Saturday, March 31, 2012

Musical Comedy Production Number of the Month - March 2012

I finally figured out what to do with those months that have five Saturdays in them.

Here's one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite movie musicals, "Bye Bye Birdie."  Hiya, Hugo.  Hiya, Stupid.

Some notes from this Birdie freak.

---Is Ursula perhaps Kim's lesbian girlfriend?  She's got all the movie symptoms.

---The first girl to answer the phone is Linda Kaye Henning from "Petticoat Junction."

---The girl spinning on the stool in the malt shop is Lori Saunders from.....you guessed it, "Petticoat Junction."

---The teenagers standing in the shower are the King Family cousins.  One of them is Tina Cole, who later co-starred in "My Three Sons."


Dinner last night:  Vegetable risotto.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Awkward Is as Awkward Does

The same mixing bowl was using for both of their haircuts.
Somebody finally adopted Wednesday Addams.
"Yep, your shoulder does look infected to me."
Hedda Hopper's great great grandchildren.
On your wedding day, grin and bear it.
Hair today, even more hair tomorrow.
Now this bunch should be the real targets of Michelle Obama's "better nutrition" initiative.
Look what Mommy doesn't have.
Isn't there an age limit for a fairy godmother?
There are amazing things you can do with a Sharpie.

Dinner last night:  Sloppy Joe sandwich.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

If I Tweeted in March 2012


I don't, of course.  But if I did, here's what was on my mind this past month.

#LenSpeaks  March Madness is here.  When people who don't know anything about college basketball suddenly wind up with the winner of the Final Four.

#LenSpeaks   Oh, I see Fordham again is not found on my brackets.  The last time they made it in was about seven Popes ago.

#LenSpeaks  Lots of liberals are having a field day confusing Santorum with the word "sanitarium."  You would think that, by now, they could spell their home address correctly.

#LenSpeaks  Everytime I hear Mitt speak, I realize he's more of a Democrat than anything else.  He should change his last name to "Obamney."

#LenSpeaks  I'm on record.  I would vote for a gum wrapper over Obama.

#LenSpeaks  I would vote for a broken rubber band over Obama.

#LenSpeaks  I would vote for Warren G. Harding over Obama.  And, yes, I know he's dead.

#LenSpeaks  Sandra Fluke rhymes with another word that requires that three thousand dollars of contraception she needs.

#LenSpeaks  That's a hefty price.  Are condoms suddenly a commodity on the black market?

#LenSpeaks  I'm paying less for gasoline these days.  Ms. Fluke needs to learn how to price shop.

#LenSpeaks  Or date the night stockroom manager at CVS.

#LenSpeaks  The Obamas let their 13-year-old daughter go away on spring break in Mexico with 12 classmates and 25 Secret Service agents.  I can't wait for the wet t-shirt contest. 

#LenSpeaks  And that may or may not include the Secret Service guys.

#LenSpeaks  I guess it's okay to send your teenage daughter away to Mexico without real adult supervision.  As long as she's not eating HoHos from the snack vending machine.

#LenSpeaks  How come whenever you see news footage of tornadoes in the Midwest, they show you nothing but mobile homes?

#LenSpeaks  Probably because aluminum looks so much worse when it's twisted up like a pretzel?

#LenSpeaks  The same thing goes for earthquakes in Mexico.  I look at the ruined homes and I think "wow, that's about 35 dollars worth of property value?"

#LenSpeaks  It's midway through Spring Training and the Mets have already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for the next three seasons.

#LenSpeaks  I would say the Mets need a prayer, but it's the Jets who picked up Tim Tebow.

#LenSpeaks  Tebow should be at home with Jet fans.  They yell "Jesus Christ!" a lot, too.

#LenSpeaks  There's a new iPad out, which means I am now officially four versions behind.

#LenSpeaks  It's amazing how many people use electronic devices to be in touch and then are so hopelessly out of touch.

#LenSpeaks  There are so many news outlets that don't even report the slightest of unbiased news.

#LenSpeaks  These days, everybody has an opinion and puts it out on their stupid blog.  Oh, wait...

#LenSpeaks  I am being wheeled in for arthroscopic surgery on my left knee.  100, 99......ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Dinner last night:  Chicken with capers and broccoli.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Date in History - March 28

Happy Birthday, Mouseketeer Jimmy!

37AD:  ROMAN EMPEROR CALIGULA ACCEPTS THE TITLES OF THE PRINCIPATE, ENTITLED TO HIM BY THE SENATE.

I have no idea what this means, but, knowing Caligula, it must be dirty.

193:  ROMAN EMPEROR PERTINAX IS ASSASSINATED BY PRAETORIAN GUARDS, WHO THEN SELL THE THRONE IN AN AUCTION TO DIDIUS JULIANUS.

Pertinax?  Sounds like something that kills roaches.

364:  ROMAN EMPEROR VALENTINIAN I APPOINTS HIS BROTHER FLAVIUS VALENS CO-EMPEROR.

And nephew Ritchie was asked to play his music in the palace.

845:  PARIS IS SACKED BY VIKING RAIDERS.

Finally, another country chimes in.  I was getting sick of all this Roman bullshit, weren't you?

1776:  JUAN BAUTISTA DE ANZA FINDS THE SITE FOR THE PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO.

And boy, did they find it gets really cold during the day.

1794:  ALLIES UNDER THE PRINCE OF COBURG DEFEAT FRENCH FORCES AT LE CATEAU.

Le Cateau?  I think that's pretty highly rated in Zagat's.

1809:  DURING THE PENINSULAR WAR, FRANCE DEFEATS SPAIN IN THE BATTLE OF MEDELIN.

How bad an army did Spain have if they lose to the scummy French?

1836:  BREWER FREDERICK PABST IS BORN.

A blue ribbon baby.

1854:  DURING THE CRIMEAN WAR, FRANCE AND BRITAIN DECLARE WAR ON RUSSIA.

Talk about strange bedfellows.

1871:  THE PARIS COMMUNE IS FORMALLY ESTABLISHED IN PARIS.

Okay.  C'est officiale.  I am sick of France now.

