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Archive for December, 2007

I’m not talking about silicone breast implants. Although I have an opinion on them. What I am blogging about is the conundrum of real versus artificial Christmas trees.

Each have their advantages.

  • Real trees smell wonderful when freshly cut.
  • Artificial trees don’t prick you to death when you’re stringing on the lights. In fact, the latest of models have the lights pre-strung, saving you hours of torture every year. (A friend has been known to throw out her real Christmas tree every Dec. 26 with the lights still warm and in place!)
  • A real tree, with its natural beauty, warms up a room more so than those made in China. However, they’ll really warm up a room fast if you leave a candle burning close by and those dry needles catch on fire.
  • Artificial trees offer easy take down and clean up. No needles left behind to step on when you’re barefoot sometime next July.
  • Artificial trees are available at any big box lumber store, department store or – yes – even the progressive greenhouses where owners now know they must cater to the ever-growing market of tree buyers interested in artificial trees.
  • Real trees: If you go hunting in the woods for one, you might die.

Case in point: Frederick Dominguez and his three children got lost in the snow on Dec. 16 when they set out to cut down a Christmas tree near Paradise, Calif. Three days and nights spent in the snowy woods, and many helicopter and foot searches later, Daddy Dominguez and his kids were spotted and rescued.

“We weren’t prepared at all,” son Chris Dominguez said, after the rescue. “We just thought we were going to go up to the mountains, get our tree and go back home. It didn’t turn out that way.”

Sounds to me like next year the Dominguez family goes to Lowes for an artificial tree.

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No surprise here.

SpearsLynn Spears, mom of famed (and washed up) Britney and now-pregnant daughter Jamie Lynn, had a book deal with publisher Thomas Nelson. But in light of Jamie Lynn’s revelation on Dec. 18 that she’s pregnant (no doubt trying to trump her big sister’s inability to successfully manage the fame life has handed her), Mommy Spears now faces certain financial doom if the book deal is canceled.

The real kicker is this: the book Lynn Spears was penning is a PARENTING book. Aptly titled: “Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World,” the book was suppose to delve into her story of how she managed to raise two high-profile children while coming from a low-profile Louisiana community.”

Given the past two years of first witnessing Britney’s wrecked career and now seeing teenage and pregnant Nickelodeon actress, Jamie Lynn, take a hard fall, does America really need the wisdom *cough* of a Louisiana mother whose parenting skills mount up to “show me the money or I’ll show you the door?”

Many fans say the Spears sisters deserve a little pity. A break, perhaps, for not being able to properly manage their famedom.

Pfffft!

While Lynn Spear’s parenting may not be totally to blame for the major f-ups her two daughters are becoming, we all learn our morals, values and skills at handling life events from, you guessed it, our parents.

Lynn, you blew it – obviously failing to teach either daughter to keep her panties on. You set them up and watched them fail and now you have three grandchildren whom will no doubt be equal or even greater failures in society based on who they have to look up to as role models in Jamie Lynn and Britney.

No matter how badly you wished these two kids to be your money machine, you’ve single handedly contributed to the delinquency of young inept women. And that, my friends, is a direct reflection on Mommy Spears.

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There’s a dust up of major proportions happening in Philadelphia’s local TV news market. Apparently, Alycia Lane, co-anchor at the CBS affiliate in Philly, traveled to NYC last weekend with her boyfriend. They proceeded to get drunk and, while taking a taxi early Sunday morning, had an altercation with two undercover police officers. Lane allegedly smacked a female officer in the face with her digital camera and called the NYC cop a f-ing dyke. Result: a night in jail, a felony charge for assaulting a police officer, and a two-week “early vacation” from her employer, CBS3.

It gets better.

ALaneSeems Lane has a little mental history of poor social behavior that isn’t quite normal for a typical, high-brow, high-profile television anchor. Last May, for example, she e-mailed photos of herself striking various poses in a bikini while on vacation to a “good friend” of hers. That good friend happens to be male and married. The man’s wife opened the e-mail and had a nice little e-mail exchange with Ms. Lane (who’s been divorced…twice).

Imagine KARE-11’s chief weather guru Belinda Jensen caught up in a row with the Minneapolis PD. Yeah. That’s a stretch. What’s different between the likes of Lane and our own local TV personalities is that those in Pennsylvania and New York City markets have no concept of what “Minnesota Nice” is all about. The City of Brotherly Love can’t keep a snarky TV anchor from throwing a hard right now and then. That, my friends, is good old-fashioned “Philadelphia F-U.” Still, one would think TV anchors would maintain their composure (even if drunk), especially when they’re away from their own back yards.

Just goes to show that while Lane may have the TV anchor look down pat, she’s the epitome of a talking head. Put her in public, throw a couple drinks down her gullet and she fast becomes the rough-around-the-edges, the-world-owes-me-everything New Yorker.

I hear the WWE is taking applications, Ms. Lane. Care to try on professional wrestling?

