November 22, 2004


  1. . . . Not the rock group but what the elephants were doing at the National Zoo this past week when they got a delivery of Halloween leftovers. Looked like they were having fun. They deserve it.
  2. The new company combining Sears and Kmart is called Sears Holdings. Is that the name they're gonna use at the stores and in advertising? I thought it would be something like Kears or S-mart.
  3. I like that musical opening to CBS's Cold Case. It's like a string swoop up or something: Da da, da da, da da da da da. Da da, da da, da da da da da. Find out what it is and get it for me. NOW!
  4. BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON. Saw it. Renee Zellweger looks awful all through it. Overweight and sloppy-looking, Brit accent. Hugh Grant plays his usual cad role and Colin Firth is Mr. Serious Straight Arrow all through it. It's amusing but silly. Almost a spoof of itself. It does have a good soundtrack though.
  5. . . . Colin Firth told Entertainment Weekly, "At the moment, I can't think of anything I would be less attracted to," when asked if he would be interested in starring in a third installment of Jones.
  6. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd was on ABC's This Week last weekend as part of its round table panel. She's usually does Meet the Press. She's a hot property in the TV booking department. Everybody wants her. Her latest column, Absolute Power Erupts, says the Democrats are the "Desperate Housewives" of politics and that the White House is "acting like the thought police."
  7. CHANGES. Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. is making reporters write shorter stories; the paper will feature more photos and graphics; and it will undergo a redesign, possibly having the left-hand column of the front page contain "keys" to stories and other information elsewhere inside. FYI: In the Internet world, this left-hand column of referral information is called navigation.
  8. U2 was on Saturday Night Live last week. (Bono and Edge - did they drop the The before it? - and the rest are everywhere. Thursday they were in Little Rock and performed for the opening of Bill Clinton's Presidential Center.) Anyway, at the beginning of one of the songs they sang on SNL, the camera focused on Bono's thick-soled rubber shoes. They looked like something Frankenstein would wear. Also, he's always in dark colors. What's that all about?
  9. . . . Personally, I think they're overrated. How many people are gonna kill me for saying that? They always sound like they're saving somebody -- Bono wailing out the fervent plea sort of thing.
  10. Whoopi Goldberg's not getting great reviews for her Broadway one-woman show (Whoopi). They say she goes on and on in the skits and that the show might suffer from lack of a director. She didn't want one. (Director Mike Nichols is one of the producers.)
  11. FOR THOSE OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER. Dayton Allen, 85, the voice of Deputy Dawg and Phineas T. Bluster and Flub-a-Dub on The Howdy Doody Show, died Nov. 11 after a stroke. He did a lot of work for Terrytoons, a cartoon studio where he did Dawg, Heckle and Jeckle and many other loony characters. He also appeared in comedian/early talk show host Steve Allen's Man on the Street routine.
  12. . . . And Norman Rose, the actor who played Juan Valez, the Colombian coffee bean picker, died at the age of 87 at his home in Upper Nyack, N.Y.
  13. Alexander opens on Wednesday this week. Colin Farrell plays the great one with bleached blonde hair. Angelina Jolie plays Olympias, his mother; Val Kilmer plays his one-eyed dad; Rosario Dawson is his wife and Jared Leto plays Hephaistion who is the true love of Alexander. The Oliver Stone-directed film is going to be controversial and some Greeks are already attacking the movie because of its portrayal of Alexander as bisexual. Conservatives in this country are up in arms too. So we'll see.
  14. American Idol returns Jan. 18 with a two-hour season premiere.
  15. POLITICALLY INCORRECT? Is President Bush guilty of it by kissing Condoleezza Rice last Tuesday and Margaret Spellings on Wednesday when he nominated them for Secretary of State and Secretary of Education respectively? You have to watch out for those things these days. At least we have to.
  16. Is Time magazine really considering making Bush campaign strategist Karl Rove for its Man of the Year cover? Who in the hinterland knows him?
  17. . . . The Hinterland. Who cares about it?
  18. Destiny's Child's reunion album, Destiny Fulfilled, has a very subdued cover. It's a tri-closeup of the girls (Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams), all with hair pulled back and each with a different expression. No smiles. Seems untypical of the group or the girls separately, considering the music and flashy videos they make. The hit off it right now is Lose My Breath, a body-shaking track, but Billboard magazine describes most of the rest of the CD as representing their transition from "teendom to young womanhood." Hence the cover art. Got all that?
  19. THE HONEMOONERS RETURN. This time in the movies with a black cast. The Paramount release stars Cedric the Entertainer as Ralph Kramden and Mike Epps as sewage worker sidekick Ed Norton. Ralph's wife Alice is played by Gabrielle Union and Ed's wife Trixie is played by Trixie Hall. Set in present day.
  20. Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs (Rock & Roll) of All Time issue is out now. Number One is Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone (Columbia, 1965). Did they choose that one because it's the name of the magazine it's in? Should that one reign at the top? I think not.
  21. . . . The judges consisted of singers, musicians, producers, record industry types, critics and songwriters.
  22. After nine days in boarding, Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, was finally picked up by owner Sally, along with Gidget, the bare-eyed cockatoo. The bird was happy to see the dog and when she got back home Hanalie chased the cats (Buddy and Emma) all over the house.
