January 20, 2006


  1. Gusts of it blew through the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito last week.  The top “bloviators,” according to the Web site anklebitingpundits.com, were, of the Democrats: Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer and  Ted KennedyRepublicans: Mike DeWine, Lindsey Graham and Jeff Sessions.  Somebody at that site actually counted the number of words (Get a Life!) uttered by the distinguished senators vs. the number of words uttered by the man in question. 
  2. . . . Guess who ran off at the mouth more?  No surprise.  They did, the senators.  Those hearings are for the people to learn more about the candidate—not for  pontificating grandstanders.  Bloviators all!
  3. TALK ABOUT DOE-EYEDBill Macy, Felicity Huffman’s (Desperate Housewives) husband looked on proudly as wifey won a Golden Globe for her role in the indie film TransAmericaAl Roker of the Today show said he had tears in his eyes.  Awwww.
  4. CBS Early Show anchor Julie Chen looked more glamorous than the people she was interviewing backstage at the Globes.  Maybe a little intimidating. 
  5. . . . She probably pulled out all the stops not only for the special television event but for her  hubby Les Moonves, president of the network (CBS). 
  6. JUST ASKING.  Can they just once, on CSI, solve a crime the old-fashioned way—without DNA?  Let’s try that.  Thank you.
  7. So Oprah called in to Larry King to say that she supported writer James Frey’s book (A Million Little Pieces) despite charges that it was embellished.  Frey was there on the set with his mommy.  It still resonates, Winfrey said.  Washington Post op-ed columnist Richard Cohen wrote later that “she is not only wrong but deluded.  What she needs is a session with Dr. Phil.” 
  8. Star Jones of The View and now on the junket trail plugging her book, Shine: A Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love, told Lynn Sherr on ABC’s 20/20 a couple weeks ago that her one wish would be to ride down the Nile.  Like Cleopatra or something?  Good God.  Who does that woman think she is?
  9. WHEN YOU HEAR LOU, YOU’VE HEARD IT ALL.  That was the title of one of Lou Rawls’s albums, the one that had Lady Love (Philadelphia International, 1977) on it.  It was a riff on the old Budweiser beer slogan (of which Lou was spokesman for a time), When You Say Budweiser, You’ve Said It All.  (The pop, soul, jazz singer died last week in LA.)
  10. . . . And on Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home to Me (RCA Victor, 1962) that’s Lou singing the Yeah .. eah .. eah’s.  The two sang gospel together in the early days.
  11. MATCH POINT.  The Woody Allen written and directed film with Scarlett Johansson who plays Nola Rice, a struggling American actress and that guy who played Elvis on TV a while back, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who plays Chris Wilton in Match, a former tennis pro who now gives lessons.  Both have major lips.  Takes place in London.  Wilton’s deciding what to do with his life.  (FYI:  In tennis, match point is the winning point.)  He hooks up with a wealthy guy who then introduces him to his family and fiancée, Ms. Johansson.  Falls for her and they have a fling.  But she’s trouble. 
  12. . . . Some have called the movie a modern day noir romance.  Movie has dialogue.  Anybody remember that in the movies?  People actually talk in it and nowadays, that’s a treat for some of us old-timers.  
  13. . . . It’s too long.  The ending takes forever to get there.  I got antsy.
  14. Thank God, Jeff Daniels shaved that scraggly full-faced beard for the Golden Globes.  He had it in that Squid and the Whale movie, about a family that goes through a separation and its effect on everybody, including two sons who are played well.  Low-key and average story and that’s what distinguishes the movie.  Sorta believable.  Not bad. 
  15. John Travolta presented Joaquin Phoenix with his Golden Globe for Walk the Line, the movie about Johnny Cash.  John really hugged Joaquin tight and then kissed him on the cheek.  Maybe he, Travolta, was trying out for another Brokeback Mountain.
  16. . . . Why was Travolta there?  He didn’t have anything up for an award.  What’s he been doing all year, besides piloting his jet around the country and hugging his wife, Kelly Preston, for the cameras.
  17. STILL DEAD?  It’s a little weird seeing Johnny Cochran still hawking legal advice on TV in those commercials for the Cochran Firm.  Other lawyers also speak in the ad but I think they oughta let Johnny rest.
  18. . . . By the way, Johnny Cochran was Star Jones’s mentor way back when.
  19. YES, I’M PREGNANT . . . blares the cover of this week’s People magazine, referring to Angelina Jolie.  The daddy is Brad Pitt.  And InTouch editor Richard Spencer told USA Today last week that “the birth will be the biggest story of the year.” 
