Monday, July 14, 2014

that red headed jewish girl

September 29, 1942 – December 3, 1999
I was and always will be a fan of the late Madeline Kahn.  A classic beauty, an incredible actress, singer and dancer...Madeline could do it all.  She remains one of my all time favorite comedians. You could've taken that talent of hers and dropped it anywhere in the Hollywood timeline and she would've risen to the top.  Her best work was with Mel Brooks, who tapped into her comedic genius.  Brooks literally had to gag his film crew every time Madeline was in front of the camera, she was that funny.  Yet Madeline never thought herself to be a funny person, she said that she had to work hard at comedy.  You'd never know it to watch her.  Oh how I wished she were still around entertaining today.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

no easy horses

Me on my two-wheeled chariot, a long time ago.
Learning to ride a bike is as easy as falling off a bike.

Kelsey is eleven years old.  It's past time that she learns to ride a bike.  I need the exercise, and I want to ride bikes with her before school starts.  My girls, like a lot of kids today, are indoor creatures.  They read, play video games and forage for food in the fridge.

Today I beckoned Kelsey out to the garage.  I oiled up the chains to Gina's old Schwinn an got Kelsey to fill the tires with the foot pump.  I made some adjustments to the handlebar and seat and commenced to teach her how to ride a bike.

She's compliant to instruction, but she had the look as though she had rather be inside playing Minecraft on her Kindle Fire.  Kelsey has spent enough of her short Summer in her room playing Minecraft or creating stuff with her Legos.  She needs to get out, move around, feel the wind in her hair.

I don't remember when I learned to ride a bike.  I was pretty young.  No one taught me how to ride.  The only way I was going to keep up with my older siblings was to jump on that thing and learn.  I remember falling a lot. I don't remember getting frustrated.  I wanted to learn it right then and there and I don't recall it taking me that long to learn.  The secret to riding a bike is not falling off.

There are two steps to successful bike riding; (1) motion (2) balance.  Kelsey seemed to get the balance down pretty quick. She's still having trouble getting her foot on that peddle for that initial thrust.  She'll get it, not today, but soon, and for the rest of her life.  You go girl!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

¡Viva la muerte... tua!

I stumbled across an Spaghetti Western made back in 1971 that starred Eli Wallach and Frano Nero.  It's a quirky film which has similarities in plot to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  Wallach once again plays a bandito character and Franco who's character is a Russian Prince.  Both characters, like in Leone's masterpiece, are two men who don't like each other but both after a buried gold treasure.  Sound familiar?

Both Wallach and Nero play well off each other in this strange Western action adventure comedy. There's plenty of action and adventure and the story doesn't drag like many substandard Italian Westerns often do.  The comedy aspect falls flat in this picture.  It's a shame the script and production are weak.  I watched this movie because of the late Eli Wallach.  I'm a fan.  He's always entertaining to watch, but he didn't have the choice lines, nor were his scenes framed very well.  The story had potential, but just wasn't carried through as well as it could've been. 
It's still though enjoyable movie to watch.
¡Viva la muerte... tua! is the original title, English translation is Long Live Your Death.  Eli Wallach didn't like the title so he insisted on Don't Turn The Other Cheek for the American release.  You'll understand the title as the story unfolds.