January 30, 2008


  1. . . . That's what people were talking about a week or so ago.  Meat from cloned animals. They say there's nothing wrong with the genetically modified meat, tastes the same and in fact it's being sold in supermarkets already. 
  2. . . . Who said they could do that?  How can you tell?  I don't want mystery in my meat.
  3. . . . Also, it's been reported that they've been doing it for a long time with grains.  So I guess my Cheerios and Thomas' Hearty Grains English muffins are duplicates too.
  4. . . .  I don't like knowing that the food I'm eating is being being tampered with.   I want something original – not some cheap facsimile.
  5. People magazine reported that Jenna Bush, one of the president's twin daughters, and fiancé Henry Hager are getting married at the Bush family ranch in Crawford, Tex., and not the White House.  I'm sure many are disappointed that there won't be a White House wedding with all the pomp and circumstance that would entail.  Too bad.
  6. . . . So will it be Hee Haw-ish instead of highfalutin?
  7. GOOD DEPICTION. The standard celebrity-filled Golden Globe Awards broadcast didn't happen this year.  No stars to gawk at.  Instead,  there was a news conference attended by several infotainment "reporters" sitting on a stage, one of which was Mary Hart of Entertainment Tonight who announced some of the winners.  New York Times reporter David Carr described her as having a "brittle smile floating above aggressive décolletage."  Perfect description. 
  8. . . . For some, she was gawk-worthy.
  9. NEW WOODY ALLEN MOVIE:  CASANDRA'S DREAM.  He's (Woody) not in it (he never is anymore).  Takes place in London and everybody has the British accent.  Two brothers with gambling and money problems and in search of quick fixes (Colin Farrell as Terry and Ewan McGregor as Ian) are persuaded to carry out the wish of an uncle (Howard, played by Tom Wilkinson) to get rid of an associate that threatens his business ventures.  The brothers devise a plan but then things begin to unravel.
  10. . . . Good acting and lots of dialogue which, in today's movies, is hard to find.  Remember when people actually talked in the movies?  Some have likened this latest Allen vehicle to 2005's Match Point, which he directed, but some say Point was better.
  11. . . . The title, Cassandra's Dream, refers to the name of the winner in a dog race that brother Terry bet on and won.  He uses the money to buy a sailboat and they name it that.
  12. For the announcement of this year's Oscar nominees last week, all the networks and cables carried it live at 8:30 a.m. on the East Coast and 5:30! on the West.  Then, afterwards, it just so happened that The EARLY Show on CBS had on Marion Cotillard as a guest, nominated for Best Actress for her role as Edith Piaf in the movie, La Vie en Rose, and NBC's Today show had on Ellen Page from Juno and then Hal Holbrook, nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Into the Wild
  13. . . . Well, how did that all happen?  How did those morning shows know to have actors on who would receive a nomination?  How did they know the outcome of the nominating process?  Did they have inside information?  Did they just roll the dice? 
  14. . . . Doubt it.  They've got connections but if you ask me, something doesn't seem right.
  15. NOTICED.  The trumpet fanfare in the opening theme for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric is one flourish too many.  Needs to be shortened, delays the start of the news.  We don't need that much music at the top of the show.  The anchor has to wait too long for the cue to begin delivering the news.   
  16. . . . Somebody cut the thing down and get on with the show.  And fire the original composer.
  17. The presidential candidates are starting to drop like flies.  Fred Thompson (and then Dennis Kucinich and then Giuliani and then Edwards) did and boy, he disappeared off the radar screen pretty fast. What's he gonna do, run fer Senate again?  Go back to Law & Order?  No, he can't do that; they replaced him with Sam Waterston.  (TV Decoder, a New York Times blog, speculates that if he did, it probably wouldn't be until the 2008/09 season and if so, in a cameo role.)
  18. . . . Is that what he's reduced to now?   
  19. . . . He didn't show enough energy for me while he was running for president.  Much too laid back. 
  20. . . . Someone wrote in to Washington Post Reliable Source columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts in their online chat that someone's  80-year-old grandmother called to say she heard that Fred Thompson "dropped dead."  The poster said he had to explain that Thompson dropped out and that Heath Ledger had dropped dead.  So she got her wires crossed last week.
  21. I'm sick of hearing about the stock market.  Things go up, things go down.  The panic-ridden reporters that all the media go to for talking head explanations need to take a cold shower.  The Trish Regans, the Erin Burnetts, the Maria Bartiromos … (that fem-bot CNBC gang) need to go on vacation to get some perspective.
