Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Nominees

We’re going to the OSCARS!!! We’re going BACKSTAGE!!!!

Oscar season is fast approaching and Plabnox is going to spill the beans—we’re announcing the nominations in advance of all other publications, so go ahead and impress everyone you know with your insider knowledge.

And the nominees are…

Best German Short
· Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) Dir. by Rainer Werner Fassbinder; Runtime: 940 minutes
· Greed (1924) Dir. by Erich von Stroheim; Runtime: 540 minutes

Best Assistant
· Aaron Janus

Best Actor in the Penultimate Scene of a Season Finale
· James Woods in Shark (2006) (see clip below)


video

Best Light Comedy
· Funny Games (1998) Dir. by Michael Haneke

Best Documentary
· I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)

Best Shark Film
· Raging Sharks (2005) Dir. by Danny Lerner
· Red Water (2003) Dir. by Charles Robert Carner
· Shark Attack 3 (2004) Dir. by David Worth

Best Musical
· Sweet Movie (1974) Dir. by Dusan Makavejev

Best Blockbuster
· 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007) Dir. by Cristian Mungiu

Best Feminist Feature
· There Will Be Blood (2008) Dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson
· No Country for Old Men (2007) Dir. by les Frères Coen

Best Actress
· Susan Batson in Girl 6 (1996) Dir. by Spike Lee

Most Bombastic
· The Departed (2006) Dir. by Martin Scorsese

Best Continental Shelf

· Velizar Binev as "Volkoff" in Shark Zone (2003) Dir. by Danny Lerner

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Parenting

It is nearly March, which means that Mother’s Day is just over two months away. It’s at the forefront of my mind as last year the holiday passed without so much as a gift, bouquet, or a “Happy Mother’s Day” directed at me. I merely request a modicum of acknowledgement for what I do, day in and day out. No, I don’t earn a steady paycheck or hold a “job” recognized by the U.S. government, but, as women in similar situations will concur, my job is never-ending.

There are good days and bad. Each morning I bitterly watch as the father of our son heads off to work (no, he didn’t feel obligated to ask for my hand in marriage after Jasper was brought into the world) in a safe, bright, and clean office environment where he interacts with other functioning humans. I bid him farewell, and he is blithely ignorant of the trials and tribulations I must toil through in order to make it to sunset. First, I clean up the clumps of waste our son produced during the night (his father will not allow him to slumber in the family bed). Next, I give him sustenance, which I hand-select solely for his pleasure every three days at the local market. He scarfs it down with abandon and then, if I’m lucky, he’ll retire to the ottoman or the back of the sofa (rebellious, he does not deign to sit beside or on top of me) where he dozes. Some days I’m not so lucky. Churning with an inexplicable rage, as he is wont, he’ll spend minutes on end crashing into furniture and performing diabolical experiments which entail repeatedly knocking the same item (e.g., a bottle of perfume) from a high precipice (e.g., the bureau) after I replace it, ad infinitum. An unrepentant iconoclast, he is driven to tear to bits whichever book I am reading at the moment, in defiance of the written word.

The one thing we share is our confinement. Together we gaze out upon the world through glass windows dimly. His mind is a mystery to me. I wonder, “Will he ever hold a job—be able to support himself?” I know the future looks grim. My only hope is that my sacrifice will not go unnoticed this year, and that I will receive the accolades I so deserve.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Philadelphia Freedom

By Hesta

I decided to celebrate my unemployment today by treating myself to a movie and grocery shopping. When I embarked on my journey, Philadelphia had just emerged from a baptism of acid rain. I put on my galoshes and headed straight for the nearest SEPTA stop. In order to reach the only arthouse theater in this city of 5 million, I had to change lines at 30th street. However, at 33rd Street, the trolley broke down. The trolley master instructed the man in front of me to relinquish his seat for the sake of the trolley; when the man stirred, causing the smell of dried feces to enter my nostrils, I gathered my belongings and disembarked.

A half-inch of fetid water bathed the interior of the 30th Street Station, and the ceiling leaked every 12-18 inches. As I removed my SEPTA card from my wallet, a droplet of taupe liquid splashed on it from above. The train arrived, and when its doors opened, the scent of old dried turd wafted out.

The showtime for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days was 12:20pm, and as it was a Monday afternoon, I prophesied that the theater would be deserted. To the contrary, I found myself asea in an ocean of senior citizens. The film’s termination was inevitably open-ended, much to the dismay of the seniors, who cried out from various locations in the theater—“It’s over?!” “That’s it?!” “That’s the end!?!”—and similar exclamations of consternation.

I exited the theater and moved westward, toward Reading Terminal Market, where I needed to pick up a few sundries for the evening repast. I was in luck: the Amish were selling raw honeycomb and dried figs, and the fishmonger had sea bass. My arms were full of goodies as I descended into the SEPTA terminal at City Hall. The scene was dark and dank; the aroma was that of hot, baked urine. As I neared the bottom of the stairwell, a man rounded the corner from behind. Scabs covered his face, and he mumbled nonsense. I accelerated my pace, fearing contamination of the food items. After several seconds, I heard a loud bang, as of a body hitting a sheet of metal. I turned around, just in time to see the man, leaning against the metal wall, pants around his ankles, pry his exposed buttocks apart in order to facilitate a dump. The activation of my gag reflex signaled danger. I needed to break the surface while I could still save the cargo, before it was befouled. When I reached daylight again, I hailed the nearest cab.

