Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's My Potty and I'll Cry If I Want To - The Final Chapter!

My bathroom is done!

Now we can Rock and Roll All Night and Potty Everyday!

The last Potty update I was just about to get started on the finish work for the mirror board and shelves that extend from each side of it...

Here's the mirror test fit in place, the "arms" all sanded and shaped and all of it ready for some veneer. All this work was done with hand tools and much cursing.

I used Tiger maple for each end and some bookmatched walnut burl for the center. I thought it would make a nice contrast.

Veneering can be done lots of different ways but the old school method is simply some clamping cauls and lots and lots of clamps. I used W. Patrick Edwards trusty "Old Brown Glue" for the veneering as it has a long open time which means I have plenty of time to mess around getting those clamps in place.

Here it is, veneer all trimmed, edges cleaned up and everything ready for stain and polyurethane.

And there it is installed in place, with the shelves attached. All that's left on that is to make the small blocks that cover the screws and it'll be ready to load up with trinkets, nick-nacks, doo-dads and kreplack, woo hoo!
I then spent several nights cutting mats, cleaning glass and getting a dozen or so pictures ready to hang.
I took the rest of these pics just a few hours ago...

That's a vintage bakelite tissue box cover on the terlet tank.

I hate blank walls!

This pic was taken standing in the shower.

The little wall by the closet door needed some dressing up too of course!

The view from my kitchen

And of course "Little Miss Pewfy Pants" had to have a color coordinated Booda dome! *sigh* now that her place of business is back where it belongs, we can live crappily ever after....

onto the next project...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Connie Hines...1931-2009

The actress best known for her role as Carol Post, the pretty, shapely and ever-so-patient and understanding wife of Wilbur Post on "Mr. Ed" passed away today at age 78.

Mr Ed is one of my fave old shows. The innocence and silly fun of it all is something absolutely and completely lost on TV these days. The cast was excellent and I dont care who you are, after only a few minutes, you WILL believe Ed really talks!

Her role was a rather thankless one, considering she played second banana to a horse, but according to co-star Alan Young, she never complained and was thrilled when new audiences were re-discovering the show in later years.

After 5 years and 144 episodes the show went off the air but Young and Hines remained friends thereafter and were even reunited onstage in 1996 for a 2 person play called "Love Letters"

A page from the March 31st, 1962 issue of TV guide that featured Mr Ed on the cover. It's a bit ironic that just a few months ago Mr Ed's complete first season was released on DVD.

RIP Connie.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Her name is....Mathilda....

A few recent pics of Little Miss Pewfy Pants...

Like most cats, just about anytime I was working in my bathroom she had to be right in the middle of it, or at least close by, in case anything exciting happened!


I'm sure most of you cat owners out there have caught your cat in "mid-clean" and for some reason they decided to leave their tongue out for a lil while.


Awwww, now aint dat cute!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Eleanor Parker... Part VI

The Final installment of my tribute to the beautful and talented Ms. Parker

Eleanor looking very much the wholesome All-American girl in a publicity shot for Warner Bros "The Very Thought of You". In addition to her many film apearances Eleanor also did a bit of TV work, especially later on in her career. She worked in a wide range of shows, everything from an episode of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." to the pilot episode of "Fantasy Island".

Her last screen credit to date is a 1991 USA network movie called "Dead on the Money" which starred Corben Bernsen and Amanda Pays. I think I saw this when it aired but I dont think I knew who Eleanor Parker was at the time!

A vintage Lobby Card I have for "Chain Lightning" the only film Eleanor starred with Humphrey Bogart. Sadly, it is not a very good film and most of the cast spent their time looking anxiously to the sky waiting for something bad to happen to Bogie and his jets. You might recognize the guy in the brown hat on the left, that's Raymond Massey, who is probably best known as James Dean's father in "East of Eden". The guy standing on the right is character actor Roy Roberts who has almost 200 screen credits to his name. I remember him best as a ruthless mob boss in the noir masterpiece "Force of Evil" with John Garfield.

Eleanor with Glen Ford in a vintage Lobby card for the flm that would win her a 3rd and final Oscar nomination for best actress. "Interrupted Melody" was based on the true story of opera singer Marjorie Lawrence's rise to fame, her battle with polio and her eventual comeback. Eleanor, as always gave a convincing heartfelt performance but the oscar went to Anna Magnani for "The Rose Tattoo".

I just picked this up a couple of weeks ago, a 1947 issue of the French movie magazine "Cine Revue". I have always LOVED this picture of Eleanor and had only seen it one time as a vintage Warner bros publicity poster on ebay, so I was very happy to finally get this image in some form!

