Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Emmy Awards at Hyper Speed

I used to love to watch the Emmys.   That was back in the day when I watched a lot more television than I do now.  Since I'm now spending more time revisiting old classics on Hulu, I secretly hope that this year's awards were cleaned up by the likes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Frasier, and the Golden Girls.   Oh, wait, they won a lot of Emmys back in the day?   Well, it would be fun to relive those moments.

So, long story short, I had zero interest in this year's Emmy telecast.   I knew it would be heavy on the political commentary and, frankly, I don't like my leisure time infiltrated with a lot of preaching.   Given that the grossly unfunny Stephen Colbert was hosting, I knew this would be a tough watch.   Plus the Dodgers were playing on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.   Easy choice.   So I did the Dodgers live and taped the Emmys.   The fast forward button would be my friend.

And, boy oh boy, it sure was.  Once the Dodgers were out of the game, I clicked on the Emmys to start and pointed my remote control at the TV like an FBI agent on a stakeout.

Okay, Stephen Colbert's monologue.   I didn't hear a single word and I sped by so fast that I didn't even know that Sean Spicer made a cameo appearance till the next morning.

Pointless banter between presenters?   Fast forward.

An Emmy to a supporting actress in a drama I never heard of.   Fast forward.  

Acceptance speech by some actor in a comedy I never heard of.   "I am so thankful for everybody that was on this journey with me."   Okay, it was an acting gig.  You were not lost in the Congo for days.  Fast forward.

In between my zipping around the Emmys, I fell victim to the guy who was doing the announcing of the whole evening.   The asshole is pictured above. He's Jermaine Fowler on CBS' Superior Donuts and...that's right...I have never watched it.  As winners mounted the stage to get their gold, Fowler was screaming into the microphone some ad libbed and terribly unfunny factoids about the award.   How the hell did this happen?   He sounded like the newest clerk at Walmart trying to get a price check over the loudspeaker.

Now I slowed down my fast forwarding to hear just how bad this clown was.   And began to wonder what he was doing there.

Oh, wait.   CBS had been hit with some charges of not having that much diversity in their prime time fare.  So, this is how they get out from under that rock.  By having some dope hijack TV's biggest night with inane stupidity.   I hit the fast forward button again as I contemplated our country's slippage down the rabbit hole just a little further.

The only other part of the evening that I watched was the usual "In Memoriam" segment to TV folks who have died in the last year.   Again, they semi-ruined this as the tendency now is to have some half-baked singer do their American Idol audition behind the scroll of dead people.   Yawn.

I have no recollection of who won or who said what or who made a fool of him or herself.   But I watched the Emmys.

In 26 minutes!  Not my personal best.   But I will try harder next year.

Dinner last night:  Leftover sausage and peppers.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Morning Video Laugh - September 18, 2017

Yet the other host on QVC keeps on selling.

Dinner last night:  Sausage, peppers, onions, and tomatoes.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Hurricanes I Remember

The recent devastation of Harvey and Irma (the hurricanes not that cute old couple who got some press with those names) had me glued to the television set recently.   Truly train wrecks you could not look away from.   The Irma visit to Florida hit me a little bit closer to home as I have cousins near Tampa and a couple of friends scattered around the rest of the state.  I made sure to check in on them.

One friend is newly retired to the Sunshine State from New York and I called her both before and after the hurricane hit.  Having gone through all sorts of weather disasters up in New Jersey, she simply put that mentality of grit and determination to work in her new surroundings.   When I spoke to her after the power came back on, I noted that she seemed to profess this odd enjoyment of the whole event.   It might have been different if her roof had blown off or her car had floated out to the Atlantic.   But neither happened and she, in her own way, had been entertained by it all.

Now, when you live in New York, it is rare to get a hurricane that far up.  Of course, the recent Sandy storm was horrific and lots of people are still dealing with that several years later.   But, for the most part, you're safe from hurricanes in the Big Apple.

But I do remember two of them.   One I think was named Donna and that one was noteworthy because it showed up on the very first day I ever went to school.  Back in that day, you didn't have all that social media to drive up the angst several days before.   Essentially, you heard a hurricane was coming and you dealt with it.

I had started kindergarten and, when we heard that Donna was almost there, school was dismissed.   On this day, it was my grandfather who drove the five blocks to come and pick me up.   I will never forget to this day how he stared out through the windshield and watched the first ravages of the wind.

"I guess we're really going to see a hurricane."

Our house on South Fifteenth Avenue in Mount Vernon would see it in a big way.   Overnight, as the rain pellets on the window lulled us to sleep, there was suddenly a loud crash that woke everybody up.   My father peeked out the upstairs window.

"Well, that big tree we wanted to remove in the yard is gone."

