January 22, 2007
Sexy Fights Back
"Putting the IQ in Risque" is Johnny Goodtimes' bald pitch for press today, as he aims to get some pub for his Third Annual Quizzo Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 3 at the World Cafe Live.
Observers of counter-programming will notice that Saturday's gig shares a weekend with Wing Bowl, the annual Taste of Fellini held at the Wachovia Center.
"This is about more than making Quizzo sexy," he writes by e-mail. "It's about making Philadelphia sexy." The 215 unsexiness, he offers, is "a stereotype perpetuated by the Neanderthal eating contest that takes place every year. Trashy has had it too good in this town for too long. On February 3rd, sexy fights back."
We have no idea what he's actually talking about - surprise is one of the hallmarks of Johnny Goodtimes' entertainment philosophy. Talent at past Quizzo Bowls have included bellydancers, Johnny Cash impersonators, breakdancers and other sideshow attractions.
He promises to be more specific once he has all his acts inked.
What we know at this point is that the winner will walk away with $500 "and the respect of every nerd in the Delaware Valley." Up to eight trivial pursuers can play on each team.
Tickets can be purchases at the World Cafe Live web site.
UPDATE: JGT announced the line-up this afternoon. Look for The Bawdy Girls, a burlesque act, which will perform at halftime. The Kenny Gates Trio will play le jazz hot.
January 17, 2007
The Wii Workout
They were playing one of the those new Nintendo systems that allow you to control the game by actually waving your hands. (Movement of the remotes directs the on-screen action.)
"We just went at each other, throwing punches," he said by phone Tuesday. "Ten minutes later, we're dripping with sweat. We couldn't even breathe. I'm thinking 'Oh, my God - this thing is working us out pretty good.'"
What would happen, he wondered, if he devised an exercise regimen based solely on the Wii?
This was the spark that led DeLorenzo, a 25-year-old-computer programmer, to begin a six-week routine of daily, half-hour work-outs on the Wii's boxing, tennis and baseball games. (He avoided golf, which he deemed not worth the time.)
The experiment ended Monday. The results can be followed on his blog, called WiiNintendo.net. He also posts a video there that shows how one works the Wii with ones hands. The site, which is independent from the manufacturer, also acknowledges some of the Wii mishaps people have suffered. The only damage DeLorenzo chronicles is to his laptop, which once caught a remote that slipped from his hand and flew across the room.
He tracked his weight, body mass index, calories burned per session, body fat percentage, heart rate, as well as something called "Wii fitness age" -- some with measurement devices sent to him for free after a New York Times column mentioned his experiment in passing last month.
The idea, DeLorenzo says, was to keep to his normal habits, with the exception of the 30-minute workout. "I ate Christmas dinner," he says. "I had drinks. This was my only exercise - I didn't jog or bike. I just walked around the city."
Go to his site to check out the intimate details, but the headline is that his waist melted from a 34 and a half inches to 31 inches. "I might actually have to have a belt on," he says.
He lost a total of nine pounds off the 180 he's weighed for the past two years. Before and after photographs (he's pretty dedicated to this project; there are charts and a video, too) show a man who has lost his love handles.
And when he began the experiment, the machine told him he had a Wii age of about 46. Six weeks later, he played like a 20-year-old.
So what's next? More of the same, says the man who got his first Nintendo system at age 5 on Christmas, 1986. He's addicted.
"I didn't do it yesterday," he says. "I kind of felt guilty, like I'd missed the gym. I play video games normally. I will keep something up."
There's been a healthy side-effect. His 42-year-old father was impressed enough that he went out and bought a Wii for himself.
October 31, 2006
No, not the picture of the four-legged Yoda, left. Or the Dog Bride, below right. It's this number: we're forking over about $4.96 billion on Halloween costumes, decorations, candy and cards - about five times what we'll spend on elections this year, a BBC blogger figures, noting that mid-terms are an "an equally horrible occasion populated by some equally scary characters." (A number of U.S. readers promptly tell the British blogger what he can do with his outrage.)
And I'm not even sure that number includes the growing pet-costume sector.
We ask because last week brought the first annual Halloween Parade for pugs in our local dog park. I wasn't invited. Neither was my dog, who would have likely eaten several of those appealing hors d'ouevres. Without pictures, we have to resort to these actually entertaining photos, courtesy of Musings From The God of Cities, from the 16th Annual Halloween Pooch Parade in Tompkins Square Park in NYC's East Village. Make sure you page down for the Seal Pup and the Autumn Leaves hound.
There's much more to be frightened of:
Stuff Magazine's 100 Scariest Movies Ever Made. What's No. 1? Here's a hint: Chris Rock says, "It convinced me that the devil was out to get me."
Here's another hint. It isn't Scary Mary Poppins, although the YouTube clipping is haunting.
We have more Halloween programming today in this particularly spooky day for Blinq. Have you been watching Monsterfest on AMC? Tuesday it's all Halloween All The Time, from the original to Halloween 5, The Revenge of Michael Myers.
