Rose Parade

Rose Parade has moved: see link in post below

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dexter is coming

Heh. So stoked. Cannot wait. Note to self: call Adelphia and see how much it will cost to add Showtime when the Dark Passenger comes calling. The Dexter books, by Jeff Lindsay: Darkly Dreaming Dexter and the sequel Dearly Devoted Dexter. Oh yes, there will be blood.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Off the ice, into the boardroom

During the Winter Olympics in February, there was a contest to vote one of the U.S. Olympians onto The Apprentice as a contestant. Among those gunning for the apparently coveted spot was Angela Ruggiero of the Women's Hockey Team. Not sure why anyone would want to subject themselves to Trumpy and his ginormous ego, but she really wanted it and I voted for her. So congrats (I guess) to Angela, because it turns out she won. Have fun, Angela! Why do I have a feeling the show will be more cutthroat than any hockey game she's played in?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Thanks of an ungrateful nation

It's Memorial Day and I'd like to take a moment in my little, lightly-trafficked corner of the net to express my thanks to those who have paid the ultimate price to keep our great country free over the years, decades and centuries. Yes, I really enjoy the long weekend, even one day off helps keep me sane...but that isn't what this day is about. It's about what I do have and how I'm able to live thanks to people who have given all, without whose sacrifices our American lives might by very different, and not in a good way. Thanks to these unselfish individuals - whose jobs I could never do - here are just a few of the things that make me happy that I'm free to do today:
  • Escape the boring office job for a day and actually enjoy waking up on a Monday.
  • Hole up in my little apartment, with my TV turned to Adelphia Cable Channel 426 (Singers and Standards music channel) and peck away at my laptop with a cup of tea or five.
  • Surf the net to find out how rigor mortis really works and pound out a staggering (for me) 20 pages of a one-hour drama spec that's been in the planning stages like forever thanks to a long weekend that gave me extra me-time I usually have a hard time finding and that I'm always desperate for.
  • Hang out at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Saturday night for a screening of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (brought to you by Cinespia) along with Liz and several hundred other very cool people (and very well-fed and drunk people - I swear they let you bring anything in there. Next time: more wine! And maybe a pizza!). Free to enjoy a scary movie on a cool, windy night with impossibly tall palm trees swaying all around us. Free to declare, on the way home, that when we're dead we think it would be fantastic if people came and crashed on our graves while enjoying a flick.
  • Update my iTunes library and my ipod and make tiny root beer floats without a care in the world (for the record, I wound up with juice glasses instead of shot glasses).
  • I'm free to do...well, pretty much anything as long as I don't break any rules or hurt anyone, which as far as I'm concerned should go without saying anyway.
So if anyone who is military, or has family or friends who are stumbles across this post, accept my humble but sincere little thanks. Some really good blogs about the holiday, by people much more eloquent on the subject than I can be found here. Have a happy Monday (?!) everyone, and have one on me:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Powerless

We just had a power outage in Hollywood (Fountain/Cahuenga/Vine area) that lasted from about 9:20a to 10:20a. Phones went down too. I'm the only one in the office this morning and I've gotta say it was nice and peaceful. Especially without the phones. The sound of them ringing really drives me to the edge. I should not be spending my life in an office. I haven't been able to find out anything on the local news websites about what caused it. Guess it isn't important, like who won American Idol or Britney Spears endangering her baby yet again or pictures of pets sent in by viewers or other crap that doesn't affect me. I know local news is a joke, but that isn't going to stop me from criticizing it. Now if I can just get through the rest of the week, we've got a three-day weekend coming up.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Not so upfront