1899:  BREWER GUSSIE BUSCH IS BORN.

It's a red letter day for beer drinkers.

1905:  ZOOLOGIST/TV HOST MARLIN PERKINS IS BORN.

Brought to you by Mutual of Omaha.

1907:  TALENT AGENT SWIFTY LAZAR IS BORN.

The original dirtbag agent.

1910:  HENRI FABRE BECOMES THE FIRST PERSON TO FLY A SEAPLANE NEAR MARTIGUES, FRANCE.

And....I am still sick of France.

1910:  TV HOST JIMMIE DODD IS BORN.

Don't you really want to know what his relationship with Roy was really about?

1939:  DURING THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR, GENERALISSIMO FRANCISCO FRANCO CONQUERS MADRID.

And ultimately will dominate the entire first season of Saturday Night Live.

1941:  WRITER VIRGINIA WOOLF DIES.

Who's afraid of you now?

1942:  DURING WORLD WAR II, BRITISH NAVAL FORCES SUCCESSFULLY RAID THE GERMAN-OCCUPIED PORT OF ST. NAZAIRE IN OCCUPIED FRANCE.

Occupied France?  I knew the streak wouldn't last.

1944:  ACTOR KEN HOWARD IS BORN.

The White Shadow.  He's so fat now that he's not just a shadow, but a total eclipse.

1946:  THE UNITED STATES STATE DEPARTMENT RELEASES THE ACHESON-LILIENTHAL REPORT, OUTLING A PLAN FOR THE CONTROL OF NUCLEAR POWER.

As opposed to the Acheson-Topeka-Santa Fe.

1953:  ATHLETE JIM THORPE DIES.

You can stop running now.

1955:  SINGER REBA MCENTIRE IS BORN.

I once rode an elevator with her.  She was very nice.  She pushed the button for me.

1969:  FORMER PRESIDENT DWIGHT EISENHOWER DIES.

He never got to see the Mets in the World Series.

1976:  SILENT ACTOR RICHARD ARLEN DIES.

He was in Wings.  Now he's wearing them.

1979:  OPERATORS OF NUCLEAR REACTOR THREE MILE ISLAND FAIL TO RECOGNIZE A COOLANT LEAK.

Twenty years later, there are probably a lot of bald teenagers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

1979:  CLOWN EMMETT KELLY DIES.

Now he really has nothing to smile about.

1985:  ARTIST MARC CHAGALL DIES.

Never have some simple paint spills been more revered.

1987:  SINGER MARIA VON TRAPP DIES.

The hills may be alive.  You, however, are not.

1990:  PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDS JESSE OWENS THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL.

Gee, thanks.

2004:  TV HOST ART JAMES DIES.

Say when?  God say...now.

2004:  ACTOR PETER USTINOV DIES.

When Hercule Poirot dies, does anybody else investigate?

2006:  AT LEAST 1 MILLION UNION MEMBERS, STUDENTS, AND UNEMPLOYED TAKE TO THE STREETS FOR A PROTEST IN FRANCE.

And the country gets in one last shot.  #OccupyAssholes.

Dinner last night:  Tortellini in butter sauce.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Purple Elephant in the Room

And, yes, purple is a color, too.

Yeah, we're going to be a little political.  Sorry.  But this is one I need to comment on. 

Whatever his color, shape, or size, what happened to Trayvon Martin was a dastardly and reprehensible act.  The pain his family must be going through is real and likely enough to last more than one lifetime.

Maybe he was killed for racial reasons by this guy.  Maybe it was an unfortunate accident.  Two ships passing in the dark night air on the high seas.  A horrible collision of beings.  We will never know until there is a trial by jury.  Because, allegedly in America, you are innocent until proven guilty by a court of your peers.  Or whatever they tell me every time I wind up stuck with jury duty.

Nevertheless, tons of folks in Florida are up in arms and suddenly we're back in 1862.  Whites are enslaving Black people and we're all guilty of these horrible things.  

True, I don't know what it feels like to be persecuted.  To feel bigotry.  To be walking down the street and have a stranger's eyes view me suspiciously as a potential mugger.  Yet, at the same time, haven't we come so far as a nation already?  Why is that whenever a Black kid is killed, we are right back to the days of Jim Crow and separate bathrooms?  What am I missing in the history books of the past half decade?

Just as always happens with these incidents, the usual suspects show up for their hand-wringing and head-bobbing photo ops.  Their business model is revived one more time.  Let's face it, when we're all getting along famously as fellow citizens, zealots like Al Sharpton have no purpose.  

And now we have another addition to the fray.  Our own President of the United States.  He felt a need to make a comment.  Hey, it's his country.  Freedom of speech prevails...usually.  Please, sir, the microphone is yours.

He lamented what happened to Trayvon.  The President said that if he had a son, he'd look like Trayvon.  Hopefully without the big ears.  And he invited us all as Americans to do some really deep "soul searching" about it all.

Huh???

The man never lets any one of these "teachable moments" get by.  Or does he?

About a year ago, there was tons of violence and property damage perpetrated by Black teenagers all over the Northeast with that "flash mob" phenomenon?

Mr. President, your comment is...?

How about those young Black girls who beat the shit out of a homosexual in a McDonald's?  A major hate crime which you can watch from a variety of different and ugly angles on You Tube.

Mr. President, your comment is...?

Hey, a few months back, the city of Orlando, Florida was under seige one night when a marauding group of mostly Black teenagers went nuts at a midnight sneaker sale, where I'm guessing a lot of dough was spent on the latest new style from Nike.

Mr. President, your comment is...?

Over and over and over, there are examples of similar silence from the President of this nation where equal doses of indignation are expected?  Apparently, those "teachable moments" come in only one shade.

Sadly, there is racism still rampant in this nation.  But it also works both sides of the street and the rainbow.  And, as much as I hate to say this, the biggest perpetrator of this hatred might be living in a building ironically known as the White House.

Dinner last night:  Pizza with sausage, fennel, and Kalamata olives.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Morning Video Laugh - March 26, 2012

Our last "best of" Monday video laugh.  Bam!  In the courthouse.



