Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Presley tells Oprah marriage with Jackson was consumated. Audiences nationwide react by vomiting on cue

Presley Dishes About Marriage to Jackson

My living will

Give me a year. If I'm not getting better, kill me. (and give my organs to the kids)

30 Odd Foot of Grunts, is officially calling it quits

For those of you who, like myself, are "junk news" aficionados you've probably already seen this story. Those of you who haven't, you're in for a special treat. This is the kind of item that comes about in a rare while. An item that merges the perfect measure of celebrity, pomposity, and "who cares?"

Crowe's Band Breaks Up
Mon Mar 28,10:41 AM ET
By Josh Grossberg

Russell Crowe is not a grunt anymore.

The Oscar winner, who loves being a musician when he's not unleashing hell on the big screen, has announced his rock band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, is officially calling it quits. But the good news? Crowe's still crooning.

"What you possibly won't be pleased about, nor understand fully until you hear this record, is that tofog would seem to have dissolved/evolved," Crowe announced in a missive on the group's Website.

While he didn't cite a reason the sextet parted company after 13 years together, Crowe noted that the break up pales "in comparison to the joy of writing unrestricted."

Hence, the thespian says he plans to release a solo disc sometime in the near future that will enable him to talk "from my heart and mind simultaneously about things that are important to me now, right now, in this time of my life, not when I was younger or dare I say it less world weary/wary, but now, as a 41 year old father/husband/lover/man."

30 Odd Foot of Grunts, which formed in 1992 with Crowe on vocals and guitar, wasn't exactly a stalwart success by music industry standards.

Despite making six albums, the rockers never caught fire with the record-buying public, never landed on the charts, nor had a hit single. In fact, their 2002 release sold an embarrassing 156 copies in its first week in stores in Great Britain.

Such little respect didn't seem to bother the Gladiator star who said he remains dedicated to mastering and commanding a side career as a budding singer-songwriter. With his latest film, Eucalyptus, which was to have costarred Nicole Kidman, indefinitely postponed, Crowe had time to work on some new material.

He described his forthcoming solo effort, titled My Hand/My Heart, as "fresh, revelatory and graceful." It explores a variety of subjects in the 40-year-old actor's life including "my beautiful wife, past relationships, my son, people I know, family tragedy" as well as, appropriately enough, "my contribution to the genre of drinking songs."

"It is without doubt the most satisfying record I've ever made, and I know when you hear it you will be seduced by its beauty," he said.

Crowe expressed disappointment with the Grunts' relationship with their label, Artemis Records, but hoped to find another company with a wide distribution net that would be willing to champion his music. To tide fans over until then, he'll release a song he cowrote with partner Alan Doyle, "Raewyn," as an iTunes single on Apr. 19.

"It is the only song I've every written that has made both men and women cry, think, and call their parents, usually in that order," Crowe bragged.

And for those who doubt his ability, the burly New Zealander has obtained votes of confidence from a pair of music icons.

"I have e-mails from Sting and Billy Bragg, two of my songwriting heroes that give testament to the quiet power of the song," he added.

In any case, Crowe stressed that "there's no master plan for world domination" (or even to open for Sting) with the songwriting. But if people like what they hear, he hinted he and his mates--who still include Grunts Dave Kelly and Stewart Kirwan--might hit the road this summer.

"For me, music is its own reward," he wrote. "Anyone else's enjoyment of it is purely an extension of the experience I've already had as a writer. I'm not out to foist my music on anyone."
Did he actually use the acronym "tofog"?

30 Odd down, DogStar to go...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Chappelle Show: Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Rick James

Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Rick James

It must be on at least once a day on Comedy Central, but I watch it every time and it still makes me howl.

