Misheard Lyrics, Vol 1

Often times I’ll mishear song lyrics and merrily sing the wrong words.

Even when I learn they aren’t the right words, it would take a nuclear bomb covered in salsa to get me to stop using the lyrics I first thought I heard.

So, here’s the first installment in a continuing series of lyrics that only exist in my head.

Moby – Natural Blues
What I Hear/Say
Oh no, trouble with God
Oh no, trouble with God

Actual lyrics
oh lordy, trouble so hard
oh lordy, trouble so hard

Harry Belafonte – The Banana Boat Song
What I Hear/Say
A beautiful bunch of ripe bananas
Highly deadly black tarantula

Actual lyrics
A beautiful bunch of ripe bananas
Hides the deadly black tarantula

Joyful Bubbles of Ordered Chaos

As I mentioned before, they are shooting a scene for the new Batman film The Dark Knight near where I work.

As I was hoofing it to Union Station to catch the train home yesterday evening, a police officer stopped me from my usual walking route on Canal Street. The Dark Knight production had a couple block radius cordoned off around the old Chicago Post Office. I was kind of irked by this as I would have to go out of my way to get to the train station and did not want to miss my train. As I walked up Clinton Street, I briefly looked down Van Buren to see what was going on. At that time a black helicopter whooshed off the ground into the sky from the corner of Canal and Van Buren. Cooooooool.

My annoyance was replaced with a “gee whiz” kind of feeling.

I have worked on a couple movies before, as a production assistant, as an electrician, and once as a jack-of-all-trades on a low budget 16mm feature film I was doing with a friend of mine. There’s something really appealing about being a part of a film production, particularly when you are shooting “on location.” It’s like being part of this self-contained world which seems to defy the traditional conventions and logic of good ol’ fashioned reality.

One time I was working on a film where there was a dialogue scene in the middle of a cornfield. I was there for several hours as they were filming. There’s a lot of downtime as things are readied and perfected prior to them actually starting the cameras rolling, so I’m just standing there, thinking…
I am standing in a cornfield…
I am standing in a cornfield…
I am standing in a cornfield…

Something about that, that I was part of some beast that was, for its own reasons, hunkering down in a cornfield for a few hours, just struck me as really neat. I have felt the same way when I have been part of film shoots in businesses — offices, restaurants, bars, etc. Often times I have met the real owners and workers of establishments we are filming in, and I get a sense of excitement from them when we are there as well. I am possibly misinterpreting the excitement vibe I get (maybe they’re hoping being in a movie will help out with business, for example) but the way I think about it is someone you don’t know has entered your place of work and suggests everyone go out and play a spontaneous kickball game.

My film experience is pretty paltry compared to most people who make a career out of the movie business, but I did have something amusing happen to me that others might not regularly experience. The 16mm feature film I mentioned was all done in various locations around Chicago, and we didn’t have any permits to shoot anywhere. We were out on Columbus Drive near Buckingham Fountain shooting a scene where a character is on a pay phone. Across this big street was a large number of trucks, people, some police cars, etc. We eventually realized it was another film shoot, but not a dinky one like ours.

A production assistant (P.A.) from their crew yelled at us from across the street, “GET YOUR SHOT!” — as in finish up, you film hoboes, because WE are filming here.. We noticed a guy with a large rolled-up newspaper sticking out of his back pocket, and we realized it was Kyle Chandler, and the cast and crew was from the CBS show Early Edition, whose bubble we were bumping against. It would have been nice if the P.A. could have personally walked over and cut off our balls, but he probably was busy doing other things.

So, if you have an opportunity to be on a film, as an extra, etc., give it a try. It will be freaking boring and there will be lots of waiting, but you might catch some of this “joyful bubble” feeling. Just make sure you don’t set any buildings on fire.

Movie Theater Meme

Okay, one more freaking meme to get out of my system, this one is about movie theaters.

I did a quick blog search for movies and I saw an existing meme about film, and I’m gonna overlap for just a few of the questions. I am deeply sorry for the overlap, but this is a Movie Theater specific set of questions and I gots to ask them.