What a difference a year makes. The network upfronts, which I'm usually so excited about, just kind of left me cold this year. I'm just not feeling the love for the lucky winners of the "ordered to series" lottery. Quite the bummer, I was so looking forward to the big week of announcements. It was last week and I'm just now getting around to mentioning it. Don't have a list with me at the moment, but I'm thinking the biggest surprise loser is "Aquaman" from Smallville braintrusts Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, somewhat surprisingly denied by newborn CW (however, Kevin Williamson's "Palm Springs" is coming to a CW affiliate near you between now and this time next year). I thought "Aquaman" was a slam dunk, but of course, this time last year I thought The Book of Daniel was the next big thing. But in cheerier news, you can look forward to "Jericho", set in a small midwestern town post-nuclear attack. Thanks, CBS! Good times all around. I think I'll pass. On the brighter side, "Dexter" is not only coming, but it finally has an imdb entry! Barely, but I'm still adding Showtime the minute that sucker gets a definite premiere date (November according to imdb). Cannot wait for my sociopathic serial killer passing himself off as a ridiculously normal blood spatter expert for the Miami-Dade PD. I do love me some non-soap opera, non-shark jumping crime drama. Kill, kill, kill then solve, solve, solve!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Still horse crazy, after all these years

God bless him, Barbaro continues to hang in there. One of the things I noticed watching the footage of him breaking down and immediately afterwards, is that in spite of his natural competitive instincts, he stopped and stood still and really behaved himself. Despite what had to be overwhelming pain and fright (and God knows both were visible enough), he pulled up and stood, keeping his weight off his injured foot and out of further harm's way, holding his leg up in an unnaturally high position for a horse. But he did it. He could have just gone crazy and after it killed him it would have been credited to his fighting spirit. But there are fighters and then there are smart fighters, who know that he who fights and runs away (or just stands the hell still) lives to fight another day. Barbaro backed off and now, unlike the unstoppable Ruffian before him is living to fight another day. That's our smart boy. But that leg...sweet Jesus: Dear God, the poor thing has enough hardware in him to open his own store. I don't care if he sets off alarms in every airport in the country for the rest of his life. All I care is that this works. I want to give heartfelt props to everyone at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. You have done fine work and will continue to do so and it is greatly appreciated by a whole lot of people you will never know. Even if it ultimately doesn't work, you gave him more of a chance than I would have ever imagined possible with an injury this severe. I would have put him down on the spot. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to raise and train horses. Didn't happen, not even close, and now I'm a dissatisfied office drone slash wanna-be creative type. SUCKS. So props to those of you who actually did it and are caring for this horse and others like him. And everything else to do with horses. You are so fortunate. Not two days ago I was very sure Barbaro wasn't going to make it, but now I think he may actually have a chance. God knows he's in good hands, the best possible. Hang in there Barbaro. And hang in there Team Barbaro, and continue your good work. Hardware-laden x-ray photo Reuters via Yahoo Sports.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Barbaro Watch - Sunday night edition

So far, so good. Unlike Ruffian, he didn't thrash when he came out of anesthesia. "He practically jogged back to his stall." Not gonna cry, nope, no way. He has a long road ahead of him, but this alone is encouraging. I really hope he makes it, although I'm trying not to get my hopes up. He's a three year old thoroughbred colt, it won't be long before he wants to kick up his heels. Awwww, the bandage. Poor baby. Bandage photo that makes me wanna bawl like Nancy Kerrigan: AP via Yahoo Sports.