I also highly recomend:
Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: B-Ball with Prince

Thursday, March 24, 2005

NBC's "The Office"

Not funny. Mildly amusing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

My quick 2 cents on Terri Schiavo, and that's it

What if poor Mrs. Schiavo's face, the face we see in a small selection of repetitive undated video clips, was contorted into an hideous scowl or panged with horror and fright instead of her current uncontrolled hapless angelic idiot grin? You think there would be the same outpouring of sympathy and interest from the general public in keeping this woman alive?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

RIP: Charlie Purpura

From what I understand my former Professor Charlie Purpura passed away on Sunday (5/20/05). He will be missed. A tough talking, straight-shooting, stand-up guy if there ever was one. His "take no bullshit" style was refreshing in a forum that could sometimes be a tad hyper-sensitive and P.C. due to the tender psyches of NYU's fledgling screenwriters.

Variety Obituary
Charles Purpura: Tisch School of the Arts at NYU

Area Head of Screenwriting, Assistant Professor in Dramatic Writing

Feature films: Heaven Help Us (Tri Star Pictures); Satisfaction (20th Century Fox); Senior Class (CBS), Girls of Summer (NBC). His other screenplays include Replay and The Moralist (Warner Brothers); Major Bens on, Roommates, and From Rockaway (Universal Studios) , Black & White (Disney), Hitman(HBO), Honest, I Do (ABC). Awards: Emmy Award and Humanities. Professional memberships: The National Academy of Television Arts and Sci ences (also Emmy Awards Judge), Member as well as WGA Award Judge and Credit Arbitrator for the Writers Guild of America, The Museum of Radio and Television, The East Hampton Film Festival, Board Member Suffolk County High School of Performing Arts, The New Dramatists. He has lectured at presentations of his films at the above institutions as well as NYU Film School, Adelphi University, Hoffstra University and Molloy College. He is currently producing his screenplays, The Miracle of Pelham Bay Park (Storm Entertainment) and Princess Doe (ABC)."

The Pat O'Brien Voicemail

No stranger to the "drunk dial" am I, but this takes the cake. Pat O'Brien, the uber-nasal host of Entertainment Tonight's NYC based warm-up program, "The Insider," has completely lost it.

The Pat O'Brien Voicemail : Screenhead

Mr. O'Brien has checked himself into rehab for alcohol, but after listening to the recordings I have a hunch there might be some sort of stimulant involved.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

"Lucas calls new 'Star Wars' titanic tearjerker..."

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Director George Lucas had a message for fans as he previewed a glimpse of the final tale in the billion-dollar "Star Wars" film franchise: leave the lightsabers at home, but don't forget the tissues.

"It's not like the first one. It's more emotional," said the director of the upcoming space adventure "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," which arrives in theaters May 19.

"I describe it as a 'Titanic' in space. It's a real tearjerker, and it will be received in a way that none of us can expect," he told theater owners at the ShoWest convention.

Let me guess... well of course Natalie Portman's Queen Formaldehyde dies, but how?
  • Accidentally or mistakenly killed by Jedi, infuriating husband Anakin "Darth" Skywalker?
  • Killed by husband, Anakin "Darth" Skywalker, to prove to newfound darkside friends his "Darthy-ness"?
  • Or, my guess, Queen Formaldehyde gives her own life - jumps infront of Darth's lightsaber so infant Luke and Leya can live to fight another day.
All I know is Han Solo (in actuality, the character that made the franchise) had better get a mention.

Great theater, wrong play

Watching the great Major League Baseball steroid debate on C-SPAN. The energy the committee is putting into their prosecution is inspiring. Not that this issue should be completely overlooked, but I'd rather the inquisition be directed toward the improprieties of Enron and Halliburton.

Ron Manfred, VP of Labor Relations for MLB, is quite a character. He was wonderfully combative.

This century's Nathan Thurm.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"And that‘s the name of that tune."

Jury Finds Robert Blake Not Guilty of Murder

Apple developing two-button mouse

When will the innovation stop? I may just have to switch back.

AppleInsider Sources: Apple developing two-button mouse

According to sources who have so far filed accurate reports on Apple's future hardware plans, the company is feverishly working on a two-button wireless optical mouse that it intends to release.

Apple enthusiasts have longed for an Apple-branded two-button mouse for over a decade, but their requests have gone unanswered. So what has changed? According to sources, 'it's the company.'

With Apple now profiting from low-priced consumer electronics as it makes a push to reclaim market share from Windows, a two-button mouse is 'almost an essential,' sources said.

