Thursday, March 31, 2011

A New Simple Rule for Polite Interaction in Public

So here’s the thing about holding the door in New York
Women in New York are singularly horrible in acknowledging politeness for them.  I first gave them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they didn’t know whether to acknowledge a man as sexist or polite.  But no, that’s not it.  They are horrible.
In most places, you hold a door open for a person and you get a “thanks” or at least a nod.  Even in New York, if you hold a door open for a guy – just at work – he will acknowledge you somehow.  Sometimes the nod, or the eye catch or the “thanks dude” – whatever.  75% of the time a man will at least acknowledge you.
Women, 75% of the time they will NOT acknowledge you.  And, as the shoe heel gets taller and sharper, the percentage of rudeness grows as well.
At first I thought it was a pretty girl annoying thing towards guys.  Maybe acknowledging them got them unwanted attention (“anytime Baby”) something like that.  But I have been observing, they are just as rude to other women.
And it isn’t women world wide.  Pretty much everywhere else most women, like men, acknowledge the politeness.  Even in New York, tourists are nice about it.  No, it is a local, annoying thing with New York City women.
The ONLY thing I can think of is that to acknowledge it is too much work (lots of doors might be held open).  If so (and there are any of you reading this) a simple smile and nod of the head is a perfectly acceptable way of saying “I know it’s no big deal, but I appreciate the simple gesture.”


It means an inquisitive or gossipy person.  Which imply two very different traits.  Inquisitive is positive.  Gossipy is negative.

I found it researching companies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some Amazing Actors and Performances in Catch Me If You Can

So, I loved Catch Me If You Can.  Ed thought it was too long (but Ed doesn't like an intermission).
Aaron Tveit, Norbert Leo Butz & Tome Wopat, Kerry Butler
The performances were nothing short of amazing.  Aaron Tveit can carry a  whole damn show with ease.  Norbert Leo Butz was perfect in the role as rumpled FBI guy.  He made it his.  Kerry Butler has a small role -but then a helluva song that was great.  And Tom Wopat - well if you have seen him you know he has a voice - if you haven't you probably wouldn't believe it.
The problem with the show, is it is based on a true story that is unbelievable.  They have toned it down and it still defies belief.  And, since it was a big movie, there are plot points you expect to hit.  So that is why it is a little long.
But I didn't mind.  The sets were mind-blowingly 60's chic (Promises / Promises type but ramped way way up).  Since it is a much smaller theater than Promises - they actor connect with the audience in a way that Promises and most other shows can't.
It is nit-picky to call out problems in a show that give you goosebumps repeatedly - and since I am not reviewing this for my site - I don't have to call out problems.  LOVED IT.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friends don't let friends mix talking points.

(headline and story from Salon - but I couldn't resist).

Newt Gingrich, scourge of both secular atheists and radical Islamists, gave a speech to evangelicals in Texas Sunday night in which he envisioned a future America dominated by atheists and radical Muslimsat the same time.
Politico reports:
"I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."
Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler tells me via email that Gingrich misspoke. "'Or' should have come before the word 'potentially,'" he writes.
Gingrich has produced documentaries about both the secular atheistthreat ("Rediscovering God in America") as well as the radical Muslimthreat ("America at Risk"), but usually he talks about them separately.

So... For My Birthday I am seeing Catch Me If You Can

Well, it's my birthday today (and a huge thank you to everyone for their wishes, Mom & Nick for the gift (Duck Shirt and Sugar free candy!), Patti, Honey and Roxy sent very nice cards - and I haven't been home yet - but thank you all).
Anywho, Eddie and I are seeing  Catch Me If You Can tonight.  It is a new musical, still in previews, based on the movie.  It stars some very cool people (Kerry Butler, Norman Leo Butz, Tom Wopat, etc.), but my favorite is Aaron Tveit ("te-v8").  I first saw him in the very very early off Broadway Next to Normal - and loved his voice and personna.  I saw him off-Broadway (with Gail) and he is consistently great.

It should be a lot of fun.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slide Show of Spring Blooms you shouldn't miss

Salon has a slide show of Blooms you shouldn't miss.  Link to all 14 - but here are 3 of my favorites.
Poppies in Lancaster (Lynn and I took Jane one year).  These are best after a wet winter in Southern California - so this should be an amazing year.

