May 16, 2007


  1. . . . Yep, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced last week that he's resigning. Critics gave Blair the poodle moniker for supporting Bush in the Iraq war, following him like a puppy dog.
  2. . . . It's a shame because Blair was very popular and generally regarded as a good prime minister but the war killed his appeal and the British want him out. The people have spoken.
  3. . . . Some morning TV anchors, after the report about Blair resigning, harkened back to yesteryear and showed then and now pix of him and did the same thing with President Bush. It's been 10 years so, of course, you could see the difference. But the anchors had to remark about it and made a big deal about how noticeable they aged in their respective offices.
  4. . . . Why doesn't someone show those anchors ten years ago? Yeah, let's look at that and remark about it and embarrass them.
  5. . . . Everybody ages, for God's sake.
  6. Vice President Dick Cheney looked all grampaw-y and comfortable with his tan sweater on under the suit he was wearing when he arrived in Iraq last week for a weeklong visit to the Middle East. All he needed was an easy chair, a pipe and a newspaper.
  7. GOING DOWNHILL. American Idol is - this season at least. The show backfired on the producers, picked the wrong contestants. Been a lousy, below average season, the finalists aren't that likable. Everybody's shtick is getting old now.
  8. . . . The show's getting a been there/done that sheen to it. Some would say it's beginning to "jump the shark," meaning it's the beginning of the end of it. Could be.
  9. Standard postage went up to 41 cents from 39 at the start of this week. And they're now selling the new Forever Stamp (with the Liberty Bell on it). Supposedly, they can be used "forever" to mail one ounce first-class letters.
  10. . . . Never say forever. Mark my word, something will come up to negate that directive.
  11. . . . Mr. Big Stuff, not realizing the new postage rate would be in effect so soon, went to the post office, got stamps out of one of those machines to buy a book. But it turned out that the stamps in the book were 39-cent ones. They had Forever books but he thought he'd wait on that. So now he's got to go make another trip to the post office to buy 2-cent stamps in order to be able to mail a bill. He felt stupid.
  12. Sorry to repeat, but that Bodies exhibit (the one with real dead humans showing all their inner organs and muscles, etc.) that's in Washington ... How much do they have to advertise it? Posters are all over the place (especially in the Metro; it looks like a CSI slab table) and the exposed flesh of its cadaver models looks pretty gruesome. And some people are complaining because the "macabre" poster displays are very close to Arlington Cemetery, inappropriate.
  13. . . . It's enough to wake up the dead.
  14. Britney Spears. She shaved off all her hair a while back and almost as soon as she did it she started wearing wigs. First, short blonde ones and then later, brown and long. Ridiculous. So why'd she shave her head in the first place?
  15. . . . Is brown the new blond?
  16. The CBS Saturday EARLY Show is getting a new anchor: Maggie Rodriguez, from Miami's WFOR, a CBS owned-and-operated station. Current EARLY anchor, Tracy Smith, becomes national correspondent for the broadcast but will also report for the CBS Evening News and CBS's Sunday Morning. Recently Rodriguez has been doing guest stints on the show. (Trying out?)
  17. . . . But seems a bit odd to me. Russ Mitchell used to be Smith's co-anchor on Saturday EARLY but he moved to weekdays and other shows. So the big question has been who's gonna replace him. (local New York news anchor Chris Wragge and CBS Sports host James Brown have been filling in.)
  18. . . . Then they up and replace Tracy Smith - unexpectedly (to the public), and they still haven't decided on a permanent male anchor (or maybe they'll pick another female).
  19. . . . I think it's jolting to the regular viewer and that's not good.
  20. FROM THE CURMUDGEONS' CORNER. Lately, one of the cranky old resident cusses has been playing Roll Out the Barrel on his computer to start the day. Maybe it's a sign that he's trying to break out of his disagreeable mood mode and get a little happy. Happy? Him?
  21. Veteran actor Mickey Rooney was among the guests at the British Embassy in Washington for a garden party for Queen Elizabeth last week. He told USA Today that he was "absolutely thrilled" to be meeting her and when he did, he kissed her gloved hand. That's unsanitary. They say she wears gloves to protect her hands because of all the shaking she does when in public. So God knows how many dirty hands touched her glove and then Rooney goes ahead and plants one on it.
  22. . . . Wash his mouth out with soap, for crissakes. He needs to get a life. And what, did he kneel down and pledge fealty too?
  23. HOITY-TOITY. At the State Dinner at the White House for the Queen, they served "Saddle of Spring Lamb." What's that? Someone told me, simply, "lamb butt." Thanks for breaking it down for the common folk.
  24. Applebee's is using a blanded down version of that rap song "It Takes Two" in its TV ads for Pick 'n Pair dinner entrees now. The "original," loud, rough, heavy-beated and rapped by Rob Base & DJ EZ-Rock (Profile Records, 1982) was and still is a dance party single. (Actually, It Takes Two was based on and sampled from Lyn Collins's song, Think (About It) , a 1972 single produced by James Brown.) They called Collins The Female Preacher and listening to the original you'll know why.
  25. . . . "It takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it outta sight."
  26. It's generally known that Queen Elizabeth likes dogs and has several Corgis (10, some reports say). But they're all not Corgis, some are Dorgis, which came about when she had one of her Corgis mated with a Dachshund. She supposedly has four of them.
  27. . . . So she's got a busy household.
  28. . . . Is she into selective breeding?
  29. TV talk show host Larry Elder (Chicago) did a radio talk show on TV a couple days last week, filling in in the MSNBC time slot that Don Imus (remember him?) used to occupy. I had to look twice - he looks the same as Juan Williams, that writer/columnist/commentator who's on Fox News Sunday. Remarkable.
