Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Night Before Halloween w/Paul Lynde!

I love me some Paul Lynde, boy.

Friday, October 26, 2007



Thursday, October 25, 2007


Okay, don't be scared now, but I work as a ghost writer. Kindly, lots of my clients end up wanting to give me some kind of credit. So, occasionally I magically transform from a word-making ghostly vapor back into a flesh and blood woman with a name. POOF! I materialize on the title page. Or, they thank me as a developmental editor or some such. However, when I swoop in (I actually do swoop--I have a black velvet cape and mask and everything) and rescue a document with which many people have already stuggled, it gets more complicated.

Yesterday, I received a copy of a book that I helped rescue. I wasn't expecting to be thanked; it was a "swoop job," I got paid, and they thanked me in person. All is cool. Yet, as I was skimming the Acknowledgments page, I found that they HAD thanked me. To do so, they needed to give me a brand new title: "Production Assistant."* This is not a good description of what I do because I have very limited knowledge of the production process, typesetting, printing, and binding. In fact, calling me a "Production Assistant" is a pretty big insult to actual "Production Assistants." But, soft. Hang on a second. By calling me a "Production Assistant," have they paved my way to an exciting new career in television and movies? Uh, no. I didn't think so, either.

Anyhoo, I've decided to help my clients by giving them a list of alternate titles/ways they might want to thank me--should they be in the mood to do so:

1) Send me cookies. I like peanut butter cookies with little criss-crosses on top.
1A) I would like to express my appreciation for the creative contribution of Cake: "Go To Gal."
2) "We thank Sparkle Plenty for the tea and sympathy."
3) If you have to call me something movie-related, call me a "key grip"--if you do that maybe I'll qualify to join the Teamsters and I can lean up against stuff with my arms folded and look bitchin' cool!
4) "For the loan of her rhinestones and so much more, we thank Sparkle Plenty."
5) "Sparkle: She did Plenty!"
6) "Sparkle might or might not have done some stuff. If she did, we thank her."
7) "Sparkle Plenty is an Exotic Woman of Mystery. We do not know what she does, but we thank her for whatever it might be."
8) See #1 again and really, really, please do it.
9) I could use some new sneakers.
10) Just say, "...and with support and input from Allen Smithee, Alan Smithee, Alan Smythee, Adam Smithee, and Bobo the Chimp!"

*To sum up: Any thanks is good thanks; this was just weird.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

That Ol' Black Magic

Okay, I'm the first to admit that I'm overly jumpy about paranormal phenomena. To be honest, I'm the female Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and this time of year is particularly tough. Wait. What's that noise! What's that stealthy, rustling sound? It can only be a gruesome fiend who means the world no good. Wait. No, okay. It's a squirrel. But the squirrel has a hatchet! No, okay. The squirrel doesn't have a hatchet, it has a clump of garbage stuck to its paw. You see? I need your calm, scientific minds to help me sort this out because this week I'm seeing black magic everywhere.

First, I just realized that Bisquick is into some dark, dark juju. Check out these recipes that I found last night:
"Impossible Pie," "Magic Puff Sandwich," "Hidden Sloppy Joe"--it's just not natural. These people have more secrets than the Masons for cryin' out loud!

Then, this morning, I got up and the world just seems...different somehow. I'm going about my usual routine, but I have the feeling that something has changed. I took some photos so you can help me. I made some delicious coffee, got my cheerful little whistling birdie cup down from the cupboard, and went for the milk:
And, when I got back my cup didn't seem right and the coffee? Why, it just didn't taste right.
I went to make an English muffin, but the toaster didn't seem to work. Frustrated, I tried to pour some refreshing juice. Refreshing juice usually helps soothe any morning hissy fits. Not today, 'though. "Forget breakfast!" I cried, "Time to gild my Terrible Beauty with some eyeliner and mascara!" I bend down to look in my mirror...and this. Do I look different to you?
Somewhere, deep down, I have the feeling that it is all the Plastic Pumpkins guy's fault. But, I just can't seem to remember why this would be. Well, hopefully tomorrow will be better.