  22. Actress Julie Christie's face looks noticeably younger, pulled up.  The several times Academy Award-nominated actress has been seen a lot recently due to her role in Away From Her, the movie in which she plays a wife who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.  (Sunday she won a SAG (Screen Actors Award) for that role.)
  23. . . . She's been around since the sixties but now she looks like she's in her twenties.
  24. The seventh season of American Idol has begun.  The ratings have been, again, through the roof.  More people are watching that show than (sometimes) all the other networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CW) combined on the nights they're on.  So they're doing well.
  25. . . . This is the auditions part of the show -- which I hate and think are stupid, cruelly condescending and insulting -- devised by the producers to show how amusing the wackos out there can be to get a chance to be on TV. 
  26. . . . How many times do we have to see shots of Randy, Paula and Simon as they react to the contestants?  Been there, seen that.
  27. . . . My mother says they've got a "trashy bunch of people on that show, it's terrible," she said.
  28. That Amy Winehouse (British pop/soul singer) video allegedly showing her smoking a crack pipe harkened me back to 1990 when Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C., was doing the same thing, caught on tape and arrested by the FBI in a hotel room in the nation's capital.  Ah … memories.
  29. Sly Stallone, in the movies as Rambo again, says in an interview with Time magazine that he did take prescription HGH (human growth hormone/testosterone) to bulk up for the new film, and that everybody should take it.  "Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed," he said.  He also told the mag that anyone over 40 would be wise to look into it because it increases the quality of life.
  30. . . . Stallone looks like he does take something.  His face looks doughy, big muscles and seemingly unusually fit for his age. 
  31. . . . Maybe I'm just jealous.
  32. Matt Lauer, on the Today show last Friday, said that Meredith Vieira, who was on her way to Buckingham Palace to interview a Prince Andrew (why him?), told him that she (Meredith) "promised me yesterday she'd steal a hand towel" and bring it back to her co-anchor.
  33. . . . Boy, that's good journalistic behavior.  Always looking for something free. What an example she sets.  They oughta get Scotland Yard after her.
  34. CAN'T DO THAT.  Now they tell people not to text message at the movies.  That makes noise too , says Kung Fu Panda, a dancing cartoon character (who's also plugging his  upcoming DreamWorks movie) who relays the message as part of that "turn off your cellphones/Silence Is Golden" warning that they play before the feature starts.
  35. . . . So the movie houses are trying to crack down.  Too bad nobody pays attention to any of it.
  36. Barack Obama won the South Carolina primary.  Hillary Clinton came in second and John Edwards, third.  Some reporters/commentators are saying Barack's beginning to act more presidential now and that his victory speech in Columbia indicated that.
  37. . . . So Hillary and Bill Clinton are now talking about the super importance of Super Tuesday, primary day for 24 delegate-heavy states on Feb. 5.  In other words, upon losing South Carolina they seemed to dismiss and diminish the importance of that primary and announced that ST was really the big one to win
  38. . . . How many big ones are there?
  39. . . . So once again, none of the losers can admit defeat.  It's not in the candidate vocabulary.
  40. . . . Somebody should ask the losers why they thought they didn't win.  But, of course, that depends, I presume, on how you define the word win.  Right, Bill Clinton?
  41. Mike Huckabee says he wants to abolish the IRS  (Internal Revenue Service).  That sounds a bit radical.  He's starting to sound like Republican rogue-runner Ron Paul. He's got ideas like that. 
  42. . . . Hucklebuck better watch out.
  43. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, was on her guard when owner Sally and she visited a friend in the Santa Cruz Mountainsover the holidays.  Her friend Becky had two "giant" shepherd/lab mix dogs named Bonnie and Clyde and Hanalie was a bit taken aback.  She had to spend some time outside with them and seemed scared and uncomfortable.  So she hid behind a plant.
  44. CLOVERFIELD.  That hand-held camera – that's severe hand-held-ishness --movie about New York City under attack from some huge amphibian-looking thing that wreaks havoc when it stomps through the city.  (There are also smaller, fluttery, fast-moving spider leg-looking things all over the place that scatter and attack too.)
  45. . . . A bunch of young professionals are the focus of the flick and the action is seen through the lens of a video camera operated by Hud (T.J. Miller), best friend to main character Rob (Michael Stahl-David).  So the movie is what he sees through the lens as he makes his way around through the rubble of Manhattan.