It's unclear when the computer maker plans to introduce the mouse. Insiders warned that anticipation may continue to build for months as the company perfects the product.

Apple has just recently reduced the price of its wired mouse to $29 and its wireless optical mouse to $59. The two-button wireless optical mouse would likely debut at the $69 price point once reserved for the company's current wireless mouse.

'Jaws will drop,' said one insider.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I just had to share

Who knew? Britney a "tsatskele"?

Britney's Stream of Consciousness at the Official Britney Spears Web Site

Originally read on The Superficial

If you needed another reason not to use an AOL product...

Thrashing Through Cyberspace: AOL Eavesdrops, Grants Itself Permission To Steal Your AIM Conversations

Monday, March 14, 2005


The friggin' sun.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Seeing that picture of Tanya Harding makes me just want to say "Gillooly!"

Come on now, say it with me. You haven't said it in 10 years. "Gillooly!"

Better to be a stupid Cow or a smart Lobster?




Wednesday, March 09, 2005

West Wing

Watch this show every once in a rare while. Caught a bit of it tonight, didn't understand a word this woman was saying. Not her fault.

Fast paced monotone staccato dialogue was owned by the British until that fellow who did all the mushrooms came along. As opposed to those who now create the show, he seemed to, at least, have a sense of humor.

Yeah, good luck buddy...

Italy wants 'maximum' collaboration from US: Berlusconi

Just watched Rather signing off...

That was sad, or maybe not - seemed like a good guy. Seemed as visually vital and weirdly intense as he always did. After watching his competent performance, I'd watch him again. Too bad I didn't while he was on. Damn you Joni Mitchell and your prophetic words from "Big Yellow Taxi" and I quote:
You don't know what you've got till it's gone
Maybe he'll run for public office. He probably should. His passion always seemed to spill over into the news he reported. News anchors are intelligent leaders. Fuck, they read the news all day long and command their own news machine. Quite honestly, they're probably the most perfectly informed citizen. Plus, he's a Texan. Wouldn't that combination make the perfect electable politician?

"Courage," Dan. You seem like you need it. Maybe now well find out the frequency, Kenneth. [I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.]

Giving Wolfowitz His Due

Someone tell me why I shouldn't agree with Brooks?

March 8, 2005


Let us now praise Paul Wolfowitz. Let us now take another look at the man who has pursued - longer and more forcefully than almost anyone else - the supposedly utopian notion that people across the Muslim world might actually hunger for freedom.

Let us look again at the man who's been vilified by Michael Moore and the rest of the infantile left, who's been condescended to by the people who consider themselves foreign policy grown-ups, and who has become the focus of much anti-Semitism in the world today - the center of a zillion Zionist conspiracy theories, and a hundred zillion clever-Jew-behind-the-scenes calumnies.

It's not necessary to absolve Wolfowitz of all sin or to neglect the postwar screw-ups in Iraq. Historians will figure out who was responsible for what, and Wolfowitz will probably come in for his share of the blame. But with political earthquakes now shaking the Arab world, it's time to step back and observe that over the course of his long career - in the Philippines, in Indonesia, in Central and Eastern Europe, and now in the Middle East - Wolfowitz has always been an ardent champion of freedom. And he has usually played a useful supporting role in making sure that pragmatic, democracy-promoting policies were put in place.

If the trends of the last few months continue, Wolfowitz will be the subject of fascinating biographies decades from now, while many of his smuggest critics will be forgotten. Those biographies will mention not only his intellectual commitment but also his personal commitment, his years spent learning the languages of the places that concerned him, and the thousands of hours spent listening deferentially to the local heroes who led the causes he supported.

To praise Wolfowitz is not triumphalism. The difficulties ahead are obvious. It's simple justice. It's a recognition that amid all the legitimate criticism, this guy has been the subject of a vicious piling-on campaign by people who know less than nothing about what is actually going on in the government, while he, in the core belief that has energized his work, may turn out to be right.

