Archive for August, 2009

Yummers

Posted in Stuff on August 25, 2009 by bigdaddygouda

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YOU! YOU BASTERD!

Posted in Movies on August 24, 2009 by bigdaddygouda

basterd

I  would never call myself a huge Quentin Tarantino fan.  Sure, I like most of his movies, but I never “rush” out to see them, and other than Pulp Fiction, and to a lesser extent Reservoir Dogs,  I don’t think his movies are amazing.

So, as I parked my ass into the seat for a Sunday afternoon showing of his latest flick, “Inglorious Basterds”, I was expecting to be entertained. However, I was not only entertained, I was  blown away.

The movie gets off to a rousing start with its opening chapter, “Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France,” when we are introduced to Tarantino’s single best character to date, the somewhat charming Nazi Col. Hans Landa,  played by the amazing Christoph Waltz, who won the Best Actor award for this role at the Cannes Film Festival.

Landa at first doesn’t seem befitting of his nickname, “The Jew Hunter.” During his talk with a local French dairy farmer, Landa is polite as can be, seemingly wanting to do little more than follow-up on a previous visit by another officer about a local Jewish family who may have fled, moving the conversation from German to French and finally to English. As they speak, we start to realize that moving to a language both Landa and the farmer know isn’t just for the audience’s benefit, giving them a moment’s reprise from what will be many subtitled sequences, but setting a trap for the farmer which will make many in the audience squirm as they realize what is about to happen.

Making audiences squirm seems to be what Tarantino wants to do most with “Basterds.” You may be aware from the commercials and trailers that Brad Pitt leads a group of Jewish-American soldiers who are set upon terrorizing the Nazis, leaving their marks by scalping those they kill and carving swastikas into those they leave alive. You may also be aware one of the Basterds, Sgt. Donny Donowitz (“Hostel” filmmaker Eli Roth) has a special skill amongst the team by taking a baseball bat to those who, as his Lieutenant likes to say, “want to die for their country”.

Many heads are scalped, a few are bashed in or carved up. Someone pokes their finger into a bullet wound to get to the truth of what just happened. Thousands of bullets fly, and a number of gallons of blood are splattered.  It’s quite gruesome at times.

Pitt is the name that will get butts into seats, but it’s not his movie. Along with Waltz, who is deserving of every accolade he’ll get the rest of the year, “Basterds” belongs to Mélanie Laurent, the equally little known French actress who plays Shosanna Dreyfus, a survivor of one of Landa’s hunts now operating a movie theatre in Paris under an assumed name, who devises a plan to take down the man who killed her family when an unexpected German movie premiere falls into her lap. And believe me, in one unforgettable piece of cinema,  this bitch means business when she decides to get her revenge.

With out ruining anything, the last shot of the film is of one of the “basterds” staring into the camera after he has just carved up a Nazi soldier.

“This may just be my masterpiece,” he says, of his handy work.

Fittingly, the same can be said of Tarantino’s latest film.


Rest In Peace Grandma Cheeney

Posted in Uncategorized on August 22, 2009 by bigdaddygouda

I would like to offer my condolences, thoughts and prayers, to Tai and his family.

His grandmother, Christine Keating, lost a brave battle with cancer on Thursday night. She was 76.

She was a wonderful woman, both compassionate and feisty.  She was a woman of deep faith who is surely in a better place now.

May she Rest In Peace.

Always thought she was sexy. Odd, but sexy

Posted in Stuff on August 21, 2009 by bigdaddygouda

Porkchop Pete’s Neighborhood Tag Sale

Posted in Stories on August 17, 2009 by bigdaddygouda

After much internal debate my father Pete finally decided to have a Tag Sale.

My family home is, to put it simply, filled with junk. The house, originally built in 1934 by my great grandfather Angelo, has accumulated quite the lot of needless items. Well, needless to my family anyway.

For years my sister and I have been trying to convince dad to have a Tag Sale rather than his prefered method of getting rid of old junk, which consisted of renting a dumpster and piling it with old furniture every few months.

I agreed to assist dad with his sale. He spent the week leading up to “the event” pricing everything in the house. I spent the week removing price tags from some of my things that there was no way I was selling for $2, if at all.

“Dad, Why are you selling my copy of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows,” I asked.

“Well, I never see you reading it,” dad countered.

Yep, it was gonna be one of those weeks.

The night before the sale Dad brought out the tables and lined up hundreds of items by the front door. At 5 a.m. he left the house and wandered the neighborhood putting up signs. At 7 a.m. he began to bring the items outside. At 7:05 his heart stopped. At 7:12 it began beating again.

The first sign of trouble came around 8 a.m: One hour before the posted start time.

An old couple pulled up to the house. (“early birds”, as they are called in the Tag Sale world.)

“Are you selling any fishing equipment”, the old man asked, as my father struggled to find the perfect placement for his scratched up Beatles record with teeth marks on the cover.

“We’re not selling anything till 9 o’ clock sir,” dad said, without so much as a glance in the old couple’s direction.

I asked my father why he hadn’t simply told them we had NO fishing equipment  rather than reply with his seemingly rude, “nothing till 9” comment.

“Cuz I’m too busy to deal with people right now,” he said.

Oh yeah, today was gonna be interesting.