Tulips in Holland.  I would like to see these sometime - the blooms I see in gardens are amazing.

Jacarandas in Buenos Aires.  Well kids - Jacarandas are the most beautiful, fragrant trees in the world. But you can also see them in Los Angeles if you like.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It is not what you think it is....

Howl is ... odd, different, engaging, wonderful, beauitful, confusing and touching.  I don't know what I expected when I Netflixed it.  And, Ed and I watched it Friday night because we had already seen the other Netflix movie, he was playing online scrabble (which he does with Jocylen and Gavin & Mickey a lot - he is addicted) - and I was interested.

If you don't know the story - well, that isn't a surprise.  In the 1950's, poet Allen Ginsberg wrote and published Howl, a epic beatnik poem.  There was a famous San Francisco trial that put the publisher on trial for indencency.  FYI - the words used seem almost quaint in the era of RAP.

This is kind of the landscape of the movie, but that isn't the story.  The story of Howl is the poem of Howl, read by James Franco, intersperced with interviews with Allen Ginsberg (again, Franco), cuts from the trial (with Jon Hamm and David Strathorn) designed to add depth and background to the poem, which floats in an out (and doesn't ryhm, but has a candence that is mezmerizing).

The poem is illustrated, sometimes by animation, sometimes by the actors sometimes by light.  It is not a movie to have on in the background.  It slowly pulls you into a sphere that is wonderous.

It was cool.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

So our Puerto Vallarta Pictures are linked below

We had a great time.  Here are pictures if you want to see them...

In the Treetops in Puerto Vallarta

So, we went zip-lining in Puerto Vallarta and had a ball.  But some things were really cool.
First, because there were so few of us in this group (only 4 , later that day a group of 70! was coming through) - so they played and goofed around.  IN the case below, that is Eddie, on his way up or down from hanging UPSIDE DOWN over the canyon with the videographer taking pictures!
Afterwards, we got to play with the monkeys they had and take pictures with them.  It was a kick.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Ed, Simon and Scott

So Eddie and I went to a Journalist Benefit last night and ran into Simon Hobbs, an anchor for CNBC.  Simon is a great guy and we all had a ball.
And Yes - that is my own vintage tie which I love and have had for at least 20 years.  I got it from my Aunt Smitty's patient who passed away.  I had helped bath him for her (Aunt Smitty was about a million years old as a care worker and he was too heavy to get into the bath himself).  He gave me a couple of great 1950's cropped khaki bomber coats and two ties that I have had for almost 35 years - and were old when he gave them to me.

I love them - but rarely get a chance to take them out for a stroll.  A Gay / Lesbian Journalist Benefit was the perfect time!
PS: Compare the chin to the picture to the left!  Niiiiiiiice.

I Really Want to Go - but I am afraid my brain might explode

So this Saturday is a " Conservative Principles Political Action Committee Conference" in Des Moines.  And I kind of want to go.  Look who's coming (I'm quoting here from Daily Beast):

Here are the highlights to watch.
1. The Presidential Hopefuls on the Scene…
The parade of would-be GOP nominees will start bright and early with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour just after 9 a.m., and it won’t let up for the rest of the day. He’ll be joined by Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain. Add to that Rep. Michele Bachmann, who’s been seen as an unlikely candidate but is now rumored to be close to launching an exploratory committee, and John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador. Keynote speaker Sen. Jim DeMint has also been mentioned as a contender butdoesn’t appear to be leaning that way. That’s a nearly full roster of the lesser-known end of the GOP slate, who need every opportunity they can to make an impression (Santorum, for example, has little name recognition but has been a frequent Iowa visitor.

Come on, doesn't that sound like a kick.  It start with Haley Barbour.  Haley - the KKK wasn't that bad Barbour.  Haley, "I heard Martin Luther King speak at the county fair" 3 years before he ever visited Mississippi.
And Michelle My-belle.  Michelle, our founding fathers were unwaveringly committed to ending slavery.  Come on!  I'm dying to go.
And John Bolton.  He was bitching that Obama wasn't bombing Libya - until he bombed Libya, now it is a horrible idea.  We should be attacked Iran. 
A Valium, Super Big Gulp filled with Margaritas and my cowboy boots and I would have a kick!  Until my head exploded.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Review of "A Number"

I liked it, totally not what I expected from a "cloning" play.  LINK

If you know me...

