April 14, 2008


  1. . . . I was hoping to get an extension on my taxes because of the pontiff's visit. I have to pay attention to these kinds of things in my job and make sure everything goes according to plan. I didn't have time to make it to the post office. Think the IRS will understand? Will the U.S. government forgive me?
  2. . . . Yes, Il Papa did wear those red shoes, the papal shoes. Chris Cuomo of ABC, reporting from the South Lawn of the White House, said that they're made especially for the Pope by his personal cobbler in the Alps. So they're not commercially made by Prada or Ferragamo and rightly so, I'd say. He is the Pope.
  3. . . . I hope they're comfy.
  4. . . . From a crusty old coot in the Curmudgeon's Corner: "Is there gonna be a Pope concert? Is Sinead O'Connor gonna be there?" Ha Ha Ha.
  5. . . . (O'Connor, some may remember, is that singer who, when she was on Saturday Night Live (1992), ripped up a picture of then Pope John Paul II in protest of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It didn't go over too well.)
  6. . . . The crusty old coot later had another question about attendance: "Is Whoopi Goldberg gonna meet the Pope?" I asked him why. He responded, "Because she was in Sister Act."
  7. . . . Idiot.
  8. Will Charlton Heston best be remembered for his role as Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956) where he says, "Behold His mighty hand," as he parts the Red Sea or "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape" in Planet of the Apes (1968)?
  9. LEATHERHEADS. George Clooney's comic (screwball?) movie (he directed) about the early days of football, with Clooney as Dodge Connolly, captain of a struggling team (the Duluth Bulldogs), convincing a college football star and popular war hero, John Krasinski as Carter Rutherford, to join the team. Renee Zellweger plays newspaper reporter Lexie Littleton who's encouraged by her editor to dig up some dirt on Rutherford's bogus war story and expose him. And, both Dodge and Carter are romantically interested in Lexie.
  10. . . . The movie is sort of a caper, a romp, reminiscent of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday or Grant and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. It tries to be like those films but doesn't quite succeed, not as slap-dash or clever.
  11. . . . Krasinski (Jim Halpert on NBC's The Office) is great in the role and has good movie star potential. Clooney and Zellweger are good but Renee is a bit hard to look at sometimes with her scrunched up face and heavy makeup and lipstick in many, many closeups.
  12. . . . Somebody wrote in to an online chat on washingtonpost.com that they had a hard time watching Zellweger. "She's so stiff and also a little freaky-looking. And she always has a look on her face like the sun's glaring in her eyes."
  13. A NO-NO. Local news anchor Alison Starling (WJLA's News7 in Washington, D.C ) said this to new co-anchor Cynne Simpson (who looks too much like she should be anchoring Access Hollywood rather than delivering the news — too glamorous: "Joe Witte [station weatherman] was telling us in the makeup room that it was going to rain during the parade tomorrow ..."
  14. . . . Does the news anchor have to mention that they have a makeup room where they get all dolled up to read the teleprompter? I've said this same thing before about the Todayshow's Ann Curry. She references wardrobe on that show.
  15. . . . What, are we putting on a play? Is it L'Oreal or the news, for crissakes? Serious news anchors wouldn't mention this part of the job on the air. They could care less about how they look.
  16. . . . I know, I know, I sound old school. But this preoccupation with looks and dress among the nation's news anchors has gotten out of hand. Pretty soon we'll be "matting" (superimposing) on the screen, "Hair by," "Wardrobe by" while they're reporting about some assassination or something. Get real.
  17. GOT TO GO. Jamie Lee Curtis ought to get rid of those rimless glasses she wears on those Activia (AC- TIV-E-AHHHH!) commercials. I'm sure she's got 'em on in order to appeal more to the target audience (older) but geesh.
  18. . . . Well, they do make her look old enough to drink it.
  19. . . . She belongs in that Just For Men new product — Touch of Gray — commercial that they claim is "for the generation that swore it would never get old."
  20. DISRESPECT FROM A YOUNGER GENERATON. When I asked what all the yelling and noise was about that was coming out of the video production center at work, I was e-mailed back with this message: "Turn down your Miracle Ear!" Thanks.
  21. The Newseum opened up in its new location in Washington, D.C., last Friday. It looks pretty elaborate: seven floors filled with front pages of newspapers, mock TV studios so people can record themselves being reporters, a news chopper hanging from the ceiling, a chunk of the Berlin Wall and a broadcast transmitter once on top of the World Trade Center -- all on display.
  22. . . . The ads in the papers call it "the world's most interactive museum, where five centuries of news history meets up-to-the-'second' technology." That sounds pretty impressive, but what happened in the 1500's that's in there? Did we have news back then?
  23. . . . Did they steal the Magna Carta or something?
  24. . . . And I guess now the expression is no longer 'up-to-the-minute' but 'up-to-the-second.' My, how fast things have become.
  25. For the Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center on April 7, several women of the Vital Voices Global Partnership were recognized for their work in human rights, among them Marianne Pearl, author and wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and, of course, Angelina Jolie. All were dressed appropriately for the event except Jolie, who had a high-waisted, low-cut gown on that she was practically falling out of.
  26. . . . She was standing there with her contemporaries and you couldn't help but stare. Hasn't she ever heard of decorum?
  27. DUMB ADVICE. In a Washington area newspaper there was an article about how men should wear cologne. "To smell just right, spray the fragrance into the air, then walk through the mist."
  28. . . . Yeah, I'm gonna do that.
  29. . . . What is this, Project Runway, for God's sake?
  30. . . . I just pour a few drops in my hands and swab it on my face. I don't have time to take a walk in the morning.
