December 11, 2008


  1. . . . All this money going out, it seems like a bottomless pit. $700 billion here, $38 billion there. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, the Big 3 (GM, Ford, Chrysler). It's unbelievable what's happening.
  2. . . . Big businesses and small businesses alike are going under. What about Joe Schmoe down the block and his local deli? Will he get any money from the Fed?
  3. . . . Me? I'd be satisfied with just one cool mil to help me get over. That's not too much to ask for, is it Uncle Sam?
  4. . . . "People, people ... We've got to get over before we go under ..." (Funky President (People It's Bad) – James Brown on People Records, 1974.)
  5. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is looking less tanned these days. For the past couple of months he hasn't looked like he just walked out of Casa del Sol. He used to look as tanned as George Hamilton. Guess he's been busy up on the Hill.
  6. . . . I've always watched Rep. Boehner suspiciously, wondering whether it was his natural skin color or just heavy makeup. Half those jokers up there wear makeup all through the day because they're so busy being on TV. They need to always look camera-ready. God knows what would happen if they showed a blemish.
  7. Longtime NBC Nightly News announcer Howard Reig, 87, died Nov. 12 in Venice, Fla. He had been retired from GE/NBC for about a year and worked for the company for 63 years.
  8. . . . (Reig has been succeeded by actor Michael Douglas, believe it or not, as the Nightly News announcer. And not a very good one, I might add.)
  9. . . . The veteran announcer also did Meet the Press and local TV station WNBC in New York and he was a radio actor and host and pitchman for products advertised on the Today show in the early days of Dave Garroway when they had a chimpanzee, J. Fred Muggs, as a mascot.
  10. . . . Those were the good old days. I'd rather watch a chimp than Matt Lauer or any of his present-day sidekicks.
  11. . . . Speaking of animals, those popular puppy dogs of the Internet (Shiba Inu's) seem to be gone now. They've all been adopted. But word is that there's another litter waiting in the wings of the Web cam. And it's been reported that the owners of the first litter are giving Web cams to the adopted owners so they can individually appear back on the 'Net.
  12. . . . Good, can't wait, we miss 'em already.
  13. . . . and still speaking of the Internet . . . President-elect Barack Obama is using YouTube to broadcast his Saturday radio addresses to the nation.
  14. . . . So there's video of the historically audio event now. It's a video radio address. That means that he's got to be dressed up to do it because people can now see him on-camera. It's more formal than it was. He can't do it in his pajamas or casual weekend garb.
  15. . . . That's what he gets for being the Internet President.
  16. . . . NOTICED. That camera on the president-elect doesn't look that crisp/sharp. Maybe it's the Internet "transmission," not sure. But nevertheless, it's a far cry from HD. He is the president. Somebody oughta get working on that.
  17. "TWILIGHT." Teen vampire flick, based on author Stephanie Meyer's bestselling book of the same name. Story of forbidden love, happens in the rainy, small town of Forks, Wash., and follows Bella (Isabella), who is attracted to outsider Edward Cullen whose skin is pale and cold to the touch.
  18. . . . The "young" vampire has waited 90 years for a true love (since 1918, but he doesn't look old) and has finally found it in Bella. But the love can't be consummated even though Bella wants it to be. Cullen holds her off and protects her.
  19. . . . Modern-day adaptation of the ageless vampire tale. Very teenish, good supporting cast; soundtrack good and doesn't interfere too much. Special effects are okay/basic and there's not that much blood. They're already working on a sequel (New Moon).
  20. JUST ASKING. Is that upcoming movie Marley & Me (comes out Christmas day) about reggae singer Bob Marley or some dog?
  21. Someone said that the ear rings former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had on during her interview with Matt Lauer of the Today show a couple weeks back looked like fishing lures.
  22. . . . She is the outdoorsy type. Ha Ha Ha.
  23. HIGH PRICES. I got a simple turkey sandwich the other day at the Corner Bakery Café (Washington, D.C. area) and it cost $7.07! The turkey wasn't even carved off the bone; it was that lousy lunch meat stuff that's full of nitrites. Disgusting. And I got one thin slice of a pickle with it and a bag of chips that looked like it had maybe two or three in it (think you could spare some?). Never again, too much of a rip.