Below: Artist’s rendition.



Sunday, February 17, 2008

Analogical Reasoning

Please select the best choice among the 5 answers.

Sunset Boulevard : Billy Wilder ::
Brown Rendezvous :

a) Raymond Chandler
b) Cornell Woolrich
c) Thorndike
d) Dashiell Hammett
e) Howard Hawks

Friday, February 15, 2008

Plab Case Files: The Disembodied Braid

By Hesta

This mystery remains unsolved.

The clouds hung ominously low in the sky as a hard-boiled gal emerged from the ironically-named Fresh Grocer with two bags of provisions. Her name was Hesta, and she headed north, on foot, toward headquarters, the frigid wind beating rotten leaves against her spats. She couldn’t help but notice this part of town had seen better days. When she reached the corner of 40th and Spruce, she came upon a strange and chilling scene. Just outside the Mexican Cantina, on the colorless sidewalk, lay a severed, russet-brown braid. It was a human braid. Coolly, she shot one glance up and another glance down the street, but she appeared to be the first on the scene. Hesta had known she’d rue the day she left her camera and evidence kit at the station, but she had had no choice as toting them to the grocer would have caused a stir—and the dicks back there wanted her famous hot apple crisp, bad. Thinking fast, she made a sharp, expressionless volte-face and headed toward HQ. Without uttering a syllable to the boys, she dropped the goods inside the compound, snatched her tools and scuttled back to the scene.

The corpus delicti was still there when Hesta returned. She maintained her sangfroid, though never before had she encountered mayhem of this degree. Placing the camera beneath her billowing coat, she snapped a few shots of the gruesome mess, a few of the environs, and then fled the scene before anybody could bat an eye.

Hesta knew this perp was good—too good. Aside from the chopped hairy plait, the malefactor left not a shred of evidence behind. The only thing Hesta knew for certain was that it took a sick, criminal mind to commit an iniquity this heinous and it was only a matter of time before the killer would trim again.

WARNING: The crime scene photos below depict material of a graphic and potentially disturbing nature.

Below: The environs. 40th and Spruce. 3:06pm.


Below: Approaching the scene.

Below: Close-up of the massacre.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Special

Plablognox’s Valentine’s Day Cookbook

Hesta and Thorndike invite you to borrow a recipe for romance from their Valentine’s Day Cookbook. Any fool knows the stomach is the most important erogenous zone. These treats are sure to leave you swooning with satiety.

Gondwanaland Pie
1 can raspberry pie filling
Flour
Water
Butter
Salt
Sugar


Mix the latter 5 ingredients in a bowl and then press 7/16 of it into a pie plate. Dump in the rasp filling. Form the remaining 9/16 of the crust concoction into a sheet resembling Gondwanaland of yore. Place Gondwanaland on top of the red sea (filling). Cook in the oven until the bloody sea starts to boil. Remove from the oven and wait for the thin-skinned thrusting to cease before tucking into it.



Bloody Snowballs (Fat Free Individual Raspberry Cheesecakes)


Mix up some fat free raspberry ricotta with some sugar. Scoop the mixture into a cupcake tin lined with muffin papers. Place dabs of raspberry jam atop the “snowballs.” Bake in the oven for a while.


Fried Cheese
Cheese (any kind will do)
Tomatoes
Olive oil


Tomatoes give this entrée a festive splash of red, making the dish the perfect tool with which to woo your loved one.
Slice the tomatoes and place them in the frying pan with chunks of cheese and one cup of olive oil. Turn the heat on high and cook until the ingredients have fused into a large mass. Remove from heat and serve.


Margherita Pizza

Pizza dough
Fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil
Sliced Tomatoes

Make up the pizza like you usually do. Place it all in the oven and bake until the water from the tomatoes has created a sea in which the rest of the toppings are floating. The pizza is done.




V-Day Film Recommendations


Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is thought of as the celebration of the love between the members of a heterosexual human couple. However, the Plablognox Team has compiled a list of V-Day movie recommendations for non-traditional lovers. Enjoy!


Zoo – suggested for the pet lover. Curl up with your favorite furry friend and play this lighthearted comedy.


Crash – ideal for the automobile fiend. This recommendation refers to the David Cronenberg film.


Teeth – perfect for those who have vowed to wait until marriage to engage in physical love.


Citizen Kane – for the solo lover who has repressed much of his or her childhood and may suffer from megalomania.


Inland Empire – for those with big dreams and high hopes.


Peeping Tom – advised for loners— mostly scopophiles and voyeurs.


The Sopranos – this series is best suited for misogynists and sociopaths.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This Just In...