Dinner last night:  Pasta and meatballs.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Lucha Libre

An oldie but goodie comes back to the Sunday Memory Drawer.  I ran across a documentary last week on the Biography Channel.  It had to be at least twenty years old, because I noted that the narrator was the long-dead Steve Allen.  But, as dated as it was, it brought back memories all over again.  The vintage television clips flooded the recesses of my mind.  I was back to my youth again.  With the guy pictured above.  And the Spanish words that still linger in my limited international vocabulary.

"Lucha Libre."

That's heavyweight wrestling for the language-impaired.

And, for the sight impaired, the picture up above is that of one Bruno Sammartino, who was the disputed champion of the sport for about 15 years starting around 1963.

And my grandmother.

These were the days before WWF and Hulk Hogan and "let's get ready to rumble." Wrestling promoter Vince McMahon pretty much turned his sport into one big virtual comic book of super heroes in swim trunks. But, years before, it was a lot simpler.

And a hell of a lot more fun. Sure, it was as fake as lips after a Botox injection. But, try telling that to my grandparents, who were glued to the damn TV set for two hours every Saturday night. I would sit with them for that whole hour before, listening to that blasted Lawrence Welk champagne bubble crap, just so I could watch wrestling with them. Actually, the real show for me was my watching them watch wrestling.

You have not lived till you watch people in their seventies throw things at the TV set. The wrestling stars in those days were definitely either heroes or villains. Bruno, of course, was the champion and adored by my grandparents, because every week, between matches, he would talk in Italian supposedly to his relatives in Abruzzi, Italy. Not that my grandparents could understand it. But, that sort of made Bruno one of them. People off the boat making a life in America.

I can remember some of the other names like it was yesterday.

Bobo Brazil. He used to knock people out with his head. A cocoabutt.

The Fabulous Moolah. She was the female champion and my grandmother said she was a dirty girl. That became my barometer for years to come.

The Kangaroo Brothers. You guessed it. A tag team of two brothers from Australia.

Killer Kowalski. Might as well been an escapee from Sing Sing.

Freddie Blassie. He was usually some bad guy's manager. So was Wild Red Berry. They would both hang in the corner of their wrestler and usually help with some well-timed choking if the good guy came close.

Gorilla Monsoon. Nuff said.

And there was Sky Lo Lo. A little midget who used to crawl under one side of the ring and come out the other.

Most of the time, the matches spilled out of the ring and into the arena. This frequently resulted in somebody wearing a bridge chair as a hat. And, of course, the really rotten guys were also hiding something in their trunks to use as a weapon. My grandmother would also be the first to notice this and would scream out a warning to the good guy. In German, of course.

"Watch it! He's got something in his trunks!"

"Break his neck, Bobo!"

"Oooh, you rotten son of a bitch."

And these were my earliest adult inspirations in life.

One night after my grandfather died, my father saw an advertisement that these same wrestlers were coming to an arena near us. He got tickets, and my grandmother made her only appearance ever at a sporting event. There was a bit of a subdued reaction. Sitting at ringside, I think it dawned on her that she was sitting on just the type of bridge chair that could be potentially used as a weapon.

Shortly thereafter, the local TV station stopped showing Saturday night wrestling. It was moved to Channel 47 out of Newark-Linden. In the pre-cable days, it was one of those UHF stations that you needed Norad to position the antenna for. My grandmother would literally start the tune-in process about an hour before the show.

"I got the picture coming in. Don't move."

We'd sit through tons of Spanish-language commercials for hair tonic, just to see a snowy image of Bruno Sammartino doing one more scissor kick.

Lucha libre were probably the only two Spanish words my grandmother ever knew.

Dinner last night:  Beef with garlic sauce from First Szechwan Wok.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Classic TV Theme of the Month - March 2012

Celebrating five years of this blog, here's the opening theme song (at least, the version in Season 6) of one of my favorite TV shows of all time.


Dinner last night:  Tuna fish salad sandwich.

Friday, March 23, 2012

From 1949.......

.....and it sounds like it could have written today.


Dinner last night: Blackened chicken breast with rice and peas.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yay! I Finished Another Book - Ameritopia by Mark Levin


I have to be careful what I say today.  I'm guessing I'll turn off and repel about half of you.

I don't care. 

Right now, for a myriad of reasons both understandable and stupid, conservative talk radio is under attack.  We are moving to a society here in this country where speech will be about as free as the premium pay channels on HBO.  At the moment, if you have a viewpoint that opposes those currently in power in this country, well, you need to either keep it quiet or to yourself altogether.  And, if you're on the radio, good luck to you.

The good news is that they're not attacking books.  Yet.  We still have the freedom to plunk down our hard-earned money and take an adventure into the mind of whatever author you're purchasing.  To be entertained.  To be revitalized.  To be motivated.

And, in the case of Mark Levin's "Ameritopia," to be educated. 

Truth be told, Mark Levin is the only national radio talk show host that I will make a point not to miss.  Appointment radio.  Aside from his conservative view, lots of folks don't like him because of his voice.  A face made for radio?  Mark's fine whine is a voice not made for radio.  But, once you get past that really immaterial quality, there is learning to be done by this man who really knows constitutional law, American history, and, most importantly, common sense.  Levin worked in the Reagan White House for eight years and is proud to share that experience for three hours every day.  Say what you want about the politics, I have learned more from Mark Levin than in any college textbook on the subjects at hand.

"Ameritopia" is Mark's latest work and his last ditch effort to educate Americans on what is happening in our political marketplace right now.  He reads like a college textbook, but is hardly as dry as anything I was forced to read in Political Science 101.  The book is methodical, well researched, and amazingly not dry.  I was shocked that the subject matter could be not only interesting, but a relatively fast read.  I knocked it off in two days and you know what a slow reader I can be.

By laying out past "utopian" societies down through the ages, Levin shows us the most evil and detested tenets of governments gone by.  He lets you see how a "utopian" model is not only unachievable, but something to be clearly avoided.   That's the first half of the story.  Mark then uses all these examples to tie in what is transpiring in Washington DC today.  It all then sounds eerily familiar...and downright scary.  The extended title of the book is "The Unmaking Of America."  True as can be.

