Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blue, Kinda.

I like jazz. Not all jazz, mind you, but quite a bit of it. I dig jazzy film/TV soundtracks (Naked Lunch, Taxi Driver, Twin Peaks, The Ipcress File… the list goes on). I love early (and mid) Coltrane. Pretty much anything by Chet Baker makes me swoon. Stan Getz is awesome (especially his bossa nova stuff with Jobim and Gilberto). As far as jazz vocalists go, how about Frank Sinatra? Ella Fitzgerald? Bobby Darin? Mmmm-hmmm. But kids, the coolest cat in all of jazz has to be the one, the only… Miles Davis.

I’m down with everything Davis did, up till about 1970. That’s when he went fusion, and that’s when I stop caring. But up to that point, he never fails to amaze. I have a pretty extensive Davis collection on my iPod, and I listen to it regularly. But there’s one Davis album in particular that I find myself returning to more than any other. And that album celebrates its 51st birthday today.

Ladies, and gentlemen, I give you Kind of Blue.

It’s not only widely considered one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. It’s one of the greatest albums of all time, period. It transcends genre. Hell, it transcends time and space. It sounds modern, even after 51 years.

Even if you think you’ve never heard it… well, you have. Its tracks have been used in countless movies, including In the Line of Fire, Pleasantville, and Runaway Bride. If you’re watching a scene that takes place in a late-50’s/early-60’s diner, chances are you’re hearing something from Kind of Blue playing on the jukebox in the background.

I’m currently reading Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece by Ashley Kahn. Fascinating stuff. In it, Quincy Jones contributes a great testimonial: “That will always be my music, man. I play Kind of Blue every day --- it’s my orange juice. It still sounds like it was made yesterday.”

If you don’t own Kind of Blue, you probably should. If you’re at all interested in jazz but don’t already have it (which seems unlikely, frankly), or if you’re perhaps interested in exploring jazz but find yourself uncertain where to start… well, start with Kind of Blue. It was one of the first jazz albums I ever owned (it might have been the first, actually), and it led to me to countless others. I guess it’s something of a gateway drug in that respect. But damn, what an endlessly engaging, brilliant gateway drug.

Left to right: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Julian "Cannonball" Adderly (alto saxophone), Miles Davis (trumpet), Bill Evans (piano). Not pictured: Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums), Wynton Kelly (piano)

Buy it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Plastic Fantastic Memories

I’m an action figure guy. I was seven years old when the original Star Wars came out, so I suppose I was fated to be this way. Okay, maybe not. Most kids of my generation grew out of their plastic addictions and moved on to bigger and better things (like girls, music and beer)….which I most certainly did. I grew up, swung with the ladies, fathered a couple of kids, got a long-term job, and turned 40 last year. And yet…

Well, my love of action figures never quite went away.

It started, as mentioned above, with Star Wars in 1977. I was given Kenner’s Early Bird Certificate Package as a Christmas present, which worked like this: You got an empty box which contained a voucher for the first four figures (Luke, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and Princess Leia), which would be mailed to you… when Kenner actually made them. You see, Star Wars had been an unexpected smash hit; so unexpected that toys weren’t available when the film first came out!

So in the spring of 1978, my first four figures arrived in the mail. Around the same time, the same four figures --- plus eight others --- became available at retail. Throughout the rest of the year, an additional eight were released, and I snagged every last one of ‘em. There was a dry spell in 1979, save for one very notable exception: Kenner offered an exclusive mail-away Boba Fett, a character who would make his debut the following year in The Empire Strikes Back. I still remember the day he arrived in the mail, in that tiny plain white box…

Even though I had every action figure up to that point, I never had many of the vehicles (my friend Jeff had them all, as I recall, including the coveted Millennium Falcon, which I never had, a fact that bums me out to this day). I did have a Snowspeeder, which I was quite enamored of, and the ridiculous Twin Pod Cloud Car, which (at the time) was basically the equivalent of a Barbie Corvette.* Star Wars characters frequently traveled on large creatures, and I had the Patrol Dewback (the ultra-cool giant lizards ridden by Sandtroopers on Tattooine) and a Taun-Taun (the first version, not the neater second version with the slit in the stomach to shove your frozen Luke into). That’s pretty much it. My friend Jeff Morton had an X-wing, a TIE Fighter, the Jawa Sandcrawler, the above-mentioned Falcon… I think that motherfucker even had the AT-AT. He had EVERYTHING. He also had tons of GI Joes and Micronauts. The kid was rich (at least compared to me). I idolized that guy… but that’s another story for another time.