Female Health Alert: Spotlight on Vagina Dentata
By: Hesta

The blockbuster sensation Teeth has drawn some much-needed attention to the female condition known as the vagina dentata—“toothed vagina.” School officials have noticed that this mutation, as documented by Michel Lichtenstein’s movie, has been cropping up among teenage girls. These femmes fatales have been decimating virile pubescent boys in spades by employing their mercenary genitalia in lopping off male members. However, there is a beacon of hope for the human race, as orthodontists have been working day and night to tackle the problem. They have discovered that the feral monsters can be tamed with conventional devices like braces and headgear. Crest Whitestrips are now available for the vag dentata, and can be purchased over-the-counter at most pharmacies.


Below, find some illustrations of the various forms of the vagina dentata:


Below, left: Normal vagina dentata

Below, right:
Vagina dentata with discoloration, cavities, buck- and snaggleteeth

Below, left: Vagina dentata with braces

Below, right: Vagina dentata after 3 years of braces and 2 whitestrip treatmentsBook Review: The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet

By: Thorndike

The fifth Grove Press paperpack printing of The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet measures 209 millimeters long by 136 millimeters wide by 14 millimeters deep. The cover is printed on matte finish card stock. The front cover depicts, in cerulean and robin's egg blue tones, a female figure with one knee bent and placed upon a bed which is strewn with articles of clothing or sheets. There are four out-of-focus jalousie slats in the foreground of the scene. The title, printed in pale orange capital letters and oriented at an approximately 10-degree angle, is situated near the top center of the cover, and partially overlaps the uppermost jalousie slat. The author's name, colored and angled similarly but printed in smaller type, runs parallel to and is located 7 millimeters beneath the title.

The first title page reads "The Voyeur" within a 60 millimeter by 27 millimeter border of two concentric rectangles, separated by an approximately 1 millimeter intervening space. The main title page provides additional information (the author, the title, the translator, and the publisher) within a similar border that has a slightly larger interstice between the two rectangles. Each pairing of author/title and translator/publisher is divided by two parallel horizontal lines measuring 87 millimeters across, whereas the title and translator are separated by a single horizontal line measuring only 50 millimeters across.

The novel is divided into three chapters, measuring 73, 67, and 78 pages in length. Each chapter begins with a Roman numeral centered on a blank page. The opening text of each chapter begins 87 millimeters from the top of the page. The left margin is 12 millimeters and the right, 22 millimeters. Paragraph indentations are 5 millimeters. Pagination on the first text page of each chapter is centered and located 20 millimeters up from the bottom. Subsequent pages are numbered in the upper exterior corner of each page, and labeled with the author or title in the upper interior corner. The novel itself is 219 pages in length, preceded by 4 pages of information pertaining to the book's title, publisher, author, copyright, etc..., and followed by one blank page.

The back cover is robin's egg blue, with a 17-millimeter-wide vertical band of cerulean running along the left edge. Text on the back cover is written in black or cerulean lettering, depending upon the nature of the information offered by the text. The lower right corner of the back cover is printed with a 50 millimeter by 29 millimeter white rectangle, in which are printed ISBN numbers, a bar code, prices, etc...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Montage of James Woods Stills from the TV Series "Shark"



















BELOW: Sebastian Stark (James Woods) and his lover, serial killer Wayne.





Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Travels on SEPTA

By Hesta

This past weekend, Thorndike and Hesta convened in Philadelphia for a national Plablognox Conference. The attendees journeyed via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system, to the various events, which included the basement sale at Joan’s, Sophisticated Seconds – Philadelphia’s premiere fashion destination, and window-shopping at CVS. SEPTA caters to the discriminating traveler by offering a choice between passage by trolley (featuring both an above- and below-ground peek at Philadelphia’s vistas) or subway (the bleeding-edge of transportation technology). After much deliberation, Plablognox’s esteemed writers elected to board one of SEPTA’s luxurious trolley cars.





Upon boarding, Hesta and Thorndike took in their fabulous cabin—orange plastic seats providing a clever allusion to cafeterias of the 1970s, semi-opaque windows decorated with a filigree of fingerprint smudges and saliva, and a friendly driver with a half-eaten tuna sandwich on his lap. Inhaling the pungent aroma of whiskey emanating from the mouth of a fellow passenger, Thorndike and Hesta looked around for the liquor car, but it apparently had been separated from theirs at an earlier stop.



After they settled into their spacious quarters (window and an aisle seat), a neighboring traveler wearing a technicolored dreamcoat of nylon (c. 1990) lurched toward Hesta and, gesturing to Thorndike (who had donned his Comme des Garcons traveling coat for the occasion), inquired, “Is he with the theater?” Hesta replied, “No.” The fashionista countered, “His coat is so unusual. Is it for everyday wear?” “I wear it casually,” answered Thorndike. Satisfied, the festive passenger crinkled back into her seat and proceeded to wipe her nose with her plaid wool scarf.



The remaining portion of Thorndike and Hesta’s Philadelphian voyage was loudly narrated by two worldly tour guides located at the back of the car who cried out “Faggot!” when appropriate, and other similarly informative phrases.