And, while I'm talkin' 'bout weird happenings, here are some of my favorite movies that are remotely related to the topic:
1) Bell, Book, and Candle
2) Kolchak the Night Stalker(Darren McGavin version)
3) The Blair Witch Project
4) I Married A Witch
5) The Bride of Frankenstein
6) House on Haunted Hill
7) The Old Dark House (1932)
8) Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (I must now include this item in ALL lists, regardless of topic)
9) The Legacy
10) The Ninth Gate
11) The Haunting (1963)
12) The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
13) Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Simple Requests for Movie-Making People

Dear Movie-Making People,

I have been watching movies for many years now, and I have some very simple requests to make:

1) You scarred me very, very deeply with the movie "Ring of Bright Water" in which an adorable otter is killed by a ditch-digger. Pay me $50,000. Now.

2) Give me zany outtakes at the end of each movie--no matter how serious or Oscar-worthy. You know you have them. Gimme. If you think your movie's ending is weak, just skip the ending and add more outtakes.

3) Do not make a movie with "Hannah Montana." What? You are? STOP IT! Just stop it right now. I can hear you! You're not stopping! STOP!

4) Any movie that has a little child in peril--especially you foreign films, you know who you are--must get the little child OUT of peril before the credits roll. "Cinematic integrity" be damned. If you don't know how to get the child out of peril, call me and I will tell you.

5) All gentle, coming-of-age films in which a teenager "learns something unforgettable" during "one magical summer" must include an explosion. No, wait. They must contain three explosions and Steve McQueen. Huh? Steve McQueen has been dead for many years? I don't care. You're movie guys. Bring him back.

6) While you're at it, bring back Walter Matthau. Zombie Walter Matthau will be fine.

7) I like the Cusacks. Make more Cusacks.

8) Make a movie with Hugh Grant wearing a fat suit. Do it.

9) Make a movie with Michael Caine and James Garner. Do it. Do it before it is too late.

10) You know how somebody just said, "Maybe it's time for Steven Seagal to make a comeback?" It is not.

11) Remake "The Omega Man." Huh? That's a good idea? NO, that's not a good idea. That was a test because you're always remaking movies that were just fine as is. Get your stinkin' paws off "The Omega Man," you damned dirty apes.

12) Remake "Reservoir Dogs" with The Wiggles or maybe The Teletubbies. Huh? You think I'm joking. I'm not. Do it.

Thank you for your time and consideration!


Monday, October 22, 2007

The Standells - Dirty Water

Today, I am lazy. So, let's just celebrate Boston playing in The World Series by enjoying this clip of The Standells lip-synching pretty badly but having some fun!

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Like A Good "Skirmish" and I Like Games

I like a good "skirmish" and I like games!

A "skirmish" popped up in some kind of casual, little pick-up baseball game that happened recently. Pop Warner or somethin.' Here's what I know:
1) The game happened last night.
2) This real cool guy played the game. He has groovy beatnik/Deadwood facial hair, a pleasing physical form, and a nifty lucky necklace that is almost as nice as my lucky rhinestone necklace. Oh, yes! He can throw a ball pretty well. This is him:
3) A "skirmish" almost happened between this guy and another guy. This is my favorite quote about this skirmish: "There was just a little verbiage back and forth. Nothing happened. Both teams ran out, looked at each other, ran back."

Ran out, looked at each other, ran back. They kinda sound like groundhogs poppin' out of the hole, seein' their shadows, and scootin' back under ground! Anyhoo, that was a pretty fun game. And, unlike some games I play, I didn't get carpal tunnel syndrome from it. I got a bit of exercise nervously pacing around, but this is beneficial cardio activity and all to the good. Oh, yeah! The beatnik guy and his friends won the game.

So, here is another pretty fun game that I like, but that has given me severe carpal tunnel syndrome:

You ask me: "Sparkle, why is Funhouse the best pinball machine ever?" It is really quite simple. Let me Spillane it to you:
1) Observe: There is plenty of cool stuff happening throughout the game deck and no horrid, endless empty vistas in the middle of the machine. There are overhead chutes, bumpers, secret passageways, and, oh yes, did you happen to notice the VENTRILOQUIST'S DUMMY HEAD??? Rudy. That is Rudy.
2) Rudy talks to you frequently. He says such things as, "Oh, boy oh boy, I thought you were my pal!" and "Hey! How's about a hot dog, biff?" and "You ain't seen the likes of me!" and "Gangway!" and "I feel like a million!" Sometimes, if you lose your ball, Rudy says, "Hey Bucko, play another one." Awfully decent of him.
3) Rudy has three moods. This makes him much like you, me, and the beatnik guy and his friends who played the pick-up game last night. I do not know another pinball machine that has this characteristic.
"Happy mood": When the clock in the game is before 11:30, or frenzy has been lit.
"Unhappy mood": Clock is 11:30 or 11:45.
"Frantic mood": multiball is in effect.
Sometimes in Frantic mood, Rudy screams like a girl. This is very, very funny.
4) You trigger the Frantic mood--if you're playing well--after the funhouse "closes" and Rudy goes to sleep. When this happens, he snores with his mouth open. It is now time to shoot the ball into Rudy's mouth, to wake him up, to have him vomit the ball out of his mouth, and to play multiball.
5) If you don't think that's fun, you are not human. But, I still like you.