  23. Will changes be made in the law so that Arnold Schwarzenegger can run for president? Probably.
  24. Patti Davis, daughter of Nancy and Ronald Reagan, is apparently not the angry, wild child she used to be. She's calmed down a bit and is plugging her book, The Long Goodbye, the story of her stormy relationship with her father and his decline with Alzheimer's disease.
  25. . . . It was 1994 when "Ronald Reagan's Renegade Daughter" posed for Playboy and the cover of the magazine showed her naked from the waist up but with the hands of a muscle man behind her covering her breasts. (Didn't Janet Jackson do one of those too?)
  26. "OVERLY AGGRESSIVE." That's what CBS called the news producer who broke into CSI: NY for a special report announcing the death of Yasser Arafat a couple of weeks ago. They said he/she violated network policy by not consulting an executive before doing it and that he/she didn't follow instructions to just run a crawl at the bottom of the screen with the news. CBS had to reschedule the CSI episode on another night. Wonder how much it cost them? I guess they can afford it.
  27. "ALL CHRISTMAS, ALL THE TIME." That's what the TV ads say for Washington radio station WASH 97.1 FM. Yes, they've scrapped their usual adult contemporary format for all Christmas songs, which they did last year too. And it lasts until the end of the year. STANDARD QUESTION: Isn't it a little early for all of that? Maybe so, but it gets the audience and pumps up the ratings. And, of course, the station's owned by Clear Channel. Wonder how many other radio stations around the country are doing the same thing. Every station in every city is a duplicate of the others. It's cloning. It's blanding things up. It's all the same. No diversity. Blanding it all up, that's what they do.
  28. . . . And the TV ad starts off with that silly, saccharine, good-timey Wonderful Christmas Time song by Paul McCartney. Wonder how much John Lennon would've liked that one?
  29. Are Martin Scorsese's eyebrows painted on?
  30. Hillary Clinton was the only one at the rainy day opening of her husband's Presidential Center that had a colored (soft yellow) umbrella. Does that mean she's running for president in 2008?
  31. . . . The Clinton Presidential Center does look like a trailer on stilts.
  32. CBS calls its Thursday night prime time lineup Must CBS TV with the accent on C as in NBC's slogan, Must See TV which they used to have. The CBS lineup is hard to beat: Survivor, CSI and Without a Trace.
  33. . . . But this week, NBC's got The Seinfeld Story at 10 p.m. Actually it's at 9:59. I guess that's in order to scoop up viewers a minute ahead of the other networks. Clever? Or will the others retaliate?
  34. HONEYSUCKLE FROZEN TURKEY. What in the H is that?
  35. SAME WAVELENGTH. They say that Condi and the president finish each other's sentences. Ah, togetherness..
  36. "If they ban [fox] hunting, then my life's not worth living. It's as simple as that," said one woman on horseback in England where the sport has been banned. I'd say she needs to get a life.
  37. A friend of mine said this about his workplace: "I wish I had a job working with animals -- something other than the ones I already work with." Ha Ha Ha.
  38. American Idol winner Fantasia sang at the American Music Awards a couple weeks ago. The song selection was terrible and she kept bending over like she had a bellyache and straining her voice while singing to, I guess, show the intense emotion of the song. She can do better without all that. LATER: She did the same thing on Ellen DeGeneres's show but the song selection was better.
  39. Somebody called Laura Bush a wifebot, as in robot.
  40. Matt Lauer looks like Pee-wee Herman when he wears a gray suit (Zegna? ). He's thin and it's tight-fitting just like Pee-wee wears ... or wore.
  41. It looks like there's a yellow evening dress that Hillary Clinton wore as first lady in one of the displays at Clinton's library. Is there a blue one there too?
  42. Will the Kmart and Sears move be good for Martha Stewart? Wonder what she's thinking down there in West Virginny.
  43. THE NEXT TIME I HEAR THIS ... "Raise your hand, raise your hand ... If you're Sure."
  44. That Life of Luxury show on ABC, a clone of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, has forever- tanned George Hamilton as host and when he voice-overs the show he almost sounds like Robin Leach, pumping up everything he describes in eye-popping detail, yet when he's on-camera he talks normal. Go figure.
  45. D.C. Council Chair Linda Cropp has been kicking up dust about how the new baseball stadium should be funded. She had a different plan from the mayor's but she finally went with his regarding the funding. So Mr. Big Stuff said she was "getting to be like John Kerry who flip-flops but for her it would be called flip-Cropps.
  46. E-mailing and cell phone calling are now faster than a telephone call to the office. Many people on their voicemail messages advise callers to e-mail them or give out their cell phone numbers if they want a faster response. They walk around with their Blackberrys and cell phones and obsessively, constantly check what's come in. So why have an office number?
  47. D.C. Council Chair Linda Cropp has been kicking up dust about how the new baseball stadium should be funded. She had a different plan from the mayor's but she finally went with his regarding the funding. So Mr. Big Stuff said she was "getting to be like John Kerry who flip-flops but for her it would be called flip-Cropps.
  48. UH . . . Private Number - Judy Clay and William Bell on Memphis-based Stax Records, 1968. Great soul duet.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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