Thursday, August 31, 2006
Men's Health magazine is at it again, publishing a list of American cities and then using some silly metric to try to measure things that are, when you think about it, truly immeasurable.
For example, in its September issue, they ask the question: "How Angry is Your City"?
The happiest cities, by the way, are Manchester, NH and Bangor, Maine -- both happily and cheerfully part of blue states.
The least happy cities are St. Petersburg and Orlando -- which are, perhaps not coincidentally, in a red state.
We here at The Cup of Joe are starting to consider our own rankings of various entities, and particularly magazines.
... So how's this for a ranking?: Which magazine has the biggest dumbshits as part of their editorial staff? Answer: Men's Health. Score: A+.
I think the editors should take an exercise ball and shove it up their rectums.
... Not that I'm angry or anything.
This means I'm going to live a long time, right?
Think again. Living a long life is not necessarily an inherited trait, as is hair color or what type of personality you have.
For example, the women pictured are identical twins. They are 92. One has aged gracefully, and the other has a host of problems, including dementia and incontinence. Scientists can conclude from a large study of twins such as these that genetics isn't as important as previously thought.
Read more here.
I just thank the man (or woman) upstairs that I haven't inherited some of my family's more annoying traits, including a kitten-like need for sleep and having a smaller attention span than most puppies.
This doesn't describe me at all.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I thought about this when I read in Broadcasting and Cable that drama series in development for next year will be "close-ended."
B&C reports that, "Although the flurry of serial dramas in the mode of Lost and 24 are premiering this season, it's the traditional, closed-ended formats that will likely rule the 2007-2008 season."
Personally, I have no interest in watching these new shows, such as ABC's The Nine or NBC's Kidnapped.
Why would I want to get hooked on another Lost? Isn't Lost -- with its slow, slow development and resolution of the plot -- frustrating enough?
With shows like these, I always suspect we may have another Twin Peaks on our hands -- a show with no satisfying ending.
This is why it'd be a big "shame on me" if I wasted any time on Vanished.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
A new movie about Capote, Infamous, opens in October. I wonder if it will be able to creep out from under the Capote shadow?
Here's the trailer.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Last year, it was reported that Bush was a big fan of I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe's latest book about college campus sexual romps. (Though the White House never officially let it be known that this was on his reading list, Bush was said to be recommending it to all his friends.) The love is mutual, because Mr. White Suit is a Bushie and voted for him twice.
So, what's on the "official" Bush reading list during his August vacation? The New York Times tells us.
Two books on Lincoln and one on polio. Oh, and a Camus novel. It was “The Stranger” that caught everyone’s attention when the White House told of the books that President Bush was taking to Texas on his ranch vacation. Last year, he toted books about a czar, a plague and salt — no French philosophers.
This business of the most powerful man in the world announcing his current reading list, presumably to demonstrate a restless intellect (although there’s no pop quiz to see whether he’s done the reading), is comparatively new. When Coolidge and Eisenhower kicked back on fishing and golf holidays, they didn’t pack many books. ...
I don't know about you, but if I were president today, and with so much at stake in the world, I don't think I'd be reading about Lincoln. I think I'd prefer to read about ... current events, the Muslim religion and Mideast history (with a particular focus on Iran). It's a little absurd to read Camus at night when things in your day job aren't going so well.
I'd prefer that he read his presidential daily briefings very, very closely.
With most Americans absorbed by the Monica Lewinsky affair, relatively few paid much attention when the United States fired some 60 cruise missiles at Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. Most public debate centered on whether President Clinton had ordered the strike to deflect attention from his domestic troubles.This is one of 10 days in American history highlighted in this New York Times story. Can you guess what other days might be included?
Although the details of that day remain in dispute, some accounts suggest that the attack may have missed killing Osama bin Laden by as little as an hour. How that would have changed America — and the world — may be revealed, in time, by the history that is still unfolding.
