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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Archive for March, 2010

My Life: As Prepared by Aaron Spelling and Stephen J. Cannell

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I am from the Great Suburban Strip Mall that is Long Island.  Thanks to the amount of hairspray we all used during the ‘80’s, global climate change is pretty much our fault.  Sorry.  Aside from that not too much was happening there.  Not like the rest of the country, where daring escapades occurred nightly between 8pm and 11pm Eastern Standard Time thanks to our adult role models, The Fall Guy; Matt Houston; MacGyver; The A-Team; the fellas over at Rip Tide; The Dukes of Hazzard; Magnum, PI; and Knight Rider. We all just assumed our parents had somehow screwed up and been exiled to Long Island, but that we would easily secure positions as private investigators, secret operatives, and rogues when we grew up.

  • We would engage in car chases on winding mountain roads.
  • Private “think tanks” would send us on adventures across the globe, but mostly in Los Angeles.
  • We could have private investigator’s license that would allow us to shoot bad guys without worrying about explaining it too much.
  • We would hurl dynamite at corrupt local police via arrows.
  • Local police would always be corrupt.
  • If we were captured, we would always be locked up with the means to facilitate our own escape.
  • We could expect for cars to explode only after all occupants had crawled to a safe distance.
  • It would be okay for us to shoot at moving cars.
  • It would be okay for us to shoot from moving cars.
  • We would have unfettered access to a helicopter, as long as we used it to fight injustice.
  • Henchmen would have lousy aim.
  • We could expect to encounter criminal masterminds who were able to control entire towns, unless we stood up to them.
  • Attractive women, who we don’t know, will frequently appeared in bikinis holding champagne.
  • Attractive women, who we do know, will infrequently appear in bikinis (but it will be worth the wait).

These were lives that Stephen J. Cannell and Aaron Spelling had painstakingly prepared for us, only to have our high school guidance counselors one day tell us, that our SAT scores were either too high or to low for adventure, but just right for a summer job in the food court of the mall.

Imperial Storm Troopers Don’t Surf!!

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Another Spring Over Reaction Day has come and gone here in Providence and with it all the fleeting emotions pleasant weather brings.  It happens every winter, that one unseasonably warm day that makes us think that that freakin’ Groundhog in Pennsylvania should get a new gig.  Girls in tank tops, idiot frat boys in flip-flops, and older couples with the tops down on their convertibles, do their best to wish spring’s arrival.  But wishing doesn’t make it so; and the next day brings nothing but the cold groundhoginess of reality.  This day, although bittersweet, is celebrated in almost all civilizations … Except for the ice planet of Hoth.

Whoever the Rebel Alliance brainiac was who thought that setting up Echo Base on an ice planet was a great idea should be taken outside and stuffed inside a Tauntaun. The Resistance had already packed up all their Aloha shirts and cruise wear in preparation for Vader’s attack.  “Darn it to heck, General Rieekan.  Looks like we’ll have to abandon the WHOLE planet.  No, no.  It’s pretty cold … I mean ‘bad.’ The damage is pretty bad!  Hey, I know … The Empire will never look for us on the awesome surfing planet of Kamino.  I heard Storm Troopers can’t swim or enjoy Margaritas.  Huh?  C’mon.”

Hoth is so inhospitable that Storm Troopers have to dress in winter coats.  These guys work in the cold vacuum of space, yet this planet is so frigid that they need to wear extra layers over their suits of armor.  The Wampas even hate Hoth, which is why they’re so pissy all the time.  George Lucas never told us as kids, but it was actually summertime on Hoth during The Empire Strikes Back.

The good news is that the Rebels eventually relocated to Endor (nice, if you like camping and really small bears wearing hoods but not pants), and here on Earth, spring is only six days away.

What if NBC Wanted to Make Us Smarter?

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

It’s been just about a month since the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Conference ended in Long Beach, California.  This thing is the high water mark for independent thought on our little planet.  Annually, about forty presenters are scheduled, each with only eighteen minutes to dazzle invited attendees with where the future will take us, willing or not.  To give a “TED Talk” you definitely have to be able to swim in the deep end of the pool; Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Burt Rutan, Amy Tan, Dave Eggers, Jimmy Whales, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Malcolm Gladwell have all done their time on stage.  Heck, John Galt would present at TED, if we could find him.

