September 8, 2009


  1. … I’m sick’a seeing Brad Pitt’s jut-jawed mug sticking out at me every time I go in the subway or pass by a bus stop. The movie posters have been all over the place and the advertising has been very aggressive.
  2. Pitt plays a Nazi hunter and leader of a band of Jewish avengers (the “basterds” - not “bastards”: intentionally misspelled) who hunt down the bad guys and not just kill them … but scalp them and sometimes carve swastikas into their foreheads. All this is graphically filmed and depicted by director Quentin Tarantino who has a lust for blood and violence.
  3. … The title of the film has a cuss word in it and I don’t feel right calling up a movie theater (yes, I go online too) on its 800 number and having to say the title to find out when and where it’s showing. I don’t like being forced to say a dirty word like that. I might go to hell.
  4. … I want to see it but it’s two hours and 32 minutes. That’s a lot to sit through. I don’t have that much time to invest in it.
  5. … Movies shouldn’t be longer than an hour and a half. That’s enough to tell a story, get real.
  6. “WEE WEE’D UP”. President Obama said that a couple of weeks ago, talking about health-care reform and the overwrought reaction to it by pundits and people in Washington. “There’s something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee wee’d up.
  7. … His press secretary, Robert Gibbs, explained that back in August of 2007 there was doubt among pundits about Obama going into Iowa, and then in August of 2008 there was doubt as to whether Obama would win the presidency. The press got all up in a lather about those things unnecessarily, Gibbs inferred, referring to what the president meant by saying it.
  8. … I’ve never heard the term wee wee’d up before. Say “riled up” or “all excited” or something else besides using baby talk and a term that means going to the bathroom.
  9. 300,000 … People responded to a poll on the Today show to comment about Michelle Obama wearing shorts on vacation when she did so with the family on a visit to Grand Canyon National Park back in mid-August. Most respondents thought it was okay for the first lady to wear shorts in public but others thought they were inappropriate and also too short.
  10. … Some attributed the attention she got to August being a slow news month and that the press had nothing else to speculate and write about.
  11. … Have we seen that much leg action from other first ladies? Just asking. Somebody do the research.
  12. IRRITATED. About not being able to look in the paper and find movie listings and times anymore. They’ve been pulled by big chains like AMC and it’s annoying. You’ve got to have the mobile Web with you all the time or listen to an obnoxious commercial-filled recording on an 800 number to figure out a movie to go to. It’s ridiculous.
  13. … How much savings does that add up to? Don’t the movie companies and city papers all over the country owe the public something? It’s criminal what they get away with.
  14. … I like picking up the paper and seeing what’s showing at what theater. I don’t always want to use a BlackBerry or an iPhone to find out what movie’s showing where.
  15. PETER, PAUL AND NO MARY. Due to the lingering effects of Mary Travers’s chemotherapy treatment she will not be able to tour this summer but partners Peter and Paul are continuing on with the tour in tribute to her. The two just played Wolf Trap outside Washington a couple weekends ago. The group has been together for 50 years!
  16. … Someone who went said it was a little weird without Mary. Peter and Paul are great but you need that third voice.
  17. SHOCKED. To see Andy Griffith (of Mayberry) in bed with actress Liz Sheridan in the upcoming movie “Play the Game” (opens August 29). They’ve got the covers pulled up and both of them have smiles of contentment on their faces. Hmm. Andy, 84, plays a widower whose grandson wants to get him back in the dating game. (I guess he did.)
  18. … In one scene, reports The Washington Post, he takes Viagra and then shouts, “It’s alive! It’s a miracle! Quick - before it’s gone!”
  19. … I’m so glad he still has a sex life but what would Aunt Bee think.
  20. … Also in the movie is Doris Roberts who played Ray Romano’s mother in the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.
  21. I’ve got a bad feeling about Jay Leno in prime time. The show sounds like it’s turning into a variety show and is veering away from what it was like in late night, what people liked. Variety these days means reality show and all the accompanying sleaze, and that’s what people have come to expect in prime time. I don’t know if Leno’s show’s gonna click in this environment, five nights a week. Would you want America’s Got Talent or American Idol on that often? They tried it with Who Wants To Be a Millionaire years back on ABC and people got tired of it and the ratings dropped.
  22. … With the recent reputation of NBC program executives and decisions, I’d say it doesn’t look good.
  23. DISTRICT 9. Crazy, wild ride of a low-budget sci-fi movie about aliens (called “prawns”) from outer space who are being held in a military-like camp in Johannesburg, South Africa that has turned into a slum over the years, and there’s a black market between the aliens and rogue Nigerians. A multinational organization, MNU, wants to evict the standup/thin-waisted/Transformer-like, insect-faced aliens and move them to a worse place referred to as District 10. They assign operative Wikus van der Merwe (actor Sharlto Copley) in charge. Trouble ensues.
  24. … It’s rapid-paced, seems unusual and has a lot more to it than I have described. Some feel the plot is a bit hackneyed and not developed enough, but for me, it worked.
  25. Michael Vick, out of prison for running a dog fighting ring and now signed to the Philadelphia Eagles, said in his press conference apology, “I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.” What PR flack’s mouth did that come out of? Would Vick normally say it like that? I doubt it.
  26. … I’m sure all the dogs in heaven are looking forward to taking a bite outta Mr. Vick when passes through the pearly gates, assuming he goes to heaven. Oops -- I’m afraid he might be heading in the opposite direction. Cue the jackals.
  27. Maria Shriver helped carry the casket of her mother, Eunice Shriver, 88,who died August 11, along with her brothers, into St. Francis Xavier Church in Barnstable, Mass. I’d never seen a woman pallbearer before (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and it looked like she did a good job.
  28. … “Mummy wore men’s pants, smoked Cuban cigars and she played tackle football. She was momentum on wheels,” Shriver said at the service.
  29. … At the end of that service they played “When the Saints Go Marching In,” which, incidentally, was also played at Walter Cronkite’s funeral on July 23 by a jazz band at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.
  30. When CNN came out of a TV piece that Christiane Amanpour did called the “Generation of Islam,” Wolf Blitzer said, “Amanpour’s doing some extraordinary reporting.” Oh for crissakes, he says that about everyone who does field reporting. What’s extraordinary about it? You take a camera out and talk to people and do some editing and slap it on the air. It’s not rocket science.
  31. Wolf needs to get out (in the field) more. Some not-so-unusual things are happening.
  32. Lassie’s mom (June Lockhart - Yes, she’s still alive) was photo’d with the chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (John Shaffner) and a Lassie Jr. , at a dedication ceremony with the U.S. Postal Service in attendance for the Early TV Memories commemorative stamps. The stamps also include Ozzie & Harriet, Howdy Doody, Perry Mason, The Ed Sullivan and Tonight Shows, The Twilight Zone and others. Go out and get ‘em, baby boomers.
  33. … Too bad nobody uses stamps anymore; everything’s done online now. Something else that’s a dying breed. What’s next?
  34. Jermaine Jackson, when asked by Larry King in one of his many appearances on the talk show, if his brother Michael Jackson was the biological father of the children, said, in essence, that “you can tell they’re Michael’s, just look at them.” Uh, I beg your pardon. What world are you living in? Everyone’s saying the complete opposite and that just by looking at Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket (Prince Michael II) you can tell they look like anything BUT Michael Jackson’s kids.
  35. Gladys Knight sang at the (final) interment of Michael Jackson last Thursday at Forest Lawn Glendale in Calif. Good, she’s one of the few former Motown singers who still has her voice left. She’s taken care of herself; many others haven’t.
  36. … And double good because technically she’s the one who “discovered” the Jackson Five back in the day and NOT Diana Ross who got all the credit.
  37. The other day I drank a Diet Pepsi even though they found a frog or a toad inside someone’s can of it in Ormond Beach, Fla. one day last week and an FDA test proved it was the remnants of such an “animal.” (Ya mean amphibian?)
  38. … From now on I’m pouring the drink into a cup so I’m not surprised when I’m slurping out of the can and something solid passes by my lips. Yuch.
  39. JUST ASKING. Why wasn’t the Washington Metro (subway) system built with a 3-track system (like New York and other cities) instead of just 2 tracks? That way when there’s trouble they’d have a backup track to operate on. Couldn’t someone have thought of that way back when?
  40. … The D.C. Metro is plagued by never-ending problems and is still reeling from an accident on its Red Line that happened back in June in which nine people were killed and 80 injured due to a computer glitch in its automatic train control system.
  41. … They’re still working on the track lines and causing all kinds of delays and inconveniences for riders and commuters. It’s a crime.
  42. Why does Fox News Sunday have on two pundits from The Weekly Standard (Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes) and two from NPR (Mara Liasson and Juan Williams) on its Roundtable segment (last Sunday)? I mean, the world is full of talking heads. Can’t they mix it up a little better than that?
  43. Former congressman James Traficant (D-Ohio) got out of prison (for taking bribes and racketeering) last week and was seen walking toward a cab by himself WITHOUT his famous hairpiece that used to sit atop his noggin.
  44. … Maybe they don’t allow hairpieces in jail. Too easy to hide something underneath?
  45. … He was carrying a side bag on his shoulder and a plastic bag (probably with all his worldly possessions that he was allowed to have inside the prison gates). Alone. Seemingly, no one there to pick him up and take him home. Sad, isn’t it?
  46. Whitney Houston appeared on GMA last Wednesday in a pre-taped concert from Central Park. INEVITABLE QUESTION: Does she still have the voice? I’d have to say no. The highs and lows are not there; the mid-range still is. She gallivanted around the stage too much and seemed almost hopped up on something. I don’t remember Whitney Houston performing like that in the past. (She never could dance.)
  47. … But it was good to see her and she does have a fan base, although they really get those crowds to yell-up on all those morning shows - it’s all artificial and manufactured hype to make things seem exciting. In other words, it’s BS.
  48. … Let’s see how the album does, I Look To You. Hope it sells big for Whitney, she deserves it.
  49. WHO’S WORSE? The Taliban or al-Qaeda? I could do without both of ‘em.
  50. DOES JENNA BUSH HAGER DESERVE A NETWORK TV JOB? Many would say not. What is it with NBC? First it was hiring Tim Russert’s son Luke (is he still working there?) Now it’s one of former President Bush’s twin daughters. Jim Bell, executive producer of the Today show, was supposedly impressed by the young Bush when she was a guest on the program to promote a book (Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope) she wrote about an HIV-infected mother from South America. It was then that he got the idea, he said. (She’s also written another book and is a part-time teacher in Baltimore).
  51. … She’ll contribute monthly stories to Today on education-related topics.
  52. Bell told The Associated Press, “I think she knows something about pressure and being under some scrutiny. When she came here for a handful of appearances, she knocked it out of the park.” Please.
  53. NEVER KNEW THAT. Mr. Big Stuff points out that those Wawa convenience stores through the mid-Atlantic states were started in Wawa, Pa., and that that name comes from the Ojibwe (Native American) word for the Canada goose (taken from The Song of Hiawatha) and that an image of the goose in flight is the corporate logo and is seen above the door entrance on every Wawa you step into. Thanks.
  54. ASKING AGAIN. Why would Time magazine put a picture of Ted Kennedy on its cover that looked distorted? The camera looks too up-close on the senator and his head looks too big, unattractive. He didn’t look like that in real life. Who pays these people to do inferior work like this? Who’s the photo editor? Who’s the executive editor? What’s their explanation? To be arty? (You call that art?)
  55. … No wonder the weekly news magazines are dying. It’s a lousy picture.
  56. Chef Boyardee (ravioli) advertises that it’s got “a full serving of vegetables in every bowl.” That threw me off. But it turns out that they’re calling tomatoes, vegetables, which, technically, they’re not; they’re fruit. Can we do away with all this deliberate distortion of the facts, for crissakes, and throw the bums out? Good God.
  57. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, was coughing/sneezing a lot the other night. Owner Sally seems to think the cats (Buddy and Emma) make her do that and that maybe Lee Lee has an allergy to her co-habitators. Well, she’s got her annual trip coming up to Charleston, N.C., so a break from the felines might be good for her. She stays at a pet-friendly hotel and she’s more famous there than Sally.
  58. NO MORE ‘GM’. The famous “Symbol of Excellence” corporate logo will no longer be used on its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC core brands because the company, due to bankruptcy, is technically now not GM but Motors Liquidation Company, MTLQQ. What an insult. Who would’ve ever believed that would happen?
  59. … Nothing stays the same.
  60. UHEverything Must Change - Quincy Jones, from his Body Heat album of 1974, on A&M Records. Original vocal by Bernard Ighner. Later recorded by many artists, including Nina Simone.


© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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