May 5, 2009


  1. Susan Boyle, the woman who wowed audiences on Britain's Got Talent – including hard-to-please judge Simon Cowell (yes, he's everywhere) – does look like she got herself spruced up from the way she originally appeared on the talent show.
  2. … Her original Plain Jane appearance made many speculate whether the 48-year-old Scot needed a makeover. So now people are saying she caved in and got one anyway and maybe they won't like her so much now that she's mainstreaming her looks.  People want an underdog to root for and now she might not seem like one.
  3. … So we'll have to see what happens whether and when her redo does her in when she returns to the stage later this month.
  4. … The Don't Make Me Over title (above) is the title of Dionne Warwick's first hit single, an early example of  self-determination and self-worth in a pop song  (1962, Scepter Records):  "Accept me for what I am;  accept me for the things that I do ..."
  5. FOR THE RECORD. Lawrence (Larry) Summers, the head of President Obama's National Economic Council,  appeared on Fox News Sunday two weekends ago without falling asleep.  Earlier that week he was caught on-camera apparently snoozing at a meeting with the credit card companies conducted by the president. And before that he had another sleeping incident at the White House's Fiscal Responsibility Summit.
  6. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, in signing off and saying goodbye to Summers at the end of his guest segment, told him to get more sleep.
  7. … Summers should have told Wallace to mind his own business instead of making a big deal of making fun of a public official on national TV who has a lot on his plate.
  8. GOODBYE TO THE PONTIACGM is stopping production of the 83-year-old brand as part of the government-led restructuring of the auto industry.  Gone will be the Grand Prix, the Bonneville, the Firebird, the Trans Am.
  9. Pontiac was known as the first "muscle car," meaning (originally) that it packed a powerful 389-cubic-inch V8 engine into a Tempest and called it a GTO.
  10. … (Little GTORonnie & The Daytonas, Mala Records, 1964).
  11. John Wolkonowicz, a forecaster and auto historian at IHS Global Insight in Massachusetts said, "... the government doesn't want muscle cars," favoring fuel-efficient models.  "I'm sad to see this brand go, it's truly iconic."
  12. … Back in the day we had a two-door, powder blue Pontiac Catalina.  It was nice looking.
  13. EARTH.  The Disney movie out now, part of its new Disneynature trademark.  An eco-documentary which, reportedly, was culled from the Discovery Channel's Planet Earth series, this one spotlights animal families and how they live and survive (or not) in the wild, with slight references to global warming but not too preachy.  Narrated by James Earl Jones (what isn't?) who, at times, talks a little sloppily, if you ask me.  His "tracking" of the script sounds edited and the movie itself imparts practically no facts and tries to be sillily funny at times.
  14. … Overall, the movie's okay – could have been much better – and I'd recommend it for kids, not so much adults.  And it's not another March of the Penguins.
  15. … The Saturday Early Show on CBS has a "smoke artist" on its staff.  That's what the closing credits say on the program.  Wonder what that person does? Smoke cigarettes?  Blow a fan over some dry ice while rock stars perform on Second Cup Café and pretend they're in a graveyard or something?
  16. CHIRP, CHIRP. A robin made a nest and hatched her blue eggs in a bush next to the entrance of the press briefing room at the White House.  AP photographer Ron Edmonds caught shots of a just-hatched baby with its mouth wide open, waiting for mommy to return with some food.  Very cute and awww-inspiring.
  17. Dolly Parton's on the cover of the current AARP magazine with an inside article about how she turned rags into riches.
  18. … Her cover profile picture is somewhat modest for Dolly whose clothes are usually much more revealing. She usually "busts" out but not here.  Maybe that's because of the older demographic the magazine attracts.
  19. FROM THE CURMUDGEON'S CORNER.  Fellow occupant has this to say about Michelle Obama:  "She's got super-arched eyebrows.  You can see the original line where they used to be.  I'm gonna get mine done and walk around looking surprised all the time."
  20. … They do seem high-arched, like the wicked sister(s) in Cinderella.
  21. OUT OF THE PAST.  On Dancing With the Stars a couple weeks ago they did a 60s group dance to, of all things, The Clapping Song ("3,6, 9, the goose drank wine, the monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line, the line broke, the monkey got choked and they all went to heaven in a little row boat."  That song was a hit for Shirley Ellis (The Name Game) on Congress Records, in 1965.
  22. … The song comes from the nursery rhyme/jump-rope rhyme genre and features instructions for a clapping game.  Later the song was covered by many other artists.
  23. … By the way, DWTS host Tom Bergeron was an online chat guest on last week and revealed that when an unexpected emergency occurs on the show, i.e., Marie Osmond fainting, his fallback is to "go to a commercial, as I did when Marie fainted."  He added, "The network also has a dance montage 'racked' and ready to go if we're in the last segment and there's no commercial to 'toss to." Interesting.
  24. Beyonce (Knowles) told the Today show's  Matt Lauer that "I've worked so hard," meaning that she's worked hard on her career to get where she is now.  (She was promoting her new movie, "Obsession," which has been described as similar to Fatal Attraction, and her latest tour."
  25. … She always says she works hard in interviews, constantly says so.  Sounds martyr-ish.
  26. … The latest evening news figures, according to AP, are NBC = 8.4 million viewers;  ABC = 8 million and CBS = 5.4 million.  5.4?  You gotta be kidding.  They're that far behind.?  How does Katie Couric keep her job?
  27. … Is Bo, the new White House dog, a Porguguese water dog, a purebred? I ask because he's got those white front legs but his back legs are black, a white breast and some white under his chin.  His coloring is spotty; that's usually how a mutt looks.  A mix.  Is that standard for the breed? Can someone get back to me on that?