  24. "The darkness is reluctantly giving way to an apricot sunrise," said News4 meteorologist Tom Kierein one morning last week to introduce the weather at about 6:20. "The eastern sky has a lemon-gold glow," he said later that morning. Good God, we can do without the poetry?
  25. . . . Just tell me the temperature and the day's forecast, forget about the literary descriptions and be done with it.
  26. Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland looks like Helena Bonham Carter always looks in every picture she makes: powdery makeup with reddish/brownish rouge on the upper cheeks and similar coloring around the eyes and on the lips. Like she did in Sweeney Todd and other Tim Burton-directed films. That look is getting old, try something else.
  27. . . . Wonderland is based on the Lewis Carroll classic and is one of those performance-capture movies (like in the recent Beowulf). Comes out March, 2010.
  28. KENNEDY BACK TO WORK. Ted Kennedy came back to the Capitol on Nov. 17, looking well and rested (he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor). Accompanying him was his wife Victoria and their two dogs Splash and Sunny (Portuguese water dogs).
  29. . . . Who does he think he is, bringing two big dogs into the U.S. Capitol? Does he get away with it simply by who he is? Aren't there any restrictions up there?
  30. The new movie Australia starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackson (People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive) has been likened to Gone With the Wind. So is it four hours long?
  31. . . . No, they say it's either 170 or 177 minutes, so it's almost three hours. Have fun sitting through that.
  32. TINA TURNER. Well, I went with a very good friend of mine who had connections and got us Row 6-ish floor tickets. Unbelievable. Remember in the last Random when I was wondering if Tina still had it? Well, she does. Sixty-eight years old, dancing and strutting on the stage, up the stairs, on the screen, overhead on a crane jutting out into the audience, leaning over the railing of a cherry picker with that hair dangling down, never missing a note. The spectacle was fantastic. I, Tina (her book title) personified.
  33. . . . Anna Mae Bullock (her real name) sang all the hits and gave the audience what they wanted. Her rock band (she is the Queen of Rock & Roll) was tight and the crowd especially liked the sax player. Her backup singers (two, including Lisa Fischer who had her own big R&B hit single, 1991's How Can I Ease the Pain?, and has sung backup for the Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross and many others), fellow dancers (five girls) and a gymnastic dance crew (three young guys).
  34. . . . Show ran almost three hours, with about a 40-minute intermission. People got their money's worth.
  35. . . . Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, is being trained to be a Tina Turner backup dancer, according to owner Sally, who also attended the Tina concert. This because the dog wiggle, wiggles a lot when she hears her name called. Awww.
  36. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Good movie, takes place in India and is about young boy (Jamal) and his brother (Salim) and childhood friend Latika, who grow up in the slums of Mumbai (in the news today because of the terrorist attacks) among street beggars and crime. Jamal eventually ends up on the Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
  37. . . . The story of the film is told through the answers Jamal gives to the questions asked on the TV show (a little contrived but it works). Beautifully directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Trainspotting) and written by British screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day).
  38. . . . Currently the movie to see, so do it. Highly recommended.
  39. Why does Julie Chen still have to be part of the CBS Early Show? She's always in L.A. – never in New York with the rest of the morning show group. (She's out there so often because of her work on the CBS primetime show Big Brother.)
  40. . . . It always seems like the producers have to concoct something for her to do to be included in the show. She always seems like the glamourous one and not one of the worker bees.
  41. . . . Do one show or the other.
  42. QUANTUM OF SOLACE. I'm sorry, Daniel Craig is no James Bond: Doesn't fit the mold.
  43. . . . Nothing but running around and shooting and fighting. No standard James Bond tradition to this one in the film series. The action and the editing are so fast that you can't really see what's happening, although most of the sequences are remarkably staged.
  44. . . . And Craig a little squirt, if you ask me.
  45. MUSICAL FACT. Atlantic Records, a division of the Warner Music Group, announced last week that "more than half of its music sales in the U.S. are now from digital products, like downloads on iTunes and ring tones for cell phones" and, therefore, not from CDs. The 'hard' product we've all been used to collecting is disappearing into the digital ether. Wow.
