Posted by mike in Entertainment,Film,Internet at 9:33 am on September 28, 2007

A few months ago, I wrote about the Crazy 4 Cult art exhibition, which was being hosted by Kevin Smith. I thought the artwork from the invite that Kevin posted was really interesting, so I thought we’d make a little game out of trying to name all of the movie characters featured there.

The originator of that artwork, Jeff McMillan, recently found that post and provided all of the answers for us in its comments. Note that the invitation from which I originally got the picture did not have the final version of the painting on it, which includes a few additional characters:

Crazy 4 Cult

The full list of answers, as provided by Jeff, is here (going roughly left to right, as my original key did):

  1. Divine as herself (Pink Flamingos)
  2. Funeral Bouquet (decoration)
  3. Paul Reubens as Pee Wee Herman (Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure)
  4. Kevin Smith as Silent Bob (Clerks)
  5. Johnny Depp as Ed Wood (Ed Wood)
  6. Jeff Bridges as The Dude (The Big Lebowski)
  7. Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
  8. Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat (Borat)
  9. Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth (Blue Velvet)
  10. Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves as Dead Presidents (Point Break)
  11. Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer’s Prom Photo (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me)
  12. Malcolm McDowell as Alex de Large (A Clockwork Orange)
  13. Frank the Bunny (Donnie Darko)
  14. Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel (This Is Spinal Tap)
  15. Rick Moranis as Bob Mackenzie (Strange Brew)
  16. Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me)
  17. David Lynch
  18. Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
  19. Funeral Bouquet (decoration)
  20. Jeff Cohen as Chunk (The Goonies)
  21. A Fury from The Warriors (was previously Michael Rapaport as Remy in Higher Learning)
  22. A Zombie from Dawn of the Dead
  23. Stephen Root as Milton (Office Space)
  24. The Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story
  25. Mitch Cohen as the Toxic Avenger (The Toxic Avenger)

Aside from admiring (and being amused by) Jeff’s artwork, and grateful to him for sharing the answers with me and allowing me to exhibit images of it here, I’m also really impressed (and a good bit jealous) that Kevin Smith bought it from him! So in addition to saying “Great work!” on the piece, and “Thanks!” for sharing it and the “solutions” to its puzzles, I’d also like to say “Congratulations!” to Jeff not only for selling it, but for selling it to such a hero of mine who he also got to meet in the process. Very cool.

Jeff and Kevin

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Posted by mike in Sports at 1:20 pm on September 26, 2007

The magic number is one of the most exciting single values in all of sports. In short, it encapsulates the amount of wins by your team or losses by their rival team that will result in a playoff berth. As of today, the Cubs’ magic number is 4, meaning that any combination of Cubs wins and Brewers losses that adds up to 4 guarantees the Cubs the 2007 NL Central Division title. (Actually, the magic number was 4 yesterday too, but the Cubs lost and the Brewers won, so it did not change.) With 5 games left to play for each team, it should be a pretty exciting end to the season.

The excitement created by things being so close, so late in the season, makes September baseball a truly unique experience in sports. Unfortunately for Cubs fans like myself, it’s not something that comes about that often, so its rarity makes it even more special. I managed to get tickets to “Home Game One” of the potential NLDS at Wrigley Field, so I’m even more excited than usual at the prospect of the Cubs making the playoffs due to the fact that I’ll actually get to see it in person should it come to pass.

This time of year is also when some other numbers come up: the ones maintained by the Lakeview Baseball Club on their ever-present signs on Sheffield Ave.

AC 03 61 98

(Note that those numbers don’t get updated until after the season is over, so they reflect how long it’s been since the Cubs’ last division, National League, and World Series titles, respectively, as of the end of the 2006 season.)

I found it humorous to read an off-season interview about the Anno Catuli sign that included this Q&A:

CCO: In the unfortunate scenario that the Cubs go 100 years between World Series Championships, is there a plan to change the sign to add another digit?

LVBC: Yes, we are currently working on this issue.

That summarizes Cubs fans in a nutshell: our eternal optimism is only tempered by our equally eternal pessimism. So while I’m hoping to see “AC000000” on that sign on Opening Day 2008, I at the same time worry about the very real possibility that they’ll have to add a 7th digit for Opening Day 2009. But let’s see how 2007 shakes out first.

