Friday, October 2, 2015

Matt and Water on Mars

I wonder if the announcement of the discovery of water on Mars was aimed to tie in to the opening of the movie The Martian starring Matt Damon.  After all, we know these CEO's love to talk about "synergy" and maybe NASA is for sale now too.

The film is about a scientist in space who mistakenly gets left behind by his crew.  Familiar?  We'll never forget little ET who didn't make it back to the spaceship.  The whole world unites to try to get Matt back to earth.  Familiar?  We all know that one sure way everyone on earth will get together is when we are attacked by aliens.  Of course, there's nothing alien about the likeable Matt Damon.

When a film touches on these familiar themes, there's something for everyone.  Including me!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

State Dinner

I know you're probably pooped from watching all the Pope stuff.   It's redundancy for ratings that's at work and I got bored after the first go around.  So, I'm not going to linger too much with this but just make a small observation.

I wish some of the Pope stuff had rubbed off on President Obama in his choice of guests for the state dinner with the Chinese head of State.  I know Michele looked gorgeous and she was wearing Vera Wang.  Careful choice.  I also know that these dinners are payback for big donors.  So what else is new?

With the Pope in mind, maybe a few Chinese restaurant owners could have been invited?  Not the ones in New York or here in Chinatown, but a few from Idaho or North Dakota?  It always amazes me that there's a chinese restaurant no matter where you are.

I hope the egg roll was crisp not soggy and the fortune cookies held out hope for us all.

Friday, September 11, 2015

C'mon Al

C'mon Al, please lighten up.  I saw you on TV last night and I felt sad.  That's something I thought I would never say about Al Frankin:  the man with the grin, the chuckle and the dead aim at the overblown.  Yes Al, we all know you are a SENATOR now, and it is SERIOUS work.  But does it have to be a metamorphous?  If so, this is one in reverse:  the beautiful butterfly that you were on Saturday Night Live has become the grey caterpiller we don't pay attention to.

When asked to comment on the Presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, I sat up.  "If anyone can handle this one, it's our Al," I grinned.  Instead, he went all sour.  "I am a SENATOR now."  He looked like he would go home and burn all of his copies of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.

They say Washington ruins everyone.  It does take its toll.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Don't blame me

 Michael Brown, the notorious ex-Fema Chief during Katrina,  has written a plea "Don't Blame Me for Katrina."  It turns out to be all about him.  Sorry, we don't feel sorry for you.

Now, is Andy Cohen, the ebullient guru of Bravo TV Network and King of Reality TV,  going to have to do the same?   Is Andy going to have to write: "Don't Blame Me for Donald Trump?"

 I'll bet he doesn't because Andy is so likeable and savvy.  And he is never defensive because  he learned so well from Jerry Springer.  Andy elevated the game to fight-fests for the middle class.  He loves and respects all of his trashy "real" characters as he rolls his eyes and carts his money to the bank.

My favorite awful show is "Housewives of New Jersey" followed closely by "Housewives of Los Angeles."  Jersey has two players taking turns in jail and LA has one just arrested for shop lifting from Target.  So it goes.

The best person I can imagine to interview The Donald would be Andy.  I'm sure he understands him completely.

C'mon Andy.  Make it happen.

Friday, August 21, 2015

"I've Lived a Wonderful Life."

Oliver Sacks, the neurologist, professor, and masterful story teller, is facing death.  He is doing it in the way we love best about him -- writing a revealing story that draws us close.  Sacks is the author of so many best selling books.  His brain damaged patients become inspiring characters we can learn from and admire.  I'm sure you also remember Sacks' book Awakenings.  Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams played in the film.

Now, Oliver Sacks is giving himself the dignity and love he lavished on his patients as he opens up about his own life. Early on,  he fled from his Orthodox Jewish upbringing -- even from religion itself.  For many years he exiled himself into a sexual wilderness before accepting his homosexuality and love.  Sacks says: "Life is a welcome gift."  The gift of Oliver Sacks is ours to receive.

Jimmy Carter once again astonishes us with the calm way he moves in the spotlight  -- his only purpose to improve the lives of those around him.  This time we learn about his brain cancer.  Because he is not afraid,  maybe we can better face our fears.

People rush to agree that Carter has been a wonderful ex-President, devoting himself to humanity at every turn.  I agree of course, but also say that he was a great President in many important ways.  No wars, no drones, no prison camps, and those solar panels on the White House roof.  I'm happy enough with that.

Shortly before he died, Bill visited with his boss Sydney Pollack.  He told Bill he was sad to go and then said "I've lived so many of my dreams.  I've lived a wonderful life."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Two Kings

Michael Jordan returned to Chicago this week.  Adoring fans flocked downtown to catch a glimpse of him as he entered the Courthouse.  Michael was here to testify in a lawsuit over protecting his identity against illegal use. The illegality had already been affirmed.  Now it was time to find out what that identity is really worth.  Jordan's hefty contracts with Nike, Gatorade, Hanes and others add up to millions.
It's very good to be Michael Jordan.

Le Bron James returned to Akron, Ohio last year.  He chose to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers because he missed his roots.  Adoring fans forgave him for leaving and cherished his return.  Today, King James announced that, through his foundation, he is going to put up the money for more than 1,000 grade schoolers to attend college.   If they keep up their education, they will be able to attend the University of Akron with Le Bron footing the entire bill.

It's very good for deserving kids to know Le Bron James.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Could it be?

When my baseball loving friend Don died a few years ago, I lamented: "Another Cub fan dies too soon."  I was thinking about the White Sox fans who in 2005 flocked to cemeteries around Chicago to let their loved ones know that the Sox had finally won the ultimate prize and were world champs.  It wasn't quite as startling as when Obama was elected President, but it had that same feel of "I never thought I would live to see the day."

 Wrigley field held no allure for me. It seemed like a falling apart dump the last time I was there.  Maybe I didn't get near enough to the ivy to feel it was special.  And, the owners always seemed like they wanted to big foot the neighborhood.

But now I am ready to put this all aside and hope that the Cubs win.  When they swept the Champion San Francisco Giants over the weekend, I decided it would be small minded not to urge them on.

So, this White Sox fan is embracing diversity.  I'm not going to watch or anything.  Just wish them well.