  20. . . . Bigger than the Iraq war or the new Supreme Court justice?  Probably.
  21. . . . And somebody else said that the baby, to arrive sometime this summer, will be the prettiest child ever born, what with the combined gene pool of Brangelina.  So it might be the second coming of Christ.
  22. Hey, Mike Rowe, the guy who does those Epic pharmacy commercials, is hosting a new reality show called Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, the place that Ted Koppel’s gonna work for.  The show spotlights “unsung American laborers who make their living in the most unthinkable—yet vital—ways.”  For example, roadkill collectors, stallion sperm collectors, septic tank technicians, fish deboners, rattlesnake catchers, etc.  That doesn’t sound like a hard news place. 
  23. . . . Rowe acts like an apprentice and gets down and dirty and performs the jobs.  Looks like he does a better job of it than Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie did on The Simple Life.    
  24. Mr. Big Stuff said he thought USA Today should be called USA Yesterday because all that’s in it is yesterday’s news.
  25. . . . That’s why the Web’s so big now.  People want fresh news, the latest things. 
  26. If I hear that Ameriprise commercial showing the aged  rocker playing the Happy Birthday song on his guitar like Jimi Hendrix  played The Star Spangled Banner one more time, I’m leaving the country.  I guess they think it appeals to all the air guitar-playing baby boomers out there.  And where did Ameriprise come from?  Never heard of them before and they’re not only on TV but they’re doing massive mailouts. I got some junk in the mail from ‘em. Something about financial investments.
  27. . . . Yeah, watch all these companies start vying for the baby boomer dollar now.  They know where the money is.  They’ve figured out that the 60-ish crowd is a desirable demographic now.
  28. . . . And the same goes for that monster.com jobs ad that obnoxiously uses ELO’s Do Ya (United Artists, 1970).  If I hear that one more time, I’ll … 
  29. BUSTED LIPArnold Schwarzenegger got one, in a motorcycle crash.  Sixteen stitches in his upper lip.  Hope he had a good plastic surgeon.  He needs that fixed right if he’s gonna make more movies again after his governorship is up.  With these new Hi-Def cameras, they show everything.  And people don’t want anything or anyone who’s less than perfect.
  30. . . . And his son was with him, riding in that sidecar bucket seat thing.  What were they thinking?  Those things are notoriously dangerous.
  31. Ellen DeGeneres is still dancing to Aretha Franklin’s Rock Steady (Atlantic, 1971) on her talk show.  How many times has that been the song and dance selection?  She needs a broader playlist. 
  32. . . . If you ask me, she needs to retire the whole dancing thing.  It’s tired.  It’s over.
  33. THEY’RE HOLDING TRYOUTS.  For a new Metro voice in D.C.  The one that says “Doors closing,  please stand clear of the doors.”   They want to make a new recording of the announcement and they want it in three nuanced versions: polite, serious and authoritative.
  34. . . . So I guess we’ve got some personality to look forward to while we’re on the train. 
  35. . . . Hey, I don’t need personality on my commute.  Just have the conductor bark it out and save some money.  He doesn’t do anything anyway.
  36. JUST ASKING, AGAIN.  Are Scientologists baptized?
  37. NOT TO BE BELIEVED.  Designer Isaac Mizrahi, relatively new to TV but he’s got his own talk show already (on Oxygen cable), was on the red carpet at the Golden Globes for the E! Entertainment and asked three actresses (Sandra Oh of Grey’s Anatomy and Felicity Huffman and Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives) what kind of underwear they were wearing.   And, according to USA Yesterday, he fondled Scarlett Johansson’s breast and asked Eva Longoria what “body hair” she had.
  38. . . . He said he just wanted to know about those things.  So he’s a curious little devil.
  39. . . . What these people get away with, it’s amazing.  Next time, yank him off the air if he does something like that again. 
  40. NBC’s Mike Taibi did a good obit piece on actress Shelley Winters last week.  He ended it by saying, “You couldn’t take your eyes off her.  The definition of a star.”  Well said and yes, she was. 
  41. I want one of the Geely cars the Chinese are making and are supposed to sell for $10,000.  Just to get me around town.  Are they safe?
  42. Mylanta’s back to its original flavor, say the current commercials.  Yeah, chalky.  (They play John Sebastian’s (Lovin’ Spoonful) Welcome Back (Reprise, 1976) song in it.  How comforting.
  43. My mother thinks it’s a disgrace that Angelina Jolie’s on the cover of People magazine and that everybody’s jubilantly whooping it up over her pregnancy when she and Brad Pitt aren’t even married. 
