Jim Varagona

Month: October, 2005

>I Usually Hate Remakes, But This Is An Exception

>I stumbled across this and do not remember how. I love Jack Nicholson. I even took a class on him in college, along with my Tim Burton, Andy Warhol, and Elvis classes. I put my education to good use. Anyway, this is one of the greatest things I’ve randomly stumbled upon on the web as of late. It is a remixed version of “The Shining” trailer.

Click here to view it.

On September 30, the NY Times ran an exclusive about the clip, stating:

Mr. Ryang won the contest, and about 10 days ago, he said, he sent three friends a link to a “secret site” on his company’s Web site where they could watch his entry. One of them, Mr. Ryang said, posted it on his little-watched blog. And that was that. Until this week, when he was hit by a tsunami of
Internet interest. On Wednesday, Mr. Ryang said, his secret site got 12,000 hits. By Thursday the numbers were even higher, his film was being downloaded and linked to on countless other sites, it had cracked the top 10 most popular spoofs on www.ifilm.com, and a vice president at a major Hollywood studio had called up his office, scouting for new talent.

The man is a genius. Enjoy.


>I Cured Diabetes By Walking


Justin (left) and Shannon (right) looking for a cure to Diabetes on the streets of Town and Country, MO.
Maybe not, but yesterday, I did participate in the Walk for Diabetes at Maryville University. The Diabetoboy Productions team consisted of myself, my fiance Shannon, and friend/best man Justin Cook. Technically also soliciting donations was Paul Dry, a friend, who couldn’t walk due to a mid term. Our team total raised was $710, which ain’t too bad. We walked for 3.5 to 4 miles, instead of the original 3, because of confusion at the site. I’m not sure why we were walking anyway though, since we already turned in the money. After working long hours this past week, 4 miles wears a brother out.

The Diabetoboy Productions Team (Shannon, Justin, me—from left)

One perk to the ordeal was getting a free foot exam. Diabetics can have all kinds of foot problems from nerve damage due to high blood sugars. The kind folks from Forest Park Hospital therefore gave free exams to make sure I wouldn’t require an amputation. A male doctor was touching my feet though, which didn’t bother me a whole lot, but it wasn’t my first choice. Luckily, I will have my feet for at least a few more years. Now all I have to worry about is erectile disfunction.

After the walk, we hit up Gus’s Pretzels, because of my addiction to pretzels. Not the best thing for a diabetic to inhale, but better than cake or gnawing on pure sugar cane. I want to be a pretzel vendor some day, especially if my career in retail servicing doesn’t pan out. Just imagine having access to all the pretzels you want all day.

I’m out.

>A Hard Week’s Weekend

>Actually working is rough. I haven’t done it in a while. 50 hours of manual labor this week. I feel it. By Sunday, I will reek of Ben Gay. Today I got to wake up at my leisure with nothing to rush for. That is an amazing feeling, like a good bowel movement. With nothing to do, I napped. And so did Sadie.

Sadie napping hardcore.

On Saturday morning, I will walk 3 miles for Diabetes. Will my walking cure my disease? Fuck no. I can say I did something for charity though this year. Shannon and my pal Justin will be accompanying myself on the Diabetoboy Productions team. Post walk plans: apply more Ben Gay…in a few hours, repeat. Ah, menthol.

>My $80 T-shirt

>I went downtown to Kellie O’toole’s to drink and watch the Cards clinch on Saturday with my gal and her friend. I was wearing my “I’m Rick James’ Ghost, Bitch!” t-shirt from T-shirt Hell , which instantly got some looks as I entered the bar. Within 10 minutes of being there, as I was approaching the bar for a drink, a woman came up to me. She remarked how sweet she thought my shirt was and how her husband (who was standing right there) would like it for his birthday. She offered to buy it off my back. He whispered in my ear that she had money, so aim high. We went back and forth, but settled on $50. Besides, I only paid $25 for it. Luckily she only had 20’s, so she gave me $60 for it. I took her “hubby”‘s shirt off his back. She walked away and he explained that she was married, but not to him. She sure liked his nuts though. He even managed to talk her into giving me another $20 because he felt like a cheap whore for being worth less to her. My only mistake was not setting the cash aside. I usually don’t bring much to the bars. I spent most of the $80 there. And I come to find out that T-Shirt Hell retired that shirt. What can you do? It was still one of the best times I’ve had in a drinking establishment in recent memory. Then again, sometimes you don’t go out remembering much.

This is a great opportunity to push T-Shirt Hell though. Someone may approach you for your uniquely abbrasive shirt and offer twice what you paid for it. Or you could buy some fun shirts from my Cafe Press store and do the same, because millions want “Matt Blunt Sucks Ass” t-shirts. They just don’t know it yet.

