February 21st, 2010


  1. … Did we get enough snow? I’d say so. It may be pretty coming down but the havoc it wreaks on the roads, rails, airports and walkways winds up destroying all the beauty of a fresh snowfall, especially when you’re a grizzled old coot like me who doesn’t like the inconvenience of it all.
  2. … Try living through it in D.C. NBC Nightly News made a point of it on their news show, saying that the city — the nation’s capital — could not handle it, that the mayor (Adrian Fenty) did not have things under control and that previous mayors of American cities have been known to have lost their jobs because of similar situations (i.e., Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic lost a primary in 1979 because voters felt he “failed miserably” with a snow cleanup that year and left the city all but paralyzed; Mayor John Lindsay of New York City came under scathing criticism for not dealing with a huge snowstorm in 1969 properly, favoring Manhattan and not the other burroughs of the city.)
  3. … Many would say that’s been the case with D.C.: insufficient snow removal, indecisiveness about whether the D.C. government workforce should be working or not (the federal government was shut down for four days), Metro practically shut down -- didn’t run trains on half of its routes -- plus a derailment in the middle of it all.
  4. … And proof of the city’s incompetency on a national/international level was the Dalai Lama leaving the White House the other day after a meeting with President Obama, passing by “big piles of bagged garbage,” according to the New York Post (with a picture of the spiritual leader and his entourage departing) stacked outside the Palm Room entrance, embarrassing.
  5. … That’s how D.C. does its job.
  6. … I think I’ll move.
  7. Would someone tell Gerard Butler to start wearing clothes that fit him? Every time you see the “hunk” actor he’s busting out of his shirts and pants like the Incredible Hulk or something. Look at him in the trailer for the upcoming movie (The Bounty Hunter) with Jennifer Aniston.
  8. … Looks like he’s wearing the clothes of a teenager.
  9. … I guess he’s trying to accent his build by wearing a size or two smaller, like Anderson Cooper probably does with those muscle T’s he wears down in Haiti.
  10. NEW ALBUM. From Sade. After 10 years, she’s back with Soldier of Love (on Epic, her same label after all this time), an album of 10 cuts done in her laid-back, sultry-voiced style with her longtime same band.
  11. … The title track is slightly different, musically, for Sade, in that it has a marching/military motif to convey the soldier theme and it works. It’s pretty cool.
  12. … If you’ve liked Sade, you’ll like her latest.
  13. FYI: Her full name is Helen Folasade Adu and she is British-Nigerian.
  14. … A friend of mine said he went to his local mall — not a huge mall but a decent-sized one — and said they didn’t have one store there that sold CDs/albums. He couldn’t believe it and asked what the world was coming to.
  15. … It’s true. Go to Borders or Barnes & Noble and notice how their CD departments are shrinking.
  16. … It’s all virtual now, everybody’s downloading. Nobody collects hard copy anything.
  17. Bill Maher, that mouthy comedian/political commentator, also wears muscle T’s. He’s seen in a newspaper ad for one of his TV specials on HBO wearing a dark one, like Anderson.
  18. … They’re proving their fitness?
  19. Liz Cheney and daddy Dick were both on the Sunday morning talk shows a couple weekends ago. Ms. Cheney as a pundit on Fox News Sunday and pops on ABC’s This Week, hosted (that week) by Jonathan Karl, senior congressional correspondent, who did a good job.
  20. Young Cheney is identified on the screen as a “former State Department official.” Actually she was deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, a 2002 appointment by George W. Bush. She’s also a lawyer, has done work as a lobbyist, is politically active in the Republican Party and is co-founder of Keep America Safe.
  21. … Father and daughter both have a lot to say.
  22. … Who doesn’t in Washington?
  23. Vice President Joe Biden was on TV that day too: Face the Nation and Meet the Press.
  24. … Some in the press called it the dueling vice presidents.
  25. … Does Joe Biden have veneers on his teeth? They look too perfect and maybe slightly larger than his born-with regular teeth.
  26. … Didn’t he have hair plugs too?
  27. Is global warming, er … climate change, over now since we’ve had so much snow recently?
  28. … Just get all the penguins and polar bears to move to the Northeast and maybe that’ll solve it.
  29. JUST ASKING. Should you buy dog boots (booties) for your pets to wear during harsh winter months? Sara Lippincott, a manager of shelter outreach for Petfinder.com thinks so. She told The New York Times that “salt can really irritate the pads on the bottom of their feet” and that short-haired dogs have even less fur on the bottom of their feet and may become chapped.
