Monday, July 7, 2014

I'm Pretty Sure Jesus Deserves his Name Above the Title

You want to know why society is going heck in a hand basket? Here's one theory.

Jesus can't even get top billing at Vacation Bible School! I have noticed this trend for several years now. VBS is always touted as a rain forest adventure, a jungle safari or (heaven help the creationists) a science lab!

As a kid I loved Vacation Bible School and I was never turned off by the fact that the theme included the name of Jesus or mentioned God.
...
Isn't this false advertising? Why do we have to lure kids in under false pretenses? 

I know. I'm old. I'm a relic (Hey! The Lost Relic would make a great theme!) but spare me the "We have to do something to appeal to the kids" remarks. How lucky was I not to grow up in the Nintendo generation?

The lure of crafts, refreshments and the opportunity to perform in the closing program were enough to lure me to church for two weeks each summer....YES I said TWO WEEKS....not that I'm volunteering to work even the ONE week VBS is being held at my church.....I never said I wasn't a hypocrite.


No Way to Treat a Lady


It wouldn't be a trip to NYC without one great subway story. (anyone who goes to NYC and is too afraid to get on the subway has not REALLY been to NYC.) 

The group I chaperoned on a recent visit was riding  the One train back to our hostel from the Statue of Liberty. Our leader, Alice thought she was lucky to find a seat on the train but when she sat down she grazed the leg of a mature (and I use that word lightly) woman next to her.

"I guess you think you're cute!" The woman remarked.


Alice didn't quite understand her reaction so she asked what the woman meant. "You landed on me!" the woman asserted.


It was now time for the seasoned (and I use that term lightly as well) "New Yorker" on the trip to intervene. "I saw the whole thing. She didn't 'land on you," I remarked.

The woman was having none of this and continued her tirade,  "You're on the subway! You are going to get touched." I asserted. At this point I couldn't resist goading her with a smart aleck remark. "It's the only reason I ride," I joked.

Unexplainably she found little solace in my humor.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Whose Idea Was it to Plant Pink Petunias Anyway?

So I'm up early on Saturday to do one of my least favorite jobs, watering the planter downtown that I've been assigned by the garden club. And I'm just bemoaning the fact that this year for consistency's sake all the planters were planted with PINK and white petunias.  I never plant pink flowers. The whole idea of a pink flower just seems redundant to me.

I realize that trying to live my life openly and honestly sets me up for abuse in a small town in IL so far south that it's adjacent to AR, MO and KY but apparently being caught watering a barrel of pink petunias downtown on Sat. morning is just TOO MUCH for the small mind of some young man in the back of a late 80s black Nissan to take.

He shouts out, "Pretty flowers!" sarcastically to me as his "chauffer" speeds down Broadway like they've just pulled off the hate crime of the century.

My response (In the tradition of Quiser from Steel Magnolias who "smiled at the sonofabitch before she recognized him) was to wave and say HI!

It's a beautiful cool clear late spring morning. I should congratulate myself for doing this small
civic duty which I don't particularly enjoy but for those few seconds afterwards the morning is ruined for me by some degenerate whose minute brain capacity is probably only matched by the insignificant size of his reproductive equipment.

I'm sorry bud that you are able to accomplish so little in this world but there is no need to take in out on this protector of the petunias!

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Should Care but I Don't

Maybe if he were selling French dressing I'd care. Maybe if he were selling ranch dressing or even blue cheese but there is something about those new "make it Zesty" commercials that I find over the top.

I loved the Old Spice guy a couple of years ago.

I still remember Lucky from the Diet Coke commercials fondly but this Zesty guy leaves me cold despite his proximity to a grill.

I think it's because he thinks he's sexy himself. He's pushing himself and that salad dressing way too much. He's too obvious. Maybe I'm just jealous because I don't grill. But if I did I could assure I'd only be charbroiling the chicken, not myself.

The Old Spice guy was appealing because he did everything with a  wink that said, "I'm fit but I'm funny!"








Lucky, the Diet Coke guy didn't know those women were watching or if he did he didn't acknowledge it. I can't tell you the number of times I've been out working in the yard and splashed a hose on my overheated chest to cool myself off. Oh wait. Yes I can. Once. It happened once. Within minutes T-shirts were flying onto my lawn from the direction of three different houses. One even had a not attached, "Put this on.....NOW!". So much for my career in advertising.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

In Defense of Elisabeth Hasselbeck?