If you know me, then you know I LOVE Mildred Pierce, the masterpiece movie with Joan Crawford by Michael Curtiz.  He was, in fact, mascot of the month in large part due to that movie (and Casablanca).
What you may not know is that I also LOVE the book, Mildred Pierce - a masterpiece by James Cain.  He also wrote Double Indemnity.  Both books were changed for the movie morality of the day - but both the books and movies stand up.
Now HBO brings a more "true to the book" Mildred Pierce.  Salon's critic was, like myself, skeptical.  But as you can see from the note below - won over.  I can't wait.  The Salon piece is here. I love Kate Winslet, I love the material, and I love Guy Pierce.  This is almost always a set up for unmet expectations.  I'll judge Mildred for myself - but wanted to share if you want to as well.

"Quick!! Get me to Cedars Sanai!!"

LOS ANGELES -- Zsa Zsa Gabor's publicist says the shock of Elizabeth Taylor's death made Gabor fear she was next and sent her to the hospital with high blood pressure.
John Blanchette says the 94-year-old celebrity was watching the news Wednesday morning at her Los Angeles home when she learned her friend and one-time neighbor had died. Blanchette says Gabor was inconsolable and commented: "Oh, Jane Russell and Liz Taylor – I'm next."
That's a reference to the common myth that celebrity deaths come in threes.
Blanchette says Gabor's blood pressure soared and she was taken to the hospital but released Wednesday evening.
Gabor has been in ill health and her right leg was partially amputated in January.
But Blanchette calls her a fighter and adds: "She's not going to be the third.""

Spring My Sweet Aunt Fanny!

I have been less than pleasant since returning from Mexico.  I have apologized to Eddie and no doubt will have to apologize again a few more times; for a while.  You see, it was a lovely, amazing, wonderful trip.  The Beach was wunderbar, the food was wunderbar, it was so oh so tres romantic.
But the return to crappy weather, and SNOW for the last 2 days has put me into a foul mood.  (And "it didn't stick" is about the crappiest few words ever uttered!).
So today I got this flyer in the mail.  Talk about your unfortunate timing.  I have added this company - from which I normally get very good toner deals - to my list of spam because - well, because it isn't spring, it isn't fun and I don't need to be reminded of that when walking in snow.  Coupon Code "Bright!". Ha!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Liz Passes Away

Elizabeth Taylor, best known lately for the brunt of Gladiator jokes, before that as Michael Jackson's buddy, and before that as a serial marriage institution, has passed away.
But La Liz was more than that.  She used her fame to start and push AmFAR (American Foundation for Aids Research) long before AIDS was understood and a cause de jour.  She spoke eloquently of loss of friends.
And before that she was an actress.  An amazing actress that wasn't taken seriously for a long time because of her beauty - and her astoundingly bad choices of parts.  Not all her fault, she was a product of the studio system for years.
But for me, I shall always remember the charming woman who yearly would give Greg and I a bottle of champagne with a hand written note (since Greg worked for her talent agency).  Greg also one day while delivering a script to her house in BelAir happened to plow into one of her assistant's cars - she graciously paid for fixing both cars without reporting it to anyone.  She was a charming class act as a person.
But I wonder who awaits her in heaven.  She better enjoy it before Debbie Reynolds shows up (if you don't get the joke, don't worry - some jokes are just for us oldsters).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Moon from our room at 4AM

We woke up to pee and saw this... beautiful. (you gotta look at it sideways).

I loathe Ben Howland

We cannot score.

Oh No, Renee and Bradley Split? Who could have forseen?

Apparently she has provided enough hetro-cover for another one. (Oh come on... what straight man is really going to go for pouty fish-lips, McBad Facelift?)
Hello Bradley - welcome to the club.  At least you didn't have to marry here to get your get-out-of-jail free card.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Other News: The Sun Revolves Around the Earth

Copied from Salon.  For my amusement.