  44. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour pulled another scarf out of her drawers—this time a shear, green one—to interview Ali Larijani, the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, earlier in the week. She wears them well.
  45. CONFUSED.  Are the Olympic Winter Games gonna be held in Turin or Torino, Italy in February? 
  46. . . . I hear they’re one in the same place.  But there’s discrepancy going on.  News agencies are calling it Turin but NBC, who’s televising, insists on calling it Torino.  Why?
  47. . . . Are we gonna see that Shroud of Turin while we’re there?  I always thought that thing was fascinating.  And will DaVinci Code be there too?  That’s Italian, right?   
  48. CBS Early Show anchor—one of ‘em—Renee Syler has a new hairstyle.  Got rid of the sticking up all over the place ‘do and now has a softer, more relaxed look.  It works. 
  49. ANOTHER SCARLETT JOHNASSON LOOK-ALIKE.  This time,CNN Faith and Values Correspondent Delia Gallagher.  She joins NBC’s Michelle Kosinski who’s also in the club.
  50. Last week the Today show had a Style segment that featured six women standing in the studio with just bras on.  (Don’t worry, they were fully clothed from the waist down.) All lined up in a row, they were modeling the garments that were declared winners of the—are you ready?-- Bra Awards, believe it or not.  Seen and demonstrated were the Enhancer bra, the Deep V bra, the Best Minimizer bra, the T-shirt bra and the Show Off bra.  Alexis Glick anchored the segment.  In the end, she thanked all the young girls for “being so brave.”  God, what these shows do.
  51. . . . And the Today show is part of the news department at NBC?   
  52. I want to try that new headache reliever, HeadOn, but CVS doesn’t seem to be carrying it.  I’ll have to complain.  HeadOn is a roll-on stick that you apply to your forehead just like you would a deodorant.  It’s supposed to “topically soothe headache pain.”  Uh … Right.
  53. LIKE TO KNOW.  What’s after a trillion?  We’ll be needing to know that soon.
  54. DIFFERENT DUNKING.  It looks like in Chile they dip the thumb in ink after people vote.  The new president, Michelle Bachelet, recently showed off hers.  And, of course, we know that in Iraq that it’s the index finger.  So what?
  55. The fifth season of American Idol has begun.  The show regulars are back:  Judge Randy Jackson was wearing a new pair of light tan-ish/gold-ish and very rectangular-looking glasses;  Paula Abdul’s hair’s longer now and seems somewhat anti-makeup (not enough/looks plain/no jazz) –at least on Tuesday night’s show--, Simon Cowell’s still wearing T-shirts and still has the acid tongue and Ryan Seacrest really likes those low-rise jeans.  The first leg of the new season features all the tryouts in different cities.
  56. . . . Randy, Paula and Simon are still hard on the kids but the show was amusing this week and we’ve already heard some pretty good talent.
  57. . . . One of the contestants, after singing a song with her very strong voice and then being eliminated by the judges, later said, “I belted it out and if they don’t like it they can kiss my white a- - !”  They bleeped out the last two words of her commentary but you could read her lips.  She was really mad and super-laced with profanity. 
  58. . . . They ended the Tuesday night show with Simon saying, head in hand after a long, hard, tiring day of hearing God knows how many auditions:  “Blah, blah, blah … Whatever.”   And that was it.
  59. I’M JUST HOURGLASSING.  Seems I do that a lot at my computer, waiting for things (the Internet, the mail) to come up when you hit ENTER.  Waiting, waiting for the sand to fall through to the bottom of the glass.  It’s not good for my sanity.  And it’s not good for the Tech people when I have to call them either. 
  60. They say Matt Damon and Ben Affleck might team up for a remake of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Hmm.  Mr. Highfalutin thinks they’re nobodies compared to Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  That’s probably true. 
  61. HANDS-FREE UMBRELLA.  I’ll take one.  Early Today reported about it.  Some guy was mowing the lawn and had one strapped to his back but it didn’t seem to be raining out.  Maybe he was using it to shield against the sun or something.
  62. Hillary Clinton should’ve been in overalls, chewing on a piece of straw like they used to do on Hee Haw when she made that plantation crack about the Republican Congress.  Would’ve been more folksy.   
  63. Now they’ve got ID (Identity) Theft Insurance.  That industry is right on the pulse of what’s happening, isn’t it?  And how much does that cost?
  64. . . . UH . . . Don’t Cost You NothingAshford & Simpson, on Warner Bros., 1977.  I wish they’d make some more music. 



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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