February 3, 2006


  1. . . . But he looks like him, on the cover of Rolling Stone (Feb. 9 issue).  Complete with a crown of thorns on his head and scars on his face, something like the way actor Jim Caviezel did in that Passion of the Christ movie.  But this photo is for the mag’s story of The Passion of Kanye West.  He’s passionate about everything he does, including his penchant for pornography, he admits in the ‘zine article. 
  2. . . . Famed photog David LaChappelle—not Dave Chappelle, the comedian—did the picture.  He’s always doing controversial things too.  So the two are a good match-up.  
  3. . . . Cover’s controversial.  Some people are offended, but aren’t they always?  Rolling Stone says they did it for artistic purposes and wasn’t mean to offend anyone.  Hello! 
  4. DRUMMING IT IN.  I’m really sick of hearing Cher wail Song for the Lonely for WeightWatchers.  Good God, lay off it.  How much ad time did they buy for it, for crissakes.  (Excuse me, Kanye.)   
  5. Would John McCain just up an run for president?  The man’s everywhere.  Every Sunday on a talk show, every morning on the news, every night on some talk show, every analysis of whatever.  Is he running?  How many times has he been asked that?  Is he ever just  in the Senate working?  Does he ever do anything but just be on television?  
  6. Injured ABC anchorman Bob Woodruff has a look-alike brother named David who also sounds like his sibling.  He’s been interviewed a lot lately.  And John mentioned that there were two other younger brothers.  More clones?
  7. Us Weekly magazine announced on the cover of its Jan. 23 issue that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s baby’s due May 2.  That’s quick.  It’s only four months away.  Boy, they got busy early in that relationship.
  8. I was encouraged by Katie Couric’s new hairstyle on Tuesday this week. It was a looser coif, a little fly-away but not sloppy.  Sorta fun but not irresponsible.  It was free and had personality to it.  
  9. . . . But Wednesday it turned back into a standard, combed down ‘do for TV.  So frivolity didn’t last long.
  10. The promo for NBC’s upcoming new show Conviction, from the man who brought us Law & Order—yes, yet another one from producer Dick Wolf--says at the end of it on the screen:  New Lawyers.  Then that announcement dissolves out and Practicing Law comes up.  Well, I do hope the lawyers practice law.
  11. Ann Curry said on the Today show the other day that she hates her hair.  (It’s very long now and was commented upon in the last column here.)  Some of the girls on the show—Katie and Jiminy, er … I mean Alexis Glick—were talking about longer hair for women over 40 and donating hair to cancer victims for wigs.
  12. YOU CAN TAKE VALENTINE’S DAY AND SHOVE IT.  I’m sick of pink being all over the place and candy and cards assaulting you every time you go into a CVS.  Quit hawking it!
  13. Somebody in an online chat on washingtonpost.com  wondered if Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) will beat out Health Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) for Best Actor in the Academy Awards.  The guy’s name is Heath but that mistake’s easy to make.  So all’s forgiven.
  14. NORA DUNN.  She used to be a Saturday Night Live regular.  The one I could see playing the part of new Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito’s wife Martha, maybe in a Lifetime TV movie.  They look alike and I can see Nora doing a believable performance, like when she cries at her hubby’s confirmation hearings. 
  15. Aren’t they gonna run out of sidewalk on that Hollywood Walk of Fame?  Every time you turn around someone’s getting a star.  That’s expensive real estate. 
  16. . . . It seems like the qualifiying standards are not as high lately.  Heavy metal band Motley Crue was just added to it.  Bass player Nikki Sixx commented at his recent ceremony that he was glad to be there because the Erotica Museum and Frederick’s of Hollywood are right across the street.  Lesser personalities are making it.  The board needs to be more discriminating.
  17. Big Bill Bennett, ex of Fox News, made a first appearance on CNN on Tuesday.  He was paired with Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile for a stand-up discussion—they weren’t sitting down—around The Situation Room table, talking with Wolf Blitzer about the upcoming State of the Union message in a show segment called Strategy Session.    
  18. Tuesday was Alan Greenspan’s last day on the job as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.  I wonder if wifey Andrea Mitchell (of NBC News) fixed dinner for him that night.  Probably not because she was on Nightly—unless it was a fashionably late dinner.
  19. . . . She should leave her job now to be at home with Alan.  That would be nice for him in his golden years.
  20. DEDUCTING BODY PARTS.  Now you can get a tax deduction for agreeing to donate your organs.  So how much can I get?  And if I decide to change my mind, do I have to give the money back?
