Saturday, March 31, 2007

Meeting My Qualifications for Air Travel

My return to Los Angeles yesterday was a ten hour ordeal that even zoning out in my 35,000 mile high multiplex with "Bringing Up Baby" couldn't repair. I will never ever fly out of Newark Airport on a late Friday afternoon again. They handle air traffic with the same skill that our government manages the Iraq "Don't Call Me Vietnam" war. The most horrible words I heard yesterday: "We are 23rd in line to take off."

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

The 6:54AM from Greystone

When I am in New York, I am dutifully on this Metro North edition of the morning commute every day. I get on, rip through the Daily News, and, usually by Spuyten Duvill, I have dozed off anew.

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

Letter to Sanjaya

Hey, Dude---
I know you must be super crazy working on your song for next week, doing that goofy Ford video, and combing through Mad Magazine looking for that next special hair style. I'll be brief.
While I wasn't sure for a while, I now know that you get the joke. You know exactly what is going on with Idol and the public. And you are loving it. You know you sound like crap. And I am not impressed by those public comments from your choir director about your untapped potential. Dude, even I sound good in church. Who can mess up a classic like "Hark The Herald Angels Sing?"
And I thought who's doing all the voting for you? Maybe it's those silly pre-teen girls (or boys) you're always smiling at. Or those nutjob Howard Stern fans. You know you'll wind up doing his radio show at some point and I hope you are prepared for a porno star to rub your nipples while some midget gives you a pedicure. I'm pretty sure your relatives back in the Ganges have the Idol numbers in speed dial while picking nits off each other.
Yeah, dude, you got it all together right now. But, let's face it, you've got as much of a chance to have a recording career as JFK does. So, you can ride it all now and end up with squat. Or, you can ensure success now. Hire me as your agent.
You know it's going to get ugly if all this craziness behind you upends a potential career for really strong singing talents like Melinda, Lakisha, or Jordan. So, why don't you disconnect the insanity now and step down from Idol now? It would be the PR move of the year. And I will guarantee the offers. How about a Nickelodeon sitcom----"The Adventures of Sanjaya at the Third Street Mall?" Maybe you could do the red carpet stuff like Seacrest or Joan Rivers. I am thinking you'll be working constantly.
But you gotta step down now. That's the deal. Success now...or none later. Your call, Dude. I'm in the book.
Dinner last night: sandwich and salad.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Idle and Idol Musings

My mind is working overtime in NY.

---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

Global Warming, My Aunt Fanny

In between repairing the ozone layer, Al Gore has done some fixing of his own. Check it out. He has had work done. I'm hoping the plastic and botox used was recycled.

The Bauer Hour of Power, Hour 15

I know, I know. Someone of you don't care. But, here come some 24 musings nonetheless as Jack moves toward the last third of his day:

  • 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

The SNL Quest for an Oscar

They got close this year with Eddie Murphy's nomination for "Dreamgirls." And, in the past, we had Bill Murray's nomination for "Lost in Translation," as well as Dan Aykroyd's Best Supporting nod for "Driving Miss Daisy."

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.

A Rather Geek Moment

Since there is no satellite radio in this particular rental car and NY radio is absolutely unlistenable, I ventured out to actually buy a few CDs. Because of last week's I-dol focus on the British invasion, I had Herman's Hermits in my head and I didn't like what I found on I-tunes for my Ipod.

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

Giuliani Time

As per usual, I passed my crosscountry time yesterday by entering my mile-high multiplex---my Panasonic portable DVD player equipped with Bose headphones.

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

Who's Hungry?