Barbaro - the day after

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bad day at Pimlico

It's been years since I've paid much attention horse racing. As a horse-crazy kid thoroughbreds filled the void until I was fortunate enough to get a horse of my own, the wonderful Meadowlark. Once I had the real thing I lost interest in racing, but for a while there I was pretty damn knowledgeable. I knew the horses, trainers, jockeys and breeding and I was pretty damn good at picking winners. I was actually aware that today was the running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horseracing's Triple Crown, which hasn't been won since Affirmed did it in 1978. In fact, over the years only 11 horses have actually managed the feat. I heard the unfortunate results on the radio a couple hours ago. Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was favored to continue his march toward the elusive title but things soon went awry. First, he broke before the starter actually released the field, somehow busting out of the gate. I'm sure it happens but I can't remember ever actually seeing that. Barbaro's jockey, Edgar Prado, pulled him up quickly and he was reloaded. Had he finished the race and lost, that early break would have been the talk of the sports world. But the false start paled in comparison to what happened a few moments later. After a clean start along with the rest of the field, a few lengths out of the gate Barbaro took a bad step and fractured his right rear leg. In the last hour or so I've watched the replay a couple times on TV and countless times in my mind and it's all I can do to keep from crying. It's a heartbreaking sight: as Prado is pulling him up you can see Barbaro hopping, trying to keep off the injured leg. Even after he's stopped and the jockey is off you can feel the pain in the way he holds the leg up, see the pain on his face. Given the severity of his injury there's a good chance they won't be able to save him and probably the only reason they're even trying is that he's still extremely valuable as a stud. The whole thing gave me a horrible sense of deja vu, recalling what is probably the most infamous moment in the history of the sport: Ruffian breaking down in her 1975 match race with Foolish Pleasure. They tried and failed to save her too and as far as I know there hasn't been a sanctioned match race since. The fiasco that ensued when Ruffian awoke from surgery only added insult to her devastating injury. Ironically, an MOW about Ruffian is currently in production. It's scheduled to air on ABC and ESPN in June 2007, in conjunction with next year's Belmont Stakes. A couple years ago I went on a Ruffian/ebay spree, buying a commemorative plate, three old issues of Sports Illustrated (the week before, of and after the match race) and a DVD with a ton of Ruffian material, including an ESPN special from a few years back and that horrible final race and its aftermath. There's one particular shot of the injured filly, circling her jockey after he's stopped her and dismounted and is trying to keep her still, where you can see the injured foot loosely flopping around in distinctly unnatural directions. It's the stuff of nightmares. Seeing Barbaro favor his injured leg had me flashing back to that stomach-churning sight. One of the unfortunate but inherent problems with horse racing is that these horses are investments first and beloved pets a distant second. I'm not saying the owners don't care about the horses at all - I'm sure Barbaro's owners are devastated right now. But the fact is that privately owned riding horses don't break down the way racehorses do. What is a sadly common occurence in racing is an almost unheard of thing among horses used for pleasure and show, even among jumpers. Not to say they don't suffer lameness and injury, but in all the years I was active with horses I can't recall a single instance of one breaking down to the point of having to be put down. And there's a reason for that, a reason that makes all the difference in the world: an investment is expected to pay off, preferably sooner than later, even if said investment is still technically a child. Someone who rides for a hobby pretty much invests in a four-legged money pit. Even most show horses don't earn their keep. Horses are a rich person's hobby. That's the only reason I don't have one. But for the sake of discussion, if I buy a young horse - let's say a yearling - for my personal use, here are the general milestones for breaking, training and riding:
  • Prior to age 2-1/2: Groundwork under saddle. Get horse used to carrying saddle and going through his paces via verbal commands.
  • Age 2-1/2 to 3 (depending on physical maturity) : Start light riding. Get him used to briefly having weight on his back and then increase amount of time in saddle, easing horse up through his paces: walk, jog/trot, lope/canter, but not up to a full gallop.
  • Age 3 and over: Horse is now old enough for flatwork on a regular basis at all gaits. However, if horse is going to be used for jumping wait until...
  • Age 5: Start horse over fences, starting low, 1-1/2 to 2 feet. This is a gradual process, in the higher levels of show jumping many seven and eight year olds are considered green and have their most productive and competitive years ahead of them.

However, if this yearling is destined for the track, his training will progress along these lines:

  • Age 1-1/2: Training on track commences. Riders will be comparable in weight to jockeys.
  • Age 2: The racing career begins in the spring. Early races will be only 5 or 6 furlongs, increasing in lengths as the year progresses.
  • Age 3: The Triple Crown year. The Kentucky Derby (1-1/4 miles) , Preakness (1-3/16 miles) and Belmont (1-1/2 miles) are restricted to three year olds. Extremely valuable horses, such as major stakes winners are frequently retired at the end of the three year old campaign and move on to a new (money-making) career as a stud or broodmare. The idea is to avoid a fatal injury like the ones suffered by Ruffian and possibly Barbaro. At most, they'll race for one more year in the hopes of increasing their value even more by winning some major handicap races.
  • Age 5 and over: Horses not retired for breeding or due to injury may continue to race up to age seven. Geldings who are earning money and are still sound may continue on a couple years beyond that. Horses whose ages are in the double digits are pretty much unheard of, at least on major tracks.