And, boy, oh, boy, we are in trouble.

If you told me that I would be loving a book that includes in great detail Plato's Republic, Thomas More's Utopia, Hobbes' Leviathan, and Karl Marx' nonsense, I would ask you what you're smoking and how much did you pay for it.  But, still, it was all here in Levin's book.  A must read if you want to understand the basic principles that this country was originally built on.  Days gone by with, sadly, freedoms that are going by every single day.  These are not simply talking points of the Republican Party.  This book is loaded with fact upon fact and it's got the extensive footnoting to prove it.

The more I learned, the more I boiled.  Levin finishes his book with a simple question.  Do we want utopia or do we choose freedom?  If the former, a work like "Ameritopia" doesn't get written in five or ten years.  Or, at the very least, it winds up at the bottom of a bonfire in the town square.

Mark Levin gave a lecture at the Reagan Library two weeks ago.  Despite the fact that it sold out in twenty minutes, I was one of the lucky people to get tickets.  There were plenty of good folks there.  No racists.  No lunatic wackos.  No clowns living in the past.  They were simply Americans who care.  And, like what they all probably read in Mark Levin's "Ameritopia," they simply want to enjoy life in the greatest country of the universe. 

Trust me.  From what I saw, they're not the minority.

Dinner last night:  Pasta shells, sausage, and tomatoes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Date in History - March 21

Happy birthday, Matthew Broderick.  Take the day off.

1152:  ANNULMENT OF THE MARRIAGE OF KING LOUIS VII OF FRANCE AND QUEEN ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE.

And you thought Frank Sinatra was the first to get an annulment?

1188:  EMPEROR ANTOKU ACCEDES TO THE THRONE OF JAPAN.

Bringing along his puzzlement of a sister, Empress Sudoku.

1413:  HENRY V BECOMES KING OF ENGLAND.

Three more Henrys before we get the one that's really a lot of fun.

1617:  INDIAN POCAHONTAS DIES.

Heap big deal.

1788:  A FIRE IN NEW ORLEANS LEAVES MOST OF THE TOWN IN RUINS.

Also blamed on George W. Bush.

1800:  WITH THE CHURCH LEADERSHIP DRIVEN OUT OF ROME DURING AN ARMED CONFLICT, PIUS VII IS CROWNED POPE IN VENICE WITH A PAPAL TIARA MADE OUT OF PAPIER MACHE.

Thanks to a third-grade art class in Vatican City.

1804:  CODE NAPOLEON IS ADOPTED AS FRENCH CIVIL LAW.

Every one has to walk around with one arm in their shirt.

1814:  DURING THE NAPOLEONIC WARS, AUSTRIAN FORCES REPEL FRENCH TROOPS IN THE BATTLE OF ARCIS-SUR-AUBE.

Somebody cracked that code.

1844:  THE BAHAI CALENDAR BEGINS AS CELEBRATED AS NEW YEAR'S DAY BY THE BAHAI FAITH.

Does this mean there's going to be a Bahai Tournament of Roses Parade?

1857:  AN EARTHQUAKE IN TOKYO, JAPAN KILLS OVER 100,000.

All of them had crowded into one single commuter train.

1869:  BROADWAY PRODUCER FLORENZ ZIEGFELD IS BORN.

Flo, for short.  That's a playground fight waiting to happen.

1871:  OTTO VON BISMARCK IS APPOINTED CHANCELLOR OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE.

When do we get to sink him?

1871:  JOURNALIST HENRY MORTON STANLEY BEGINS HIS TREK TO FIND MISSIONARY DAVID LIVINGSTONE.

I presume.

1913:  OVER 360 ARE KILLED AND 20,000 HOMES DESTROYED IN THE GREAT DAYTON, OHIO FLOOD.

I always wonder why the word "great" is used for natural disasters.  Why not "horrible?"

1925:  SYNGMAN RHEE IS REMOVED FROM OFFICE AFTER BEING IMPEACHED AS PRESIDENT OF KOREA.

After being caught with intern Monica Rewinsky.

1928:  CHARLES LINDBERGH IS PRESENTED WITH THE MEDAL OF HONOR FOR THE FIRST SOLO TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT.

Ten years later, we were looking to get this back from the dirtbag.

1930:  ACTOR JAMES COCO IS BORN.

With marshmallows, please.

1933:  CONSTRUCTION OF DACHAU, THE FIRST NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP, IS COMPLETED.

And there was always a line to get in.  For all the wrong reasons.

1943:  WEHRMACHT OFFICER RUDOLF CHRISTOPH FREIHERR VON GERSDORFF PLOTS TO ASSASSINATE ADOLF HITLER BY USING A SUICIDE BOMB, BUT THE PLAN FALLS THROUGH.  VON GERSDORFF IS ABLE TO DEFUNST THE BOMB IN TIME AND AVOID SUSPICION.

And there goes his chance to be a hero for life.

1945:  DURING WORLD WAR II, BRITISH TROOPS LIBERATE MANDALAY, BURMA.

Years later, tourists from Oklahoma occupy the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

1946:  THE LOS ANGELES RAMS SIGN KENNY WASHINGTON, MAKING HIM THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PLAYER IN THE NFL.

So, pro football was ahead of major league baseball???  Boy, this sure is an educational blog.

1962:  ACTOR MATTHEW BRODERICK IS BORN.

Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller?

1962:  ACTRESS ROSIE O'DONNELL IS BORN.

Shithead?  Shithead?  Shithead?

1963:  FEDERAL PENITENTIARY ALCATRAZ CLOSES.

All those birds probably dumped too much crap on it.

1970:  THE FIRST EARTH DAY PROCLAMATION IS ISSUED BY S.F. MAYOR JOSEPH ALIOTO.

How much paper was wasted on press releases announcing this nonsense?

1975:  BASEBALL PLAYER JOE MEDWICK DIES.

That's just ducky.

1980:  US PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER ANNOUNCES A BOYCOTT OF THE 1980 SUMMER OLYMPICS IN MOSCOW.