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Posted by mike in Entertainment,Film,Friends,Music at 7:45 pm on September 11, 2007

Largo is a club in Hollywood, the kind that you assume locals tell their out-of-town guests about when asked for some “best kept secrets.” The owner, Flanny, is one of those LA staples who people in the know all know. The club is a sit-down music venue where you’re as likely to encounter an artist you’ll recognize in the crowd as you will on stage. Flanny–a long-time music booker and promoter–is big on presentation and ambiance, and has no-chatting and no-cell-phone-use rules during all shows; somehow this works for him, although with other establishments it’d likely come off as pretentious and annoying. Largo is the kind of place, though, where you want to just sit back, enjoy the food (all of which is good, by the way), have a few drinks (the only things on tap are Guinness and Bass), and most of all, enjoy the music.

Whenever I visit my lifelong friend Andy who lives in LA, hitting Largo is always my first request for things I’d like to do while there. I’ve been lucky enough to see Jon Brion a couple of times (indeed, the first such experience had such an effect on me it warranted being the subject of one of four total posts I ever managed to make on my LiveJournal). We always have a good time, and I always leave feeling a little more cultured, having seen some music I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise (the most recent was Nikka Costa, who was just fantastic).

For the past couple of years, Andy has been spending most of his weekends collecting footage of Largo’s stable of performers doing music, comedy, and other forms of performance art on the club’s small stage. The last few times I’ve been out to visit him I’ve been privileged enough to watch the film centered around the venue that he’s been working on as it comes together. He recently launched a promotional site for the film that shares the venue’s name, in anticipation of completing and releasing it in the very near future. There’s a trailer that he’s put together to give a glimpse at what the finished product will be like; think of it as a concert film where the setlist reads like a “best of” compilation of musicians, comedians, actors, and assorted guest appearances from the club over the past year or two.

I’m anxiously awaiting the film’s conclusion, and can’t wait to see it on a big screen as soon as the opportunity arises. Andy knows I’ll be there for its first screening no matter the circumstances.

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Posted by mike in Internet,Sports at 1:16 pm on September 10, 2007

I was looking for a new Bears hat on and found what I believe to be somebody there playing a sick joke:
What's that Packers hat doing there?
I can only assume that this is the not-so-subtle urging of a hopefully soon-to-be unemployed Cheesehead to convince Bears fans to raise their children to root for the Packers. I’m happy to say that this oversight has convinced me to think twice about spending my money at

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Posted by mike in Predictions,Sports at 6:02 pm on September 6, 2007

In order to come up with my predictions for the imminent football season, I’ve gone through the entire 2007 NFL schedule and picked every game. As I did with my baseball predictions, I’ll list what I came up with here so that it’s “on the record,” and we’ll revisit it at the end of the season to see how accurate I was. This also opens my picks up to criticism, which I’ll welcome as always. (Teams in bold make the playoffs.)

North South
Cincinnati 13-3 Tennessee 11-5
Baltimore 10-6 Indianapolis 10-6
Cleveland 6-10 Jacksonville 7-9
Pittsburgh 5-11 Houston 5-11
West East
San Diego 12-4 New England 12-4
Denver 10-6 New York 7-9
Kansas City 7-9 Miami 6-10
Oakland 4-12 Buffalo 6-10
North South
Chicago 13-3 New Orleans 8-8
Detroit 8-8 Carolina 6-10
Green Bay 6-10 Tampa Bay 5-11
Minnesota 3-13 Atlanta 5-11
West East
Seattle 10-6 Philadelphia 13-3
St. Louis 9-7 Dallas 11-5
Arizona 9-7 New York 9-7
San Francisco 8-8 Washington 2-14


And the Playoffs (winners in bold):

AFC Wild Card AFC Divisional Playoffs AFC Championship Super Bowl XLII NFC Championship NFC Divisional Playoffs NFC Wild Card
San Diego
  San Diego
New England
  St. Louis
San Diego
  St. Louis
New Orleans

Yes, I’m a homer who thinks the Bears will get back to the Super Bowl this year and actually win it. Here are some other brief and generalized thoughts I have about the upcoming season:

  • I’m on the Vince Young and Tennessee bandwagon, and yes, I’m completely ignoring the Madden Curse.
  • I think the Bears are still good enough to overcome the traditional (as of late) Super Bowl losers’ hangover, mostly because their division is still the weakest in football so at least getting to the playoffs is more or less a foregone conclusion.
  • At the same time, I think the Colts blew their karmic load last year and will return to finding their annual disappointment in the playoffs.
  • Best divisions: AFC North and West, NFC West and East
  • Most dominant teams: Bengals and Eagles
  • Worst teams: Raiders and Redskins
  • Teams to watch out for: Titans, Ravens, Rams, Lions
  • Trendy teams I’m not sold on: Colts, Dolphins, Broncos, Giants, Saints, Cardinals
  • Fantasy leagues I’m in this year: 2. Team names? The Hiphoppopatomus in one, The Rhymenoceros in the other. I can’t lose.

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