Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Estevez is back - with juice

After a decade's vacation for all things Hollywood, Emilio Estevez returns - as a critically lauded director:

Emilio Estevez's terrific movie, Bobby, got a standing ovation last night at its premiere sponsored by the Times of London for the London Film Festival.

Estevez looked mildly shocked on stage as a full Odeon theatre, with guests including likely future prime minister of England Gordon Brown, honored him for his work on this outstanding film.

Bobby, as I told you some weeks ago, is a Robert Altman-like story of many different characters at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 4, 1968, as Kennedy makes his way there to celebrate winning the California primary.

Estevez's next stop with Bobby is the American Film Institute on Nov. 1, where the movie gets it's Los Angeles premiere. But paparazzi be warned — Charlie Sheen is not coming. "He says he has to memorize his lines for Two and A Half Men," Emilio says, rolling his eyes.


His place in Hollywood history has always been assured with his performance as Otto in Repo Man...

But it's great to see him working again...

Only a matter of time

When I saw that Studio 60 wasn't on last night I assumed the worst. Today FoxNEWS.com gleefully reports the show is done, finished. NBC ordered the final three eps it was contractually obligated to do so but there is no chance they will be made. Heroes is clobbering them.

There is one winner to come out of Studio 60, however: Matthew Perry. In this show he's proven himself to be a star on his own separate from "Friends." His comedic timing and ability to ad lib, toss off lines, and give restrained physical reactions is what keeps Studio 60 even remotely interesting. We can only be hopeful that someone comes up with a great new show for him quickly—but a comedy that's funny, not a drama that isn't.


Well, I guess that puts me at three for four. Is Shark still on...?

Prediction - BORAT

This is getting a lot of hype and I admit it looks pretty funny but I'm thinking it's a bit subtle for the true MONSTER audience. I'm thinking it will open big with the college crowd but then go down pretty fast. Not bad really - how much did it cost to make this thing - $1.38? So that's good.

So for the prediction we won't say it'll be a goat - just a fuzzy little monster...

Monday, October 30, 2006

I need a new look

I'm 51 this year - 52 in February - 52 gray stone steps up to the box. I can't dress like a Mod Sub anymore...

And I sure can't dress like these fashion plates extolling the hip new middle age look at some fashion show...

That's always the problem - you are drawn to the fashions that were big when you were having a lot of fun in your life - the period when you started to actually "move" away from home and start discovering things about yourself rather than just defining yourself as opposed to your parents. But you can't wear that stuff at 50.

Orvis has that middle age look down...

But I can't quite give up the black and go totally into a brown and green color palette. I'd love to bring the color black with me from the punk days and build a wardrobe around it. Orvis has half a dozen black items and that's it. There's more at places like Old Navy and Urban Outfitters but those clothes are cut for younger bodies. When is some boomer gonna come out with a line of clothes that are rock and roll flavored but cut for a little bulkier physic? Big money to be made there...

Thank You St. Louis!

What with the speedy wrap-up of the fall classic, the Fox Network is now poised to resume the regular broad-cast schdule. And this means new episodes of...

House! Starts Tuesday nite, at original time, 9pm. Be there or be square.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Still alive

Sorry for the inactivity here. I'm slowly coming back from the gall stone procedure and while I've been to work everyday I'm still pretty tired and mentally blah. And now today it's raining at about 50 degrees - weather ideally suited for one thing:

Have a nice weekend y'all.

Monday, October 23, 2006

MediBlog - Stoned

So you might remember me mentioning having a wicked stomach bug about two weeks ago. Well, darn bug refused to die - and then I started to turn yellow...

Add severe jaundice to my list of symptoms and now you're maybe looking at...Acute Liver Failure. So we were getting a little freaked out as the days progressed. But, by Friday morning while dozing in the MRI tube, they noticed a stone had escaped my gall bladder and was blocking the bile duct down there. That afternoon they went down through my throat, removed the bugger and I've been feeling fine.

Though I'm still awfully yellow...

Mortification of the Flesh

This has been a punishing few months for our pals out there in Vegas doing the CSI thing. The producers have been methodically beating and shooting the snot out of the cast...

The finale of last season featured a two-part episode in which legendary tough-guy Detective Jim Brash was gunned down by some half-wit suspect...

But they let him live...

Don't let the frumpy lab coat and haphazard pony tail fool you. We usually see Catherine Willows on the job dressed like this...

Queen of the flashlight evidence search. We also know about her past as a pole dancer, her "old Vegas" daddy, her lousy ex-husband who had the decency to die or something a couple years ago - and we also know that she lives her life like a 22 year old party girl...

So they drugged and raped her and left her in some sleazy, sweaty motel room to collect her own evidence. But WAIT, she wasn't raped, she was merely drugged, carried to the motel, disrobed, and had a bad Polaroid made. Whew, raping a main character was pretty risky. So they gave her a reprieve...

...and gunned down her corrupt father, "old-Vegas" Sam Braun.

And now poor, old Greg. CSI's resident alt-rock geek boy, sporting a mad variety of spiked hair displays over the years, the character has clawed his way out of the doldrums of the lab to the exalted field officer position. Just two weeks ago, Greg combed his hair down, put on a real suit, and took his case to court where his evidence won the day. He was so excited he kept the suit on, he liked the suit.