First movie you saw in a theater?
Last movie you saw in a theater?
Crappiest moviegoing theater experience?
Best moviegoing theater experience?
What’s a movie you *have* to see on the big screen?
Have you even seen the same movie more than once in the same day?
Have you ever snuck into a theater to see a movie?
Ever walked out on a movie?
Movie snack of choice?

First movie you saw in a theater?
I remember going to a drive-in double feature with my family, where Jaws was the second film after some crappy thing I don’t remember. I freaking fell asleep before Jaws started, so I guess I can’t count that. It’s probably best that I fell asleep. I was afraid of my own shadow back then.

Star Wars is the first movie that I definitely saw in the theater and didn’t fall asleep. Other movies I remember from my green years — the crappy Roger Moore Bond movie Moonraker, and The Villain (with Kirk Douglas, Ann-Margret and Arnold Schwarzenegger!). Of course I am saying “crappy” in retrospect. They were the absolute coolest things when I first saw them. A wristwatch that shoots darts? A live-action version of the Coyote/Roadrunner saga? Damn!

Last movie you saw in a theater?
Grindhouse. All six and a half hours of it.

Crappiest moviegoing theater experience?
Well, I have seen 5 year old kids chasing each other during a 9:30pm showing of an R-rated movie, I’d had people smoking cigarettes in front of me, but both these things were expected because I was seeing movies in a cheap theater. I would say that the a-hole looking at his extremely bright cell phone during the entire duration of The History of Violence I paid full price for would count as the crappiest experience in recent memory. He was sitting smack-dab in the center of the aisle, and close enough to the screen that I didn’t want to move in front of him. And the thing was, I was afraid to ask him to stop messing with his phone because the movie was giving me the heebie-jeebies about some possible violent altercation ensuing.

Best moviegoing theater experience?
It’s really great living around a big city sometimes. I really enjoy seeing classic movies I missed when they first came out, and especially movies that prolly would not have been available for me to see even if I was around when they were released. I have seen a lot of great movies at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago — I was especially excited to see a kind of obscure Roman Polanski movie, Cul De Sac.

What’s a movie you *have* to see on the big screen?
When I finally got to see 2001: A Space Odyssey on a big screen, I was really bowled over. If you haven’t seen that one sequence in space with “The Blue Danube” music behind it on the big screen, for God’s sakes try to. The Road Warrior is also incredible on the big screen, too.

Have you even seen the same movie more than once in the same day?
I’m curious how many people have done this. I have done it twice. Once for Raiders of the Lost Ark, and once for GoodFellas. I was just so excited when I saw these movies for the first time that I had to see them again the same day.

Have you ever snuck into a theater to see a movie?
I think I have snuck in after seeing a dollar movie to catch the last 20 minutes of another, but I don’t know if you could technically count that as having snuck in. I’m kind of a wuss.

Ever walked out on a movie?
I did this once, for the movie Apt Pupil by Bryan Singer. It just struck a really negative chord with me. I just found it really offensive.

Movie snack of choice?
Salty – buttered popcorn, preferably in a tub (all food should be available in tubs!). Sweet – plain M&Ms. And Coca-Cola to drink.

So I tag:
Coaster Punchman

I would tag bubs again, but that’s plain rude to tag someone twice in a row, right? Consider this a non-tagging tag.

If you s’wanna tag yourself, please do so. I do so love enjoying other people enjoying the cinema.


I come from a long line of intentional mispronouncers. A favorite catchphrase of my dad’s is “Hope to sh*t in your mess kit!” spoken in the same context and tone of voice as “Have a nice day.” I still have no idea what the hell it means.

My dad is also big with the spoonerisms, and permanently scarred my older brother by having him learn the phrase “Chi Chi Boo Boo” when waving goodbye to a train. Needless to say, I did not fare much better than my brother.

So, I am now stuck with a habit of intentionally mispronouncing words in casual conversation.

I couldn’t find any word to describe this concept, so I’m making one up. A stiglet — an intentionally mispronounced word.

