November 3, 2008


  1. . . . Will somebody promise me that? How long has it been going on now, almost two years? I'm tuckered out, to put it mildly. To put it not so mildly, get the funk out ma face.
  2. . . . And please do tell me that Tuesday, Nov. 4 will be definitive, meaning that nothing will go wrong like it did in Florida eight years ago or that it will be so close that it has to drag out longer. We need change now — be it Barack Obama's or John McCain's.
  3. . . . Change in the TV airwaves, for one thing. Sick of the campaign clutter.
  4. . . . And polls. There's a new one every day. They say this and they say that. Who's up and who's down. Who's gonna win and who's gonna lose. They've got it all figured out.
  5. . . . Then why do they need my vote if they know everything already?
  6. That guy, Clinton Kelly, co-host of TLC's What Not to Wear, says "Cindy McCain looks classic, whereas Michelle Obama looks classic and modern."
  7. . . . What about Sarah Palin? How does she look? . . . Expensive?
  8. Brit Hume said on Fox News Sunday a week ago that Joe Biden is "speaking in an unknown tongue," that he's living in a never neverland when it comes to foreign policy and that he shouldn't be since he's been in the Senate so long and is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. This, in reference to Biden saying in a speech that Barack Obama will be faced with an international crisis when he becomes president and it will test his mettle and he'll be brilliant (if he's president of the U.S.)
  9. . . . Biden talks a lotta bunk. He's almost like Bill Clinton was when he was campaigning for Hillary. He always stuck his foot in his mouth on her campaign trail.
  10. . . . He does, however, seem to have improved. He seems more with it now, sharper. Too bad it didn't come sooner.
  11. BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA. Amusing live action/animation (Disney) movie. Not really that funny though and could've been funnier. I was disappointed.
  12. . . . Drew Barrymore does the voice of Chloe, a pampered Chihuahua owned by Jamie Lee Curtis who plays rich Aunt Viv. George Lopez does the voice of Papi, the other Chihuahua in the movie, that has a deep crush on the pampered pooch. PLOT: Niece Rachel (Piper Perabo) goes on a trip to Mexico and takes Chloe (while Aunt Viv's away) along and Chloe is dognapped by a rough barking crowd. The whole movie is about Chloe trying to get back home while having to suffer the indignities of losing her Beverly Hillslifestyle of luxury while on the lam. That's basically it.
  13. . . . All the dogs talk but, of course, the humans don't know it or see it.
  14. . . . The whole animals talking thing … I think it's getting kinda old, is done too frequently and it needs to be done in a way that makes them funny, with not just human everyday-sounding voices (as is done now by famous people) but voices with affectations, like Looney Tunes characters had (Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn). Those were distinct and made you laugh. The kind of thing famous voice actor Mel Blanc used to do: the Brooklyn/Bronx (N.Y.) accent for Bugs, the amusing stuttering of Porky Pig, the southern accent of the adult rooster Foghorn Leghorn. I'm just sayin'.
  15. Would someone tell Brian Williams to stop caring so much about everybody and quit introducing the NBC correspondents before their reports on NBC Nightly News as "our own Kevin Tibbles, our own Andrea Mitchell, our own Richard Engel."
  16. . . . They obviously work for the same place Williams does. The regular correspondents on the show are not guest drop-bys. It's total affectation which is a good way to describe the writing on that show.
  17. ADVISORY: Watch out while giving medicine to your pet python. Last week a 25-year-old reptile department worker at an animal shop died of asphyxiation in her home while she was giving medicine to a 13-foot long reticulated python named Diablo. She was found dead by her husband, lying on the floor with the snake's cage door open and the snake nearby.
  18. . . . Creepy.
  19. . . .The couple reportedly had many other reptiles in their home as well. Serve them right?
  20. New4 Washington's Barbara Harrison read this "teaser" going into a commercial break on one of their morning broadcasts last week: "How a cup'a joe (coffee) could change your bra size." (I noticed that co-anchor Joe Krebs did not read this news item.) This "fact" was based on a report from the British Journal of Cancer which said a study of 300 women revealed that drinking just three cups of coffee a day can affect the hormones and therefore, breast size (make them smaller).
  21. . . . When Harrison read the entire story after the break, there was a little good-natured banter on the set between her and Joe and a few (nervous?) laughs (they laugh a lot on that show). It was obvious that that story was thrown in there as a light touch and not for serious journalistic purposes.
  22. . . . The things they decide to say on TV.
  23. . . . Who said local TV news is anything about journalism?
