December 29, 2002


  1. . . . Christmas came quick this year and people were running out of time. How come Thanksgiving was late? How'd that happen?
  2. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, is wearing a festive puffy red jingle bell Christmas collar this season but it doesn't seem to matter much to her. On her way to San Francisco for the holidays with her devoted owner Sally, she got wanded at airport security but she still got to make the trip.
  3. MAID IN MANHATTAN. Not an altogether bad movie. Fluffy, formulaic and contrived but J. Lo is pretty good and Ralph Fiennes does a good job for fluff. Used to seeing him in heavier movies though. Sort of mindless holiday flick.
  4. MSNBC now calls itself a "fiercely independent news channel." I guess that's to counter Fox News Channel's "fair and balanced" descriptor.
  5. How many times do they have to poke you to administer one of those smallpox shots? It looks like they jab you two or three times with a needle that's flat on the end and has holes in it. I could do without that.
  6. CONNOTES EXCLUSIVITY? "Earlier today I got to sit down with Secretary Rumsfeld ...," said CNN's Wolf Blitzer. It seems the sit down interview carries more weight. Sitting down is better than interviewing somebody standing up, I guess. At least it's more comfortable.
  7. Those three Extreme Makeover contestants on the ABC show really went through a lot. Nose jobs, liposuction, eye lifts, artificial chin implants, hair extensions, makeup. They got the whole nine yards. It all looked legit. But in the end they were all made up a bit too much, especially the two gals. So will their lives be changed?
  8. Aren't we tired of hearing the ecstasy yells from women using shampoo in the shower?
  9. CATCHY TUNE. "I'm mad about plaid" for Scotch tape. They're clever commercials and seem like they may be done by the same team that does the Target ones. Original.
  10. Cher told Entertainment Tonight that she doesn't have a nice thing to say about Michael Jackson these days. "You dangle a baby over a balcony , and that's it for me."
  11. LAP TOP CAUSES LAP BURN. A medical journal says a 50-year-old scientist placed a laptop on his lap to work for an hour and wound up with burns and blisters on his genitals. And he had his trousers and underwear on. Must've been a powerful Web site he went to.
  12. Now they've got Spam Lite.
  13. GOOD FILM. Chicago. Well directed, entertaining movie musical that moves right along. The cast - Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere - all do a good job. And guess who else's in it? Queen Latifah, who plays a prison warden on the take and a sexy mama cabaret singer. It works.
  14. GOOD GLUE. It must be, to hold down that head of hair Trent Lott has. It always looks the same.
  15. Dr. Phil said this in a promo for his show: "There are aliens living among us and they're called teenagers."
  16. AARP's magazine My Generation is getting more and more hip. Guess who's on the cover this time? No less than Barry White. The Maestro, they used to call him, because he conducted the huge Love Unlimited Orchestra. "Music is my lady," he says in the interview. "The greatest lady besides my mother." Hope his health holds out. He's in need of dialysis and kidney trouble and hypertension run in his family.
  17. "THIS IS NOT A SCIENTIFIC POLL." That's what you hear a lot of now by TV anchors. They're quickie polls and not Gallup-y.
  18. They say director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) has done a terrific job with La Boheme, the Puccini opera, playing on Broadway. It's been called stunning both visually and production-wise. His wife, Catherine Martin, is the production designer. Sounds like a must-see thing. The guy's got imagination.
  19. SERIOUS. News organizations are sending their troops to boot camp to get ready for war with Iraq. Reporters, producers, and camera people are attending week-long private or Pentagon- sponsored training courses to learn what goes on in a war zone and how to prepare for it.
  20. How many George Foreman grills do they make now? Man, did he tap into a market.
  21. MY, HOW THINGS CHANGE. After Trent Lott released his resignation statement in down- home Mississippi, he told the television media to "please go home." I guess he didn't want to have his picture taken anymore or maybe the press was messing up his lawn. Before his gaffe you couldn't get him away from a TV camera.
  22. . . . So who's gonna get the first TV interview?
  23. Michael Jackson's Christmas message was a bit weird. It was another announcement about some organization for kids. His face was so whited-out with light and soft-focused that you could hardly see his features, which, I guess, was maybe a good idea.
  24. Mr. High Falutin had this to say about Barbra Streisand's new Duets album, which is a compilation of songs she's done over the years with other artists: "She's recycling everything from left to right. Babs needs all the help she can get."
  25. Jerry Nachman on MSNBC is a good dresser. He's a big, heavy guy and always looks sharp, usually wearing an open-necked shirt and a nice blazer. He does his Nachman show from his editor-in-chief "office." It's fake but looks good too.
  26. How do all those talking head guests on TV have time to work? What kinds of jobs do they have? If I were their boss I'd fire ‘em.
  27. Rita Kempley of The Washington Post said on her Unusual Suspects online discussion program that everytime she sees Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, she reads it Harry Potter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets.
  28. Charlton Heston really seemed to get Alzheimer's quick. Peter Jennings interviewed him for a 20/20 segment last week. It seems like Heston was out there making speeches and doing fine not so long ago.
  29. Mr. Big Stuff thinks that the reason Al Gore's not running is because his books aren't selling.
  30. Diane Sawyer sang Baby, It's Cold Outside with Rod Stewart on Good Morning America. She was hoisted up and sang it on top of a piano and sounded pretty good.
  31. Think Trent Lott's enjoying the holidays?
  32. One of the reasons cited by some people about why McDonald's is losing money for the first time was this: poor service. I have to second that. What you get at one of those places sure doesn't resemble what you see in their TV commercials.
  33. Trent Lott sat down for his Black Entertainment Television interview with Ed Gordon.
  34. UH . . . Sittin' on a Time Bomb (Waitin' for the Hurt to Come) - The Honey Cone, on Hot Wax, from 1972.



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