There’s really only one stiglet that I can use quite a bit, and believe me, I use it quite a bit. Click on the word to hear how it sounds coming out of my piehole.


The rest I use when I can, but they don’t come up that often.

pneumonia (you see where this is going don’t you?)

On very rare occasions, I’ll hear a word mispronounced and adopt it as my own. Here’s a favorite of mine:



Okay, here’s another one of those things I just somehow happened to notice which you may or may not have noticed.

I have seen The Shining in the theater once, and have seen it on DVD four or five times. During my last viewing of the film, a line of dialogue popped out at me for the first time.

So, in my last viewing of the film I happen to notice that a line spoken by the Stuart Ullman character (the character Jack Torrance goes to interview with for the job of the Overlook Hotel caretaker) has a strange change in it. The word ‘isolation’ sounds very slightly different — louder, with more force, having a slightly different quality (music snobs would call it timbre, but I’m not a music snob, folks).

Stanley Kubrick, to put it mildly, could be called a detail-oriented kind of guy. One could even go so far as to say he is somewhat of a perfectionist. The chance that this use of ‘isolation’ somehow slipped in unnoticed by the man to me seems pretty slim. He could have easily re-recorded the line of dialogue so this difference wouldn’t be there. But he wanted it to be there.

What? You say you can’t hear the difference? Close your eyes and play the clip again. Still nothing? Okay, put on headphones, close your eyes, play the clip again and concentrate.

Now, you say, okay, I hear it. So what?

So what? You ungrateful bastard.

The Blogger’s Hyperbola

Back in ye olden days I enjoyed putting up the odd webpage when a certain topic struck my fancy enough to do so, but I found the whole process of presenting page(s) devoted to a new topic, what with all the accompanying homemade images, font choices, color schemes, etc., to be nauseatingly time-consuming and dull. I didn’t want to do things half-assed (not to say that the results still didn’t often appear half-assed), so I eventually chose to do nothing at all.

Consequently, my webpage just sat there like an old chair, letting the digital cobwebs gather.

Flash forward to years later, where I began pretty regularly checking in at Bubs and MizBubs’ darling l’il compound. I got inspired to start a-postin’ again.

As I don’t need to tell you (but nevertheless am, by gosh), blogging is a nice catalyst for throwing thoughts straight from your brain onto the INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY.

The one problem I have with blogging is that it seems to me to be a pretty time-sensitive medium. “New” is good, “sorta new” is sorta okay, and “old” is disregarded — which brings us to The Blogger’s Hyperbola:

Note how high the reader interest is when one’s post is as fresh as a baby’s recently-filled diaper! Sadly, as that diaper gets older and older, no one cares anymore. Throw that diaper away.

Now, sometimes my posts are relevant to the time they were written in, but other times I am sharing timeless nuggets of wisdom. Sadly, these posts will end up in the diaper pail of history, unless I proactively do something.

Oh! That reminds me! Did you ever wonder what songs I would sing in a crowded elevator?

Seven Songs Shaking My World

Continuing the chain, the last link being Johnny Yen

List seven songs you’re into right now … no matter what they are. BUT they must be songs you’re presently enjoying.

The New Pornographers – The Bones Of An Idol (from Twin Cinema)
Any song that Neko Case sings in the New Pornographers invariably is their best. When the instruments kick in overdrive after she sings “but something keeps turning us on” it is head-bobbin’ time.

Lou Reed – Halloween Parade (from New York)
This song from his New York album is achingly beautiful, simple and sad, and filled with lots of affection. One of my favorite songs of his, I’d also match it with any songs of the Velvet Underground. It’s that good.

Pylon – This, That (from Chain)
Man, I am digging Pylon. They were contemporaries of R.E.M. way back when in Athens, GA. Not to be confused with some recent band from the UK also calling themselves Pylon. Great guitar, singing, drumming. This just happens to be the Pylon song that is getting the most airplay these days for me.

Donovan – There Is A Mountain (from a Greatest Hits collection)
I heard this song emanating out of the PA speakers in a store called Hobo, which is basically a cheap version of Home Depot. I had never heard it before, but really, really liked it. As soon as I got home I popped some lyrics I was able to make out into a search engine. Minutes later I was grooving out to it. Fantastic song.

