October 31, 2006


  1. . . . Yep, cold mornings now. Feels good, refreshing.
  2. . . . And speaking of pumpkins, I know it's late but I need one for my front window. Can somebody go out and get me one, I don't have time.
  3. . . . And while you're at it, carve it and take all of that junk out of it.
  4. . . . And make sure you anchor a candle down inside it. I want it ready to go.
  5. Mr. Big Stuff complained about having to turn all his clocks back. It was a chore, he said. The microwave, the VCR, the wall clock, the nightstand clock, his MP3. He was overwhelmed and doesn't look forward to having to repeat the process in the spring.
  6. . . . He's got a point. It is a hassle.
  7. . . . And then they lay a guilt trip on you and remind you to change batteries too in every stupid thing you own. I'm sick of buying ten dozen AA's when I only need one!
  8. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, medical contributor, formerly of ABC's Good Morning America, has landed on her feet. (Some say she left ABC under a cloud.) She's medical editor for NBC News now and she's on the air practically every day of the week, whether it's the Today show or NightlyNews. So they're getting their money out of her.
  9. . . . And The CBS Evening News has a new medical correspondent for Katie Couric to talk to: Dr. Jon LaPook. He appears live on the set leading in to and out of his pieces which run quite often. Wears a lot of makeup and looks like he's got a jawbreaker in his mouth.
  10. TONY'S GOOD. Tony Bennett's new album, Tony Bennett Duets: An American Classic, is. He's paired with many of the big names in music and the CD's got 19 cuts on it. All are duets except one that's just Tony singing San Francisco solo with piano accompaniment by Bill Charlap, simply done. Plus, if you purchase it at Target, you get four bonus cuts.
  11. . . . The album features Bennett's quartet but is enhanced by a full orchestra conducted by Jorge Calandrelli and that's why I like it. I was getting tired of his latest albums just being done with a jazz combo. More instruments are more interesting. I like lush, not spare.
  12. . . . And reportedly the songs were recorded in person with his duet partner(s) and not by remote control and guess what? You can tell. The artist interaction is intimate, you can tell they're both in the same room.
  13. . . . So that's good.
  14. GRIPE. I'm sick of coming in to work everyday, opening up the computer, going to my e-mail and getting the repeated message, "Your mailbox is over its size limit. " Again? It seems like all I do is delete items and empty the trash. It's getting old. Just get me a bigger mailbox. I'm a busy man. I don't have time to fool with this crap.
  15. Former anchorman Tom Brokaw interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger for NBC Nightly News last Friday. I thought Brokaw retired. Everytime you turn around he's on TV again. He's never going away, just like Cronkite.
  16. . . . Plus, Tom is part of NBC's election coverage next Tuesday and will be on the set with Brian Williams and Tim Russert. So he's there again.
  17. . . . Remind me to get a retirement deal like that.
  18. JUST ASKING. Does that oral analgesic HeadOn that you "apply directly to the forehead" for headaches leave a residue? Is it like when it's Ash Wednesday?
  19. THE QUEEN. Good movie, well done, about Queen Elizabeth (Helen Mirren) and how she coped with and compromised her traditional beliefs about the Royal Family when faced with England's and the world's reaction to the death of Princess Diana. The Queen held back and didn't want to make a public display of grief. But Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) strong-armed her and she succumbed, making a televised appearance and mingling with the people who gathered outside Buckingham Palace. Mirren and Sheen do an excellent job conveying the struggle and the supporting cast is of equal caliber, performance-wise.
  20. . . . Also, the director does a good job of interspersing real TV footage from the events of the time with the regular movie. Interestingly done.
  21. . . . Plus, Sheen is a real look-alike for the real Tony Blair. But sorta Dilly Dally-ish, for those who remember that TV character from The Howdy Doody Show.
  22. MELTING DOWN. That's what President Bush seems to be doing. At his news conference last Wednesday he acted very on-edge and irritable with all the questions about the war in Iraq and even about other things too. Sounds impatient and frustrated, like your father would be when you kept asking him the same question.
  23. A local TV weather person here in the D.C. area called the autumn leaves fall foilage. She meant foliage. But give her the benefit of the doubt. That word foliage (to me) is a hard one to say.
  24. . . . Another local TV reporter did a piece about crime in D.C. and went around asking people, "How safe is your 'hood? " 'Hood? What about neighborhood? What, is he trying to relate to a young audience? (Probably) And he repeatedly asked the question to many passersby and each time used the slang word. This was a piece for the news on a serious subject. He never used the word neighborhood one time. Poor judgment and inappropriate.
  25. BUSTED. Popular video download Internet spot YouTube is and it's probably just the beginning. Viacom, which owns cable TV's Comedy Central has nixed permission for the popular site to put up clips from Jon Stewart's Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park plus videos from MTV and BET. They're asking YouTube to "purge" the popular clips and Tube is complying. The "plaintiffs" allege that the clips are being pirated and they're not paying any fees. The heart of the matter is copyright infringement.
  26. . . . Google just bought Tube for $1.65 billion. This could mushroom if other companies follow suit. Not to be doomsday-ish but it could be the beginning of the end.
  27. I am sick of hearing about the Dixie Chicks. Do we have to re-dredge 'em up again and again? How long ago was it when they made that remark about being ashamed that they were from the same state as George Bush? Now, of course, there's a movie out about the whole brouhaha., Shut Up and Sing. That's good advice.
  28. . . . By the way, they do a duet with Tony Bennett on his new album (Lullaby of Broadway) and they sound real good. That's what I want out of music "artists" - not politics. Thank you.
  29. JUST ASKING. Does Scientology approve of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes having a baby out of wedlock? Are they living in sin? What does their "church" doctrine say about that?
  30. . . . But we do know that they're gonna make it legal now on Nov. 18 in Italy. So maybe they'll look better in the eyes of L. Ron Hubbard.
  31. ANOTHER MOVIE: Infamous, the second one about writer Truman Capote and his book, In Cold Blood, the story behind the murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kan., in 1959. This version of the story, starring Toby Jones as Capote, is a bit different from the one that was out earlier this year and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Both actors do a good job but I think Jones really gets the character, especially his size, dress, speech and how he thinks. He's really something to watch.
  32. . . . This movie really goes into why Capote was so obsessed about writing what turned out to be a groundbreaking bestseller.
  33. . . . And Daniel Craig, the new James Bond (whose Casino Royale comes out Nov. 7) plays one of the cold-blooded killers really well. The relationship between writer and subject is really hashed out. Again, another one worth seeing.
  34. A co-worker of mine said this rather flippantly while passing my desk when I announced out loud that swimming champion/actress Esther Williams (many movies of the '40s and '50s), was hospitalized for a viral infection: "How old is she ... a hundred?"
  35. . . . No, she's 85 as a matter of fact. This younger generation ... they need to show more respect for older people. Just because it wasn't Paris Hilton or somebody ...
  36. IT GETS ME . . . When Katie Couric opens up The CBS Evening News show every night with "Hi everyone." I want my network news anchors to say "Good evening." It's more formal and that's the way I think it should be. Next she'll be saying "Hi guys," for crissakes.
  37. "CALL 1-800-STEEMER. Stanley Steemer makes carpets cleaner." That's all I do, is sing commercials all through the day.
  38. Madonna on Oprah last Wednesday seemed to have somewhat of a British accent. I guess she's acquired it naturally by living in England. They say that happens. But it still seems affected, trying to sound classy. Phoney, if you ask me. But considering her naughty background I guess she's now trying to cross over to respectability.
  39. American Idol Ruben Studdard was on CBS's Saturday Early Show recently and sang Change Me, a cut from his new album, The Return. Well, it happened. He sounds all hip-hop now and just like the rest of the pack in that musical genre. The wholesome Ruben who was on TV and sang mainstream-type songs now brags about being a "playa" and dressing down the girls. The material on the album is not that good. It's disappointing.
  40. . . . Please don't call me old-fashioned.