So big and strong, and yet so incredibly fragile. Wear and tear, especially at such a young age can take a terrible toll. You've got a beautiful, powerful animal weighing in at over half a ton, who can clock forty miles per hour, and yet it only takes one bad step to completely destroy him.

This picture just says it all. From champion to casualty in a split second.

Photos: AP via Yahoo Sports

Monday, May 15, 2006

Television so good it ought to be criminal: trying to liveblog the "Prison Break" season finale

Okay, first off, holy crap they're out! The celebration inside the jail after the breakout was so cool. This coming from someone who has no sympathy whatsoever for criminals. Bring on the death penalty. Did I miss it or did fatboy not mention Linc as one of the escapees? Oh this is not gonna work. I'm not that good. Run boys, run! Anyhoo, eeeek on the poison. Kiss it goodbye evil bitch VP! Having said that I want to know what that stuff was. For writing purposes only, of course. De plane! Dr. Tancredi busted! Holy crap a road block! Stuck in mud? You've gotta be kidding me! "We're not bros. And I don't think you want me telling the guys what I know." Eep! So long pretty boy snitch! Crap, could Veronica be anymore of a target? Just paint a bullseye on the poor girl. Methinks the supposedly poisoned water bottle just became a mcguffin. OH SHIT!!! THAT WAS AN AX!!! WIELDED BY CERTIFIED MANIAC PETER STORMARE!!! CHOPPING A GUY'S HAND OFF!! Remind me not to fuck with this guy, okay? More holy shit - they offed the freaking President of the United States and now evil bitch Steadman is in charge. As in she just got promoted to Pres. "And you said I couldn't get things done". Oh sweet Jesus. Take that Michelle Forbes! Welcome to the grownup evil table. I don't care how bad Sara's makeup looked like. They won't kill her off now. Not yet, anyway. Terence Steadman lives!!! Go Veronica! Come on guys, the plane. GO!!! Christ! It took off without them! "What do we do?" "RUN." And then there were five. Damn. I guess I did liveblog it, in my own lame, frantic way. This show just leaves me in a sweat. It ought to count as a workout. For a much more eloquent take on this episode, check out the episode thread on Television Without Pity. I'm too much of a wreck at this point to be useful. Word is that next season will be shot in Dallas. This season was shot in an actual (no longer in use) prison in Illinois (Joliet?). It was the place where John Wayne Gacy was housed until his death. Fuuurrreaky. Seriously looking forward to Season 2 of this baby. Especially with "CSI" threatening to commit a flagrant shark jump ("they did it"). And especially, especially with "Scrubs" not coming back until midseason (but coming back it is! Dance for the puppet master!) Probably not coincidentally, the last time I was this excited about a show was the pre-Jaws "Grave Danger" season finale of "CSI" this time last year. Well there you go. What a difference a year makes. This week is the network upfronts, professionally pretty much my favorite time of the year, where the major broadcast nets announce the pilots they've picked up. This time last year "Prison Break" was just another of the bouncing baby pilots ordered to series. Oh yes, what a difference a year makes indeed. Seriously, if you're not watching this show you need to be. You're missing out.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bottoms up: The Poseidon Legacy

