Celebrity Deathwatch 2015 #0088

Christopher Lee, 93, played Saruman in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, Scaramanga in The Man With the Golden Gun, Count Dooku in Star Wars II&III, the voice of Death in some animated Discworld movies that I did not know existed until just now, Dracula, etc.  Also fought with the SAS during WWII and hunted Nazi war criminals after the war.

Filming a scene in Return of the King (seen only in the extended version), when Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif) stabs Saruman in the back on top of the tower, Christopher Lee corrected Peter Jackson on the fact that when a person is stabbed in the back of the chest, they do not scream (as the director wanted), in fact the air is pushed out of their lungs and they “groan” with an exhalation of air, very quietly, as their lungs have been punctured.

From Peter Jackson’s DVD commentary: “When I was shooting the stabbing shot with Christopher, as a director would, I was explaining to him what he should do… And he says, ‘Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?’ And I said, ‘Um, no.’ And he says ‘Well, I have, and I know what to do.’”

Fucks given: All of them.



Uncle Steve

Tomorrow, my Uncle Steve will die.

Uncle Steve was an extremely talented artist.  I grew up seeing his paintings on the walls of my relatives houses; sterile, futuristic, somewhat hallucinogenic architectural pieces on oddly-shaped canvases, the abandoned atria of the year 3000.  He never pursued art as a career, and as far as I know did not produce any art in the last 40 years.

In my early teens, Uncle Steve had an awesome house, which I believe he built himself (with the help of my uncle Tony).  The upper floor was one big loft.  My cousins and I would travel there to smoke his marijuana and thumb through his easily-accessible Playboy magazines.

As far as I know, he actually did read Playboy for the articles.  It is probable that tomorrow he will die a virgin.  Nobody in our family can recall him ever going on a date with a woman, or with a man for that matter, nor has anyone seen him show any interest in sex.  He may be asexual, or as my father theorizes, he may have been homosexual and simply never managed to come to grips with this fact, perhaps due to his Catholic upbringing.

In the early 90’s, he abandoned the construction industry to start his own videography business.  His business failed and eventually bankrupted him, driving him from his home and forcing him, in his late 40s, to move in with his elderly parents, and he lived for some time in the spare building on their property.  It is likely that he suffered from depression at this point, which he self-medicated with varieties of whiskey.

Following the deaths of my grandparents, their property was sold and he was forced to relocate.  I don’t know whether he started to get back on his feet, or if he was simply a beneficiary of the housing bubble of the 2000s, but he did manage to buy his own home.

His health had been poor recently; going out to lunch with one of my cousins, he was unable to eat his soup as his hands were not steady enough.  He blamed a “virus” which had damaged his nervous system; others blamed alcohol.  His financial affairs were no better; he has not made a house payment in at least a year.  Earlier this year, many family members began making monthly contributions to a savings account designed to assist him in finding new housing when the inevitable foreclosure and eviction notice arrived.  My father had urged him repeatedly to submit applications for public housing assistance, but he did not, refusing to face the inevitable disaster.

Yesterday, he felt ill and contacted the paramedics.  A blood vessel had burst inside his brain.  By the time he arrived at the hospital, he was unconscious.  At 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, they will provide him with morphine, disconnect the machines which keep him alive, and he will die.

Steel Gravesite

There is a section of the city that seems to attract dying cars. As if they are getting close to sucking in their last petrol vapor, their drivers take them on a ride to see the golf course on the south edge of town.

Under the erect building “A” of Novell Inc, lies the carcasses of station-wagons, light pickup trucks, and sedans. Heavy steam slowly escaped through the edges of the hood; today an Audi Quattro joined the graveyard. It’s driver unceremoniously got out and started walking the highway-junction towards the streams and ponds where he’d find ducks and corporate employees feeding them. The end-of-life automobiles almost forgotten behind them.

The Week So Far

Monday: Get a call from school, KPTL Jr. has fallen and struck his head on the concrete. Go over to the school, he’s got a bump on his head the size of his head.  Rush him to the doctor to ensure he has not got a concussion.  (He has not).

Tuesday: Mrs. KPTL’s grandfather dies.


Fuck off, Wednesday.

Exploding keg kills Redhook Brewery worker

This is one of my plans for dying.

The difference is, my news story will have quotes like, “I don’t know what he was doing, he drank like half the keg and then tried to have sex with it or something and it just blew up.”


As an aside, I used to buy homebrewing supplies from a place called The Shrine of the Beer God, and they had a beer kit named “Red Höek”.