Well, this is my first NY-based blog posting. I am wondering whether my newfound cleverness carries over to another time zone.
Of course, it was inevitable for me to post some good words on cross-country air travel. I have been doing 10 such trips a year for the past ten years. Usually, it's Flight 114, LAX to EWR, coming east. That would be American Airlines, which I have flown almost exclusively. I have about a gazillion miles with them, so I stay with them. Heck, I was on that morning AA 114 on September 20, 2001. It was me bumped up to first class with about four other people, including actor Timothy Busfield.
And that brings me to air travel today. For the year following 9/11, air travel was actually a wonderful thing. I got bumped up all the time. The food in first class is edible. Luggage was usually waiting for you at the claim areas. AA went through the marketing campaign of pulling out seats to increase legroom. I always arrived at my destination well rested, refreshed, and barely wrinkled.
That was then. This was today. A full flight with a bunch of USC fans headed to the Meadowlands for the NCAA game. No bump-up available as there was five Executive Platinum frequent flyers ahead of me fighting for one seat. And, despite the fact that I had an exit row, AA apparently found where they had stashed all those seats they had pulled out for legroom. Because they are back. And they apparently breeded more seats, because there was probably more comfort running on the Cambodian airlift.
Food? Well, not in the back. Back in the hinterlands of AA 114, there is "food" for purchase. Have you ever been in some of those snack racks in a gas station? You know the type. Bags of Cheetos, some Slim Jims, and some condoms. (Because you can't have protected sex without some processed foods). Now, imagine that snack rack being pushed up the aisle of a plane (save for the condoms). I wanted to ask if they had Lotto tickets available.
I was famished, so I asked for whatever they had that resembles a muffin or a cookie. For three bucks, they gave me some sort of Snickerdoodle something or other. I looked at the nutritional facts on the package. There were four servings in this one cookie----and one serving was 280 calories!! I handed it back and opted for a package of Craisins.
It was already tight enough in Aisle 17.
Dinner last night (and I kept remembering it today): Gnocchi Puttanesca at Maria's Italian Kitchen on Pico.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Don't Get Me Started

This is 13-year-old Ashley Ferl from Riverside, California. I want to mention her, because she is the first person to officially fall off my Christmas list for 2007.
Actually, I really don't fault this kid for her overwrought reaction to Sanjaya Malakar in the studio audience of Tuesday night's American Idol. Frankly, she can't keep her emotions in perspective with regard to a television show and for that, I blame her parental unit. For Pete's sake, I didn't cry like that when Laura Avery Sumner died of a brain tumor on Knots Landing. Why not? Because I knew it was a freakin' television show!!!!!!!
So, as this "fingernail-scrape-on-the-blackboard" masquerading as a Michael Jackson-in-a-sari singer continues along on his merry tone-deaf way, there is tons of press about whether little Ashley's sobs influenced this week's vote on I-dol. I am saying "Hmmm, maybe."
Despite what Howard Stern is doing by encouraging his minions to "Vote for the Worst," I doubt he is playing a factor at all. Let's do the math. Sirius has about 7 million subscribers. Of that total, it has been widely estimated that one million of them specifically moved to Sirius because of him. Of that one million potential listeners, I am guessing that about half of them can't operate a phone dial. Compute in a few hundred thousand more who won't automatically urinate in public just because Howard says so, and you'll see that the Howard factor is a very small percentage of the 30 million plus calls/votes that come into I-dol every week.
But, yes, there is a teenage girl factor in the voting on I-dol. And, for some reason, this New Delhi version of Leif Garrett appears to be the incontinent puppy that pre-teen American girls love to lay newspapers for.
And there's more....if Fox is wringing its hands over Sanjaya every week and bemoaning the fact that he is turning their singing competition into a middle school class president election, they are doing so with Pico Boulevard-wide grins. Because they know that the public's fascination with this 17 year-old fender bender is making their big show even bigger. The longer he stays on, the more they can sell their V-Phones, Coca Cola, etc.. And also promote that Jeff Foxworthy acid spill.
Does Fox know what they are doing? You betcha. It seems that little Ashley was a contest winner and got to attend I-dol's dress rehearsal on Tuesday and immediately tapped the keg of tears. No cameras were rolling. When the show's producers saw this, they immediately gave her a Bob Uecker upgrade and moved her to the front row. And they were obviously poised to put the camera on her while Sanjaya was vocally pulling that splinter out of his foot, because the camera cut right to her. They knew exactly what they were getting. But, the longer the juggernaut of stupidity continues, they are going to regret more and more giving Ashley Ferl her Andy Warhol moment. Especially if it costs a phenomenal talent like Melinda Doolittle or Lakisha Jones a chance at a career.
And, I now am reminding myself..........IT'S A FREAKIN' TELEVISION SHOW!!!!!
Dinner last night: tortellini salad with chicken, pesto, kalamata olives, and sundried tomatoes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

American I-dol, 11 to 10

It was British Invasion Night, and there were plenty of Zombies. And that would include Sanjaya. Here's my bon mots on last night's telecast:

  • 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

24, Season 6, Hour 14

Okay, folks, at this time of the year, the Monday and Tuesday editions are going to be devoted to musings on the latest episodes of 24 and American Idol. If you are watching one or both, you and I will be having a lot of fun. If you are not in the audience, deal with it.