  21. “It’s Presidents’ Day.  Go buy a Honda,” says a fake president in a fake announcement from the White House press briefing room, in a commercial for the Japanese auto maker.  “Presidents’ Day, Honda.  Yeah, that’s real American.”  That’ll stimulate the economy.
  22. NEWS YOU CAN EATLiz Crenshaw of NBC4 in Washington had a Frozen Pizza Taste Contest on Tuesday in light of this weekend’s Super Bowl (XL).  The winner chosen by the tasters turned out to be DiGiorno, Red Baron and Freshetta brands.  No one liked Tombstone.  
  23. TOO SOON FOR THE ROBE?  Mr. Big Stuff was watching the president’s State of the Union message Tuesday night and noticed that Alito the Mosquito (Samuel Alito) already had his Supreme Court robe on.  He was just voted in earlier in the day but MBS doesn’t think he should have worn the robe already because he hadn’t even sat on the court and heard a case yet. 
  24. We see Rudi Bakhtiar, formerly of CNN’s Headline News, is now with Fox News Channel—who isn’t?-- as a general assignment correspondent. 
  25. I’d like to be at the upcoming funeral for Coretta Scott King.  You know that’s gonna be something really big.  It will be a celebration of her life and you can bet there won’t be any lack of talent at that one.
  26. So Frankenstein’s sitting with his tax preparer at a Jackson Hewitt location and the young guy asks monster man, “Are those orthopedic shoes?  Another deduction.”  Then Frank gets ecstatic and goes ape.  Funny.  Jackson Hewitt’s funnier than H&R Block this year.
  27. Saddam Hussein added a V-neck sweater to his ensemble for the second leg of his trial with the new judge, Raouf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman, presiding.  That was under his jacket and on top of his fresh, nicely pressed white shirt (not button down).  But there was a flare-up after Saddam’s half-brother Barzan Ibrahim called the court “the daughter of a whore.” 
  28. . . . A way with words.
  29. Earlier in the week there was a llama on the loose in Montgomery County in Maryland.  I thought Michael Jackson was out of the country.
  30. LOU RAWLS AND WILSON PICKETT IN SAME SONG.  Mention of the two soul singers are in the hit single, Sweet Soul Music (Atco, 1967), a big hit for Otis Redding protégé Arthur Conley who adapted it from the song Yeah,Man, written by the late, great Sam Cooke.  The song’s a fast, soul rockin’ tribute (with Memphis horns) to artists at the time. 
  31. . . . “Spotlight on Lou Rawls, y’all.  Oh, don’t he look boss, y’all.  Singin’ ‘Love’s a Hurtin’ Thing,’ y’all.  Oh yeah, oh yeah.
  32. . . . “Spotlight on Wison Pickett now, that wicked, wicked Pickett.  Singin’ ‘Mustang Sally.’  Oh yeah, oh yeah.”
  33. New Orleans soulful singer Aaron Neville—he’ll sing the national anthem with Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at this Sunday’s Super Bowl-- can’t live in his hometown.  He’s got asthma and says he can’t  breathe the air down there due to pollution, post-Katrina.  We need to get that guy an inhaler.  Somebody order it up.
  34. MR., MS., MRS.  The New York Times, in an article that ran Wednesday about ABC News and the dilemma it faces now with replacing World News Tonight anchor Bob Woodruff while he’s recuperating from injuries he suffered in Iraq last week, likes to refer to people with their courtesy title designations (Mr., Ms., Mrs.) but after a while the policy becomes a bit much to read through.  I mean, in one paragraph, in referring to Elizabeth Vargas, Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer and Bob Woodruff, I got sick of reading the titles in front of their names.  And they do that with everything.  ADVICE: Break away from the formality already.  Enough’s enough.  It’s monotonous.  They’re only people.
  35. ALL ROCK STARS TAKE NOTICE.  Look at Boy George now (George O’Dowd).  Older, no makeup, curlicue tattoos around his aging-skinned neck, seen recently walking to a courthouse in New York.  That’s what middle age looks like and it happens to rock stars too. The blush is off the rose, or something like that.  Somehow seeing him sing Karma Chameleon (Virgin,1983) looking like that just don’t get it anymore. 
  36. When I asked a somewhat high-up associate of mine at work whether he did Sudoku (that number game with all the boxes that all have to contain the numbers 1—9) he answered, “No, I’m too dumb.”
  37. . . . Me?  I don’t have the patience.  If I wanted to do it I’d hire somebody and tell them they were dumb.