  28. … Speaking of dogs, Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, can't stand it when owner Sally is in the proximity of another dog. When Sally is outside alone, gardening, for example, and Hanalie is nearby, she won't "make a peep."  But if a neighbor comes by who has a dog Hanalie goes "ballistic" and "gets mad as a hornet."
  29. … According to Lisa de Moraes of The Washington Post, each presidential speech Obama makes costs the networks $9-10 million in revenue.  Last week's was the fourth time Obama has asked for prime time in three months.
  30. … If there's so much concern on the part of the networks about the president asking for primetime time to have a news conference then why don't they "pool" his speeches, so only one airs it and the others don't have to jiggle their programming and lose money? How many stations/networks have to "cover" the speeches anyway?
  31. … It's too much redundancy and  too much coverage.  Pool it, I say.
  32. Mr. Highfalutin and Blond Bombshell attended the Bernadette Peters concert last week at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Md., and both enjoyed it tremendously.  The singer did many hit songs from her Broadway repertory and made a surprise introduction of a member of her orchestra:   The drummer was none other than Cubby (Carl Patrick O'Brien), the popular Mouseketeer from the original Mickey Mouse Club.
  33. … Cubby was always a drummer (since age five) and word of mouth brought him to the attention of Walt Disney.  He was a Mouseketeer for three seasons (1955-1958) and then went on to work with Lawrence Welk, Ann-Margret, Carol Burnett, Broadway shows, the Carpenters and Buddy Rich.  What a resume.
  34. JUST ASKINGBilly Mays, that commercial/infomercial salesman on TV that pitches everything from OxiClean to simonize kits ... Did his testicles not drop?  God, that high voice gets on my nerves.
  35. LOCAL NEWS OBSERVANCESChannel4 news anchor in Washington Doreen Gentzler seems to be letting her hair grow a bit and she's resembling Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order.  I almost did a doubletake.
  36. … And would someone tell local ABC7 News anchor Maureen Bunyan to get some contacts?   How much money does she make?  Those  dowdy glasses she wears now just don't get it.  She's always been stylish, what happened?   At least get some plastic-framed contemporary looking specs.  Good God
  37. … Retiring Supreme Court justice David Souter said that he underwent a  "sort of annual intellectual lobotomy" in October when court's yearly term begins, a condition that lasts until the following summer.
  38. … Gee, was it that bad?  Did it affect his decisions? (I feel that way every day on my job.)
  39. Souter wants to leave Washington and go back home (to Weare, N.H.)  A picture of his house ran in the Sunday newspapers and it's not much to look at:  It looks like a chicken shack.
  40. X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. First of the season's blockbusters, the movie's laden with effects and slo-mo leaps in the air and lots of fighting.  Hugh Jackson stars as James Logan, aka Wolverine, the mutant with those extending lethal blades that come out of his knuckles.  He is  remade indestructible in some high-tech water chamber in this installment of the tale.  Liev Shreiber stars as an early stages werewolf-looking Victor Creed (later Sabertooth) who sports long powerful fingernails that can dig into hard metal.  There's much sibling rivalry, to say the least.
  41. … Movie gives a lot of background for those familiar with the Marvel comics tale.
  42. Wolverine's girlfriend, Lynn Collins who plays Kayla Silverfox, reminded me of Mary McDonnell who played 'Stands With A Fist' to  Kevin Costner's Lt. Dunbar in Dances With Wolves.   They both have that outdoor look.
  43. … Hip-Hop artist/producer/rapper (Black-Eyed Peas) is even in the picture as a character who can appear and disappear in places: he pops in and out of the scenes.  He's actually pretty good.
  44. Tyra Banks, the supermodel and TV show host, was in court last Wednesday to face an accused stalker (Bradley Green) who allegedly followed her across the country and threatened to slit a producer's throat on her show if he didn't give her whereabouts.
  45. … Banks was quoted in testimony as having said, "I fear the safety of my staffers.  I fear the safety of my family.  I fear the safety of people in my vicinity."
  46. … What happened to the word "for"?  What, is she trying to sound poetic?  Why didn't she say "I feel for ..."?
  47. FROM GOVERNMENT JOB TO NETWORK TV.  Another crossover.  From director of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta) Dr. Julie Gerberding is now a consultant with ABC News. She's on the air a lot lately due to the swine flu, her specialty being infectious diseases.  Obama didn't want her in the job any longer;  she resigned and pow, here she's a paid talking head, happens a lot.
  48. GRIPE.  A writer-in to Miss Manners complained about seeing people in TV ads now not closing their lips over their fork or spoon when eating.  They show them "drawing food from their teeth with a big smile on their faces and their teeth bared."
  49. Miss Manners agreed that they weren't taught properly and that the way to do it is with the lips over the fork/spoon and hinted that no one should get their table manners from TV.
  50. … As I see it, the reason the jerks are doing it this way on TV is because the commercial producers want them to smile while they're advertising their product.  Smiling's easier with the teeth already bared.
  51. … The other night on Brothers & Sisters, I noticed it while Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) was eating lunch in her office and speaking to her nemesis, Holly Harper (Patricia Wettig).
  52. OVERKILL.  This past Sunday all four major Sunday morning talk shows had the same three guests (troika team?) from the administration: Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland SecurityHealth and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius (she just barely got confirmed); and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection's acting director and former TV doctor Richard Besser.  All talking about the swine flu, er ... the N1H1flu.
  53. … How dumb is that?  That's just like all the nets and TV stations airing the same presidential news conference or congressional address, as discussed earlier
  54. … What difference does it make what network they appear on?
  55. … It just goes to show you that in the end, it just doesn't matter.  All the nets are the same now.  They go after the same news and book the same guests.
  56. … What happened to originality?
  57. … It's non-existant anymore, that's what.
  58. UH... Same Thing It TookThe Impressions, on Curtom Records, 1975.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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