So they had a gang of disaffected, souless teenagers beat him to within an inch of his life.

The most recent episode let the stars off the hook but continued in the punishment theme. The murder involved someone crucifying a woman on a wooden cross and hanging her up in the rafters over a statue of Jesus in the chancel of a Catholic church - her blood dripping down creating a false stigmata on the statue. Yeah! And in the end, she turned out to be the temptation who had lured the parish priest away from ministry - he was going to quit the church to be with her. The priest didn't kill her - it was Big Hombre, used car dealer supreme...their mutual best friend...who had also been sleeping with her...and she was pregnant with his baby.

And they say television is immoral. Who's next?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Freedom Toast

French toast fracas in Mechanicsville Shoney's

A Mechanicsville woman was attacked at a local breakfast buffet by another customer. It happened at the Shoney's restaurant off Mechanicsville Turnpike, with the fight starting in the buffet line.

Deputies say a pregnant woman who was waiting for French toast made a remark to Donnella Haywood-Gregory, 59, about where the line started. The two then exchanged words. The confrontation turned violent when deputies say Haywood-Gregory started to strangle a friend sitting with the pregnant woman.

The friend was rescued by other patrons, including a 10-year-old boy, and did need medical attention. Haywood-Gregory was arrested for assault and battery. She will be arraigned in court Thursday morning.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blogging Lite...

Not feeling well. Stomach bug was not a stomach bug, symptoms continue. Labs back tomorrow...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Au Revoir

Wolcott has penned a nice farewell to CBGBs...

Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell may have been Lewis & Clark of the Lower East Side, discovering and claiming CBGB's for the future punk poets of America as Hilly Kristal gave the shrug that changed history, but it was Patti Smith who made everything possible--Patti who was CBGB's first star and benediction spirit, Patti who channeled the nomadic nerve of Rimbaud and Isabelle Eberhardt, the bop prosody of the Beats, and the monochromatic drive of the Velvets through her scrawny frame and expressive, air-sculpting fingers.

I went to CBs in 1978 - saw The Dead Boys...

Opening act was Screamin' Mad George and The Mad. I was still wearing Levis cords and had the long, long hair so I stood out quite a bit. But there was no attitude, no hassle. Everyone was nice and there for the music. Sid Viscious was in the crowd - probably with Nancy. Late in the evening I came across Joey Ramone at the bar and we chatted for a bit. More Wolcott...

As Jim Farber points out in his Daily News au revoir today (and I appreciate the kind mention), even in its punk heyday CBGB's never drew that large a swarm: "Though every national publication (save Field & Stream) glowed about the bands here, you'd see the same 200 freaks there every week."

And the number of freaks would shrink to a smaller corps of hardies as the evening wore on--a Sunday night second set by Television or the Heads might hold only fifty or sixty of us enthralled. I tended to hang at the back, taking the wide view, but for the second set I'd stand nearer the stage, not wanting to miss a thing. I think I'd knew even then that I'd never be that close to anything that phenomenal again, and that nothing else the night had to offer could compare.

Try this Dead Boys DVD...

for a nice documentation of a typical nite at the "hole-in-the-wall" bar. Be sure to check out the extras for the Steel Tips performance that opened the show.

Anyone remember what the OMFUG stands for?

UPDATE: "Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers"

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oh, Rob...

It seems there are a lot of intelligent people who cannot "understand" Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The biggest hang-up seems to be that we don't get to see much of "the show" each week - the late-nite sketch comedy show that our characters create and perform in each week. This seems to drive people crazy. Why do a show backstage at a television network if you're not going to see the program they are producing?

Recently there has been whining about some slapstick moments in the recent episode and there are constant comparisons to West Wing and how WW was best when important things were happening like threat of war or republicans taking over congress and scuttling Bartlett's agenda, etc. etc.

Look - this isn't West Wing - should Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip do a show where everyone is distracted by the threat of a terrorist attack in LA? If you were a real Insufferable Television Snob you'd recognize the source of the show immediately...

Hmmm, let's take a look at this television classic. Main character Rob is married to Laura and he works as...wait for it...a televison writer for a sketch comedy tv show: The Alan Brady Show. Now each week we get to see Rob at work with his fellow writers working on The Alan Brady Show, dealing with the star and the quirks of television programming, and cracking wise about their personal lives...

And each week we get to see Rob at home dealing with his personal life...

And here's a couple shockers: there was plenty of slapstick comedy and HOW MUCH DID WE EVER SEE OF THE ALAN BRADY SHOW?

Enough already. Studio 60 is fine, it is entertaining and enjoyable. Is it perfect, no, but it's new. My only beef is that Sorkin seems to forget that Danny and Matt are the Rob and Laura of Studio 60...

Wetting the bed

Which of the following news organizations are covering this story from the appropriate angle?

The Independent Online: Terror from the Skies

CNN: High Rise Horror

ABC News: A Nation on Edge

Entertainment Tonight: Yankees fans mourn the loss of pitcher Cory Lidle, killed in a small plane crash.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why do you watch your favorite shows?