  46. FYI: Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) is from Disc 2 of her third solo album, I Am Sasha Fierce. Sasha Fierce is Beyonce's alter-ego and songs on this CD reflect her aggressive, sexual, fierce side, according to Entertainment Weekly.
  47. . . . Her If I Were a Boy single, on the other hand, is off Disc 1 which represents the romantic, vulnerable, soft side of her personality.
  48. . . . Oh gee, how well-rounded she is.
  49. Can I stop hearing a little Michael Jackson screaming Santa Claus Is Coming To Town? Every year, the same thing. Sorry, I'm just not ready for it.
  50. One of the morning TV news anchors said this: "It looks like Hillary Rodham Clinton will be our new secretary of state"
  51. . . . What do you mean "our"? Who wrote that?
  52. . . . Personalizing the news again. What's with this 'we're all in this together' presentation of the news? The news is supposed to be forthright, neutral and not filled with personal pronouns. Go back to journalism school, why dontcha?
  53. Washington (D.C.'s) Metrorail service "will operate rush hour service for 15 consecutive hours on Inauguration Day" (from 4 a.m. until 7 p.m.) and will be open until 2 a.m.
  54. . . . QUESTION: Will they be charging rush hour fares during this expanded period? I certainly hope not; they shouldn't. Somebody find out about this and get back to me.
  55. Tom Brokaw, interim anchor of Meet the Press, had Ted Turner (founder of CNN, Jane Fonda's ex-husband and author of Call Me Ted, an autobiography) sing the first verse of Home, Home on the Range last Sunday on the show. I couldn't believe it (Turner actually sounded okay).
  56. . . . Such silliness. Tom Brokaw's no Tim Russert. Russert probably rolled over in his grave when he heard that light and fluffy non-news segment on the show he used to hard grill everybody on.
  57. Michael Phelps is on the cover of the current GQ magazine and he looks, well either a bit scuzzy or ready for a Hollywood movie: leather jacket over unzipped hoodie, both open to reveal his bare chest and elongated body all the way down to there. His draw-string pants or trunks or sweats are about as low as they could possibly go to still make it legal, just like the way he wears his bathing suits.
  58. . . . I mean, how far down can the pants go before you expose everything? It's a bit much and off-putting. That's what I think about it.
  59. . . . Anderson Cooper challenged Phelps to a swim/race on 60 Minutes. The Olympic medals winner had on his trademark Speedo but Anderson just wore a plain old pair of swimming trunks. He didn't show off.
  60. . . . Phelps won.
  61. I barely recognized Kate Winslet on the cover of last Sunday's Parade magazine. I thought it was Carrie Underwood. Some makeup artist must've gotten hold of her and transformed her into a sun-kissed, overly made up blonde bimbo. I'm surprised at her. She seemed more of a reserved type to me, what with being British and all. Tell her to bring her old self back and quit playing dress-up.
  62. What is it with Brad Pitt and NBC's Ann Curry? Is she the only one he'll ever talk to? Seems it. Every time you turn around it's Ann and Brad, strolling around New Orleans, talking about building houses and helping people and being inspired and not wanting to talk about his personal life and hating the paparazzi and having a big family and looking different everytime you see him because of a film role he's getting ready for.
  63. . . . Enough already! I don't care what he has to say about anything. And I don't need Ann Curry fawning over every word that drops out of his mouth.
  64. TV SPECIAL COMING. On PBS, Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia (two parts) premiered Thanksgiving weekend nationwide with subsequent airings coming in December for various stations' pledge drives. The special marks the release of the 4-CD boxed set of the same name, featuring the historic catalog of the music of Philadelphia International, the label started by record producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
  65. . . . The TV show was filmed during a live concert showcasing some of the greatest artists who personified the Philly Soul era of the '70s/early '80s (The O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, MFSB, The Three Degrees, Patti LaBelle, many more). Watch out for it.
  66. UH . . . Ain't No Stoppin' Us NowMcFadden & Whitehead, on Philadelphia International, 1979.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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