The Everly Brothers – Illinois (from Roots)
I really love the Everly Brothers. I immediately went for this song, ’cause I am sucker for all things Illinois. A really pretty song, with nice piano and their great, inimitable voices.

Leonard Cohen – The Captain (from Various Positions)
I love this song, it’s really bouncy. And I love the lyrics, particularly the lines:

“Complain, complain, that’s all you do
Ever since we lost
If it’s not the Crucifixion
Then it’s the Holocaust”

The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Want To Get Over You (from 69 Love Songs, Vol. 1)
Nice synthy song. Like a lot of Stephin Merritt’s songs, the lyrics are really clever. He drops a nice lyrical bomb at the end.

“Or I could make a career of being blue
I could dress in black and read Camus
Smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth
like I was seventeen
that would be a scream
But I don’t want to get over you”

Consider yourself tagged if you haven’t done this yet.

Rory’s First Kiss Update!

There is a gargantuan old US Post Office building off of Van Buren Avenue in downtown Chicago that, to my knowledge, has sat dormant for at least 10 or so years.

A week or two ago I noticed some people building this wooden “gateway” at the service entrance of this building. I was curious as to what its intent was. The fact that it was just a wood frame made me think there wasn’t anything permanent about it.

Later, the facade was painted to match the stone of the post office building. It matched surprisingly well, I thought, but still, what the hell were these people doing?

Last week, I had lunch with a friend who knew someone in the “Industry” who said they were building a set for the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight.

Sure enough, this is true…

Latest on The Dark Knight Filming
Dark Knight Set Pics

To not stir up the comic book geeks, they have all the Production signs referring to the film as Rory’s First Kiss. Of course, by having all these ‘RFK’ signs everywhere, they don’t even realize the amount of buzz they are creating for fans of the Kennedy family, a far more rabid group of people than your average comic book gaggle.

Seeing this cool set in person (I walk by it every day to get to work) reminded me of the time I was walking downtown when I saw a parking lot full of police cars that said “Gotham” on them during the time they were filming Batman Begins in Chicago. I was only mildly interested, due to the fact that the Batman movie franchise up until then was absolute garbage (yes, even the Tim Burton ones). I figured, oh wonderful, they are making another crappy Batman movie.

Now with the realization that Batman Begins was such a good film (up there with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, even), it’s fun to be excited about Rory’s First Kiss.

Go Rory!


What does somebody have to do to be a permanent fixture in one’s culture? And what’s the least amount of effort one can put forth to get this to happen?

Here’s an idea… introduce a new word into your language. “Truthiness,” for example. Right now, the Blogger spell-checker is marking “Truthiness” in this typed post as an error, but, if this word somehow survives its novelty as a satirical concept promoted by a TV comedian, and enters into the holy halls of Regular Usage, perhaps someday the spell-checker will nod, yes, no problem with that word. That seems like a pretty amazing accomplishment to me.

So, now, I present… my word that will spread like a filthy little virus — hell it might even enter the OED with balloons and party horns:


So far, two definitions.

1st Definition — The act of an actor in a film or TV show, who in a line of dialogue mentions the name of the TV show or film he/she is acting in (e.g. “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”).

Character actor Dick Miller is a notorious ringdinger, and has ringdinged in at least two films that I have seen.

He uses the word “gremlins” in the Joe Dante film Gremlins, and says the words “after hours” in Martin Scorsese’s After Hours. Even when he isn’t ringdinging, I am on the edge of my seat expecting it. He played the gun shop owner in The Terminator, and when Arnold asks for a “Phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range” I always expect Dick Miller’s character to reply, “What are you, some kind of Terminator?”

2nd Definition — The act of promoting one’s self through the introduction of some lazy conceit, or a feeble twist on a preexisting novel concept.

So, by the second definition above, I myself am ringdinging in attempting to introduce the word “ringdinging” into the language.

Wow, I am the coolest loser on the planet!