Make (left) offers the best, over-the-top costumes and carvings I've seen this season.
Pax Romano sees dead people.
Some Velvet Blog cues up some holiday mash.
Freudian Slips sees a need for a holiday make-over, now that his child's school parade has been canceled due to security concerns.
Suburban Guerrilla notes the government is messing with time to bring children a brighter Halloween.
Celebrate the holiday with Lenny Bruce's "My Werewolf Mama" and other scary treats.
Back from a kiddie trick-or-treat party where his tot's nursery school teacher was dressed as a slutty/sexy cavewoman, Throwing Things asks the key question: "If you walked into a party and noticed that the wake from the 3-foot tall Spider-man chasing a 3-foot tall Mr. Incredible kicked up a breeze that made the lower three-quarters of your buttocks chilly, wouldn't you walk back to your car, find the nearest linen store, buy a cheap sheet, poke a couple of holes in it, and call yourself a party-appropriate ghost?"
Costume party atop the Bellevue. Time to trot out that old Legionnaire's outfit?
Courtesy of WFMU's Beward the Blog, which has already found links to scary audio, video and safety tips for the season, The Worst Halloween Costimes of All Time! Need me one of those Gabe Kaplan and the Sweathogs units.
June 11, 2006
Place Funny Headline Here
You know those back-of-the-book caption contests in the New Yorker where they draw something and you're supposed to come up with a clever bit of word play to win fame and a signed version of the cartoon?
If you're as bad at it as I am, maybe you'd do better with Radosh.net's anti-caption contest.
Take this drawing....
You could come up with something wickedly funny, or you could come up with this:
"Five more minutes, and I get the shoe."
Now that's funny.
April 03, 2006
In Your Case, A Great Dane
Yeah, yeah - free pub, a little buzz.
But tag lines lines like "Chevy: Screwing us over since 1911?"
Try your own, folks.
Then see what this weisenheimer at Metafilter made. Or this one, which I clicked only because the poster's online name is "It's Raining Florence Henderson." And it didn't disappoint. Here's a whole page of them.
If you make a winner, let us know in the comments section.
And what's with my headline? Any one remember Manhattan?
February 01, 2006
Bending The Very Walls of Reality
If you've ever driven a van full of boys and realized that you're not sure what language they are speaking, or what species they are, here's a movie for you.
You might laugh or cry at "Fear of Girls," an 11-minute short, featuring two long-in-the-tooth game masters in their lair as they discuss board strategies, pray to the Describer of the Divine Earth-Circle, or try to make the pizza delivery babe.
August 23, 2005
Bon Temps Roulez
With all this talk of Philadelphia as New York's sixth borough, Johnny Goodtimes wants to spotlight a unique event that can't be found in London or Paris or Brooklyn, even:
A punk rock cowboy calypso Quizzo spectacular.
Sunday night Goodtimes is bringing his best Quizzo game to The World Cafe Live, where contestants will vie for some terrific - and some tinny - prizes by showing off what trivia they know about sports, popular culture, current events, history and worldly wonders.
Between rounds, the Kyle Dunleavy Steel Drum Quartet will perform. As will The Lunchbox Cowgirls, a country cabaret band. And some local break dancers.
"It could be a tremendous success or a complete train wreck," he promises. "People will be well served to see either."
We sat down at La Colombe with Goodtimes Monday afternoon unable to resist meeting someone who lists his previous employment as dolphin trainer and cantaloupe salesman.
That and more. He's a Virginia planter, reared on an Eastern Shore farm, outside a town of 600. After studying communications at Radford U., he spent three years in Hawaii (that's where he lent his skills to dolphins) then aimed for the big city. Which was New York until he investigated the cost of an apartment.
He was driving back to Virginia with a lady friend when the urge for a cheesesteak overwhelmed him. He'd been here as a boy - for an Eagles game and a trip to the Franklin Institute. He found himself at 12th & Chestnut one spring about four years ago. It was pretty. No humidity. "It seemed to have more breathing room than New York City."
Been here ever since. He started doing a pay-for-play radio show - sports talk on an AM African-American station. To afford the vanity slot, he waited tables in period costume at the City Tavern. He caught a Quizzo game and found his calling.
It took a while to find a venue. He pitched it about 150 places, striking out at most. "I did it in some places that shouldn't have had Quizzo." Moda, for instance, was blasting house music one night. People were standing around in $200 shirts drinking high-rent martinis. "They couldn't give a crap who was the king of Germany in 1752."
But since then he's found a half dozen or so homes - enough that this is his full time gig, promoting Quizzo and finding challengers to the reigning champs - champs anger most comers by not seeming to care and by winning consistently. (They were upset earlier this summer. Sunday should test whether that was an aberration.)
As for the prizes, he promises cash and gift certificates to the World Cafe and other venues. And Polish war movies.
"Paulie Shore movies!" he repeats over the din at the cafe. Even worse.