Saturday, November 29, 2008

At Cat's Cradle in Carboro, NC.........

In an effort to lure younger folks, we will devoting periodic blog entries to some cool clubs here in the region, including The 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, and The Cat's Cradle in Carboro, NC (just outside Chapel Hill).

Southern Culture on the Skids, a band with connections to my hometown of Roanoke, Va., will be at Cat's Cradle on Sat., Dec. 13. The show costs $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Opening act is The Hall Monitors. The Cat's Cradle's phone number is 919.967.9053

According to wikipedia, the band formed in Chapel Hill in 1983, and they are known for playing rockability, surf rock, country music combined with outrageous humor. They are also known for throwing fried chicken and banana pudding into the audience!

SCOTS made it big with their song "Camel Rock" in 1995. Other songs by the band include "Cheap Motels" and "Soul City."

Other shows at Cat's Cradle include the 2nd annual Winterfest Reggae Jam on Dec. 27.

I was at the Cradle, a very cool non-smoking establishment, myself last week to see Mates of State, a band I had never heard of (though they are apparently fairly popular) and it turned out to be quite good! I was the only one in the bar drinking cranberry juice.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Top Ten List- Last Films Seen by Charlie Kaufman

.........As told by "Film Comment" magazine. The screenwriter from Pasadena, Calif., is best known for "Adaptation" and "Being John Malkovich." He made his directorial debut with "Synedoche, New York," which is playing at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary, NC, and other theatres around the country.

1. "The Eye"

2. "Leatherheads"

3. "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"

4. "My Winnipeg"

5. "Kung Fu Panda"

6. "Wall-E"

7. "Sky High"

8. "Night at the Museum"

9. "High School Musical"

10. "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince of Caspian"

Based on this list, one has to wonder if Mr. Kaufman has kids.........

For a list of the last ten movies I've seen go to our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Political Confusion Quiz (Entry 4 of 21)

In today's "Political Confusion Quiz," we simply ask would you rather choose Chevy Chase or Donny Osmond as your celebrity golf partner. It should be painfully obvious which one of these two is the Republican.

My Facebook friend Timothy Hayfield of Charlotte, NC, will probably get me a Christmas gift subscription to "The National Review" for this:)

Nostalgia Monday (late edition) - Presidential Trivia

Yes, I am using Thanksgiving Day to catch up on blog entries.

Today, we ask how old George HW Bush, aka Dubya's big daddy, is.

Is the answer:

A. 81

B. 82

C. 84

D. 85

We ask Jimmy Carter's age on the other blog.

The answer to last week's quiz about Eisenhower's dog was Heidi.

Letter of the Week.......about Barack Obama

As I approach 40 (I am 38 now), I realize that I have gone from being a fervent liberal to a moderate liberal. In some ways, it is depressing to be less idealistic than the likes of Michael Moore or Tim Robbins, but on the other hand, it is better than going to the dark side like Jon Voight or Cat Stevens! (I am not sure which would be worse becoming an arch conservative, dittohead Republican or an Islamic fundamentalist! )
The election of Barack Obama however is the one thing my past and former self can find comfort in, and this letter by Aaron Warner of Seattle to "Rolling Stone" reflects why:

"At first, I didn't think the Illinois senator had a plan to restore America to her former glory, but after reading the interview (in "Rolling Stone"), I finally realize the president-elect has been playing his cards close to his chest."

Quote of the Week- T.S. Eliot

This quote comes to us from today's edition of "The Roanoke Times," a daily newspaper in my hometown of Roanoke, Va. It is from poet T.S. Eliot who is the person we must hold responsible for the poem that lead to the Broadway show "Cats." Eliot's best known poem is "The Wasteland."

"What is late November doing with the disturbance of spring?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

My vegan friends will be happy to know this image is of a tofu turkey. But, I am not having either tofu turkey or the real thing for Thanksgiving this year.

For details, see th entry in my sister blog Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time, available through a link from this blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lucky Luke Now in les etats unis

I was pleasantly surprised to find Lucky Luke, the French chain-smoking cowboy, is now available in the United States.