Now to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of these Conferences, rumors abound that NBC television, in a move that will surely steal back the Lost crowd after the series finale this May, is trying to acquire the rights to TED.  Transforming it into a weekly hour-long drama featuring the smartest characters ever to be on television.  The line-up, as is the case with all properties in development, is subject to change, but potential guests and their topics could include:

Chloe from 24“Access Every Piece of Data on the Planet While Short on Time”

K.I.T.T.“Arguing with Your Futuristic Talking Car: What NOT to Say”

Former West Wing President, Jed Bartlett“Fix the World Using a Good Sceenwriter”

That Forensic Goth Girl from NCIS “My Eyes are up Here, Nerd Boys!  Seriously, I will Kill You and Get Away with it Because I Know Science.”

MacGyver“The Future is Coming:  What to Keep in Your Pockets”

House“You are not Smart.  Now, Where’s the VIP Bar?”

Is Betty White the Grey Lady of American Comedy or a T-1000 Sent Back in Time to Kill Us All?

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Every time I see actress, Betty White, it does more to solidify my suspicions that she is, in fact, a Terminator.  Sure she’s an old lady, but to the best of my intern, Ben’s research of my wife’s VHS Golden Girls collection, she’s always been an old lady.

A spunky grandmotherly type a sure bet as a Terminator!  If you’re Skynet, the cybernetic brain trust of the future, created by humans, you’d know how to beat us.  Why try to crush the puny humans and risk riling them up, when you can make them lemonade and win their trust?  Okay, so world domination is taking a little longer than expected, but you’ve got Steve Jobs working around the clock on that little hiccup.  And once Betty White can communicate with every iPhone on the planet, it’s all over.  She’ll tell dirty jokes while smiling innocently; therefore completely disarming all of mankind. She WILL pave the way for our technological slavery.

It’s already begun, my GPS tells me where to drive and I obey blindly.  I get SPAM e-mails that try to woo me into opening up my bank accounts.  My computer gets viruses that steal information on my humanity.  I am convinced that Betty White is a harbinger of a dawning apocalypse.  It’s not sexy, which is how it’s slipping by us undetected.  The boys over in R and D at Cyberdyne will eventually create a diabolical artificial life form capable of sending minions backwards through time to prey on our dismissal of elderly celebrities as cute novelties, harmless but zany.

Think about it, if you’re a super-computer from a dystopian future; you could send a robot back in time disguised as an unintelligible, bodybuilder with a made-up sounding name and hope for the best.  I mean, maybe your robot, because of his great size, would be perfect for 1980’s and ‘90’s nonsensical Hollywood action movies, when being human or capable of speaking English didn’t matter.  And maybe he would become a global sensation, recognized throughout the world.  Perhaps he would pass so thoroughly as a human that he would marry into the most prominent family in American politics and eventually become Governor of one of the nation’s largest states.  But what are the odds that’ll happen?

My money’s on Betty White.

I’m with the Cult Winners Announced(please note the three exclamation points)!!!

Monday, March 8th, 2010

We opened our usually close-knit cabal to your suggestions for the Summer Season of I’m with the Cult, our monthly cult film screening night.   The June, July, and August winners and their guests will be VIP’s at the screening of the film they offered up, right here in Providence, Rhode Island! will also be providing lodging and meals for each winner!  You, the reader, have shared your voice, and that voice sounds like it’s been drinking whiskey, smoking a pack a day, and living in an asbestos filled basement for 30 years!

Well anyway … here are our grand prize winners:

June’s selection is 1985’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, submitted by Long Island’s JimHillJimHill, a regular commenter, has chosen a film that silenced the judges (really, we all just kind of looked at each other and sent Ben, the intern, out for more beer), and was the slam-dunk selection of the bunch.  JimHill is also known for making additional submissions several days after the deadline.

In July we’ll be screening Rob Reiner’s 1985 overlooked masterpiece, The Sure Thing.  Sandwiched between 1984’s This is Spinal Tap and ‘86’s Stand by Me, this is Reiner’s forgotten gem.  We’ve got Kelly way up in Buffalo to thank for this one!

Finally for August we took the advice of JLaz, who suggested the 1978, high as a satellite, Reggae dissent of Rockers.  Nobody on the panel had seen that thing since “high” school, so we were pretty excited to give it a ride.  JLaz is a local from Providence!  Way to go, hometown girl!

Congratulations to all our winners!

There are a few honorable mentions we should get out there too.  These are all in consideration for future I’m with the Cult screenings.

