January 15th, 2008


R.I.P. Vampira

Maila Nurmi, also known as Vampira, has returned to the land of the dead. She was 85. As one of the first TV horror hosts, she created the spooky yet sexy goth look that influenced the styles of everyone from Morticia Addams to Elvira to that kid down the street who likes to shop at Hot Topic.

Oddly, I thought she passed away long ago and only discovered she was still alive this past fall when I saw Sandy Clarke's TV horror host documentary American Scary at the Coney Island Film Festival. But now that she is truly gone, she will be remembered for her pioneering TV work and, probably to her chagrin, her non-speaking role as an alien-controlled zombie prowling the woods with Tor Johnson in Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space.

The Trivia King Loses His Crown

Last night, I and the rest of Team Totally Tits (and again I must remind you I did not come up with that name, my teammate Sabrina did) returned to Bar Great Harry's monthly Trivia Night to defend our first place title. Sadly, we came in third place this time. Our prize: a $20 bar tab and two gigantic Mr. Goodbar chocolate bars. There's no shame in taking the bronze, especially when chocolate is involved, but we had to surrender the trophy. It took all the hosts' strength to pry it from my fingers.

Tough, tough questions this time around. One whole round was based on measurements, like units of pressure and how many teaspoons in a cup. Yikes! The 10-minute speed round involved naming the capitols of all 50 states. We only got 36 right. We'd have done better if we were all still in 9th grade.

The final round was an audio round: TV theme songs. "You can all sit back and chill," I told my teammates. "I've got this one covered." Indeed, I got 18 out of 20 right, which put us back in the running after some iffy rounds. But for some reason I didn't recognize the themes from The Carol Burnett Show and CHiPs. I was angry at myself for missing them, not just because I used to watch both those shows religiously as a youngster but also because if I'd gotten them right, we would have won. We only lost by 1 point.

In actuality, we tied for second place with another team, but lost the tie-breaking dance-off, and so took third.

We'll be back next month to fight to regain our title. In the meantime, I'll be here, studying the atlas and watching DVDs of CHiPs.