With JonBenet Ramsey all over the news, and with the five-year anniversary of 9/11 coming up in a few short weeks, it amazes me how much the electronic media focus on things that, in the big picture, are not very important. Unless it's something on Project Runway, I have absolutely no interest in blue dresses.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
During the Provincetown Carnival parade one week ago tomorrow, we met some very friendly drag queens (and people who were just dressing up). They'd kindly stop and pose for photos, and they made the parade a lot of fun.
With one exception. Georgette (pictured below at left) was a TOTAL buzz kill.
Just kidding. But can you guess who is, and who isn't?
And in a "shocking development" sure to "change the way the game is played forever," they are dividing the cast based on race. Seriously.
Let's hope the tribes are able to maintain very secure borders, right Pat Buchanan?
And for those who may be wondering whatever happened to Tiffani, the show's runner-up, you can find out by reading this Boston Globe article. She's cooking on Nantucket this summer, and she still sounds a little bitter, don't you think, not dissimilar to a large bowl of celery and kale soup with a grapefruit side salad. (Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc.)
For the full dish on other reality shows Bravo has in the works, including an update on Top Chef and new shows featuring real estate agents, interior designers and hair stylists, click here.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Good news: The site is happy to announce that airfare predictions for flights out of St Louis (STL) are now available.
Check it out.
Happy travels to all.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Betty White is in her 80s, and she's still funny. At the recent Comedy Central roast of William Shatner, she did a routine with perfect timing and delivery and (unlike others) without the benefit of notes. (And it didn't appear there were teleprompters either.) Other roasters half her age needed crib sheets.
It's a shame the whole appearance isn't available on You Tube, but a portion of it can be viewed below, or you can tape a repeat of the whole roast tonight at 11 p.m central time on Comedy Central.
Although White is best known for playing Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show during the 1970s, and Rose on The Golden Girls starting in the 1980s, her career began in the 1950s when she did various programs, including "Life With Elizabeth" and "The Betty White Show," at the same time Lucille Ball was winning well-deserved Emmys for I Love Lucy.
Betty White, however, has been funny for six decades now. Compare this with Lucille Ball, who, after I Love Lucy, basically spent two decades not being all that funny, culminating with perhaps the most miserably unfunny show in television history, "Life With Lucy," which lasted only a couple months. In the fall of 1986, 13 episodes were filmed, and eight were aired before the network mercifully pulled the plug. Ball was in her middle 70s at the time.
If you dare, you can watch some Life With Lucy clips, including the opening, at this link.
But please don't do it on a full stomach: This show has been known to result in nausea, vomiting and gasey emissions. It's less clear whether it's ever been known to result in a single snort, chortle, laugh, guffaw or cackle.
The great Lucille Ball airing eight shows without a single cackle? That's nothing to joke about.
Kermit doesn't feel like singing much these days. Find out why by reading this thoughtful, troubling essay.
Sooner or later, don't you know, we are going to have to face the music.
Please tell your friends. And learn more here and here. And if you live in Missouri, you may want to read this.
And forget what you learned in your awful grade school history book. The pilgrims didn't land at Plymouth first. They landed here, on the tip of Cape Cod.
Shame they didn't stay. Those breezes are pretty nice.
Thank God for conservationists.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I'm happy to report that we are back in town, safe and sound after the incident at the airport involving a CONFISCATED bottle of eyedrops. I can't help but think that if losing two ounces of rewetting solution can be my contribution to national security and fighting the tear-wrists, then it made my uncomfortably dry eyes well worth the sacrifice.
Although we miss the cool sea breezes off the sunny tip of Cape Cod, it has been more than made up for by the no-less-delightful winds wafting from the banks of the nearby River Des Peres, a little slice of "run-off stormwater and sewer backup" heaven right here in town.
Thanks so much to my friend Bobby M. for looking after the house. "While I was out" he fed my special little angel, took in the mail, and performed light housekeeping duties and other chores. This included organizing my winter sweaters in the basement by color and material, running several utility programs on my PC to ensure optimum and consistent performance, tuckpointing the chimney, refinishing the hardwood floors, and starting on a room addition out back. Thanks Bobby! But next time, could you also clean the gutters, and would it kill you if you did just a little de-weeding? Thanking you, in advance.