Kenner also released several “playsets” exclusively through Sears, which were basically cardboard backdrops designed to evoke a certain location in the film(s) with a few related figures included. My grandmother bought everything through the Sears catalogue, so I ended up with several of these playsets, including the Mos Eisley cantina (which is how I ended up with the rare “Blue Snaggletooth” figure, which was never available elsewhere, and which is now quite valuable). I don’t remember if Jeff had the Sears playsets or not… Hmmm, maybe I had an advantage over him after all.

Anyway, despite my relative lack of ships, I had a fairly impressive collection of the figures themselves, and for five or six glorious years, they were an integral part of my life. I remember staging elaborate adventures with them in my room, accompanied by the soundtrack album (which played endlessly on my little record player with the flashing disco lights). I remember dragging them to school in a vinyl drawstring bag to play with during recess (I lost most of the accessories as a result). I took them everywhere. A weekend at Grandma’s? A slumber party at a friend’s house? A camping trip? They came with me. Everywhere.

May 1980. The Empire Strikes Back had just been released, but I hadn’t seen it yet. I was at the Tualatin K-mart with my mom, and as I headed over to the toy section, I was met with a gigantic bin full of brand new Empire figures. Okay, maybe it was just a regular-sized bin, but seen through ecstatic 10 year-old eyes, the thing was enormous. It was stuffed, I tell you, STUFFED full of brand new figures: characters I’d never seen or heard of, familiar characters in new outfits. Dear god, I was absolutely spellbound. They were $1.77 each. I had five bucks, which meant two of them were coming home with me.

There was this tall skinny robot called IG-88. He looked pretty cool, and he came with TWO guns (which was a first, I believe). I had to have him, even though I had no idea that he’d be in the movie for a total of about one minute and would do virtually nothing but stand there.

The other figure I chose, meanwhile, would prove to be one of my favorite Star Wars figures of all time: Luke Skywalker, in Bespin fatigues.

It was the same Luke I knew and loved (he had the exact same head as the Luke figure from the first movie) but now he had a blaster AND a lightsaber (I should note that this lightsaber was a separate accessory; this was significant because earlier figures had their lightsabers built directly into their arms… the blade would “retract” into a slot in the arm, which was admittedly a clever approach), not to mention those cool khaki fatigues. Sold! I opened him as soon as I got to the car. I recall losing the yellow lightsaber briefly and experiencing a mild panic attack, crawling frantically around the back seat until I found it in the cushion folds (hey, we didn’t wear seatbelts back then).

In the months that followed, I started hitting K-mart as often as my mom would take me (and when I had money). I collected every figure released through 1981. A new assortment of Empire figures came out in 1982, but I only bought a few of them: 4LOM, who I would discover years later was actually called Zuckuss (long story), plus another Luke (this time in his Hoth battle gear), and (I think) a Bespin security guard (the white one with the mustache, I never did see the black variant). But that was it. I guess my interest was beginning to fade.

Girls and music were becoming a huge part of my landscape (plus I’d discovered The Twilight Zone in reruns, which supplanted Star Wars as my lifelong obsession), and playing with toys quickly lost its appeal. I was 12 by the time Return of the Jedi came out in 1983, but I did buy two figures from that film before calling it quits for good (I still remember which two: Biker Scout and Emperor’s Royal Guard, both of which I still maintain are among the finest in the original line). A year or two later, I “loaned” my entire collection to a distant cousin. I never saw them again. I heard through the family grapevine that this cousin had blown them up with firecrackers on the 4th of July, but I didn’t care. It didn’t even bother me that my rare Blue Snaggletooth had been destroyed. I was in high school. Life --- priorities, focus, passions, everything --- had changed.

Life moved forward. I went to college for a while. I got married. I had kids.

