transported from my locker in Brampton, but most has been acquired while here. Alas, most of the recent crap has been from the crap recent movies. The movies may bite, but the merchandising rocks!

Some Potato Chip bag Clips.
Dagnabit! There are 8 in the set and I only have 7!
Some holographic Fridge Magnets.
More Fridge magnets, the Emperor is really creepy!

A couple of Mini-Eminem dispensers.
A couple of Lego sets.
Some of these Figurine sets are really keen!
I gotta get around to assembling these one day...

(As an added bonus, I have scanned 1/2 of the Japanese version of Tokyo Pop's Star Wars fumetti for your enjoyment. But you'll have to wait until my net works at home for me to post it!)

If you really want to enhance your geekery about all things Star Warsian, check out Wookiepedia.

Since it promises to be a rainy weekend, I think I'll sit back and watch the trilogy. It'll give me a chance to take pics of the ton of stuff I have sitting in boxes!

Live Long and Prosper!
(Oh, I'll burn in heck for that one!)
Stupid internet!

Thank God I got a new modem, it worked for about one day before shutting down again! Now, it does let me on the net, but I have to jump through several hoops beforehand and then after making the required oblations, I only get about 2 minutes of Net-ness. I'm running out of willing virgins to sacrifice to the great god of the blogosphere!

Needless to say, posting will be sporadic at best, and Dagnabit, now I have something to say!!

(I wish I weren't such a Luddite!


Jack Sparrow would be proud!

Last weekend was the 青葉まつり, which I wrote about last year, here: aoba matsuri.

I've been meaning to make a more thorough write-up about this all week, but with my net down, I've been remiss. So unfortunately, I'm going to skip most of the colour commentary and links. (Here is the history if you're really interested.) I will mention that the weather was rainy on the Saturday (I didn't go) and lovely on the Sunday (I did go.) Since the funky dance they do is called the 雀/スズメ 踊り (suzume odori which translates as "Sparrow Dance", ergo my post's title. It gave me a chance to teach all my students about sparrows, since they ALL know who Jack Sparrow is!

So what follows are numerous photos of the dancers and 神輿 (mikoshi or portable shrines.)

Colourful dancers.
Bad photo, but cool portable shrine.
Some fledging sparrows, 小スズメ (ko-suzume) who get their own dance.
Keep on flocking!

Another cool mikoshi.
Hauling the shrine (some are trying harder than others.)
More baby sparrows.

Protecting onlookers from Stephen King's The Dark Half (obscure reference to the sparrows in that novel.)
One of my favourites of the day.

They're flying!
Competitors on the main stage.

Other cool stuff took place at (Nishiki-cho Park) but I missed most of it.
I did get to see the lamest magician ever!
A plethora of keychains!
A plethora of character-masks for the kiddie-cosplayers.
A couple of tweenies flogging their new CD!

It was nice of Sendai to host this event again this year (by the way, the collective noun for a group of sparrows is: a host of sparrows!)

I'll be there again next year, I'm sure or I'll be sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry!



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