  38. ADDICTED TO OIL.  That’s what  President Bush said the country was at his State of the Union the other night.  Well, who caused that?
  39. JUST ASKING.  Does Mark Burnett, that producer/brainchild guy who thought up the Survivor and  Apprentice reality TV shows … Doe he have a hair weave going on?  It looks real unnaturally high on top of his heady, head, head. 
  40. BIO-DIESEL PIED PIPER.  That’s what Willie Nelson’s turning into.  NBC Nightly News correspondent Bob Faw profiled the country singer about his alternative fuel style Wednesday night.  “Made from crops grown in America,” he said.  “It’s cheap and we don’t have to start a war over it.”
  41. . . . Nelson doesn’t see any downside to using it to replace foreign oil but air pollution experts are worried that, “without additives,” it increases nitrogen oxide,” and also distributors complain that supply is erratic and sometimes contaminated.
  42. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, had a bothersome night last night.  Owner Sally says she was snorting and coughing and acted like something was caught in her throat.  “She might have had an allergic reaction to something,” Sally said.  But she was better in the morning. 
  43. COMING UP:  An actual picture (Image. They call ‘em that now in the Internet world.)  of Hanalie herself.  So make sure you come back.
  44. Ted Koppel did his first New York Times Op-Ed piece last Sunday about the news business, headlined And Now, a Word for Our Demographic.  It was a 5-column-er (almost half of one of those big pages) with a graphic of an anchorman in a TV box with a 1 cent sign next to him.  Some Points:  TV journalists should tell viewers what is important and not the other way around;  nowadays there is a lack of foreign correspondents out there covering the world due to budget cutbacks;  cable covers the news with “subjectivity,” emotion and concern—not dispassionately like they did in the old days;  and the purveyors of TV news should pay attention to the baby boomers, especially now, because they have “more spending power than their 18-34 year-old counterparts.” 
  45. . . . So when’s he gonna be on NPR?
  46. . . . And when’s his first Discovery documentary?
  47. . . . That man … He’s got jobs to do.
  48. “It’s wet and sloppery out there,” mis-said Lisa Baden, about Friday morning’s traffic conditions on Good Morning Washington
  49. John Roberts stuck it to CBS News after 14 years.  He’s bolted to CNN. He saw the writing on the wall and was publicly eliminated from the race for the next anchorship of the CBS Evening News by network boss Les Moonves and new news boss Sean McManus.  Don’t blame the man.
  50. SIGN O’ THE TIMES.  Now iPod users are trying to sue the Apple computer company for hearing loss.   
  51. Coretta Scott King’s funeral will be Tuesday.  Do we get that day off?
  52. SIGN OF ASSERTION.  A colleague of mine sent out an e-mail message that said he would be out of the office “until Tuesday morning” and that he’d be “somewhat” reachable on his “cell” [phone].  Well, he’s got the right idea.  I like that, “somewhat reachable.” 
  53. DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE . . . To the State of the Union.  Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia did it.  People have been making fun of his “bobbing eyebrow” and that he seemed somewhat green.  Give ‘Im a Break!  I thought it was refreshing to see someone new up there, someone not quite TV ready or telegenic.  I thought he did a good job.  Good, now make him president or something.
  54. That elephant says the Seattle Seahawks are gonna win the Super Bowl. What’s Punxsutawney Phil’s (the groundhog) prognostication say?  I trust him more. 
  55. BEARD PAINTER.  A picture ran on AP (Associated Press) of an artist, Marco Figgen, who has a 3.6 foot long beard that he uses as a brush to paint pictures which sell from $25-500.  He works in Thailand.  It looks all twisted and matted together but the tip of it is loose like a brush that he hand-dips in paint containers. 
  56. . . . Wonder if he uses turpentine to clean it off.  Does he sometimes forget and goes to bed and has it show up on his pillow?
  57. NBC4 in Washington’s movie critic Arch Campbell called The New World a “sleep-inducing show.”  This is what we hear.  Sorry Colin (Farrell)/Capt. John Smith and Q’Orianka (Kilcher)/(Pocahontas).  We saw that coming.
  58. GONE BYE BYEWestern Union Telegrams.  No more.  Victim of technology.  They started back in 1851 and by Civil War time the Western Union Telegraph Company had created a nationwide network.  They will now concentrate their work on money-wiring and financial services. 
  59. UH . . . Western UnionThe Five Americans, on Abnak from 1967.  It had that “dit, dit, dit” in it.
  60. AND A SECOND UH . . . Hey, Western Union ManJerry Butler, on Mercury, 1967.



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