I never thought I would be writing in defense of this woman. She has very little appeal to me. I didn't watch Survivor. I have no particular admiration for football wives and pretty little blondes in tube top dresses never captured my imagination. I will  give her credit for one thing. Despite her diminutive  cup size I rarely if ever saw Elisabeth yanking at her tube top (See I can praise a Republican when they do something worthy of respect)
 
Elisabeth earned my grudging respect by quitting The View abruptly. Once her contract with Fox News was signed she dropped Barbara faster than Tim Tebow dismissing an NFL cheerleader demanding a little foreplay.
 
 I used to enjoy their Hot Topics segments. But that was until Barbara Walters started showing up at the table every morning. In the first few years of the show Barbara rarely appeared. At the time she was much to busy hosting 20/20 or interviewing the most important news makers of the day. Remember? She use to ask big stars penetrating questions like when she famously asked Katherine Hepburn what kind of tree she was. If Barbara were a plant she'd be an invasive weed.
 
The fewer big stories ABC news assigns to her the more Barbara intruded into the conversation on The View. Whoopi Goldberg is the supposed host of The View but not on days when Babs is there. Barbara interrupts, she chastises, she stops conversations cold. Surely The View holds production meetings. Barbara is the boss. Why doesn't she have the good sense to lay down the law to her subordinates backstage before she goes on? I have kitchen utensils less grating than this woman.
 
Whoopi disappoints me. I remember when Whoopi was hip, cutting edge. But I guess once you've gone down the Sister Act route you pretty much give up any street cred you might have. And Whoopi is a smart enough cookie not to go all Rosie O'Donnell on us. Still, just once I'd love to hear Whoopi cry, "I'm talking, bitch!" when Babs interrupts her.
 
Joy Behar had the good sense to quit too or who knows maybe she was fired. For the last two years she pretty much been relegated to sitting on the couch with her arms crossed. Her body language tells me she checked out a long time ago. And who could blame her? The cohosts' jobs have been reduced to fawning over Barbara.
 
One of these days I'll summon up enough energy to go somewhere deep in the bowels of my Direct TV remote and remove The View from my record "to do list" but for now the show still records although I rarely check in.

Barbara is retiring next spring and I'm sure I won't be able to stomach watching in her season on air. Let's just hope they've all had their hepatitis shots because I cannot imagine the amount of ass kissing the other women at the table are going to be expected to do in the next ten months.
 
I can't imagine why Whoopi stays around to put up with this abuse unless they have promised her that she'll finally really get to host once Babs leaves.  I can just hear the old Whoopi  I used to love wondering around backstage muttering, "I'm gonna cut da bitch....I'm gonna cut da bitch...."

I hope ABC is having to pay dearly for the privilege of keeping Whoopi muzzled for one more season. But then again any woman who would agree to doing Sister Act II will agree to anything.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Job Killer

When will I learn not to complain on Facebook? After any posts about the self checkout at Wal-Mart I get responses about costing people their jobs by using those odious machines equipped with the voice of an irritatingly patient woman. (I believe she also works for Verizon).

One must remember that complaining about Wal-Mart is a god given right if one lives in rural America. I realize Wal-Mart installed them as a cost cutting measure (not that you can tell from the price I paid for my last package of E. L. Fudge cookies). But I'm not sure that by refusing to use self checkout that I will change corporate policy. (Lord knows my last fifteen calls to customer service hasn't)

I heard a report on television last night that drones might soon be making pizza deliveries. Should I now refuse to order pizza as well? I would like to try just once. It sounds pretty cool unless the drone forgets its mission and takes me out by mistake. I do sometimes resemble Osama Bin Laden after a few days without shaving, particularly after a shower with a towel draped over my head.

Did the first people that used automobiles get complaints that they were putting blacksmiths
and livery boys out of business?

I don't get any flack when I download a song from I-Tunes even though I am putting people who make CD cases out of work. Come to think of it I don't remember people grumbling when I switched from cassettes to CDs or from eight tracks to cassette or from......I could go on and on  here. About the only transition I haven't had to make was from changing player piano rolls to cartridges for Victrolas.

Automation put my life in danger earlier this week when I ran out of blood pressure pills. I had dreaded calling the new phone voice system Moody's Pharmacy just installed. Thankfully a story on the sudden death of James Gandolfini snapped me back to my senses and I made the dreaded call. It was just as annoying as I had expected. And I swear the same woman from the checkouts and Verizon was instructing me to "Press one if." She is everywhere. She is going to take over the nation if not the world. I bet Osama had to call her whenever he needed new dialysis equipment. 

