Sunday, March 30, 2008

Honeymooners Wine Humor

Most of my friends and family know me as a honeymooners nut! I sometimes do a weekly trivia show as Brother Norton (ohh no, the secret is out!). And if you go to itunes and search the podcasts for 'the honeymooners' you will find my show there for download.

This week marks the 52nd anniversary of the airing of a Classic 39 episode called HEAD OF THE HOUSE. In this episode Ralph, once again, runs off his big mouth and tells a newspaper reporter that he is the boss of the house! Alice is angry when she finds out what Ralph thinks about woman (and particularly her). Ralph decides to pull out a bottle of wine he was going to give to Alice's brother for Christmas. He goes up to get Norton to celebrate his 'emancipation'. While he's upstairs Alice replaces the wine with grape juice.

Art Carney shares in some memories of this episode: "I remember one of my favorite scenes was the wine and the grape juice," says Carney. "We really were laughing at each other - he broke me up and I'm sure I broke him up. But it was part of the thing, because we were supposed to be laughing... crocked and everything. Funny scene."

Here is the original dialogue from that episode (courtesy of the Official Honeymooners Treasury) Mostly Gleason and Carney never went exactly by what was written.

RALPH: Well, how about getting down to business.
NORTON: Nice-looking bottle of wine, Ralph.
RALPH: Yeah. Norton, you gotta be pretty careful when you're buying wine. When I went in the store, the guy tried to talk me into buying a stale bottle of 1939 stuff. But I was too smart for him. I made him give me a bottle of fresh wine - 1956!

NORTON: Guess they have a tough time getting rid of that old stuff.
Ralph pours into Norton's water glass till it's half-full.
NORTON: That's enough, Ralph. I'd rather start with a short one.
RALPH: Well, let's drink to all the poor souls in the world who're afraid of their wives.
NORTON: As we say in the sewer, Ralph, here's mud in your eye!
They drink bottoms up. After drink, Norton considers the taste a moment.
NORTON: An amusing little wine.
RALPH: Sure goes down smooth.. but when it get down - what a kick!
NORTON: Va va va voom!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Birds are flockin

Since we had the deck built I've recently noticed that there are a lot of birds who also like our deck. I've seen a huge Robin (might have eaten the other Robins), a couple of cardinals, and various small birds (sorry, I'm not a bird expert).

I've been thinking about putting a bird-house somewhere on the deck but didn't know how to go about it til' yesterday. I found an inexpensive bird-house that I could attach to one of the rails with a couple of screws.

And walla! The birds have taken notice. I saw about 6 birds this morning in about 20 minutes time. Carter even named one of the birds Sammy. The bird was pretty skittish and would hop over to the bird feeder and then hop down into the bushes, hop back up and kept doing this for about a half an hour.

Here's a photo of one of our visitors this morning (not Sammy).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chillin & Grillin

It's Saturday Night and it's time for grillin'... well, I was mostly chillin'.. since it's a mere 42 degrees and my hands were pretty cold while I was tending the ole' grill. Just some Bubba burgers and some country ribs with a dash of bar-b-que sauce (from a plastic bottle ya'll). Oh, and a Yuengling Black & Tan (can't stand the lager). It's a poor man's weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Nite Food & Drink - 3/14/08

Okay.. it's Friday night and this is what I'm eatin' and drinkin' .. we have a nice 2005 Coastal Ridge Merlot (I opted for the cork this time) and a beautiful fully formed Twinkie. The box depicts the epic classic 'Bee Movie' starring Jerry Seinfeld and the lovely Renee Zellweger (who I've had the pleasure of touching hands with).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Monkey Reading - Steve Martin

I just finished the new Steve Martin autobiography 'born standing up'. The book 'born standing up' is about Steve Martin's early days from his start at Disneyland's magic store, to Knotts Berry Farm, the Bird Cage, and the Boarding House. Then his transistion from writing for tv shows (like the Smothers Brothers), various appearances on the tonight show (appeared 16 times before anyone knew who he was) to doing stand-up to sold out stadiums and eventually working everything into a nice movie career. Having your first movie directed by the great Carl Reiner (Dick Van Dyke show) couldn't have been to bad a start.

The book is only 207 pages but a good smooth read. I know a book is good if it only takes me a week to read (which it did). You end up feeling a little sad that someone at the height of their career could be so lonely. But this is what happens when you become so famous you can't venture outside, every relative you speak to seems to want something from you, and nurse's are asking for your autograph on your heart-rate chart. By the end of the book Steve feels that he is now at the right point in his career. Famous, but not too famous.

It's hard to believe but I first heard of Steve Martin when I was 12 years old. My father had to get his car repaired so we went to a local garage (on S.Main Street in Phillipsburg, NJ). As we waited for the car to be repaired (could have been an oil change) we sat and listened to what was coming out of the speakers. I'm not sure if they were playing the entire album or just part of it but it was Steve Martin's 'let's get small'. It was most likely the local station Z-95 (which still exists and still plays the same songs they were playing in 1977) as opposed to the garage owner spinning an album in the office.

If any kids are reading this an album was made out of something called vinyl. A disc about the size of a pizza, black with grooves in which a needle came down and played songs, words, etc. out of speakers. Ok, it sounds confusing but it was much simplier than trying to figure out my MP3 player.

Anyway, in 1977 I got my first listen of Steve Martin. I soon went out and bought the album. Yes, my parent's did not know or care what I was listening to and the store owner didn't care what I was listening to. And in 1977 I was a year into buying my own albums. With each new Steve Martin album I would have my father or mother run me out to the store (most likely the record section of Laneco). After 4 albums Steve gave up the comedy routine and went into movies.

One of my favorite movies is The Man With Two Brains and I do still watch it once in awhile. The Lonely Guy is another favorite which they used to show on HBO all the time (along with the JERK). I've seen these movies about 10 times over. Steve moved away from 'comedy' movies many years ago and got into mostly family movies or the occasional drama.

One strange movie I saw some years ago was NOVOCAINE (2001) Here is the description: Dr. Frank Sangster is a straight-laced dentist who because of one innocent lie, finds his tidy, prosperous life transformed into a comic quagmire of illicit sex, illegal drugs and inexplicable murder in this brilliantly offbeat, bitingly comedic film!

Steve Martin plays the dentist. And it's kind of ironic since he played a dentist (Orin Scrivello) in Little Shop of Horrors in 1986. It you get a chance rent it!

In ending: Maybe you'll get a chance to read Born Standing Up. Ok, books are those things that are made out of paper with words on it. You do have to pick these up and hold them. You may also need a lamp. They are not self-illuminating (sorry kids). Ahhhhh heck! Go download the audio book to your ipod~!

Below is my autographed/framed photo of Steve Martin. Signed in March of 1999 at the premiere of Cabaret (at the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills).