Saturday, March 31, 2007
Of course, a jammed flight with the "public" did not help. I really think we need to emend who gets to fly---both when and how. I wish airlines would impose the following easy 10 step questionnaire to determine someone's "flyability."
1. Are you human? If yes, please continue to question #2.
2. Do you like to take your shoes off for long periods of time? If yes, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
3. Do the children traveling with you have problems sitting in their seat for more than 2 minutes at a time? If yes, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
4. Have you ever been trained in the use of a Kleenex? If no, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
5. Do you just love to stop at fast food places in the airport before boarding and buy anything that contains cheese or onions? If yes, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
6. Do you view public places as a simple extension of your living room at home? If yes, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
7. When you do a Sudoku puzzle mid-flight, do you explain out loud the logic of every number's place to the passenger next to you? If yes, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
8. Did you shower within twenty-four hours of boarding the aircraft? If no, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
9. Do you use the seat pocket in front of you as a garbage can? If yes, there is no reason to continue with this questionnaire.
10. Are you able to read? If no, then all other answers you provided above are now discarded.
If we impose these very simple regulations, air travel will be so easy. And it will probably reduce the number of Americans who qualify to about 173.
Dinner last night: a bag of trail mix. Yep, I had to resort to "Food for Purchase" on AA Flight 119
Friday, March 30, 2007
But, that's harder to do in the cell phone age. You hear one-sided conversation after another. And they are seemingly pointless.
"I'm on the train."
"What are you doing now?"
"What time are you leaving for work?"
"I'll call you when I get to the office."
"Call me when you get to your office."
Now, how boring is that? I mean, let's face it, you called me on the train, so where the hell did you think I was? On Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in Disneyland??!!
In my smugness, I always chalk this to society's bizarre need to have more information than you ever need...and to be constantly in touch with somebody at any given time.
But, it has dawned on me. This is post 9/11 New York. Some of these people on the Metro North train might actually want to be connected because, at one time in the short past, they were temporarily disconnected. Or perhaps even permanently cut off.
I was in Los Angeles on that day. Oh, I saw and felt it all. I remember listening to Howard Stern, of all people, describe the collapse of the first tower. I drove to work, not trusting the rest of senior management to counsel worried colleagues. I was right. They did not. And I walked from office to office, sending people to a TV or home. I saw the rifles aimed haphazardly to the sky in front of the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard. They were looking for something...or anything. I recall Wilshire Boulevard at 6PM on a Tuesday night. Usually jammed with SUVs, you could shoot a cannonball down the block and not hit anything. The only place open for dinner was Nate N Al's, a Jewish deli which was packed because some folks won't be denied their brisket. The most surreal moment for me was seeing Rodney Dangerfield in the next booth---in his pajamas and with a fatal case of bedhead.
So, I felt it all because I was an American.
But, on that day, I was not a New Yorker.
And now I know why I hear those cell phones ring incessantly on the 6:54AM from Greystone every morning.
Dinner last night: Vegetable soup.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
---I actually heard on the radio this morning that a town in NJ is looking to pass a city ordinance that makes it illegal to beat up an old person. So, does that mean you can't beat one up today and not suffer any consequences?
---This is the Cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York, Edward Egan. He's been in the job for about 13 years and I hear that he is hated by many Roman Catholics throughout the city. He is closing parishes left and right and doing the same with parochial schools as well. I actually know one parent who's actually considering sending her kid to a public school instead of one of Egan's reconstituted schools. From what I read, his term as Cardinal has been frought with lies, deception, and a soupcon of money laundering. Plus I actually listened to his Christmas Eve homily on TV and he sounded like Ben Stein droning through that Visine commercial. "Glory to God in the highest and to Earth peace and good will toward....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ."
So, the radio said that Egan turns 75 next week. And this means that, through some nutty formality that only the Vatican could cook up, he must tender his resignation. All Cardinals apparently do so when they turn 75.
Wouldn't it be a great scam on Egan if it was accepted?
Yo, Pope Benny, what's Latin for "I accept."
---After last night Idol's, I am thinking there are several Whoppers with Chris Sligh's name on them at the LAX Burger King on Thursday.
---In honor of Carnac, I offer up this joke if Johnny Carson was still with us.
"I'll take a Coke, this bag of Funyons, a pack of Newports, and 30 dollars on Pump #1"
"What words do I hope Sanjaya Malakar will hear on Thursday?"
Dinner last night: a pizza rustica at this discovered restaurant in Hastings. Harvest is terrific. I want to go back.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
- Was that a strange episode or what? It was the sequel to "Rain Man". Very offputting. At least, Jack didn't take the tazer to the poor kid.
- One more week and no mention of the Logans' fate. I suppose they negotiated Jean Smart for one episode and out. I am thinking they fell into the black hole of 24 oblivion formerly known as Behrooz Aziz.
- Wasn't it amazing how lucid President Palmer could be after waking up from his coma? I'm groggier when I get up from a nap on the couch.