>Been Workin’ For the Man

>“Chain Gang, Alabama (1956)” by Gordon Parks

Damn, I feel like I’ve been working on a chain gang. Since March, I have been working for a fertilizer company (the big one), merchandising their products. And since this is the end of their season, I jumped ship. I now have been working for a retail servicing firm for almost a week now. Let me tell you, when you see those elaborate Christmas displays at big box stores, appreciate it more, because someone worked on that for 16 hours straight. The pay is good, but assembling Christmas trees and hauling lit up displays of Santa and his reindeer can be taxing (no pun intended). This is my college education at use. At least I am getting toned for my nuptials.

>”Blowie the Spacemonkey” Made It

> About a month ago, I submitted 4 or 5 experimental video pieces I made last year for school to Post Video Art, a website that features experimental videos. Today, I noticed that 1 made it so far. “Blowie the Spacemonkey,” which is a short clip involving a blowfish and television feedback, made the cut. You have to scroll down the list of entries to #139. Enjoy.

>My Last Ditch Effort to Raise $ for Diabetes

>Yes…I copied and pasted most of this…at least use a credit card and gimme a buck…

I recently accepted the challenge of walking in the American Diabetes Association’s America’s Walk for Diabetes fund-raising event on October 15, 2005, at Maryville University. I am taking part in this event because I believe in and support the Association’s mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes…and I have lived with Type 1 Diabetes myself for almost 13 years.

You, too, can help by supporting my fund-raising efforts with a generous contribution, or even $1, if that’s all you can give. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference to more than 18 million Americans who are affected by diabetes and another 40 million who are at risk for developing diabetes. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause – you can make your donation online by simply clicking the link at the bottom of this message.

More information on the American Diabetes Association, its programs, and diabetes in general can be found at the Association’s Web site, www.diabetes.org. To find out more information on our America’s Walk for Diabetes, please visit walk.diabetes.org.

Whatever you can give will help! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

To donate online, click here.

>What a Beautiful Tomkat Cub It Will Be!

>So Tom Cruise knocked up Katie Holmes. Let’s hope the kid has the spunk and energy of his pappy, who recently showed off his skillz jumping on couches on Oprah and spouting the truth about Psychology to Matt Lauer on the Today Show.

Conan O’Brien is optimistic about the child’s looks…

It actually looks a bit like Maria Shriver, don’t ya think?

>T#1515: No Longer the Eve of My Destruction

>From November of 2001 to January of this year, I was employed at the only Target store in the city of St. Louis (strictly in the city). It was unique for the people that would frequent there, who lived in the neighborhood or hopped off of the bus line. I am a people watcher, so the environment was perfect for me.

Late last year, they decided to demolish old T#0051 and build a brand spankin’ new Target in its place to reward the residents for being loyal shoppers. Management asked me to make a video for employees to remember the place and the people. I worked for the final two months on what became “T51: The Eve of Destruction,” an hour long documentary exploring employees’ and customers’ emotions in the final weeks. It turned out quite well, earning me a pretty penny through the store, and an “A” for a documentary production class. People like Jack Francis and high pitched Andrew became legends from it to people who hadn’t even worked at the store. Because of the success of “T51: EOD,” I decided to make merchandise for my Cafepress store featuring T51 related graphics, mainly for the workers to have another memento. Apparently some were not happy with that. Needless to say, I wasn’t invited back to the new facility.

Jack Francis with his mug.

Now T#1515 stands where old T#0051 once stood. It is an amazing structure with underground parking, which is unheard of in the city. Once inside, you would swear you were in an exquisite county store. I will admit my feelings going in to the store were of bitterness, like baker’s chocolate. On Thursday though, I began a new job, and I am at ease. As Tom Petty sings, “It’s time to move on/ time to get goin’.” Everything changes, and people move on, and so I shall.

T#1515 (photo taken by Steve Patterson from his blog “Urban Review”)

And as Andrew says at the end of “T51: EOD”…”Goodbye. See you later. Aloha to you.”

>No, I Am Not Z107.7’s $10,000 Fugitive

>A disturbing thing happened to me today. I went to the opening festivities of the new Target #1515 in my ‘hood, which I could have worked at, but we’ll save that for a different blog. Anyway, as I mosied around the new, huge Target complex, I noticed a couple of teenage girls following me. Normally, I would take that as a good sign. Maybe they think I look like a celebrity, like Danny Devito. Now he is sexy. After the fourth different time I noticed them staring at me, they approached me and asked, “Are you the Z 107.7 $10,000 fugitive?” What could I say?

“Yes, and you’re the winner,” I said as I shook her limp hand. She really looked like she was going to faint. When she asked if I was serious, I had to say no. I didn’t even know what the hell she was talking about. I don’t listen to that pop music kids listen to these days, and Z 107.7FM is YOUR HIT MUSIC STATION in St. Louis.

Well, they walked away disappointed, and I was left puzzled. I think I would rather have them think I was Danny Devito. He made a great Penguin, and I kind of sound like the Penguin.

A few minutes later, an older woman ran up to me and asked, “Are you the Z 107.7 $10,000 fugitive?” I snapped back with a quick, “NO!”

Has the whole world gone mad??!

Damn, stupid radio promotions can really mess with people’s heads. And then they have to mess with mine. Bastards. Save me Danny Devito.

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