Tuesday, September 04, 2007


This past weekend was great. Now that I'm really into the throes of the project, I'm so relieved I had one more week to work on the tank pinata than I originally expected. Indeed, the inner structure of the tank (made primarily of balsa wood) has had to be done in stages to prevent such lightweight wood from warping as the first layers of paper dry. It's turning out to be sort of a bastard son of a Panzer tank (for relatively simple lines), though it'll still be wonky and not completely accurate or to-scale. I have plans for one particular final flourish which should warm the cockroaches of your heart, and I can't wait to show you. I'll prolly start posting project photos in the next day or two. I've also decided I'd be really great at fabricating a cast for a broken leg. Let's hope I never have to test that theory out, though.

Monday morning and night I did the final reinforcement of the frame by adding new layers of papier-mâché and especially reinforcing the joins of wooden pieces. Apart from the wheels and gun, the only piece I have left to apply is the turret, which should be a piece of cake, as it sits on top and does not require heavy bones. I don't consider my pinatas a success unless at least 5 different kids successfully breach a chamber. The body of the tank will have 7 separate chambers, and within a day I will solve the dilemma of the wheel complexes. I'm thinking I'll just make the tread/wheels one simple chamber with the wheel details painted on, rather than multiple wheels - that way I can fit in more crap! Also, the wheel complexes will be a quick gimme, smashing off more easily and bearing early fruit for the sluggers. Nothing wrong with a small early payoff, but otherwise, they'd best eat their wheaties that day, 'cause I speck them to earn it.
I was able to get precisely the Leatherman Squirt P4 tool/knife I wanted for the boy-- the one with the pliers. He'll be thrilled.
Also got him some new swords that make the clinking noises and a cap rifle with about 1200 or so extra rounds. That might last him a day or two. He's such a sweet-natured kid and he's all boy, so it's a joy to delight him. I hope he doesn't pull any frogs apart with the pliers, but then again, that falls under the "all boy" category, doesn't it?
I got to hear my niece play piano Monday, and at the age of 10, she is becoming quite accomplished. I felt so proud when I saw a Theory book on her piano, knowing she's learning the true mechanics behind all the pretty noises. She's a smart girl, and it's gratifying to see her growing up as accomplished as she is lovely.
I can't imagine loving kids of my own any more than I do those little lambs.
All the men folk in the family were off shooting high-toned pigeons, so me and ma got to go to lunch and a movie together. I had a great time.
Funny thing about a good deed paying off, for a change. A friend asked to borrow something from me, so I dropped it by her loft Monday night in a building where I also used to live. I ran into a former neighbor, and we chatted for a bit, and he asked me to be his realtor, so it looks like he'll be my first customer that I help find a home. I'm also going to be listing my sister's house for her in a few weeks, so I may be off to the races toute-de-suite. Busy times, eh?

I went for Dim Sum with la Kelly of Ordinary Girl fame on Saturday. We went to Northpark so she could go to Lush, but I was feeling wimpy, so we went back to my house and got in the pool for the rest of the afternoon. After Kels left, I got in the bathtub and deployed a Big Blue Bath Bomb. That was great. I should have done one of those when I came home from the hospital. It is full of seaweed and sea salt and lots of yum-smelling stuff.
Thanks for getting me out of my shell, Kelly!
Last but not least...
I've been brooding about this for about a week or so.

I'm no fan of the tv show Dallas, but it definitely had its moment. Let's be honest: Dallas was a soap opera. Some rocket surgeon in Hollywood is festering to adapt the whole Dallas concept into a screenplay, and apparently this project has been kicked around a few years, and a new director has been hired. This new director has decided to spoof the series rather than the straightforward homage the producing studio originally planned. That I can live with. Even if Dallas was something of an icon, a spoof of same does not amount to desecration, in my book.

However, I take umbrage at John Travolta being cast as J.R. Ewing. Why not Tommy Lee Jones? Why not one of the Quaids or one of the Bridges? Hell, even Harrison Ford could make JR stick. But a New York Italian?
Bitch, please! Please.
How can I say this nicely?
Oh, I can't: John Travolta is simply too effeminate to play J.R. Ewing.

I'm not saying this because of his cross-dressing roles in Hairspray and Stayin' Alive. Despite being an entertaining actor in the proper roles and settings, neither the slightly doughy JT of Pulp Fiction nor the dance-floor ponces of Saturday Night Fever or Urban Cowboy have the cojones to work a JR Ewing joint. JT is simply not a good enough actor to convince that he's been around either cattle or oil wells. If they HAD to cast someone from Pulp Fiction, it would have been better to cast Samuel L Jackson. Or Uma Thurman. She'd make a much more convincing JR Ewing than Travolta.

I'm serious.


Attila the Mom said...


Not just the John Travolta thing, but is there no original ideas left in Hollywood? At all? Does everything have to be remade?

And not just Hollywood. Broadway.

I adored Legally Blonde, but does it really have to be made into a Broadway Musical? Puleeze!

g bro said...

I caught the last 30-45 minutes of Battlefield Earth on Sunday. Maybe JT can camp up Dallas in Alien drag.
For somebody who was "no fan" of the show, you're a bit defensive there, lassie! Jut remember, the 1st JR only had a genie to his credit.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you about JT playing JR on Dallas. Doesn't sit well with me. I can't even imagine it in my head.

Can't wait to see the tank!

Steve said...

Yeah, I'd love to see pictures. And I love Dim Sum. Glad they have that down your way. Figured they would, Dallas is pretty diverse!

HollyB said...

TLJ is a big enough whore to play JR. And Bobby Duvall would prolly find it a lark to play him in a spoof. I think Randy Quaid would do a better job than Dennis, just my personal opinion. Although if they could get Randy for JR and Dennis for Bobby, THAT would be great! I liked all the brothers casting in "The Long Riders".
Post the pics of the TANK asap!
That was great of Kelly to get you out of the house.
ANd the presents for the Nephew sound GRAND.
That is awesome news about the R.E. clients. You go, Girl!
Of course your Niece is excelling at piano...she shares genes with YOU!

Unknown said...

Sorry it's been so long since I've been around -- I didn't even realize that you were sick. I hope you're doing okay...

I'd heard about the Dallas project and how Luke Wilson was slated to play Bobby Ewing and Jennifer Lopez was going to play SueEllen but she dropped out b/c the script was so bad. I think a spoof, like what they did with the Brady Bunch, is the way to go. And I agree that JR should be played by a Texan.

Lin said...

I'm for the tank wheel/tread assy as separate compartments, too. Then I would sheath over the ENTIRE unit with carbon fiber to up the bashing fatigue factor (just kidding, I think). What I would really like to see is a working turret - an RC pinata that fights back with blasts of orange soda, Tootsy Roll rounds or something. Okay, so now you know why my nephews don't keep in touch much.

FHB said...

Damn, where to begin? Travolta as JR? That's about as smart as the caveman show. Can't wait to see the pazer. The prezzies sound cool for the kid. He'll be in bliss, as I was when I opened the box and saw the lawn darts, about 30 years ago. You're a cool auntie! Travolta? Damn!

Christina RN LMT said...

John Travolta did a great job in "Hairspray", but when I listen to the soundtrack, I always laugh 'cause I picture Danny Zuko from "Grease" singing Edna Turnblad's parts!
I'm just messed up that way.

The pinata sounds fab, can't wait to see it.

You are way more energetic for your niece and nephew than I ever was/am for my own kids. If that's not sad, I don't know what is!

Don't push yourself too much, though, you're still recovering after all.

It's good that you got out of the house, and a client, whoo-hoo!

See, it's all coming together.