Okay, so there was one positive decision from this fool...

1980:  ON THE SEASON FINALE OF TV'S "DALLAS," J.R. EWING IS SHOT.

And more people cared about this than the boycott of the Olympics.

1987:  MUSICIAN DEAN PAUL MARTIN DIES.

Dino's son.  Flew smack into a mountain. 

1987:  ACTOR ROBERT PRESTON DIES.

Now, you've really got trouble, my friend.

1989:  SPORTS ILLUSTRATED REPORTS ALLEGATIONS TYING BASEBALL PLAYER PETE ROSE TO GAMBLING.

You betcha.

1994:  ACTOR MACDONALD CAREY DIES.

And so goes the days of his life.

1994:  ACTOR DACK RAMBO DIES.

J.R. Ewing's cousin dies of AIDS.  In real life, not the show.

2005:  ACTOR BARNEY MARTIN DIES.

Seinfeld's dad.  On the show, not in real life.

2005:  SINGER BOBBY SHORT DIES.

He came up....oh, never mind.

Dinner last night:  Pepperoni pizza from Maria's Italian Kitchen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Going Downton

As Petula Clark might sing...

"When you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go...Downton."

Well, not exactly.  But, I'm late to the fair on this wonderful PBS series from England.  Now, normally, lots of British accents and period costumes are pretty toxic to my attention span.  A quick way for me to catch a couple of ZZZZs.  

Then, "Downton Abbey" won a slew of Emmys last summer.   Hmmm.  And I heard from a few friends that they had gotten addicted to Season 1 and were actively awaiting Season 2.  

But, still, I'm still thinking...pip, pip, cheerio, and probably a whole lot of rot.  Do I dare go there?

A good friend of mine, who happens to be British, loaned me the first two seasons on DVD.  I fluffed my favorite pillow and wondered what I would be dreaming about five minutes into Episode 1.

Well, who knew???

By the end of the first two episodes, I was wide awake.  

And I'm in.   I love "Downton Abbey."

Ever since my beloved nighttime soap "Knots Landing" went off the air in 1993, I've been missing a really juicy television serial.  The last place I expected to find my new favorite is on PBS.  With a bunch of British actors trolling around the grounds of some huge castle in 1912.  Yet, there it is.  Deliciously fun and quite deceptively sinister.  If I close my eyes, I can see Donna Mills dressing in a bustle and going off to a fox hunt. 

If you're not up on the doings at "Downton Abbey,"  it's all about this really rich family who lives in a palace and should be renting all the spare rooms that they are not using.  If this building was in Brooklyn, New York, it would already have been parceled off as condos.  But, there they live.   Dressing for dinner every night and constantly bumping into each other in the night.  If I lived there, I'd easily figure out a way not to see anybody else for months at a clip.

There's the Earl of Grantham and his American wife Cora, who is Lady Grantham.  She's played by Elizabeth McGovern and I've been wondering where she's been since I first fell in love with her circa "Ordinary People" in 1980.  Somehow, she's got three grown daughters now---Mary, who's a bit of a flirt; Edith, who's a bit of a sap; and Sybil, who's a bit of a socialist.  Your standard stodgy British family in 1912.

Meanwhile, the Earl's mom is the Dowager Countess, played with precision by Maggie Smith.  You wait for the next snarky word to come out of her mouth.  Maggie's having as much fun with this role as Larry Hagman did as JR on "Dallas" and Jane Wyman did as Angela Channing on "Falcon Crest."  There is such wonderful channelings to these classic TV soaps that I expected to the Lorimar logo pop up at the end of each "Downton Abbey" episode. 

Because, in truth, there is just as much chicanery going on here as there was in Dallas, Napa Valley, or Seaview Circle.  It's all done with a lot of class, but you get the dirty doings nonetheless.  Lovers sneaking around at night.  Lies being shared with some and not others.  Sisters backstabbing one another.  And gossip, gossip, gossip.  Life as we all know it.

That's only half the story, though.  Because when it comes to English high society, there's always the bunch living downstairs.  The household staff and this family has a big one.  Maids, valets, cooks, and even a butler with a limp.  Meanwhile, there are people sneaking around at night.  Lies being shared with some and not others.  Maids backstabbing one another.  And gossip, gossip, gossip.  Life as we all know it.  Except they're all drinking tea while they do it.

All the rich people have personal servants dedicated to each of them and boy, oh, boy, I sure do want my own valet now.  And the relationships are fascinating as they forge bonds while getting their jackets or dresses pressed.  Meanwhile, I always have to remind my housekeeper to dust the blinds.  Life as I wish I would know it. 

This is television from England, so the seasons are really short.  Season 1 was comprised of seven episodes and I've already zipped through a couple of shows from Season 2.  The brevity of the seasons leaves you looking for more and you can't wait to see what happens next.  Compare this to American TV fare where you'll watch 24 episodes of something and wonder how you completely wasted your time.

As is usually the case, the British always seems to get it right.  Who would expected them to come up with something that makes me fondly recall "Knots Landing?" 

Bravo.

Dinner last night:  Baked ham and sweet potato fries.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Morning Video Laugh - March 19, 2012

More most-requested Monday video laughs.  Remember our high-flying cat?




Dinner last night:   Beef Wellington.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Grandma in the Kitchen

It's nostalgia week as we continue to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Len Speaks.  And, keeping with the festivities, I went back into the archives to find the very first Sunday Memory Drawer, which I ran way back in October, 2008, on what would be the date of the very last baseball game to be played in Shea Stadium.

Digression aside, I've included that very first "memory drawer" below, but it naturally spurred me to wax a little bit more on the topic at hand.  Specifically, my grandmother in the kitchen.

Now, I'm sure you might have some wonderful memories of tasty treats cooked up by your grandmother.  And, trust me, the lady could bake with the best of them.  Every Saturday morning, I would be awakened upstairs by a veritable Entenmann's Bakery going downstairs in Grandmaland.  Pies.  Cakes.  Bread or rice pudding.  Even the simplest of pound cakes would figuratively send me to Heaven.