In the mid-90’s (in my mid-20’s) I was a big fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, particularly The Borg. I spotted a Borg action figure at Target one day, and thought it would look cool sitting on a bookshelf. I bought it. The next time I went to Target, I spotted a different Borg figure. I bought that one too. And from there, my OCD went into overdrive (as it has done repeatedly throughout my life) and I found myself collecting Star Trek: TNG figures (not that whiny punk Wesley Crusher, though; I did have my limits). I think I had 30 or so when I finally lost interest about a year later. I ended up selling the whole lot of them (for a fraction of what I’d paid) to Dr. T’s 3-D House of Collectible Toys (which has long since gone under, sadly).

Fast forward to 1997. Kenner (now Hasbro) started making Star Wars figures again. My friend Jason and I became instantly obsessed, frequently sojourning out to track them down (goin’ figgin’, we called it, which has a nice Huckleberry Finn sound to it). I bought every new figure as it was released. I stopped in 1999, when Episode 1: The Phantom Menace came out. I dunno, maybe turning 30 and getting divorced had something to do with it (or, just as plausibly, I may have been bitter over the fact that The Phantom Menace was so awful that it temporarily poisoned my love of Star Wars). I gave my figures to my kids (except for a select few: Boba Fett, a Stormtrooper, a Sandtrooper, and a Carbonite-frozen Han Solo. Those were too cool to give up. In my newly-acquired bachelor pad, they occupied a single shelf, the only evidence that I was a Star Wars nerd at heart.

I got remarried in 2005 and moved into a house, a perk of which was an office, a room all to myself, to decorate as I saw fit! It occurred to me that a battalion of Imperial troops would look really cool among my shelves of DVDs and books. I hit eBay and made it happen. It then occurred to me that, in the interest of fair play, a squadron of X-wing pilots would be appropriate. Check. It then occurred to me that, since the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back were really cool, I should probably get those too. Check again. Oh, and the Imperial officers, led by Darth Vader, would be a nice compliment to the bounty hunters. Check thrice. Before I knew it, I had allocated three entire shelves to Star Wars figures. But hey, it was cool. They weren’t in the way, they weren’t out on display in the house (my office was part of the garage), and in all honesty, I’d evolved past giving a shit what anybody thought (I should mention that the figures I was buying at this point were the modern versions, not the originals. For display purposes, the newer figures are much more poseable, plus they just plain look cooler. The old figures are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but they look like quaint toys. Modern action figures are more like highly-detailed little statues).

In 2008, I converted my office into a high-definition mini-theater. Most of the contents of my office remained unchanged, but I found I needed more room for movies (especially since I’d started amassing blu-ray discs and expanding my foreign film collection). The Star Wars figures were forced into semi-retirement and relocated to a box (actually a double-thick paper grocery bag) in the garage.

Earlier this year we moved into a different house. The bag of Star Wars figures moved with us, and are currently buried somewhere in our new garage. I’ve actually been meaning to dig them out, with the intent of selling them on eBay. It’s not that I’m too old for them (my current collection of Twilight Zone figures and bobble heads will attest to that). It’s just that I thought I was pretty much over Star Wars, at least from an action figure perspective.

Something happened today, however, that’s making me reconsider.

Back up a bit. I should mention that this year, 2010, marks the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back (which came out in 1980, smack dab in the middle of my Star Wars obsession), and to celebrate, Kenner (now Hasbro) has released a collection of Empire-specific figures with vintage-style packaging. I saw a few of them last week at Fred Meyer, admired them, and moved on. Today, however, was a different story. I was killing time at the Oregon City K-mart during my lunch hour, and I meandered over to the toy section. They had the Empire figures too, only they had one I hadn’t seen before.

Luke Skywalker, in Bespin fatigues.

The figure was brand new, ultra-articulated, super detailed, authentic facial likeness and everything. But the packaging was identical, more or less, to the packaging I saw that fateful day in May of 1980 when I first encountered the original version of the figure. Standing there on the toy aisle, teetering to and fro on 40 year-old feet, I was overcome with excitement, waves of breathtaking nostalgia washing over me. It was as if 30+ years hadn’t passed at all, and I was still that 10 year-old kid who ate, slept and dreamt Star Wars.

