|December 7, 2004
SALVATION ARMY BUCKETS
- . . . Looks like some of them are Rubbermaid-ish now with a little slot in the top that you have to push your money donation into. Used to be they were metal pots with a wire mesh top that you just tossed some coins in. You could glance in and see how much money was inside. Not anymore. Now they're un-see-through. I guess that's to deter robbers at yuletide. (Got any spare change?)
- Willard Scott called and left me a message at home asking me to give to Goodwill by calling 1-888-8-GIVE-DC. And then he left a second message. When I first heard his name on my voicemail I thought he was calling just to talk to me.
- A friend of mine has one of those Treo smartphones with Cingular service. Paid $550 for it and "it still can't hold a phone call," he complained. Bad reception. How many bars does he have? Enough to put Cingular behind ‘em - IN JAIL.
- They're whistling The Andy Griffith Show theme song in the commericals for Food Lion supermarkets. Done in black and white, they're meant, I suppose, to represent old-fashioned American values like the TV series did in Mayberry.
- Why did Tom Brokaw stop anchoring the NBC Nightly News on a Wednesday? Why didn't he just finish up the week?
- NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE ON THE ELLIPSE. It looks like someone threw a blanket or a net over it when the lights are on. Every year, the same thing. You can't even see any branches sticking out or any real tree shape. They make a big deal about how big and tall the tree is and that it's shipped half-way across the United States but when it's done up and decorated at night, it looks totally artificial.
- On Nick & Jessica's Family Christmas special on ABC last week, when they showed candid pictures of them and their families, half of the people in the photos had red-eye. Couldn't they have fixed that for a network TV special? Anybody over there ever hear about Photoshop?
- "I was born to do great things," says Oprah Winfrey to Barbara Walters on her upcoming yearly 10 Most Fascinating People of 2004 special. Yes, Winfrey's a saint or a genie or Santa Claus or God or something and she knows it. Good Grief!
- There are 20 more witnesses to go for the defense in the sentencing phase of the Scott Peterson trial. How many do they need?
- ANGELINA JOLIE DOES SOUND LIKE BELA LUGOSI. In Alexander, the movie with Colin Farrell, in which she plays his mother. I heard her in a preview. Some critic mentioned that her accent was laughable and he was right.
- MUZZLE HER. Nancy Grace. Court TV reporter. Totally biased.
- SATURDAY NIGHT TAPE. It wasn't live again last weekend.
- This year's Kennedy Center Honors go to music composer John Williams, soprano Dame Joan Sutherland, actors Warren Beatty, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis and - do I have to say it? - Elton John. Thank God the recipients don't do any talking in the program which they tape and later air as a TV special. We've heard enough of Mr. John lately.
- Bernard Kerik, the new nominee for new Homeland Security chief, looks like he don't take no guff. He's right out of NYPD Blue, the Bush administration's Andy Sipowicz.
- Mr. Big Stuff was hoping he'd win the $145 million D.C. lottery but he didn't. "Somebody from Iowa or Wisconsin did," he said. "It's always somebody from one of those states."
- That Bernard Kerik guy mentioned above used to be Rudolph Giuliani's bodyguard. Wonder if he knew Kevin Costner? Remember him? He bodyguarded Whitney Houston.
- Yasser Arafat's brother, Fathi, 67, died last week, from stomach cancer, not long after his brother died (Nov. 11). He was a physician and also a senior member of Fatah, the PLO's political movement started by Yasser.
- Mr. Highfalutin thinks U2's new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, is just more of same: "soaring, anthemic vocals but no good tunes," he said. "I mean, how many times can you do the same thing?"
- . . . Do they explain in it how you do dismantle an atomic bomb? What's that all about?
- CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote last Sunday that "If I hear ‘Frosty the Snowman' one more time, I'll rip his frozen face off."
- From Don Imus's e-mail newsletter, this quote from radio talk show host Jay Severin: "Since I now know what the new criteria are to fill Dan Rather's CBS seat since I hear they are talking about Matt Lauer, may I also suggest they interview SpongeBob SquarePants?"