I read the books as a child in Turkey (between 1977-79), where Lucky Luke is known as Red Kit. They were published in the late 1960s and early 1970s. And, I found a few titles on Buyukada Island near Istanbul, this summer.

The book I found here was "The Shadow of the Derricks," initially published in 1971.

Kudos to Andrew Neal of Chapel Hill Comics in Chapel Hill, NC, for being the first place that I found the western comic here in the states.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quote of the Week- William S. Burroughs

From the author of "Naked Lunch:"

"I don't care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it."

We have a quote from another favorite author of mine, William Styron, on our sister blog Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time.

Facebook Friend of the Week.........

Marina Alexopoulous of Rhodes, Greece. Marina is 34 years old and single.

I should know more about her, but when you have 515 Facebook friends- many of whom you've never met in real life (like Marina), it is hard to remember who likes to play ping pong or go scuba-diving in Acapulco.

Also, I sure hope I spelled her name right as I would not want to rekindle ethnic hostilities between Turks* and Greeks. Yeah, initially I did leave out the 'u' between the 'o' and the 'l.'

*-For those who don't know, I am half-Turkish.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top Ten Things That Make Me Happy

1. Nutella

2. Zippy the Pinhead

3. Starbucks' decaf coffee

4. women's college gymnastics meets

5. political victories

6. drive-in movies

7. going to Chapel Hill, NC

8. The Sunday Washington Post*

9.fall foliage in Virginia

10. chainsaw juggling videos on Youtube

*-Don't read the obits or depressing stories

The Eden Drive-In in Eden, NC, is showing "Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa" and "007: The Quantam of Solace" this weekend. Yes, it is mid-November, and they are still open!

The next 10 movies in my Netflix que is the entry in my sister blog Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time (see links section of this blog)

Useful Links:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vampire's Day Off .........(well from blogging)

It appears that I will be quite busy tomorrow, but we're hoping that's not the case. But, in case, it is hang in there, for in all likelihood, I will be back on Wednesday.

In the meantime, keep in mind that ManBitesDog Theatre in Durham, NC, will be performing the Waiting for Guffmanesque play "Act a Lady" by Jordan Harrison from Dec. 4-20, 2008.

And, The Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, Va., will join 539 theatres across the country in performing a stage rendition of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." It runs from Dec. 3-23, 2008. Perhaps, my good friend Tom Angleberger (a children's book author) and his wife CeCe Bell (also a children's book writer) might go there since Tom likes Dickens as much as I like bad Japanese movies..........

Useful Links:

Nostalgia Monday- Ike's Dog

Since we asked for the name of FDR's dog on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time," I thought I'd ask folks the name of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's pooch (not the one pictured, nor is this my dog).

Is it:

A) Heidi



D) Checkers

The winner may get a free back issue of "Budget Travel" magazine, presuming my mom doesn't want it back!

There is actually a Presidential Pet Museum in Williamsburg, Va., which opened in 1999.

PS- The answer to last week's Nostalgia Monday quiz on this blog was LBJ. Had he still been alive, he would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Political Confusion Quiz (Entry 3 of 21)

This scientific quiz is designed to help independent and politically confused people decide whether they are more of a Republican or a Democrat.

If you answered Dennis Kucinich and Zippy the Pinhead in our first two entries you are more likely to be a Democrat, but if you answered Virgil Goode and Mallard Filmore you might be a redneck.....I mean a Republican.

Here is question number three:

Today's question is: "Would you rather go deer or duck hunting in Georgia or take in a performance by folk dancers from the Republic of Georgia?"

Though we try not to be overly political here at The Daily Vampire_ ok, so I did endorse Jim Martin over Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) in my other blog_ I must profess to only trying the later!

Well, there was this one time I went deer hunting in Franklin County, Va., as a teenager in 1987. I only shot trees.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quote of the Week- Dr. Seuss

"Today you are You, that is true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."

How to Ruin a Cup of Coffee......