I bought it. Of course I bought it. It sat on my desk all afternoon, a glimmering plastic porthole into my past, distracting me from my work, crowding out the trappings of adulthood, clearing my landscape to better clarify my memories of hours, days, weeks, months playing with my Star Wars figures and nothing else. What else did I need then? Coworkers gave me odd looks as they passed. I didn’t care.

And to think I found it at K-mart of all places! Granted, it was the Oregon City store and not Tualatin, but it’s still a pretty nice bookend to a 30-year story. And look, they’re even doing a Boba Fett mail-in promo, just like back then.

This weekend I’m gonna dig through the stacks of boxes in the garage until I find my bag of figures. But I don’t think I’ll be putting them on eBay. There’s a Darth Vader in there, and I foresee a plastic reenactment of a certain battle at Cloud City. I’ve even got the Empire soundtrack on my iPod…

*My hatred of the Twin Pod Cloud Car has softened considerably over the years. I now appreciate its quaintness and uniqueness (nothing else in the Star Wars universe looks anything like it), and I get a Metropolis/Flash Gordon vibe when I see it soaring through the clouds surrounding Cloud City. Coincidentally, an updated toy version of the vehicle has FINALLY been released, just within the last few months. I’m not sure what took Hasbro so long to redo it, especially since they’ve redone every other damn vehicle several times over.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Sabbatical of Sorts....

I'm taking some time off from this blog.... so I can work on a different blog. So I guess it's not really a sabbatical at all.

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite TV show of all time is The Twilight Zone. No, not that cheesy 80's version, and definitely no, not that more recent piece of shit on UPN. I'm talking about the original series, which ran from 1959 to 1964 on CBS, and has been perpetually airing in syndication around the world ever since. The show celebrates its 50th anniversary THIS Friday, October 2nd. Needless to say, I'm excited as hell. I've already taken the day off from work, and I'll be immersing myself in various Zone-related activities all day long, culminating with a screening of the first episode ("Where Is Everybody?") promptly at 7:00 p.m. (technically I should be watching it at 10:00 pm, since that's the time it originally aired, but my good friend Bill Huelbig is watching it at 10:00 pm in New York, so I decided to watch it at the exact same time, adjusted for Pacific Standard Time).

What does this have to do with my blog? Well, The Twilight Zone is more than just a TV show to me. In fact, I love it so much that I've started a new blog in its honor:

My Life in the Shadow of The Twilight Zone

So that's where I'll be posting for now, since I'm pretty much consumed with All Things Zone these days. This does not spell the end for Craig's Cul-de-sac, however. After the 50th anniversary buzz wears off, I'm sure I'll have other topics to blog about... at which point I'll find my way back here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Zac Attack!

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a film lover. I lean toward the classics, particularly noir and sci-fi, as well as foreign (Bergman, Kurosawa, etc). I can't deny the fact that I’m a bit of a movie snob…. That is to say, I pretty much eschew most of the crap that gets churned out these days (I liken modern Hollywood to an overgrown retarded gorilla, gleefully tossing its feces around). I have a pretty big movie collection (over 600 DVDs and Blu-rays), which I suppose indicates some level of passion for the medium.

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing/posting movie reviews for a while now, and I’ve finally decided to give it a whirl. If nothing else, it’ll help pad out the blog, since I can’t seem to write on a consistent basis. I’m not a professional reviewer, and I don’t claim to be. I won’t be grading based on stars, or thumbs, or any other celestial objects or body parts. I think I’ll go with something simple… maybe a traffic light. Green means good, great, maybe even excellent. Yellow means somewhat good, but flawed. Red means awful, horrendous, don’t waste your time.

For my inaugural review, I’ll be taking a look at a film that falls into none of the preferred categories listed above. In fact, the film in question is, at a surface glance, exactly the type of movie I’d normally avoid like the plague. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you….

Wait! Before you run away screaming, just hear me out. You might be glad you did.

On the surface, 17 Again appears to be yet another empty-headed Disneyized teen comedy, a sugar-laden third-rate piece of shit. Au contraire, I say. It’s got a great cast, it’s consistently entertaining, frequently hilarious, and it manages a seemingly impossible feat: it makes Zac Efron likeable.

