TTT’s 100th Post Improv Special!

29 01 2010

Wow. I just can’t look at the first three words of that title without the hint of a smile crossing my face.

As I’ve come to understand, one traditionally celebrates such a landmark in the life of his or her blog as the advent of its one-hundredth post by attempting to erect a show-stopping article designed to thoroughly sweep the audience off their feet. However, as most of my friends and associates would readily agree, respect for tradition and conformity has never been my strong point. In place of the aforementioned ritual, I’ve opted to use this milestone as an excuse to (briefly) go ‘off the record’ and allot myself the age-old indulgence of highlighting a few completely random things that most of my readers likely don’t know about me. For humility’s sake, I’ll attempt to buck my well-documented personal verbosity in the hope that this post will be relatively brief.

Yours truly sitting before the famed 'Meteor Crater' site in Arizona.

1.) I despise bacon!!!

This assertion will likely convince the average member of my sex that I’m some sort of pansy (which, in all seriousness, is somewhat true), but I simply cannot deny my loathing of bacon strips. While I generally prefer fruits and veggies to meat, I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination (I actually quite enjoy seafood and poultry). Nevertheless, I draw the line at bacon because it’s essentially composed of hard, crispy sticks of grease.

2.) My favorite movie is ‘King Kong’ (1933).

While I’ve made my love of giant monsters well-known elsewhere, I can’t quite bring myself to cite any ‘Godzilla’, ‘Gamera’ or Ray Harryhausen flick as my favorite film (although each group contains a close runner-up in this regard), for that honor belongs to the movie which literally started it all. Not only are Willis O’Brien’s legendary stop-motion special effects absolutely spellbinding even to those first enjoying them seven decades after their conception, but the movie is also surprisingly well-written and boasts an intriguing message about the human condition. Even the enormous fanbase of the masterful ‘Jurassic Park’ can’t claim that Speilberg’s film is nearly as balanced, original, and evocative as ‘King Kong’: the great American epic of monster cinema.

I played Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. a few years back in a community theatre production of my favorite musical, "Little Shop Of Horrors". Here, I'm seated in the plant's mouth beside a pair of my fellow cast-members while screwing around backstage.

3.) I’m a bit of a Russophile.

No, I’m NOT a fan of Russian politics, Vladimir Putin’s malevolent antics, or the former U.S.S.R. I simply find the country’s history, culture, and language to be a most interesting blend of East and West. I’ve tried to teach myself to speak and read Russian on several occasions (especially in the aftermath of my discovery that this blog is fairly popular amongst the country’s paleontology enthusiasts) and have invariably failed, a predicament for which I largely blame the devilishly tricky alphabet. I can, however, speak with a fluent Russian accent.


Alright then, now that I’ve discussed my thoughts on such scattered topics as bacon, monster movies, and Russia, the time has come to reveal just how much my humble corner of the internet has meant to me during its hundred-post reign.

Blogging has been a wonderful experience for me, and I can think of no decision in recent memory which has positively affected my life to the extent that my resolution to create ‘The Theatrical Tanystropheus’ has. To me, few things are as intensely rewarding as being able to connect with the paleontological community as I’m now able to on an almost daily basis. Being able to thus discuss the science to which I’m devoted and which has utterly captivated me throughout my life with some of its foremost experts and enthusiasts alike has, at the risk of invoking a cliché, truly been a dream come true. Through this digital venue, I’ve become introduced to some of the most interesting, knowledgeable, and passionate people with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming in contact.

Therefore, I’d enjoy nothing less than to take this celebratory opportunity to extend my most heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read my articles and entertain my thoughts.Your audience is very much appreciated and despite my obvious love of theatricality, I feel that it is I who must now give a round of applause. With great anticipation, I look forward to our frequent correspondence during my next one-hundred posts and beyond!

May the fossil record continue to enchant us all!




8 responses

29 01 2010

King Kong is my favorite as well (both Original and Jackson’s remake)

Russophile eh? I’d call that refreshing. Seems like this country (at least based on the people I’ve encountered) are japanophiles!

29 01 2010

sorry, i meant to say is overrun by japanophiles.

And congrats on you’re 100th post.

29 01 2010

Thanks, Doug!

I do rather like Japan but, with the exception of Godzilla movies, I can’t say that I take an active interest in any aspect of the country’s culture.

As for Jackson’s ‘Kong’, I think it’s a wonderful but under-rated film. I especially liked the constant references to the visuals, soundtrack, and script of the original film!

30 01 2010

Yeah, me neither. I’m a big ancient warrior buff and i constantly have to listen about how ninjas and samurai are the “greatest warriors ever”. My girlfriend doesn’t like Japan cause they kill whales.

I think what makes Jackson’s remake work (not just as a remake of King Kong, but as remake in general) is that it was a labor of love. He wanted to honor the original and capture everything that made him fall in love with it, and pay homage to it. Unlike the that godawful 70’s remake…

2 02 2010
Amber McClure

You should be a writer, Mark- your talents are many and know no bounds. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and tidbits with us all.

(PS) I credit you and you alone with my son’s facination with the word Verbose…

2 02 2010

You have my most heartfelt thanks for your wonderful compliment AND your delightful P.S.!

2 02 2010
Zach Miller

My wife likes the 70’s version BEST. She still hasn’t seen the original, though. I thought Jackson’s treatment was fantastic, but it was SO LONG. I didn’t give two craps about the pre-Skull Island sequence, and the New York stuff…I mean, I know what was gonna happen. Skull Island was spectacular, though I do wonder why Jack Black would rather pen up Kong instead of a freaking T.rex!

Also, I recommend turkey bacon. It is composed entirely of meat, rather than grease, and it’s SO GOOD.

3 02 2010

I’ll concede that the Jackson version did overstay its welcome a wee bit in the length department, however it was certainly a splendid picture overall.

And I shall most certainly have to try this ‘turkey bacon’…

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