Monday, May 14, 2007

Day of Destruction and Other Fevered Ramblings

Sorry I’ve not been posting as much lately. Last week I’ve learned that Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most; and I got sick because of constant weather changes, inside and out; my office had the heat on when it was 80 and then the air blasting when it was 50.

And I made the mistake of pushing myself when I heard the voice in my head sing the strains of “You Give me Fever”, and I went to Looptopia. Looptopia a city event where they tried to make the downtown State Street area into a giant art gallery. All the major buildings were open and hosting art exhibits; Performance art in the street, marching bands, artists in store windows, rave-like dance parties in alleys. It was all very festive and was reminiscent of the 1980s Performance art days at Randolph Street where women dressed in old wedding dresses and ate loaves of bread in Plexiglas cases. There were no wedding dresses, but lots of people moving slowly, or not at all in the case of the statute people in front of the Cultural Center.

The event was a success and was exciting if only to see hordes of beautiful Wicker Park art kids freezing their extended earlobes off in one of the coldest May nights I can remember. I left early, after we couldn’t get into the Art Institute to see a French cabaret singer. The Institute was being mobbed with people trying to get in and I half expected to see people running out with Hopper paintings under their arms. Ah, Chicago in the spring!

The next morning I woke with a fever of 101 and spent the majority of the next two days in bed watching a couple of mindless disaster mini-series I’d gotten from Netflix. I’m prone to fevers but they worry me because once I had the flu and my fever went to about 105 before it broke. When you live alone no one is really there to say, “hey, a hospital is a good idea”. It just felt like the smart thing was to shiver and stay up all night watching the Doris Day Show. At one point I fell asleep after I watched The Simpsons; Lisa’s laugh kept ringing over and over in my ears, along with the last few bars of the Beatle’s version of Beceme Mucho. I survived, just barely but Lisa Simpson’s voice has never been the same to me.

So instead of doing anything I just sat up in bed and watched six hours of Category 6: The Day of Destruction and Category 7: The End of the World. Two CBS, Canadian made mini-series movies about extreme weather disasters. In the first one Nancy McKeon of Facts of Life fame plays a reporter trying to break a big story about power plant corruption during a heat wave. It takes place in Chicago, which was why I wanted to see it; Except for that movie about the giant grasshoppers there aren’t many disaster movies set in Chicago. In this one, a giant hurricane and tornadoes hit the city. This was all pre-Katrina so the government is portrayed as doing their darned-est to avert a disaster. I think the biggest disaster is that Dianne Wiest has stooped so low from Hanna and Her Sisters to play a beleaguered government official. So Chicago is destroyed among all the personal dramas. I didn’t buy it because all through this 105 heat wave everyone kept drinking hot coffee. It was like every ten minutes a coffee pot was brewing, people were ordering hot coffee in bars, people were complaining about bad coffee. It was distracting, or it might have been my fever; it was all I could focus on.

In the second movie Category 7, New York and Buffalo are destroyed by more global warming problems while the personal problems of the only people who can solve the problem take back seat to nature’s drama. This time Gina Gershon from Showgirls plays the Director of FEMA… Do you love it! The director of FEMA wearing low rider jeans and Gap blouses. But it makes sense, I can just see that Mike Brown guy saying: There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.

And poor Shannen Doherty, played a bartender whose also an expert meteorologist/tornado chaser. To prove how low she's gone, her love interest is Randy Quaid. a poor mans Ernest Borgnine.

Both these movies answered a question I had about new disaster movies and if we still had fallen stars willing to work for a paycheck to star in them... Perhaps Gina Gershon will be our next George Kennedy in Airport 2010 or Dianne Wiest the next Jennifer Jones in a remake of The Towering Inferno.

Anyway, I’m officially rambling… but I wanted write something on here because it’s been a while. I’ll be back to my normal, scanning self soon…

P.S. New podcast coming soon...


Aaron said...

"a poor man's Ernest Borgnine." I love it!

Hope you're feeling better!

David said...

Well at least you got to watch old trashy movies. I feel like crap myself. Runny nose, cough,, sore throat. I don't know if it;s allergies or a cold.

Mike Lynch said...

I'm sorry that you're sick, but your writing is still spot on and hilarious! I had no idea that there was such a thing as a movie where Gina Gershon is the head of FEMA. What kooky casting. And the Doherty/Quaid love story defies reason and probability. Glad you're watching this stuff so I don't have to! Ha ha!

Now ... be careful with yourself!

dirk.mancuso said...

I love Shannen Doherty so much! Neither 90210 or CHARMED was the same after she left. And I am proud to admit I still have my 90210 Brenda Walsh doll mint in the box.

Next time you are feeling poorly and looking for some fantastic bad tv movies, may I suggest a Tori Spelling double feature of MOTHER, MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER? and DEATH OF A CHEERLEADER. Off the charts good bad stuff.