Truly Outrageous: The Music of Jem – 1985-88

We are all complex. Am I the cool dad who sits through episode after episode of Jem with his dance machine daughter? Or am I the loser who takes notes during aforementioned dance party, then goes out and makes a definitive infographic about the show? Maybe both. Maybe. Both.

That said, I may or may not know enough about this iconic 80s cartoon to say the new movie coming out this autumn looks like a pink pile of shit.
The Music of Jem

MUPPET MONDAY: Big Mean Carl (16×20)

Dude! A Muppet Monday… ON A MONDAY??? This almost never happens.

I’m trying to make up for lost time here in 2015, and it’s been a prolific couple weeks. My latest Muppet commission is based on the “Stand By Me” parody, featuring Big Mean Carl and some cute li’l bunnies.

This painting is the one that destroyed my last brush. I’m okay with this, because I don’t use good brushes for Muppet paintings, and I have SO. MANY. supplies from a lifetime of interest in art. I’m recycling old canvases, beating my brushes to death, and trying to figure out how to use oil pastels effectively. (That last bit has yet to happen. But dammit, I’ve got the pastels, so they will be used for something.)


I’m a big fan of Muppet monsters, especially these kinds with exaggerated features – bulbous pink nose, rubber tubing neon green lips, bright yellow eyes, etc. Oh, such fun.

Life of a Muppet Brush

The Muppet style of painting – dabbing globs of paint, layer over layer, with reckless abandon – beats the living hell out of my brushes. It doesn’t matter to me, because I use really cheap brushes for these projects anyway. Finesse is not needed to paint every Muppet under the sun.

Sometime during my latest piece (Big Mean Carl), I noticed my latest brush was going bald. It’s down to a single, solitary hair. I should chuck it, but maybe one day, I’ll be all about meticulous detail. …cough.brush003

MUPPET MUESDAY: Oscar and Friends

Oscar, Bruno & SlimeySerendipitous that the greenest of of all the Muppets (well, outside of Kermit) comes back atcha in a new 16×20″ acrylic painting on St. Patty’s Day.

DID YOU KNOW: Oscar the Grouch is actually orange, but his fur turned green due to an accumulation of grime and dirt. (I didn’t make that up!)

For years, I’d seen this hideous canvas in my parents garage. It was navy blue with a rough and tumble green square occupying a quandrant of space. Clearly, this wasn’t a finished piece, and to be honest, I don’t think I painted it at all. I had a number of other shitty paintings in there, but those at least had my panache. This one was just a barf.

I turned that old trash into new trash by painting the Sesame Street’s triumvirate of trash: Oscar the Grouch, Bruno the Trashman and Slimey the Worm.

The actual Muppet costume of Bruno has been retired when it was disintegrating in storage, so that’s a guy we probably won’t ever see on Sesame Street again. Oscar is still a mainstay, and Slimey – a remote-controlled worm – over the years, has developed a voice of his own. I love this clip of them:

This piece was painted last Wednesday night, while waiting for a PowerPoint deck to open on my desktop at work. The Mac beach ball of doom kept spinning, so I kept painting. Next thing I know it’s 10PM and I’ve got another Muppet canvas completed. And I also redeemed myself for the awful Oscar painting I finished in the summer of 2013, a few scant months before my daughter was born. (That was never posted on this site.)

The original is available here. The entire cast of Muppets I’ve painted is here. And finally, I’ve also got Pinterest galleries for the Muppets and Sesame Street.


MSP_MortalSinsAllow me sum up the state of the American library in 2015 in one sentence:

Movie Squirrel vaguely remembered a TV movie from over twenty years ago, and without hassle, borrowed a VHS copy from our local library.

And thus, here we are, watching Mortal Sins (1992), starring Christopher Reeve. So not even five years after donning tights and cape, Superman is reduced to a television movie, starring as a tough-as-nails priest with a nose for trouble. Father Sleuth busts heads and blesses them in what was a marginally less-than-unwatchable thriller.

Mortal Sins came hot on the heels of the detective priest genre that was sweeping the nation at the time, following such classic TV series as The Father Dowling Mysteries and that other one with Tom Bosley.

Movie Squirrel and Hollywood have both tortured me with much worse.

1 Acorn(Remember, Movie Squirrel rankings work in reverse. The less acorns a flick gets, the better it is. But don’t mistake a low acorn count for an actual good movie. It’s not.)

MOVIE SQUIRREL PRESENTS: Thrill of the Kill (2006)

Thrill of the KillWhere to start… Well, this is a Lifetime movie, because, as Movie Squirrel says, “Lifetime movies are the best.” Not only that, it’s a Lifetime movie of CANADIAN origin. Gotta emphasize that.


I have to admit, on more levels than I care to admit, this was… entertaining? Then again, Youtubing “fat kid falls” is also entertaining. Thrill of the Kill (2006) follows a 20-something Vermontian (not a word?) bartender named Kelly Holden coping with the unsolved murder of her promiscuous sister, Alison, a year after the fact.  Kelly is on a mission to close the case on her own – mixing Slow Comfortable Screws and Red-Headed Sluts is a surefire headstart to a life in the detective game – with the help of author Graydon Jennings, whose latest crime novel mirrors Alison’s death EXACTLY!

I’d tell you the actors’ names, but the end credits neglect to mention the leads for some weird reason. I do know that Graydon is also the dude from Silk Stalkings, which I only know from catching occasionally promos during Monday Night Raw in the mid-90s.

Anyway, despite two, maybe three red herrings, I cracked this case in about zero minutes myself. SPOILER: The writer did it. And it makes pretty much no sense at all. He wrote it all down for everyone to read and instead of promptly going to jail, he had himself a national bestseller because he said, in his best Gambit voice, “Hey chere. Dis is fiction.”

But the bartender got you, you sonofabitch! Damn you, Kelly Holden! Damn you and your Harvey Wallbangers! And damn you, Movie Squirrel. Another 90 minutes of our lives gone. Gone!

No word on if Thrill of the Kill was inspired by OJ Simpson’s If I Did It.

RATING: 3/5acrons3

The Bean’s First Drawing

Baby Art
I haven’t done much in the last 6 weeks, but my daughter has completed her first work of art. Shortly thereafter, she ate the crayons. I have this framed, and with any luck, this will be the first of countless drawings from my Bean.