I missed out an a chance to catch a screening of Poseidon last week, due to a combination of lukewarm reviews and off-work laziness. Kind of wish I'd gone though, especially after seeing this fantastic post by Marc over at Two Jakes showing the original some heartfelt and well-deserved love. At the risk of dating us all. Aw, who cares. People of a certain age, unite! I was unaware of the Rocky Horror-like following The Poseidon Adventure had until about a year ago when one of the movie channels showed it and the movie was preceded by a documentary detailing the enduring fantatical following. I had no idea. So of course I had to go out and buy the DVD, from the discount bin at the Hollywood & Highland Virgin Megastore. And then file it away without watching it. It was enough that I had it handy, not to mention any excuse to shop, ya know? Marc's post - and the resulting nostalgia-fest comments about the 70's disaster flick era (of which I was just old enough to be in on) prompted me to watch it today and as I mentioned in the "Underwater" comments not only is the capsizing sequence still a classic, but the post-capsizing shot of the huge liner, upside down underwater, going completely dark after one last loud boom still gives me chills. And you know what? Having just watched it, the only thing that really dates it is the clothes and cast. Come on people, Pamela Sue Martin. The only things missing are Simon Oakland and George Kennedy. It's still riveting and even more amazing the effects hold up just fine. You know what really didn't age well, as much as I absolutely adore it to this day? Back to the Future. A perfect film but so very, undeniably a child of the mid-80's, twenty years after the fact. But that doesn't detract from its charm, it just means it shows its age. And despite what Hollywood wants you to think, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sure, they're just movies, but to me "Back to the Future" and "The Poseidon Adventure" disproves the Hollywood idea that you can't age gracefully. They may be dated but they still kick ass, especially compared to a lot of the crap produced today. And they've done it without resorting to bad plastic surgery. They may be old but they wear it well. It can be done. On the downside, box office-wise the $150 million dollar disaster remake came in second to a falling MI:3. $20 million dollars can be wrong, apparently, I don't care how they spin it. Maybe this will discourage the remake trend. Respect your elders, don't think that updating them makes them better. We can only hope.

Tiny root beer floats for everyone! Happy Mother's Day!

I only recently discovered writer Jane Espenson's site and it's already provided me with a wealth of information, not only about the craft of writing but also the day-to-day realities of being a working writer. You know, the things they don't teach you in most writing classes. In fact, I wish Jane would teach a class, I'd sign up in an instant. Today she blogged about a wedding she attended yesterday. Besides the obvious points of envy - Television writers? Malibu reception? Could it be anymore picture perfect, and how does one go about getting one of those lives, anyway? - there was this little tidbit: I had a tiny root beer float served in a shot glass! Me wants. Me needs to add root beer, vanilla ice cream and shot glasses to the shopping list. It just sounds like fun. When I was a kid my mom used to make us coke and root beer floats. And how's that for a segue: this is the same mom who is no doubt, as I type this, wishing I would get the hell off the computer (I'm on dialup) and call to wish her a happy Mother's Day. I will, really, just wanted to get this post done. No, really. Here I go, right now...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Hockey Gods kick Sens in the nuts yet again

Photo of a devastated Ray Emery losing the series on a short-handed goal in OT courtesy Yahoo Sports. Notice the round black thing right behind him. That's the puck. I have no idea who will hoist Lord Stanley's Cup this time next month. My picks are bowing out faster than I can cope. But if it's the Ducks I may have to kill myself. Oh, and this was after the Quacks bounced the Avs out of the playoffs four-straight. What fresh hell...?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Family Follies of May 2006

Her Bitchiness checks in: The good: the Mother's Day gifts I mailed Monday got there Wednesday. Apparently the curse of mailing packages to Hawaii has been lifted. No more gift certificates, I have to actually shop for these people! See, post-9/11 flat mail got right through while packages were held up for however long. No more excuses apparently. The bad: today my sister had a biopsy of the uterine variety. Results pending. Oh, and they told her to scarf down some Advil before she came in (as she pointed out: two? four? six? half a bottle? coupla handfulls? thanks Hawaii medical peeps!) because apparently painkillers are no longer included in the service. She's been sick on and off for about a year and they keep telling her there's nothing wrong with her. Which is why she's been sick on and off for a year, yo. Cuz there's nothing wrong with her. Except for the whole uterine biopsy thing, which is freaking her out. The weird: aforementioned sister advising me on the one thing I unfortunately know better than anything: job-hunting and interviewing and God-help me accepting yet another soul-sucking, spirit-destroying office job instead of something related to writing or riding that would actually make me happy to wake up every morning. Thanks all around. Yep, it's the Friday night edition of my now defunct "vacation". FUCK. I just feel like such a bitch about it. And I really need to talk to my brother.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Adventures in City Walk

