|March 14, 2006
IT MUST BE SPRING. I SMELL MULCH.
- . . . And it stinks, like manure. It’s at once pleasing and then again it reeks.
- . . . They’re laying it down in all the flower beds as I walk through the city.
- WHAT AN OLYMPIAN CAN LOOK FORWARD TO: Being on the cover of Rolling Stone. The Flying Tomato, Shaun White, who won a gold medal in Turin (Torino) for snowboarding, was smack-dab on the March 9 edition, draped in an American flag, his medal hanging around his neck and dangling down his exposed chest and torso with his boxers showing above his low-rise jeans.
- . . . Is this what Olympic Greatness is reduced to? It looks like they “stylishly” took advantage of his androgynous looks, put product in his signature red hair and hip-hopped the white boy. He looks like he belongs in a rap group. So I guess he’ll have a life as another dime-a-dozen celebrity.
- FAILURE TO LAUNCH. This past weekend’s date movie, starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. He (Tripp), a 30-something guy/dude, still lives at home with his folks (Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw, the TV sports commentator and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, of all people). Mom and dad want him out so they hire an “interventionist” who is Parker (Paula), Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City fame.
- . . . Ridiculous. Disney-like. Cute, and I can’t stand cute. McConaughey looks and acts like the Sexiest Man Alive (People magazine named him that this year) and Parker looks like a long-jawed witch, with the makeup caked on. (Not aging well.)
- . . . I sat there and barely endured it. Total mainstream romantic comedy with dumb characters, dumb action and dumb dialogue. Sorry I wasted my time.
- . . . And Bradshaw, he acts pretty well in it. And it’s true, they show his butt. For a good while he’s in his “naked room” in the house, standing up, fiddling around and doing things. Son Trip walks in on him and Bradshaw is in nothing but his birthday suit. He’s shown full “backal” (e.g., frontal) for quite some time and moves around in the scene. He’s not shy. The audience went “ewww.” He’s actually preserved pretty well, as a fellow baby boomer would say.
- David Caruso’s acting is really getting to be a bit much on CSI: Miami. He’s Crouching Tiger-ing all the time. Hunching down and looking up and sniffing the air. He acts like that quirky actor on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Vincent D’Onofrio who’s always in somebody’s face and contorting around. Gimme a Break!
- THE MORNING TEAMS LAST THROUGH THE NIGHT. Lester Holt of weekend Today and Bill Weir of the weekend edition of Good Morning Amercica both anchored their network’s evening news over the weekend. They had long days. Lester did both the Saturday and Sunday editions of Nightly News (John Seigenthaler was off) but Bill only did Sunday’s World News Tonight. (Jim Avila did Saturday’s.) And on a regular basis Russ Mitchell of CBS’s Saturday Early Show does that night’s Evening News. So the networks get their mileage out of these people.
- The letter “H” is the center of your computer keyboard and ergonomically, everything should center around that when setting up your work space, said an expert on last Sunday;’s Today show. It was interesting. Okay, so somebody set up my work station, will ya? I’m tired of hunchin’ over my computer; my back aches.
- They say Tim Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Va., the kidnapped American peace worker whose body was found in a trash heap last week in Baghdad, was a non-violent man who loved his enemies. It takes a lot to do that.
- A bald/shaved headed Natalie Portman stars in V for Vendetta, opening this week on Friday. The movie’s an “uncompromising vision of the future from the creators of the Matrix trilogy,” say the ads. Takes place in London and deals with terrorism and a totalitarian government or something.
- WHAT HAPPENED? My mother was asking what happened to Lauren Bacall at the Academy Awards. Was it a technical problem she had reading the TelePrompTer? She came walking out that long approach to the podium and it seemed like a distance for her to go. Then she struggled through what she had to read, introduced a pre-packaged video piece about film noir and you never saw her again. Couldn’t they have come back to her? Did she croak or something?
- . . . Very poorly planned. All they care about is today’s young hot stars. Gil Cates, the producer, should be called on the carpet and issue a public apology for treating the revered American actress like that.
- Lara Logan, the current rising or risen star/eye candy of CBS News (anchorman Bob Schieffer likes her), was in Baghdad last Saturday, and reporting about the Fox killing. She looked like Nicole Kidman to me. Blond, good looking, hair swept back with little danglies whisping around her head in the wind and those Nicole-like eyebrows continuing on and on and on above her eyes. Oh, good set of choppers too.