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For those of you under a rock, Diablo Cody is a newly crowned screenwriting goddess whose latest film, “Juno,” is indeed all that. She’s also originally from Minneapolis, so her perspectives from life in the Midwest are quickly finding appeal in her works – now mass marketed and gaining immense popularity. Reviews of “Juno” place the film among the year’s best. At least that’s what the movie critics say. From the likes of the local Minneapolis Star Tribune to The New Yorker magazine – raves are abundant for Cody’s latest work…allegedly written in a Starbucks store inside a Crystal, Minnesota-based Super Target.

“Juno” is a coming-of-age movie made with idiosyncratic charm and not a single false note. -The New Yorker

CodyCody has a blog, which she continues to post to frequently even in her rapid rise to star comedy writer extraordinaire. You can read about her press junkets hyping “Juno” and other fun stuff – like run-ins with famous people – here.

I first saw Diablo Cody on Late Night with David Letterman several years ago. She’d just written a book about her life as a married stripper. Letterman was enthralled and the book got a lot of attention. Probably because of its title, “Candy Girl: A Year in The Life of An Unlikely Stripper.” Guys will buy anything that sounds like porn.

“Juno” just opened and I plan to see it during the Christmas holiday break. My expectations are high after all the hype the movie has received, so Diablo, don’t let me down. But then again, anyone who can sit in a Super Target Starbucks annex and write a movie has to have some street cred from the get go.

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Okay. Here they are. A few of my favorite classic Christmas songs performed by some of the best artists from my childhood years.  Mom had many of these Christmas albums and I can clearly remember playing them in wonderful Hi-Fi Stereo Sound throughout the Christmas season.

Let’s start out with a favorite from Andy Williams.

Next let’s give a listen to “Silver Bells.” The song was first performed in the movie, “Lemon Drop Kid,” starring Bob Hope.  Here Hope sings it with co-star Marilyn Maxwell.

Christmas isn’t complete without this classic from Nat King Cole.

I’ve gone through periods of really liking Elvis Presley and not liking him at all. In his classic “Blue Christmas,” however, it’s hard not to sing along with him.

I’ve saved the best for last, my friends. Here Bing Crosby gets a little back up from Frank Sinatra as they sing, “White Christmas.”

Hope you enjoy these classics. There are many more of course – like Dean Martin, Ray Coniff and others.  If you have a favorite, send it my way.

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Whatcha Worth…Dead?

I’ve never thought much about what my body might be worth once I’m dead. In fact, my master plan is a quick cremation coupled with explicit instructions for where the kids can take my ashes and sprinkle them (currently there’s a bike path not far from my home that crosses a nice marsh where I’d be comfortable).

The unsettling news is that I’m only worth a whopping $4,125 dead.

Take the Cadaver Calculator quiz by cliking this link and get your own valuation, if you dare!

Bwaaahahahahaha.

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‘Tis The Season

Merry Christmas. Today in Minneapolis two more families lives are wrecked because of some senselessness. Oh, it’s gonna be a Christmas to remember thanks to someone who got behind the wheel after drinking too much.

I drink from time to time. I also ride bike. And when I read something tragic, like a fellow cyclist getting struck by a car, I say a little prayer. I’ve never experienced a close brush with a motor vehicle while biking.

But on Tuesday night on the streets of Minneapolis, a drunk driver hit a bicyclist and kept on driving while he was stuck to the undercarriage of the car. She drove at 9:30 at night, without headlights and then crashed into another vehicle before the police could stop her.

This morning, the cyclist is dead (although the local paper hasn’t confirmed that at the time I’m posting this). And a 41-year-old woman is going to jail for killing a person while driving drunk.
Such a waste.

Here’s part of the story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

A woman who police say hit a bicyclist Tuesday night in northeast Minneapolis was due in court this morning to face charges of drunken driving and criminal vehicular operation. And charges could escalate if the bicyclist dies.

Edward Joseph Gorecki, 51, was on his bicycle about 9:30 p.m. Monday at the intersection of NE. Quincy and Broadway streets in Minneapolis when he was hit by a vehicle driven by a 41-year-old woman. He suffered severe head injuries and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

His condition Wednesday morning was not immediately known, though Gorecki was in critical condition Tuesday with head injuries,  and a hospital spokeswoman said today he was no longer a patient there. At least two Twin Cities TV station reported that Gorecki died Tuesday evening, but neither Minneapolis Police nor the Hennepin County Medical Examiner were able to confirm that Wednesday morning.

According to police: The woman was driving without lights when she hit Gorecki. She did not stop at the scene, and dragged the bicycle 1½ blocks. She then hit another car at Broadway and NE. 2nd Street before officers could pull her over at 18th and Fremont Ave. N.

To all my blog friends and readers, have fun this Christmas season. Enjoy the spirit of the holiday. Drink if you’re into that sort of thing. But damn it, don’t drive drunk. Don’t be doling out misery to some other family just because you think you’re a smart fuck who isn’t “too drunk to drive.”

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