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Snowman Vader, by James

December 8th, 2010 by D.Billy

My good friend Diane Dwyer has a 3 year old nephew named James. At the moment, James is obsessed with two things: snowmen, and Darth Vader.

PREVIOUSLY IN AWESOME KIDS’ DRAWINGS: young Jeff tackles the Transformers.

Filed under Art & Design, Beauty, D.Billy, Found, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, Star Wars having Comments Off

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Happy 97th Birthday, Daro

December 7th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

My grandmother’s name is Helen Abicht, but we all call her “Daro.” Today is her 97th birthday!

She and my grandfather helped take care of my sister and I when we were growing up. I feel so lucky to have lived close to them and had them as a constant, steady presence in my life for so long. Daro grew up during the Depression, and we always had so much fun with her without spending any money at all. She knows something that a lot of parents today don’t: it doesn’t take money or electronics to have a good time. Making ice cream, painting a picture and writing a story with someone you love is the deepest, best kind of fun you can have.

She’s full of all kinds of wisdom — and doesn’t think much of people who get bored easily.

I visited her in her apartment over the Thanksgiving holiday and asked her to share her secret for having such a long and happy life. Here’s her answer:

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Picking Up Armpit Steaks For the Man: Telling a Story For “Burned” At the Moth

October 31st, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

Ever notice that when you’re checking out at a grocery store a few cuts below Whole Foods, all the cashiers and baggers are asking each other the same thing?

What time you going on break? When you getting off today?

That’s because working as a cashier and bagger at a grocery store SUCKS. Like any other job that secretly sucks, it’s not the work itself that’s the problem. It’s the other people. It’s the other people, and all that stuff in between the cracks of the job description that nobody tells you about but everybody deals with.

I worked as a bagger at a Food Lion in Norfolk, Virginia for a few summers during high school and college. Calling a bagger a “bagger” is like calling a garbage man a “truck driver.” The job title describes a skill set that’s technically crucial but utterly irrelevant once your face is right in the steaming stink of things.

Not everyone in the neighborhood had indoor plumbing. A lot of ‘em were walking around with bad plumbing, too, and it was well known that the restroom was open to the public. I kept it pretty clean, most of the time.

I regularly broke up fights between winos right there in the store. And I was expected to help run down and detain shoplifters. That part was hard for me.

I told a story about working at that Food Lion onstage at Southpaw back in March at a Moth Slam. It seemed to go over pretty well, anyway. I felt comfortable and the laughs felt right:

Hope you enjoy it, more to come soon.

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Smarmy & Vivacious

August 27th, 2010 by D.Billy

As far as I’m concerned, Tumblr’s purpose on this Earth is to provide us with weird celebrity Photoshop memes.
(See Selleck Waterfall Sandwich, or its cousin Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza.)
Here now are selections from the most recent herd of pixel-mashings making their way across the internet landscape, leaving cognitive dissonance and sexual confusion in their wake… Pinup RDJ:

By way of explanation, their creator offers:
“Vintage pinups are the pinnacle of art. Robert Downey Jr is the pinnacle of sexy. It’s not rocket science.”

Previously in WTF imagery:
Chihuahua on Cheeseburgers
Doctored Science Fair Photos
Sci-Fi Fans at Home
Captain America Brushes His Teeth With Whiskey

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Bigfoot Really Does Have Beautiful Hair

August 25th, 2010 by Cyndi Freeman

Since seeing the Episode of the Six Million Dollar man in which Steve Austen battled Bigfoot (Played by Ted Cassidy), I have been fascinated with the Legend of Bigfoot.

As a kid I was intrigued by the fact that a monster COULD exist, and so I went to my Jr High School library and took out a book called The Search for Bigfoot. Written by Peter Byrne – whose bragged in his introduction that he was “…the only man alive who has made a profession out of this extraodinary search and through the support  of many dedicated associates and sponsors, continues that profession on a full time basis twelve months of the year.”

I found that just as fascinating as the monster. What kind of person decides “I am going to hunt Bigfoot for a living!” And my family thought I was plotting a life of silly risks wanting to be an actress!