The Long Good Friday (1980) – Bob Hoskins was a hairy chested bad-ass in his day, so this might come back to us as a Winter selection.  Thanks, SC.

Airplane! (1980) – Pwil2728 put this one up in a comment.  Glorious in its relentless bludgeoning puns, but some guys on the panel watch it weekly as it is. “Looks like you picked the wrong week to quit taking amphetamines.”

Kicking and Screaming (1995) – Not that Will Ferrell turd about kid’s soccer.  This is the sucker-punch of an indie movie we all wanted to make when we were twenty-two. It’s about a group of guys who refuse to let go of college after they graduate.  Ben’s girlfriend, Betsy, actually called this one in.

Hudsucker Proxy (1994) – This was the original selection for the July movie, however I called an audible and pulled its eligibility because the contestant posted as billyd1, a reference to the oft blogged about Billy D.  You, sir, are no Billy D.  Therefore, we shall watch your movie in the Fall, invite the genuine Billy D., and give you nothing but scorn.

And speaking of scorn … Red, my wife, who posted her support for the 1990 girlie, ice-skating, loveroo, The Cutting Edge, has been so publicly shamed that she appealed directly to the panel (we made Ben get more beers) for an alternate submission … The Bad News Bears (1976).  The boys in the band are currently taking it under advisement – looks good though.

Again, congratulations to our three winners.  And thanks to all who participated. “Now get back to the stands before I shave off half your mustache and shove it up your left nostril.”

Hey, Kathryn Bigelow! “Get Me Two!” TIMELY OSCAR UPDATE!!

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Kathryn Bigelow’s film, The Hurt Locker, just won six freakin’ Academy Awards this weekend spanking the 3-D blue ass of her ex-husband’s Avatar.  The Daily Jim celebrates her achievement as the first woman to win an award for Best Director!   This is finally the public triumph she deserves.  However, like most auteurs, her most important work is not her most successful.  That is why, brothers and sisters, we will take this moment to commemorate Ms. Bigelow’s shining accomplishment; her light bulb; her Leaves of Grass; her Star Spangled Banner; her perfect wave – Point Break.

Bodhi and The Ex-Presidents robbing banks and surfing big waves; Anthony Kiedis shooting himself in the foot; Johnny Utah: football star, FBI agent, surfer; Lori Petty before she got all Lori Petty; a fist-fight a five-thousand feet; the Hundred Year Storm; Gary Busey ordering not one, but two, chili dogs; Gary freakin’ Busey; “Bodhi, this is your f-ing wake-up call, man: I am an F-B-I agent!”  It boasts 100% pure adrenaline and nobody has yet to step up with 101%.  You can carve three 33.3% movies out of this one perfect storm!

This was such a favorite in the I’m with the Cult series we sponsor, we’re showing it again in April!  The influence of this masterpiece is so great that Point Break Live, a stage production of the movie, where a new Johnny Utah is selected from the audience each night, just celebrated its 2nd anniversary in cities throughout our great nation!  As predicted, she was touted as an overnight success by some red carpet commentator with no sense of art or history (or art history).

Ms. Bigelow, you’re our new quarterback!  Keep livin’ to get radical!

Today on Regis and Kelly: Travis and his Organ

Friday, March 5th, 2010

After two drinks and $25 at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport bar, Travis came and stood by me.  He ordered orange juice and a breakfast burrito “to go.”  I looked down at my weekender’s backpack and then over at the Igloo cooler he had place on the seat between us.  It was blue with a yellow sticker that read, “Human Organ for Transplant.”  I stared at Regis and Kelly on the television while developing my next move.

“So … that Kelly Ripa, huh?” Not my best opening line but it was nine in he morning and I was sitting next to a human body part in a cooler.  Before he could respond I changed gears.  “I’ve got the same one at home,” pointing to his cooler,  “Can’t quite get a whole twelve-pack in it with ice.”

“It’s a liver,” he said flatly before I asked, and then turned his attention to Kelly Ripa.

“You brought a back-up liver to a bar? C’mon that’s pretty funny,” I said.

“I’ve heard that one before.”  His eyes didn’t move from the TV.  This guy was all business.

“Dude, you cannot set an extra piece of a person onto a chair next to me and not expect me to want to talk about it.”  He looked over vaguely interested, so I went on.  “I would have thought the boys in Research and Development over at Igloo might design a special cooler for … you know, organ transpo?  That one looks like you took it camping?”