It had fallen over quite conveniently on a power line, which left us with no electricity.   And, gasp for me...no cartoons.

Probably one of the first days in my  life where I had to tough it ou.

The only other NY hurricane I remember might have been called Belle and it was predicted to hit landfall on Long Island around 10PM one night.   This was years after my kindergarten premiere that was rained out.   On the date of Belle, I was much older and had hot theater tickets with a slightly warmer date.  
These days, Broadway is very sympathetic to weather and will cancel all performances due to extreme climate.   Not so back then.   It was strictly " no exchanges and no refunds."  

All day long, I stayed close to the weather reports.   Landfall would be happening just as the third act would be starting.   Is this any way to take a date home from a Neil Simon comedy?   I thought of her safety.   More importantly, I thought of my own.   And I thought about the 75 bucks I had shelled out for these hard-to-get ducats.  (Yes, 75 dollars for two and that was a top price for a hot show).   

I finally aired on the side of caution.   Radio stations were telling everybody to stay home and definitely off the roads.   Ah, that would be and should be me.   Surely, the theater would revisit their policy on this the most disastrous of evenings.

I called the theater box office the next day to find out my next steps.

"No refunds.   Our actors were here.   Where were you?"

Home.  

Safe.

And I hope everybody in Texas and Florida gets back to their normal lives really soon.

Dinner last night:  Bacon cheeseburger at the Arclight.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Classic TV Theme Song of the Month - September 1967

This neglected comedy debuted fifty years ago this month.   Check out episodes on You Tube.   Way ahead of its time.

Dinner last night:  Grilled bacon and peppers.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Conference Call Bingo

We've all been there and this graphic captures the goofiness everybody experiences.   It is amazing that, in the technological world of 2017, nobody has fixed this messed-up method of communication.

Dinner last night:  Caesar salad.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Monday Night What, Who, Where, Why?

I'll date myself by saying I remember when "Monday Night Football" originally went on the air via ABC.   It was a big deal when I was a kid for a NFL game to dominate prime time television.  And the original announcing team of Keith Jackson, Don Meredith, and the toupee-wearing Howard Cosell became the in thing to tune in for.  

As I have grown further away from football fandom, I have paid almost zero attention to this show which is now on ESPN.   Plus I hear there is now "Thursday Night Football" and "Sunday Night Football" and probably "Wednesday at Midnight Football."   Who can keep track of it all?

Well, last Monday, I was dial flipping and I saw that the so-called MNF was back and I actually tuned into the fourth quarter, primarily because it featured the new-to-LA Chargers team.   My curiosity level was at a 1 and that's a large number for me and NFL Football.

What I saw and I heard astounded me.

The play-by-play announcer sounded like an old Cab Calloway 78 rpm record from the 30s.   Is this the regular voice?   I thought they were having technical problems but, frankly, the color commentator didn't sound the same way.   Hmmm.

I listened some more and got even more confused.   Is that play-by-play voice that sounds so bad a guy?  Or is it a woman?  Whoever and whatever, it came across like screeching brakes just before a 10 car pile-up on the 405 Freeway.  I grabbed my tablet and did a little research to find out just who and what I was listening to.
Okay, the color guy I learn is former coach Rex Ryan and even the most uneducated of football fans like me know who he is.   The play-by-play voice is indeed that of a woman.   Somebody named Beth Mowins and I have no clue who the hell she is.  

Now before you get your hackles up and storm this blog thinking that I believe there is no room for females in a sports press box, you are wrong.   As long as they are qualified, know their stuff, and have done their homework, I have no quibbles about this.   After all, nobody works harder than the Yankees' Suzyn Waldman all these years.  She has a place for sure.   However, ESPN's baseball dumbbell Jessica Mendoza does not.

But, to me, a play-by-play announcer needs a discernible and easy-to-listen-to voice.  Mowins, who apparently per her bio has been around the block in this business for a while, sounds shrill and difficult to hear for more than five seconds at a time.  During one busted field goal conversion, she sounded like somebody who was being mugged in an alley.  I wanted to go out to wherever Howard Cosell is buried and watch the ground move as he flipped over in his grave.

But, wait, there is more...

The third announcer on MNF is the roving field reporter and this is now somebody named Sergio Dipp.  The last name is wonderfully appropriate.  This 29 year-old boob from ESPN Desportes, the Hispanic edition of the network, was unintelligible.   Check out this mess and the subsequent apology.


Anybody??? 

The fact that this clown immediately threw in the diversity card into a broadcast where it had no place is ridiculous.   But that's where we be these days, sports fans.

Okay, I have nothing against diverse hires as long as they have done their legwork and put in the time.   This idiot, however, got the job for one reason alone and it was not talent-related.   I guess the same might be said for Beth Mowins, too.   She's likely competent but, at the same time, she is not easy on the ears.