I've had only two long conversations with Wolfowitz. The second was the day after the Iraqi vote. I figured that would be an interesting day to get a sense of his mood.

He wasn't nearly as exuberant as I expected him to be, in part because, like everybody in government, he's busy with the constant flow of decisions. He said he spent 75 percent of his time on the Pentagon's budget and administration.

He deflected all my Oprahesque attempts to get him to open up and describe what it's felt like to be him for the past few years. Our tissues remained dry.

But he was eager to think ahead. 'It's fascinating how many echoes this is going to have,' he said. 'The Iraqi election is an inspiration. It's going to be a real challenge to all absolute rulers.'

He went on to suggest that American democracy-promotion could now get back onto its preferred course. Iraq, he said, was the outlier. 'Iraq is exceptional because of the use of the U.S. military,' he observed.

Normally, the U.S. plays the supporting role. For example, Americans can usefully raise the profile of dissidents so dictators feel less inclined to kill them. Wolfowitz was the first U.S. official to meet with Coraz�n Aquino. The U.S. can use its access to dictators to pressure and annoy them. Wolfowitz worked with George Shultz in the testy exchanges with Ronald Reagan, who was less inclined to ease Ferdinand Marcos out the door.

The U.S. can spark debates, but it cannot conduct them. When he was ambassador to Indonesia, Wolfowitz gave a speech calling for political 'openness.' He was careful not to use the words 'freedom' or 'democracy' because under Suharto, Indonesians might have felt inhibited about talking in such bold terms. But they were comfortable with openness, and it became the subject of magazine cover stories and a great national discussion.

Wolfowitz doesn't talk like those foreign policy blowhards who think the world is run by chessmasters sitting around at summits. He talks about national poets, national cultures and the power of people to bring sweeping change. His faith in people probably led to some of the mistakes in Iraq. But with change burbling in Beirut, with many young people proudly hoisting the Lebanese flag (in a country that was once a symbol of tribal factionalism), it's time to take a look at this guy again."

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Giving Wolfowitz His Due

US developing 'pain from a distance' weapon

The US military is developing a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from afar to use against protesters and rioters.

Documents released under the US Freedom of Information Act show that scientists have received funding to investigate how much pain can be induced in individuals hit by electromagnetic pulses created by lasers without killing them.

Due to be ready for use in 2007, the Pulsed Energy Projectile weapon is designed to trigger extreme pain from a distance of one-and-a-quarter miles.

It fires a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma - electrically charged gas - when it hits something solid. Tests on animals showed it produced 'pain and temporary paralysis'.

Pain researchers told today's New Scientist magazine that the technology could end up being used for torture and that it was unethical.

Andrew Rice, a consultant in pain medicine in London, said: 'I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research.'"

US developing 'pain from a distance' weapon
By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
(Filed: 03/03/2005)

Holy Sh...

From the rink, to the ring

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


How many people actually remembered that the Syrians have been in Lebanon since 1976?

Monday, March 07, 2005

My Mother taught me:

Believe in the sanctity of fresh fruits and vegetables.

While Martha's under house arrest...

I'll be filling in.

Domestic tip: Always have a can of decaf in the house for visitors who don't drink regular.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Just delicious

The simple combination of broccoli rabe, garlic, Italian sausage, and a little extra virgin olive oil could be one of the most delicious dishes on earth.

This is surprising news

The Plaza Says It'll Be History After April 30

March 5, 2005

The Plaza Hotel, where the fictional character Eloise romped through the corridors inside and the fiction writer F. Scott Fitzgerald romped in the fountain outside, sent the union representing its workers a letter this week making official the timetable for the hotel's closing. No one will romp at the Plaza after April 30.

The real estate company that owns the Plaza says it will become a construction site on its way to becoming condominiums and stores with a far smaller hotel on the 58th Street side.

The hotel has called all guests who had reservations for later than April 30 to let them know they cannot stay there, said Miki Naftali, the president and chief executive of Elad Properties, the Plaza's owner.

The letter to the union, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which has organized a "Save the Plaza" campaign, said that 864 workers would lose their jobs "on or about April 30."

