March 10th, 2010


  1. … Comcast is advertising (overly so) and now calling itself Xfinity, a made-up name. How many commercials do I have to see about it? How hard does it have to be pounded into the American psyche?
  2. … It reminds me of when Bell Telephone/Bell Atlantic became "Verizon," another bogus made-up name. Something to convey the vastness of the horizon and the myriad possibilities for the consumer? Give me a break!
  3. … Some are calling it (Xfinity) an image makeover … trying to start fresh and move away from its original name (Comcast) and reputation (fully earned) for poor customer service and satisfaction.
  4. … The new name for its broadband, cable and phone service comes at the same time it's trying to merge with NBC Universal to become a monolithic entertainment powerhouse.
  5. … So much for competition.
  6. … Them that got.
  7. ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW. Where does President Obama go to smoke when he's at home at the White House? (He recently had his annual physical and the doctor said that he should continue smoking cessation efforts and that he was "using nicotine replacement therapy.")
  8. … Does he duck outside somewhere in the complex? How come nobody's snatched a picture yet of him in the act? You know that's coming … eventually. Nothing goes unnoticed in the nation's capital.
  9. … That's why right now the National Enquirer is considering opening up a bureau in D.C. They see the scandal potential. This, on the heels of the weekly newspaper (some would say rag sheet) now being eligible for a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the John Edwards scandal.
  10. … Who would've believed?
  11. … A kick in the teeth of the mainstream press.
  12. ALICE IN WONDERLAND. New movie, directed by Tim Burton and starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice (Kingsleigh) , Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the big-headed Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen (look hideous and kept twiddling her fingers everytime she was on screen, a character affection I presume) and many others (voices of) in this live action/animation film in which Alice falls down the rabbit hole and returns to the Wonderland (actually Underland) of her youth.
  13. … Very typical Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas) flick (off-kilter) and interesting to watch; however …
  14. … Sorry to say but what kept going through my mind while watching the movie was that the animation was much better in Avatar. Director James Cameron has taken it to the next step and it seems like Burton's animation in Alice isn't as impressive.
  15. … ANOTHER THING. All the characters have British accents and they speak fast and I couldn't make out what they were saying most of the time. I know the Alice tales by Lewis Carroll are written in that gibberish/literary nonsense style - that wasn't the problem. It was the speed at which they spoke. So it made it difficult for me to understand what was going on.
  16. … Maybe I'm just stupid. (That's a given)
  17. … I didn't see any reason for it to be in 3-D either. Everything's in 3-D now and it's just becoming a trendy thing. Not much in Alice came out of the screen and made me jump.
  18. Mr. Big Stuff points out that Kiki Ryan, a reporter for Politico, did a little take about Sarah Palin's new look - different from that in the 2008 presidential campaign. Back then she sported (most of the time) a "twisted-up ‘do" but now her hair is worn down and "both softer and more professional, which is probably an attempt to appeal to a broader swath of America."
  19. … Ryan says that during the campaign some wondered whether Palin used Bumpits, those "volumizing hair inserts" that they sell on TV for $9.99.
  20. … Wouldn't surprise me.
  21. … And some more Palin news (if you want it): According to the AP she has been pitching an idea for a TV show about home-state Alaska and has teamed up with TV producer Mark Burnett (Survivor) to do it.
  22. … She supposedly is meeting with executives at ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
  23. … And daughter Bristol, we remember, is acting on an ABC Family cable series, "The Secret Life of the American Teenager. "
  24. … I think they're all taking after Bristol's ex, Levi Johnston. He's been all over TV and the world of entertainment. They're following in his footsteps.
  25. Don't'we think that it's about time ABC named a permanent host of it's Sunday talk show This Week? They've been rotating frontrunners for a while now. Somebody make a decision.
  26. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, still does not trust the mailman after six years. Every time he comes to the door, reports owner Sally, she barks her head off and then grabs the mail while it's put through the slot. "She actually yanks it out of his hands as he's putting it in," says Sally.
  27. … Ouch, bad dog!
  28. … Poor mail carriers. But I guess he won't have to be worrying much longer; he's probably doomed for a layoff, the way the post office is doing lately.
  29. AT IT AGAIN. News4 Washington's morning weatherman Tom Kierein waxed poetic leading into his forecast the other morning and began a segment by saying that the Potomac was " reflecting the turquoise sky … "
  30. … I can do without the scene-setter. Just tell me what the weather's gonna be for the day and stop trying to be Walt Whitman, for crissakes.
  31. … And while you're at it, you can stop taking up air time by showing video of the trips you make to area classrooms to peddle News4, thank you.
  32. Barbara Walters asked Academy Award-nominee (at the time) Mo'Nique (Monique Imes) about her hairy legs and open marriage. That's a nice distinction to have about Walters's last Oscar special.
  33. THEY'RE CLEAN-SHAVEN NOW. Law & Order's Jeremy Sisto (Detective Cyrus Lupo) and Anthony Anderson (Detective Kevin Bernard) are without their beards now; they're cleaner cut.