  30. Chihuahua Cinnabon Bon (frequent dog model) was featured wearing Foufou Aspen Booties ($50 for four), which look “like little Uggs” and have a zipper closure with Velcro straps and rubber soles which give off a “click, click, click, click” sound as the dog walks.
  31. … Absolutely ridiculous.
  32. … For God’s sake, let a dog be a dog and stop the pampering.
  33. … You think little Cinnabon Bon cares?
  34. … And in Brooklyn, a woman reported to police that a mugger stole a doggie coat right off the back of her little white Westie which was tied up outside a food store (should never do that) while its owner was inside shopping.
  35. … The woman heard a “funny bark” and came out to find the dog shivering, his green wool coat with leather trim stripped right off its back, how cruel.
  36. … I guess the dog was a wuss. Any other mutt would’ve bitten the robber and scared him off -- not stood there passively while being stripped down.
  37. You know that journalism and hard news have changed when Christiane Amanpour (of all people) asks Angelina Jolie if she’s going to adopt a Haitian child. Good Grief! That’s the sound bite promo CNN was using all week a while back to plug her Sunday show Amanpour (subtitle The Power of the Interview).
  38. … (Jolie is U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ goodwill ambassador and was in Haiti during the interview.)
  39. Edward R. Murrow must be rolling in his grave.
  40. REQUEST: Christiane, don’t get into celebrity journalism just to win ratings. You should be above it.
  41. People were saying a couple weeks ago that when they saw Sarah Palin give that “hopey-changey” speech in Nashville mocking President Obama to the Tea Party Convention that she needed a tan (“she could use the color”) and that her hair seemed to have grown an awful lot.
  42. … She did look a little washed out, not as vibrant.
  43. … And Maureen Dowd of The New York Times thought they were hair extensions.
  44. Mr. Big Stuff calls Ellen DeGeneres, Ellen DeGenerate for no apparent reason.
  45. DO WE FEEL SORRY FOR TOYOTA? The tinkling piano, the heart-felt strings, the vintage home movies of Toyota cars with American families through the years …
  46. … That’s the PR message that the plagued auto company has been putting out in TV ads to try to gain their reputation back as a result of all the trouble people have been having with the gas pedals making their cars escalate dangerously, and brake problems too.
  47. … They’re laying it on a bit thick.
  48. … My, how the mighty fall.
  49. Entertainment Tonight featured Scorned Wives Week last week and, of course, talked about Jenny Sanford (very overexposed; how many talk shows has she been on?) and Elizabeth Edwards.
  50. … They (ET) stay up on the news just like the networks do. If Barbara Walters can do it, they can too.
  51. … Don’t you trust Mary Hart and Mark Steines?
  52. … (My mother thinks John Edwards is a dirty, filthy rat for what he’s done.)
  53. NEW THING (TO ME). Meet the Press is mixing their “political roundtable” opinion segment with news guests on the show. I wondered what was going on when I was watching last weekend. Two guests, Harold Ford Jr., former U.S. representative, currently chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and now running for a Senate seat from New York, and youngest member (27 years old) of Congress, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), along with commentator/pundits Rachel Maddow, MSNBC anchor, and New York Times columnist David Brooks, spouting off their opinions on Guantanamo and Congress and everything else in the news in a free-for-all.
  54. … It was confusing and disconcerting to the viewer.
  55. … Mixing news with opinion. Apples and oranges, with nothing labeled on the screen as to which is which.
  56. … That’s what the big debate is now about the news: what is news and what is opinion.
  57. … Whatever happened to neutrality, impartiality?
  58. … That’s the whole Fox News thing. This is what the American people are talking about and this is what needs to be made clear.
  59. NOTICED. The pace of ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer. The broadcast is very rapid now, with more correspondent reports (also fast-paced) and two-ways into and out of their pieces with the reporters taking a seat at the New York anchor desk with Sawyer; non-standard intros to news correspondents and their reports (they go to them quicker on-scene); and a note at the end of the show by Sawyer who says “see you right back here tomorrow night,” like Brian Williams always does on NBC Nightly News.
  60. Why would Katie Couric model for Harper’s Bazaar? Those shots of her with hair slicked back, gams galore, in a tight dress with one shoulder strap and strappy platform shoes so high she could easily fall off those TVs she’s standing on in that dumbly posed picture.