I missed talking to a real person (I love hearing them snicker when a guy whose last name is Cox asks to have his Viagra refilled)and I hope Moody's hasn't fired anyone since switching to their new phone system. But I am going to stand up for myself this time. If it comes down to deciding between using a touch pad on my phone and thereby throwing someone out of work and dying too young like Tony Soprano I'll use the dang touch pad.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Why I am Cheating on Matt Lauer with Charlie Rose

At sometimes in our lives we all find ourselves doing things we thought we would never do. For instance I never thought I would be growing tomatoes this summer. I don't even eat the silly  things. They are a vegetable after all. Or are they a fruit? I seem to remember a trick question in 8th grade science about this one. So I never thought that I would find a time when I wanted to stop watching  Matt Lauer in the morning. Some people need caffeine to get going, I need a mini Hershey bar and Matt.

It had nothing to do with that unfortunate Ann Curry fiasco. The fiasco was giving the inappropriately attired Ann the job in the first place. Still I was sorry to see the way they let her go. But the trouble with Today was not just Ann. The content of the show was so predictable. I grew to loathe Fridays when they spent so much time with pop stars on the plaza. (unless it was Adam Levine)

I got to the point that I didn't want NBC deciding what stories I started my day with. Anytime they ran a story on education I started seething at their incompetence. I started to wonder if they knew anything about politics, hurricanes or missing children either. I finally stopped watching morning television altogether. After a few weeks I decided to try CBS This Morning. This took a lot of soul searching knowing Gayle King was involved. I admit it. I was prejudiced against her. I found her guilty by her association with Oprah.

It didn't take me long to really enjoy this low key program. I actually feel smarter after I watch it. Their Eye Opener segment (your world in ninety seconds) is the best thing on morning television. I like the fact that there are two people at the table asking guests about the important issues of the day and the fact that some of the reporters they bring on to cover stories look like they spend more time doing research than applying hair product.

When Charlie Rose asks a question you get the sense he knows what he is talking about. He seems genuinely interested in learning more about the issue his guest is discussing. I wouldn't want to try to pull anything over on Charlie though. He seems to know a lot! Erica Hill is the perfect complement to Charlie during the hard news segments. She is equaly adept at the entertaining content of the second hour and the woman knows how to dress appropriately. I do miss her on Anderson Copper 360 however.

They don't have those irritating best bargains or  cooking segments. I cook just fine thank you thanks to Marie Callender and the Schwann's man.

Now CBS This Morning doesn't have the ratings to draw in the hottest actors and pop stars of the day hawking their latest summer blockbuster or newest album. Thank goodness! Instead they feature artists with real talent. people whose talent is proven by their longevity. When they do talk to artists they talk in depth about their creative process and their next question seems to be based on their guets previous answer. This morning they were talking to Alan Cumming about his One Man Macbeth at Lincoln Center.

Now I must admit there are times when Gayle and Charlie are interviewing someone together that Charlie seems to have to restrain himself from chastising Gayle for asking one of her questions that are embarassingly honest. But I grudgingly have to admit that this is why the woman is growing on me. I have finally figured out her appeal. She's unfiltered! If she wants to ask an insipid question she asks it. I can relate. I realize that this is probably Oprah's appeal as well but I will give the state of IL back my pension before I admit that!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Magic is Gone

I admit it. I'm shallow. Just look how long it has taken me to post anything on this blog. I'm not even going to promise to do better. I'm way too self indulgent. Which is probably why I was so bitterly disappointed in the last film Larry and I went to see, Magic Mike.

I can't say I wasn't prepared to be disappointed. I was. First, the movie got very good reviews, 79% favorable on Rotten Tomatoes. Good reviews are almost always a bad sign. Secondly the previews looked really good and featured the dancing and few one liners. I know better. Never never trust a movie with a good preview.

I admit it. The only reason I wanted to see this movie was the strippers. This movie looks like it was directed by a straight man. What kind of self respecting stripper keeps his pants on for 90% of his act? The ones in Magic Mike do. Honestly, even a stripper who doesn't want to take his clothes off has to know that he isn't going to get tipped until he goes down to his thong. There was nothing sexy or sensual about any of the dance routines either.

All the strippers in the film's troupe were straight. I do not buy that at all. There were five guys in the act and even male stripper troupes that perform strictly for women have at least one (more like four)  gay guys in the group.