According to this article on all the highly praised new shows getting the axe, people watch shows with characters they want to be with...

"When it comes to television, viewers are looking for characters they want to be with," argues Tim Brooks, co author of The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. "You are inviting people into your home and you want to like them . . . You look at Smith and say, `I don't want to be with him.' Studio 60 is on another planet. It's too slick, too us vs. you."


I kinda thought the idea was for the character to be interesting - not my new BFF...

The question is quite revealing

Good Morning America made big deal about this book and particularly this specific question from the book. I realize that the writers are going for a touch of humor in their scientific answers to all sorts of questions. But this question and GMA's week-long flogging of it reveals a heck of a lot about our current culture.

And I think we'll let Richard Pryor from back in the day lay it out: (edited for family viewing)

A man knows he's done a good job making love because the woman will go to sleep. She will go out! If you finish making love and she wants to talk about nuclear physics then you got more love-making to do...

Someone needs to send a copy of this book to Good Morning America...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Stop it!

Lately I've noticed a lot of folks driving vehicles like this in same manner as they might drive a vehicle like this...

Okay, no amount of aggressive driving is going to transform your Mommy Van into a Corvette - got it? IT'S A MOMMY VAN! Get over it. Seriously, just stop it...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I think I gots the e. coli

I've had this wicked stomach bug since Friday just tearing me up. That's at least two days past when these things usually clear up. Just miserable...

Monday, October 09, 2006

I sure can pick 'em

Two of the new shows I'm watching are already in trouble...

Ray Liotta's caper show - Smith - has been yanked from the schedule. No one is using the "C" word...yet.

NBC is moving Kidnapped to the Sunday nite dead zone. Sigh...

Friday, October 06, 2006

MediBlog - End of an Era

I was first diagnosed with liver disease two years ago - it was discovered purely by chance during a minor procedure. My problems with my liver stem from two unrelated issues. I spent about nine months working on the first one - then 48 weeks taking a ton of medicine for the second problem. These medicines have certain side-effects such as flu-like symptons, loss of energy, thinning of hair (!)...

Anyway, it's over - I took my last dosages of all this stuff this past week. This afternoon I go down, have my labs drawn, and get looked over by the specialist. Then we keep our fingers crossed that everything has been straightened up.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I got nuthin'

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Middle school students who watch TV or play video games during the week do worse in school than those who don't, a new study finds, but weekend viewing and gaming doesn't affect school performance much.

"On weekdays, the more they watched, the worse they did," said study co-author Dr. Iman Sharif of Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, N.Y. "They could watch a lot on weekends and it didn't seem to correlate with doing worse in school."

Children whose parents allowed them to watch R-rated movies also did worse in class, and for boys, that effect was especially strong.

The findings are based on a survey of 4,500 students in 15 New Hampshire and Vermont middle schools. The study appears in the October issue of Pediatrics.

Oh my gosh. How did they do this study?

The study didn't look at grades or test scores, relying instead on students' own rating of their performance from "excellent" to "below average."

Heh? They didn't look at grades or test scores...?

"This study should hammer home to parents that this is really serious,"


We really mean it now, this is SERIOUS! We're not kidding this time! You darn parents really need to listen to US! We are NOT fooling around...

Sigh - I can't believe they didn't bother to actually check the grades and test scores but merely asked the kids, "So, how you doin' in school?"

All this study does is demonstrate a RELATIONSHIP between poor school performance and heavy television viewing - it does NOT demonstrate a CAUSE. Which is the problem with all these studies.

If we accept their data about how the kids are actually doing in school, then they have failed to show whether it is the television viewing itself or perhaps the attitudes of the parents in those different homes. Did one group of parents spend more time checking up on homework and monitoring test scores?

Is it something in the personality of the heavy watchers that leads them to so much viewing and such boredom at school? Is there something going on developmentally that leads boys in the one category to do poorer than girls?

They really can't answer any of these questions. All they are ever going to be able to prove is a relationship. And that is because they have no way to come up with a control group - that would be a group of kids where everything is the same except they've never seen tv. Now where the heck are you going to find a group of kids like that?

UPDATE: In looking over this study a little more, I realize that I responded a bit too quickly. If we accept that the one group of kids - weekday watchers and gamers - did more poorly than weekend only watchers and gamers, then what that basically proves is that the content of the media is irrelevant. The issue is how much time the kid is spending with media during the week.

In other words, if the kid is spending more time on homework and studying, then that kid will do better - no matter what media or videogames he/she will be playing on the weekends.

So no more skapegoating Marilyn Manson and Grand Theft Auto and Faces of Death. Just keep the enjoyment of these fine entertianments to the weekend and your kid will do just fine.

Stop it!

This business where a guitar player cups his pic and moves his hand up to the base of the neck and taps the strings for a groovy lead effect has to stop...


This is Tim Renwick - guest guitarist for Pink Floyd on the Pulse DVD. But it doesn't matter who the guitar player is or what kind of guitar it is, this always sounds the same.

Don't do this anymore. Control yourself. Seriously, stop it...