The plot concerns Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry), an unhappy guy in his late-30’s who, on the cusp of losing his wife and his career, is magically transformed into a teenaged version of himself (Zac Efron). I won’t reveal anything further. The less you know, the better.

The cast is uniformly marvelous. Matthew Perry, still (unfortunately) known best as Chandler Bing from Friends, is excellent (though his screen time is criminally short; more on this later). Thomas Lennon (you’ve probably seen him on Reno 911 or, more recently, as “Gay Doug” from I Love You, Man) literally steals every second of every scene he appears in. Melora Hardin, better known as the mega-bitch Jan from TV’s The Office, is quite good (the chemistry between she and Lennon is probably the single best thing in the entire film, particularly the dinner scene).

But these three are generally great in everything they do. Let’s talk about the big surprise of the film: Zac Efron. Yes, THAT Zac Efron (from the High School Musical… uh, movies. Yeah, I guess they’re technically movies). You know, the guy whose face adorns every pre-pubescent girl’s walls, clothes, and lunchboxes (my pre-pubescent girl included). In all honesty, had a less toxic young actor been cast, I probably wouldn’t have been so (initially) averse to seeing the film. But you know what? The kid’s a revelation in this role. In my second viewing (yes, I watched it twice), I noticed several occurrences of Efron mimicking Perry’s mannerisms (maybe not quite on the level of, say, Ewan McGregor mimicking Sir Alec Guinness as Obi-wan Kenobi, but you get my point). And damn it, Efron is just plain appealing to watch. He’s in almost every scene in the film, and I never got tired of watching him. I expected to hate the film, and hate Efron even more, and now I’m forced to reexamine my entire view of this guy. The cafeteria scene in particular is nothing short of brilliant, and Efron positively radiates confident cool.

Happily, the film’s humor is fairly mature and refreshingly unsanitized (this is probably not appropriate for young children, which might just devastate them because there’s no new High School Musical movie this year). Nothing really vulgar to report, but expect a number of “douche bags” in the dialogue, not to mention some mild sexual content. Oh, and if you’re at all into Star Wars or Lord of the Rings…. well, there are some pretty hilarious sight gags and references. The aforementioned dinner scene, in which Lennon and Hardin’s characters discover a common bond… oh my god, it’s hysterical, and executed perfectly.

I have one relatively minor complaint: I really wish Matthew Perry’s role was larger. He’s in the first fifteen minutes of the film, then completely disappears until the very end. It makes sense in context, since the majority of the story concerns his teenaged counterpart, but they could’ve done some sort of Quantum Leap effect, where we glimpse Matthew Perry here and there (reflected in mirrors, etc). As it stands, Matthew Perry’s role amounts to little more than a cameo, which is a shame. He’s a great actor who isn’t utilized nearly enough (probably the Friends curse).

Bottom line? 17 Again is a very funny film, not at all what I expected, and I’m happy to endorse it. Green light!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blog Hard with a Vengeance

Ah, that wicked scoundrel Procrastination hath reared its ugly, acromegalic head once again. It’s been over a month since I wrote. Much has happened, so I’ll get right to it…

We Be Jammin'

Sierra and I used to make strawberry jam every summer when she was younger, but somehow the twisted tapestry of time has tripped us up for the last few years (wow, say that fast three times). But as spring gave way to summer, we vowed that this year would be different. This year, we’d return to our jam-making tradition and, on June 28, we did just that.

Predictably, the jam is delicious. Five batches! We’re planning to do a few more batches (including a strawberry-blueberry hybrid), and I really hope we do. The girl’s almost grown, so traditions like this may fall by the wayside, especially since she’ll be VERY busy after she graduates next spring. Which leads into my next topic….

Chef Sierra!

Sierra has been “conditionally accepted” into the Portland Art Institute’s culinary program, which is the same as being accepted, but since she applied early, she’s required to graduate high school first (well, duh). She’ll start her first term THREE WEEKS after graduation (June 2010), so this is her last full-on summer. She is absolutely thrilled, and I couldn’t be prouder of her. I can’t wait to see her in her chef’s outfit…

Moose Boy… or Moose Man?