The union wants the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the interior of the Plaza a landmark. The exterior has had such a designation for more than 30 years.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
The Plaza website says: "The owners of The Plaza have announced that on April 30, 2005, the hotel will close for extensive redevelopment into a mixed use retail, residential and hotel complex, at which point Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will no longer manage The Plaza."

I guess that means the Oyster Bar too. Damn! Best ceviche and lobster bisque in town - gone!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Bush: "I like doing this..."

President Bush Holds Citizen Meetings on Social Security

"I like doing this, by the way. I like goin' around the country sayin' 'folks, we have got a problem'...

-March 4, 2005. Westfield, N.J., President Bush holds meetings with invited citizens on his plans to overhaul Social Security. The meeting format might be described as "town hall," but many of those onstage with Bush in the meetings were handpicked by the administration and already held favorable views of Bush's proposal.
All Things Considered
Thank you Mr. President. Thank you for your time, and coming out to address us. You think you enjoy telling us we've got problems? Well, truth be told, we are just thrilled to hear about them. Ultimately, we're happy you're happy.

"Be Cool"

I say "Be Frugal" and don't lay down your money for this self-absorbed clunker.

John Travolta as Chili Palmer (who?) is at it again. And this time it's the music industry that suffers the wrath of his super-mobster powers. I was not a fan of "Get Shorty" to begin with and this thing suffers from the same 10 minute ago "inside" jokes that were the attraction of the first installment. (Notice my compulsion to use the word "suffer"). The movie continues the saga of "Shylock" (their word, not mine) and all around uber-cool Palmer transitioning from the business of film to music. A business that the sleazy record producer, portrayed by Harvey Keitel, calls as wise-guy as the actual mob. Oh boy, is Chili in for the ride of his life!... Hardly.

I was about to leave at minute 70 - I believe this was after Travolta wows Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, during a sitdown, with his empathic abilities. After it is agreed upon what a great tune "Sweet Emotion" is, Danny Zuko tells Tyler that he must have written the song about the birth of his daughters Liv and the fat one. Tyler is so blown away by Barbarino's homespun Brooklyn wisdom that he agrees to let the unknown singer (played by Christina Milian), that the boy in the bubble is reping, appear with him and the band for a sellout crowd at the Staples Center. Aside from this being a completely ridiculous and poorly written scene - the foreman at my personal warehouse of useless information reminds me that Liv Tyler was brought up by Todd Rundgrun and was never in her biological father's life until her late teens. Let's not forget the drug, alcohol, and groupie filled fog the band was in when that song was written and I hardly believe "Sweet Emotion" was penned in dedication to the existence of the lead singer's children.

But it was Vince Vaughn and the Rock (or is it "Roc" - no, that's Charles Dutton) that kept me in my seat. They carry the picture. Andre 3K and Cedric are entertaining too, and could have been better utilized. But I feel Dwayne "Roc(k)" Johnson as the gay aspiring actor/bodyguard stole the show.

Chili Palmer's bravado, his greatest gesture of toughness, is his ability to freely and incessantly smoke indoors in L.A. Whoooo, I'm scared.

I used to find Elmore Leonard's cockiness endearing - these movies make him seem contrived and masturbatory.


Being new to the world of blog - I've taken the time to go out and visit the community, peering into the lives and sometimes meeting the neighbors. Here are a few of my observations:
  1. People think others are interested in who they are and what they have to say.
  2. Blogs are filled with self important crap.
  3. I like the combination of eggs with cheese. (Scallions are a nice addition too)
  4. The cliche of opinions being like assholes is all too true on the web. Bloggers seem to have multiple anuses.
  5. Bloggers write far too much about things that can be stated in a sentence or two. It's called "brevity" friends.
  6. The interest in the war in Iraq and Tara Reid's breasts are virtually equal.
  7. I can use money. Please donate.
  8. The Oscars also seem to be popular.
  9. Blogging is a great way for writers to pretend they are writing. [oops.]
  10. Did I mention I can use money?
To be continued...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

"The Aviator"

I find it hard to either empathize or sympathize with obsessive-compulsive millionaires.