After scanning I had a little fun in Photoshop and colored it.

For those that have enjoyed this little tribute to Eleanor Parker but arent familiar with much or any of her work I highly recommend the following films:

"The Very Thought of You" (1944)

"Pride of the Marines" (1945)

"Voice of the Turtle" (1947)

"The Woman in White" (1948)

"Caged" (1950)

"Three Secrets" (1950)

"Detective Story" (1951)

"Scaramouche" (1952)

"Escape from Fort Bravo" (1953)

"Naked Jungle" (1954)

"Interrupted melody" (1955)

"Man with the Golden Arm" (1955)

"Lizzie" (1957)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy B-day Kirk Douglas!

Kirk Douglas... Actor, Writer, Legend, Force of Nature...turns 93 on December 9th...

Kirk is right up there, just a smidge under Cagney, as one of my favorite actors of all-time. His best work can be so forceful, compelling and unforgettable that I often think to myself, he might be the finest actor who's ever lived.

Rather than just my usual blatherings I thought I'd post some quotes from Kirk and others as well.

Judging by the hair cut I'd peg this shot to be from post-Spartacus 1959-60.

"The one thing in my life that I always knew, that was always constant, was that I wanted to be an actor. That in itself is an assett. I think half the success in life comes from first finding out what you really want to do. And then going ahead and doing it."

In 1949 Kirk turned down a supporting role in MGM's big-budget film "The Great Sinner" and instead went after the starring role in Stanley Kramer's up coming low-budget production of "Champion", his first film as a producer.

"Although they were trying to be delicate about it, they (the producers) were wondering weather I could play a boxer. I finally realized what they wanted. I thought, this is what the starlets do. I took off my jacket and shirt, bared my chest and flexed my muscles. They nodded approvingly, satisfied that I could play a boxer. I was probably the only man in Hollywood who's ever had to strip to get a part."

Stanley Kramer - "We made a peculiar chemistry together. I chose him for Champion - he chose me - when both of us had other choices open, but not too many. He was a star. He acted like a star when he was nobody. Nothing daunted - to learn a language, to be a prize fighter, to juggle, to paint, to dance, to do anything. Dimple akimbo... he came at you center stage, and there it was... talented, full of chutzpah - and class. In that early film he screamed at the fight manager: 'I can do it - I can do it!' He can. He can."

A vintage publicity still for Warner Bros 1951 production of "Along the Great Divide", co-starring Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan and John Agar. The director was legendary Raoul Walsh.

"Critics talk about how Raoul Walsh movies have such great pace. They have great pace because he was always in a hurry to finish them. Along the great Divide was my first western. It was awful. I hated the whole picture, but I learned."

A publicity shot for William Wyler's outstanding 1951 production "Detective Story", co-starring Eleanor Parker, William Bendix (yo-ho!), Lee Grant, Joseph Wiseman, George MacCready, Cathy O'Donnell and many other fine character actors.

William Wyler - "My association with Kirk Douglas was limited to a single picture, Detective Story, but it was the best star-director relationship I ever had. We made the film in five weeks, the shortest schedule I ever had on a major motion picture, and it was thanks to Kirk and his professionalism that such a schedule was possible. He's a great fellow as an actor and as a man."

Kirk as Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent Minnelli's masterful 1956 production of "Lust for Life". His interpretation of the enormous talent and tortured soul of Van Gogh is one of the most compelling performances of his entire career. That he didnt win the Academy award for best actor that year is , to me, one of Oscars greatest boo-boos!!!

"I was getting close to getting lost in the character of Van Gogh. While we were shooting I wore heavy shoes like the ones Van Gogh wore. I always kept one untied, so that I would feel unkempt, off-balance, in danger of tripping. It was loose; it gave him - and me - a shuffling gait. My wife always said that it took me a long time to get out of that character. She would hear me still walking like Van Gogh every night when I came home from shooting and even after the picture ended."

Vincent Minnelli - "There is no more exciting thing for a director than the search with an actor for the meaning of an illusive and challenging character. Kirk is blessed with tireless energy, a willingness to try anything, and a complete disregard as to how he looks. He could not care less about being the handsome hero. His enthusiasm and devotion to the project is contagious and transmits itself to the crew, cast and everyone connected with the picture."

"The memory makes me whince. I could never play him again. For a long time after I finished the movie, I didnt see the picture. I had to get him out of my system. Maybe that was why I agreed to have my beard shaved off on the Perry Como Show; I needed a public ritual to help rid me of the character.