We saw this movie in a theatre full of women. That in itself is beyond irritating. I have been to male strip clubs that allow men and women inside. The women always, always act like they are still in junior high. It isn't like they didn't know where they were going. It is so annoying. There something embedded deep in our culture that still says women aren't supposed to like sex (yeah like I'm an expert) so even  when they do get away to a strip club they feel like they have to act embarrassed. It's okay, girls. Your mother isn't watching. (She's in the back oiling down the men)

Then there was the fact that this movie had a plot. Why? It didn't get in the way too much. In fact I actually liked Channing Tatum's character and his love interest BUT for some god forsaken reason all the scenes outside the strip club were filmed in some hideous sepia tone that I haven't seen since the original movie version of South Pacific, a movie I have never watched in its entirety simply because I spend the entire movie wondering why Mitzy Gaynor looks so jaundiced.

When will I learn? There are some movies I will go  despite how bad they are. If a movie has Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton or male strippers I'm going to be there! But no more Madea films! That feisty gal is always the only one on the poster and then you end up having to wait till the last ten minutes of the film for her to arrive and deliver her three zingers. Done with you, Medea. I know your scam!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscars 2012

I am so tired of people loving everything this woman wears. I had no interest in watching this "skinny b**ch" attempting to play Marilyn. Marilyn was full figured. She was too thin (in the previews I saw). And for heaven's sake grow out your damn hair. I didn't even like it on Tinkerbell in 1957.















I loved her in The Help but didn't recognize her on the red carpet tonight. Not a fan of the hair. Perhaps it will grow on me....but more importantly hoping it will grow ON HER!
















Tina! Tina! Tina! Finally you wear a flattering dress and then you FORGET the jewelry. You need a necklace. A big dramatic necklace. (I realize of course that means you will have to lose the earrings. They would compete but the earrings aren't enough to compensate for all that bare skin above your dress) Keep trying, honey. Some year soon you will get EVERYTHING right.












Giuliana Rancic looked stunning and I was happy for her. Love her on Fashion Police!

















This girl, Jessica Chastain was winning the ABC online poll for best dressed but and I love the dress from the waist up. I didn't like the gold at the bottom. There was too much of it down there. Looked cliche to me.















And she wonders why Jesse James ran off with that tattooed lady?????












No wonder she's a star. She is flawless.














Somewhere in L. A. while watching the Oscar red carpet coverage Jennifer Aniston just kicked her foot through every big screen TV in the house. But hey what's bad news for Jennifer is good news for Best Buy.









And a couple of Guys.......


Who is this person and why is he in the movies (I know his name. He's Jonah HIll but I don't understand why he is in the movies. I do not go to the movies to see average guys. This guy isn't even average. He's below average.....right down there with Phillip Seymour Hoffman.










And finally why why why does Oscar insist on a dress code? It's California. It's warm. Take off your shirt, Mario!

















And all is right with the world!






























Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Hard Drive is Full

It is Wednesday morning and I don't have anything to do today until it is time to go to choir rehearsal. The weather is lovely and the view outside my living room window is bright and beautiful so there is absolutely no reason I shouldn't sink down into my very comfortable leather sofa with my script in hand and a 4 x6 index card and memorize my lines for The Sparta Community Chorus production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. There is just one problem. at 57 years of age (I know. you thought I was older) the hard drive installed in my brain at birth is full. Memorizing new lines has become physically painful.

Maybe my brain needs an update. It has never been defragged or had the old files removed. I can still remember every insult, every put down, every snicker made behind my back. I would remove them if I could but I am afraid that I might forget all the family dinners, vacations and holidays that are imbedded there as well. Thankfully in my case the put downs and the family memories are not in the same folder. In that regard I am truly blessed am I not?

I stopped keeping track of how many shows I have done a long time ago but after memorizing lines and lyrics for over forty years I have a lot of scripts and songs in my "theatre file." Of course the lyric or line I need at any particular moment may not "load" properly at the time it is needed. Maybe I need a USB port so new files of scripts could be downloaded more easily. In the meantime I will spend this beautiful afternoon on my sofa with my notecard covering up line after line until I finally give up and nudge it downward to refresh my memory.

At least this is a musical comedy. I have always found comedies easier to memorize than dramas. I do not subscribe to the theory that dramatic acting is more difficult than comedic acting. It just isn't as much fun. Comedies are always easier for me to memorize because jokes interest me. It's always a privilege to be able to deliver a joke on stage. And a challenge to see if I can land it correctly and get the laugh.

I am a character actor so lead roles have been rare for me. That's great. I enjoy being the guy that has forty lines and one song. It's fun to go in, get the laugh and go hang out backstage with the rest of the cast.