  46. . . . This has all happened in the past, as indicated by techy information shown on the screen at the beginning of the movie.  The video itself is now property of the U.S. government and is designated Cloverfield.  The tape was found in an area "formerly known as Central Park."
  47. . . . So the movie is all about getting away from the monster.  It's this generation's Blair Witch Project, if you ask me.
  48. Mr. Big Stuff said, "Tha elf guy dropped out of the presidential race.  That's Nabisco's Keebler elf."  That's Dennis Kucinich
  49. . . . Yes, he did, last Friday.  He made the announcement in Cleveland alone at the podium – without his new British wife Elizabeth, who has been frequently called "hot."  Too bad.
  50. Martha Teichner did a great piece for CBS's Sunday Morning on an artist they call Mr. Sandman (Jim Denevan). He draws images ("constructions") with a rake in the sand on the beach, only to (later) have the surf wash them away.  Beautiful.  They look, from an aerial view, like those UFO-type shapes you see in midwest cornfields.  As usual, Teichner delivers an intelligent, non-hyped, low-key narrative to the storytelling.
  51. . . . And something else arty:  A shot of Luke (which ran in several newspapers and on many Web sites), a male African lion at Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo, sitting outside his enclosure looking up at the snow falling down last week.  The majesty and curiosity of a beast.  Fantastic.
  52. I COULDN'T BELIEVE ITNBC Nightly News had entertainment reporter Maria Menounos do a piece on presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's two daughters. Of course, it wasn't hard news but why'd they do that?  Because she's good-looking?  For crissakes. All the serious news correspondents they have and somebody decided she should do the piece?  What's that do to that news organization's credibility?  I'll believe anything now.
  53. Caroline Kennedy, in an op-ed in The (last Sunday) New York Times, wrote (and later said) that Barack Obama reminds her of her father, JFK, referring to how the Illinois senator inspires hope for America, and endorsed him for president.
  54. . . . Caroline concluded her blessing by saying that she never had a president that inspired her the way people tell her her father did.  "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president …"
  55. . . . "Oh my man I love him so, he'll never know …"
  56. . . .  CAROLINE KENNEDY.  When's she gonna start running for president?
  57. . . . Uncle Teddy gave Obama his endorsement the next day at American University in Washington, D.C., where thousands turned out.  Kennedy seemed very happy and content about his decision.  Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales described Kennedy's speech as  "grand and happily hammy."
  58. . . . So they're all one big happy family now.
  59. . . . Poor Hillary Clinton.  She thought she'd get Ted Kennedy's endorsement but Ted was annoyed at hubby Bill's badmouthing of Barack
  60. . . . So word is that Hill's gonna have to put Bill on a tight leash.  He's in the dog house again. 
  61. Former second-season American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is now starring in Spamalot on Broadway, a comedy musical "ripped off from the pages of Monty Python and the Holy Grail."  Aiken plays the Eric Idle role and in an interview with Newsweek, when asked by their reporter how the rehearsals were going, Aiken said this:  "I'm sore.  I couldn't even get off the toilet the other day.  It hurts so bad.  I don't know if it's I'm not coordinated or using muscles I never had to use before."
  62. . . . TMI (Too Much Information), Clay
  63. Thank God they've taken those horrible, interminably long Vytorin ads off TV.  Yanked by Merck & Co. and Shering-Plough Corp., because of a study (Enhance) that showed it didn't lower cholesterol, which it claims.  If I heard that dumb, cute violin playing and saw Grandpa Alfredo and Grandma Barbie one more time I think I'd put a gun to the TV, like Elvis used to do.
  64. . . . Good, slap ‘em upside the head for misleading the public.  They're all a buncha liars.  I hope they don't sell another pill and they drag every doctor in the country that's prescribed it over hot coals.
  65. COMPACT FLUORESCENT BULBS.  Yeah, the environmentalists are recommending those now instead of our normal incandescents.  The spiral-shaped bulbs are a lot more expensive but, they say, more energy-saving and last longer.  They do have the same screw-in pattern at the base, however, and will fit into existing light fixtures around the house.
  66. . . . I don't like all my lighting to be fluorescent;  it makes things look green.  I like the old-fashioned white or soft whites.  You don't have to worry about escaping gas when you throw them out.  I'm afraid of fluorescents. 
  67. When that BA (British Airways) jet crash-landed a couple weeks ago at London's Heathrow Airport, an on-scene worker there said this:  "The man deserves an absolute medal as big as a frying pan."  Ha Ha Ha.
  68. . . . UH . . . (Have a) Happy LandingThe Miracles, on Tamla, 1963.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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