Dad assigned me a ton of jobs and I couldn’t argue. I was in charge of the money, I was to answer questions about whether or not we had certain items, I was to handle negotiations and I was to keep an eye out for thieves. Yes, dad was really worried that someone was going to run off with his unopened bottle of Windshield Wiper fluid.

Dad’s job was to keep things neat. And he did.

After the vultures rifled through books and Cds and unfolded clothes, Dad had things back in order before the people got back in their cars.

I’d say for the first few hours things went smooth. People showed up. People bought stuff. Nothing was stolen. Then, the Spanish guy arrived.

He drove  a white van, already filled with junk. My aunt Barbara would later refer to this man as a “Tag Sale Locust” – traveling from sale to sale, filling his van with items from his various stops…as long as the price was right.

As soon as he picked up the first item, a Green Bay Packers mug, he said, “I give you one dollar”; a buck cheaper than the sticker price. I agreed to it.

Every item he touched, he asked for money off the marked price. And me, granted the power of negotiations from Dad, pretty much agreed to it. After all, he was buying a ton of stuff. Then, he set his sights on one of Dad’s prized possessions: His miniature model car collection.

Dad was asking $12 for the set of five cars. The guy offered $6. I countered with $10. The guy offered $7. Once again I said $10

“Seben Seben,” the man repeated, as he began putting the cars in his box.

I was about to let it go. The guy already spent about $25.  I figured he deserved the $5 discount. However, dad, who had been watching the situation unfold, disagreed.

Dad stepped in front of me, and, for the first time all day, was actually interacting directly with a customer.

“$7 is way too cheap,” dad said. “I can’t let this set go for anything less than $10.”

“Seben,”  the man said, as he put the last mini-car in his box.

Dad snapped.

“I said NO,” his voice rising, as he began pulling the cars, one by one, out of the man’s box.

“THESE – CARS- ARE- IN- MINT- CONDITION,” dad said, emphasizing each word as he took the cars from the man and put them back on their display shelf.

“Joo don’t wan my money,”  the man shot back.

“Not at that price I don’t,” dad said.

At that point the man rubbed his hands together, as if he was wiping away dirt and then showed his hands to my father, seemingly wiping himself clean of dad’s rudeness.

“Fine, den I buy nothing,” the man said.

“Good,” dad fired back, “then drag your ass.”

The  guy walked back to his van shaking his head, muttering under his breath in Spanish and, most importantly, taking his $25 with him.

“Dad, why didn’t you just give him the deal,” I asked. “He was spending a ton of money.”

“Because,” dad said, arranging his precious car collection, “there is a difference between making money and getting raped.”

Aside from that little bit of unpleasantness things went well for the rest of the day. Especially when all the old Italian guys from the neighborhood stopped by to shoot the shit and pop off about old times in the neighborhood.

I sat there counting the money as these old men told some crazy tales. I heard things like, “I tried to enlist in Vietnahm but they told me I was too violent,” and,  “Remember when the mob wanted me dead because I was dating the prettiest girl in town.”

The day wound down around 4. People, for the most part, had stopped coming. But it was okay. The majority of items had been sold. Dad had cleared about $300.

We sat down. I counted the money as Dad drank a beer and bragged about the efficient, orderly tag sale he’d pulled off.

“HEY,” Dad barked.

I jumped and immedietly looked up. There, sitting on our wall were two young boys. This was not the first time I had seen them today. They lived down the street and periodically through out the day they would park their bikes in front of the house, sit on the wall and watch people shop.

Everytime they arrived dad would snap his fingers at me to get my attention, then procede to tell me to keep an eye on them. As far as he was concerned, if anyone was going to steal anything, it was going to be them.

The boys sat frozen on the wall, obviosly startled by dad’s yell.

“What do you two want anyway,” dad asked, sternly. “You guys have been coming by all day and you just sit there staring at us.”

The younger boy, probably 7 years old, said nothing. The older brother, most likely about 10 years old, sheepishly pointed to a pile of my old football cards.

“You have any money,” dad asked, sarcastically.

Both boys shook their heads ‘No’

 With his thumb pointed down the street, followed by a jerk of the wrist and punctuated with a whistle, dad simply said, “Then beat it.”

The boys mounted their bikes and quickly rode away.

I’m sure they will tell all the neighborhood kids about the mean old man who lives at 152 Barton Street, and, in the process, turn my father into a popular target for a Halloween egging.

“Everybody wants something for nothing,” Dad said, taking a final swig of his beer. “Lets start bringing this shit back in the house.  I’m tired.”

Dad put his beer down, stood up and let out a mighty belch, letting the neighborhood know that Porkchop Pete’s Tag Sale had come to a close.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2009 by bigdaddygouda

Mmm Bacon

Posted in Funny Video on August 12, 2009 by bigdaddygouda

Here is an actual conversation that took place in the dining hall at Boston College while we were visiting Bub back in 1997.

BUB: Whatever you guys want  is on me.

ADS: Really? You’re going to pay for all of us?

BUB: Yeah. I don’t actually pay cash. I just use my Eagle Points.

ADS: ( eyeing a tray of bacon) How much is the bacon?

CAFETERIA WORKER: 25 cent each.

ADS: Bub, we can really get whatever we want and you’ll pay?

BUB: Yes!

ADS: (turning back to the Cafeteria worker) I’ll have 15 slices of bacon, please.