April 7th, 2009

cass groovy

Wilson is a chew toy, probably

Disney options story in 3...2...1...

SYDNEY (AFP) – A pet dog that fell overboard in rough seas off Australia has been reunited with its owners after surviving alone on an island for four months, reports said.

Sophie Tucker, apparently named after a late US entertainer, fell overboard as Jan Griffith and her family sailed through choppy waters off the northeast Queensland coast in November.

The dog was believed to have drowned and Griffith said the family was devastated.

But out of sight of the family, Sophie Tucker was swimming doggedly and finally made it to St Bees Island, five nautical miles away, and began the sort of life popularised by the TV reality show "Survivor."

She was returned to her family last week when Griffith contacted rangers who had captured a dog that had been living off feral goats on the largely uninhabited island, in the faint hope it might be their long-lost pet.

When the Griffiths met the rangers' boat bringing the dog to the mainland they found that it was indeed Sophie Tucker on board.

"We called the dog and she started whimpering and banging the cage and they let her out and she just about flattened us," Griffith told the national AAP news agency.

"She wriggled around like a mad thing."

Griffith said that when the dog was first spotted on the island she had been in poor condition.

"And then all of a sudden she started to look good and it was when the rangers had found baby goat carcasses so she'd started eating baby goats," she said.

Sophie Tucker, a member of the Australian cattle dog breed, had been quick to readjust to the comforts of home, complete with airconditioning, Griffiths said.

"She surprised us all. She was a house dog and look what she's done, she's swum over five nautical miles, she's managed to live off the land all on her own," Griffiths said.

"We wish she could talk, we truly do."

APED: "sense of purpose"

So you're the collector turned over my stone.
Tore off my roof, invaded my home.
Well, look your fill. It's all that you'll get.
Don't pick me up, or else you'll regret.
I'm covered with spines, though they're too small to see,
but the venom they hold is quite fearsome indeed.
And don't think to skin me. My blood is alive
with bacilli against which none but me can thrive
and my muscle is toxic, and so is my bone,
and my spit and my sneeze. That's why I'm alone.
Mutation, you'd say. Misfortune, say I.
We come along once in a while. Then we die.
Our mothers we kill at the moment of birth.
We poison the goats on which we are nursed.
We poison the nanny whose hand gets too near.
Even a monster needs something to fear.
And that's why they keep us. They need us, you see.
Even monsters have monsters. The freakshows, like me.
The loneliest creature, the poisonous gnome --
so look your fill. Then leave me alone.
rex the wonder dog on skis

movie rec

The folks at MGM have FINALLY released A SONG IS BORN on DVD. This may, in fact, be my favorite Danny Kaye movie. Yes, maybe more beloved than THE COURT JESTER. It's a remake of the Billy Wilder flick BALL OF FIRE, which I haven't seen (though I love me some Wilder), with a twist: the Wilder movie hinges on slang, while the Kaye version hinges on jazz.

Here is the premise: seven learned professors, all but one bachelors (the one is a widower) shut themselves up in an awesome house for years in order to write the definitive multi-volume history of music. They are able to do this because they are milking the living shit out of a foundation grant. It's a good life, if a secluded one, and they're happy. And then one day the guys who wash their windows come in because they want some help with a music trivia contest on the radio, and during the ensuing session around the piano the professors discover that while they have been shut up in the house, they have *completely missed the jazz revolution.*

And so they send an emissary out into the world to discover jazz.

This emissary, of course, is Danny Kaye, and one of the people he recruits to help out is nightclub singer Virginia Mayo. She's also a gangster's moll, and when the police want her for questioning in a murder case, she decides to lay low by moving in with the professors. Which, as you'd expect, is rather disruptive to their comfortable routine, but it does allow for a love story to blossom between Mayo and Kaye. It's really terrific.

Incidentally, Mayo's not the only person who helps out. Oh, my, no. Danny Kaye recruits Louis Armstrong, Mel Powell, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, the Page Cavanaugh Trio, Charlie Barnet -- oh, did I mention one of the professors is played by *Benny friggin' Goodman?* Great movie, with terrific music, and some really wonderful and touching scenes. It's one of my very favorite movies ever. Give it a watch; you will not be sorry.