If it was summertime and her rhubarb had grown nicely in the garden, you would have the added aroma of that stewing in a pot on the stove while the bottom shell of the pie was baking in the oven.  Grandma's rhubarb pie was well-known throughout the family and made regular appearances at all functions.  She did it differently than traditional pies and I believe two of my cousins still follow her recipe on holidays.   I can remember her process as if it was yesterday.  Stew the rhubarb into a mush.  Add a box of strawberry Jell-O to stiffen it up.  Pour it into the bottom of the pie shell.  Cover it all with fresh whipped cream. 

Bingo.  Grandma's rhubarb pie.  And I miss it to this day.

Thank God the woman could make dessert.  Because she sure as Hell had her challenges with other parts of a meal.

Truth be told, she's probably not completely at fault.  I think she fell into some nasty cooking habits during the days of the Great Depression and never got out of them....forty years later!

For instance, here's something you rarely see in stores anymore...

Oh, they still make it, but I doubt you can find many people who open up this glop and then add a can of water to make soup.

For my grandmother, Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup was a staple of the kitchen.  She used it in so many ways.

Straight out of the can, it was sauce for spaghetti.

It was gravy for beef stew.

Watered down slightly, it acted as ketchup when we had run out of the bottled stuff.

Ugh.

But, back in 1929, I am guessing one did what one had to do.  And Grandma was no different.

Now, who uses this anymore?
I am sure it's still out there, but, back in the days of my grandparents, you didn't drink coffee without it.  And there was always an open can in the refrigerator because, God forbid, one can needed to last you a whole week.

Salad dressing?  Apparently, olive oil was a delicacy in Grandma's world.  Frequently, her lettuce topping was as simple as two spoonfuls of vinegar and a fistful of sugar.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, sugar.

Her lunch, usually at 11AM every morning, never ever varied as long as I can remember.  Two slices of bread.  Two slices of Oscar Meyer bologna.  Mustard?  Nah.  Mayonnaise?  Nope.  Her condiment of choice?

Welch's Grape Jelly.   And not just any jelly but one that came in those damn Flintstones glasses.


Grandma probably had about two dozen of these containers all over the kitchen.  No matter what you were drinking, whether it be milk, soda, or beer, Grandma served it courtesy of Fred, Wilma, and Barney.

Of course, even with the questionable bill of fare at Grandma's kitchen, there was one place there I absolutely loved.

Her pantry.  And as told back in 2008 in my very first Sunday Memory Drawer...
This room was a full-out treasure chest for me. Situated right off her kitchen, it was a full-sized room that had a counter where I could do homework. And there were shelves all the way up to the ceiling. Lots of places for me to hide whatever toy figurines or soldiers I was occupied with at the time. One side would hide behind the double boiler and the other would secrete themselves behind cans of Libby's vegetables. And I could hide myself in another corner and let it all play before me for hours and oodles of fun.

There were many other fringe benefits. My grandmother baked every single Saturday morning and there was usually some sort of cake or pie stored there. Pieces disappeared regularly. And, of course, her Poppin' Fresh cookie jar was always loaded with Jane Parker or Ann Page's finest chocolate chip cookies. Only the best that the local A & P had to offer. I still have that cookie jar here in LA and it's always filled. With chocolate chip cookies. The tribute that just keeps on giving.

One day, I noticed something else. My grandmother would go into the pantry, hop on a step stool, and reach up to the very top shelf. Where apparently she was keeping some very special chocolate bars.

Hmmmm.

It didn't take many days after this discovery before I wanted to tap into this reserve myself. If my grandmother was hiding this candy, it must be damn good.

The step stool still left me about three shelves too short for the reach. So, I essentially climbed gingerly from one shelf to another. The Wallendas had nothing on me, especially if there was a tasty treat at the end of the stunt. I got to that chocolate and munched. One piece and then another. And then another. She wouldn't miss a whole bar. I reasoned she probably had others stashed away all over the house.

And then it came. Or, in reality, there it went. About an hour later, I was sick to my stomach. And couldn't stop visiting a certain room in the house. Where I would be sitting and not standing. It was so bad that I missed two days of school and even was summoned to appear before the always feared pediatrician, Dr. Fiegoli. Nobody had any answers and I certainly didn't make the connection. Until my grandmother asked the question that begged for an answer...


"Who ate all my Ex-Lax?"

Dinner last night:  Kung pao beef from First Szechwan Wok.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Classic Movie Trailer of the Month - March 2012

Celebrating five years of this blog.  And here is the trailer for my favorite movie of all time.


Dinner last night:  Chicken tacos.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beware The Mugs of March

Somebody's head got a little too close to the ceiling fan.
And imagine what this will look like after a year or two in jail....
Prison time...and the heartbreak of psoriasis.  All at the same time.
Oh my God, they're arresting the Amish!
"Hmmm, which attorney should I call?"
Oddly enough, she was probably arrested for stealing this Obama t-shirt.
Well, you've got a head start.  You're already wearing orange.
Gee, those church Bingo games can get a bit violent.
All wrapped up in himself.
"How was I supposed to know he was a mother fuckin' cop??"

Dinner last night:   Tortellini with chicken, pesto, and sundried tomatoes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Five Years Ago Today......

And here's how Len Speaks innocently started on March 15, 2007.  And we're still here.  Wait.  It's not "we."  It's just me.  I'm talking like I have a staff.  

 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.

My very first blog entry and I spend half of it talking about a lousy American Idol contestant.  What was I thinking?  What were you thinking when you came back here for a second, third, or perhaps a thousandth time?

If you're in the latter, I thank you so much for making this a destination once a day.

And on we go....

Dinner last night:  Beef and shrimp with chow mein noodles from Panda Express. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This Date in History - March 14

What's it all about?  Your birthday, Sir Michael.

44BC:  CASCA, CICERO, AND CASSIUS DECIDED, IN THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ASSASSINATION OF JULIUS CAESAR, THAT MARK ANTONY SHOULD STAY ALIVE.

For the time being.  A nifty way to clean out government officials you can't stand.