  61. … What does she think that does to her credibility as news anchor for the CBS Evening News?
  62. … Credibility, schmedability. Nobody cares anymore.
  63. They redid We Are the World with a new cast of singers and rappers this time.
  64. … But why redo it? Couldn’t someone have written a song especially for Haiti and the earthquake after all that country has been through, and not given them a tired, updated retread? Shameful.
  65. … What, did Lionel Richie, (dead) Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones need the money?
  66. … You can never go back and regain the original glory.
  67. … I always thought the song didn’t have enough verses. All you hear over and over again is the refrain.
  68. … The video showed a crowded bunch in the studio.
  69. Barbra Streisand stood out in the crowd. Mr. Highfalutin thought her head looked so big it seemed superimposed.
  70. … There’s been criticism about the rappers taking part. Actually the group rappers (and not Kanye West or Wyclef Jean in their “solo” performances) sounded pretty good to me.
  71. … I could’ve done without Jamie Foxx redoing his impression of Ray Charles doing We Are the World at the end of the video. Enough of that guy, he’s everywhere and totally overexposed.
  72. Geraldo Rivera, while in Haiti for Fox News interviewing actor/activist Sean Penn, wore a dark T-shirt but it didn’t look “muscle-y” (not tight enough) and the sleeves didn’t go up to his shoulders to reveal bulging biceps. Maybe he’s too old now to show off his build.
  73. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, loved all the snow. “It was so deep she had to burrow a path outside to go to the bathroom. She took a walk with Lulu the chow in her new fancy winter coat, and walked down the middle of Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, strutting her stuff all the way,” reports Sally, her caretaker.
  74. STUPID AND DANGEROUS: Jogging in the snow. I’ve seen many obsessives out there in their running gear in and out of snow drifts, traffic and pedestrians.
  75. … If they fell, they asked for it.
  76. … Get to a gym and do it and stop showing off to the public!
  77. Barbara Walters is getting out while she’s on top. She revealed on The View last week that this year’s Oscar special (airs before the awards show and has for 29 years) will be her last.
  78. … She says she’s “been there, done that,” even though ABC would like her to keep doing the specials.
  79. … I don’t blame her, the woman’s 80. She’s got good judgment.
  80. … The networks never stop asking and will want more from you ‘til you drop dead. They’re never satisfied. All they want is another highly rated show.
  81. A SPORT? In Afghanistan, buzkashi. Two teams on horseback vie to carry a headless goat around corner posts and return it back to a center circle “all the while steering their horses away from the whips of the opposing side.” It’s banned under the Taliban.
  82. … It’s the only good thing I’ve ever heard about the Taliban. They’re doing something right for a change.
  83. THE WOLFMAN. Movie remake of 1941 horror classic. The critics totally panned it but I thought it wasn’t all that bad.
  84. … Film is very well shot, doesn’t look cheap, sets look good and authentic, music by Danny Elfman is horror-ish and foreboding.
  85. Benicio Del Toro plays Lawrence Talbot who has the curse of the werewolf. Anthony Hopkins plays his mean father Sir John Talbot. Emily Blunt plays Gwen who was married to brother Ben Talbot who suffered a “terrible” death and now gets the gradual hots for Lawrence.
  86. … The special effects of Del Toro’s transformation into a werewolf are pretty good and have been likened to those done in American Werewolf in London back in 1981, very similar: cracking bones getting larger as they bulge through human flesh that take the form of a hoofed animal with hideous face and body contortions.
  87. … But after all these years couldn’t the effects have been slightly better?
  88. … When the wolf is running on all fours through the forest, the effects aren’t quite up to snuff either and the movements aren’t as fluid, say, as those in Avatar. Guess they didn’t have the budget.
  89. … Actually I read the movie had a big budget, so there’s no excuse for not up-to-snuff effects.
  90. … Reviewers (and my cousin included) said The Wolfman looked like Chewbacca from Star Wars. Ha Ha Ha.
  91. … The movie goes through the motions and retells the tale but you don’t feel empathy for the main character as you did in the original. Some have said Del Toro was completely miscast. I might agree with that.
  92. … He seemed cold to me.
  93. USA Today said this of Blunt: “… [Del Toro] falls for his slaughtered brother’s fiancée (Emily Blunt), who heaves a mean bosom.
  94. … How’d they get away with that?
  95. UH . . . Smoke Stack LightningHowlin’ Wolf, 1956, on Chess Records.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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