  31. Man from the West (new character) relates this: "The new $5 bill. My wife and I went to Charles Town Races and Slots (W.Va.) the other day and it won't go in the slot machines. You have to go to the cashier and get an old one. The new $5 has too many new [security] markings and the machines won't recognize it. I wonder how much the management of the slots will spend to make the machines correct?"
  32. . . . Unbelievable. Bet the U.S. Treasury never thought of that!
  33. Hillary Clinton reminded me of Mrs. Butterworth when she was talking to the assembled crowd in Memphis on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. She was speaking in a very quiet/almost whispery low-key, serious voice and it reminded me of the way that pancake syrup character speaks when she talks at everybody's breakfast table.
  34. JUST ASKING. What's worse: The N-word, the C-word or the R-word (recession)?
  35. Whatever happened to that movie where Christina Ricci had a pig's nose? Penelope was the name of it. Boy, that sure was a success.
  36. On the campaign trail, Chelsea Clinton told two people who asked about her father's affair (with Monica Lewinsky) that it was "none of your business." The first was to a young man at Butler University in Indianapolis and the other one was someone at North Carolina State University.
  37. . . . I thought Chelsea was a bit blunt by saying it that way. She could've been a little more diplomatic and phrased it better.
  38. . . . Others would say the questioners deserved to be addressed like that, asking such an invasive question.
  39. . . . Mr. Big Stuff says he agrees with Chelsea and liked the way she answered. "It is none of their damn business," he puffed.
  40. Deborah Norville, Inside Edition host and former co-anchor with Bryant Gumbel on the Today show, is glad that Kathie Lee Gifford has been hired by NBC to co-host the program's fourth hour (with Hoda Kotbe). "I think it's terrific that television bosses are finally recognizing the fact that people watch people they know on television. No public relations campaign, marketing blitz or low-cut sweater is going to change that."
  41. . . . So there.
  42. MOCCA CHOCOLATA YA YA. That song phrase (from Lady Marmalade by Labelle (1975, Epic), and more recently done by Christine Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink for the Moulin Rouge movie soundtrack, is currently being used in a Comcast commercial. A woman lip syncs to it when a coworker asks her for a cup of coffee. Funny.
  43. TROUBLE IN TEXAS. The polygamists out in Eldorado, Tex , whose compound (the Yearning for Zion Ranch) was raided, are now claiming that the adult residents were considered the sect's (Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints) "elite," were handpicked by former leader Warren Jeffs, who's in jail for molesting minors, and that the ranch was considered the "holy land."
  44. . . . And now some mothers of the children who were removed by Child Welfare Services to state facilities are saying the kids have been treated poorly, made to go through painful examinations and some have been hospitalized. The moms are writing Texas Gov. Rick Perry about it and want action.
  45. . . . NEED A MEDIATOR? Why not Mitt Romney, he's a Mormon. He probably needs something to do now that he's dropped out of running for president.
  46. There's a picture of actress Tori Spelling standing outside somewhere with a black bikini on and pregnant. Do we need that? What is she trying to prove? We saw that years ago (1991) with Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair. Hers was more attractive and thought out.
  47. . . . What's next? A video? Maybe she'll tape her childbirth in a swimming pool for all to see.
  48. VENDETTA? What does The New York Times have against Katie Couric? Every day there's another article about her leaving and the show (CBS Evening News) failing and what she's gonna do. Last Saturday there were two — count 'em, two — stories on Couric and her network. And before and after that there were daily updates that speculated, speculated, speculated. Is all that necessary?
  49. . . . What, do they have to "report" every conversation somebody had with "an unnamed source who is a senior executive who has been close to the situation"? Good God, let up a bit.
  50. . . . They smell blood and the sharks are circling.
  51. Calleigh's (Emily Procter) lips look fatter on CSI: Miami. They used to be thin. I guess she got the collagen bug.
  52. Madonna's pictures are so doctored in the current Vanity Fair cover story that she looks like an avatar, which, I guess, is in now, what with video games and the popularity of Second Life (3D online virtual world) and movies like Beowulf with Angelina Jolie's likeness.
  53. HOW COME? Channel 9 (WUSA), in the nation's capital -- on the weekends -- doesn't show weatherman Tony Pann on camera but when weekday red-headed Kim Martucci subs for him, they show her. Is it because she's a woman and perhaps a bigger audience draw? Seems unfair.
  54. . . . Pann's never seen on the weekends; he only voices over. Is the station too cheap to fire up a studio camera on the poor guy?
  55. Ivana Trump, 59, got married for the fourth time to a man (model/actor Rossano Rubicondi, 35) she's reportedly been seeing for six years. They had a big to-do at former hubby Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach estate. The Donald was there (guess there are no hard feelings) and his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a judge, performed the ceremony.
  56. . . . Ivana had 50 attendants and over 500 guests and flew in a cake. Pretty elaborate.
  57. . . . All that for getting married in front of a judge?
  58. . . . My mother thinks it's absolutely ridiculous, spending all of that money and jumping through all those hoops at her age.
  59. TYPO. In The New York Times (yes, I'm mentioning them again), the newspaper of record, in a very critical article about France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and his lack of culture. Instead of having higher-brow taste in music like his predecessors, the recently remarried "Sarko" likes "Lionel Ritchie and Celine Dion."
  60. . . . CORRECT: Richie has no "t" in it.
  61. . . . Don't let it happen again.
  62. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, is going wild because she's spotted rats crossing the street and appearing in yards in her favorite spots. The neighbors, who are all up in arms, told owner Sally that the rodents are often attracted to dog, um ... poop (excuse me). Sally hopes the rats are not out to get traumatized dog. Poor Hanalie.
  63. UH . . . Poor Little FoolRicky Nelson, on Imperial Records (Fats Domino's record label too), 1958.



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