“The inside is different.  But you’re right, it’s looking banged up.”  While waiting for his burrito, Travis went on to tell me that he gets so many unoriginal comments about his cooler that he usually tries to avoid conversation.  “I took this job to help people, but also because I get to be by myself.”  I think he thought that would politely dissuade me.  It didn’t.

“Hmmm … Ironic.  Okay.” I thought for a second. “What are the top five things people say over and over again?  Dude, then I will leave you alone with your burrito and Kelly Ripa.  I promise!”  He could have just shut me down then, but I just smiled.  I think he saw it as an opportunity to vent.

He finished telling me just as his breakfast arrived.  He nodded, grabbed his food and his liver, and walked out.  It was kind of surreal, but I stayed to watch Kelly Ripa and finish my drink.

And with that being said, I now present to you the top five overused comments said to a medical courier by strangers in an airport:

5.  “Shouldn’t you be running?”

4.  “Please tell me you have a brain for my husband in there.”

3.  “Aww …what’s in the box?”(He pleaded, like Brad Pitt from the climax of Seven)

2.  “Could I borrow some ice for my drink?”

1.  “Can I see your organ?”

March Madness; the Green Lantern; and Things Practice Can’t Overcome

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

March Madness makes me … well … mad.  It reminds me that no matter how hard I practice, I can’t go left.  I can’t dribble a basketball or catch something with any degree certainty using my left hand.  I understand the mechanics, but the execution eludes me. Fortunately, this defect is limited to basketball where I am predictably clunky on the left side and therefore easy to pick off for even the dimmest of opponents.  My greatest strategy in masking this defect is to avoid playing the sport entirely. There are definitely worse flaws to have, and people who overcome them courageously and effectively; but … it’s basketball.  Do I really need to overcome this?  I have other nice qualities, and a few of them are vaguely athletic. I learned from the Green Lantern a long time ago that there are some things that can’t be fixed and must be worked around.

This guy is in possession of a ring that allows him to temporarily conjure any object or device he might like to use simply by thinking about it.  It looks like a green laser rock show from the 70’s and 80’s, but he can make ANYTHING, not just write his name in different fonts.  If you’d like a green pencil, he can make that.  If you’d like a green, seventy-foot long pogo stick, he’s got you covered.  Usually, he sticks with the crime fighting basics, like a giant hand, with which to squash enemies or a protective shield, with which to survive being squashed by enemies.  This ring pretty much makes him one of the most powerful creatures in the universe.  But here comes the downside.  There are two caveats when utilizing this magic ring.  First is that it has to be recharged every twenty-four hours.  That’s not such a big deal; I can usually remember to plug in my cell phone overnight.  But secondly, the damn thing doesn’t affect anything that’s yellow!

Much like my embarrassing lefty issue, he has to hide his secret yellow shame. In theory, the Lantern could get his ass kicked by a fisherman, or a school bus, or even Big Bird.  What if word got out about that?  Can you imagine being stomped on by an evil Big Bird?  They kick you out of the Justice League for that kind of business.  So he is careful to choose nemeses in other shades of the color wheel and only save school children while they’re not in transit.  Instead of looking like a weenie, he just calls The Flash for the assist when battling bees or villains hiding in a field of sunflowers.  Problem handled.

And for me, lesson learned.  I’m sure that every now and then the Lantern gets a hankerin’ for lemon twist in his martini, or the urge to take a taxi ride, just to see what it’s like.  He probably just pockets the ring and hopes things don’t get out of hand.  I handle March in the same fashion.  I watch as many games as I can at the bar and secretly  hope a pick-up game doesn’t break out.

SUBMISSIONS DUE FRIDAY, MARCH 5th! Join a Cult! Here’s How!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Every month The Daily Jim sponsors an invitation only cult movie nigh,t called I’m with the Cult, at various locations in and around Providence, RI.  Do you want come?

We’ve decided to take readers’ movie suggestions exclusively for our Summer 2010 season (June – August).  If you submit an idea and we use it, you and a buddy will be our guests of honor at the screening (you’ve got to be NEAR Rhode Island on that night … we’re just scrapin’ by still waitin’ for that big internets windfall, so there’s no way we’re flyin’ your ass out here from Saskatoon).  Be sure to include your favorite quote from the movie with your submission.

It’s an awesome event, despite what Anthony Hopkins thinks, and it’s gaining steam; so get in on it! This Winter Season’s The Daily Jim: I’m with the Cult events have included:

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) – “Honey, I never drive faster than I can see. Besides that, it’s all in the reflexes.”