Triumph of the flat-earth Republicans

Who cares what scientists believe? The House GOP is on the record, now and for all time: The earth isn't warming

The Lessons of Lybia

So Khadafi (Gadhafi) is going to crush the rebellion.  What are the obvious take-aways and the less obvious take aways here?
1) If you are going to fight back - be brutal and quick.   Bahrain has already learned this and has brought in troops from Saudi Arabia.  Now truthfully, this is an old lesson that people might have learned from China.
2) The United States is over-stretched right now.  Between Afghanistan (150,000 troops) and Iraq (still 30 - 50,000 troops) we can't easily commit troops.  When we are overstretched, it is the second best time to ignore us.
3) A disaster moves the US focus.  This Japan tragedy could not have come at a better time for Khadafi, Yemen and Bahrain.  A disaster that moves US focus to a point where action is obviously helpful is the best time to do something we want to ignore.
4) No one moves alone, except the US (the one exception was the Balkans where the EU moved first).
So the stars aligned to keep Khadafi (and others in power).  But the reality is that the world missed an opportunity to remove him and save lives.  His retribution will be swift and terrible.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take the Motion Capture Toys AWAY from Zemekis

I was going to say "poor Robert Zemekis", but I think I will change that to "poor kids that have to see a Robert Zemekis movie".
The latest from him is "Mars Needs Moms."  Yet another masturbatory exercise in "motion capture" that yeilds highly creepy images and movies that don't make money.  Just because motion capture gives him a stiffie - is there any reason we have to suffer this drek. On the creepy index, this ranks above Beowulf, but below Jim Carrey's A Christmas Carol.  Still nothing can come close to the ick factor of "Polar Express" (All Aboard the Train of Doooooommm.)


A Christmas Freak Out


Polar Express of Doom

Monday, March 14, 2011

Halay Barbour and His Fun Run for the Presidency

Haley Barbour is running for President.  Unlike Rick Santorum (who is running against Shira Law - which isn't "law" anywhere in the country, but does remind below of Muslims), Mr. Barbour is a jovial guy.  So jovial in fact, a little joke is sent out every morning.  (from Salon).

You know that older relative you probably have who forwards awful sexist or racist jokes to everyone in his address book, or obliviously writes offensive comments on Facebook posts? Haley Barbour and his staff are basically that relative, only they are trying to set up a presidential campaign instead of just spending their retirement watching Fox News all day.
Every morning Barbour's press secretary e-mails "a list of press clippings, along with a daily compendium of birthdays, historical notes, and jokes" to the rest of Barbour's staff along with some unidentified other Barbour "allies." And, obviously, the "jokes" on the list are real knee-slappers about how Janet Reno is a man and something about the horrible disaster that struck Japan a few days ago. And that's just from the "on this day in history" section:
Otis Redding posthumously received a gold record for his single, "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay". (Not a big hit in Japan right now.)
In 1993: Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the first female attorney general. (It took longer to confirm her gender than to confirm her law license.)
Ha ha ha! Those are top-quality jokes from Barbour press secretary Dan Turner, who, when questioned about those awful jokes and others, did not even bother to sound embarrassed. Though he did say Barbour doesn't himself receive the e-mails. Not that he wouldn't enjoy them! "His sense of humor isn't so much in the SNL vein," Turner said.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

We sweated our asses off in Yoga today

Well, it turns out it IS tough.
We are going out of town next Thursday so we will miss our normal training class.  So our teacher invited us to his basics class today ("Flow Fundamentals").  Turns out a non-stop class is tougher than the poise and train sessions we had to date.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Card from my Honey to Me


Ben Howland: Once again taking UCLA into the Tourny on a Roll

I hate that coach. (sad sad commentary from the LA Times.
It's going to be a long weekend for UCLA even though the Bruins will not play again.

They will have the next 72 hours to mull a foible-filled 76-59 loss to Oregon on Thursday atStaples Center in the Pacific Life Pac-10tournament quarterfinals, the second-seeded Bruins playing as if they were somehow owed a victory over the seventh-seeded Ducks.