  41. EXFOLIATE. MICRODERMABRASION. Who made up those words? Gimme a Break!
  42. . . . And TRANS FAT. Too complicated, not worrying about it.
  43. I think the new Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., looks like those steel fingers of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine character in the X-Men movies. Who designed that dumb thing?
  44. Sting's new album, Songs From the Labyrinth, features Bosnian lutenist Edin Karamazov. They both play the lute. Different. Love songs from 17th century composer John Dowland, a "melancholy madrigalist," sayeth a review on amazon.com.
  45. . . . Sounds like a stretch to me.
  46. Russell Crowe's got a new movie coming out, A Good Year. About an Englishmen who inherits a vineyard in France that an American woman claims is hers. Sounds boring to me; the preview is.
  47. . . . Think people are ready to see Crowe without thinking about him throwing cell phones across a room?
  48. Donnie Osmond's been on QVC hawking DVDs of The Best of the Donny & Marie Show. He still looks good. He's currently on Broadway as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. He's had a long entertainment life.
  49. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, has a new "sister," reports owner Sally. Dolly, an 11-year-old chestnut thoroughbred, will now be part of the family. Hanalie hasn't met Dolly yet but Sally thinks Dolly is very much "like a dog herself as far as personality and loyalty go, so they'll do well together."
  50. . . . "Talk to the Animals . . . "
  51. BARRY MANILOW TACKLES ANOTHER DECADE. This time it's The Greatest Songs of the Sixties. (He did one for the fifties.) Hope this one's a little more creatively conceived. The Fifties one was like Muzak. He's seen knocking himself out in performance video in TV ads and he did just that on Good Morning America on Monday. The guy was really "feeling it" but it did seem really corny.
  52. NBC's Richard Engel has been reporting in the Middle East for three and a half years now, mostly Baghdad. And longer than any other U.S. reporter, claims NBC. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz profiled him last week in the paper and Engel said it was "horrible" over there. "One time I watched a dog carry a severed human head in its mouth." Geesh.
  53. Politicians, including Vice President Dick Cheney, use Purell, that sanitizing hand lotion, when they're out and about shaking hands and stumping so they can keep germs at bay and avoid getting sick, reported The New York Times in an article by Mark Leibovich last Saturday. Many others use it too, including President Bush, Barack Obama, former senator Bob Dole, Sen. John McCain, Donald Trump, Al Gore and Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
  54. . . . But, the article points out, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, doesn't have any need for the anti-bacterial. "It's condescending to the voters," he said. "I've been offered it, but I've turned it down."
  55. . . . He's not afraid of getting his hands dirty.
  56. HIGH HEEL RACE. They had the annual Halloween-time running of men in pumps on 17th Street in D.C. last Tuesday. Mr. Highfalutin took along (new character here) Blonde Bombshell and they stood along the sidelines to watch two Condoleezza Rices, JFK and Marilyn Monroe, those Fanta soft drink gals and even mayoral candidate Adrian Fenty, shaking hands and working the crowd on a cold, cold night. Highfalutin and Bomby ducked into a cozy nook and capped the night off with hot toddies.
  57. That actress on Cold Case, Kathryn Morris (Lilly Rush), looks like her makeup's done by an undertaker. I don't get it.
  58. MORE MADONNA. She's gonna talk again. Three more times, according to London's Daily Mail newspaper. One of them is with NBC's Meredith Vieira for a Wednesday airing on Today and Dateline that night. Don't know who else is in line to interview Miss Ciccone.
  59. . . . She spilled all her beans to Oprah last week, if you ask me. What more is there to say? Why blanket all media outlets with this story? People have heard enough. Put it to bed. Tell her to go back where she comes from, England. Oh, wait a sec ... She's really from the U.S.
  60. . . . It's hard to keep track of these wander the world celebrities and I'm finding out for myself that I'm caring less and less.
  61. . . . UH . . . More, More, More - The Andrea True Connection, on Buddah, 1976 and covered many, many times and heard in many TV commercials. She, True, was once a porn star.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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