January 20, 2009


  1. . . . Then shut up about it. Thank you.
  2. "There was no inappropriate contact …, " said Joe Biden just before Christmas, refuting charges that Barack Obama, his staff or the transition team was somehow wrapped up in the (Rod) Blagojevich scandal (a pay to play scheme offering up Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder) in Chicago.
  3. . . . What? "Inappropriate contact"? That sounded like he was talking sexual harassment or something. Was sex involved? If so, do tell.
  4. . . . Choose your words better, Mr. Vice President-elect. Oh, and "be wise with us." (Remember when Barbara Walters said that to Jimmy Carter in one of her interviews way back when?)
  5. . . . That Blagojevich really seems in shape. He jogs around Chicago in a running suit even in the snow, nothing stops him. And he spouts poetry in press conferences: Rudyard Kipling and most recently, Alfred Lord Tennyson, when it was announced he would be impeached.
  6. . . . And when he's done a press conference, that's it, no questions, he's outta there.
  7. . . . So the scandal charges are all like water off a duck's back to him. He's going on with his life.
  8. When Mr. Big Stuff heard about that $50 billion Ponzi scheme that New York financier Bernard Madoff is accused of bilking investors out of, he thought they were talking about Fonzie (Henry Winkler) on TV's Happy Days.
  9. . . . Guess he should watch the news more.
  10. CHANGES FACES OFTEN. Kate Winslet does. The way she's made up on the cover of December's Vanity Fair (Kate Winslet Bares All) and inside with those pictures of her channeling Catherine Deneuve and showing her bare bottom. (She does look like the French beauty in the pix.)
  11. . . . And she shows up very Plain Jane-ish– but showing her bare bottom and more -- in The Reader, the current movie in which she plays Hanna Schmitz, a German girl hiding a secret who helps a young sick boy (Michael Berg played by David Kross) and ends up in an obsessive relationship with him, disappears and many years later shows up in an unlikely place.
  12. . . . And then there's Revolutionary Road (Winslet reunites with Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio), which I haven't seen yet, so I don't know what she exposes but I know there's a lot of yelling and screaming in it.
  13. . . . Mr. Highfalutin saw the movie and had this to say about it: "Interesting but rather 'studied.' I didn't buy into it. Seemed odd to me."
  14. . . . But Winslet's a good actress and I get the feeling she bares it all for her art. So I guess that's okay.
  15. GOATEE DOESN'T WORK. Chuck Todd, the director of NBC's polling unit, was recently named chief White House correspondent, so he's seen on Nightly News now standing on the lawn of the executive mansion for his reports as opposed to being in a TV studio like he used to be. Somehow the red goatee/mustache (Van Dyke) doesn't work for me outside on the White House lawn, in the land of officialdom. Seems distracting, should be clean-shaven.
  16. . . . So would somebody plop down a can of Barbasol and a razor in his cubicle at the White House and have him take it off … take it all off?
  17. FYI: One of my resourceful co-workers found out the answer to my oft-asked question: "What comes after a trillion?" According to Jim Loy's Mathematics Pages Web site, the answer is quadrillion (After that come quintillion, sextillion, septillion and octillion).
  18. . . . So get ready for that term, especially when it comes to talking about government budgets, how much the economy is tanking or how much people are losing in the stock market.
  19. . . . Will this happen in our lifetimes? You bet, if things keep going the rate they are now.
  20. It's been reported that the Obamas' first dance will be to At Last which will be performed by Beyonce. She sang the Etta James version (1961, Argo Records) in the movie Cadillac Records.
  21. . . . Beyonce, you're no Etta James. Too bad the Obamas aren't going for the real thing. James is still around.
  22. Could Meet the Press' show "open" be any longer? Good God, the thing runs over two minutes, full of braying about who's on the show. I almost switch the channel when the show comes up. It's been that way for a while, a holdover from Tim Russert's reign. Over the years it's got longer and longer, so it's not just that the show has a new host (David Gregory).
  23. . . . Just announce the show title at 10:30 and get down to business and start interviewing. I don't need all that self-congratulatory garbage for a public affairs TV show.
  24. GEORGE WILL SAW 'VALKYRIE' (the Tom Cruise movie). At least it seems so to me he did from reading his column. He wrote about it in Newsweek in an article titled Almost Killing Hitler. He points out that there were numerous plots to kill der fuhrer and that Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg's (the Cruise character) wasn't the only one. Full of detail about the failed plots, interesting. Thanks George.
  25. Joan Rivers said this about Barack Obama's appearance in a Q&A in The New York Times Magazine: "I think he should've pinned the ears back years ago. They really annoy me. He represents my country now – pin back the ears!"
  26. . . . How nice of you to say, Joan. And what about your face?
  27. OBSERVED. John Boehner's (R-Ohio) tan has resurfaced. There for a while he was looking a bit pale, must not have had time to visit the tanning salon. But he seemed beaming and looking refreshed while meeting earlier in the month with the president-elect along with Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid, about a stimulus plan for the economy. If anything, they looked pale compared to John.
  28. Upon being asked how she felt about being a passenger in that US Airways Flight 1549 that "crashed" in the Hudson River in New York, Vallie Collins said, when she was safe and sound, "No survivors' guilt 'cause we all lived." Priceless.
  29. I can't wait to see Hotel For Dogs. It's supposed to be full of all kinds of purebreds and mutts and tricks and the humans in the movie play second fiddle to the canines. Good, I like that.
  30. Does Barack Obama think he's Abe Lincoln? The New York Post thinks so and put a stovepipe hat on top of his head to illustrate on its cover last week. It was comical.
  31. I'm worried about my money. Bank of America is my bank. What's gonna happen? Should I pull out my funds and hide 'em in my mattress? Then what happens if I'm burgled?