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


I can only relay the conversation exactly as I heard this morning in the kitchen of this office building. Two young female gremlins (if you saw them in person, you would agree with that description) were talking as they took turns toasting bagels:
Girl #1: It was a hassle, but it was so worth it for my own protection. It's not hard to get a temporary restraining order. If my boyfriend comes within 20 yards of me, I can call the cops.
Girl #2: The one I got for my last boyfriend, he couldn't come within 10 yards. And my friend's TRO on her ex-husband didn't allow him to be within one mile of her.
The toaster oven beeped and they both went on their way.
So, how easy are these temporary restraining orders to get? Is there a department at Target for them? Or, maybe you can get the fancy ones at Nordstrom's. You know they are all so customer-service-oriented there. "I know you want the 30 yard one, but I think you'd be much happier with the 15 yard TRO. They are more popular these days."
Actually, I am going to request my own TRO on these two gnomes I saw this morning. They are not allowed to toast bagels around me ever again.
Dinner last night: Home cooked pot roast. For dessert, I enjoyed one of the new American Idol brand light ice creams. I don't get the connection in the least, but it was tasty.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mapquest with a Twist

Have you all yet discovered the various websites that allow you to view the world from satellite photos? There's and Google Earth. You can type in any address and view it in photos from outer space. You can zoom in and get really good close-ups. So, I've looked up all my pertinent addresses. My childhood home. My NY apartment. My LA apartment. Essentially, they are Mapquest with pictures. More reasons to waste time on a computer (besides writing and reading these daily musings).

But, I have heard about a variation on these sites that puts a very, very sinister twist on it all.

Try linking up to

I heard about this in another blog and, despite feeling a trifle unclean doing so, I signed into the link. The first thing you see is a picture of a loving family. And then you are told that you should be wary of those around you at all. If you type in a street address, you will receive a map of the surrounding area.......and these red notations of places where known sex offenders reside. I put in my LA address and about two dozen red marks immediately popped up in a five mile radius. Now, when I did so, I had a real fear that one of those red marks would tell me that my former late upstairs neighbor had some previous secret dalliances with Opie. But, good news......Barney had nothing in his pants pocket except that extra bullet.

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

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.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Most Incompetent Person in Hollywood

This has to be the person who tells Sandra Bullock "Honey, you really have to do this script."
I mean, let's face it. She has been sold a bill of goods on practically every movie she has made over the past seven years. Miss Congeniality 1 and 2, Murder by Numbers, The Lake House, Speed 2, Hope Floats. Now we find ourselves in the middle of the opening weekend for Premonition. I have one, too. This movie won't do well.
But, in a sincere effort to see if my perception is a reality, I sidled myself over to and I called up reviews for the last dozen pictures Sandra Bullock has made. I went back almost as far as While You Are Sleeping, but avoided that one specifically because no male would ever voluntarily consider it for anything.
It is amazing what I found. Virtually every review was a negative. It was like an explosion at the "Synonyms for Mediocrity" store.
(and my personal favorite) Still born.
Try this exercise yourself and you will be amazed. Even more astounding is that most of these movies list Sandra as an executive producer, which means she has a piece of the non-action.
I did not include Crash in my informal survey, since she was truly part of an ensemble cast and was on screen for about 48 seconds. Admittedly, her role as a rascist who falls down a flight of stairs was probably not a stretch. Don't misunderstand. I am saying it was not challenging for her. I am not implying that Sandra Bullock is either a rascist or clumsy.
Admittedly, this is not the worst sin in Hollywood. Will Ferrell's success has that top honor. But, if you were Sandra Bullock, wouldn't you be cutting a severence check for her script reader right now?
Dinner last night: A college friend is in town on business and we went to Il Fornaio in Beverly Hills, primarily because they are offering some wine she is promoting. Had a pork chop drowning in kalmata olives. Zabaglione for dessert.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Scar Tissue