And thanks so much to Elgie for picking us up at the airport.
Pictured above is Race Point Beach in Provincetown. It's quite beautiful, no?
Tonight, as the sun is setting here in my hometown, I'm going to remember Race Point Beach as I take a walk down near the banks of the River Des Peres. I hope my allergies start acting up, because a clogged nose will help block out the odors.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
We have, however, seen Congressman Barney Frank!
Also, I'm pleased to say that we worked out with Lee Marvin yesterday at the local gym. Although Wikipedia seems to think Lee died in 1987, I'm happy to report that Lee Marvin is alive and well and can bench 175.
Friday, August 11, 2006
... for rest and repairs. The moose outside shoulda told ya.
See y'all in a week.
I'll be spending a little time in heaven (pictured below) with Wally and some other good friends I don't see often enough.
Happy B-day, in advance, to Peaches, Frenchy and K.B. in the Mother Country! K.B.: You look really, really, really, really good (considering your age). Frenchy, good luck with your new job; I'd kill to be doing what you are doing! And Peaches, let's get your machine back up and running back at full turbo power soon, OK?
If one of my housemates has a computer, I may do an entry or two next week sometime, if I'm not too busy doing absolutely nothing.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Anything NOT on the list at this link is not allowed.
Does this mean I can't carry a cell phone? It's not on the list. Or my Ipod?
Here's wishing you all happy and safe travels ...
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Dennis Miller is joining ... Fox News Channel.
Anybody remember when he used to be funny? Didn't think so.
Here's wishing him well in his new role on Hannity & Colmes, and writing columns for the Fox website.
He'll have a nice forum in which to go on rants defending George Bush and justifying the Iraq war. Funny stuff!
Check out wikipedia on Miller, particularly the "fake rant" that Family Guy aired a while back.
Monday, August 07, 2006
... Can be watched here at this link.
It's a locally produced show about an entertainment strip that, in the 1950s and 1960s, attracted talent such as Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen and many others long before much of the rest of the country had recognized their talents.
Enjoy. This is worth 20 minutes of your time.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Question: What do George McGovern and Russell Johnson, The Professor from Gilligan's Island, have in common?
Answer: Both were war heroes who served during World War II on B-24 bomber planes, Johnson flying 44 missions through enemy territory and McGovern flying on 35. McGovern won the Distinguished Flying Cross, and Johnson was awarded the Purple Cross after his plane was shot down over the Phillipines.
Many people don't know this about McGovern. Or about Johnson.
For McGovern, the image that sticks with him, overshadowing his bravery, was his opposition to the Vietnam War, for which he was demonized in some camps as a chicken who would "cut and run."
John Murtha, Max Cleland and John Kerry know a little something about fighting in war, too. Although their service isn't forgotten, it has been distorted. As Republican attacks upon John Murtha -- a congressman, combat veteran and retired Marine -- start getting uglier, I hope that his service is neither forgotten nor distorted.
This is no way to treat a war hero.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Gilligan's Island is one of the most critically reviled shows in television history, but also a show that will be watched 50 years from now.
Here are some Fun Facts about the show straight from the mouth of The Professor:
When Russell Johnson auditioned for his role on the show, a high-ranking gay executive at the show wanted him to audition shirtless and his underwear, just as other actors had to for this VP.How did I learn all this information?
During a particular episode of the show, the professor paid homage to Walter Huston's academy award winning role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, one of my all-time favorite movies, by doing the same "little dance" the old prospector does in the movie. (If you've seen the movie, there's no way you could have forgotten this dance.)
The cast member who got the most fan mail? Mary Ann, of course. Why "Daisy Dukes" are called "Daisy Dukes" instead of "Mary Anns," I'll never know.
It's all part of two hours of uncensored and uncut interviews with Russell Johnson on a great website for television fans called The Archive of American Television. You can also find interviews with other favorites, including the terrific Alan Alda, Bob Barker, Bob Newhart and other names sure to pique the interest of any television fan.
I've only watched part three of this interview, which is 30 minutes long. You can, too, at this link.
Bookmark the site: It's a good one. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you, Elgie.