  24. Bruce Springsteen looked great at a campaign rally for Obama on Sunday in Ohio. He had his sleeves rolled up and talk-sang, "I want my dream back. I want my America back," while he strummed a little on his gee-tar.
  25. . . . The American Dream. Yeah, political candidates are giving it back to the people — no one else can, just them. Good God!
  26. GOOD ANALOGY. Someone wrote in to a online chat and said that Sarah Palin and her brood schlepping around the country reminded the reader of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and the way they travel/live, with all their kids falling off their arms everywhere they go.
  27. . . . They're worse than Army brats, traveling and living in a million different places. Give the kids some stability and stay in one place longer than ten minutes.
  28. GREAT SOUL VOICE STILLED. That of Levi Stubbs (actually Stubbles) of Motown's Four Tops, a stellar vocal group that scored more than 40 hits on the Billboard charts in the 60s and 70s. He was 72 and had been ill with heart disease and cancer and hadn't performed with the group since 2000.
  29. . . . Gravelly, imploring, raw, passionate, distinctive, rough-hewn, longing and, of course, soulful is how his voice has been described in various obituaries. All very true.
  30. . . . The Four Tops were a totally loyal-to-each-other type of group (like The Dells of Chicago) and even though Levi sang lead, to the individual members, they were all equal.
  31. . . . Baby, I Need Your Loving, I Can't Help Myself, It's the Same Old Song, Bernadette, Reach Out I'll Be There. Standing in the Shadows of Love, Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got). Some of their biggest.
  32. GOOD NEWS. A slimmed-down Ira Joe Fisher has resurfaced at CBS News. The veteran weatherman did a guest shot last weekend on the Saturday Early Show and used his famous plexiglass board which he stands behind and then writes and draws what's happening with the weather, often with funny symbols and characters. Of course, he does this backwards, which takes a certain amount of skill. An old-fashioned gimmick but still valuable, if you ask me.
  33. . . . And he turned up for the Monday edition of Early, as that show likes to abbreviatedly call itself.
  34. . . . Use him more, I say. I'd rather see him than these new-fangled multi-faceted meteorologists that pop up on every local station and networks these days and think they're the anchor people or comedians. Down with the foolishness.
  35. GOOD HYGIENE. The Washington, D.C. Metro system will be handling out free hand sanitizer (Purell?) to passengers in order to do its part in fighting the flu this season. In a press release the Washington Area Metro Transit Authority (WMATA) said, "Good health habits include washing your hands often, covering your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing …"
  36. . . . I think they mean the crook of your arm and not the elbow. That feat would be hard to do.
  37. . . . Hand sanitizer? What, are they into health care now? I think the Metro system needs to get back into the transportation business and improve the dated system they've got in the nation's capital, like getting more train cars and constructing more routes. Leave my personal welfare alone and get your priorities straight, for crissakes.
  38. Lou Dobbs (CNN) looks like he's a walking TV ad for Crest Whitestrips. He's constantly showing off those pearly whites for the camera.
  39. . . . ADVICE. Don't smile so much, seems insincere.
  40. Madonna's getting to the point where she's looking emaciated. She thinks she looks fit. But if you look at her arms and how the tendons look like they're hanging on the bones, it's a bit alarming. She needs to chub up, especially now that she's supposedly back on the market and is getting a divorce from Guy Ritchie.
  41. "I was gobsmacked by the script," said actor Greg Kinnear on the Today show in reference to Flash of Genius, his latest movie in which he plays the inventor of windshield wipers who battles Detroit for stealing his patent. Interesting word, gobsmacked. Don't know how Kinnear had it in his vocabulary, seemed unusual. (Maybe he reads dictionaries.)
  42. . . . GOBSMACKED DEFINITION: Utterly astonished, astounded. Comes from the Scottish/Northern England slang word gob for mouth. This from the World Wide Words Web site.
  43. "W." Movie about the current George W. Bush, starring Josh Brolin and directed by the controversial Oliver Stone, except this film's not that controversial. It's pretty much a standard depiction of the coming up of the 43rd President of the United States.
  44. . . . Brolin is excellent; Elizabeth Banks (she's in every movie lately) as Laura Bush Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney; Toby Jones as Karl Rove, Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell are all very good. Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice is not so good. She's overcharacterized the secretary of state and the voice and rigidity of the persona is overdone.
  45. . . . Mr. Highfalutin thought the movie was boring but that Brolin made you think he was really George Bush.