- CONFUSING AND MISLEADING. Believe it or not, The New York Times had an ad for that new HBO series Big Love, about a Mormon family which stars Bill Paxton as a man who has three wives. The ad was placed on one of the standard Weddings/Celebrations pages that legitimately run on Sundays. It was three “panels” and showed Paxton with each wife with wedding announcement copy underneath their pictures, as is usually done. But this was bogus. I did a double-take. It caught my eye but it was misleading. I can’t believe the “proper” New York Times would do such a thing. They make a big deal about their betrothal section.
- Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) looks good in a light tan suit. A different look for him. Spotted him over the weekend and it was a refreshing change to see him deviating from the customary dark suit garb that he wears all the time on Capitol Hill.
- STICKING UP FOR UNCLE GEORGE. President Bush’s nephew, Pierce Bush, 19, son of George W.’s brother Neil, was on TV Saturday, talking about a letter he wrote to the editor of the Houston Chronicle, defending his uncle about the Dubai ports deal that fell through. He looks something like Dick Cavett but you can see his Bush blood in there. He goes to the University of Texas but says he’s not interested in politics as a career; wants to go into business or the media, of course.
- . . . Before long, he’ll be a Gen Y talking head on Meet the Press or something.
- Would somebody ensure that my future retirement job is not a Wal-Mart door greeter. I hope I’m not bound for that.
- That song that they kept showing Dana Reeve, who died of lung cancer last week, singing to her husband Christopher, Nothing’s Gonna Harm You (Not While I’m Around), is a really good song. From the Stephen Sondheim play Sweeney Todd which, incidentally, is being revived on Broadway now. Very heartfelt and very sad. She had good taste in music.
- ARE WE NOT ALONE? So is there life on that Saturn moon, Enceladus? NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spotted ice crystals shooting off it, suggesting, some scientists say, that water exists down near the surface. Let’s go up there.
- Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, stayed in a “suite” with a doggie cam in it when she was on her last road trip with owner Sally. You could go to the Internet and watch her in her room. That dog gets more perks than I’ll ever hope to get.
- I’ve had it with tangerines. Give me Clementines any day. The seeds in the ‘rines ... insufferable.
- Johnny Depp looks like he’s got about ten Farrah Fawcett wigs piled up on top of his head in that new movie he’s in, The Libertine, except it’s brown hair. What a fop.
- RIPA HANGER-ON. Mr. Big Stuff asks this: “Why can’t Kelly Ripa’s husband [Mark Consuelos] get his own gig? He’s on a lot when Regis (Live With Regis and Kelly) is off. That’s a legitimate question, I’d say.
- Did that tool belt look natural hanging on President Bush’s waist down in Gautier, Miss., last week? He was standing there shaking some man’s hand at a home rebuild site in an area hit by Hurricane Katrina. But he should’ve done a quick-change for the photo-op and changed from his dress pants into his blue jeans. He’s got ‘em; he wears ‘em down on the ranch in Crawford all the time.
- TECHNOLOGY COMPLAINT: I’m tired of clicking.
- The guy who’s modeling those Jockey 3-D Innovations underwear available at Hecht’s looks like singer Michael Bolton. Nicolette (Sheridan), I’m sure, would approve.
- So was the Loch Ness monster really just an elephant’s trunk sticking up out of the water? Pictures ran last week accompanying a newspaper account of an interview with a palentologist who speculated that that could have been the case, in reference to the infamous 1934 photo supposedly taken in northern Scotland. Hmmm. And all this time …
- BEEN THERE. Boston Legal nowadays looks like it’s directed by the same guy who did NYPD Blue. The herky-jerky camerawork constantly pans back and forth and zooms in and out. It’s whiplashing. That “cinematography” technique is so over now, if you ask me.
- . . . And that guy who plays an assistant DA on Legal -- don’t know his name-- used to be the new boss in the NYPD squad room that Andy Sipowicz didn’t like and he’s also on Desperate Housewives as Lynette’s and now her husband’s boss. So he gets a lot of work.