  30. MISTAKE. In a small article (titled "Global Yawning") in the Sunday New York Times Styles section a couple of weeks ago about the marketing of global warming which appeared under the heading, The Age of Dissonance, writer Bob Morris, in closing, says to all the eco-industry gadget makers, "I do have a personal plea: But it's for the social environment rather than the natural one: Please, tone it done." I'm sure it should have been "tone it down."
  31. . . . So they ought to do a better job of copy editing over there at that premiere newspaper ... or fire somebody.
  32. SPIDER-MAN 3. Saw it and it was okay. More of same, if you ask me. Yes, the special effects are great, especially those of the Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) character. And that dark side "goo" that comes out of a rock that flies in from outer space is really no big thing. It gets on Spidey and then on someone else and that's about it. Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson the girlfriend) is whiny and Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man himself, pouts and cries and the audience I saw it with laughed at him as well as in other places in this, one of the most expensive films ever made. The acting is not great. Topher Grace, who plays villain Venom/Eddie Brock was particularly good. Overall: blah. For me, the movie just came and went.
  33. . . . Spider-Man, in this one, plays a newspaper photographer and Brock is trying to get his job. Well, isn't this what the situation is in Superman? Very similar (big city newspaper) ... and confusing ... and dumb to do that. What movie were they making?
  34. . . . Washington Post movie critic Desson Thomson said in his online discussion that he loved Dunst's "vampire teeth."
  35. . . . She oughta get them fixed, she's an actress.
  36. LONG RECEIPTS. Now they're making them as long as toilet paper for when you get your receipt after withdrawing money from the ATM (Bank of America). Used to be it was just a simple-sized piece of square paper with date and time and amount withdrawn and balance on it. Now, like CVS/pharmacy, the receipt has grown longer and has all this advertising on it from the bank. You practically have to roll it up. Who needs that? And in this eco-age, it's a waste of the environment.
  37. NBC's Brian Williams made a BIG DEAL a couple of Fridays ago about the Nightly News moving out of long-occupied Studio 3-C while they renovate and moving temporarily to Studio 8-G. There'll be a new look "this coming winter," he said.
  38. . . . He went on and on, showing video clips, about the "history" of the studio and that previous NBC News anchormen (Huntley-Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw) had done their broadcasts from it. Good God, was it really something for the history books?
  39. . . . Just point a camera on any news anchor and give him a script to read. It doesn't matter where it's coming from.
  40. Does the current Bachelor (Navy Lt. Andy Baldwin, M.D.) have false eyelashes on? Sure look long to me. They're noticeable when he blushes.
  41. PRACTICAL 'ECO'. Ellen DeGeneres, in a clip from her show used in a promo, says that in order to be more eco-conscious she sometimes takes her dishes to the shower. Funny when I heard it, maybe not now.
  42. Now there's new Diet Coke Plus that has vitamins and minerals. Gee, I'll have to make sure I start drinking that.
  43. NE-YO. Young R&B/hip-hop singer/songwriter who some compare to Michael Jackson during his Off the Wall (album produced by Quincy Jones) heydays, is very hot now. (He does sound like a young Michael.) Because of You is his current single, from the CD of the same name. He's written hits for Beyonce and Rihanna and has been Grammy-nominated. Rumors are he's writing/producing some of Whitney Houston's comeback album.
  44. . . . So he's one to watch.
  45. . . . And Mr. Highfalutin says the new Bjork album, Volta, sounds like two crates grating together. The songs lack melody (don't they always?) and has all that industrial sound nonsense to it plus it's ridiculously full of every music genre imaginable and goes nowhere. Uh, thanks. I was never a fan of Miss Iceland anyway, too far out for me.
  46. CAMPAIGN AD. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, while speaking in a TV ad and giving his philosophy about not spending money needlessly and being fiscally responsible, said he's not afraid to use his veto power. "I'm Mitt Romney and I can't wait to get my hands on Washington." When he said "can't wait, " he sounded like his teeth were clenched, like he was really gonna bust a_ _. A bit excessive I'd say, for someone who gives the impression he's so calm and cool and collected and fresh pressed suit-looking. So I guess he's on a mission.
  47. GOOD STORY. Oprah Winfrey, who spoke last weekend at Howard University's commencement, said that her grandmother, a maid, once told her, "I hope you grow up and find some good white folks to work for."
  48. . . . So Winfrey continued, "I regret that she didn't live past 1963 and see that I did grow up and get some really good white folks working for me." Ha Ha Ha.
  49. President Bush is a good conductor. He did it the other day after a speech at a 400th anniversary of Jamestown ceremony. As the orchestra played Hail to the Chief, Bush hopped up on the conductor's stand and began leading the band with that stick thing they use. He actually had the right moves, if you ask me, and even reached back into the seated players to accent a certain section. So he may have a second career.
  50. I don't think Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan (Leitch) had in mind G.E. and everything they're doing for the environment, including offering a Web site ( with a list of "sponsored listings for goods and services," when he wrote Catch the Wind (Hickory Records) back in 1965. It was a yearning love song, for God's sake, to someone he wished to be with but found it frustratingly unattainable and that's why he said he might as well "try and catch the wind." Now is that what G.E. had in mind in using it in a TV commercial?
  51. MORE ECO. CNN plugged an upcoming "report" on American Morning about "environmentally friendly funerals." Now I've heard everything. What, do they bury the body in the stump of a living tree or something?
  52. Meredith Vieira, on Today Goes Wild on Monday, held a carrot in her mouth and stood in front of a huge giraffe that she was looking up to, I guess, to taunt him/her to reach down and eat it. She does risky things. You don't know what that wild animal might do.
  53. UH . . . Wild Horses --- The Rolling Stones, on Rolling Stones Records, 1971.


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