  46. . . . Highfalutin didn't like it because he's staunchly for Barack Obama and can't stand George Bush, that's why he didn't like the movie.
  47. JUST ASKING. What's after a trillion? We need to know. Millions is passé. Everything's in billions now but how long's that gonna last? Get back to me on this.
  48. NOTICED: John McCain drinking bottled water in Minnesota with his pinkie finger in air. Is that sophisticated?
  49. Cindy McCain told Chris Cuomo on Good Morning America that there's no room for a "learning curve," meaning, of course, that her husband has the experience and that Barack Obama doesn't. Hubby John can jump right into being President of the United States, doesn't need any training, wifey says.
  50. . . . Meanwhile, Obama says his experience is his greatest strength and he'd put his record up against his competitor's any day.
  51. . . . Hillary Clinton (remember her?) said once upon a time that she'd be ready on Day One to take over the reigns.
  52. . . . We report. You decide.
  53. NEWS CREDIBILITY. Does Marian Menounous of NBC News and Access Hollywoo (and God knows how many other shows) have it? She does those Pantene shampoo commercials on TV, showing her silky tresses flowing all over the place in slow motion, very glamorous. And then she turns around and does "hard news" pieces for NBC Nightly News about diabetes or interviews Barack Obama and his entire family and before that Hillary Clinton.
  54. . . . Is this a good thing to do? Do other female reporters have these sidebar occupations and sell products? I can see her on the Today show maybe doing it, but on the network evening news?
  55. . . . Who's her godfather? Who allows it?
  56. Barack Obama's on the cover of the current Rolling Stone. But his headshot looks distorted. And last month's GQ had a similar-looking photo on its cover.
  57. . . . EXPLAINED. Two photo professionals told me the pictures were probably taken with a wide angle lens up close which tends to distort the middle of the face and makes the rest of it look receded, sorta squeezed back. Headshots would normally be taken with a longer focal length lens (say 90 mm) at a comfortable distance and wouldn't be distorted.
  58. . . . So why take a distorted picture? Just for sylishness purposes? For an in-your-face effect? It's ridiculous. Take a normal picture and stop trying to make a statement in order to sell magazines.
  59. At that Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation (white tie) Dinner in New York on Oct. 16, McCain and Obama went to a couple of weeks ago it was annoying listening to and watching McCain because right behind him was an old chap chewing his food like … well, like a cow chews its cud. It was endless. I mean, it was a dinner speech but someone should've noticed that. It took attention away from the presidential candidate.
  60. . . . I expected the codger to pull out a toothpick and start cleaning his teeth.
  61. SHOULDN'T HAPPEN. Campaign commercials within a newscast, on networks or local stations. It's confusing. I sometimes don't know whether I'm watching the news or a paid political ad. They pop up everywhere. There needs to be more distancing so the viewing public are not mislead.
  62. . . . Now, when commercials run, whether they're just regular commercials or these political ones, there's no time out from the program and the beginning of the ad. Not even a nano-second (there used to be a dip to black into and out of a commercial message).
  63. . . . I mean, how much money do local TV stations and networks need to make? Is time that precious? They should be more concerned with serving the people than squeezing every ounce of life out of the typical program schedule. Stop being a hog about the money.
  64. FROM THE CURMUDGEON'S CORNER. A fellow occupant asked if the reason why John McCain needed Joe the Plumber was "because the campaign's gone down the toilet." Ha Ha Ha
  65. ROCKNROLLA. Guy Ritchie's (Madonna's husband) movie about Sex, Thugs and Rock 'n' Roll. British, very stylish all around and well acted with good character actors. It's a tough, gritty crime film with Gerard Butler (300) as a street smart gangster, Tom Wilkerson as a big mob boss, Thandie Newton as an accountant with shifting loyalties and Russian mobsters, with a druggie rock star thrown in. It was fun, has a good soundtrack and there will be two more films, I understand, in the trilogy.
  66. . . . Film was totally cool and awesome.
  67. . . . Ritchie seems to be getting along well with his career, thank you. He did a good job on this one and he's been chosen as the director of the upcoming Sherlock Homes movie starring Robert Downey Jr.
  68. . . . FYI: Madonna's not in the film or the credits. Ha Ha Ha.
  69. UH . . . CRINGE-WORTHY COMMERCIAL: "You know that song 'Time in a Bottle'"? Jim Croce did that one on United Artists Records in 1973. It's currently being used in Zyrtec (allergy) commercials on TV.
  70. . . . Originally a decent song but, of course, killed by overuse by the media.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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