1-29-2005 The Kurt Shotko Traveling Drum Circle Band?

"Two days ago I saw a vehicle that'd haul that tanker. You wanna get out of here? You talk to me."

Can anyone tell me who said that?

I snagged this...from the Kirby Center web site.

What’s Cookin’ ?

It’s the explosive percussion show from Korea that has sliced, diced, and banged its way across the globe to unanimous acclaim.

Here’s the scoop:
Working against the clock to create a wedding banquet, four zany chefs stir martial arts, drumming, dance and high-wire comedy into their recipes. Everything from pots and pans to cooking utensils and the occasional cucumber becomes fodder for this gastronomical hit.

As one critic described it, “Think of it as Stomp meets Jackie Chan in a chocolate-factory episode of I Love Lucy.”

It’s the perfect show for all ages and taste buds, so get Cookin’ today. You’ll never look at the kitchen the same way again.


As you have probably surmised by now, I'm about to get myself in hot water again. But first, let me say this: During what now seems like a previous life, I knew the guy who manages the Kirby Center these days. He managed the cinema complex at the mall for years and years. And over the course of the years, the guy literally donated dozens upon dozens of free movie passes to be used as prizes for the very best of my employees. He was always courteous, professional and very likeable. I'm not trying to hack on the guy here today.

While exploring the Kirby site, I took a gander at the listing of names that makes up the Board of Directors. It's a veritable Who's Who list of the most prominent folks in this area. If anyone is anywhere near the top of the economic, political or professional strata in this county-they are likely to appear on that list. So, to brazenly dare to openly criticize this bunch in public probably means my future home lies directly under the cornerstone of our newfangled theater. Mark, meet Mr. Hoffa. So be it.

With millions upon millions upon millions of dollars being invested in our downtown area in a last-ditch attempt to return it to it's former glory days, could the Kirby Center be better utilized to act as an even bigger draw to our soon to be new-and-improved downtown?

I realize I'm not exactly a highbrow kind of guy and that suits me perfectly fine. I doubt that I'll ever find myself wearing a tuxedo and sitting right next to some high-profile type attorney while the Jets and Sharks do battle on the Kirby's stage, and I see that as a mostly good thing. Do I wanna see the latest rendition of State Fair, or Jesus Christ Superstar while sharing oodles and oodles of rancid popcorn with a former county commissioner? Not on your cat's next life. Am I remotely interested in taking in The Vagina Monologues, or The Penile Protestations? I'd rather be Rosie O'Donnell's bicycle seat. Shakespeare? Nope. I'd prefer to have my skull violently penetrated by rabid nail guns. Could I appreciate some literary masterpiece acted out by Ghurka warriors? I doubt that the Kirby stocks that much alcohol. And even if they did, I'd probably ruin the entire night by puking all over the mezzanine lobby.

If culture is what some folks seek, that's fine by me. If pretending that watching semi-naked Cambodians dancing around with feathers and bells on is culture that only the most superior minds can appreciate, I'm here to tell you I'd rather watch a Super 8 version of "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" on the side of cuzzin Hoby's double-wide. Give me a stolen lawn chair, a case of Milwaukee's Best on ice within arms reach, some of my first cuzzins and their girly friends jigglin' all around in cut-off shorts and a '69 Charger R/T wreaking all sorts of havoc on all of civilization. Now that's entertainment there, sugar cheeks!

I got no need for no hack-kneed sketches about how some dead president went and fathered a gaggle of illegitimate kinfolk with some nubile slave girl named Lolita-Botswani. "That was deep!" ain't what I need. Hoity-toity will never push my buttons. And if artsy-fartsy stories for the ages is all that we're offering, then expect to see the high falootin' "Who's Who" folks flocking to our downtown while the vast majority of the much less cultured mental indigents sit out the latest harebrained dog-and-pony show on imported ice.

I'm not asking for a frickin' Linda Lovelace film festival here. But cut us some slack, will ya? First it was...ahem, "performers" banging on freaking garbage cans and garbage can lids at fifty bucks a pop. Now the Paramount...um, the Kirby, is promoting a troupe that bangs on pots and pans while doing the secret variations on Bruce Lee's death dance? And how much might that cost us? What's next? The Kurt Shotko Traveling Drum Circle Band? Captain Congo's Dancing Midgets & Naked Gypsies Review? Sgt. Egghead's Tupperware & Kazoo Corps? Muffin Man and his Magic Chrome-plated Megaphone of Destiny? Ted Kennedy billed as a statesman?

Ever heard of Chris Rock? Andrew Dice Clay, perhaps? Bleeps? We don't need no stinkin' bleeps. Give us some F-bombs with a few more F-bombs thrown in for good measure. Molly Hatchet? Cheap Trick? Why, I'd kill somebody to get me another one of Rick Nielsen's picks. I don't want nothing reminiscent of the lesbian love scene ala Femme Fatale. How about some ancient movies like the one featuring a sex scene between William Shatner and Angie Dickinson? Why not The Great Texas Dynamite Chase in black-and-white? How 'bout a stage version of The Big Lebowski? (SHUT THE F**K UP, DONNIE!) We the unwashed don't even know who Anne Frank was. Why not a colorized version of Dr. Strangelove? Nuke a few hundred thousand Russians. Give us something we can easily follow and greatly appreciate until the absolute apex of all known entertainment, Married With Children, is finally...finally available on DVD.

Am I asking for too much? Can we get us some entertainment scheduled in that mostly exclusive place that would fill the house and rock the house on a consistent basis while not appealing to the folks that seem to think being seen at some artsy-fartsy skit somehow adds to their image as a member of the upper echelon?

How do I get on that Board of Directors, anyway?

Run for Congress?