Yesterday, I inadvertently put lemon juice into a cup of decaf coffee at Starbucks as I thought it was honey! Yuuuck! But, what confused me afterwards was this: "Why would Starbucks put lemon juice on the counter." It makes as much sense as getting sushi with ketchup and mustard. (Not an endorsement)

Hmmm....I'm having technical problems with this entry........hope it gets posted!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Top 10 James Bond Films

Since the latest Bond flick opens today, here is my list of 10 favorite.

(I did not spend a lot of time on this!)

1. From Russia with Love (1962)

2.On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

3. Dr. No (1962)

4. Diamonds are Forever (1971)

5. Live and Let Die (1973)

6. Casino Royale (2006)

7. Moonraker (1971)

8. Octopussy (1983)

9. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

10. The Living Daylights (1987)

Note: Goldfinger, which is supposedly the best, is perhaps the one Bond film I have not seen, although perhaps I have and I don't remember it right off-hand.

The Living Daylights made the list because I'm the only person in the world who cares for its theme song by A-ha.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Late, Late Notice

One of my favorite current bands is Cold War Kids. It was their name which got my attention. Tonight, they will be performing on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson" on CBS (airs at 12:35 a.m., EST).

This should make up for the fact that I could not go to their show at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC.

Image: From the film "Red Dawn."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Political Test- 2 of 21

Today, we are continuing to help folks resolve their political confusion in these politically confusing times by asking which comic strip do you prefer:

A)The liberal comic strip "Zippy the Pinhead" by Bill Griffith

B) The conservative comic strip "Mallard Filmore" by Bruce Tinsley

Useful Links:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quote of the Week.....from a former president

Who said: "Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There is nothing to do but stand and take it."

Was it:

A) Lyndon B. Johnson
B) George HW Bush
C) Bill Clinton
D) Jimmy Carter

Today is also the birthday of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1935), who founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923.

Program Reminder......PBS/Tuesday

PBS will be airing a documentary about the late Republican Party operative Lee Atwater called "Boogieman: The Lee Atwater Story." on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. (EST).

The film, which is airing as part of the "Frontline" series, was in theatres, such as The Galaxy Cinema in Cary, NC, about a month ago.

Tonight PBS has an "Antiques Roadshow" from Milwaukee.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Vampire is Taking a Few Days Off.......

.........I knew this day would come. I've actually gotten burned out from blogging. Perhaps, it was switching to a new server. Perhaps, it was adding a second blog. Perhaps, it's because I've gotten fewer hits than expected.

At any rate, I am tired of blogging for the moment, but I will be back.

Even my friend Christopher Knight of Reidsville, NC, came to this point and he actually quit blogging for close to a full month.

But, somehow, I doubt my 'vacation' will be that long!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursday Top 10 Lists_ Reasons to Get Up Early

The name of this blog "The Daily Vampire" does not stem from the fact that I turn into a bat and suck blood from people's necks, but rather because I simply do not keep normal hours. I teach in the afternoon, so I have developed a habit of going to bed late and then in turn getting up some time after 9 a.m.

So, today, I am starting my Thursday Top 10 list with 10 Reasons to Go to Bed (In reverse order):

10. Charlie Rose stimulates the mind too much, and his show can cause one to feel obliged to read books or magazines they don't have time for anyway.

9. They will play the same crappy songs you listen to on the radio during the day- there will just be more annoying ads.

8. You can get in those laps at the local YMCA pool that you continously neglect.

7. They will still not know if Tom Perriello won his seat over that fill-in-the-blank Cong. Virgil Goode (R-Va) when you wake up (Tom is up by 31 votes. It is one of the very few undecided races from yesterday in the whole country).

6. You can spend less time staring at the ceiling and asking yourself ridicilious questions, like "What if I had gone out with Amanda or Dawn in college? Or Laura in high school? Or that girl in third grade whose name you have forgotten."

5. You can eat Special K and Grape Nuts at a normal hour.

4. You can see movies which will actually cultivate you as opposed to something like "Werewolves on Wheels."

3. You can waste valuable hours of daylight blogging just as well.

2. There is no need to read "Naked Lunch" for a seventh time, is there?

1. There is a chance you might actually remember the dream you had about making love to Natalie Portman.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Message for My Republican Friends.........