The Warriors (1979) – “Can you count, suckers? I say, the future is ours … if you can count!”

Point Break (1991) – “Back off Warchild, seriously.”

Kelly’s Heroes (1970) – “Don’t hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there.  It’s a mother, beautiful bridge, and it’s gonna be there. Okay?”

March’s movie will be They Live (1988) – “Mama don’t like tattletales.”

For clarification, the event committee really enjoys The Big Lebowski, Donnie Darko, and Fight Club but there are enough spectacular events centered around them already (check out, your local high school drama department’s Netflix queue , or behind any bar on a Tuesday for details on those).  We’re looking for movies that don’t get THAT KIND of attention anymore (yes, I realize Point Break runs contrary to that statement, but that’s because it’s 100% pure adrenaline).

Submissions close at midnight on Friday, March 5th.  Good luck!  My intern, Ben, looks forward to serving you beers at this Summer’s I’m with the Cult.

I was a Seventh Grade Zombie

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Vampires are romantic.  They usually have dreamy eyes and a rap that will draw you in quicker than you can say, “Sure … Just take a little bite, though.”  Their fashion sense is excellent and they always have great hair.  Werewolves are complicated.  They’re victims of circumstance; during the daylight, they’re perfectly nice people who are mostly trying to reverse their condition.  They don’t like making more werewolves.  Now Frankenstein is just plain tragic.  Poor guy doesn’t understand what’s happening; he’s a seven-foot infant capable of tearing out your spine.  All of these fellas elicit specific emotions that complicate the act of destroying them.  Zombies are a lot more straightforward.

If Grandma Clara gets bitten by one of the undead, you’ve probably got a couple of minutes to mourn before you need to shoot her in the face. A swift shot to the brain will put your former Nana out of her misery and send her to eternal rest (best evidence indicates).  Attempting to subdue her will most likely result in your downfall; and NOBODY wants his downfall at the hands of an eighty-six year old who just got her hair done. She’s had a good run, but she’s not getting any better. At this point she’s got ooze pouring from her mouth, a tear in her sweater, and one of her sensible shoes is missing.  There’s no time to plan beyond this, and she’s certainly not going to offer any witty repartee to convince you otherwise.  She will now commence eating you, unless you intervene.

Zombie killing is elementary because they’re not misunderstood and there is absolutely nothing sexy about a rotting zombie; they are raggedly relentless.  I defy Stephenie Meyer to find anything enchanting for tween girls to latch onto; and this is the woman who manscaped werewolves and made vampires sparkly for Twilight!

So here’s to the monster equivalent of a thirteen year old boy … sloppy, hungry, dangerous, and unappealing to middle-school girls.

Lessons in Bad Media Franchising and Merchandising

1) Saw 8: The Reality Television Gameshow 2)Live action movie of Hungry, Hungry Hippos 3)The Tonight Show, starring Chewbacca 4) Deadpool vs. Punisher: The Musical 5) The Human Centipede sleeping bag 6) C-Span Live Action Role Playing Group 7) The new Texas Chainsaw Massacre ride at Six Flags Over Texas 8) Your Parents Basement is Always […]

Where is Our Modern Barney Miller?

The single camera glory that was Barney Miller can probably never be reproduced.  There’s heavy debate in the office whether it should be or not. It was essentially a 22-minute, 3-act play with minimal characters and only one set (after Season One that also featured Barney’s dining room at home).  The thing is, the writing […]

Non-John Hughes High School Movies from the ’80s

Yep. Most of the high school biggies were our man, Hughes. But if you can name the 1980s high school movie quotes listed below, your might have been paying attention to something else in ’88 other than the MTV Beach House and that cute girl with freckles in your 11th grade Chemistry class. 5)”Last night, […]

Mark Your Calendar, Nerds!!!

This Weekend is legendary Indy 500.  Please don’t think geekdom is limited to cosplay and app programming.  Oh no, my friends. Two years ago our Mid-West correspondent, Billy D, and I watched those car dorks jump a humongous Hot Wheels truck  over a bunch of school busses and twice as many drunks while Florence Henderson […]

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Attention lonely geeks! “Drunk” is only a superpower at Red Sox games and ex-girlfriends’ weddings.

Gentleman Jim

  • MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.  

  • TUESDAY – Television.  Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.  

  • WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.  

  • THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.  

  • FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics.  Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…