First, the bad news: Gladstone's is being replaced by Bubba Gump Shrimp. The only person I've ever known who has eaten at Bubba Gump's is my dad and he said it was terrible. They're selling the name not the food, but since City Walk draws tourists Bubba Gump is more likely to succeed than Gladstone's. Having eaten at the Gladstone's on PCH, I guess City Walk (as much as I love it) just isn't the right venue for it. But still, made me sad. In case you're interested, Bubba Gump is currently under construction/remodeling for a summer opening. The Team L.A. store hardly had anything for the Kings - I was looking for a license plate frame to replace the one popped off my car a few years back when I was involved in a chain reaction rear-ending. Now that they're actually showing signs of life and caring about their fans and putting a competive team on the ice I figure I should reciprocate and show my enduring, long-suffering support. The store had a few Kings caps and jerseys, everything else was mainly Clippers and Lakers. Hell, the Dodgers have their own store now, the big one that used to be Team L.A. and actually had Kings stuff. In fact, now that I think about it, there's also a Raiders store on City Walk and they haven't been L.A. for years. So no sale. I just wanted a stupid plastic license plate frame. Come on, Kings Nation! Had a Dodger dog in the food court for lunch. Although I don't go to games anymore it's nice to be able to get the dogs somewhere close to home. Skip the fries if you go, they're just so nothing special. There wasn't anything at the Universal Cinemas that I was interested in seeing except for United 93, which I wasn't about to watch in their crappy, archaic, multi-plex shoebox theater. What they need to do next winter is shut that theater down and remodel it, maybe reducing the number of screens in the interest of quality, not quantity, use the Arclight as a model. As for "United 93" I'd rather see it at a place like the Arclight, although I know it's going to be traumatic and I kind of plan to see it out of a sense of duty. It's like giving blood - I don't enjoy having a needle inserted into my arm to empty a pint of my blood into a bag, it makes me dizzy and nauseated but it's the right thing to do so sometimes you just do it. Seeing "United 93" is the right thing to do in a sort of "those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" way and also in a sort of "there but for the grace of God go I" way. I would have been reduced to a tear-streaked, quivering mass of jello had I been on any of the 9/11 planes. The least I can do is bear witness. I only had to experience it as a TV viewer (and that was horrific), I was spared the horror of living it, of dying horribly and undeservedly for the crime of showing up for work or boarding a plane. It's the least I can do. On a happier note: high point of my time on City Walk today was while browsing the Zen Zone I was seduced into buying a pair of "Happy Hands", these plastic things that simulate a really fantastic massage, and more importantly this bizarre head massage contraption, a picture of which I intended to post but Blogger wouldn't cooperate (alright, YES, I'll pay for it). So basically it looks like a piece of crap wisk with the ends cut off, not gathered, but which is really, really freaking awesome. It's just the most incredible head massage you can give yourself and then some. I say seduced because the guy there used them on me and they worked like a charm. Good thing he only wanted the sale, they felt so good I'm not sure I wouldn't have been talked into something more. I mean, they felt REALLY good! When I agreed to buy both the guy threw in a free 10-minute session in the water massage bed tank thingy. Basically you lay face down, they close the thing on top of you and you get a water massage (protected from the water by a plastic sheet) with increasing tempo and intensity. It's yummy. It was slow at the Zen Zone so the guy was in a mood to make a deal. Smart man - in the long run it will bring him business - the place is open until about 10pm on weeknights, so whenever I have a miserable day at the office I will have the temptation of Zen Zone just a couple subway stops (and a Universal City Shuttle ride) away. The really funny thing about today on City Walk was the fact that, as much as I hate crowds, the place today was really missing something in that it was really deserted. It's a weekday and not yet summer tourist season and as much as I thought I would prefer it that way, the lack of crowds left the place needing something, lacking something, the sheer force of humanity in large numbers. I can't believe I just said that. I hate crowds. Help me, as much as I want to be an unapologetic loner, today I wanted City Walk populated for my enjoyment. The hell?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Celebrity sighting of the day?