Can you guess...what I did last night? Uh, twice, that is. Yepper! We have a winner! Alien vs. Predator!

Bring it on? NOT!

Sometimes I have to wonder about my unending fascination with really well-done Hollywood monsters. When I was a kid, Godzilla literally scared the bejesus out of me on an almost nightly basis. Then, I went and sort of growed up. And now I can't get enough of truly scary monsters shredding any humanfolk dumb enough to get within thirty clicks of them.

He's cuddly

Arthur C. Clarke taught me well. He taught me that almost all science fiction with some factual basis behind it eventually comes true. And if there's a gazillion planets out there and at least a few of them have to be able to support life as simple as parasitic protozoans, then logic suggests that a few planets might actually be home to much more advanced xenomorphs. And maybe even a little more hostile.

Ah, Alien vs. Predator.

As soon as the grandkids are nestled in their weekend beds, I'll be doing some more escapism. To boldly go where no human has been shredded before.

What do you mean they cut the lights? They're bugs, man!--Private Hudson, from "Aliens"

My mommy always said there were no monsters - no real ones - but there are. Why do they tell little kids that?--Newt, from "Aliens"

From the e-mail inbox:


Regarding Leightons performance, he hit it by the numbers last year. If I were to grade his first year I'd have to give him an A. I don't see a problem with anything he has done so far. Things are looking up and you were right to stick with him. On we march.

Bill KXXXXXX*******

Anudder one:

*******Nord End Mark,

He may have his theater in the works but its not going to amount to a damm hill of beans for WBs downtown. The place looks and feels like Fallujah. Noone will go down there including businesses. Have a blast at the movies before it closes up. I admire your spirit even though.

Anonymously yours*******

Place your bets

No one will go down there? I totally disagree with that grim outlook for downtown Wilkes-Barre's immediate future. First of all, I know all too well that the mayor realizes that we need an even more visible police presence down there by the time the first film reel spins. We've got the Diamond City Partnership guys cleaning the downtown five days a week with their odd-looking vehicles. The way I hear it, a chainsaw or two are going to be taken to the canopy system for a few different reasons among which, an increased visibility for business signage and such seems to be biggest.

We've got re-built benches on the Square and I'm told more are on the way, possibly even new garbage cans. As was the case last Spring, I expect to see flowers planted again and maybe even some more fresh mulch raked about. The trees were pruned last year for the first time since only God knows. Despite the disease risks (?) brought forward by the Leader, our fountain is flowing once again. Wireless internet service is also available in the downtown area. Aesthetically speaking, the entire Public Square area is looking a helluva lot better than it did during '03. And the last remaining eyesore, that tiny bank building, was purchased by the city and is supposed to be remodeled at some point as part of the long dormant Intermodel (Muckel) complex. But...there are still plenty of vacant, dilapidated and rapidly decaying buildings within earshot of the Square. And what of those?

A 7 foot 1 inch actor?

What of 'em? Where should we start? The gigantic Murray Complex on Penn Ave has changed hands and is due to be remodeled. That's quite an undertaking. The Corcoran Printing and McIntosh Laundry buildings at North Main and North are going to be remodeled by City Vest and Kings College provided that a private developer doesn't beat them to the punch. The entire block of Northampton opposite the theater site is close to being sold but is being temporarily held up by a single property held by an estate. The Cumberland building, that skyscraper wannabe at 17 W. Ross has been sold and plans are afoot to rehab that long since dormant eyesore. The Murray building on S. Main that was once the professional home of Magistrate Collins has been sold and is going to be remodeled. The smaller dump right next door will be razed. The undeveloped land opposite the Stegmaier building is being looked at by a few developers.

I'm assuming we didn't forget about the new streetlights soon to be installed throughout the downtown area. And some scheming has been done about replacing those uneven paver bricks. And there's the Brick-Buy-Brick effort currently underway from the folks at Leadership Wilkes-Barre. And just in case you missed it, City Vest is working on remodeling the Hotel Sterling in some shape or form yet to be determined. Yes, a 14 screen muckityplex complex coming in at $21 million is finally under construction. Yes, the new Labor & Industry building is being built and upon completion it'll bring 250-300 state employees to the downtown. And let's not forget about the riverfront project due to get underway this year, which is no small potato by any stretch of the urban planning imagination.

A more late breaking development is the news that the recently flooded Planter's Peanuts complex has been sold to a private developer. And if that's not enough good news for y'all, get ready for the piece de resistance. No, that's not Yiddish. Get with it, will ya? The piece de resistance. Ready? Wilkes University has acquired itself a gargantuan and little-used indoor sports facility located on South Main Street. That is, after a bit of retooling. Comprehend? No more calls from that center. There's a quick one million dollars per year back in the general fund of the city.

Noone will go down there including businesses???

Dude, I gotta tell ya, you couldn't be more wrong if you tried. At this very moment, available real estate in downtown Wilkes-Barre is disappearing at an alarming rate. Despite the obvious lack of brick and mortar being slapped together up until this point, Wilkes-Barre's big comeback is well underway. Whether some folks wanna admit it or not, or whether some folks can actually believe it or not; it's really happening.

It's definately gonna suck to be one of those naysaying taxpayer activists from here on out.

From the e-mail inbox:

*******ONLY IN PA

The owner of a golf course in Altoona, PA, was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some math help. He called her into his office and said, "You went to college, didn't you, Penn State, wasn't it? I need some help. If I were to give you $20,000 minus 14%, how much would you take off?" The secretary thought a moment, then replied, "Everything but my earrings."
Gotta love those Pennsylvania women!*******

Go easy, chickies! I didn't freakin' write the darn thing.

Record turnout in Iraq tomorrow.