December 6, 2005


  1. . . . Instead of talking about generic "holiday trees" and a "winter holiday" people are back to using the word Christmas and bagging being politically correct. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert declared that this year the "Capitol Holiday Tree" would once again be called the "Capitol Christmas Tree." And some major stores--Macy's and Bloomingdale's--are returning to their pre-P.C. ways and using the word Christmas in their ad campaigns and greetings by store employees.
  2. . . . But perfume "designer" Marilyn Miglin, on HSN (Home Shopping Network), hawking her pheromone musk, was wishing people a "Merry Holiday." So she took the middle road.
  3. . . . And once again, the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in back of the White House looks like somebody threw a sheet on it with lights attached. No branches showing through. It doesn't even look like a tree. More like a Ku Klux Klan hood or something. And at the tree lighting ceremony the Santa Claus they had down there had on a loose, scraggly beard with his own mustache showing through. Bad PR for St. Nick. Let's get a little more "realistic" here.
  4. It looks like they pulled that currently running Folgers coffee commercial out of moth balls again this year. Thing's been running for 10 years, for crissakes. Can't they afford to make a new one? It's the one where sonny boy comes home for Christmas and wakes mommy up to the smell of fresh-brewed (instant) Folgers. Spend some money and make a new one. You're making enough.
  5. THEY'RE KRUMBELIEVABLE. Kraft cheese Krumbles. (Tune taken from Unbelievable by EMF, 1991, EMI). It's catchy. And cheesy.
  6. JUST ASKING. Is anybody gonna go see Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Millions of books sold, they say. They're expecting this one to be big but it I don't get a clear picture in my mind of what all that in the title's about.
  7. Even though "fashionistas" say Uggs (Nanook of the North-type sheepskin boots) are out this year, many places are sold out of them anyway. Good. The people will tell those snobs what's in and what's out.
  8. Where is Bob Novak? He's the one who revealed the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame in the first place. We've heard from everybody else. Layin' low? Uh yeah. Seems like he's dropped off the face of the earth.
  9. ODD THING. The new president of NBC News, Steve Capus, was given an on-air credit at the end of last Tuesday's Nightly News broadcast. Executives usually don't get that. I guess they wanted to make a point of it.
  10. One way of learning the Greek alphabet is watching for hurricanes. Tropical storm Epsilon just turned into a hurricane over the Atlantic, reports the National Hurricane Center . Before eppy there was alpha, beta, gama and delta. They don't seem to have a sexual identity like the human names and therefore seem dull to me. Generic. Who's gonna remember them by name?
  11. Is the plural of pig-in-the-blanket, pigs-in-the-blanket or pig-in-the-blankets? You'll probably see plenty of them at Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa parties this year and you should know what to call them when you're in conversation with your mouth full.
  12. Somebody who had an unturkey (wheat glutin covered with "crisp" soy skin) this year for Thanksgiving was very impressed and liked the seasoning. And they were planning to make chicken salad from the leftovers. Yuck.
  13. . . . And some had tofurkeys (tofu) and others had the turducken (turkey stuffed with a duck and a chicken with dressing in-between. The birds are all deboned in order to get them into the cavities).
  14. . . . So the choices that people have now are staggering.
  15. Mr. Big Stuff asked if Jennifer Garner was married to Ben Aflac (the duck?) but then corrected himself and said Affleck.
  16. When a viewer in the newsroom said that he thought CNN's Wolf Blitzer had too much air time another yelled out, "He has too much air." Ha Ha Ha.
  17. Lou Dobbs Tonight (CNN) has white (cream) and the usual red poinsettias on the set of his news show, in the back. You can see them in the shot. They look nice. We're waiting to see some more of these on the Sunday talk shows. Hope they spring for them this year and I hope they're watered properly. They're high maintenance plants and there's nothing worse than seeing a wilting poinsettia in the background while some newsmaker is being grilled. So Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday and Late Edition, take heed
  18. INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED COFFEE STIRRERS. At fast food places. Why do I need that? Everything's oversanitized now and they're always changing something. I like to take two or three or four of 'em to stir my coffee, like using a whisk. I used to just reach in and grab a bunch. But now ... I don't have time to unwrap the darn things for as many as I use. Even one is a pain so I just grab a plastic fork and stir. They're even wrapped in plastic but it's easier to take off. Those coffee stirrer wraps are as bad as a well, you know.
  19. Cyber Monday followed Black Friday last week and one newscaster said that some bosses were pulling their hair out over it because employees were shopping online instead of getting their work done at their computers. Tell those bosses to chill. People have things to do other than work.
  20. Does Oprah Winfrey have to be everywhere? Of course she was in Washington last weekend for the Kennedy Center Honors. Not for her -she wasn't honored, thank God-but for Miss Tina Turner, one of five honorees (others: Tony Bennett, Robert Redford, Julie Harris, Suzanne Farrell, dancer). There she was Saturday night walking into the State Department dinner with Miss Tina at her side, like an escort or something. And then she "gushed," as Washington Post reporter Teresa Wiltz described it, when she introduced her at the awards show, claiming that she'd (Oprah) get the award for biggest groupie if there was one. I guess it was life-affirming for the talk show host.