I'm pretty sure the guy I saw pulling out of the strip mall on the northeast corner of La Brea in a charcoalish colored Altima today was Jonathan Frakes. Why is it whenever I spot someone recognizable I always feel like I have to qualify it with I'm pretty sure it was...whoever. Liz once told me that if I wasn't positive then it wasn't really the person I thought I saw, but I can't completely agree with that. Especially not in this town. I think it's more because I don't go looking for it. And also maybe it's because I want to approach these people as an equal and not as a gawking, starstruck fan. Since I had my shades on I was able to take a seriously good look at him without gawking like a gawking, starstruck fan, and let's just say if it wasn't Frakes then he has an identical twin and since there's nothing to that effect in his imdb bio, I'm gonna go with it was him. I got a good look at him. Yeah, it was definitely him. Commander Riker, make it so.

Only in Hollywood - $48 million sucks

Apparently I was right the first time around: MI:3 disappoints at the box office, batshit crazy version of Tom Cruise held responsible. It could have been worse, it could have been better. $48 mil may be a disappointment but it isn't a total tank. There's also the DVD side of things to eventually factor into the take. But it isn't up to par, either (get it, par, Paramount...okay, nevermind). It definitely isn't going to help repair the damage Tom has done to his image/public persona. Tom Cruise the Movie Star has taken a direct hit. I don't know what he paid Pat Kingsley over the years, but she earned every damn penny. How she managed to muzzle and straight-jacket him for so long is beyond me. What it does means is that you can forget about seeing an MI:4. But damn, that theme music still rocks.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Flying high

Anaheim blanks Colorado again, leads series 2-0. Bryzgalov stands on head, gives clinic. Three straight shutouts in the playoffs, tying a 61-year old record. Ducks fans have got to be happy about this (Avs fans not so much). If this keeps up I wonder what they'll do with Giguere during the off-season.

Truthiness in advertising

OK, when I bought the chips (Sour cream and onion, yum) I bought them as a treat, not for their dietetic value. So I couldn't help rolling my eyes at this part of the packaging: I'm not saying they're lying about the amount of "Trans Fat" in the chips, it's just that I have this peeve about attempts to package fattening crap as healthy. They're potato chips. Not even the supposedly healthier baked ones, which I've had and which taste like crap. Regular potato chips. I know they're gonna make me fat(ter). Playing up the absence of a specific type of fat on the packaging isn't going to persuade me to replace my Weight Watchers frozen meals with bags of their chips. It's like McDonald's and their salads - if I want a nice fresh healthy salad I'm not going to a fast food place. I'm going to go to a salad bar or to CPK or some other nice, sit-down place or go home and make one myself. If I'm in the mood for a nice greasy burger and fries, Mickey D's here I come. My opinion on the subject is that McDonald's (and other fast food places) need to stop trying to be all things to all people. You're a burger joint. You're this. So are you, Lay's potato chips.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I was wrong, the music is right..."Mission: Impossible" rocks this old house