- So, no CTU mole this year? I love the break in tradition. It's sort of like Macy's dumping Santa Claus from the Thanksgiving Day parade.
- If I'm Nadia (and I know that's a major leap), I am going straight to HR, a lawyer, and Judge Judy after being inaccurately profiled. And then she gets hit on by Milo to boot?
Dinner last night: leftover sausage and peppers from Carlo's.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
It's a matter of time before somebody from SNL wins an Oscar. But, as the older types mentioned above get fewer and fewer roles, the odds are dwindling. Come on, gang, does anybody really think there's an Oscar in Will Ferrell's future? Let's face it, the odds are in his favor---he puts out a new movie every week. But, my garbageman collects twice a week and he's got one up in the weekly trash department.
But, there are some possible candidates in the next crop of SNL film stars. Chris Rock is slowly starting to put together a modest film library for himself. On Saturday night, I saw his directorial and starring effort, "I Think I Love My Wife." It meandered. It was predictable. But it had some inventive moments and it appears that Chris is slowly trying to emulate Woody Allen. The pieces may fall together soon enough.
And then there's Adam Sandler. He appears to be dying for an Oscar. The last several roles have been virtual acting enemas. "Punch Drunk Love" was one that went screaming into the Oscar gold night. And, with "Spanglish," he actually started to show a range that Will Ferrell will not duplicate in a hundred years.
But, then came "Reign On Me." This is not a movie I expected to see. The trailer looked maudlin. And, I can easily find the tune from Quadrophenia on I-Tunes. However, as luck would have it, I was visiting in NY with my psuedo-nephew and his mom. And, after Sunday afternoon lunch, the timing was right.
Well, not really. Screenwriter/director Mike Binder has concocted a mess of another mess. The movie had one false note after another. There was one implausible situation after another. It was like trying to clean up Three Mile Island with an Oreck Air Purifier. There is somewhere a decent movie waiting to made about a 9/11 survivor. This ain't it.
But, beyond the script and direction, Binder committed one major fatal sin with regard to his star Adam Sandler. His actor chose to depict his character's mental anguish and possible insanity by using a Jerry Lewis-like voice. So, when the script called for a serious moment, Sandler's inflection sabotaged it all. Instead of quiet, the audience broke out into laughter. If this was Sandler's choice, Binder could have certainly solved it all by giving his actor a single note----lose the Jerry Lewis act.
So, what could have been a possible nom for Sandler now turns into an utter embarrassment. And it's the director's fault.
I guess the Academy is just going to have to wait for a really juicy performance from Horatio Sanz.
Dinner last night: a salami sandwich with a side salad. I cooked for myself.
Of course, NY music stores are as bad as NY radio. No Hermits. No Herman. But I did come across the first album release of Elliott Yamin. He was a finalist on I-dol last year: I believe he was the next-to-last to be voted off. I remember him having a strong voice, but he was a little difficult to look at.
He had an odd shaped head, bad teeth, and possessed the look of somebody who used to hang around a filling station all day.
Well, I picked up the CD and surveyed the cover. Elliott has had the anti-Frankenstein procedure. There is a Beverly Hills dentist who now has a new pool and home theater installed after the last invoice paid.
More importantly, I gave the test listen. Nice cache of music...some rock, some very jazzy. A terrific mix.
I am now a statistic. I have purchased a record done by an American Idol finalist. I held out as long as I could.
Dinner last night: at my favorite Italian restaurant in Yonkers---Carlo's. The quintessential sausage and peppers. They should give lessons.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I had netflixed a documentary called "Giuliani Time." So, that was my Flight 114 pop-in.
I realize that most political documentaries are about half-accurate. Al Gore's Powerpoint presentation translated to film "An Inconvenient Truth" was interesting, but I understand that it has more holes than the ozone layer he is so worried about. And, of course, Michael Moore essentially edits and restages facts to get his points across.
So, with those grains of salt, I consider "Giuliani Time." If you believe the documentary per se, Rudy's tenure as NYC mayor was besotted with bigotry, scandal, police brutality, censorship, and blatant lies. The twist at the end is that he becomes the ultimate hero for his leadership on 9/11 and the days thereafter. And that is how he is perceived nationally.
So, now if you believe the polls, that one day has propelled him into being one of the most formidable candidates for the top job in 2008. That just goes to show that people only pay attention to news on the surface and don't really educate themselves on the issues. Do I believe that Giuliani is as much of a villain as these documentarians made him out to be? No. But, I am betting there are some kernels of truth in that can of urban corn.
As for me, I don't like him because he's a Yankee fan.
Dinner last night: some supermarket prepped food---a pork chop and German Potato Salad. You can't get the latter in Los Angeles.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
- I thought the British invasion essentially consisted of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the like. How did the theme from Diamonds Are Forever slip in there? Also, the love song from Oliver. I am betting Lionel Bart, the composer of that musical, never expected to be mentioned in the same breath as Mick Jagger.