To sum up: A beatnik guy and his friends won a pick-up game, and in their town the mood has shifted from frantic to happy. I like a good skirmish, even when the skirmishees just look at each other and walk away. Funhouse is the best pinball game ever. Thank you for stopping by, and have an outstanding weekend.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sketchy and Random Week, Day 1!

So, my posts this weekend will be sketchy and random--more so than usual, that is. First, it's important to note that when I say "sketchy" I mean "cursory, rough, meager, and crude" and not "morally shady, ethically questionable, or sexually intriguing." I think my favorite usage of "sketchy" in this nuevo, morally shady way was by my niece.

Sparkle: "So, how was your trip to Venice, Italy niece?"
Niece: "I don't know. Venice was kind of...sketchy."

I was pretty surpised that "sketchy" was her major impression, but then I thought about this movie I saw a long time ago called "Don't Look Now." This is the scary midget from that movie, and now that I remember it Venice had its sketchy moments. Second, as far as "random" goes, I do not mean "weird" in that nuevo way. Wait, maybe I do mean a little weird--this is dinosaur casserole, after all, and occasionally weirdness pops by for a visit. Mostly, 'though, I mean it will be a week of posts made without definite aim, reason, or pattern, and...wait a second. Why am I bothering to tell you this? That's my usual M.O., isn't it? I might as well say something deep like "This blog is on the World Wide Web!" Anyhoo, on to the sketchy and random topics for the day.

This weekend, I was trying to come up with unlikely foods, which is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel because there are so many:

1) Turnipz (the light little cracker with the big turnip taste!)--tap-dancing turnips are on the box.

2) Moogurt with Gravola—rich, beef-flavored yogurt with a little plastic dome filled with mix-in gravy crunchies!

3) Hamgurt!

4) Hoofait--lil' lunchbox-sized layered puddins' with three creamy, real hoof flavors (goat hoof, cow hoof, and camel hoof).

5) Ham-fu--ham-flavored tofu (hold on, I think I figured out this is pretty much Spam).

6) Foodcheese--real cheese flavored cheesefood.

7) Spinachos--spinach-flavored tortilla chips (I don't think this belongs here...it's too close to possible. You could have a great package design with a big hypno-wheel on the front and a little spinacho in the middle of the wheel. PAY me if you do this, dang it.).

8) Loafaloos with mini-mashalos--you already figured this one out, right? Cereal made of tiny meatloafs with dehydrated potato "mashalos." Add milk and it's...dinner.

9) Beansicle--a refreshing, high-protein ice pop made with eight kinds of beans.

10) Mock Ritz Pie--A mock ritz cracker mock apple pie made with circus peanuts and saltines. Is there no end to the mockery?






Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Need A Sidekick because I AM A Sidekick

"Okay, as you might recall, I am Bertie. For several weeks, a state of extreme dramatic tension has been building (yes, that's the vague sense of uneasiness you have been experiencing--it's not just anomie, nameless dread, or indigestion this time)."