"They had the mentality that they didn't have anything to lose," UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt said. "We came in here with a 'too cool' of an attitude."

The nonchalance resulted in another sluggish start and possibly the most mortifying moment of Coach Ben Howland's UCLA tenure, when the Bruins received a technical foul in the first half for having six players on the court after a timeout.

"That was embarrassing," Howland said. "That right there was like indicative of the night. That that could actually happen is unbelievable."

Some people never learn, it seems.

That Oregon (16-16) could hand UCLA (22-10) its worst loss of the season resulted in part from the Bruins' seasonlong habit of slow starts finally catching up with them. The Ducks used a 14-1 surge over a 4½-minute stretch late in the first half to take a 15-point lead.

Yikes: 8.9!

An 8.9 Earthquake is massive.  It is about 100+ times larger than the quake thata hit LA 20 years ago (the Northridge quake). This one was off-shore - but it was horrible.  The most amazing pictures I found were here:
Here are some...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Really? You screwed around because the country makes you hot?

Well I have heard a lot of excuses for infidelity (remember I lived with Jerry Mitchell the serial liar). But Newt's reasoning is nincompoopery.
Even my silly ass father never tried this reach to explain screwing around on his many many wives (possible because many of them would have shoved a stilleto into his lying ass mouth.
Newt, in response to why he cheated before left his first and second wife for his second and third (respectively). Answer (drum roll please)
"There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." 
                                                                                                        -- Newt Gingrich

The Strange Sad Death of Satire

So.. when I was in high school I competed in speech events (I know... LOSER.. whatever, it was fun and I went to state finals twice so bite me).
Anywho, I went once in "Programed Reading" - which was where you pulled together a bunch of different pieces on a topic - I used Satire and Sarcasm.  Shocking huh!
But I have noticed that Satire and Sarcasm is dead.  Dead and buried here in America.  We are immune to both because events have proceeded past the point of ridiculous.  Here are some items that would be too illogical, to much of a stretch to be satire or sarcasm.

- Profiling passengers on airliners is wrong.  We must search everyone equally.  Baby shoes and 80 year old Grandmothers walkers are just as probable to be smuggling bombs as are men 15 - 50.
- We must defund the largest provider of women's cancer screening (breast and cervical) to save lives by stopping abortions.
- We must remove the right to collective barginning AND cut taxes on corporations to save the state budget.
- Medicare is threatened by government sponsored medical care.
- Fairness to NY Teachers demands that bad teachers be allowed to stay in a room 8 hours a day for years instead of being fired.
- The IRA was not a terrorist organization because it didn't attack on American Soil.
- Michelle Obama does not have right to champion healthy eating and exercise because she is fat.  Ronald Reagan, and George Bush (1) were right to champion this because they weren't fat.
- Our President hates the Winston Churchill because of the Mau Mau uprising in a country he never visited, before he was born in support of a father that left his mother.
- The entire state of Hawaii is in a grand conspiracy with Kenya to elect a Muslim to the presidency.
- The EPA - started by Nixon - shouldn't have the ability to control any pollution that might effect global warming.  Global warming is a lie.
I bring this up because I saw a show yesterday that attempted to parody our national hysteria about terrorism by making a teddy bear a terrorist.  It was so over the top it played as propaganda - but I can't think of a way to satire our national freak out and abandonment of our principals.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

This is what is wrong with the world

This is what is wrong with this world.  Escalator Emergency Stops everywhere and the rude ass idiots that use them. And why is this bad.  Public escalators in New York are everywhere - particularly out of subways.  So these assholes that stop them make very old people, pregnant people and families with small kids have to trudge up them for no reason (and no - most stops don't have elevators, they have waivers from the ADA).
See, I blame stupid ass people with their "it saves 1 life" rules that we have to add stupid levers for everyone.  Hey, when I was little I fell and cut my chin on an escalator.  You know what happened to me?  I learned not to play on the escalator anymore.
And I blame the lawyers who make the world crappy with their greed.
AND I blame kids that think it is funny to hit the STOP button.  Nothing happens to them.  Fines don't really happen.  Parents don't teach kids not to be assholes.  We should pass a law that if you see a kid do that, you're allowed smack him in the head.