This would all be a bigger deal for me, but I probably won't watch Monday Night Football again for another 47 years.   What's the difference?

And just a few more inches down the rabbit hole for the good, old United States.

Dinner last night:  Stir fry vegetables.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This Date in History - September 13

Happy birthday to Barbara Bain, Cinnamon on TV's Mission:Impossible. Now that's a spice.

585 BC:  LUCIUS TARQUINIUS PRISCUS, KING OF ROME, CELEBRATES A TRIUMPH FOR HIS VICTORY OVER THE SABINES.

I don't know who any of these people are.

509 BC:  THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER OPTIMUS MAXIMUS ON ROME'S CAPITOLINE HILL IS DEDICATED ON THE IDES OF SEPTEMBER.

So every month has ides?   I did not know that.

1501:  MICHELANGELO BEGINS WORK ON HIS STATUE OF DAVID.

Is it me or did he spend way too much time around the crotch area?

1504:  QUEEN ISABELLA AND KING FERDINAND ISSUES A ROYAL WARRANT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A ROYAL CHAPEL.

All of this is a royal pain.

1609:  HENRY HUDSON REACHES THE RIVER THAT WOULD LATER BE NAMED THE HUDSON RIVER.

Long before it became a Mafia burial ground.

1743:  GREAT BRITAIN, AUSTRIA, AND THE KINGDOM OF SARDINIA SIGN THE TREATY OF WORMS.

They swallowed the bait.

1788:  THE PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION SETS THE DATE FOR THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN THE US.

It's all downhill from here.

1814:  DURING THE BATTLE WHERE THE BRITISH FAIL TO CAPTURE BALTIMORE, FRANCIS SCOTT KEY COMPOSES HIS POEM WHICH WOULD LATER BECOME THE COUNTRY'S NATIONAL ANTHEM.

Play ball!

1848:  VERMONT RAILROAD WALKER PHINEAS GAGE SURVIVES AN IRON ROD 1 1/4 INCHES IN DIAMETER BEING DRIVEN THROUGH HIS BRAIN.

Just for funsies.

1862:  AMERICAN CIVIL WAR - UNION SOLDIERS FIND A COPY OF ROBERT E. LEE'S BATTLE PLANS IN A FIELD OUTSIDE FREDERICK, MARYLAND.

Written on the back of a Denny's menu.

1899:  HENRY BLISS IS THE FIRST PERSON IN THE US TO BE KILLED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT.

And he won't be the last.

1903:  ACTRESS CLAUDETTE COLBERT IS BORN.

It Happened One Day in 1903.

1908:  ACTRESS MAE QUESTEL IS BORN.

Not only the voice of Betty Boop, but Olive Oyl as well.

1914:  WORLD WAR I -  THE BATTLE OF AISNE BEGINS BETWEEN GERMANY AND FRANCE.

Don't tell me.   France lost?

1918:  MUSICIAN RAY CHARLES IS BORN.

Remember what you saw the first seven years.

1925:  SINGER MEL TORME IS BORN.

I hear this guy was a real shithead.

1931:  ACTRESS BARBARA BAIN IS BORN.

Married to Martin Landau for a while.   Saw her once in the lobby of the Arclight Hollywood.

1948:  MARGARET CHASE SMITH IS ELECTED US SENATOR AND BECOMES THE FIRST WOMAN TO SERVE IN BOTH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE.

I suppose she's proud of that.

1948:  ACTRESS NELL CARTER IS BORN.

Oh, gimme a break.

1953:  NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV IS APPOINTED GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PART OF THE SOVIET UNION.

Florsheim is having a shoe sale.

1971:  STATE POLICE AND NATIONAL GUARDSMEN STORM NEW YORK'S ATTICA PRISON TO QUELL A PRISON REVOLT.

Attica!  Attica!!  Attica!!!

1977:  CONDUCTOR LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI DIES.

Can you imagine what the mortician said when he saw that hair?

1985:  SUPER MARIO BROS IS RELEASED IN JAPAN FOR THE FIRST TIME.

I was not a video game fan.  Just sayin'.

1993:  ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN SHAKES HANDS WITH PLO CHAIRMAN YASSER ARAFAT AT THE WHITE HOUSE AFTER SIGNING THE OSLO ACCORDS GRANTING LIMITED PALESTINIAN AUTONOMY.

Anybody got some Purell?

1996:  MUSICIAN TUPAC SHAKUR DIES.

Caput.

1998:  POLITICIAN GEORGE WALLACE DIES.

At last.

2006:  TEXAS GOVERNOR ANN RICHARDS DIES.

I met her when she did a cameo on Murphy Brown.   I actually had to wake her up from a nap during rehearsal.

Dinner last night:  Had a big lunch so just some macaroni salad.