"I've gotta pull off some kind of a great escape caper that will free my buddies from the unknown men of sophisticated peril."
"So, I have spent every waking hour...hey! What are you doing? I had to eat!"
"Anyway, I have spent every single breath, every ounce of my strength...hey! Quit that! I'm telling you, I was worn down from all my plotting...I was hungry!"
"And thirsty! I was very thirsty, and you know, after you eat the Chinese food you need ice cream because that food is so light and why not a root beer float to rehydrate and stay strong and hey! Have you been following me?"
"Every other second that I have NOT been COMPELLED to devote to refueling my weak little body so I can prepare to single-handedly swoop down and rescue my comrades, I have devoted to...HEY! How'd you know about her? I swear she's just a friend of a friend. A big ol' friendly cowgirl who I bounce my rescue plans off of from time to time. No! That's not her phone number on there...Sheesh!"
"So, other than the big old friendly cowgirl, I am alone in this world, and..."
"HEY! How'd you find out about Jeanette, Genevieve, Lola, Mimi, Coco, Sylvie, Mehitabel, and Daisy?"
"WTF? You're all-seeing and all-knowing? You could have WARNED me, you know, plus you are one scary bright red lady. * That can't be good for your blood pressure. Is that a vein pulsing in your forehead?"
"Oh, I see...it's all MY fault that the story of the plot isn't moving along--it's just because I get hungry and thirsty and need to spend a little time with close, personal friends? It's not your fault a little, teensy bit?"
"Okay, okay, OKAY giant forehead martian lady."
"But, look. I'm a sidekick, not a leading man. I'm not Bruce Willis. I'm the nebbishy little wisecracking guy. Nervous joke-cracking is my weapon of choice, next to a can of GladeTM air freshener. I mean, in a tight spot I WILL come through, but I need a gang, a posse, or at least ONE sidekick to help me out. Yeah, that's right. I need a sidekick because I AM a sidekick. "
"Yeah, exactly like that. See? During the Ordeal of the Ugly Cakelike Easter Hats, you had a sidekick to help you out. Get me Super-Pouty Girl in the yellow coat here! Just get me some BACK-UP for crying out loud. If I'm goin' in, I need some back-up. Wise up! Okay, you're "on it." That's nifty. We'll see what happens. My dream list of sidekicks--live or dead--includes Andre the Giant, maybe Oddjob from James Bond 'cause of the helpful hat and if we can sway him from his wicked ways, Peter Boyle from Young Frankenstein, Gig Young for no particularly good reason, Sideshow Bob if he's stable, Mr. Spock, Rosalind Russell..I dunno, my mind is blank. Any other ideas? Anybody want a root beer float to help you think? "

*Scary red Sparkle is courtesy of ClinkyTM. Giant scary cowgirl card belongs to Sparkle. Vaudeville poster found on ebay. Photos of restaurants found on the Web. Dinosaur photos by Sparkle, aka giant forehead martian lady.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Hey! Visit my last post and add your ideas for how to deal with monsters and maniacs, okay? I still think that my one/two punch of GladeTM air freshener and my vaudeville routine will fix their little red wagons, but if you have other ideas, please add them to Tuesday's blog.

Oh, jeez. I didn't get much sleep last night. I really need to do something cool for Jayne because IT'S HER BIRTHDAY. Or, it's David Lee Roth's birthday. Or maybe both? Anyhoo, I'm not at my best, but how hard could it be to pull together some refreshments, some gifts, and some entertainment for Jayne? Answer: Not hard. So, let's start this off right. How about some festive dessert?
OH, NO. This is kinda worse than no cake at all. Let's try again.
Okay, sure. Wine is always nice. But, she should have a little something in her stomach so she doesn't get all giddy and wake up married to the poo guy in the park. Try harder, Sparkle. Get some coffee. Pull yourself together, girl.
Okay. "E" for effort. She does like chocolate chip tracker bars, but what the heck is festive about that?
Okay. Finally. She can feed that first cake to the dog and she can keep this candy cake all to herself--maybe give a couple of bars to the lad. Refreshments are out of the way. Time for the gift. Let's give her that Doctor Who bloke and the George Michael bloke for good measure.
AHHHHHHHH. That's better. Now, George. Go get George, Sparkle. You can do it. C'mon!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Try again, try again, quick like a bunny!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Yes, this is better. I believe this is George, isn't it? Unless it's some Russian guy pretending to be George? It's George, right Jayne? I would have used that other picture of the Wham boys but you already have it on your blog (is it just me or do they look like Siegfried and Roy in that picture?).

And now, for the entertainment. Today, I request that Jayne have a WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY, and I also would like for her to wake me up before she go gos. (Note: I had NO idea how much little boys love to make videos to this song. Holy cow. You Tube is overflowin' with 'em. Here are two, plus the original.)


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Monsters 'n Stuff!

Don't get me wrong. I love Rhode Island. I love the families of Rhode Island. I just didn't know that the families of Rhode Island have no faces. The puppies do. The seagulls do. The snowmen do. The teddy bears do. But, the families do not. I think I am most haunted by the sad, faceless boy with the rake and the slumbering faceless tot in the crib. Aiiiiiiie!