Traffic was jammed on (the sidewalks of) Hollywood Boulevard this evening. I actually managed to be immune to the festivities that had been set up for the Los Angeles premiere of Mission: Impossible 3. I declined the free MI3 t-shirt brought to you by local FM station Power 106 (how they tied into this pic, I have no idea). I declined the free canned drinks of I don't know what that were somehow related to this flick as they were being distributed by people clad in the aforementioned tees. But most importantly of all, I fought not only the "OMG, Tom Cruise or some other celebrity type person is coming" crowd but also the Jimmy Kimmel Live audience lined up on the sidewalk of that particular stretch of the shiny boulevard so I could just get the hell home after a long day at the office. I just hope the tourists had a good time. And so there I was, doing so well when right in the thick of it the mega-speakers began blasting out not some random dance-type number probably performed by someone incredibly famous that I not only don't recognize but don't give a rat's ass about and don't feel like I'm missing anything in the process, but the full-on, sting-and-hook-filled orchestra version of the hopelessly addictive Mission: Impossible theme music. Damn you, Lalo Schifrin, you glorious, genius you. Because at that moment, there wasn't a mysterious, historic building in L.A. I couldn't rappel (or whatever it's called/spelled) into. There wasn't a glorified movie star/hero I couldn't or wouldn't take on, there wasn't a bad guy (especially when played by the magnificent Philip Seymour Hoffman that I wouldn't conspire with. Such is the power of music. Music which, in this case, dates back to 1966. Forty years ago. Almost as old as my own sorry self. But with age comes wisdom, however aged and/or embarrassing and unrespected as it may be. I've been convinced of that for a while now. Maybe, somehow, someday and someway, music will bridge generations instead of defining them. But now for some reason - probably musical - I have no problem admitting that I was probably wrong about this flick, that despite my musings to the contrary, MI:3 is going to be huge and do major bank this weekend. Ka-ching Tom Cruise! And you know what? I don't have a problem with it. Go forth and prosper, MI:3. Do it. There's enough to go around. You've got the music in you.

Celebrity non-sighting of the day!

Way to start a Thursday - receptionist at the old office emailed to say he just saw Ewan McGregor. I want to move back.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Win or die

Despite the fact that the Kings have been on vacation for a few weeks now, there is still exciting playoff hockey going on in Southern Cal: Flames and Quacks square off in Game 7. Loser joins the Kings on the golf course.

With Detroit out of the picture the Cup is seriously up for grabs. For now I'm calling Ottawa. They're way overdue for some glory.

Photo of Ilya Bryzgalov: AP via Yahoo Sports

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Posting from home because now I can...

Still getting used to it. From yesterday - emailed from the receptionist at the old office (scenic 11th floor at Hollywood and La Brea) via the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, (bold is mine): Street Closure Advisory Within the past hour, there has been a notice of a possible march and rally today in Hollywood, Monday, May 1st, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The attached flyer describes a route that commences at Selma Park, heads west to Highland along Selma, north on Highland, east on Hollywood to Vine. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is passing this information along, but cannot verify the information since no formal permit was granted. Bolded to indicate that if they don't give a rat's ass about our immigration laws, well then an unsanctioned gathering to disrupt the neighborhood and random commutes right smack during rush hour certainly isn't going to be an issue. Hard as it is to believe (or, apparently, report), there are two kinds of immigration being debated now: legal (no problemo), and the illegal kind that the average American wouldn't dare try anywhere else in the world. And what better way to endear yourself to and win the sympathy of Angelenos than screwing up their commutes. Funny thing is, all I'm seeing on the net is that the locals who actually showed up for school and work on May 1 in the City of Angels is that their drives were a fraction of their normal length of time. Even funnier: much more liberal Boss of Me had to re-work his pm trek to downtown to take a couple of our most treasured clients to the Clippers playoff game at Staples Center (which they won, woohoo!!!) on account of he scored the corporate season seats for 5/1. Lucky him. Seemed like a good thing at the time. Even better, he was much more concerned about the clients and commute than the "protesters". Completely, in fact. Monday pm, I was too busy skirting Hollywood Boulevard in favor of Fountain down to West Hollywood Gateway and actually managing to get out of Target less than $100 bucks poorer to notice if the local pro-illegal rally actually came off. Other than that, it was business as usual in Hollywood on May Day. As it should be for the insane but law-abiding citizens of Tinseltown. Really, we're not all fucked up. It just seems that way. And here is where I get off of my politically incorrect/earned by approaching middle age soapbox. For now.