313:  EMPEROR JIN HUIDI IS EXECUTED BY LIU CONG, RULER OF THE XIONGNU STATE.

Casca, Cicero, and Cassius....where are you?

1489:  CATHERINE CORNARO, QUEEN OF CYPRUS, SELLS HER KINGDOM TO VENICE.

And moved to a smart two bedroom condo on Malta.

1647:  DURING THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR, BAVARIA, COLOGNE, FRANCE, AND SWEDEN SIGN THE TRUCE OF ULM.

That's an odd collection of allies.  Ummmm.   I mean, ulmmmmm.

1757:  ADMIRAL SIR JOHN BYNG IS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD ABOARD HMS MONARCH FOR BREACH OF ARTICLES OF WAR.

Unlike those Road movies, there was no Hope for Byng.

1794:  ELI WHITNEY IS GRANTED A PATENT FOR THE COTTON GIN.

And celebrated with a bottle of...well, not...cotton.

1879:  PHYSICIST ALBERT EINSTEIN IS BORN.

The first official bad hair-do.

1883:  PHILOSOPHER KARL MARX DIES.

Another Marx Brother....Commo.

1885:  THE MIKADO BY GILBERT AND SULLIVAN HAD ITS FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE IN LONDON.

Clive Barnes reviewed for the New York Post.

1920:  CARTOONIST HANK KETCHAM IS BORN.

Hey, Mr. Wilson!!!

1931:  ALAM ARA, INDIA'S FIRST TALKIE FILM, IS RELEASED.

Hooray for Bollywood!

1932:  INVENTOR GEORGE EASTMAN DIES.

Somebody opened the door to the dark room.

1933:  ACTOR MICHAEL CAINE IS BORN.

He will celebrate by not making a movie today.

1933:  COMPOSER QUINCY JONES IS BORN.

Once married to the Mod Squad's Peggy Lipton.  For that, he gets a tip of my cap.

1942:  ORVAN HESS AND JOHN BUMSTEAD BECAME THE FIRST IN THE WORLD TO SUCCESSFULLY TREAT A PATIENT USING PENICILLIN.

No relation to Dagwood.

1943:  DURING WORLD WAR II, THE KRAKOW GHETTO IS LIQUIDATED.

Was it ever showing a profit?

1946:  ACTOR STEVE KANALY IS BORN.

Ray Krebbs of "Dallas" fame!!!

1948:  COMEDIAN BILLY CRYSTAL IS BORN.

When was the last time he was funny?

1950:  RADIO PERSONALITY RICK DEES IS BORN.

He once had an office next door to me.  He brought in an infested plant and the bugs got into my computer.  Thanks, Disco Dope.

1951:  DURING THE KOREAN WAR, UNITED NATIONS TROOPS RECAPTURE SEOUL FOR THE SECOND TIME.

Personally, I've never had soul.

1961:  RADIO PRODUCER GARY DELL'ABATE IS BORN.

Baba Booey!!!

1964:   A JURY IN DALLAS FINDS JACK RUBY GUILTY OF KILLING LEE HARVEY OSWALD, ASSUMED ASSASSIN OF JOHN F. KENNEDY.

Ya think???

1967:  THE BODY OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY IS MOVED TO A PERMANENT BURIAL PLACE AT ARLINGTON CEMETERY.

Did the flame go with him or did they install a new one?

1973:  CARTOONIST CHIC YOUNG DIES.

He originated my favorite comic strip "Blondie."

1975:  ACTRESS SUSAN HAYWARD DIES.

She once starred in a movie called "I Want to Live."  Oh, well.

1976:  CHOREOGRAPHER BUSBY BERKELEY DIES.

Those Golddiggers of 1935 can start digging something else.

1980:  IN POLAND, A PLANE CRASHES NEAR WARSAW, KILLING 87 PEOPLE, INCLUDING A 14-MAN AMERICAN BOXING TEAM.

Kayo-ed.

1991:  LYRICIST HOWARD ASHMAN DIES.

Of AIDs right after he did the music for "Beauty and the Beast."  What a waste.

1994:  LINUX KERNEL VERSION 1.0.0 IS RELEASED.

If you're a tech head, this must mean something to you.

1997:  DIRECTOR FRED ZINNEMANN DIES.

Literally from Here to Eternity.

2009:  ALTOVISE DAVIS, WIDOW OF SAMMY DAVIS JR., DIES.

Mrs. Bojangles.

2010:  ACTOR PETER GRAVES DIES.

Now a really impossible mission.

Dinner last night:  Had a big lunch, so just an English muffin and some salad.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Inside The Blogger's Studio

As I approach the fifth anniversary of this blog on Thursday, I figured this monumental event would grab the attention of interviewer James Lipton of "Actor's Studio" fame.  After all, wouldn't this be an ideal time for a profile of yours truly?

Damn, no call.

So I guess I'll just have to perform both ends of the interview process.  Ladies and gentlemen, here's James Lipton.

Lipton:  Thanks, Len.  I'm excited to be here on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of your terrific blog, Len Speaks.

Me:  Thanks, Jim.  Or James.  What do I call you?

Lipton:  I prefer Mr. Lipton.

Me:  Whatever.

Lipton:  So, let's go back to the beginning.  March 15, 2007.  The very first entry on Len Speaks.  How did this all start for you?

Me:  Well, er, Mr. Lipton, I basically wanted to give myself a regular writing exercise.  Some people hit the treadmill to get in shape.  A writer writes to do the same thing.  I had seen some other blogs and I said, "gee, I should try this."  You can now flip your index card for the next question.

Lipton: What or who specifically inspired you to start Len Speaks?

Me: Well, comedy writer and now-baseball announcer Ken Levine has a terrific one that I had been reading on a daily basis. At the time, he was focusing a lot on American Idol and his recaps of that show were hilarious. As I was watching that show as well, I thought it would be fun to crack wise on my own. Of course, I never really did focus on Idol, even though I mention I will in my very first blog post which I will rerun on Thursday. These days, nobody watches or cares about Idol, so we’ve all had to move on. But, Ken’s Idol rants were the real impetus for me. Oddly enough, when I met Ken two years ago, he read my blog right in front of me. That was a bit unnerving. Sort of like what happened when my mom unexpectedly walked into my bedroom when I was 14.