I've seen a lot of good scary movies and a lot of bad scary movies in my time, and I've had a ton of opportunities to think through what to do if I get in a pickle with a monster or maniac. I have two strategies:

1) First Line of Defense: Spray the monster or maniac with GladeTM air freshener. Question: Why GladeTM air freshener? Answer: It is readily available, you will perfume the air, AND you will deliver a dose of stinging chemicals that should give you a chance to run like hell. Question: Can a generic brand work as well as GladeTM? Answer: I do not know. Possibly so.
When I hear a scary noise, I go for the Glade. I probably got this idea from the 1980s movie "Death Valley" starring a young Peter Billingsley. I think within the first 8 seconds of this movie a bunch of hormonal, partying teenagers (this seals their doom) are slaughtered in a horrifying tableau. You know this: The 1980s were a very, very bad time to be a hormonal, partying teenager in a horror movie. Anyway, young Peter Billingsley was kind of a sour-faced little kid in this movie who was dissatisfied with his mother's new boyfriend and forced to be on a road trip with his mother and the new boyfriend. This made him VERY ready to fight back against the forces of evil. As I recall, he did a fine job overall--particularly in a scene in which he used, like, 18 different products that were in the bathroom to put the big hurt on the evil teen-julienning cowboy. Peter Billingsley: He'll spray your eye out!
2) Second Line of Defense: My vaudeville routine.
I believe that the vast majority of monsters and maniacs might be able to be dissuaded from their path of evil by a show--a little light entertainment. So, over the years I have put together a solid 20 minutes of material that includes the "Who's On First" routine, some dynamite "Knock-Knock" jokes, and juggling with various items including, yet not limited, to GladeTM air freshener (just in case).

I happen to like Mr. Charles Bronson, but this was a pretty dreadful movie. The acting was horrible, but what's worse is that five, strapping student nurses who KNEW they shouldn't open the dang front door could not find a way to thwart a NAKED homicidal maniac AND they had access to GladeTM air freshener. The movie is maddening. The evil fiend is human, he's naked and his jumblies are all exposed and swinging in the breeze, and GladeTM air freshener is close at hand, yet still he prevails in his evil doings. Maddening.

No. I wasn't really a dumpling in these photos--I just look like one.
I wanted to be a gypsy. I was assigned to be a princess. That year, my sister and I were both spiking fevers and we couldn't go out. So, there was an improvised little festival of fun at home. We wore my mom's old party dresses, with 18 layers of clothing underneath and several layers on top to keep our fever-shivering little bodies warm. And there were games of chance! Like, the apple-hanging-from-a-string challenge that seemed to give my sister such trouble, but that I conquered immediately. Mother: "Hey! It looks like Sparkle got a bite from the hanging apple! Good for you, honey! How'd you do that?" Sister: Yeaaaah (disbelieving tone in voice). How'd you DO that?!" Sparkle: Why, it was easy! Let me show you!" Mother: "Okay, honey! Do it again and I'll take a picture of you!"
Sister: "I THOUGHT so!"

I just found a very entertaining posse of bloggers who like to write about pop culture stuff and who are focusing on Halloween. These include the guy with the evil plastic pumpkin (keep scrolling down), secret fun guy, and the guy with the cool masks--as well as others they link to who I haven't had a chance to check out. ENJOY!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Faster than a Speeding Splinter! More Powerful than a Monobrow!

Okay, because I live under a rock I didn't get the memo that told me that TWEEZERMAN is running for president. Why didn't anybody tell me? I don't know anything about the guy yet--he might be the greatest dude since Abe Lincoln--but, wow. Would this be the first Super Hero to run for president? TWEEZERMAN! Press Conference: "Mr. President? Mr. President? Mr. President?" "Yes? I'll take your questions one at a time, but first, please take these free tweezers and go groom yourselves. You're a disgrace to the corps!"

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Twenty Sights, Lots of Colors

As of this update, Lamont met and exceeded the challenge to "write a few lines of a story involving any of these photos." He is taking a victory lap wearing a crown rakishly tipped over one eye--as well as his mammoth fur bikini. No Oprah wins a runner-up prize for being pithy (no, not pissy this time--pithy). Cake wins a runner-up prize for boozing it up to get inspiration, in keeping with the habits of some our most brilliant authors.

Bonus Questions: 1) What do you think the cage-like object below is in the black and white photograph with the hand? The photo was taken in a country that someone who posts here lives in. I wonder which one? 2) What museum is the Flame sign from below? 3) What's your record for consecutive foul shots? 4) Have you ever stayed in a MORE orange hotel room than the one below? Where's the strangest place (motel/hotel/hostel) you've ever stayed?