  32. . . . God, these days … You don't know what company's gonna fall next. It's anxiety-provoking.
  33. I DID A DOUBLETAKE . . . When I saw CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, reporting from the White House on a very windy day this past week. Her hair was flying all over the place, unkempt. It's usually helmet-like, always the same with not a hair out of place. This time it was all natural and waving in the wind and she didn't seem occupied by it – she threw caution to the wind? -- and wasn't trying to push it away, just stood there and did her two-way with Wolf Blitzer, concentrating on the news, impressive.
  34. . . . Too many people in TV have perfect looks all the time so it's good once in a while to let it all hang out.
  35. I don't know if I buy that Polish accent that actor Daniel Craig adopts for the movie Defiance. The soundbite I heard used in the preview seemed a little eastern European put-on to me.
  36. Chelsea Clinton was with mom Hillary at her confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill this past week. She looked good. Someone remarked that they thought she had curly hair and that on this particular day it was straight with a flip.
  37. . . . Perhaps she was going for a more mature look, dumping her college-age, free-flowing appearance in order to give off a more professional impression to the proceedings.
  38. . . . Besides that, she's probably gonna run for something. Paving the way?
  39. The Ted Kennedys got a new Portuguese water dog, named it Captains Courageous (after Rudyard Kipling's novel?) and will call it Cappy (aww). The senator thinks this kind of dog would be perfect for Obama daughters Sasha and Malia.
  40. . . . Portuguese water dogs, Labradoodles. Whatever happened to the idea of getting a mutt? Why go frou frou?
  41. Barack Obama had a chili half-smoke with cheese and a sweetened ice tea at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl in D.C., when he visited the popular 50-year-old establishment on a recent Saturday, along with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty who ordered his usual, a turkey dog and a bottle of water.
  42. . . . Fenty seems more designer-y and health-conscious to me. (He is a runner and keeps in shape.)
  43. . . . When Obama was asked by a reporter about the significance of his visit there, he answered, "It means I'm going to get a hot dog." Thanks.
  44. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, had her teeth cleaned this week. Owner Sally said she had to have it done because her gums might get infected. When it was all over, Sally was happy that the dog's breath was clean and her teeth were clean. (She checks that before they go to bed.) The doctor told her she had to brush the dog's teeth once a month. Good luck on that.
  45. Is Tina Fey (30 Rock) that much of a sex symbol that she has to wear a slit-down-the-center J.Lo-type dress at the Golden Globes? Did that work? I'd say not.
  46. . . . J.Lo sort of repeated that same theme this year with a gold concoction that seemed radiated the aura of cheapness, if you ask me.
  47. Ashford & Simpson (where the H have they been?) have "Obama-fied," according to USA Today, their 1984 pop single Solid (As a Rock) to Solid (As Barack). The cut will be available Inauguration Day on digital download.
  48. "As a fan of films I consider this a masterwork," said Brad Pitt, referring to his movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which was directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club), and which shows the actor (Pitt) aging backwards. The movie is interesting and well done and has a wistful and melancholy feeling throughout; the character is sincerely portrayed by Pitt and the special effects don't scream out at you.
  49. . . . All well and good, but using the term masterwork is a bit hoity toity, I'd say, Mr. Pitt(stop).
  50. Somebody oughta take that Pillsbury dough boy and squash him flat as a pancake like they used to do to Mr. Bill on Saturday Night Live. Those ads (Home Is Calling) where people click their heels three times and dream of Pillsbury crescent rolls is too much for me to stomach.
  51. John King, whose new Sunday morning talk show, State of the Union With , speaks very fast, just like David Gregory does on Meet the Press. The new generation, I guess. Guess Bob Schieffer and George Stephanopoulos will have to quicken the pace a bit in order to compete with the new generation of Sunday talk show hosts, pity.
  52. . . . Is faster, better?
  53. . . . And, JUST ASKING: Is it okay for a network to adopt the term, State of the Union, as a name for its own TV program? Isn't it copyrighted or trademarked or something?
  54. . . . Will CNN get in trouble with the government? (Like that would matter)
  55. There he was, Mario Batali, celebrity chef, slicing away on a spring onion while it's announced that he'll be up in the next segment of the Today show. He was looking straight into the camera (for his closeup) and not looking at what he was slicing. Dangerous. I was hoping he'd off a finger. Would serve him right for not paying attention to what he was doing.
  56. . . . What's more important: Kitchen safety or smiling for the camera?
  57. NEW BOOK. Birth of a Statesman: Barack Obama 2005 – 2008 – The Senate – The Epic Campaign, by Lauren Victoria Burke. 280 pages and 475 images, self-published by the photographer and available at blurb.com and independent book stores in Washington, D.C. Quite a compilation, impressive, a history document and a great souvenir.
  58. I wonder if we'll see a lot of those Snuggies (the blanket with sleeves that was heavily advertised at Christmastime) at the inauguration. It'll be cold – not overly so; they predict about 30 degrees – and they seem perfect for the occasion. (They come in royal blue, sage green and burgundy, $19.95, 1-800-909-7853.)
  59. . . . It's too late now to order but maybe we'll see some along the parade route and then they can use the video for next Christmas' TV sales drive onslaught.
  60. Who does Rahm Emanuel think he is? He comes off as arrogant.
  61. It looks like Jennifer Connolly is in another picture in which she looks awful and (intentionally?) unattractive. First it was The Day the Earth Stood Still and now it's He's Just Not That Into You (cameo role). What is it with her? She was once strikingly beautiful. Playing against type? Hmm. I want more bombshell beauty.
  62. UH . . . In the Still of the NiteThe Five Satins, on Ember Records, 1956. Classic example of the New York doo-wop/R&B sound. Ranked #90 out of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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