Every once in a while, there are medical conditions that become the hot diagnoses. Do you all remember about fifteen to eighteen years ago when anybody who was feeling tired or stressed was diagnosed as suffering from Epstein Barre syndrome? Okay, now tell me how often you have heard about that disease since then? Does no one get this anymore? Was there a vaccine that I never heard about? During my last physical, my doctor gave precautionary shots for tetanus and whooping cough. Is he incompetent? Did he forget to give me the Epstein Barre inoculation? I think not.
And, then, back in the 90's, any kid from the ages of 5 to 12 who acted up was diagnosed as ADD. "My son just shot the DHL guy. I guess he's ADD." "My daughter won't eat broccoli. Yep, ADD." Now, I do realize that this is a legitimate condition. As a matter of fact, I know there are quite a few people in my business world who are in their 40s and clearly were never diagnosed with ADD, primarily because it was not the hot condition at the time. But I digress...
Over the past month, I have heard about five or six people tell me that the cause of the pain somewhere in their body is due to scar tissue. This concept is used whether they have had surgery or not. My thought is that there is somebody who works in marketing for the Mayo Clinic who comes up with this stuff.
So, I go to my chiropractor this week for this nagging muscle pain around my lower abdomen. It is partly attributed to the fact that I sit writing on a computer almost seven hours a day. (And, of course, this new blogging exercise is now an added factor). But, as she is working on my deep tissue massage, she notes, "Hmm, you have a scar there. I am betting this is a scar tissue issue." I think about it for a second and realize that, yes, I did surgery six years ago in that precise region. (This was the operation where I donated some sporting good equipment to St. John's Hospital.)
I never had Epstein Barre. I am not ADD. But, I am now a full fledged card carrying member of the Scar Tissue brigade. And I am crouched over in pain proudly.
And, here's the new hopefully daily addition to this report:
Dinner last night: A friend from church and I do a dinner to celebrate our February birthdays. We went to Chez Mimi in Santa Monica. I had a mushroom salad, a New York steak with french fries and carrots, and an apple tart for dessert. The French waiter was particularly pokey and uninspired. His non-reaction to me reminded me of how well the French resisted the Nazis during WWII. Grant Tinker was dining at the next table and I spent most of the evening testing out my peripheral hearing.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day One

Jell-o, this is Jack Benny speaking.

Well, not really. But I am commencing a new chapter in my world. I have been intrigued by some of the personal blogs I have read from friends, people in the industry, etc.. I never really got into doing a daily journal, but this might be a good venue to start.

I can muse everyday on whatever is on my mind. Hopefully, this will be a good way to stay connected with folks. And, this is an ideal offshoot of that Christmas newsletter I do---an annual device which has obviously been well-received, although I start it as a complete goof.

It will take me a while to learn how to upload pictures and all those other do-hickeys on my computer. And I am sure that, at some point very early on, I will write a completely captivating entry only to lose it in cyberspace.
I will have to learn not to vent on anyone I know personally, as they could potentially read it and stop sending me Christmas cards. Will this be a politically correct forum? I see no hands raised. That's good. It means you have been paying attention to me all these years. For instance, if I wanted to comment on "American Idol", you will not be surprised if I refer to that Sanjaya guy in terms that will signify his heritage from a God-forsaken country in this world where the flies are bigger than the meal on your plate. By the way, I now understand how that kid is surviving from week-to-week when he sounds like Rose Kennedy doing a cabaret act in Vegas. All his calls have been outsourced. If he somehow goes the distance, I am guessing the first contract he will sign is with Dell Computers. And I am thinking he has tons of support in this country. Go into any Seven-11 when they open up the Idol phone lines and tell me if the counter help isn't on a cell phone at the time.
Voila......c'est le blog pour Thursday, March 15, 2007.