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johnny dollar's vault

retro pop culture and various local observations and ramblings.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
johnny dollar's vault resides in the basement of stately dollar maisonTM, amongst the wine cellar, tiki bar, and finicky electrical panel. from time to time i will unearth various artifacts from either there or from the random crevices of my mind.

please visit the new and improved pig cookin' post!

NOTE: this blog will NOT deal with any recent pop culture (i.e. since about 1990) or topical issues, so if you're looking for discussion about britney baracko jacko flacco, look elsewhere, lol

Thursday, August 31, 2006

on a constant tape loop in my mental fern bar

escape (the pina colada song) by rupert holmes

i was tired of my lady, we'd been together too long.
like a worn-out recording, of a favorite song.
so while she lay there sleeping, i read the paper in bed.
and in the personals column, there was this letter i read:
"if you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
if you're not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain.
if you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
i'm the lady you've looked for, write to me, and escape."

i didn't think about my lady, i know that sounds kind of mean.
but me and my old lady, had fallen into the same old dull routine.
so i wrote to the paper, took out a personal ad.
and though i'm nobody's poet, i thought it wasn't half-bad.
"yes, i like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
i'm not much into health food, i am into champagne.
i've got to meet you by tomorrow noon, and cut through all this red tape.
at a bar called o'malley's, where we'll plan our escape."

so I waited with high hopes, then she walked in the place.
i knew her smile in an instant, i knew the curve of her face.
it was my own lovely lady, and she said, "oh, it's you."
and we laughed for a moment, and i said, "i never knew"..
"that you liked pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
and the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne.
if you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
you're the love that i've looked for, come with me, and escape."

"if you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
and the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne.
if you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
you're the love that i've looked for, come with me, and escape."

Monday, August 28, 2006

little italy film festival review: chow bella

well we only got to hit the very last of the little italy film festival this year, but da movie was big night and although it's no cinema paradiso i loves me some italian brutha drama and drunk minnie driver with noo joisey accent.

the weather was nice for baltimore in august, and mr. john's house was apparently fitted out with digital projection technology this year. our site lines of the screen were excellent.

one area of concern i had was that the sub shop, formerly known as apicella's osteria, was now isabella's, and we hadn't tried their grub yet. hoo boy, i knew things were okay when i saw the eye-talian dish soap once inside...

i got the italian cold cut. man it RAWKED - the food was a couple bucks extra than the apicellas versions but it was freaking tasty. well worth the cost.

before the show this fellow showed up - think his name was bobby and he was selling used black suburbans or something. another guy showed up who i think was his rival - o'murphy or something? i'm not sure if he was also a used car salesman or he had just opened an irish pub.

ennyways, the movie started, and my only complaint was that the sound level was too low. so when you go next summer, you might wanna bring miracle ear. paisan.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

a tale of two captains: chesapeake and 20

i grew up in the dc area, and my cultural knowledge of baltimore was fairly dim until later on. I do recall, though, that occasionally, when the atmosphere was just so, we could pick up channel 13 or maybe 45. it was like something beamed from the moon, fairly static-y and grainy on our old black and white tv. so imagine my surprise, when i realized that balmer had their very own local captain. dig if u will the similarities:

captain chesapeake: on channel 45 in baltimore (wbff)
captain played by george lewis, from1971 to 1990

the show began with the ditty:
"a shipwrecked sailor found himself in a plight.
lost at sea he was really a sight.
he swam and swam 'til he thought he'd die,
when a wonderous sight appeared to his eye.
a derelict boat that saved his life
and put an end ot his watery strife."

adjunct puppet pals included:
mondy (pronounced moan-dee) the sea monster
bruce the bird
andrew claws the lion
little mo'

kids could get "crew members" membership cards. by 1973, he had registered his 50,000th card-carrying crew member.

shows played included (this is not a list from personal experience, mind you:
rare instances of johnny sokko
speed racer
marine boy

us weird old geezing nostalgia freaks have the following resources:


captain 20: on channel 20 in washington dc (wdca)
captain played by dick dyszel, from 1972 to 1987

puppet pals included:

milton m. milton
chef combo
howard huge
fruitsy tootsie (“eat fruit for a snack”)

from 1975 to 1978 kids could get "channel 20 club cards,” of which 250,000 cards were handed out

shows played included (from personal tv-braindamaged memory):

kimba the white lion
marine boy
johnny sokko
speed racer
little rascals
ultra man

tha best


view it here! you'll be glad you did (it's in realplayer, [buffering], sorry)

again, weird old geezing nostalgia freak resources:


conclusions? i think i grew up in a kind of parallel universe to many of you local yokels. we all had our captain. screw the media conglomerates that set them adrift >:(

Friday, August 11, 2006

my 1940's dream kitchen

as i was doing the dishes yesterday it struck me as perhaps atypical that we have no dishwasher or disposal. (word is disposals were illegal in balmer city for many years). and since charissa was sharing kitchen photos i figgered i would too.

actually i take that back - we have a dishwasher, it's pretty much me! not that i mind it that much. but there it is - pretty much how it was when built in 1940, except for the new cooker technology, a coat or two of paint on the casework and a pergo flo'.

peep tha historical original 1950's-era boomerang formica countertop! pretty gritty after all these years, but it still makes me feel swank when i'm kicking it donna reed style.

now what to do with the dishpan hands - i'll ask madge...

Monday, August 07, 2006

heads up: trixie little's enchanted tiki paradise on sept 16 feat. mixology by yours truly

saturday, september 16th, 2006 8:00 pm-11:00 pm
art-to-dine-for: enchanted tiki paradise
mysterious tiki island
treasure map provided with purchase of ticket
price: $45

at trixie little and the evil hate monkey's enchanted tiki paradise, you can go native while taking a retro visit to the era of 1950's/60's polynesian pop! dust off your exotic aloha wardrobe, listen to the sounds of lush ocean melodies and jungle lounge rhythms, savor south pacific island appetizer delicacies, and be prepared to be spellbound as we perform the best of our tiki-n-taboo routines! mai-tais, rum, coconut concoctions, and other 'mystery' tiki drinks served by johnny dollar and vern stoltz.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

watch out for ninjas and catgirls - otakon 2006

starting tomorrow you may notice girls with pink hair and guys carrying 6-foot samurai swords around. no need for alarm, it's merely otakon 2006.

as for me it's not my thang, although i loved me some speed racer and ultraman in my day.

naw, we're going down to virginia for fun and frolic and getting stuck in beach traffic. anyways, back to otakon. what you might not know: the name of the convention is derived from the japanese word otaku, which in america refers to a fanboy (and increasingly, fangirl) who is obsessed with japanese manga culture. in japan, the hand can be used like a knife, oops, i mean, otaku refers mostly to basement-dwelling antisocial men who spend all day playing nintendo and worshipping fictional japanese popstars. so you see da connexion.

i have to admit that my favourite aspect of all this craziness is the cosplay that manifests itself as girls dressing up like cats. i'm sure this is the confluence of several japanese cultural things from cats being considered lucky to the japanese street fashion cult of women dressing like children. whatever. i just like catgirls.