However, the colors were very nice. Best cinematography seems deserved.

Now if they can just locate that "other" hate gene...

"Germans Discover the Cabbage-hating Gene

2 March 2005

POTSDAM - German researchers have located a gene that makes some people loathe cabbage and spinach in all their forms, and discovered that the same gene often protects people from obesity.

The German Institute for Food Research in Potsdam near Berlin said the gene makes some people extraordinarily sensitive to the bitter substances phenylthiocarbamid (PTC) and propylthiouracil (PROP). Most people swallow those substances with a smile.

The scientists, led by Wolfgang Meyerhof, investigated how the gene affects human taste receptor hTAS2R38. People who cannot taste PTC and PROP tended to eat fattier foods and become overweight, so a
single gene ends up having a huge effect on eating behaviour.

The institute said the research was being published in the journal Current Biology.


Technical crap

I got rid of that worthless service HaloScan so all prior comments have been cast into the virtual void. They're gone.

Please feel free to resubmit your pithy bobbles of insight.

22 Pound Lobster Dies at Zoo

I wouldn't serve him whole. But, you could still make lobster salad. LOTS and LOTS of LOBSTER SALAD.

Bubba the Leviathan Lobster Dies at Zoo

Thu, March 3, 2005

PITTSBURGH - He dodged lobster pots for decades, endured a trip from the coast of Massachusetts to Pittsburgh and survived about a week in a fish market. But a trip to the zoo proved to be too much for a 22-pound lobster named Bubba.

The leviathan of a lobster died Wednesday afternoon at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium about a day after he was moved from Wholey's Market, said zoo spokeswoman Rachel Capp and Bob Wholey, owner of the fish market.

"They're very finicky. It could have been a change in the water. You have no idea," said Wholey.

Bubba died in a quarantine area of the zoo's aquarium, where he was being checked out to see if he was healthy enough to make a trip to an aquarium at a Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, Capp said.

Bubba will be examined to try to figure out why he died, although Capp and Wholey guessed it may have been the stress of being moved.

Based on how long it typically takes a lobster to reach eating size — about five to seven years to grow to a pound — some estimated Bubba was about 100 years old. But marine biologists said 30 to 50 years was more likely.

Other large lobsters didn't fare well after they were caught, too.

In 1985, a 25-pound lobster that the New England Aquarium planned to give to a Tokyo museum died when the water temperature rose and the salt dropped in its aquarium. In 1990, a 17 1/2-pound lobster named Mimi died just days after being flown to a restaurant in Detroit. Last year, a 14-pound lobster named Hercules that was rescued by a Washington state middle school class died before it could be released off the coast of Maine.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Is it me?

But why is Six Flags using the visage of long dead super-agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar

as the spokesman for rollicking good times at their theme parks?

This is not me

I know, I know what some of you are saying "you both share the same name, why deny it?" But, alas, I am not the same "Samuel L. Sheffler" District Superintendant at the Lewisburg office of the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. Who knows? Maybe in the next life.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

It's nice to be recognized...

The Superficial - Robin Williams still not funny

Tuesday - March 01, 2005

Much to my heart breaking amazement, we actually got email defending the Clown Prince of Pissin Me Off. Apparently Robin Williams can do the exact same routine for 50 years and people will still marvel at his spontaneity. Luckily most of the readers here took the red pill, including Sam Sheffler, who sent us this email :

“I used to work at SNL and write jokes for Norm. This was one of them that never made it on but I kept it hanging on my bulletin board over my desk for any jackass who would walk through to see.”

I should probably maybe feel bad for picking on a geriatric, but the clueless fuck actually thinks he’s edgy. Which is why he went on the Academy Awards with tape on his mouth. Yeah, Robin, you saying “Yo man, wuz up” in that black voice you’ve done a billion times would’ve led to a river of dead.

*Note - just for the record, Robins idea of dangerous comedy is a Betty Boop reference. Sadly, I’m not kidding.


I have the rewrite of my script long overdue. It seems "Slipshod" is a new diversionary tactic I've taken.

Hell, at least I'm writing.