- What the hell was up with that sobbing little girl? Was she wailing because Sanjaya was so bad or so good? It's the youth and future of America, so I guess we could go either way on that one. Actually, she looked a lot like Marcia Brady in season 1. Maybe a few too many shots in the head from a Wesson bottle wielded by Florence Henderson. Seriously, if that were my daughter, there would be both lithium and a belt strap waiting for her at home. What an embarrassment. I could not deal with the family shame.
- Phil Stacey remains creepy. He looks like Nosferatu. He definitely will be home in time for Halloween. I think he might even be home in time for Friday.
- I'm sure the most nervous person in the studio last night was the Harry Winston guard who was anxiously waiting to yank those diamonds off Lakisha as soon as she was done.
- Chris Sligh reminds me of a male Rosie O'Donnell. Actually, a male Rosie O'Donnell constitutes a redundancy.
- Can Sanjaya get any worse? By the way, did any of you get any telemarketing calls last night during Idol? I think not. India and Pakistan were in speed dialing mode. Of course, I would not be surprised if he sticks around one more week, which means he will get to go on the Idol tour. He'll be coming to your town soon. Make your vacation plans accordingly.
- Paula did not have her weekly mental breakdown last night. But she was spotted during a commercial break slipping some medication to that little girl.
- Good to see Lulu again. She's held up well after a busy screen career----of one film!
- If Sanjaya continues because of Howard Stern, I have a feeling that Eric the Midget will announce 2008 Presidential plans shortly.
- Did I notice rain slickers in the front rows while Blake Lewis was spitting his song?
- Hey, there, Haley. What's up? No Victoria's Secret stores in your area?
- Melinda killed again. She's my winner, hands down. I would say we could end the series now and bypass the next ten weeks, but I'm afraid Fox would then double pump more episodes of that Jeff Foxworthy pandemic.
If God gets Idol in his Direct TV package, then Sanjaya goes home...just like the end of the locusts and frogs. But I continue to have stalworth faith in my fellow Americans to make stupid decisions, so I am thinking Phil goes to LAX tomorrow morning.
Dinner last night: leftover pot roast.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
And now....7:00:00 PM, dank, dank, dank, dank.
- Has anyone noticed that Powers Boothe has no neck. I still would prefer him as VP over Dick Cheney.
- So, there was the big reveal that Audrey Raines was killed in a Chinese automobile accident. But are we sure that she was China at the time? There are Chinese automobile accidents daily in Ralphs' parking lots all over Southern California. By the bye, I am not connecting with this news of Audrey's demise. I've heard that Kim Raver has been shooting for episodes later in the season.
- Has anyone understood a single word that Morris has said all day/season?
- Does Ricky/Rick/Whatever Schroeder realize that he is playing a doomed part now that he is going out on Field Ops as Jack's wingman? Those roles are not open-ended. They all wind up dead. The only one who didn't get zipped up into one of those CTU body bags is Chase from Season 3. But he had his hand whacked off by a fire axe. Also, Ricky/Rick/Whatever playing a rascist? But his best friend on Silver Spoons was that little Black tapdancer.
- The cliffhanger from the previous episode was former President Logan coding blue in an ambulance after his wife stabbed him in the shoulder with a knife she had just used to slice up a kiwi. But we saw nothing of either in this episode. Unusually sloppy for 24 not to address that at least with a single mention last night.
- Like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the annual CTU mole hunt shows up on schedule. Nadia has been raising highbrows since Hour 1. But that is too damn easy. Who the hell does the background checks at CTU? They, too, should be fired....along with Sandra Bullock's script reader. (See previous post).
- When they showed the nuclear drone flying over San Francisco, I thought I noticed the lights from SBC Park, where the Giants play. So, I am thinking, if it crashes there with a lot of black and orange radioactivity, not so bad, right? I wonder how nuclear leaks counteract with steroids.
7:59:59 PM....dank, dank, dank, dank.
Dinner last night: A turkey burger from the Cheesecake Factory.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
But imagine my horror when I discovered that one of those red marks was on the next block. When I clicked on it, a name, address, police mug shot, and police record popped up. This gentleman looked like your average typical Best Buy salesman. Except, in lieu of selling LCD TVs, he was sporting a nifty conviction of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor.
Okay, so, initially, I didn't think this was real. But, today, on my way home from church (a metaphor if I ever wrote one), I noticed that building was having an open house. I stopped the car and very gingerly walked to the intercom directory. Yep, the guy I saw was listed. In the correct apartment number and everything. I did not once consider ringing the bell and running. Who knows what his record shows if there is a website called MassMurderersathome.com.
Why do I think that he has a bowl of Hershey's Kisses right next to his front door?
Only in America can you easily get driving directions to a neighborhood pervert.
Dinner last night: my wine-promoting friend is still in town. Went to Wilson's in Culver City. A restaurant hunkered down in the middle of an art gallery. Sort of a Euro-trash menu and feel. There was reggae music being piped in, but our waiter was some young German from Dusseldorf. I had a steak that came with a nice tomato dipping sauce.