Lawrence is never really a role that I thought much about. When I saw this show I was really drawn to Andre, the French assistant with attitude and a comic love interest.

Lawrence is an arrogant, snide and self-centered con man. How I didn't see what a great fit he was for me I will never know.

Hopefully audiences will also see behind the front he puts up and into his heart. The guy that secretly admires the upstart (and hilarious) Freddy as the free wheeling guy Lawrence used to be and roots for him when he develops a crush on Christine after womanizing every female on the French coast.

Now I know how Madonna feels, having a love interest half my character's age. The only difference is I know it's a JOKE!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Emmys Fashion

Damn you, Joan Rivers because of your endless badgering on Fashion Police celebrities are now playing it safe on the red carpet. Most people showed up on the Emmy red carpet that were quickly forgotten. But here goes.

The only way a man can mess it up on the red carpet is to forget to put on a suit or a tux. Great job, Chris you are still the only reason I watch Glee.















Christina Hendricks didn't look as ridiculous as usual. What a burden she must bear with those bazookas.....at least this year she chose a color that blended right in with them so you had to look hard to see where the dress left off and the bosoms began....













I liked this dress. Without the pattern it would have been boring. But Claire Danes is beautiful in anything.
















A lot of people had red on this year. I thought Giuliana Rancic knocked it out of the park in this one.
















Gwyneth, Gwyneth, Gwyneth. You definitely fall into the weird actress category and you seem determined to prove it. But that doesn't mean you have to prove you are tasteless too. It's the Emmys not the Hot Box. Hate the bare midriff on a gown.













Oh Juliana.....I hope they gave this to you free. The top looks like an upside down lampshade. You are too pretty for this.....well you WERE too pretty for this before they did this to your hair. The sign on the salon that said "In business since 1941" should have been a hint. That hair belongs on a recruitment poster for WWII.












Is everything about Modern Family obnoxious? I hate dresses that divide women's breasts. If you are going to show your boobs push them UP not OVER! It was even worse from a side view.














Kaley Cuoco...cute....cute...cute.....and very similar to the winning design on Project Runway this week....now someone tell me who she is. I'm getting old. I can't keep up.
















Padma looked delicious. Unfortunately the photographer caught her a bit unaware here. Love her.

















Kelly Osbourne looked great....she even had sense to turn her tattoos from the camera for this shot.
















Lea Michelle.....in a very subdued Marchesa design....and look she is just standing normally.....
















Mario Lopez......just because.....

















The reason.....ONE of the reasons I don't watch Modern Family.....I hate preocious.......
















I thought Amy Winehouse died......(It's really Pax De La Huerta....whoever that is...) I should have known it wasn't Amy....this girl obviously bathed before the awards show.....



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Go Away Part 2

I admit it. I watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. In my defense I do not watch the New York, New Jersey, OC, Miami or Washington D.C. versions (often).

I did watch one complete season of The Atlanta version but that was during a marathon. It is impossible not to watch any marathon of any television show once you start. If a marathon is airing and you can't find your remote within ten minutes you are stuck or at least I am. That's how I ended up watching only one full season of House and Jersey Shore. If Hallmark runs an I Love Lucy marathon you may not see me for days.

All the other Housewive are cheap imitations of the Beverly Hills gang like those Gucci purses or Chanel sunglasses you can buy off a folding table in Times Square.

But there is one Beverly Hills housewife that is so out of her league on this show that it isn't even funny; Taylor. Whoever said you can never be too rich or two thin never saw this poor girl. If Ghandi were still alive and in the middle of one of his hunger strikes even he would tell her "Eat something for heaven's sake!" 

After watching the Real Housewives of Bevery Hills I no longer want to be rich. I'd probably just spend it on useless crap like they do; you know like pools and jacuzzis set into the Hollywood Hills.

But mostly it just affirms for me one of nature's great truths: You can't buy pretty. Look at this woman. She is nipped, tucked and botoxed beyond recognition. Then since she had been such a good customer her plastic surgeon offered to blow up her lips for free.....and she took him up on it!

Taylor spent the first season wondering around looking miserable. Poor Bravo had to edit her husband out of this season since his suicide. I don't blame Bravo for this guy's suicide. And I certainly don't agree with the people who said they should have postponed the new season because of it. But I am hoping the public outcry will force Taylor off the third season. Go Away!

They can fill her slot with Cedric, Lisa's houseguest from hell from season 1 or just put Andy Cohen in a speedo and let him visit each of them for a week or so.