- IT THREW ME OFF. Bob Hope singing a customized version of Thanks for the Memory in an NBC retrospective piece on the career of Tom Brokaw (Brokaw - The Early Years). When I first heard it I said, "That can't be. Bob Hope is dead. How'd they do that?" But someone said Hope did that way back when Tom left the Today show. Is this true?
- LOCK ‘N ROLL. It's a finance plan that GM is advertising on TV. And Suze Orman explains it while she walks toward the camera. She's the big personal finance expert PBS has on in its pledge drives. I thought she was supposed to be impartial. Now she's hawking for General Motors.
- . . . Nobody's impartial when it comes to money.
- If Colin Farrell pushed his hair back once on Ellen last week, he did it a hundred times. It was really annoying. Just get a haircut and be done with it. Or is he growing it long for another role?
- One of last week's Swans had no teeth. But the dentist took care of it by boring holes in her gums in order to hold down her new false teeth.
- John McCain's now involved in the sports steroids story. He's threatening congressional hearings unless baseball cleans up its act. What isn't John McCain involved in?
- Will Julia Roberts's daughter Hazel grow up to be a maid?
- CHRISMUKKAH. Christmas and Hanukkah. Now they've got seasonal greeting cards which combine the two holidays which are "aimed at an estimated 2.5 million families with Christian and Jewish members," says an Associated Press report.
- Sean "P. Diddy" Combs attended the Kennedy Center Honors but he didn't win any awards this time. They haven't gotten around to honoring hip-hop yet. I guess that's next.
- CLOSER. Jude Law's in this movie too, along with Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman (Ooh La La!). About relationships and jealousy. Lotsa talk, which you don't hear much of in movies these days. But studied. The conversations don't really ring true or realistic to me. Mike Nichols directs. All of the characters look good, except for Jude Law who always looks scuzzy to me.
- HE GOT SWABBED. That's what investigators did to Michael Jackson. They scraped the inside of his cheek to get DNA. Is he gonna be on CSI now?
- THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. I only caught the last hour of it Sunday night but John Voight was terrific. He aged throughout the TV movie. Another actor played him young. But when he was more middle-aged, he (Voight) looked almost just like he did when he was in Midnight Cowboy.
- . . . And when he met the fifth person in heaven - the little girl - he made a doll-type figure out of pipe cleaners. Is anybody out there old enough to remember pipe cleaners? I think they used to use them on Romper Room when I was growing up.
- The NBC News theme, The Mission, has been recorded again. It's been 20 years and last week MSNBC showed video of John Williams conducting a huge orchestra for the new version. Eight musical notes are the building blocks of the familiar symphonic theme.
- SWITCHED NETWORKS. Longtime NBC News correspondent Jim Avila has moved over to ABC. He made a sit-down appearance on the Good Morning America set over the weekend and anchor Kate Snow welcomed him to the "ABC family." He reported on the latest police raid on Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch.
- . . . And Martin Bashir, correspondent for the BBC, has finally joined ABC. His investigation into the hot steroid story about Jason Giambi, Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and others took up Friday's whole 20/20 show. (Bashir was the one who interviewed Michael Jackson when Jackson admitted that he had kids in his bed and he also did a big piece on Princess Di.) ABC's had their eyes on him for a while.
- Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, is really well-liked by the folks at her boarding place. They let her out a lot and take her on lots of walks. But they feel that she looks a bit matronly and needs to lose about six pounds.
- They have a Washington Nationals store in D.C. already up and selling stuff. For crissakes, the deal with MLB just went through. I guess it was a foregone conclusion.
- Oprah has baby gifts for Julia Roberts. (There she, Mrs. Claus, goes again.)
- UH . . . I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Freckle-faced Jimmy Boyd on Columbia, 1952. Laura Bush told ABC's Kate Snow that it's her favorite Christmas song.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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