Hey if Jimmy Buffet and Warren Buffet can agree on Barack Obama, you know everything's going to be all right.

Even though I'm a partisan Democrat, I know this is a tough time for those who voted for John McCain. The Arizona senator is a gracious man and deserving of everyone's respect and admiration.

And, for my fellow Democrats, the fiasco of the 2000 election is finally behind us once and for all. It only took eight years!

We Have A Choice

Some people don't............Please vote today, even if it's for Bill the Cat.

Pictured: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev shaking the hand of former Russian leader Vladamir Putin. Both got substantially more than 50 percent of the vote.

Political Confusion Quiz (Entry 1 of 21)

This will be the first of a 21 entry weekly series in which one can figure out where they stand politically. It is not going to ask you where you stand on the minimum wage, abortion or alternative forms of energy, but rather would you rather see a Broadway revival of "The Crucible" in New York or take in a Lee Greenwood show in Branson, Mo.
There is a personal reason for this entry as I actually went through political confusion last year mainly due to a major legislative dispute I had with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As a life-long Democrat, this was a great awakening, but in the end, it really did not change my politics at all. I voted for Barack Obama with no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice.
Ultimately if Pelosi made me think of leaving the party, Sarah Palin and her zealous right-wing extremism reaffirmed my commitment to center-left politics, and we are having great makeup sex!

Which brings us to today's question, if you were given a choice would you vote for ultra right-winger Cong. Virgil Goode (R-Va), who seems to have it in for blacks, gays, Hispanics and Muslims/Arabs (though I suppose he pleases those who really care about other people's baby fetuses__ironically Goode like David Duke was a Democrat) or fanatical liberal Cong.Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a kooky guy whose worst gaffe seems to be admitting to have seen an UFO.

Yes, both are people I would want to seriously distance myself from )politically or otherwise), but ultimately, Kucinich is, in my view, a far better person than Goode, who is in an unexpectedly tough battle with Tom Perriello of Charlottesville to maintain his congressional seat today.

But, it is your decision which matters here.

So, here are your choices for Quiz One:

A) Dennis Kucinich

B) Virgil Goode

Ultimately, when all 21 questions have been submitted, we will show where you stand politically!

SIDEBAR: Not everyone is voting for Obama or McCain today. My friend Chris Knight of Reidsville, NC, has endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin for president even though the Orlando minister is not even on the ballot in The Tarheel State.

John McCain jokingly said yesterday that he was endorsed by aliens during a campaign rally in Rosewell, New Mex. This makes one wonder if the planet Jupiter will one day become a swing state.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nostalgia Monday- The Halloween of 1976

Guess which cartoon character I dressed up as in 1976, and I will send you a five dollar coupon for a round trip flight on Qantas Airlines from Los Angeles to Sydney. (Ok, we are pulling your leg there!) Incidentally, I was six years old in 1976.

Was it:

A) Scooby Doo

B) Dyno-Mutt

C) Underdog

D) Droopy Dog

I'll give the answer here on this blog within the next week.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Quotes of the Week- From Two Horror Stars

"Between Pictures, there is no Lon Chaney," Lon Chaney, Sr., who was a silent film star best known for "Phantom of the Opera."

"It's as much fun to scare as to be scared," Vincent Price, who starred in perhaps over 100 horror films during his long career.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Top Six Werewolf Movies

I'll be the first to admit that I've seen fewer werewolf movies than vampire flicks, but here are some that I really enjoy, in order of release date.

"The Wolf Man" (1941)

"House of Frankenstein" (1944)

"I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957)

"The Howling" (1981)

"An American Werewolf in London" (1981)

"The Company of Wolves" (1984)

I also found these interesting titles on

"Werewolves on Wheels" (1971)

"Moon of the Wolf" (1972)

"Werewolf of Washington" (1973)

"Werewolf of Woodstock" (1975)

My hunch is that the last two were made by the same director!