In Isaac news… well, the (not so) little man turned 16 on July 20. And per household tradition, the big day was capped off by the world premiere of his birthday video: Isaac: Memoirs of a Moose Boy. It’s basically the same format as Logan’s video from April… two-plus hours of video clips and photo slideshows celebrating his first 16 years. And I’ve gotta say…. I’ve outdone myself once again as a video-production maestro. Hell, I should be doing this kinda shit for a living. Instead, I’m stuck chasing down deadbeats from behind a desk.

You Say Tomato, I Say…

Our Topsy Turvys have literally exploded with tomatoes. The heat wave a couple of weeks back definitely helped. I actually had to move them up to the top of the deck last night because they’d grown so long that the mongrel Bijou could reach them…. And yes, she was pulling tomatoes off the vines and playing with them. Damn dog. She also throws rocks into our swimming pool, but that’s another story for another time.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I’m not who I imagined I’d be when I grew up. In all honesty, I never really had a clear vision for my future, but I knew I wanted to do something creative. I have a fairly decent command of the language, so I figured maybe I’d be a writer. A writer of what? Books, short stories, screenplays, songs, I dunno (I’ve dabbled in all of them, with zero success). I also wanted to act, and did quite a bit of it in high school (I was voted “Best Actor” by my class, so I guess I wasn’t too terrible), but I pretty much lost interest after graduation. I wanted to make movies (I did make a few short films, and I still plan to make an independent feature film at some point).

I guess I’m a dabbler. I’ve never been able to commit to a singular goal and see it through. I imagine it’s a chronic fear of failure, coupled with a rampant inferiority complex. So I dabble. And I go nowhere. I achieve nothing. But that’s not what this blog entry is about. It’s about who I am physically, and it’s damned hard to write. I never imagined that I’d be fat and unhealthy.

Truth be told, I’ve never been skinny. Well, I was a pretty skinny kid (I started getting a bit pudgy in high school). I slowly gained weight over the fifteen-odd years following graduation, and then I’ve gained a lot more in the past five years. In all brutal honesty, I’ve never even tried to take care of myself. I eat whatever I want, however much I want, with little regard for the eventual consequence. It was different when I was young. I could abuse the hell out of my body and it didn’t seem to mind. These days, as I approach forty years old, it’s a very different story. I’m heavier now than I’ve ever been. I feel like crap much of the time. I don’t sleep well. I actually have trouble tying my shoes, or climbing lots of stairs. I am severely out of shape, and I look awful. My back hurts. My feet hurt.

I don’t want to be this person I’ve become. I don’t want to die young, but I fear I will. I fear that even admitting these things publicly won’t be enough to break me out of this cycle. I feel silly, like I’m auditioning for The Biggest Loser or something.

A cursory look over my last two years of blogging tells the tale. I almost always write about food. Food has somehow become central to my life. I think about it, I write about it. I sit passively, fork in hand, while it completely enslaves me and drags me to an early grave.

I have no illusions about what the solution entails. There is no special diet, no magic pill. I need to eat smarter (and less!), and become more active. It will suck. I will hate it. I will rage against my own cravings, and likely succumb to them at times.

I’ve already started (sort of). I gave up caffeine two weeks ago. I’m drinking lots more water. But this only a meager beginning. The task ahead is nothing short of a complete change of life for me. But I have to do it. If I want to live, I’ll need to. No doctor has advised me. I haven’t taken any BMI index tests, or whatever the hell they’re called. I just know that I’m fat, I feel lousy, and I have a family history that includes diabetes and heart disease. The writing is on the wall, and it’s (finally) beginning to scare the hell out of me.

There are places I want to go. There are things I want to achieve. I need time. Lots more time.

And I have kids who need me.

I have to change, before it’s too late.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Death: The Busiest Man in Hollywood?

So Ed McMahon died a couple of weeks ago. Then, last week, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died. Then, this week, Billy Mays and Karl Malden died.

And the week’s only half over.

Death, that rascal spectre of the infinite, that black-cloaked grinning skull, that scythe-swinging collector of eternity-bound souls, is clearly the busiest man in Hollywood. If I were a celebrity (which I should be, but that’s a topic for another time), I’d be seriously watching my back right about now. Clearly Death is on a roll, and Lady Luck is on His side.

At least the rumor about Jeff Goldblum’s death appears to be false. See? There’s always a silver lining.