August 11, 2004


  1. . . . That's what USA Today seems to be dressing up the Olympic hopefuls in. The paper's been running a series of Olympic Portraits of U.S. Athletes to Watch that have that olde tyme yellowish photograph look and there they are - ready for a toga party. Photographer Robert Hanashsiro did the pictures.
  2. . . . The photos are meant to be taken seriously, I guess, harkening back to the ancient games but they seem a bit ridiculous. And magazines have shown the athletes in all kinds of dress-down and suggestive poses. It's media manipulation, if you ask me.
  3. . . . And how much lower down could swimmer Michael Phelps wear his Speedo? And a picture of one member of the female volleyball team looked like it belonged in Maxim but it was for FHM, whatever that is. The cover of FHM has a group shot of five teammates all wearing white string bikinis.
  4. Sex ‘em all up. Commodities. Endorsements. They're just like NASCAR.
  5. Newsman Forrest Sawyer (MSNBC) is seen in The Manchurian Candidate delivering the news and so is Oprah Winfrey's best friend, Gayle King. He's listed as Newscaster 1 and they call her Media Icon in the movie credits. And singer BeBe Winans plays an FBI agent.
  6. California Democratic Rep. Jane Harman (Intelligence Committee) reminds me of Phyllis Diller.
  7. Last weekend Rick James was heard all over the radio. The Punk Funkster died last Friday and people have been remembering him through his music. There might be a TV movie based on his recently completed memoir, Confessions of a Super Freak, and comedian Dave Chappelle might play James. Also, there's a finished album that's sure to come out.
  8. . . . His music was tight, his voice soared through funk jams and ballads and Motown founder Berry Gordy called him a "pioneer who took Motown in a whole new direction. His creative abilities, his instincts about music and production were awesome."
  9. MUSICAL CHAIRS. Former Washington Channel 9 anchor Gurvir Dhindsa is already on Channel 5's morning news. She didn't waste any time getting back on the air. (Channel 9 didn't renew her.) So when's former Channel 5 anchor Tracey Neale starting at Channel 9? She's been off the air for what seems in TV-land like forever.
  10. The Beach Boys' music is coming to Broadway but the musical "is not the history of the Southern California supergroup," said a written announcement. Opens in the fall.
  11. "PANDERING TO MAFIA STEREOTYPES." That's what the Order Sons of Italy, an Italian-American organization, accuses Growing Up Gotti of, the A&E show with Victoria Gotti, daughter of crime boss John Gotti. She better watch out.
  12. Jamie Foxx is really good as the cab driver in Collateral. He carts stone-cold killer Tom Cruise all around LA. I like that gray suit Cruise wears. Sorta 60's-ish with small lapels and straight-leg pants. Looks good.
  13. Oil field firefighter ‘Red' Adair (89) died last week. He was the one who capped all those oil well fires in Kuwait in the first Gulf War. According to his obituary in The Washington Post, he once joked that he had made a deal with the devil. "He said he's going to give me an air-conditioned place when I go down there, if I go there, so I won't put all the fires out," said Red.
  14. New Good Morning America weekend anchor Bill Weir is in New York this week, sitting in for vacationing Charlie Gibson. The weekend edition of GMA starts Saturday, Sept. 4, so they're exposing him now. And this morning Kate Snow sat next to him to introduce a report about Laura Bush. She's the other half of the new team -- Kate Snow, that is. Not Mrs. Bush.
  15. k.d. lang's new album, Hymns of the 49th Parallel, spotlights fellow Canadian songwriters. (Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jane Siberry, others) Some good cuts on there but some either need to grow on you a bit or are not the greatest selections, but what do I know? FYI: The 49th Parallel forms the border between Canada and the United States . I forgot that.
  16. ABC7 anchor Kathleen Matthews was sitting in for Leon Harris and Maureen Bunyan one night last week on the 11:00 news. Does she get paid double for that? ( Have her agent remember that in her next contract negotiations.)
  17. LEAVE A MESAGE ON VOICEMAIL. I don't. When I call somebody and they're not there and voicemail kicks in, I don't wait for the tone to leave a message. I hang up. They'll know that I called through caller ID or whatever other feature the phone's got. So why waste my time and breath?
  18. Former Playboy playmate Jill Ann Spaulding has a book out called Jill Ann: Upstairs which supposedly reveals what really goes on inside the Playboy Mansion. She says the place is not "Barbie's dream house" but instead is a "brokerage house where dangerous sex is traded for stardom." Sounds like a perfect made-for-TV movie to me.
  19. Can I look like Tom Brokaw when I get older? The guy still looks young - unless you get in there for an extreme close-up.
  20. Mr. Big Stuff liked it but thought Fahrenheit 9/11 was too long. He said, "I get the point. You don't have to keep hammering it in." Thank you.
  21. GOOD IDEA: CNN having Ron Young, that young helicopter pilot who was shot down and POW-ed in Iraq, interview Samir ? who took part in the capture of Saddam Hussein. He helped pull the dictator out of that hole. They called Young a CNN Special Contributor and have used him for on-air analysis of the war. He's good, young, southern-accented and will probably go on to become another Wolf Blitzer or something.
  22. "BELLISSIMO, MON AMOUR." "I believe in love," is the rest of it, sung languorously by some gal in those sexy ads for Revlon. Who's singing? Who's the model? (Bellissimo, by the way, means "most beautiful," in Italian, for the uneducated.)
  23. Somebody asked a local transportation expert in an online discussion: "Who does repair work for Metro - the Three Stooges?" This is believable.
  24. Anybody want a cloned cat for $50,000? They've got ‘em. They're from Genetic Savings & Clone - no kidding - in Sausalito, Calif. And next up, cloned dogs.
  25. I'm sick of Jerry Seinfeld's leisurely life now. Him and his many cars. The DVD of the show now. A token appearance on Letterman or Jay Leno. Put ‘im back to work. Let him try a sitcom now.
  26. NICE TO HEAR. Laura Nyro's music, which you never do. It's heard in a flashback scene in A Home at the End of the World, the Collin Farrell movie. The boys are discovered smoking pot and listening to Desiree in the bedroom when Sissy Spacek, one of the kids' mother, walks in. Desiree was a remake Nyro did on her Gonna Take a Miracle album that featured LaBelle (Patti LaBelle's group) back in 1971. Desiree was originally done by The Charts. And you also hear It's Gonna Take a Miracle in the movie by Laura too. And that was originally done by Baltimore's Royalettes.
  27. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, was sleeping on the floor in the den where Gidget, the bare-eyed cockatoo, stays. Gidget waddled on the floor and came up behind Hanalie spreading her wings and flipping her crest up. She was ready to attack the main occupant of the house. Owner Sally had to shoo the bird away.
  28. INTERESTING: Fay Wray spent a whole day recording additional screams that were later inserted into the soundtrack for King Kong. She made herself believe that "the nearest possible hope of rescue was at least a mile away," reports The New York Times in its obit of the actress.
  29. UH . . . Scream - Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, on Epic. Remember that dumb video?


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

Services provided by