  21. IT'S THE JOLIE-PITTS. Tell Brad Pitt to go out and get his own kids. Now he wants Angelina Jolie's adopted kids to share his last name, so they'd be Maddox Jolie-Pitt and Zahara Jolie-Pitt. And what happens if he and Angelina decide to have a baby of their own? Will that offspring be favored above Maddox and Zahara and also have to suffer through a double last name?
  22. . . . It's the same thing with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. All the news is that new wife Katie is pregnant with their child and all the hoopla with the happiness and the ultrasound machine. What about the two adopted kids he has with former wife Nicole Kidman? What about them? Does he see them? Does he make as much a to-do over them? Let's spread around the affection. It seems like they're ignored.
  23. TO-ING-AND-FRO-ING. That's what NBC's Jim Maceda said three times in his live report from Baghdad Monday morning about the Saddam Hussein trial and what was going on in the courtroom between his defense team (they walked out) and the prosecution. Saddam stood up and pointed his finger in the air and yelled and others started shouting. It was noisy. But the defense team came back in after a recess. So there was a lot of to-ing-and-fro-ing, literally and figuratively.
  24. I'm going out of town soon and staying in a hotel and I hope I don't get bed bugs. They're back and infesting homes and hotels in New York and San Diego, say news reports. And they're blood suckers and you can't really see them until they're gorged up, like a tick. I hope I don't unknowingly bring any home to my own bed.
  25. Why is every interview with John Kerry called exclusive? Just because he was the Democratic candidate against Bush in the election? They called him that last week on Good Morning America and Bob Schieffer called him that when telling CBS Sunday Morning host Charles Osgood that he'd be on Face the Nation in his "first Sunday interview since back in January." So what?
  26. "DON'T YOU WORRY 'BOUT A THING." That Stevie Wonder song's being drummed into our heads now by being used in a UPS ad about packing and shipping during the holiday season. That song was from his trailblazing Innervisions album from 1973 on Tamla (Motown), his lifelong label.
  27. "I'LL BE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS." I have to admit, I do like that song when it comes tumblin' by in those Wal-Mart TV ads. They plug in different singers to do it: Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Destiny's Child, Jesse McCartney.
  28. NEW SIGN-OFF? On ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos. At the end of the show he always used to say, "Until next week, that's This Week." Last Sunday he said, "Thanks for spending part of your Sunday with us. We'll see you next week." So is this the new standard?
  29. Rita Cosby Live & Direct comes from Afghanistan on Wednesday. Wonder if they'll understand her over there?
  30. ASKING FOR TROUBLE. Whose brilliant idea was it to change back the policy of carrying scissors, screwdrivers and other objects on airlines? Why do that now? The people abided by the policy when it was enacted. Now they do a turnabout and there's nothing but confusion. NOTE: These things are also now permitted: tools less than seven inches long, including wrenches and pliers, knitting needles, toy weapons, tweezers, nail clippers, round-bladed knives and plastic cutlery and up to four books of safety matches.
  31. Ron Howard (Opie, Richie Cunningham) was on Tavis Smiley one night last week and looked awful. Scraggly full-faced beard that made him look like a bum. He was recently honored at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York and he's got the movie of The DaVinci Code coming out in 2006. He's a good director. He just needs to clean up a bit.
  32. SINGAPORE MEANS BUSINESS. They hanged Tuong Van Nguyen, 25, on Friday, for possessing 14 grams of cocaine at the Changi Airport. Appeals by his home country (Australia) to Singapore officials didn't save his life. He was handcuffed; a hood was placed over his head and he was marched to his execution on a platform with a trap door. They opened it up and that was it. Barbaric.
  33. I'll take cable a la carte if it's a better than a bundled package. They're talking about that now.
  34. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, is home alone with cat co-habitators Buddy and Emma while owner Sally is in New York on a business/pleasure trip. Usually the dog is boarded but this time Sally didn't feel like hauling her up the street in this weather and is instead having a sitter come in twice a day to feed the menagerie household. (Gidget, the bare-eyed cockatoo, probably is in boarding though.)
  35. Tony Bennett arrived at the Kennedy Center in Washington with his date wearing a full-length brown fur coat. It looked very unPC. And Tony needs to get new glasses. He's more up to date than that.
  36. A friend of mine watched that Knot's Landing Reunion: Together Again special the other night and said that only a few of the original cast members seem to show up on TV nowadays. I thought it was fun seeing Michele Lee, Donna Mills, Joan Van Ark, William Devane, Kevin Dobson, Ted Shackleford, Lisa Hartman-Black and Michelle Phillips all gushing about each other and the show and the writing and the historical significance of the cul de sac series. The years go by.
  37. Anybody wanna lend me some money for a face transplant? I think I'm about ready for one.
  38. UH . . . Give Her a Transplant-The Intruders, on Gamble, 1969 (I think).


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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