How about a boss that announces to the whole office that she's interviewing for a new employee, and that maybe your job is not safe, leaving you and your co-workers on edge for a week?
Who in the world would want to work for a person like this?
Answer: These employees are NOT the salesmen of Glengarry Glenn Ross, but they are the personal trainers who are part of the new Bravo series Workout. The "star" of Workout (the owner of the gym) did all these things in the first episode.
Just terrible. And no way to run a business.
Those of us who love reality TV are smart enough to realize that much of it is just phoney-baloney manufactured by a producer or writer behind the scenes.
I think this show is possibly the phoniest of the whole reality TV lot.
On the plus side: The owner, pictured above at right, is approaching 40 years of age. So congrats to her for being a hottie.
Now get some manners, Jackie.
And stop listening to those whispers from a producer who is trying to manufacture conflict. She or he is only making you look bad.
Which big-city daily newspapers do the best job covering their regions, and which do the worst?
The results of the Civic Stategies Urban Journalism contest are in, and guess which paper is dead last?
Hint: It was one of only three daily papers that John F. Kennedy reportedly read when he was president.
Think JFK would still be reading if he were alive today?
I for one think that he absolutely would. I think he'd enjoy finding the typos, fact errors and gaping omissions.
Early this morning, I did some shopping at my local grocery store, which dubs itself "the friendliest stores in town."
While picking up my blueberry yogurt, peanut butter and my Little Buddy sugar cookies, the music on the muzak was "Missing" by Everything But The Girl.
Thought for the day: If this store wants to become the "gay friendliest store in town," they would have played the Todd Terry Club Mix.
I missed hearing this remix like the deserts miss the rain.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Show on Bravo canceled; thousands don't notice. Or maybe it wasn't canceled?
If you do pass on this conflicting information to friends, here's some quick tips for success: Look him or her straight in the eye when you deliver the bad news, make sure you have in plenty of hair product that has been CORRECTLY applied from the back to the front, and then prepare him or her a dinner of seared squab with a shitaki demiglaze. And, if possible, break the news on an IKEA couch.
The locally-based Melanoma Tan apparently has been bought out by the San Fernando-based Wrinkle Tan, and we here at The Cup of Joe simply aren't part of this new corporate conglomerate's marketing mix.
An overly tan spokeswoman for Wrinkle Tan told me that the new combined operations of the company will be consolidated under the name Cancer Tan to "more accurately reflect the large varieties of cancers, including basal-cell carcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma, that our customers enjoy."
In addition, the overly tan spokeswoman also told me that all metro-area Cancer Tan locations will offer their very popular "kids tan free" benefit for all gold-level members, and that any member who is diagnosed with cancer during the month of August will receive 25 percent off all tanning accessories and accelerants.
I guess our decision, on day 3 of this blog, to lay off this site's Safety Managers (due to insufficient funds, insufficient visitors, and a general lack of interest) was a good call.
We're especially fortunate considering I'm blogging on my old Radio Shack TRS-80, which I bought in 1984 and still do BASIC programming on. Apparently it's a serious fire risk, so I'm happy to say that we've dodged "the big one" so far, and that those minor sparks and electrical shocks are merely a nuisance, and not a deal-killer.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Yesterday, on the float trip, I said to Wally: "I don't want to work anymore in my construction job as a sticky tile applier. I want to live a life of leisure, sipping girl drinks with little umbrellas in them all day from a giant coconut while I keep up with all my favorite reality TV shows!" (Or something like that.)
It turns out, as reported that very same day in the New York Times, that I'm not the first to think about this.
Check out this story about "men who don't work and the women who love them." (Or something like that.)
And I ensure you that I am not pleasing myself when I share the below video featuring one of the contestants pleasuring himself.
All of America is now groaning. Just like Howie.
Not to worry, there's nothing graphic about this video.
In addition to what is embedded below, here's another video at this link where another contestant, Mike Boogie, takes matters into his own hands.
If you watch the show, spend the 8 minutes to watch one or both of the videos. If not, then don't waste your time. It's pretty limp.
... I really need to read more books.