  34. … More of a mainstream look and less skuzzy? Looks like it.
  35. JUST ASKING (AGAIN for the second week). Was former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. a guest on Meet the Press last weekend or was he a contributor/commentator? I couldn't figure it out. He was in the "roundtable" segment (and that's usually opinion, right?) of the show but David Gregory was questioning him as a newsmaker about dropping out of the New York Senate race and other things like he was a news guest. Others present in that segment were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Rich Lowry of the National Review, all offering their opinions. So they were all lumped together.
  36. … Mixing pundits with politicians.
  37. … It's like a mashup.
  38. … It blurs the lines.
  39. … It's confusing.
  40. OVER-FAMILIARITY: Entertainment Tonight co-host Mark Steines (a Mary Hart lackey) referred to Oprah Winfrey as, simply, "O" in one of its "reports."
  41. … So she's gone from Oprah Winfrey to Oprah to O. What a transition. What a metamorphosis.
  42. … Believable. They're in bed with every celebrity they feature on that "number one entertainment news magazine."
  43. Every time Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno won an a medal he held up the appropriate number of fingers for the cameras, just like those American Idol contestants do at the end of their individual performances when they stand on stage with Ryan Seacrest and he tells the audience what number to call to vote for that particular wannabe and they stick up fingers corresponding to the phone number.
  44. … Self-promotion run amok.
  45. JUST ASKING 2. Does Sally Field's mother really have bone loss and suffer from osteoporosis? Field says she does in those Boniva commercials. She infers that her mother had it and now she's got it - that it's hereditary, thereby threatening the audience.
  46. … I would just like know if this is, in fact, true. Or is she spouting lies? And does Sally really take the once-a-month "remedy"?
  47. … And ANOTHER THING: In the current ad that shows Field on a pier with "her" dog, she throws the dog a Frisbee. That seems like a dumb/dangerous thing to do on a pier that's jutting out into the water and looking pretty high up and narrow. The dog could fall off.
  48. … What, does she think she's out in a meadow somewhere?
  49. … Maybe it's because the producers never really shot the dumb commercial outside near the water and just "keyed-in" the effect to make it seem like she's out there in a picturesque setting.
  50. … Typical. Misleading the public.
  51. I don't care what the people say, I pronounce the country (Chile) that had the earthquake like chili, as in the spicy stew. To pronounce it "Chee-lay" (like many, including NBC's Brian Wilson, er … I mean Williams does) sounds affected to me, American that I am.
  52. AMERICAN IDOL NOW. The four-judge thing doesn't work. They all take too long and have too much to say. Three worked better. Randy is still pretty much Randy but he's getting old. Kara DioGuardi is much too wordy and "heartfelt" and goes unnecessarily into too much depth. Plus, she's always leaning on Simon Cowell, acting like Paula Abdul did when she was on the show, flirtatious. Cowell seems totally bored, doesn't pay attention, acts arrogant and seems like a lame duck (this is his last season on the show). Ryan Seacrest - he's pretty much the same but would someone tell him to tone down his announcing of the show at the top of it (THIS … is a - MER - ican Idol)? Calm down and stop the unnecessary hype.
  53. When that killer whale killed the trainer at SeaWorld, everyone called it Shamu. Wrong. Every whale is not named Shamu. It's like back in the day when everyone called every collie they saw Lassie, for God's sake. The orca's name is Tilikum.
  54. … Some people seemed to feel more sorry for the killer whale than for the woman he killed (Dawn Brancheau). Where are their priorities?
  55. LISTENING TO … Recollection (good title), from k.d lang (Kathryn Dawn Lang). Double CD with 11 cuts each, many of which have not appeared on lang albums before. Two versions (old and new) of the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah (which she performed at the Olympics); Crying (a duet with Roy Orbison); two Jane Siberry (fellow Canadian artist) songs - one a duet; a duet with Tony Bennett (Moonglow) and more.
  56. … That smooth voice. Great on original tunes and also a great interpreter of songs by others.
  57. … But why does she insist on the lower-case spelling of her name? Would somebody please explain that to me?
  58. Former D.C. Mayor and current City Councilman Marion Barry, who is now being censured and stripped of his committee chairmanship due to conflict of interest issues and for impeding an investigation into a report that he took a cut of a $15,000 contract awarded to an ex-girlfriend, told the assembled council that the report "reduced Marion Barry, 40 years of service, to a petty thief … to a Southeast hustler."
  59. … Well.
  60. PHOTO OP. Health-care professionals in white lab coats were the backdrop at the White House for President Obama one day last week to emphasize his call for passage of his health-care reform bill.
  61. … What, does the White House have wardrobe and movie props departments like Hollywood for anybody who drops by to enhance their image and play dress-up? Good God, how manufactured can you get.
  62. … Anything for a picture.
  63. UH … Every Picture Tells a Story (LP) - Rod Stewart, on Mercury Records, 1971. That album contained Maggie May, Reason to Believe and many other great songs.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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