- NEW BURT BACHARACH ALBUM. At This Time. His sound is updated a bit and even has a mild hip-hop flavor on a few cuts with the help of Dr. Dre (drums and bass). It’s orchestral and his strings, as usual, sound great. Female chorus voices carry many of the tunes and some guest stars (Chris Botti, Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright), do a few songs. I guess it is really – and I hate to use this term – smooth jazz-ish. But Bacharach’s always been a cut above.
- NEW. For the Oscars, NBC Mobile produced an entertainment video piece just for cell phone users. Seth Goldman did an Entertainment Buzz report which was available through MSNBC.com. So that opens up a whole new thing. Smart.
- EIGHT BELOW. I broke down and went to see it. Sled dogs (huskies) are left behind when a massive storm forces Antarctic scientists to leave their work station. Days, weeks, months pass by. Will the humans come back? It’s a countdown. The human acting is atrocious; the dogs are good. This contrived movie is certainly NOT another March of the Penguins. Wasted my time.
- SENIOR MOMENT. A friend of mine last Friday got up, had some coffee, went to breakfast, took a 3-mile walk in the woods, went to the pet store and bought some grooming supplies for her two dogs. When she got home there was a message. She thought it was a friend who wanted to do yoga but instead it was her boss, worried that they hadn’t heard from her. It was Friday -- not Saturday. She felt like an idiot.
- . . . She said that the best part was that she’d get to do it all over again on the real Saturday, so she got a 3-day weekend out of it.
- HAVE YOU CALLED JENNY YET? That’s what Kirstie Alley asks while she’s stuffing her mouth with cake at the end of her current TV commercial for Jenny Craig weight-loss centers. It’s a slobby way to act and she does it well. And before that they show her eating fettuccini. Funny.
- Cojo (Steve Cojacaru) said actress Naomi Watts (King Kong) was so pale at the Academy Awards that she looked like one of the guest dead bodies on CSI.
- The new James Bond flick they’re working on, Casino Royale (opens November), better be good. New man Daniel Craig, is getting a lot of criticism and bad press. Some reports have said he got some teeth knocked out while filming and that he doesn’t know how to use a stick shift in the car. And that shot of him in a skimpy bathing suit running along the beach … some news accounts compared him to Bo Derek’s famous romp. So there are some odds against the new Bond man.
- So do we like Bruce Willis with some hair and a mustache? That’s the way he looks in 16 Blocks, his latest movie, which has gotten some decent reviews. It’s not a full head of hair but a believable amount further back on the head. Doesn’t seem too rug-ish.
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer took The Situation Room to Bahrain, UAE, last week. How do they pack up all of that and put it over there?
- PUT IT BACK ON. I’d rather see Barbara Walters Special just before the Academy Awards than all of that red carpet pre-show crap they feature now. We’ve had enough of the stupid fashion police and dumb questions by The Reporters Who Cover Oscar?
- Local news anchor Barbara Harrison (NBC4 Washington) has lost 9 pounds in two weeks and has one pound to go in her Losing the Last 10 Pounds continuing reports in the mornings. Each day she reads the menu of what she’s going to eat for the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s always tapped off by a glass of vino. So does she like to hit the sauce?
- . . . Her reports last week featured Condoleezza Rice. She and Barbara were exercising together at the State Department gym. Exclusive. And this week she’s seen power-walking with First Lady Laura Bush on the White House grounds. Exclusive again. So national network correspondents and reporters, eat your hearts out.
- HAIR MAKEOVER. Ann Curry’s new short hairstyle makes her look matronly, older. She should’ve kept it long. It was nice she “donated” it to an organization that creates wigs for cancer victims though. But now they need to make one for her, return her to her long-flowing, youthful Rapunzel self.
- So has former FEMA director Michael Brown been vindicated yet? After NBC News’s Brian Williams milked his “exclusive” interview with the man in charge of New Orleans relief efforts when Katrina hit and ran portions of it for a solid week on the network, and then other news orgs (Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace) lobbed on to have him defend himself on their shows and tell his story … is it over yet? Is he out of the storm? Is his name now not so tarnished? Will he come back? Or will he go back to horse training?
- UH. . . I’m Back For More—Al Johnson with Jean Carn(e), on Columbia, 1980.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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