Lipton: And what was that, pray tell?

Me: Go to your next index card, Jimmy. I mean, Mr. Lipton.

Lipton: So you write every single day?

Me: Like a true writer, I found a way around that. Truth be told, I do a lot of daily pieces in advance. Most of the upcoming week is planned out and written the weekend before. When I decided to do something every single day with regular features, I really needed to map out the blog in advance. Of course, I also learned how to cheat on the “writing every day” bit. Two of the days every week are devoted to videos and God bless “You Tube.” And, most Fridays are compilations of funny pictures with captions. Heck, it does take time to lay those out but they certainly go a lot quicker than the full-blown essays I usually do on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Lipton:  But you have a new posting every single morning?

Me:  Yeppers.   I frequently post them the night before.  Blogger.com lets you set up an advance time.  I tell my friends who read daily that, if you don't see a new posting by 12 Noon Pacific time, please send the paramedics to my home address.  Or SWAT.  That actually works.  About a year ago, I posted something with a wrong date.  Friends went on-line, saw nothing new, and then hit the internet to find out if I was dead.

Lipton:  But you also tell us what you had for dinner the night before?  You don't know that in advance, do you?

Me:  Yes, I actively have to load that every single day.

Lipton:  What's the reason behind that feature?

Me:  Well, I originally started that to let friends back East know that I was eating decently.  Of course, I now have such a database of past dinners I should go back and try to find what percentage of my meals over five years included sausage.

Lipton:  A favorite of yours, I understand.  

Me:  You sure do have a cracker jack research staff.

Lipton:  Your blog has a counter at the bottom of the page.  Can you see all the hits you get?

Me:  Yes, and they're from all over the world.  Somebody from India is on regularly, so I'm guessing Len Speaks is really popular amongst the tech staff for Dell Computers.  I did worry a bit when, for about three days, there was somebody checking from the server "whitehouse.gov."  I am thinking there will be a tax audit some time in the next two years.

Lipton:  The picture on top of your blog never changes.  Why is that?

Me:  That photo is probably one of only three snapshots ever taken of me that I actually like.  Sitting at LA's Farmers Market with some nifty product placement for Coca-Cola.  I've been asked to vary the picture and I have given some thought to using the other two decent photos I have.  But, about a year ago, the dear friend, who was on the other end of the camera lens that day, passed away.  Nope, I'm never changing it now.  My tribute to her.  And it's only the profile picture I use on Facebook as well.

Lipton:  Tell me please.  Who are Saul and Heshe?

Me:  They are imaginary characters I use to do commentary every year around the Oscars and the Emmys.  Go into any Jewish deli in Beverly Hills from the hours of 10AM to 2PM and you will find guys like them.  Old, grizzled Hollywood veterans kvetching about anybody born after 1985.  I get lots of positives from readers when I use them and I'm asked to feature them more.  That would be overkill.   We won't be seeing "Saul and Heshe Go to Disneyland" or "Saul and Heshe Go for Prostate Exams."  Let David Letterman be the one who continuously beats a good joke to death.

Lipton:  Far and away, your most popular daily feature is your "Sunday Memory Drawer."

AUDIENCE APPLAUSE.

Me:  Thank you very much.  It's definitely the most popular and I also post it weekly on Facebook as well.

Lipton:  Tell me how that started.

Me:  Well, I wanted to do something that was sort of like a feature you might read leisurely in the Sunday newspapers.  I thought of Sunday afternoons when I was a kid.  I'd go downstairs to my grandmother's living room and, all of a sudden, she would tell me some disjointed story from her life.  I started to write the same way.  And, after almost four years of doing them, I have essentially composed my memoirs in this forum.  And friends tell me it's a great outline for a movie.

Lipton:  You seem to have an infinite supply of memories.

Me:  Er, not so much.  Grandma's a big focus and, unfortunately, she died in 1982 and she stopped doing funny stuff around the same time.  About a month ago, I had a pretty unsettling experience that made me think that my memory drawer does have a bottom.  Around my birthday in February, I told a tale about having a birthday party when I was five or so.  There was a children's game and I cheated to win a set of Colorforms.

Lipton:  I saw that in my research.  Very funny.

Me:  Uh huh.   Except I was going through my archives about two weeks later and I found that I had written this up two years earlier.  It's one thing to rerun a piece.  It's another thing to remake one.  Ironically, the first version of the Colorforms cheating incident was a lot better.  So, yes, the long-winded answer to your question is that memories are finite.  Luckily, in the past two months, the deaths of Gary Carter and Davy Jones have jogged some youthful thoughts and helped me to fill some weeks where the mental cupboard was bare.

Lipton:  Now comes the time where I refer to famed interviewer Bernard Pivot and his questionnaire as immortalized in L'Apostrophe.  Len,
what is your favorite word?

Me:  Anything that starts with a "K."  That's comedy.

Lipton:  What is your least favorite word?

Me:  Ruttabega.  It's a vegetable that nobody knows how to spell correctly.

Lipton:  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Me:  The sound of a friend's laughter.

Lipton:  What turns you off?

Me:  The sound of a friend crying.  I wonder what I did.

Lipton:  What is your favorite curse word?

Me:  It's a tie.  Fuck is always terrific.  But shit also works.  And it happens.  Two days ago, my toilet was clogged and I was working it with a plunger.  It was really messed up and I said "shit."  I immediately followed that with "exactly."


Lipton:  What sound or noise do you love?

Me:  Well, that day, it was the sound of the water finally flowing into the sewer.

Lipton:  What sound or noise do you hate?

Me:  Clanging garbage cans.

Lipton:  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Me:  Airplane pilot.  Just once.  And I hope John Denver didn't say the same thing on this show.

Lipton:  What profession would you not like to do?

Me:  Waiting on tables.  Those people get tons of grief from customers.

Lipton:  Finally, if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Me:  Guess what?  Baseball season opens in Heaven every April, too.

Dinner last night:  Teriyaki pork loin and rice.