Since age 12, I have watched hundreds of hours of cryptozoology programming in which Bigfoot is never ever found. If I am stressed, the thing that will distract me more than anything is Bigfoot stuff. This mild obsession has been my solace during many a dark sleepless nights. But again, it is not just the monster that makes me smile…it is the folks who claim to have seen him.
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The Avengers: The Premake

August 9th, 2010 by D.Billy

Check out the latest video mashup “premake” by Ivan Guerrero – a trailer for a 1952 version of The Avengers movie, based on Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” storyline, spliced together from over 50 different sources of footage:

And then, to get a real sense of the buckets of attention to detail, skill, love, and sheer nerdiness that went into this, watch it again with Ivan’s annotations (below). He calls out all of the character and location cameos that you might have missed, and even breaks down the typographical references in the title cards! (Pause the video each time a note box pops up.)
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Aquaman Zen : Conch Shell Summons

August 5th, 2010 by D.Billy

Previously on Aquaman Zen: Alarmed Viewers | Giant Crabs Help | Everyone Hears the Voice

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They Look Like Us Now, Back Then

August 3rd, 2010 by D.Billy

Oh, snap! Apparently, the Cylons that “look like us now” have been in our midst since the 1950s!

(Via Photo Basement.)

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Christmas in July: The Worst Holiday Special Ever, Star Wars Style!

July 27th, 2010 by Cyndi Freeman

Back in the 1970′s someone talked George Lucas and the poor actors of Star Wars into doing a The Star Wars Holiday Special. I saw this on a cold December Friday night, I was 12, I was mortified to tears. What had they done!

Years later George Lucas was said to have made this statement “If I had the time and a hammer, I would smash every copy of the Holiday Special.”

Doug Karo and the Late Night Explosion have watched the full two hour show, bless them, and they have then edited the worst 5 minutes together for our enjoyment, bless them again.

Meet Chewbacca’s family, listen to Carrie Fisher Sing lyrics to the Star Wars theme, and don’t forget special guest stars Art Carney, Bea Arthur and The Jefferson Star Ship!

And if you really want to geek out, did you know that there are lyrics to the Buck Rogers Theme song? in 1979 the tv-series pilot had a theatrical release which included this epic intro… and I mean epic. When I was 13 I loved this song so much I bought the sound track album – which I still have. I also wanted all of the silver-space-babe outfits. Especially the bikini. *note to self, make silver space bikini.

BTW: The people at won’t let me embed this video so click to link below – enjoy!

Buck Rogers Movie opening

Archives Posts

The Longing for Lost Toys

July 22nd, 2010 by D.Billy

This little tableau was one of the first photographs that I ever took — maybe around age 12 — with my very first camera, a cheap plastic Vivitar 110:

Skeletor Crew

It shows three Masters of the Universe figures that belonged to my brother and I — Jitsu, Tung Lashor (in the Land Shark) and Battle-Damage Skeletor — lined up against the wood panel & linoleum backdrop of the trailer-with-added-rooms that we grew up in, and I f*cking LOVE IT.

I remember the spot where this photo was taken, and I remember that just down the hall under our bunk beds, and under the desk in my father’s “office” there were plastic tubs and wooden boxes of other action figures and vehicles… Transformers, G.I. Joe, Hot Wheels, Marvel Secret Wars, DC Super Powers, M.A.S.K., M.U.S.C.L.E., Battle Beasts, Centurions, and probably others that I’m forgetting. We also had a giant-sized bin of LEGO blocks, all jumbled in together like an 8-bit plastic gumbo. I can remember the feel of the blocks’ corners and the shooshing, tinkling sound as I rummaged through them looking for just one more clear red dot to cap off the wing of my spaceship.

We still have a few of these things in a closet at my mother’s house. (Or we will until I steal them this summer. Heads up, Mom.) But the bulk of them were given away to our nephews or other kids-of-friends-of-the-family, and from what I hear, many were promptly broken. (*single tear*)

So in pining for my lost clumps of cast plastic and rubber, I decided to fire up the group nostalgia engines. I asked my fellow contributors Jeff, Brad and Cyndi if they had any thoughts along these lines to share, and indeed they did…

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