John Wayne - "Christ Kirk! How can you play a part like that? There's so goddamn few of us left. We got to play strong, tough characters. Not those weak queers"

"I dont think I'd be much of an actor without vanity. And I'm not interested in being a modest actor. The last time I heard a star described that way, I was reminded of the classic retort - He has a lot to be modest about."

Kirk as Doc Holliday in John Sturges' rousing "Gunfight at O.K. Corral"

"Hal Wallis (*the films producer*), who had dropped me years ago because I wouldnt sign a term contract, was now offering me ten times the salary he would have been paying me if he still had me under contract. I said I would play Doc Holliday if Burt Lancaster would play Wyatt Earp"

"My friendship with Burt really started on 'Gunfight at O.K. Corral', although we had made 'I walk Alone' ten years earlier. After the day's shooting in Tucson, and dinner at the hotel we would just sit around and talk. Almost every night. We would talk for hours"

Burt Lancaster - "Kirk would be the first person to tell you he's a very difficult man... and I would be the second."

Kirk, George MacCready and Richard Anderson in a scene from Stanley Kubrick's shattering anti-war masterpiece "Paths of Glory".

"Stanley, I dont think this picture will ever make a nickel, but we HAVE to make it."

"Stanley could be exasperating but what a talent. And a tremendous ego. Nothing wrong with that. Ego, not carried to excess, is healthy. I'm interested only in talent but wherever we went, Stanley made sure they stuck signs saying 'Harris-Kubrick' all around like 'For Rent' signs. I was tempted to say 'Get rid of those signs and put up a sign that says BRYNA!' It was the Bryna Company (*Kirk's production company*) that put the picture together and signed Kubrick to a three-picture contract. But I dismissed the petty thought. It amused me that he was so anxious about the 'Harris-Kubrick' signs. I'm surprised that he didnt want the signs to just say 'Kubrick'. It amused me less years later when Stanley told people that I was only an employee on 'Paths of Glory'."

Kirk made many westerns. One of my favorites is "Man Without a Star" because it's kinda off-beat, is very entertaining and also shows Kirk to truly be the all-time gun twirling champ!!

"In my favorite scene, I twirled a gun; flipped it into the air, from side to side, behind my back, and fired it. This was basically juggling, with some additions. We filmed it in one take, no cuts, so you could see that there was no magic, no special effects, to it."

Kirk and Burt in their last flm together, "Tough Guys".

"We shot a scene at a disco, slam dancing. A lot of people were surprised 'How'd you learn to dance that way?' I didnt know what they were talking about. I didnt rehearse anything. The music played, and I saw other people, and away I went. You know, arms swirling, bodies wiggling, punching and kicking."

Not bad for the Son of a Ragman....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Who Woulda Thunk It?!?!

"Dedicated to the Fifty!"

(My 50 blog followers that is! Thank you all for taking an interest!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eleanor Parker... Part V

More of my Eleanor Parker tribute...

Eleanor looking every bit the glamorous movie star here! I just aquired this vintage autographed still a few weeks ago off ebay. Total price with shipping was less than $8!

Eleanor striking a proud stance in one of her best films of the 1950's "The Naked Jungle". Her co- star was Charlton Heston and the 2 stars really clicked onscreen. Eleanor plays a mail-order bride traveling from New Orleans to her new husband's South American plantation. In his own book "Charlton Heston's Hollywood" he called this one of his best early films.

At one point Heston says - "Frankly, you're not what I expected"

"am I worse or better?"

"Just . . . more"

Another scene still from "The Naked Jungle". The tension between the 2 main characters in the beginning of the film is expertly played by the 2 stars and the love story is very well-written and surprisingly "adult" for its time.

A vintage Lobby Card I have. Heston had already appeared in many films including the best picture winner of 1952 "The Greatest Show on Earth" but Eleanor was still top billed on this film! Ironically she was not initially thought of for the role. Director Byron Haskin had wanted a gamine like Leslie Caron who he thought would be more believable as a mail-order bride, but when the more Elegant Parker became available that all changed. In his own words "There is some difference between Eleanor Parker and Leslie Caron!"

Another Lobby Card from my collection. Eleanor once again looked positively ravishing in technicolor! The first time I saw this film I was quite taken aback at how good it was AND how incredible she looked! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good adventure/romance film with some very cool special effects and all in blazing color!

This vintage postcard didnt scan too well. I just got this the other day. I have a few other Warner Bros contract star postcards from this same series so I'm very happy to add this one to the collection!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Artwork...

I finished this one up the other night. Took about 3 months on and off.

Approx 13" x 16" all colored pencil on Vellum surface Bristol paper. I still dont have a title for the piece.

Inspired by Clara Bow but inadvertantly ended up looking a bit like a friend of mine as well!

At any rate, I like her!